India is the sole country in the world where Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is mandated by the law from as early as 2013. While few organizations had been involved in CSR from very early on, it has been only recently when most of the others have started dedicating themselves to do their bit in giving back to society. But what makes CSR unique from Social work or Philanthropy is the fact that CSR involves the monitoring of impact created.
What is the difference between Philanthropy, CSR and Sustainability
Suppose, Ravi lives lavishly in his three-storey apartment with electricity, running water, A.C. etc. His neighbour Raj lives in a rented room struggling to pay for monthly water and electricity bills and sometimes failing to pay bills, even goes without water.
Situation A: Sometimes Ravi gives 2 buckets of water to Raj to sustain for the day
Situation B: Ravi trains Raj and helps him find a better job according to his skills to make him able to pay his bills
Situation C: Ravi realizes how important each resource and money is and thus regulates the usage of water and electricity in his own apartment
Situation A is Philanthropy, Situation B is CSR or Social Responsibility, Situation C is Sustainability.
CSR Impact & Expenditure
Philanthropy is promoting the welfare of others, CSR is the duty of corporates towards the betterment of society. On the other hand sustainability is conducting one’s business in a more environment-friendly way. While Philanthropy can be for all, CSR & Sustainability mainly focuses on the corporate organizations. Both CSR & Sustainability focus on the impact associated apart from the money spent. A study was conducted by SoulAce on the CSR expenditure for the year 2018-19 of leading 100 companies consisted of a mixture of Public Sector Enterprises (25) and Non-Public Sector Enterprises (75). The total expenditure of these 100 companies was INR 9,463 crores. With so much fund associated, organizations are focusing more and more on the impact created.
What are the CSR Assessment
With the increasing expenditure and projects, manual CSR monitoring and management has become cumbersome and prone to error. Thus a lot of opportunities are growing in the areas of information technology to automate the process of monitoring CSR and Sustainability. Geospatial Information System (GIS) & Management Information System (MIS) technologies are becoming handy for analyzing need, remote monitoring of projects, impact assessment and so on. While GIS helps in visualization of the data, MIS is associated with analyzing and decision support making collection and collation of information easier and faster.
Going beyond the regulatory compliances, an increasing number of organizations are incorporating the concept of CSR into their organizational structure. The key challenge is of identifying problems in core action areas to drive maximum impact, enhance projects and utilize funds. A CSR Software helps to create a bridge between the targeted stakeholders, community and NGOs. Market Research reveals advancements in technology have led to modern robust systems. These CSR specialized tools like Windows 10 email clients are built by IT experts with sector-specific knowledge and subject matter expertise to bring solutions to the table that can help address the challenges of corporates and NGOs.
She is a Product Manager of M&E software for CSR & Land focusing on helping organizations all over the world manage and monitor all their activities with more ease and transparency. Sucheta is responsible for helping in better Monitoring & Evaluation of CSR and Land with Technology.