5 Consequences of Unspent CSR Funds That You Want to Avoid
In the fast-paced world of multinational corporations, it can be challenging to keep tabs on how your spending is affecting the people and organizations you care about. Whether you’re a small company struggling to keep up with your competitors or an entire organization looking to expand its customer base, it’s imperative that you understand where your money is going and why. Additionally, companies are obligated to spend their CSR funds within a given time and should also earmark these funds for social impact.
To help ensure that your company is utilizing its CSR fund effectively, we have compiled a list of five potential consequences that can occur if your company does not spend its CSR budget responsibly.
CSR activities contribute to the development of positive brand perceptions and a favorable opinion of an organization. It influences consumer decision-making, which directly leads to the better financial performance of your business. In addition, CSR benefits employees in many ways both from an emotional point of view as well as from an economic perspective.
In the case of non-expenditure, the Board needs to provide reasons for the unspent CSR funds in the CSR report. Firms normally justify non-expenditure by stating that they have adopted long-term CSR programs or have difficulties in finding a suitable implementation agency. Although they are legally allowed to do so, these efforts may lead to reputational challenges (such as lack of efficiency).
Missed opportunity to augment the brand value
Adhering to legal norms and proffering the same in the public domain is a great way to define your values. Communicating the impactful nature of one’s actions is crucial in keeping CSR, as a brand value, intact.
When a company spends 2% of its CSR budget on impacting the lives of people in its community, it naturally builds trust for the brand and boosts overall sales. This also helps turn customers into advocates of your brand as they use their personal stories to share with others why they choose you over other brands. This has a great potential to amp up the company’s image as a socially responsible brand, otherwise, a missed opportunity.
Missed opportunity to create shared value
The shared value approach is a strategic approach to creating sustainable economic value that also creates value for society by addressing its needs and challenges. Creating shared value is a powerful strategy for businesses to develop the future market. It’s about strengthening economies, communities and corporate coffers in the long-term interest of the business.
Individuals from all walks of life are affected by CSR practices and policies at the corporate level. In addition, corporate activities contribute to social woes which can be detrimental to a country in terms of the creation of shared value. Thus, people would rather prefer to do good and create a positive social impact through their CSR activities.
Investors might become skeptical
It's always a good thing for a company to have clear and tangible goals for its CSR efforts. Doing so will not only improve the sustainable future prospects of the company; but also, show the world that it has good intentions towards the communities and people that matter most to its stakeholders.
In the absence of CSR activities, the investors may become skeptical of the company for not being socially responsible and thereby not having benevolent intentions in the end. Consequently, investors’ funds in the company might get affected in the long run.
Missed opportunity to create social impact
In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, companies have more opportunities to make a positive difference. However, most companies tend to take their CSR initiatives lightly and miss the opportunity of creating lasting social impact through CSR.
Also, from the large pool of NGOs in India, there are many worthy of receiving the trust and CSR funds of companies. Despite this, many companies can’t seem to find the right set of NGOs to partner with in their CSR journey. It requires robust planning and seeking professional consultancy if needed to plan and execute impactful CSR programs.
The new vision of CSR is all about giving back to society and being social entrepreneurs. The corporates are required to not only allocate money for a project but are also expected to use their managerial expertise, talent and capital to create social impact in society. Doing so will not only boost their company morale but also reflect their values (resulting in attracting more customers)
Also read: How to utilize your CSR funds effectively