Doing Good by Doing Well: 6 Digital Tools for Social Entrepreneurs
These tools make it easy for you to give back, while pushing you and your business ahead.
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As a social entrepreneur, I love finding companies and products that help me give back to my community. That's why these six apps and platforms have become part of my personal and professional toolkit. They're easy to use as I go about my day -- whether I'm exercising, grocery shopping or working on my site.
Related: When Should Entrepreneurs Pursue a Social Good?
And each one, in its own way, helps make the world a better place.
I find it's way easier to motivate myself to get going on my morning run when I know that the miles I get through are directly helping charity. Free app Charity Miles allows you to raise money and awareness for a cause just by running, biking or walking. As you exercise, Charity Miles measures your distance and donates 10 cents to your chosen charity for every mile you bike, and 25 cents for every mile you walk or run, up to the company's initial million-dollar corporate sponsorship goal.
If helping others motivates you to help yourself, Charity Miles is great for helping keep fitness goals on track -- and feeling positive about your health and social impact.
If you're a social entrepreneur looking to revamp or improve your web presence, check out Rebel. It offers simple, useful tools like website builders, web hosting, custom emails and hundreds of different domain endings -- everything you need to make your mark online -- and offers discounts to charitable organizations and nonprofits. After all, Rebel's philosophy is that "bravery should be high fived. Technology should excite and conversations should ignite. Authenticity should be revered. And those who contribute make us better."
One of Rebel's biggest draws is that the site's creators love to work with other makers, creatives and innovators. By choosing Rebel for your web domains, hosting and business or personal websites, you support a company that's all about inspiring contribution in the world's bravest communication space -- the internet. Its blog is a hilarious must-visit for entrepreneurs, too.
If you're looking for another reason to feel good about a shopping spree, here's one. What if every purchase you made triggered a donation to a local charity? eGood is making this possible by connecting consumers with businesses in their community that want to give back, too.
When I use eGood to check in and shop at eGood businesses in my area, the business will donate a percentage of my purchase to a charity of my choice. eGood is constantly working to add new businesses to its network by asking users to recommend their favorite shops. The best part is you're giving back at no extra cost: It's all included in what you're already spending. So, get shopping!
Related: 10 Tech Companies That Are Making the World a Better Place
Social entrepreneurs should also look up Horyou, a social network where members and organizations can connect around the world to promote solidarity through action. Horyou provides a place for people to share valuable ideas and innovative projects with like-minded individuals.
On its own, a great idea isn't enough to change anything. But Horyou helps turn ideas into concrete actions. If you're looking for a place to talk about your company and learn how to do more good in the world, Horyou's your spot.
It's frustrating when I don't know if a product is safe, healthy or socially and environmentally responsible. That's why I keep the GoodGuide app handy. Its barcode-scanning software instantly tells me if a product I scan lines up with my environmental and social values.
The free app has a database of science-based health, social and environmental ratings for over 170,000 items. It's a great tool to help you make purchases that you can feel good about.
As any entrepreneur knows, it can be tough to find the funds to get your project off the ground, no matter how good your idea is. Fundly is a fundraising platform that's helped non-profits, creative projects, campaigns and individual fundraisers raise over $300 million to date. It has no upfront costs and is trusted by millions of users. When you're looking to raise money for a project or cause, this is an invaluable tool.
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Life as an entrepreneur is wonderful, but it can also be hectic and crazy, which makes it hard to find the time and resources to contribute to the causes you care about. That's why these six tools are so valuable. With a variety of creative ideas and techniques, they make it easy for you to give back, while pushing you and your business ahead.