The Cedar Foundation’s Executive Director Alexandrina Dimitrova gave a presentation on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the HR Industry 2020 event that focused on the newest trends in HR. The participation was secured pro bono by Job Tiger.
The main focus of Mrs. Dimitrova’s presentation was on how CSR can be effectively applied while benefiting everyone involved— businesses and their employees, as well as the cause and society as a whole. By showcasing real-life examples, she pointed out different aspects of the topic which include both negative and positive tendencies.
“Quite often Corporate Social Responsibility is seen as yet another PR instrument, something trendy and therefore necessary. But in fact, the public image should be a byproduct, not an aim in and of itself.”
According to Alexandrina, the goal is for the company to positively change the environment in which it makes business and to make this happen in partnership with its employees:
“There have been many studies, showing that employees are more satisfied when they see that their company contributes to societal change. One such study shows that 88% of the so-called ‘millennials’ have higher work satisfaction if their job gives them the opportunity to contribute to positive change in the society they live in”, she added.
Among the other highlighted negative tendencies were the lack of focus of donations as well as the poor communication with people who stand behind the cause.
“Many companies get into the trap of wanting to support many and various causes or they tend to change the cause they contribute to on a yearly basis. However, this approach wastes and scatters the already limited resources and the overall impact that can be achieved becomes negligible. It is much more effective for companies and employees to focus their efforts on one cause. With time they will see how their support provides sustainability and can address a problem in the long run. Another problem we often see is that sometimes in their desire to help, donors decide on their own how to do so as well as what to donate without contacting us and asking about the actual needs of the children and youths we care for.”
According to the latest data from the Bulgarian Donor’s Forum from 2018, Bulgaria has seen a 4% decrease in corporate donations despite the good economic environment. Just 36% of all donations have come from companies. In addition, the country ranks 126th in the World Giving Index 2018 out of a total of 146 countries.
“There are many companies who have shared with us that they don’t want to brag about their donations because they are not doing it for the PR it brings. But actually good practices need to be shared so that their example can inspire other companies. This is the only way in which we can change this unpleasant statistic.”, Mrs. Dimitrova said. She shared the good examples of The Cedar Foundation’s long-term corporate partners all of whom have united the efforts of the company, its management and employees in service to the cause.