In today’s social and economic climate, companies and law firms can’t be in business simply for the sake of earning profits. Purchasers of goods and services make buying decisions based on several factors, and one of those is how much good an organization is doing outside the workplace. Many buyers are placing their loyalties with organizations that have a positive impact on their communities.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the notion that an organization and its members feel responsible for giving back and improving the quality of life of our society. Companies and law firms that take an active role in a CSR program are generally viewed more favorably, making consumers and purchases more eager to engage with them. Law firms have an opportunity to implement CSR programs that have a lasting impact on many of today’s social and economic challenges.
Here are examples of CSR programs from two of my favorite brands:
From previous blog posts, you know about my love affair with SoulCycle. I’m equally loyal to this brand because of its commitment to give back to the community. For example, the SoulScholarship program provides fitness opportunities to underserved adolescents by showing them that exercise can foster a happier life. SoulCycle also offers its rider a chance to host charity rides, providing its customers an opportunity to come together to raise money in a fun and inspiring way.
Bombas sells “socks engineered and designed to look better, feel better and with a mission to help those in need.” Before launching Bombas, its founders learned that socks were the most-requested clothing item at homeless shelters. The company’s motto is “One Pair Purchased = One Pair Donated.” I am very loyal to this company and purchase these socks for almost every occasion, including teacher appreciation gifts and holiday and birthday presents for adults and kids. To date, the company has donated 781,152 pairs of socks, and it makes me feel good to be part of this.
How will CSR programs benefit law firms?
In addition to the social good created by CSR programs, there are a number of other benefits that law firms can realize from enacting initiatives that create a positive impact.
- Image: When a law firm is involved in the practice of donating services or funds to local nonprofit organizations and schools, it creates a positive relationship between the brand and the organization. A positive brand image increases the likelihood that a consumer will use the firm’s “product.”
- Media coverage: Law firms that are involved in social responsibility activities can take active steps to publicize these efforts through the media. Getting the word out about donations, employee volunteer programs or other CSR initiatives is a powerful branding tool that can generate positive publicity for a firm and its attorneys.
- Recruiting and retention: One of the greatest benefits of CSR programs is the workplace environment that they foster. Employees, particularly millennials, are aware of the image of the organizations they affiliate with. Employees enjoy working for an organization that has a good public image, and happy employees almost always equate to positive output.
- Corporate partnerships: Another impact a CSR program has on law firms is the opportunity for corporate partnerships. These partnerships not only help the communities served but also build relationships, trust and loyalty among the partnering groups.
CSR programs are a chance for law firms to engage and collaborate with clients, inspire employees, and make a lasting impact on some of today’s social and economic challenges. If you have questions or want to discuss your CSR program, feel free to contact me, Lisa Altman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.