What is a "for cause" brand?
There are some brands that exist primarily to support a cause that supports a public interest . Revenues from these brands are used to make huge donations in cash or kind or running empowerment programs that make measurable differences to people's life.
Here we are not talking about corporates who funnel sales by promising to donate some minor part of their sales but brands held by corporates and NGO's whose very objective is to use all the entire profit for a noble and elevating cause.
We are again not talking about buying cheap unusable products and services. We are not talking here about making disguised charity. Rather we are talking about giving priority in our life to products and services that deliver quality, whose pricing is comparable to their nearest competition and the lion share of their profits go towards a public good. It is a complete win-win deal.
Why should I give preference to a "for cause" brand?
As long as there is no compromise in your consumer experience and expectation, why would you not shift your consumption to "for cause" brand? Why would you not make your expenditure count for more? You loose nothing and the world gains. What a natural, effortless and integrated way to make a difference!
We see two questions that may need addressing here.
1. Can a non-profit organisation deliver on the promise of quality and efficiency?
It is believed that a non-profit organisations or corporates with such philanthropic ideas usually are not structured and efficient enough to deliver on the promise of quality and efficiency. Well, this has been the case till quite lately. But now the situation is rapidly changing.
The learning and integration curves have become considerably shortened due to the opportunities provided by the explosion of information technology and in specific the world wide web. Ability to outsource key business processes instead of hiring full-time professional talent, ability to connect directly with customers, knowledge at fingertips etc are assets that such organisations now have which enables them to play in the same field as the big boys. Some such noble-minded organisations have started to spread their wings to create avenues to raise funding, in an effort to go beyond charity.
2. How do we know that all or most of their profits go towards the cause that they say they are supporting?
Now, that is a tough one as only the element of trust can finally seal up this question. Anyone seeking to support and recommend products or services from such organisation should try to put up their due diligence report, the activity reports of the organisation and also testimonials from some eminent people. Certifications enjoyed by the owner of these brands and report from an independent auditor of repute may add up. Example, quality branded products run by NGOs (section 12 A, certified) would prima facie qualify for a recommendation here.
What will be our role here?
We shall recommend quality "for cause" goods and services,
a. In a private context contribute at least 50% of their profits towards the public cause they stand for.
b. Products and services from registered and genuine NGO (Example Those holding the Section 12A certification under the Indian Income Tax Act)
So are we ready to Buy from a cause?
Begin by registering yourself with this blog to enable us to include you in our list of people who are ready to make their expenditure count.