The business world is rife with opportunities to do good. Increasingly, business owners are turning to a new model that combines their passion for business with a desire to give back. Whether it's partnering with charities to raise money for a cause or using sustainable materials in the products they use, they're making social responsibility a priority. Here are this month's examples of the good that some businesses are doing. We hope they inspire you to find ways for your company to give back, too.
What: Provides email and social media marketing software and services to small and midsized companies
The Good: The company abides by it’s corporate responsibility program, which gives each employee two and a half days off each year to volunteer with charitable organizations, provides products to nonprofit North Carolina organizations free of charge and donates 1 percent of its payroll each year to various charities.
Connect: On Twitter @iContact; On Facebook: iContact Entrepreneur Brings Manufacturing Back Home to N.C.
: Back to the Roots
: Using recycled coffee grounds, Back to the Roots offers a Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden that lets anyone across the country grow their own gourmet mushrooms.
: This year alone, the company will divert and reuse 1 million pounds of coffee grounds. In addition, Back to the Roots helps sustain 10 urban school and community gardens through its donations
: On Twitter @brtventures; On Facebook: backtotheroots
: Social Goodies
: An online site that offers daily deals from national and emerging brands. The site offers deals on everything from baked goods to jewelry.
: The company donates 20 percent of each purchase to the charity of the customer's choice. The site offers three charities from which to choose; these include the Children's Health Fund, Surfrider Foundation and Fisher House.
: On Twitter @socialgoodiesco; On Facebook: SocialGoodies
: Yellow 108
: A Los Angeles-based headwear company specializing in sustainable hats and accessories made from salvaged and recycled materials.
: In addition to utilizing waste from eco-textile factories, Yellow 108 also donates 2 percent of all sales to Give Canvas, a nonprofit organization utilizing salvaged and recycled materials to create canvases for donation to public schools, youth centers and after-school programs.
: On Twitter @Yellow108brand; On Facebook: Yellow-108
: The Colorado-based company sells clothes and other accessories for yoga and climbing enthusiasts.
: A fair-trade company, PrAna's products are made with environmentally conscious materials, including organic cotton, hemp and recycled polyester. In 2005, PrAna launched a natural-power initiative designed to lower its greenhouse-gas emissions and accelerate the development of a renewable energy economy.
: On Twitter @PrAnaLIFE; On Facebook: PrAna
: Each week, Sevenly partners with one qualified nonprofit each week to sell a shirt specifically designed for its cause.
: For every t-shirt purchased, the company donates $7 to that week's charity. Since being founded in June, the company already has sold nearly 6,000 t-shirts and donated more than $110,000 to numerous causes, included Soles 4 Soles, the Convoy of Hope and CURE Childhood Cancer.
: On Twitter @Sevenly; On Facebook: Sevenly.org