DOS & Donts

Do's

 Develop your own vision - do not see it as a charitable exercise

 Believe in the simplicity of 'assisting for a purpose' while evolving a vision. Simple things like recycling, switching off lights, support to a charity. They all help and have an impact, when these become second nature; other new initiatives will follow.

 Seek ways where voluntary endeavor and community participation are offered for future development.

 Maintain positive and consistent communication at all levels to get the best results for your stakeholders at both the ends.

 Aim for self-reliance in implementing your social responsibility programme in the long term, as it helps in building direct line of communication, and consequently deeper relations with your stakeholders.

 Seek partnerships with like-minded institutions for learning and pilots. Plan, share your ideas, gain feed-back. As with everything, your CSR ideas will work better if discussed and planned.

 Select a team which has the right orientation and is willing to adapt - training must precede planning.

 Plan for 'time' as a precious resource to be shared by all stakeholders. Donate resource, goods and your services to causes you want to support.

 Begin with small steps, and with sure and simple ways of direct philanthropic engagement.

 Share ideas and experiences with other similar endeavors - you will not have to reinvent the wheel.

 Define clear accountabilities for every member and stakeholder. Also, illustrate and communicate why you have undertaken initiatives.

 Strive to deliver what you have committed (walk the talk), under promise, over deliver. Whether it is a new initiative for your employees, helping a local charity, improving your recycling or a cycle to work campaign.

 Define core values for the long run, as well as the work and communication strategy.

 Evolve a social branding opportunity by raising awareness, setting examples and establishing standards.

 Gain PR, but for positive impact; to raise awareness for a certain cause, generate interest in a charity etc. The aim should never be just to self-promote.

 Be transparent. Honesty is the best policy. Once people loose trust and confidence it is extremely difficult to win back.

 Embed it in your business culture and values.

 Build CSR into your business and marketing strategies. Ensure your partners are right for your business and your message is clear.

 Create more than one focus for your CSR, both internally and externally, it doesn’t have to cost the earth!

Dont's

 Borrow vision. These may look nice but corresponding efforts are unlikely to last.

 Complicate your communication with multi-stakeholders (Remember, simplicity wins).

 Make promises of material support to any stakeholder while developing the vision. It could appear like you are paying lip-service to CSR. People will lose faith.

 Get into different type of communications with different stakeholders (it will dilute both your focus and messaging).

 Outsource work or offer donations for something that is possible by your team (efficient management of your own community engagement program has long term benefits).

 Seek partnerships for off-loading work, just because it looks tough in the beginning!

 Begin without confirming that the team is positive and confident about the implementation plan.

 Look at money as the only resource, and donations as the only resort.

 Do too big. Too fast, too experimental doesn't happen too soon.

 Shy away from sharing since it can especially make you aware about the hurdles others may have faced or how they might have overcome those.

 Expect good things to just happen miraculously; like any other activity a good plan always holds good.

 Overpromise, overcommit or create imbalance of resource since sustainability is process-driven and not event based.

 DO it just for PR, it could back fire.

 Think of it as a cost center, resource guzzling, wasteful exercise just because you cannot see how it can benefit you in the long term.

 Think you will always gain support initially and your CSR initiatives will suddenly be implemented.

 Think CSR is just about giving money or charity.

 Hide things. If you do something wrong, don’t hide it. Share and illustrate why and how you have put things right.

 Forget to record what you have achieved and why and the benefits it has given.

 Forget the effect of implementing CSR in your business. It creates an image you need to maintain.

 Think CSR will cost lots of money and it’s just about the environment.