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Small Decision = Big Impact

By Brenda Barnicki and Amy Provance, President and Founder and Volunteer at Bellafina Chocolates LLC

Each day Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and media venues are bombarded with the idea of social impact and yet many do not understand the true meaning behind the movement. The business dictionary defines social impact as the effect of an activity on the social fabric of a community and well-being of individuals and families in that community and around the world.  How can one person, one organization, one business, one CEO make a social impact that will be felt by many?

Take Lori for example.  Lori was considering options for a Christmas gift for clients at her branch of Citizens Bank.  She knew a box of made-to-order artisan chocolate truffles would be a big hit with the bank’s customers and realized the customized packaging would enhance and reinforce her company’s brand.  What she didn’t count on was the ripple effect that her seemingly inconsequential decision would have.  Lori’s purchase of Bellafina Chocolates truffles helped break the generational cycle of illiteracy in a dozen families by providing funds to train four volunteer literacy teachers, purchasing tutorial materials for 12 illiterate parents and placing nearly 100 children’s books in homes where there were none.

Bellafina Chocolates is one among a growing network of companies which have made the ultimate choice in corporate social responsibility.  Inspired by the Newman’s Own business model, the company donates 100% of profits to charities helping children worldwide who are threatened by disease, poverty, abuse or neglect.  In addition, Bellafina Chocolates is staffed almost entirely by volunteers plus the paid positions created to help single mothers living in poverty and women in recovery from addiction, abuse or trafficking.  The company sends its fresh chocolate creations to corporate customers and individuals across the U.S., impacting children’s lives with every shipment.

So, what does this trend mean to the large multinational corporation?  It is one easy, no regrets way to make a difference with a purchase that happens regularly.  Buying coffee or tea for the break room?  Search for Families Free Woven Coffee.  Need IT consulting services?  Consider a company like Impact Makers.  Deciding how to recognize employees or thank customers? Surprise them with a box of Bellafina Chocolates gourmet truffles.

Never underestimate the impact of making a socially conscious decision, even on a seemingly small scale.  Of course, these small actions in no way replace a long-term societal investment strategy, but thoughtful purchasing decisions in all corners of the organization can help create a company culture of community engagement.  It can inspire and engage employees and customers, while nurturing a small business committed to making a difference.