For eight months now, we’ve been telling stories about social enterprises that are selling great products in order to do great things in the world – jewelry that helps trafficked women, candles that support refugee communities or new moms, coffee that creates hope for disconnected youth.
Nothing makes us happier than hearing from a reader who says, “I never knew there were so many ways to support social good with my everyday spending.” That kind of feedback tells us that we’re succeeding in our mission to raise awareness of the social enterprise sector.
But awareness is only half the mission. The other half is activation, and that’s why we just launched a new effort we’re calling the Spend-Gooder Pledge.
The Pledge is not about spending more – just more intentionally. It’s a commitment to look at your current lifestyle spending and shift $5 a week, on average from “mass brands” to “mission brands.”
We think it’s easy to shift your spending once you shift your mindset, but in case you’re not quite there yet, here are our Top 5 reasons to take the Pledge:
1. You can help spark a movement
Surveys tell us that 120 million Americans think of themselves as “conscious consumers,” so clearly a lot of people want to do good with their spending. But as far as we know, no one has ever tried to turn that vague motivation into any kind of a true movement.
By putting a name on it and setting an aspirational spending goal of just $5 a week, we’re aiming to create a sense of identity and community for Spend-Gooders.
By 2025, we hope to see 1 million pledges and $260 million in annual impact spending. That kind of support would be transformational for the social enterprise sector, where marketing budgets can’t compete with the big, national brands
But in the last few months of 2020, our goal is “just” 1,000 pledges — probably the toughest of all. We want to recognize and remember our earliest supporters, so we’re creating a personalized social media graphic for the first 999. You’ll get yours in a confirmation email when you take the Pledge.
One day, when membership reaches 1 million, we think it will be pretty cool to know you were there back in the triple digits.
2. You can be an influencer for something that matters
You don’t have to buy “our” featured brands to make good on your pledge.
At Cause Consumer, we’re here to tell stories about social enterprises that we love, but we don’t pretend to be the curator of all that’s good.
That’s why, in early 2021, we’ll launch a private Facebook Group for Spend-Gooders. It’s a platform where you can share your own discoveries, favorite brands, and local resources. You can offer product reviews and shopping hacks or hear from other Spend-Gooders how they’re making good on their Pledge.
We want to know about the best swaps you’ve made in your own life as you shift from mass brands to mission brands, and we’ll connect you with social enterprise founders to answer your questions, share exclusive discount codes, and more.
Plus, it’s a chance to win lots of great stuff, as you’ll see below.
3. You can make it fit your budget
This is a big one, given the economic turmoil caused by the current pandemic. Social impact brands often cost a little more because they’re not paying pennies a day to sweatshop workers in the developing world.
When a company is trying to do right by people and planet, its products probably won’t be the cheapest on the market. For instance, fair trade products tend to cost about 15% more than the competition, and we’ve seen similar price trends with domestic social enterprises.
If you hesitate to take the Pledge because money is tight, we totally respect that … but we also offer two things to consider:
- First, we’ll be teaming up with social enterprise brands to offer exclusive discounts for Spend-Gooders. Often these discounts match or exceed the 15% average markup for ethical products, so you can shop for value and values at the same time.
- Second, focus on gifting occasions to make good on your Pledge. When you add up birthdays, anniversaries, and major holidays, all those gifts probably add up to more than $5 a week. Instead of an FTD bouquet or a Starbucks gift card, why not send a gift that gives twice? The people in your life probably value the same things you do, and they’ll appreciate the story and the impact behind your gift.
Need a little help with that “impact gifting”? We’re here for you. As a Spend-Gooder, you can email us for personalized gift suggestions. Just tell us the occasion plus the recipient’s age and gender, and we’ll get right back to you with our best ideas, based on our unmatched knowledge of the social enterprise sector.
4. You can feel empowered, not judged
Our goal at Cause Consumer is to create awareness of the social enterprise sector and to open up your imagination to all the good you can do when you purchase social enterprise brands. That’s why we’re asking people to take the Spend-Gooder Pledge as a way of saying, “I understand, I care, and I’m in.”
We aim to inspire and encourage – but never to judge. We’d love to hear about your wins and your discoveries (see the point above about our new Facebook Group), but we’re not asking you to document your spending or risk being “kicked out.”
5. You can win lots of swag
As a part of our social impact mission at Cause Consumer, we try to make sure that our marketing dollars are doing something good in the world. So instead of feeding the advertising machine at Facebook or Google, we buy items from the social enterprises we believe in and use those products as marketing incentives to help grow our audience.
Every month, we’ll feature multiple giveaways that are open only to those who’ve taken the Spend-Gooder Pledge — not through our regular social channels. This month we’re featuring a one-of-a-kind scarf from our designer friend Abi Ferrin, who teaches fashion industry skills to help women coming out of abusive relationships.
Anyone who takes the Pledge by Oct. 31, 2020, is entered to win, so please take 60 seconds and do it now.
Spend for good: Every week we offer original reporting to help you create a better world with the money you’re spending, anyway. Be sure you never miss a story! Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.