Why Social Responsibility Fuels Startup Success

June 15, 2015

8:00 pm

$41 Billion. $15 Billion. $11 Billion. These are the valuations for Uber, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

That’s a lot of pocket change.

With valuations like that, no wonder everyone under the sun is clamoring to start a business. In fact, entrepreneurship is on the rise in the U.S. according to Inc.

But often lost in the discussion is a topic that touches every business: responsibility. Not just any kind of responsibility, but the responsibility organizations have to the care of the planet and inhabitants living on it.

Some call it social responsibility. Others call it philanthropy. No matter what you refer to it as, giving back is something that should be a priority for every company.

You probably agree with that. In fact, you want your company to give back more. But, like many startups, time isn’t on your side.

If that’s the case, there’s something about social responsibility you need to know.

As Alicia Lawrence mentions in her insightful article:

“Case studies show social responsibility can have a positive impact on a startup’s growth and profits.”

Read that again.

The question is, why does social responsibility impact a startup's growth?

The social responsibility effect

Whether it’s money or time, people want to give back. That’s a fact.

If you don’t believe that, just look at the $15 million dollars Facebook’s donate button generated to aid the community in Nepal.

Giving back gives people a sense of purpose. It elevates them beyond the traditional focus of business, money. When it gets to this point it’s no longer about collecting a paycheck and going home.

Companies that understand this and have social responsibility built into their culture (Salesforce and Zendesk for example) attract people who are not only talented but driven by purpose.

A team driven by purpose is a powerful force that fuels a company’s success.


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Jeremy Brown is the Founder of the philanthropy initiative Startups Give Back ( Twitter: @socialjeremy.