What Is A Mission-Driven Company?

A mission-driven company is not just a company with a mission statement. While any company can have a mission statement detailing its operational goals, being or becoming a mission-driven company means focusing on serving people. Mission-driven companies uplift all of the stakeholders in their supply chain– from employees to consumers, to their local or global communities, and even the environment.

Why is being a mission-driven company important nowadays? It’s important because companies with a positive actionable impact on the world are becoming more the norm and are fundamentally changing how businesses work. Business Roundtable released a statement by 181 CEOs from a diverse range of companies that redefined the purpose of a corporation as one driven by a mission and focuses on community and giving back. The new purpose of a corporation states that: “Americans deserve an economy that allows each person to succeed through hard work and creativity and to lead a life of meaning and dignity … Each of our stakeholders is essential. We commit to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country.”

Employees and consumers want to know that companies care about a mission, transparency, and accountability. For example, 71% of employees want their companies to provide opportunities to cause positive social or environmental impact. Meanwhile, 78% of consumers want companies to address important social issues.

So, what are the components of a mission-driven company? Can they be charitable and profitable? Yes. Larry Fink, the trusted CEO of a multinational investment management firm, stated to his clients that “purpose is … the animating force for achieving [profits]. Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose … [they] are inextricably linked.” Being a mission-driven company actually enables profit.

In this blog, we’ll break down the answers to the following common questions:

  • What defines a mission-driven company? 
  • What are the benefits of a mission-driven company? 
  • What are some examples of mission-driven companies?

What Defines A Mission-Driven Company?

To define a mission-driven company, we must first understand how mission-driven companies are different from those with a mission statement.

When we think of a typical mission statement, it comprises a business goal and how a company generates profit. In contrast, a mission-driven company goes beyond its corporate purpose. They believe that businesses are a powerful force and should play a role in solving the world’s key social issues instead of leaving nonprofits and governments to do so. They commit to a significant social cause that serves their local or global community. This goal extends into all facets of their business all year long, going beyond Giving Tuesday and the holiday season.

To the CEOs of mission-driven companies, the definition of a mission-driven company involves investing in their workers and communities while addressing shared challenges. They believe this is the most promising and only way to build sustainable long-term value for all stakeholders and the world. This unwavering commitment to people and doing better withstands the test of time and outlives multiple generations of company leadership. These leaders believe it’s possible to positively impact social and environmental issues while staying a profitable company that creates great products.

Above all, mission-driven companies are in it for the long haul, focusing on making long-term social and environmental changes no matter how technology or consumer behavior changes over the years. They have a singular “Big Why” driving them. Why does this company exist, and who and what does the company support?

There is consistency in how the company talks about its mission and what leadership truly prioritizes. These companies are authentic and build relationships with their consumers and employees based on trust. They build communities—not just profits—as missions need the support of people and are grown by relationships. After all, branding is the relationship between consumers and the product. When this relationship has transparency, a company can unite its brand and work culture.

What Are the Benefits of A Mission-Driven Company?

The importance of a mission to a mission-driven company cannot be overstated. Many are founded to help solve a particular problem for people and believe that their company represents that mission. This focus on a mission allows a company to stand the test of time, have a more significant impact on the world, create a better product or service, and build a more positive and fulfilling work environment for its employees.

Mission-driven companies use their missions as a litmus test. Every business idea must serve the mission. Leadership teams ask, “Will this idea serve the mission?” and “What is the why and how for this action?” As a result, a company’s core product improves because it can properly prioritize its time and resources.

Employees see how every business action at the company serves a purpose. Knowing that there is a mission behind everything increases employee engagement. They’re more likely to have higher satisfaction and happiness level, be a great cultural fit, and feel like their well-being and work-life balance is cared about.

You might be wondering, “How profitable is a mission-driven company if they focus so much on people and changing the world?” The answer is that they are quite profitable and financially outperform their competitors, successfully balancing purpose and profit. Research shows that these companies have impressive financial statistics, such as outperforming the stock market by 10-15 times, having an average annual return on equity of 13.1%, and producing a return on assets of 3.89% or more each year. 

How are these mission-driven companies doing so well with their bottom lines? They have employees who want to work for them and find fulfillment in their jobs. When employees can and want to bring their best selves to work, they become highly-engaged performers. The teams at mission-driven companies tend to be tightly knit, great at collaboration, come up with more creative ideas, and be more mentally and physically resilient. These employees are less likely to burn out, creating a sustainable workforce. This increased productivity, innovation, and employee retention rate allows for improved financial performance and focus on social goals without affecting budgets or higher turnover.

Another reason that mission-driven companies have outstanding financial performance is their customers are more likely to trust them. Companies with increased customer trust have higher rates of customer loyalty. These companies have customers who continue to buy from them.

When employees and consumers feel connected to a mission, companies are more resilient, last longer, and create lasting change for social issues.

What Are Some Examples of Mission-Driven Companies?

An example of a mission-driven company is Athletic Brewing, a non-alcoholic beverage company with a mission to “positively impact [their] customers’ health, fitness, and happiness while greatly impacting [their] communities and environment for the better.” They strive to uplift all their stakeholders, including the environment.

For example, they use 1% of all their sales for their Athletic Community Impact Fund. Their charitable fund supports their community and charitable organizations, like donating five years of diversity scholarships to Sacred Heart University Brewing Program. Also, they positively impact the environment by donating 2% of their sales to restoring local trails, investing in solar energy to move their production off the grid, and improving their water recapture and efficiency processes to reduce water usage.  Lastly, they uplift their internal team and suppliers by following an ethical code of conduct with routine audits to ensure their people feel respected, valued, and safe.

Athletic Brewing also holds a B Corp Certification. Companies that are B Corp Certified are typically mission driven and have proven their high social and environmental standards, accountability, and transparency.

Another example of a mission-driven business is Clean Cause, a sparkling tea company. Their mission is to provide those with a substance use disorder with what they need for their recovery journeys and bridge the critical gap between treatment and reintegration. The company invests 50% of their net profits into their Clean Cause Foundation to support addiction recovery causes. A primary initiative of the charitable foundation is a “CLEAN Kickstarts” program, which provides community members with recovery housing scholarships to help build healthier habits and find employment in a structured and safe environment. To date, the initiative has raised over $1 million for scholarships.

Overall, mission-driven companies are getting us closer to a more inclusive, regenerative, and equitable global economy that prevents harm when possible. These companies believe in building communities and products that serve us all.

Want Your Company to Be Mission Driven? Contact Givinga.

Mission-driven companies have a culture of giving back and supporting meaningful causes. One of the best ways to do so is with charitable giving. Your company can instantly establish a corporate giving fund through our foundation. If your company already has a current corporate foundation, you can leverage our technology to maximize its charitable and community impact.

Workplaces, brands, foundations, and nonprofits that use Givinga’s Philantech® platform can choose from more than 2M vetted charities that give you and your team flexibility to uplift your local and global communities. We take care of all the infrastructure and back-end details so that your company can focus on the mission, your stakeholders, and creating long-term impactful business solutions.

Contact us today for a free demo!


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