How to launch a social good initiative: a step-by-step guide

It’s no secret that when companies take time to give back, it benefits community members, employees, and the business as a whole.

With a triple-win situation like this, it would be silly not to take a closer look at your corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy and identify ways to improve.

In today’s attention economy, it can be a challenge to capture—and keep—the attention of your target audience. But doing the work to think outside the box and create something truly unique is well worth the extra effort.

A successful social good or CSR strategy will look different for every company. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s important that your strategy reflects your business’s unique values, offerings and philosophies.

However, if you’re just beginning to dabble in the social good space and don’t know where to start, we’ve put together a play-by-play guide that can help you get started with a new campaign or initiative:

1. Step one: do some soul searching

No, but seriously—before you start working on your social good project, it’s essential that you sit down with your team (or just yourself, if you don’t have a team) and brainstorm about what’s important to your organisation, who you want to help, and why. Authenticity is a currency in today’s world of smoke and mirrors, so the first thing you need to determine as a business is why you want to launch a social good initiative, and how it fits into your broader business goals.

2. Step two: identify a cause or community you want to help

Once you’ve determined your “big why,” the next step is to choose the cause, community, or organisation you want to contribute to. It’s important that business leaders don’t try to be all things to all people, especially if you’re a smaller sized business without the resources to deliver if you bite off more than you can chew. To narrow down your list, try choosing something that’s related to your business. For example, if you’re an online course platform, your social good project could involve donating to schools in underserved communities. But more importantly, make sure you and your team members actually care about the cause, and aren’t just paying lip service to boost your own image.

3. Step three: get creative

Next comes the fun part: get together with your team for another brainstorm session to come up with an original, creative idea that will catch eyes and turn heads. Social good initiatives don’t have to be solely relegated to walk-a-thons and bake sales—there are countless ways to engage your audience for a good cause. Consider the resources you currently have available and how you can use them to help others, drive donations, or achieve another CSR-related goal. For example, maybe your business is a jewellery company and you have a bulk shipment of materials you won’t be using. Instead of letting them go to waste, you could enlist a team of volunteers to create a new line of bracelets with the proceeds going to your cause of choice. Or, maybe you have access to a videographer, a graphic designer and an influencer or public figure who’s willing to help you create a viral video to raise awareness about your cause. The world is your oyster!

4. Step four: plan the logistics

Next, you’ll want to get organised by coming up with a timeline for the project including a list of what needs to be done, a workback schedule, a budget, and a team of volunteers who will be working on the campaign. Having a clearly defined schedule and execution plan will help to keep you on track and avoid pushing the initiative to the back burner when things get busy. At this stage, you might also want to schedule a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with the team to track progress.

5. Step five: get loud!

Once your campaign, event or initiative is ready to be released into the world, switch into promotion mode to help spread the word and create maximum impact. Make use of all the communication channels you have at your fingertips including your company’s website, social media, emails to stakeholders, and newsletters, and share the campaign with any trusted members of the media you have relationships with. Would you add anything to this list? We’d love to hear from you in the comments. For more guidance on social good initiatives, reach out to us today.
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *