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Goimagine Embeds Philanthropy into its Business Model

Corporations in all sectors recognize the importance of making philanthropy a core part of their organizational priorities. Whether a company calls it corporate philanthropy, corporate giving or corporate social responsibility (CSR) – the result can both strengthen the business and genuinely make the world a better place. Horizons is fortunate to have many corporations support its mission, and one new company in particular has embedded philanthropy into its DNA.

Locally based in Grafton, Massachusetts, Goimagine, led by CEO Jon Lincoln, is a new kind of business. Dubbed “The Marketplace that Cares,” sellers use the platform to showcase their homemade crafts, giving buyers the opportunity to purchase those goods. Goimagine, like other marketplaces, takes a fee in the middle, donating 100 percent of its profit to a benefiting charity. Horizons for Homeless Children has been selected as a beneficiary of Goimagine, this newly formed online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers.

Choosing the Right Philanthropic Partner

Horizons’ selection to be the first benefitting charity for Goimagine’s business model was not a decision made lightly. Lincoln knew he wanted to support a nonprofit that was focused on children’s needs and homelessness and started researching. He and his team connected with nonprofits at both the national and local level, learning more about their work, searching for the right place to pilot the new business model.

“Horizons is the kind of place everyone can rally around,” said Lincoln. “I researched many non-profits during the selection process, and there were so many worthy organizations, but the ability to help families living in poverty and the special focus on children, made sense in my head and my heart.”

Lincoln toured one of Horizons Early Education Centers and was overcome by how much the children reminded him of his own. He was sobered by the reality that unlike his own children, at the end of the day many of Horizons’ children leave the classroom for a shelter room.

“I looked around and I didn’t see children experiencing homelessness, I just saw children playing, laughing, and learning,” said Lincoln. “I think that is part of the magic of Horizons, that for these children for a few hours each day they can just be kids, learning and playing.”

Lincoln knew then and there he wanted Horizons to be Goimagine’s pioneer charity.

“I knew Goimagine’s buyers and sellers would be as captivated with Horizons and its mission as I was.”

Horizons is pleased to be the first of many charities that will benefit from Goimagine. “We were thrilled to meet Jonathan and learn more about his vision for a caring economy. It’s admirable that he’s building philanthropic support directly into Goimagine’s mission,” said Horizons’ Chief Development and Marketing Officer Tara Spalding.

Horizons Partnership Provides Impact and Access

Partners often look for two key attributes in choosing a philanthropic partner: impact and access. Companies want to see the difference their investments are making both in terms of numbers, but also on a more personal level.

“Everyone who works for Horizons is so passionate about the work they do. There is an eagerness to allow outsiders to see in, a readiness to allow them to share in the good work. They’ve been generous with their time, sharing the mission and stories of families with our community. It’s made it very easy to partner with them.”

Having tangible examples that demonstrate impact helps too. Horizons’ impact with children and families is evident in both quantitative and qualitative terms. These impacts support what Goimagine is trying to build – a caring economy. Goimagine’s sellers love being a part of the GoImagine caring economy, often donating to Horizons and attending Horizons events after learning about the mission. The partnership is building stakeholder value one person at a time.

Positive Partnerships Get Noticed

Horizons’ collaboration with Goimagine has garnered local attention as well. A number of news organizations highlighted the joint effort as two organizations working in tandem to promote social good. WCVB 5 For Good highlighted the unique relationship and Lincoln’s mission to harness the power of the online community, while Boston 25 News also highlighted the collaboration.

“Consumers want to be a part of something bigger. They want to invest in companies that are doing good in the world,” said Jon. “It’s why Goimagine works.”

Horizons is proud to work with organizations dedicated to social change and is passionate about growing the Horizons community. If you’d like to find out about how to become a Horizons corporate partner, contact us at info@horizonschildren.org.

This post was written by Rachel San Giacomo, a regular contributor to Horizons’ blog.

 

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