In the short five-year history of Business For Good, we’ve managed to do a lot of good for San Diego communities. We can confidently say, however, that 2022 was our most impactful year yet.
It was a year of firsts: our first (Doing) Business For Good Annual Summit, our first booth at San Diego Earth Fair, and our first full year with our first-ever Managing Director.
Before we turn our calendars to 2023, we’d like to savor the big and small moments that mattered most to Business For Good and our members. Thank you for continuing to support BFG and doing the hard work to run purposeful businesses that help drive positive change in San Diego year after year.
Business For Good’s 2022 committee wins
Our five Business For Good member committees are central to the success of our organization.
Not only do they serve as hubs for intentional policy action, but they also connect our members to one another as they advocate together for equitable, sustainable policies throughout our region. Check out these awesome 2022 achievements.
Environmental Health Committee
- BFG was a leading force in shaping the landmark San Diego Climate Action Plan—Dr. Cindy Lin, our Environmental Health Committee Chair and BFG Board Member, was directly involved in providing comments and guidance to Mayor Todd Gloria on shaping the new 2022 Climate Action Plan.
- Our first year with a booth at San Diego Earth Fair—This was BFG’s first year with an official booth at San Diego Earth Fair in Balboa Park, attended by over 50,000 people. “We talked with a ton of people there,” Cindy said. “It really gave us the chance to generate far more interest in, and awareness of, BFG in the public sphere than ever before. In fact, our presence there was so successful that it led us to create our inaugural BFG Summit.”
- More partnerships with community organizations, nonprofits, and public sector orgs—In mid-2022, BFG expanded its membership beyond business owners to include nonprofits and public sector organizations. As more of these organizations joined BFG, we were able to begin many new, exciting conversations and collaborations with prominent community partners to drive even more environmental health impact in 2023.
- Bigger, better-funded citizenship drives—Last year, our Immigration committee helped establish citizenship drives in San Diego to help legal residents with required citizenship filing costs and attorney’s fees. “In the past, BFG donated space and food for these drives, which was so helpful,” said Juan Pablo Sanchez, Immigration Committee Chair and BFG Board Member. “But because BFG grew so much in 2022, it was the first year they could help out with funding, too.” Thanks in part to BFG, the citizenship drives now have a revolving fund of about $40,000.
- Building an alliance with the new City of San Diego Immigrant Affairs Office—This year, Mayor Gloria launched the new Office of Immigrant Affairs, with the goal of promoting an immigrant-inclusive lens in the City of San Diego and helping advance access to economic opportunity for all San Diegans. This is a huge win, and something that BFG has pushed for in local legislation since our inception.
- Stronger partnership with the Employee Rights Center (ERC)—The ERC helps all San Diego area workers, especially disadvantaged workers without union representation, with their workplace, health, and immigration issues. In 2022, BFG ramped up its involvement and support with ERC to help more of our region’s low-income and immigrant workers get the fair treatment and wages they deserve.
Housing & Homelessness Committee
- Advocated for and supported the Homes For All of Us and Blueprint SD—After SB-9 and SB-10 passed earlier this year, the City of San Diego created Housing Action Package 2.0. Two areas of focus are the Homes For All of Us and Blueprint SD, both of which are well-conceived, inclusive plans that have the potential to make a huge dent in the housing crisis in our region. BFG Housing & Homelessness Committee helped work with City officials to support and advocate for this progressive housing action plan.
- The Bridge to Home Program to create more affordable housing was launched—Our BFG committee, in collaboration with other community leaders and organizations, heavily advocated bringing more affordable housing to our region. The City Council listened. In March 2022, Mayor Gloria launched the Bridge to Home Program, which is slated to bring seven brand-new affordable housing projects to San Diego County.
Business Resources Committee
- A new Committee Chair from San Diego Workforce Partnership—Angel Stancer, Manager of Business Partnerships at San Diego Workforce Partnership, joined BFG as the new Business Resources Committee Chair this year. Angel is a talented expert at mentoring and supporting local business owners, especially those with traditional barriers to entry, in running successful operations.
- Launching a business mentorship program for MEHKOs—In June, BFG was awarded over $35,000 in grant money to help San Diego Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation (MEHKOs) with start-up training, business mentorship, and technical assistance. Our Business Resources committee is heading up this exciting inaugural mentorship program, connecting BFG members as mentors with local MEHKO award recipients. The first cohort just finished and we will be awarding 38 businesses with micro-grants of $2,500—$7,500.
- Planning a new professional development workshop series for 2023—Next year, the committee plans to roll out a new series of workshops that speak to the most crucial needs of our local business owners. “We envision it as a kind of BFG ‘village community’,’ open to BFG members and non-members, where everyone can engage in valuable professional development,” Angel said. “It’s a chance to leverage the existing expertise of our members and also bring in knowledgeable guest speakers from the community at large.”
Membership Communications Committee
- Deployed our new membership platform GrowthZone and rolled out the new BFG Membership Tiers—In June, BFG introduced our new Membership Tier program as well as deployed our new membership platform, GrowthZone. The successful rollout of this program involved a tremendous coordinated effort on the part of our marketing, web, content, and social media Member Comms committee volunteers.
- Created a marketing and content strategy for our inaugural (Doing) Business For Good Summit—Many BFG members throughout our organization, in different capacities, volunteered their time and hard work to make our first-ever BFG Summit a huge win. The Comms committee’s role was crafting an in-depth, months-long content, email, web, and social media strategy to spread awareness of the event that helped get over 120 businesses and organizations to attend.
Business For Good’s 2022 organizational & policy wins
In addition to the incredible work our BFG committees have done over the past year, Business For Good reached some equally impressive milestones in 2022. Take a look at all the wins we are reporting, both in our organization and in the policy work we help to shape in San Diego.
- A super successful first year with our new Managing Director, Danea Ramos—Danea’s presence at BFG has been a game-changer for BFG. She painstakingly created clear, orderly processes for every part of BFG operations—from finance and governance to fundraising to membership benefits. Many of our 2022 wins are a direct result of Danea’s keen leadership.
- Hosted our inaugural (Doing) Business For Good Summit—We’ve mentioned it here a bunch of times already, with good reason. Our (Doing) BFG Summit is a major achievement to behold. It began as just a seed of an idea after the Earth Fair and grew into a wildly successful event.
- BFG became a 501(c)3 organization—We made the big transition from a 501(c)6 to a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. This is a huge win, as it allows us to apply for far more federal, state, and local grants. And, BFG membership dues and donations are now fully tax-deductible for members.
- Rolled out the new membership tiers and platform—Many manual tasks are now automated and we can more easily see a more complete picture of BFG’s growth. The new membership tiers provide diverse membership opportunities for not only local business owners but also individuals, nonprofits, and public sector organizations.
- Winning the $1M SEED Grant as part of the San Diego Food Justice Project (SDFJP)—BFG is proud to be one of the five organizations that comprise the SDFJP, which was awarded a $1 million grant this year from the State of California to help San Diego MEHKOs get their operations up and running.
- Excellent BFG Board of Directors participation—The energy from BFG’s best year so far was definitely palpable and contagious. Our past BFG Boards have all been incredible, consistently driving BFG to new levels of success year after year. But in 2022, we noticed an even more active, engaged presence from our leadership. (Perhaps the return to in-person gathering after a couple years of isolation had a little something to do with it!).
- We increased BFG membership by 20%—BFG membership has continued to grow each year and 2022 was no exception. We continued our upward trend by increasing our member base by 20% this year.
- We increased our annual revenue by nearly 450% from grants—Thanks in large part to our new 501(c)3 status, 2022 was the very first year BFG applied for and received grants, which more than quadrupled our annual revenue from last year.
- BFG Board Member Austin Evans was named Chair of the Small Business Advisory Board for the City of San Diego—BFG is now represented at one of the highest levels of local decision-making in San Diego, which has the potential to create widespread change about how we approach local business ownership as a region.
- Featured article on BFG in the San Diego Business Journal—SDBJ is the voice of business publications in all of San Diego County, so them centering BFG—an organization committed to changing how business is done for the betterment of all—is a very big deal.
- Hit all four major goals for 2022 that we set last year—Maybe the biggest win of all is that we reached every major goal that we set for ourselves last year! We continued to grow our membership; became a 501(c)3 nonprofit; offered more member events, opportunities, and benefits (new membership tiers, the (Doing) BFG Summit, Earth Fair, etc.); and definitely continued the robust policy work of 2021.
Business For Good’s goals for 2023
The chief goal for Business For Good is always to unite local business owners to drive policy that improves San Diego for all. But next year, we’d like to build on this by focusing on connection.
After nearly three years of a global pandemic, it’s fair to say we’ve all felt a sense of disconnection and malaise to some degree. So in 2023, we’re honing our ultimate goal to connect the San Diego business community with our local nonprofit and public sectors by educating and advocating for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable policies.
Specifically, this translates to four goals:
- Increased BFG membership for individuals, nonprofits, and public sector organizations—We can drive far more impact together. As BFG continues its core goal to grow membership of local business owners, we also hope to welcome more individuals, nonprofits, and public sector organizations into our fold so that we can make an even greater impact, faster.
- Greater connection and reach throughout San Diego County—The more diverse BFG is, the more our organization thrives. We aim to grow our connection and reach throughout the region with an eye toward diversity, both demographic and geographic.
- More partnerships with San Diego businesses and organizations—To increase awareness and funding of the organization and generate even more perks and benefits for members.
- Create core outreach and advocacy programs in each of our policy action areas—One clear path to generating more funding for BFG through grants, donations, and sponsorships is to establish BFG outreach and advocacy programs within our four policy action areas. These programs have the dual benefit of helping to grow our 501(c)3 organization while forging stronger connections with our San Diego communities.