Doing Well While Doing Good

CoursePilotCoursePilot Posts: 1subscriber
edited August 2006 in Selecting a Business
One of things that has always made me passionate about entrepreneurship is the ability to have a positive impact on the world. By definition as entrepreneurs we see an opportunity to solve a problem and create value in return. The value we create comes in the form of wealth for us as entrepreneurs, return on investment for our investors and jobs for our employees.
It is this passion for solving problems and creating value which I believe inevitably draws entrepreneurs to charitable endeavors. Look to Ben & Jerry`s, Stony Fields Yogurt on up to Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. All of these entrepreneurial stories have made giving back a major chapter in the story of success. I would argue that it is their commitment to giving back that has kept them motivated to carry on far after they struck it rich. How many times have you heard someone say that if they have Bill Gates wealth they would be sitting on a beach or some other such thing?
I recently launched a promotion at my firm, Course Pilot Financial, where we will commit in 25% or our management fee for all new account in perpetuity to the National MS Society. I did so in support of my aunt who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year. To me this is a classic case of doing well while doing good. Sure, I will make a reasonable profit but I will be helping a cause that I believe in completely. The clients that respond to the promotion will get access to professional financial management while also supporting the search for a cure. It is a win-win. The profit potential makes it possible for us to make such a generous commitment.
I am interested the community`s thoughts on this approach. What other examples of doing well while doing good do you have to share?

Comments

  • MelissaMelissa Posts: 7subscriber
    Michael -
    Great post!
    Although I am not necessarily donating profits to a worthy cause currently, one of the major premises behind my business is making a difference in the world.  It was my biggest annoyance about working in cublicle land - I felt as though if I stopped doing my work, no one would really notice.
    At least now I can make a difference in someone`s life every day...and if all goes well, I hope to make a larger difference in the long run with my newlywed financial planning services.  From priests to parents, I have a grand following of those who love that the motivation behind the service isn`t just to make money or teach people to manage their fiances, but also to learn how to communicate, to compromise and how, in general, to not let finances be the force that destroys your marriage...
    As for the wedding side, it is also such a rush to help someone out.  Just yesterday, I was calling people to see if they had any questions about my services and I came across a poor bride who`s reception site had fallen through.  Her wedding is in October.  After making a phone call, I was able to present her with a solution that fit her budget (as well as one that was only $400 over it) and her needs.  In addition, I was able to give her some direction on ways she could maybe squeeze out a little more $$ and yet not be stuck paying off her wedding for the next few years.  The feeling of knowing that I came in and "saved *the* day" is so rewarding...I actually have to watch myself or I`ll end up giving all my services away for free just because it feels so good.
    At any rate, I totally agree with you that in some way, every entrepreneur can make a difference in our world and still reap the benefits.  I look forward to hearing others` perspectives on this as well....
  • CheerDirectorCheerDirector Posts: 4subscriber
    It took me a long time to sum the courage to use what I know to make an impact.  Admitting that I loved cheerleading and dance and that I was really good at teaching it to young people was a challenge.  My corporate companions certainly chuckled at the thought.  But every day my company positively impacts the lives of young people in our community. 
    That beats the corporate pay check every day!
  • rossbrossb Posts: 5subscriber
    Michael -I applaud your efforts and generosity!  I think (most) everyone here would agree that success is not defined ONLY by how much money you make.  There are so many factors and each person has their own unique list.  If it is just about the money then you are a slave to its control and it is in charge of you.The LOVE of money causes a lot of grief in the world, the USE of money can cause of a lot of good.This really goes the heart of Step 1 doesn`t it - create a Life Plan first, then you have something to measure all your other decisions against.Thanks for sharing!R-
  • JoetheRoadWarriorJoetheRoadWarrior Posts: 2subscriber
    Ross, I think you made a very powerful point. Throughout my career which included successfully working in 54 countries, I personally saw and experienced the pros/cons of "LOVE of money" independent of what the local currency was called. It invariably created issues/problems regardless of the country/culture.
    Having returned to the "area of my birth" (SE Michigan), I am helping individuals and SMBs to develop and expand in MY world, the Global Marketplace. When I meet a potential Client, immediately I am asked "How much?" My answer is simple, "Not if but when we are successful, then you can pay me!" I have had "No, Thanks" yet!
    They key and what I learned working in virtually every culture in the world is that MONEY should not be the Counter but rather SUCCESS should be the Counter and MONEY invariably finds SUCCESS.
    Since returning from a 6 year Consultant contract in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I have been invited as a Guest Speaker (only paid twice) and I have CEOs of companies calling and asking for ideas to expand. I just recently helped a small business owner sign 3 contracts after re-branding her company. I have access to contacts throughout the global marketplace and many times just requires a telephone call to "get the ball rolling".
    I feel as I am making a difference in the community and I am having a BLAST!!! I wish everyone in the SUN Forum has the opportunity to give back and when you do, you will see the results: SUCCESS followed by MONEY!
    Have a great weekend and Hao Yun Qi!.
  • rossbrossb Posts: 5subscriber
    Joe -I gotta know...                              ...are you REALLY Joe Cool?  I mean seriously?R-
  • JoetheRoadWarriorJoetheRoadWarrior Posts: 2subscriber
    Ross and fellow members of the SUN Community Forum who I have not met at specific events....I have been waiting for this question....LOL
    YES, my name is really Joe Cool (actually born Joseph Paul and last name spelled Cool). I am sure you can imagine what I put up with throughout my upbringing in the City of Pontiac, MI....LOL
    I must say that Charles Schultz certainly did my PR work for me before I entered the global marketplace. The name has been a "door opener" for me throughout the world. Even a Customs Officer in Lagos, Nigeria in the middle 1980s asked me if that was really my name! As you can imagine, I have stories from throughout my lifetime and throughout the global marketplace.
    One particularly interesting story: During my University days at Oakland University in Rochester, MI in the late 1960s, I actually sat in the Grill in sunglasses and played cards during the day. This is exactly what Charles Schultz was having Snoopy do in his early comic strips. Well, my classmates (fellow nerdy Engineers) and I decided to write Charles Schultz a letter and ask him where he came up with his ideas for the Snoopy character as I was doing many things similar to his cartoon character. Well, the letter was sent and I never received an answer. We all laughed in the Grille and thought he was worried about a lawsuit....LOL
    I haven`t told that story to many but now it is out!!!! Joe Cool is here and wants to help all in developing and expanding in the global marketplace.
    Ross, thanks for asking....Have a great weekend.
  • OhhBoyOhhBoy Posts: 5subscriber

    I recently launched a promotion at my firm, Course Pilot Financial, where we will commit in 25% or our management fee for all new account in perpetuity to the National MS Society. I did so in support of my aunt who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year. To me this is a classic case of doing well while doing good. Sure, I will make a reasonable profit but I will be helping a cause that I believe in completely. The clients that respond to the promotion will get access to professional financial management while also supporting the search for a cure. It is a win-win. The profit potential makes it possible for us to make such a generous commitment.
    I am interested the community`s thoughts on this approach. What other examples of doing well while doing good do you have to share?

    Michael.. Just a couple of thoughts..
    I like the idea and actually within in my extended family I have 4 family members diagnosed with MS, so I very sensitive to the issue. 
    As a prospective customer, I would wonder how competitvely priced your services may be if you are able to donate 1/4th of what you are charging me to charity in perpituity.  You are essentially saying " I can discount my product by 25% and still make a living."  I think you can get the same affect but saying that you are donating a "a % of the proceeds will be donated to National MS Society" with out disclosing the actual amount. 
    Having donated parts of proceeds in the past, a few questions that you may need to be prepared to answer are:
    1) Whose name will the donation be made?  Who gets the tax advantage of the donation?
    2) What is the expense ratio of the charity?
    3) Are they recognized by Give.org as being accountable? What % of the donation is actually actually consumed as part of the operation vs what goes to research?
    4) What if I want those proceeds to go to my charity (another charity) as opposed to this on?
    and it is sad to say, 5) Can I have the discount in lieu of the donation? If not, why?
     
    Good luck!  I hope I`m wrong on 5 from where you`re from.. heard this too many times during my campaigns.
  • CoursePilotCoursePilot Posts: 1subscriber
    OohBoy,
    Thank you for the great feedback. I appreciate the nuggets of wisdom.
    My fee structure is very competitive in the marketplace. The donation offer is for a limited time during the fundraising period. As with many businesses, volume business can be served at a lower cost.
    1. The donations will be made in the name of my firm as it is our fee that will be donated.
    2. The expense ratio of the National MS Society is listed at 6% for administrative costs and 15% for fundraising.
    3. Give.org does recognize the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The details can be found at 597
    4. For the time being I am focusing the charitable energy of my firm to this one cause and fundraising endeavor.
    5. We have fee schedule that we adhere to. If we take on a new client in response to a promotion we honor the promotion. It is much the same as any non-charitible based promotion that a firm may run to generate new business.
    I hope this helps. Thank you again for the great questions.
    Warmest,
    Mike
     
  • mthomasmthomas Posts: 0subscriber
    Hi:
    I work with a company whose mission is do well while doing good.  It`s the company`s mission to donate over $1 billion to non-profit organizations around the world.  For more information, go to www.ourgvrewards.com
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