Use of technology for making the relationship of business and CSR more stronger has become essential after knowing the fact that CSR has a significant effect on the growth, development, and sustainability of business and the society. Companies can raise the graph of the impact of their CSR activities by including technology in the planning process, implementation, and reporting of their CSR activities.
In the absence of proper data-driven intelligence, companies are not able to properly channelize and make strategic use of funds and efforts related to CSR. Before planning and the implementation of any CSR initiative, it is very important to collect comprehensive data relevant to the field of consideration for CSR activity.
The main reason for the non-achievement of the desired result in CSR is the poor planning, ineffective implementation and lack of control over the policies. To overcome such situations, taking help of technology is the best way. Use of technology strengthens the very foundation of the CSR and also creates an environment for the proper implementation of CSR with a significant increase in efficiency, accountability, and integrity with business. This significantly raises the level of transparency in CSR which further increases the efficiency.
To have a more comprehensive vision on how technology plays a vital role in CSR, we have look at the following points:
●Prioritizing the expenditure on CSR is an important aspect of technology at the root level. It is achieved by arranging priorities vis-a-vis organizational goals. It further helps in selecting correct partners in the project whenever required. Management of risk is also a natural outcome as technology brings different stakeholders (companies, NGOs, etc.) at the same level and collectively makes them to put in the effort for effective CSR implementation.
●Monitoring of CSR activities of different stakeholders at different geographical locations is possible. This helps in locating hard and soft corners of the project, corrective measures can be taken at the right time as well as complete records of the whole process can be maintained. This further helps in standardizing the framework for a larger group of stakeholder and the wastage of resources can be put to control.
●Regular reporting of the progress in work from the CSR department or any other stakeholder is very important for planning of the next steps to be taken. Technology plays a significant role in proper reporting and database management system. Standards for further proceedings are being set up and actual performance is being technically measured in comparison with set standards. This brings much more clarity in the working of CSR projects.
●Technology is also used for the analysis of data and the process to find out in which area the project is excelling and which areas need more attention. Technology not only provides instant corrective measures but also analyses the scenario of the whole market or the society i.e. trending needs in CSR, success, and failure of different CSR projects, what are the issues coming up or faced by CSR projects, etc. These data and information help to make an effective action plan which gives the most social impact and ensures the success of the project.
●Making up CSR strategy out of the past experience, analysis of data and current trends of the market is another very important aspect of CSR plans. Technology facilities proper strategic planning through critical analysis of the above mentioned elements and projects the clear route to be followed on the path of success in CSR. Technology clearly draws the line and specifies the strategies for channelizing the efforts, bringing together the stakeholders and generalising the effect of the plans to a greater degree of population.
Other than all the above-mentioned benefits, technology can even be used in digitalising the processes of the CSR and NGOs. Activities like donor management and fundraising, volunteer management, grant and award management, etc. can all be handled digitally. This further improves the working of the NGO or CSR and effectivity of the projects also rises.
Developing the technical skills of the professionals/workers/volunteers working for the CSR projects is yet another significant step which not only raises the bar of technological efficiency of the project but is also useful for the trainees. Companies have started giving their employees training in technical skills knowing the fact that this will, in turn, help the company in getting the benefit of skilled personnel. Companies are also turning more towards digitalising their operations.
As mentioned in the above cases technology plays an essential role in the success of the CSR projects by not only providing insight for future needs and accordingly planning, data driven management, real time monitoring but also provides with the proper path to be followed and even alarms in case of deviations and helps in better decision making for overcoming risks. In short, leveraging technology is the best way forward for impactful CSR
Written By Bhawana Munet & Shubhi Mehta
Editor-Abhijeet P Sinha