What is Social Purpose?
Social purpose is an emerging trend in business – where companies define their reason for being in social terms, and place it at the core of their operations so it becomes the engine that powers the business and contributes to a better world.
It gives companies a competitive advantage, helps them navigate turbulent times, and creates new opportunities for maximizing profits and building shareholder value.
Social Purpose is good for business and good for society.
Through our Social Purpose Institute, United Way helps companies identify and develop their own social purpose propositions. And we work with business leaders to unleash their company’s potential to create positive social change that will improve the communities we call home.
Social Purpose Business Services
Social Purpose Innovators
Define and articulate your business’ unique social purpose for progress and growth.
Social Purpose Implementers
Guiding businesses with an articulated social purpose through the process of implementing and fully integrating that purpose.
Equip your staff teams to apply your social purpose in their roles/functions and much more.
Some of the companies we’ve worked with
Visit our Alumni Directory for a full list.
In an increasingly digital and global market, it’s no longer good enough to just make or deliver the best products. Instead, more and more businesses are being judged by the values they hold and by the effect they’re having in the larger community. And today’s employees and consumers choose to do business with companies that make the world a better place.
Learn how you can unleash your company’s full potential:
Why Social Purpose Matters for your Business
Latest news: Why Larry Fink’s words should spur you to action.
“To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society … Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose.”
"Purpose driven companies who have the best interest of communities and all of their stakeholders in mind have always been more sustainably successful over the long term than businesses that don't."
“There are social problems to be solved and businesses solve problems. Businesses are innovators and the problems we have are numerous so it’s really about honing in on those [societal] problems and attacking them with some determination. I think that’s the heart to why businesses are successful through their Social Purpose.”
“Defining our business' social purpose is like discovering our North Star. While a few may have been steering toward its general direction, mapping it out and stating it explicitly enables all employees, management, customers and suppliers to be engaged and aligned towards our common aspirational goal.”
Out of eight respondents to the question of “what business benefits have you observed because of working on identifying your social purpose?” all eight reported short-term impacts. These included: Positive employee feedback, innovative ideas generated, positive customer reaction, and new partnerships attracted.
“The events of the last year have made even more clear the need for businesses to stand up in new and innovative ways to make their communities stronger and help address societal challenges. Adopting a social purpose gives your organization its North Star, galvanizing your entire ecosystem to drive positive change for your business and for society. Coast Capital is proud to work alongside the Social Purpose Institute to advance social purpose in business.”