Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a call for all businesses to try to leave the earth and its communities in a better state than we found them.
Companies that have CSR-driven pursuits seek to lessen their impact on the environment, assist in the development of local communities, provide help to those in need, and so much more.
But beyond the benefits to people and environment, CSR can also have significant and measurable business benefits. These can include anything from better brand recognition, to positive reputation, to employee satisfaction, and even better access to capital through charitable deductions.
While many big corporations put away massive budgets for CSR and some even create whole departments and foundations, it doesn’t take this much for all businesses. In fact, there are quite a few ways that you can give back while building CSR into your current budget.
CSR has become a much more prevalent topic nowadays, especially in the incentive space. Because of this, I’ll be providing insights into a few different types of reward programs further down the line, but for our purposes here, I’m going to focus on group travel.
Here are a few clever ways that you can incorporate CSR into your group travel programs.
1) CSR Partnerships
There are many companies out there that make a living off CSR standards. I’m sure you’ve seen a few.
These companies put us all to shame through their selfless missions, but just like any company, partnerships can be a big help for all parties involved.
So, when you’re thinking of a room gift or a premium mailer to garner excitement for a trip, consider partnering with one of these companies.
Often times, their products can be the exact CSR initiative you’re looking for.
For example, one partner that we’ve been working with lately is Helping Hand Partners or HHP. These hard-working individuals are dedicated to helping impoverished families in foreign countries while also helping to clean up the environment.
If you’re looking for a true way to give back while providing your trip-goers with meaningful gifts that they’ll actually use, HHP’s travel collection is the perfect option.
2) Source Your Needs Locally
One of the best ways to give back to the community that you’re visiting is to help out the local economy.
If you’re looking for room gifts or take-aways, search for vendors in the city/town/village that will accommodate a large number of orders at once. Perhaps every item is handmade. Maybe the proceeds go toward keeping local students in school.
Pairing gifts such as these with a card that spotlights the vendor can give your attendees a little information about the culture and history of the area.
If you’re visiting an area known for its art, try looking into artists that would be willing to come to an event to showcase their work. You can also organize a trip to their studio.
Attendees will have the opportunity to examine the art and purchase pieces of their own to bring back home. This sort of event can give the artist a way to earn appreciation and recognition in another part of the world and give a nice boost in profit for the artist.
Gifts and events of this caliber can help to instill a good feeling in your trip-goers, who appreciate doing business with a socially-conscious company.
3) Donate in Different Ways
Giving a charitable donation to a certain cause is a very honorable and noteworthy goal. However, there are several ways that you can donate significantly to your desired organizations while also including the support of your customers and trip-goers.
One clever way to donate is to set up a dollar-for-dollar match with a charitable cause for possible attendees who are interested in the trip. This can be done by picking a single charitable organization for the program or through the tracking of charitable donations done by your customers/salespeople.
The benefit of picking a singular charity would be that it is easy to track. All you have to do is match the amount of donations to the one organization.
The benefit of allowing possible trip earners to pick is that you give them the choice of supporting their favorite organization. Of course, you’ll need to set up a donation form for contributors to fill out and submit to you upon donating.
Another option is to build the donation into your earning structure. For instance, let’s say your trip is going to the Bahamas, and you want to support a local organization there that helps students get scholarships.
Take the action of donating out of your customers’ hands. You can set up an earning structure where for every, let’s say, $100 dollars of product bought, the company will donate $10 to that scholarship fund.
Finally, you can donate any extra funds from the trip to charity. Extra funds can come from anything from an exceeded revenue goal for the program to a few extra rooms that you had to sell back.
4) Make a Day of It
You may think this tactic would only attract the most avid volunteers, but I challenge you to dedicate half for even a full day of a trip to a volunteer opportunity. You may be surprised at how many hands you have helping. Some ideas:
- You could work with a local organization to help paint a school.
- You could help plant trees in a town center or a park.
- You could even sit around a table during a meeting and have everyone stuff pamphlets.
If you dedicate enough time to searching for an event like this, you’re sure to find something you think your audience would like to do.
Your time, and the time of your attendees, is worth more than any dollar value you can donate, so whatever you choose, you’ll be giving back significantly.
These are only a few ideas to help promote your CSR initiatives within a group travel program. The great thing about CSR is that there’s no limit to how much you can give back, and there are always great ideas and companies sprouting up to help you along the way.
Whichever way you go, CSR is a worthy and conscious pursuit.
Stay tuned for ways to add CSR into your other reward programs.