The Roddy Piper Guide to Successful CSR

It’s about the individual.

Pictured: Corporate Philanthropy Inspiration

Since joining YourCause, I’ve become convinced long-term success in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is achieved by letting employees emulate a kilt-wearing professional wrestler from the 1980’s.

When asked why he never broke character, the late, great WWE Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper said, “I can’t make people believe wrestling is real, but I can make sure they know I am.”

There is no magic bullet to convince the public a company’s motives are genuine, but with advancements in CSR software, it’s easier than ever for companies to throw their support behind their employees’ passions.

Let your employees guide your CSR efforts.

Smart companies have learned the best way to become a member of their community is to follow the lead of employees who already are.

In addition to offering company-sponsored events with established community partners, more and more companies are investing in CSR software that allows employees to create volunteer events benefitting organizations they care about, and invite co-workers to join the effort.

Employee-driven events help create organic bonds between companies and organizations that shape communities, and create a unique sense of empowerment that resonates throughout a company in the form of increased engagement.

Redefine your giving guidelines

Most large companies focus their philanthropic efforts on a few areas to achieve the greatest impact. Those areas often align with the company’s business footprint (i.e. banks fighting poverty through financial literacy programs).

My personal cause is suicide prevention. I have contacted many companies with great philanthropic track records, seeking financial support for life-saving programs. Almost all of them have rejected my requests because suicide prevention falls outside their giving guidelines.

Using CSRconnect (yes, we use our own product), my donations to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention are matched by my employer. Using the same program, I am also creating a fundraiser for the upcoming Out of the Darkness Community Walk in Dallas.

A great organization whose work saves lives, is receiving support from my company because they’ve decided to let their employees’ passion dictate their giving guidelines.

Grassroots Impact

There is a popular phrase in politics that says real change is created from the bottom up, not the top down. Passion drives action, and action drives change.

There are many ways to gauge a company’s philanthropic success — hours volunteered, dollars raised, organizations impacted, etc. The common denominator is authenticity, and nothing is more authentic than the passion of one person committed to changing lives.

Great CSR strategy happens when we recognize the power an individual can have on the direction and perception of an entire company. It’s as true in corporate philanthropy as it is in professional wrestling.

I am an Account Manager at YourCause, a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider that uses technology to connect corporations and their employees with nonprofits.