Articles by Month: September 2016
Prosper for Purpose Announces Membership with 1% for the Planet
CLEVELAND (September 20, 2016) – Prosper for Purpose, a Cleveland-based public relations firm, joined 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to support nonprofit organizations focused on the environment.
"Our member companies have donated more than $145 million to our environmental nonprofit partners to date. Currently, only 3% of total philanthropy goes to the environment and, only 3% of that comes from businesses. The planet needs bigger support than this, and our growing network of member businesses is doing its valuable part to increase giving and support on the ground outcomes. Our members lead with purpose and commitment, characteristics that consumers support. We're excited to welcome Prosper for Purpose to our global network," says Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet.
“Joining the 1% for the Planet networks allows us to further commit to our mission of doing well and doing good. After recently becoming a certified b corporation, this partnership will allow us to amplify our positive environmental impact,” says Lorraine Schuchart, Founder and CEO of Prosper for Purpose. Schuchart explains that she decided to join 1% after meeting with Williams and members of her staff.
Members of 1% for the Planet contribute one percent of annual sales directly to any of the approved nonprofit environmental organizations in the network. Nonprofits are approved based on referrals, track record and environmental focus. Over 4000 nonprofits worldwide are currently approved.
About 1% for the Planet
1% for the Planet is a global organization, leading a network of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals working together for a healthy planet. Launched in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, former owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, our network consists of more than 1,100 member companies and thousands of approved nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries. Brands whose products and services feature the 1% for the Planet logo give 1% of sales annually to nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting the environment. Our members have given more than $145 million back to the planet since 2002. Look for our logo and visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org to learn more.
About Prosper for Purpose
Prosper for Purpose is a public relations firm that helps purpose-driven organizations maximize their impact by building mutually beneficial relationships with their publics. The agency develops brands and optimizes relationships for growth and positive social impact. Prosper for Purpose is proud to be a Certified B Corporation, meeting the rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. For more information, visit www.prosperforpurpose.com.
In last week’s post, we talked about a disruptive approach to business; one that embraces social and environmental factors along with economic ones.
Why do we measure these things? Because at Prosper for Purpose, we are all about impact. Impact that enables us to do well by doing good. We measure impact in four areas: people, planet, prosperity and purpose. We call it our quadruple bottom line.
This week, we look at planet.
Walk into our office and the first thing you may notice is the absence of trash containers. No wastebaskets under desks. In fact, there is only one wastebasket in the entire office and it’s at our print and coffee station. We fill and empty it only once a week. How? Well, we work towards a goal of being a paperless office. We share and store our files online. We print contracts for signatures and documents for meetings and that is, essentially, it for printing.
But that’s not all. Here are some other things we do to measure our impact on, and stewardship of, our planet.
The Prosper for Purpose Planet Strategy:
- We recycle. Our single garbage can contains two bags: one for trash and one for recycling. Nearly every Friday, both are emptied, meaning our recycle to trash ratio is roughly 1:1. We’re working to improve that ratio.
- We use a programmable thermostat.
- We work at desks and tables made from reclaimed wood.
- Each desk has a high-end LED desk lamp that uses minuscule amounts of energy.
- Our main walls are made of glass, allowing for natural light throughout the day. Not only is natural daylight a free source of lighting for the office, it has been proven to improve worker productivity and satisfaction (as well as boost sales in retail settings).
- Our flexible environment helps minimize our carbon footprint.
- We’re working with B Corporation to incorporate an environmental management system.
- We became a member of 1% for the Planet!
Because we believe that health and wellness come from the environment, that business is responsible for positive change and that we can leave this big blue planet better than we found it, we joined an organization that is based on these beliefs. As a member of 1% for the Planet, we commit even more to our mission of doing well and doing good. After recently becoming a certified B corporation, this partnership will allow us to amplify our positive environmental impact.
Stay tuned as we share more about our work with B Corporation to create an environmental management system, and our developing relationship with 1% for the Planet.
Next week, we will look at prosperity.
In a business world that measures success by profit, a disruptive approach has slowly emerged. This approach embraces social and environmental factors along with economic ones. It is called a ‘triple bottom line’ and is built on a belief that I embraced when starting Prosper for Purpose–the belief that companies can do well and do good.
The triple bottom line philosophy holds that a company should combine traditional metrics of financial success with those that measure social and environmental impact. It is sometimes referred to as the 3P approach — People, Planet and Profit.
These three metrics are measurable and transparent; indeed, when our company became a Certified B Corporation earlier this year, we shared evidence of our metrics with B Lab, the company that provides the certification.
At Prosper for Purpose, we add a fourth component – Purpose. Less transparent and measurable than people, planet and profit, purpose is, for us, the thread that holds it all together.
Over the next four weeks, I will share how we approach our quadruple bottom line. This week, we look at People.
In addition to being the first component of our quadruple bottom line, People is Prosper’s very first value (you can see all our values here) because, as we say, if you’re not working with the right people, nothing else matters. This value is the lense through which we consider the clients and partners we work with and, perhaps most importantly, the people we invite to join #TeamProsper.
The first half of our mission statement is devoted to our team, “To grow a company dedicated to the development of our people.”
We look to hire incredibly talented people who also happen to be passionate about making a difference and believe that work is a great place to start. It’s that shared philosophy that inspires us to transcend traditional approaches, blending innovation into best practices and throwing in a generous dash of audacity.
This is our culture. Here are just a few of the programs it inspires:
The Prosper for Purpose Work/Life Integration Strategy:
- Our employees can work away from the office when they need to. This ‘need’ may arise from caring for children, travel, or needing a quiet space in which to write, plan or think.
- Team members stay home when they’re ill because sick time is given as needed. Those paid days off do not count against PTO.
- Speaking of PTO, ours starts at three weeks. We also throw in 10 holidays. All of this time out of office is paid for our full-timers.
Training and Personal Development: As a commitment to our value of lifelong learning, we provide ongoing training opportunities to all members of #TeamProsper. From association memberships to access to webinars and conferences, we are committed to the personal and professional growth of our team members.
Future Prosperity: We help employees save for their future through our Future Prosperity retirement program.
Parental Leave: A company that is truly committed to its employees must demonstrate commitment to their families. That is why we added a parental leave policy to our employee handbook earlier this year.
Purpose in Action: Prosper is committed to supporting activities that serve and enhance the communities in which we live and work. Therefore, employees are encouraged to become involved with local community service efforts. Each full-time employee is entitled to three days (24 hours) paid time off per year to volunteer their time to a nonprofit organization of their choice. Each part-time employee is entitled to 1 ½ days (12 hours) paid time off per year to volunteer.
In these ways and many others, Prosper fosters change that cultivates wellness and abundance through relationships rooted in shared vision.
I sought to create the company I wanted to work for. The result of that effort is the team of people I am grateful to work with.
In our next post we continue to #measurewhatmatters with Planet.
Think you might like to work at Prosper for Purpose? Go here for more information.
We shared with you the benefits of networking for your brand (both business and personal), but how exactly does one network? Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee and read on as we explain the ins and outs of creating a vast network. We’ll even throw in some helpful tips to make your networking experience a painless success.
Lesson 1: Begin with Friends
It may seem silly to think of your friends as a networking opportunity, but it’s an obvious and easy place to start growing your connections. Ask your friends to introduce you to their acquaintances, and once you’ve met, ask the acquaintances to introduce you to their acquaintances, and so on. Beginning with people you know gives you an “in” to start conversations with people you don’t know and provides practice so that approaching new people becomes natural and effortless.
Lesson 2: Take Advantage of Opportunities Offered by Alumni and Professional Associations
Believe it or not, there is more to those happy hours than free drinks and donation requests. Because nothing bonds people together quite like school pride, start with your college alumni association. Reach out to local alums and offer to grab a cup of coffee together. In many larger cities, alumni associations will occasionally host meetups or reunions. Instead of deleting those emails before reading beyond the subject line, try attending. You can meet some great people, reminisce about the good old days of undergrad, and maybe even learn a thing or two.
And don’t forget about professional associations. Many professions have association chapters that host get-togethers, seminars and yes, happy hours. Use these occasions as an opportunity to meet like-minded people who understand your career and challenges in the field. It’s a great way to find a mentor, learn about new opportunities and further connections.
Lesson 3: Social Media is Not Just for Selfies
What better way to easily connect with people than through the tool built for connecting people. More than just a place to house your favorite selfie, share a laughable meme or stay on top of the latest news, social media makes networking simple. Is there a businesswoman or entrepreneur you admire and would like to get to know? Draft your best message and press send. Try retweeting their helpful advice or like an article they share. Building relationships online is a great way to connect and expand your network with people across the world. But beware—there is a fine line between connecting and ‘creeping.’ If someone does not respond to a message, follow up once and then let it go. Sometimes they are too busy to respond, and other times they simply aren’t interested.
Lesson 4: Perfect the Elevator Speech
Your elevator speech is your one shot at catching someone’s attention and convincing them you are worth their time. It’s that golden moment between the first and fifth floor to grab the attention of the hiring manager at your dream company and secure an interview. It’s important to highlight your why and your how, and emphasize anything that makes you stand out from the others. Just remember to keep your pitch to 30 seconds or less.
Lesson 5: Tips and Tricks to Make You a Networking Pro
- Have a plan. Set some networking targets, such as a specific number of people to meet a month, and monitor the results. Keep track of who you meet, what they do and how you can help them.
- Find out how you can be useful. When you meet someone new, always ask how you can help them. Not only does this help you understand the person’s needs, but it keeps you in their mind. Finish every networking conversation with a business card and an offer to help.
- Always, always, always follow up. After each conversation and business card exchange, be sure to follow up. In today’s nonstop business world, taking two minutes to send an email or make a call can mean a lot and set you apart from others.