How to Convince Your Boss to Increase Your CSR Budget
So you’re ready and pumped to do even more good, but your CSR budget is putting the brakes on your social responsibility efforts? Sometimes the top dogs need a little convincing just how beneficial CSR is, not just for their communities, but for their company as well.
Although CSR is often the smallest piece of the company budget pie, the C-suite can be reluctant to roll out more dough in this area. They’re used to hard facts and rock solid statistics showcasing the exact ROI of expenditure. And in their eyes, well CSR can be a little soft, and its value difficult to calculate.
As a CSR manager, you need to be properly prepared when it comes to convincing your boss to increase your CSR budget. Here’s some tips to get you started.
1. Clearly track your CSR metrics
Learn to speak top management’s language.
The C-suite doesn’t want to know how many smiles you created this year, they want to know what value was put into your CSR project, and what value popped out the other end.
Use efficient tools and programmes to accurately measure your CSR metrics. Use graphs and stats to show budget expenditure and any increase in employee engagement and retention, sales, market reach and social media following.
2. Align your efforts to the CEO’s company goals
It’s well and good to have your own CSR goals, but to get a bigger piece of the budget pie, you need to align these objectives with the needs of the company. Clearly demonstrate to your CEO how increasing expenditure in CSR will get him closer to his own targets. Consider common drivers such as new revenue, cost reduction, innovation, or employee engagement. Be aware also what other managers are after so not to cause a clash of interest.
3. Show how CSR costs are being leveraged
Corporate dialogue is centred on money. When tackling your CSR budget increase with your boss, indicate not only what this money is being spent on, but also how these funds are being leveraged. For example, you could ask partner NPOs to compile reports showing gains in more government or private support as a result of your efforts. You could also ask other managers to compile data demonstrating how CSR efforts have positively impacted their departments.
4. Get the finance department on your side
The budget is all about money after all, and getting the support of the CFO will greatly boost your credibility in the eyes of your boss.
If you can’t gain access to the CFO, ally another member of the finance department. Ask them how they would approach assessing and improving the value of your CSR programme, gain insight into how company finances are allocated and get to grips with financial jargon, it will help you come across as professional and well-informed.
5. Commit to innovating and delivering more value
Rather than gushing only over what you have already achieved, show your boss all the success yet to come. If you give me X money, I promise to achieve Y results, by taking ABC actions. Come up with a CSR strategy that is innovative, cost and time effective, and clearly helps your company to achieve its goals. Develop a prototype for a new CSR product or pilot a project with a key NPO partner.
No matter what your needs, partnering with Brownie Points is a surefire way to support and increase your CSR efforts. With help from us, you can accurately track all your metrics, set and reach tangible goals and be properly prepared when convincing your boss to increase your CSR budget.
We’re here to help you every step of the way. Sign up to get started with us!
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