Home · Blog · Feature : A new way to look at CSR

Corporate social responsibility is a term thrown around with a lot of enthusiasm these days, but not a lot of clarity.

As an international development executive with a personal passion for public-private partnerships, I believe CSR is too often considered as a charitable add-on, a narrowly defined marketing function segregated from the rest of the business.

While many corporations are now actively seeking to take responsibility for their social impact, I see other companies hesitate to get involved. I think that’s because, in many cases, companies don’t understand which of their key assets can be deployed elegantly in support of the greater good…

Devex Impact, a global publication by Devex, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), about the intersection of business and development, recently asked our Executive Director, Kara Gerson to address its readers on corporate social responsibility (CSR). In her article, “Want Better CSR? Companies Should Try Good Old-Fashioned Resourcefulness” she draws on experiences with companies like our friends at VOSS Water, to explain that:

If corporations are going to see value in being socially responsible entities, they need to realize that responsibility is often just about good old-fashioned resourcefulness. The more creative a CSR program, the more parts of a company it touches, the more likely it is to effect real change, both inside the organization and around the world. That’s something any company can get started on today.

Voss Foundation could not accomplish our work without the vital support of companies such as Benefit Cosmetics, Karen Egren Jewelry, STC Associates, Jet Fuel PR, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, Hurley, Chandler & Chaffer, and, of course, VOSS (see the photo above of Kara with VOSS’ CEO Jack Belsito, who took a break from volunteering at the check-in for our 2011 Women Helping Women New York luncheon to chat with our 2011 WHW honoree Saran Kaba Jones). It is with the time, energy, in-kind support and services from these organizations that our small staff is able to help so many people in Sub-Saharan Africa improve their own lives with access to clean water!

Read Kara’s piece and let us know what you think about corporate social responsibility!

Voss Foundation © 2014