Givewith’s founder Paul Polizzotto has created Social Value Economics, a model that addresses this challenge while creating a tremendous advantage for businesses.
Increased value for corporate sellers. Increased value for corporate buyers. And a real, demonstrable impact on society. These are the pillars of Social Value Economics. This is more than just a boost to corporate or brand reputation, as valuable as this can be. Transactions that leverage Social Value Economics bring concrete, bottom-line business advantages to both parties.
Ensuring access to clean air and water, to equitable housing, healthcare, education and justice. Reversing environmental degradation. These are just some of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which are fundamental to creating a future where society can thrive. Achieving these goals by 2030, requires an investment of $5-$7 trillion per year, but the total resources directed to social causes adds up to $3.7 trillion annually. It’s a huge figure, but it’s nowhere near enough.
The Fortune500 directs over $15 billion a year to CSR. These initiatives are a priority but their funding unfortunately remains an afterthought. Only after expenses, salaries, taxes, and dividends are paid, does a fraction of what’s left go to CSR. The same is true for government. Only after a host of civic functions are funded, do nonprofits and NGO’s get their share. This trickle-down budgeting is a strategy for scarcity, not success. It’s time for a different model.
Time to look elsewhere to fund social progress.
Every year, global transactions—trade in goods and services—equals, roughly $96 trillion. It’s here, at the beginning of the business process where the resources to meet society’s needs are. It’s time to consider pre-distribution, the moment at the top of the funnel, where a powerful new way of thinking makes transactions work harder, creating more value for sellers and buyers. Also gained is the power of commerce to help meet society’s most pressing challenges. This is Social Value Economics.
In 2008, Paul Polizzotto, founder of EcoMedia, approached CBS with a simple proposition. Build support for social causes into the way you sell ads and you’ll sell more ad time. Ad sales embedded with social cause support added $600 million to the media giant’s revenues, and $100 million to its social impact funding. In 2010, CBS purchased EcoMedia, making Social Value Economics a permanent part of their sales toolkit. In 2016, Paul Polizzotto launched Givewith, to take this a step further and embed social impact into the transactions of all companies across all industries.
Social Value Economics offers tangible benefits that, dollar for dollar, create more business value, and build a more sustainable and prosperous environment and society.
Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance
"Givewith, and by extension the Social Value Economic construct, represents a potential breakthrough in creating business models that create social and environmental benefit by integrating social and environmental impact as a component of transactions."
Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship for London Business School
"The Social Value Economics construct is one of the most innovative ideas I have come across in the social impact space, and indeed, one with the potential to achieve meaningful social impact at scale."
David C. Bohnett Professor of Social Entrepreneurship & Founding Director of the USCMarshall Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab
"The Cort/Krosinky paper described a new model of gaining a sustainable and scalable financing source for addressing the wicked problems of our times. Social Value Economics argues against the existing model of scarcity, where society and business are in a zero-sum game. Scarcity leads to a belief that society and the environment only benefit at a direct cost to business and wealth. Using Givewith as the originator of this new theory, Social Value Economics inserts society into every business transaction with a win-win for everyone involved."
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University
"There’s a multi-trillion-dollar funding gap to achieve all 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. From poverty and inequality, to climate change and world hunger, our social and environmental challenges pose an existential risk to everyone, and businesses are certainly not immune. That’s the beauty of Social Value Economics — it’s designed with the needs of our communities, the planet, and businesses all in mind. Paul Polizzotto has unlocked a remarkable opportunity at a time when the world desperately needs it."
Professor (Education) in Strategy and Sustainability & Deputy Director (MBA and International) at University College London (UCL) School of Management
In a time when we need to take urgent action to achieve a better and more sustainable future, it is of paramount importance to rethink the role of business and explore new models of corporate sustainability. The Givewith platform, based on the Social Value Economic construct, is a great example of an innovative and sustainable business model that can offer businesses the opportunity of making a real impact with every single business transaction, with a material alignment of CSR initiatives to business strategies.
It’s time for a different model. Time to look elsewhere to fund social progress.
There's a new source of capital for solving the needs of society and the environment. Access research by Yale's Todd Cort and Cary Krosinsky to learn more about Social Value Economics.