4 Unique Initiatives That Are Driving Social Impact

April 20, 2021
Strategic philanthropy

It can be hard to think good thoughts about IKEA as you swear away in your attempts to construct your Billy bookcase. But it may make you feel better knowing that bookcase was manufactured with sustainably sourced wood. It’s all part of IKEA’s sustainability strategy to make a difference for the planet, and for your living room.

IKEA is just one of the millions of companies putting corporate social responsibility (CSR) at the forefront. CSR is constantly evolving and can best be summed up as a company’s strategy to be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public. CSR takes many forms, and its initiatives are usually related to the environment, communities, economics, or some blend of all of the above.

CSR has gone beyond simply launching a cause marketing campaign. People expect more from the companies they frequent. And employees want to be part of organizations that align with their values.Businesses are responding by upping their CSR game with innovative programs that authentically align with their brand’s story. Here’s four that are doing just that.

Mailchimp Big Change Starts Small

The marketing automation platform realized that well-known organizations and nonprofits were the ones getting all the attention and funding. Smaller, local groups that are the lifeblood of communities were getting overlooked. Mailchimp’s Big Change Starts Small aims to transform that by supporting and empowering the smaller players.

Lemonade Giveback

$1,128,109.85 – that’s the amount donated by Lemonade to 34 nonprofits in 2020 by its Giveback program. The money comes from Lemonade’s customers’ unclaimed policy dollars and they get to choose the causes. Giving back is core to the insurance company’s business model and its mission to transform a necessary evil into a social good.  

Purina Dog Chow Service Dog Salute

Sometimes social impact can come in the form of a furry friend. Service DogSalute supports getting more service dogs for America’s military veterans to help them with post-combat psychiatric challenges. Right now, only 1% of veterans in need get a dog because it costs over $20,000 and up to two-and-a-half years to train one.

Bazaarvoice b:generous

Software tech company Bazaarvoice makes community outreach an integral part of its employee culture. It has pivoted its b:generous employee volunteer week to better meet the communities’ needs during the pandemic. Bazaarvoice also collaborates with Charityvest on workplace giving and matches employees’ charitable contributions.

Impactful CSR programs like these can benefit a business with increased customer loyalty and retention of talent. Your company’s mission is a good place to start ideating your own CSR initiatives. Figure out what you hope to achieve. Get input from your employees. And set metrics for what success looks like.

If you need inspiration, take a look at TaskRabbit. Aka that company you call when you need help assembling your Billy. The Tasks for Good program connects at-risk individuals and organizations with volunteer Taskers that provide essential services. The initiative aligns with TaskRabbit's mission of making everyday life easier for everyday people – whether that’s furniture assembly or making a social impact.

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Libby DeCamps

Libby is the VP of Marketing at Charityvest. Libby is responsible for conceptualizing and executing integrated strategies that drive lead generation, increase customer engagement, and build brand loyalty. Prior to joining Charityvest, she led marketing organizations at other Atlanta-based startups, FullStory and Gather.

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