Ask the Readers $200 Giveaway: What Does Corporate Social Responsibility Mean to You?

By Ashley Jacobs on 19 May 2015 226 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to our winners Renee, Rachel, and Kathe for winning this week's contest!

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) means different things to different people. From a company's perspective, it can be an effective way to tap corporate resources to drive positive social change, and it often includes programs that promote employee volunteerism and philanthropy—from matching charitable donations to organizing employee volunteer projects and more. While some people view CSR programs with skepticism, most prefer working for and doing business with companies that support the communities in which they operate.

What does corporate social responsibility mean to you? Do you believe it can be impactful?

This week, to celebrate its 12th annual Schwab Volunteer Week in which more than 4,500  employees volunteer for hundreds of service projects in communities nationwide, Charles Schwab is sponsoring $200 in prizes for our Ask the Readers giveaway! Make sure to tell us what corporate social responsibility means to you and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card or one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards!

Win a $150 Amazon Gift Card or 1 of 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — here's how you can win!

Mandatory Comment Entry for a Chance to win a $150 Amazon Gift Card:

  • Post your answer in the comments section below. One commenter will win a $150 Amazon Gift Card!

To Win One of Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards:

  • You can tweet about our giveaway for an extra entry. Use our Rafflecopter widget for your chance to win one of two $25 Amazon Gift Cards:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it!

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, May 25th, at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after May 25th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

This week, our Ask the Readers giveaway is sponsored by Charles Schwab in celebration of Schwab Volunteer Week!

Here is a message from our sponsor:

“Serving our communities is an important part of Schwab’s culture. In fact, one of our benefits is paid time off for employees to volunteer. We also organize a nationwide, week-long volunteer event called Schwab Volunteer Week (May 18-22, 2015), where thousands of employees volunteer with nonprofits in their communities. This year’s event has a record number of participants, with more than 4,600 Schwabbies donating approximately 18,000 service hours to 376 projects benefiting over 200 charities.

We support a vibrant mix of national nonprofit groups such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill and The Salvation Army, as well as local schools, parks, food banks, cultural centers, and organizations that provide health and human services to women, children, families and seniors.

Employee volunteer photos will be posted throughout the week on http://photos.aboutschwab.com/Schwab-Volunteer-Week. To learn more about what drives our commitment to investing in our communities during Schwab Volunteer Week and throughout the year, watch this video.”

© 2015 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (Member SIPC) All rights reserved

#0515-3632

Amazon is not a participant in or sponsor of this giveaway and is not affiliated with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

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Guest's picture
Janice Vandiver

Corporate Responsibility is a value that instills productive and successful outcome developed with a sense of their mission statement,leaning towards the greater good of our social character.As a Master level Education Teacher, I have seen administrations with the drive to empower and direct both students and educators with this critical positive social equality and the schools thrive and the students begin to realize how important adopting this ideation is for success. unfortunately/school systems the opposite within school systems that do not adopt development of corporate responsibility.

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Sue E

I LOVE companies that "give back!" I buy many of Paul Newman food products, not only because they are good, but also a percentage of the profits go to charities!! An honorable legacy to leave & a great role model!!!

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Kim

Corporate social responsibility means that a company is as dedicated to pursuing social good as much as it pursues profit. This requires governance structures that actively monitor the company's impact on a variety of factors as well as the commitment of company leadership.

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Anje Woodruffe-Sims

Corporate Social responsibility should aim to protect citizens by considering those things that best represent the greatest good. These can include being environmentally conscious & active, promoting & supporting wellness initiatives & giving back to local communities where ever possible.

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shelly

being more responsible with having greater responsibility

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@PinkLacedPoppy

Means to me that the companies encourage their employees to volunteer along side them. To be eco conscious of their waste and to go above and beyond to ensure their employees AND customers are given options to join them as well in their efforts. To give back to the community with donations and time commitment.

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Linda B

Corporate social responsibility to me is a combination of a company treating its employees with respect (such as providing a livable wage) and giving to the community. The latter includes reaching out through volunteerism, but also offering products that are made without exploitation and priced without greed.

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Ashley ZabelGuest

To me, WalMart does an amazing job in the aspect of corporate responsibility. What better way to give back than to hire on hundreds of thousands of veterans and show them the respect that they deserve?

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Emily

Corporate social responsibility means both actively contributing to making the community a better place and ensuring business practices don't negative impact the community.

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Laura V

Being able to give back to the community, and show humility by creating consciousness about the environment, and a sense of unity among the community itself.

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dana

It means giving back, being honest and responsible.

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Guest

I think companies should be involved in the community and host food drives for shelters and food pantries, school supply giveaways and drives, and youth programs.

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CR Williams

Corporate social responsibility means not ignoring the consumers but you are still engaging.

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Laura J

To me Corporate Social Responsibility is not only giving back to the community but also being environmentally friendly. Taking care of their employees! All these things makes us consumers want to shop or buy and support those businesses.

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Lorri S

It means being aware and doing whatever they can to be honest and responsible to consumers, etc.

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Shane R.

To me, corporate responsibility means taking an active role in giving back to the community. When companies use their power and wealth to make the world better, I'd be more likely to use that company's service or buy their products because I know I'm contributing to a company that cares.

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Carolyn

Corporate Social Responsibility is not just doing things for the community, but also ensuring that the best manufacturing processes for health and environment are used, and that we aren't just producing things that create more problems in the world. Granted, they have to all start from where they are, but it would be great to move forward with more mindfulness.

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Anne S

Corporate Social Responsibility means that the company will try to benefit society, and not harm it. This can involve environmentally-aware manufacturing and raw material choices and packaging. It can also involve being a good employer to its employees with decent benefits and child-care options. It can also mean giving back to the community and neighborhoods it resides in.

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Guest

Large Corps setting the bar high and putting their money where their mouth is! You have the resources to help many people including your employees, so just do it!

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terri

Social responsibility means to value the good of society as much as profit

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Jennifer R

It means not turning a blind eye to issues that are happening within their corporation.

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Julie Fields

Everyone needs to give back. Individuals and corporations. Together we can do great things!

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vicki connor

Oh, My the things I could buy if I won this contest. Pick me Please.

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vicki connor

It means, leaving this world a better place when you die. Being more interested in people than profit.

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vicki connor

It means, leaving this world a better place when you die. Being more interested in people than profit.

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Guest

I have encouraged my family, in words and by example, to 'be the best you can be' and encourage your friends to do the same.

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Karen

Everything you have mentioned above is an excellent start, however I think I would also include mentoring programs, and encouraging employees as well as youth in the community to attain a higher education, to be prepared to be responsible citizens of the community.

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cassonb

Giving back is the main meaning to me!

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Rita M

Corporate social responsibility means giving back to the community & if it involves their employees - all the better.... everyone likes to feel like they've done something to help, however small.

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Libby

It is what makes a community thrive! Corporations have landscaped our schools and helped make sure students found their classroom the first two weeks of school. Volunteering in the community is essential!

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Dena

to me, corporate social responsibility means to go beyond the regulatory laws and do what is right for the community, environment and best business practices.

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Joni Mason

Corporate social responsibility means that a company manufactures it's products in an environmentally conscious way and sees that the company gives back to the local economy and community in every way possible.

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Irene M

To me, corporate social responsibility means assisting in providing life enrichment programs for underpriveleged children, helping to establish programs that target students at risk through remedial instruction and tutoring and supporting communities that are struggling to recover after natural or economic disasters.

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Russell Moore

Corporate social responsibility means balancing a companies' responsibility to its' stock holders with a real concern for the community around it.

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Tiffany Whittington

It means giving back to the community because it is a social responsibility to give back when the company has gained so much. The people in the community help make the company what it is.

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Jamie Herda

Corporate responsibility is to me: caring about something other than the bottom line. Caring about your community, which often includes your employees and many times, just people who live in your community. Leave as small of a eco-footprint as possible, be visible and involved in your community.....live day to day as a company who, when people hear your name, will smile.

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Robert Tschinkel

Corporate social responsibility is where a company engages in ethical practices in many different areas. Making sure that their employees are treated fairly and have safe working conditions and a decent wage, in keeping the environment clean and safe, and giving back to the community in programs to help those in need with health care and programs to assist children's education

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Margaret

Corporate social responsibility means doing things to improve the community regardless of the economic impact they have on the company.

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Warrenl737

As a physician in training, corporate social responsibility means to me bringing the costs of hospitals and medications down; giving medications away to those who can't afford them and would die without them (HIV positive women in Africa who would transmit to their children). I wish corporate America were less greedy and had more humanity. Some do a great deal but we aren't doing enough when we still get patients coming back to the ER because they couldn't afford to fill a $30 prescription.

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Rich Washington

Absolutely. Without a doubt. Social responsibility in my eyes is if I do my part then I have for filled my obligation to helping society and if everyone were to do that then change can be made.

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Lynda

it means being true to your values and helping out the society

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Anita Duvall

Corporate Social Responsibility is definitely important to me. I think Corporate America and Companies by and large should set an example for the rest of the world. Environmental issues would have to be one of the most important to me.

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chuck bolster

i say truth in advertising should be top responsibility for corporate

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Guest

I believe corporate social responsibility can be extremely impactful. The act of a group of people coming together to work for a common social goal benefits the organization as well as the community in numerous ways.

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Debbie

I believe corporate social responsibility can be extremely impactful. The act of a group of people coming together to work for a common social goal benefits the organization as well as the community in numerous ways.

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Breanna Pollard

To be able to give back and to give the proper benefits.

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Alex Montana

I am more inclined to trust a company who invests in its surroundings and people

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Rhonda Scott

I believe that it is when a corparation collectively does things to help or improve their community. Staff activiely give of themselves or there money for a worthy cause.

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Timmy

It's simply the Golden Rule.

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Timmy

It's simply the Golden Rule.

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Timmy

It's simply the Golden Rule.

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Howard Steeley

Corporate responsibility means giving to charities when possible.

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Marilyn Muraski

Giving back to your community and making the world a better place.

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Linda Hildebrand

Leaving the world a better place for future generations

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Dawn Monroe

To me corporate responsibility is to be generous, give back to neighborhood projects and take care of employees. Corporations should also maintain ethical and environmental standards.

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Bing

It means to give back to local community. And yes, it's likely to be impatctful.

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Mary B

I believe in corporate social responsibility. They can lead the way for others to do the right thing and help the planet and it's occupants in so many ways. Sometimes it takes a big corporation to start the wave.

Guest's picture

corporate responsibility is good for all and boosts sales

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Joyce

It is the business and the employees working for the betterment of the community.

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Rich

It is giving back to the local community by working with various organizations that are helping people and our environment.

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Angelica

I think corporate responsibility means putting the people and the planet before profits. It's about companies who aren't driven solely by the bottom dollar and give care and attention to how their decisions impact their employees, consumers, country, and planet.

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Kathy Cassinelli

It means that corporations have to ca more about than just making money. Raping the land and leaving behind toxic waste, not caring about the family who work for theim and only trying to get what they can out of people, communities and the land is not being responsible. It should be about taking care of all of those and they will take care of the company. It will prosper and the community will also.

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Diana C

Corporate responsibility not only is good for the community, but it is good for the employees. I couldn't work for a company that takes pride in who they are and what they do.

Diana C

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Guest

It means leaving the community better off for your involvement in it and using its resources.

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Revanche

Corporate (social) responsibility means a lot of things as I take a holistic view: To create something of value, to create jobs where possible that pay living wages, to sustainably make a profit so that the business can stay healthy and keep employing workers, to avoid causing harm or damage to the environment (physical, social, etc), to find at least one way to leave the world better for your having been there.

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Carolyn

Corporate social responsibility to me means a lot as someone who frequently gives back to my community as much as I can. From a business standpoint there is no downside to it because you're teaching your employees to give back to those less fortunate or to further your community where as they may not remember to do so on their own spare time. It also shows your consumers you are care about them as well and not just their money which is important to me. I wouldn't dare support a company who didn't give back in some way or another. There is no excuse not to give back because even the smallest of donations or volunteer work counts and I appreciate the companies who make it a priority. The more people who care, the more businesses can grow, and the more the world can progress and move toward a more positive future.

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Gabby Volbrecht

To me corporate social responsibility means going above and beyond to help protect the environment and social welfare. I think it can be very impactful. Any little bit to help a good cause is a great thing. For the company itself it also promotes team building. Therefore I think it is a win/win scenario for everybody :)

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Lindy Davison

Corporate social responsibility means making a positive impact as a business that will make an impact on the world.

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William Thomas

This is what it means to me:
A. Environmental sustainability: recycling, waste management, water management, renewable energy, reusable materials, 'greener' supply chains, reducing paper use and adopting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building standards.
B. Community involvement: This can include raising money for local charities, providing volunteers, sponsoring local events, employing local workers, supporting local economic growth, engaging in fair trade practices, etc.

Guest's picture

I think contributing to positive social change and an atmosphere employees enjoy working in also makes up corporate responsibility.

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DavidF

To me corporate responsibility is all about policies that do everything reasonably possible to implement practices that benefit society, or at least minimize any negative impact. A great example is anything that can be done to reduce the a company's carbon footprint, such as promoting recycling, carpooling or telecommuting, and other related measures.

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tung ton

corporations make money from the people within the local area where their "stores" are located. therefore, it is the corporation's responsibility to support this community with all areas (food banks, education, employment, etc. ) in order to maintain this symbiotic relationship.

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Amy L.

Corporate Social Responsibility allows companies through their philanthropic endeavors to use their resources; financial, communal, and educational to make society a better place to live for all, and not just stakeholders. All companies have a moral obligation to take a proactive approach to remain environmentally conscious, ethical, and also honest not only with their employees, but also with customers who invest their trust and hard earned money into products. Charles Schwab has made a positive impact in society and over time has proven that they are committed to improving communities and the lives of all people through their various social change initiatives and service learning volunteer opportunities available to employees including Schwab Volunteer Week. The dedication of the thousands of Schwabbies committing their time, effort, and hard work to better their communities is a testament to the social and philanthropic spirit of Charles Schwab.

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LaTanya

It mean to help and give back to the community so that others can continue to learn and grow to create a better environment for everyone.

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Seyma Shabbir

It is about improving the environment or at least not making it worse. To give back to the community or have involvement. Not to use so much of the environment or low pay to workers. There should be a sense of fairness.

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rayray cartucci

It means the big wigs give back to the community.Sorry to put it in such simple terms but that is what it means to me.

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Rachel Cartucci

It means Corporate gives back to the community in some way.

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gale thomas

being ethical

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Michelle

Corporate responsibility to me means using their resources to lend a hand to social change, or investing in the community.

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joe gersch

Being socially responsible means helping other people, animals and the planet and yes i think it makes an impact

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Shelly

Corporate responsibility means a business cannot be concerned just about profits. The business must be morally ethical, and be concerned about supporting the community and being sustainable. Every pebble dropped in the water makes a ripple.

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Rust

Giving back to the community and getting involved locally.

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Tina Konegan

I believe that corporations need to do more for the community by donating to our schools and mentor our children

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Christine Burd

Corporate social responsiblity means conducting action as a corporation in an ethical manner with an underlying concern for the well being of the whole of humanity.

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J. Pario

I think the best CSR is employee-driven.

How can the corporation support the projects that its employees are passionate about? Its those projects that are going to be the most successful, to have the biggest impact.

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Happy Love

Corporate giving to communities is important, but so is treating employees fairly and equitably.

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Guest

Corporate responsibility is a great thing, giving back to make the world a better place!

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Corinne

Corporate social responsibility means giving back to the community, and shows that a company cares about its employees and their families.

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Debbie Hinson

I think Social Responsibility is multi faceted. Caring for and participating in the local community as well as the surrounding area. Always reaching out...Always doing Good...Always doing what is right!

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Kathy

Corporate social responsibility means taking the time to know the community you are in and reach out to give a helping hand to them as well as you r employees

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EmilyE

Corporate Social responsibility means bringing positive change locally and within your organization. Positive change includes employee benefits, taking care of the environment and investing in local programs to help the community

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Noel

I think corporate social responsibility can be very impactful. It's all about giving back to the local community where your employees live and you earn your revenue. I work in fundraising at a nonprofit and I'm very grateful to the companies that sponsor our work.

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Lisa

It means being environmentally friendly and also providing for the local community.

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Chris Martinez

It means that we are spreading kindness along with business and opportunities.

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Rhonda R

I absolutely believe Corporate Social Responsibility is important and impactful. It is a win for the community, the receipient, and the volunteer. Corporations have to demonstrate REAL concern and interest in the community into which they exist. If they are able to help economically disadvantaged schools, neighborhoods, or individuals, this will have a long and short range benefit for the company. The community will help keep the company running and will eventually become customers of the company.

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Stacy

Corporate social responsibility means.... (to me....) taking care of your employees so they can in turn take care of their families... Treating them with respect, appropriate pay, safe workplace, and benefits so that in doing so they can take care of themselves, their loved ones, etc..

In essence, I think it creates a wonderful chain reaction.

Guest's picture
Kate Burton

It means doing what is best for everyone, not just share holders.

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Kandace

Corporate social responsibility, to me, means that a corporation itself is engaged in the local community and is concerned with its impact on the local, as well as global, environment. The socially responsible corporation offers to its employees opportunities to engage and give back -- matching donations, offering paid time off to volunteer, service projects in the local community, etc. And engages in fair and sustainable employment and production practices. It can be very impactful.

Guest's picture
Kandace

Corporate social responsibility, to me, means that a corporation itself is engaged in the local community and is concerned with its impact on the local, as well as global, environment. The socially responsible corporation offers to its employees opportunities to engage and give back -- matching donations, offering paid time off to volunteer, service projects in the local community, etc. And engages in fair and sustainable employment and production practices. It can be very impactful.

Guest's picture
Jason

Corporate Responsibility means treating the employee and the community with respect.