Every day, people and organizations wake up with the intention of doing good. And yet, there is no one place where they can connect that gives them the tools they need to build more meaningful relationships while amplifying the good that they are doing.
Enter the social impact platform.
What is a Social Impact Platform?
A social impact platform brings together nonprofits, charities, individuals, and businesses who share a common goal of giving back while tracking and amplifying the good they are doing. Simply put, it connects those who want to help with those who need help.
A social impact platform helps causes get the support they need, makes it easier for passionate individuals to give back to causes they care about, and helps businesses align with and support nonprofits and charities while empowering employees to live out their values at work. And while social impact platforms have many benefits for nonprofits and individuals, this post will look at how businesses can benefit from a social impact platform.
Companies need to do more than turn a profit; they need to be consciously giving back to their communities. In fact, 93% of employees believe companies must lead with a purpose. And 77% of consumers are motivated to buy from companies making the world a better place.
Having a social impact platform is equally as important as giving back. It connects your employees with more causes in the community while giving you an outlet to track and showcase your progress over time.
Is your company currently doing enough to help make a positive change in the world and spread the word about your positive contributions? If not, investing in a social impact platform could be the tool you need to help amplify your social good initiatives.
This blog discusses the primary characteristics of a social impact platform, how to choose the right platform, and the benefits of embracing technology to change the way you change the world.
Social Impact Platforms for Businesses
A social impact platform is a tool that will help your business execute all of its social change initiatives. Initiatives that, when executed regularly, will not only have a lasting impact on the lives of the people around you
This includes efforts like donating to a charitable cause, encouraging volunteering among your employees, and fundraising on behalf of a cause. Organizations can also simultaneously measure their social impact in real time, which is backed by authentic and verified data.
A social impact hub is at the intersection of cause, community, and commerce. Employees can identify charitable causes that align with their values and subsequently join forces with other community supporters to make a difference.
Why Should You Prioritize Social Impact?
Before we dive deeper into the benefits of a social impact platform, let’s touch on the reasons why businesses like yours need to prioritize social impact:
Increase trust among consumers
When businesses undertake social good initiatives and share them with their network, such as volunteering at a local food bank or donating to cancer research, they demonstrate to their customers that they are acting with honesty and integrity: a key component of building trust.
And, with 81% of consumers making purchasing decisions based on their level of trust in a brand, being authentic through your communications has never been more valuable.
Improve employee retention
When employees feel that they are working towards a cause beyond helping their employer generate revenue, engagement and productivity levels will spike. In fact, 76% of employees say it’s important for their company to make a difference in local communities.
When an organization cares about its community and continually strives to increase its positive impact, employees will experience a sense of belonging, significance, and purpose. The more fulfilled these employees are with their roles and company, the more likely they are to remain long-term employees.
Expand your customer base
94 percent of consumers believe that companies should strive to have a positive impact on society. Imagine how many more customers you could acquire if you dedicate your resources toward corporate social responsibility?
People will be more inclined to invest in your business and buy your products or services when you are dedicated to social change and share tangible proof of your commitment.
Build stronger employee relationships
As your business begins to utilize a social impact platform, you will likely generate stronger relationships with your employees.
Remember, employees want to be a part of something greater. Your employees will feel a stronger connection to your workplace when you empower them to make a difference in their workplace. Volunteering, hosting a fundraiser, or donating shouldn’t only be accomplished outside of work; it should be encouraged within the company as well.
What Are The Benefits Of A Social Impact Platform?
1. Recognize employee milestones
A social impact platform can make it easier for you to track and recognize employee milestones as they occur. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they have better morale and performance.
A social impact platform’s automation will notify you immediately when an employee makes a donation or spends a few hours volunteering (on behalf of causes supported by your organization within the platform). By tracking these accomplishments in real time, employees can be recognized and celebrated immediately.
2. Unite employees around a shared purpose
Some workplaces operate in silos, making it challenging to improve employee connections. As your organization adopts a social impact platform, employees from various departments can work together to achieve a common fundraising, donation, or volunteer goal.
Employees can find common ground and bond over their devotion to a particular cause when they share similar interests and values. In addition, employees can motivate one another to strive for new milestones and accomplish more in the world of social good.
3. Garner attention from stakeholders
When your employees donate to a cause, volunteer in the community, or host a fundraiser, their contributions are added to your organization’s social impact metrics automatically. Not only are these metrics updated in real time, but any user of the platform (who may also be your current customers, prospects, future employees, and investors) can view these metrics and observe the contributions your organization has made.
Social impact metrics include:
- Amount raised globally (through fundraising and donation efforts)
- Total volunteer hours invested
- Partners supported (charities and nonprofits)
- Number of employees involved
4. Share your social impact
A social impact platform provides one centralized ‘hub’ for organizations to share all of the good they are doing with like-minded individuals who care about philanthropy. Whether that’s posting a photo from a recent company-wide volunteer day or using the unique story feature to share how much your company raised from a fundraiser, these accomplishments are worth sharing.
Now the question shifts to, “Why is social impact worth sharing?” Below are a few reasons why your organization’s social impact story is the most important one to tell:
- Increase awareness
Familiarize your audience with your brand name so they can easily recall and recognize it—this is the purpose behind a brand awareness campaign that can cost businesses anywhere between 7-15% of their revenue.
A social impact platform is a lower-cost option to get your brand name in front of individuals who are bound to share similar values with your organization, i.e., values of altruism, kindness, and compassion. These individuals aren’t just “followers” of your company’s social impact platform; they are also potential customers, employees, and investors. When you share content on a social impact platform, these like-minded individuals will recall your brand as one that is authentic and distinctive.
- Enhance brand equity
Price and functionality: two important factors that influence a consumer’s decision to purchase. While your product or service must be competitively priced and well-functioning, 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies that are committed to making the world a better place.
You can help consumers identify which organizations are making a difference by providing an overview of your social impact journey. Communicate the results of a recent company-wide volunteer day, show how much you raised from a fundraiser, or mention how many charities you currently support. Regardless of the specific format, sharing social impact content will create a favorable perception in the minds of consumers that can influence them to purchase from you.
- Demonstrate your values
Much of the strategic and operational decisions an organization makes are based on its values. Aside from values providing purpose and direction, stakeholders want the companies they invest in, purchase from, or work for to align with their values.
Stating values on your company website can be the first step; however, this is just a means to describe your values, not exhibit them. A social impact platform provides the necessary toolset beyond a website landing page. Organizations can transparently demonstrate their values through captivating visuals, narratives, and metrics. A company’s values should go beyond verbal statements; a company’s values should be put into action and demonstrated to the world.
5. Maintain a cost-effective budget
With any social media, email, or print campaign comes a costly bill at the end of the campaign. If you’re not careful, you can easily burn through your entire ad spend before the year is over. And the worst part is that you might not have even generated the results you wanted.
Luckily, a social impact platform can help you stick to a budget when it comes to increasing brand awareness and equity. As many platforms are low-cost, you can share your message with the click of a button: as doing good shouldn’t be tied to any pricey ad campaigns.
How Can Your Business Choose The Right Platform?
You want to improve employee retention, garner attention from stakeholders, and expand your customer base. Thinking about adopting a social impact platform can seem overwhelming; therefore, we have gathered a few tips that can help your organization evaluate a social impact platform:
Consider your needs and goals
Start by revisiting your company’s mission statement, values, and long-term goals. Think about the kinds of social change initiatives you want to launch, too. Do you want to increase the amount you spend on charitable giving? Devote more hours to community volunteering? Host more fundraising events on behalf of causes you care about?
Review features lists
When comparing different platforms, take detailed note of the specific features and functionalities each one offers. You might even want to share your findings with a few other employees to get their input and feedback.
Be sure to keep your goals and mission in mind so you choose a product that will help you to accomplish them. Don’t let yourself get distracted by features that aren’t necessary or relevant to your business.
Learn about the company
Do some research into the company behind the platform. What other kinds of products do they offer? How long have they been around? What do their customers have to say about them and the quality of their products?
After some initial research, always request a demo before investing in a particular technology. This gives you a chance to see how the software works, evaluate its usability, and ask any specific questions.
Understand the ROI of a social impact platform
When evaluating a social impact platform, your organization might want to better understand how many of your employees can be retained or how much money can be saved on the cost of hiring.
To comprehend what you will gain in return from investing in a social impact platform, download the complete ‘ROI of A Social Impact Platform’ below:
The right platform can be a game-changer when it comes to demonstrating your commitment to social change, retaining employees, and enhancing your brand equity.
With 70% of consumers wanting to know what the brands they are supporting are doing to address social issues and 46% of consumers paying close attention to these efforts when making purchasing decisions, a social impact platform is a must-have.