Do Good

Do Good

Do Good

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.”shift-off-site

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.

Dr Jim Withers

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


Blogging and the virtual neighborhood

Blogging and the virtual neighborhood


Porch by sonjalovas

Blogs are front porches reinvented for a digital age, perhaps—platforms that take the inside out and bring the outside in, corridors of courtesy in a digital and fast-paced world.

Kathryn McCollough considers the role of porches in community life, and whether blogs might be a form of virtual porch. (Thanks to Chris at for linking to this thoughtful post.)

People often talk of social media replacing the water cooler as the place where people connect and exchange ideas. All social media are not equal in their ability to help us communicate though — Twitter emphasizes speed over nuance, Facebook reinforces existing connections but does less well bringing new connections to the fore. Blogging has its own characteristics as well. Continue reading

Pepsi sits out the Super Bowl in favor of “cause-related marketing”


Classic Pepsi commercial from the 1960s

Pepsi has long been a major advertiser during the Super Bowl — the most expensive and widely-seen showcase for television advertising — but in 2010 they’re taking a different approach.

“Pepsi Benches Its Drinks,” Suzanne Vranica, Wall Street Journal 12/17/2009

In lieu of spending as much as $3 million for each 30-second ad during the Super Bowl broadcast — plus production costs — Pepsi is focusing its advertising strategy for soft drinks on a campaign that centers on community projects but also uses traditional and online advertising.

To implement its new strategy, Pepsi, based in Purchase, N.Y., will plunge into the crowded field of cause-related marketing in coming weeks with a campaign to kick off “Pepsi Refresh Project.” Under the program, Pepsi will award grant money for community projects proposed and selected by consumers, such as helping high-school students publish books to develop their writing skills. Pepsi says it has earmarked $20 million of its ad dollars for the grants next year.

This is a risky move for Pepsi, but it has already yielded some dividends in news stories (and blog posts like this one) about the change in approach. The new campaign looks to be aimed at creating a new image for Pepsi, beyond the “think young” message they have traditionally projected. Launching a grants-based project during an economic downturn will certainly be welcomed by community groups.