Articles by Month: February 2016
Agency acknowledged for commitment to clients, employees and community
CLEVELAND (February 16, 2016) – Prosper for Purpose, a Cleveland-based public relations and development agency, today announced that it has become a Certified B Corporation. By earning the prestigious designation, Prosper for Purpose joins the ranks of Etsy, Patagonia, Warby Parker, Columbus-based Jeni’s Ice Cream and Cleveland-based Eco Watch in meeting the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
The certification is issued to businesses by the international nonprofit B Lab. With a goal to redefine success in business, B Lab recognizes companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
The philosophy was inherent in the goals of Prosper for Purpose from its founding in January 2013. "We launched to help mission-driven organizations prosper through collaboration, creativity and purpose,” said Founder and CEO Lorraine Schuchart. “When I read about B Corporations, I discovered that Prosper was already adhering to many of the guidelines.”
Prosper for Purpose becomes the first marketing and communications agency in Cleveland, and the first nonprofit consulting and fundraising agency in Ohio, to obtain B Corp certification. The agency joins more than 1,400 Certified B Corps globally – including eight others in Ohio – with one common goal: to use business as a force for good.
“This is our public commitment to our do well by doing good philosophy. We are thrilled to now have the opportunity to benchmark and measure our positive impact on our communities, the environment and our employees,” states Schuchart.
In addition to primarily working with cause-driven organizations, Prosper encourages corporate social responsibility for employees through paid volunteer time, ongoing professional development and telecommuting. Prosper has also contributed considerable pro bono work for local nonprofits, including professional development training and public relations services.
About Prosper for Purpose
Prosper for Purpose guides, serves and works alongside leaders of mission driven companies and nonprofit organizations, as well as artists and entrepreneurs, to create successful brands and increase revenues. An integrated approach to marketing and development helps clients build better relationships, bring meaning to their mission, do well and do good – in other words, to prosper for purpose.
About B Corp
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change by: 1) building a global community of Certified B Corporations who meet the highest standards of verified, overall social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability; 2) promoting Mission Alignment using innovative corporate structures like the benefit corporation to align the interests of business with those of society and to help high impact businesses be built to last; 3) helping tens of thousands of businesses, investors, and institutions Measure What Matters, by using the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics to manage their impact -- and the impact of the businesses with whom they work -- with as much rigor as their profits; 4) inspiring millions to join the movement through compelling story-telling by B the Change Media. For more information, visit www.bcorporation.net.
You’ve probably seen Prosper for Purpose hinting at a big announcement these past few weeks, and we’re so excited to finally share it with you. We are incredibly proud to announce that Prosper for Purpose is a Certified B Corporation. The ‘B’ stands for benefit.
There are more than 1,400 Certified B Corporations in nearly 50 countries but only nine in Ohio. Prosper for Purpose is honored to be among those nine B Corps, and we’re incredibly proud to announce that we are the first marketing and communications agency to receive certification in Northern Ohio, and the very first certified nonprofit consulting and fundraising agency in the state.
So, what is a B Corporation, and what does this mean for Prosper? B Corporations are part of a global movement of people using business as a force for good. Certified B Corps meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Think of B Corp certification as a Fair Trade certification–like LEED or USDA Organic–that’s not just for a building or product but for the business as a whole.
By receiving B Corporation certification, we join a movement of like-minded organizations who strive to not only be the best in the world but also to be the best for the world. Through this certification, we have the opportunity to set benchmarks as a business for good, and to learn how we can build and improve upon those measurements for the future.
B Corporation certification was a natural fit for Prosper. We’ve always believed that businesses should do well and do good, and that in a business world that follows a ‘zero sum game’ philosophy, we can all win through collaboration, creativity and purpose. Since our founding three years ago, we’ve made a conscientious effort to support this belief, from choosing to work with mission-driven organizations, offering pro bono services through our Prosper Project, giving back to our Cleveland community through volunteerism and regulating our office’s consumption of energy and other resources. Becoming a B Corp further demonstrates our commitment to these values.
Any organization can apply to be a B Corporation. B Lab, the company behind B Corps, has a rigorous certification process, where they survey and closely examine a company’s social and environmental impact on all its stakeholders, including its employees, vendors, community, consumers and the environment. Organizations must receive at least 80 out of a possible 200 points to receive certification, and they must be recertified every two years.
Some states have passed legislation that legally requires B Corps to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers and environment as well as shareholder value. While Ohio has yet to pass such legislation, B Corp certification still allows Prosper to introduce conversations in our community about the importance of being cognizant about our social and environmental impact.
If we haven’t mentioned it yet, Prosper for Purpose is so proud to be a part of this inspiring movement. We look forward to sharing this journey with you and to continue our mission of communicating for a better world.
In today’s business world, employee volunteer programs are as commonplace as meetings, business trips and conference calls. Some of the most notable organizations have taken strides to increase their philanthropic efforts and create robust employee volunteer programs. Yet, some still question the value of volunteering.
To some, volunteering is a one-sided equation offering benefits only to the recipient of the deed. But in actuality, volunteering is just as valuable to an organization and its employees. Here’s how:
Employees who volunteer report more job satisfaction and improved morale
When someone volunteers, several things happen. They feel good about themselves for helping others. They form connections. They witness the impact of their actions, however small. When people volunteer, they not only improve the lives of the recipient, they are also improving their own lives. And when employees volunteer through their organization, they experience the same positive benefits, but with an added bonus: they feel good about where they work.
When an organization actively gives back to the community, employees feel they are working for an employer that is truly concerned with the betterment of others, and they are proud to be a part of it. They believe they aren’t just working for a paycheck; they are working for a purpose.
Volunteer programs serve as a recruitment tool for up-and-coming talent
Recent studies show that when job searching, nearly half of all millennials are more likely to apply to organizations they feel are working toward a better tomorrow. They want to work for a company with values similar to their own and have the flexibility to allow them to support those values.
With one-third of today’s workforce comprised of millennials, companies increase their chance of hiring top talent when they support employee volunteering. Not only does the company widen its talent pool, but it is also more likely to attract individuals who share the company’s values. Many times, employees serve as the ambassadors of the brand, and having employees who exhibit the company’s beliefs can have immense value with customers.
Getting involved in the community drives brand recognition
When employees enter the community on behalf of their organization, they are promoting the organization’s brand to the public. They’re showing people firsthand the company’s beliefs and values.
Additionally, employees are interacting with individuals on a personal level, and this face-to-face, human interaction leaves people with a positive impression of the brand that is more valuable than any advertisement. Individuals appreciate the organization’s efforts to enhance the community, and they are reminded that there are real people behind the brand.
While many larger companies have robust employee volunteer programs, there are simpler ways for your organization to give back. Here are a few easy ways you can make a positive presence in your community:
1. Offer skills-based volunteering, which is a great way for employees to lend their talents to those in need. Through skills-based volunteering programs, employees are matched by their specialized skills and talents with nonprofit organizations needing the help of these individuals to build and sustain their infrastructures. Examples of service may include assisting with bookkeeping, providing PR support or serving on a board.
2. Consider a company-wide, single-day volunteer initiative to encourage employees to become more involved. Employees will feel more motivated to take time off if they know everyone is involved. Plan a day to visit a food bank, homeless shelter or other organization where you can work together as a team. You’ll help an organization and individuals in need, and you’ll form stronger relationships among team members.
3. Ditch the holiday party and arrange a collection drive. Take the money you typically spend on a holiday party and use it to purchase donation items for an organization you support. Or consider encouraging employees to make a monetary donation in a coworker’s name instead of purchasing gifts.