What is the CSR program for Ukrainian business?

What is the CSR program for Ukrainian business?

Charity has become a trend all over the world, particularly in Ukraine. If earlier it was customary to keep silent about good deeds, now this should definitely not be done. At least in order to inspire others with your example. We tell you why charity has become an integral part of society and why business cannot stand aside from social problems.

First, some statistics

In 2023, Ukraine rose in the ranking of the World Giving Index. Now it is not in tenth place, as it was in 2022, but second. The rating shows how generous the citizens of a country are and is measured by people’s involvement in social activities. The higher the score, the larger the population is involved in charity. Ukraine received 62 out of 100 possible points.

World Philanthropy Index 2023 ©/

In total, 4.2 billion people participate in charity – 72% of the world’s population. Note that the increased level of global donations that arose during the pandemic remains a sustainable phenomenon. And this, of course, pleases.

The Gradus Research study also testifies to the willingness of Ukrainian men and women to make selfless donations. The results of the survey demonstrate a steady increase in the number of citizens helping the state and society. Over the past year, the number of applicants has doubled.

The majority of respondents – 61% – direct funds to military purposes. Agree, this is expected, since with the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian men and women united in a common goal – to help their country resist the aggressor. Now this is also demanded from business.

Do you want to work?
in Ukraine – help

In the first months of the Great War, it was enough for people to just keep the business going and pay taxes. Indeed, it was difficult to stay afloat despite the shelling and the lack of electricity, so it commanded incredible respect.

Ukrainian business still shows indomitability, but now it is not enough. Adapting to new conditions, society seeks to involve entrepreneurs in solving specific social problems. In other words, if you want to work in Ukraine, help.

According to a survey conducted by the industry division of Google and research company Kantar, more than 40% of respondents consider the transfer of funds for humanitarian aid, support for displaced persons and participation in volunteer activities to be extremely important components of the brand’s activities. So, if earlier corporate social responsibility (hereinafter – CSR) was an advantage and applied only to large businesses, now it is one of the basic requirements for the company.
“Businesses are expected to solve urgent problems. And it is very important to justify this trust. Despite the fact that businesses themselves were under attack, they actively began to fight global problems – first COVID-19, then a full-scale invasion. We really do not know what was would be the situation now if it were not for numerous CSR programs and millions of hryvnias directed to help”– believes Oleksandra Hnatyk, head of the PR department of the EVA store line.

Oleksandra Hnatyk,
head of the PR department
EVA store line

According to her, CSR helps increase loyalty and trust on the part of all stakeholders and helps reduce reputational risks. If the company systematically solves important issues, it will have support that will help to overcome crisis moments more easily, or to avoid them.

CSR is often confused with charity, but these are completely different concepts. Charitable activities are rather donations and patronage, while CSR is the company’s involvement in the implementation of a strategy designed to systematically solve a certain problem existing in society.

Having studied the problem, for example, global warming, it takes responsibility for its solution, develops a long-term strategy and actively participates in actions at all stages of its implementation.

Let’s look at the example of one of the social programs of “Novay Poshta”, launched back in 2014.

Problem: due to the beginning of hostilities in the east of Ukraine, the need for the transportation of humanitarian goods to the ATO zone and liberated settlements increased.

Decision: implementation of the social project “Humanitarian Post of Ukraine”, which provides an opportunity for charitable foundations and volunteer organizations to send and receive humanitarian goods at the expense of the company in any branch throughout Ukraine. Even before the beginning of the full-scale invasion, almost 20 thousand tons of humanitarian goods were delivered within the framework of this program.

Business cooperation
and charitable funds

As a holistic direction of business, CSR in Ukraine developed even before the beginning of the Great War. However, it was the full-scale invasion that became the catalyst for its rapid development.

Ukrainian business quickly mobilized and used its resources to work for victory. Many companies have integrated aid and recovery programs for Ukraine into their CSR policies.

Cooperation between business and charitable foundations has become not just a trend, but a powerful tool in the Russian-Ukrainian war. Thus, Kyivstar, together with the competent assistance fund of the army “Come back alive” launched the project “Let us live here.” Its goal is to collect UAH 175 million to support 146 mobile demining groups in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Another vivid example is the partnership between Uber and the United24 platform. The company joined the collection of $1 million for resuscitation vehicles for Ukrainian doctors. Uber promoted the Keep UkraineMoving fundraising campaign on its app in the US, Canada and Europe, telling the stories of brave Ukrainian drivers helping the country during the war.

Reanimation cars

In fact, there are thousands of such initiatives. Recently, for example, the Multiplex cinema chain together with Serhiy Prytula’s charity fund launched the charity project “Heroes not only in cinema”. All funds – 1 hryvnia from each purchased ticket – will be used to help the Defense Forces of Ukraine purchase optical equipment.

“From small to large”:
CSR case of EVA stores

To the implementation of specific projects and CSR in general, the team EVA fits systematically. When forming a strategy, he takes into account the direction of the business, its target audience, issues that society considers significant, and analyzes current research.

“In order to identify and implement important current projects, we choose reliable charitable partners – proven effective funds that actively communicate about their activities, openly and transparently demonstrate their results, set specific goals and report on their implementation.”– says Oleksandra Hnatyk, head of the PR department of the EVA store line.

This, he says, is very important, because by involving its clients in projects, the business acts as a guarantor that both its and their funds will actually be converted into aid.

With the beginning of a full-scale invasion, EVA radically changed the vectors and goals of CSR, as well as the direction of projects. If earlier the focus was on women and children (the large-scale initiatives of the “Mama of the Year” network, Orange Days, etc. were aimed at them), then after February 24, completely different needs became relevant – help to the military and victims of Russian attacks.

In particular, at the beginning of November, the chain of EVA stores together with the “HEROYCAR” project launched the campaign “From small to large” to raise funds for SUVs for defenders of Ukraine.

Photo from the website eva.ua

Toy SUVs appeared on the shelves of the EVA network. These are reduced copies of cars that have been handed over to force defense units for more than a year. The pickups obtained within the project carry equipment, ammunition and evacuate the wounded, attack aircraft and scouts, hunters for “shaheeds” and operators of combat drones go on combat missions.

Toy SUVs

“In almost 2 months, our customers purchased 5,444 toy models of hero pickups, and we transferred more than UAH 530,000, that is, the profit from their sale, to purchase real SUVs for our defenders.” Oleksandra Hnatyk says.

How to make
CSR project successful

The biggest challenge when implementing such projects is to reach people. On the one hand, research shows that society is more than ever ready to donate and join social and charitable initiatives. But there are many options for realizing this potential. Therefore, in order to ensure the success of the project, it is necessary to make it visible, recognizable among other gatherings.

“It is necessary to plan communications well. That is why we even involve agencies in some of the projects, which help us pack a socially significant idea into a creative wrapper that draws attention to itself and remains in memory.” – adds the head of the PR department.

In general, the success of any project, according to Oleksandra Hnatyk, is determined by three components.

1. Understanding

At the beginning of each project, all details are carefully worked out with the retail staff. Everything is explained to the employees in detail – from the purpose to the mechanics in the manual, meetings are held. If necessary, they are repeated during the implementation of the project.

2. The company’s motivation program

Let’s explain using the EVA Mania program as an example. According to its terms, employees receive the virtual currency “yevochka” for the fulfillment of KPIs, success in education, participation in corporate programs and projects. They can use them to buy corporate souvenirs in a special online store for EVA Shop employees. And at the end of the year, they receive gifts and awards. Before the Great War, these were, in particular, vacation trips abroad.

3. Internal motivation of employees

The third component is much more important: the internal motivation of people – the desire not just to perform a set of functions for which you are paid money, but to do something important; to understand that your actions, business or organization, of which you are a part, to some extent change the world for the better.

Dmytro Rodionov, chief manager of the sales department of the Odesa region of the EVA store line, is convinced that such mechanics simply cannot be successful without the active work of employees in the store.

“Honestly, at the beginning I had some doubts that toy hero cars would interest customers. They come to us for cosmetics, household products. Therefore, it was the staff of the retail outlet who worked to ensure that customers paid attention to promotional cars, became interested, understood the essence and the importance of the project”, Dmytro Rodionov explains.

Dmytro Rodionov,
chief manager of the sales department of the Odesa region of the EVA store line

Dmytro’s colleague, Iryna Kurylo, the chief manager of the sales department of the Central region, also owes the staff. Sellers, he says, even arranged internal competitions among themselves to see who would sell more cars, and chose the best places to place them.

“Someone said that the machines should be placed at the eye level of the average buyer, others were in favor of placing them lower, so that they could see first of all the children. And the point is not even which of these approaches is more correct, but that employees really penetrated and took the initiative themselves, looked for ways to improve results.” – shares Iryna Kurylo.

Iryna Kurylo,
chief manager of the sales department of the EVA Central region

Employees whose relatives or friends are at the front are especially sensitive to such activities. Therefore, supporting CSR projects is primarily motivated not by company bonuses or gifts, but by the desire to defeat an aggressor country.

“Every donation, every bonus or hryvnia transferred to the Armed Forces, every sold machine of the project “From small to big” brings the moment of Victory closer and fuels hope in our hearts. All this may sound very pompous, but to be involved in the fight against evil and helping the victims is a strong motivation.” – summarizes Dmytro Rodionov.

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