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How Small Businesses can make a Huge Impact with CSR in China

Dec 2013 | Servcorp

When one thinks of CSR or corporate social responsibility, one typically imagines a Fortune 500 with scale and a deep enough pocket to invest in initiatives that do not have an impact on their core business. But what about the smaller guys who do not have a dedicated CSR department but still want to give back to their local society in a meaningful way?

A good case study of how it can be done is Servcorp (Servcorp.com.cn), an Australian provider of serviced and virtual offices who have been operating in China for 15 years. Servcorp is large in its global reach (operating from 140 offices worldwide) but small in the sense that China-wide, Servcorp is only 60 team-members strong. But Servcorp hails from a long tradition of CSR practices in their HQ in Sydney and want to replicate their charitable goals in China.

Each year, Servcorp China hosts a Christmas party in each of the cities they are based in to celebrate Christmas with their clients. The typical Servcorp office client is 1-10 team members strong. With over 50 offices in a typical Servcorp center, there are always a lot of people with well wishes.

This past Christmas, Servcorp Shanghai dedicated their Christmas to the Renewal Center; a Shanghai-based initiative that works with homeless men and women by providing shower services, free room and board, and job training for them to become contributing members of society. The Servcorp team rallied up their clients in a Rock & Roll theme party and successfully raised enough funds to cover the center's day to day operations for two months.

This year, Servcorp China has grand plans to match last year's charitable efforts and take on a brand new initiative. Mifanmama is a Shanghai-founded charity which supplies orphanages in Anhui and Shanghai with food, medical and educational supplies. Servcorp looks forward to championing their Shining Star, an orphanage in Shanghai for orphans without sight. Servcorp hopes to be able to bring onboard 4 new orphans with urgent needs to the project.

It is a tall order to double last year's pledge but Servcorp has a quite a few cards up its sleeve - literally. Casino Royale is the theme of the party this year and as per Servcorp China's senior manager Michaela Julian “people love to gamble and now they can do it guilt free because it's for charity”. And there's quite a bit at stake for the winners. Over 20 prizes will be available including flights, iPads, hotel stays, tax consultation from generous donors like Flight Centre, Diamond Creek, Inter-Continental, and more. There is a 1 in 5 chance of winning a prize for every Servcorp client. If you are interested in joining the festivities but not yet a Servcorp client, 3 spots are available for Shanghai Expat readers who make a donation of 500RMB or more. The party is on Thursday December 12th, 2013. Please contact smiao@servcorp.com.cn for more info.