ONEHOPE Wine
Podcast #57 — Aired March 26, 2015

How can a simple bottle of wine help change the world? ONEHOPE Wine is a social enterprise that makes an impact by donating half of the profits of every bottle of wine sold to partner causes. Our guest this week is Melissa Lake, Executive Director of ONEHOPE Foundation. She’ll discuss how ONEHOPE Wine has formed partnerships with notable nonprofits that support many distinct and important causes, including breast cancer prevention, Autism research, ending childhood hunger, and more. Melissa will also explain how ONEHOPE is helping other companies to do the same.

 

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Melissa Lake
Executive Director, ONEHOPE Foundation

As the Executive Director of the ONEHOPE Foundation and Director of Social Impact for ONEHOPE, Melissa Lake leads one of the world’s first social impact organizations. In her current role, she is responsible for the foundation’s brand, social responsibility, and external nonprofit partnerships. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Southern California, Melissa visited Tanzania where she taught English to 40 kindergarten students. Inspired by this trip, Melissa knew that her true passion in life lies in helping people and contributing to the greater good. This passion led her to graduate with a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Social Entrepreneurship from New York University. In addition, Melissa spent three years at Google, where she was the assistant to the President of the Americas Operations and the first associate at G

Episode Transcript

Gregory Hansell
Hi, this is Greg. I'm so glad you could all join us here on BetterWorldians Radio. Let me first just tell you a bit about my dad, Ray, who you just heard from. He's a serial entrepreneur who successfully founded and with MarySue took public a national marketing firm. Giving back has always been really important to dad who supports many causes especially disadvantaged children and their families. And by the way, we're the family team that created the popular social game on Facebook called A Better World. It rewards players for doing good deeds while helping to raise money and awareness for charities. To-date, over 25 million good deeds have been done in a better world by more than 2.7 million people. In the month of March, we're supporting Fran Drescher's Cancer Schmancer, a non-profit to support the prevention and early detection of cancer. When our players complete 300,000 good deeds in the game this month, we'll release funds to provide cancer screenings to 25 women in need. This week on BetterWorldians Radio we're talking about OneHope Wine, a social enterprise that integrates causes into products and services to make a social impact. Our guest this week is OneHope Foundation Executive Director, Melissa Lake. In her current role, she is responsible for the foundation's brand, social responsibility and external non-profit partnerships. After receiving her bachelor of arts from the University of Southern California, Melissa visited Tanzania where she taught English to 40 kindergarten students. Inspired by this trip, Melissa knew that her true passion in life lies in helping people and contributing to the greater good. This passion led her to graduate with a master's in non-profit management and social entrepreneurship from New York University. In addition, Melissa spent three years at Google where she was the assistant to the president of the Americas Operations and the first associate at Google Ventures. Melissa, thanks so much for joining us today on BetterWorldians Radio.

Melissa Lake
Thank you so much for having me.

Gregory Hansell
So Melissa, OneHope Wine began as a personal mission to help a friend with her fight against cancer. Tell us that story.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely and again thank you so much for having me. OneHope Wine actually began just under eight years ago with our CEO and Founder Jake Kloberdanz having a personal mission to help his friend with cancer who was diagnosed at the age of 22 as well as with his background in wine at Gala Wines seeing that every product in the stores in the month of October tended to turn pink for breast cancer awareness which was wonderful but it also tended to go away right after the month was over. So with those two factors, he decided that he wanted to create a brand that gave back all year round and supported multiple causes so that everyone could have something that they could get behind.

Gregory Hansell
So why wine? Why did he choose wine as his product?

Melissa Lake
Absolutely, so Jake actually as I just said he came from the wine industry but also its a perfect product for giving back. It's pretty high margin. It tends to have a customer base that wants to give back, that is relatively affluent, that is socially aware and so we found it to be the perfect product that is high class and also has the potential to make a big impact with its donations.

Gregory Hansell
Sure and everyone loves wine, right.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely.

Gregory Hansell
So how did OneHope Wine grow from that initial situation to where it is now?

Melissa Lake
So the wine company actually started out of the back of Jake's truck. There are six co-founders total and they all took 167 cases and started selling it out of the back of their cars. From there over the past eight years we've grown to be one of the top three privately owned wine companies in the country. We do about 75,000 cases of wine. We're distributed nationally in all 50 states. We've been able to give just under 1.5 million dollars to make a social impact through various non-profits. It's something that we have a really engaged customer base who are so passionate about our mission as well as how wonderful the quality of our wine is as well. Our wine maker is Rob Mondavi Jr. All of our wines come from Napa and it's a really nice product that is not just a charity wine. It's something that given back can count as a tie-breaker but the quality of the wine is still very much our focus.

Gregory Hansell
That's amazing. I've been to Napa a few times and to some of the other wine regions of the world. I don't think people realize how beautiful it is and how amazing Napa can be, how magical. What's the pick-up from people in the area as well as from tourists?

Melissa Lake
Again we have national distributions so we have a really big support all over the country which is amazing. Our biggest markets are northern California, southern California where we're actually headquartered and then in the south. It's a really big thing for people in those regions to give back and also big wine drinkers so it's great for us. And then we're also really looking to grow our impact and our market in all the rest of the country by continuing to tell our story and engage people in both drinking the wine and knowing that it gives back and makes a tangible impact.

Gregory Hansell
Well that's great. Well let me ask you, we're in Pennsylvania. That's where we're recording from right now and we kind of have a state system. I don't know if you're available here in Pennsylvania. Do you know if you are?

Melissa Lake
We are. We are distributed. I don't know the exact accounts but I can definitely get you a list of those. We do have at least one account within the state of Pennsylvania. I know that for sure.

Gregory Hansell
Wonderful. That's great. So tell us more, because I'd love to try, tell us more about the wine; where it comes from, anything else about it.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely so all of our wines are from Napa. They're all California based. Our wine maker is Rob Mondavi Jr. We have a core of seven California tier varietals that range from sparkling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet and zinfandel. Our best sellers are our cab and our chard but our pinot noir seems to be creeping up there both because of how delicious it is and also because we color pinot for paws and every case helps fund an animal adoption so it's a really great cause to get behind. Everybody loves animals and so we've seen a big pick-up with that over the past couple of years.

Gregory Hansell
That's great. That's great. Well tell us about some of the charities that OneHope Wine supports.

Melissa Lake
Yah, so as the Executive Director of the Foundation my main goal upon coming to OneHope was to put a really strict category system in place for us to both choose the non-profits as well as evaluate them. So we have a 13 point criteria that we run all of our potential non-profits through. It ranges from things like are you a 501C3. Some of the basics there but also some of the non-traditional things like the most important one being is there an impact ratio. Can we quantify the impact that we're making? Can you tell me how much money it costs to actually fund a clinical trial for a woman with breast cancer so that we can then calculate how many cases of wine it actually takes for us to sell to be able to fund that? It's really important for us to be able to quantify because we want to talk about the overall impact that's able to be made but also really empower the consumer whose standing there in front of the bottle of wine and recognizing upon picking it up that they are planting a tree by purchasing that, or they are helping to fund an animal adoption, or they are helping to give a child with autism ABA therapy. So we're moving past that putting a ribbon on the label and saying 20% of this is donated. We really want to empower the consumer by knowing what impact they're making, so that's a huge part of how we choose our non-profits. Each category, as I mentioned, of cause has its own varietal. So all of our sparkling wines support childhood hunger. All of our sauvignon blancs support the environment. So on and so forth so that we have kind of a framework as we expand and we continue to add more wines to our portfolio we have a framework to be able to pair non-profits that are in our database with these upcoming varietals so that it makes more sense rather than just randomly choosing one out of the hat.

Gregory Hansell
Are there any upcoming varietals that you're planning on releasing? Could you share that with us?

Melissa Lake
We do have some upcoming varietals. We always do. We're always looking to expand our portfolio. I believe we'll have some new ones this summer that you'll be able to look out for.

Gregory Hansell
Very exciting. Very exciting. Well I think it's great that you actually really pair what's actually being done when you have on the bottle and you let people know what's happening through OneHope Wine and the causes you're associated with. That's something a BetterWorldians Radio and A Better World that we really believe in. We found players of our virtual world want to know, yah I know I'm supporting this charity but what is my work here doing? How many kids are being helped? How many people are being taken care of? And so I think it's wonderful that you're doing it that way.

Melissa Lake
Thank you. I couldn't agree more. I think that consumers are really smart. I think that we all want to do good with our purchases and we're starting to question what does that mean? What does that generic percentage amount mean? And so I agree with you. I think people are really starting to want to know that and feel empowered by what they're able to do just by purchasing wine that they normally would or playing a game that they absolutely love. I think it's great that you guys quantify it as well.

Gregory Hansell
Wonderful. So can you tell us about one specific charity that you work with?

Melissa Lake
Sure. One specific one that we work with is -- let's see. Let's pick a great one. We actually just launched our sauvignon blanc with a new organization called Trees for Trees and what they do is we've always planted trees with our sauvignon blanc but they take it one step further. They actually give us a custom url that links to where that actually tree is located with a GPS coordinate. They also give us an incredible statistic that is the estimated C02 offset from that tree being planted. So we're constantly looking to provide more data and more impact to our customers and so that's why we made the switch to Trees for Trees and we're really excited about being able to give our customers that customized link so that they can see where the tree is that's planted.

Gregory Hansell
So one question I had is do you find that people tend to choose your wines based on the type of wine or the cause it supports or both? What do you hear from your customers?

Melissa Lake
I love this question because its wonderful to see people. Primarily cues of varietal but they like brand. Nobody is going to argue with supporting any of the causes that we have. I think everybody has a good heart and wants to support them but we also see that people will try a new varietal if there is a cause that they're super passionate about. So we get kind of both sides of the spectrum which is great. We have people sampling new wines, hopefully falling in love with them and wanting to continue to purchase them over the long-term because the more we can sell, the more we can give and the more impact we can make. So we're really trying to encourage people to support new causes and also try new varietals at the same time.

Gregory Hansell
Yah, definitely. So what's your favorite wine that you make?

Melissa Lake
Oh that's a good question. I actually love our merlot. I'm traditionally a cabernet drinker and I love our merlot so much. It supports children with neglected tropical diseases and every bottle funds a lifesaving medication which is great in terms of the cause but the wine is delicious as well.

Gregory Hansell
Hum. Another question I had is do you find that the causes that people want to support change over time? Do you see sort of trends for what people are interesting in right now or what wines are selling more often?

Melissa Lake
You know there are trends in it and I think that it comes with what's going on in social media, what's happening in the world in general. All the news stories that come up. It's great to see people are really socially aware. We do try to stick to the same causes for a long-term partnership because we want to have deep and meaningful partnerships and deep and meaningful impact so we don't usually switch them up. It's another way that we differ from traditional cause marketing. But you're right, people do want to impact different causes and so we've actually created a program that we call Via OneHope which is the ability to have at at-home wine tasting party that benefits your cause of choice via OneHope. And so you can have a wine expert come into your house, do a wine tasting and then there's actually cases of wine that can be purchased there for a discounted price and then 15% of that sale actually goes to the host's cause of choice. So we actually have the ability to impact all of the causes theoretically based on what the host wants. So it's a nice way to address kind of the changing desires of consumers to support both local causes and global ones that they find out about through various media.

Gregory Hansell
Oh, that is really cool. Is that only in California or throughout the country?

Melissa Lake
No, that's throughout the country as well. We have about 300. We call them CEOs. We call them cause entrepreneurs for OneHope who are helping to spread the message of Via OneHope and they are the wine experts. They are the ones that will talk to that party host about making that party decision and choosing their cause so it's a really incredible program that we're putting a lot of effort into this year because we think it has the potential to make a huge impact.

Gregory Hansell
Oh I think that could be really big. We'll definitely do some social media on that as we will for this show generally and let people know how they can get involved. That's really exciting. So another question I had was how important was it getting a big name like Mondavi behind the cause?

Melissa Lake
It was absolutely huge for us. Prior to that we've always had great wine but we actually -- the story is actually pretty cool. One of our founders was at a trade show for wine and somebody came up to him, said I love this concept. Tell me a little bit more about it. She did. He hands her a business card and said I think I can help you. They go about their business for the rest of the day. It was a busy tradeshow. Later on they were going through their business cards and they said wow, that was Michael Mondavi that wanted to help us with this. That's so cool. They're such an incredibly charitable family. They're obviously dynamos in the wine world and so we created this partnership with Rob Mondavi Jr. that is purely out of their desire to help build this brand. They have skin in the game. Obviously we work with him and custom create these wines and it's really been a wonderful addition to our story because it also like I said it shows that the wine is truly top tier amazing quality Napa wine. That sets us apart on the shelf and then you also get to learn about the giving back component.

Gregory Hansell
Very, very cool. So my last question for this segment is to ask you what kind of impact -- you talked about how important knowing the impact is for OneHope Wine. What kind of impact has OneHope had on the individual charities?

Melissa Lake
So we actually have an impact report that's live on our website on OneHopeWine.com. Like I said, we've been able to give just under 1.5 million dollars to make a social impact. That's been over a million meals given to children in need. I believe we planted over 30,000 trees throughout the world, funded I believe 4,000 animal adoptions. It's all on our website and it's really cool to be able to see kind of the impact that we've had across numerous non-profits.

Raymond Hansell
That's an amazing story, Melissa. We're going to have to take a break right now but what an impact you guys have. We're really honored that you're joining us here today.

Melissa Lake
Thank you so much.

Raymond Hansell
You're welcome. We're going to take a short break but we'll talk more with Melissa Lake about OneHope Wine when we come back. We'll be right back. (Music)

Raymond Hansell
You're listening to BetterWorldians Radio. We're speaking right now with Melissa Lake, Executive Director of OneHope Foundation. Now let's welcome back Melissa and MarySue.

MarySue Hansell
Hi Melissa.

Melissa Lake
Hi there. Thank you so much for having me.

MarySue Hansell
Love talking and hearing about what you're doing. Now can you explain for everyone what OneHope Foundation actually is?

Melissa Lake
Yes, the OneHope Foundation is what we call the world's first social impact foundation where we work with every cause under the sun but we really specify and specialize in quantifying impact so that any donor or any person who purchases the products that we work with know exactly what impact they're having.

MarySue Hansell
Now what drew you to OneHope Foundation?

Melissa Lake
My background in both the private sector and the non-profit sector working at Google and then going to school for non-profit management and social entrepreneurship drew me to this incredible company and drew me specifically to Jake, the CEO whom I met while I was in school. Our conversations were so in line with what I so passionately believe that traditional capitalism has the power to make a huge social impact and I believe it has the power to solve huge social issues. And so Jake shares that passion and really wanted to have me come on-board as the founding director of the OneHope Foundation so that we could execute on that so that we can work with businesses included OneHope Wine but those outside of it as well to help them give back in a way that makes a tangible impact and that we can measure the progress that we're making to solve these social issues. So that's what drew me to the foundation with the vision and the support to actually work with for profit companies to make a huge impact in the non-profit world.

MarySue Hansell
Sounds like a beautiful match.

Melissa Lake
It is.

MarySue Hansell
Now can you tell me a little bit about your role there?

Melissa Lake
Yes, so as the Executive Director of the OneHope Foundation I work with businesses across the board, including OneHope Wine to help them give back. So I do everything from trying to reach out to businesses to talk to them about the benefits of giving back, to working with non-profits to quantify the impact that they're making, and then pairing them together in a way that makes great sense for the consumer who is actually purchasing that product and for understanding the impact that they have. So we really help the businesses to select a non-profit that they want to work with, to quantify that impact that's being made, and then to share the story so that all consumers know what their impact is by purchasing from that business.

MarySue Hansell
Sounds like a wonderful job. Now what's the most rewarding part of it for you?

Melissa Lake
I'm sorry, I didn't hear you.

MarySue Hansell
I said what do you think is the most rewarding part of the job would be for you?

Melissa Lake
The most rewarding part is seeing the end impact, just knowing how many people are being positively affected by again traditional business models that are for profit that exist to make money and to increase sales, which I think is a great thing because the more that they can sell the more we can give. So seeing that end impact to me signifies that these partnerships are really working and that they're really helping to grow businesses, which also create jobs and then also have this end impact through the non-profits.

MarySue Hansell
Yes, it was really great hearing what you were talking to Greg about, all those things that you have done with that 1.5 million dollars. It's really impressive.

Melissa Lake
Thank you.

MarySue Hansell
Uh-huh. Now OneHope Foundation accepts donations that are used to support partner charities that are really making an impact. Can you talk about that just a little bit more?

Melissa Lake
Yes, so we have a database of currently about 300 non-profits who we recommend that have been vetted through our criteria system. We have a 13 point criteria system to help us understand what impact will be made through the non-profits. What we do is we try to convince and work with for profit companies to give back per product sold or through service sold so that there's a recurring revenue stream that would go to the non-profits in the form of a donation and then we quantify the impact at the end. So for example we work with companies again outside of OneHope, so for every Boll and Branch set of sheets that are sold they provide a safe shelter for a victim of human trafficking. For every Bloom to Bloom flower delivery it plants a tree. So things that really make sense for the actual end consumer who is purchasing it and thinking about the product that they love, we pair them with these non-profits in a way that creates impact on that cause.

MarySue Hansell
Interesting. Now Melissa, can you talk about some of the criteria that's actually used for the non-profits?

Melissa Lake
Yes, so what we do is again we try to make sure that they are legitimate non-profit. That's kind of a baseline. They're a vital 501C3. They have a public 99 financial statement. They're overhead ratio is reasonable; usually shoot for about 85% of every dollar is used on program as opposed to overhead. And then there are some other criteria in there including the dollar to impact ratio so that we make sure that every non-profit can tell us how much it costs to run their programs so that we can quantify the impact.

MarySue Hansell
Well that's great so consumers can feel really good about that these are handpicked and people are not just wasting money that they're getting.

Melissa Lake
That's our goal is to really make sure that these non-profits are extremely efficient and effective and are really excited about these corporate partnerships as well because that's a big part of it too is making sure that the non-profits are comfortable with the partnership and then also want to talk about it to their constituents as well.

MarySue Hansell
You mentioned that you pair companies together with these thoroughly vetted non-profits in that program. I think the program is called Social Impact As A Service. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Melissa Lake
Yes. Social Impact As A Service is a play on SAS in the technology world there's something called software as a service where you pay a monthly fee for access to a software that is recurring and that you can keep as long as you are paying a fee. And so we decided to create a similar type of program because we had so many businesses come to me and to Jake and to the rest of the team at OneHope over the past eight years saying we love what OneHope does. We would love to give back. We just don't know how. Can you help us? So we decided to make this program so its very easy and turn-key. We charge a monthly fee that's sort of like a consulting fee that goes to help cover my overhead and then we put these partnerships in place and then the company sends their donations through the OneHope Foundation. We donated 100% of it back out to the partner non-profit and then we quantify the impact and give that information back to the for profit company so that they can tell their customers and thank their customers for making such a huge impact. So we really try to make it turn-key and easy and fun and impactful so it helps grow the sales of the for profit business and then grow the donations in turn.

MarySue Hansell
Now can you give us an example of say some of these matches how they work?

Melissa Lake
Absolutely. So one example is called David Fin Ties and it's a beautiful tie company. They're sold online currently and I'm sure they'll be in stores very soon. The materials are all beautiful silks from Italy. They're made in the United States and every tie helps a veteran find a job.

MarySue Hansell
Oh, that's great.

Melissa Lake
Yah, it's really cool. It's something that these bankers on Wall Street are wearing these ties knowing that they're also helping a veteran somewhere in the country. It's really an amazing partnership. Bloom to Bloom is a flower delivery company based in Los Angeles but they deliver nationwide and they use local farmers and farms to actually supply the flowers and deliver the flowers so that it cuts down on the environmental impact, also helps local farmers. For every bouquet that's sold, they plant a tree. We have numerous other ones. We have one called Soapbox Soaps that started as a one-for-one soap company.

MarySue Hansell
Oh, that's interesting.

Melissa Lake
Yes.

MarySue Hansell
Tell me about that one.

Melissa Lake
Yah so it's great. It started as a bar soap that for every bar that you purchase they donate one to somebody in need and then they also expanded to liquid hand soap, body wash, other products. And so for those instead of giving it one-for-one we decided that it probably is more impactful to give in other ways. So for every bottle of the liquid hand soap it provides clean drinking water to one person for a month. And for every bottle of body wash it provides a micro-loan again to the same recipient so that they're not just getting soap, they're getting clean water as well and then they're also getting help to build their businesses and to invest into their community so it becomes a really holistic approach too giving back.

MarySue Hansell
This is really creative. Some really innovative. Did you all think of this? How did you come up with this idea?

Melissa Lake
The social impact as a service or the specific partnerships?

MarySue Hansell
Yah, the social impact as a service.

Melissa Lake
We came up with it because of how much demand there was for us to help other businesses give back. I think it's a barrier to entry for some businesses that they want to give back. They don't have enough time to really focus on trying to grow their business and they don't have a staff person on hand who can actually take the time to make the partnerships, or some of think it's most important to start their own foundation or their own non-profit. What we want to do is take that hard part out of it and be the person on their team that can really help them structure these non-profit partnerships, think creatively about what is a great cause to support that will engage their consumers, and then actually execute on it, be the ones that are giving the non-profits the money and sourcing the non-profits and telling the story and that kind of thing. So we really just wanted to make this very turn key for both the for profit businesses and the non-profits because it helps give the non-profits time too because we're helping to source funding relationships for them. So we try to make it really mutually beneficial for both the for profit and the non-profit.

MarySue Hansell
Now a company is listening wants to be part of this, how do they find out about it?

Melissa Lake
Our website, OneHopeFoundation.org is the best place to go to see all of the things that we do. There's contact information there to reach out to me directly. Also my email is just Melissa@OneHopeFoundation.org. I would love to hear from anybody that wants to hear more about the program.

MarySue Hansell
Well maybe you can tell the companies right now why you think it's important for them to give back.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely. 88% of Americans want to buy from companies that give back and 91% actually want more product options out there on the shelves. There are a certain number of companies that already give back and they're doing a great job. My vision is for every single company to give back by 2020. So I have a lofty goal in front of me but I think the more variety we give consumers in terms of their ability to give back, the better it'll be. I think it's going to increase sales for every company. It engages employees. There's less turnover when people know they're working for a company that gives back. Millennials really want to work for companies that give back. It improves the positive image of the company. It increases sales and it also increases the end impact and so it's something that's really holistic. To me its a very much of a no-brainer. In terms of the cost it's very minimal for giving back. It's also a write-off. It's something that I see as a why not situation and so I would love to help other business to give back and see the benefit of it.

MarySue Hansell
Yah, these are great benefits. Now do you actually go out and recruit some of these companies to join in this wonderful mission?

Melissa Lake
We do. Yes. We reach out to them all the time. We are also in the process of building a technology platform that automatically quantifies impact and so it'll be a really simple tool that can be embedded into any website that shows the impact automatically. Our guess is that once we have that tool, more companies will know about us and start coming to us because they'll see it on other company's websites. So it'll be an exciting year for us to see how we can expand and work with more and more companies. Again, I mean our end goal is to make a huge impact and so it'll be fun to see how that grows this year.

MarySue Hansell
I was wondering, Melissa, do you see a growing interest now in corporations to giving back and to join the mission?

Melissa Lake
Absolutely.

MarySue Hansell
You do.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely. I think it's something that's not just a nice to have. It's a need to have. Consumers expect it. They want to be able to support companies that give back. The amount of actual donations that each individual makes have gone down, obviously due to the recession and the economy and so there's an expectation that any product that is purchased should have a social benefit and have it built in. Why not buy laundry detergent that gives back versus one that doesn't especially if it's the same quality. That's what we also really try to work with our for profit companies on is hammering home the quality is still the most important factor and then the giving back component will be the tiebreaker in something where if you're looking at two identical products on the shelf and you see that one gives back, 88% of people are going to choose the one that gives back, so you should do that. You should be the one that gives back and you should do it in a really smart way that shows the consumer the impact.

MarySue Hansell
Well, it sure makes sense to me.

Raymond Hansell
Yah and I concur, Melissa. I've been listening in and we have been involved in this kind of approach quite a while. Our game, which we'll talk about in a little bit during the break is about cause gaming which is an offshoot of cause marketing that goes back. So we actually use the game to challenge our players to do good and when they do good, in the case of this month 300,000 people do good, we support things like Cancer Schmancer, Fran Drescher's program. And that approach to basically that kind of cause gaming and social enterprise work started with us way back when we had another company that we used to call Profits For People. Basically we would on occasion find a way to channel funds directly into causes here in the Philadelphia area. My favorite story in that regard actual was a little nun that we knew called Mother Teresa and one day we helped her in her little tiny north Philadelphia parish to give back to people in the area. Surprisingly periodically she'd call us for additional help and it seemed like every time she called something good would happen. It was amazing but it got to the point where I told somebody on the switchboard if anybody calls by the name of this Mary Agnes, or Mother Mary Agnes or Sister Mary Agnes, get me wherever I may be. Pull me out of a meeting and what do you need Sister. Well, I need a computer. Well we need some software. Well we need this. And amazingly we'd turn around results unbelievably so there was a direct cause of affect that we saw evidenced. It's bigger than that. We see it with everything we do. The more you give back, the gift is actually in the giving itself so we think it's a big movement. We commend you for what you're doing here at OneHope Foundation. We're going to be looking forward to hearing more about that in the last segment and also wrapping up some of the other aspects of the charitable work that you're doing. So once again, thanks again for joining us. We're going to take a short break now. If you're a fan of BetterWorldians Radio then you should probably check out the social enterprise I mentioned called A Better World. It's a virtual world game whose mission is to make uplifting games and apps to brighten the world. Our goal with everything we do here is do good, have fun, change the world. We're committed to creating awesome stuff, awesome digital products designed with the purpose of making a difference in the world through optimize, altruism and charity. You can find out more at ABetterWorld.com. We'll be right back. (Music)

Raymond Hansell
We're back now with Melissa Lake, Executive Director of OneHope Foundation. Melissa, before the break we were talking and you were talking with MarySue about the OneHope Foundation. I read while we were speaking there are currently 12 social impact as a service companies who collectively donated over 1.5 million dollars to over 200 charities thus far. Can you tell me a little bit more about some of that? Fill us in. These stories are so interesting.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely, so the largest partners are this OneHope line and we also have OneHope Coffee is another product that OneHope has where every bag of coffee supports micro-loans for the farmers that actually grow the coffee for us. So they all have a really close tie and connection to the product that is being sold and what's actually being benefited. So again we mentioned Boll and Branch which is actually I believe it's the country's first fair trade linen company. They have sheets, bedding, blankets, those types of things. What they've done is they've actually completely reinvented the supply chain. They own their factories in India and they oversee that. It's all fair trade. The workers obviously are there voluntarily, not any forced labor but are given great conditions. There's lunch. There's things that we take for granted here but is very commonly not given outside of the US. So they have an amazing supply chain and then as they actually sell products here they donate to Not For Sale. It's an anti-human trafficking organization. Every set of sheets provides a night of safe shelter for a victim of human trafficking so that it kind of closes the loop on that supply chain to make sure that those that are actually unfortunately were caught in human trafficking also have a safe place to go. So yeah, I mean we have all different types of companies and organizations. We're looking and excited about working with new ones this year. I really would love to work with some meal delivery services. I think that's a huge growing sector in startup world where people are getting deliveries and things like that of food. And I would love to be able to work with one for every meal delivery to give a meal. I also would love to work with some services. I think that's a huge tiebreaker in the service world. For example, what if a dental office worked with us and for every teeth cleaning that they gave they actually contributed to a cause and maybe it changes every month or every six months so that you see as a customer that dental group the impact that you've made just by choosing that dentist. I think it's a huge tiebreaker opportunity. So I'm real excited about the future of social impact as a service and the amount of impact that we're going to be able to have on various causes and also various industries.

Raymond Hansell
Now it sounds based on the conversations you've been having with us that the range of charities and the charitable offerings and the impact that those charities are providing is just like all over the place. I mean we talk about working with dentist, and we talk about working in the environment, you talk about delivering meals and working with global diseases. You've decided to keep this as widespread as possible or is there a theme that you're eventually pointing towards that you want to umbrella all this around some specific theme or some specific segment of the population?

Melissa Lake
Our only theme is that the non-profits that we work with can quantify impact. We want to keep it as broad as possible. We call ourselves cause agnostic. We're not here to push just one agenda in terms of giving back. We want it to make sense for the product that it's working with and for the consumer who is purchasing that product. And so the importance we feel lies in that quantification of impact rather than just having it be one cause. Its statistically shown that if the cause makes sense with the product, somebody is more likely to support it even if it's something that they're not overwhelmingly passionate about. But they understand that as you're buying flowers it makes sense to plant a tree. We really try and get into the psychological aspects of it to make sure that it's thoughtful and it resonates with the consumer. So to answer your question, we are cause agnostic and we work across the board. Our only stipulations are that they don't support directly any religious or political organizations. We don't want to alienate anybody. We want this to be a global movement for things that give back and help everybody.

Raymond Hansell
Yah, that's really interesting. We were talking earlier at the end of the last segment about our specific phrase cause gaming. This is a new phrase for our listeners, cause agnostic which basically really captures it. But I think the other thing that's interesting is the way that you tie it in. It does sort of have to tie in if you're going to be buying flowers why not plant a tree, and so I think there is a nice tie in that comes back to what would the consumer be thinking about when they're purchasing this kind of product. Here's a cause that ties in nicely to that. So I think that's a nice tie in but other than that I do like the fact that, and we have the same approach also, we do not affiliate and promote any specific religious or political causes and so for that reason we look for charities and organizations when we reach out to our cause gaming situations that make sense. And so if we're bringing in a lot of authors about children's books we're going to be looking for how can we support some of the charities that those particular authors and the works they do are supporting kids.

Melissa Lake
Sounds amazing. Sounds like we're very well aligned on that. You guys are doing an incredible job of being thoughtful and really ahead of the curve in terms of quantifying impact in that kind of stuff too.

Raymond Hansell
Yah, I think we are aligned. It's very coincidental so I think we share that same sort of approach. So OneHope Wine, speaking about that type of thing, recently wrapped up a very successful Indiegogo Campaign. Tell me about that. Tell our listeners a little bit about that.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely, so OneHope Foundation did an Indiegogo Campaign that coincided with giving Tuesday which is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving of every year. That's been a movement that's been going on for about three or four years now. It coincides with our Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and now giving Tuesday where we wanted to be a part of the movement and help every consumer to think about what if every purchase you made over the past four days which traditionally there's a lot of spending that goes on in that time period. What if every purchase you make gave back and had a huge impact and you got an impact report for maybe you spent $100 as a Christmas gift or a Hanukah gift. What if that also gave 100 meals to children in need? So we really wanted to catch people at a time where they may have spent a lot of money on products and services and help them to think about if it actually made an impact, how much better they would feel about those purchases. So our Indiegogo fundraiser was actually to help us to fund the software program that I mentioned earlier where it's quantifying the impact live and in real-time. So this is something that we think will be a game changer in the cause commerce world where you can embed it into your website and you can say as you purchase a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from OneHope Wine and you see that a tree is being planted and you get that coordinate, the GPS location of where the tree is planted. Or for you guys as you're playing the game, I'm not sure what type of levels it requires for a donation to be made but whenever you hit that level you see that a clinical trial was given to somebody with breast cancer. So you can actually quantify that live and in real-time. So we needed to fundraise to build that because we are a non-profit and we don't have all the money in the world to be able to build software. It was really successful. People supported us and noted with their dollars that they wanted to be able to see this technology come to life, and now we're building it and it should be, my guess is, I think it will be ready by July. Everyone will start to be able to see it first we'll start with OneHope Wine as our data tester to have that impact live and embedded into the website and then we'll roll it out to the rest of our social impact as a service partners and then we'll go wider with that. So everybody will be able to see the actual results of that Indiegogo Campaign which we're pretty excited about.

Raymond Hansell
Oh, that's terrific. Congratulations.

Melissa Lake
Thank you very much. Thank you guys for your support. I think that's how we initially came in contact with each other.

Raymond Hansell
Yes. Greg's a big fan. I actually have to confess, he's a big fan of wine to begin with so he goes way beyond OneHope Wine. There's many wines that are part of his hopes but clearly you guys are the top of the list there.

Melissa Lake
That works for us.

Gregory Hansell
On many Fridays wine is my only OneHope. (Laughter)

Melissa Lake
I love it.

Raymond Hansell
I have to ask a question about partners here. I see them listed on your website. What are some of the partners that you work with and why do you work with them?

Melissa Lake
The non-profit partners or the for profit partners?

Raymond Hansell
The for profit partners.

Melissa Lake
So OneHope Wine, Boll and Branch the linen company, David Fin Ties, Bloom to Bloom, and then we have a whole bunch of other ones that we're kind of in the process. Soapbox Soaps is another one of them. Some of the other ones are in process and there's a whole list also on our Indiegogo site as well.

Raymond Hansell
What's your radar looking like? How do you keep your eyes open for new causes and new products to bring into the fold?

Melissa Lake
I have a running list on my phone of companies that I know would be a great fit for this. Everyone asks me, is there one specific product or service that you think would be a great fit or what's the common theme for all of these companies because even as you mentioned we're kind of across the board. What I've found is the common theme is not necessarily what the product is or what the service is. It's more about the team. Currently it's been the founder or the CEO, the VP of marketing, whoever I'm working with is extremely in tune with the fact that consumers want to give back and they are charitably minded but they're also extremely business savvy about that. They know that they want to have a huge impact on a cause. They just need a little bit of help and time to do that and so that's where I reach out to them and I kind of am another person on their team that's here to help. So that's kind of in terms of the products that's kind of who I usually reach out to. And then again as we have this software, it's something that's much more scalable because right now it's me doing this 100% of the time and so I'm a little bit at capacity but once we have a software that helps me do this it'll be much more scalable and we'll be able to reach out to many, many more companies and also hopefully have some come inbound to us as well.

Raymond Hansell
Its interesting. Right before we met we actually had a conversation with Caitlyn about whose coming up next on the BetterWorldians radar and so we do the same kinds of things. What books are being published out there? What charities are out there? So we're looking for if you will sort of that same product cause. In this case, is the product a book? Is the product a film? What is that type of thing and what's the work that they're doing that qualifies them as what we call BetterWorldians, so we're sort of doing the same kind of thing over there as well. By the way, if you come across anybody that you think would make a great guest on BetterWorldians Radio, please pass this along to Caitlyn. We'd love to hear about them.

Melissa Lake
Absolutely. I would love to do that.

Raymond Hansell
So I have to ask you, what is your proudest moment at OneHope Wine Foundation so far?

Melissa Lake
I love this question. It kind of ties in with the fact that I love it when we actually see the end impact but some of the most amazing things are when it just comes completely full circle. My favorite moment at OneHope Wine was when we did, and we do this actually pretty much every year, we do a national program with Whole Foods where we have a custom label wine; a Chardonnay and a Cabernet for Whole Foods that benefits their foundation which is the Whole Planet Foundation and provides microloans to entrepreneurs around the world. And so seeing that they have a wine. It's specifically for Whole Foods. It benefits their foundation. All of their team members are extremely passionate about it and knowledgeable about so it encourages their team members to sell the wine to consumers and talk about the impact because they know it so well. That program did extremely well and was able to fund 2,000 microloans for entrepreneurs around the world. And so seeing the full circle moments where it all makes sense and it all comes together and everybody is working for the same goal is a really proud moment for me. I'm so looking forward to more and more of those coming up because we have some in the pipeline for OneHope Wine. I know that our social impact as a service customers and partners will have the exact same experience. It's something that its just so magical to see that it all kind of gets wrapped up with this nice pretty little bow and makes total sense to everybody that's involved in it.

Raymond Hansell
Yah, we've had similar experiences as well where we see the whole thing come together and see it from its inception when we invited the guest and straight through the process of the charitable organizations that we support through the game. So we share the same kind of feeling of pride when it all comes together. I have ask you one more question before we wrap up our show. We ask this traditionally to everybody. What is your hope of what difference that OneHope Foundation will make in the world? How will it make the world a better place?

Melissa Lake
I love this question. My hope is that this social impact as a service program eventually works with thousands if not tens of thousands of businesses to help grow those businesses and donate hundreds of millions of dollars to non-profits. I think that as we were just talking about seeing that full circle effect, I really love to help businesses grow and help them increase their sales and increase their number of customers because I think there's so much good that can come out of that. And so my hope is that we see this catch on and this become something that is pervasive and is not only something that we move past it being a tiebreaker. We move it to be a complete expectation where every customer expects every single product that they purchase to give back. I think that would be an amazing thing for us to have. What's next after giving back? We don't know yet because we're still trying to work on every company giving back so I think my hope is that every single one sees the benefit of doing it and consumers really support that.

Raymond Hansell
Yah, I think the social enterprise movement is alive. It's underway. It's growing rapidly and organizations are nipping right on the edge of it by doing work with OneHope Foundation, so my compliments to you. You're doing great work. We thank you for being on the show. It's really been a pleasure.

Melissa Lake
Thank you so much for having me. It's been an absolute pleasure as well. I look forward to working together more in the future. I think there's a lot of alignment.

Raymond Hansell
There certainly is. I look forward to it as well. For our listeners out there you can find out more about OneHope Wine by going to OneHopeWine.com. As we end our show each week we like to share our BetterWorldians mission. We strive to make the world a better place by encouraging the very best in everyone. We focus on positive thinking, positive values and positive actions. In short, our vision is to bring out the BetterWorldians in everyone so that we can all together make it a better world. So until next time, please be a BetterWorldian. (Music)