Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the buzzword that is flashed by every CEO nowadays, the government is even toying with the idea of making contribution to CSR mandatory. Let us see how one can develop a career in this area.
Corporate social responsibility jobs actually give you a chance to work closely to understand problems and offer solutions without any commercial gains. This kind of selfless service can give the highest satisfaction. With a growing middle class and upper middle class population, it is now reasonably easy to raise funds for various charity purposes from individuals as well as corporates.
But the real challenge lies in channelizing these resources to deserving people. These jobs are available at all levels, you could be at the threshold of your career or you could have completed a couple of years at work when you feel the need to do something for the betterment of the larger society. Corporates are also increasingly investing in socially relevant causes as it gives them a platform to improve lives and also position themselves as a socially conscious brand.
Working with the CSR initiative of a corporate means you will have to identify relevant causes to support or if the higher management has any specific ideas on this, and then you have to work on chalking out a strategy to realize their objectives.
Suppose you are working on the cause of child education, then you need to narrow down on the set of NGOs which are aligned towards the same cause in your city or nearby areas. You will have to do some ground work here by visiting the NGOs, verifying their track record, checking the facilities offered and find out which projects or items need funding. It could be starting a new facility, hiring additional teachers or setting up a computer laboratory.
You need to be very sincere about working for the upliftment of others to be successful in this career. When you undertake any project as part of CSR, it will have the same life cycle as any conventional project. You will have to plan it, estimate the budget and completion date, identify the team to work on it which could consist of full-time resources and part-time volunteer, source the required material at the best cost, work with the NGO to implement the plan and finally when it is accomplished your fees will the big smiles on the faces of the people for whom this project has made a difference.
CSR is very important in the agenda of companies who work on projects such as infrastructure, mining and power generation where there is a possibility of large scale displacement of people. The CSR team has to work towards ensuring that the people get the right compensation and the deal does not violate any ethics.
To build a career in corporate social responsibility, you need to have the right balance of business and social skills. You need to be a graduate, candidates with expertise or experience in HR or social services or rural development are preferred. Basic computer skills are essential. Opportunities exist both in the public and private sector.