Corporate Social Responsibility: Because Anyone Can Change the World

January 31, 2023

corporate social responsibility

Turning a profit. Communicating with stakeholders and investors. Hiring and training employees. 

A business is responsible for a lot. But what if one more element could be added to the list? One that could positively impact the company and the community it serves? It’s possible when corporate social responsibility is part of a business strategy.

When a company takes part in corporate social responsibility, it functions in ways that enhance society instead of negatively contributing to it. 

Companies often turn to corporate social responsibility (CSR) software to track and measure the effectiveness of programs like grants and sponsorship, corporate volunteering, community giving, and environmentally responsible operations.

Types of corporate social responsibility programs

Corporate citizenship is a broad concept that takes many forms depending on the organization's size and industry. Companies adopt specific programs to give back to society and their community. Businesses choose from four main types of CSR programs to instill.

1. Environmental responsibility

 Environmental responsibility focuses on preserving mother nature, reducing the company’s carbon footprint, and behaving as environmentally friendly as possible.

Companies that choose to focus on their environmental impact may concentrate on aspects like:

  • Ensuring their manufacturing process reduces pollution, waste, emissions, single-use plastic, or natural resource consumption.
  • Recycling materials and goods throughout the manufacturing process.
  • Offsetting negative impacts by working to replenish natural resources and renewable energy, or by supporting other companies that do.
  • Choosing materials and methods with the least negative consequences regarding pollution, climate change, and emissions.
  • Creating products that align with these values.


of consumers want to buy from companies making the world a better place.

Source: Double the Donation

2. Ethical responsibility

Next is ethical responsibility. Sometimes called human rights responsibility, these CSR efforts are all about providing fair labor and trade practices. This is especially important for businesses that operate in international locations with labor laws that differ from those in the United States.

Companies that concentrate on ethical responsibility consider components like:

  • Fair treatment of their employees and customers, regardless of age, culture, race, or sexual orientation.
  • Fair treatment of employees, including favorable pay and benefits.
  • Using vendors and suppliers of different genders, races, economic status, or veteran status.

3. Philanthropic responsibility

The philanthropic responsibility pillar of corporate social responsibility challenges how a company acts and how it contributes to society. Its primary focus is the way an organization spends its resources to improve its community and the world at large.

Areas a company can focus its philanthropic responsibility efforts include:

  • Donating to charities and causes it believes in.
  • Supporting employee’s endeavors by offering time off or matching contributions.
  • Sponsoring fundraising events or having a presence in the community for related events.
  • Funding education programs at nearby colleges and universities.
  • Donating some of their earnings to nonprofit organizations.

G2 focuses on philanthropic responsibility with its program G2 Gives. Ann Nguyen, Senior Culture and Communication Specialist at G2, shares more about G2 gives by adding, "G2 Gives is an effective program because it leverages our two best resources: our amazing people and unique platform. G2ers worldwide dedicate their time, energy, and skills – with financial support from the company – to causes that are closely aligned to them and G2’s pillar organizations."

"We use our global reviews platform to raise money on an ongoing basis for our pillar charitable organizations. In a way, there's always charitable work going on at G2."

Ann Nguyen
Senior Culture and Communication Specialist, G2

4. Financial responsibility

Financial responsibility happens when an organization strives to back up all financial decisions in its mission to work in the three pillars above. The main goal should be to maximize profits and earnings while positively impacting the environment, society, and people.

Sometimes referred to as economic responsibility, these CSR strategies focus on:

  • Researching and developing new products that encourage sustainability.
  • Recruiting varying types of talent for a diverse workforce.
  • Training employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), environmental concerns, and social awareness.
  • Being transparent regarding financial reporting.

Benefits of corporate social responsibility

Companies experience several benefits from practicing CSR. Due to the specific pillars of corporate social responsibility and the many related programs, companies can lend a hand while also boosting their brand. Some benefits include:

  • Brand recognition. Customers are likely to act favorably toward a brand that works to benefit customers through quality products. Customers are more aware of the impact brands have on their community and are beginning to make purchase decisions based on a company’s CSR efforts. Companies can experience an improved customer perception of their brand thanks to CSR efforts.
  • Employee engagement. Efforts related to CSR attract and retain talented employees since they’re likely to enjoy working for a company they see supporting the community and investing in its well-being. In addition to boosting retention, it can reduce turnover and the cost of onboarding new employees.


of millennials rely on their personal ethics when determining the type of work and companies they’d join.

Source: Deloitte

  • Risk mitigation. When organizations are accused of discriminating against certain employee demographics, disregarding natural resources, or taking part in unethical use of funds, it likely leads to a lawsuit or some form of litigation. All of which affect a company financially. Sticking to CSR practices helps businesses avoid these types of situations and have a better handle on their risk management efforts.
  • Increases appeal to investors. Investors are typically more willing to support a business that practices CSR. Implementing these practices gives companies a competitive edge in winning over investors This is in addition to impacting how the investors feel about working with a specific organization, which can lead to longer partnerships.
  • Boosts sales and customer loyalty. Customers feel like their money is helping socially responsible businesses support causes they also align with.

What to avoid when creating a corporate social responsibility business model

While having a CSR strategy for your business is crucial, some elements should be avoided for the best results.

  • Don’t use CSR as a marketing tactic. Your CSR strategy should not be used for marketing purposes. Running a campaign as part of a quick marketing scheme will likely backfire, especially if the business doesn’t follow through on its promises. Avoid a one-time stunt and choose the best practices you can adopt long-term.
  • Don’t wait for the industry to catch on. If a CSR strategy you care about isn’t a tactic your competitors are using, don’t wait for them to do so! By adopting these responsible norms early, your organization sets the bar high for others within the industry.
  • Don’t choose unrelated initiatives or charities. When selecting charities to support, make sure the ones your brand picks match your core values and standards. Avoid blindly sending money or offering support to unrelated organizations; instead, find a nonprofit you and your company believe in.

Examples of companies that instill corporate social responsibility

Several organizations have CSR initiatives making an impact in their community and around the world. Check out these six examples of socially responsible companies.


Starbucks has always been transparent about its CSR initiatives. Their website lists their motto as “Committed to Transparency – People, Planet, Coffee.” They put their money where their mouth is, too, by listing how they go about corporate social responsibility within their policies and practices, sharing global environmental and social impact reports, and routinely interacting with the communities they support. 

Some of these policies include their:

  • Global Human Rights Statement
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
  • Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Zero Tolerance for Child Labor and Prison Labor

This is in addition to The Starbucks Foundation, an organization that concentrates on helping communities rebuild after experiencing disaster.


G2 focuses its corporate social responsibility efforts within the philanthropic pillar through G2 Gives. With over $900,000 raised since 2017, G2 encourages users to select from a list of charities to donate $10 after leaving their chosen software review. 

Some charities users can support are the American Cancer Society; Girls Who Code; My Block, My Hood, My City; World Wildlife Fund; and New Story. In addition, G2 matches up to $50 per fiscal year for every employee that donates to a charity of their choice.

Plus, employees within each region of G2 are encouraged to join the G2 Gives team. Employees team up with charities annually and motivate their colleagues to raise money. For example, in October, G2 focuses on breast cancer awareness by partnering with the American Cancer Society to launch G2 Goes Pink.

"G2 Gives is rooted in our PEAK values of Performance, Entrepreneurship, Authenticity, and Kindness. High performance and entrepreneurial spirit drive our success, which we harness to positively impact the world."

Ann Nguyen
Senior Culture and Communication Specialist, G2


There’s no denying that Lego is one of the most well-known companies in the world. But what most don’t know is that it is the only top company to be named a World Wildlife Fund Climate Savers Partner, pledged to reduce its carbon impact and foster a healthier planet. 

Lego has also made plans to use environmentally friendly materials to produce all of its products and packaging by 2023. They’ve already made huge strides toward this goal by shrinking its boxes 14% – saving about 7,000 tons of cardboard. 

Another one of the sustainable practices Lego has in motion is switching from single-use plastic bags to paper-based bags in boxes!

Ben & Jerry's

In addition to making premium ice cream flavors, Ben & Jerry’s is also on a mission to positively impact society.

As of 2012, Ben & Jerry’s is a certified B Corporation, which means they balance purpose and profit by meeting the highest standards of legal accountability, social and environmental performance, and public transparency. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation was established in 1985, and it has been dedicated to supporting grassroots movements that support social change ever since.

Each year, the foundation awards about $2.5 million in grants to Vermont organizations and others across the United States.


TOMS is a brand well-known for having corporate social responsibility baked into its ethics. The shoe brand donates one-third of its profits to charities supporting physical and mental health, as well as educational opportunities.

TOMS focuses on:

  • Boosting mental health
  • Ending gun violence
  • Using sustainable cotton and greener packaging

During the Covid-19 pandemic, TOMS created the TOMS Covid-19 Global Giving Fund, which generated a total of $2 million in support of front-line workers. 

Best corporate social responsibility software

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) software is a tool organizations use to track the impact of their CSR programs and accurately measure the effectiveness of these specific initiatives. This software will administer, manage, and track CSR programs, including grants and sponsorships, environmentally responsible operations, community giving, sustainability management, and corporate volunteer management.

To qualify for inclusion in the corporate social responsibility software category, a product must:

  • Handle corporate social responsibility initiatives.
  • Measure how corporate social responsibilities programs are progressing and impacting the organization.
  • Audit business practices for actionable insights.

* Below are the top five leading corporate social responsibility platforms from G2’s Winter 2023 Grid® Report. Some reviews may be edited for clarity.

1. Millie

Millie is designed to make volunteering and charitable giving accessible, fun, and useful. The platform empowers businesses to start and grow their own social impact programs and provides personalized experiences to build a culture around giving back and amplifying employees and customers. 

What users like best:

“The design of the site is very fun and cool. Millie makes it so easy for our team to donate and volunteer right in the same place with a great user experience. Plus, the team at Millie is AMAZING to work with!”

- Millie Review, Jozlyn P., May 23, 2022

What users dislike:

“I wish Millie connected with other volunteer organizations and causes that are not exclusive to coastal metropolitan areas. I work for a fully remote company and am located in Minneapolis, MN. I would love it if Millie had donation and volunteer opportunities in my local area, rather than just financial donations for national/international or Boston-based causes.”

- Millie Review, John C., May 6, 2022

2. Alaya by Benevity

Companies use Alaya by Benevity to build a purpose-driven culture and engage employees to make an impact. This platform helps employees volunteer, find ways to save energy, and commit to a healthy lifestyle, all while participating in reaching sustainable business goals.

What users like best:

“I like the multiple projects Alaya by Benevity supports to create a positive impact by helping people and our planet.” 

- Alaya By Benevity Review, Victor C., Sept 20, 2022

What users dislike:

“I don't love that we are limited to three challenges at a time. I think it would be better to limit it to four or five. This would help us to be more apt to take up the week-long challenges.”

- Alaya by Benevity Review, Kristen M., Jun 5, 2022

3. CSR Solution

CSR Solution is used to engage and manage employees’ volunteering activities. The platform assists with planning, monitoring, and tracking time spent on different tasks by employees while also keeping tabs on CSR spending.

What users like best:

“It is helping my organization to measure and grow the social impact and is helping to conduct grant-making programs effectively. Also, it’s helping to make better decisions than ever.”

- CSR Solution Review, Yogita K., Aug 8, 2022

What users dislike:

“The platform does not allow users to create folders to make categories or subcategories for the data. Also, we need to have an exact strategy on how we can categorize our data.”

- CSR Solution Review, Yeva K., Aug 11, 2022

4. onHand

onHand helps companies engage with their employees as they do environmental and social good. Whether striving to have a positive effect within local communities and also on a global scale, onHand makes it all easy.

What users like best:

“onHand is an easy way to volunteer and help the community and the environment. Our business has embraced onHand because the app is easy to use, people can choose individual missions that align with their passions, and they can do these at a time that fits with their work/life. We have also had lots of team missions, too. It's a game-changer for the world of volunteering.”

- onHand Review, Clare E., May 13, 2022

What users dislike:

“The only thing I believe can be improved on this app is the variety of missions to accept. There are several amounts for washing, clothes, and eating options, but it would be better to have even more for recycling and planting. Also, on some activities – having them as a full day that you can 'drop in' and do for a few hours. For example, having a beach clean between 10-3pm and having people turn up for a 2-3 hour period within this time.”

- onHand Review, Scott H., Oct 4, 2022

5. Deed

Deed works with Fortune 500 companies to provide employees with an exciting experience around volunteering, giving, and everyday actions to improve their communities. This platform strives to lead positive organizational change so team members can do something good together. 

What users like best:

“Deed is easy to access and use compared to other giving and volunteering platforms. It has a great intuitive user interface, but there's also a very good 'Knowledge Hub' if you get stuck. It's also great to know that all of the non-profit organizations featured on Deed have been vetted.”

- Deed Review, Dominic N., Aug 17, 2022

What users dislike:

“The thing I like the least about Deed is the integration with other platforms. We use different tools to do our day-to-day activities and to integrate them with Deed. You have to get in touch with a representative instead of just doing the integration through the platform.”

- Deed Review, Nicolás G., Oct 18, 2022

Make the world a better place

When you make corporate social responsibility part of your business strategy, your employees, investors, customers, and community all benefit. No matter which pillar (or pillars!) you choose to enact, you’re bound to make a difference that people will notice.

Learn more about how G2 makes diversity, equity, and inclusion part of our DNA and why it’s so important to do so.

corporate social responsibility software
A brighter future is possible.

Lead your organization’s efforts in making tomorrow a better place with the best corporate social responsibility software available.

corporate social responsibility software
A brighter future is possible.

Lead your organization’s efforts in making tomorrow a better place with the best corporate social responsibility software available.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Because Anyone Can Change the World Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is how businesses are held accountable for their social impact. Learn the types and find software to help the world.
Mara Calvello Mara Calvello is a Content Marketing Manager at G2. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Elmhurst College (now Elmhurst University). Mara's expertise lies within writing for HR, Design, SaaS Management, Social Media, and Technology categories. In her spare time, Mara is either at the gym, exploring the great outdoors with her rescue dog Zeke, enjoying Italian food, or right in the middle of a Harry Potter binge.

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