A hundred or so people gathered at Etihad Stadium this morning – not for a footy match – but rather to discuss the power of CSR through sport with Andrew Demetriou, Tim Costello and Peter Nash. You can check out the excellent twitter feed from the event at #CSRsport.
Following a brief introduction the session was opened to questions from the floor which ranged in focus from the concerns of corporations/ shareholders and the role of government, to the challenges of measurement and maintaining commitment through challenging economic times.
Some key themes to emerge were:
- profit with purpose being the new norm in business
- a growing acknowledgement by business that its licence to operate is granted by the community and it needs to be connected into the community
- the role that corporate values play in identifying and aligning with appropriate CSR partners
- some of the greatest benefits of CSR programs are intangibles – which are inherently difficult to measure. But there are bottom-line measures that can be used eg. employee turnover, strategic partnership business opportunities that flow through CSR programs, attendance and engagement etc.
One thing that struck me while listening to the discussion was the refinement of the language used and the critical role it potentially plays in the success of CSR programs eg: investment in the communities in which we do business – as compared to philanthropy/ donations.
Thanks to Edelman, North Melbourne Football Club, World Vision and The Huddle for the opportunity to partner on this great event.