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Igniting social change

Dynamo Academy Social Enterprise and Certifica Management have designed an effective voluntary management system, which makes it possible and enhances the philanthropic social sustainability strategy of an organization.

In the new complex and changing scenario that emerged from the pandemic, which has produced an acceleration of some trends already underway, companies are increasingly involved in the evolution of the economic system towards greater inclusiveness (stakeholder capitalism). It is desirable that they implement a strategic approach to social sustainability, here understood in its philanthropic dimension, aligned with business objectives. In fact, not only the actions that are expressed in liberal donations – in money, goods or services – and in corporate volunteering must produce an immediate good, but it is desirable that they trigger a “social change”: a donation acquires meaning if it allows to improve quality of the life of the recipients, reducing inequalities.

In practice, it is necessary that the resources invested create a better future for the community, translating into substantial benefits. All this works and becomes systemic if it does not conflict – but if anything favors – the need of the corporate world to be economically sustainable and profitable. This awareness has led Dynamo Academy Social Enterprise and Certifica Management to work together to design an adequate and effective voluntary management system, verifiable and based on existing good practices, as well as on national laws, which makes it possible and enhances the social sustainability strategy (philanthropic ) of an organization.

The system is divided into a series of steps and procedures that can be applied universally, regardless of the type or size of the company, the geographical location or the industrial sector. The external (community, beneficiaries, stakeholders) and internal (leadership and people of the company) dimensions are contemplated, right from the design stage, including monitoring results and continuous improvement. In essence, some concrete characteristics are suggested that business actions must interpret in order to proceed consistently in the sense outlined above, characteristics that translate precisely into the design of suitable processes. Starting from the analysis of the context, when identifying the spectrum – geographic and typological – that inspires philanthropic strategy and actions, the organization must involve the beneficiary community, identifying their real needs, explicit and implicit; planning and implementing communication actions; promoting measures aimed at disseminating greater training and awareness on problems and possible solutions, promoting processes of empowerment; creating a sense of identity and co-responsibility of the beneficiaries towards philanthropic action; stimulating the development of skills, competences and knowledge (capacity building); investing in the human-social capital of the community to promote autonomy in project management.

Following this management system, the organization also equips itself with processes and organization to perform an analysis of the stakeholders, defining and documenting the methodology and criteria for identifying them; mapping, in relation with the reference community; relevant requirements and expectations for the success of strategies and individual actions. The external dimension is also relevant when the organization has to monitor the perception of recipients / beneficiaries about the satisfaction of its own requirements, whether explicit or otherwise expected. From an internal point of view, for the management system to fulfill its function and be effective, management or the board must assume leadership, responsibility and commitment. They must therefore ensure that the policy and objectives of the philanthropic strategy are established, and that these are compatible with the context, strategic guidelines and business processes of the organization. Management must also work to ensure that the management system corresponds to a coherent organization, not only as a model and resources available, but also as an approach for processes and risk base thinking, as well as active participation, which must be encouraged at the various levels of definition. The organization must in fact involve its resources in a bottom-up logic, by relevance with different intensities, ensuring an environment suitable for spreading an understanding of the approach, objective, management model and processes.

A suitable environment can consist of a combination of factors, social (non-discriminatory and non-conflictual conditions) and psychological (stress reduction, burnout prevention, emotional protection). Once the strategy has been defined, it is necessary to outline the individual philanthropic actions (initiatives), tracing the reference perimeter, that is: specific areas and intensity of intervention, supporting reasons, type of contribution, relationship with the overall social sustainability strategies and with the objectives business, partnership. The organization must evaluate and determine the internal and external factors, positive or negative, which affect the ability to achieve the objectives defined and pursued with the corporate philanthropic strategy and with individual actions. In particular, the processes, products and services of external partners must comply with the established requirements, determining the controls to be implemented. It is in fact likely and frequent that products and services of suppliers or partners are incorporated into philanthropic actions or provided directly to beneficiaries by external partners, on behalf of the organization. The latter must finally plan and implement the monitoring, measurement, analysis and improvement processes necessary to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of philanthropic actions, continuously improving the achievement of the expected results and the effectiveness of the management system. These measurements must relate to the extent of the philanthropic action throughout the entire life cycle and must also be obtained through the management of audits and the drafting of the Sustainability Report. Through the implementation of this management system, the organization ensures that the form and substance of an innovative social sustainability strategy go hand in hand, balancing involvement and responsibility, concreteness and coherence of vision, standardization and flexibility of adaptation to contexts.

Source: DYBC MAGAZINE

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