The Origin of the Movement

Bono_amexBy nature, this blog is a one-sided conversation. So last night I invited people over to discuss the broad concept of Cause Capitalism.  The eight of us sat around my living room and talked about what the term Cause Capitalism meant, whether it affected our choice of employer or consumer choices, and why it was gaining such traction now.

This last question is particularly interesting to me. We came up with several conjectures:

  • Being ‘socially responsible’ or identifying with a cause serves to fill the vacuum left by a decline in organized religion.
  • As our planet deteriorates, we can’t afford to wait any longer to remedy its ills.
  • Globally, we are becoming increasingly spiritually enlightened and this is channeled toward social enterprises.
  • Helping people feels good and we’ve become an endorphin-reliant society, so we reach out to gain personal satisfaction.

Often, the most salient question people have about Cause Capitalism is how it succeeds. How do companies turn a profit while following a charitable mission?  Why am I writing about the movement’s current popularity, and why was this a focal point of last night’s discussion?

I believe we need to understand the reason that this movement has gained traction before we can turn to the revenue side of the model.

Like this post, last night was without an agenda. I created a group on Facebook so that we can continue to swap ideas. Message me for access.

Beauty entrepreneur with a strong spiritual side
Socially responsible media agent affecting large-scale change
Brand manager working to integrate green initiatives into her brand
Graphic designer who lives an eco-friendly, philanthropic life
Entrepreneur with a degree in Spiritual Psychology
Principal at a social venture firm that integrates giving and volunteering
Entrepreneur adept at social networking & hatching million-dollar ideas
Risk-taker who is trying to connect the best of her past experiences: corporate, volunteer, nonprofit (that’s me)


Leave a comment
  1. Andrew Warner February 8, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Olivia, what I kept noticing was that we talked about doing good, the conversation kept going back to charities and non-profits.
    But I think for profit companies have the most to gain by taking up a cause.
    Instead of competing on lower prices, they should compete on greater meaning. That would increase their margins and give them a more loyal customer base.

  2. Mary Kuhn March 30, 2008 at 9:17 am #

    I like visiting you site periodically. It keeps on reminding me of the resources that are socially and environmentally conscious that are all around and available. Keeps me thinking outside the box of my usual routines and resources.
    Also – well written, but doesn’t take all day to peruse! Temptation without engagement.