Imagine you have conducted a baseline study and allocated a budget for your organization’s CSR practices. What comes next? Ensuring your CSR funds reach the cause and are utilized to their best capacity may seem like a daunting task. This article will present you with some tips to make sure you move forward in the right direction.
The first three tips deal with building the right partnerships:
1. Choose to partner with NGOs that have a good performance history. Opt for partners with verifiable documentation of their social impact through similar programs to the one you are undertaking.
2. Mid-size NGOs are often the best to invest in. Many NGOs may be deeply committed to their causes. However, you may find your funds being under-utilized if you do not choose an NGO that can accept and process your funds in a timely manner. Their systems and processes should be flexible for the well-organized execution of CSR strategies. Small NGOs may not have the capacity for this, while large bureaucratic organizations may come with red tape that hinders your efforts.
3. Partnering with established NGOs will help you improve your CSR efforts and make them resource-efficient. Partnering with the wrong NGOs can lead to poor returns, failed campaigns, and can even cause damage to your reputation.
Once you have found the right people to conduct your projects with, it's important to focus on how you invest:
1. A goal-oriented CSR strategy should be clear enough to help you make informed decisions about utilizing your CSR funds. Make sure you are always in tandem with your organization’s CSR vision. Understand why you may choose to invest in a particular effort and what relevant opportunities it could bring.
2. If your company has requisite CSR funds, you may want to invest in programs that promise quick and smart utilization. An investment-heavy program often wastes less time. This means better use of funds and better results.
3. It is usually advisable to avoid heavily customized projects designed to cater to the needs of particular geography and/or community. Instead, opt for highly replicable models like school-based WASH (Water, sanitation and hygiene programs). This will avoid trial and error and expedite implementation. You will find yourself reaching a wider base in a shorter amount of time.
No matter what cause you choose, it should always align squarely with your company’s mission and vision. This is a sure-shot way to channel positive social impact. A cause you believe in becomes easier to put your time and interest into.
Every business is constantly juggling several responsibilities. You must be mindful of your employees, consumers, and the society in which you subsist. While it can seem difficult to narrow in on specific cause areas, selecting causes judiciously is the key to effectively channeling your CSR funds. Survey and research extensively before allocating your resources.
A positive impact is the bottom line. Businesses rely on the societies around them to truly measure their success. CSR funding is the bridge between corporations and society. It provides the opportunity to look beyond profits and promote social change and progress. By partnering with the right people, you can surpass the mark
Thus it is every company’s duty to ensure the most effective utilization of their CSR budgets. This is easily monitored with the help of professional audits.
Fund utilization audits in CSR departments or foundations refer to the confirmation that the utilization of funds contributed to a project is as per the agreed commitments. If you have followed the steps above, it is likely that these financial audits will go smoothly. Regular audits focus on measuring the utilization of your CSR funds to cater to the agreed number of beneficiaries in a transparent and legal manner.
With 10+ years of experience in the field, SoulAce uses an efficient and effective review, confirm and report system to make sure your funds are utilized in the right way. The key benefits of our approach lie in implementing Regulatory Compliance involving your CFO and Board, Assurance through NGO Transparency & Accountability, and CSR Board Decision Making. These audits allow you to develop a long-term CSR vision and strategy for maximum reward to all parties.