In these times of Fake News and that includes YELP, it comes as a relief when a company opts for total transparency. One can feel a company, a product or a service is for the benefit of the public not just for the almighty dollar.
In 2015, we wrote about a Certified B Corporation in which Kickstarter just became. Transparency (a huge public trend) is part of what a Certified B Corp is. We just received our first Benefit Statement from Kickstarter which was enlightening. It is really nice to know how a company thinks and what they stand for. I wish there were more Benefit B companies.
When Kickstarter reincorporated as a Public Benefit Corporation in 2015, we made a legal commitment to always support art and artists, to operate with a corporate code of conduct, and to donate 5% of post-tax profits to arts education and organizations fighting inequality.
This week we released our first-ever annual Benefit Statement looking back on our first year as a PBC. A few highlights: more than 300,000+ full- and part-time jobs were created by Kickstarter projects, 61% of our Senior Team and half of our Executive Team were women, and we donated 5% of our after-tax profits to six organizations working to build a more creative and equitable world.
If you want to see their Benefit Statement for 2016 click here. If you want to see what they think is important, you can find a link to to their Benefit Corporation charter here. They spelled out a specific list of values and commitments to live by: ‘We renew our longstanding commitment to arts and culture. We declare how we plan to conduct ourselves in situations that are often swayed by profit motives. And we newly commit to donate 5% of annual post-tax profits to arts education and organizations fighting inequality. Every year, we’ll release an assessment of how we’re performing on the commitments we’ve made…………
In simple words A Benefit Corporation (B Corp) is beholden more to the benefit of society rather than stockholders. B Corporations are a part of how businesses are changing an adapting to todays time. Making investments in society and giving back. When you look at the growth of social investments over the last 10 years, it makes financial and marketing sense to do good.
Eyecare professionals could easily become a Benefit Corp. They already benefit society (vision). Many contribute back each year by taking Vision Trip, donating eye exams, participating in VisionWalk, participate in World Site Day, have benefit Trunk Shows, support local charities and purchase from optical companies that give back.
Talk about Brand Building! This is an opportunity that appeals to most people, particularly millennials. This is one of the top morale builders and builds referrals. It would give you an edge over the competition, gives you something to talk and engage about.
Anyway, think about it. Something different, something that makes you a leader. We like it.
- Benefit Corps – Lists pros and cons of becoming a Benefit Corp. How to become and a listing of some Benefit Corporation.
- Entrepeneur Magazine– This is an older article (2013) on how to get B Corp certified.
- Huffington Post
- Rules Benefiting Benefit Corporations
- Some Corporations Allow You To B a Social Entrepreneur