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How can technology increase collaboration in CSR?
Collaborative technology is essential for CSR. Or so is claimed by Robin Chase in his book, Peers Inc (2016), which advocates the idea of unlocking the power of collaboration between peers on technology platforms (well worth a read). Famous examples of ‘peers’ gathering and collaborating on technology platforms include Airbnb or BlaBlaCar, but collaborative technology platforms can enable faster impact on social issues, too. Just think of the phenomenal success of online petition sites like change.org, or online giving platforms like JustGiving.
Organisations such as these are commonly referred to as belonging to the ‘Sharing Economy’ – a fairly loose term for peer-to-peer sharing of good or services, made possible by the Internet. Chase, however, prefers the term ‘Collaborative Economy’, suggesting a common goal or purpose to co-operation. This is certainly a more fitting term for the goals and aspirations of CSR, where to be successful corporations must collaborate with multiple stakeholders, including charities and, of course, their employees.
Matthew Moorut, of Technology Trust, a non-profit that helps charities make the best use of technology, has commented that the charity sector is often seen as technologically immature. Collaborative technology platforms, however, should, by their nature, be a welcoming place for peers to collaborate regardless of previous technological access or competence.
There are many corporations and individuals achieving great things in the field of CSR, but those results are only enhanced by collaboration. In-person CSR/Sustainability events like The Crowd and our very own GivingForum go some way towards encouraging this climate of collaboration. However, as in other sectors, it is technology where the real potential to bring corporates, charities and employees together really lies.
There is still a lot of work to be done to make to make this a reality; particularly in connecting charities with corporate donors in a way that facilitates true collaboration on core issues faced by charities, and maximises the impact of corporate/charity partnerships. This is why GivingForce is working on a new Charity Portal, to plug non-profits into our existing Corporate Portal, and complete a corporate-employee-charity connection.
If you’d like to hear about the development of the GivingForce Charity Portal, you can signup to receive updates here.
GivingForce Ltd. is the corporate employee engagement portal already relied upon by FTSE100 corporations including RBS, Barclays, Centrica and British Gas. Programmes covered by our portal include volunteering, payroll giving, matching, corporate donations and compliance management. For more information, or to contact us, please visit: www.givingforce.com