Borneo for Good!
Stuti Misra — 4/6/2023 — 5 Min Read
Leverage Industry Experience; they don't come that easy
We are a couple of hours from our company's monthly All Hands, and our CEO and CRO pull me into a Zoom call and share some idea's on their philosophy about "Borneo for Good" immediately followed by "What do you think? Would you like to own it?".
I wanted to ask them many questions --- Are you sure a young start-up should do this? Are you sure you don't want to run this yourself i.e.: top-down vs. bottoms-up? But an hour later, I am not just presenting the slide to fellow Borneoites but sharing my excitement by convincing them to join us in this exciting journey.
At Borneo, we have several parameters and metrics to track our performances and company goals, but each time we succeed, I wonder what impact we want to leave behind. The answer is Borneo For Good (BFG), an initiative that is "For Good" because it is here to stay permanently and forever.
Initially, we decided to set aside a small % of Borneo's revenue towards BFG so that each time we see ourselves inching towards our goal, we know we are all working towards a more significant cause. With that in mind, I reached out to Camella Lee, project lead at Panti Jompo "Bhakti Abadi", a home for the elderly and vulnerable in Indonesia.
While enquiring about the project's long-term fund-raising goals, Camella mentioned that they are actively raising funds to kick start Phase 1 of the repairs and fixing the plumbing and sanitation problems at the old age home. Who better than a startup would know the importance of the right funding at the right time?
We instantly launched a fund-raising drive among Borneoites with a promise that the company will match every dollar its employees contributed. A couple of weeks later, I saw that we had exceeded our target amount. Its is amazing to see the impact we could have with so little.
What makes BFG special is the approach to selecting our next project and the participation and enthusiasm of all Borneoites. Each employee can nominate a project that she/he feels passionate about and truly believes in. The management will put the top 3 projects to the vote on and let everyone decide. As our founder infamously says, "you don't succeed till you own it." The reason BFG is already a hit is because everyone at Borneo owns it and makes it THEIRS.
We have already received so much appreciation for our approach and spirit that many charities are patiently waiting for us to finalize our voting process and be chosen by our employees. One such initiative is #InTheirShoes which aims to provide access to affordable healthcare to migrant workers and protect them from taking additional debts while they suffer a loss of pay due to work injuries.
Yes, many can say that BFG is neither structured nor organized, but our approach is to keep it simple, fast, impactful, and from the heart. The pictures taken before and after are a testament to the fact that a small gesture goes a long way.
Below are a few testimonials from my fellow Borneoites who have joined our mission with open hearts and gratitude.
Teck Wu Ong – I donate towards Bhakti Abadi because the cause we are supporting is very targeted, and these elderly people have very few chances to be helped out by the general public. Also, the donation proceeds were 100% towards the cause, which means it will have a maximum impact on them.
Alborz Heydaryan --- I hear about many charity organizations, and finding out where my contribution makes the most impact becomes challenging. Sometimes a larger charity organization makes me think about if my contribution has a direct impact or not. When I heard about Borneo for good and the Bhakti Abadi home for the elderly, I could see that I would be directly having a positive impact on one of the most vulnerable members of our society. It wasn't a hard decision at all.
Jan Hecking --- I believe in corporate responsibility and want Borneo's mission to encompass more than just business outcomes. When we picked the new company name "Borneo," I immediately felt that that also gave us almost a responsibility to contribute back to this beautiful island that's our namesake. While I only thought of the nature conservancy aspect myself initially, I was happy to support any cause under the "Borneo for Good" umbrella to ensure this initiative was off to a good start.
David Casellas --- Participating in Bhakti Project is a great way to give something back and appreciate all the good I have experienced this year. Being able to contribute and make others' lives a little better makes me understand that a little act of kindness in any way can make a big difference for people who are not as fortunate as us.
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