The Who, What and Why of CSR Consultants

Author: Amrit Elango
Last Updated: Aug 12, 2021 10:03
Views  9

Time has passed since Corporate Social Responsibility was merely seen as a philanthropic responsibility, a percentage of a company's revenue; Corporate Social Responsibility is now an opportunity to create tangible, sustainable value for a business. The CSR activities of a company present the opportunities to improve their brand image. Businesses now have the opportunity to put their brand on a cause that moves the heart of their target audience. For instance, a sportswear brand that invests in the development of athletes from socio-economically backwards communities, has the advantage of making its consumers feel like they are making a difference with their money. In a market where companies and their target audience are more connected than ever before, well targeted CSR projects gather much traction. The PR advantages of CSR are now more prominent and provide companies, small and big with opportunities to connect with their audience through a cause that they believe in. This however is no small task and requires specialized professionals,

Corporate Social Responsibility consultants are individuals or agencies that help businesses develop ethical, environmentally responsible and/or community-minded programs that create links between a business and the community. Experience in working with multiple NGOs, gaining grassroot level, publishing research papers on sustainability/ CSR and a knack for business and its environment are priceless attributes of a CSR consultant that sets them apart from the vague and traditional pseudo-sustainability professionals. They possess strong logical and analytical thinking skills, with empathy and sensitivity to the socio-economic environment that surrounds the business.

To turn traditional businesses which put CSR on the backburner into businesses that take hold of the opportunities that CSR provides, organizations onboard services of individuals or companies that specialize in CSR functions. These CSR consultants hold knowledge and exposure on a variety of social activism fields and also may have specialized educational qualifications that make them more qualified to take the vision of a company, and assist in bringing in the desired change, effectively into a reality.

Here are few reasons to answer the question ‘Why does your business need a CSR consultant’

Legal Expertise:

CSR is no longer an option but a legal requirement that brings about a need for knowledge of the respective laws to ensure compliance and transparent documenting. With legal penalties that stand as tall as 25 lakhs, employing CSR specialists becomes a necessity and not a mere luxury. CSR consultants hold valuable knowledge and experience in studying and working with CSR laws. This makes them the ideal candidates to ensure that CSR projects are crafted and carried out in a way that is effective and legally compliant.

Project Execution:

The success of a CSR project lies in the effective planning, monitoring, execution, learning and follow up of the same. Assigning a specialized individual or group ensures that an organization is able to set accurate objectives and in turn measure the outcomes of a project. The conducting of research surveys and assessments by a CSR consultant results in comprehensive reports and valuable recommendations. As doctors know to spot symptoms that determine the health of an individual before handing out a diagnosis, CSR consultants know what to look for in order to determine the trajectory of a project in transparent and honest reports, which include suggestions to improve and make the project more effective.

Strategic CSR:

The common misconception is that CSR is merely a business looking to make a difference in the society or community around it. However, building a brand image of ‘a business with a heart’, through CSR activities, requires strategic planning. CSR consultants guide businesses to recognize how to effectively use their line of work, their capital and tier assets to create value for the community and the business. Creating a socially responsible business becomes a powerful tool to create brand loyalty.

 

Finding the Right Implementation Partner:

As a part of a business, CSR programs must focus on increasing their Social Return On Investment. CSR consultants enable businesses to achieve maximum impact & value, with available resources, so that CSR becomes more than simply donating money. Finding partners to implement or execute their CSR projects becomes a challenge that CSR consultants with their professionally vast network are equipped to tackle.

It is clear that having specialized CSR consultants is a worthwhile investment. It becomes even more irresistible knowing that it bears no weight on a company’s budget. The charges for the management of CSR functions of a business by CSR consultants are a part of the mandatory CSR funding of the organization. This replaces the need to hire full time-on payroll CSR specialists with the option to hire agencies that specialize in the same and not have to spend funds outside the CSR fund.

The CSR Advisory vertical of Job Booster India have been trusted CSR advisors for many medum to large scale CSR programs. Job Booster India along with socially responsible companies, looks to add value to the lives of the communities. Job Booster India's CSR Advisory team has worked on project levels from local to international, and assisted in transforming Corporate CSR projects of many large companies like, Adani, Tech Mahindra, HDFC, PSA, Wells Fargo, etc. Our approach to CSR includes careful need-based assessment studies, CSR planning, feasibility and implementation Road mapping, CSR Audits, Institutional Capacity-Building, Impact Assessment, Evaluation and participatory programs. Job Booster India helps clients build a brand image that resonates with social responsibility and empathy for the community. We strive to be the bridge organisations look for in building a socially responsibe business and tangible value addition to their organisation.

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