Doing Well by Doing Good: How You Can Leverage Your Professional Experience for Philanthropic Purposes (According to Someone Who Has)

In this exclusive interview, Greg Buzek, founder and president of retail analyst firm IHL Group, reveals how his prolific career has fueled his philanthropic mission with RetailROI, a nonprofit he co-founded to help orphans around the world.

by Your Edge Blog Team
August 20, 2021

Despite the vast differences in their purposes and operating models, charities and corporations can learn a lot from each other – how to structure an organization, reach key audiences or secure funds to support initiatives. Perhaps one of the most prominent commonalities among for-profit and non-profit entities is the influence networking can have on the success of one’s mission.

As Greg Buzek has learned, many of the skills and relationships that can propel your career forward are the same ones that enable you to rally widespread support for philanthropic initiatives.

Greg, who is the founder of retail analyst firm, IHL Group, and co-founder of non-profit organization Retail Orphan Initiative (RetailROI), spent years advocating for vulnerable orphans in his local community before deciding to leverage his industry connections and passion for volunteerism to create the non-profit organization. But it soon became clear that if he was going to achieve his mission of raising awareness about the 143 million orphans on this planet today and provide real solutions to help more than 400 million vulnerable children worldwide, he was going to need some help himself.

With more than 30 years of experience in retail market analysis and consulting with Fortune 500 companies, Greg has earned a great deal of respect in the retail industry. In fact, he was named one of RIS News’ “Influentials: Top Movers and Shakers in Retail” in 2020. So, when he reached out to his professional network to see if anyone had the interest or resources to drive forth this effort, it didn’t take much persuasion. The entire industry seemed to have his back – and back his mission.  

Every year since 2009, Greg has inspired retailers, their vendors and others within the sector to faithfully participate in RetailROI’s fundraising efforts, including SuperSaturday – which may be the best day of the year for Greg, the millions of children that can be impacted, and the retail community as a whole.

What makes SuperSaturday so super?

The joy it brings to all!

Each year, on the Saturday before the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” RetailROI invites retailers and corporate sponsors to network and discuss the latest industry data and trends, all while raising awareness and funds for the countless children who benefit from the organization’s services.

To say Greg is pumped about the next SuperSaturday would be an understatement. January 15, 2022 will be the day his dream of giving orphaned and vulnerable children a better life comes true once again, thanks to the personal support of his professional network.  

Since inception, RetailROI and its supporters (Zebra included!) have helped fund over 220 projects in 27 countries, mobilizing more than $4.2 million to help over 250,000 children! If this isn’t proof that great things can happen when nonprofits and private sector companies work collaboratively, we don’t know what is.

So, when you have about 30 minutes (and want a huge pick me up), tune in to our exclusive Your Edge podcast interview with Greg:

Using Your Professional Experience and Network for Philanthropic Good

He talks about…

  • what inspired him to start what is now one of the most influential global advisory firms specializing in technology for the retail industry.
  • what new perspectives he has gained about the retail industry since becoming a consultant.
  • that moment he became really encouraged to combine his retail expertise with his passion for volunteerism to help create RetailROI.
  • the opportunities RetailROI is giving orphans around the world to live the lives they dream about.
  • how exactly RetailROI SuperSaturday is helping the nonprofit execute its mission of supporting orphans across the globe.
  • how more businesses and non-profit organizations can work together to make a greater philanthropic impact.
  • how individuals can infuse their philanthropic spirit into their careers.
  • the most memorable and cherished moments he has experienced through RetailROI.
  • some of his favorite hobbies (like taking snapshots of his favorite football teams).
  • how we can all do well by doing good!

As you will see when you listen to our conversation, Greg is such a ray of light in the retail sector and the world. And we feel privileged at Zebra to be able to shine the spotlight on the tireless effort he has put into both his professional and philanthropic initiatives to help make others’ lives better!

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Editor’s Note:

Whether your passion is helping vulnerable children, sending letters to nursing homes, or keeping beaches beautiful, we encourage you to do well by doing good just like Greg has with RetailROI. While you’re at it – why not take it one step further and invite your family, friends, colleagues and employer to join you in your mission to give back? When companies and nonprofits come together to support those in need, our jobs start to feel less like work and become more about contributing to meaningful causes on a greater scale. So, find your passion and start giving back, one donation or volunteer hour at a time.

Need some inspiration? Check out some of the initiatives Zebra has been supporting lately:

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Your Edge Blog Team
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