Benojo Founder Martyn Ryan speaks CSR strategy - Corporate Spend Podcast

What drives us to help our fellow man? It’s a question that has been the focus of our thinking for years. Our founder, Martyn Ryan believes it’s in our DNA to give. Speaking with Corporate Spend for their Corporate Spend Podcast, Martyn explains that we all have an ‘imprint’ that drives us to support and help others in times of need. And that tapping into this DNA is key to developing a successful CSR strategy within businesses.

A general overview of the Australian giving space reveals a gap between what charities need from businesses and what businesses offer. The Benojo platform thus aims to close this gap by connecting businesses and charities, giving them a common set of tools and standards that everyone can use. By streamlining the process of giving and creating a common language, businesses are able to implement valuable CSR strategies and measure the outcomes.

But why the need for a CSR strategy?

From a businesses perspective, giving brings value to organisations in terms of brand value and community perception. Martyn believes CSR strategy is a “conversation that needs to be had by businesses of all sizes because it can have such a huge impact on the bottom line,” with 55% of global consumers willing to pay extra for a product or service from a company committed to a positive social impact. A valuable CSR strategy also attracts and retains the right kind of talent, with 67% of people around the world preferring to work for a socially responsible company.

Benojo’s transformation of the giving landscape in Australia aims to target the untapped resources of the small to mid-size business sector, as Martyn says, “if we can leverage the small-mid sector in Australia by their current giving and we can extend it out only by 2%, we can potentially add another billion dollars in terms of time and money to charity sector.”

However, the small to mid-size business sector generally lack the tools and knowledge to create a valuable CSR strategy. With this in mind, Martyn proposes three key actions for businesses to take:

1. Ask yourself

Do you have the right kind of company culture to enable giving? Giving needs to be a mindset, so businesses should evaluate their time and resources in enabling a CSR program.

2. Develop a meaningful strategy

Development of a meaningful strategy means maximising business impact by finding the right kind of charities to align with. Businesses should look for charities that share a common denominator with the company culture or brand offering.

3. Storytell well

Martyn believes that people are motivated by seeing other people take action and by positive outcomes. Storytelling and publication of positive results will get consumers and stakeholders involved in the CSR strategy and propel is further.

Leveraging the small-to-mid businesses sector is imperative as we can no longer solely rely on government donations to fuel the giving sector. If business gave 0.01% as direct contribution to the giving space, it would equal the current government contribution. Mobilising this untapped resource with the tools to give and creating a streamlined CSR strategy would broaden the giving space and give the abundance of charities in Australia (particularly smaller charities) the option to partner with a suitable donor. As summed up by Martyn, “we just wanted to create something that makes it easy for people to give. They want to give.”

You can listen to Martyn’s full podcast here

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