When exploring some of the world’s most successful global brands, you will quickly stumble upon a common activity in which most business owners gladly participate: charity. Consumers love to know that their favorite sellers are not only good at providing goods and services that they happily buy; they also appreciate knowing that these business leaders give back to the local or global community. Inc. notes that businesses comply with this call to social responsibility for a combination of altruistic and public relations reasoning, but in the end, the recipients of their good will get an opportunity to improve their lives.
As our world increasingly becomes a global marketplace and community, it has never been more important to acknowledge that people in the farthest reaches of our shared planet can use some tools to engender empowerment to forge their own path out of poverty. Many powerful global brands are answering the call to help people around the world, including the following four:
1. Starbucks and Oprah
This entry features a true powerhouse team between Starbucks, Teavana and Oprah Winfrey. According to a 2013 Business Insider article, Starbucks is on track to hosting 750 customers per store each day by the year 2020. And with more than 11,000 stores, that is a lot of coffee, tea and snacks sold per day. The goal of this unique group charity effort is that, each time a customer buys a Teavana Oprah cinnamon chai, Starbucks donates $.25 to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to provide quality education to all children, and girls in particular, in South Africa.
Since 1959, Amway has successfully balanced its goals of selling high-quality everyday products with its ideals of creating and fostering opportunities for success within the community. This multi-level marketing giant understands the benefits of placing a golden opportunity into the hands of industrious people who are looking for a chance to carve out their own success. The company has made it possible for millions of individuals to become successful business owners all around the world by instilling and encouraging its six enduring values:
- Personal worth
- Personal responsibility
- Free enterprise
3. Gucci and Chimes for Change
Gucci, the Italian fashion label, has turned to its fashionable global audience to support female empowerment with its Chimes for Change campaign. Fashionistas have been asked to download the Chimes for Change app and specify one of the campaign’s three core themes: health, education or justice. Each time the participant shakes his or her smartphone or tablet, a virtual bell rings out to the tune of Beyonce and pings Twitter followers.
Since its launch in 2013, Chimes for Change from Gucci has funded about 400 projects in 90 countries around the world.
4. Full Circle Exchange
Full Circle Exchange takes a market-based approach to improving communities around the world. This program has developed entrepreneurial solutions, based on dignity and the creative abilities of each individual. Full Circle Exchange’s programs provide long-term economic solutions for some of the world’s most marginalized and impoverished communities. The program builds people up who live in impoverished communities, putting the power of change into their hands by providing job readiness training, job creation, better income possibilities, educational options and access to the global market.
With some creativity and commitment, your business — no matter how big or small — can effect change in your own community or across the globe.