Strategic CSI Awards

For CSI to be strategic, it must have positive developmental impact that is aligned with and contributes to the priorities of the business, beyond reputational impact. The Trialogue Strategic CSI Award recognises projects that exemplify best practice. It aims to encourage CSI practitioners to think more strategically when planning and implementing their initiatives.

As can be seen in Trialogue’s CSI Positioning Matrix below, strategic CSI projects deliver a high combination of positive social and business outcomes. While developmental CSI offers beneficial social outcomes, it does not always have significant corporate benefits. Similarly, commercial grantmaking prioritises corporate benefit over social return.

Judging criteria

Each entry is judged against objectives, social benefits and corporate benefits, as set out below.


  • Targets need to be practical and realistic. Entries should have ‘SMART’ (specific, measurable, relevant and time-bound) objectives.

Social benefits

  • Visible outputs: Short-term results that are immediate, visible and concrete (e.g. number of houses built, people trained, supplies or pamphlets distributed, community members treated, hours of service delivered).
  • Beneficial outcomes: Specific changes in behaviour, knowledge, skills or wellbeing. Medium-term developmental results that are the consequence of achieving a specified combination of short-term outputs (e.g. behaviour change, attitude change, new knowledge or skills, improved grades, reduced isolation, improved access to health services, improved self-esteem).
  • Beneficial impact: Broader long-term (three years or more) consequences of the project. Community, society or system-level changes that are the logical consequences of a series of medium- and short-term results (e.g. improved effectiveness of education system, reduction in HIV prevalence, new social norms, more educated/healthier population, inclusive decision-making, lack of stigma, increased capacity).

Government engagement, lesson-sharing and advocacy are also taken into account.

Corporate benefits

  • Recognition of contribution: Recognition of the project that improves the company’s reputation. This can include recognition of expenditure as socioeconomic development in line with the BBBEE scorecard, as well as internal and external communication of the project.
  • Stakeholder benefit: Meaningful engagement with key stakeholder groups in the funding, design or management of the project that improves the company’s relationship with that stakeholder group. Stakeholders can include communities, regulators, government, suppliers, customers or employees.
  • Competitive benefit: Project benefits that enhance the competitiveness of the business. This can be done by securing a licence to operate, opening up new markets for the business, introducing new products, reducing costs by developing suppliers and/or leveraging corporate resources, or securing specialised talent.

Download the Strategic CSI Award 2019 entry form here

Merchants Group: Co-winner of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award 2018

2019-04-12T16:01:07+00:00 December 12th, 2018|Business in Society 2018, Strategic CSI Awards|

Merchants Group partners with the non-profit Columba Leadership to deliver the Columba Youth Development Programme. This values-driven programme aims to activate the potential of young [...]

AECI Wise Wayz water care: Co-winner of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award 2018

2019-04-12T15:27:22+00:00 December 12th, 2018|Business in Society 2018, Strategic CSI Awards|

The AECI Wise Wayz Water Care (WWWC) programme started in 2016 and is based in the Mbokodweni catchment area, working with 122 members of the Folweni and [...]

Eskom Contractor Academy: Winner of the Trialogue Strategic CSI Award 2016

2018-08-27T12:22:09+00:00 November 27th, 2016|Strategic CSI Awards|

The Eskom Contractor Academy addresses the national imperative to increase the number of functional small and medium enterprises, while also improving the quality of businesses [...]

Singita School of Cooking’s recipe for success -Winner of the 2015 Trialogue Strategic CSI Award

2018-08-27T12:23:27+00:00 November 1st, 2015|Strategic CSI Awards|

The Singita private lodge in the Kruger National Park (KNP) partnered with the Singita Community Development Trust to establish the Singita School of Cooking in 2007. Since then, this [...]