March 12, 2009

Engaging Consumers in CSR

I'm interested in learning more about companies that do a good job of engaging consumers in their CSR programs. This includes companies that effectively increase their social impact by getting their customers to work alongside them toward their goals. It also covers companies that successfully use CSR to foster relationships with their customers, in a way that directly serves their business goals.

Does anyone have good examples of such companies or opinions on this topic? Are there any awards that address these types of strategies or resources I should check out?

I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. I love all your blog posts. Even though I focus on small businesses philanthropy I pay attention to the thinking out there like yours about CSR and Philanthropy since much of it can be applied to small businesses.

    In answer to your question, Whole Foods has an interesting model for involving customers in their philanthropy and CSR. Aside from their commitment to local and sustainable farming, they have taken in-store fund raising to a new level.
    In their last fundraising campaign that ended in March, in addition to having the box on the counter for spare change, a customer could also choose $1.00 or $5.00 amounts to be added to their bill, and if they brought their own bag, the $1.00 credit could be applied towards their donation to the Whole Planet Foundation.
    Whole Food underwrites the administrative costs for the Foundation, so that every consumer penny goes directly towards helping others.
    They also have developed strategic partnerships and alliances with their suppliers and growers that participate in scanback programs.
    Their Whole Planet Foundation partners with Grammeen Bank in their microlending program in developing countries.
    The food industry has the most direct contact with consumers since everyone has to eat. But Whole Foods has involved their customers, their suppliers, their employees in innovative ways that could serve as a model for many large companies.