Over the past two weeks, we’ve profiled two entrepreneurs who have been very outspoken about the role of companies in giving back to the communities where they operate. John Mackey calls it “conscious capitalism”. Marc Benioff calls it “compassionate capitalism” and came up with the 1/1/1 model where 1% of profits, 1% of equity, and 1% of employee hours are given back to the communities his company serves.
We have to admit, after reading Mr. Benioff’s books, Behind the Cloud and Compassionate Capitalism, we were taken with the idea that a profitable business needs to do more than generate a return for the partners. And we’ve added Mr. Mackey’s book, Conscious Capitalism to our reading list.
Easy for big business owners like Benioff and Mackey to say, right?
Except they began their giving back almost from the moment they founded their small businesses.
It’s worth asking, how can your small business give back to your community?
At Logomaker, we’ve committed to donate a portion of our profits to charity. Those of you who follow us on Facebook may have seen our announcement of a sponsorship of a water project for Charity:Water last year. That donation has been forwarded to a team in Africa, where they are working to purchase supplies, secure permits, and finalize a site for a new well to supply water to the people of Tigray, Ethiopia.
Here’s how a similar project turned out:
We don’t know if anyone will choose a logo from Logomaker because of our donation. In fact, we’re pretty sure that no one in Ethiopia will. So from a business standpoint, maybe it’s not a great strategy. But from a human standpoint, it is the best strategy.
If your small business is able to do something similar, check out Charity:Water and make your own donation. We’re keeping our eyes open for the next opportunity to give back soon.
So what are you doing to give back to your stakeholders?