person admiring the sunset

Giving Is The New Black

These days it's not enough to just sell a good product. You must sell a good product that also does good. Americans are becoming ever more conscious of how they spend their money. We aren't just concerned with what we purchase, but rather how those purchases affect the world. We want the companies we buy from to be doing more than just making something fun, innovative, useful, or beautiful. It must also give back and make the world a better place.

Giving has become the "new black". I've seen this trend just about everywhere from socks to toys to financial advice.

Have you heard of "B-corps" or "Public Benefit Corporations"? It's a new type of corporate structure that allows for-profit companies to prioritize their benevolent outreach as a corporate goal. It also tells consumers that they take giving back very seriously. There are currently more than 2,500 Certified B-corps all over the world. They're popping up everywhere and finding great success because consumers demand their purchases go further and do more.

Bombas sells top-quality socks for all occasions and activities. For every pair they sell, they donate one pair to the homeless. Why, you ask? Because socks are the number 1 most requested item at homeless shelters. I can attest to this. I spent time handing out socks at a soup kitchen in February in Minneapolis and people couldn't wait to get a couple pairs of warm, clean socks. We had hundreds of pairs and they were gone in no time!

Cuddle + Kind sells the most adorable hand-made knitted dolls. They are made in Peru by people who really need living wage work. If that weren't enough, each doll you buy provides 10 meals for hungry children. I purchased one of these dolls for my little niece. She was 6 years old at the time and more excited about the meals than she was about the doll! Her generation is conscious of others in need at a very young age and they get jazzed about helping! Now she has a toy that reminds her of helping the less fortunate every time she plays with it.

Wood From The Hood reclaims felled urban trees in the Twin Cities and transforms them into the most beautiful, best-quality objects, such as tables, bottle openers, cutting boards, cribbage boards, growth charts, and more. Most urban trees that are cut down end up in landfills, which is just a sad reality. I bought my dad one of their bottle openers for Father's Day (he's a drink beer from the bottle guy) and he says its the best one he's ever had!

U.S. Trust just released a new study on the philanthropic conversation between professional advisors and high net worth clients. Today, 80% of advisors with high net worth clients discuss charitable planning with them and believe it's good for their business bottom line. Those clients also want advice on how best to share their wealth with causes close to their hearts. Those clients want an advisor who can help give meaning to their wealth. 

Some other interesting statistics from the study include:

  • 71% of high net worth consumers say that discussing philanthropy with their advisors is important to them.
  • 63% of advisors said they plan to increase their knowledge of charitable planning methods.
  • 7% of high net worth consumers say they will decrease their giving as a result of 2017 tax law changes.

Trends change quickly in today's world, but this is one that's here to stay. We work hard for our money. We want to know that when we put it back into the economy it's doing the most good it can. When we leave this world we want to know our wealth had meaning. Consumers are getting wiser and more particular. Industry and advisors are getting on board with our new demands.

The future looks very bright to me. 🙂 What are your favorite companies doing good? Please reply to this post with your answers!

Dana J. Holt, JD RICP AEP Founder + CEO, HOLT Consulting, LLC



Dana is the creator of Turning Wealth Into What Matters™, a strategic growth program for fundraisers and advisors.



  1. Debra Cohen on July 31, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Well said, Dana!

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