Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

10 CSR activity ideas for positive social impact


When it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR), not every effort has the same potential to create a lasting impact.

Your activities should be authentic, sincere, and aligned with your core business strategy. Only then will they allow you to contribute positively to the community while building trust, reputation, and your business' team spirit.

Here are potential CSR activity ideas that your business can explore.

1. Volunteering days

Arrange opportunities for employees to volunteer together for a local charity, non-profit, or community organisation. This could involve cleaning up a park, helping at food banks, or local shelters or support organisations.

2. Skills-based volunteering

Host opportunities for employees to share their professional skills with local schools, community centres, or non-profits. This could be through one-off activities or ongoing mentorship programmes. For example, employees could teach reading, coding, financial literacy and other valuable skills, or offer help with things like career advice, resume-building, interview preparation and more.

3. Environmental initiatives

Plan eco-friendly activities such as tree planting, beach clean-ups, or urban gardening projects. There may be recycling drives or habitat restoration projects in your community you can get involved in. Look for activities that not only contribute to the environment but also promote teamwork and camaraderie.

4. Charity walk or run

Offer staff the opportunity to participate in charity walks, runs, or bike rides. They may engage as individuals or form teams - either way, this is a great way to support a charitable cause while also promoting employee wellness through activity.

5. Corporate blood drive

Partner with local blood banks to organise blood donation drives. You may want to offer incentives to encourage participation and create a sense of achievement.

6. Gift donation / wrapping for charity

During the holiday season, invite staff to donate gifts for charity. You can also set up a gift-wrapping station in a public area or shopping centre, with proceeds going to a chosen charity. Employees can volunteer their time to wrap gifts for shoppers.

7. Art for a cause

You could host creative workshops for employees to make handmade items to donate, or organise an exhibition where their creative works are displayed. The sale proceeds of both could go to a charitable cause.

8. Friendly competitions

You could arrange trivia events and quizzes for employees to form teams and compete in friendly competitions. Charge entry fees and donate the proceeds to your chosen charity.

You could also put on sports tournaments like football and golf, where teams can compete and raise funds for local charities or causes.

Another idea could be to host a cooking or baking competition among employees, with the proceeds from ticket sales or entry fees, as well as the sales of cooked and baked goods going to a local food bank.

9. Book or clothing drives

Organise book or clothing drives within the company. Employees can donate items they no longer need, which can be given to local schools, libraries, shelters, or organisations that support those in need.

10. Community picnics

Hold picnics or outdoor events for employees to socialise with each other and community members. Combine these events with activities like games, music, and food stalls that support local vendors. Collect entry fees and donations and pass these on to your charity of choice.

Remember, the key to choosing meaningful CSR activities is to align them with your overall business goals and values. Involve your stakeholders and employees in the planning process to ensure buy-in, and avoid engaging in superficial gestures - eg greenwashing.

Make sure that you choose activities and projects that allow you to integrate CSR genuinely into your business practices.

Finally, remember to measure the effects of your CSR and adjust your practices accordingly for a lasting positive impact.