Thursday, December 30, 2010

Break Open the Bubbly! Best of 2010 Awards for Philanthropic, Benevolent, Purpose Driven Businesses

Benjamin Franklin's adage: "Do Well by Doing Good " has never proven to be so true as this past year. While this has been a tough economic year for many companies, businesses that have been founded on the principle of blending philanthropy and a purpose with good business have been thriving. And receiving recognition for doing so has become an exciting trend in 2010.

This past fall nearly every major city or region has held business philanthropy awards with categories for both large corporations and small businesses and we noted some of these award ceremonies in November. Yet more and more philanthropic businesses and their founders have been receiving  awards or accolades from their industry peers not only for their outstanding commitments and contributions to their communities through volunteering and philanthropy but also, and more remarkably, for their success in building and growing businesses with quality products. These achievements are especially notable as they prove that businesses that do good can indeed do well in spite of the difficult economic times.

The following businesses have been profiled here, and we are proud to have discovered them early on!
Lauren Bush of FEED, was honored to accept the Humanitarian of the Year award at The Accessories Council Excellence (ACE) Awards
Next week I am excited to go hear the founder of the FEED, Lauren Bush speak at my daughter's alma mater, a local girl's private high school in the area. What excites me is that last July we profiled the FEED project, a company that sells FEED bags, handbags and now also other fashion accessories that help support programs that are eradicating hunger. Since then, this philanthropic venture has not only expanded their product line, captured general acclaim for their humanitarianism, but has also garnered awards and recognitions from the fashion accessories industry as well.

Ecojot: has won the Bronze at the 2010 Canadian Design Exchange Award. The category was Visual Communications Brand & Identity.
Last June, we profiled Ecojot, makers of 100% post-consumer recycled paper products which donates school supplies to kids in need around the world through their corporate giving model  "Buy one, we give one". What was special about this award to Ecojot was the acclaim they received for the design quality of their products from the industry, while having their philanthropic purpose acknowledged at the ceremony.

Mission Street Chinese: 2010 winner of the Eater Awards for " Empire Builder of the Year, San Francisco" from
Well I don't know exactly what "Empire Builder" means, but it sounds great and perhaps refers to the amazing transformation that this business has gone through. Mission Street Chinese/Restaurant along with its sister restaurant Commonwealth, began as a food truck and then became Mission Street Food -where they rented the space of a Chinese restaurant two nights a week and donated a portion of their proceeds to local causes. Their story launched and inspired our blog , as they have been a "benevolent business" (as they call themselves) from their very beginnings and continue to do so. I like the idea of benevolent business empires!

Give Something Back: San Francisco Business Times’ Community Change & Impact Award; U.S. Small Business Administration Business of the Year; Newman's Own/George Award; E-Achievement Award; San Francisco Business Times Top Corporate Philanthropists Awards; Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 100 and Inc. 500” (8 out of 9 years); Classy Awards finalist for Philanthropic Business of the Year
We profiled the company Give Something Back, an office products company in a three part interview with founder Mike Hannigan. Since then, Give Something Back has been receiving awards and acclaim for both their philanthropic business model and their achievement in business growth  from so many organizations and institutions.

Sweets Truck: Classy Awards finalist for Small Philanthropic Business of the Year;named 2010 Los Angeles Small Philanthropic Business of the Year
When we first wrote about Sweets Truck and their commitment to support their community, we found the idea very sweet and charming, not to mention yummy. Then later we were very excited about their nomination for Classy Awards an awards competition recognizing the top philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses, and individuals in eight major cities nationwide.

e-Cycle: Inc. magazine has named e-Cycle number 763 in its 2010 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing, privately-held, for-profit companies in the U.S.
Perhaps the most telling of all the awards and acclaim are the ones that come from industry leaders acknowledging the success of a business. e-Cycle has proven to be a leader amongst philanthropic and green companies achieving business success not in spite of their purpose, but most likely as a result. We were thrilled to interview their co-founder, Tonia Irion about the philanthropic side of their business.

Congratulations to all of these business for their achievements and for their inspiration to others.I look forward to seeing this trend of recognizing philanthropic businesses to build even more in 2011. It is going to be a great year with more and more businesses becoming philanthropic and more and more public acclaim for their mission to "do well by doing good".

No comments: