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Tipping Point: Good is the New Black

The Market for Good Is Skyrocketing. Values are shifting. It is no longer enough to be the best in the world; organizations must now also be best for the world.

This is prompting organizations of all types—public and private, governments and foundations—to become catalysts for social progress, grounding strategies for value creation in social purpose.

Evidence of the good revolution can be seen on Wall Street, Madison Avenue and Main Street.

  • Shifting priorities of investors ($55 trillion market) who have signed up to the UN’s principles of responsible investment.
  • Mainstreaming of Impact Investing—financing with the intent of generating positive social impact alongside financial return is the fastest growing sector of investing, according to the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.
  • Rise of Benefit Corporations (B Corps). Launched in 2006, more than 2,500 companies have become certified B Corps, using the power of business to solve social and environmental issues.
  • Convergence of corporate philanthropy and social impact. There’s more than $1.9 trillion in liquid assets on corporate balance sheets, and we are starting to see a move to invest these assets in social good. Two examples are Salesforce.com, which launched $50M Salesforce Impact Fund, and cloud computing company Twillio, which debuted the Twillio Impact Fund.
  • Charitable foundations are shifting their investments to align more assets from their portfolios with their mission. Some are also launching VC divisions to channel endowment funds into social enterprises.
  • Growing popularity of crowd funding, which turns millions of people into micro-philanthropists.
  • The growing movement behind Conscious Capitalism, which aims to elevate humanity through business (26 chapters in the USA and another 18 worldwide), as well as social bonds, social enterprises (for-profits with a mission), and unicorns with a value of more than $1 billion. Unicorns have pre-existing commitments to Pledge 1% Network, the global effort to encourage corporations to pledge either 1% of their equity, time, product or profit to give back to society.

The move to good is being driven by several powerful factors.

Millennials, who more than any previous generation expect companies to offer both good value and good values, are fueling this shift. They want alignment between their socially-constructed selves and the companies they buy from, work for, invest in and recommend.

For Millenials and for Generation Z, social capital has joined price, quality and convenience as primary drivers of purchase. Fact: 94 per cent of Gen Z believes companies should address social and environmental issues as part of corporate social responsibility efforts.

Also powering the movement is the proven connection between doing good and performance. This is not altruism, but rather recognition that purpose enables companies to attract the best talent, customers, partners and suppliers. A strong social idea can become a rallying cry for the entire organization. It opens doors through which people can enter and engage.

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