E-Rewards and Give Something Back Office Supplies (GSB)are shining examples of competitive businesses that are doing business with purpose to change lives. At the 2013 Business4Better Conference, Kurt Knapton, CEO of E-Rewards, and Mike Hannigan, President of Give Something Back Office Supplies, shared their personal journey to create successful businesses that have a larger social purpose.
Mike Hannigan (GSB), Kurt Knapton (e-Rewards), Sophie Faris (B Lab)
“I am capitalist first”, spouts Knapton. “While do social good is important, you need to have the business experience to compete at a very high level”. Knapton leads E-Rewards, a fast-growing B2B research company that organizes survey panels made of up 6.5 million consumers in more than 40 countries. Knapton was inspired by doing something bigger and better. He refers to Peter Drucker, father of modern management, who states that the business bottom line is measured both by business value and changing lives. E-Rewards is a for profit company who now is offering its consumers options in the form of both extrinsic rewards/gifts and intrinsic rewards. The intrinsic rewards are fulfilled through Kiva where survey takers can transfer their reward to microfinance loans. The result is $250,000 in loans impacting 11,000 people in just a few short months. Continue reading
Employee volunteering programs are increasingly the “heartbeat” of where social innovation is happening to improve business and impact communities. At the Business4Business (B4B) Conference, executives from Alcoa, BJs Restaurants, and Edwards Life Sciences shared their knowledge on starting and delivering impactful employee volunteer programs, organized around 8 steps. The session was moderated by CEO of OneOC, Dan McQuaid.
After listening carefully to this lively 45 minute discussion, it is clear there is no single way to go about starting and managing an employee volunteer program. However, there are core steps executives can take. Here is eight as shared in the Business4Better session. Continue reading
Business4Better (B4B) Conference & Expo is a few weeks out, taking place on May 1 & 2 in Anaheim, CA. More than a thousand business leaders and professionals will come together to explore and learn how nonprofit partnerships, corporate social responsibility (CSR), community involvement or other corporate charitable efforts can support their work – achieve greater commercial success while positively impacting your community.
It is more than just another corporate social responsibility event – it’s a not-for-profit event for mid-sized businesses ready to take action through real community engagement. Continue reading
For many companies, getting started can be the hardest part of any community partnership program.
Appirio started small at just the 100 employee mark, picking a few key areas and working with employees to understand their ideas and get them involved. In the beginning it felt like a bunch of events strung together, not a program. As they grew, Appirio figured out how to more gracefully interweave business objectives with their CSR and community involvement. At the top of the list was leading with their strengths in tech talent and resources to make a difference and strong reliance on employee participation. This also helps to have impact on an ad hoc, dynamic budget. Continue reading
‘Tis the season for giving and a perfect time to reflect on your charity and community engagement initiatives for 2013. Amplifying this point, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook made headlines this week with a $500m stock donation to Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on education and health initiatives.
I working predominantly in the Tech industry and there are many great examples and stories of giving and philanthropy from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Salesforce.com and Marc Benioff’s Dream foundation. My colleague Kelley Damore of UBM Tech’s CRN outlines many examples in a recent article and even presents this in a slide presentation worth a look. While many of these are big examples, small and medium businesses and entreprenuers are having their own impact as outlined in Kelley’s “Charitable Endeavors: SMBs Can Think Big”.
As focus shifts from checkbook philanthropy to active, hands-on community involvement, mid-size enterprises are rising up to get employees and their brands more engaged in the communities they serve.
Large Enterprises have been at the forefront of the corporate social responsibility landscape with organized sustainability programs for a number of years. But midmarkets are now prime to make their own impact.
With my recent dive into Corporate Responsibility and nonprofit work through Business4Better (B4B), I am discovering many new dimensions things about business, society and myself, and eerily familiar patterns.
An interesting parallel is happening in the world of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and B2B marketing that underlines the over-riding influence of “community” on our blended personal-professional lives. Both CSR and B2B marketing have shifted to a greater focus on eliciting “engagement” and “involvement” to contribute to a company’s success (“doing good to do good”, as I hear frequently). During my first few months of working on B4B, I keep saying to myself, “Wait, I think I have seen this movie!”