Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Towards Intrinsic Social Change

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is defined very differently depending on the company. Some companies, after years of operations, create a CSR function to address the growing need to be more transparent and accountable towards their business practice and the communities where to do business. In recent years, newer companies have woven CSR into the fabric of their companies from the ground up, focusing on making the world a better place through their product and services. Giving back to the communities where we live and do business has never been more important, but there are some companies that do it more right than others.

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Since the term Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship has been coined for the establishment of this initiative within companies, there has been criticism on its validity depending on the company and its approach. Some companies use it as a PR and Marketing stunt, while others focus beyond the term CSR and focus on making the most positive impact with their allocated resources-- whether it be staff, funds, or leveraging their products and services for good. The first two are important but we believe the last, is how a company makes a lasting positive mark on the world.

Some of these companies include Salesforce, making their CRM SAAS available to nonprofits for donor relations management, AirBnB mobilizing housing assistance for natural disaster relief, or Coca Cola leveraging the most extensive supply chain in the world to deliver medicine in some of the most remote places in the world. In our case, Liven is using our payment platform to help our users donate after every transaction they make, making it easier and more accessible for users to give and for charities to receive donations.

The trick is leveraging a company to benefit all its stakeholders, including users who live in the communities where business is done. Since day one of Liven, the Founders (William Wong, Grace Wong, and David Ballerini) took on the enormous task of building a product that benefits its stakeholders in the Liven ecosystem all at once-- this includes our users, our network of merchant partners and our charity partners. From the beginning, the founders’ built into Liven’s foundation the goal of going beyond CSR and creating intrinsic value for all stakeholders. This began by implementing the “Donate Now” feature, a charitable fundraising element that has been incorporated in the Liven platform since 2015. With Liven, a customers will pay for a meal using the payment platform through the app, get rewarded with a percentage of their bill back to use again within Liven’s network of merchants or donate it to a nominated nonprofit. This creates an engaging and cost effective fundraising channel that enables charities to access an audience of engaged consumers at a time when they are most amenable to giving. Key charity partners include the RSPCA Victoria, beyondblue, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Salvation Army, OzHarvest, Very Special Kids, the Heart Foundation and Move Australia.

Liven has worked hard to build a sustainable ecosystem to help our users spend wisely, stimulate the local business economy and make a positive difference in the world whilst doing something we all do anyway, eat. Within the evolution of Liven, as a part of moving with the forefront of payment technology and leveraging blockchain technology, the ‘Pay-it-Forward’ ethos that will empower users to support their favourite charities will continue in an updated and improved form through a new ‘Donation Wheel’ system. The planned platform will provide a fundraising channel for charities that is both transparent and efficient - showing donors exactly where their contribution is going using the blockchain, while simultaneously lowering the costs required for charities to raise funds.


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