Carol on Marsh Force 1

Cone strikes a pose on REF’s Marsh Master, an amphibious vehicle that prepares land for restoration. The Marsh Master was unveiled at the Groundbreaking ceremony in October 2016 when REF launched the restoration of one million acres in the Mississippi River Basin — North America’s Amazon.


It has been one year since Carol Cone, the trailblazer often called the “Mother of Cause Branding,” launched a new business and social purpose consultancy, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE (CCOP), and along with it, the Purpose Collaborative, the world’s first collective network dedicated to fostering CSR and connecting purpose to profit.

Both entities are thriving.

CCOP is engaged in substantial strategy and communications work with a variety of clients, including Aflac, ScottsMiracle-Gro, Hain Celestial, PNC Grow Up Great, The Everglades Foundation, and the Restore the Earth Foundation.

The Purpose Collaborative has grown to more than 35 members spanning 15 cities, 10 countries and more than 400 professionals.

“The Purpose Collaborative is gaining significant traction as a resource for clients and as a knowledge-sharing network,” Cone said. “The Purpose Collaborative already includes many foremost thought leaders in purpose-related work as evidenced by the books (Green Giants by Freya Williams of Futerra), documentaries (the National Geographic Channel TV series The New Space Race by Nation of Artists), reports and studies (enso’s insightful 2016 Brand World Value Index, BBMG’s highly regarded Aspirationals study) recently produced by Purpose Collaborative members.”

The Collaborative’s extensive capabilities include research and data analytics; organizational and brand purpose strategy; CSR planning and reporting; culture development and employee engagement; creative programming and storytelling; millennial and digital marketing; and video and virtual reality production.


The rapid growth of both CCOP and the Purpose Collaborative reflects the evolution of purpose as a mainstream business strategy. Notable studies released in the past year – including the 2016 Global Report on Purpose at Work report developed by LinkedIn and Purpose Collaborative member Imperative, the Ketchum Global Business Return on Purpose Study conducted with CCOP, and the EY Beacon Institute report – underscore that purpose is profoundly influencing business culture, employee recruitment and engagement, product and service innovation, and marketing.

“After years of fits and starts, society has reached a tipping point. Today, purposeful business is the expectation of consumers and employees alike,” said Cone. “What is breaking through are big, bold visions, supported by significant collaboration among business, NGOs, and other third parties.”

One example is a project from CCOP client Restore the Earth Foundation to restore one million acres of degraded land in the lower part of the Mississippi River Basin, an ecosystem so vast and rich in biological and environmental resources that it has been called “North America’s Amazon.” CCOP is partnering with Purpose Collaborative alliance partner Futerra on strategy and marketing communications to position and fund this venture. When complete, the initiative could lower the US carbon footprint by 2°C, while returning $12 billion to the economy of critical communities.

Another example of cross-sector engagement comes from client The Everglades Foundation, for whom CCOP has been developing strategy and a partner outreach campaign to launch the $10 million George Barley Water Prize. Government entities, private industry, and NGOs are all involved.

It is precisely this type of multi-layered collaboration that Cone envisioned when she created CCOP and the Purpose Collaborative as the next logical progression of her longstanding commitment to consultancy-driven purpose work, which had begun at Cone Communications in the 1980s and continued as the head of Business + Social Purpose at Edelman.


To support this type of multi-stakeholder engagement and accelerate impact for members and their clients, Carol Cone ON PURPOSE and the Purpose Collaborative already have developed several innovative tools:

  • The Purpose Accelerator, an affordable fast-track process to develop insight-driven solutions for clients to identify, amplify, or accelerate their purpose.
  • The SDG Focus helps clients develop and implement strategies related to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The Idea Accelerator showcases innovative new social and environmental products and NGOs as a platform to link with companies and brands. Currently it features more than 30 concepts at

CCOP also offers a biweekly newsletter, Purposeful Connections, that features curated data, stories, and collaborations around the world.


“I’m enormously proud of how far we have come in just one year,” said Cone. “Thirty years ago, when I first started linking companies and social issues – such as the Rockport Shoe Company and walking, and Avon and breast cancer – we were pretty much a lone voice. Now, companies that don’t adopt purpose strategies are at risk of being left behind, while others are accused of greenwashing. It’s critical to learn from the past, applying best practices to innovative and sustained commitments that can create new organizational value to meet the societal and environmental challenges of our times.”


Carol Cone ON PURPOSE (CCOP) is a 21st century consultancy whose mission is to partner with organizations to identify, accelerate and amplify their purpose, CSR and sustainability commitments.  It has two main components: The Purpose Collaborative and the Idea Accelerator. The Purpose Collaborative includes over 35 agencies, in 15 cities and 10 countries with over 400 professionals. The Idea Accelerator showcases breakthrough ideas and programs primed to accelerate purpose commitments. The consultancy is led by Carol Cone, regarded as one of the founders of the purpose movement in the early 1980s and has been internationally recognized for her work (

By Joe Dobrow

This press release was originally published on PRWeb.