Corporate social investment (CSI) has evolved into a professional effort with genuine social value and long-term benefits for businesses, Trialogue MD Nick Rockey told 702 on 30 April 2024.  

In an interview with Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show, Rockey explained how CSI has morphed from a short-term desire for recognition into a genuine concern for the communities and country within which they operate. “We are seeing the sort of self-enlightenment with shared value, or what we call Strategic CSI, where companies are really investing in aligned areas of development that actually do good for the business of the longer term,” said Rockey. 

While companies are under pressure from regulators, customers, suppliers and the investment community to practice transparency and accountability, strategic involvement in addressing societal issues makes good business sense. Social impact investingCSI is increasingly rooted in the recognition that sustainable businesses require a sustainable environment in which to operate. Investing in the communities in which they operate contributes to the health and functionality of those communities while creating resources and a customer base for companies.  

Rockey highlighted the sense of responsibility and long-term commitment that corporates need to embrace in their CSI practice. He advises that corporates fully understand the situation requiring intervention, what is required to change the situation and how their intervention will contribute towards change.   

CSI has a pivotal role to play in building a better society. With a substantial portion of their revenue derived from CSI, non-profit organisations are dependent on the corporate sector to continue delivering their much-needed services. Social impactCSI programmes can contribute directly and indirectly to a better social future. “There are graduates going through the world of work today because of corporate programmes that have reached out and supported them at every level from ECD (early childhood development) through to schooling, through to health programmes and entrepreneurship programmes. There’s a lot of good that comes out that work,” commented Rockey. 

For more on the value of CSI and how Trialogue support companies to deliver strategic impact, listen to the full interview: