In the year 2000 the richest 10% of the world’s population owned 85% of global assets.* Today, more than one billion people live on less than $1 a day.* When I first heard these numbers, I felt compelled to do something. I felt that for-profit companies should share responsibility for changing these realities.
During 2011, I personally became fascinated by what social enterprises were doing. Companies like TOMS, Sevenly, and Project 7 challenged and inspired me to do something about giving at my workplace. This led me to start the Giving Project at CaseCrown in February 2012, in which we introduced one or two NGOs each week and supported them by raising awareness and providing funding for their efforts during 2012.
CaseCrown began by partnering with NGOs, one week at a time, to raise awareness for their efforts by sharing their stories through our social media platforms, website, and so forth. At the end of each week, we donated $500 to the NGO partner of that week. As of July 2012, we increased the number to two NGOs each week. We ended up working with 28 amazing NGOs throughout 2012. What started as a means to “give back” grew into a passion project that ultimately transformed our identity as a business. We spent the first three months of 2013 rewriting our identity statement, revisiting our business model, and planning our next giving campaign.
In 2013, we changed the name of our campaign to the Giving Partnership. While the Giving Project was a weekly campaign run with our charity budget of about $40,000, the Giving Partnership is a more integrated collaboration between CaseCrown and a different world-changing organization each month. We get to spend the whole month sharing the organization’s stories with our community to raise awareness. We also now donate a percentage of our profit instead of having a limited charity budget. We commit to give more as the business grows.
Our company’s ultimate mission is to improve lives and develop communities through our business. We hope our products and services will benefit PEOPLE. Our giving campaigns represent this value well. They remind us of our belief that profit matters — but profit matters primarily because we are committed to use and invest it well to benefit people.
The Giving Project and the Giving Partnership shaped who CaseCrown is today. We now fully embrace giving as a part of our company culture. We started as a simple case brand four years ago, but through campaigns like the Giving Project and the Giving Partnership, we are evolving into a company that is passionate about doing good.