How can a for-profit philanthropic company be more beneficial to a cause than a nonprofit? YourCause, an online platform for corporate social responsibility, answers this question with a guarantee held strongly from its creation: all donation funds are transferred directly to the charity organizations intended to receive them, with no money taken out to support the company itself. While most nonprofits subtract a fraction of their user's contributions to keep their business afloat, YourCause makes sure that the causes to which their users contribute are not denied a cent of what was intended for them. The program gains financial means instead through company memberships and investors that see promise in their purity.
The practice of corporate social responsibility has advanced tremendously, to the point of it being almost necessary from a public relations perspective to include in a business model. A company that implements outreaches to its community will be a noticed, caring, and therefore successful one. YourCause connects corporations and their employees to the philanthropic pursuits of their choice, whether that be monetary donations or volunteer work. It gives business heads the tools needed to track overall financial gifts and volunteer hours, create fundraising campaigns and service events, and ensures the organization meets its altruistic goals. It also helps individual workers donate and volunteer when and where they please, as well as set up payroll deductions, matching gifts, and "dollars-for-doers." In addition, there is a sustainability sector that corporations can use to track their environmental impact and educate employees on doing their part. YourCause makes the process easy for international corporations as well, with language and currency adaptation and worldwide volunteering opportunities.
Since the organization's founding in 2007, companies such as AOL, Levi, Blue Cross, and Ebay have signed up to support countless causes, from natural disasters to third-world education. In the year 2014 alone, the program tracked over 250 million dollars and over five million volunteering hours reaching charity organizations. Cumulatively, over three million users have connected to more than 70,000 nonprofits, donating upwards of one billion dollars. Any registered nonprofit can sign up for administrative access to the website, letting them add information about their cause to gain volunteers and brand recognition. YourCause aims to be a "win-win" business model, with every party involved getting what they desire while creating a shared profit in the form of global betterment.
The man behind this mission is Matthew Combs, CEO and founder. He created YourCause with the intent of providing as many people as possible easy access to philanthropy, and thereby granting worthy causes the recognition and support they deserve. Combs also decided to resist implementing a service fee that would take a percentage of monetary gifts, considering it to be a disservice to both the customer and the cause. As he puts it:
"I started this company to empower people to help others in need and to provide them with an opportunity to make our world a better place. And it's happening today. We are facilitating nonprofits with the funding to deliver food to the poor and water to the thirsty, to save rain forests and ocean waters, and to provide people in need with medications, vaccines, and medical help...I committed to NEVER use a transaction fee model or stand in the way of the donor and their cause. Instead, we would be a FOR PROFIT company, using our profits to sustain ourselves while simultaneously supporting the optimization of the donations transacted within our system."
Comb's decision, though morally upright, proved to be a financial risk. Several other for-profit competitors have begun springing up with a service fee implemented and slivers of donations being used for corporate gain. These competitors have risen higher in the ranks in terms of capital, bringing in millions more in revenue and attracting more wealthy investors for this reason. The fees also allow competitors to decrease membership dues, making YourCause look more pricey on the surface level. Nevertheless, the founder stands proudly by his decision, commenting, "To me, the loss of millions in value is a small price to pay for maintaining our dignity and changing our world." The foundation of this company is characterized by a unique and humbling standard amongst finance-driven giants: one that extends the idea of success beyond a numeric value or a set of corporate walls. Success to YourCause is clients and organizations profiting in the form of connections made, to improve qualities of life and environments worldwide. Indeed, it is "for-profit" in more ways than one.
For more information, visit the company's website.