How Can You Give Back?

Everyone has a passion, whether it is sports, fashion, social causes, people, etc. However, everyone’s passion stems from somewhere different. One thing that is commonly found in all of these passions is personal connection and tie to the object of the passion.


I will be specifically focusing on the social causes aspect of passion and drive. There are a lot of different social causes out there today, so how do YOU choose? Is it because you think their cause is the best? Is it because someone from your family has dealt with the cause personally? Have you personally been impacted by the cause? You have probably answered yes to one of these questions, at least. This brings me to my next point about a specific nonprofit that began simply from a study abroad trip turned into business/nonprofit venture.

ABAN stands for A Ban Against Neglect. The mission of ABAN can be put simply and that is giving women and children in the streets of Ghana something to do in order to raise their children independently without having to involve themselves in jobs such as: prostitution just being one of them. According to


“An estimated 21,000 children, 6,000 street babies, and 7,000 street mothers (under the age of 20) are said to be roaming the streets of Ghana’s capital, Accra. These children come from many different backgrounds, yet whether they have been victims of poverty, abuse, or abandonment, all have one unfortunate common thread: neglect.”


The hope of ABAN is to eventually grow their population of women that are graduating from the ABAN school and the number of women whom are developing life skills such as sewing to support their families.


After learning more about ABAN I began thinking about the nonprofit – for profit relationship and how brands can benefit from partnering with a nonprofit. There are many nonprofits that have partnered with brands and products to promote both awareness and help the brand develop a sense of philanthropy. However, one specific nonprofit/for profit relationship that I find specifically intriguing is that of Operation Smile/Sephora.


Operation Smile is an international organization specializing in children’s surgery. They specialize in inspiring plastic surgeons, dentists, and other medical professions to volunteer to restore cleft lips and palates for young children all over the world. Source:


Sephora is a for profit organization specializing in beauty products and they joined in the effort to provide more kids all over the world with the opportunity to be beautiful too! They joined forces with Operation Smile and created a Lip Baume that is now called Sephora Operation Smile Lip Baume. When you buy a Lip Baume all the net proceeds go to Operation Smile.


This partnership makes sense because of the commonality between the two. Sephora is providing beauty products for the population and Operation Smile is helping, cosmetically, children with cleft lip or cleft palate. By partnering together and creating a Lip Baume it is absolutely relevant and makes sense because the area that Operation focuses on are the mouth and face and what better then to create a Lip Baume that supports a cause!


What did I learn from researching that one? Well I learned that some partnerships don’t make as much sense. Sometimes it seems as though products are only partnering with certain not for profits to get the publicity, however my previous example made a lot of sense and I think is great.


Another example of a partnership that also incorporates a point that Holly Stewart touched on when she came and visited our class was the idea of: “Heartache to Hope”. My example is the Dawn partnership with “The Marine Mammal Center and Bird Rescue.” With the idea that there are so many animals that are dying and struggling because of the polluted waters, Dawn decided to help!

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Dawn and The Marine Mammal Center and Bird Rescue have started and developed a program that teaches teachers, families, and children about the impact of oil on wildlife. Together they have been able to help the heartache that people felt specifically with the large BP oil spill in the Gulf and have made an effort to help the creatures that people feel so sorry for. They have even created a Facebook page which shows that the they have adapted to the generational differences and have used Facebook to reach out to more people.


One last thing that I have found when looking for nonprofit organizations pairing up with for profit organizations is the link between the partnership is either very evident or they are sort of just donating money to the organization instead of making an effort to help the cause. The past two examples have been direct correlations in both what the product stands for and what the organization hopes to achieve.


Many brands are now serving not only a product but also, an experience, according to Holly Stewart and I find that to be one hundred percent accurate especially when you are talking about partnerships. When buying the product they are creating an experience because when you buy the item you know that you are helping a cause, thus making you feel all warm and fuzzy (most of the time!).


So how does all of this tie into ABAN? Good question. All of this partnership research got me thinking about how we can partner with an organization to do two things: create awareness for ABAN and also allow ABAN’s products to be seen throughout the marketplace.


My group and I have developed multiple partnership ideas and we are very excited to present them when the time is right but as of right now I expect that you keep your imaginations running wild because the ideas we have for you are one of a kind! So at a later date everyone will know our examples but until then, we look forward to learning more about what you have to say!


One thought on “How Can You Give Back?

  1. Really enjoyed your Operation Smile example Ally. Would like to hear more about how they keep their dedicated supporters continuously engaged in their mission and how they inspire them to serve as ambassadors for the brand over a sustainable time frame — that’s a piece of the magic, I think!

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