Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is more than just a buzzword in today's business landscape. Companies are recognizing the importance of not only maximizing profits, but also giving back to society and making a positive impact on the world.
When done right, CSR projects become a powerful tool to promote a reliable and socially conscious brand to your customers. The tricky part is how to engage in CSR that properly represents your company values.
QazMonitor presents you a case study of Bank CenterCredit social report of 2022 as a guide to doing CSR in Kazakhstan the right way.
1. Use existing company resources and services
Your company may already have existing services that can be transformed in ways that benefit the community. As an example, a B2B startup that creates custom automated chatbots for retail companies can be applied to develop educational projects for school students. You don’t have to create a whole new product from scratch to make a meaningful change, like helping children have better access to educational resources.
BCC did this with their Smart Campus project at Akbobek school in Aktobe. They took their already existing product #JuniorCard – a children’s bank card that allows parents to monitor and control their activity – and implemented new features. Students of Akbobek school now use it as an access card for the turn gates at the school’s entrance. Parents also receive a notification letting them know their children are at school. The card can be used to check out books at the library, and to make payments at the school cafeteria. Convenient and safe.
So far the bank introduced Smart Campus at schools in Aktobe, Semey, Taldykorgan, Taraz, Kostanay, and Oskemen. In 2023, the plan is to do a Kazakhstan-wide launch.
2. Find opportunities to make a long-lasting impact
Giving to local charities shows your customers you truly care about your community’s needs. It takes time and effort to build trust – nurturing good will from early on creates a strong foundation for sustainable and reliable business practices for decades to come.
A good example is how the Center of Social Inclusive Programs in Almaty partners up with companies to support their projects. They currently run eight programs, including education for tutors, music school, and “Insight” inclusive school. We highly recommend checking their website for ongoing fundraisers if you want to join Kazakhstan's inclusive education movement.
The head of the Center, Saltanat Murzalinova-Yakovleva, reflected on what made their partnership with BCC particularly meaningful:
“Bank CenterCredit is not just a sponsor or a benefactor, but a company that invests in children. The money that Bank CenterCredit allocated to buy equipment for the school and the center is an investment and support for the children. This is not targeted assistance, but a real partnership”.
3. Creating a sense of purpose
Social responsibility benefits not only society but the community within the company. Regular participation in charity fares, voluntary community work and annual goodwill events helps build a sense of purpose beyond the workplace. A socially conscious work environment equals more empowered employees.
As part of their social activity, BCC employees annually participate in New Year make-a-wish program established by Adil foundation. In 2022 more than 100 gifts were donated to the children, allowing each employee to fulfill the New Year wishes of children from the foundation.
4. Represent your brand through social projects
The projects you choose reflect your brand’s identity and values. Numbers change but a legacy is remembered for a long while. Social work sends a powerful message to current and potential customers about the kind of company you are and what you stand for.
In the case study of BCC’s 2022 social report, the company outlined four directions–children, art and creativity, ecology, and sports–they support as part of their mission.
We are changing our approach to the relationship with you–our customers. We want to become even more transparent and close to each one of you. After all, we work for people. Our bank has come a long way to become one of the most reliable and stable financial institutions in the country for 34 years of operation. And we don't stop on the achieved, but go forward confidently. We are not just building a bank but creating a center of trust for you!
Here are just a few CSR examples illustrating important work done in each direction:
Children: BALA QORGAU is a sponsorship project to provide psychological help to children and parents. Done in collaboration with the Committee for Children’s Rights Protection and Menin Atamekenim foundation.
Art and creativity: BCC sponsored a concert of Ratovich and Orchestra Lab as well as the first Broadway-tier musical in Kazakhstan called Julia.
Ecology: The bank organizes community cleanups and environmental campaigns, webinars, and activities to promote the principles of conscious consumption.
Sports: The bank granted 100 million tenge to the Kazakhstan Chess Federation to support intellectual sports development in the country. As for the team building activities, the bank organized a football tournament BCC Cup 2022 for employees across Kazakhstan.