• Lucy Bennett-Baggs

Finally, a new Social Network App built simply for good

The social impact space is dominated by ‘Giving Platforms’ – many of which take large percentages of donations. Whilst these platforms are great in serving as a functional payment gateway, rarely do they track your multiple donations, aggregate your impact, or create a community of likeminded people to drive change with.

How many times have you made a donation this year? Yet I imagine you have no idea of your cumulative impact, where the money has gone or how you’ve helped to make the world a better place?

With an ever increasing spotlight on Social Media and its role and influence on the world, we’ve become increasingly driven to create a Social Network that is simply for good. No negativities, no bullying, no filters, no irrelevant adverts. Everything you find on our platform is a ‘Force for Good’, connecting companies, individuals and charities to drive change.

We talk to our Founder & CEO, Lucy Bennett-Baggs and Head of Impact Partnerships, Christine Amour-Levar, about their motivations in creating the world’s first Social Impact Network.

Where did the idea of Force for Good come from?

(Lucy) I’ve worked in Corporate and Charity Partnerships for the last 12 years, and I’ve seen a huge shift in the way companies, employees, people and charities engage with one another. With 1.4 billion people giving to charity last year, we felt there was a huge gap in the market for a social network for good. We want to leverage technology and digital to create a safe place for individuals, companies and charities to drive change.

Force for Good was born out of our frustration of not being able to find and connect with the people and charities that are making a difference for the causes we care about, particularly through such challenging times. I believe that there is no force greater than a community and my mission is for Force for Good to be the most influential social impact network in the world.

Why is Force for Good different to typical social network platforms?

(Christine) We are offering something that does not yet exist, a place for individuals, companies and charities to come together to drive change. As of today, there is no globally recognised digital accreditation of volunteering hours, fundraising or impact. Our value proposition is that we can connect Companies, Charities and Individuals and engage them using our Global Impact Tracker and inspire them to do good.

Why now?

(Lucy) At a time when the world is going through a global pandemic, charities are on their knees. They have very little access to a digital network to drive change, yet need the support more than ever before. The pandemic has undoubtedly been an incredibly challenging time for charities and their fundraising efforts, but nearly 3 out of 4 millennials did give to a non-profit since the pandemic began. Charities need to capitalise on this trend and we want to help.

Who are the Force for Good audience?

(Lucy) We bring people together to drive change. Gone are the days of having to trawl through traditional social network sites to find likeminded people passionate about cause. Force for Good allows you to join Impact Circles within your location and cause – or create private Impact Circles to invite your friends, family and colleagues to. You can make one off or recurring donations to charities of your choice and stay closely in touch with the charity to understand your impact. You can organise virtual challenges for yourself or your network to raise funds and you can share your journey along the way.

We bring companies and their people together to make a difference. With 86% of millennials caring about their companies’ purpose, we believe it’s incredibly important for corporate CSR and ESG strategies to be more than simply writing a cheque. Force for Good creates corporate communities for employees to drive change. Our data enables us to understand what employees care about. This data can be used by companies can match their donations and create events, challenges and impact through the platform. We want Force for Good to drive employee engagement in cause.

And most importantly, we help charities leverage their fundraising efforts by reaching wider audiences. Through Force for Good, charities can create a community of their supporters and donors, keeping them regularly updated on their impact. We help charities capitalise on digital philanthropy opportunities and ultimately create more impact in the world.

What trends are you seeing in philanthropy?

(Christine) Charitable giving is rising globally and mostly done online. In 2020 online giving grew 21% amidst the global pandemic and nearly 30% of all online gifts were made from a mobile device. Additionally, we are seeing that 55% of donors worldwide prefer to give online with a credit or debit card rather than by bank/wire transfer.

This is where a new digital platform like Force for Good comes into play, to help charities reach the masses, if you will, by democratising philanthropy. The notion that giving your time, talent or treasure is no longer for the elite but for all individuals is on the rise. The concept now emerging is that an everyday “regular givers” and every day “changemakers” have the potential to accelerate social impact. Donors are clamouring for philanthropy to be more connected, accessible, engaging and transparent. There is a growing need for individuals, companies and charities to come together and drive change.

Furthermore, on the whole, people want to belong, to a club, a tribe, a social network, a church, a movement…something bigger than themselves. So, there is also an opportunity to make donation apps more social and community-focused. The beauty of micro-giving is that all of the smaller individual donations become part of a larger social cause driving collective impact. And technology and tech platforms can make it much easier to find your tribe, engage and see your impact in real-time.

What trends are you seeing in Corporate Social Responsibility and ESG specifically?

(Christine) Today more businesses are implementing corporate resources to address social and environmental issues, rather than making monetary donations. While there is general agreement that the private sector needs to be deeply involved in helping to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), companies are on a spectrum with the incorporation of these goals into their corporate philanthropy strategies.

According to a 2018 PwC SDG Reporting Challenge study, 72 percent of companies mention the SDGs and/or ESGs in their annual corporate or sustainability reports, but there is still a lack of data on what companies are doing to achieve these goals.

How do you think companies can connect with their employees to drive change?

(Christine) The simplest way to do this is for companies to align their actions with their values - and not the other way around. This is the first and vital step for any company to gain respect and inspire their employees to drive change. Managers in these companies also need to be good listener and try to understand people’s aspirations and motivations. This will demonstrate they care deeply about their employees and will instil a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to the greater mission.

You can empower others by highlighting their strengths and potential contributions. The key is to be attentive and identify those qualities and skills. Then, invite them to lead and contribute in their area of strength and interest. Everyone wants to feel like they are growing in strength and contributing to the bigger vision.

While change won’t happen overnight, it is important for companies to take time to build an environment founded on trust, communication, and empowerment. Without a solid foundation and actionable steps, it is tough to expect employees to do anything above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities.

By being part of Force for Good, we can inform companies as to what their employees really care about. So often, CSR strategies are based on assumptions, rather than real data as to what employees are passionate about. Without this data, it’s very hard for companies to implement meaningful cause-led strategies.

How if Force for Good creating new opportunities?

(Lucy) Our vision is to build a community of millions of changemakers – individuals, companies and charities. With this scale, we have a community of people that can truly make a difference, the definition of a global force for good.

We want people to know where their donations go. We want them to have the ability to have a two way conversation with their charities. We want people to be a force for change, creating impact circles and rallying their networks to make a difference with them.

We want companies to be able to create opportunities for their employees. For their communities to be actively engaged in raising funds for charities – be that through virtual challenges or fundraising campaigns.

We want charities to have a far wider reach. To be able to tell their story, reach new people and drive their impact.

What’s Force for Good’s overarching mission?

(Lucy) Our mission is to be the world’s most influential social impact network. Simply put, we want to make the world a better place.

Join our Waitlist today to be one of our Founding Members on Force for Good and be the first to hear when we launch!