Investopedia.com defines Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):
“Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the company's effects on the environment and impact on social welfare. The term generally applies to company efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups.
Corporate social responsibility may also be referred to as "corporate citizenship" and can involve incurring short-term costs that do not provide an immediate financial benefit to the company, but instead promote positive social and environmental change.”
Companies can have a huge impact in communities. They have billions in cash for investments into nonprofits and their programs. They also have a cadre of employees who are interested in volunteering their time to help communities and their residents.
In an article entitled Why Don’t Corporations Give to Charity, we find that company giving averages only 1% of pretax profits. Granted this represents a combined $18 billion in corporate charitable donations. Individuals are doubly generous giving on average 2% of their disposable income.
To be sure, CSR is more than just charitable giving by corporations. The article entitled What’s Wrong with Corporate Social Responsibility? What is CSR? discusses many different types of CSR that many corporations practice today.
Corporate/nonprofit partnerships can help to solve many of society’s challenges. Much more than government could ever do. Imagine what good could be done if U.S. corporations doubled their giving and increased giving from 1% to 2% of pretax profits. $36 billion would go a long way toward addressing a variety of challenges that we face in our country today.
Related articles and links:
Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA)
More Firms Use Charitable Programs as a Recruiting Tool
The Corporate and Not-For-Profit Relationship Isn't As Clear As It Seems