How to ensure impact of investment done for social cause?

How to ensure impact of investment
done for a social cause?

India is the first country in the world to make corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandatory, following an amendment to The Company Act, 2013 in April 2014. Businesses can invest their profits in areas such as education, poverty, gender equality, and hunger.

Due to this mandate, all Indian giants like Tata Group, Ultratech Cement, Mahindra and Mahindra, ITC Group, etc. are involved in CSR activities. CSR is the procedure of assessing an organization’s impact on society and evaluating their responsibilities.

Companies now have specific departments and teams that develop specific policies, strategies, and goals for their CSR programs and set separate budgets to support them.

The education sector received the maximum funding (38 percent of the total) followed by hunger, poverty, and healthcare (25 percent), environmental sustainability (12 percent), rural development (11 percent). Programs such as technology incubators, sports, armed forces, reducing inequalities saw negligible spends in 2019.

More structured CSR budgets have been put in place now and many organisations are seeking the support of “external implementing agencies”.

Need for Impact assessment of CSR activities –

o How do the external implementing agencies perform CSR activities?

o Have they actually implemented CSR activities at defined places and at defined time?

o Were these activities really beneficial?

o How CSR activities have helped the beneficiaries?

o What was the overall impact of CSR activities in the target segments? In terms of skill enhancement, knowledge enhancement, increase in income/ earning capacity, employability, better health solutions, etc.

o What does the target segment is looking for in support in future?

o What changes are suggested in the current CSR program by target segments?

o What other services can be offered by the company in their CSR program?

Solutions from Market Search India

Market Search India carries out impact assessment study post conduction of CSR activities to check its effectiveness among beneficiaries. The study captured information about satisfaction of beneficiaries in terms of content, quality, duration, skill and knowledge enhancement, increase in wages, employability, betterment of health solutions, medical support, receiving hygienic food and water, etc.

The feedback from the target segments helps the company to understand impact of CSR programs and changes suggested by the beneficiaries to make the activity more effective. It also helped to track the performance of the implementing agencies and areas of improvements required.

Client’s involvement is essential in collecting database of implementing agencies, list of beneficiaries, detailed understanding of the project and geographical locations where project is been conducted.

We have helped clients like Godrej & Boyce, Bristol Myers Squibb, IIT Delhi, PCRA, OP Jindal Group of companies, with this research.