Corporate Social Responsibility: Your #1 Recruiter

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In this guest post, we hear from Ross Treakle, Co-Founder of OneDonation. Keep reading to learn four ways you can incorporate corporate social responsibility into your organizational culture to enhance your recruiting and retention efforts in 2020. 

In 2016, Millennials took over as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In 2020, Millennials are forecast to comprise over half of the workforce. When you combine millennials and the even younger Gen Z entering the workforce with the retirement of Baby Boomers, employees are getting younger, and businesses need to be prepared to recruit this tech-savvy, forward-thinking generation. 

In order to successfully recruit the next generation of employees, businesses must embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The implications of CSR reach far beyond the fuzzy feelings associated with giving to charity. A successful CSR program can impact everything from sales and public perception to employee retention and recruitment.

The State of Corporate Social Responsibility

Though corporate social responsibility certainly isn’t new, it has become a more pressing factor for reputation and recruiting—and the data supports this. For millennials specifically:

  • 63% give to charity (Deloitte)
  • 43% actively volunteer (Deloitte)
  • 32% would consider leaving a job if their employer gave too little to charity (Undercover Recruiter)
  • 50% of new hires say that CSR policies influenced whether or not they accepted a job (Undercover Recruiter)
  • 53% want to work for a company with a mission to make a difference in the world (Case Foundation)
millennial excited about giving to charity

In a recent article from Business Roundtable, nearly 200 CEOs stated that shareholder value is no longer their main objective. 

So, what made the list of new business objectives? 

“Supporting the communities in which we work” 

This is a clear sign of the times in which we now do business–corporate social responsibility is a business pillar that cannot be ignored

group of millennials hanging out

How do you create and cultivate a culture that embraces CSR? 

You’re in luck—we’ve got your roadmap. As a company that specializes in creating a frictionless donation process, we know the ropes when it comes to incorporating CSR into culture.

1.) Know Your Business

The first step to creating a successful CSR program is to identify what categories of nonprofits match your company’s mission and work. No one knows your business better than you, so this step should be pretty easy. Is your company veteran owned? Do you have an open policy for employees to bring dogs to work? Are you a utility company that could support water conservation efforts? Consider your corporate culture and align your values with a cause that is related to that mission. 

For example, at One Donation, we connect corporate social responsibility to employee engagement through paperless payroll deduction donations. For our company, being paperless is important, so we plant a tree the first time a client’s employee gives a payroll donation to a non-profit.

2.) Know Your Employees

The next step in developing a CSR program for recruiting is to know your employees. What are their interests? What nonprofits do they already support? In smaller companies, you can easily ask questions directly to your employees. In larger companies, you may choose to interview a few employees viewed as influencers in your company. Or, you could send a survey to all employees to identify important non-profit categories or specific non-profits that they already support.

millennial group at volunteer event

At One Donation, we are fortunate to have a corporate social responsibility consultant that serves on our board. Since we are a small company, she individually interviewed each member of our team to identify what causes were important to us as individuals. She has used this information to develop our CSR policy.

3.) Sync CSR To Your Corporate Culture

At this point, you have identified non-profits that align with your business and have employee input on the non-profits they support. Now you can develop a CSR policy and begin a program that engages employees to participate. 

As with any new HR program implementation, it will be important to get buy in and engage with upper management and key influencers in your business. One great tool to use is competition; whether individual, division, location or any other segment of your business. 

An event that we have used successfully is a chili cook-off between employees. Employees that participate get to not only compete for the best chili, they also get to submit their favorite charity. Employees that choose to eat and vote in the cookoff are asked to make a donation. The funds raised will then be distributed to the non-profit submitted by the employee who made the winning chili. This creates a great follow up email to announce the winner, share the non-profit they chose and provide a story of why they chose that non-profit.

4.) Promote Your Program

Now that you have aligned your CSR strategy with your corporate culture, take time to spread the word.

Many companies devote a page or even several pages on their corporate website to highlight the impact of their CSR policies on the world. Be sure to include photos and videos when relevant to share any events you have that support your CSR policies and highlight employee participation.

And last but certainly not least, don’t forget to share your employee participation in CSR events on your social network pages. When potential employees start a job search and come across your company, the CSR policies you have in place which align with your employees will now be front and center.



What are your organizational values, and how can creating a more robust and transparent CRS policy help support those? When done correctly, Corporate Social Responsibility will be your #1 recruiter.


Ross Treakle, Co-Founder, OneDonation

The One Donation platform increases engagement by empowering employees to support the causes that matter the most to them with payroll deduction donations. One Donation can integrate directly into most HR and/or payroll platform eliminating ‘friction’​ and paperwork often associated with workplace giving campaigns. In addition, all transactions are recorded in a distributed blockchain, ensuring that all parties involved have complete transparency in the flow of funds. Learn more at

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