Integrating Authentic Give-Back Programs with Laura Hertz
Improve employee engagement with socially-conscious giving.
Laura Hertz is the CEO and Co-Founder of Gifts for Good, an e-commerce gifting website that sells hundreds of gifts that give back. It is the first company of its kind that offers corporate gifts with a social impact. Laura believes that a daily gratitude practice can help you better appreciate what you have as well as increase your awareness of the importance of giving back.
“Use business as a force for good.”
Gifts for Good
- Your give-back program should be included in your business model to have the highest impact.
- Any company can showcase their values by finding creative ways to incorporate giving back.
- How to pivot your corporate gifting initiatives during challenging times.
Millennial entrepreneur, Laura Hertz, is the co-founder and CEO of Gifts for Good: an innovative, millennial-driven, and socially conscious startup whose mission is to disrupt the world of business gifting. As an agent of change for both large corporations and smaller companies alike, Gifts for Good’s digital platform is the only resource in the $100 billion corporate gifting industry that curates premium and purposeful gifts that give back.
“When you authentically lead with a commitment to give back, you can change lives.”
Gifts for Good
Hello, I’m Michael Kurland, CEO and Co-Founder of Branded Group. Welcome to the #BeBetter Podcast. To me, our company’s mantra to “Be Better” is more than a tagline; it’s a culture that permeates our organization, propelling our team to Be Better to each other, our customers and our communities as well as to ourselves. Each week on the #BeBetter podcast, I interview leaders who authentically exemplify how they are being better in their professional and personal lives.
Thank you to PetSmart whose Paws for Hope program has been helping sponsor animal assisted therapy programs in 8 hospitals. Additionally, since 1992, PetSmart for Patriots and the Canine Companions for Independence have helped increase access to assistance dogs for veterans. Learn more about PetSmart at petsmart.com.
Michael Kurland (00:02):
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the BeBetter podcast. I’m your host Michael Kurland. Today, joining me is Laura Hertz co-founder and CEO of Gifts for Good. She’s also Forbes 30 under 30, a social entrepreneur, and serves on the national board of directors for The Cancer Society. Laura, can you please tell the audience a little bit more about your company and what you guys do?
Laura Hertz (00:31):
Of course. Thanks for having me on the show Michael. We are Gifts for Good or giftsforgood.com if you want to check us out online. We’re an e-commerce gifting website that sells hundreds of gifts that give back. So we partner with over 50 different nonprofits and social enterprises, whose products we sell. If you’re watching on video, you can see some of them behind me. I’m sitting in our showroom, but all of them have a beautiful story behind them and impact.
Michael Kurland (00:57):
Well, that’s great. I am so excited to have you on the show. This season is all about gratitude and kind of the words that are synonymous with gratitude, specifically giving back is what we’re talking about. I’m going to be focusing on probably a little bit more today and the reason I wanted to have you on and thought it was important to have you on is because we have a mutual friend and he introduced me to your company. I was like this is so aligned with what Branded Group does and it’s such a great idea. I’m so glad that you came up with it. So why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about how that happened and in the show notes you sent me over your little clip that you did on Good Morning America. So obviously this is a big thing. So let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about how Gifts for Good came to be, why it was important to you and your little journey to get to 30 under 30 in Good Morning America.
Laura Hertz (02:12):
Of course. So we are the first source for corporate gifts with a social impact. So helping companies like yours to get away from Harry and David and some of those junk drawer kind of promotional swag, but typically ends up in a junk drawer, and give something with a bit more meaning and story behind it when it comes to employee and client gifting. If you watched a little bit of my story, you probably saw some of that journey. I was working at Deloitte and like a lot of people right after college got recruited to one of the big four accounting firms. And I just saw so much swag ending up in the junk drawers there and all these different gifts that we were getting as employees and new hires and everyone just kind of right away, either throwing them in the trash, putting them in a drawer or joking about them.
Laura Hertz (02:57):
I kept thinking to myself, man, there needs to be something better, especially in this industry. Before Deloitte, I had spent about two years before college working with AmeriCorps and volunteering with non-profits all around the country and that was just an amazing experience. I had really always wanted to get back to really serving other people and giving back in some capacity. So I went actually back to business school and I put this idea that I had working at Deloitte of seeing all this junk drawer swag. I started researching the industry and I spent about six months with my co-founder actually working on this business as a class project in business school. I started learning about the corporate gifting industry and I learned this is a hundred billion dollar industry here in the U S, which is astounding. Like that’s a very big industry, a hundred billion dollars a year being spent on corporate gifts.
Laura Hertz (03:47):
To put that in perspective, I learned companies only donate $18 billion a year to philanthropic causes every year. So they’re spending a hundred billion on corporate gifts, but donating $18 billion a year to charitable causes. I started looking at the stats and I found out that over 50% of corporate gifts go to a landfill every two years. So you’re literally just seeing $50 billion going into a landfill for corporate gifts and that was just astounding to me and just thinking about the impact that companies could have if they took this budget money that they’re already spending and then used it as a force for good and to change people’s lives. So that’s really the basis of really what we’re doing started as a class project in business school and me and my co-founder looked at each other and we said, Hey, this is a pretty good idea. Maybe we should work on it and here we are today, four years later. I think it’s definitely resonated with companies around the country who were really just looking for something a bit more different and a better way to engage with their employees and clients.
Michael Kurland (04:46):
Absolutely and you said a lot of things there that really struck home for me. First thing I wanted to touch on is the junk drawer swag. So we do trade shows at Branded Group every year, we call it show season. So we’re out hitting the road for about three months and people have got these stress balls and these tchotchkes and these pens. I used to work for another company prior to Branded Group in the same industry and we had our tchotchkes and stress balls and Koozies and all this other garbage and on top of like, we made bags, we made recycled bags. That was one of our first things we did because we thought, because there are people that do want to fill those bags with the junk that they take home to their kids.
Michael Kurland (05:31):
But, eventually I started saying, what, like, what are we wasting this money on? And on top of that, I hated shipping it to and from the show because you never, you never got rid of all of it, right. Because you have to order in bulk. So we started doing for the shows, we started doing a giveaway with local nonprofits. So we would put our fishbowl out and we’d make cards ahead of time. And it said whoever has the most votes. And it was between the local humane society, the local food pantry and the local veterans. You put your name, your email and you circle the card, which one you want to vote for. At the end, we’ll donate 500 bucks because I mean, I’m going to spend more than that, just probably on shipping the stuff there and back. It was a huge success and at the end of the day, I didn’t want to give away stupid tchotchkes.
Laura Hertz (06:26):
There’s a much better way to do it.
Michael Kurland (06:29):
I want you to guess which one won 90% of the time.
Laura Hertz (06:35):
Was it the veterans?
Michael Kurland (06:36):
Actually the veterans never won. The pets won. The pets won 90% of the time.
Laura Hertz (06:41):
People love pets. That’s true, always dogs and cats. And it’ll definitely resonate when it comes to, we have a software that gives you a choice between a gift, a physical gift or a donation choice and I would say pets is usually one or two and then meals for children always gets people too.
Michael Kurland (06:58):
It’s working the same with us. So, we started doing that and that’s why when JP reached out to me and said that we should know each other, it just made so much sense because I’m like this is what I’ve been looking for. So kudos to you. But I have a question. I think the audience probably wants to know this too. Did you get an A on the project?
Laura Hertz (07:19):
I did get an A on the project. Actually, that professor has been one of the biggest supporters of us and she’s just been an amazing asset and wanted to provide guidance literally since the day we launched. So now everyone at USC at the Marshall School of Business has somehow heard in her class about us. It’s now we’re like her shining star that she showcases. So yeah, I think we got an A on it. Not that I really remember, but I’m pretty sure.
Michael Kurland (07:42):
Right. Because if you had gotten a B, maybe that would have deterred you a little bit, but it would’ve been shame on that professor, right? Like maybe your grading scale needs a little bit of better of a bell curve. Anyway, I digress. So let’s talk a little bit about gratitude, right? Because that’s where you talked about being servant leadership-ish and wanting to do AmeriCorps, which is kudos to you. I never had the I’ll say guts to do that. I always thought it was cool, but I’m very, I don’t know if this makes sense if it’s pictured in my mind, so maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like you’re not showering as much because you’re out like working.
Laura Hertz (08:21):
100%. I definitely had my khaki pants that went up to my belly button and like my big belt that went around my gray t-shirt that I tucked in. I would say we showered on a good week, maybe two days, three days and you would get really dirty. I mean, you’re like leading volunteers on the roof in Louisiana and 115 degrees. It’s not a good situation.
Michael Kurland (08:47):
Kudos to you and that’s awesome. I just have to shower every day. It’s a thing. But so let’s talk about that a little bit because we’re talking about gratitude. What’s like the best thing you did and you learned on your AmeriCorps volunteerism and what sparked you to do that?
Laura Hertz (09:04):
It was a really amazing thing that I did right after high school for a year before I went to college at UC Berkeley. I actually had gone down to New Orleans to Louisiana to volunteer and I led a group of high school students actually in my class. We all went down there, were volunteering and I was just struck by the nation really wasn’t talking about what was happening after Hurricane Katrina. When I went down and saw it firsthand, I could not believe the devastation and how many people still didn’t have homes years after the hurricane. It just struck something in me. While we were down there volunteering, we worked a little bit with an AmeriCorps group and I saw the work that they were doing and I had already accepted my college acceptance and I ended up coming home and being like, I’m taking a year off, I’m going to volunteer.
Laura Hertz (09:53):
I just feel like I need to do something after seeing that and it was the most amazing experience in my life and fundamental to what I do today. I mean you’re 18 years old and I was lucky enough to grow up in a place with food in my belly and a roof over my head and a great public education and things that most of the world is not so blessed to have. I think the whole experience really put it in perspective with me. We spent about six, seven months down in New Orleans, Louisiana and Mississippi rebuilding homes. We worked with Habitat for Humanity, rebuilding them from the ground up. I also did a fun process of mold remediation on homes, which is not fun. It’s a very dirty work you’re putting on your full Hazmat suit you’re climbing through the rafters of the house.
Laura Hertz (10:37):
It’s some fun stuff. We also taught in the inner city schools here in LA and I really lived in the inner city as well in a really bad area and neighborhood and it definitely taught me what it’s like for these kids to go home to that kind of environment every day. Then I also worked at a food bank up in Sacramento, the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services. I was there during the holidays and that was just an amazing experience as well was helping to run that largest clothing distribution program in the state of California and then I did their big Turkey run, which in Sacramento, a lot of people have heard of run a feed the hungry probably over 30,000 people do it in the city every year. I helped organize that whole experience and I mean all of these different pockets, I think just made me grateful in so many different capacities of my life.
Laura Hertz (11:26):
Teaching in the inner city made me grateful for my education and everything that I had grown up with. You know, I felt so grateful that I had had a Thanksgiving meal every day of my life and never in my life was that something that I never thought my family would have. So seeing all these thousands of families come in to pick up their Thanksgiving meal, I mean, it just changes you. There’s something about that whole experience and then I think just rebuilding homes in Louisiana, like I was so grateful for having roof over my head and just shelter. So I think it’s those basic needs that you kind of take for granted and they can just go over your head when you’re working and busy and normal professional and having that kind of experience just, I think puts it all in perspective as well.
Michael Kurland (12:06):
Wow. So much to unwrap there. So you were totally built to run this company from a young age, so kudos to you for being able to look at it from that lens in your teens and really seeing there’s so much entitlement out there these days and now for you to have seen that and your 16, 18 year years, and being able to go out and do that, that’s good. Good for you. But I want to touch on a couple of things there. First and foremost, Habitat for Humanity, great organization. Branded Group also partners with them. We’ve helped build over 12 homes in Southern California and in Suffolk County, New York and if you’ve never volunteered at Habitat audience, I really recommend getting out and go swing a hammer.
Michael Kurland (12:55):
I mean, they’re not going to let you do anything that you can’t do and actually, if you’ve ever talked to a PM on a Habitat site, they’ll tell you that they’re probably going to have a professional crew come in and fix everything you did anyway. So it’ll pass inspection and you get to like learn the ins and outs of building a home. But then the thing I really liked that Habitat does is they’d let you meet the people that you’re building the home for, because they have to work side by side with you and you get to learn their story and what you’re doing to help change their lives. So anyway I started at Habitat in college and again, that was our first one-to-one program partner. We’ve since also grown with the Second Harvest food pantry out here.
Michael Kurland (13:36):
So you said Thanksgiving meals, like you sparked this in my mind. I volunteered in St. George Utah. That’s where my Dad used to live and my aunt and uncle live and it’s a pretty well to do neighborhood, but they had this one volunteer place and on Thanksgiving, I got my whole family about three or four years ago to go down and do exactly what you said and just to see people that were so grateful to have a Turkey dinner. So many people and this is just one small town that you wouldn’t even think was not in a bad way. So many people from there. So again, I’m glad that you brought that up because I want to encourage the audience, even though food pantries and volunteerism will tell you Thanksgiving and Christmas are the highest days that they have volunteers.
Michael Kurland (14:28):
I still think it’s pertinent for everyone to go do that because it’s so important to see what you just said, what it’s like for someone to not have food in their bellies and really be thankful and grateful for what you have. So anyway, I digress, but I thought you brought up so many good points I wanted to touch on. So let’s talk about this now you’re grown up, you’ve got this great company and you’ve practiced gratitude and you’ve seen the graciousness of all your environment around you. What do you do now? What does this high level young professional do to practice gratitude on a daily basis?
Laura Hertz (15:02):
I have one thing that someone actually gave to me the year I was starting the business and it’s one of my favorite tools. I don’t know if you’ve used it, it’s called the Five Minute Journal. You can buy it on Amazon, super simple way to practice gratitude, but I give it to all of our employees when they start and it’s just a really great practice of practicing gratitude in the morning and evenings. So twice a day, it takes two minutes and pretty much that tool has you write down three things you’re grateful for that morning, three things that could make that date great and then one daily affirmation and then when you’re going to bed, you pretty much do the same thing. Talk about three things that were great that happened that day and how you could have made that day even better.
Laura Hertz (15:42):
And it’s such a simple way to just rewire your brain and just focus on gratitude, because I think sometimes especially when you’re stressed or you’ve had a hard week at work, it’ll just put it in perspective of maybe the small thing that I’ve been focusing on, tt really doesn’t matter. Here are the things I have to be grateful for at the end of the day and so that’s just a small thing that I do, but it really helps me and it takes two minutes and the journal costs like $10. So I just recommend anyone out there buy on Amazon, great tool to use to practice gratitude on a daily basis.
Michael Kurland (16:12):
I like that. The season’s been our longest season because there’s so much to talk about with gratitude, but I’ve talked to I think you’re like the 11th or 12th guest for the season and every one of the 11 or 12, we’ve asked this question and they all have different ways to ways to practice gratitude on a daily basis. So I hope the audience is taking some notes on that, but great, great tool. I think what the big thing with that tool is probably, and I hope you agree with me on this is consistency, right? If you’re not doing it every day, it’s not going to be as useful.
Laura Hertz (16:50):
Exactly. I recommend if you get it, I literally put it below my feet. So I get out of bed, my feet hit it and then I’m like, Oh yeah, I’ve got to do that. So it just reminds me to do it in bed, right. When I’m getting into bed and right when I get out of bed, otherwise you can just start focusing on some other things and sending emails. So I literally make it a practice to step on it and then start that journaling.
Michael Kurland (17:13):
That is a totally new one. Put it under your feet in the morning. I love it. So, I like to think with especially both of us being in California, the way California is handling the vaccinations, but hopefully for the rest of the country in the world we’re coming to the backside of COVID-19. So let’s talk about your time with COVID and how, what has it taught you about being grateful?
Laura Hertz (17:41):
Oh, man, I think it’s taught me so many things. This past year was such a journey for us. I think in the beginning it was really because we work with so many nonprofits and social enterprises and a lot of them have job training programs. So that means they’re bringing groups of people together to make our products. So maybe we have a group of people are transitioning out of homelessness, who are hand-making our cutting boards in downtown LA, or we have a group of women refugees who were hand-making our candles in Massachusetts. So a lot of these organizations were impacted in the beginning and it was just so sad. You’re just getting all of these calls of, Hey, you know, we need to shut down our shelter. We need to shut down this program temporarily and I think those first couple months, like they were for everyone, we’re just pretty much like, what is this going to look like?
Laura Hertz (18:27):
How are we going to get through this? How are we going to survive? I think in the beginning, a lot of people too were cutting back on those initial budgets, but I think what was amazing last year is I saw more companies than ever looking for ways to give back and recognizing how important that was to their employees and to their clients and just spreading that message of good at a time when I think everyone really needed some powerful and positive messaging. So right after we got through that initial hump, we really recognized the power of what we were doing to support all of our non-profit and social enterprise partners. We became really an engine for a lot of them to keep their doors open last year. So that was just for me, something where we just really recognize how grateful we were to have this type of model, because they may have lost their consumer arm of their business, but we were able to keep sending them corporate and bulk orders.
Laura Hertz (19:19):
And for us, that was just a really amazing feeling. So it was great to see. I think more companies than ever just standing up and really showcasing their values and finding ways to incorporate doing good, even say maybe your client holiday party was canceled. We had some companies come to us and say, Hey, I have a $75,000 budget. I no longer have this party. What can I do with it? What organizations can I give it to? So that was just really great and I think we just feel really grateful for having a wonderful year last year and being able to literally impact hundreds of thousands of people’s lives last year. So that was wonderful and definitely a gift to our team.
Michael Kurland (19:58):
To your point, we definitely cancelled our holiday party. We had to deal with all the uncertainty in the beginning, but like you said, I think we’re coming out the backside and I think being able to get all these people back and working is something to be grateful for. But you touched on the people in the shelter in LA that are making cutting boards and the women’s shelter and Massachusetts, that’s making things for you. So tell the audience just a little bit about that because I know they can go to the website, but I think that is really important for them to hear from your mouth. What is it exactly? How does it work with some of your nonprofit organizations that are making these gifts and stuff like that?
Laura Hertz (20:43):
For alot of people, it’s definitely a new concept and they haven’t heard of the types of organizations that we’re working with. So we partner with both nonprofits as well as social enterprises. So businesses that are making money, but doing good in the world and have that really built into their business model. We work with over 50 different organizations, all with different unique ways of giving back. So for example, we might have candles that are actually handmade by women refugees who were in a job training program in Massachusetts, or we’ll have leather products that are made down in Honduras. For every bag that you buy, you’re providing seven days of schooling for a child in Honduras and if you go onto our website, you can actually see the specific impact of every single purchase and what that impact is creating. It’s a really unique experience and something that takes a lot of time as we’re establishing our partnerships with our nonprofits and social enterprises, because we actually measure impact down to the product level.
Laura Hertz (21:39):
So, for example, when you buy this soap and candle, it’s providing an hour of job training for women who are transitioning out of homelessness. So a lot of these are actually job training programs that we work with and these nonprofits actually use the sale of physical products to help fund their missions and so that’s a new concept for a lot of people. It’s not just us taking a percentage back and giving it to Habitat for Humanity. A lot of these are actual programs that are run by nonprofits that are employing people in need and actually helping to fund the non-profit programs. So that’s a really unique aspect of what we’re doing and definitely bringing that story to life is really key to all of our guests. So when you get one of them, you get a social impact story card is what we call it and you can see some of them behind me if you’re watching on video and he gets to read that story behind the product, how it’s changing someone’s life. You might showcase just like what you said with Habitat for Humanity, where you get to meet the person who you’re impacting most of the time, you’ll see a photo of one of the makers on the front of that story card and get to read about their story and how that product is changing someone’s life.
Michael Kurland (22:42):
Thanks and thanks for sharing that. I just think that’s really important for the audience to hear and you mentioned your software and you’re tracking this. I am not tech savvy at all, but I do know that you guys have great software and you have the ability to collect a lot of different data and get it and it’s not just like who accepted, where, what they got and then when you get the gift it’s like you just mentioned, you get to know a little bit about what you just contributed to. So anyway, I digress, but I thought that was really important to touch on. So thanks for going down that road with me. So sticking with the COVID-19 pandemic, how has it impacted your ability to get back? Let’s talk about that a little bit.
Laura Hertz (23:27):
I mean, we felt really, really grateful. Last year, we were able to grant over $400,000 to our nonprofit partners. We planted over half a million trees last year. We gave over 85,000 meals. Those are just some of the stats that we were able to do, but we had an impact last year and I think much more than we ever imagined we could have. Definitely saw just a lot of traction and more people wanting to give back than ever and tell that story through their corporate gifting budget, especially. But last year, as you mentioned, we do have software and we launched that last year. That was actually as a result of the pandemic that we ended up building that out. Pretty much me last March sat down and I thought, how is this going to change the nature of the work that we’re doing, where we’re giving gifts?
Laura Hertz (24:14):
And naturally, I thought it’s going to get hard to gather people’s home shipping addresses. So we actually built out a software that gives you the ability to send a gift via email, and then you can enter your shipping address. But the cool part about it is you can go in and you can actually choose what gift do you want to redeem? So maybe it’s a bag or a blanket or water bottle and then as you mentioned, you could have some donation choices in there, like pets or meals or children, so you can actually choose a physical product or to donate it forward. That software and really just the idea behind it took a lot of traction. Last year, companies did not have people’s home shipping addresses. So the fact that you could send a gift easily, via an email really resonated and it also obviously just helped us to decrease waste because rather than choosing a gift for someone they’re almost able to go shopping for themselves and then if they don’t need a product, they could donate the value.
Laura Hertz (25:03):
So that was just an amazing thing for us. Having the donation option in our portal ended up, I think we were able to increase our giving over $300,000 last year versus the year before because of having that option. So I think we feel grateful. A lot of people who I think resonated with the idea of, Hey, I don’t need a gift, but I can donate the value or this is great. I’m not just getting a water bottle sent from a company where they’re choosing to give 500 water bottles to everyone on their list. You can actually choose what product you want. So that was a great, great thing for us and we were definitely able to scale our impact exponentially last year when we launched that software.
Michael Kurland (25:42):
And for businesses out there like mine, it’s amazing software. It’s amazing technology because like you just said, I know where everything’s going. I know that you’re not getting a stress ball and throwing it in the trash and then half of those stress balls are going into the landfill. Right. So I really, again, I really am grateful that you guys came up with this idea and that I was able to connect with you and figure out how to incorporate that to Branded Group. So let’s talk about this. We we’ve talked about the give back. You guys are all about giving gifts for good. So what best practices can you share about how to develop a social impact strategy and engage your team
Laura Hertz (26:25):
So many different ways to engage your team. I think a lot of companies don’t integrate giving back into their day to day operations in a way that they can and they don’t really look at something just as simple as giving corporate gifts, right? It’s an area where you can take, maybe you have a million dollar pre-existing budget and you can take that exact same budget and use it as a force for good. I think there’s so many ways that companies can look at all of the work that they’re doing, whether it’s the suppliers they work with or the people that they partner with, and really be able to work and continue representing their values through who they work with throughout their supply chain. So there’s so many different ways that companies can go about that. But I think at the end of the day, being authentic to your brand, to your company and who you are is really, really essential. I think people can feel right away if it’s not authentic to you and your company. So I always recommend the companies, you know, keep that impact really authentic to your brand and to your company and make sure that it just really aligns with you because when you do that, you enable your employees and clients to resonate more with that, what you’re doing as well.
Michael Kurland (27:32):
I think you made a lot of good, important points right there. I think, especially with the workforce turning a more millennial, they are very wanting, they want to have a higher something. They want a purpose, right?
Laura Hertz (27:48):
Michael Kurland (27:48):
Oh, you are a millennial. Okay, cool. So, yes, we know that you guys want a purpose more than money or status and it’s, or it’s as important to you, right? So I think that’s important for people listening out there. If you are looking to start a social impact strategy for your company to know that it’s important to your employees, and it’s also important to your clients. You mentioned you may have a million dollar budget, but I also think it’s important and I talked about this in a few other podcasts that you don’t have to have a million dollar budget. You can start, like Branded Group started with no budget and we went and partnered with Habitat for Humanity about five years ago, six years ago. When we started the One for One program and when we walked in the door with them, they said, Oh, well, this is how corporations give back, sign a check for $5,000.
Michael Kurland (28:44):
We’ll do this cookie cutter build date for you and your team and I was like you guys aren’t hearing me. I don’t have $5,000 to give to you and that’s not what I want to do. I just want to volunteer for you guys when you guys have holes because I know when you guys have build days or Restores, you have to be short on volunteers at least sometimes. So when you’re short on volunteers, I want to be the source that you go to and they’re like, Oh wow. Okay. Yeah. So we built this program together and it cost me absolutely nothing except time.
Laura Hertz (29:18):
So many ways to do that, right? There’s so many ways to engage them in activities and activations and it doesn’t need to be money spent. I think that’s some of the funnest work that we do because we’re not just a gifting company. We actually design a lot of activations and corporate events too. So for example, we helped Snapchat design their entire global day of service last year across over 30 countries with 4,000 employees and we were trying to find a way for them to just better engage virtually in today’s environment. So, I mean, we designed a whole landing page and this kindness quest thing, where all of their employees could check off acts of kindness to fellow employees, to people that they’ve worked with in the past to friends, to family. There’s so many ways that you can do that and just be authentic and do it in a way that’s engaging your employees.
Michael Kurland (30:08):
Keyword that I want to raise awareness to is authentic. If you’re not being authentic, if you’re doing any of this, because you think it’s going to increase sales or you’re going to get some good PR, you will get that in the short-term. But if you’re not being authentic, it’s not going to last and so it’s got to come from inside of you, I think.
Laura Hertz (30:29):
Michael Kurland (30:31):
So this has been a great, great show. I’ve really enjoyed having you on. I’ve got to ask you one last question though. I ask everyone, what do you consider yourself to be an expert at? And what advice do you have for the audience to become an expert at said thing?
Laura Hertz (30:49):
I would say I’m an expert at social entrepreneurship. So really using business as a force for good. I think I would say to people, a lot of people say, you have to find your passion and that term just really annoys me. I’d never think that people are ever going to find their passion. It’s never going to be handed to them on a silver plate. So I always say to people, you build your passion and it takes work and I think there’s so many ways that you can go about that, whether it’s entrepreneurship or intrepreneurship. So like looking at your job today, designing programs that will bring more purpose to your work and there’s so many different ways that you can go about just really building your passion and bringing that to life. So I would say to everyone, you’re not going to find your passion, but go build it.
Michael Kurland (31:35):
I like it. I like it. My, my passion that I’ve found is wine and cooking. I’ve been building up my recipe repertoire since we moved into the new house. I finally have kitchen space, but I digress. So Laura, it’s been great having you on. I really appreciate the time. The audience wants to get ahold of you. How can they do so?
Laura Hertz (31:55):
You can go to giftsforgood.com and if you want to shoot me an email, my email’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Kurland (32:03):
Well, Laura, thank you and audience until next time.
Laura Hertz (32:07):
Thanks Michael. Thanks for having me.
I’d like to take a minute to thank you, our valued listeners. My intention is for this podcast to inspire you, in some way, to be better. Change starts from within and radiates outward. Therefore, start with being better to yourself and only then will you recognize how to be better others and your community. Thank you for joining us today! If you want to learn more about Branded Group, then visit us at www.branded-group.com. From our website you can follow us on social media. Also, always feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Until next time, Be Better.