With the constant influx of news, the state of the world can sometimes seem disheartening to anyone with a TV or a mobile phone. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Socially responsible companies are leading the way to a brighter future for those in need, and you can help.
While you’re scrolling through this article on a smartphone or tablet, maybe your radio buzzes in the background with the latest story of someone else on this planet hungry, ill or otherwise suffering. Maybe you sigh and turn it off — what can you do to help someone on the other side of the world while you’re here, comfortable and warm?
These moments shouldn’t stimulate crippling guilt — rather, they represent an opportunity. We all tend to see the world through a particular lens that affects how we view ourselves and other people. This viewpoint can offer a valuable perspective, but sometimes, we forget there’s a world beyond our own. When we’re handed a scene from another point of view, it can shed new light on realities we might otherwise miss and inspire us to take action.
There will always be someone somewhere in need and others elsewhere in a position to help. While the world has its share of complex problems, humans have an uncanny knack for figuring them out. Solutions are all around us. And most people — yourself included, no doubt — would gladly offer assistance if they only knew how to do so.
That’s where a new breed of socially responsible companies comes in. The list of companies whose primary mission involves giving back to the local or international community is growing every day. As reported by Joanna Beierle and Ryan Scott, there are dozens of companies offering products — from jewelry to eyewear, clothes to shoes and everything in-between — with giving programs baked into every purchase.
Tom’s and Warby Parker are two suppliers of fashion items like shoes, purses and eyewear, and both businesses accompany each purchase with a donation to those in need, whether that’s a pair of glasses or a safe birth for a mother.
Meanwhile, Love Your Melon and Headbands of Hope offer similar giving strategies focused on providing fashionable headwear for pediatric cancer patients, adding a splash of color and comfort to hospital stays and recovery periods. And the AmazonSmile Foundation offers a straightforward opportunity for anyone online shopping through their site: The program donates 0.5 percent of the user’s purchase price to an eligible charity of their choice.
In addition to these companies, brand-new startups are increasingly including aggressive giving programs into the DNA of their companies. Through creative opportunities like equity pledges, startups are promising portions of future profits or partial ownership in the company to a wide array of philanthropic causes.
While these companies work to do the right thing, there are other, more practical reasons behind this rise in commercial philanthropy.
In an effort to attract socially minded employees and consumers and see a positive marketing impact from recognition as a socially responsible company, startups and legacy brands alike are promoting giving programs to help those in need the world over.
So you don’t need to feel guilty just because life handed you a better hand than it handed someone else. Instead, when you’re making a discretionary purchase, simply choose companies that have already jumped on the giving bandwagon. That way, those in need can benefit from you having what you need and what you want.