Three years ago, we set out with a mission. To make a positive impact on local charities across Canada while teaching people that giving back can be fun, easy, and engaging! To do this we had to dig deep and ask, we want to do good, but how can we do it better? Along the way we have learned not only how to help support groups of volunteers make a bigger impact and support charities with their most urgent needs, but also how to launch a successful startup.
Purpose Driven from Day One. As a social enterprise, we are for-profit, for-purpose. It is so important that from day one, a team of one employee or 500, you instill the purpose of why you exist and connect back to the cause through everything that you do. At the core of everything we do, making a positive impact is our number one compass.
Collaboration is Key. As you’re building a startup, you’ll get where you need to be far quicker once you understand the power of community. This does not mean giving up equity but instead looking to connect with like-minded businesses and thought leaders with a shared vision. We have supported thousands of charities and reinvested millions of dollars into the community all through partnerships that we have created. It is helped us keep our staffing costs low and our impact high!
There’s No “That’s not my job”. Simple. Everyone should understand their role and what they need to do to be successful, but never be too important to jump in and support the team when necessary. We support non-profits serving urgent disasters like floods and fires, that often need supplies asap. Our entire team, from Founder to the receptionist will jump in where needed and always ask – “who needs help”.
Build the Plane as You are Flying It. While this might feel like a no brainer for a startup, we believe that this was key to our early success. There was no Research & Development, and THEN launch. Instead, we learned as we built, made mistakes, and still ask the question – what will help us make the biggest positive impact?
Write a Letter to Yourself. People management is tough and when you are a smaller business it often feels like family. Write a letter to yourself explaining what you expect from your team, what are your non-negotiables and what are your boundaries. As a leadership team, we constantly refer back to these letters and ask, are we listening to our own advice?
Written by Lauren Ott, our Chief Kits Officer, who recently was nominated for Canada’s Top 40 Under 40!
Kits for a Cause is powered by The Bargains Group and is proudly a WBE certified female entrepreneur-led business.