Business 4 Better

Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Cathy's Thoughts | 0 comments

I recently attended the conference Business 4 Better – The Community Partnership Movement – Business 4 Better Conference  in an attempt to learn more about how businesses can help the Causes  make it out there as funded businesses.   The mission of this conference was to educate, empower, and to enable both Causes and companies to connect to find how they can work together more effectively.  Overall the conference showed me that Causes working with corporate America is a new economy and that building this economy will take time.

I must admit that the conference made me a little sad.   The first thing I noticed was that each Cause had the same size booth and had no way to truly show their personality or differentiator, or most of all, a way to tell a story and catch our heart strings as we walked by.  I felt as though I was walking through an adoption center where children were so hoping you would look at them and maybe give them a better home.  Causes are always looking for funding and at times are in feast and famine mode waiting for the next check to come through before they have to close their doors.  A hard life to live.  But there is an amazing side to running a Cause.  What I saw is the passion and belief in these Causes that they can and are making a difference in our world.   They have hope and they want us to be a part of their hope.

The conference had amazing keynote speakers

Dev Patnaik, the CEO of Jump Associates and author of the book, “Wired to Care”.  He talked about reinventing business by creating widespread empathy. Jump Associates

Carol Cone, the global practice chair for Edelman’s Business and Social Purpose division talked about the power of purpose and how to harness it for your business Edelman

Premal Shah, the president of Kiva, spoke about innovative and high impact partnerships and the intersection of corporate philanthropy, technology and poverty alleviation.Kiva


Key take-aways or soundbites I took away include:

-Companies do well because of the social benefit they provide to their communities and their buyers/customers

– Organizations and Causes align best when they have shared values

-Your mission statement and branding is key to being seen and supported by the masses

-A two-way relationship between the Cause and the organization is essential

-Research shows that non-profit and transformation workers are happier

– When you are building your brand build a long term sustainable brand

-Determine what values you want your employees to live inside and outside of work

-Commit to transparency.  Be real to the outside world as an organization (Zappos, Patagonia, Nike)

-Vision – always think bigger

-In your business inject culture with purpose in work

-CEOs need to stand for something

-We are only as good as our colleagues

-Strength is an attitude that lives within all of us

-NGOs must have a focused brand

-Frontiers are all around us

-Businesses need to show their purpose and humanity

-Experience transforms how people feel, think, and act with a brand

-The gateway into a community is to learn about that community

-The non-profit needs to tell the corporation what they can do for the corporation


Breakout sessions that I believe really were helpful covered the following topics:

Cause Marketing Programs That Work

Measuring What Matters

Partnerships That Work: How to Build and Grow a Successful Cross-Sector Partnership

Storytelling Unpacked” What Makes the Media Want To Tell Your Story

Tell Your Story Though On-Line Video

Building A Brand That Matters

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