Erin Klem  | December 18, 2015

4 Businesses that Make Giving Their Business

Throughout the month, our Giving Challenge has highlighted the different ways businesses are giving back. Whether small, medium, or large, businesses are giving resources, time, and money to the community—and their stories are incredible.

Most businesses give back along with normal business operations. But some companies make it their business to give back.  Through “buy one, give one” models or buying from local artisans, these four businesses are using business to make communities better.

  • Darn Good Yarn. Nicole Snow’s Maine-based yarn shop is unlike any other. Back in 2008, Nicole decided to combine her passion for art and helping others and open Darn Good Yarn. The yarn is crafted by 300 women in Nepal and India using reclaimed materials that would otherwise be thrown away, thereby cutting waste in those countries by 10,000 pounds.
  • Dog Tag Bakery. Located in the nation’s capital, Dog Tag Bakery goes above and beyond serving delicious treats. Founded by Fr. Rick Curry, SJ and Connie Milstein, Dog Tag Bakery is both a bakery and a hands-on educational program for vets. Vets in the program are applying the skills in the classroom—such as accounting, marketing, and baking—to what they’re doing in the bakery, equipping them with tools and skills they can apply to careers after graduating.
  • Kate Spade. Kate Spade’s On Purpose program is empowering women in Rwanda through trade. On Purpose brought together 150 artisans in Rwanda and trained them to create a for-profit business. This led to a manufacturing facility, ADC, where these artisans produce goods to be sold to Kate Spade. Each of these women are salaried, registered owners of ADC and employ at least four other women.
  • Warby Parker. Warby Parker breaks it down into four simple steps: Shop, Donate, Train, and Go Forth. At the end of each month, Warby Parker tallies up the number of glasses sold and makes a donation equivalent to the cost of sourcing that number of glasses to their nonprofit partners. These partners then train people in developing countries to give basic eye exams and sell glasses to the community for a small cost. Through this process of selling and training, Warby Parker is providing long-term solutions to eye care for a million people and counting.

Is your business giving back to the community? Tweet your story and include #bizgiving.

Know a business that is doing good and giving back? Tell them to tweet their story using #bizgiving.