Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not new to us at Lions Clubs International (India). Our founding father, Melvin Jones, instituted the association on the principal of CSR. His personal code was "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else". This is the guiding credo for us, Lion members across the globe. Lions Clubs brings together people who volunteer their time, service and expertise for the betterment of the community they live in. In India we are the largest voluntary service club association in the country.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) rightly defines CSR as “the continuing commitment by business to contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large”. These are the same guidelines that our clubs operate, by providing a perfect platform to facilitate a ready CSR partner for companies.
The Companies Act, 2013, applicable to companies with an annual turnover of 1,000 crore INR and more, or a net worth of 500 crore INR and more, or a net profit of 5 crore INR and more, encourages companies to spend at least 2% of their average net profit of the previous three years on CSR activities. It now gets many SMEs into the CSR fold, bringing in new challenges to a sector that is increasingly being asked by its customers to comply with environmental and social standards, while remaining competitive in pricing and quality. This means that SMEs will have to learn to be compliant with these diverse requirements. We, at Lions Clubs International (India) volunteer our services in order to facilitate smooth integration of CSR programs into the organization, and comply with the Companies Act.
While CSR is a way for the organization to pay back to society and fulfill its moral obligation, the benefits of a robust CSR programme far outweighs the efforts. A well-integrated CSR program, helps stakeholders across the organization, whether they are internal or external, bringing credibility and strength that is not possible otherwise. At Lions Clubs we take the time to understand what motivates the organization, its aims, objectives and culture, based on which we recommend inclusive strategies and plans that ensures a collaborative approach. Moreover, we are transparent in our dealings, have stringent reporting systems and are committed to creating shared value for both partners.
What sets us apart is that all our members are volunteers and they are highly motivated to ensure that the activity is taken to its logical conclusion - a requirement for the success of any venture, in addition to our global reach and dedication to the betterment of community that is unrivaled, be it at home or anywhere in the world.