Here at Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.
What should be the main goal of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within a company? Should it be directed towards satisfying the demands of stakeholders by giving time and money to charitable causes? Should it strive to gain customer loyalty from its philanthropic efforts and thus reap benefits from increased sales and external interest in the company's stock? Or should it be implemented in response to pending legislation or criticism of the company's business practices?
Daniel Lubetzky, founder of the natural food company, KIND Healthy Snacks, doesn't seem to be satisfied with any of the above approaches. In a recent interview with PSFK, Mr. Lubetzky shares the creation story of KIND as well as his own CSR philosophy. He defines CSR as much more than just a PR exercise or a remedy for the pitfalls of capitalism; he sees it as driving force for social good. That is why when Daniel launched KIND 11 years ago, he says, he had more in mind than just the creation of healthy snack bars made from wholesome ingredients that consumers were passionate about or a profitable company that people loved. He envisioned a movement to make the world a little kinder—The KIND Movement.
The mission of the KIND Movement can be summed up in the following mantra found on the company's website: "being KIND to your body, KIND to your taste buds, and KIND to your world." In other words, the KIND brand aims to encourage conscious consumption while also promoting a general kindness towards oneself, others, and the global community.
How exactly does the KIND Movement work? Essentially, every month the KIND team supports a socially impactful idea that needs a little help getting off the ground financially. But instead of having KIND team members vote for the winning idea themselves, the company allows consumers to vote online under the "KIND Causes" tab of their website. But it doesn't end there. Instead of merely clicking the vote button for one's favorite KIND Cause, one must vote by committing to doing a kind act, such as holding the elevator, thanking a local hero, etc. Just on the first page of voting for the month of May alone, there are approx. 2,000 votes total. That represents a lot of people pledging to commit random acts of kindness. And the best part is, anyone can submit a KIND Cause proposal—especially those who need help the most. The only requirements are that the proposal must be designed to be completed within six months of winning and within a $10,000 budget. Cause creators must also be 18 years or older and must not have a 501(c)(3) to submit. The website also features a blog which highlights KIND cause stories, updates on current KIND happenings, and posts about kindness. Even the main page of the website is filled with images of kindness and inspirational quotes.
Clearly, the people of KIND are on a mission to make the world a little kinder one snack and act at a time. In doing so, the company advances the notion that there is more to CSR than just doing well and doing good; when implemented properly, CSR can be a catalyst for social change. The Giva team is pleased to salute the KIND Movement and its approach to CSR.