Revolution can be defined as “any fundamental change or reversal of conditions.” The power is in each and every one of us to make a difference in the world, or at least the part of it that we have influence over.
If you had the opportunity to make a difference or a significant impact in another’s life, would you do so? This isn’t a question that elicits a quick yes or no answer. I would expect to hear in response … “It depends.” It depends on what its going to cost me, how much time do I have to put towards it and will my contributions really make a difference in solving the problem? I’m just one person!
I would propose to you that it is within you and your business to make a difference in another’s life. I would challenge you to think in the terms of social entrepreneurism. I believe that it is within every one of us to be socially conscious entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Having worked as a Registered Nurse for over 35 years, helping others is ingrained into my personality and my value system. At times it has caused me challenges as an entrepreneur. Skills and expertise that I possess, I tend to take for granted and give them away freely to others and have missed the opportunity to be fairly compensated for my contributions. That seems to be in opposition to the entrepreneurial way. You provide goods or a service, you get compensated for it.
I would like to challenge that way of thinking. I believe that contributing to a cause that needs assistance can benefit your business without costing you an inordinate amount of money. The non or not for profit sector has developed in North America to solve social problems that are beyond fixing by government or individuals. There are many local non-profits that could benefit from your involvement.
Volunteering and working on creative projects is a big part of my life and I realize that I don’t represent the average entrepreneur in that regard.
Around this time of year i.e. the festive season, many businesses consider donating proceeds from Christmas parties or in lieu of holding a party for that matter, to a worthy cause. Perhaps to a local family that is going through tough times. I believe this to be a noble cause and certainly wouldn’t want to dissuade anyone from doing so. I would put to you that it is possible to continue to provide ongoing benefit on a larger scale, to a worthy non-profit society throughout the year.
By the same token, I believe that non-profit societies need to get entrepreneurial. Traditional sources of government funding tends to be drying up and it can be quite challenging to rely on your perennial supporters to continually dig deeper into their pockets to donate to your society. One example of how a society can raise operational funds is to hold an “awareness” event of some sort. The intent of course is to provide something of value to the registrants, thereby raising awareness of the cause, in return for a fee, of course. This can be a lucrative way of a society to add much needed funds to their coffers.
Now lets take that concept to the next step, partnering the non-profit with a for profit business. The non-profit benefits from the exposure that they could realize through the business’ network of connections and influencers. The business, besides the sense of contentment that they would gain from contributing to a socially beneficial cause would also receive favourable marketing and public relations exposure. I believe that many consumers are making their purchasing decisions on whether a business has a social conscience or not.
As I have said, there are many social causes out there that could benefit from your partnership. It may not be a revolution of epic proportions, but you and your business really are in the position of making a difference in others lives.
My suggestion to get started would be to find a cause and the non-profit society that has rallied behind it, that resonates with you. Investigate their beliefs, their mission statement and their success rate at doing what they say they will. If you don’t want to make the initial contact with them, feel free to contact me with your idea and perhaps together we can create a proposal that would provide a win-win-win scenario.
Top Photo Credit courtesy of Koshy Koshy via Flicker Creative Commons.