Three Companies Making Social Good Waves
- Written by Alexandra Frazier
Many businesses support their employees’ individual volunteerism efforts. Then there are those groups who take on a more active approach to social good. Here are three organizations making major waves in the social good sector. Drum roll, please.
For Connecting Cell Phone Use with Forces for Good:
The People’s Operator
Launched in November 2012, UK mobile network The People’s Operator (TPO) is a for-profit business with a soft spot for nonprofits. Here’s how their ethical approach to mobile phone service works:
TPO passes 10% of each customer’s bill directly to causes chosen by them. In addition, 25% of company’s profits go to the TPO Foundation, which in turn distributes the money to good causes. The more revenue the company generates, the more money will be available for distribution. Just last month, TPO appointed founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, to its board. When asked why he teamed up with TPO, Wales told CNET News, “I get a lot of pitches for a lot of things, which fall into two camps: they’re either well meaning but unworkable, or workable but not that inspiring … [TPO] has the potential to raise an enormous amount of money for good causes, and I can see how it works.” We couldn’t agree more, and we can’t wait to see TPO launch stateside.
For Creating a Statewide Skill-Based Volunteer Network:
Business Mentor NY
The State of New York recently developed Business Mentor NY, a hands-on mentoring initiative that matches entrepreneurs with private sector volunteers. Through a simple application, small business owners can identify issues, concerns, or challenges that they would like to address through mentoring. Once the application is complete, the business owner is matched with an individual from the private sector who is well-positioned to help address their needs.
The robust and diverse mentoring network includes lawyers, accountants, business consultants, and experts in a variety of fields, all of whom volunteer their time and know-how to help small businesses with everything from reviewing insurance policies to managing cash flow. Business Mentor NY connects movers and shakers in the business world with the start-ups who could most benefit from their expertise. And what could be better than that?
For an Integrated Approach to CSR:
Starkey Hearing Foundation
Starkey Hearing Technologies, an American producer of hearing aids and other communications tools for the hearing impaired, works year round “So
the World May Hear®.” Every time someone purchases a Starkey product, the company makes a donation to its Starkey Hearing Foundation, which travels the globe to fit free hearing aids to people in need, delivering the transformative gift of hearing to the world. Starkey’s national endeavors also include Hear Now, a domestic program that assists those in the U.S. with hearing loss and lacking the resources to acquire hearing aids; Listen Carefully, a public service initiative that seeks to reverse the increase in teen hearing loss; and Hearing Aid Recycling, a program that allows hearing aid patients to send in their old hearing aids so that the working parts may be reconstructed and fit to the underprivileged. Starkey’s multi-faceted approach to CSR warms the cockles of our hearts. It also provides audiologists across the nation the opportunity to engage in skills-based volunteerism as they donate their time and medical know-how to hearing impaired patients across the world.