Can the aims of public and private sector, not-for-profit and commercial entities be aligned? And is the future of solving the world’s biggest challenges – as well as the success of business – at the convergence of doing good and doing well?
Simply put: Yes.
We call this social impact: The ability to make a positive impact on society and business by identifying and illuminating an organizations’ core noble purpose.
Social Impact: More than CSR
Forward-looking companies see the competitive advantage of a strategic corporate social responsibility program, one that aligns with its core business and is poised to make significant impact in society. Non-profits see the mutual benefit of partnering with businesses that can help them achieve their goals in ways beyond funding.
Tapping into the energy and engagement of employees, leveraging the reach of consumer channels and co-creating products and offerings are all ways that social and commercial sectors can work together to create a lasting impact.
Yet CSR is only one piece of social impact. What was once an adjunct to business, such as cause marketing campaigns, is now becoming central through social enterprise, innovation and impact investing.
Social impact is not new, but it is gaining momentum – and demanding fresh attention – due to a convergence of forces.
- Millennials demand greater transparency from companies whose products they buy and employers for whom they work, and recognize the power of their purchasing dollar.
- Baby Boomers are stepping out of the rat race, looking to turn their talents toward efforts with deeper meaning and purpose.
- Global business is dependent on expanding into new markets and the new frontier continues to be developing countries.
- Advances in technology afford solutions previously unattainable, allowing for quantum leaps in communication and access.
- The power of social media brings a new level of pressure on companies to be authentic in their efforts to make a difference.
What’s your social impact?
The worlds of public, private, social and commercial are inextricably linked…and at the center is social impact. Whether the measure of success is profits gained or lives changed, when united by the common purpose of “doing well by doing good,” organizations of all shapes and sizes can make a lasting impact.