I am always delighted to discover other companies that have built their business around helping worthy causes. There is so much need in the world and there is no end to the creative ways that businesses, large and small, can make a difference. That's the premise that BiddingForGood was built on. But today I want to put the spotlight on a couple of other companies that are creatively doing business and doing good at the same time.
BakingForGood is an online bakery dedicated to selling irresistible gourmet cookie gifts that are perfect for any occasion. They essentially took the old-fashioned bake sale and put it online. And while they are selling baked goods, they're also committed to supporting causes that are important to their customers. 15% of the net proceeds from every purchase made on their site goes to a cause of the buyers choosing. We discovered them earlier this year and actually sent some of their delicious cookies as a thank you to some of our partners. How fabulous to be able to buy the things you love (who doesn't love cookies) and do something worthwhile for an organization that you care about.
Click here to watch a short video on the story of BakingForGood.
Another company that I just learned about is called TalkForGood. Their mission is simple- Do good, one call at a time. TalkForGood is a new kind of company that helps people do good by talking on the phone. Each month, TalkForGood will donate a percentage of each customer's phone bill to the charities that they support. So if you are a consumer who talks on the phone... um.. I think that would be just about everyone.. and you want to make a difference, here is a way to do that. Let's do the math.. if everyone you know chose to use this phone system, the numbers would add up quickly. Think about all that impact. If you want to be part of their beta program, you can sign up here.
If you are a nonprofit and want a new and creative way for your supporters to support you in an ongoing way, both TalkForGood and BakingForGood are worth checking out. Or if you are a consumer who likes to shop for a cause, then this is for you too.
So let's sum it up here folks. You can eat cookies from BakingForGood and support worthy causes. You can talk on the phone through TalkForGood and support worthy causes and you can shop on BiddingForGood and support worthy causes. If you are a nonprofit or a school you can do all of the above and further your mission. Yum. Sounds good to me.
In a recent post on the goodpurpose® blog, authors Rodolfo Araújo and Leticia Born start to dissect The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility. After reading their well-thought out piece, I started asking myself “Is Corporate Social Responsibility really enough? Are we, as companies, just becoming a part of CSR efforts because it makes us look good or because we know it is becoming more important to our consumers? CSR efforts could be perceived as somewhat topical without true value to both sides.
The goodpurpose® blog explains how Harvard Professor Michael Porter has argued that the concept of CSR could be better practiced through a change of wording: CSV (Creating Shared Value), which reflects a deep connection between causes and companies, generating value for each side. According to him, the current way in which the majority of companies approach CSR is insufficient.
I think I would have to agree with Professor Porter that on some level, companies are using CSR efforts to only promote their brand and public image. The benefit to the cause is just a ‘secondary’ result. I also believe that we as consumers realize this and thought at one time that this was sufficient enough. Like Jon mentioned last week in his Do the Right Thing post, there is no rule that says any company has to be responsible, so any value that private companies can give to a cause would be considered ‘exceptional’.
At BiddingForGood, we have truly taken CSR efforts to CSV efforts…not because it makes us look good, but as Jon also mentioned, it is good business and at the end of the day, it is the right thing to do.
To round out Jon’s point, the goodpurpose® blog states that “A brand’s value is not only bound to the quality of its products and services, but to relationships built with a long-term perspective that engages individuals and creates a community of shared beliefs – in addition to profits.”
So as companies adopt CSR efforts, hopefully we will see more early adopters of CSV efforts -companies who decide that there should be more behind their efforts than just their public image. Companies who decide to have more soul and to dig deeper into what CSR should really mean.
Looking forward to what comes next,