6 essential steps for choosing a meaningful CSR activity

People’s desire to build a sense of purpose and connection to their companies’ values and beliefs has fuelled the rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – with volunteering emerging as a powerful way for employees to make an impact on their local communities while creating a sense of fulfillment beyond the workplace.

Focusing on giving back to communities and supporting our people’s growth, we have created a Corporate Social Responsibility program that allows all colleagues to dedicate their time to the social causes we support. Whether it is mentorship, pro-bono work, lecturing at schools, or other volunteering activities, employees can propose an organization that aligns both their passions and interests and our company’s values to be part of our CSR program.  

If you’re excited to take part in CSR activities but are unsure where to start, this article is for you! We’ve gathered the perspectives of our amazing colleagues on what’s important to consider when choosing a CSR activity and how to make the best out of this rewarding experience.

Choosing a CSR activity in six essential steps

1. Connect with your values 

Take a moment to reflect on what truly matters to you. Think about the causes that resonate with you and inspire you to make a change. Is it supporting social causes, advancing education, aiding disadvantaged individuals, or driving environmental sustainability? Choosing a cause that aligns with your heart ensures a more authentic and lasting commitment – and improves the impact of your work. 

“It´s so much more meaningful and enjoyable if you choose a cause you can really connect with. Have you gone through a given situation in life that can help others? I volunteered for Geek Girls Portugal because I’ve experienced how difficult it is to break down the gender barrier, and for me, it’s important to support women in this cause.”

Carla Silva, Senior Business Analyst and Volunteer at Geek Girls Portugal

2. Explore local communities

Explore your local community’s needs or existing causes and organizations. Get involved with local organizations and collaborate with community leaders to learn insights on the most critical issues. Your contribution can be more impactful when addressing the needs of the communities where you live and work – and it’s more likely that you experience and recognize the impact of your support.

3. Leverage your skills

Use your talents to make a difference! Once you’ve chosen a program that aligns with your passion, think about the unique value you can bring to the table. Reflect on your professional knowledge, skills, experiences, and personality and how they can contribute positively to the chosen cause.

Seek opportunities where your expertise aligns with the needs of the organization. It’s more than sharing knowledge; it’s also an opportunity to deepen your understanding of a topic of interest while making a meaningful impact.

4. Reflect on your reasons to volunteer 

Be mindful of why you are looking to volunteer: is it to meet new people, engage with your local community, deepen your knowledge or teamwork skills, or learn about a particular cause? Participating in a CSR program is not only about giving back; it’s an opportunity for personal growth and learning. By immersing yourself in the community or cause you’ve chosen, you open doors to new insights, perspectives, and experiences. Be open to discovering more about the local community, the people you’re helping, and even about yourself in the process.

“The essence of a successful CSR choice lies in the synergy between your personal values, skills, and the goals of the initiative. Assess how your involvement can create a win-win situation, benefiting both you and the community. This synergy fosters a genuine connection, making the experience more enriching and rewarding.”

Liva Zarda, Talent Acquisition Specialist and Volunteer at Riga Tech Girls

5. Create a plan

Create a detailed proposal on how you intend to tackle the identified problem, tailored to the needs of the cause or organization. This should include the alignment between the goals of you, the company, and the program. It will allow you to learn more about the program you’re participating in and help you strengthen your proposal for CSR within your organization.

“It should be persuasive enough to gain internal approval, while also presenting a compelling offer of assistance to the cause you wish to support. A well-thought-out proposal demonstrates your commitment and increases the likelihood of a successful collaboration.”

Zigmars Rozentals, Senior Consultant and Volunteer at Mission Possible

6. Measure and celebrate impact

Embarking a CSR journey is exciting; if you establish measurements, it’s easier to maintain direction. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) helps track progress, providing valuable insights into the tangible effects of your efforts. It’s not about meeting a set of numbers – it’s about understanding your actions’ real, positive impact.

More importantly, you should celebrate your wins. Celebrating wins, no matter how small, is a reminder that your efforts are making a meaningful impact and a powerful motivator to keep going. Sharing your success stories may inspire more employees – and even external communities – to contribute to a CSR activity.

CSR activities offer a unique opportunity to actively engage with causes you are passionate about. On the other hand, charity organizations can benefit from your unique skills, expertise, and enthusiasm to elevate their impact. You are the driving force behind CSR activities at your company – choose a cause that speaks to your heart, leverage your talents, be open to learning and new experiences, share and celebrate small wins, and you’re set to make an impact.

If you enjoyed this reading, keep an eye on our Careers Blog – where you can learn about employee experiences and insights and career and development suggestions. Start by exploring our volunteering experience with Mission Possible and its impact on employee wellbeing.

If you’re looking for a new adventure and you feel like Emergn might be the right fit, explore our career opportunities!