22 Nov How Innovative Brands Are Doing Mission-Driven Giving
In the new consumer economy, customers are gravitating toward brands with a purpose beyond profit.
They want to know that the companies that they support are thinking seriously about social impact — how they’re making a difference in the world, whether they’re pursuing business practices that are ethical, sustainable and better for the planet.
At the same time, this trend toward transparency and social enterprises is pushing companies to reconsider their philanthropic approaches. No longer is it enough to support whatever charities come calling by writing a check or encouraging employees to volunteer.
Instead, companies are seeking to deploy their dollars and resources much more strategically. They’re looking to tightly integrate their corporate giving with their brand mission and values, while making sure that their donations are driving the biggest impact possible.
At Good360, we have the privilege of collaborating with all kinds of purpose-driven companies that are thinking creatively about aligning their giving strategies with their brand missions. Here are some of their stories:
Building social good into the business from the beginning
For Bombas, the online purveyor of exceptionally comfortable socks, doing good is the very reason for the company’s existence. Founders David Heath and Randy Goldberg launched the brand in 2013 after learning that socks are the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters.
And unlike most companies that donate the same items that they sell to consumers, Bombas takes it a step further: For every item purchased, a specially-designed item is donated to those in need. To date, the company has donated over 25 million pairs of socks to the homeless.
“We designed a donation sock with features that meet the needs of the homeless community: an antimicrobial wash to extend wearability, reinforced seams for increased durability, and darker colors to show less visible wear,” said Sam Ravetz, Community and Giving Relationship Manager at Bombas. “With our socks and all future product categories, we aim to create a sense of dignity and compassion for this community no matter where they are in their lives.”
While Bombas works with organizations of all sizes through its Giving program, the company is collaborating with Good360 to be able to respond quickly and at scale with much needed product donations in times of disaster.
“By pre-staging our socks, Good360 can easily distribute socks to those in need, many of whom are facing dire circumstances in the wake of natural disasters,” Ravetz noted.
Giving homeless children a better place to sleep
Allswell, a direct-to-consumer brand of hybrid mattresses, is a company clearly driven by customer-centric values. The company believes “great sleep is nothing less than a right” and that a “luxurious sleep experience shouldn’t come at a luxurious price.”
For social impact, the company is targeting the problem of youth homelessness in America. While this is an issue that doesn’t necessarily grab headlines, it allows Allswell to provide a solution that is perfectly aligned with its mission to ensure better sleep for all.
“We’ve been a mission-driven brand since day one, powered by real people who care versus cold algorithms,” said Arlyn Davich, Allswell’s Brand President. “The concept of doing good is inextricably linked to our business model and culture, as it naturally springs from our original and primary goal: to make good sleep accessible to all. Once we started achieving this goal, we were able to focus on making it more universal: to do the most good for people in need.
“The thought of someone not even having a place to sleep is one that shakes us to our core,” Davich added. “We chose to focus on the issue of youth homelessness because, well, the statistics are particularly staggering. Like the fact that there are between 1 and 1.7 million homeless youth who have run away or have been asked to leave their homes. And 75 percent of them have dropped out or will drop out of school. Considering young people are our future, we feel compelled to do as much as we can to help turn the tide on youth homelessness.”
Bringing light and hope to hurricane survivors
When Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and southern Florida, Citizen came up with an innovative approach to help survivors. Obviously sending a shipment of its watches wouldn’t have made sense, but the brand found another way to bring critically needed supplies.
Citizen partnered with Good360 to enable the donation of 5,000 Luci EMRG solar-powered lights. The company drove the initiative by donating a Luci light with every purchase made in the brand’s Times Square flagship store or on its website, empowering customers to be a part of the its disaster relief efforts.
By bringing light to hurricane survivors stranded without power, the donation effort dovetailed perfectly with Citizen’s focus on the power of light, both literally and figuratively. The brand is known for its Eco-Drive technology, which generates power from any light source to keep its watches running.
Aligning mission, vision, values and social good
Today’s consumers expect brands to make a positive impact even as they make profits. For companies, the challenge is coming up with initiatives that reinforce their brand promise while generating meaningful contributions, not just good PR. At Good360, we can help develop product donation strategies that also align with your company’s mission. Learn more here: https://good360.org/corporate/