Neil Bush Promotes Volunteerism

Neil Bush, the Chairman of Points of Light and brother and son of two Presidents, gave a heartfelt and emotional keynote about the need to increase volunteerism and the impact it can have on society.

Neil Bush, Chairman, Points of Light

Youth volunteering and engagement is on the rise. The number of youth who volunteer has grown from 13 percent of the population to 22 percent of the population since Points of Light was founded. In fact, Neil Bush’s daughter, Lauren Bush started FEED in 2007 where she sells simplistic burlap bags with the proceeds going to help feed children through the United Nations World Food Program. Continue reading

#CSRchat: A Live Interview with Susan McPherson

Can you conduct a Twitter chat virtually and present live at a conference — at the same time?

Susan McPherson might tell you I never quite asked her that question before I volunteered that she and I could do that at the Business4Better conference, but in the end Susan proved that she can tweet and talk and share a wealth of information about CSR at the same time.Although someone’s suggestion that we chew gum as well didn’t make the cut.

Another first we attempted was turning the tables on Susan to make her the guest rather than host of #CSRchat, the Twitter chat she founded and has run for the last three years.

 

Here is our chat/interview: Continue reading

Two cases of successful cause marketing

AOL is a household name but that doesn’t mean Blair Cobb, senior director of  cause marketing and community relations for the company, has millions of dollars to give to nonprofits. Her group needs to find unique ways AOL can give back other than writing a check.

Aria Finger, Blair Cobb, Nitzan Pelman, Susan McPherson

AOL’s partnership with Citizen Schools, a nonprofit that provides expanded school programs for kids in low-income communities, does just that. AOL’s employees volunteer to teach students (apprenticeship is the core of Citizen Schools’ model), produce videos that provide exposure for the nonprofit, and the company publishes blog posts from Citizen Schools staff and student, Cobb said during a panel discussion at the Business4Better conference. Having AOL’s executive leaders, including its CEO and Arianna Huffington, participate in the teaching program, helped encourage other AOL employees to engage, she said. Continue reading

Purpose Beyond Profits

More than eight out of 10 consumers want business to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as its business interests.  Yet businesses are struggling to address social issues.

That is according to Carol Cone, an internationally-recognized expert on cause marketing and branding and a speaker at Business4Better this week.

“Purpose is the reason for an organization’s being beyond profits,” said Cone.  “It creates differentiation, fuels innovation, growth and sales, builds and protects reputation, and engages and inspires customers and employees. “ Continue reading

Non-Profit is Just Another Business Model

Brad Slaker, founder of DesignWise, didn’t set out to create a non-profit, he told a crowd at Business4Better. It just turned out to be the best business model. A “volunteer-based business model” meant they could design products for a fraction of the usual cost, so it became feasible to focus on what is usually an under-funded field – pediatrics. “I worked in the medical device industry for 20 years; I never even heard of a pediatric project being initiated,” he reported. Now he works on them all the time.

Designwise PT Rover Push Cart for mobility challenged young adults.

Of course, a volunteer-based business would just be about free labor if the only goal were capital. But Slaker’s real goal is to create products to help kids that otherwise would suffer. He just wants the effort to be self-sustaining.

He thinks about DesignWise as a business. It’s just a business that is valued on more than financial growth. Continue reading