CSR Execs Tell Us What’s Trending in 2019
At Catalist we like to say that strategy is just opinion until it is grounded in data.
To that end, instead of just giving you our opinion on what is evolving and trending in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for 2019 and beyond, we went to the professionals living that work every day. We reached out to more than 150 CSR executives and interviewed them, capturing their thoughts, challenges and predictions for the upcoming year. We are thankful to each and every one of these professionals that engaged in our interviews to help us provide the marketplace with their insights and trends.
So, what did we find out? When all was said and done and we were finished curating the data from the interviews, the one thing that was undeniable clear is that we all need to buckle in because CSR and social impact work from the corporate sector is accelerating fast. Because of marketplace expectations, employee desires, generational shifts and global need, CSR activities are ramping up…launching across the whole corporate enterprise, getting more integrated with various departments across the company and in general, getting smarter.
All of this information is wrapped up in Catalist’s new study, The Acceleration of Purpose. While there is a ton of insights and takeaways provided in the study (for both companies and causes) around all eight 2019 trends, below are my thoughts on the top three takeaways for nonprofit professionals working in the corporate partnerships and sponsorship space to think about.
- Like most trends, some fade away after a short time and some become solidified as marketplace expectations. That is true of CSR trends as well. So download the study and read about the 2019 trends identified by CSR professionals, but make sure to pay close attention to the Foundational “trends” section. These aren’t trends at all anymore. They have moved beyond that tag and instead are bonafide fundamental CSR tactics. Has your nonprofit embraced them yet?
- CSR as emerged from the shadows. We are long past the days of when CSR was some nebulous thing “a department over there” was doing in a silo. CSR has come of age and integrating it more deliberately into a company’s culture and throughout every department is a corporate priority. Is your nonprofit ready to talk beyond the cause, and provide marketing, sales, communications and HR teams a value proposition of why aligning with your nonprofit is good for their goals?
- We are just tipping our toe in the water of how Generation Z will change CSR as they start to enter the workforce. But make no mistake, they have a clear and defiant expectation that companies do good in the world and are ready to drive activism with their dollar. Is your nonprofit prepared to reach out to this coveted demographic either through your existing programs or marketing efforts? And if so, how will you leverage your share of voice with that demographic for your partners?