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"Corona and the social engagement of business"

In a recent study, the "ZiviZ im Stifterverband" and the Bertelsmann Foundation examined the social engagement of corporate enterprises in times of the Corona pandemic.

Inward engagement

The results show that the nature of corporate engagement changed during the Corona crisis. While the focus before the pandemic was on sports and culture, since 2020 activities have increasingly been directed inward and toward the health sector. Companies are doing more for their employees, both in terms of healthcare and in terms of making work models more flexible. This is often accompanied by the adjustment of the IT infrastructure to these new models as well as the development of skills for this.

Changes in the giving sector

Particularly when looking at the wide range of corporate enterprises, it is apparent that monetary donations have been on the decline since March 2020. This is interesting in light of the results of a study by the DZI, which looked at donations from individuals. According to this, monetary donations increased during the Corona pandemic (we have summarized this in this article).

It should be added that the picture is different amongst DAX companies: In the sample of these large companies, many of which were rather minimally affected by the pandemic, a full 80% said they donated money regularly.

Companies see added value in engagement

The study reveals an interesting shift in the perception of what goals the company is pursuing with the engagement. According to the study, the companies surveyed increasingly see added value in the areas of employee retention, employer attractiveness and skills enhancement. Whereas in 2018, for example, only 15% said they were using engagement to strengthen employee retention, in November 2020 the figure was 25%.

Dovetailing inward and outward engagement

The study recommends that companies professionalize their CSR and CC activities by dovetailing inward and outward engagement. It is also recommended that companies use the progress they have made in terms of flexibilization and digitization to further develop their corporate culture on this basis. As a concrete example, it is stated that companies should "coordinate their social aspirations with their employees in participatory processes and then focus more strongly on this development in the company's social positioning."

In closing, the study emphasizes that more room for social engagement can be an important step for professional corporate engagement. This is because it leads to self-efficacy and promotes personal development from soft skills to creativity.

WeShape as an instrument for more employee participation

WeShape is aimed at companies that want to professionally combine their inward-looking engagement with their corporate giving. The CSR engagement platform enables companies to involve employees in the engagement, democratize the donation activities and create added value at the same time: Employee loyalty, (employer) branding and purpose in the job. Read more here.

May we give a tour of the platform? Make an appointment for a demo here.

Download the study (German)

Corona and the social engagement of business