These days, many for-profit corporations have more on their mind than solely making profits. Corporate staff are now creating ways to give back to their communities and the world by innovative benevolent programs, opportunity-granting charities, and volunteer efforts. Many times customers are also called on to participate and have a voice in helping to create a better world. Being able to tackle socio-economic inequalities and injustices have been a way some companies find meaning in their retail efforts.
“Many corporations have found their efforts
to do good in their communities and in the world
world have made a positive impact in the lives of
their customers, their employees,
and the most vulnerable.”
Here are some examples of companies that are giving back in a big way, and how they do it.
Giving Back to the Community
Starbucks started giving back to communities in 1997 by funding literacy efforts in the United States and Canada, and now their charitable influence is felt around the world. Today, Starbuck’s community efforts are organized by the Starbucks Foundation, which awards grants to non-profit community organizations, focusing mainly on youth work skills development and grassroots socio-economic development efforts.
As a bonus, it is part of promoting a goal with other corporations to employ 100,000 at-risk youth by 2018. To help meet this goal, Starbucks is opening 15 coffee shops in lower socio-economic areas and employing local youth.
Employees have shaped Starbucks’ approach to giving by participating in community service projects. They also were the influence for Starbucks’ food donation program. By coordinating with Feeding America, Starbucks donates leftover food from many of its locations to help people stay fed and keep extra food out of landfills. The Starbucks Corporation itself gives money to the organization Global Fund to help communities around the world build up infrastructure in partnership with other international charity organizations.
Empowering Women Worldwide
Since 2010, the Coca-Cola corporation has been pursuing a very focused goal to train, support, and empower five million poor women to become successful entrepreneurs within ten years. The effort is called the 5by20 Initiative.
The charitable organization, which has reached its half-way mark, makes business skills training, coaching by entrepreneurial mentors, and financing available to women participating in the program. 5by20 also partners with business leaders and government officials in the localities where they plant programs to ensure the greatest chance of the program’s success. Women participating in the program have seen their incomes grow through their business efforts, and are able to meet their families’ needs with the extra money which they have earned.
Coca-Cola has also partnered with other charitable organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen the impact of their charitable venture. Another way to support artisan-operated businesses is to assist in bringing their creative products which are made from upcycled materials to market around the world. 5by20 does this through its Artisan Entrepreneur Retail Program, which provides online sales support for products made by women artisans in the program.
“Doing good builds communities of
caring and sharing that transcend
the average customer or
Helping Both Locally and Globally
The Tobi corporation, a women’s apparel designer, manufacturer, and retailer, combines both local and global assistance for its charitable efforts. Aid that the company provides through its charitable organization, Tobi Cares, includes scholarships, sponsorships, donations, and volunteerism, and they use input from both customers and employees to direct their efforts.
Tobi’s scholarship program focuses on helping female students to achieve their higher education goals in order to create economic parity in their communities. By awarding scholarships to young women, Tobi Cares hopes to encourage them to finish their education which is a valuable component to personal success.
Tobi looks to its customers for direction on how to donate one percent of each purchase. They make it simple to choose a charity that is either local or international in focus and handles all disbursements for their customers to make donating automatic.
For the Tobi Cares Sponsorship Program, the company looks to its employees and their suggestions for worthy causes to sponsor. Grants may be one-time or recurring and are awarded to charitable organizations their employees nominate. As Tobi encourages volunteerism in its workforce, some of the nominated organizations are those that employees are actively involved in. What results is a workforce which is motivated to care because they know their efforts make a difference.
Many corporations have found their efforts to do good in their communities and in the world have made a positive impact in the lives of their customers, their employees, and the most vulnerable. This builds communities of caring and sharing that transcend the average customer or employee experience.
Does your company do good in their communities and the world?
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