Without fail, non-profits almost always have a better story than yours. For non-profits, their story is their mission or maybe their mission is their story. Either way, the stories inspire others to help the non-profits achieve a seemingly impossible goal that is greater than themselves.
Charity: Water exists to provide safe drinking water for people in developing nations. The problem is simple, direct, inspiring, and certainly achievable.
For profit companies have stories too, but their stories are rarely inspiring. A mission to help “increase shareholder value” is anything but inspiring. Companies like Starbucks and TOMS, however, have found a greater purpose than profits that also happen to align with their core business. Starbucks strives to give more back, in terms of fair price and assistance, to their coffee growers. TOMS believes in the buy 1, give 1 away model (shoes in their case).
Socially forward thinking businesses benefit in more ways than good will. The greater purpose is a rallying and inspiration point for your employees. If you find your story inspiring, others probably will too which can create a fair amount of publicity. Ultimately, you are providing a needed service to solve a problem and is that not what any business should be doing?
photo credit: TeeCycle Tim