Doing Good Differently – The FINNEGANS Way

November 1, 2011 8:14 pm

I have been struck recently by the enthusiasm and energy around the social entrepreneurism movement. From the Twin Cities in Minnesota to Vancouver, where I recently attended a conference for female owned social enterprises to Bolivia where I have been asked to speak in November to discuss our business model with their Chamber of Commerce […]

I have been struck recently by the enthusiasm and energy around the social entrepreneurism movement. From the Twin Cities in Minnesota to Vancouver, where I recently attended a conference for female owned social enterprises to Bolivia where I have been asked to speak in November to discuss our business model with their Chamber of Commerce members.

After being at this for 11 years now seeing all of this engagement around social entrepreneurism is exciting stuff! Although there is not total agreement on the definition of social entrepreneurism for me it falls into the category of applying entrepreneurial principles to address a social issue –this also includes addressing the issue in a sustainable manner and the activity must be efficient and effective and scalable. If we, the social entrepreneurs of the world are to be truly relevant and make lasting social impact in a positive way – we must do all of these things well.

It is through this filter that I reflect on how we are doing at FINNEGANS. Our Mission is turning beer into food – feeding the hungry in the communities where we sell our product. We are committed to donating all of our profits (we pay our bills and our (hopefully someday) market-rate salaries and health care for our staff) to alleviate hunger. We are 100 percent sustainable meaning we collect no grants of any kind – we generate all of our own revenue and then we choose to give those profits back to alleviate hunger in those community that support our brand.

In 2011 we changed up how we donate our funds – we have selected one non profit partner in each state where we sell our product (MN, ND, SD and WI) to donate our profits to. In Minnesota we have chosen the Emergency Foodshelf Network (EFN) as our partner. They are innovative – they even have an arm of their company – Tanna which generates revenue for their company. FINNEGANS has teamed up with EFN to be the financial partner and to help expand their Harvest for the Hungry (HFTH) program. In this program we purchase fresh produce from local farms and that produce gets distributed to local food shelves in all of our beer markets – so all of the profits from the FINNEGANS sold in Brainerd purchases produce from a local farm in Brainerd and that food goes to a local food shelf in Brainerd! In 2011 we have added 5 farms in Minnesota and purchased over 32,000 pounds of food. We are working closely with EFN to bring this HFTH program to all of the other states where we distribute our product. (Sustainable, efficient, effective and scalable!)

So, at the end of the day, by selling our beer we are feeding the hungry (fresh, local produce) and supporting local farms at the same time – truly a win-win-win all the way around – we think we are walking the social entrepreneur line in a way that we had hoped we could.

Would you like to help us!? Here is my CALL TO ACTION:

Support our ‘Drink Like You Care’ campaign – For sales of FINNEGANS from November 1 to December 31 2011 our distributors match our donation Click here for loads of fun DLYC holiday party /happy hour ideas…there is even a chance to win a pub party for you and 25 of your friends – check it out!!

Share our story with others – we grow our brand one pallet at a time and since we don’t have a huge marketing budget we grow our brand by folks sharing our story with others. Ask your favorite bar/restaurant/liquor store to carry FINNEGANS if they are not currently carrying the brand. Tell your friends about our DLYC party kit – let them know they can help feed the hungry just by throwing a FINNEGANS party!

Volunteer – We have a bunch of fun volunteer opportunities throughout the year – click here for more information!! From pouring beer at events to helping pack food at a food bank, there are volunteer opportunities to fit all interests!

 

Become a FINNEGANS Community Leader – We have a new leadership development program designed to help us scale our activities. Email Tricia at Tricia@finnegans.org to find out more!

 

Thanks so much for helping us to make a difference out there – we couldn’t do it without you!!

My Best,

Jacquie

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HERE'S TO DOING GOOD.
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