Bringing Communities Together
Royal Cause is a Washington State Social Purpose Corporation formed to advance the growth and sustainability of nonprofit organizations serving the needs of local communities worldwide. We are supported by business clients committed to helping their employees find meaningful volunteer opportunities in local communities. Our nonprofit partners receive our platform services at no charge. Our mobile apps are free and users are never solicited for funds from nonprofits.
The year was 2013. I was (still am) a volunteer nonprofit board member. Our organization serves youth in the community and we depend on businesses for volunteers and funding. As the chair of the growth committee I was focusing on business partnerships. Within the first few weeks I discovered that dozens of great businesses were doing good things in my community. There was no simple way to determine who these businesses were with a mouse-click or two. I learned about their giving from an onsite visit speaking with an owner or a manager. They were more than happy to talk about the programs they were supporting, their sponsorships and the nonprofits they were aligned with.
I started capturing the data from these visits and soon had a ‘directory’ of businesses that give back. There were a lot more than I ever imagined. I would show my spreadsheet to people and watch them light up when they saw their favorite brand in the list. Like me, people are genuinely impressed to discover that most local businesses support something in the community. Very often it is the thing they care about: the environment, animal welfare, education, homelessness etc. Early viewers were eager to know more and I was quite curious too, so I continued my part-time volunteer research. It was a little more than a hobby but less than a job.
Only 20% of employees can name a nonprofit their employer supports
More than 90% of employees can name a cause they care about
Hailey joined up and we started showing our growing dataset to business leaders, civic leaders and nonprofit leaders. People were starting to ask specific questions and using the answers to drive business decisions. It was clear that the initial research would need to be expanded as the list of questions grew.
Businesses want community stakeholders to know they care – Does everyone agree this is good for the community and good for business?
Consumers are driven to make informed purchasing decisions – Are openly generous businesses reaping appropriate rewards for their giving?
Nonprofits need to increase connection with the private sector workforce – Do businesses write bigger checks to nonprofits that cultivate engagement with their employees?
Millennials are actively seeking skills-based volunteer opportunities – Why so few trustworthy resources for connecting them with thousands of local nonprofits?
Attracting fresh talent in competitive industries is a primary challenge for growing companies – Can companies better compete for talent if they boost visibility and proof of social purpose?
CSR informed employees are inspiring community evangelists and brand promoters – How can corporations scale the creation and support of employee ambassadors and advocates?
I vividly recall the time and place when I realized our data was critical to the nonprofit ecosystem. We were asked to meet with a nonprofit executive director and a national bank’s VP of community affairs. The VP wanted to see our data before he would write a check to this nonprofit. We’re being asked by a nonprofit to close the deal with a business donor, no pressure, right? I phoned the nonprofit leader later that afternoon to get a status update and she said, “Thank You! We got the funding.” Data has a way of making decisions easier for everyone.
I spent a major part of my career with technical implementations of data systems. My data fetish is part of who I am. I like facts and I like research. We were getting recognition for some impressive insights
that could significantly improve the health of every nonprofit ecosystems. Our approach for amassing and organizing both the qualitative and quantitative product of our research was producing results.
There was some hesitation on my part knowing that my high-tech career was going to be sidelined by a startup that had something to do with nonprofits. Who thinks that’s a good idea? Hailey was there with her willingness to learn new things. She started as the “graphic artist” and is now a full-stack developer! We hired contractors and developed their skills. We now can say we’re an incubator for men and women in tech. Many of our interns, contractors and part-timers have fulltime roles in Amazon, Microsoft, Concur and other tech companies. The sorrow of losing them is eclipsed by the joy we get from their accomplishments.
I made the initial investments and we quickly grew from a ‘kitchen-table’ business to a ‘kitchen-table + dining room table’ business and we’re experiencing a new surge of growth. We have patents, a technology platform and a strategy to help any business get more ROI from their corporate giving. The more they get the more they will give. We look for believers and our partners are the kind of believers that are making a difference in their community.
Achieving a trustworthy status with primary stakeholders takes time. There are few shortcuts and lots of dead-ends when blazing new trail. Every day is another chance to make our communities stronger and build a better business.
Over 93% of businesses give back
Popular perception is that fewer than 30% of operating businesses invest in the community
Our Founder’s Background
Through our founder, Terrence, Royal Cause has a strong affinity to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County. On a personal level Terrence has been involved with this organization for more than 6 years. He serves as Treasurer on the board, a devoted volunteer and is a former youth mentor – among the BBBS crowd – they call them a BIG. This follows 25 years of youth mentoring and service in the greater Seattle community. Many of it spent at ground-zero volunteering.
In addition to his financial and board commitment Terrence is also a member of the executive board for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a member of the YMCA Technology Advisory Committee and Big Brother Big Sisters Program Delivery Committee. At the civic level Terrence is also a member of the Snohomish County Youth Development Coalition.
Prior to Terrence’s involvement within Snohomish county, Terrence provided volunteer and financial support to a Youth Transition home in Seattle. (Labateyah Youth Home) This unique home furnishes shelter, counseling, educational opportunities and role models to guide youth of all ages and backgrounds along their journey to adulthood.