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

Advocating and pitching


What you'll learn:

In part 1 and part 2 of our three-part series, you learned how to set your outline, your ask and objectives as well as how to build the content of your pitch. In the third and last part of our series, we’ll get into advocating and pitching. You’ll learn whose support you need within the company (and how to get it!) and finally, you’ll bring everything together to make your case for CSR software to leadership.

Let's start with securing your advocates


When it’s time to make your presentation, you'll feel more confident knowing that there are at least one or two people in the room who are cheering you on. To help you make your case for investment, stakeholders throughout the company need to believe in what you’re doing, understand what’s in it for them and become eager advocates for your program — and the software that’s required to run it.

Pro tip: Go on a listening tour where you’ll share your plan with each stakeholder group and gather feedback. It’s a great opportunity to uncover budget from other areas of the business or identify potential roadblocks early on in your journey.


Building these key relationships early on will be critical when you get the green light as they’ll get their team excited to embrace the software.

Ready to recruit your advocates? Here’s who you should reach out to and what CSR software can bring to their leadership roles and their people:

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI)

CSR and DEI teams often work closely with their employee resource groups (ERGs) to support the causes they're passionate about and CSR software can make that a lot easier. The right CSR software will even include capabilities designed exclusively for ERGs to better manage their groups and create more impact.

48% of Americans said they will boycott or speak out against companies that do not actively address social justice issues. 

Porter Novelli

What’s in it for DEI: You’ll be better able to promote the work your ERGs are doing, highlight causes they care about, create and track ERG events, volunteering opportunities, micro-actions and more. All of which provide a sense of inclusion and belonging, while making authentic progress on social issues.

A median of 24% of community investment budgets were
allocated to DEI.

Source: CECP Giving in Numbers 2022


CSR and DEI teams often work closely with their employee resource groups (ERGs) to support the causes they're passionate about, and CSR software can make that a lot easier. The right CSR software will even include capabilities designed exclusively for ERGs to better manage their groups and create more impact.
What’s in it for HR: You can offer a more compelling total rewards package, one that’s backed by software, to younger generations who are looking for more purpose at work. Plus, you’ll get access to data on employee participation and engagement to help measure HR goals.

  • 66% of employees report a greater sense of loyalty to their employers as a consequence of participating in CSR programs. Source: Citi
  • 72% of employees are more likely to apply for a job at an organization they consider to be socially responsible. Source: IBM
  • Companies who invest in purpose see 20% higher revenue, 6% higher market value, 20% price premium. Source: Impact ROI


When you’re bringing software into the business, IT and Procurement should be your first stop. Start building those relationships and learning about their processes now so you have a clear idea of the steps and timelines required and they’re ready to go when you are. 
What’s in it for IT: If your chosen software solution is SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliant, it’ll be much easier for procurement and IT screening.

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Sustainability 

CSR has a significant impact on the “S” in ESG and great CSR software enables and tracks activities like giving, volunteering, granting and even micro-actions that lead to social impact. It will also enable tangible ways for employees to practice sustainability.  
What’s in it for ESG/Sustainability: You can track the “S” in ESG to show the impact your employees and company are creating, with reports on giving, volunteering and sustainability micro-actions. These actions can include employees who track carbon reducing activities like taking a bicycle to work vs. driving.

  • Despite being one of the least funded areas historically, Environment within CSR programs had the second highest growth rate between 2019 and 2021 (31%). Source: CECP Giving in Numbers 2022
  • Companies who invest in purpose see 20% higher revenue, 6% higher market value, 20% price premium. Source: Impact ROI


When you eventually get approval for CSR software, creating a partnership with your Communications team will be key, and it’s never too early to start. They can help you find ways to share your program internally with your people and externally to tell a powerful brand story.
What’s in it for Communications: You’ll have access to quantitative and qualitative data to craft a narrative that promotes a strong employer brand in the eyes of employees, prospective talent, investors, media and more.

  • 70% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues. Source: Zeno
  • 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company who supports social or environmental issues. Source: Cone Communications
  • 70% of employees expect opportunities for social impact. Source: Edelman Trust Barometer, 2021

Executive Assistants 

Your EAs know your executives better than almost anyone else. Ask them about the causes your executives are passionate about and how you can get in their calendars for discussions that can increase your success.
What’s in it for EAs: Help us build the program and take an active role in shaping the company culture.
Once you've done this listening tour, you should have a ton of support and perspectives as you prepare for your big pitch.

Pro tip: Think about the best ways to regularly communicate with these stakeholder groups throughout the process. Keeping them informed will build excitement and trust.

Let's build your pitch!

csr-blog-image-6The time has come to bring everything together to create your business case for CSR software. Depending on the leadership team’s preferences, this pitch could be a written document, a presentation — or both. 

Key considerations:

  • Evaluate whether a full or phased launch is better for your company.
  • Connect with your IT and Security teams to get an idea of resources required, timing and availability.
  • Confirm someone to help with the communications plan.
  • Assess timing. Show leaders you’re aware of what’s happening internally and externally and craft your pitch with these factors in mind.
  • Use a mix of logic and emotion
    • Logic: Your data, research and the correlation back to business goals.
    • Emotion: Impact, culture, brand reputation. This is where giving and volunteering success stories/case studies make a difference.


Here’s a sample business case outline you can use to inspire your pitch:

The outline of your business case should include:  

1. The Why

  • A brief vision statement that answers the questions: Why CSR software and why now?
  • Your CSR objective(s) and how software can help you achieve them.

2. The opportunity

  • A brief statement on how your why ties into your company mission and values.
  • A table or graphic that shows the correlation between your business goals and the role CSR can play in achieving them. Then, show how CSR software is the enabler!
  • A section dedicated to how you’ll measure success. Include the metrics CSR software will provide (e.g., volunteer hours logged, donation volume, etc.) and those you can leverage to track business goals (Net Promoter Scores, surveys, etc.).

3. The supporting data

  • Stats should be woven into your presentation to support key points. 
  • Include a section to present benchmarks that leadership can get excited about. The more they relate, the more they’ll resonate. For example, a benchmark could be the average employee participation in CSR programs among companies of a similar size or industry.

4. The impact

  • Tell stories that appeal to your audience’s emotions. Present CSR case studies from your industry. Better yet, share excerpts from your interviews and focus groups that make it clear your people — and culture — would benefit from a more effective program.
  • Give leadership a glimpse into the future by painting a picture of what your program could look like and the impact it could make in a year’s time. 

5. The how

Now that you’ve illustrated the impact CSR software would have on your program and the business, step into planning mode.

  • Present a high-level project plan that includes:

    • Steps (from procurement and implementation to training and launch)
    • Action items/key tasks related to each step
    • Stakeholders responsible
    • Timeline
    • Projected costs.
Your plan should be clear and easy to read and show that you’ve thought this through and are ready to go once you get the green light.

6. The ask

Close your presentation with a specific request to your decision makers. For example, “We are requesting an investment in CSR software so our company is able to better manage a more effective CSR program — one that helps us meet our business goals and create an even greater impact on the communities we serve.”
That’s it! You’ve got this! You’re now equipped with the tools to build a strong business case for CSR software with your leadership and one step closer to a more impactful program.


To see how Benevity can bring your program to life,
request your personalized demo today.