The culmination of our research, this is the final piece that brings it all together, and explains HOW to embed Purpose Led Social Impact in to your organisation
So we can continue to build upon this, let us know how what practices have worked for you to gain more and better social impact in your program. We'll be sure to incorporate these insights in future editions
For those who prefer to read plain text, here's an excerpt below from Part Two of our three part series on the WHY, WHAT and HOW of purpose led corporate giving.
To better understand how a purpose led approach can revolutionise the corporate giving landscape in Australia, this three part series distils research around three key questions:
1. WHY should corporates adopt a purpose led approach to giving?
2. WHAT does best practice, purpose led social impact look like?
3. HOW to embed purposed led social impact into your organisation?
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Over the past few months we’ve shared all our practices and IP, that when combined, will help organisations achieve more and better social impact.
Part 1 of this eBook series focused on WHY corporates should adopt a purpose led approach to giving, providing you with the tools to build a compelling business case that will help make social impact a leadership priority within your organisation.
Part 2 honed in on WHAT best practice corporate social impact looks like, with a culmination of the better practices setting leading organisation apart. The distinguishing features of high performing social impact programs are not just focussed on generating more social investment, but ensure this investment is used more effectively to yield better impact.
Now... Part 3.
You have your business case, and your strategy, it’s now time to make it all happen!
This, the final publication in the series brings it all together by providing a step by step framework on HOW to embed purpose led social impact into your organisation.
You already have most of the puzzle pieces at your disposal, so this will be the shortest piece in the series and will help guide you on how and when to implement the concepts from the prior two eBooks.
But don’t underestimate the importance of their execution! It’s how you put these pieces together (and in what order), that will determine whether your social impact strategy will deliver what you’re setting out to achieve.
Let’s face it, no matter how great your social impact strategy is, it is futile without quality execution and sustainable adoption. It is important to note that all organisations are different, requiring nuanced approaches for success. However this framework will provide you with the foundation to get you started.
Since the release of this eBook series, our readers (including experts in the field of social impact) have asked why we are sharing all of our best practices so openly?
Some have even asked why we are not charging for these publications?
The answer is simple...
At Purposed, our mission is to inspire more and better social impact. We believe that by open sourcing our IP, we will help other organisations achieve more and better social impact, to ultimately scale our mission.
So there’s no need to ask if you can share these materials, do so proudly and let your colleagues do the same.
It’s only through collaboration will we be able to inspire more and better social impact, to ultimately solve the most pressing problems of our time.
The five step, Purpose Led Social Impact Lifecycle is a step by step framework that will help you sequence the right activity, at the right time, to get the most out of your social impact program.
The diagram on the following page is interactive, providing you with more information for each step of the lifecycle as you click on it.
You will notice the lifecycle diagram forms an infinite loop, at the join of Business Case and Return on Investment. The reason for this being that organisations that complete this lifecycle, and can articulate the tangible consumer, employee and shareholder returns generated by their social investment, generally attract additional leadership support for further initiatives, creating a perpetual business case for more and better social impact. Just as you saw in the case study in eBook 2.
As with any organisational initiative, the first step is to define a clear business case to attract leadership support and funding for your program. Essentially, this stage is about defining WHY your organisation should focus on social impact.
Fortunately, the business case for corporate social impact has been strengthened of late by readily available data on consumer behaviour and employee motivations.
eBook 1 goes in to great detail, providing tangible examples and case studies which you can use to construct your own business case (outlining the hard dollar, and softer, less tangible benefits) that will attract leadership attention.
Establishing an authentic and meaningful connection with consumers and your workforce provides the competitive edge to improve profitability and transform your organisational culture.
As a quick recap, the following components make for a compelling business case
1. Consumer Loyalty
Consumers are increasingly expecting businesses to behave in a socially responsible way – their spending and loyalty increasingly reflects this.
2. Employee attraction, engagement and retention
Employees now want more from their careers – attracting and retaining top talent depends on more than compensation. Corporates must prioritise being an employer of choice if they want to win in the modern war for talent. Purpose is a clear differentiator in the eyes of employees, promoting greater employee attraction, engagement and retention.
The equation is simple... Loyal and more profitable customers + better and more engaged employees = greater shareholder value
Once you’ve secured leadership support and investment for your social impact program, it’s time to deep dive on the strategy that will deliver on this business case.
A well formulated strategy is your blueprint for success, and ensures your organisation takes a more focused and purposeful approach to it’s social impact efforts.
This strategy should be aligned with your organisation’s vision and values, and shaped with strong leadership and stakeholder engagement. The success of your strategy will be dependent on the long term buy in from those who will play a role in its operationalisation.
While defining your strategy, it is critical that you identify leading impact partners (not for profits, social enterprises etc), then develop mutually beneficial, strategic partnerships that will ensure your social investment generates better outcomes for the causes you support, as well as your organisation. Appropriate Governance & joint, collaborative KPI’s are a must.
Page 12 of eBook 2 provides you with a blueprint that will walk you through each component of a leading social impact strategy, along with the best practices that will help ensure you generate more and better social impact.
Best practices from eBook 2 relevant for stage two of the lifecycle:
It is worth considering all of the best practices when formulating your strategy and supporting policies, then decide which are most relevant based
That said, at a bare minimum, you should consider the following best practices as non-negotiable
More Social Investment
Better Social Investment
Business case... tick
Strategy & partnerships... tick
It’s now time to unleash the creative genius of your marketing, comms and change teams to come up with a high profile, emotionally engaging launch for your social impact program.
A lack of employee awareness is cited as one of the greatest barriers to success when it comes to employee participation in corporate social impact programs. A 2017 Purposed survey of some of Australia’s largest companies discovered that 61% of employees are unaware of the opportunities available to them via their organisation’s social impact program.
Therefore, it is of utmost importance that your activation campaign captures the hearts and minds of your entire organisation, to make them aware of why your organisation is focussed on social impact, what opportunities are available to them and how they can get involved.
This activation will take different forms depending on
That said, the following are key components for a quality activation, that should compliment your traditional change management and comms activities.
Organisational Roadshows & Education on your Flagship Cause
In the leadup to the launch, your organisation’s leadership and key influencers should visit each site to demonstrate their commitment for this program and share with your teams why your organisation is embarking on social impact, what great looks like for your organisation, and how team members can can get involved. Shiny posters in the office are one thing, leadership demonstrating an authentic commitment to the cause will take your program to a whole other level.
Having the charity partner that underpins your flagship cause attend these roadshows (ideally with beneficiaries of their work) is a great way to raise awareness with employees why this cause is important, why it is relevant as your organisation’s flagship, the positive change this partner is generating and how they can support in a meaningful manner. Giving your employees proximity to the beneficiary of a cause is an important element of building empathy and inspiring action.
By educating your employees that your organisation partners with leading charities will give them peace of mind that the due diligence has been done, and that their contributions will be optimised for greater impact.
Social Impact Week
Whether it be to accompany your activation and serve as a formal launch, or an annual event to ensure social impact remains front of mind for your employees, a high profile event is a great way to formalise your program.
We’re not suggesting your organisation drops everything and dedicate their efforts to impact, but by having a week with various planned activities for employees provides the flexibility for them to participate based on their individual schedules. Such events will bring cross functional employees together, helping progress the inclusion, diversity and employee engagement benefits you’ve outlined in your business case.
The best way to shift your culture and get the “non giver” to “give” is by having them experience the meaning and fulfilment associated with participating in social impact first hand. By making it easier for your teams to engage, you will attract the “non giver”, and if you provide meaningful ways for them to contribute, it is likely you will convert them for future efforts.
Recognition and awards presented by leadership are also a great way to acknowledge your employees efforts and create a sense of healthy competition for good!
While your organisation’s flagship cause is important and should attract the majority of your investment, focus and impact, it won’t resonate with all of your employees. In fact, while an organisation’s flagship cause is seen as important by your workforce, it often only resonates on an emotional level with the minority.
So if your business case is banking on employee engagement benefits, personalisation is crucial. After all, no matter how altruistic your employees are, they are only going to participate if their contributions make THEM feel good. This is where employee led causes come in.
Many employees will already have an affiliation with a cause, and for those who don’t, educate them on the issues your organisation is supporting to help them discover their individual purpose.
By personalising this whole experience, you will unleash each individuals sense of purpose and set yourself up to create a sustainable culture of impact within your organisation.
You’re now ready to go! Come out of the gate strong and make your mark!
Best practices from eBook 2 relevant for stage three of the lifecycle:
More Social Investment
Better Social Investment
You’ve created fanfare, you’ve excited your organisation, you’ve launched your program and your employees are engaged!
But by no means is this the time to kick up your feet and pat yourself on the back. Sustaining this excitement and interest is by far the hardest part, and where most programs fail.
Embedding social impact in to the culture of your organisation is now your #1 focus and ensuring sustainable adoption from your employees is of utmost importance. We can’t emphasise this enough, this is critical.
It’s all about ensuring that every interaction your employees have with your program is easy, meaningful and impactful. If you can achieve these three things, social impact will permeate your organisation’s culture and become a clear differentiator for your organisation’s performance.
To embed a culture of purpose, focus on the following
More and more personalisation
What’s more meaningful than something personalised, especially for you? Whether it be the opportunities for your employees to contribute, or the updates they receive, make it all about the employee and the great impact they are achieving.
Match employees with opportunities that are relevant to them (based on what they can contribute in terms of funds, skills, time etc), local to them, and those which will be meaningful for them (based on what they are emotionally connected to).
That will take care of their participation. But if you want them coming back, you need to provide them with meaningful updates articulating the impact of their contribution, and how their effort is advancing the mission of the organisation they supported.
Ongoing updates and awareness
Have leadership regularly provide updates on the impact your program is generating to keep it front of mind. Incorporating these updates during key organisational events (e.g. quarterly town halls, corporate results presentations, annual general meetings, ASX announcements etc).
Visible Office champions
These are the face of your program at each office location, and ensure consistent organisational wide promotion, delivery and support for your program.
Impact every touchpoint of the employee experience
Incorporate messaging around social impact and individual employee goals at every step of your end to end employee experience (recruitment, induction, development planning, performance reviews, exit interview).
Reward & Recognition
Leaderboards and gamification help establish healthy competition between teams, and are proving effective especially for sustainable adoption with the younger generation.
Finally, what can’t be made easier and more accessible in this day and age without technology?
A great technology solution can make it easier for your employees, your social impact team and your charity partners, automating the administrative burden so you can all focus on generating impact.
That said, Puposed has met with over 125 of Australia’s biggest name corporates, tertiary and not for profits, where we consistently hear that there is still a missing link when it comes to a holistic technology solution that can deliver on this vision. This has been further backed up by the Giving Australia 2016 independant research comissioned by the Australian Government (9).
Given this gap in the market, organisations are taking one of three approaches for their corporate social impact.
1. Employing numerous technology solutions - One international firm we’ve spoken to have employed more than four point solutions to manage their social impact. One for donations and general volunteering, one for micro volunteering, one for probono and one for reporting.
2. Building their own solutions - Some of the larger organisations in the country have resorted to building their own solutions to bridge this gap, and while it can prove costly and is not considered part of their core business, such an approach has proven successful in achieving organisational targets.
3. Going old school - Remaining largely manual, potentially with the support of a point solution for a certain aspect of their program (e.g. payroll giving).
Unfortunately, a technology solution that delivers on all the best practices outlined in this eBook series currently does not exist. This is ultimately what Purposed is here to achieve, find out more in the Where to from here section in this eBook.
Best practices from eBook 2 relevant for stage four of the lifecycle:
More Social Investment
Better Social Investment
Remember, this whole journey started with a business case promising greater social and organisational value.
As with any investment, it is essential to measure how your program is tracking against its business case goals and what return the program is generating. Once measured, hopefully your returns are in line with what you committed all those months (or years) ago so you can promote the social, employee, corporate and shareholder value generated by your program.
What returns you need to report on will be dependant on your initial business case, however should include the following two components
1. Organisational outcomes
Most corporate ROI measures will centre around employee engagement, employee retention, employee attraction, consumer loyalty and shareholder value. You’ll need to compare your current figures with the baseline you took prior to your program.
2. Social outcomes
Remember, the ultimate reason you’re embarking on this program is to leave this world a better place than when we found it. During your strategy definition you will have worked with your charity partners to determine the outcomes your investment will help them achieve, and if you selected leading charities to partner with, they should have defined outcomes reporting frameworks that focus on the key metrics that will be relevant for your program and assist with your reporting needs.
Just as you worked hard to develop a sustainable culture of impact within your organisation in step four, if your business case was constructed well, didn’t over promise and you deliver on your commitments, the returns you generate should attract further support and investment from leadership to create a perpetual business case for social impact.
Best practices from eBook 2 relevant for stage five of the lifecycle:
More Social Investment
Better Social Investment
Fostering a deep sense of purpose within organisations in pursuit of social impact is becoming non negotiable for corporates in the developed world.
Leading corporates are being more strategic in their efforts, and no longer is supporting the CEO’s charity of choice an accepted means of differentiation in the eyes of the consumer or the employee.
The corporate social impact landscape is on the cusp of a revolution, with leaders now aware that generating more social investment isn’t enough, they key it to ensure this investment is directed in better ways to yield greater impact.
Those ahead of the curve are already reaping the rewards, with case studies emerging to convince leadership that social impact needs to become an organisational priority. We’re lucky many of these Australian and international organisations have been so open in sharing their tactics, allowing us to catalogue these best practices and share them with you.
Now we wouldn’t suggest you try to employ all these practices, manually, at once. It would be too much of a burden and a crawl, walk, run approach would be more feasible to promote success.
Findings from the recently commissioned Australian Government research (9) stated that “many senior managers involved in giving tended to be seeking innovation of the ‘big bang’ variety— innovation in processes and tools”. Unfortunately, no single technology solution exists today that incorporates all these best practices to make it easy for organisations to inspire more and better social impact.
So earlier in the year, Purposed held the largest corporate social impact collaboration in the country’s history, with 75 diverse organisations coming together to figure out ways to generate more and better social impact at scale.
One thing was clear, it is time for a fresh approach.
The best ideas from the collaboration were combined with the best practices from our research, to inform the Purposed proof of concept which is focussed on closing this gap.
Now it is important to note, that our proof of concept is just that, and is only the tip of the iceberg for our vision. We are here to reinvent this space, and are now speaking with organisations wanting to take a leadership position on social impact to be part of the deep solution co design with industry experts.
We aren’t looking to build another Corporate Social Responsibility platform. They exist.
In most of our conversations we hear they “are simply not effective”, and we’re not a status quo type of an organisation.
One of our core values at Purposed is that WE DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY
Now, this isn’t for the sake of being different, but to make everything easier, more meaningful and more impactful.
So we’re pushing the boundaries to build something different, an experience that will bridge the gap between intent and action to embed the practice of impact in to people’s everyday lives. We’re taking a unique approach.
If your organisation wants to take a leadership position on social impact, register your interest as a first mover with one of our two offers
FOUNDATION PARTNER OFFER
Our exclusive foundation partner offer is applicable to organisations that
• have >5,000 employees in Australia
• possess strong leadership commitment for social impact
• want to take a leadership position and co-design a fresh solution for more & better social impact
If your organisation meets this criteria and is interested in finding out more, click here
EARLY ADOPTER OFFER
To register your interest as an early adopter of Purposed once the solution is built, click here
All the best with generating more and better social impact, and please share your successes (and challenges) so we can continue to help the community improve.
1. CONE (2015) Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study
2. Nielsen (2015) The Sustainability Imperative
3. Unilever Press Release: Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan continues to fuel growth (May 2018)
4. Harter, J. and Mann, A. (2016) The World Employee Engagement Crisis
5. The Centre for International Economics (2016) The economic value of pathology: achieving better health, and a better use of health resources
6. EY (2016) PURPOSE: Can a purpose, beyond profit, really drive results and long-term value?
7. KPMG (2017) Meet the Millennials
8. CECP Corporate Leadership Council (2015) Giving in Numbers
9. Giving Australia 2016 - Business Giving and volunteering research
Purposed acknowledges the work of Katherine Jude and Tom Ferrier in the production of this publication.
Disclaimer: this publication is intended as a guide only and is designed for discretionary use. It does not replace the requirement to obtain specific operational, legal, insurance, or other advice. No person should act or rely upon the information contained in this publication without first advice from an appropriately qualified professional. Purposed disclaims all liability and responsibility (including arising from its negligence) to any other parties fro loss, damage, cost, or expense incurred or arising out of any person using or replying on the information contained herein. Purposed accepts no responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided, not the effect of any such errors.