Change is often spurred by inspiration or education through exposure to new ideas or stories of positive impact. So if you’re looking for a little of both, why not invest some time in reading books about philanthropy and business?
Here are three CSR reads that will make you think differently:
Let My People Go Surfing – The education of a reluctant businessman, Yvon Chouinard
Yvon Chouinard is the founder of outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia and the 1% for the Planet movement (which asks businesses to give 1% of their sales to non-profits). This memoir of sorts is the story of an innovator and entrepreneur that believed that social responsibility (in Chouinard’s case, to the environment) was integral to how he built and operated his business. An insightful and inspiring read, sales from the book also go toward the 1% for the Planet movement.
Screw Business As Usual, Richard Branson
Virgin Group founder and all round inspirational entrepreneur Richard Branson’s book, Screw Business As Usual, looks at how companies can and should drive change in the world by being socially and ethically led in the way they operate.
Writing on capitalism, he says in the book: “Screwing business as usual means building people and planet into the core of business activities – so that our operations work to create more and better jobs, conserve and restore natural resources, and help to make people healthier and happier, while also creating strong financial returns. I’ve long said that there is no contradiction between social and environmental aims and commercial ones. In fact, they are mutually reinforcing, and the future profitability of business depends on integrating social and environmental values into the core of our business strategies. So screwing business as usual fundamentally recognises that doing good is good for business.”
Practicing what he preaches, 100% of the book’s royalties go to Virgin Unite, the group’s not-for-profit foundation.
Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie
Start Something That Matters is a book that encourages people to love what they do – while also helping others. Its author, Blake Mycoskie, has plenty of experience doing just that as the founder of TOMS – a shoe, coffee and eyewear company – which practices a One-for-One philosophy. Essentially, for every pair of TOMS shoes sold, a child in need receives a pair; for every pair of TOMS glasses sold, a person’s sight is restored; and for every bag of TOMS coffee sold, a week’s worth of clean water is given to a person in need. It’s a light read, but a worthwhile one, that will make you rethink the ways businesses can give back.
Inspired? Talk to Benojo about how we can help your business and its CSR strategy.