How can companies ensure that their CSR expenditure is impactful? There are two things that can go wrong. One, firms are obliged to do this, so there is a risk of the activity being carried out as a routine matter of compliance. And second, this is not seen as a core function, resulting in employees being assigned 'additional' responsibility to oversee something that they are neither informed nor passionate about.
There are consultants who advise companies on how to get this right, but they face a tension between recommending some projects and being paid for such work. And since they're paid on a project-to-project basis, it is difficult for them to adhere to set yardsticks for selecting projects.
We are self-funded. We look for projects that are well aligned to the How Institute's principles for public problem solving, and which have the potential to address the root causes of development deficits. And we follow this up with independent advocacy, in which we play only the enabling role of connecting corporate donors to impactful recipients of their funds.