Practical Ways to Do Good Through Your Business

At the business-for-good conference I ran recently, we did an activity where the audience was asked to come up with ideas for ways to do good through their businesses.

This is post is a summary of all their ideas. The purpose is to share their thoughts rather than to comment on or explain them, many of which are topics I’ve written about before or are fairly self-explanatory.

Leadership

  • Align personal passion and purpose with how you make a living
  • Identify a purpose that benefits others
  • Have a vision that includes impact as well as profit and align it to the Global Sustainability Goals
  • Be committed to your vision
  • Be inspirational
  • Lead by example
  • Build a compassionate culture where everyone is expected to be kind and do good
  • Foster a climate of hope and giving
  • Collaborate for greater impact

Business practices

  • Have collection points
  • Company-wide impact initiatives
  • Support charities and causes
  • Be transparent – acting ethically not just legally
  • Break paradigms
  • Encourage activism
  • Build in agility
  • Pay-it-forward
  • Communicate what you’re doing – internally and externally
  • Include a community benefit clause in company documents
  • Measure your impact
  • Social impact reporting
  • Grow your business and pay tax – this helps others

Environmental

  • Reduce use of paper (or encourage a paper-free business)
  • Reduce the use of balloons
  • Reduce the use of plastic
  • Recycle
  • Buy second-hand goods
  • Reduce waste
  • Interact using online conferencing to reduce footprint e.g. Zoom or Skype
  • Use ECO products
  • Reduce packaging
  • Embrace the circular economy
  • Aim to be carbon neutral

Suppliers

  • Choose socially, environmentally and ethical suppliers
  • By from organisations that do good
  • Buy local
  • Integrate social value into the supply chain

Charitable giving

  • Partner with causes rather than giving ‘charity’
  • Sponsor events, people, projects and causes
  • Raise funds for causes
  • Give choice to individuals (e.g. staff, clients, attendees) about charity donations
  • Celebrate the achievement of business goals with a charity donation
  • Tithing – donate 10% of revenue to charity
  • Buy one, give one
  • Match employee giving
  • Donate specified amount for each sale
  • Donate a percentage of your time for free – for causes or people who can’t afford your services.
  • Donate old stock to causes or people who can’t afford to buy it
  • Attend and share charitable events
  • Set up a volunteering program that makes it easy for clients/customers to support causes
  • Lend money
  • Supply basic provisions
  • Introduce causes to people who could help them
  • Proactively seek opportunities to help causes
  • Sit on the board of a cause
  • Add a donation button to an online checkout
  • Raise awareness of a cause or charity
  • Run an event and donate a percentage of income to charity
  • Donate expertise to charitable projects
  • Exchange services for donations
  • Use charitable facilities for meetings (paying a donation)
  • Ask clients to donate as part of their invoice (could offer a choice of causes)

Client servicing and engagement

  • Communicate the good you’re doing to customers – newsletters, website and social media
  • Invite customers to participate in charitable activities or choose causes you support
  • Run fundraising training/networking events for clients
  • Find out what social/environment issues your customers care about
  • Create opportunities for your customers to have more impact

People

  • Employ people with shared values and ethics
  • Employ from different backgrounds e.g. school leavers, former refugees, older people, those with mental and physical disabilities and people from causes you help
  • Treat staff well
  • Engage staff with impact training/activities
  • Offer flexibility – volunteering, exercise, home working, flexible hours
  • Volunteer days – arrange days when all staff come together to volunteer
  • Give all staff a day off a year to volunteer
  • Put the well-being of staff at the core of business
  • Find ways to employ people who wouldn’t normally have access to that job
  • Help people feel cared about
  • Invest in training and skills transfer
  • Build capacity to give

Marketing

  • Share the good you’re doing in your marketing / on social media
  • Host inspiring shows and events
  • Cause marketing – donating an amount for each sale as part of a sales/marketing campaign
  • Have a way to help those who can’t afford services e.g. low-cost products/services or scholarships
  • Offer a ‘fundraising’ product

In Summary

These are a list our conference attendees came up within only a few minutes–there are many other ways to do good through your business. Whether these are right for your business or organisation is dependent upon the impact you want to make and the resources you have available. 

Please do share your feedback and other ideas in the comments below. 

Kind wishes, 

 
 

P.S. Want to know more contact me.

Keynote and TEDx Speaker, Business Mentor, Best-Selling Author & Retreat Leader

Have you seen my TEDx Talk Isn’t Business an Opportunity to be Kind HERE

Often described as one of the most authentic and inspiring souls you can meet, Alisoun is on a mission to improve the lives of a million people – by making it easy for businesses to be a profitable force for good, and through her personal support of causes that tackle poverty, education and social justice.

Alisoun helps Womenpreneurs, leaders, and changemakers to have more impact in the world.  Her keynote talks, business retreats, training, mentoring, and best-selling books Give-to-Profit: How to Grow Your Business by Supporting Charities and Social Causes and Heartatude: The 9 Principles of Heart-Centered Success have favorably changed the good fortune of thousands of people worldwide.

Alisoun loves running Business Impact Retreats (Scotland, Bali, and Cambodia), raising funds to build schools in Asia and living by the beach in Scotland.

She has also written the following free resources:

  • Ebook: 101 Ways To Attract Great Clients, With Heart, Integrity & Social Impact (click here)
  • Ebook: 52 Ways to Raise Funds for Charities and Social Causes Through Your Business (click here)

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