CSR Guide

Your handy guide to Corporate Social Responsibility for businesses

Do good, and good will come to you. Whichever way you look at it, this adage always rings true.

As a non-profit organisation, we depend on the support of businesses and individuals to provide support to the most vulnerable in our community. Working together, we have the power to change lives. This in itself is more than enough reason to get involved. Yet, for a business, investing in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) holds so many more benefits.

“Doing good is good for business”– Richard Branson

In this handy guide, we take a holistic look at Corporate Social Responsibility, how it benefits the community, and how it benefits your business. We also answer the most commonly asked questions about this topic to help guide you on your CSR journey so that you can make a real impact that truly matters.

What is CSR?

Corporate Social Responsibility is when a business works to uplift society and make a positive impact by considering ways in which they can give back to their community. They may choose to do this in any number of ways:

  1. Changing the way they do business
  2. Taking an active role in addressing social, cultural, and environmental issues
  3. Dedicating time and/or money to human rights issues, community and social causes, the environment, or uplifting people

Why is CSR important?

In a society where not everyone has access to the same opportunities, it’s vital that those who can help do so. By uplifting the most vulnerable among us, we all grow stronger, and we build a more prosperous and beneficial community for all. But that’s not all. Getting involved in CSR also holds some immediate benefits for everyone involved:

1. It’s good for business

Boost engagement with your customers:

By supporting causes that people care about, you can start conversations and engage your customers. People are proud to share feel-good news. So, don’t be shy to spread the word about the work you’re doing and the projects you’re supporting. Post it on your socials, share photos and videos, put it in your newsletters – tell the world how you’re helping.

Tax benefits:

Companies get a tax deduction of 10% of taxable income, before deduction of donations. And there’s even more good news for businesses – donations in excess of the 10% threshold may be carried forward to the next tax year. To assist you to access this benefit, we’ll issue you with an official tax certificate upon request.

Increased brand awareness:

It’s a great way to build and boost the public image of your business in a positive and productive manner. Customers want to buy from brands they like and trust. By getting involved in these great initiatives and making use of the PR opportunity, you get to build your reputation as well as shine some light on the cause you’re supporting.

2. It’s good for your team

Preferred employer:

It’s becoming increasingly important to work for a company that gives back. Having a CSR policy that inspires your team can actually increase employee engagement and loyalty among teams and help make your company a more desirable place to work.

Personal development:

There are added bonuses for your team too, beyond feeling more connected to the business. Finding a programme to support that creates volunteering opportunities for your team, and allowing people to take part in them, encourages personal growth and skills development.

Employee morale:

It’s fun and creates a sense of purpose for people – teams are more likely to buy into and feel fulfilled by a corporate culture that includes community development.

3. It’s good for the community

A little help goes a long way:

Ladles of Love is fuelled entirely through the generosity of our donors, partners, and volunteers. There are so many vulnerable people among us that we try to help, but we can’t do it alone. You’d be surprised how much difference your involvement will make in our work.

Uplift the entire community:

You can directly impact your community and make it better for everyone living there. For example, why not sponsor a struggling school in your area and help improve the lives of local children, teachers and parents? Your support can help the youth deliver the leaders of tomorrow.

Lead by example:

Become an inspirational example of corporate citizenship. You’ll inspire other businesses to do the same.

What types of CSR projects exist and how do I choose one?

When it comes to uplifting others, there are so many wonderful initiatives out there to choose from. Typically, these projects can be categorised according to three main pillars:

  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Social

These three pillars are informally referred to as profit, planet, and people. You can explore these pillars further on Investopedia.

It’s important to choose a CSR focus that aligns with the goals, vision, and ethos of your business. By taking this approach, your effort will excite your team, make sense to your stakeholders, fit in seamlessly into your marketing, and engage your customers.

To find the perfect fit, ask yourself:

  • What is important to us as a business?
  • What do my customers care about?
  • What would be the most relevant issues for my business to focus on?

Due to the work Ladles of Love does, we are the ideal CSR partner to help you meet your goals, no matter which pillar is most important to you. Yes, we are about the serving of food, but what we do is about so much more than only that. Here is how we support all three main pillars of CSR:

1. Social (people)

  • Education is central to the development of individuals and communities. We help keep kids in school and focussed on learning through The Munch Club.
  • We provide fresh food to Cape Town’s homeless community through our soup kitchens.
  • We facilitate the distribution of food into communities most in need, supporting local NPOs to support struggling families living in poverty.
  • We provide education around food and nutrition so that people can make healthier choices for themselves, their families, and the people they support via our support of community kitchens.

2. Environmental (the planet)

  • Our new sustainability focus means we’re looking at long-term solutions to food insecurity, reducing reliance on sandwiches, and increasing intake of fresh, healthy, affordable foods through initiatives such as our community kitchens.
  • We’d love to switch to 100% recyclable, planet-friendly containers, and reduce waste. Your company partnership might just help us make this happen.

3. Economical (profit)

  • Empowered people have more opportunities. Through the creation of community kitchens and supporting urban farming initiatives, people who were previously unable to provide for themselves are gaining access to a whole host of new opportunities.
  • Our projects have the potential to create jobs and business opportunities as well as feeding people.
 

CSR in the time of COVID-19

The global coronavirus pandemic is one of the most widespread and acute social issues facing society right now. The amount of people facing job losses, hunger and poverty is still skyrocketing, inflating the need for basic necessities such as food. Because of this, many businesses are switching their CSR focus to support the local COVID-19 response.

Ladles of Love provides solutions to many of the social issues that COVID-19 is exacerbating. We’re working overtime to help reverse the effects of the pandemic and lockdown, providing food but also creating longer-term sustainable solutions to help people assist themselves out of poverty.

While a sandwich can make the world of difference to a hungry person, it’s ultimately our aim to facilitate hand-ups, not just hand-outs, to make a lasting difference. Your business can be a part of this solution.

Meaningful team building opportunities

Team building is an important function of any business. It promotes employee engagement and morale, which is vital to attracting and retaining talent.

Ladles of Love can partner with you to provide meaningful team-building opportunities – activities that will build skills, provide a sense of pride and achievement to your team, as well as make a positive difference to the lives of others. Some of our popular team building initiatives include

For more ideas or to start arranging a team building event, send us an email at info@ladlesoflove.org.za

Measuring the impact

It’s important to know where your contributions go and that it makes the difference you intend it to. Ladles of Love is committed to transparency and ensuring that everything we do delivers the maximum impact possible.

More ways to get involved

There are so many ways to help. From making a financial contribution, to organising a fundraiser or helping us set up a community kitchen. Every bit of support matters, and we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to get involved and make a real, measurable difference.

Donate Money

Volunteer

Donate Groceries

Sandwich Drive

Raise Funds

Donate Money

Donate Products/Services

Raise Funds

Sponsor a Project

Business CSR Guide