As we kick-off the New Year, I’m inspired by what our team accomplished together over the course of 2020. We had the privilege of collaborating on some amazing work with our clients, and when the world was in constant turmoil we turned towards one another with empathy and support. But above all, I am most proud of the team’s commitment and steep learning curve in preparing for and stepping up to lead Avenue’s operations while I, the CEO was on a three-month maternity leave. Not only did the team fully sustain the company, clients and our partners, they also started and led internal anti-racism efforts on the company’s behalf, shared thought leadership in the industry, grew current client partnerships and onboarded brand new clients into the Avenue family. Wow. I’m humbled and grateful.
And now on to our work and the areas we impacted beyond digital marketing over the past 12 months. As a Certified B Corporation®, we strive to improve our positive impact every year. And it’s our belief that we can invest our resources in making businesses better, more compassionate and creating a more inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.
Our 2020 Impact Report covers these five core areas from the past year:
- Our COVID-19 Response
- Growth and Sustainability
- Leadership and Diversity
- Employee Engagement and Culture
- Community and Environmental Impact
Here’s a recap of what we accomplished. You can also view or download the full (more aesthetically pleasing) report here:
Our COVID-19 Response
Growth and Sustainability
- Longevity: 4.5 years in business and growing.
- Our Impact: 3 years of impact as a Certified B Corporation®.
- Growth: 10% year-over-year (YoY) growth in the middle of a global pandemic.
- Profitability: 22.3% profit margin allowing us to reinvest in the company and team.
- Business Model Sustainability: 93.33% (86% in 2019)of clients are ongoing, long-term partners of Avenue’s, building around our recurring revenue model.
- Diverse, Progressive and Purpose-driven Clients: 86.67% (60% in 2019) of our clients are B Corps, credit unions, women and BIPOC-owned businesses, purpose-driven, impact-related or non-profit organizations who serve diverse customer bases and communities. At Avenue, we intentionally seek out client partners who align with our values as a company and as a Certified B Corporation®.
- # of Clients Served: 37 clients served in 2020 (31 served in 2019).
- Industry Awards: We were honored to receive 2 awards in 2020, including an AMA Max Award for the ‘Best Social Campaign’ for our work with Kiva. Kiva was an exciting and values aligned partnership for us. As a woman and minority-owned business, Avenue related to the entrepreneurial challenges faced when growing a small business. We are proud to know our work went much further than data, providing millions of underserved entrepreneurs, many of them women in developing nations, funding to start their own businesses and better support their families. 🌎
Leadership and Diversity
- Leadership: Avenue is a 100% Immigrant and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) owned and operated digital marketing agency. Our CEO serves on the Board of Directors for SMART Reading, Business for a Better Portland, SEMpdx and EO Accelerator.
- Company Diversity: Our team is 42% BIPOC, 58% white.
- Commitment to Diversity and Anti-Racism: 4 Certifications to hold us accountable as a diverse company with a commitment to impact. As a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Emerging Small Business (ESB) and Certified B Corporation®, Avenue is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism across all facets of our business, and we continue to do the work to address systemic racism. We stand against anti-Black racism and all forms of oppression including transphobia, classism, sexism, and xenophobia. We commit to a focused and sustained action to dismantle racist systems, policies, practices, and ideologies within ourselves and our networks. As we continue to learn about injustice, we embrace radical reorientation of our consciousness and will listen to the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous and marginalized peoples to catalyze equitable outcomes for all. We believe a diverse and anti-racist workforce facilitates conversation and learning, produces personal and professional growth for all of our team members and ultimately allows us to produce better and more holistic outcomes for our clients and community partners.
- Supporting Women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs: 8 women and BIPOC entrepreneurs served in 2020 through digital marketing consultation and business support in partnership with Prosper Portland and Mercatus and business mentorship for 2 global student entrepreneurs from Costa Rica and China through the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) GSEA program.
- Team Growth and Retention: Retained 100% of the team in 2020 amidst COVID, and Avenue is currently hiring for a new team member. We also partner with the Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI), which removes barriers to access by connecting talented students of color with leadership-track, paid internships at top companies throughout the Greater Portland area to grow our diverse talent base.
- Advisory Board: In 2020, Avenue brought together an advisory board of 5 CEOs and Executives in Portland to support and advise on Avenue’s future growth and development.
Employee Engagement and Culture
- Annual and Quarterly Strategic Planning: 1 Annual Strategic Planning Retreat held in Hawaii 🌴 (before COVID)! Additionally, we gather the company together for three 1–2 day company retreats where we engage our entire team across the strategy, goal-setting and decision-making process for Avenue.
- Culture of Gratitude and Support: We continued our tradition of sharing 1 thing we’re grateful for while touching base on our key priorities for the day in our Daily Huddle (I’m grateful for… 🙏🏽 our core values). We also shared ‘pandemic silver linings’ amongst the team on a weekly basis at the beginning of COVID to capture our unexpected gratitudes despite the craziness of 2020.
- Gallup Q12 Survey: 4.7 out of 5 (4.6 in 2019). Gallup has studied survey results from more than 35 million employees around the world, and the Q12 survey is the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on business sustainability.
- 15Five Weekly Survey Results: 4.5 out of 5 (4.2 in 2019). 15Five is a tool that helps create highly-engaged, high-performing organizations by helping people become their best selves.
- Benefits and New Benefits Added: In 2020 we added 3 new benefits for our team, including 12 weeks (or 3 months) of paid parental leave and a Shop Local stipend and WiFi stipend. We also moved to be a 100% virtual workforce with the pandemic. Avenue provides 100% employer-paid medical, dental, vision coverage, short and long-term disability, life insurance and a SIMPLE IRA plan with employer match for all full-time employees. Our Benefits are an investment in the health, wellness and personal and professional safety of our employees.
- Supporting Personal Wellness: Avenue provides 100% of the team with a Fitness Stipend to support outside wellness activities such as an online fitness membership, etc., in addition to supporting team/group wellness activities.
- Improving the work-from-home (WFH) Experience: At Avenue, we believe that in order to set our clients up for success, we need to set our team members up for success. As we moved to a 100% virtual work environment with the pandemic, Avenue created an “Avenue Workstation” (and shipped items to team members) including a Fully Sit/Stand desk, laptop, monitor/second screen, chair and other items as needed to ensure our team members are comfortable and equipped to do their best work from home. Also included is a WiFi Stipend and Cell Phone Stipend for 100% of our team members to offset team technology costs (both personal and professional).
- Books Read by the Team: 84 books. Reading gave the team someplace to go when we had to stay where we were during the pandemic. And, as Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
- Dog Cuddles: 293 days of puppy snuggles (shout out to Lenny, Munchie and Lochsa for keeping it real!).
- Baby Snuggles: 1 Million baby snuggles 😉 Our extended Avenue family grew in 2020.
Community and Environmental Impact
- Pro Bono $ Support of Nonprofit Work in the Community: $25,000 in pro bono services given to non-profits as part of our quarterly Charity of Choice program (to organizations such as PDXWIT, Prosper Portland, the Banfield Foundation and more).
- Actual $ Support of Nonprofit Work in the Community: 1.6% of annual gross revenue donated in cash to nonprofits by Avenue. Since our inception, Avenue has donated 1% or more of annual revenue to local nonprofits to amplify their good work and impact. In 2020, the list included SMART Reading, Elevate Oregon, Business for a Better Portland, Visible Alliance and more.
- Team Members Investing in the Community: An additional $2,250 invested in the community by the team through our company-funded Shop Local Stipend. As part of our commitment to our team and community, Avenue provides a monthly Shop Local Stipend for team members to support local businesses or nonprofits of their choice.
- # of Volunteer Hours Contributed by the Team: 48 hours that our team members committed individually to organizations they are passionate about (and using work hours to do so). Avenue team members have dedicated their time to support organizations such as SMART Reading, Oregon Humane Society, the Oregon Zoo and more.
- # of Hours of Board Service Contributed by the Team: 192 hours.
- Miles Driven and Gas Conserved with No Commute: 7,224 miles and 280 hours saved by not driving during COVID, which equates to roughly 289 gallons of gas conserved and greatly reduced emissions.
Like Avenue, B Corps are champions of measuring impact, and the B Corp movement is continuing to grow. You can learn more about the companies who are using business as a force for good by following @ bcorporation and @ blocalpdx. And you can also take the B Impact Assessment Snapshot to see where your company stands on the impact front. I invite you to join Avenue and the B Corp movement on this journey of creating durable, positive change in the world we love.
Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.