This letter was published in the Business Day in April 2008 in response to Grant Thornton’s International Business Survey. It discusses how South African businesses are amongst the most philanthropic in the world. It also highlights how many are failing to derive any strategic value from their Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programmes.
Corporate Social Investment: How to Turn Responsibility into Opportunity
Corporate social investment is entering a new era in South Africa as companies comply with legislation and respond to the expectations of society. The central question for many companies is whether their corporate social investments are simply a mandatory expense or a strategic opportunity.
I believe that companies can gain a strategic advantage through their social investments, provided they integrate their social-investment strategies with their business strategies. In other words, it is possible for companies to adapt to trends, comply with laws and win at the same time.
This article from February 2008 examines the different types of corporate social investment and discuss what companies need to do to get the most out of their social investments.
CBOs need corporate support for grassroots success
Company support for community-based organisations (CBOs) has yielded mixed results and is a hotly debated development approach. I believe that CBOs play a crucial role on the development landscape and point to several strategies that will help ensure an appropriate social return on the investment.
This article was published in the Corporate Social Investment Handbook (2006) by Trialogue Publications.