The 2010 Edelman good purpose global study showed that consumers favored buying products that supported charitable causes. In fact, 87 percent of Americans surveyed said business owners should consider community and corporate interests on equal terms.
More for-profit businesses are adapting a nonprofit mentality and discovering that social good is a profitable investment.
Here are five companies that are using social good business practices to help global communities.
Baby Teresa is a clothing company that offers a “buy one, share one” program that benefits babies in need. For every outfit sold it donates one to a baby in struggling communities. Started in 2009, Baby Teresa was inspired by Mother Teresa’s quote, “If you can’t feed 1,000 people, then feed one.” The company has donated clothes to babies in Egypt, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines and Jordan. Its ambitious goal is to donate clothing to babies in every country worldwide. The colorful onesies are 100 percent cotton and start at $29.95.
Great American Days
From scuba diving to stock car driving and white water rafting, Great American Days offers exciting gift packages with a give-back guarantee. Part of the Buy One Give One Project, for every experience sold, the company donates to a charitable project. Based in Atlanta, Ga., gift givers can purchase packages for events all over the U.S. Packages start at just $25 and include spa deals, culinary gifts, and a few of the company’s most popular packages are now on sale through Christmas.
Practicing social good since 1902, Goodwill Industries International built the social good business model. Last year Goodwill put 170,000 people to work and offered workforce development services to more than 29 million. Founded on three core principals, Goodwill empowers individuals in the communities they serve, ensures a self-sustaining community enterprise and has a positive impact on the environment. The website offers practical living advice from job search tips to how to handle stress during the holidays. If you don’t have Goodwill in your neighborhood, you can find all kinds of treasures at its auction site shopgoodwill.com
Selling quality products from global artisans, Novica helps provide a sustainable income for crafters. Offering home décor items, paintings, jewelry and clothing, each purchase comes with a note about the crafter. Artisans from Bali, Peru, Ghana, Mexico, Brazil and other countries create unique items that reflect their culture. Shoppers can choose from world regions or special features, which include corporate gifts, eco-friendly gifts and collectible items.
Part of the Clinton Global Initiative Light Haiti Project, BoGo Light sells solar powered flashlights. Built upon the “buy one, give one” practice, for each light sold another is given to a needy family in Haiti. The sun-powered lights help families who cannot afford electricity, or who rely on kerosene and candles. These methods can take up to 30 percent of the household income. The BoGo light helps families save money that can be used for medicine, education or daily living expenses.
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