Traditional businesses have always focused on the bottom-line of profit maximization rather than social responsibility.
In today’s society though, profit solely as the only bottom-line is not enough.
Social enterprises, in particular, focus on 3 bottom-lines: People, Planet and Profit.
Philanthropy as a Means of Social Contribution
Now, for a traditional business however, how can they move to a more social-enterprise dimension in the way of contribution?
One suggestion that I have is through philanthropy.
An easy way to implement philanthropy for any business is to look at the mission statement of the current business itself. Look at the products and services that it offers.
Giving to Global Literacy: Example of Better World Books
For example, you business may focus on computer services or the selling of books or even the selling of eyewear. Now in all three of those services, social enterprises have actually been made from them.
Let’s take the example of books. Better World Books, as a social enterprise, has actually sold used books and through the selling of used books, they’ve actually been able to use a portion of their profits to give to global literacy worldwide.
Link Philanthropy to Your Mission Statement
So when we talk about philanthropy and social responsibility, we don’t necessarily mean you have to give to a cause totally unrelated to your business. A great way to start for any business to get into contributing to others, is to really start with your own mission statement, look at the services and products you offer, and figure out ways in which you could charitably donate to NGOs or causes which excite your business because it links very much to its core mission statement.
Note: Please excuse the poor sound quality of the video. As I was living and working in Bangladesh at the time of this video, it was the rainy monsoon season. Therefore, the sounds in the background were the fierce winds and pouring rain. Thank you for your understanding.
Get monthly Social Entrepreneur interviews in your inbox. Listen on your music player.Want to Learn More About Social Entrepreneurship?
Learn from successful social entrepreneurs.
Click here to be a member of Matthew's Social Entrepreneurship Series now!