The Importance Of Partnerships In CSR Today

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has undergone a transformation in recent years. Businesses and organisations today form innovative partnerships in order to meet a diverse range of global challenges – including eliminating poverty, ensuring access to proper healthcare, repairing worn-out infrastructure and fighting climate change.

It seems partnerships are no longer simply an option. They have become key factors in economic development. This makes sense, as a single person or organisation cannot be expected to cope with the serious challenges named above. To tackle them effectively, the public, private and non-profit sectors need to join forces to become successful drivers of change.

What today’s organisations have learned is that to be advocates of change, they first need to make sure their own establishment is in order. An example of this is how the Bank of America spoke with its employees, customers, community leaders and regulators to discover their concerns and create a strategy for business growth that addressed those worries.

The bank also took measures to become a healthier company and started looking at CSR in a different light. While previously the Bank of America perceived CSR as philanthropic activity, now the company has come to understand that CSR also means making sure that your business is directed by robust values and principles. Of course, philanthropy is a key part of corporate social responsibility, but CSR is so much more than that.

People can be helped in other ways too, depending on the area of expertise of the organisation. The products, practices, education and resources that the Bank of America provides helps people understand money more thoroughly and develop better spending habits. The institution partnered with Bengali-American educator Sal Khan and his Khan Academy to launch BetterMoneyHabits.com to provide people with simple and easily accessible content. The website was launched after polls revealed that many Americans feel ill-equipped to handle their own finances.

Apart from assisting people in financial matters, the institution also engages in CSR activities aiming to make the world a healthier, safer, more sustainable place. It has teamed up with organisations such as Vital Voices, which provides opportunities for development for emerging female leaders around the world. It also has links with Feeding America – a US hunger non-profit organisation. The bank has also entered a partnership with (RED) – an organisation raising money to help in the ongoing fight against AIDS.

These examples show how partnerships are formed to tackle serious global issues. Such partnerships bring together the resources and capabilities of business and private enterprises with those of organisations in other sectors. Working together, these organisations have a far greater impact on people’s lives. And what is more, it is an impact that is real and one that can be measured.