by Karen Skidmore | 08,20 | Impact Report
If I make X each month, then I’ll give X to charity.
This is what I used to believe; that I had to make enough in order to give enough.
But this ‘if this then that’ thinking messed with me.
In my first few years of business, it didn’t even occur to me that I could use my business to ‘do good’. Yes, I wanted to make a difference to my clients but that was as far as I took my thinking. And in my early years of business, I just wanted to sell enough to make a good income and create a career that could fit around my young family.
As I started to write about True Profit Business and research how money, creativity and impact work together, I got interested in how business could genuinely do good, and not just as a thinly disguised marketing stint. However, I still stopped from taking any real action by my ‘if this then that’ thinking.
I just couldn’t get excited about giving a percentage of profits so any thoughts about wanting to contribute didn’t make it past the idea stage.
Then in 2019, I had a real shift. Thanks to the work of Alisoun Mackenzie and a deep dive into how to incorporate impact into my business at her Give To Profit conference, I came away realising that I had my giving statement all wrong.
Giving didn’t have to start when I had made ‘enough’.
Giving could start from where I was; right here, right now.
And what really got me excited into taking action was the idea that giving could become far more than a meaningless transaction.
Fast forward eighteen months and I am proud to give you my latest Impact Report.
Since May 2019, we have made $691.64 in donations, which has created 10,820 impacts broken down across these projects:
- 4770 days of literacy and business training for women in Uganda
- $156 to support wildlife affected by Australian bushfires
- 5880 days of access to personal hygiene to girls in need
- 14 days of business training program to women in Zambia
We support a new project every four months, which is voted for by our members in Momentum at the start of our new planning cycles. Each project has been selected to support the two United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that I believe will support my vision for the future:
- Gender Equality – the empowerment of women around the world to not only be safe but to have choices in how they live, work, contribute and lead.
- Responsible Consumption and Production – supporting businesses that choose to do good, be good and treat our planet with the respect that it deserves.
We make a donation every four months based on how many weekly Accountability Reports are submitted by our Momentum members.
No more waiting to see if there is enough profit in the pot at the end of the year. Just a simple count of reports at the end of each 90 Day plan which, thanks to the organisation www.B1G1.com, embeds our giving into our processes.
I love the fact that our giving is now based on activity, rather than sales, which has breathed life into our business impact for me. Plus there’s nothing like using an additional emotional reason to help keep our members motivated to post weekly Accountability Reports, which in turn helps keep me committed to my giving goals throughout the year!
Now this way of using client activity is not the holy grail of impact. There are lots of ways of how you could incorporate raising funds and supporting projects into your business.
What this process does is give me a business model that works for me, rather than have me working hard trying to work it. And that’s what I believe is key; having a process that excites you and inspires you to take action, rather than have an idea that never makes it past your to-do list.
If you are inspired by how you can create more impact with your business, get in touch. I’d love to know more about what you want to do and if I can help in any way.
Until next time, do less, be more and play bigger.
by Karen Skidmore | 05,20 | Impact Report, Leadership
Last year I decided to align my business so it can become a real force for good and, in particular, in how I can contribute towards the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
(You can read about these SDGs here if you want to know more https://www.globalgoals.org/)
One way I have decided to do this is to use the Accountability Reports that each of our Momentum members posts each week to donate to specific causes I want to support. I use an organisation called www.B1G1.com which allows me to give to charities easily through a process of “whenever we do this, we make something great happen in our world'”.
As of next week, I have decided to up the value of each accountability report from $1 to $2, which means for every Accountability Report they post over the next 90 days, they have the potential of helping me donate $408 by the end of August.
There’s nothing like using an additional emotional reason to help keep our members motivated to post weekly Accountability Reports. Plus it helps keep me committed to my giving goals throughout the year!
I have just decided on three projects that I would like to support and I’ve just asked my Momentum members to vote on the one we will be supporting for this next 90-day cycle.
And, I’ll admit … it was bloody hard to pinpoint three projects that I wanted to support this time around.
With so much attention going on raising funds for our NHS right now, I got confused about where I should be focusing my impact right now. With so many charities needing our support at this current time, how do any of us decide who we support?!?
Should I be moving away from my SDG goals and B1G1 commitment, and switch?
We can’t support every charity. As much as we all like to give when we can, we just don’t have the funds to give to everyone, do we?
And yet if we stay undecided, we end up supporting no one.
Wrestling with this dilemma this morning has made me realise why it’s important for us all to spend time to keep connected with the vision we have for the future. Our vision is our guiding light; our North Star if you like.
And this morning I reminded myself of my vision.
“Imagine a world where our global political and economic drivers are deeply connected to our spirituality and humanity; a world where money, creativity and impact are aligned to give us a planet where every person, animal and ecosystem thrives.”
Reading this again helped me see why I needed to continue to support the two SDGs that I believe will support my vision for the future:
Gender Equality – the empowerment of women around the world to not only be safe but to have choices in how they live, work, contribute and lead.
Responsible Consumption and Production – supporting businesses that choose to do good, be good and treat our planet with the respect that it deserves.
Once I reconnected with my vision again, the choice of what projects to present became easy. I was able to select based on my top-down criteria.
These are the three projects I presented to my members today. Although your vote can’t be counted (Momentum members only, I’m afraid!), I’d love to know which project you’d vote for if you had to.
And if you find the choice hard, I get it. Choosing who we support can be tough and I hope by sharing this story with you today it helps you make your decisions on who to give to and how to do it.
The important thing I believe is that we DO make a decision.
Because, if we stay undecided, we end up supporting no one.
Project 1: Train a Farmer in Sustainable Farming
Logging the rainforest is a dangerous job that takes you away from your family and compromises the water you depend on for life. Loggers in Indonesia know this but have no alternative livelihood. By teaching farmers sustainable farming techniques like crop rotation, using organic fertilizers and pesticides, these farmers no longer have to practice slash and burn agriculture, but can farm the same land year after year. Train one farmer in sustainable farming techniques and you will protect the rainforest and improve community well-being.
Project 2: Fund a Social Entrepreneur
Fund a social entrepreneur and help to make a change through financial support, which is inclusive of the start-up costs needed to set up a pilot initiative or business. Seed funding, especially the costs of setting up a pilot are critical in the early days of a start-up social entrepreneur. These entrepreneurs are primarily solving social problems around livelihood, education, health & wellbeing, environment, agriculture and waste management, leading to long-term solutions for problems occurring daily in India.
Project 3: Empower Women with Literacy and Business Skill
Five Talents is a microfinance organization that uplifts the world’s poorest families. Your support helps women build their own businesses through education, business training and access to financial services, which supports their families and entire communities – paving the way for a sustainable future. Poverty levels in Uganda are high, access to electricity and education are limited and the country relies heavily on agriculture. This project works with the community to address their specific needs and find ways to diversify their incomes.
Until next time,
by Karen Skidmore | 02,20 | Impact Report, Leadership
How often do you stop and consider the impact you are making?
Not how many sales you’ve made this month. Or how many new leads you’ve got. Or even how much money you’ve made.
But how your business is making a difference.
Now before you begin to wonder whether this is an either/or question, it’s not. Money is still an important energy in your business, whether you are a commercial, social or charitable business. But for us to thrive whilst growing a business, we need the energies of money, creativity and impact.
The reason why I wanted to share the important message of impact today was that I was delighted to see one of my Momentum members featured in her local newspaper. Linda is a transformational life coach who came to work with us last summer to help get her business back on track. It was apparent very quickly that what Linda needed help with was to build up her confidence and FEEL more in tune with what she was offering, rather than focus on DOING lots of marketing tactics.
This may sound a little woo woo but, in my experience, we can not grow our business sustainably unless we’ve connected energetically with our goals and the plans on how to get there.
It doesn’t matter how wonderful your new marketing funnel is. If you’re not energetically connected with it or feel at all heavy about the whole process, it ain’t going to work!
Part of this connection process is understanding the importance of impact in our business and how it serves not just the people we are impacting, but also ourselves as we stretch into our potential.
We helped Linda unlock this and find focus on how she could achieve this in her business. She took an idea of starting up a Chattie Cafe, events for people who may feel lonely in the community, and got funding from the Co-op Local Community Fund and Lions Club to keep them going on a regular basis.
Now, for some people, they may consider a project like this a distraction from the act of having to make sales. But this isn’t an either/or opportunity.
The confidence Linda has found in leading this project has not only helped and provide critical wellbeing support for her local community but also helped her step up her own coaching business and establish herself as a recognised member of her local community. She got herself ‘out there’ without having to be always marketing her commercial business.
It’s what I would call a win win win! A win for the local community, a win for Linda’s confidence and leadership skills and a win for Linda’s paying clients.
The energy of impact is needed to ensure you align your drive to make money, with who you are as a person and the difference you want to make.
This is what I call True Profit Business. If you want to know, you can get a copy of my book over on Amazon.
Until next time, do less, be more, play bigger.