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Brands: Do Good And Earn A Profit Anne Bahr Thompson Doing good. For most people, this phrase conjures up images of kindness and self-sacrifice. A young boy scout helping an old woman to cross the street. A Peace Corp volunteer teaching a Nepalese man to build a smokeless stove. An aid worker in Haiti rescuing a young child from the rubble. Mother Theresa surrounded by young children in Calcutta. The Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, CARE and other non-profit organizations may even come to mind. Few, if any of us, envision a business - a bank, a fast food chain, an oil and gas producer or even a retailer - when we hear the phrase doing good. Yet, brands today are doing good. 44

According to Giving USA and Charity Navigator, US corporations gave $16.76 billion to charities in 2013. By the World Bank’s 2013 statistics, that’s more than the GDP of Iceland ($13.66 billion), Nicaragua ($10.51 billion), the West Bank and Gaza ($4.02 billion), Liberia ($1.77 billion), St. Kitts and Nevis ($0.75 billion) and many other countries. And, Giving USA’s figures don’t include many corporate social responsibility initiatives and sustainability investments, which if added in would clearly make the number higher. So, why are many people still uneasy with aligning a brand with the notion of doing good? One argument that gained momentum since the Great Recession put a microscope

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