Every startup has a “big bet” (or two) that they are counting on to accelerate their business or take advantage of an unexploited future. At Prosono, we have two big bets. First, we believe in a $30 trillion wealth transfer that is transferring from the boomer generation and landing in the hands of consumers that want to spend their resources on companies that are doing good for the world. This same population areemployees who want to work for companies that are doing good for the world. We believe this trend will continue. Our second big bet is that the only way to truly unlock social good is by unlocking business resources and assets and then unleashing them on social change. This latter bet is predicated on innovative leaders and a consumer base that drives this behavior in business.
Given our big bets, we often hear clients, particularly in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)profession, discuss their desire to make a greater impact and often corollarychallenges in budget size,obtaining adequate support, and lack oforganizational commitment for all the great work they are tackling. These challenges can be hardened by economic downturns like the one we are in andthat expect to continue in the coming year. So how can businesses continue to make good on or advance their social agendas with marginalized resources? The answer may lay in better using what they already have and uncovering these opportunities through a process we call Asset Mapping.
What is Asset Mapping? Our research suggests that the concept is widely defined and often misconstrued.Asset mapping is simply “a process to leverage the full spectrum of an organization’s products, services, resources and peopletowards social good”. To CSR professionals, it is the opportunity to specifically leverage non-financialresources to support social and business objectives. Additionally, our experience suggests non-profits, social enterprises and community organizations tackling the advancement of social impact are often in higher demand of non-financial resourcecontributions. These contributions can have a higher return on investment for both businesses in terms of more powerful storytelling and for the organizations to be more sustainable.
To provide an example, a company with a fleet of vehicles that are largely underutilized during certain parts of the day or month could leverage this fleet to support a non-profit they currently work with to transport goods or provide transportation to its members.
What we have seen since the COVID-19 pandemic is that there are many organizations that need non-financial resources to support the needs of the community. For example, Prosono was involved in helping Cherry Creek School District in Colorado organize remote learning school supply kits for over 4,000 students in need of basic schools’ supplies. It was relatively easy to identify and raise the financial capital to purchase or receive donations of school supplies, to find hundreds of volunteers, and to organize the logistics of getting the kits to students. What was really challenging was to find a building space large enough to package the supply kits with ample space for volunteers to work in a socially distance compliant manner. After having several facilities turn us down or back-out, the folks at Denver Marriot Tech Center of Sage Hospitality Group leaned into their mission and provided their ballroom facility and tables to support this effort.
Opportunities like the Cherry Creek School District example are everywhere in our local, state, and national communities and timing is optimal for the business community to look at their assets though and abundance mindset and engage in meaningful recovery of our communities.