Your small business is the perfect outlet for your passion and creativity. With your products and services, you can make a positive contribution to your customers’ lives. At the same time, your business can also be a great channel to advocate for a cause that matters to you and your team. Through your brand, website, and social media channels, you have a platform that can be used to make an impact. Small businesses that include a charitable component to their brand can benefit both personally and professionally.
Consumers want to support companies that advocate for causes that make them feel great. A 2021 survey found that 63 percent of individuals preferred to buy from companies for purposes. By becoming aware of a social problem and organizing around it, you can feel more fulfilled as an individual, while providing more substance to your brand. This is a situation of mutual benefit, as you will attract more customers while contributing to a social cause in which you invest.
You may not be sure how to support an initiative, but these five companies are sure to inspire you. At the heart of each of these brands are important social causes. And while providing quality products is their job, they have also made it their mission to make a difference in their communities.
At Dozen Cousins it offers annual grants to organizations that offer food education
Founded in 2017, A Dozen Cousins is a family-owned, black-owned company that sells three staple foods: packaged beans, rice with bone broth, and condiment sauces. Each item is made with clean ingredients while maintaining its Caribbean, Creole and Latin flavors. On its website, the small business says its goal is to “inspire families of all backgrounds to eat better food and live longer, more vibrant lives.” A big part of their mission is to provide quality food to everyone, regardless of their income level.
A dozen cousins are already dismantling the barriers to healthy eating by selling nutritious, affordable and fast food options. But the company goes a step further by also awarding a grant to a nonprofit organization each year that works with people to eliminate “socioeconomic health inequalities in the U.S.”.
Since 2019, the small business has supported the following organizations: The Happy Kitchen / La Cocina Alegre, Project Potluck, Los Angeles Community Fridges and Hike Clerb. Each of these initiatives aims to dismantle barriers to healthy eating, make food education more accessible, and connect people of color with nature. By partnering with like-minded organizations and providing them with monetary funds, A Dozen Cousins is able to act on its mission to raise awareness about healthy diets.
If you don’t have the bandwidth to start your own initiatives, consider partnering with a local non-profit organization that is already doing the work. Instead of making a one-time or occasional donation, you can set up a grant program each year as A Dozen Cousins does. This also ensures that you are supporting multiple non-profit organizations instead of one.
When Kola Goodies was created in 2020, CEO and founder Sajani aimed to infuse her Sri Lankan heritage into healthy and nutritious blends for everyone. The small company currently sells three teas: a super green latte, a tea with turmeric milk and a tea with milk from Sri Lanka, all inspired by the country of origin of Sajani. But when Sri Lanka sank into an economic and political crisis, Sajani made it a priority to support his country and documented it through the Kola Goodies crisis relief page.
Sajani first used the company’s Instagram and TikTok accounts to publicize what was happening in Sri Lanka, an issue that didn’t draw too much attention to states until recently. After posting about the situation, Kola Goodies ’social media was filled with questions from customers who wanted to help.
@kolagoodies We talk about what is happening in #srilanka, as a brand that was born from the rituals with which I grew up in Sri Lanka and with the mission to return home and to the communities of South Asia that have grown up and used these ingredients for centuries, it is a mistake not to talk about what is really going on with these communities because they are the ones who do the most harm right now. We continue to provide support by sending foreign currency home. # #giveback #ethicalsourcing #kolagoodies #wellness ♬ so original – Kola Goodies
In response to inquiries from his followers, Kola Goodies carried out various fundraising initiatives for Sri Lanka, including an emerging store in San Francisco, where they donated 10 percent of the proceeds to support two Sri Lankan organizations. Lanka: Ghedora Connects and Tamarind Gardens farms to supply them. 275 meals for low-income families.
In addition, 100 percent of his muse’s sticker income, hand-drawn by a Sri Lankan artist, was also earmarked to support Sri Lankan families. Although Sajani began these initiatives in March this year, Kola Goodies has continued to raise funds. They have also made all this information easily accessible through their Sri Lanka Crisis Aid page on their website.
Kola Goodies took several steps: hosting an emerging store, selling her muse stickers and donating the proceeds to Sri Lanka, and it all stemmed from the initial video about the crisis they posted on TikTok and Instagram. If you don’t know how to support a cause, simply sharing a message highlighting the cause on your social media, as Sajani did, is a good way to start.
Arctic Haven Studio gives the benefits to a wildlife conservation
At the core of Arctic Haven Studio, a small business run by sisters Anna and Kelly, is a love of Alaska’s wildlife. The duo create stunning art prints rooted in the nature of Alaska where they grew up. Unlike most common art styles, the sisters use hand-cut paper to bring their designs to life. Each piece is inspired by their real-life experiences, such as meeting a lynx while hiking, which turned this piece of art into more than 500 pieces of paper.
Anna and Kelly not only hope to bring people closer to nature through their engravings, but they also want to return to the environment that raised them. The small business donates 10 percent of its revenue to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC). The Center welcomes injured animals and rehabilitates them while providing them with an environment where they can still act true to their nature.
After just eight months in business, the Arctic Haven studio raised nearly $ 1,000 for the nonprofit. And even more, the small business also supports the environment by incorporating sustainability into its craft, using only recycled materials.
Choosing a single cause that interests you a lot, such as the Anna and Kelly Conservation Center, and regularly giving them a portion of your income is a fantastic and easy way to show your support for an important cause. If you’re not comfortable with the initial 10 percent donation like the Arctic Haven Studio, try getting something as small as 5 percent. Anything can make a difference.
Ami Ami creates an Instagram fundraiser for abortion rights
Influencer Alison Wu is known for her food blog Wu Haus and is also a co-founder of the new food brand Ami Ami, which sells three blends of different spices. Some of her flavors are inspired by Egyptian cuisine and, as a way back, Ami Ami donates a portion of her profits to Heya Masr, an Egyptian organization that works to empower and support local girls and women.
But both Alison and Ami Ami have raised awareness others causes too. The food blogger posted a video on Instagram supporting abortion rights in response to the recent Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In the video, he called on his followers to make a donation to organizations fighting for reproductive rights. Alison also created an Instagram fundraiser and linked it to her video.
Specifically, Alison opted to make a donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds and shared the fundraiser on both her personal Instagram page and Ami Ami’s commercial account. In the past three weeks, Alison has been able to raise more than $ 5,000, half of her goal.
Social media is a great way to get support on important issues and now most platforms have made it even easier by allowing users to create fundraisers for non-profit organizations at the touch of a button.
While services like GoFundMe are still useful, being able to do a fundraiser and connect it to your Instagram accounts in minutes really speeds up the process. Once you’ve created a fundraiser, it will show up at the top of your mobile account’s IG account, almost like a fixed post, letting your followers know it’s your top priority.
IG fundraising basically acts as a call to giant action. It’s more direct than just making a post and directing people to your link to the bio because, with an IG fundraiser, your followers can make a donation directly via Instagram.
If your small business is especially active on Instagram, creating a fundraiser on the platform is a great way to highlight a specific cause.
Circular & Co. donates its products for an honorable cause
Circular & Co. is a UK company with a mission to reduce pollution and harmful waste going into the ocean. They sell reusable cups with a “circular design” and use scrap materials to make their products.
The small business has partnered with Leave No Trace Brighton, a community-run organization working to preserve Brighton’s marine and coastal environment. During an event at Brighton Train Station, Leave No Trace Brighton met with members of the community and asked them to accept “The Brighton Pledge” and agree to live more environmentally friendly lives. In doing so, people were able to purchase a reusable NOW cup from Circular & Co. as a way to demonstrate that they will incorporate more sustainable practices into their routines.
In its Instagram post, Circular & Co. said they donated 96 of their cups for the event and 100 percent of the proceeds went back to Leave No Trace Brighton.
Providing your products is a great way for your business to come back without having to spend extra money. The mission of Circular & Co. it aligns so well with that of Leave No Trace Brighton that it made sense for their NOW Cups to be sold at this event. If you are not in a position to donate your products for free, consider donating your time and volunteering for an organization.
There are so many ways you can use your small business as a vehicle for positive social change! While most avenues revolve around the provision of financial support, we hope that these examples have also inspired other ways of giving. Remember that even talking about a problem is a free way to educate your followers about something important.
At Buffer, we are passionate about pay and we are always looking for new initiatives to support.
Do you have a charity, cause, or organization that you like? Let us know Twitter or Instagram!