April 05, 2020
If I were to tell you that if you purchase a product from me, I will give back 1% of your potential purchase to a general cause, perhaps even one you have heard of, would it encourage you to purchase that product? How about if I contributed 5% of the sale?
If you are not convinced by my show of action, don’t worry. I am on your side. Believe it or not, many organizations promote financial contribution this way. No doubt you have seen it. They will offer to donate a percentage of your purchase to [insert cause name here], but there is no real emotion attached to it. Instead, it is a nonspecific, almost impersonal approach to contribution. While any philanthropic efforts are commendable, there is a much more effective way to appeal to consumers.
We find in today’s world that most people want to give back when they are emotionally connected and when they find common ground with the cause. Be it a shared challenge or experience, a collective awakening often happens when we recognize pain and suffering in others. This causes a shift in thinking; some feel compelled, some feel obligated, and others are more motivated, but the end result is the same. We feel connected, and we look for a way to do something about it.
By creating an accessible way for consumers to “do something about it,” those emotional connections end up moving the proverbial needle.
Let’s try this again. If I were to tell you that when you purchase a 14-serving bag of a nutritional meal-replacement shake, I will donate 14 meals to a child or family in need, would you be more interested? Or perhaps, if I told you it takes $1 to provide 10 meals to a person struggling with hunger, would you be willing to hand over that dollar?
Chances are, you are much more likely to be encouraged by the second version. After all, at the end of the day, we’re human. We are inspired and impacted by our emotional connection to a something that tugs at our heartstrings, especially when those connections feel open and honest.
By being radically transparent and creating a business model that gives on a one-for-one basis, or a “this is how much it takes to feed one person or provide one meal” kind of mentality, the consumer immediately finds themselves emotionally connected to the end goal. The result is a more involved consumer who does not have to try as hard to create their own impact. For example, the company Tom's Shoes. By providing those details, that company is clear, concise, and transparent about the impact of a purchase or donation.
If we extend these same ideologies to CSR programs as a whole, it is clear why companies with impactful, even emotional initiatives are typically the ones that are most successful. A business model with a transparent, emotional call to action is more easily translatable and is one a consumer will be more encouraged to latch onto on a deeper level.
Thus, I have consciously made transparency a significant aspect of my CSR goals in two main ways. First, I feel a profound obligation and desire to share my personal life experiences. I have found this helps me create real, lasting connections with people, and ultimately build and strengthen my networks and CSR models worldwide.
Next, I actively create accessible ways for those emotional connections to go further. This allows me to be in a position where I can challenge and inspire other leaders to do the same. These leaders can implement large-scale CSR programs in their organizations. They can encourage consumers to purchase items that align with philanthropic efforts.
Together, we can create an open and emotional connection that will make a lasting impact on the world around us.
My intention in writing this article is to give readers an overview of one element of the global nutrition crisis – undernourishment. This is a fairly information heavy article, because, well, there is a lot of information to cover, but please bear with me – it is a topic extremely close to my heart and I will refer back to this overview...Read More