Your business should have a grander purpose than making its customers’ lives easier. While serving a particular market is social responsibility in itself, it doesn’t leave much impact on a community. To become a true socially responsible business, your community should benefit from your operations.
For example, Lego has replaced their plastic materials with plant-based plastic from sugarcane. This commitment to sustainability made Lego one of the companies with the best reputation in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
If your business caters to educated individuals, focusing your CSR on education would suit your values and missions best. You will definitely leave an impact. As of late, more than 72 million children of primary school age are out of school. Over 700 million adults can’t read and write. And the total number of college students from poor families has increased from 12% to 20% in 2016. The last was a positive development, but if colleges and universities don’t offer enough support for low-income students, their futures can be affected.
Help Send More Kids to School
Whether you run a bookstore, private educational institution, or library, your organization can help send more kids to school. Start off by promoting a cause. This will help catch your customers’ attention and encourage them to support your cause as well.
Find an NGO to partner with. At least nine NGOs advocate for the right to education. Three of them are:
Childhood Education International (CE)
CE International focuses on children 0 to 11 years old, or the most vulnerable age group. They have three primary programs, such as the Center for Education Diplomacy and Leadership, Global Schools First, and Innovation Exchange. The first program helps world leaders advocate for changes in education policies and practices. Global Schools First helps primary schools around the world adopt a curriculum that would enable pupils to reach standardized milestones. Lastly, Innovation Exchange is an online platform that shows recommendations for advancing current educational practices.
Plan International fights for children’s rights and equality for girls in education. Their programs are focused on girls, children with disabilities, kids from minority groups, and those living in impoverished communities. Plan International aims to improve the access of these vulnerable groups to education. They also address issues regarding education out of school, pre-primary education, and early childhood care.
Save the Children
Like Plan International, Save the Children focuses on vulnerable groups. In addition, they help children facing discrimination in education and children experiencing emergencies and crises. They partner with local and national governments to improve education access for these groups. Also, they ensure that schools help students develop their reading and writing skills early.
Help Increase Worldwide Literacy Rates
Children and adults will have a hard time receiving education if they can’t even read and write. Though literacy rates have shown positive trends over the years, 759 million children and adults across the world still can’t read and write. In the U.S. alone, 43% of adults are functionally illiterate. But literacy rates are the lowest in underdeveloped countries.
Your business can also help increase literacy rates by supporting certain NGOs like:
Room to Read
Every year, Room to Read provides outstanding educational programs and learning materials to nearly one million kids. They’re a global organization with local chapters you can donate to.
Reading is Fundamental
To help educate illiterates in the U.S., donate to Reading is Fundamental. They collaborate with publishing houses, book distributors, schools, community centers, clinics, homeless shelters, and migrant camps to provide books and other reading material to illiterate children.
Book Aid International
This U.K.-based organization supplies one million new books to more than 3,000 libraries every year. Your regular donations can help them increase their donations and reach more libraries.
Help Low-Income Students Go to College
Though we’re also seeing positive trends in low-income students going to college, those from underdeveloped countries could use more help. Donate to these organizations to help change their lives:
Equal Opportunity Schools
Since its founding, EOS has doubled and even tripled the number of low-income students they’ve sent to college. They were recently awarded by Google the Global Impact Award.
The Education Trust
The EdTrust advocates for policy changes to improve the school system, especially for low-income students and students of color.
This NGO matches low-income students to mentors. They aim to empower high school students, let them finish college, and achieve their goals. The mentor-and-mentee program lasts for three to four years, and the mentors often reach out to their mentees into their first year of college.
With an excellent CSR platform, you can show your customers where their donations go. You can also post updates about the progress of your fundraising campaigns. Together, your business and its customers can and make education available for all and transform lives.