With so many different CSR (corporate social responsibility) software available, figuring out which is the right one for your organization is tough. You know you want a tool to track, manage, and report on your organizations social and environmental efforts and activities, but you need to figure out which software is best. In this post, I'll help make your choice easier by sharing my insights on the best CSR software for streamlining your CSR activities based on my personal experience supporting a CSR committee in the past.
What is CSR Software?
CSR software is a tool that helps businesses organize, manage, and report on their social and environmental initiatives. You can use it to track environmental and social impacts, manage sustainability initiatives, engage employees in CSR activities, track corporate giving, and ensure compliance with industry regulations.
CSR software helps organizations boost employee participation in CSR initiatives by improving the transparency of initiatives, highlighting why each initiative is important to the company and how it aligns with corporate sustainability goals. This type of software also uses automation to create quarterly or annual reports for key stakeholders, reducing administrative burdens on your staff and saving time.
Millie is a CSR platform that enables you to build a culture of giving with flexible donation matching programs. The tool enables you to boost employee engagement by accelerating their fundraising efforts.
Why I picked Millie: I picked Millie because it centralizes your employee giving activities in one dashboard. You can create donation matching programs for adjustable amounts and with flexible matching ratios.
Once you set up the programs, you can approve donation matches with a single click and receive notifications about new employee activity you might be interested in. The platform also enables you to reward employees with charitable gift cards.
Millie Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include corporate giving programs, employee volunteering programs, and volunteer event planning. I love Millie’s gamification feature because it enables you to create a bracket of your team’s favorite NGOs and go through four rounds of voting to decide how to split the money from your company’s pool based on the NGOs’ position in the bracket.
Integrations include communication tools and SSO providers, such as Slack, Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, Okta, OneLogin, and Microsoft Azure.
- Powerful reporting features
- Helps you engage with a variety of NGOs
- Keeps employees engaged with gamification
- Global organizations may struggle to find local nonprofit organizations in some regions
- Can be difficult to sync volunteer hours into payroll reporting
Optimy is a CSR solution that helps you give back to your local community. The software helps you and your team support local causes that align with your organization’s values.
Why I picked Optimy: I selected Optimy because it enables program managers to build lasting relationships with local communities. The platform allows you to list local causes in a dashboard to raise your employees’ awareness and helps you track the impact of your initiatives using real-time data and KPIs.
Optimy’s flexible dashboard enables you to oversee multiple initiatives at once. You can automate several tasks, such as collecting reviews or assigning tasks, and you can easily pull reports to share them with stakeholders.
Optimy Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include analytics and reporting, grant management, in-app collaboration, and KPI tracking. I’m a fan of Optimy’s application evaluation. This feature enables you to sift through incoming applications with advanced filters, so you can make sure your team engages only with great causes.
Integrations include marketing solutions and ERP systems, such as MailChimp, SAP Business One, Make, Eventbrite, Salesforce, and DocuSign. Optimy also offers a RESTful API.
- Proactive customer support
- Makes it easy to compare the progress and impact of different initiatives
- Has a modular build, so you only pay for what you need
- Some features can be difficult to master
- Setting up forms can be time-consuming
Chezuba is a CSR solution that helps you create impactful volunteering campaigns for your remote employees. The platform enables you to find charitable causes in 100+ countries.
Why I picked Chezuba: Chezuba made it into my top 10 list because it enables you to find skill-based volunteering options in 100+ countries, making it ideal for global organizations. The platform helps you set up onsite or online volunteering campaigns for your team members, making it easy for them to get involved with your CSR programs.
Chezuba has partnerships with dozens of charitable organizations and gives you access to a curated list of opportunities. You can create volunteering or donation campaigns for your team and nudge them to join with gamification.
Chezuba Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include skill-based volunteering, challenges, and online and onsite projects. I like Chezuba’s gamification features because it enables you to turn your CSR program into a friendly competition with points and leaderboards you can share in a social feed to motivate your team members.
Integrations include communication tools, such as Google Workspace, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and HRMS solutions.
- Flexible, customizable solution
- Easy implementation
- Proactive customer support department
- Limited number of opportunities in Europe
- No mobile app
Deed is a CSR platform that helps multilingual organizations create volunteering and fundraising campaigns in 20+ languages. The solution supports 130+ currencies, allowing your remote workers to donate in their local currency.
Why I picked Deed: I selected Deed because it’s available in 100+ countries and translated into 20+ languages. This makes the platform ideal for multilingual organizations, as administrators can create volunteering and fundraising events for all their employees worldwide.
Deed has a nice, colorful interface. The software enables you to collaborate with team members in Slack, making it easier to gain your team’s interest and celebrate your accomplishment.
Deed Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include employee volunteering, gamification, and employee engagement. I like Deed’s employee engagement features because they enable you to motivate your team with collective initiatives, virtual or onsite events, and leaderboards.
Integrations include payment processing tools, volunteering apps, and authentication solutions, such as OneLogin, OpenID, Better Place, Microsoft Azure, Okta, Workday, Paylocity, ADP, Volunteer Match, Network for Good, and Stripe.
- Rich library of training resources
- Transforms your CSR initiatives into collaborative efforts
- App has a clean, straightforward interface
- The admin dashboard can seem overwhelming to novice users
- Data communication between the desktop and mobile apps may delay from time to time
Selflessly is a CSR software that enables you to track and manage your team’s charitable initiatives. The platform helps you find local and national volunteering opportunities for your employees and monitor your team’s involvement.
Why I picked Selflessly: I selected Selflessly because it helps you manage how and where your company is volunteering. You can choose from over 60,000 verified volunteering opportunities and create groups for your team members to share their charitable experience.
Selflessly offers a strong reporting feature that enables you to gain a deeper understanding of how your organization is volunteering. You can find out what charitable programs your employees cared about and seek similar opportunities to raise their interest in future volunteering initiatives.
Selflessly Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include impact assessment, corporate giving, and reports and analytics. I like Selflessly’s employee engagement features because they enable you to set individual or group participation goals and collaborate with your team on Slack to achieve them.
Integrations include access management, communication, and volunteering management solutions, such as Okta, Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, Slack, Microsoft 365, and VolunteerMatch.
- Easy to navigate and use
- Makes it easy to set up automated donation matching campaigns
- Great at tracking your team’s impact
- Some charities are listed under different names, making them difficult to find
- Search filters could be more granular
Submittable is an all-in-one CSR platform that helps you create, run, and manage philanthropy programs. The software helps you increase employee engagement with workplace giving initiatives.
Why I picked Submittable: I selected Submittable for my top 10 list because its giving and matching module makes it easy for administrators to create, share, and monitor employee donation programs. The solution enables you to create programs with a drag-and-drop builder, and you can set up automations to match your team’s donations within certain rules and thresholds.
Submittable creates dashboards for your employees so they can track their donations and volunteering efforts over time, and administrators can pull reports to see their team’s participation and impact.
Submittable Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include branded organization portals, permission levels, and eligibility screening. I like Submittable’s form-building feature because it enables you to create eye-catching forms for participant data collection without creating friction.
Integrations include CRMs and communication tools, such as Asana, monday.com, Salesforce, MailChimp, Gmail, Slack, Airtable, HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, QuickBooks, Stripe, and FreshBooks. Submittable also offers a RESTful API.
- Rich library of online tutorials
- Proactive customer support department
- Good variety of report templates
- Limited translation options for international users
- Forms don’t look great when printed
Benevity is a corporate social responsibility software that helps you create small CSR activities for your employees to join. This helps you encourage your team to get involved in social impact programs with minimal effort.
Why I picked Benevity: Benevity made it into my top 10 list thanks to its ability to create small, seemingly inconsequential actions that can lead to big social and business changes. The platform enables you to create actions that don’t require a lot of effort or money to join, such as supporting local businesses or lowering your carbon footprint.
Then, the platform allows you to gamify these activities by showing how many of your employees have started them, and tracking the progress they’ve made. Plus, you can also reward top participants with points.
Benevity Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include affinity groups, volunteer opportunities, and corporate giving. I like Benevity’s employee giving feature because it allows your team members to personalize their donations, schedule one-time or recurring payments, and make charitable donations in multiple currencies.
Integrations include payment solutions and security providers, such as Apple Pay, PayPal, Okta, VolunteerMatch, and Workday. Benevity also offers a RESTful API.
- Smooth learning curve
- Nice-looking, customizable reports you can present to stakeholders
- Employees can track their yearly donations and receive tax receipts
- Can be difficult to set up complex donation matching programs
- Creating volunteer programs that span over long periods of time could be easier
Goodworld is a CSR software that enables you to increase employee engagement through social features. The platform allows you to raise money for charitable causes on social media with branded fundraising campaigns.
Why I picked Goodworld: Goodworld made it into my top 10 list thanks to its social sharing features. The platform allows you to share your charitable programs on social media so you can boost your community’s engagement.
Goodworld offers dedicated features to help you promote the social causes you stand behind, and allows you to collect donations directly from Facebook and Twitter users.
Goodworld Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include branded campaign pages, automated email sequences, and event planning. I like Goodworld’s spare change feature because it helps you raise money with recurring microtransactions that are easy to set up.
Integrations include social media platforms and CRMs, such as Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and Stripe.
- Makes it easy to set up recurring donations
- Drag-and-drop campaign builder
- Smooth learning curve
- Reports could be more detailed
- Creating designs that look good on all devices can be challenging
GoodUp is a CSR software that enables you to boost your team’s involvement in CSR initiatives by creating social challenges. The solution helps you build a positive workplace culture with action-oriented programs.
Why I picked GoodUp: I chose GoodUp because it encourages your team to build new habits with social challenges. The platform allows you to build challenges around sustainability, diversity and inclusion, or employee well-being, and makes it easy for your team members to participate.
GoodUp allows you to share your team’s achievements via internal newsletters or collaboration tools, so you can increase employee engagement. You can create leaderboards to highlight top participants and track the impact of your initiatives over time.
GoodUp Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include skill-based volunteering, crowdfunding campaigns, and custom branding. I like GoodUp’s crowdfunding feature because it enables you to incentivize participants with rewards, making it more likely to gain support for your programs.
Integrations include communication tools and social media platforms, such as Microsoft Yammer, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Helps you increase user engagement with micro actions
- Great onboarding experience
- Makes it easy to create and share programs
- Limited customization options
- Administrators face a learning curve
OnHand is a CSR software solution that enables you to manage and track your team’s volunteering activity. The tool uses gamification to make your CSR projects more engaging.
Why I picked OnHand: I chose OnHand because it makes it fun for your employees to have a positive impact on their communities. The software’s mobile app enables your team members to choose the causes they want to help with based on proximity and other criteria, and you can assign points to each activity.
With OnHand, you can reward volunteers with custom badges and you can create leaderboards to showcase which team members do the most social good.
OnHand Standout Features and Integrations:
Standout features include employee engagement, payroll giving, and donations. I like OnHand’s sustainability module because it enables you to track your CO2 emissions and make pledges that have a global impact.
Integrations are available using their RESTful API.
- Smooth learning curve
- Offers a wide variety of social causes
- Helpful mobile app
- No search function for programs
- Some default causes don’t have a clear goal
Best for sustainability management
Best for supply chain risk management
Best for sponsorship programs
Carbon and More
Best for carbon footprint estimations
Best for impact measurement
Best for forest conservation programs
Salesforce Philanthropy Cloud
Best for location-based recommendations
Best for seasonal campaigns
Best for UK-based small and medium businesses
Best for extensive volunteering programs
Selection Criteria for CSR Software
Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best CSR software for this article:
Every software I included in this list enables you to choose social causes you believe in and create programs for your employees. Other core functionalities I looked for include:
- Program creation and management: You should be able to create detailed programs that explain why you’re backing a specific cause, and you should be able to set goals and deadlines for them.
- Impact tracking: There’s no point in creating CSR programs if you don’t know whether they’re successful or not – so you should be able to track and assess their impact.
CSR software offers a variety of features, but the following are essential:
- Data collection: The solutions should help you collect and centralize data about your CSR initiatives, such as participant numbers, the number of donations, donation size, and so on.
- Budget management: Your CSR budget is limited, so you should be able to make the most out of it with dedicated management features.
- Employee engagement: Your team members won’t participate in your CSR programs if they don’t know anything about them, so the platforms should enable you to spread the word about your initiatives and boost employee engagement.
Creating and managing successful CSR programs can be difficult, but that doesn’t mean you have to use complicated tools to do it. I selected tools that are easy to use so even novice HR professionals could benefit from them.
Actionable Reports & Insights
The solutions should help you track the KPIs that matter to your organization, and create reports on your CSR performance so you can present them to stakeholders and/or the public.
It’s almost impossible to create, track, manage, and promote your CSR programs while also managing your team and communicating with stakeholders – with just one tool. That’s why I selected solutions that integrate with other popular apps you’re already using.
CSR software comes at different prices, but I only selected tools that offer you a great return on your investment. Many platforms also offer limited free plans (a.k.a. freemium plans) to start off so you can get a sense of how they work before you make a financial commitment.
What is corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
CSR is a process that enables organizations to hold themselves socially accountable to stakeholders, investors, and the public. The role of CSR is to help businesses be conscious about the impact they have on their workforce, local communities, and the environment – and to make efforts to ensure that the impact is a positive one.
Why is corporate social responsibility (CSR) important?
CSR is important for several reasons:
- It helps with employee retention: CSR initiatives help businesses and their employees determine whether their organization respects their HR procedures and honors the promises they make in their employee handbook. They can also make the employees see the company more favorably, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention.
- It aligns with regulatory compliance: CSR programs are HR policy must-haves for businesses operating in fields with fast-changing regulatory systems.
- It leads to better brand reputation and relations: Companies with successful CSR programs have stronger brand images and gain positive media coverage, which improves their relations.
What type of CSR metrics should my organization track?
There are several CSR metrics you can track:
- Employee-facing metrics: Such as employee benefits and satisfaction, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, volunteer hours contributed, and funds raised.
- Supply chain metrics: Such as greenhouse gas emissions, carbon footprint, or the adherence to labor practices and human rights laws.
- Governance metrics: Such as board diversity, board compensation, or corporate transparency.
Other Software Reviews & Resources
Interested in company culture? Here are some other resources from People Managing People you might be interested in:
- Company Culture: Why it Matters and How to Improve Your Own
- What is Board Governance? A Best Practice Guide
- Board Governance Software for Board Members
- Employee Survey Tools for Staff Feedback
- Mentoring Software for Mentors and Mentees
- How to Launch an Effective Mentoring Program in 6 Steps
- Employee Handbook Software for HR Teams
CSR software can help you increase customer engagement and loyalty. As Tammy Sons, the CEO of TN Nursery said: “Consumers are more informed in today's digitized environment. They understand that they have a role to play in improving this world, and as a result, partnering with socially responsible businesses gives them a sense of belonging. The more businesses are socially responsible, the more supportive consumers get.
Participating in or hosting community events and other activities that benefit society allows businesses to connect with customers and earn their trust. In turn, customers can feel proud of the impactful changes that are happening around them. While they might not always participate directly in providing charity donations, they will feel proud for supporting socially responsible businesses.”
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