Heroes Work Here: Leading the Way in Sustainable Social Change

There is a tendency to judge each nonprofit and socially responsible brand based on the level of funding that it raises for a chosen cause, but this would not do justice to the thousands of charitable organizations operating within the contemporary world. What is more important is the distribution of this funding, and the way in which it empowers individuals to effect long term and sustainable social change.

An example of this can be seen through Disney’s Heroes Work Here campaign, which will initially strive to create a minimum of 1,000 jobs for U.S. veterans returning from conflicts in the Middle East. However, this campaign goes far beyond being a simple recruitment drive, and it is the brand’s further commitment to invest in delivering services and long-term training programs to veterans that will ultimately have a far greater global impact.

Providing Sustainable Solutions for Prominent Issues

Through real-time, interactive conversations and collaboration, charitable organizations have been able to easily identify and immediately address the most prevalent social issues of today. Unemployment is one of the most prominent examples in contemporary society and has dominated U.S. headlines over the last 18 months. Disney’s campaign and commitment to invest in selected nonprofits is the latest in a long line of initiatives designed to resolve this issue and continues the trend for increasingly targeted and sustainable campaigns.

This trend was also established with the recent White House Summer Jobs Initiative and the Create Jobs for USA campaign, and the ‘Heroes Work Here’ initiative has also been developed to encourage sustainable change for a specific social demographic. Whereas the former sought to create opportunities and skills for the young unemployed, the Create Jobs for USA project combined the community-led expertise of both Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) to help train disadvantaged and low-earning individuals.

Creating a Community of Workers and Business Leaders

There are two key benefits of these types of campaigns. The first is that by targeting specific social groups, nonprofits and charitable foundations are able to develop a clear understanding of their cause and invest their time and money appropriately. Secondary to this is the core focus placed on sustainability, which ensures that beneficiaries are equipped with industry-relevant and transferable skills that can help them to maintain financial independence. With such well-thought out and structured campaigns, organizations are now moving towards the creation of permanent solutions as opposed to quick fix investments.

With unemployment such a long-standing issue in the U.S., some nonprofits have even gone a step further in delivering sustainable independence to individuals. For example, U.S. nonprofit Count Me In  established the Make Mine a Million initiative with a view to assisting women in creating their own businesses, while equipping them with the tools to play an integral part in driving economic growth. So rather than delivering educational programs and resources that create skilled employees, the project seeks to empower creative women as the employers of tomorrow.

Nonprofits Aspire to Do More

The Make Mine a Million campaign is fitting for the age, as it aspires to create leaders who can positively influence both their local communities and the wider economy. By creating job opportunities and empowering social demographics with transferable industry and management skills, this and similar campaigns have played their part in effecting genuinely sustainable change. For your nonprofit, the key to achieving this lies in paying careful attention to what you wish to accomplish, both in terms of the individuals that you would like to help and the legacy that you want to leave for society.

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