I'm researching a follow-up piece to the CSR feature I wrote for Badenoch & Clark's Connections back in the summer (follow the link and it's on pages 10-11).
It's an area I'm very interested in - possibly more so since I've been working on the International Relations MA. Now my initial research showed a tailing off in CSR spend among corporates - and certainly many charities seem to be suffering as corporate philanthropy dwindles as the winds of recession blow ever harder.
But CSR guru Wayne Visser on his CSR International blog has run a poll recently that indicates CSR spend might actually strengthen as the economic downturn continues to bite. Ok, so he got only 48 respondents, but they're probably near enough all people working directly in CSR.
His line is that corporate philanthropy will, indeed, decline - and those indulging in it in the name of responsibility will be exposed. But for those organisations whose ethos is responsibility and whose practices are tackling the world's great problems such as water management and climate change, corporate responsibility will be unchanged since it underpins these organisations and is embedded at their core.
I'd like to think he's right, but suspect CSR isn't as well embedded as we'd hope. Anyway, I'm happy to be proven wrong and will enjoy researching this piece over the next couple of weeks.