CSR formally launched in India in 2014. It was 5 years after we at SoulAce began our journey of establishing relationships between Corporates looking to give back and suitable NGOs and communities that could benefit from such projects.
This article will dive into the prerequisites for building a CSR and how to build a legacy by positively impacting communities.
Like any good construction, you must first lay the foundation. The road to successfully implementing your CSR department’s projects begins not with action but with identification. Your team should list your company’s core values and skills. This will help you identify two key points:
What potential projects would match well with your business
What is the best course of action to establish your CSR Strategy
At this point, you will be ready to conduct an Impact Assessment. 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.
SoulAce works to help you find the right match between your business and the requisite NGO in the appropriate location. This gets done by planning and evaluating the proposed performance goals of your project. An NGO Competency Assessment also gets presented to the CSR Decision Making Committee. Keeping this open line of communication allows them to intervene promptly in case any course correction is required. At this stage, one also has to consider replicability and scalability.
Once your Impact Assessment is in progress, a Baseline Study is conducted. This aims to understand the community’s needs through discussions, surveys, and statistics available through the government and other agencies. SoulAce focuses on Geography Specific Need Assessment to understand a community’s needs at the ground level. Short, medium and long-term impact-oriented interventions get designed and customized to the project. Further, SROI, or Social Return on Investment, is accounted for in terms of the beneficiary and society in general. This ensures that your business gets the right value for the funds invested.
When it comes to your CSR project, it is important to have a vision and strategy that focuses on development and change that will continue in the long run. We consider a transparent and legal Fund Utilization Audit a prerequisite to any successful project. Regulatory compliances, NGO accountability, and the establishment of milestones are key factors in the SoulAce procedure.
All of the elements finally culminate in one CSR Strategy. This planning is essential to running a successful project and campaign. This should align with the organization and leadership’s vision. Impact-focused relationships must be built over time with the selected NGO, with the intention of a long-term partnership. Due diligence takes place to create a roadmap allowing you to make your first foray into Corporate CSR.
Beyond this, one must also consider the requirements for on- or off-field employee volunteering opportunities. It’s important for each stakeholder of the company to own the project and understand its intentions clearly. This makes each of you an ambassador for the project’s good work while keeping your teams motivated and engaged. ESG or Environmental and Social Governance compliances are often a great value add to potential customers or investors. Volunteering opportunities often help bridge the gap between the organization, NGO, and community, raising the overall ESG score of your company.
It is important to note that traditional project management softwares are often not equipped to handle projects designed in the social development sector. And understandably so, the parameters and goal measurements are usually vastly different. SoulAce bridges this gap with a unique CSR Platform specifically designed to help projects in several ways, including:
Keeping track of CSR Compliances
Establishing transparency to help track the project
Real-time access to project performance
This platform has been developed for over a decade and is manned by an in-house IT team. Therefore, we can provide customizations based on your company and your project’s needs. SoulAce also has a dedicated service team that ensures your platform operation is consistently smooth and seamless.
The idea of introducing this unique platform is to provide you with an end-to-end service for implementing CSR for your business. All of these steps lead to the culminating requirement to conduct a project successfully, and that is Monitoring and Evaluation.
Periodic CSR project monitoring and evaluation against KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) ensure that the MoU and its budgets and timelines get delivered on. Milestone tracking becomes far easier when a consistent and accessible record is maintained. Our established approach, methodology, and supportive tools ensure all commitments materialize transparently.
An independent team may conduct CSR management in your organization. But it is likely, especially if you are implementing it for the first time, that you will employ a professional service that works hand in hand with your department. This way, you can utilize experienced advice to move the project forward. Moreover, you can track all activities with the click of a button. Bring your CSR implementation into the new and the now with SoulAce.