How being a B Corp creates unique value (for employees and customers)

We were born to turn consulting on its head.

Impact Makers began in 2006 as a for-profit management and technology consulting firm that approaches consulting differently – both in terms of our service to clients and our business model. Just over one decade later, we’re focused on maximizing our impact by growing aggressively, but purposefully.

The skinny: We give away all our profits to community partners. Impact Makers is owned by two foundations and 100% of the company’s net profits over the life of the company go to charity to provide them with the ability to create funds that support charitable nonprofits and also invest in B Corps and other companies with social missions.

This is a revolutionary idea in desperate need of rigor and discipline. In short, we needed to make sure the thing actually worked. This is where our B Corp certification (including the re-certifications over the years) has been instrumental.

The B Corp model provided the blueprint for us to not only make a difference in the world, but also be a high-performing company. Thanks to that blueprint, those two types of impact fuel each other ferociously; the more difference in the world we make, the higher our business performance, and visa versa. The blueprint helped create discipline around how we select and service our community partners. By building our company on B Corp principles and later legally restructuring as a Public Benefit Corporation, we’ve experienced year-over-year growth and we continually attract top industry talent, as well as investors to make strategic growth investments.

For Impact Makers, it’s not just about hitting our numbers. Growth is about maximizing our impact without compromising our purpose, losing sight of our mission and shared values, or disrupting the strong culture we’ve built. Money is still our metric, but the dollar number amount isn’t the only aspect of it anymore. It’s just as much about what the money does as how much we’re bringing in. We’ve rounded out the metric and made it into a living, doing thing, as opposed to the typical cold, flat bottom line.

Our unique model attracts exceptional people motivated by our mission and guided by our values. This enables us to create meaningful change and value for our clients and our community partners that goes beyond just the bottom line.

“Impact Makers provides an employee experience that is greater than a paycheck,” says Scott Mayo, Senior Vice President of Customer Solutions at Impact Makers. “We attract exceptional people who are driven to not only be the best in their field, but also want to work for a company that enables them to deliver both client and community value. We offer our teams competitive, market-rate salaries so they don’t have to choose between having a great career with great experiences or a strong sense of purpose. With Impact Makers, they get both.”

This has led to low turnover (Impact Makers is 60% below industry average) and above-industry-average client retention for the company.

“Our mission-driven teams outperform others,” adds Mayo. “We don’t have to worry about productivity or disruption on projects, so we realize operational efficiencies more quickly and have deeper, sustained institutional knowledge. And as a result of our strong sense of purpose, we’re transparent and focused on delivering value – which ultimately, drives predictable, bottom line results for our clients.”

Research has shown that navigating the B Corp certification process strengthens management practices. “Performance metrics allow the company to gather data to assess current practices and identify strengths and weaknesses” (KKS Advisors, 2017, p. 9). The amount and degree of detail of data gathered and evaluated during the assessment serves as an early warning system of potential risk and holds management accountable in their decision making. More so, the high level of transparency holds executive decision makers accountable not only to employees but to clients.

Michael Pirron, founder and CEO of Impact Makers, concludes: “Impact Makers is proud to be one of the founding B Corps in 2006, and has been among the highest scoring B Corps from the beginning. We have also been recognized as Best for the World every year that it has been tracked and reported. It was always a natural fit for us to be part of this movement, as our DNA fits the B Corp model. Impact Makers continues to be excited to be part of this international, vibrant community of companies using business as a force for good, and collectively working together to prove to the business world that a company can ‘do well and do good’ at the same time.“

We’re the highest scoring management consultancy B Corp in US

When we say the B Corp Blueprint is important, we mean it. We’ve relied on it so much and pursued it so hard that our score ranks us among an elite group worldwide, and we’re among precious few management consultancies in our ranking class in the continental US. We’re also the leader of that pack, by miles.

Among B Corp Management Consulting companies, 68 consultancies worldwide were honored in the Best for the World ranking with 24 in the US. Of these 24, only ten were acknowledged as Best for the World Overall. Of the ten highest scoring B Corp management consultancies, Impact Makers came in first place with an overall score of 172 (which makes us the highest scoring B Corp management consultancy in the US).

Impact Makers also was honored as Best for Community (among 86 US-based B Corps from all industries) and Best for the Long-Term (among 124 of B Corps in the US).

See below for more general B Corp numbers and rankings all over the world.

2,263 B Corps worldwide and growing …

As of September 2017, 2,263 companies worldwide are certified B Corporations (which differs from a Benefit Corporation). A company needs to achieve at least 80 points out of 200 in the B Impact Assessment to be certified, and repeat that assessment every two years (20% of all certified B Corps are audited each year), according to B Lab, the non-profit behind the certification.

Find a B Corp and see their score.

Best of the B Corps: Worldwide

The Best for the World 2017 ranking evaluates all certified B Corps (as of January 6th, 2017) across one or several of seven criteria.

  • 846 B Corps from across the world were honored
  • Best for the World Overall (176 B Corps scored in the top 10% in the B Impact Assessment across all areas)
  • Best for the World Changemakers (174 B Corps were honored for positive change across all impact areas)
  • Best for:
    • Workers (149 B Corps)
    • Environment (180 B Corps)
    • Community (179 B Corps)
    • Customers (174 B Corps)
    • Long-Term (Governance) (186 B Corps)** Several B Corps scored in the top tenth percentile of the assessment in more than one category; the total of individual honorees remains 846.

Best of the B Corps: United States

As of September 2017, 1,034 US-based companies were certified as B Corps – 439 received the Best for the World honor and 96 were honored as Best for the World Overall.

Best of the B Corps: Virginia

The state of Virginia has 12 certified B Corps who were honored in one or several categories as outstanding B Corps worldwide.  Six of these companies – Hamilton Perkins Collection, Impact Makers, Madi Drop, Richmond Grid, Rivanna Natural Designs and Virginia Community Capital – also made the cut as Best for the World Overall.