HomePro Bono Perspectives PodcastS1E30: Amy Smith, TOMS

S1E30: Amy Smith, TOMS

September 16, 2019 | 32 min listen

We knew that the world around us is changing and that there might be other things that not only mean a lot to our employees and to our customers, but that we can have real impact in.

In recognition of National Disaster Preparedness Month and the launch of Common Impact’s Disaster Resiliency skills-based volunteering portfolio, CEO Danielle Holly sits down with TOMS Chief Giving Office Amy Smith to discuss how the company became a significant figure in gun violence prevention. TOMS is known for pioneering the “One for One” model and giving shoes, sight and water to children in need, but a tragic mass shooting close to home recently prompted the B Corp to expand its social impact work to include taking a stand against gun violence.

TOMS took quick and decisive action, turning to nonprofits, policy experts, and survivors to learn about the complex and sensitive issue. Amy shares that while the company made some mistakes in the beginning, it was ultimately a valuable learning experience that helped TOMS develop a framework for taking on social issues. Amy shares the process here for impact-minded businesses interested in social activism.

TOMS committed $5,000,000 to ending gun violence, the largest corporate gift given to this issue to date. The company has also encouraged its customers and brand fans to make their voices heard, like when it had 750,000 people fill out postcards urging their Congressional leaders to pass legislation for universal background checks.

To learn more about TOMS’s gun violence prevention work, giving programs and other activism initiatives, visit https://stories.toms.com.

Addressing Complex Social Issues through Corporate Activism