What is a Social Good?

Article Details
  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Social good, which is also sometimes used interchangeably with "common good," is a term that is used in business to define an effort, constellation of efforts, or overall purpose of an organization that is intended to help a large number of people. A charitable organization, for example, is often a type of organization that focuses on works for social good. Not all people agree on what types of works can be categorized as works of social good. There are a number of types of works, however, that are almost always considered to be works of social good. These works involve efforts to improve the environment or reduce a certain population's impact on the environment, efforts to improve the level or kinds of health care available to a certain population, and efforts to increase literacy in certain populations.


Nonprofit organizations and other kinds of organizations that are entirely dedicated to working toward social good are usually opposite in the ways in which they function. There are, however, organizations that are for-profit organizations that have arms of the business dedicated to social good. For example, a national retailer of women's clothing might decide that it is going to develop a program for the education and empowerment of young women. Although the company is still run in order to make a profit, there is an arm of the company that is dedicated to improving the lives of a certain population. In many cases like this, the profits from one product or line of products will be used to fund the works for social good.

In many cases, companies that are either dedicated to or have one arm of their businesses dedicated to social good are eligible for some kinds of government funding or tax relief. In order to make sure that these benefits are not abused, many countries have a list of codes regarding what kinds of works can be considered works of social good and what businesses have to do in order to be eligible for related benefits. International organizations that do works of social good often have to make sure that their works are in compliance with the codes set out by each country in which they operate. In some cases, this means that the works done by an organization have to be slightly altered depending on the countries in which they are being carried out.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?