Your charitable donations could be doing so much more

When Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce chief, Sue Allison asked if I’d speak at this month’s Networking Luncheon, the answer was easy (yes!). And while I would have loved to hop on stage and spend 30 precious minutes of your time talking about why everyone and their mother (and brother, and sister, and father…) really should be making a mad dash to ditch the status quo and join up with the future of work + life that we’re building at Vibe Coworks, the truth is nobody wants to be marketed at. I get that. (Even if you really, really should come join us. Stat.)

Instead, I want to talk to you about how **smart** businesses go beyond one-off charitable donations to instead build partnerships that take their profits, impact and culture to the next level. 

Did you get that?

The smartest, most successful businesses today are ones that go beyond one-off charitable donations and instead build social impact partnerships purposefully and intentionally into their culture, products and marketing.

Here in Poulsbo, that should be ALL of us. 

That’s because consumers are increasingly demanding that their dollars go to businesses that ‘do good’. I know I am. And not just in a one-off, ‘I sponsored X, Y and Z random event’ kind of way, but in a meaningful, intentional, impact-driven partnership sort of way.

Same goes for new hires. Ask any business leader who has already adopted this approach and s/he will almost surely tell you that their commitment to social impact partnerships has also become one of the most powerful recruitment and retention tools for bringing in—and hanging on to—top talent. 

Some of you are probably asking why I’m talking about this. 

Well, in addition to wearing the hat of CEO and Cofounder of Vibe, Kitsap’s premier shared workspace and coworking community, I am also the Regional Community Engagement lead for WaterAid, the world’s largest international nonprofit dedicated to helping women and girls gain access to clean water, safe toilets and menstrual health education.

I’m lucky to have spent the last 15 years working with international organizations including the UN Refugee Agency, UN World Food Programme, International Catholic Migration Commission and WaterAid to publicize important untold stories, influence policy makers, and craft powerful social impact partnerships, including with brands and businesses including ARUP, American Standard, The Body Shop, Coca-Cola, H&M, HSBC, Western Union and The Hunger Games / Lionsgate.

Over the course of all that, I’ve learned a thing or two about partnerships, employee engagement, and what makes meaningful, impactful charitable different from just cutting a check and hanging a donor plaque. I’ve also learned a thing or two about how to go about building those relationships.

And you know what the funny thing is? One thing I’ve learned is that of some of the most authentic, impact-driven relationships take root and accelerate more quickly in coworking spaces like Vibe than they do most anyplace else. Imagine that.  

So come join me. Let’s have a chat about how all of us can do well by doing good, right here in Poulsbo.

Wednesday, July 12 // 11.30am – 1pm 
Doing well by doing good, with Vibe Coworks CEO Alanna Imbach
July Poulsbo Chamber Monthly Networking Luncheon
Gateway Fellowship Hall