“Feel the fear, and do it anyway” — why I took the sustainability plunge, and you can too.
Meet Ali, founder of Plans With Purpose. In many ways, Ali is your typical small business owner — she works hard, she’s super sharp, and she doesn’t have a lot of time to waste. But one thing sets Ali in a class apart from the average small business: her business plan includes making the world a better place as she grows.
“Plans With Purpose is all about helping businesses to grow by doing good. Each business collaboration I take on is unique, but ultimately they’re all either led by sustainability or a strong social purpose. I support them to integrate sustainability into the heart of what they do, and help them champion this by discovering their own unique purpose.”
Having a social purpose isn’t just the right thing to do, and Ali isn’t the first business owner to catch on. In fact, increasingly businesses who don’t do anything to help the environment or other good causes are the odd ones out, and suffer a disadvantage as a result.
“Citizens now expect businesses to do the right thing for people and planet. More purposeful, sustainable businesses have more engaged and loyal employees, and are simply better future proofing themselves for long-term business success.”
While sustainability is already a key part of Ali’s business plan, the nature of your business doesn’t have to be related to doing good at all. Even the most unrelated business can get involved and experience the benefits of doing good: in fact so many companies now donate 5% of sales to a charity, it’s almost commonplace — we know a garage who give £1 to charity per MOT!
Plans With Purpose actually does good on both sides of the fence — Ali helps other businesses to become sustainable, and donates an additional percentage from her own business profits every month. But initially for Ali, adding a charity element to her work was something she’d always wanted to do, but never got around to.
“I wanted to be confident in the performance of my business before I made any firm commitments. In the end what pushed me was the classic New Year resolve! I knew I could procrastinate forever worrying about where my business would be in another year’s time but by structuring my donations on a % of fees, I had the confidence that I wasn’t overstretching myself.’
Organising her donations through charity giving platform Work for Good helped Ali to finally take the plunge and incorporate charity into her business.
“I wanted a way of committing myself up-front to donations. It’s easy to make the promise to give more to charity, but it’s harder to ensure this consistently turns into good action. Work For Good enabled me to make a firm commitment from the start that I would donate 2% of my fees to good causes. It’s made charity donations an easy habit rather than sporadic. Giving to good causes now stays at the top of my to do list, because it’s an easy part of my regular business routine.”
Giving to charity doesn’t have to be a huge corporate partnership that takes a lot of work, either. Online giving platforms like Work for Good allow you to give to multiple charities — or you can even allow your customers to choose the cause they want to give to.
“I work with a variety of businesses and wanted the way in which I donate to reflect that variety. Work For Good gives me the opportunity to do just that. So far I have made donations to UNICEF, Save The Children, The Climate Coalition, Friends of The Earth & The Disasters Emergency Committee. All very different but important causes.”
Overall, Ali seems pretty happy she made the New Year’s resolution to give to charity through her business. And it’s even better that she can share that warm fuzzy feeling with her clients, growing support for her business and making a genuine difference to the world.
“I really would encourage anyone considering joining to just jump on in and give it a go. I haven’t looked back since. By linking donations to my fees, it’s become an added source of satisfaction and joy in my work. When business is great, my donations are great. That really makes me smile and motivates me to keep growing.
It’s become an added bonus that when I complete a project, I know I have unlocked another donation to a good cause and helped make things a little better. I find it’s a great reward for all the hard work!”
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If your business could benefit from a sustainability boost, get in touch with Ali at Plans With Purpose.
And if you’re ready to take the plunge like Ali did and link your business with a charity, check out Work for Good — we can help you get set up with a charity in just a few clicks, for free!