Social Responsibility used to be a “fun idea” or a novelty in the economic world.  If your business was thriving, you might take a few minutes to think about some charitable contributions you could use as a tax write-off.  Large businesses were dabbling in it and most small businesses didn’t feel like they had the time or resources to do anything besides focus on their profits.  Fast-forward to the present: social responsibility is no longer a “good idea,” it is (or should be) a natural part of being in business.  In fact, it is so rooted in entrepreneurship it isn’t even academically called “corporate social responsibility (CSR) anymore,” it is lumped in with corporate sustainability.  Karma is finally sinking in with corporate America.

Some may say that this is due to trends in spending or government regulation; in actuality, it’s because people, specifically Americans, are successfully holding companies responsible with their spending.  People are doing their research and encouraging companies who take care of their communities with their pocketbooks.  Now this all sounds a bit boring, but this is the exciting part: consumers have more power than they know.  We like to say that “The Man” is holding all the chips, but it’s just not true.  We are changing things.

Back in the day of Hearst & Pulitzer, you could not bribe large companies to give away their products; today, we see companies like Whirlpool giving away appliances to Habitat for Humanity because they see it as good marketing.  We see pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson recalling millions of products on the suspicion of dangerous substances.  Businesses and individuals alike are more involved in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) than any other time in history.  SRI is projects that actually make money, but also help out a community in immense ways; such as micro-loans to the poverty stricken or sanitation companies employing locals to clean up third-world slums.

We don’t have to fly across the world to make a difference; we just need to support organizations and companies that make their own communities better.  You can read about Utah Live Band’s community outreach by following this link: ULB Community Outreach — the point is that we as consumers hold the key to changing how capitalism works.  We are always taught that Supply and Demand are what makes our economy go ’round, lets continue to demand that the organizations we do business with are supplying their communities with a better future.

In absence of a good video on the subject, here’s a foreign social ad, enjoy 🙂

Written by Stephen Tobian – Manager at Utah Live Bands