Every month, FranchiseCanada Magazine shines a spotlight on a franchise system’s charitable initiatives, showcasing the many ways CFA members and their franchisees give back to the community. Here’s an excerpt from our profile on Driverseat from the January/February issue:

By Jaclyn Irvine

Social responsibility and community engagement have been two of Driverseat’s core principles since brothers Brian and Luke Bazely founded the franchise in 2012.

The Ontario-based company chauffeurs the cars of customers who can’t, or choose not to, drive. Since drivers are out interacting with the people in their neighbourhoods every day, the company decided to take a community-based approach to giving.

“Everything we do has an impact on the community, whether we’re taking impaired drivers off the road, or providing safe rides for the elderly,” says Brian Bazely. “It only makes sense to give back to the same communities that are supporting us.”

When a new Driverseat franchise opens, the owners are educated about the importance of actively supporting their community. Then they’re given the opportunity to select the organizations or causes that they want to support and to decide how they’ll do so.

“Our approach is atypical in that we allow the franchise owners to have some flexibility,” explains Bazely. “We teach them the importance of giving back and then let them be entrepreneurial with it.”

Some franchises decide to contribute financially, while others give their time, and many offer a combination of both. “It’s one thing to contribute revenue, but we also like to use the fact that our drivers are already out in the world,” says Bazely.

In total, Bazely estimates that Driverseat franchises donate tens of thousands of dollars every year to various community-based causes, with the head office in Ontario having donated $40,000 in 2015 alone.

Driverseat will soon expand into the US, and they’ve committed to donating 5% of the sale from every American franchise to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) US for the next two years. In Canada, the franchise is ironing out the details for a similar arrangement with Ontario Students Against Impaired Driving (OSAID).

“The feedback we get from our franchisees is overwhelmingly positive,” says Bazely. “They love the fact that while we do things on a larger scale, they can also take something near and dear to their hearts and become part of the solution close to home.”

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