Let’s do some good – an experiment in giving back

Life at SI Per Fragemann

What a year! Small Improvements collected $2.9m in license revenues in 2015, that’s an increase of 70% compared to the year before. We’re doing great, and it’s time to give back.

I believe everyone should use their influence, no matter how small, to make the world a better place. We’ve been supporting many non-profits for years by donating free or half-price SI licenses, we’re paying our taxes without looking for odd loopholes, and we’re storing our surplus buffer on an ethical bank — but we felt we can do more. Last year we collectively spent 2% of our annual revenues to charities of our choice.

It was so well received by everyone involved that we’ve decided to do it again, donating $60,000 this time!

Personal donation budgets

Our company is all about the team, so we asked each of our 20 employees to individually nominate the charities for their “donation budget” of $3,000. To keep the process simple, everyone could only nominate up to three charities with a minimum donation size of $500. We kept the process anonymous, and our office manager collected the list and removed all names.

Donations went to amazing organizations around the world, and today we’re proud to share the list of recipients:

ACLU 1000USDhttps://aclu.org
Alameda Food Bank 1000USDhttp://www.alamedafoodbank.org
Amnesty International 2000USDhttps://www.amnesty.de
Anticorruption Hungary 3000USDhttp://k-monitor.hu
Ärzte ohne Grenzen (Médecins Sans Frontières) 3500USDhttps://www.aerzte-ohne-grenzen.de
BGKoleda 3000USDhttp://www.bgkoleda.bg
Black Dog institute 1000USDhttp://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
Bowel Cancer UK 1000USDhttps://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk
CharityWater 1000USDhttps://www.charitywater.org/whywater
Child’s Play 1500USDhttp://childsplaycharity.org
Children.org 3000USDhttp://children.org
City Year 1000USDhttp://www.cityyear.org/about-us
ClojureBridge 1000USDhttp://www.clojurebridge.org
Deutsches Rotes Kreuz 1000USDhttp://www.drk.de
Die Gelbe Villa 900USDhttp://www.die-gelbe-villa.de
Envirolaw.org 2000USDhttp://www.envirolaw.org
Frauenhäuser 1000USDhttp://www.frauenhaeuser.at
Frauenrechte.de 1000USDhttp://www.frauenrechte.de/online/index.php
Girl Effect 1500USDhttp://www.girleffect.org
Greenpeace 1000USDhttp://www.greenpeace.org
Immigration Equality (LGBT immigration to
US)
 1000USDhttp://www.immigrationequality.org
Kinder Hospiz Sonnenhof 4200USDhttp://www.bjoern-schulz-stiftung.de/berlin.html
Medico International 1500USDhttps://www.medico.de
Oaktree (education) 1000USDhttps://oaktree.nationbuilder.com
OneGirl 1000USDhttps://www.onegirl.org.au
Possible Health 1500USDhttp://possiblehealth.org
ProAsyl 2000USDhttp://www.proasyl.de
Reporter Ohne Grenzen 1000USDhttps://www.reporter-ohne-grenzen.de
Sapa O’Chau 900USDhttp://sapaochau.org/
SeaWatch1000USDhttp://www.sea-watch.org
Skateistan (health) 1000USDhttps://www.skateistan.org/content/our-story
SOLWODI (Women in Kenya) 1000USDhttp://www.solwodi.de
SOS Barnbyar – Help Children 1000USDhttp://www.sos-barnbyar.se
SOS Kinderdorfer 1000USDhttps://www.sos-kinderdoerfer.de
Special Olympics 1000USD http://www.austria2017.org/de/games-2017/pre-games-2016
Steirische Kinderkrebshilfe 1000USDhttp://www.kinderkrebshilfe.at
Stiftung Naturschutz 1500USDhttp://www.stiftung-naturschutz.de/startseite
The surfrider foundation (world oceans) 1000USDhttp://www.surfrider.org/mission
WADI (Women in Iraq) 1000USDhttp://www.wadi-online.de
WaterAid 1000USDhttps://www.wateraid.org

Summary

The entire process was surprisingly smooth and simple, I can only recommend that other companies try this as well. Yes, it’s easier if just the CEO decides where to send donations, or to have a collective vote, but if your company is really about team work, then making everyone participate is the best way.

All transfers have been completed by now, and we’re hoping for even more revenues in 2016 so the process will be even more fun next year! (smile)