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Uniting Companies, Employees and Customers for Social Good

Social Enterprise Alliance Article





A few years ago, after running a successful tech company in the publishing space, Doug Lessing was motivated to do something more, something that would make a strong positive impact on the world. His three Gen Z daughters had inspired him to think differently about the world and how he wanted to leave his mark. That was the spark for Phin, short for “philanthropy,” a Certified B Corp that helps companies unite their employees and customers with causes they are passionate about.

The social good platform helps companies build great teams and engage customers through social impact. Donation credits are granted by companies to their customers and employees as incentives for engagement, participation, or to simply say thank you. These donations help empower innovative nonprofits to solve the world’s biggest environmental, social and community problems – from access to clean water and healthful food to reducing poverty to minimizing climate impacts.

Phin’s place in the world is to support companies interested in developing more meaningful customer and employee relationships and looking to do good in their community and world. Those companies are gutsy enough to say, “We can do this. Let’s get to work.” One stellar example of a company that weaves the #dogood practice into everyday thought is Magnetic Advisers. Magnetic is a private equity fund investing in small businesses to create a positive impact in the community. Continual investment in companies over time is how they make a substantial difference. They follow a similar philosophy in their philanthropy. It’s doing a little every day with Phin throughout the year, not writing one big check at the end. It’s supporting musicians, food banks and shelters during the weeks of the Phin Food & Shelter program. It’s inspiring the next generation of inventors and entrepreneurs through Hack the Lib. It’s promoting clean water initiatives and women entrepreneurship through Saha Global. And by directly involving the community in all of these efforts through Phin, they multiply the power of these initiatives by raising awareness and empathy for these impactful causes.

Growing Phin’s operations was a team effort. Doug Lessing established Phin’s positive purpose with the help of Susi Burke, Phin’s Chief Impact Officer, Visual Storyteller Mat Sabatino, Head of Business Development Sam Sunmono; and Pauline Elasigue, Head of Operations. He also sought other like-minded world-changers and organizations to immerse himself in the social enterprise community. SEA was the first community he joined and was immensely inspired by other leaders in this community. SEA provided the resources, conversations and support that emboldened Doug to forge ahead with his plans to launch Phin. Public benefit companies like Phin are uniquely challenging to create. Being committed to many stakeholders requires a deft touch, as the business attracts different investors, customers, partners and friends. This is why SEA is so important: uniting others facing these unique challenges together.

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