CDG’s CEO: Courtney Mathis

June 1, 2024

Big Change Requires Big Evolution

It would be a pretty big understatement to say “times are a changin.” And it would be an even bigger oversight to miss out on the moments of hope taking hold between people, families and communities, in the hardest moments in-between. For us, the support of our community is what has fostered so much of CDG’s resiliency. Economic instability, industry contraction, increased focus on profits for corporate leaders, and frankly, the sentiment that “purpose” is still a nice to have rather than a need – have created – let’s say, a fairly dynamic, if not tumultuous, ecosystem in which to run a social impact business. And yet, here we are. We have a lot to be proud of with 1000s of mentions in media across the nation, multiple awards year over year, speaking and training on various stages, and most of all, businesses whose entire mission has shifted to being purpose-driven – and with it – their incredible success.

And yet in the midst of so much progress – we still found ourselves wanting more. More influence, more change, more impact. And found all the possibility of that potential with us… with you… with them. The customer/consumer/shopper. Because there is one thing that just doesn’t seem to change – people, you and me, still need to buy things to support our lifestyle, our children, our pets, our education, recreation, etc. Most of us, even minimalist, still need some stuff. And the power of that choice – those dollars spent – can’t be overstated enough. Because here’s the deal – people don’t just buy things – they buy into things. And that recognition unlocked a beautiful evolution for CDG. It illuminated a path for businesses to launch social impact programs with the help, stewardship and participation of their customers. It validated for us that it was time that we serve bigger, that our service become smarter and for our impact to become greater.

Creating A Path for the Purpose-Driven Customer

But we had a problem to solve. Impact was on the decline. And good-washing was on the incline. Brands and businesses were seemingly making one of three choices.

  1. Social impact and supporting purpose – were too expensive. So many businesses stopped investing in their community and people stopped being able to live in their values. Because the cost of doing Good or shopping well – were just too high.
  2. Businesses and people were going all in on their Good. Expanding community outreach efforts, promoting local nonprofits, and people began reprioritizing their budget to include more purpose-driven brands (looking at you Wana and Patagonia).
  3. And then there is everyone in the middle who just didn’t know – and many still don’t – what to do. For businesses those questions looked daunting. How to support their team, how to invest in community, how to engage their customers. For individuals – no choice feels like the right one – so you go back to the same ole’ pattern of buying what you know, with brands you can afford.

The challenge was in addressing the complexity of 1 and 3. How do we get businesses who don’t have huge social impact budgets to engage in community-centered behavior? How do we get people, who understandably feel overwhelmed, to become clear on how to use their power and their dollar for Good?

Well – we think we found a way. CDG’s Giveback Program. A newfound initiative that allows brands to use the power of their customer’s values to drive revenue and support community needs.

This is what it looks like:

➔ We partner brands or businesses with nonprofit organizations
➔ We throw our logo on their package or website
➔ And we split a small a amount of net profit from each product sold between the nonprofit and CDG.
➔ Consistent dollars to the nonprofit allow for measurable impact, a trusting relationship, and a huge opportunity to build affinity with your purpose-driven customer.
➔ Dollars to CDG allow us to market your Good, amplify your story, and create differentiation within your industry, your market, your business category.

Here’s the wins:

★ No extra big budget required on behalf of the business
★ Customers now have education from CDG on where to shop their values
★ And communities and people get the support they need to live fulfilling lives

Giveback to Impact

Our Big Hairy Audacious Goal? To shift business operations to be more people-centered, unite purpose-driven customers with their favorite brands, and play a small but meaningful role in stewarding in a new error of Stakeholder Capitalism. The focus being to create long-term value for all stakeholders (i.e. employees, customers, communities, investors) and the public at large, rather than shareholders alone. In essence, empowering people’s time and dollars by giving them a path to align their choices with their values. We believe that CDG’s Giveback Program, no matter in the industry, can create a sustainable, effective, impactful model for conscious capitalism – where everyone wins.

If you hadn’t caught on yet – our name change is a part of this huge evolution. Because while we will always serve our cannabis community, we know it’s time to step out of the green bubble and into a more global one.

Companies Doing Good will continue to consult, train, and speak on our key Pillars of Good. Now with the launch of the Giveback Program, we get to create more intentional, long-lasting partnerships – so that business growth, customer excitement, and community service become the tenants of our Stakeholder Economy and the most accessible path to Impact yet.

Want to learn more? Get in touch. We love meeting new people and deepening old relationships. We’ve got Good work to do.