The Lasting Impact 2020 Will Have on Corporate Responsibility

Katie Dunlap December 1, 2020 CSR Trends, Employee Engagement

Looking back on the year’s corporate responsibility content, it sure didn’t pan out the way we thought it would have January 1, 2020. The typical ‘Top Trends to Look For’ and ‘Biggest Wavemakers’ of the industry were quickly swept aside by the tidal wave of alternative strategies, managing pivots, and more crisis response resources than any could have imagined drafting in one summer. The pandemic, social justice issues, and numerous natural disasters rightly took focus of original content plans as we reassessed our perspectives on the year’s challenges.

But what we may come to find through the challenges of this year, is that perhaps not all of the changes we have experienced this year will be for the worse?

What were once strategies produced in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic and its rippling aftershocks now serve as spotlights into future trends of corporate social responsibility, ushering in a new age of connecting and gathering – socially, economically, and philanthropically. It has been found by GreaterGiving, that in 2020, nonprofit organizations have actually raised 97% or more of the same funds from previous years while spending significantly less to produce virtual events.

In normal years, we look back on the most trafficked content to recognize the past year’s biggest CSR trends. It will be interesting to see how the trends pulled together for economic survival in 2020 have a lasting impact on the corporate responsibility industry for years to come.


The Future of Volunteering:

Virtual Volunteering

Although originally targeting Covid-19 opportunities, this Virtual Volunteering FAQ answers the ‘big idea’ questions we all have surrounding virtual volunteering. From how to find opportunities to how to meet original CSR metrics, this will be applicable far beyond 2020 as more nonprofit organizations move to virtual volunteering events regularly.

“There’s an app for that!” As we continue to go mobile, so do our nonprofit organizations and our volunteer opportunities. A great solution found by many during the pandemic was to utilize the App Store and other technologies like Zoom for nonprofit events. These contributions to the social impact sector will only continue to expand after 2020.


Skills-Based Volunteering

Due to furlough and lay-offs, many organizations were in need of skills-based volunteering this year. Offering up your time and energy looked a little different than it normally did, but it also gave employees the opportunity to utilize skills they never knew could be harnessed for good in charitable ways. “With no geographic restrictions, fewer logistical hurdles, and lower expenses, skills-based volunteering is a clear choice for organizations that want to help meet the needs of the moment.”


The Power of Purpose:

While penned during Covid-19, this post shares the importance of honesty, dedication, and community outreach within a company’s strategy at all times. Providing purpose in your organization is absolutely necessary during a natural or human disaster, however, purpose is extremely valuable and will be going forward when deciding public perception, community relations, talent retention, and more.

While published amidst government-sanctioned lockdowns, the Power of Purpose Infographic analyzes the perceived relationship and intended behavior between consumers, investors, and brands with well-known purpose at all times. With these stats in your portfolio, you can feel confident arming your corporate responsibility programs with purpose-driven strategies and empowering your employees to engage.


You are your Brand:

This year, there were a lot of opportunities to take a stand. Finding and defining your brand before you feel influenced to speak up shares the true values your corporation holds and identifies what is important to your customers. With 72% of consumers feeling it is more important than ever that the company they buy from reflect similar values, defining brand purpose will need to be part of corporate impact strategies going forward.


After a year like this, who is to say what will come in 2021? The best thing we can take from the year is that the corporate impact industry is resilient, creative, and ever-changing.