Normally we highlight a specific nonprofit to which we have made a donation so that our stakeholders can get a sense for the type of charities that we support as part of our Giving Back program. Soon we’ll be updating our website with the list of 2016 beneficiaries, but we want to take a moment to discuss the intention behind the Giving Back program, which originated in 2006 after Jeff’s reading an article on living with purpose.
At the time, a few companies had emerged that had taken up the idea that business has a responsibility to the community at large – like Newman’s Own, Ben & Jerry’s, Tom’s Shoes, etc. With the idea that for true and impactful social change to happen, we as individuals would never get enough critical mass to do so. Nor could we ever rely on our government to do the right thing. But business is ubiquitous as there is no corner of the world where commerce is not a primary influence of culture and economy and impact. So it is up to business to become the catalyst for such social change.
In his heart of hearts, Jeff believes this is true and so Dharma Merchant Services was created to be yet another example of business as a force for good. The annual value of donations represents about 5% of our total gross income and we freely give to organizations that help to relieve the suffering of others. We honor all companies that set aside a portion of their profits to worthy causes and encourage all others to become a part of this movement.