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


Nonprofits and the real-time web


What impacts are right around the corner?
Organizations that choose to do so are already able to run circles around the web using these real-time technologies. I expect that some will do so and many will not. It will be like the difference between organizations that developed an effective web or email presence early vs. those that did not.

“If organizations want to be relevant and effective, they will need to incorporate some elements of real-time information delivery into their work flow. Be that pushing real-time updates out to their websites and supporters, consuming updates on breaking news in their sector in real time, or collaborating remotely in real time. Using only the parts of the web that you must refresh for updates, when you remember to do so, be they email or web pages, will soon feel like putting your ear up to a tin can with a string connecting it to some other tin can far away.

“I don’t mean to say that everything will be real time and you must always live in that flow, but I do believe it’s fast becoming an essential form of engagement. Not just because everyone is doing it, either, but because it’s really very useful.”

Excerpt from an interview with ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick about their “report on the real-time Web and how real time impacts the world of nonprofit organizations.” Lots of great information in the interview and in the report — not only for nonprofits but also for small business and independent professionals.

I’ll be writing more about the real-time web in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Marketing for Nonprofits Workshop


My colleague Karen Bryant will be presenting an all-day marketing class at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management this Thursday. There are still a few spots open.

Marketing for Nonprofits: Five Keys to a Winning Marketing Plan.
Every nonprofit needs a strategic marketing plan to attract clients, secure funding and get noticed. This practical, how-to session presents the five keys to a winning marketing plan in easy-to-understand language with case studies, sample material, hands-on activities and a marketing plan template. Participants begin the marketing planning process in class and leave with the tools to complete and execute it. No budget is too small; these techniques and materials work for everyone.

Presenter: Karen Bryant has over 25 years experience working in the nonprofit and corporate sectors. Today, she merges her corporate marketing know-how to help nonprofits to take advantage of marketing and branding strategies utilized by successful companies. Her Pittsburgh clients include YouthWorks, Inc., Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, Elisco Advertising and Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, to name a few.

Thursday March 27, 2008
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Regional Enterprise Tower
425 6th Avenue, Suite 2610
Downtown Pittsburgh
Fee: $100
Contact: Ivana Spehar 412-397-6000