CSR in modern times has to evolve as a journey of constant innovation. The CSR professionals have to think in a different way which we sometimes call it as out of the box thinking. Innovation in the area of CSR has become need of the hour because the government and regulatory bodies are now focusing more and more on the social impact assessment of the program. It does not really matter how much money has been spent in the CSR activity but what really matters is what has been the overall social impact of the CSR program on the local communities.
It is very important to understand that innovation in the area of CSR will have manifold impact. It shall improve the overall productivity of the people, processes and technologies apart from maximising the overall impact on the local community. The people at various levels of the organisation have to understand that innovation has to come in various forms at different levels and can be contributed by people at various levels of the organisational hierarchy.
The innovation in CSR projects has become more and more important in modern times as the CSR projects have to become meaningful, engaging, having relevance and should be aimed at achieving high social impact.
We may evolve a model to calculate the overall social impact on the lines of ROI in the corporate world. ROI calculates the overall return on investment. On the same lines we may be in a position to calculate the cost of overall social impact of a CSR Project. This will increase the awareness level among the CSR professionals thinking for conceptualising a meaningful, engaging, relevant CSR program customised to local needs rather than mindlessly copying the CSR programs of other organisations.
The era of change across the globe makes it imperative for all CSR professionals to be consistently thinking, evolving and innovating CSR projects which are socially relevant, cost effective, socially engaging, cost effective apart from ensuring the overall social impact to ensure that the CSR project proves to be rational in terms of justifying the overall cost for the overall social impact which the project has generated or is likely to generate.
The simple rule of thumb shall be to evaluate the CSR project from various angles and dimensions apart from being focussed at making the project innovative, socially engaging and maximising the overall impact on the local communities. The spirit of innovation will help in minimising the cost, maximising the productivity and overall social impact on the communities.
I wish all CSR professionals a grand success in their endeavours.
[Rusen Kumar is Editor & MD of IndiaCSR Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org]
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