Toms Shoes, the company that pioneered the “buy one, give one” social entrepreneurship model into the mainstream, is now reconsidering its business and social impact model. For every shoe sold, the company provides a pair to an underprivileged child in a developing nations and, although this sounds like a great idea, this model has come under fire numerous times. Critics question whether such models actually relieve poverty, or if they simply perpetuate it by failing to provide any sustainable improvements to a recipient’s or community’s quality of life.
It seems the company is starting to take these concerns to heart: TOMS will be opening a manufacturing facility in Haiti which will employ 100 Haitians starting in January 2014. By the end of 2015, they have pledged to produce 1/3 of all their products in a “responsible, sustainable” environment – meaning in locations that they actually donate and distribute shoes.
What do you think about the buy on, give on model? Is it productive or damaging to communities receiving the model’s output? Comment or send us a tweet @ImpactFlo to get the conversation started!
What is the Millennial Impact Report?
Last week, Achieve and The Case Foundation, along with their partners, released the Millennial Impact Report, an assessment of the social impact activity of people under 30, aka the Millennial generation. The report includes data about Millennials’ propensity to donate, their expectations from nonprofit organizations’ websites, reporting, social impact and social media practices.
CNN partnered with the Tampa Bay Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting to disseminate the results of a yearlong investigation of American charities’ shortcomings as organizations. It is clear from the findings that nonprofit transparency is an urgent issue. [You can check out their list of 50 worst charities in America here.]
The article, published last week, has garnered significant media attention for the poor scores many organizations received. In one case, an organization spent less than 1% of their total revenue on their mission. Less than 1%! This number, of course, is shameful and disturbing, not only for the needy but also for the donors who had entrusted the organization to do good.