With India becoming (apparently) the first
country to have created legislation around corporate social responsibility
(CSR) and certainly the first one to have ‘mandated’ spends toward CSR, the
debate about the wrongs and the rights around the new law is starting to gain
more and more voices. While some companies are completely opposing the law,
some are seeking alterations in the rules, and some others are busy
reconceptualizing and restructuring their existing CSR programmes to ensure
that their CSR monies are being spent as per the new law.

However, the companies need to realize that
the new law is not binding in nature and is not at all forcing them to shell
out an ‘additional’ two per cent of their net profits. ‘With minimal
re-budgeting and by smartly strategizing the new policy, the company’s many
activities can be brought under the CSR law’s ambit, without actually having to
shell out any percentage of income or profits of the company,’ says the CSR KIT
concept developed by CauseBecause.

CSR KIT is a unique
service product wherein Team CauseBecause engages with the company’s human
resource, marketing and public relations departments and conceptualizes a
contemporary CSR policy for the company. They ensure that CSR is ‘not’ a separate
activity requiring separate budgets or a separate department; rather, it
becomes an additional responsibility of all the departments of the company and
is further embedded in every single activity that the company does.

Once the company’s business-embedded CSR
policy is formed, Team CauseBecause conceptualizes contemporary CSR programmes
that are scalable as well as sustainable. The team also engages with its
partners (including grassroots NGOs, VOs and social entrepreneurs) and
facilitates co-implementation of the programme – the task that most companies
have so far not been able to perform efficiently.

Thereon, Team CauseBecause constantly
monitors the progress of the programmes, ensures best possible impact and
finally hands over the impact analysis as well as statistics to its editorial
experts, who bring out the comprehensive sustainability report of the company.
The report is not just in sync with Section 135 of the Companies Act, it is
also in line with international sustainability benchmarks.

The CSR KIT is already at implementation
stage at one of the oldest corporate business houses in India as well as
several SMEs that fall under the new law’s ambit.

Interestingly, Team CauseBeause
channelizesthe company’s marketing and public
relations budgets toward CSR in a way that most of the CSR funds become
tax-free under 80G.