Finer focus is a key element to CSR, study says

WASHINGTON: Corporations are drilling down to focus on a specific issue when it comes to CSR programs, according a study from Weber Shandwick.

WASHINGTON: Corporations are drilling down to focus on a specific issue when it comes to CSR programs, according a study from Weber Shandwick.

The survey, released by Weber Shandwick's Social Impact group, found 82% of respondents said clearly focusing on a specific area and issue was a critical element in the viability of their CSR efforts.

“Corporations are recognizing that they need to have a sharper and narrower focus to make a greater impact in the area they've defined,” said Paul Massey, Weber's Social Impact group co-founder. “They are finding if they direct resources toward clearly defined issue areas it is easier to measure a return.”

Massey added that the shift to apply a more concentrated approach to CSR is also a response to the fact consumers are showing more of an interest in the investments a corporation makes.

The majority of executives also see partnerships with nonprofits as important. Eight in 10 executives said nonprofits are “valuable partners.”

As the motivator behind a CSR program, having an impact on critical issues was the number one response with 30%. It was followed by the opportunity to see an organization's values in action (25%), building customer loyalty (15%), differentiating the company from competitors (6%), and engaging and retaining employees (4%).

The report surveyed more than 200 executives from Fortune 200 companies with responsibility for philanthropic, social responsibility, or community outreach within their organizations.

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