I keep on saying it. We’re living in fast times. Radical innovation and progress is happening unlike anything we’ve seen before in human history and it’s impacting the philanthropic sector. Major donors are no longer looking at nonprofits as the only game in town. Start-up companies are melding social good with making money.
So, let’s say you want to make money and do good in your part of the world. There’s a way to do it. It’ll give you a good head start with regard to giving you a “seal of approval.”
The Basics of a B Corporation
B Corps are for-profit businesses that are certified by the B Lab. At present there are over 1,400 Certified B Corps in 42 countries and over 120 industries. They seek to “redefine success in business.”
These B Corps have joined a growing movement to go through a rigorous review process around performance, accountability and transparency. Additionally, these businesses have committed themselves to the following:
- B Corps commit to creating higher quality jobs.
- They commit to improve the quality of life in their communities.
- B Corps are seeking to provide not only value for their shareholders, but also for the greater world at large.
While B Corps recognize that there is a need for charitable organizations, they are also aware that business can bring a lot to bear for social change. For-profit businesses understand market-based and scalable solutions. Some B Corps with this certification include Etsy, iContact and Better World Books.
Why Become a B Corporation
The first reason is simple: money. By becoming a certified B Corp, businesses can demonstrate they have gone through a rigorous vetting process. They are able to show:
- That they can achieve social impact.
- Have the management and operational infrastructure.
- Can command higher valuations when sold, or were they to go public, because they are certified.
Another reason to consider this type of certification is because it provides the public with proof. It tells your customers that you actually mean what you’re saying. According to Cone Communications, “90% of Americans say that companies must not only say a product or service is beneficial, but they need to prove it.”
How to Become a B Corp
By going to the B Lab website, which you can find by clicking here, you’ll find everything you need. Essentially, you have to do the following:
- Complete the B Impact Assessment and earn a reviewed minimum score of 80 out of 200 points.
- Determine the path for your corporate structure and state of incorporation.
- Sign the B Corp Declaration of Interdependence and Term Sheet.
I’m not saying that becoming a B Corp makes sense for everyone. However, if you’re looking for a competitive advantage and want to make money as well as do some social good, this may be a great option for you.
Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Be Bold, Dominate and Succeed in Marketing For Today’s Digital World On A Limited Budget” (Free Digital Download)
© 2016 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.