“Corporate giving often precedes growth” shared Elias Ek, CEO of Enspyre, at a speech on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the National Open University’s International Conference on Building All-round Success on October 21, 2014.
CSR is a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment in which it operates. While some people think a company has a responsibility to its owners to ONLY care about profits, others believe CSR benefits not only the society, but also enhances companies’ brand awareness, employee and customer engagement and therefore also revenue growth.
How do famous enterprises create “growth” through CSR? For example, through their easily accessed online shopping site, eBay is helping 5 million people who normally would not be served by retailers because they are deemed unprofitable to access goods and services. Oracle on the other hand, devotes itself to education by donating products and resources to schools in 97 countries to equip them with technical skills.
What are the similarities of the CSR strategies among these two big companies? They “use their core competencies to help society,” Ek said.
As a professional B2B Telemarketing company, Enspyre becomes the bridge between small and medium enterprises and charity organizations. Enspyre helped children’s cancer charity Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation to contact corporate donors, and raised NTD 1 million in one month. Ek said he was very glad they can combine Enspyre’s competence in telemarketing with contributions to society.
CSR is a good way of engaging with customers and increase brand awareness. In 2004 Enspyre sponsored the Paddle Taiwan “round Taiwan to preserve Taiwan” and helped them raise money from companies like Subway, VOLVO and Taiwan Mobile. Ek showed how the sponsors were rewarded with their logos prominently displayed on websites, flyers and also at events like press conferences.
In 2011, Enspyre and Yushan Ventures introduced Startup Weekend, a global event to share ideas, form teams, and launch startups, to Taipei. Corporations like Google and Microsoft sponsors Startup Weekend to encourage startups, introduce them to the company’s products and it is also a good way to find entrepreneurial future employees among the attendants.
Even though the topic was CSR, the audience was curious about Enspyre’s telemarketing services and how Ek could promote Enspyre through cooperating with big brands like Taiwan Mobile on CSR campaigns. “Listen to what they want, and look for the win+win” Ek replied. When Taiwan Mobile were invited to sponsor the Paddle Taiwan Expedition, they rejected the original proposal and countered with their own; beach cleaning events for their employees around the island. Paddle Taiwan accepted the idea, and it turned out to be a great success.
“If you don’t take the chance, the answer is always no” said Elias.
Corporate Social Responsibility is not just about contributing to society but can also benefit the enterprise. By setting goals and taking initiatives, companies can leverage the activities and marketing budgets of the non-profit or their other sponsors to help the community and set themselves up for future growth.