Adding a give back model to your business can help you create a greater impact in the world! It can help you support causes that you’re passionate about, make a difference, and inspire others to lead an impactful life as well. When your business model allows for “giving back” to occur, you also encourage your customers and clients to become a part of your cause every time they work with or purchase from you. This is a win for you, a win for them, and a win for the cause! Win-win-win!
You don’t need to be a non-profit, social enterprise, or B-Corp to make a difference. You can actually just add a give back component to your current business model! Here are some ideas on how to get started with giving back:
- Donate a percentage of proceeds to a charity of your choice.
- Create a one-for-one or “buy one give one” product or collection.
- Give scholarships or provide services on a sliding scale model.
- Donate your services and/or goods to a good cause, for example you can donate to a charity event or campaign.
- Become a “Give Back Partner” for an organization—not only do you donate to this organization, you also raise awareness about their cause. Their cause actually becomes your cause.
So whether you’re like Warby Parker or TOMS with a buy one give one model, you’re a give back partner to a charity, or you decide to be like Marie Forleo and give scholarships to select B-School participants, there are so many different ways to give back now! Take a look at what most excites you, and what causes are important to you, pick one, and just start!
My favorite way to start thinking about what type of give back model is right for your specific business, is to answer these questions:
- What cause is most important to you? Some examples of causes are: education, clean water, environmental sustainability, food security, women’s empowerment, etc.
- What geographic region would you like to support? Some people have a tie to a specific region of the world—perhaps you volunteered in Latin America when you were in college or you studied abroad in Europe. Maybe you’ve always had a passion for causes in Eastern Africa or Southeast Asia. Others love supporting causes in their own country or even their own local community.
- Do you want to support a large, established organization or a smaller, grassroots organization? This is important because larger organizations may be more organized with more resources and have established protocols and assets, and smaller organizations may have more flexibility to the type of partnership you could create. There are pros and cons to each one!
More and more people are getting involved in social and global issues, and their priorities are to support businesses that do the same. Businesses that support social causes are not only becoming more competitive in the marketplace, but they are also using their influence to be a force for good, which is helping to create a positive impact on the world!