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How important is a social impact message for gaining traction when starting a business?

I have noticed that many successful startups are advertising that they donate x% of their profit to someone in need or they help someone have a better life,etc. What do you think is the importance of such messages to gain initial traction and how does it help grow the company?

7 Replies

michael burack
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michael burack Entrepreneur
president
The goal of charity being given a % of income is not only to gain traction but to do good...
Anubhav Kushwaha
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When was the last time you took charge of building a team from scratch? We are hiring software development leaders
If you are pursuing social impact as a means to get traction then it would be defeating both purposes. Pretty much like the hoards of college students who pursue "volunteering" to build up a college application.

Eventually both the charities and the investors will call your bluff. At least customers would. So build your business strategy and social strategy each with pure motives of customer experience/scale/profit and doing good for others respectively.


Myles Fuchs
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Myles Fuchs Entrepreneur
Sales Marketing Business Development
In my experience, it's mostly PR / warm and fuzzy marketing
The enterprise may have a particular cause it support, but mostly for PR and tax purposes.
Raja Nagendra Kumar
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Raja Nagendra Kumar Entrepreneur
Code Surgeries | Micro Fixed Bids | Scala | Go | Kotlin | ReactJS | Android | Java | NFR Doctor
Not sure if they really get any profit or even if what really that % gets into real money to be watched.. but for sure it is a free advt and also gets tax benefits as some of charities have govt backing which means 100% money spent can be a company expense..(this way lessor tax and with less money with big advt..)

Nothing wrong doing this.. as it is shown as expense as per company law.. see it as another expense..to good charity..

doing good depends on charity you back.. once you donate.. it is mostly charity responsibility.. unless you involve in charity too

What big companies do like TCS etc.. is purely advt.. to look big socially and within the eyes of participants for sure.. :)

Alan Clayton
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Alan Clayton Advisor
Roaming Mentor @ SOSV
Firstly startups don't make profits ! And secondly, why start a business that doesn't contribute to people having a better life ? "Charity" has become debased by people using it as a cheap marketing ploy in too many cases. The concept of Social Enterprise serves only to blur the distinction further. Let's just get on with working for a better world 24/7. People including the kind of investors you want to work with, will see your good works, and all will be well !!
Shel Horowitz: Shel AT GreenAndProfitable com
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I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

Yes, social giving has to be genuine-motivated not by marketing but by sincerely helping the world-but if you're doing that, you gain huge marketing advantage if you handle it right.

Keep in mind:charitable give-backs are NOT the only model. I'm rather a fan of creating products, services, and business cultures that directly *and profitably* turn hunger and poverty into sufficiency, war into peace, and catastrophic climate change into planetary balance. In fact, in my latest book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World-which is focused on this aspect-charity givebacks account for part of one chapter out of 22 chapters. In my speaking and consulting, I help companies actually develop these kinds of approaches. You can get a very quick early-stage introduction by spending 15 minutes with my TEDx talk, "Impossible is a Dare"http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/11809(click on "event videos")-but recognize that this was 2 years ago and the work has evolved a lot since then.

All other things (such as price, quality, convenience) being comparable, consumers "vote with their feet" to support ethical, green, socially conscious companies. So you, as a startup, have the chance to look at the skills, interests, and wider goals within your company...create products and services that match these skills, interests, and goals with wider goals like the Big Four I mentioned at the beginning...and market them effectively to both green and nongreen markets (which has to be done differently, as I discuss in the book). But please, do it with good intentions! (I can help, BTW.)
Alan Clayton
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Alan Clayton Advisor
Roaming Mentor @ SOSV
1) Why would anyone start any kind of company which doesn't make life better for others ? 2) "Charity" has become debased by deceitful corporations ticking CSR boxes, and blurred by Social Enterprise, so best avoid it. 3) Any investor you want to be working with will see what you do and what you stand for; you dont need to shout about it and leak money to do so.
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