There seems to be a heightened social consciousness with 61% of participants in a new Indian survey preferring to work for a company that engages meaningfully in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and 55% believing in purchasing products from socially responsible businesses. Close to 500 individuals from across the country participated in the annual GiveIndia Giving Survey with almost equal participation from men and women (49% male and 51% female) between the ages of 21-60 years.
Millennials are particularly principled, with some studies suggesting they care more about purpose than a paycheque when it comes to work. In fact, companies that engage in CSR report positive consequences on important outcomes such as the appeal of the organization to job applicants, employee commitment to the organization, job satisfaction and job performance.
But companies should take notice of additional emerging research — employees don’t respond well if they believe their organization is using CSR to give a false impression of virtue. Organizations therefore must be careful to engage in CSR for the right reasons. Employees make judgments about why their organizations engage in CSR, and they distinguish between authentic efforts and what’s known as greenwashing — CSR that is more focused on appearances than true commitment to a cause.
Eighteen months into the Covid-19 era access to basic healthcare and treatment for diseases are top-of-the-mind problems for almost 50% of respondents. Attaining food security for the hungry and protecting the environment were the other two urgent causes of concern, the survey revealed.
Public health is the most important problem in India today according to GiveIndia’s annual Giving Survey, but 85% of respondents feel very optimistic that the solutions to such intractable social issues will be found through philanthropy. The study also highlights a renewed enthusiasm to help set right the challenges the country is grappling with and contribute to national growth, with 90% of the respondents pledging to donate more to charitable causes. Community suffering and greater need post pandemic are the main reasons for citizens wanting to give more.
Interestingly however, 46% of respondents feel collaboration is the key. They have more confidence in partnerships between individuals, charities, business and government solving problems for the future than each of the entities by themselves.
Sharing his thoughts on the findings, GiveIndia COO Sumit Tayal said, “Our annual survey on giving behaviour shows that citizens want to contribute to India’s progress and Covid has made this more real and urgent. The pandemic also highlighted the critical role of philanthropy and partnerships – and the greater impact of entities working together towards the same goal. The survey suggests that this has caught the public imagination.”