On August 30, 2013, Causely wrote a check to our non-profit partner, Soles 4 Souls, for a whopping $46.80.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that number, but if you’re trying to become the “most philanthropic company” in the world, you know you have a long way to go.
We Started Causely Because We Are Nice People and Also Kind of Crazy
When we started Causely, we had a hunch.
Our hunch was that business owners want more out of running a business than profit alone - they want to positively affect the lives of others, too.
And we knew that if every business focused just a small portion of their influence and resources to improving our world, it would be an amazing gift to mankind.
So we set a a big, hairy, audacious goal for our company: “Every business giving back."
But were there enough business owners who felt the same way?
We didn’t know, not yet.
When $1,000 Feels Like A Big Deal, That Means You’re Still Small-Time
Early in 2014, we had just a handful of businesses and churches that had become members of Causely.
They were mostly people who had heard about us through word-of-mouth and liked what we were doing.
And because our early community was so tiny, we were still making relatively small donations on behalf of our members. A couple hundred there, maybe three hundred there.
We had two goals in mind that year - donating $1,000 in a single month, and signing up a new member every single day. Both seemed the stuff of science fiction. We’d have to double, maybe even triple the size of the company to make that happen.
But fortunately, those early members stuck around. And they championed our program even though it was still pretty rough around the edges.
We had a foundation of people who “got it." So when we talked to new people, we pointed to those early adopters as proof that Causely worked. We were proving that business owners loved spreading the word about themselves by giving back.
And one day, in early 2014, we wrote one of our first thousand-dollar checks, $1,995.00 to Action for Healthy Kids.
We were getting there...
Today Over 3,000 Locations Have Shown That They’re Crazy, Too (In A Good Way)
Fast forward three years. It’s January 2017, and I’m writing a post about how our community of over 3,000 locations has donated over $2 million to charity.
Seeing our community accomplish feels pretty great. It proves that we aren't the only ones who believe that there is more to a running a business beyond generating a profit.
It proves that more and more business owners aren’t satisfied with the status quo - that they are willing to try something new in the hopes that by growing their own business, they can help others in the process.
Maybe we aren't so crazy after all.
This Feels Like A Big Deal, But I Can’t Wait For It To Seem Small
$2 million isn't chump change.
But remember those goals I mentioned earlier? The ones about “every business giving back" and "being the most charitable company in the world"? Yeah, we still have plenty of work ahead of us.
And it won’t be easy. We’ve already had our share of challenges in getting this far (I’ll share those in another blog post), and the next phase of our growth won’t be any easier.
But none of what we’ve done would be possible without the support of our community. And we won’t get much further unless they continue to support us.
So I, and the Causely team, want to extend our sincere appreciation for everyone who’s been a part of the Causely community.
(Here's the team, dressed up like me as a joke)
If you joined early on, when we had a crappy website and a half-baked program, when our small team worked out of a glorified closet (really), then you deserve special thanks.
If you joined just last week, thank you for committing to trying something new. We need you, and so do the charities you support every month.
Even if you joined Causely and then decided to cancel your membership, you deserve my thanks as well. You took a chance on a new idea, and if you decided that Causely isn’t a fit, then I at least thank you for giving it a shot.
Non-Profits Are Awesome. Especially These Ones.
Last but not least, our non-profit partners get special thanks.
Not only for the important work they do every day, but also for working closely with us to create compelling campaigns for our community.
A few deserve special thanks because they backed us even when we could barely afford to buy them lunch - buildOn, Soles4Souls, Children’s Health Fund, Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, Save the Children, and Compassion International are all part of that group.
No Startup Celebration Is Complete Without An Infographic
We wanted to share some of the highlights of what our community has achieved with $2 million in donations, so we put together this infographic. Do you like it?
If you’ve been part of Causely, please share this with your own community. After all, the only reason we’ve been able to give this much together is because people came to your location and checked in on Facebook and Instagram.
One Last Favor To Ask You
Finally, if you too believe that the world would be a better place if every business gave back, then please add your name to our #OneMore movement. It’s our manifesto that states why we exist.
If you agree that the world needs more businesses to help solve our biggest problems, please add your name to the list. It would mean a great deal to me.