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Sep 15th, 2022

3 Examples of Corporate Social Responsibility

Upgrade your CSR program with Catchafire.


Gohar Chichian
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to a company's responsibility to care for the well-being of their employees, consumers, and the environment. In recent years, companies have had an increased focus on corporate social responsibility and volunteerism as a way to boost employee morale and engagement, provide skill-building opportunities for staff, and build their international brand's reputation and image. CSR initiatives are proven to be good for employee retention, engaging remote employees, attracting new talent, and improving customer's perception of brands. With this purpose-driven approach, companies have a more socially responsible, positive impact on their employees, communities, and society overall.

Catchafire works with companies and bridges the gap between employees, nonprofits, and philanthropic giving. We connect companies and their teams with virtual volunteer opportunities regardless of location (domestic or international), role, or level of experience. These skills-based volunteering opportunities allow employees to use their talents to make contributions, learn new skills, and promote passion projects that have a direct positive impact on nonprofits and their communities. Through our partnership, companies are able to achieve their corporate social responsibility organizational goals.


What is Corporate Social Responsibility?

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What does it mean to be socially responsible?

Corporate social responsibility is defined as "the responsibility and decision-making of an organization for the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparency, accountability, and ethical behavior."

The building blocks of CSR activities include:

  1. Promoting sustainability with socially responsible and environmentally friendly practices
  2. Supporting local charities and community organizations
  3. Offering employee volunteer opportunities
  4. Creating reports on sustainability
  5. Taking fair trade and ethical sourcing policies into consideration in their manufacturing practices and decision-making
  6. Minimizing waste and pollution on an international level and providing accountability for their actions


Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility

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There are a multitude of benefits that come with practicing corporate social responsibility. Some of these corporate social responsibility benefits include, but are not limited to:

  1. Improved public image and socially responsible reputation through accountability
  2. Enhanced employee morale and motivation
  3. Positive impact on the community through better community relations
  4. Increased sales: build customer base by attracting and retaining clients
  5. Improved organizational efficiency and decision-making
  6. Reduced environmental impact with environmentally friendly practices
  7. Increased organizational profitability and sustainability


3 Corporate Social Responsibility Examples


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Catchafire partners with a number of socially responsible companies to bring skills-based volunteering to their employees. Here are three examples of companies engaging in corporate social responsibility and volunteerism and giving back through Catchafire.


1. American Express


Since 2019, American Express has partnered with Catchafire to bring life to their commitment to good citizenship through workplace giving and innovative philanthropy. Our partnership with American Express, referred to as Serve2Gether Consulting+, brings skills-based, virtual volunteer opportunities to their 84,000 employees worldwide, providing an inclusive workplace giving experience that can be shared across the global workforce.

There are a few components to Catchafire's partnership with Serve2Gether Consulting+. As part of this program, American Express sponsors nonprofit access to the platform, where they can post projects and easily access high-quality, skilled volunteers who can support their needs pro bono. The second side is employee programming, which has hundreds of opportunities for the American Express team to volunteer their skills one-on-one through the Serve2Gether Consulting+ portal.

Employees can search for and complete volunteer opportunities with organizations around the world, all from the comfort of their own home. Volunteers can sign up for one hour consultation calls or longer-term projects that are suited to their strengths. Rather than volunteering to build a house, for example, when they might not have any carpentry skills, volunteers can work on projects that they are good at and enjoy doing - and these are often the projects that nonprofits really need help with. 

At the same time, American Express’ nonprofit partners gain access to high-quality, pro bono talent through the Catchafire platform. American Express colleagues have helped nonprofits in locations around the world from New York to India to Paraguay, by using their professional skills to help nonprofits with challenges such as improving their branding and messaging, implementing new digital media strategies, deepening engagement with donors and volunteers, and strengthening their operations.

Through this program, American Express colleagues have saved nonprofits $1.4 million, and over 7,000 hours of staff time – and that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. These projects also help nonprofits build up their sustainability and long-term capacity to serve their communities and operate more efficiently, which results in a snowball effect of growth and impact. 

For example, with a single one-hour consultation call, Christine helped a nonprofit save close to $1,000! As VP of Data Strategy & Insights, Christine is an expert at strategic planning, leveraging the power of data and establishing action plans to achieve organizational goals. She volunteered for an organizational strategy call with Bihl Haus Arts, an arts organization based in San Antonio, Texas. Together, they discussed how to start a strategic planning process with the goal of organizational sustainability.



"This was the best one-hour discussion on our organization with an expert I have ever had! Christine had plenty of good and practical ideas. She really listened and was also very professional and interested. I can't wait to talk with her again in the next couple of weeks."

Kellen M.
Executive Director



"Kellen from Bihl Haus Arts and I had a great discussion on the organization's goals and challenges. We brainstormed some areas of opportunity and will be having a follow up to further vet the options."

Christine K.
Volunteer



American Express volunteers can also choose to work on longer-term projects with concrete deliverables. For example, Corina, an American Express volunteer based in Argentina, provided support on a translation project for The Bay Foundation, saving The Bay Foundation over $7,000 and 30 hours of staff time – enabling them to increase engagement and ultimately achieve a healthier community garden.

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2. Bristol Myers Squibb


Skills2Give was launched in 2016 and is the result of a socially responsible, collaborative, and meaningful partnership between Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and Catchafire. Skills2Give empowers employees to donate their talent anywhere, anytime, while delivering enormous impact to nonprofit organizations, including BMS grantees.

BMS created this program because they recognized the needs of nonprofits in their community for resources and projects that they often do not have budget for, and saw that they had a solution –  the talented, engaged workforce at BMS who actively seek ways to give back.

On Skills2Give, there are hundreds of opportunities for BMS employees to volunteer online by doing what they are good at. Everyday, nonprofits post projects that they need help with, and volunteers can make a deep, socially responsible impact by volunteering their skills. Volunteering on Skills2Give is more than lending an extra set of hands -- it equips nonprofits with the tools, resources, and expertise they need to more effectively carry out their missions, long after volunteer projects have finished. Volunteering is crucial to nonprofit sustainability.

The Skills2Give program has had significant impact for nonprofits in the BMS community and beyond. To date, over 4,600 BMS employees are registered on the Skills2Give platform. There have been over 900 matches so far from BMS employees connecting with organizations to work together on meaningful projects that build up their capacity through the platform and events. Most recently, BMS hosted a team-building event focused on supporting health equity. At the event, BMS employees joined together to brainstorm solutions to challenges faced by health nonprofits, saving them a collective $87,516 and 198 hours of staff time!

BMS-sponsored nonprofits have received over $2.5 million in project value generated through almost 9,700 hours donated – many of which comes directly from BMS employees themselves. This doesn’t fully account for the long-term impact of these projects such as the awareness that is generated, the Board members that are activated, and the funds that are secured as a result of the ripple effect of these projects.

When Mark, a BMS employee, signed up for an accounting project on Catchafire, he helped Community Action House, a nonprofit in Michigan, save over $5,000. Community Action House is a community-based local nonprofit that provides families and individuals with food, clothing, shelter, and the opportunity to build necessary skills to achieve a stable and prosperous life.

Mark helped set up an accounting system to streamline the organization's monthly grant reporting and billing processes, saving significant staff time that they could spend on serving their clients and community instead.


"Mark was amazing! He supported our project for 5 months with regular meetings, strong communication, and an openness to feedback and revisions. He listened to what our needs were, helped us consider what options would meet our goals, did custom Google sheet programming, and ensured there were user-friendly settings for us to manage the program move forward (without needing ongoing support). He also walked us through testing and we ended up with exactly what we needed!"

Jenna F.
Financial Wellness Program Manager



"So much fun! Working with Jenna was great."

Mark R.
Volunteer




3. MassMutual


Since 2021, the MassMutual Foundation has partnered with Catchafire to unite their 8,000 employees in a common socially responsible goal to remove barriers for nonprofits to get critical work done and provide nonprofit partners with access to high quality, pro bono services. Since launch, the MassMutual Foundation Catchafire Program has saved nonprofits over $330,000, and MassMutual employees have donated close to 500 hours of volunteer time. By enabling employees and grantees to work, learn and thrive together, the program has strengthened the MassMutual community and provided an avenue for their employees to live out their company values.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Align with the MassMutual Foundation mission, values, and focus
  • Bolster social impact and elevate the employee experience through providing meaningful engagement programs
  • Enable MassMutual employees and their grantee community to work, learn, and thrive together
  • Unite the workforce in a common goal to remove barriers for nonprofits to get critical work done

Like the partnerships mentioned above, there are two components to this program: as part of this socially responsible program, MassMutual sponsors nonprofit access to the platform, where grantees gain access to high-quality, pro bono talent from around the world. In addition, MassMutual offers a generous matching time program. When an employee volunteers, MassMutual will donate $25 for each hour volunteered to eligible nonprofits.

MassMutual has exemplary nonprofit partners on the platform that volunteers have the opportunity to work with. For example, Way Finders is one of their most active grantees on the platform. They are an incredible, Black-led organization that works to strengthen housing stability and economic mobility in Western Massachusetts. 

Way Finders has completed 13 pro bono projects so far, saving them over $75,000. One of those projects was a group project with a team of six MassMutual designers. The team helped Way Finders revamp their Fair Housing & Civil Rights Conference website, which is a major source of visibility and funds for them.

Way Finders’ Fair Housing & Civil Rights conference had grown significantly in recent years, but they lacked the in-house expertise needed to build a modern and scalable website that could continue to grow and advance with the needs of the conference. As Catchafire volunteers so often do, Kim and her team of designers went above and beyond. They built the website so that the Way Finders team can easily update and use it for years to come, trained their staff on how to use it, and even traveled to the Way Finders office to record a video introduction for the Conference.

The result was a beautiful, user-friendly conference website that Way Finders was excited to share with their supporters.

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That’s really what Catchafire's CSR partnerships are all about. It’s about equipping nonprofits with the tools and expertise they need to build their capacity to serve their communities – which means the impact volunteers make extends far beyond the dollars an organization saves.

The employee side of the program gives colleagues access to hundreds of opportunities to do just that. Our online portal allows volunteers to search for and complete pro bono projects with organizations around the world, from any location: the couch, the office, a local coffee shop, or anywhere with access to wifi! 


Upgrade Your CSR Program With Catchafire


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Catchafire provides inclusive, virtual volunteering for the evolving workplace. By partnering with Catchafire, companies can boost employee engagement and meet their corporate social responsibility goals while strengthening nonprofits and communities.

Our partners on Catchafire experience a number of program perks, including:

  • Employee choice - Employees can choose from 24 different cause areas and 35 skill sets to tailor their perfect volunteer experience.
  • Reporting tools - Our metrics provide the information you need for your next CSR report. Access our testimonials and reporting tools to review your employee and community impact. Showcase how your company is engaging in socially responsible practices.
  • Unlimited access to our team of experts - Our team creates a program that fits your company needs, providing you with ongoing support through custom webinar programming, event hosting, onboarding materials, and more.
  • Lasting relationships - Many of our volunteers report becoming repeat volunteers. Your employees can contribute to causes they are passionate about, while building long-term relationships with local nonprofits and communities.
  • Skill-building and professional development for your employees, as well as exposure to the philanthropic sector.



To learn more about partnering with Catchafire to bring skills-based volunteering opportunities to your employees, contact our Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships, Nikita Scott ([email protected]).


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