Using Technology to Measure True Impact

November 18, 2019

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Pledgeling
© Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

There’s a fundamental change happening right now. Corporate social responsibility is no longer in the footnotes of a company’s goals—it’s moving to the forefront. Giving back and integrating purpose into business is increasingly important to consumers, employees, and business leaders.

The Business Roundtable has validated this push. The group, comprised of the leadership from almost 200 global corporations, has stated that corporations cannot simply continue to maximize shareholder profits. Instead, the needs of consumers, employees, and communities must be considered. 

So, the direction of change is pretty clear; businesses have to incorporate a distinct purpose into the fabric of what they do. There are some obstacles to charitable giving, though, and they make it hard for businesses to enact meaningful change.

The Issues with Corporate Charitable Giving

Giving isn’t as simple as writing a check here and there. You want to be sure that the donations you put forth have an impact. Your consumers and employees want to see that impact as well.

The disconnect in the dollar-to-impact chain is caused by a few key issues:

1. Lack of Transparency

When you send a check or ask your community to make a donation to a cause, can you be sure that your money will be used in the way you intended?

Not only do you want to know the impact of your giving, but you also want to keep up on how the cause you support is moving forward. In many cases, donors don’t get the satisfaction of either of those things.

2. Unfit Technology

Companies that want to improve corporate social responsibility may have a hard time finding the tools to take action. It’s a tall order to incorporate giving into a company’s culture, product, and vision without suitable technology to facilitate the process.

While there are options out there, most existing technology focuses only on input, not output. In other words, donations are recorded while the impact of those donations is nowhere to be found—this contributes to the lack of transparency.

3. Access to Partnerships

It’s tough to find nonprofit organizations to partner with. Further, finding multiple partnerships a year can almost become a full-time job. 

Few people have the time to navigate their business efforts while managing nonprofit partnerships. Not to mention, the job of incorporating those campaigns into the fabric of your business takes significant effort. The difficulty amplifies when you consider adding additional giving campaigns for the holidays or local events.

When you stack all of these projects together, it becomes clear that there’s a need for a seamless way to incorporate donations, partnerships, implementation, and impact. 

Luckily, that’s the role modern technology can serve today. 

Modern Technology Enables Business For Good

The best giving technology helps to incorporate social impact in a seamless way that is authentic to your brand experience. When looking for technology, make sure it offers an end-to-end experience that enriches employee and consumer engagement through the process of charitable giving. Also, look for a technology solution and partner that offers real-time, transparent feedback on donations. Unfortunately, most companies usually only provide information on donations raised, and only a few quantify your donation in terms of the impact it will have in the real world.

Today, through modern technology capabilities, it is possible to engage nonprofit partners in creative ways to advance transparency and accountability directly for donors. When you give a portion of each purchase to provide access to safe and clean water, for example, consumers can see exactly where their donation is going in the world and how their contribution will benefit actual lives. This way, you can enable your customers and employees to feel more connected than ever to the good they are facilitating in the world through your business. 

This makes giving a more meaningful, human experience. It’s the future of corporate charitable giving, and it’s good for both the world as well as your business. 

[Editor’s Note: Pledgeling’s James Citron recently spoke at the 2019 Corporate Citizenship Conference: Solve Together. Learn more about the event and watch the webcast here.]