The diverse social challenges that Ottawa faces can make it hard for a business to know how to invest in their own community and know they are making a real difference. When businesses give to charity, they want to be sure their dollars are making an impact for those who need it most.
Enter the Goodbusiness Collective.
Led by United Way Ottawa, the new Goodbusiness Collective was developed by and for local businesses who want to pair their philanthropic efforts with their business objectives.
“Businesses told us they want to improve the communities where they live and work,” says Francesca D’Ambrosio, Senior Director, United Way Ottawa. “They want to help their communities in a way that lines up with their work and their customers’ values.”
The Goodbusiness Collective empowers organizations to develop corporate social responsibility initiatives in an impactful way, while providing learning and networking opportunities with other local entrepreneurs. “The Goodbusiness Collective is tailored to meet the needs of local businesses,” says D’Ambrosio.
Investment in the Goodbusiness Collective supports United Way’s work in the community: ensuring those struggling with addictions or their mental health get support, connecting newcomers with meaningful employment, helping kids succeed in school, and more.
UTG Digital Media, a leader in digital signage and winner of an International Digital Signage Award, was the first investor in the Goodbusiness Collective. “We really see the value in partnering with United Way to create a tangible impact in Ottawa,” says Alan Wehbe, President and Chief Executive Officer at UTG Digital Media. “Our hope is to invest our dollars in a way that makes a difference in the community.”
“UTG helped us kick start this program and we’re excited to now open it up to other businesses in the community looking to make a difference,” says D’Ambrosio.
Local businesses can join at one of four different membership levels. Each option will provide access to United Way Ottawa’s premier networking events, including Schmoozefest and Gen- Next’s Mix and Mingles, business development seminars, and workshops from industry leaders. Members also receive annual charitable impact reports, so they can see exactly how their dollars are making a difference and share their great work with their customers and community.
Businesses or entrepreneurs looking to join the Goodbusiness Collective at the “Founder” level also have the chance to participate in the program’s Social Finance Committee – a group that allocates a portion of all membership fees to support social enterprises and other grassroots initiatives.
“We’re so excited to bring local businesses of all sizes together to make a real difference in the areas they care about,” says D’Ambrosio. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
To learn more, visit unitedwayottawa.ca/local-business. Register at the Founder level before June 9, 2017 for a special Ottawa Business Journal readers’ rate.