Thank you for joining the 31 Days of Giving challenge!

In June, hundreds of you have donated over $16,000 to more than 350 nonprofits. WOW! It was an amazing month of giving and our team can’t thank you enough for joining the 31 Days of Giving challenge.

We have been so inspired by all of the videos our giving heroes shared throughout the month of giving. Hearing why people give, why they support their favorite nonprofits and the impact each individual can make has always been one of our favorite parts at DoTopia. After all, that is why we were created.

 

 

 

 

 

A major thank you to all of our giving heroes, those who joined the challenge and Deepak Chopra for leading the charge.

We’re just getting started,

The Team @ DoTopia

 

Amanda Brinkman on Doing Well, by Doing Good

We’ve been pretty head over heals with Amanda Brinkman after hearing her speak at the Minnesota Marketing Summit. Our favorite quote from the entire day came from Amanda when she said, “One of my missions is to convince companies that you can do well as a company by doing good.” What’s not to love?

Amanda is currently the Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe, a contributing writer for Forbes, and spearheaded the Small Business Revolution movement.

Deluxe, like many companies today, realized that in order to have a sustainable business, there needed to be a greater business purpose. We love seeing brand and marketing departments pushing this “Do Good” movement forward!

Let’s read what Amanda has to say.

I am on a mission to encourage more companies to believe they can “Do Well, By Doing Good”.

I believe it is vital that businesses lead with their purpose and take actions that align with that mission. This isn’t philanthropy or employee volunteerism – those are two vital aspects of your company’s heart for the community and a company absolutely should fulfill on that responsibility –  what I am referring to is more. This is about “putting your money where your mouth is” as a brand and truly DOING something good for the community you serve.

First you have to identify your true core brand purpose and then you have to execute against this with actual brand actions. Many brands will categorize messaging shifts in their advertising and external communications as delivering on their brand promise. And yes, if a company is utilizing their advertising reach to take a stand with their words that is certainly the first step. But should be a point of view that advocates for and/or benefits your customers. The words should not be about you as a company but should inspire and foster change and action. And then to truly Do Good… how can you take that sentiment and turn it into something bigger and more impactful for your customers? Actions speak louder than words.

Doing Good as a company can help you Do Well in many ways.

First – Purchase Decision

Customers prefer companies that go above and beyond, who have ethical business practices, are active members of the community in authentic ways and who do the right thing. New generations of buyers are demanding a social conscience from the businesses that they patron. Consumers pay attention to the company’s reputation and how the brand behaves.

Second – Customer Loyalty

When your brand participates in your customer’s lives beyond the sale – you are securing a relationship beyond a single purchase. High quality products and services certainly play in to customer loyalty but a great brand experience can fill product or service gaps that may occasionally occur. Acquiring new customers is significantly more expensive than retaining current ones so it is of great value to have customers who will stick by you. They will do this when they feel you are worth the allegiance.

Third – Employee Recruitment and Retention

Finding great talent is hard. And keeping them can be just as difficult! Everyone wants to understand what kind of difference their daily work is making in real people’s lives. A well-articulated and action-oriented brand purpose can help all employees realize their work matters and is making a difference. It will attract top talent and save your company money by keeping them.

I could go on and on about the benefits of Doing Good as a company, but the bottom line is – It is just the right way to be as humans. We all have influence and a voice. Our existence has to be about more than making shareholders rich…it has to be about helping make each other’s lives better.

So how do you do that as a brand? A company can ask itself – what would the world be missing if we weren’t in business? There was an original problem you were solving when the business started, sometimes it is getting back to those roots. And determining how you can make your customer’s lives better. It has to be about more than just selling them products or services. It has to be about serving the whole person, caring about the issues that impact their lives and identifying the unique place you occupy in influencing positive change for them.

Happy Purpose Mining! Thank you for caring about this issue and for doing what you can at your company to push for brand actions against a true and authentic brand purpose. Together we can elevate the marketing practice and industry as a whole – we have a responsibility to be the advocators for the HEART of our companies coming through. We can do this…We must do this.

Follow Amanda: @amandakbrinkman on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Her work can also be found at amandakbrinkman.com.

Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact

It has been a rough few weeks.

Much like the rest of the country, we have been glued to our TV and computer screens, anxiously watching, and completely heartbroken by the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma.  

While we are only beginning to comprehend the total damage of Hurricane Harvey, here are the numbers we know so far:

  • Category 4 storm that hit Texas on August 25, 2017
  • $180 billion in damage (more than any other natural disaster in U.S history, except the largest estimates of Hurricane Katrina damage)
  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott will need more than $125 billion in federal relief
  • Affected 13 million people from Texas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky
  • At its peak on September 1, 2017, one-third of Houston was underwater

…and Irma:

  • 3.4 million homes in Florida without power
  • Passed through ten Caribbean countries and claimed the lives of 28 people
  • Nearly 95% of the buildings In Barbuda were damaged
  • First category 5 hurricane to hit Cuba since 1924
  • Irma’s maximum wind speed was noted at 185 MPH, only trailing Hurricane Alan which maxed out at 190 MPH

Oof. That leaves a pit in our stomachs.

Yet, in times of terrible strife, it is then when we witness some of the most beautiful acts of human giving. C.C. Scott said it best, “The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.”

Giving comes in many forms, and these stories of human generosity need to be shared. Every act matters:  

In addition, we’re proud of our DoTopians who stepped up and helped donate over $3,100 in just 5 days to Hurricane Harvey relief organizations.

Want to join? You can support all of these amazing causes whose funds go directly to helping those devastated by Harvey and/or Irma:

  • American Red Cross
  • All Hands Volunteers Inc.
  • Houston Food Group
  • Galveston County Food Bank
  • Houston Humane Society
  • Portlight Strategies Inc.
  • Americares
  • Operation Supply Drop Inc.
  • The Salvation Army
  • United States Fund for UNICEF In Kind Assistance Corporation
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • South Florida Wildlife Center Inc.

Simply search any of these great causes on our platform and give.

You can manage all of your giving easily with your own (free) personal giving account.

Your generosity is inspiring. Thank you.

Pillars to success with employees and customers

What are Your Pillars to Success with Your Employees and Customers?

In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a good conference. Call me crazy, but I am one of those weird people who actually enjoys connecting with random humans. I also fancy myself a learning-junky. An exceptional conference to me is the perfect combination between applicable and inspiring content with organic networking. Sign me up.

The Loyalty Expo last week paired these two elements nicely. I returned home with new friends, a plethora of handouts and a brain full of loyalty information. 

Aside from these goodies, one session in particular hit me just the right way.  

Lonnie Mayne, Founder & CEO of Red Shoes Living, is one of the most impressive storytellers I have experienced. His vulnerability, delivery, and simple direction should be heard by all business and non-business people alike. With that intro (no pressure…), I will do my best to recap his presentation.

We are all human beings who love and feel. 

Regardless of whether you are a CEO or a Janitor, we all have individual goals, desires, and personal strife.

After setting the tone, Lonnie went on to recite five pillars he practices each day. Lonnie not only uses these pillars in his daily practice, but he shares them with his team members. Did you know, 80% of the things you think about every day are the one’s you remember? Clearly, it makes sense to set your mind on positive thoughts. Simple reminders can often be the most powerful.

Lonnie’s five pillars are as follows: 

  1. Awareness – Be aware of your surroundings. Metaphorically, how many employees are playing music that you aren’t stopping to hear? Give people the gift of time. It is the greatest gift of all.
  2. Gratitude – This is simple. Wake up everyday with thankfulness for your job, your family, a paycheck, kind people, mother nature, the list goes on. Reframe your thinking to focus on what you are grateful for, not what you are lacking.
  3. Everyone has a Story – As we connect as human beings, it is our responsibility to understand others. Don’t be inauthentic. Interact with your fellow people. You never know whose day you might make, or who might make yours.
  4. Respect (Kindness) – We all want to win. However, winning should never be at the expense of another human. As Lonnie said, “Treat those who have more than you as equals and those who have less as Kings and Queens!” Take this stance on your interactions and watch the positive change unfold.
  5. Put Yourself Out There – Passion is important, but action must follow. Vulnerability is scary. Commit to new experiences and open your mind to the possibilities. You may surprise yourself!

Once you understand the pillars, the question quickly becomes, how does one successfully follow these pillars every day? You must surround yourself with people – both inside and outside of work – who help sustain your goals. Focus on relationships with those who make you better. If you are outwardly working on your fitness, your friends should not be offering you M&M’s. Seems logical, right?

Lastly, avoid mediocrity. You are only mediocre if you believe you are. Don’t be afraid to take chances and stand out like a pair of red shoes.

Clearly, DoTopians believe in the power of Lonnie’s message. Our single mission is to expose more Lonnie’s in the world. Organizations can help create a forward-thinking, do good mindset in their customers and employees just by supporting individual giving initiatives. Are you ready to make this world a better place? Let’s get started.

Yours in Giving,

Sami, DoTopia Evangelist

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