Doing good has always been a core tenet of Brains on Fire. There’s never been any doubt in our mind that the brands that matter are those with a higher purpose that goes beyond a transaction. Brands that stand for something and fight against injustice in the world however they can. Brands that treat people (both their customers and employees) like people, not numbers.
Last year we made a decision to join the ranks of brands leading with their values in a very public way by embarking on a journey to become a B Corp. If you’re not familiar with B Corps, here’s the short of the long: B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,600 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.
To put it another way, B Corp has a dream that “one day companies will not only compete to be the best in the world, but also the best for the world.”
Becoming a B Corp is an intentionally rigorous process. You can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk and demonstrate how you embrace and support B Corp philosophies in just about every aspect of your business — from employee benefits to how you source office supplies.
When our B Corp journey began, we were doing pretty good as a company. But as we progressed through the audit and application, we began to identify opportunities to do even better. And we got excited about it.
Thanks to our B Corp journey, we have invested more time, thought and energy into our internal culture and programs. Not just our way of thinking, but our way of doing and being. As a result of team input, we have implemented a meeting-free Jam Day once a week with remote “work away” options for all. We provide healthy snacks and sips to our employees. We take pride in sourcing our office with supplies from ethical, fair-trade vendors. We offer incentives for fitness and reading. And you’ll often find a dog or two milling about the office.
In addition, we implemented a new perk known as “Good Time.” Every month, each Brains on Fire employee receives four (paid!) hours of time to volunteer on the clock. To date, we’ve done everything from tutoring children to creating a social media strategy for a local event to volunteering with a domestic violence shelter to building a house through Habitat for Humanity. Simple as it may seem, this gift of give-back time has been a spirit lifter for our team. And we want to inspire other brands and agencies embrace this model in their own companies.
Enter Good Four.
Good Four is a national movement we are launching to mobilize the creative industry for the greater good. It’s one day a year (4/4) when creatives across the country will set aside four hours for their teams to donate time, talent and passion to a cause or nonprofit of their choosing. We believe the creative industry can play a major role in becoming a massive force for good. We’ve already got the talent and heart, we just need to make the time.
Research shows that employees who volunteer through the workplace are less stressed, have stronger bonds with their colleagues, and are 2x more likely to be happy with the progression of their careers. Volunteerism in the workplace is good for employees, good for communities, and good for business.
And we’d like you to join us in a celebration of that goodness on April 4. Whether you’re an independent freelancer, a massive agency, a boutique shop, a student or a brand, you have a unique goodness to share and someone out there could benefit from your time and talent.