14 Best Socially Responsible Companies Making an Impact

Nonprofits must develop a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy to target business partners that can help connect you with new donors and make more of your resources. In this blog, we discuss the concept of CSR, provide examples of socially responsible companies, and offer tips on how to make the most of CSR programs.

9 minutes read
14 Best Socially Responsible Companies Making an Impact

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a growing trend for businesses. It’s also a great way for nonprofits to diversify their income and reach new donors through socially responsible companies that are using their available resources to make an impact on their communities.

Many nonprofits, however, aren’t reaping the rewards of CSR partnerships. This is often because they’re not sure how to go about it.

Even if you’re a smaller organization, there’s still plenty of potential for bringing socially responsible partners on board and using their resources to further your cause.

But, first – here’s a free webinar on three steps to securing new corporate partners and how to leverage these opportunities for long-term growth:

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility and Why Do Brands Get Involved?

Corporate Social Responsibility is a way (often a business model) for companies to do good in society and champion organizations that support their values. This may be done through matching gift programs, donations as funds or goods, and volunteer grant programs.

For example, many socially responsible companies are reacting to society’s desire to do something about climate change. Some industries are limiting their own carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Others are addressing this shared challenge by supporting nonprofits.

Alongside the philanthropic elements, having a Corporate Social Responsibility program can help brands stand out from their competitors. Some of the benefits include an improved brand image, increased media coverage, better customer loyalty, and more opportunities for investment.

These CSR programs are also often made a part of the company’s employee well-being programs. A lot of people love to get involved in philanthropy, and companies help them by offering volunteer leaves, hours, and days as well as matching donations to improve their overall work experience.

Businesses want to gain customer trust and ensure they’re involved in fair and ethical business practices. Moreover, working with the right nonprofit(s) also helps brands reach a wider audience and support the organization to further their cause.

It’s often true that customers feel more connected to socially responsible companies. Many will actively look for companies that are making a meaningful contribution to the community. 

Deloitte has surveyed Millenials and Gen Z generations for years to hear their voice on the topic of corporate social responsibility. While most don’t think companies are doing enough, they do believe businesses must take a leading role in dealing with issues like climate change. Six in 10 Gen Zs and Millenials are anxious about the environment. 42% have already changed jobs or are planning to leave because of their employer’s stance.

How Can It Benefit Your Nonprofit?

For nonprofits, CSR is an opportunity to build stronger relationships with businesses that have similar values and engage their customers as supporters. This can be invaluable for boosting your revenue and accessing resources that you wouldn’t normally be able to take advantage of.

Since so many socially responsible companies have their own CSR programs, there’s plenty of scope for choosing partners that align with your organization’s values and can help you reach your goals. The bottom line is that it’s a win-win for both parties.

14 Socially Responsible Companies That Are Well-Known For CSR

Many well-known brands have embraced CSR and have partnered with various nonprofits to drive change. Many socially responsible companies are making a direct impact on society with their CSR programs.

Here is a list of socially responsible companies that are strongly committed to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR):

  1. Adidas
  2. Starbucks
  3. Marc Jacobs
  4. Indigo Reach
  5. IKEA
  6. Bosch
  7. Ben and Jerry’s
  8. Apple
  9. Coca-Cola
  10. Alaska Airlines
  11. BMW
  12. Dell
  13. Walt Disney Company
  14. Microsoft

1. Adidas

Adidas is one of corporate social responsibility examples.

Adidas’s mission is to become more sustainable. Their targets include a promise that nine out of ten Adidas articles become sustainable by 2025 and that their company will become climate-neutral by 2050. 

Adidas has also promised to create an internal system to manage human rights issues across its value chain by 2025.

2. Starbucks

Starbucks has always been keyed into people’s interest in the environment and sustainable ecostructure. Lately, public labor issues have also impacted the Starbucks image. So, the company has taken that knowledge to the next level and vowed to reinvent itself. 

Since 2022, Starbucks has taken steps to increase pay rates across all U.S. states and offer educational support and the chance to purchase stock to its employees. They’ve also continued their philanthropy for nonprofits that promote community resilience and prosperity. Some key areas they fund include water, sanitation, hygiene, and refugee support.

Their partnerships with Conservation International and the World Wildlife Fund, along with memberships in the Water Resilience Coalition and Transform to Net Zero, continue to support their desire to have a healthy impact on the environment.

3. Marc Jacobs

The Marc Jacobs brand focuses on supporting organizations in locations where they have stores. They have been involved with over 60 charities, including The Sato Project, a nonprofit that rescues abandoned and abused dogs from Puerto Rico. To date, over 7,150  puppies have been rescued and rehomed in the US.

4. IndiGo Reach

great example of corporate social responsible company

IndiGoReach has partnered with various organizations to accomplish big things. Their social responsibility aims to focus on children/education, female empowerment, environment, and heritage. To date, their partnerships, which include Tamana, Grow Trees, KK Academy, and the World Monument Fund, have helped to empower over 56,500 women, educate more than 44,000 children, and plant over 10,000 trees.


IKEA launched its CSR People and Planet Positive program in 2012. Since then, it’s become the third most globally recognized leader in sustainability and social responsibility.    

IKEA’s CSR goals focus on three key areas, including:

  • Healthy and sustainable living
  • Climate positive initiatives
  • Social equality and fairness

 IKEA’s social responsibility starts with the materials used in its products — including sustainable cotton, wool, and wood. They also plan to use only recycled or renewable plastic by 2030.

Through the IKEA Foundation, they support more families to escape poverty by creating a sustainable income. They fund programs around climate change, renewable energy, agricultural livelihoods, employment and entrepreneurship, and emergency responses. To deliver these programs, they work with NGOs and other partners.

6. Bosch

Bosch is committed to investing in projects that help tackle problems faced by communities around the world. In 2011, Bosch formed the Bosch Community Fund. Since then, over $20 million in grants have been awarded through this fund to organizations in the United States and Canada that support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs, as well as the environment.

According to Bosch’s 2022 Sustainability Report, their 400 companies have been climate neutral since 2020 and have increased the number of women executives by 19.2 percent. Bosch continues its support for the environment and communities through donations to charities worldwide.

7. Ben and Jerry’s

Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is world-famous, but it’s equally well-known for its activism and philanthropy for various social issues. They’ve supported a lot of social causes that are closely related to their business of making and selling ice cream. Their work for justice comprises that for refugees, the LGBTQ community, climate action, and more.

They also donate some of their pre-tax profits to corporate philanthropic initiatives. This is done through the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation and Community Action Teams (CATs) at site locations.

The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program supports grassroots nonprofits in the US, especially ones that work around social justice, environmental justice, and sustainable food systems.

8. Apple

Apple has been carbon neutral for corporate operations since 2020. Their current goal is to create carbon-neutral products by 2030 and make all of their products using green chemistry and recycling instead of taking from the earth. 

Apple has been involved in the Malala Fund to help educate and empower girls. As a Laureate partner since 2018, they’ve provided funds to support Malala student grants, technology, curriculum, and research.

9. Coca-Cola

Starting in 2015, Coca-Cola has had a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2030. They plan on accomplishing this by focusing on updating their packaging, farming communities, water balance, and climate solutions.

Coca-Cola plans to make 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025 and use at least 50% recycled material by 2030. Coca-Cola has also partnered with nonprofits and other corporations to give more people access to water, sanitation, and hygiene.

10. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines wants to create a sustainable future for themselves and their customers. One way they’re doing this is by striving to be the most fuel-efficient U.S. airline and working towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Alaska Airlines has made an impact with its decision to eliminate plastic waste from onboard service and encourage flyers to bring refillable water bottles.

A sustainable future at Alaska Airlines includes its employees and customers. To address these individuals, the company focuses on passenger and employee safety, diversity and equal opportunity, and community giving. Alaska Airlines has given more than $750,000 to 41 nonprofits focused on education and equity throughout the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii.

11. BMW

BMW works with organizations to meet their CSR goals of promoting diversity, inspiring the next generation of engineers, social mobility and inclusion, and teaching road safety. This socially responsible company does this by promoting diversity and STEM education for children, regardless of where they are.

Much of BMW’s CSR programs include training programs, but they also encourage their employees to support projects and organizations that matter to them.

12. DELL

corporate social responsibility examples

DELL wants to use its technology and expertise to drive global change. Their commitment to address the digital drive has pushed them to develop several programs. Dell has partnered with the United Nations Children’s Fund and Comcast to connect every school to the internet by 2030. Eligible nonprofits can purchase devices at a discounted rate.

Dell also has an employee volunteer program that has provided nonprofits with over 7.8 million volunteer hours from 2014 to 2023. The goal for this program is to encourage 75% of their staff to volunteer in their communities by 2030 and use their expertise and technology to transform their 1,000 nonprofit partners.

13. Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company’s CSR program strives to inspire a world of belonging by embracing representation and creating a cleaner, safer, and healthier world. They have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to nonprofits around the world. Their CSR efforts are typically focused on helping more children feel happy and inspired.

Disney has also chosen to focus on hiring veterans as part of their goal to embrace representation. They’ve hired more than 12,500 veterans across the country and continue to grow their Heroes Work Here program. 

Disney’s 2030 emissions goals include a 46.2% reduction in emissions, a goal to achieve net zero emissions, and to purchase or produce 100% zero-carbon electricity.  Other environmental goals include sourcing sustainable seafood and reducing single-use plastics in parks and resorts.

14. Microsoft

Microsoft has CSR initiatives around improving skills, employability, and environmental sustainability.

Through Microsoft Philanthropies, they partner with nonprofits, organizations, and schools to improve computer science education and achieve greater impact through technology. They also champion organizations that aim to improve the quality of life for people in Washington.

Microsoft employees also support causes in their local communities because employee giving is a strong part of the company’s workplace culture. Along with donations, they also contribute volunteer efforts and skills to organizations. For financial and time-based contributions, Microsoft matches those made by its employees.

How Nonprofits Can Make the Most of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs

With more businesses investing in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, there are lots of benefits for establishing and maintaining partnerships with like-minded companies.

Here are a few tips for making CSR partnerships work for your nonprofit – 

  • Look at a CSR partnership as an equal footing relationship that benefits your nonprofit and the company. Many nonprofits see themselves as an inferior party in the partnership. This should not be the case as it can affect the level of investment that’s offered.
  • Bear in mind that companies won’t necessarily make a financial contribution — investment can also include volunteer support and in-kind donations. Some companies will look to offer non-financial support before they become a sponsor/partner.
  • Do in-depth research to make sure you’re approaching companies that will be a good fit for your organization and will benefit from partnering with you. It can be smarter to focus your efforts on a small number of brands, rather than trying to set up lots of partnerships with brands that don’t fully align with your goals and cause.
  • Highlight the benefits for the company, including the impact on their reputation, company culture, employee engagement, and relationships with their target market.
  • Show your impact through statistics and other details to demonstrate the bigger-picture benefits of collaborating with your nonprofit.
  • Having effective tools in place to track donations, and showcasing your donor base can be crucial for securing CSR partners. Here at Donorbox, we make it easy for organizations to stay on top of donor engagement, which can be demonstrated to potential partners.
  • If your organization has a great track record in certain types of donor engagement, use this as a selling point when approaching CSR partners. For example, perhaps you have had success in engaging with particular donor demographics or a specific engagement channel.
  • Think about how you can incorporate promoting a CSR partner into your organization’s marketing and communications strategy. If you don’t already have a strong marketing plan, you’ll want to put one together before you approach potential CSR partners.

Bonus resource – Find corporate partnerships through expert help!

Donorbox Nonprofit Advocate, Jena Lynch, and Chris Barlow, the Founder and Customer Happiness Director of Beeline Marketing & Consulting, discuss the many benefits of corporate partnerships. They aim to help you understand the value of CSR and give you a plan to find the ideal companies for your nonprofit. Watch it for expert insights!

Over to You

Establishing CSR relationships can be daunting for your nonprofit, especially if you don’t have any existing corporate partnerships.

Many businesses get involved in CSR for a positive impact on their brand image and reputation. However,  you don’t need to be a large or well-known nonprofit to reap the benefits.

With support from socially responsible corporate partners, your organizations can reach out to new donors who may not otherwise be aware of your work. Even if financial contributions aren’t an option, volunteer and in-kind support from CSR partners can help you further your cause and make more of your resources.

Have a strategy in place to target CSR partners that will be a great fit for your organization. Establish the approach along similar lines to a large-scale fundraising campaign or major donor campaign. A great storytelling strategy would be a plus to any campaign!

Here at Donorbox, we’ve supported over 80,000 organizations in securing more donations and streamlining their fundraising efforts. Some of our best features include recurring donations, Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer, Events, Memberships, QuickDonate, Donor Management, a donation kiosk app, and more.

Donorbox also helps nonprofits integrate with Double the Donation and add a company-matching donation widget to their donation form or website. There is an array of other integrations helping you effectively manage and utilize your donor data, such as Salesforce NPSP, Zapier, MailChimp, and more.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of our Nonprofit Blog for more tips, how-tos, and advice!

Sally Aquire is a copywriter with a background in crafting communications and fundraising for a women's center. She writes about fundraising, nonprofit management, and wellness initiatives.

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