If you run a business that is set to engage or already engages in CSR activities, you will know that no Strategy is complete without a plan for Impact Assessment.
It is no mean feat - outlining each aspect of the project and ensuring that the bridge between the business, NGO, and community individuals remains unobstructed. The Impact Assessment is the first step to creating your CSR roadmap.
Impact Assessment requires the identification of the following:
Detailed project goals
NGO competency and compatibility
Replicability & scalability
Sustainability, i.e., what are the short, medium, and long-term projections
Essentially, the first step to a successful CSR project or activity begins with collating as much information around the proposed plan so that you can be fully aware of your direction.
Here are 10 Reasons why CSR Impact Assessments are beneficial to businesses:
In 2021, the CSR law in India made it mandatory to perform Impact Assessments for CSR projects. This ensures that any undertaking produces a real and sustainable change in the community and is worth the effort.
An Impact Assessment defines how you will monitor your milestones and goals as the project progresses. This is best done independently by a team of experts, who will give their suggestions on the most efficient ways to proceed with your project.
A detailed discussion with NGOs gets conducted by designing a customized assessment approach. Beneficiary interviews, focus group discussions, stakeholder interviews, etc., are collated to make the project’s outreach more substantial. This data can be stored and used for comparison even further down the line in the evaluation and monitoring stage.
This looks at your NGO’s work, the regions they operate in, and the impact they have from a low to a high level. A well-conducted assessment is a suitable match for an NGO that aligns with your values and approach to your business and has some relevance. In other words, you want to match with an NGO that can help you reach your targets, who your employees can fully get behind.
Experienced CSR departments and their respective heads understand that each project comprises a complex network of undertakings, all working towards a common outcome. Thus, the task of Impact Assessment is often handed over to a dedicated independent team well-versed in the Social Development sector to ensure no holes in the overall plan.
A consolidated Impact Assessment allows your CSR committee to conduct course correction and intervene on time. It ensures that any doubts get cleared before the ink has dried and provides more satisfaction to the funders and a smoother run for the project.
This is a crucial factor to account for. While your baseline study contains more detailed clarification regarding this, it’s essential to indicate the value returned through your funds to the beneficiary and society in general. Regular assessments ensure that these Returns are consistent.
CSR projects aren’t necessarily about optics or well-branded campaigns. Data-driven assessment methodology improves decision-making, resource allocation, and operational efficiency. In this way, an Assessment of your CSR undertakings may lead you to also discover aspects that could help your day-to-day business operations. Dealing with people in the field will give you additional insights you may not expect to find. Amid a complex and ever-changing global economy, it’s always good to be one step ahead - and CSR Impact Assessment will help keep you there.
You will likely increase your visibility and shareholder value by analyzing and presenting your CSR learnings and cost-effectiveness measures on a public platform. So, consider investing in in-depth Impact Assessments.
Annual Impact Assessments help ensure that your initiatives always stay integrated with your business strategies. By improving your environmental and social impact, you are proving your company’s ability to adapt to the world around you. This is a huge plus to employees, potential investors or customers, and the community at large.
Many brands and companies announce large-scale CSR projects and launch campaigns, from going Carbon Neutral to providing education, livelihoods, and daily meals to communities in need. However, only a few of them announce their Social Impact Assessment plans to measure the net effect of their project on society at large, a specific community, and the effect on individuals and families.
SoulAce is a one-stop solution for all your CSR requirements. With over a decade of experience in the Social Development sector, we are well-equipped with the right teams and software to make your Impact Assessments seamless. Imagine all your analytics available at the click of a button - as and when you require them. Keep on top of compliances and keep your CSR activities transparent, all with our Technology for Good.