Paul Polizzotto is the CEO and Founder of Givewith, a Service-as-a-Software solution that generates social impact funding opportunities for nonprofits that can be embedded into transactions between buyers and suppliers. As a social entrepreneur, he brings his expertise as the former founder of EcoMedia, which directed more than $100 million in funding and resources to environmental, education and community health and wellness programs across the country, improving the quality of life for more than 60 million people. Here he talks about the role of ESG scores on a company's bottom line and ways that sourcing and procurement can initiate cultural change in their organizations.
Givewith is a social impact technology platform – what does that mean and how does it work?
Givewith is a social enterprise creating innovative solutions that bring together companies and nonprofits to generate real, measurable impact – while simultaneously driving unprecedented business value. Givewith Enterprise is a SaaS solution that generates business-relevant social impact funding opportunities that can be seamlessly embedded into any transaction between a buyer and a supplier.
Here’s how it works:
Our platform analyzes companies’ sustainability and CSR performance based on robust data that’s important to their customer base and the investor community – enabling their company to amplify its strengths and improve weaknesses. The Givewith algorithm aggregates these insights and identifies the most effective nonprofit programs, which the buyer can easily add into any of their RFPs.
Once the bid is awarded, and the buyer and supplier confirm which program they’ve agreed to fund, Givewith facilitates the funding to the nonprofit and precisely measures the impact so both companies can report back to key stakeholders and ESG rating and reporting agencies. Once the deal is complete, Givewith unlocks a library of reporting assets to help share the impact internally and externally. Our suite of storytelling and reporting deliverables are crafted specifically for different departments including the C-Suite, Investor Relations, Marketing and Communications, HR and CSR.
How can sourcing and procurement departments pitch broader adoption of corporate social responsibility initiatives to stakeholders who may be reluctant to get on board?
At Givewith, we’re breaking the notion that social impact and commercial success are mutually exclusive. Our social impact solutions not only help fund the world’s most effective nonprofits, but they also generate unprecedented cross-company value that benefits the entire organization. For example, corporate social responsibility initiatives can generate value for human resources by helping HR teams boost employee morale, retention rates and recruiting efforts. Similarly, social impact is extremely valuable for marketing, PR and communication teams, who can share these stories externally to boost customer sentiment and loyalty.
In an article published in Forbes earlier this year, you said that an organization’s future could depend on its ESG scores. How does a positive ESG score impact a company’s bottom line?
Social impact can also benefit the company from an investment standpoint. A company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating is incredibly important, considering sustainable investing represents one in four dollars of the $46.6 trillion in U.S. assets under management – not to mention companies with better ESG standards typically record stronger financial performance and beat their benchmarks.
By aligning the social impact generated by each program against premier sustainability rating agencies and reporting frameworks, companies can positively influence their ratings which can help spur investment interest and investor confidence.
Can you provide an example of how companies engage with Givewith and how their success is measured?
One of our social impact success stories features one of the biggest media companies in the U.S., HP Inc., and Black Girls CODE. When renewing its print program with HP, the media company decided to integrate Givewith into their RFP process to align their corporate commitments with their sourcing operations.
Through the media company’s purchase of equipment from HP, it directed funding – through Givewith’s Social Impact Sourcing model -- to support Black Girls CODE in its mission to increase the number of women of color in tech and STEM fields. By leveraging this transaction, the media company and HP generated $30,000 in funding, which was used to support 500 girls of color, giving them the opportunity to attend workshops and summer camps in 13 cities across the U.S.
It was recently announced that Givewith is integrating with SAP Ariba. How will this impact users of the platform?
It’s hard to overstate the gravity of what the SAP Ariba integration means for Givewith. By joining the SAP PartnerEdge ecosystem and integrating the Givewith platform with SAP Ariba, we’re enabling millions of buyers and suppliers in the Ariba Network to add social impact programs directly into their sourcing and procurement process. This enables them to not only generate new funding for the world’s most effective nonprofits but to also create unprecedented business value that benefits their entire organization.
For Givewith, the SAP Ariba integration is an enormous opportunity to scale our solutions, so that the nonprofits in our network can scale their impact. We’re leveraging the world’s largest business-to-business network, which connects more than 4.4 million companies and facilitates more than $2.9 trillion in commerce flows annually. What’s remarkable is that if just 8% of the nearly $3 trillion worth of transactions that are processed through the Ariba Network annually use Givewith, this would generate over $3 billion in funding for the nonprofits taking on the most pressing issues of our time. I’m extremely excited for the future of this partnership and all the work that’s to come.
Interested in learning more about adopting social impact sourcing and its business value? Check out Paul's article in Future of Sourcing.
Stacy Mendoza is a Senior Marketing Manager with Sourcing Industry Group (SIG). The foundation of her career is bolstered by her tenure as an editor for a market and public opinion research firm in Washington, D.C., where she worked on projects for political campaigns, nonprofits, and major corporations and brands. Since 2014, she has assumed progressive levels of responsibility in leading marketing and public relations campaigns and specializes in content creation, social media marketing, data analytics, media relations and crisis communications. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, a certificate in grant writing from The Graduate School in Washington, D.C., and is Inbound Certified through Hubspot Academy. Follow her on Twitter and tweet at @SIG_Stacy.