Outstanding Corporate Citizen of the Year (Small Business)
Submitted by: Jen Sterling, Chief Red Head
1. Why do you believe CSR strategy is important for a company?
Quite simply because it is the right thing to do. As individuals, as families, as organizations, as corporations... we should be investing back into our people, our neighbors, and into our communities.
2. Do you believe that the CSR work you participate in should be affiliated with the work you/your company does? For example, should an Oil company’s CSR be in cleaning up oil spills?
It does not have to be but it certainly makes it easier. No learning curves or wasted efforts. Take something that you already know how to do and apply it to someone who truly needs that service. In other words, use your powers for good!!
3. What makes your company stand out compared to other companies participating in CSR?
We take a slightly different approach to executing our CSR. Rather than just design any random thing that pops up throughout the year, we focus our efforts into a 24 hour pro bono marathon each September. We bring together our entire team, as well as many friends and colleagues, and we are able to do bigger and deeper branding projects for non-profits who would never have been able to afford that kind of effort otherwise. About a dozen non-profits participate every year. We truly work for 24 hours straight... lots of coffee, lots of sugar, lots of giggles... and we are able to create magic. Every year we have non-profit directors in tears over what we have gifted to them in so short a time. It feels amazing!
4. Do you believe contributing back to the community allows your company to have a deeper connection with its clients/customers?
Yes, a lot of our contributions impact our client relationships. More importantly though, it impacts our employees. Our ability to be working side-by-side to the benefit of someone else (and not just for the almighty dollar) makes us stronger as a team. We care more and want to invest more of ourselves in each other and in the outcome.
5. What are some events or causes that inspire you and your team?
6. What advice would you give to companies trying to participate in CSR?
Include your team/staff in the process. Find causes they are passionate about. This will give it meaning and not just be a chore.