Notes: Where you see [Business Name] or [insert here], put in information relevant to your own business. Areas left blank are intended for your own analysis and insight. 

When completing your audit, it is less important how you compare to other businesses, but more important that you are consistent with your evaluation. It is recommended the audit is peer reviewed to ensure less bias and better quality of information. 

[Business Name] Corporate Social Responsibility Audit 20XX

Written for the [insert here] 

1.0 Introduction

This document sets out a plan for how [Business Name] will run its charitable arm in 20XX. It assesses the company’s goals, audits our current approach, assesses some proposed options for [Business Name]’s corporate social responsibility in 20XX, and brings together recommendations for the [team/management group/insert here] on how to proceed from here.

All suggestions are open to discussion, critique, and improvement.   

2.0 Terms

CSR Corporate Social Responsibility

2% 2% describes a general yardstick to measure the significance of our CSR efforts by. 2% of revenue could be approximately made up of time value, resource value, or pure monetary donations. 

Website example.co.nz

Social Media [Business Name]’s Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. 

Guidelines Standards for CSR as set out by Step Changers

3.0 Goals for CSR [Insert your own goals here]

  • We want our CSR programme to reflect the values and vision of our company; to be in the spirit of going home proud, having glass pockets, making progress not perfection, leaning into our communities, and turning the wheel together to make marketing for good normal across our industry.  

  • We want our CSR programme to stand up to the ideals we have for socially responsible companies in New Zealand. We want to be proud of our company’s work, and to be able to clearly describe what it is we do for our communities.

  • We want to make sure every [Business Name] employee knows what we are doing for our community, and that future employees can learn about our attitude towards CSR before they meet with us in person.

  • We want to make sure that our efforts are turning into real impact, and we want to clearly measure the efforts that we are putting in compared to the impact that results. 

  • We want to make sure that we earn a steady and healthy profit for [Business Name] first, so that we can continue to build and grow our CSR programmes.

  • We want to be recognised as a company that is leading in corporate social responsibility in New Zealand. 

4.0 Guidelines for Corporate Social Responsibility

These recommendations have been put together using the guidelines for great corporate social responsibility as set out by Step Changers. 

The sixteen guidelines describe great corporate social responsibility as:

  • doing something you don't have to do (going above and beyond the scope of profiting).

  • varied, but focused around a common purpose. For example, Unilever is focused on children's wellbeing globally, and chooses initiatives that align with improving this.

  • centred around projects that are easily identifiable and easily explained to others. 

  • not one project in isolation, but a mindset of solving a social problem over time. Ideally this problem will be one that relates to core business. 

  • congruent with your business operations, and takes place across the supply chain. Corporate social responsibility fails when customers can see that you don't recycle, but you support a tree planting initiative, or when you sell a shrimp sandwich to help 'save the oceans' (both real examples).

  • as much about supporting community projects as it is about being a solution to a social problem by operating and producing responsibly. Good corporate social responsibility uses the enthusiasm, entrepreneurial skills, expertise, experience and energy of a company to 'do good' by doing what it's best at. 

  • bold. It takes companies choosing to stand for something for social change to happen (e.g. the bagvote.co.nz campaign lead both Countdown and New World supermarkets to ban plastic bags).

  • significant in effort; a guideline we use is around 2% of annual profit in time, money, or resource equivalents.  

  • relevant to the values of your target market.

  • celebrated and communicated. Quiet giving falls under philanthropy; good CSR involves communicating your values and purpose with all stakeholders, and actively evolving your efforts with their input.

  • organised. Unorganised efforts are more likely to become left behind and forgotten in time. 

  • centred on making progress, not perfection. Responsible business is continually iterated and improved.

  • involving employees in decision making.

  • possibly involving collaboration with other businesses. If the task is a big one, joint efforts between teams or within industries can go a long way. 

  • reported on. Glass pockets are important for good CSR, so that no one gets caught out when claiming a project, or overstating their contribution with promotions. 

  • doesn't fall for the fallacy of 'we will once we're big enough'. Good CSR grows with a company; and can be one of the driving forces behind company growth.

5.0 Auditing our Current Approach

5.1 Description

[Business Name]’s current approach to CSR could be described as ______________________________. 

It is also unclear where _____________________.


This section will breakdown the strengths and weaknesses of our current approach to CSR against the 16 guidelines outlined above, rating [Business Name]’s efforts out of 10 against each standard, before making recommendations for how we can further improve in 20XX in section 6.0. 

5.2 Strengths

Note: put areas that rank above 5/10 in this section. 

Guideline Number




Areas of Improvement


Doing something you don’t have to do



Congruent with business operations



Operating responsibly



Bold for social change



Relevant to the values of the target market






Progress not Perfection



Collaboration with other businesses



CSR grows with company


Total Points

X/X – X% 

4.3 Weaknesses 

Note: put areas that rank below 5/10 in this section. 

Guideline Number




Areas of Improvement


Varied, but focused around one theme



Easily talked about projects



Mindset of solving a social problem



Significant in effort



Celebrated and communicated



Employee involvement



Reported on


Total Points

X/X – X% 

5.4 Audit Summary

Strengths Score: X/X – X%
Weaknesses Score: X/X – X%

Total Points: X/160 = X% 

  • Proposed Programmes for [Business Name] 

6.1 New Actions

      • Action One
        Here you can write what actions your company can take next in response to the audit outcomes.

      • Action Two
        Actions may include documenting processes, setting a timeline for reporting, setting goals around employee involvement, or revisiting your CSR strategy. 

      • Action Three 

We recommend you develop some key programmes which can be iterated further from here. Each CSR activity your team takes on should fall under these programmes. 

6.2 Programmes to build on

In line with 6.1.3, here you can list the programmes your company is already involved in and a list of descriptors that fit these. Decision makers can refer to this section for a better understanding of what your business already does for the community and of what needs further resource. 

Programme A 

  • Summarise this programme here

Programme B

  • Summarise this programme here

[Business Name] Sustainability Efforts 

  • Summarise this programme here

[Business Name] Team Benefits

  • Summarise this programme here

[Business Name] Community Events

  • Summarise this programme here

6.3 Discussion Questions

  • What does 2% of [Business Name]’s efforts look like, and do we want to give this in time, money, or resources?

  • What are the names of our key programmes? Can everything we do be captured by these programmes?

  • What is our selection criterion for partnering with a new community project?

  • What information do we want back from the community projects we support? Testimonials? Reach figures? Funds raised? What are our reporting requirements?

  • Who will/does manage our CSR programme? What sort of support do they need this year?

  • Do we want recognition from these projects in return for our support? How is this best achieved? 

  • How can a new member of the [Business Name] signal that they want to do something for the community? Is it clear what they can do to help?

7.0 Proposed Communications for [Business Name]

7.1 New Actions

7.1.1 Annual Report

In order to meet guidelines 11 and 15 to do with organised approach and reporting, [Business Name] should look to complete an annual report of its CSR activities. 

7.1.2 Social Media 

7.1.3 Staff Communications  

7.1.4 Website

7.1.5 Video 

7.1.6 Other

8.0 Conclusion

This document has set out the ways that [Business Name] can organise its CSR actions for 20XX in a way that is impactful for its community, valuable for the company, and relevant to its overall vision.

The suggestions made are to be discussed and finalised by the [insert decision making team here], with the annual report being worked on for publication in ________ 20XX. A final CSR plan for 20XX can then also be finalised.