C-Suite Insider

3 Things to Consider When Choosing the Location for Your CSR Initiative

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In business, one untended detail can be the difference between success and failure. The same is true for corporate social responsibility, also known as CSR.

Several factors can contribute to effective CSR, including the location of these initiatives. According to a Singapore Management University study, “a firm’s CSR profile is linked to the socioeconomic conditions of the firm’s geographic headquarters (HQ) location.”

Location dictates many CSR initiative decisions, including the scope of a cause, who can be hired, and the attention it garners. Plan your CSR initiative somewhere it can thrive to have the effect you always envisioned.

What to Consider When Choosing a Location

Location is an invaluable component of CSR for three reasons: origin, impact, and background.

Location significantly affects your CSR initiative’s unique origin story. For example, the need for specialized trauma doctors in China will likely be different than it is in Latin America, so your location affects the support you receive.

Your effort’s impact also hinges on your surrounding community. Resources like time, money, and labor will go further in some regions than others, which can increase impact. In terms of background, your mission and values will differ by region and be filtered through the area’s social and cultural values.

Even after taking origin, impact, background, and other factors into account, you may not have a clear idea of the best place to get started. When seeking a home for your CSR undertaking, consider these three suggestions:

  1. Look for mutual goals. Find initiatives that share the same missions and values, and then focus on creating partnerships. Having partners in the region will ease your transition into the culture and likely can open up new areas of demand, which allows you to find your niche in the ecosystem more quickly.
    Any such partnership should allow all parties to tap into what they do best. You can build on your partners’ strengths and expertise while improving your offerings to turn the union into a mutually beneficial venture. You’ll find that strong partnerships will impact the region far more than either partner could accomplish alone.
  2. Be conscious of social and cultural values. Get acquainted with the regions you’re considering to understand how social and cultural values may affect the work you do. You can use this to narrow down your options because it will automatically eliminate locations where certain work might be considered culturally insensitive.
    You also need to understand the CSR landscape. In some countries, one type of CSR is more accepted than others. Consider any outward demands you might face and how they could impact your long-term CSR vision. Know the answers for any region you consider.
  3. Seek expert opinions. Similar to finding regional partners, learn from people who already have established CSR programs. They will be able to advise you on some of the challenges and pitfalls as you make big decisions.
    One place to find these experts is at a Concordia Summit, which connects governments, businesses, and nonprofits. While the 2020 iteration of the summit won’t take place until September, you can find more resources and events on the website. No matter the route you choose, learn from those who have tackled similar challenges.

Ultimately, you will make a lot of decisions as you launch your CSR program. Start by establishing roots in a location that aligns with your initiative’s vision and values, and then build your program from there.

Have you read?

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), St. Lucia CIP: Saint Lucia Citizenship By Investment Program, Vanuatu CIP: Vanuatu Citizenship By Investment Program, Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Program (CIP), Moldova CIP: Moldova Citizenship By Investment Program, Turkey CIP: Turkey Citizenship By Investment Program, Portugal Golden Visa Program, Dominica Citizenship by Investment Programme

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Kevin Xu
Kevin Xu is the CEO of MEBO International, a California- and Beijing-based intellectual property management company specializing in applied health systems. He also leads Skingenix and is a co-founder of the Human Heritage Project. Kevin Xu is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow him on Twitter Twitter and LinkedIn.