You wouldn’t race a triathlon without building up your endurance levels to swim, cycle and run the full distance. There is a clear strategy to training.

The same is true for engaging in CSR – campaigns need a strategy to make sense.

For example: I recently spoke to a real estate broker loved the idea of using his business resources to support breast cancer – a worthy cause. His initial reaction was to donate “x” amount to a national breast cancer non-profit and be done with it.  What a waste.

Instead, the Broker needed to create a strategic cause related marketing campaign.  First, define three business goals: (1) recruit new agents. (2) Develop sales skills for the new agent.  (3) Strengthen relationships with his agents.

Then, use that insight, to leverage a cause marketing campaign that also supports his business goals.

CSR StrategyFor example, he could promise to donate money to the charity when a new agent joins his team and with each closing.   He could organize team building volunteer days to help a family battling breast cancer by doing various household projects: paint a room, build a garden, fix a computer, cook a weeks worth of food, or change the oil in the family car.

That strategy could show the Broker’s stakeholders how he uses his real estate resources to support his community, that he wasn’t in business to focus just on the financial bottom line, and that he wanted to build a supportive team.  Ultimately that strategic commitment could attract like-minded, loyal agents who could help the Broker build his business.

Many company leaders let their compassionate emotions screw up their strategy. They support causes without strategizing how the support could create a triple bottom line helping people, the planet and their profits thrive.

Focus on the strategic connections and build relationships with all your stakeholders.