While the entrepreneurs behind these socially conscious start-ups have tapped into consumer demands to play donor, they also raise questions about whether applying the profit motive can achieve positive and sustainable developmental ends.
Like any healthy coupling, the recipe to a happy, long-term business relationship between a non-profit organization and its corporate volunteers and donors is commitment, communication and compromise, with a large dose of appreciation sprinkled on top.
Some factors are beyond your control -- the motivation of the volunteers, for example, or their willingness to receive instruction. But if you're a non-profit leader, there are three key measures you can take to give your corporate volunteers the greatest chance of success.
Corporate volunteerism isn't just for the already convinced hardcore believers. A truly effective volunteer program must be interesting enough to win over the most hardened cynic in the workplace. If self-interest is the initial motivation, so be it. It likely won't be for long.
I am thrilled to announce my new position as chair of Good360's board of directors and continue to work with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities and to restore and protect the planet -- and do it all through product giving.
College students excitedly anticipate opening their mailboxes to find care packages filled with food, school supplies, and other college essentials sent from mom and dad. But for students who grew up in foster care, the care packages don't often come.
In 2008 we began to help our students' caretakers, their elderly grandmothers. What began as a handful of guardians has blossomed into a program assisting over 6,200 grannies who are self-organized into 91 groups in three districts.
If the impact of business on society is measured in oceans, corporate philanthropy would barely fill a bucket of water. What might be possible if we were to unleash this business genius on problems of consequence?
CEOs of the largest companies in the world are well-positioned to be significant catalysts for positive social change. Unfortunately, doing so has traditionally not been a part of a corporate CEO's job description.
Afterwards we forget all about it, like we do after throwing a dollar in a homeless person's cup, walking away with pride, having temporarily silenced our inner voice. No questions are asked if the donated money finally reaches what it is meant for and in what way.