FEED Projects's goal is to market and sell as many bags as possible and to feed and educate the world's 400 million hungry children. Buy a bag online and you’ll know the exact impact of your purchase. For instance, if you purchase a $60 “Feed1” bag, the company lets you know that you’ll be feeding one school child in the developing world for an entire year; this photograph shows the founders Lauren Bush (left) and Ellen Gustafson visiting Rwanda. To date, FEED has donated more than 57 million meals to hungry children worldwide.
Hatched at Harvard, the website Her Campus donates 10 percent of every sale from its online store to DonateMyDress.org, the first national campaign designed to encourage girls around the country to donate their prom and special-occasion dresses to those who cannot afford them for prom, sweet 16, quinceañera, or formal parties. The Her Campus headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also served as a drop off location for girls in the area who wanted to donate their formal dresses.
Since April 2008, Super Jam has sponsored 120 tea parties for home-bound elderly people in Scotland, England, and Wales. Some of the events have hosted up to 600 guests, who enjoy live music, dancing and, of course, tea served with Super Jam and scones. Entrepreneur Fraser Doherty partners with community centers, schools, and workplaces, but funds the tea parties himself. The events, he says, are in honor of his Gran, who taught him how to make jam, and often brought her homemade scones and jam to elderly neighbors with her grandsons in tow.
The e-mail marketing company iContact operates under what its founders call the “4-1s” corporate social responsibility business model. The company gives 1 percent of equity to the iContact Foundation for future investment, 1 percent of its employees’ time to volunteering, 1 percent of its services pro bono to nonprofits in North Carolina, and 1 percent of payroll (roughly $150,000) to charity. Co-founder Ryan Allis (pictured) is also an active investor in start-ups and businesses in East Africa; co-founder Aaron Houghton volunteers regularly for Habitat for Humanity. The company also just achieved B Corporation status, a growing trend by which companies write corporate social responsibility into their articles of incorporation or other bylaws.
CityCraft founder Callie Works-Leary teaches a sewing class for about 25 women at the Genesis Women’s Shelter, a Dallas organization that provides housing and other services to women and children in need. The business has also donated sewing machines, sewing supplies and fabrics for the class. CityCraft supports the shelter and its clients, many of whom are leaving abusive relationships and seeking economic independence, in partnership with a group called Enchanted Makeovers, which supports shelters for women around the world.
Sarah Prevette helps spearhead “Twestival Toronto," part of a global social media fundraising initiative that successfully brings together Twitter communities around the world to highlight social injustice and raise funds. In 2009, Twestival raised awareness about the lack of clean drinking water in developing nations and contributed over $250k to charity: water. This year, Twestival raised over $460,000 for Concern Worldwide, which builds schools and brings teachers to some of the world’s poorest communities. Prevette notes that Twestival Toronto contributed over $20,000 to the total.
In the wake of the Haitian earthquake, an emergency SMS number (4636) was created but quickly swamped with pleas for help. Crowdflower stepped in alongside Samasource, another start-up that crowdsources labor, with technology that routed the messages to the Haitian diaspora volunteers for translation, and back to the proper emergency workers. Today, Crowdflower also works with Samasource to bring digital jobs to refugee camps.
Urban Escapes has strong relationships with the organizations that maintain the State Parks. Four times a year, the company hosts a Trail Appreciation Day, on which customers perform routine maintenance on an adopted trail. All of the proceeds from these trips go to support local trail organizations, such as the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.