Philanthropy Friday: Buy One Give One in Business and in Life

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

b1g1I was first introduced to B1G1 Business for Good through Carol Pearce at Naked Specs. You may recall how Carol’s company donates five pairs of glasses or the equivalent funding amount for treatment, such as cataract surgery, when a purchase is made in her online optical store. She uses B1G1 to ensure that the charities and projects that Naked Specs supports are completely vetted.

Before I had the chance to contact B1G1 on Carol’s advice, I had an email in my inbox thanking me for the mention of B1G1 in my post about Naked Specs. It was from B1G1′s Chairman, Paul Dunn. While he was in Cambodia on the 2014 B1G1 Study Tour, he noted that we should connect when he got back.

B1G1 is based in Singapore. As the website notes, “B1G1 Business for Good is a collective brand for businesses who share the vision of giving back and making a difference in our world.” When Paul and I finally connected via Skype (on an evening for me and a morning for Paul, due to the time difference), the first thing I noted were the large letters on the wall behind him: Impact Habit Connection. When I asked about the words, Paul told me those words are what drives B1G1.

So how does B1G1 work? The following screenshot from the website explains the program.

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screenshot from click the image to enlarge

B1G1 is a membership-based company. When your business joins, you can choose which high-impact projects you want to support. As a member you can use the B1G1 logo and share your impact with your clients and/or customers. (See how a B1G1 member is sharing its impact here.) You can also create a gratitude certificate to give to your clients / customers so they know their purchase made a difference. Paul shared the story of a man who gave extra money when he paid his accountant for doing his taxes, just because he knew he his money would be going to a good cause.

B1G1 does not take a percentage of donations, so 100% of members’ giving goes directly to the charities and projects they support. You can find out more about how the program works and how the organization is structured. There is the social enterprise side that works with businesses, and the nonprofit side that works with the worthy causes.

The causes and projects that are the recipients of the donations are put through a strict selection process that looks at three key elements: impact and efficiency; transparency and integrity; and uniqueness and scalability. If you are wondering about impact, you can view this neat interactive map that shows the participating businesses and the projects they support all around the world. According to the website, they work with nearly 1,000 businesses from over 20 countries, with members creating over 30 million micro-giving impacts since 2007.

So how did B1G1 come about? The story is actually quite amazing. Watch this video to hear founder Masami Sato tell the story of how she overcame some incredible obstacles while making her small business work and how it led her to let go and imagine a world that was full of giving. It is 17 minutes that is worth your time. (Particularly if you are a mother, as I know many of my readers are!)

Prior to being involved with B1G1, Paul (who, by the way, was one of the first ten people in Hewlett-Packard Australia) tells me business was all about adding value and having fun. Today, business is all about giving back.

If you are not ready for B1G1 Business for Good, there is also a personal giving side of B1G1 called Giving Life. Giving Life allows you to tie basic everyday activities to giving. You can create your own giving journal, track your impact and share with others.

Are you ready to unleash the power of small?

Celebrate #GivingTuesday on December 3rd + Rally for WaterAid to #doubleit

#givingtuesday logo

Is it just me or did the Christmas hype start way too early this year? I realize that Thanksgiving is a bit later than usual, but it seems we went straight from jack o’lanterns to Christmas trees.

I’m not a fan of decorating or shopping for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. I’m not even a huge turkey fan, but I believe we should respect the bird. Plus Biz turns 5 on Thanksgiving this year. When he was born (after going into labor on Thanksgiving evening) I vowed not to let the craziness of Christmas seep into the house until we appropriately celebrate his birthday and Thanksgiving.

With that said, we’re about to hit that “giving” season where we’re constantly hit with sales at ridiculous hours of the day to buy things we mostly don’t need. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. You know the deal.

Last year I told you about the first annual #GivingTuesday. Well, it’s back this year with a ton more partners and social media ambassadors (including myself). You can also submit a story of impact.


So what’s #GivingTuesday? Here’s the description from the website:

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year help us create #GivingTuesday. A new day for giving back. On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.

Last year, Over 2,500 charities, volunteer organizations, corporations and foundations came together in all 50 U.S. states to inspire people to be philanthropic on #GivingTuesday. The result was a more than 50% increase in online donations compared to the Tuesday after Thanksgiving the previous year.

Not too shabby.

In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, I thought I’d share how one of my favorite nonprofits is celebrating the day:

Rally for WaterAid to #doubleit on #givingtuesday


photo credit: WaterAid

A generous WaterAid supporter has challenged us to raise $50,000 on December 3rd. If that goal is made the money will be doubled. Doubled! Considering the amazing conversations we had on this blog about the importance of toilets and sanitation for World Toilet Day last week, I’m thinking some of you might be game for this challenge. Just make your donation, however much you can, between 12 am and 11:59 pm EST on December 3rd. Find out more about Wateraid and the campaign

You might also be interested in a new report Wateraid just released with its partners, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, and Unilever’s leading household cleaning brand, Domestos. We can’t wait highlights “the stark consequences that the lack of toilets and good hygiene practices have for women and girls.”

Anyone can be involved with #GivingTuesday. Whether you tweet about it, give money or volunteer your time for a nonprofit, I hope you will take a moment to celebrate generosity.

Will you participate in #GivingTuesday?

Speaking of World Toilet Day, today is the last day to enter to win a $200 Lowe’s gift card!
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Reframing Philanthropy + Gearing Up for World Toilet Day

I went to a board of directors retreat for a nonprofit client of mine this weekend. During the retreat, a board member made a presentation on creating a culture of philanthropy. Her presentation got participants to talk about a subject that had not been openly discussed in a meaningful way in the past. Giving and asking for money.

During her presentation, she defined philanthropy in a way I had never heard.

“Philanthropy is about the investment in social good.”

It made me question how many people hold back from giving because they think they can’t make a difference. I wrote more about the retreat and how reframing out concept our philanthropy can create a culture of giving in my first post on Medium.

I would love for you to jump on over and read Reframing Philanthropy and give it a recommendation if you like it.

In other news, tomorrow (November 19) is World Toilet Day. And while this sounds a bit funny, it’s an important day. Where toilets don’t exist, people die. Period.

I’ve written about the important work of WaterAid and other organizations who focus on clean water and sanitation. I will have a separate post for World Toilet Day tomorrow. For now, enjoy this awesome video from WaterAid called “Thank You Toilet.”

You’re singing with Louie the Loo aren’t you? I know I am.

How about investing in social good and sharing the World Toilet Day video?

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