On Tuesday 14th June, our graduates attended an in-person event at our head office in Huckletree. One of our previous For Purpose graduates, Claire Sinnott, spoke to our current graduates about her role as a Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for Lidl Ireland. This was an insightful learning seminar for our graduates in the nonprofit sector. They learned about the pillars of CSR, what good CSR looks like and the incentives Irish organisations have developed to become more socially responsible.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility?
Claire described Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a self-regulating business model that helps companies to be socially accountable to itself, its employees, stakeholders, and the general public. By practicing corporate social responsibility, companies can be conscious of the kind of impact they are having on all aspects of society. Corporate Social Responsibility has become more impactful in recent years as social impact is a pressing issue, particularly for young people.
What is good Corporate Social Responsibility?
Claire shared some examples of good Corporate Social Responsibility. The Guinness family are a great example of good CSR, even before it was a business concept. They looked after staff generously, invested in their local community and provided accommodation for their employees. They understood what it meant to be a great family run business with a sincere impact.
Another example of positive Corporate Social Responsibility is Patagonia, the clothing brand. They make products with the aim that you’ll only need to purchase one item. This provides a much more sustainable brand, prioritising their Corporate Social Responsibility over profits.
Lidl Ireland’s Charity Partners
Claire then continued to discuss her experience as a Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Lidl Ireland. Lidl partnered with Irish nonprofit organisation, Jigsaw. They work together to produce mental health campaigns to help tackle Irish mental health issues. This charity partnership works for a variety of reasons.
The value of Corporate Social Responsibility for both nonprofits and communities:
- Both the organisation and the nonprofit have a shared interest in tackling social issues, which can be addressed together.
- Collaboration between fundraising managers and corporate social responsibility managers can achieve both business goals and address social issues
- Organisations can provide value to local communities by providing office space for social engagement activities, youth clubs, groups and more. Companies can therefore have a connection to the local community which could lead to further outreach programmes.
Claire finished the session by discussing what Corporate Social Responsibility is not. It is not a marketing technique that can be used by organisations’ for a positive brand image. It is about positive outreach and organising outreach programmes that actually make an impact.
This was an extremely beneficial session for our graduates. They learned about Corporate Social Responsibility in great detail, received fantastic tips from Claire Sinnott, our previous For Purpose Graduate and networked with each other. Providing support for graduates during their roles through learning seminars and exposure to other nonprofit graduates is crucial at For Purpose.
We would like to thank Claire and all of our graduates who participated at our in-person event. We look forward to our next session! For more information on For Purpose Tuesdays, click here or contact Rhonda Wynne, Head of For Purpose.