DEV is a not-for-profit co-op but more than that we're a Community Benefit Society and here's why...
Before The Developer Society existed, Blanc was a for-profit digital agency with a broad range of clients. All of them had one thing in common, they really loved how we could solve large problems and deliver lots of value at a fantastic price point.
Over the years though we found that the projects that really excited us fit a pattern, they all made a positive impact on the world. Yes, we were good at improving a company's bottom line but when we worked with NGOs and charities we were being driven by more than ROI.
So we took a long look at why we did what we did. Our founders were more hungry for sustainable change than a big pay out and wanted to make sure the team that works so hard for every project win got rewarded too. So they did something crazy: they gave the company away. This meant that not only the entire DEV team would have ownership by becoming a co-op but by going a step further and becoming a CBS we've put NGOs and charities, the community we're built to support, at the heart of DEV too.
Here's what that really means in practice:
- Our team have the option of becoming shareholding members, and in-turn have democratic control of the company.
- NGOs and Charities have a route to ownership too, to ensure we always steer in a direction that supports them.
- We're "asset-locked" to NGOs and charities, so that funds we make have to either go to operating costs, or back to our NGO community. This makes us safer to invest in, work with, and shows that we're serious about what we do.
- We're a not-for-profit, so we're focussed on sustainability and impact rather than profit margin.
It's certainly not the most common shape for an organisation, but was important to us, and we hope important to you too.
Underlying all of this, is that fact that while we have an innovative, democratic and ethical new legal structure we - still - do great work at a great price for the clients we work with: Empowering world-changers through creativity, strategy & technology.