Good for Good This Holiday Season
This is the first of a periodic series of articles about what I call Good4Good. I also think of it as “brands that get it.” These are for-profit companies or B-Corp enterprises that aim to do well by doing good. Please note that I have no connection with any of these businesses, nor do I receive compensation. I’m simply a fan.
Some years ago, I was drawn to a few lines of copy in New York Magazine about a new shop in the West Village that was selling hand-blown votive candleholders under the whimsical name Glassybaby. A life long candle fanatic, I trekked through a post-Christmas snowstorm to check the place out.
The simplistic beauty of the product enchanted me. The story of the company blew me away.
Sometimes, cancer can lead to something wonderful.
Lee Rhodes was battling lung cancer in 1998, when she received a homemade, colored, blown glass candleholder. As she told Entrepreneur Magazine, she was mesmerized by the chromatic light when she lit a candle. “In my mind, like the other treatments I did, it contributed to my healing.” (Rhodes was named the magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011.)
The candle she received during her healing inspired Rhodes. She hired some glassblowers and then started selling votive holders out of her garage before opening her hot shop and retail store in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle.
Glassybaby has a philanthropic mission that is baked into its corporate DNA. Ten percent of is revenue — REVENUE, NOT PROFIT — is donated to charity.
Most of its candleholders sell for $44. Some specialty editions retail for $75. So $4.40 or $7.50 of every purchase is given away. They have also created special editions for specific charities.
Five years ago, when the Entrepreneur article was published, Glassbaby had given away $650,000 to small and large nonprofits. Today, right now as I write this, that figure is $5,578,596 (according to the company’s website).
Bringing It Home
Earlier this fall, I visited Glassybaby’s newest hot shop and retail store in Oakland, CA.
I had a lovely conversation with the manager, and when paying for my purchases (who could refuse some “babies” for Christmas?), she wrote on the receipt: $14.60. That’s how much of my purchase had just gone to charity.
So simple. So beautiful.
Consumers are drawn to companies that do well by doing good. But how often does that company quantify how much of your purpose actually went to charity?
This holiday season, if you want something special for a loved one, a family, or some of your best donors or volunteers (or even yourself), check out www.glassybaby.com. Shipping is forever free.
I’ve already got two on order.
Glenn is a fundraising strategist who loves working with small- to mid-size organizations that want to innovate and grow. Check out his website and Fundraising Wonks blog. To find out how he can help you, email him at email@example.com. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook.