Amway Rolls Out Global Volunteer Initiative

Photo: Amway Business Owners (above and below) participate in local volunteer projects.


The world’s largest direct selling company wants to build the world’s largest volunteer force.

Amway Corp. is kicking off a global initiative known as #AmwayVolunteers to highlight the volunteer efforts of its employees and Amway Business Owners, or ABOs, who number more than 3 million worldwide. With that kind of volunteer base, Amway can afford to set some ambitious goals, and it has. The No. 1-ranked direct selling company is gunning to build the world’s largest volunteer force by 2019, when Amway will celebrate 60 years in business.

The concept is simple: ABOs sign up to participate by taking an online pledge to “be the change” in their communities and help people live better lives, specifying what that might look like for them. The next step is to take action and volunteer through the organization or cause of their choice. Finally, the company encourages individuals to share their experiences on social media using #AmwayVolunteers.

“We value the passion and volunteer efforts of Amway Business Owners and Amway employees that are making a dramatic impact in their local communities,” said Jeff Terry, Global Head, Amway Corporate Social Responsibility. “#AmwayVolunteers showcases their individual works (on a global scale) in an effort to create the world’s largest volunteer community by 2019.”

This new undertaking broadens the scope of Amway’s grassroots volunteer efforts, which primarily have focused on the One by One Campaign for Children, centered on causes that support children in need, and the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign, which raises funds and awareness to help fight childhood malnutrition.

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Amway Nutrition Program to Reach Half a Million Children

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A small packet of powder is making a huge difference on behalf of the world’s largest direct seller.

Amway, which has worked with the World Health Organization to develop its Nutrilite Little Bits supplement, to fortify a child’s food with 15 essential nutrients, made a special announcement Oct. 16, World Food Day. The company has declared that over the next 1,000 days, through its Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign, it is committed to feeding 500,000 children around the world by the end of 2019. Already Amway has distributed Little Bits to more than 30,000 malnourished children since 2014.

Accomplishing this goal in 1,000 days has significant meaning, because children who get proper nutrition in their first three years have a better chance of making it past their fifth year, according to a statement by Amway. “The first 1,000 days of life are critical for survival.”

“From a global perspective, almost every country in the world, regardless of income, faces some form of malnutrition, including undernutrition. … Research shows that [Nutrilite] helps improve the physical and cognitive health of children.”

Young Living Foundation Tops $1 Million in 2015 Giving

Looking back on 2015, the Young Living Foundation reports more than $1 million in cash and products donated throughout the year.

The philanthropic arm of Young Living Essential Oils LLC advances the company’s mission to bring its essential oils to every home in the world. In doing so, the foundation supports numerous local projects and partnerships across the U.S., as well as five large-scale initiatives in other regions of the globe. Young Living ensures that 100 percent of incoming donations directly support those projects by covering all of the foundation’s administrative costs.

“Young Living’s mission has always been tied to making this world a better place and empowering and improving the lives of others,” Nikki Davis, Executive Director of the foundation and Senior Director of Global Philanthropy for Young Living, said in a statement. “We are proud to be able to provide much needed support to our global philanthropic partners as they work tirelessly to improve the lives of those they serve.”

Among the foundation’s major initiatives is the Young Living Academy in Chongon, Ecuador, near one of the company’s farms. Young Living built the school in 2009 and continues to support it, partly through an ongoing “Sponsor a Child” program. Over the past 18 months, Young Living members also donated more than $250,000 to build a high school at Young Living Academy, complete with classrooms, a library, a teacher workroom, a science lab and bathrooms.

Several ongoing efforts are focused on Uganda, where the Young Living Foundation supports three nonprofit organizations. A partnership with Sole Hope helps to address the sanitation needs of children by providing durable shoes and health education. Young Living also partners with African Hearts to rescue children living in the slums and streets of Kampala, Uganda, and with Healing Faith Uganda to fight malaria in rural villages.

Avon Foundation for Women Awards Scholarships to Avon Reps and Family Members

In addition to funding breast cancer and domestic violence prevention programs, the Avon Foundation for Women gives back to Avon representatives and their families through its Avon Scholarships Programs. This year, the foundation awarded $210,000 in scholarships to the children and grandchildren of top Avon sellers.

“With this initiative, we are not only able to support our Representatives’ families but we are also able to further their education, which makes the Global Scholarship Program one of my favorite incentives,” Andrea Slater, Avon General Manager Western Europe, said in a statement. “We provide our Representatives with many rewards and recognition throughout the year, but this one is very special.”

The Avon Scholarships Program launched in 2011 to help representatives and their families pursue higher education. Each year, the program has awarded 100 scholarships to children and grandchildren of the company’s President’s Club members. The foundation also offers Avon Representative Scholarships to its independent sellers. To date, the nonprofit has awarded more than $5 million in scholarship funds.

Take Shape For Life Volunteers with Rebuilding Together Baltimore

(RebuildingTogether/Laura and Mark Wasserman)


Employees of Take Shape For Life and parent company Medifast traded in their spreadsheets for sheetrock this weekend to provide critical home repairs through local partner Rebuilding Together Baltimore.

Rebuilding Together musters volunteers, skilled tradespeople and corporate partners to provide home upgrades and repairs in communities across the country. In addition to serving low-income homeowners, the organization renovates community centers, builds playgrounds, and partners with other organizations working to improve communities. Rebuild Together’s Baltimore affiliate has repaired more than 1,300 homes across the city and county.

On Sept. 25, Take Shape For Life volunteers helped to renovate a property in Baltimore’s Woodburn-McCabe neighborhood, where the retired homeowner settled 20 years ago. They also assisted in beautifying a nearby park and alley. City officials recently selected the neighborhood for targeted revitalization efforts through investment in vacant properties.

“We are honored to support Rebuilding Together’s work to revitalize the Baltimore community and help provide a safer and more comfortable space for a local homeowner,” Medifast Chairman and CEO Michael MacDonald said in a statement. “Our employees are deeply committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.”

Scentsy Rock-a-Thon Raises $252K for March of Dimes

Scentsy Inc. invited members of the community to donate time, money or diapers during a Rock-a-Thon held at the company’s Meridian, Idaho, headquarters this weekend. The annual event raised more than $252,000 for the Idaho March of Dimes, an organization focused on pregnancy and baby health.

The wickless candle seller lined the sidewalk outside its headquarters with 70 rocking chairs and committed to donating $275 per chair, per hour—a total of $211,750. Scentsy also opened the event to the community, aiming to raise an additional $25 hourly per chair and bring the total to $231,000. The response surpassed expectations, with participants donating 12,000 diapers and infant sleep sacks in addition to topping $252,000 in donations.

“The Idaho March of Dimes is the perfect fit for our Scentsy Rock-a-Thon, considering the incredible work they do to improve the health of babies and support local families,” Scentsy President Heidi Thompson said in a statement. “We have heard so many stories about how the March of Dimes has impacted families throughout Idaho, and we wanted to do our part.”

The fundraiser was an all-day affair, beginning with a crepe breakfast dished up by consultants for Velata, Scentsy’s line of kitchen products. Following the 11-hour Rock-a-Thon, the company hosted a fireworks show for the community, with all parking proceeds benefitting the Idaho March of Dimes.

$50K Primerica Grant Will Equip At-Risk Teens

During its 2015 Convention this month, Primerica brought home the event’s theme—“Freedom Redefined”—with the announcement of a $50,000 grant that will equip at-risk teens for future success.

CEO Glenn Williams presented the grant award to Sam Bracken, Co-Founder of The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative (ODBI), an organization Primerica has supported since 2013. ODBI helps Georgia teens who are homeless or aging out of the foster care system, often without the means or skills necessary to support themselves. ODBI’s team of certified life and executive coaches provides coaching, training and ongoing advocacy to these youth.

“It’s unimaginable that thousands of Georgia teens are homeless or will soon be too old to remain in the foster care system. These kids did not choose to be in this situation, and they deserve a chance for a better future,” Williams told the crowd of approximately 40,000 gathered in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. “We applaud the exceptional work done by the ODBI and are proud to support this worthwhile organization.”

The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative grew largely from Bracken’s own experiences. Though he would later become a star football player for Georgia Tech and an executive with FranklinCovey, Bracken was once a homeless teen who could carry everything he owned in an orange duffel bag. He has shared his experiences in My Orange Duffel Bag: A Journey to Radical Change, a book he co-authored.

ViSalus Co-Founder Endows $200K to Entrepreneurial Program

A recent donation from ViSalus Co-Founder Nick Sarnicola and his wife, Ashley, will support up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Sarnicola’s native Michigan.

Through their Next Generation Entrepreneurs (NextGEn) Foundation, the philanthropic couple has provided a $200,000 permanent endowment to the Muskegon Community College Entrepreneurial Studies program. The fund will supply a $10,000 annual award to graduates of the program.

The Sarnicolas’ gift goes hand-in-hand with a contribution from longtime friend and local real estate developer Jonathan Rooks, who donated the downtown Muskegon Masonic Temple building for the program’s use. The facility is slated to re-open by fall 2017 as the Rooks Sarnicola Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

“Jon and Nick are making history at MCC with these incredibly generous gifts,” Tina Dee, Director of the Foundation for Muskegon Community College, said in a statement. “The total value of $550,000 is larger than any other single past contribution and will have an enduring and positive impact on our students and the greater community we serve.”

The Sarnicolas, who travel the world as Global Ambassadors for ViSalus, set up the NextGEn Foundation to provide scholarships, seed capital and mentoring for budding entrepreneurs.

Utah Force for Good Day Honors Nu Skin Humanitarian Efforts

Photo: Volunteers take part in Nu Skin’s 11th Annual Force for Good Day.


Former DSA Chairman Truman Hunt, President and CEO of Nu Skin, has passed the gavel to Chairman David Holl, CEO of Mary Kay, but Hunt’s work to advance the industry as a force for good continues at Nu Skin’s Utah headquarters, where the Governor’s Office has declared today Utah Force for Good Day.

The statewide observance is a nod to Nu Skin’s Force for Good Day, now in its twelfth year. The company’s employees and distributors celebrate the day by participating in service projects that benefit children.

“Nu Skin’s annual Force for Good Day celebration has become a tradition where our global employees and sales leaders devote their time and resources to helping children in their local communities,” Hunt said in a statement. “It celebrates the company’s mission and efforts of the Nu Skin family to be a force for good not just on this one day but all year long.”

Local participants are supporting the work of the Nu Skin Force for Good Foundation by assembling 10,000 kids’ care bags and making 200 fleece quilts for children confined to a hospital stay. Globally, projects include donating and distributing education kits, serving children in orphanages, and sponsoring clothing drives.

Party Plans on Fire

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the December 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Ignited by emotional connections forged with customers, access to products once only available at expensive salons and an embrace of social media, a handful of party plan companies are seeing their business boom—with no signs of a slowdown.

Nail wrap creator Jamberry, beauty products firm Younique, personalized jewelry maker Origami Owl and two newcomers—jewelry boutique Chelsea Row and nontoxic cosmetics maker Beautycounter—are experiencing significant advances in profits and popularity at a time when overall growth for the party plan model is stuck in a plateau.

Data from the U.S. Direct Selling Association’s 2014 growth and outlook report reveals that between 2008 and 2013, party plans dropped from 26 percent to 23 percent of market share as a direct selling platform.

“Home parties in terms of their success are fairly cyclical,” says DSA President Joe Mariano. “When we think it is hitting a low point that is when we see a rebirth.”


While 40 million business-related fan pages exist on Facebook, only 17 percent are equipped to sell directly through the social media channel. This is where direct selling has an edge.


Top-Ranked Companies

These five standout companies are evidence of that resurgence. Two of them—Jamberry and Younique—are in the Top 10 six-month trend rankings at HomePartyRankings.com and MLMRankings.com, which track public interest and Internet popularity of most party plan direct sellers.

Jamberry reports revenue is more than $10 million a year. Younique’s distributors have said the company sold more than $25 million in September, up from $1 million in December 2013.

Origami Owl is consistently listed in the Top 5 for overall rankings at both sites. It posted 2013 revenue of $233 million and grew by 870 percent for the year. As a reflection of this growth it was ranked at No. 50 on the 2014 DSN Global 100 and received the DSN Bravo Growth Award Based on Percentage this year.

Chelsea Row, launched in September 2014, is too new to have its own rankings. A spinoff of e-commerce selling platform company Kitsy Lane, Chelsea Row is turning the traditional home party on its head with vParty—a truly immersive, real-time virtual party that lets guests shop together online while being connected on audio and video.

Beautycounter launched in March 2013 and offers a safe and nontoxic line of skincare products that work. The company now counts 4,000 consultants in more than 44 states, with 23 percent average monthly revenue growth. Between January and October 2014, Beautycounter posted 424 percent sales growth.


Beautycounter’s “Never List” is “a robust roundup of ingredients that you will never find in Beautycounter products,” as many are known or believed to cause irritation, allergic reactions or cancer.


Embracing Social Media

The founding philosophies of these companies are rooted in a desire to better the lives of women by empowering them with products that aid self-expression and by providing the flexibility, resources and training needed to build a career. Each utilizes social media such as Facebook to drive sales, although the strategy is different for each business.

To maintain growth, diving deep into social media selling is likely to yield even larger dividends. Here’s why: An analysis by marketing firm Vocus projects that by 2015, half of all web transactions will occur through social media, accounting for an estimated $30 billion in sales. While 40 million business-related fan pages exist on Facebook, only 17 percent are equipped to sell directly through the social media channel. This is where direct selling has an edge.

The Power of Virtual Parties

Jamberry, Younique and Origami Owl use the Facebook event model to host virtual parties.

Younique sells almost exclusively on social media. Jamberry and Origami Owl independent consultants use Facebook events to supplement the home party experience. Origami Owl Chief Sales Officer Sandy Spielmaker says the technology “extends the reach of the home party.”

Best known for its 3D fiber lashes, Younique built its selling model on virtual parties for two reasons, Co-Founder Melanie Huscroft says. “The overall feeling among women was they are so over the traditional home party and having to clean the house, make the food and send their husband and kids away,” she says. “The virtual platform allows the invite list to be limitless, and location doesn’t matter.”

Virtual parties typically run for seven to 10 days, with independent consultants making frequent posts to encourage interest and spotlight products. Consultants do not carry inventory. They sell through their own branded e-commerce websites.

Many consultants also create videos or use those provided by Younique, Jamberry or Origami Owl to explain how to use the products and suggest ways to mix them up to create new styles. Guests link to these videos through the Facebook event page for their specific party.

The model is working for Younique. In the near future, its virtual party model will also work on other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Pinterest. At 2 years old, Younique now counts 121,285 presenters in five markets. When it entered the U.K. on Oct. 1, 999 presenters signed up within 26 minutes.

Huscroft says people want to sell Younique because of its “simple and generous” compensation plan. Younique pays presenters within three hours of making a sale. Each presenter receives a bank account and a Younique debit card.

“It doesn’t matter what the compensation plan is from a corporate perspective. Everyone pays out … Click here to read the full article