As of 2016, Follow My Vote is a public benefit corporation. We ultimately made this change because we wanted to place more emphasis on our mission and the great work of promoting truth and freedom in societies all around the world.
Follow My Vote’s mission is to promote truth and freedom by empowering individuals to communicate effectively and implement non-coercive solutions to societal problems.
A public benefit corporation is actually a new legal tool designed to create a solid foundation for long term mission alignment and value creation. Benefit corporations allow for a public benefit to be a charter purpose of a company. This is in addition to the traditional purpose of producing maximum profit for shareholders.
Take a look at why other companies have chosen to be a public benefit corporation:
“There’s no downside to it. You’re just aligning your intention, the philosophy of your business, from the beginning, around a public good. That’s something every company can do.”
-Yancey Strickler, CEO of Kickstarter
“Benefit corporation legislation creates the legal framework to enable mission-driven companies like patagonia to stay mission-driven”
Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia Founder
There are five main reasons for a company to choose this type of corporate structure. Suprisingly, every stakeholder in the company can benefit from choosing to become a public benefit corporation.
- Protect Your Mission – The mission becomes paramount. Companies that choose this structure have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment.
- Reduce Liability – This becomes apparent when looking at how director liability is reduced. When making decisions, public benefit corporations provide legal protection to balance financial and non-financial interests.
- Increase Accountability – Public benefit corporations must produce annual benefit reports and make them available to the public. These reports describe qualitative interest and activities which align with the public benefit.
- Attract Talent – With the status of a public benefit corporation, prospective employees can have confidence that the company is legally committed to their mission.
- Access Capital – Public benefit corporations have increased legal protection, accountability and transparency around their mission. Investors can feel safer and more confident knowing this.
What are the common misconceptions about public benefit corporations?
- The reporting requirements for public benefit corporations are difficult and highly involved.
- Public benefit corporations are non-profits or hybrid entities.
- Public benefit corporations must become Certified B Corporations.
- Public benefit corporations and Certified B corporations are the same thing.
- Public benefit corporations must be certified or audited.
- Benefit Corporations aren’t profitable.
When we thought about the future of Follow My Vote we decided that we should reinforce our foundation with a corporate structure that would help us stay true to the original intentions for the company. Follow My Vote is an avid proponent of transparency and accountability. We must practice what we preach. We are proud to be a public benefit corporation and hope you understand why.
For more information on public benefit corporations please visit benefitcorp.net
About the author: Will Long is the Marketing Manager of Follow My Vote.