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Living and Giving:

Stories And Causes You Care About

Why a CSR Tool Might Not Be For You

By Leo Ramirez Posted on May 25, 2017

We know what you’re thinking: “Why would a company that sells CSR tools write a blog post explaining why I shouldn’t buy a CSR tool?” We understand your skepticism, but the truth is – we know that CSR tools, even our amazing CSR tools, are not for everyone.

There are a variety of reasons a CSR tool may not be a good fit you and your company, at least not right now.

You Still Don’t Offer Medical or 401(k)

Corporate social responsibility tools that help facilitate employee giving are fantastic additions to existing comprehensive benefits packages. If your company does not offer medical benefits or a 401(k) plan right now, you probably shouldn’t invest in a CSR tool.

If you are looking to expand your employee benefit program, start by adding medical and 401(k) benefits. You, and your employees, will get the more out of those benefits than a CSR tool.

Further down the road, after you’ve offered medical and 401(k) for awhile, it may be time to consider a CSR tool. But hold off until the other benefits are established.

You’ve Already Tried Many Platforms

Maybe you started your search for a cure-all for your employee culture a year ago. Over the past year, you’ve tried one option after another, to no avail. At this point, it may be time to step back and put your search on the backburner for awhile.

When you introduce several different platforms in a short period of time, your employees are liable to get “tool burnout.” Eventually, it doesn’t matter how great the next CSR tool you try is.

Why would your employees bother to learn how to use a new CSR tool, when they believe you’ll be replacing again in a month or two?

There are other things you can do to address your employee culture that don’t involve buying a new platform. Why not start by asking yourself these 5 Questions to Gauge the Strength of Your Employee Culture and go from there?

You’re Looking for Immediate ROI

If you want instant gratification, you’re looking in the wrong place. Changing employee culture can be a very slow process.

A CSR tool is just that: a tool. It is not a magic wand that will wave away underlying issues. Even if you have a strong, positive employee culture, the impact of a CSR tool like WorkHERO, is not immediate.

With a successful corporate social responsibility program, you are building a workplace community, based on respect and a shared goal of making the world a better place. That won’t happen overnight.

If you buy a CSR tool expecting instantaneous results, you will be sorely disappointed.

The Bulk of Your Employee Base in Minimum Wage Workers

If the majority of your employees are earning minimum wage, you may have a hard time implementing an employee giving program even with a spectacular CSR tool. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average minimum wage earner is responsible for at least half of their family’s income and does not have much, if any discretionary spending money.

Your CEO/Executive Team Doesn’t Give

Your corporate culture has to go all the way to the top. If giving back to the community is not a core value in the CEO or executive team’s personal lives, don’t try to make it a core value of your company.

Offering an employee giving tool when employees at the highest levels do not give can appear disingenuous or hypocritical. As a result, attempting to increase employee satisfaction and improve your corporate culture with a CSR tool is likely to backfire.

You’re Not Bought In

This should really be a given. If you or your team isn’t bought into the idea of a corporate social responsibility program, you won’t see the impact of buying a corporate social responsibility tool.

It’s basic business. If you don’t believe in your product, you’re not going to sell it to anybody.


Obviously, here at Encast we believe that our WorkHERO CSR tool can transform workplace employee giving programs. But that doesn’t mean it, or any CSR tool on the market, is a good idea for your company.

Before investing in a CSR tool, make sure it’s the right option at the right time for you and your company.

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Benefits, CSR

Author: Leo Ramirez

Leo is the co-founder and CEO of Encast, an organization dedicated to improving the way CSR professions create, manage, and measure CSR programs. Leo is passionate about the role that culture plays in business success. Leo has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. His 25-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

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