Innovate with Integrity: 9 trends you need to know from the 2018 Innovation Impact Report

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The 2018 Innovation Impact Report underlines the value of giving for employee and business growth.

The 2018 Innovation Impact Research Report [download PDF] focuses on the trends and benchmarks that define the social investment and development sectors in Africa. It investigated the issues, the challenges and the results of 15 years of best practice, shifting goal posts and tangible results.

It also found the loopholes, the challenges and the tides of change set to disrupt social responsibility programmes. Are you ready?

These are the 9 things your business should know about how corporate social investment can change employee engagement, your reputation and your bottom line…

  1. Impact investment and social innovation are a profitable combination 

When the private sector tackles social and environmental challenges from the perspective of an investment opportunity it makes long-term business sense. Return on investment (ROI) may be critical but it needs to be examined through the lens of transformation and potential.

  1. Measurement matters

The ROI of CSI lies as much in transparency and measurability as it does in development and implementation. By making the assessment of impact into a priority, the business can extend the longevity of projects by ensuring every step taken is one in the right direction.

  1. Online is thriving – and it’s global

The 2018 Innovation Impact Report found that 45% of global donors give to NGOs outside of their country of residence. Growing affinity with the power of online giving and the extrinsic value of social responsibility has seen peer-to-peer fundraising increase by more than 33%. Perhaps finally it’s time to say that if you’re not online, you’re invisible.

  1. Causes must be relevant

Youth. Women. Children. Inclusivity. Gender. Social Justice. The Causes supported by your employees will be those that resonate with their generation. Pay attention to the Causes you exposer to your employees through your CSI strategy. The extent to which they matter will determine their success.

  1. Support social justice

This doesn’t mean that your business should provide employees with a platform to fight the government. It does mean that your company should stand for something that goes beyond profit and allows employees to engage with issues that are relevant in society and their communities.

  1. Stay social, stay connected

From online giving platforms to accessible applications, your CSI needs to be accessible on and powered by social media. The 2018 Innovation Impact Report found that mobile technology and application development are synonymous with high impact and therefore high on ROI.

  1. For-profit is essential for long-term sustainability

Social impact projects and Causes must be tied to fiscal results for long term sustainability. Doing good is great, financial sense is even better. CSI must focus on social enterprises that are valuable change agents.

  1. Philanthropy is engaging Africa

Think that CSI is limited to the back of the corporate office? Think again. Social investment and doing good have become an African imperative with some of the most impressive names in business putting their money where their social responsibility is. Employees want to work for firms with leaders that think outside the business box and change the continent for the better.

  1. Everything is being disrupted, even CSI

From active philanthropy to social enterprises to online giving and increased employee involvement in CSI – everything is being disrupted. Employees want to do work that matters. Put the PURPOSE of your business alongside its profit to get their attention and retain employee interest and talent. Online platforms that bring investors, intermediaries, volunteers, donors and beneficiaries together are defined by the 2018 Innovation Impact Report as the Uber of Giving. Don’t be the taxi company of the CSI space…

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