Social responsibility in business and the Community is very much in vogue. Even rock stars such as Jon Bon Jovi are returning something the community, in his case through a restaurant that serves gourmet meals to the hungry.
In turn they can volunteer on community projects without the stigma of visiting a soup kitchen. Paying customers are encouraged to leave whatever they want in the envelopes on each table, where the menus never list a price.
With troubled times upon us customers are finding life a struggle and its is beholden on companies to be open to this reality. It also offers any company a great opportunity to promote social good as well as their products and services.
Companies such as the T Shirt start up Sevenly give away $7 to a charity for each sale they make and have a charity of the week.
Social Media for Social Change is an organisation that aims to reach out to a wide range of technology/social media/PR professionals & active users who care about doing more with their knowledge of tools and platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They match up such organisations with nonprofit & cause-based organizations that need effective, dynamic ways to connect with their communities but may lack the budget, time or know-how to stay “up to the minute” with those same tools and platforms.
Social responsibility is not just about outward project of a company brand or activities. It is also an inward activity fostering humanity within organisations and social media can play a key role in facilitating this.
Jesse Stanchak of SmartBlog reminds us that becoming a human organization is hard mostly because you’re going against centuries of tradition that have a track record of success. Using social media to humanise a company cannot be achieved by forcing through change.
As he explains: “Use it as an opportunity to make shifts in the way you do things. They can be small or subtle at first – requiring less approval for blog posts or comments on social networks, for example. As the social media get more active, you might have to change other processes internally, down to things such as how you structure and facilitate staff meetings to ensure the right people are sharing the right information at the right time”.
Neither is social responsibility simply a corporate activity. Social media allows individuals to make a difference for causes they believe in.
Take the case of Danny Brown whose casual observation of an old lady in a restaurant triggered the development of the 12for12K Challenge which to date has raised in excess of $100,000. See video below.
Whether it be a corporate or individual initiative the aim is to engage, promoting how well the cause campaign is developing; the amount of funds donated, how much awareness you have created, the size of your network and its growth and how many have benefited from you social responsibly project/s.
Bottom line – have you made a difference in your local or the global community?