Making Social Impact “Work” at Work

Founded in 2010, One Celebrations creates technology-backed social impact tools, including the Social Impact Platform, to drive customers' growth.

In 1998, Ann-Marie Harrington started a digital communications firm, called Embolden, because she could not resist the window of opportunity to help companies and organizations access the power of the Web to grow their enterprises. Over the next 17 years, Embolden grew rapidly, winning several awards for its innovation and success, particularly in the philanthropy sector. Laura McKnight began her career as a tax attorney. From 2006 until 2012, she served as CEO of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which administers more than $2 billion in charitable assets.

Laura is also an author and leading expert on the connection between philanthropy and positive psychology. Laura hired a team of researchers to gather data, perform dozens of focus groups and scour the literature for years, ultimately developing the Social Impact Personality Type diagnostic tool (for individuals), and the Social Impact Culture Type diagnostic tool (for businesses).

Successful business leaders know social impact means success.
That’s what the Social Impact Platform is designed to deliver.

Laura and Ann-Marie met in late 2014 when Laura was CEO of Crown Philanthropic Solutions, on the day Ann-Marie signed the papers to sell Embolden to Crown. A year and a half later, Laura and Ann-Marie began collaborating on a system of solutions to empower companies to leverage Social Impact Culture Type to achieve an immediate boost in employee engagement.

Just like individuals, each workplace has a unique approach to doing good. Company cultures lean toward Investor, Connector, or Activator. Sometimes a company falls between two of the types. For example, the research identified workplace cultures which the team categorized as “Investor/Connector” and “Connector/Activator.” The team even encountered a few of the rare “Activator/Investor” cultures!

Why does Social Impact Culture Type matter in the workplace? It’s important because today’s market leaders view social impact behavior as a catalyst to build emotional loyalty with employees and consumers and, in turn, boost business results.

The data points gathered over the course of the research are validating: 

  • In his book, Grow, Jim Stengel, Procter & Gamble’s former global marketing officer, released the results of a 10-year study of 50,000 brands. It found that a business built upon ideals outperforms the S&P 500 by four times. 

  • Deloitte’s third annual Millennial Survey of nearly 7,800 Millennials indicated that a clear majority of the younger talent base wants to work for companies that are committed to charitable giving, volunteering, and making a positive impact on the bottom line and beyond. 

  • The 2014 Millennial Impact Study by the Case Foundation showed that 94% of people in this demographic want to use their talents for doing good.

  • Working to benefit a good cause increases productivity by up to 30 percent, according to a 2015 study published in Management Science. While personal financial incentives have long been part of corporate culture, the study shows that social incentives such as gifts to charities also boost performance. Interestingly, the greatest increase in productivity was among those workers who initially fell into the “least productive” category.

Successful business leaders know social impact means success. That’s what the Social Impact Platform is designed to deliver.