Have you always known that you were meant to make a difference in the world? Is your ultimate goal to become a successful and profitable business owner so that you can use it as a platform for social good projects, humanitarian work, or other world changing efforts? Do you love, love, love your one-on-one work with clients, but want to someday balance this work with doing something that will have a more population level or large scale impact for good?
I don’t know about you, but my answer to this question is HELL YEAH!”
Ever since I was a little girl, I have been trying to scheme up ways that I could end poverty, find homes for the homeless, eradicate inequality, or help underdogs become victors. Now the existing context of my life and platform is not currently viable for starting a not-for-profit, donating millions of dollars, or travelling the world as a United Nations ambassador. But I have come to learn over the past couple of years, that there are many ways that you can give back over your early years in business.
Below are six ways that new coaches can be a world changer or crusader for good:
Donate a proportion of your income or sales to charity
Not-for-profits are generally finding it increasingly difficult to raise significant funds – with reduced government funding and an abundance of charities and causes for the population to choose from. You might not be in the position to donate millions of dollars to not-for-profits at this point in your career, but as we all know, every little bit makes a difference.
You can make a conscious effort to donate to charity by scheduling a reminder in your phone once a month (or whatever frequency suits you) to donate to a not-for-profit. You could even do up a little rotating roster of your favourite causes to support throughout the year. Alternatively, you could donate a set percentage or amount from sales to a favourite not-for-profit or cause – remembering that it doesn’t have to break the bank or be a huge amount to make a difference.
Do pro bono work
Another great way to help those in need in your early days of business is to donate your services to organisations or individuals in need. I personally try to have a regular pro bono client on my books, as it’s one way that I can help those who cannot afford coaching. I have also done pro bono speaking and helped out as a volunteer for not-for-profits and charity events. Not only does pro bono work assist those in need, but it often helps you grow your social proof through testimonials and word of mouth referrals from grateful benefactors of your services and generosity.
If you are a coach, you can read my advice on how to make the most out of pro bono coaching here – you can also access a free pro bono application template that you can use for screening clients by clicking on the image below.
Create a product where the proceeds go to charity
As big hearted business owners, we are often skilled at creating resources that can help others – our brains and hearts are just wired that way. The great news is we can use this skill to assist not-for-profits also. In 2014, the Beautiful You Coaching Academy for example created a Build Your Biz & Blog with Love e-book where 100% of the proceeds went to the charity 5cents. If you put your ‘creative hat’ on and do a ‘heartstorm’ (my version of a brainstorm) on what products you could create and sell as a fundraising effort, you might be surprised at the ideas that come up for you!
Buy products from not-for-profits as gifts for clients
If like me, you are obsessed with buying beautiful gifts for your clients – you could consider buying them from not-for-profits. Depending on your niche and ideal client, you could for example browse the online shopping halls of Oxfam, Unicef, Rafiki Mwema, Thankyou or One Girl for gift ideas.
Become an Engaging Women Ambassador
Award winning journalist, TV Presenter, and digital publisher Martine Harte has founded the Engaging Women Ambassador program to help raise funds for women and children in crisis. This is a potentially a wonderful way for coaches to use a high integrity platform to spark change for good in their local community. Plus, Martine will be featuring her ambassadors on her Engaging Women blog which frames some of the most influential women in Australia. It’s a win-win really!
You can learn more about the Engaging Woman Ambassador program and apply here.
Speak up about issues, where appropriate
In the modern world of online business, we are often afraid to speak up publicly about our views and thoughts around the injustices of the world. Whilst it might not always be wise to promote your political or humanitarian agenda on your business pages in all contexts, I personally believe that we sometimes err on the other extreme of saying nothing at all.
If a cause or issue is someway relevant to your business, your niche, or the interests of your ideal client – perhaps it’s time to ‘test the waters’ and practice finding your voice on issues that matter to you. I have personally found that Twitter is a great platform to practice finding your voice in a balanced way – as it is the home of many advocates, humanitarians and public figures who speak up about modern day issues and causes.
I hope these suggestions help spark your creative juices when it comes to how you can create positive change by drawing on your current platform, passions, and desire for social good.
I’d love to know in the comments below – what do you do, or what do you hope to do, to give back or contribute to social change in some way?