Offers Guidelines for Startups and Entrepreneurs to Establish Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

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The latest blog from offers start-ups and entrepreneurs some guidance on incorporating social responsibility initiatives in their business model.

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FlowOver Project

In a tough economy, most small businesses and startups need to be creative when it comes to establishing their social responsibility initiatives.

Most business owners today know that they need to implement social responsibility initiatives into their corporate identities if they haven’t already. But many simply don’t know where to start. In a new blog from, titled “Still defining your organization’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?,” guest blogger Liz Ernst offers some guidelines for establishing a philanthropic identity that can grow with a business.

Ernst says that business owners who haven’t already done so should get busy to launch their social responsibility initiatives before the holidays are in full swing.

“What better time of year for a business to actively rally around its charitable causes?” Ernst says. “In a tough economy, most small businesses and startups also need to be creative when it comes to establishing their social responsibility incentives, so if you have never done this before you’re probably wondering where to start.”

Start by forming a few easy-to-implement strategies:

Allow employees an hour or two during the workweek to volunteer their time and talents with a charity or cause of their choosing within the community. Pay them for the hours they’re volunteering. This type of encouragement is becoming common practice among large corporations, and the benefits to the company far outweigh the cost of paying for an hour or two of an employee’s time.

“This may be the only time they have for volunteer work, especially for those with young children or second jobs,” Ernst says. “Offer employees the opportunity to volunteer with your company’s sponsorship projects, individually or as a team.

“Where possible and appropriate, include your customers in sponsorship projects too if they want to participate.”

For instance, David Mason, Founder of, offers online retail customers an opportunity to designate a portion of their purchase cost to any one of the charitable projects featured on the website. Customers can also vote for the project they feel is most deserving to become eligible for a monetary grant of between $1,000 and $10,000.

“If your company sells merchandise, donate some items to charitable causes,” Ernst says. “This way you can give back to your community while gaining some positive marketing exposure.”

When the goal is to enhance employee teamwork, a donation drive or an affiliation with a charity like Habitat for Humanity could be a perfect opportunity to rally employees to work together on a single project.

Mason designed his innovative FlowOver Project to be the cutting edge charitable arm of

A first-of-its-kind model, the FlowOver project combines the powers of e-commerce and crowdfunding to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Whether raising funds for disaster victims or building decent schools in the world’s poorest communities, business models and companies with and without CSR initiatives in place find that the more benevolent the company, the more loyal and involved employees will be in their jobs.

The possibilities for creating CSR initiatives within a small business are endless, and can be inexpensive and easy to implement.

“The sooner you start, the sooner you and your company can make an impact on the community before the holiday season is in full gear,” Ernst says.

To learn more, visit the Relief Efforts page of the website.

About is a combination e-commerce site and crowdfunding platform founded in 2013 by entrepreneur David Mason. Ten percent of every dollar spent on the site is donated to relief efforts to help needy families rebuild their homes and others in crisis. Any representative of a charitable cause can apply for one of the company’s relief grants through its charitable arm, the FlowOver project. visitors and customers vote for those grant applications they would like to see funded. No donation is necessary to vote or to purchase products. Customers who do earmark a portion of their purchase price to a cause absorb no cost for the their donation. transfers 10 percent of each sale to deserving causes. is turning the traditional business model on its head by merging the crowdfunding concept with the company’s successful e-commerce network by incorporating opportunities for customers to contribute to charitable causes without paying an extra surcharge to do so.

Each project featured on the website begins with charity operators submitting a grant application to the company through its charitable arm, FlowOver. If the grant application is chosen, the public has an opportunity to vote on whether or not it will be featured on the website. A project must receive 100 or more votes to qualify for assistance.


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FlowOver, Inc.
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