Good Done Great Launches Doing it Great Volunteer Initiative

Good Done Great has always had a culture focused on giving back. As a Benefit Corporation, we are held responsible for upholding environmental, social, and governance standards. We report our efforts to the nonprofit B Lab as they measure our impact against standards. As a company that provides technology for the greater good, our status as a B Corporation reflects who we are to our stakeholders and demonstrates our commitment to our clients.

This past month, in recognition of National Volunteer Month, Good Done Great expanded our give back culture and formally launched our volunteer program, Doing it Great. In order to determine cause areas, we distributed a survey to our employees to collect information on the cause areas closest to their hearts. After analyzing the data, we uncovered our top four cause areas: animal welfare, environmental stewardship, hunger relief, and education/mentoring. A fourth program (Volunteering Done Great) allows our employees to log hours not associated with any of these cause areas.

As part of our National Volunteer Month launch, we set a high bar of 100% participation across all three offices (Charleston, South Carolina, Tacoma, Washington, and Stuart, Florida.) Each office (including a remote employee based in Maine) completed at least one volunteer activity spanning two of our core focus areas: environmental stewardship and education and mentoring.

Here’s a recap of our volunteer events:

Clean Birth Kit Good Done Great

The Charleston office assembled 950 Clean Birth Kits for Global Health Charities, a nonprofit organization that provides healthcare for underserved markets in Southeast Asia and Nigeria. Their clean birth kit project provides pregnant mothers with a clean surface to give birth, helping to decrease the chance of infection. Check out our Facebook page for more photos of this event

Stuart Beach Clean Up Good Done Great

Several members of the Stuart office spent a beautiful Sunday morning collecting trash on Stuart Beach with Keep Martin Beautiful. They collected 11 bags of trash, amounting to seven pounds.

Oyster Reef Build Good Done Great

In addition to the Clean Birth Kit Assembly event, the Charleston office also participated in an oyster reef build on Gold Bug Island. In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Charleston Waterkeeper, the GDG team in addition to other volunteer groups constructed over 200 feet of new living shoreline oyster reef. This reef is an expansion of work started in 2011, which will help the oyster populations and reduce the effects of coastal erosion.

Earth Day Cleanup Good Done Great

In recognition of Earth Day, Joan, a Product Manager at Good Done Great, spent a cold day in Maine volunteering with the Island Heritage Trust. She and her volunteer group collected seven bags of trash along the local highway.

Tacoma Pajama Bowl Good Done Great

Our Tacoma office participated in the Pajama Bowl, an event which raises money to support foster children. Our team raised $270 for Treehouse Seattle, a nonprofit that supports ongoing education for foster children.

In total, we had 65% of Good Done Great Charleston, Tacoma, and Stuart employees participate in a month-long volunteer effort which supported foster children, the environment, and mothers in developing nations. Our impact demonstrates that no matter your company size, you can still make a difference!

Follow our volunteer journey with #DoingitGreat. You can view more volunteer photos on our Facebook page.

The ‘Benefits’ to Becoming a Benefit Corporation

There has been a drastic reshaping in the core structure of the business world over the past decade. According a study conducted by Nielsen, over 55% of global online consumers would pay more for products from companies committed to a positive social and environmental impact, and B Corporations do just that. They drive product innovation, market growth, and job creation while simultaneously contributing to a net positive impact upon society and providing escalated profit for shareholders.

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Being a B Corp has proven to be fiscally advantageous in many unexpected ways. B Corporations have saved five million dollars in accessed technology, talent, and expertise for their businesses through access to over 80 service partnerships. Most investors are attracted to corporations that strive to meet morally virtuous standards because they strive to benefit not only themselves but also everyone their business touches creating a healthy and sustainable business environment. The good publicity that B Corps generate is unparalleled by any other business venture group. Certified companies represent 31% of America’s most promising social entrepreneurs as stated by Bloomberg Businessweek. By joining a community of some of the most favorable companies including Ben & Jerry’s and Etsy, a B-Corp status indicates to your stakeholders that you are committed to their personal wellbeing and development.

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However, despite all the benefits (pun intended) to becoming a Benefit Corporation only 28 of our 50 states have adopted legislation to accommodate B Corps. So the question stands, if being a B Corporation is such an amazing opportunity, why don’t all corporations strive to join the movement? And why don’t all states strive to adopt new legislations?

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The same two issues that create resistance to any new initiative are the same two issues that create a resistance to B Corps: money and time. In addition to the completion of the B Impact Assessment, corporations are evaluated in five areas based on the GIIRS Rating System that include community, consumers, environment, workers, and governance. Scoring high enough to be eligible to become a B Corp could require significant changes to the way a company operates often dissuading the pursuit of such certification. Additionally, in order to maintain a company’s certification, the business is required to publish annual benefit reports of their social and environmental performance, which offers information on the company’s impact upon all stakeholders. In some states, the corporation must also submit the reports to the Secretary of State (although the Secretary of State has no control over the report’s specific content).

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While it’s complicated to move businesses from being solely profit minded to also incorporating human rights and social issues into their agendas, it is a ultimately a very powerful way to change the world. We are so proud of all of the businesses in our B Corp community and they inspire us every day to work harder. We hope to see all fifty states adopt B Corp legislation because together we can do exponentially more good than we can apart. #bthechange

 

GDG Featured in Entrepreneur Mind World

You may have already heard, but we <3 being a B-Corp! Our B-Corp status creates value for our employees, clients, and the community! Head over to the latest issue of Entrepreneur Mind World magazine for more information on this worthwhile initiative! Click here to read more.

Shared Value: Creating Economic Prosperity for All

We are all familiar with the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Philanthropy. Many companies leverage CSR to build brand loyalty and to attract and retain talent.  Advancements in the field focus on integrating CSR into core business strategy.

For an increasing number of companies, doing well by doing good is now becoming a cornerstone of their business strategy (as opposed to an add-on). The Shared Value philosophy offers a way to maximize overall returns to society while driving real business growth. Shared Value looks beyond short-term financial gains and into the future for long-term growth and community development.

Shared Value elevates the conversation beyond CSR or Corporate Philanthropy as a new way of thinking and approach to business that includes societal benefits at the center instead of the periphery. As opposed to looking narrowly at the business landscape, the Shared Value approach opens the horizon to the possibilities of new products and markets which create value for all parties involved.

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Shared Value can be realized through the creation of new products, the entering of new markets, reevaluating the value chain, and cluster development (whereby businesses collaborate with existing educational institutions for talent supply, create partners including suppliers, and build infrastructure).

How can we create Shared Value? Let’s look at a few examples. First, environmentally friendly products create value for society by using less packaging and electricity thereby eliminating waste and conserving natural resources.

Second, products delivered to the market at the bottom-of-the-pyramid (BOP) provide critical assistance to individuals typically ignored in the marketplace. Low-cost cellphones and laptops offer access to mobile-banking which allows BOP individuals the opportunity to participate in the financial sector while laptops provide access to information for educational and communication purposes. Businesses prosper by accessing a new market and new revenue source while incurring cheaper production costs.

Michael Porter, the esteemed HBS professor, and Mark Kramer, the co-founder and Managing Director of FSG, offer a suggestion for the creation of a Shared Value strategy. They suggest analyzing the positive and negative effects of your products upon society, demonstrating opportunities of growth and/or areas of reevaluation of current business practices that create a net positive impact upon society.

Several corporations already execute on Shared Value initiatives:

1) Nestle

Nestle partners with low-income coffee growers to provide jobs while creating clusters of agricultural, technology, financial, and logistical firms to provide an ecosystem of support and economic progress.

2) Coca-Cola’s 5×20 Initiative

Coca-Cola’s 5×20 initiative aims to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020 through business education and mentoring. These women will join Coca-Cola as producers, distributors, recyclers, suppliers, retailers, and artisans and continue to impact the communities in which they live.

3) Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart creates Shared Value through women’s and sustainable initiatives. Their Empowering Women Together program provides women entrepreneurs with access to Wal-Mart’s customer base through placement on the Wal-Mart website. Furthermore, Wal-Mart works closely with suppliers to measure sustainability through the product index as well as converts waste into recyclable goods.

4) Capital One

Capital One employees and community organizations worked to rebuild the community of Gentilly, a neighborhood in New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina. Their work included: a neighborhood center which offered a safe place for kids and employment opportunities, affordable housing, training for jobs in the educational field, business training for entrepreneurs, and financial literacy programs. Capital One’s multi-faced approach to disaster created hope and opportunity in light of despair and destruction. 

At Good Done Great, we strive to create Shared Value by strategically directing the flow of capital from individuals and corporate groups to deserving non-profits throughout the world. Our status as a B-Corporation reinforces business as a force for good and holds us to strict environmental and social standards which improve our communities and protect the environment. (Click here for more details on this growing movement).

Shared Value challenges the traditional business model to include societal needs at the center while promoting long-term growth. If corporate groups seek to disrupt the marketplace and increase economic and social value for all, the Shared Value approach offers a holistic way to accomplish this challenging task.

 

Good Done Great & The Rise Of B Corporations

By the time I co-founded Good Done Great, I had already seen my share of poverty. I’d spent my formative years in Thailand with a father who was an Air Force pilot-turned missionary and a mother who was an early social good entrepreneur. As my father tended to the spiritual needs of the congregation, my mother spent her time providing job skills and entrepreneurial mentoring to a thriving cottage industry. I witnessed first hand how this type of support complemented and often exceeded the impact that the church could achieve through utilizing contributions from their members. What started out as her little business soon prospered, and the money often-times became the main source of income for our family. It was then that I realized how critical business engagement was to solving many of the world’s greatest social and environmental challenges.

I returned to the United States after high school, attended college, and then later completed a masters degree in international business studies. I held the expected jobs in the corporate world with expanding responsibility and challenges and yet found myself increasingly anxious to do something with greater social impact.

Read the full article.