Toward the end of last year, Stephanie and I held a series of virtual retreats to make up for the fact that we hadn’t been able to coordinate our desired end-of-year in-person wolf & heron retreat together.
When we were planning our topics for discussion, we reflected back on 2017 and one of the things which stood out was the incredible amount of tragedy that had taken place over the course of the year, and how, in addition to feeling sad for all those harmed by the events, we weren’t sure how to respond as a business. We had so many questions floating around:
- What should wolf & heron do when something awful happens?
- What would be “on brand”?
- How should we give as an organization? What should we say?
- When is it appropriate to do something? When is it appropriate to do nothing?
And so, our Philanthropy became one of our topics for December. We discussed our values, business purpose, the people we impact and other things beyond our reach or control. In the end, we came up with a giving plan that we’ll work through as an organization that’s independent from what we each do for annual giving as public individuals. We hope in some small way can bring some more brightness into the world.
In addition to giving a percentage of our profits to charity, we’ll identify at least one partner a year to share a professional development experience with, pro bono. And we’ll aim to partner with groups that directly impact women and young people working on their careers and leadership development.
I don’t think we’ll have an overwhelming impact - we’re a single business in a large universe - but I do think it’s important to be intentional about everything, especially how we live our values as a business. Giving back is important to us, even though we’re not Warren Buffett and even though we’re not working in advocacy.
How do you intentionally approach your impact on the community? What ideas can you share?
-- Kara Davidson, co-founder, wolf & heron