How to Make the Most Compelling Case for CSR Software: Part 1 of 3

Articulating your “Why”


Questions to consider:

Whether you’re starting a CSR program from the ground up, wanting to invest in software to grow and scale your program or looking to switch vendors, you’ll need buy-in from leadership. Investing in CSR has shifted to a must-have and companies who fail to prioritize it are putting employee retention, engagement and productivity at risk, in addition to brand loyalty and overall profitability.

This blog series is designed to help you make a compelling case for CSR software by taking you through how to do it, step-by step.  

Before we get to the “how,” we need to start with the “why.” In the first part of our three-part series, you’ll learn to identify your CSR goals, tie them to your company’s broader business objectives and determine how you’ll measure success. Think of this as your CSR vision. Without a clear vision, getting that ‘Yes’ will be challenging.

Let’s get started.

Question 1:

What CSR objectives are you trying to accomplish (and how will software help)?


Regardless of where you are in your CSR journey, you know that having a successful CSR program is key to engaging your workforce and building a stronger, more connected culture — one that inevitably leads to many bottom-line benefits (which we’ll cover in Question 2). With consumers, employees and investors all expecting companies to do good in the world, your CSR program is the gateway to meeting that expectation.

62% of people want more purpose at work.

Source: McKinsey & Company

The reasons to lean into CSR are numerous but doing it right at any stage of growth requires resources and budget. Purpose-built software should be at the top of your request list. With that in mind, how can you clearly articulate to your leaders what your objectives are and how software will help you achieve them? 

Here are some examples on why software is crucial for different CSR program scenarios. Your objectives may be different (or more comprehensive). Think about your greatest needs. 

Companies with a clearly defined sense of purpose are up to 50% more likely to successfully expand into a new market.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Building a CSR program
from scratch

Objective: To implement a giving and volunteer program to help engage employees.

How software helps: CSR software makes it easier and more efficient for us to build and manage the program, while providing us with the tools to track key metrics.

Scaling a CSR program

Objective: To increase participation in our CSR program globally, maximizing engagement and impact for all of our employees and the communities we operate in — without having to expand our team.

How software helps: CSR software makes it easier and more efficient for us to build and manage the program, while providing us with the tools to track key metrics.

Switching software vendors

Objective: To adopt a new software solution that gives us better insight into program performance against our program objectives.

How software helps: (The right) software will provide real-time visibility into our program’s performance. Robust and reliable reporting capabilities will allow us to share how we’re tracking against objectives with our stakeholders, while informing our program strategy.

Helping employees connect with a sense of purpose at work can increase productivity by 22%.

Source: CIO

Now you’re ready to tie these objectives to broader business goals.


Question 2:

What are your company goals and what role does CSR play in achieving them?



You have your CSR program objectives, but in order to sway decision makers, you’ll need to show how they contribute to the company’s overall goals. Making that link is critical.

  1. Source your company’s business goals. These can be easily found in documents like annual reports or executive presentations. Alternatively, ask your leadership team.

  2. Connect goals to your mission statement. A concise explanation of your company’s reason for existing, a mission statement is a public declaration of purpose to employees, customers and other stakeholders. Tie your CSR objectives into your company’s mission statement for extra points with decision-makers.

Let’s look at the correlation between some common business goals and the role CSR can play in achieving them

Business Goal

The Role of CSR

Increase employee engagement by X%  ➜ 

Average 75% increase in employee
engagement since using Benevity.
Source: Benevity client survey 2022

Retain X% of employees ➜

52% lower turnover among newer
employees when they participate in
purpose programs.
Source: Benevity Talent Retention
Study 2022

Fill X job openings  ➜

65% of employees report they
would like to work for organizations
with a strong social and
environmental conscience.
Source: Gartner

Increase positive brand perception  ➜

88% of consumers will be more
loyal to a company who supports
social or environmental issues.
Source: Cone Communications

Increase company valuation  ➜

Companies who invest in purpose see
20% higher revenue, 6% higher market
value, 20% price premium.
Source: Impact ROI

Pro tip: Use these stats in your presentation as proof that
your program will have an impact on your business goals!

Though several internal and external factors contribute to the achievement of the above goals, it’s clear that a strong CSR program is proven to help build better businesses.

Investing in high-performing CSR software makes it easier for all employees to participate in activities that give them a sense of purpose and for CSR teams to manage your program, while measuring its impact. And a program that’s powered by software designed exclusively for CSR is better positioned to help your company meet its goals, from engagement and retention to brand perception, DEI and more.


Question 3:

How are you measuring success?



We’ve shown the correlation between CSR and business goals and why CSR software is a key enabler. But how do you know if those goals are being met? As with any investment, leaders will want to see the return and how you’ll measure it.  

First, let’s start with our CSR program objectives. Your chosen CSR software solution should have reporting functionality that allows you to track your progress. 

The following metrics should be available in real-time:

  • Donation volume
  • Volunteer hours
  • Number of participants, frequency and time spent on the platform

These stats will give you and your stakeholders valuable insight into program performance which can then be attributed to overall company goals

Ensure you have access to, and can track, metrics like:

  • Employee turnover
  • Employee Net Promoter Score
  • Employee engagement survey results
  • Brand perception surveys

A great CSR program can have a huge impact on your company. Your stakeholders want to see that you’ve identified — and can easily source — the data points required to measure that impact. 

You're ready to articulate your "why"

Hopefully you can now define your ask and help get your leaders on board. Getting clear on your CSR program objectives, how they ladder up to company goals and how you’ll measure success creates the perfect set up for building a compelling business case for investing in CSR software that powers corporate purpose.

Next, you’ll want to Build the Content of Your Pitch and finally
it’s time for Advocating and Pitching