Have you ever thought about changing the world, ending hunger, or saving the planet? It does sound like a project with a “code name: Mission Impossible”, right? Whenever we are stuck with these disarming conclusions, we think about the Adidas slogan “Impossible is Nothing” which originated in 1974 and was derived from a quote by Muhammad Ali…
Buckle up. If these types of thoughts are firing the neurons in your brain then this read is for you.
Impossible is nothing…
A few years ago we came upon the idea to take action (local and beyond) and lead by example. No protests, no demonstrations, no pointing the finger and blaming others. Simply we thought what can we humbly do to make a difference? To help where it matters? What activity can we conduct that will have meaningful results and outcomes?
Our idea was to create an opportunity for a few socially responsible companies to offer their help to several non-profit organizations. Nothing flashy, no whooping amounts in donations, gala events, or charity fund-raising. Simply, the people employed in these companies would make themselves available for fieldwork, and the non-profit organizations would host them and work together on their ongoing projects.
We already knew about the fact that Friday afternoon is the least productive time of the workweek, so we decided that instead of spending that time in the office, “waiting for the bell to ring”, we would go out and socialize, work together, and have fun. Simply, spend one Friday afternoon in a more meaningful way.
The birth of Social Friday
When we reflect on those Friday afternoon hours, the memories are not at all about how much work we all did that day, nor do we live with the illusion that the world was never gonna be the same after that day. It’s actually much more than that.
If you do something, no matter how amazing it is, it will still affect only your circle of people. The world would be oblivious to your deed and the effect will disappear soon. It has to be sustainable. It has to last and inspire others to follow your lead.
Our idea of Social Friday is sustainable because of three reasons:
- It’s simple and repetitive
- It’s free
- It benefits everyone involved
The first two are easy to understand. On Social Friday events companies, organizations, and students organize themselves and dedicate a Friday afternoon to volunteering for a local social cause. We do it four times a year (once each quarter) because we believe that when you repeat something often enough, it will inevitably turn into your habit. And is there a better habit than doing good?
Simple and repetitive? Check!
To join the (now global) Social Friday family will cost you nothing. There are no application fees and no ongoing fees.
Now, with the third statement, a cynical mind would argue that in reality, it is impossible to satisfy everyone with a single action. This capitalist era was designed to fulfill the interests of the richest and most powerful people and corporations, not the little guy.
Allow us to disagree. In today’s world of social media, social communities, and rigorous competition for attention, customer loyalty is everything. Appreciation for socially-responsible business practices continues to increase as Millennials and Gen Z become the driving force of the economy.
The purchasing perspective of these two generations has shifted consumer focus to social responsibility especially when it comes to the environment. According to a Nielsen poll in 2018, 85% of Millennials and 80% of Gen Z rank the environment at the top of their list when deciding which companies they will engage with.
So, what can a company do to appeal to its potential customers? In 2017, Google announced that it plans to give $1 billion in grants over a five-year period, according to Philanthropy News Digest. Can your company top that?
What if you didn’t need to? What if you could create enough buzz with simple social activities that you and your colleagues would do at regular intervals throughout the year? Planting trees, preparing food for the homeless, donating blood for the Red Cross, or helping the local dog shelter are all great ways to spend your Friday afternoon and make a meaningful impact in your community. That way the company management is happy because the employees are happy because the social workers are happy because beneficiaries are happy. Plus, you don’t have to spend billions to create social media content to present your company as socially responsible.
What is a “Socially Responsible Company”?
Socially responsible companies use their position and resources for more than just satisfying their shareholders and increasing their bottom-line value. They work on a business model that focuses on social change, sharing their success with their local and global communities.
90% of consumers are likely to trust and be loyal to socially responsible companies compared to companies that do not contribute to positive change, and 92% of consumers want to buy a product that supports a good cause.
Seeing how critical the role of CSR is for brands around the world, more and more companies are embracing social welfare initiatives and incorporating them into their businesses. Social Friday is simply the smart way of doing it. Imagine if all companies, non-profit organizations, and students would team up to work together for a social cause at the same time. Then their generosity wouldn’t be a random act, but a global happening that creates more buzz, leading to an improved brand image and raised awareness at the same time.
How can Social Friday help Non-profit Organizations achieve more?
Non-profit organizations are dedicating all their time, energy, and resources to fighting social injustices and inequality, fixing environmental issues, or protecting human rights. They do it with heart and mind and are always eager to make the world a better place for everyone. But sometimes, there are simply not enough people to do everything.
One obvious way how the Social Friday initiative can be a tremendous support in their mission is by introducing more “horse-power” into their projects. Volunteers can bring fresh new energy that can move mountains.
Other benefits include:
- Increased visibility of their mission
- More chances for donations
- More chances for long-term support
Why should students get involved?
By working on real-world projects with visible and positive outcomes, students can maintain a healthier relationship with the community, while improving job prospects and boosting their resumes.
Students are THE CATALYSTS for a better society and a healthier economy. Volunteering for a local social cause is a collaborative experience that can help socially aware students achieve more, contribute, learn 21st-century skills, and develop their sense of altruism.
Additionally, they have the power to raise awareness more than any other age group. Awareness is the sparkplug of change. And, thanks to advancing technology, students have an easier way of doing this.
Rather than pull a scrapbook off the shelf to show to a dinner guest, students have a constant stream of photos they’ve posted on their social media. When students work for a social cause they are passionate about, they can tell everyone about it with just the touch of a button or a few short sentences. And that’s how a change in the mindset happens.
Want to get involved?
Probably you’re reading this and thinking, “Hey, I want my brand to be associated with the socially responsible change-makers in the business world!” Or maybe you want your non-profit organization to open the doors for the fresh new energy of socially woke volunteers who are eager to join you on your mission to make the world a better place?
Maybe you are a student and you are thinking about how to use your calling for activism and the desire to make a positive impact?
Well, you can start taking steps toward joining the Social Friday community now.