Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Emma Gives Back

Last fall, I was a keynote speaker at the HOW Magazine Mind Your Own Business Conference. One of the exhibitors was Emma. To say I was enthralled by what they do in creatively getting messages out is an understatement, but when I found out how they give back to the world, well, that really captivated me. I am a Coach after all and one who is involved in giving back through my work on the Board of The Coach Initiative. I felt this should be shared far and wide so I asked one of the founding partners if he could share with me how Emma gives back...

"When it comes to giving back, we like getting lots of people involved. For example, this will be the sixth year of our Emma 25 initiative, where we donate 25 Emma accounts each holiday season to small, deserving charities. Our customers nominate their favorite causes, our staffers pick the list of finalists, and our customers vote for the final 25 honorees. With the trees we plant each month - we plant five for each new customer who joins us - we designate half of them for the equatorial regions that produce the most growth (and therefore the most oxygen) and let our newest customers choose where the other half go (typically somewhere in the United States). Again, it's an easy way to not only remind them they're helping us plant trees, but to actually give them a say in the project.

And we take a similar approach with our monthly donations to Kiva.org and DonorsChoose.org. In each case, an Emma staffer takes charge of the program and has a rotating group of colleagues help distribute the funds each month - to deserving third-world entrepreneurs in the case of Kiva, and deserving classrooms in the case of DonorsChoose. In most of our giving, there are stories and names and faces that make it all feel really personal and rewarding, and by taking a collaborative approach we make sure everyone on staff gets to experience it first-hand.

Of course, this is just the tip of the collaborative iceberg for us. Meals on wheels? Two staffers collaborate each Wednesday to handle the food delivery. The newly formed Emma bowling league? Collaborative. Designing the all-important bowling league commemorative socks? Collaborative. Finishing off last week's kegerator beer to make room for the new stuff? You've never seen such a collaborative spirit
: ) "

Clint Smith, Founding Partner Emma®
Emma helps organizations everywhere communicate & market in style.

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