From our work around the globe to the thought we put into our new office, The Improve Group’s public benefit takes many forms. We recently described the many ways we support positive social change with our very first report as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC).
We became a PBC on December 31, 2016, formally pledging to make public benefit one of our primary objectives. But this new legal status simply reflects our work and mission over more than 15 years. As a PBC, we will report on how we pursued and created public benefits every year to the State of Minnesota and the broader public.
In our report, we highlighted some of our strategies for pursuing public benefits in 2016:
- Working on projects that advance social change, including pro bono work
- Engaging staff members in multiple initiatives, like building a Habitat for Humanity house together and matching staff donations
- Moving to a new office designed with community collaboration, inclusiveness, and accessibility in mind. The office includes our “Creative Zone,” a gathering space for community events.
We also reported the public benefits we created through our work, including leveraging our abilities and talents to help more than 80 organizations make a positive social change in their communities across sectors and around the world. Some examples include:
- Best Buy developing new strategies to inspire youth to pursue technology careers
- The State of Minnesota partnering more effectively with communities to reduce and prevent tobacco use
- NACOLE, the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement, identifying new ways to promote institutionalization of civilian oversight of law enforcement
- Mercy Corps learning the impact of community resiliency and food insecurity initiatives in Niger and Mali
In addition to helping our clients, we also take public benefits into consideration in all our operations, such as when selecting our vendors. For example, our office supplies come from a woman-owned business that gives back to the community, we hosted an open house that showcased hyper-local vendors, and curated a community conversation to share strategies about making positive social change.
The Improve Group has been on the forefront of helping businesses define, measure, and articulate their public benefit. We provided pro bono social impact evaluation consulting to some of Minnesota’s first PBCs.