Including a social mission within your company


Director of Business Operations YEDI – An industry independent business accelerator, venture capital fund and academic institution.

A social mission drives your organization beyond profit because it allows you to have a bigger purpose, creating better connection points for customers. I believe it is a necessary addition to any business moving forward.

A social mission is the deeper reason why your business exists in the first place. It’s the big “why” behind every decision you make. Some major companies that put their social mission at the forefront include Dr. Bronner’s and TOMS shoes.

While you may know you need a social mission, it takes commitment to figure out what your organization’s mission will be.

Examples of social missions

To illustrate: An example of a company that puts its social mission at the forefront is Rethink Resource. After working with them through one of my company’s programs, I was able to see firsthand their focus on removing waste from landfills and helping other companies achieve zero-waste goals by offering waste diversion solutions for restaurants, garbage collection services and supermarkets.

Another example of a company I have worked with is 4Blind. They are on a mission to remove barriers and expand opportunities for the blind and deafblind. They believe in empowering the blind and deafblind community with affordable technology that will bring incredible benefits to society.

Patagonia is perhaps a better known brand and has become one of the most talked about sustainable companies out there. This year, founder Yvon Chouinard announced that the company “going targetinstead of “going public”.

Within these examples, you’ll see some ways to create a social mission statement that runs through every layer of your business.

As you define your company’s social mission statement, keep in mind that to work well, it needs to flow into every part of your business. For example, a sustainable business model not only includes helping the environment, it also means that your stakeholders must operate sustainably and your production must also be ethical and sustainable. There’s a lot to living by your social mission, and once your business does, you’ll find that your actions make more sense.

How to define and develop your social mission

Now comes the fulfilling part of defining and developing your social mission. Before you feel overwhelmed by the big task ahead, get started by considering these points:

Identify a social problem that you want to tackle as a company. It could be homelessness, poverty, climate change, gender equality or chemicals in products.

Ask what positive changes you want to bring to the community. This helps you focus on the solutions to the problem.

Receive feedback and suggestions from your employees. Ask them which causes are important to them and which social problems they want to solve.

Ensure the fit that makes sense within your company. It should be something that aligns with what you do as a company. Consider how you can either be sustainable in your practices or offer any service/product to charity.

Once you know which social problem you want to help solve, see which charities, organizations and charities can help. Once those two things are determined, you can discuss with your business partners and employees how to get support for these goals in your company.

It can be inspiring to have a strong social mission statement. Place it in your office for employees and customers to see. Post it on social media so customers understand that their money supports these good causes.

Benefits of having a social mission

There are many benefits to putting a social mission at the forefront of your business. Earlier I discussed how it can propel you and your employees beyond profit as there is a greater meaning and purpose behind what is being done.

That’s just one benefit. Here are several others that are also important:

Creates and offers more opportunities

When a company puts money, time and strategy into a cause they care about, opportunities arise – for your business as well as for your employees and customers.

Show customers and employees that you care about the world and the environment

These days it’s all about climate change and doing good for the planet we call home. Customers look to large organizations and companies to do better. If you choose a social mission that has an impact on the world and the environment, you will show up and people will take notice.

Encourages employees to do better

There’s something very satisfying about being part of something bigger than just a 9 to 5 job. A social mission signals to your employees that their work matters. They don’t just do it for someone’s profit; it is for the betterment of the world.

Creates loyal customers and more sales

For many people, once they find a company that delivers a great product or service with a strong social mission, they become loyal customers. It could be a store that focuses on sustainable and ethically made products, a restaurant that provides meals to the homeless, or a company that plants trees with every purchase.

There are so many great ways to showcase your social impact mission to your customers. Once they know, they will most likely come back to buy when they need the product or service again.

Devise a social mission statement for your company

Now that you realize the importance of a social mission within your company and how to define and create one, it’s time to get out your notebook.

Start by writing down the things that are important to you and the things that need to be changed. Are there connections that could become your company’s social mission? Once it’s settled, write down your social mission statement and let it flow through every facet of your business. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?


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