Social Enterprise and Effective/Efficient Altruism – It’s Time to Get Started
The main goal of modern effective or efficient altruism movement is to transform philanthropy in two different ways. First is to direct philanthropy to the most essential objectives, and second is through making sure that philanthropic dollars will be spent in the most effective way possible.
As a growing philosophical movement, effective altruism believes that all lives have equal value, and that in your life, you have to try to do the most good you can.
According to effective altruism proponents, the best way to do this is through application of reason and evidence to work out and support only the most effective ways of improving the world. It means that people should be unsentimental when it comes to your charitable activities, focusing interventions and support on causes and organizations which will do the most good with all available resources.
Effective altruism poses a big challenge for social enterprises to prove that their intervention is much stronger than merely donating cash to any effective charity. More often than not, companies have the disparate set of CSR or corporate social responsibility activities in which the link to business is minimal at its best. In order to maximize the effectiveness, they should use the core business competencies then focus on specific economic, environmental, or societal issues they are best positioned to handle.
As a proof of the scale of the corporate community contributions, it is no longer a new thing to see a social enterprise that invests into community activities.
Having said this, what are the most important lessons for companies as they try to make the most out of the effectiveness of the corporate social responsibility programs they follow?
Focus on the Impacts
Social enterprises must show the effects of their investments. Being able to understand how interventions managed to improve lives is the start of understanding these impacts. To go a step further, companies must try to understand the effectiveness of such interventions when it comes to the added value they can bring as one organization.
Probably the clearest reason from efficient or effective altruism for the CSR practitioners involves the criteria they are using for the evaluation of their corporate charity partners. Such criteria are expected to be rigorous. These must focus on the possible effects of a partnership, and these must also show why the type of intervention and the partner in question is the most effective option it can ever make.
Be Clear on the True Purpose of the CSR Program
Finally, always keep in mind that CRS is not just all about altruism. This also brings benefits to a social enterprise, from skills development to employee engagement, to acquiring social license for operation, and underpinning corporate brand. All companies must be open about it. There are a lot of trade-offs which make have to take place in between these priorities.
Could you say that there is a perfect fit between corporate social responsibility and effective altruism? For now, probably not. However, there are several clear areas where the two overlap.
- Globalie Blog Team