At the forefront of self-dubbed "marketplace for social good/s," DoGoodBuyUs, is Zack Rosenberg, its Founder and CEO. Here, SocialBusiness.org talks to the e-commerce maven on how the business came about and how he manages to stay refreshed in a busy, busy industry.
Four Questions with Zack Rosenberg
1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
As every good story starts, the idea came to me while in the supermarket. I picked up two boxes of cereal, one was a name brand and the other, a Paul Newman's Own. I looked at the ingredients of the name brand cereal and saw close to 90 ingredients but only 4 I had ever heard of. When I looked at the label of the Paul Newman's Own, I saw 4 ingredients and I had heard of all of them.
At that moment I began to think to myself, there must be a million organizations out there that are not only good for you but, doing good for others. And, I was right. That being said, there was no place to find them all. So we developed DoGoodBuyUs with this in mind. A centralized place to find organizations that are supporting great causes by selling great products.
In terms of our partners, the greatest benefit to them is our expertise in e-commerce, marketing and most importantly, taking the responsibilities of fundraising/awareness of their plates. Let them get back to making the world a better place. Since our inception we have also begun offering ticketing services for events such as galas/fundraisers, fulfillment for products ordered and additional marketing services.
Currently we work with over 60 organizations selling everything from t-shirts to tea and supporting causes such as cancer research, building schools and hunger. Every day is more rewarding than the next.
2. How did you decide to join this sector?
For the last several years I had been working in the digital advertising industry, this gave me the know-how to execute but not necessarily a foray into the space. What got me interested in social ventures was the newsletter I started a little over two years ago.
I started SixDegreesofZR after a friend of mine had been laid off from his job. He had a family, house, etc. and I wanted to help. I put together an email with his resume to send to twenty or so people. Twenty became fifty and fifty became three hundred. Soon, I had put everyone I know on this email. I sent it out and he got two interviews out of it. From that point on I have helped close to fifty people find jobs and networked many more into interviews.
The experience I had with this led me to many amazing opportunities but mostly, it put me in touch with lots of nonprofits looking for advice. How can we fundraise, how do we build networks? I began to see a pattern. It wasn't until that day in the supermarket I put it all together on how I could help them and built DoGoodBuyUs.
3. How do you get your inspiration?
The news! Whether it is a story about something overseas or a product recall, the news is what drives me. Every time we sell a product, we get to help someone with cancer, malnourished, and in need. It's such an amazing feeling.
4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
This is where friends and family come in. The time I spend on DoGoodBuyUs doesn't allow for much reflection or winding down. The healthiest? Probably not, but we have a lot of work to do.
My family and friends have been the greatest sounding board with the freshest eyes. They have always enabled me to not just be creative but, act on it. From college to other ventures, support is the only thing that can keep you going.
In terms of rituals, getting out there is second to none. I love to network and believe there is no such thing as a bad meeting. I make sure to have lunch with at least one new person each week and reconnect with someone I haven't talked to in awhile. You will be amazed what you find.
'Marketplace for Social Good/s'
1. E-commerce for Social Good - There is a disruptive innovation opportunity to create centralized marketplaces that offer products from organizations supporting great causes.
2. Cause-driven Marketing - Organizations can take advantage of marketing expertise to raise awareness and funds for their causes.
3. Ticketing Services for Events - A disruptive innovation opportunity exists in providing ticketing services for galas and fundraisers, relieving organizations of the responsibility and allowing them to focus on their core mission.
1. E-commerce - The e-commerce industry can adapt by creating platforms dedicated to showcasing products from organizations supporting great causes.
2. Digital Advertising - Digital advertising industry professionals can consider transitioning into cause-driven marketing to help nonprofit organizations raise funds and build networks.
3. Event Management - Event management industry can tap into the opportunity of providing ticketing services for galas and fundraisers, streamlining the process and enabling organizations to focus on their events.