What makes a business “a DoneGood business”?

DoneGood businesses have a purpose. They’re committed to making good products that last, and treating their customers, employees and the planet well. They care about more than just profit. In other words, they’re on a mission to prove that people can build a successful business and make the world better at the same time. They’re underdogs going up against the big guys. We want them to succeed! If they do, more businesses will follow their lead, and eventually even the big guys will take notice. They’ll change everything.

How do you know a business is DoneGood?

The first thing we look for is certifications from independent organizations. There are a lot of solid groups out there rating businesses’ social impact on a variety of issues—Certified B Corps, Fair Trade certified, GOTS certified organic cotton, etc. At first we planned to only include businesses that had certain certifications. We thought we’d develop a cool algorithm that gave companies a point score of some kind.

But then we came across a lot of really great companies that just hadn’t applied for any certifications but still seemed pretty frickin’ awesome. Like there’s this guy out in Colorado whose small operation has been making really great outdoor gear since the ’90s—before most of these certification systems even existed. All of his stuff has always been made in the town where he lives, out of fabric that’s all milled in the USA. The people making the gear earn a living wage and get health benefits. He cares about his environmental footprint. We’ve been buying his stuff for years. We’ve spoken with him directly; we believe he’s totally genuine. One of our associates (Cullen’s sister) has seen his facility. We believe it’s all good through and through.

So we realized that all this is a lot more of an art than a science. In a famous Supreme Court case about pornography, Justice Potter Stuart said that it was really hard to define exactly what pornography was, “But I know it when I see it.” We think of DoneGoodness in the same way.

So now we take a more holistic approach—we look at different certifications, we do other research, we talk to company founders, we look at expert opinions. And we rely on input from people in the DoneGood community (read on)...

I know a great business that should be featured on DoneGood...

You’re the best! Please tell us. Shoot us an email with the company’s name at team@donegood.co and let us know a little about what you think of them.

We’re always scouring the world for new mission-driven businesses. But DoneGood companies are often small and hard to find. And people are starting new ones every day! So we’re really thankful when people let us know about amazing businesses we might not know about yet.

We also really appreciate any concerns about a particular business. We’re a small team and we use our best judgment to make good determinations. But input from others really helps us out.

Thanks in advance for any tips!

How do you make money?

We earn a commission from the ethical brands we feature when someone makes a purchase from them by finding them through DoneGood. We don’t take any money from companies up front. First we decide if a business passes the threshold to be listed on DoneGood, then we ask them if they’d like to support our work by paying a small percentage on sales when we help people discover their company.

Brands like this model because it’s less expensive and less risky than traditional marketing—instead of paying for ads up front and hoping they work, brands only pay us when a sale is made. We like it because we only make any money if we actually help the businesses we’re trying to serve. And this kind of business model allows us to work every day on something we truly believe in.

Why aren’t you a nonprofit?

DoneGood is a public benefit corporation, a new kind of legal designation that means a company is legally chartered to focus on a social mission first, profits second. Ultimately the point of all this is to show that businesses can be commercially successful and make the world better at the same time. We exist to support people building businesses like that, and that’s the kind of company we want to be ourselves.

Does the extension slow down my computer/internet speed?

We've worked really hard to make sure it doesn't. We actually programmed the extension to allow your web page to load like normal before the extension does its thing and shows you ethical company alternatives, just to make sure we didn't slow you down. Our tests show that if there is any delay in internet page loading time it's less than one second. If you believe the extension is slowing your internet loading speed any more than that, please let us know at team@donegood.co.

How does DoneGood ensure my privacy is protected?

We believe that being transparent and protecting people's privacy is part of what it means to be a DoneGood company. So:

We do NOT sell your contact information or any other personally identifiable info.

We don't track your personal browsing history.

The extension does nothing and tracks nothing until:

  • You search for something on Amazon
  • Search for something on Google related to a DoneGood-approved brand, or a company that provides similar products or services to a DoneGood-approved company
  • You visit a big-name company website for which we have a DoneGood-approved alternative

When you do one of those things, the extension senses you're there so it can provide suggestions for ethical and sustainable alternatives.

We do not collect personally identifiable data. We do see anonymized data for the DoneGood community as a whole on things like:

  • How the DoneGood community is using the DoneGood extension, app, and website (like the total number of times everyone pressed a certain button/used a certain feature
  • Search terms that lead to a result that displays a DoneGood-approved brand, or a company that provides similar products or services to a DoneGood-approved brand
  • Basic demographic data on the DoneGood community as a whole from Google Analytics

This data helps us make our products better and helps us demonstrate the effectiveness of the DoneGood community overall. Again, this data is kept anonymous so it cannot identify you personally. So for example, we may know that in a given week 122 DoneGood users went to a particular big-name website but then clicked over to the similar DoneGood-approved website instead (hell yeah!), but we don't know that you were one of those 122. Or we might know how many people shared a DoneGood-approved company on Facebook, but we can’t identify which people did the sharing.

Our full privacy policy is here. We’ve tried to ensure it clearly states and protects your privacy rights. And we even tried to write it in plain English so non-lawyers can understand it. Please contact us at team@donegood.co if you ever have any questions or thoughts about this privacy policy.

Why you guys doing this?

We really do believe that the most powerful tool we all have to create change is the dollars we spend. Every time we give anyone our money we’re helping their practices to be more prevalent in the world. When we give our money to good people doing good stuff, we help them succeed. We encourage more businesses to follow suit. And eventually the big companies will take notice and change their practices for the better too.

When every business in the world treats their customers, their employees, and the planet well, all our problems will be solved. And DoneGood won’t be needed anymore. Ultimately we’re working to put ourselves out of business.

In the meantime, before we all solve all the world’s problems, shopping with a DoneGood company means getting solid products and feeling good about where your money is going. If we can help make other people feel good, that’s cool.