The Business of Giving

Robert Herjavec

It’s that time of year. I’m sure that many of you, like me, use some downtime over the holidays to reflect on the past year and consider what you want to do differently next year.

I’ll be the first to admit I find the holidays frustrating—they’re a constant reminder of always wanting to do more. I want more for my family and friends, more for my business, more for the ventures I work with—there’s a constant need to achieve and drive forward—and the start of a New Year brings so much opportunity to see that happen.

I also want more for the greater community.

I love to take time to connect with an incredible group of people at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. This is a world class organization that provides emergency care and long term recovery services for those in need in the Seattle area. They support those who are hungry, homeless or struggling with addiction and poverty. I was humbled to be welcomed into their fold, have the opportunity to serve meals, and take part in their Search & Rescue mission program.

I know that not everyone can take time away from work to volunteer. There are many other ways businesses can support and do good all year round.

Tipsy Elves is one of my most popular Shark Tank ventures. They are the ugly, and often inappropriate, holiday sweater company. As funny as their product is, these are entrepreneurs that know how important it is to give back. They started a Sweaters 4 Sweaters (s4s) initiative so that each sweater purchased online will help the Elves donate brand new hoodies to children in need across the USA. They’ve partnered with Save the Children & Children of Shelters this year to spread some warmth through their hoodie program. You can learn more at here, and support the $155K that has been contributed to sweaters 4 sweaters to date.

Bake Me A Wish is another example of a firm doing good. They create gourmet baked goods like cupcakes, cookies and cakes and they also support an incredible cause: Operation Birthday Cake. When I first came across this team I was blown away. They’ve partnered with Soldiers Angels to donate a portion of orders from select products to send birthday cakes each month to the brave men and women overseas serving on behalf of the US. Plus, if you make a purchase on the site over $25 and enter the code VETERAN, 20% will be contributed to a cake going to support a soldier in VA hospitals across the US. We get so caught up in our own lives and the business of every day, how nice is it to support businesses that are doing just a little bit to make someone else smile?

These are two examples and there are so many more out there.

How are you, your business or your employer giving back?

Are there organizations you support that make a difference this holiday season—or even better all year round?

Photos: Tipsy Elves, Bake Me A Wish

Robert Herjavec
About the author: 

Robert Herjavec is the Chief Executive Officer at Herjavec Group, one of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies – and the country’s largest IT security provider. Robert and his group are frequently awarded for excellence in their fields, and have made a series of growth-based acquisitions over the past decade.  Mr. Herjavec has written two best selling books (“Driven” and “Will to Win”), is a successful race car driver and team owner, and he’s an Influencer on LinkedIn.  Oh…..he’s also a co-star of ABC’s Shark Tank.  Follow him on Twitter.