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.

Blurring the Lines Between Nonprofits and Business

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Social enterprises. Are they nonprofit organizations? Do they actually make money?

Some actually combine a little of both.

When the term “nonprofit” comes to mind, most automatically associate it with a business model that focuses more on helping people than actually making money. Most organizations who do help people and have their entire focus directed toward social good do operate using a nonprofit model.

What if you could focus completely on making the world better around you AND still make money? That’s the niche some social enterprises fit into.

Using a traditional  business model, social enterprises use their goods and services to maintain a full-time commitment to their social mission. A great example of this is Greyston Bakery. They are a traditional business in the interest of making profit. What separates them from other businesses is how they make money and help others improve their lives. Greyston gives employment to those who are less likely to be able to gain employment at other places. Employment at the bakery gives less fortunate individuals a second chance at making a more sustainable life for themselves.

Sure, Greyston does focus on making a profit and making money. However, 100% of their profits go to the Greyston Foundation, an organization that helps teach life/job training skills to those caught up in the poverty cycle.

What other businesses do you know with socially responsible goals? Check out a few others here.

Social Enterprise: What is it?

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The term “social enterprise” is becoming an ever popular buzz word in the world of social responsibility gurus and aspiring world changers.

What exactly is a social enterprise?

Many individuals group social enterprises in the same cluster as non-profit organizations. While it is true that many social enterprises operate under a non-profit status, many more are actually generating revenue. Social enterprises are becoming an increasingly popular business model and provide more financial flexibility for doing good than a traditional non-profit model.

So what separates a for-profit social enterprise from any other money making company?

One huge difference…and this may be a shocker…social entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily in it for the money. They design a business model to make profits but aren’t obligated to serve the interest of share holders or investors looking for a large ROI. Most social enterprise groups reinvest those profits into their business or into the community around them. For example, Helping Hand Rewards partners like Greyston Bakery, Bright Endeavors and The Enterprising Kitchen use the profits generated from their products to teach life skills training, job skills training, and help find more permanent employment situations for individuals in their programs.

In a nutshell, social enterprises are fulfilling a need. According to an article in the Telegraph:

 “Wherever there is a social or environmental need, social enterprises will be working on solutions- whether that’s saving the local village post office or shop, tackling global warming, combating homelessness or providing better health and social care services.”

For-profit social enterprises believe that being a competitive and profitable business is the best methodology for attaining socially responsible goals. What do you think?