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What We Do
HOW THE CYCLE WORKS
When companies decide to join Good Returns, we identify their key cause areas and what they want to achieve with their giving. Companies decide the amount of their one year, interest-free loan to Good Returns, and we prepare a cycle for them – the first step toward real impact.
Through our partnerships with foundations and impact investors, Good Returns structures a guarantee for 100% of each company’s cycled capital. Cycling is essentially risk-free – even if an Impact Organization were to be unable to repay on time, the capital is secured and is returned to the cycling company on schedule.
Good Returns deploys the funds to its network of vetted Impact Organizations, also in the form of one year, interest-free loans, working across a variety of areas including poverty, access to clean water, sustainable energy, health, and more.
Impact Organizations leverage this interest-free capital to scale their missions and generate sustainable impact in their respective fields. Good Returns works closely with these Impact Organizations to produce powerful stories of hope generated by the cycled capital. Good Returns stories are curated for participating companies, and we help them communicate effectively with employees, customers, and their communities – creating significant new value for both companies and impact organizations.
At the conclusion of each year, every Impact Organization repays its interest-free loan to Good Returns. We measure and report the overall impact of the capital to determine the increase in scale the sustainable organizations were able to achieve through the cycle.
The Good Returns model is a new way to give. Because cycle capital always returns, the participating companies can reuse the capital – for business purposes or to create even more good. Companies can donate the returned capital to a local nonprofit, creating impact twice with the same dollars. They can cycle and then pay investor dividends upon return, creating good with earnings. Companies can also “re-cycle” – sending the same capital back through Good Returns again to create even more social solutions and new stories of impact. In every case, a Good Returns cycle unlocks more capital to serve humanity sustainably.
Who Is Involved
The role of companies consists of two important parts:
First, the company provides the capital, in the form of a one year, interest-free loan, to Good Returns for the purpose of providing impact loans to organizations that align with the companies focus areas. Through partnerships with foundations and impact investors, the capital is guaranteed by Good Returns, providing the company with assurance that all funds will be repaid at the conclusion of the Cycle period.
Second, the company leverages its platform to share the stories of impact that Good Returns and the impact organizations create as part of the Cycle process. Through film, photo, and narrative, Customers, employees, and stakeholders all participate in hearing and sharing the stories - a powerful tool for raising awareness and inspiring action within the causes of the impact organizations.
Impact Organizations contain three important characteristics:
They are working to address a key problem facing humanity (e.g. poverty, education, access to clean water, environment)
They address this problem using a financially and operationally sustainable model. In other words they don’t require donations or grants to fund their programs.
They do not create major negative side effects as part of their programs. If an organization is working to address poverty, but their program results in a major negative impact on the environment they would not qualify as an Impact Organization.
The role of Impact Organizations in the Good Returns model is pretty simple - to create impact. Since they have a financially and operationally model for addressing key humanitarian challenges, they are uniquely positioned to use interest-free loan capital to scale their work and increase social impact.
In addition to utilizing the capital to create impact, Good Returns also works with the Impact Organizations to document powerful stories of the work being completed in order to share them through the platform of participating companies. By sharing these stories, awareness is raised and relationships are formed, often resulting in increased resources that can be used for further scaling the organization’s impact model.
Guarantors are the key to making the Good Returns model possible. In order to mobilize substantial financial resources from companies, the risk of default needs to be mitigated. In order to eliminate risk for companies, Good Returns establishes key partnerships with foundations and impact investors. These guarantors share in the risk equal to their proportional coverage while making it possible for companies to provide growth capital and a unique storytelling platform.
Good Returns has two different guarantee types:
Foundations, institutions, and individuals can provide a financial guarantee through a Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC) from their primary financial institution. This method enables the guarantor to retain all their assets under their control until a call is made.
Foundations, institutions, and individuals can invest into the Guarantee-Investment-Values Strategies, or GIVS, hosted by Inverdale Capital Management. This method enables guarantors to invest their capital into strategies that can produce a financial return, all while participating in the guarantee directly.
Areas of Focus
THE POWER OF THE CYCLE
By allowing companies to lend, or cycle, rather than just donate, Good Returns creates opportunities
for more capital to be deployed for scaling sustainable solutions.
CONSIDER THIS: Over the past 50 years, corporate philanthropy has averaged a mere 0.9% of pre-tax profits.
That means that, on average, less than 1% of a company's financial output is directly being used to benefit humanity.
But we realize that businesses do not exist to simply donate. Executives answer to shareholders and shareholders demand returns.
By supplementing their annual giving with a cycle, companies can afford to commit more capital each year while sharing stories of authentic impact being generated through sustainable means. In doing so they can increase their impact without increasing their effective cost.
Don't just ask 'How can we give more?' Ask 'How can we do more with what we currently give?'
Now that's something that every shareholder can get excited about.