Engage for Good is Good for All
As many of you know, we love conferences at DoTopia. Most recently, I had the opportunity to venture to one of my favorite cities, Chicago, to represent DoTopia at the Engage for Good Conference.
The purpose of Engage for Good is to work at the intersection of cause and commerce. Engage for Good provides brands and nonprofits the practical information and connections they need to succeed. A lovely and actionable goal. Originally founded as The Cause Marketing Forum in 2002, CEO David Hessekiel, does an impeccable job keeping the organization relevant by engaging leading corporations and nonprofits alike.
Most recently, The Cause Marketing Forum rebranded as Engage for Good and has continued to be a leading force for social impact. The Engage for Good Conference is a two-day event bringing together philanthropic brands such as PwC, WestJet, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Target, Allstate, Planet Fitness and many more corporate all-stars. Nonprofits like WE, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys and Girls Clubs, and a plethora of others rounded off the attendee list. Inspirational corporate giving stories were shared that left even the host of the conference teary eyed while nonprofits and corporations bonded over shared goals.
With many great speakers and content shared in just two days, I wanted to provide some highlights from these powerful change agents. To recap, here are 10 short musings from the social impact gurus – hopefully one or two of these ideas will resonate and help you in designing your own program.
- “Organizations need to move from transactional to transformational. Rethink how you address partnerships, the customer journey and your overall organizational mission.” – Christina Alford SVP Development, Susan G. Komen
- “Make a shift into a movement of awareness into one of action” – Christina Alford SVP Development, Susan G. Komen
- “Sustainability and wellness shouldn’t just be for the 1%. We should democratize and bring wellness and sustainability to the masses.” – Jennifer Silberman, Chief Sustainability Officer, Target
- “Price and quality being equal, consumers would prefer to buy a good in support of a socially important cause.” – Jennifer Silberman, Chief Sustainability Officer, Target
- Care about the causes your employees care about. Tito’s allows every one of their employees to suggest organizations for the company to support. As a result, Tito’s supports 5,000 charity events per year. Choice in giving truly defines the brand’s mission. – Amy Lukken, Joyologist, Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- Don’t say your seasoned brand cannot lead with social good. Allstate, an 80+ year old organization, is truly revolutionizing the corporate philanthropy space. Here is one way they are leading. “A Single Act Can Create an Endless Ripple.” – Victoria Dinges, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Allstate Insurance Company
- “Purpose should always be your north star. What makes you special? From there, connect your company purpose with your causes.” – Shannon Schuyler, Principal, Chief Purpose Officer & Corp. Responsibility Leader, PwC
- “Brands that mean more, make more.” – Bill Doyle, Performance Research. The ProSocial valuation model is Holistic (measures outcomes not outputs), Universal (Applicable across multiple categories) and has a Single Currency (translates everything into one single currency). – Lesa Ukman & Bill Doyle, Performance Research
- “What can be measured, can be justified and what can’t will get cut.” – Bill Doyle, Performance Research
- First rule to live by with young people: “Forget about the Cause.” One specific thing young people care about is EVERYTHING. Find a way to create a campaign around every cause. That is how you can ensure you will be relevant with this group. – Marley Leighton, Manager, Growth & Partnerships, DoSomething.org
This is a small sample of the inspirational quotes, ideas and learnings corporations and non-profits generously shared during the conference. Transparency and authenticity led conversations as organizations reminisced on some of their darkest days. Ironically, even the biggest mishaps provided brands with an opportunity to reset and redefine a more strategic purpose to engage their brand in new forms of good.
I am grateful to work for a company and industry where social impact is our compass and inspiring all people to give is our guiding north star.
I am thankful for David Hessekiel at Engage for Good for spending the last 15 years promoting social storytelling and pro social corporate behavior as opposed to hiding it. It matters in our world today. As Vicki Dinges so eloquently stated, “The bad things in life can’t stop us from doing good.” Not now, not ever.
Yours in Giving,