Let's say you believe in things like voter registration, civil rights, workers' rights, and the reduction of carbon emissions. You also happen to think organizations like the Children's Defense Fund, Doctors Without Borders, the Rainforest Action Network, and Planned Parenthood do valuable work. Now you have to make a call. Or send a text. Well, CREDO is your company. A pioneer of social entrepreneurship, 1% of every charge goes to support progressive causes. (You'll want to check your list against theirs, of course.)
Beginning as a credit card operation before transitioning into long distance and finally finding a sweet spot in mobile phones, CREDO has been in the business since 1985. It seeks to influence policy, encourage investigative journalism (Mother Jones is a beneficiary) and contribute directly to non-profits. The late Ted Kennedy namechecks the company on its website. Co-founded by Laura Scher, former CEO and current executive chair, the company has given away $72 million to date. (Scher currently teaches "Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship" at Stanford.) Best of all, it's a good phone company. A recent Facebook post told how a woman made a mistake in changing her service and racked up some serious international charges: she was paying $1.30 per minute instead of the seven cents she'd thought. A call to CREDO quickly locked in the change and made it retroactive too, "erasing perhaps $300 in fees. Now that is customer service!"
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