High Value vs. High Redemption: Why CSR products need to be in your assortments

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Picture this scenario… It’s time to renew an R&R program with one of your best accounts. They are a mid-sized company and you have been doing business with them for five years. HR and upper management have supported the program overall but have seen a downturn in engagement and feel it might be time for a change. Why?

Some seismic shifts in everyday business have taken place over the last several years. It seemed like it happened overnight, but the seeds were planted more than a decade ago, and when it took root it grew like a Redwood. That tree was Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR).

There are so many branches of CSR, but let’s focus on our opening scenario. The workforce has changed over the last five years. Millennials have taken over the workplace landscape (By 2020, Millennials will make up 50% of the workforce.) and are more engaged in social issues and the world around them. Although on a smaller scale, this awareness has also influenced the Gen-Xers and younger Baby Boomers, as well. This new workforce is seeking out companies who have a measurable CSR footprint, which in turn, has led to said companies spending thousands, if not millions of dollars to attract and retain this talent in tandem with their CSR initiatives. Companies are aware that 75% of millennials will take a pay cut to work for a company that practices CSR as a core value. Let’s face it, they realize it’s good for their bottom line.

So, to recap. A long-standing customer with a change in its workforce and a softening in its engagement program. What’s missing? That’s right – CSR products in the assortment you’re offering them. Now, this is where it can get tricky. There may be an option, for example, where the participants can donate their points to a charity of their choice. That’s nice, but there is nothing tangible for the participants after reaching the goals set out in their respective program. They still want “stuff.” They want something that rewards them for their hard work and to show to their peers how their hard work paid off. And while selfless, there is no measurable way to acknowledge or celebrate this deed.

This is where CSR products come into play. Products that give back 100% to the artisan groups or social enterprises that produce them. Products that tell a story, support a stated mission, and make the participants not only feel good about redeeming for such a product, but also that management decided to put these products in their assortments. Enhancement of engagement programs with CSR initiatives reduce turnover by 50%. They feel good about their workplace and help reinforce what the program is supposed to do in the first place.

These products also have a high value as a closing tool for opening new accounts, as well as renewing existing ones. Your clients have put so much time and money into their CSR initiatives and don’t realize they have a glaring CSR hole when it comes to their incentive product offerings. You are helping them close that gap, while creating an opportunity to reengage their employees with the introduction of a new product segment that is meaningful.

Jim Wersching is Director of Sales for HHP/helping hand partners, a non-profit supplier of Goods That Do Good™, with an insight into the incentive world.

HHP’s 3rd Annual Fundraiser was a huge success!

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HHP’s 3rd Annual Fundraiser was huge success. With the generous support of our attendees and donors, we raised important funds to support HHP’s artisans and partners around the world.
 
This incredible generosity will truly transform lives and provide a pathway out of poverty.
 
Many people asked us how to get involved with HHP’s important mission. Whether it is introducing our fair trade practice products to your friends or business associates or donating directly, we are so grateful for any information, time and talent you can spare. We also offer volunteer activities at our new production facility location, which is opening soon. Volunteering is an enriching experience for company events, team building, bridal showers, and more. You may also consider a warehouse shopping event for your meetup, religious or other social group. 
 
We will be sharing more information about these opportunities over the next few weeks.

At the fundraiser we were also proud to showcase the story of Shanika Smith. Shanika overcame incredible personal and professional obstacles to establish herself as Production and Fulfillment Director, and an integral member of the HHP team. You can watch Shanika’s inspiring story here.

With your support, HHP can continue providing mentorship and a career path for individuals with skills and passions just waiting to shine.  

#LIFTCOMMUNITIES: HHP’s July act of service

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We need to protect and support our most vulnerable people and communities. HHP is able to do that through our products that provide a pathway out of poverty, and we love supporting organizations that share our mission.

The goal of our #LIFTCOMMUNITIES campaign is to create a social movement where everyone gives, volunteers or supports instinctively at least once a month.

For our July act of service, HHP is donating restaurant gift cards to Common Pantry, Chicago’s oldest continually operating food pantry. We strongly support their belief that all individuals deserve the right to good nutrition. The cards were generously donated by HHP supporter and friend Saro Hartounian, owner of Harco Industries, Inc.

Visit Common Pantry’s website to find out ways that you can support this amazing organization and help to #LIFTCOMMUNITIES.

Learn about helping hand ARTISANS™

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helping hand ARTISANS™ (HHA), HHP’s fair trade practice brand in the developing world, is bringing sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment to countries around the world, including India, Cambodia, Guatemala and Chile.

Purchasing HHA fair trade practice goods helps our partner organizations to provide valuable social programming that includes fair wages, education, safe working conditions, economic empowerment, micro-loans and financing.

Learn more about HHA.

Check out just a few of the beautiful, socially responsible goods from HHA. You will love the story and inspiration behind each piece.

Introducing HHP’s social enterprise bath + spa brand, 1eleven™.

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We’ve been busy at HHP crafting something new…

HHP’s mission is to #LIFTCOMMUNITIES by providing a sustainable livelihood and job opportunities for people with barriers to employment. We’re helping to provide a pathway out of poverty, and we created 1eleven™ as another way for us to accomplish this goal.

Connecting the power of raw talent with raw materials
At HHP’s 1eleven™ facility, individuals from underserved neighborhoods in Chicago who face barriers to employment are trained and mentored to produce beautiful spa goods, securing the confidence and skills they need to advance their careers at HHP.

Instilling hope
The handcrafted, artisanal spa goods are high-quality and customizable. When you purchase these products, you know that each bar of soap or spa good helped to create a job, change a life and instill much needed hope in struggling communities.

Enjoy our luxurious line of lathers, melts, soaks, and sparks. Each purchase makes a difference.

Green Incentive Products for Earth Day

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Eco-Friendly, Fair Trade Practice
The lovely evening bag (shown above) has earth-loving characteristics, including crochet detailing made from recycled plastic bags. Every one of our products helps provide a pathway out of poverty and provides valuable social programming for underserved populations here at home and for our global artisan network.

Check out these other Earth-friendly options in HHP’s Incentive Catalog.

You’ll Fall in Love with These Valentine’s Ideas

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Brighten up your promotional products or awards assortment with our Valentine’s Day collection. All products are socially responsible, Green +™, and sure to win hearts.

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Awash in Love Gift Set
Enjoy the gentle, warm scents of a sampling of four 3 oz. bundles of fair trade Himalayan soaking salts. Included scents:Lavender Milk, Orange Bergamot, Vanilla Honey, and Eucalyptus Leaf. Made in USA.

Love Lights Gift Set
Sit back and enjoy the soft glow of the Love Lights Gift Set. This Valentine Collection includes four 3 oz. eco-friendly soy votive scents: Lavender Milk, Orange Bergamot, Vanilla Honey, and Eucalyptus Leaf. Made in USA.

Endless Love Bowl
Express your sentiments with this recycled 11” love bowl. Handmade by the artisans at a fair trade workshop in India using recycled bicycle tire spokes. Made in India.

Bike Chain Cuff Links
Add a bit of whimsy to your gentleman’s attire with these handsome cuff links made from upcycled links of bicycle chain. Links are chrome-plated iron and are presented in a velvet gift box. Made in India.

 

For more information, please email info@helpinghandpartners.com.

 

 

 

What is CSR?

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Corporate Social Responsibility—you’ve heard this term a lot lately. Businesses promote themselves as being socially responsible because it’s a good for society. But, it’s also good for business. Consumers are not only buying products that are socially responsible, they are choosing to do business with companies that are socially responsible. Studies show that corporate social responsibility:

  • Builds brand loyalty
  • Increases sales and profits
  • Attracts investors
  • Attracts and motivates talent
  • Improves employee retention
  • Gives you and your customer a competitive edge

So, selling and using products that promote corporate social responsibility is—simply put—smart. One way you can be socially responsible is to promote, purchase, and use products made by social enterprises and fair trade organizations that manufacture goods for the sole purpose of funding their social programming. Helping Hand Partners partners with a variety of social enterprises and fair trade organizations that manufacture a wide array of unique, high-quality products including jewelry, bath products, housewares, and food. Here are just a few ways to use our socially responsible products and make a difference at the same time:

  • Promotional Products
  • Customer and employee loyalty programs
  • Rewards & recognition
  • Sales meetings
  • Incentive travel
  • Room gifts and Welcome Bags
  • Weddings & Special events
  • Donor “Thank You” gifts
  • Retail
  • Corporate Inventory

It takes so little to make a big impression and an even bigger difference. Build your brand with corporate social responsibility.

Our NEWEST Partnerships!

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New Partners Email Graphic

We are so excited to announce our two newest partnerships! We now offer handcrafted precious metal jewelry from the Nepal and India based organization, Relevée, and beautiful, distinctive home décor items from the Tanzania based organization, WomenCraft.

Relevée

Relevee logoRelevée, meaning ‘to rise up’ in French, is a non-profit organization that gives 100% of its proceeds to Made By Survivors, a charity that helps women and girls get free from exploitation and slavery. Their jewelry is designed and fabricated by vulnerable women overcoming severe human rights abuses such as human trafficking and child marriage in India and Nepal. Relevée provides a safe and loving place for rescued survivors to heal and rebuild their lives with shelter, education, job training, and employment programs.

Here are a couple of products we’re offering from the Relevée jewelry collection.

Gold Plated Bright Futures Earrings

Gold Plated Bright Futures Earrings
These free-spirited hammered earrings, are plated in 22 karat gold, hung on vermeil (sterling silver plated in gold) ear wires, and inspired by a deconstructed bullseye. Measures 2.2″ long exclusive of ear wires. Relevée is all about bright futures—for their artisans, their artisans’ children, and for women everywhere. They believe education and employment are necessary tools for hitting that target. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade.

Bright Futures NecklaceBright Futures Necklace
This dramatic statement necklace is inspired by a deconstructed bullseye, plated in 22 karat gold and featuring hand-hammered discs, plated in 22 karat go, on a 17.5″ handmade loop chain. At Relevée, we are all about bright futures – for our artisans and their children, for our customers, and for women everywhere. We believe education and employment are necessary tools for hitting that target. This necklace is artisanally crafted and ethically made to remind you to always shoot for your dreams. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade.

WomenCraft

WomenCraft LogoWomenCraft is a community-driven social enterprise operating from one of the poorest areas of the world, Ngara, Tanzania. WomenCraft creates local employment opportunities by bringing rural women together, facilitating their growth, and connecting their artistry to the global marketplace. Through WomenCraft, 300+ rural East African women express their culture and use their talents by weaving home décor products that are beautiful and functional. With the skills gained and income earned, WomenCraft members can now send their children to school, grow nutritious food, and start micro-enterprises. They create a brighter future for their families and inspire the world around them.

Here are a couple of products we’re offering from the WomenCraft home collection.

WC-MAUA-SKY

Maua Fruit Bowl
The maua design, which means “flower” in Swahili, was inspired by the flower design seen on traditional Hangaza bowls. This bowl can function as a centerpiece on a dining room table, be hung on your wall for decoration, or placed in a bedroom or bathroom to help you stay organized. Available in Sky Blue, Jungle Green, and Safari Red. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade, Green.

WC-MKATE-SKYMkate Handled Basket – Set of 3
This bread basket set is a unique and functional addition to any dining room table or kitchen. Use it for storing your breakfast pastries, cookies, or warm dinner rolls. Available in Sky Blue, Jungle Green, and Safari Red. Comes with one small, one medium, and one large basket. Socially Responsible, Fair Trade, Green.

Handmade in the USA

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In honor of the July 4th holiday, we’ve chosen a selection of our Handmade in the USA products that we think you’ll love! These Green+™ items are smart choices that help your company enhance its corporate social responsibility footprint and encourage recipients to celebrate all that our great country represents. There’s no better way to celebrate the birth of our nation than with 4th of July promotions and incentives!

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Mahogany Octagon 12″ Quartz Clock

This elegant mahogany octagon hardwood clock features a white dial with Roman numerals and glass crystal with bezel. The Chicago Lighthouse is a non-profit agency committed to helping the blind and visually impaired. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $74.45

 

BE-2VOTVotive Gift Set Duo

Our votive gift set is like scented fireworks for your home. Each gift set contains two glass votive soy candles in Vanilla Honey and Aloe Lily. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $13.00

RX-BOTTLEBottle Opener

Sure to become the most useful tool in your home. Made in Chicago from stainless steel and reclaimed lumber destined for the landfill. Fair Wage, Green, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

 

GB-BROWN8Gourmet 8-Piece Brownie Box

Pack eight times the happiness with this 8-piece box of gourmet brownies.  Choose from Brown Sugar Blondie, Chocolate Fudge, Walnut Fudge, or Assorted. Fair Wage, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00

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Jam Trio

Three favorite preserves in one fabulous gift assortment. A small wooden box arrives with blueberry, strawberry, and red raspberry preserves. Fair Wage, Made in the USA. Retail: $25.00