According to Generation Generosity, being generous will be one of the most important attributes for the coming year – both for society as a whole as well as for businesses.
Giving is the new taking, and sharing is the new giving
With the economic downturn getting worse every day, an increasig number of consumers are even more suspcious of corporations than before- only 13% of Americans in a recent poll trusted large companies and three-quarters expect them to lie in their advertisments.
These same people experience daily that a very different approach to goods and knowledge is possible: On the internet people are constantly sharing, giving and co-creating, mostly for free. In this sphere people feel valued and trusted and experience that even small contributions can have a huge impact – just witness the so called Obama-Effekt .
And this culture is not a momentary fad, but as Kevin Kelly said already a few years ago: „online culture is the culture“.
Learning from Online
Now, the trendreport has zillions of examples of how corporations can join this culture of generosity. The most relevant for us here at betterplace.org is the first:
Many corporations such as Whole Foods (who donate for every customer bringing his/her own bag to the store, to a local charity or the German Pfandtastisch Helfen (customers can opt to donate the money they get back for returning bottles)have invited their consumers to donate and do good together with them.
Tripadvisers More than Footprints campaign pledged 1 Mio. US$ and let site visitors decide to which pre-selected charities the money shoudl go. TOMS Shoes sells fair-traded slippers, handing one extra pair to a child in need for every pair bought, thus following the famous model set by One Laptop per Child.
To follow Generation G is not only “nice to have”, but – according to the authors of this entertaining report – a necessity:
if you want to stay relevant in societies that value generosity, sharing and collaboration. Joining obviously entails more than adding a social responsibility or sustainability department; it means adopting a generous mind-set that permeates every interaction with your community, with your employees, with your customers, with, wait for it, your ‘stakeholders’. Nothing more or less than a holistic approach to generosity and business.
Just do it
This is exactly where betterplace can come in: Besides our co-branded sites, where corporations present their social engagemnets in a transparent and activating way, we offer many tools for easy co-donation, for example by employees agreeing to a so-called round-up to their monthly wage check: Who really cares if they earn 2290,56 or 2296,-? By themselves, 56 Cent are not going to make much of a difference. But just imagine, what can be achieved, if you have many employees of a large corporations joining the effort, together supporting a common cause?