In the current constraining times, one thing that has stood out for everyone is the need for collaborative working and one such area which needs to do so more than ever is the Corporate social sector (CSR) and the social sector, they need to work more closely than ever before. It is important to develop a win-win solution to ensure long-term benefits and prevent shocks to the system.
In the pre-covid – era the entire sector was changing perception about CSR and was focusing on strategic and focused interventions in the social sectors. But Covid hit us causing long term programs to become short-term programs. Though experts in social sector constantly spoke about lack of talent and resources, the CSR landscape now realised that there is a dearth of grassroots NGOs, a dearth of professionals who understand grassroots and non-profit world. Lot of CSR redirected their funding to covid relief, making other priority programs come to a standstill. CSR and business are interconnected if businesses thrive CSR can grow at large too.
The corporates need to work closely with their CSR bodies and should work on creating a balanced and diversified portfolio of urban and rural programs. We need to collectively shift our focus from bridging the digital divide to building an ecosystem to understand the importance of digital infrastructure.
Ways in which Corporates can collaborate with Social Sector
– Corporations can move beyond giving grants. Each corporation can leverage their expertise and come together to solve problems.
– Utilise CSR employees to build training modules- For example, use internal resources to add value to the NGOs.
– Volunteering- Making it mandatory for employees to give X number of hours and train NGO’s with various skills such as – HR, IT, Finances etc.
– Support NGOs in leveraging their social media- CSR teams can support NGOs to build their brand by training them with social media strategies.
– Corporations struggle to collaborate largely with social sector due to various reasons. Here Nonprofits actively work as their intermediaries and help them with collaborating with the right partners.
What NGO’s need to look at
– Profitability and revenues have shrunk with many businesses across sectors. So, it is important that NGOs need to expand the number of corporations they will work with going forward.
– NGO’s need to improve on their communication, pitching skills etc. so it increases their chances of reaching better prospects.
The implication of COVID-19 will continue in 2021 too, hence Corporations and CSOs need to plan their strategies accordingly. There is a need for corporations to collaborate, share best practices for capacity building and communicate to CSOs about individual CSR’s priorities. NGOs are critical to the civil society, hence building them for long-term resilience becomes much more critical so they can withstand future disruptions too. Some key areas where NGOs need support are Financial Planning, Business Continuity Planning, Risk Mitigation and Retail Fundraising. Hence if corporates and social sector put their might and mind together, they can definitely build a strong society together.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Satyam Vyas is the founder of Arthan. He has spent a decade in education, skill development and social entrepreneurship in rural India. He believes that education can provide the tools necessary to change the world and his dream is to create productive economic opportunities for all the children and youth in India by defining their career path and being part of their school to the world of work journey. In the last decade, Satyam has designed, implemented, scaled and impacted lives of more than two million children and youth studying in government schools in India.
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The CSR Journal Team