Most large corporations have a Community Relations or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department, which focuses on giving back to the communities where they do business, where their employees live and where their customers are. According to a Time Magazine article, in 2002 only about a dozen Fortune 500 companies issued a CSR or sustainability report. Now the majority does.
Some companies are B Corps–they have faced rigorous scrutiny to demonstrate their commitment to community, environment and people. There are currently 2,003 B Corporations in 50 countries, in more than 130 Industries. At the entrepreneurial level, some smaller, niche companies are experimenting with CSR as a mission of the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits. B Corps, as they are known — the “B” stands for beneficial — are a new kind of business entity that by law are required to generate social and environmental advantages. (Time Magazine 2012)
And some companies just Do Good, because no matter what you call it, it’s the right thing to do.
Shift Collaborative is not prescriptive in our approach to giving
As Shift partner Sarah Mayer wrote in her blog, “doing good is an individual and personal thing. To ask that the entire [Shift Collaborative] team to support one charity, or do one good thing together, feels prescriptive.”
To put a greater focus – not just on the organizations we work with, and not just on the organizations the staff volunteer for, but with organizations that have meaning to us and an impact on our lives – Shift Collaborative created Do Good.
Do Good was born out of an off-site staff retreat where the team reflected on 2016 and planned for 2017. Each staff member wrote down the names of their three favorite nonprofit organizations on separate pieces of paper and dropped them into the proverbial hat (in this case it was a tote bag). We drew 12 organizations from that hat. Don’t worry, we saved the others.
Our goal for 2017 is to highlight one organization each month. The nonprofit ambassador (aka the staffer who submitted the name) will lead the rest of the staff in a lunch & learn to share some knowledge and personal experience or passion for the organization. As a team, we will create and share posts on our social media to highlight the work of the organization. In some cases, there may be a volunteer opportunity or a donation of items for the organization. All of this is to recognize do gooders in our local, national and global community. It’s our way of lifting up the work of others.
Our spotlight organization for January is Operation Safety Net. We are inspired by Dr. Jim Withers and his words echo how we feel about our Do Good initiative.
“Never underestimate the power of people.”
“It’s about human connection.”
“We are all in this together.”
If anything would “go viral,” we hope it is this idea of spreading good news. We will share our stories and the stories of the organizations and hope that you will help us.
This is who we are. This is Shift, Doing Good.
Here is our Do Good list for 2017
Jan – Operation Safety Net
Feb – Operation Better Block
Mar – ACLU
Apr – Sojourner House
May – The Trevor Project
Jun – Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Jul – New Voices Pittsburgh
Aug – The Innocence Project
Sep – Please Live
Oct – Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
Nov – St. Vincent DePaul
Dec – The Trade Institute of Pittsburgh