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How to Integrate Social Good Into Your Small Business


If companies like TOMS, Half United, and Warby Parker have inspired you to integrate social good into your small business, you are right on trend.

Conscious capitalism is a growing movement, and not just because making a difference and having a positive impact is important to Millennials. As socially conscious companies around the world have proven, it is possible to successfully combine profits, people, and purpose.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Update your brand messaging

Look over your brand’s mission, vision, and values. Do they need to be updated to reflect your pivot towards social good? If your brand’s main messages don’t mention social good at all, there will be a big disconnect between what you’re saying and what you’re doing – and that will be confusing for your customers.

Choose a cause that resonates with your target market

You and your team might be super excited about the cause or charity you want to focus on, but check with your target market, too. Unless they are as excited as you are, your efforts will fall flat (and you could even lose customers if they don’t support the same cause).

Choosing a relevant cause is easy to do. Simply send a short survey to your customer base. You can also check in with your VIPs and ask customers for their opinion in person.

Discuss with your accountant and attorney

When you’re changing your business model, it’s always good to consult with your accountant and attorney. They’ll likely be able to ask the questions and take care of the details that you probably haven’t even considered. Always better safe than sorry!

Determine the model

There are so many ways to pull social good into your business. Here are a few ideas:

  • Automatically donate a portion of each sale to one charity
  • Allow customers to choose where the donation goes from a short list of options
  • Employ a one-for-one model
  • Partner with a charitable organization and donate a set amount of products or services based on sales

Share the story

Because many consumers are looking for ways to give back, be sure to share the story of the cause you’re supporting, why you’re supporting it, and the impact that your support will have on people. If you can share the stories of individuals you have helped, even better.

And it goes without saying that you’ll want to share this on your website, in blog posts, in newsletters, and on social media.

Provide giving updates

Whenever someone makes a purchase, let them know how their purchase is helping those in need. On a quarterly or yearly basis, provide your customers with a broader giving update – “Your purchases provided X to X people over the past three months – thank you!”

What does your small business do to give back and effect positive change?


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