CSR and the little guy…
Corporate Social Responsibility is only for BIG Corporations right? Do NGOs need CSR programs? The simple answer is yes but is it any different for NGOs?
Many people are aware of the Community Services Center and the counseling and information services we provide. Usually when people are discussing The Center and CSR they are thinking about The Center in terms of "recipient" and whether the Center is the right fit for their own CSR programs. Every year scores of ECCT members and other leading business people give of their time and money to contribute to the Center and attend our events such as the ECCT ICRT Charity Golf Tournament and the Annual Charity Auction. And in return the Center continues to provide the vital support and information services that have benefited thousands of people since it began almost exactly 25 years ago.
So why does the Center need a CSR program? CSR programs should make good happen for the world, make employees feel good about where they work, and, let's be honest, help to market the organization running the program. And the best CSR programs are those that are inseparable from the corporation itself. But with many NGOs the mission is the CSR program itself not an extension of it. For instance, an organization that works for animal protection is very clearly going to be running programs about and for the animals.
The Center's mission since 1987 has been to support the international community. We have provided support to the international community through a mission that, broadly stated, has been to Inform, Engage, and Support. This is our core business in the way other businesses produce soft drinks, produce parts, or provide services. But, just as the missions of corporations have evolved over the last 25 years, the mission of the Center too has also evolved. People expect us to help beyond our core range of activities. And so, in this the 25th anniversary year of the Center, we have added to the mission of the Center by including…"Unite". Our core mission and our CSR program are combined as complete mission; Inform, Engage, Support, and Unite.
People who are employed want to feel that they are not only working for an organization that is good at what they do, but also one that provides a greater service to the whole community. In order for organizations to be relevant today and connect with their communities it is essential that they bring those communities together for a greater purpose. And so the Center is about uniting the international community that we work for together to help others when needed.
The Center has run many programs over the last four years that have brought the community together. In 2008 Taiwan experienced a massive typhoon. This typhoon devastated a large part of Taiwan. The Center brought together the Expat, artist and musical community and ran a unique event called "Artists beat the flood" where artists painted live and had their works auctioned off later. It was wildly successful and set the tone for many events to come. The last four years has seen a seemingly endless tirade of natural disasters and the Center has responded to almost every one of them by organizing an event. From Earthquakes to floods we have made it our mission to bring people together for the greater good.
And all the activities that the Center undertakes are as meaningful to us as they are to the groups that benefit from what we do. What we do in CSR is an extension of who we are, it is not a deviation. We do it because it is right for us and because it is the right thing to do. And that is real CSR…