7 approaches to CSR

Nonprofit leaders hoping to harness the desire by many people for corporate social responsibility (CSR) might benefit from knowing what is on the minds of those people.

A report conducted by Cone Communications and Echo Research, the “2013 Cone Communications/Echo Global CSR Study,” offers a look into what people expect from companies.

Respondents were asked about the one approach to addressing social and environmental issues they would like companies to take. The results were:

  • 30 percent want companies to change the way they operate, for example sourcing materials more responsibly or reducing the environmental impact of factories. This was the choice of 31 percent of respondents in a similar study conducted in 2011.
  • 18 percent want companies to develop a new product or service (or enhance an existing one) that can help solve a social issue or is less harmful to the environment. This was 16 percent in 2011.
  • 11 percent want companies to seek feedback from or develop partnerships with key stakeholders. This was 11 percent in 2011 also.
  • 12 percent want companies to raise awareness of an issue and educate consumers and employees. This was 19 percent in 2011.
  • 16 percent want companies to apply their unique business assets to speed solutions to social and environmental problems. This was 19 percent in 2011.
  • 7 percent, in both 2013 and 2011, wanted companies to make donations in cash or products/services.
  • 5 percent, in both years, wanted companies to donate the time and expertise of their employees.