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With every book you purchase, a new children’s book will be provided to a child in need. One for One.™
This Teaching Guide was designed to help you have thoughtprovoking group discussions about Start Something That
Matters, the #1 best-selling book by TOMS Founder and
Chief Shoe Giver, Blake Mycoskie. Whether your students are reading the entire book, a chapter, or discussing TOMS in general, we hope the questions in this booklet will provide a jumping-off-point to spark some well-rounded conversations.
To learn more about One for One™, and to access further resources, please visit the TOMS Teaching Portal: www.TOMSCampusPrograms.com/educators Thank you for sharing with your students!
Table of Contents
Introduction: The TOMS Story
Find Your Story
Face Your Fears
Be Resourcesful Without Resources
Keep It Simple
Giving Is Good Business
The Final Step
Ways To Get Involved
Introduction: The TOMS Story
Blake Mycoskie, Founder of TOMS, describes the idea that would come to define the TOMS business model: One for One.™ Key to the growth of TOMS has been the company’s commitment to giving. It attracts customers, inspires employees, generates media attention, and appeals to partners that also want to give back. Blake then identifies the six elements that have helped TOMS to flourish. These six principles – Find Your
Story, Face Your Fears, Be Resourceful
Without Resources, Keep it Simple,
Build Trust & Giving is Good Business
- serve as the focus of each of the following chapters.
1. How does the TOMS story appeal to customers? Employees? Business partners? The media? 2. TOMS is unusual in that it’s a for-profit company that actively incorporates giving into its business model. Can you think of other examples of giving-based businesses? How are these companies similar to and different than TOMS?
3. Why might a for-profit business like TOMS be able to succeed in its charitable goals more effectively than a nonprofit? In what ways do for-profit businesses enjoy greater freedoms than non-profits?
4. What are other global problems that could be addressed by giving-based businesses?
What barriers prevent these problems from being addressed by governments and nonprofit organizations? 5. Could a giving-based business like TOMS have succeeded ten, twenty or fifty years ago?
How has consumer culture changed to make the TOMS business model not only viable, but also profitable?
Words Into Action:
1. Connecting needs with your brand.
Spend an afternoon walking or driving around your community. Identify five societal needs that are not being met, such as homelessness, litter, or problems with public transportation. Now identify five products or services that could be created to address these challenges.
2. What’s your alpargata?
Blake identified the alpargata as a foreign product with commercial potential in the
United States. Try to identify some of your own personal possessions that, in the past, would not have been considered commercially viable. What changed to make these products marketable? 3. What’s the story?
Over the next day or so, think about every company that you come into contact with – as a customer, employee or passerby – and ask yourself, What is the company’s story? How do they communicate their message? Are they missing a storytelling opportunity?
Now that your students have read about the TOMS story, screen TOMS
Giving Videos to learn more about the company’s roots and to see their giving in action. To request the TOMS Campus
Programs DVD, please visit: www.TOMSCampusPrograms.com/ educators
Chapter 1: Find Your Story
Straightforward ads – Ford trucks are the toughest; Crest toothpaste makes teeth their whitest
– aren’t as effective as they used to be. Even if it’s a proven fact that a product is