In 2015, Neilson came out with a report on the shopping habits of millennials. They found that this massive and important demographic were more concerned with the social and environmental responsibility of the brands they shop from than almost anything else. In fact, they were likely to buy or boycott based around this issue alone.
Baby Boomers are also seeing an increase in social worries. The survey found that up to 51% were willing to pay more for companies that took a more philanthropic or responsible view.
Startups and investors have been taking an interest in these stats themselves. Here are five philanthropic investors you should definitely keep an eye on.
Tej Kohli is an Indian businessman and billionaire who has become one of the biggest names in high tech today. But he is also a well known philanthropist who has dedicated a great deal of his fortune to helping children escape the horrors and struggles of poverty.
He is also involved in a program that provides services for the blind, including cornea transplants. The work of himself and his Costa Rica born wife Wendy have done are an incredible example of the benefits of philanthropy by those in positions of great wealth.
The Princely Family of Liechtenstein is the primary investor behind the LGT Venture Philanthropy (LGTVP). It is a non-profit group which takes funds donated by the royals and others, and applies them to social projects that improve the lives of the impoverished around the developing world. They aim their efforts at three core areas: access to education, building sustainable livelihoods, and the alleviation of suffering.
So far they have spent most of their efforts on Africa, South Asia, Latin America, India and China. Other programs funded by these investments have worked elsewhere.
In 1998, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen created a venture fund for non-profits called The Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2), Since its inception, the fund has given more than $3.5 million to non-profits around the world. It works by giving people the chance to join in as partners, alone or on behalf of their business.
Each partner contributes $5,000, which is put into grants of $100,000 – $150,000 per three years. In the past they have granted funds to non-profits such as Food Shift, The Big Lift, Family Connections, and International Development Exchange (IDEX).
This entrepreneur chose to focus on his endowment, and make it work for social change. Over a five year period he shifted his investment approach until he was eventually able to dedicate 5% of his equity into programs dedicated to social change.
He and his wife have since transitioned the remaining funds into other investments that have a social and environmental impact.
The CEO of Salesforce has become well known for his 1/1/1 Model approach to philanthropy. Believing that a small pledge can go along way, he has asked startups to dedicate just 1% of whatever they have to a cause. It could be personal or company equity, products, services, or just time.
Through pledging 1% it lets the amount given back to reflect the growth of the startup, from beginning to end. His model is widely considered one of the most effective means of social responsibility around today, as it is aimed at investors regardless of size or ability. You can find out more about pledging to the 1-1-1 Model at the official Pledge1% page.
By Jessy Troy, a founder of a small freelance writing business, blogger and editor currently contributing to Successful Blog.