Jensen-Coon: Collaborating with Corporations for Change


By Kelcy Jensen-

While sitting in my Infancy class listening to my professor lecture on postpartum depression she mentioned that there used to be a non-profit organization in Salt Lake City that helped new mothers with these struggles and educated the public on this issue. Sadly, she then informed us that the organization was no longer around because it was difficult for it to get funding. Important issues like this need more attention, but a lack of money is keeping many non-profit organizations from spreading useful support, resources and education.

There seems to be a disconnect between concentrating on making money and being able to do good things in the world. If we combine our for-profit business knowledge with non-profit goals we could create a new superpower in the world — a power we could work on and share collectively, regardless of your position as a consumer or an employee in this type of corporation.

Non-profits are not the only answer to fulfilling our desires of creating good in the world. Though they have their place and are great organizations, I see a new way to foster important change. I recently started reading a book called, “Start Something that Matters,” which was written by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOM’S. TOM’S is a for-profit business with a non-profit mindset. For every pair of shoes sold another pair of shoes is given away to someone without any on their feet — now that is a business model worth supporting and working to sustain. There are lots of other companies out there like this that we can support, model new businesses after and which can help us change the infrastructure of current businesses. Mycoskie wanted to make sure that his model would be sustainable and not purely reliant on donations. He wanted to provide these desperately needed shoes for kids without the added risk of going out of business due to a lack of financial support. And it’s working.

Another insight was given shortly after I started reading this book. I was reminded of the power a generation could have on the world. The millennial generation cares more about having a purpose behind their actions than any other generation thus far. I believe the millennial generation has the power to change bigger corporations’ mindsets on how they allocate their funds in order to keep workers happy and satisfied, not to mention increase consumer interest and revenue. Millennials could help shift the focus of corporate spending to be more socially responsible by advancing for the well being of our fellow man and the environment.

In an article featured in Forbes magazine called, “How Millennials Are Reshaping What’s Important In Corporate Culture,” the author, Larry Alton, mentions that 70 percent of millennials will pay more for brands that they want to support because there is a cause tied to the name of the company. A wise business would merge their brand with a social or environmental cause if this truly is the case. Not only will there be more money to go around in their company, but there will also be more money to help shape a better tomorrow for many individuals. Can it get much better than that? I don’t think so.