On Generosity: A Change In Our Business

I’m currently reading through the book EntreLeadership with some business owners here in Nashville. It’s been fun and rewarding, and it’s caused me to do something I should have done a long time ago: create core values for our business. They’re not finished yet, but I’d like to share one of them with you today.

We are generous. Kimberly and I try to live generous lives personally, and we want our business to reflect that. If and when we add team members, we want to compensate them well. We also want to use the business to help others.

This particular core value sparked an idea on how we can be more generous with our business. Beginning this spring, every MADE SOUTH shipment will benefit a non-profit organization doing great local work in the South. We will use space inside our Maker Notes to tell the organization’s story, and a percentage of our sales from that shipment will go directly to that non-profit. We’re still figuring out what percentage makes sense, but we know that we want to be generous with our growing platform and sales, and this seems like a natural way to start that.

We need your help though. We already have wonderful non-profits selected to benefit from our Spring and Summer shipments, but we’re looking for great organizations to partner with beginning in Fall 2015 and beyond. If you know of an active and thriving non-profit doing great local work in the South, we’d love to hear about them. Just leave us a comment here.

UPDATE (January 29, 2015)

We’ve decided that every one of our Spring 2015 shipments will benefit Nashville’s own Thistle Farms. We will dedicate space in our Maker Notes to help tell their wonderful story, and a portion of our sales will be given to them to help continue their great work. If you’d like to receive our Spring shipment, be sure to sign up here.



15 Responses to “On Generosity: A Change In Our Business”

  1. Maura Lambert on

    Muse of Fire works with at-risk youth to write and create plays, using professional actors to perform them. Two sessions per year, and looking to expand. The process gives youth a voice, helps them gain confidence, have fun and discover their place in the world.

  2. Katie MacAvoy on

    Brilliant! I’m going through the same exact thing with my business. I want to start using my platform to help the greater good. I’d like to suggest you add the organization drawchange to your lists of groups to consider. They are based here in Atlanta but are doing beautiful things around the world. Their mantra is simple: aiding global change by supplying the world’s children with empowering art experiences. They travel to other children teaching them the value of creativity and expression through art. Hands down one of my favorite charities!

    Congrats on this awesome new chapter for your business. You’re doing a great thing!

  3. Johnny Gordon on

    I love that you guys are thinking like this. I get overwhelmed sometimes thinking about what even tiny business owners can do when they put principles in place on how they would like to see things work. This is a good reminder that we can be the good we want to see. I needed that. Keep up the good work!

  4. Grace Sarber on

    Dear Christopher and Kimberly,
    A friend forwarded your post to me. How amazing! Your generous hearts reflect our family’s and our volunteers, and I would like to tell you about our organization.
    The Women’s Board is a group of almost 400 volunteers who work tirelessly to raise money for Wolfson Children’s Hospital. Wolfson is a very special place. It is the only children’s hospital between Orlando and Atlanta and therefore serves a huge geographical area. Its main campus is in Jacksonville, but it has had to open other campuses and satellite offices to meet the incredible need. Most importantly, Wolfson does not turn ANY child away, regardless of a family’s ability to pay. As a private hospital, this makes our fundraising extremely vital to the organization. Through our two main fund raisers, The Women’s Board raises more than $1 a year for Wolfson. We currently are in the middle of a five-year, $4 million commitment to create a new surgery center for the children, but we also fund many other projects, such an ambulance created especially for tiny bodies, a center for medically complex children that works with those little ones who need constant medical care and their families, etc. Not one of our almost 400 volunteers gets paid, and we do not keep any profit.
    The Women’s Board is especially meaningful to me and my family. My grandmother started the group after my baby twin sisters were born in 1972. One of them died because Wolfson did not have the equipment or expertise necessary to sustain her little life. I am so blessed now to be in a position of serving what has become an incredible group of volunteers that has raised more than $25 million for the hospital since that time.
    I would be happy to send you more information about our special mission, but in the meantime, please visit our website. You will note that the theme of one of our main events last December was “Boxwoods and BowTies—A Modern Twist on Southern Tradition.”
    Thank you so much for your consideration!
    Most warmly,
    Grace Sarber
    The Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital

  5. Luke on

    KUDOS on your mission of generosity … not a surprise, considering that your business is focused on excellence and intentionality.

    I recommend Young Life as a potential partner with you. If you are not familiar with YL, it is a non-denominational outreach ministry to ALL youth (including suburban, urban, special needs, teen moms, and more). Plenty of information at http://www.younglife.org, and for the Nashville area, http://nashville.younglife.org. Feel free to contact me for more information. Blessings.

  6. Mary Felkins on

    The Brooks House in Lebanon TN is a women’s home and helps batters women and children get a new start and find jobs and become independent. The director Liz Reese does an amazing job. It is a very worthy organization.

  7. Sandy on

    This is a wonderful idea! I can recommend Mountain T.O.P. (http://mountain-top.org). This is the Tennessee Outreach Project. It is a great ministry outreach utilizing teams of youth and adults in the Cumberland Mountains. Check out their website or Facebook page for details.

  8. Deb Nava on

    I have been working for a local organization, Global Outreach Developments Int’l for the last ten years. We are located in Old Hickory, TN just 15 minutes north of Nashville. I’m including the link to the gorgeous website that will give an overview as to what we do. In Nashville alone, we provide services to immigrants, refugees, the elderly, disabled, widows and kids in low income neighborhoods. Feel free to browse the website and look at the beautiful pictures and read some amazing stories about the work we’ve done here. Thank you for your consideration!

  9. Sarah on

    Thistle Farms (www.thistlefarms.com) is an amazing non-profit enterprise of the Magdalene program where survivors of trafficking, addiction and prostitution farm and create self-care goods out of Nashville. They also run the Thistle Stop Cafe (www.thistlestopcafe.org). Their premise is that in the end, love is the strongest force in the world for change.

  10. Stephanie Cook on

    Hey Chris and Kim! This is so awesome! I love that you guys are growing and developing and morphing your business into a vehicle to love on and help others. It’s amazing! 🙂 I have read through all the comments and what an awesome group of tireless and lovely people and non profits! This is so exciting!! I have one for you guys to check out. Mission Discovery is a non-profit located in Gallatin, tn. We put together mission trips for youth and adult groups who are interested in serving on short term mission trips. We serve both domestically and internationally, with several locations scattered throughout the south, including Nashville, Westmoreland, Clarksdale Ms, Fort Blackmore VA and Port Isabel TX. Groups come on these trips and serve alongside local churches and partners to repair homes of the elderly and disabled, lead vacation bible schools, and connect with homeless and those less fortunate. Most of our staff raise their own funds to work with us and a more integrity driven bunch would be hard to find. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer for you. Thanks so much for what you are doing. It’s amazing!!

  11. Courtney DeLaura on

    Bravo! We all have so much to share and believe that every business owner can create such an impact if we simply put that core value first. All of us here at Sugarlands Distilling Company really admire your business. Well done!

  12. Catherine H on

    Hi MadeSouth!

    I’m a little late to the game with this post, but wanted to let you know about an awesome nonprofit in Houston, Texas called ArtBridge! We do therapeutic art classes for almost 4,000 homeless kids a year. The goal is to not just have a fun art experience, but to introduce homeless children to art as a tool for self-expression. Whether they are feeling lonely, angry, frustrated or sad, art is always a positive place to turn for solace. We’d love to be considered as one of your subscription charities – I’m a huge fan of your product! Thank you for going above and beyond to promote the South and encourage generosity.


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