When Fintech Means Charity

TechAll companies can reach success by adhering to the needs of their customers. Businesses that put customers first by listening to feedback tend to do better than others. It so happens that, currently, customer feedback has become focused on something more. More specifically, a recent study found that almost half of consumers globally look for the social value a company adds when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. Furthermore, another survey showed that, when given the chance, almost all consumers would switch from one company to another that is more involved in philanthropy.

Fintech companies have an interesting opportunity due to the above information. Several companies are adding social value directly into their business plan from the start, however technology companies have the unique chance to use digital platforms to incorporate giving into the daily lives of normal citizens. Instead of simply letting customers purchase their products, such companies can make customers a part of their social mission. Take AirBnb, for example. A huge part of AirBnb’s mission is to promote the trusting of strangers, and the company is doing quite well.

Companies in the Fintech sphere develop their social missions to be more straightforward by simply making it easier for people to give. Charitable giving is as easy as pressing a button on a phone screen now. Businesses such as Paypal have incorporated micro-giving programs straight into their applications and websites. It does not matter how much one gives, which encourages people at all levels of income to contribute to charity.

Some companies take Paypal’s approach while others, like Humble Bundle, build the option of charity into their purchases. Customers can choose a charitable organization to support with every item they buy. With this method of giving, customers are more likely to go back to Humble Bundle for their game and book-related needs. The fact that customers can now find their own social purpose through digital platforms means that they will be looking for said purpose in every digital platform they adopt. This is something businesses have to take into account moving forward.

Social impact has become almost as important to companies as having a good product. Customers are, more and more, looking to have an impact on the world and to give to the less fortunate. Fintech companies should embrace this unique opportunity and build social value into their digital platforms. This will not only retain customers and boost business, it will also help the world.

Philanthropy by Entrepreneurs

Many entrepreneurs are focused on generating revenue to make a profit. When running your own business, this is the ultimate goal to stay afloat. However, those that do make a profit have a decision about where to spend that money they make. Some entrepreneurs that run profitable organizations have made a practice of donating a large sum of the profit made by their companies. They operate on the platform of making money to support those who need help. Below are some such individuals.

Beth Doane

A self-branded social entrepreneur, this woman supports a number of causes. She is a partner of the all female communications firm, Main & Rose, which builds brands for clients. This company has a pro bono program in which their team works to promote one cause a year. They will do anything from social media management, to event planning, to web design for free. Doane also is the owner of a custom apparel line, which furthers her social entrepreneurship by helping to send children to school, and to plant trees in endangered forests, around the world.

Trina Spear and Heather Hasson

These two women are the founder of the company Figs, which sells high performance scrubs for doctors and nurses. They began the company with the realization that medical wear is outdated and uncomfortable, and those working to save lives all day should be wearing the most comfortable clothing possible. Spear and Hasson set up the Threads for Threads initiative through their company which, for every pair purchased, donates one pair of scrubs to a healthcare provider who cannot afford his or her own. They have given away hundreds of thousands of pairs of scrubs, and hope their donations are cutting down on hospital-acquired infections.

Sarah Kaler

Sarah Kaler is the philanthropic founder of the organization SoulPowered, a company focused on leadership coaching and empowering women to become CEOs. She is very active in philanthropy in Africa. Kaler both invests in African charities, and has created a mentorship program for the Africa Yoga Project, to teach people to be yoga instructors, and how to financially sustain a yoga business.

Dave Heath

This entrepreneurial athlete is the founder and CEO of Bombas, a company that manufactures socks for intense athletic performance. He created the company to assist active people in performing better during their workouts, while also helping people in need. He realized that homeless shelters are requesting socks more than any other item and decided that, for every pair bought, a pair would be sent to someone who needs it. Every employee, on their first day, is required to go hand out socks to, and have conversations with, people living on the streets.

For more inspiring entrepreneurial philanthropists, check out Fox News.

Creating a Corporate Culture of Caring

Firoz Patel Corporate GivingIt’s no secret that new and old companies alike are starting to invest in opportunities that allow the companies and their employees to give back or help charitable causes. The numbers don’t lie, giving back is important to professionals – particularly to younger members of the workforce, and a common value among many.

In constructing a company’s culture, knowledge of the employees is a key point in designing and implementing a company culture that allows its employees to flourish. Knowing that philanthropy and giving back is important to the employees is a leg up for a company’s culture architects, but in truth this information is only half  of the battle.

Companies large and small can struggle with integrating this information into tangible manifestations within the organization. However there are some steps to keep in mind when creating a culture of caring (and giving) within the context of a company.

Start Early

While this does not apply if we are talking about an established business, if your company is in the process of development, make sure to incorporate this into the central tenets of your company’s mission statement. Whether this means devoting a certain amount of the company’s equity to a charitable cause, or establishing clearly defined programming and opportunities around a philanthropic purpose, incorporate this into the company’s mission ASAP. This means that employees will understand philanthropy as a core value of the company whether it’s the first hire or the hundredth.

Don’t Just Talk the Talk

While it’s a great idea to incorporate this sort of language and focus into the company’s mission statement and core values, it’s more important to show this sort of attitude. It’s great to have this written down somewhere, but the only thing that will give these words meaning is the corresponding action.

Care to Scale:

Be realistic about what resources your company is able to allocate to a charitable cause. Don’t overpromise, only to find yourself and your employees unable to deliver on this promise. Whether this is a dollar amount, or the manpower delivered by your team, make sure that your team is able to follow through. This means that you need to take stock from the beginning. Set charitable goals that are reasonable within the framework of your company. Furthermore, if possible, make sure that you are choosing a cause that works with the mission, focus or skills of your company and its talented employees. It’s always a great idea to share what your company is great at, with those who can truly benefit from that expertise.

While there are more ways to integrate giving into the core of a company, the most important thing is to take a step back and evaluate where your company is, where you want it to go and how integrating charity as a core value can be an asset to both the recipients of the charity and to the company itself.