Givenomics Book Review

The Book: Givenomics: How giving creates sustainable success for companies, customers and communities, by Richard Morris, published by Anoma Press.

The Blurb: Same old, same old is not proving effective in the world of business. “These models may hit short-term sales targets but they don’t build long-term shareholder value and have little or no benefit for the communities we all live and work in,” says Morris. The sad truth is that the traditional business model is broken and new models are needed to address the growing challenges faced by charities, retailers and consumers alike.

Businesses can be used as a force for good, Morris offers, proving the point by creating his own social enterprise and, effectively, a new model that he calls Givenomics. The book draws upon his personal experience and learnings bringing that idea to fruition, detailing how the new business model makes sense economically and socially – and offers guidance for other businesses wanting to adopt it into their practice.

The History: Richard Morris has been a pioneer in Silicon Valley and the UK, having built the internet infrastructure and services used as utilities today. Deciding it was time to focus more on effecting change and creating social impact, Morris co-founded TheGivingMachine™, a not-for-profit social enterprise that enables online shoppers to generate free donations to the causes of their choice. To date, TheGivingMachine™ has generated over 800,000 free donations in the UK and that’s just the beginning.

The Basics: Participating online shops pay TheGivingMachine™ a sales commission for directing shoppers to them. That money is forwarded as free cash donations to the shopper’s chosen school or charity.

The Impact: Retailers not only benefit from referred sales, their brand and relationships with customers are enhanced too. Charities gain much-needed donations. And consumers get to be more proactive in their giving (they can select the charities/schools they want to support). Win, win win. We’re not talking CSR here, by the way, which is part and parcel of a business’ HR practice. Givenomics ties the giving element of a business directly to its commercial activity, taking a more holistic approach to commercial success and engagement.

The Takeaway: If your business is looking for a new model that not only allows it to be a force for good and a supporter of community, but that enables it to adopt new ways of engaging its customer base, Givenomics can be a great starting point. Chapter 9 is particularly helpful, as Morris outlines, step-by-step, how to implement Givenomics. Important details like donation tracking, brand differentiation, costs and marketing opportunities are discussed, with examples offered. The book, and Morris’ own personal experience running TheGivingMachine™, offer tangible tools for those looking to do well by doing good.

 

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