As you may know, Avery Verse is a social enterprise, which means we work to marry business with change and to produce a viable eco-system of transformation.
I use the word viable because a charity is always needing to ask for more money, while a business is already generating those funds via the normal course of trade. Therefore, a social enterprise is a self-sustaining charity that doesn’t need quarterly fundraising to exist.
This is important to understand also because we see so much waste by charities. There’s a great website called Charity Navigator that helps offer insight into the groups you support. What you’ll find is that there are many brilliant ones, and many that are ineffective and wasteful.
One reason for this waste, I believe, is that they’re not using their own money. When something is on the line that is very close to you (your business staying afloat for instance) you make decisions with greater effectiveness. In turn, we make decisions knowing full well that our customers want change and won’t accept wastefulness on our end. So the pressure is needed to produce good results.
So, for 2017 we’d like to focus the entire year on one of three possible initiatives that promote a stronger society and improve the environment. We’re going to let you choose which cause you’d like us to support for this very reason - you keep us from being lazy.
The options are:
These are some pretty broad categories we’ve put together for a variety of reasons. The main one is that our hope is for all our donations to have a multiplication effect. An example of this could be seen with ‘water’.
We may focus on water distribution and support causes that are looking to build irrigation systems which would improve agriculture. Improving agriculture would enrich people in a community who could invest their funds from harvesting a better crop in to better schooling for their children. This in turn could produce a more educated and richer nation that can invest in greater environmental protection measures.
Quite a long chain of events, right?
Now while it may not follow this route exactly, the objective is to target something which has the potential to grow exponentially without further investment on our part. The end goal being then that we help to create a wealthy and stable community which can in turn transform the environment.
This is very clear in the western world where it was only at the point of material comfort that we then began focusing on environmental and societal ills that could be rectified. Once the struggle to feed ourselves was resolved, then macro issues were addressed. This is very important to admit because you can’t realistically get someone to care about the environment when they can’t even pay their bills.
Now this doesn’t mean you don’t work to improve and heal the environment today. But rather that you look for impact that can have immediate and long term benefits. This ensures the net result of your giving is a multi-generational change, which is the only change that really every sticks.
Love to hear your thoughts on our approach, so please let us know in the comments below alongside your vote for our 2017 initiative.