There is a difference between CSR and CSV

In trying to enlist corporate support for philanthropic efforts, some in the sector mix the terms Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Shared Value (CSV).

During the 2014 Cause Marketing Forum, Carol Moore of Heifer International offered her take on the distinctions, based on an interview with Michael Porter:

CSR is fundamentally about taking resources from the business, and investing those resources in being a good corporate citizen.

Shared Value is aimed at changing how the core business operates—strategy, structure, people, processes and rewards—in order to deliver triple bottom line returns.

The fundamental distinction is that CSR is about doing something separate from the business and CSV is about integrating social and environmental impact into the business, using that integration to drive economic value.

Forward thinking businesses want to be part of the solution to tackling the complex problems facing our communities, our countries and our world. Companies and employees know that charitable donations are important. However, they want to expand engagement so that their core business models improve the well being of people and the planet, reduce or eliminate negative externalities and earn a profit.

Multinational corporations in Europe and the U.S. are slowly but steadily ramping up their CSR and CSV efforts on complex global problems, but companies in frontier markets are rapidly taking the lead on national and regional issues of hunger, poverty, inequality, unemployment and climate change. These emerging market businesses are embracing Shared Value as a smart, sustainable and profitable business model.