The notion of corporate social investment (CSI) evolves constantly. Today, a philanthropist or social investor is more than a person or institution giving a grant. Of course, fundraising plays a vital role, as do charitable donations. But meaningful investment in a community is much more than that.
What is a philanthropist or a social investor?
The answer to this question lies at the root of CSI. At Next Generation, we believe it is a person or entity that creates valuable social capital – those networks that enable society to function effectively. In essence, it is based on relationships – the relationships between the people who live and work in a society, as well as those between the people and the businesses that serve them.
Our aim is to allow businesses to give sustainably and strategically. Naturally, this requires investment. But more importantly, it requires innovation. This is only possible through proper research and development. CSI is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. What works for one business, won’t necessarily do so for another. Every environment differs, as do the needs of the people in it.
Social development and charitable projects can take many forms. Small business grants, disability grants, investments in education and health – these are all forms of giving. The same goes for scholarships and bursaries. But will it work for your business or in your environment? The key lies in tailoring your investment and development approach to have the biggest impact. In the end, your return on investment is more than numbers on paper. It’s about how many people benefit in a constructive way. You want it to have meaning and deep impact.
So, how do you measure CSI effectively? You need proper systems, and at Next Generation, we work alongside your business to create these systems. This requires:
- Research into what is necessary in your community
- Engagement with key role players and stakeholders
- Assessment of the effectiveness of the investment and development system
- Development of investment portfolios and focus areas as required
To complete each step effectively, we use various tools. This may include:
- Proprietary strategic, operational and programmatic frameworks: These frameworks are custom developed for specific companies.
- Investment and development models: These allow us to make forecasts and continually adjust your strategy to ensure sustainable development.
- Benchmarks: These are standard points of reference for comparison purposes.
- Custom-developed tools: These are based on years of research on our part.
- Performance management processes and systems: These are based on extensive experience and aim to assist with assessing the impact and return on investment of development programmes.
We also keep up with best practices and global standards. These allow us to provide solid guidelines, as well as performance measurement and management assessments.
Did you know?
Catalytic philanthropy is a new buzzword. It refers to charitable and social development projects that drive major systemic change. Some donors, impact and social investors want to address the world’s biggest challenges. They want to change the world for the better. These trailblazers seek improved and innovative solutions and shared value.
Strategic giving initiatives benefit businesses and communities. For more information on corporate social investment, contact Next Generation. CSI forms a vital part of our business. Let us assist you in making a sustained difference. Let’s develop a social investment and development strategy that sets you apart from your peers.
In the meantime, here is a link to our articles about corporate social investment.
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