No Small Plan Update

Words by Daniel Flynn
28 March, 2022

Hey Friend,

At Thankyou, we don’t think hope is a soft word. We hold onto it like our life depends on it. Since 2020, we’ve seen the mission we are part of helping solve (the end of extreme poverty) go from bad to worse. In that same time period, our plan (No Small Plan) took more twists and turns than we’d ever expected (we mapped it for you below).

Brace yourself for good news – or should we say a good update. Even though this is not the end of the story, I’m writing this update in the hopes that (in a world of prolonged uncertainty and not-so-linear progress or momentum) it encourages you on your life’s pursuits. It’s a reminder that the twists in the path and the destination aren’t always what we expect (but in fact, could be better). And of course, to always, always look for hope.

But first, a quick re-cap: off the back of our biggest distribution to our impact partners ($10 million) to date, you may recall that we launched an idea titled: No Small Plan. It’s a call out to the world’s biggest companies to flip business as usual, and help us humanity, forge bold new paths forward and take Thankyou (a social enterprise that exists all for the end of extreme poverty) to the world. The partnership we proposed was designed to play to both organisations’ strengths, result in positive commercial outcomes for both parties and ultimately help us reach our mission quicker. The campaign alone achieved 2.6b media impressions and saw over 826 media features worldwide. The global support was unlike anything we’d ever seen before. 

Image left: No Small Plan - Plan. Image right: No Small Plan - Actual.​​

Over the period of time that followed the launch, I was left with hopes dashed on some days as two stories collided, one story about empowering consumers to make a product choice that exists to close an inequality gap – the other story; using consumers’ product choices for the core benefit of shareholder gain.

Then on other days, I was left hope-filled as we encountered people who were willing to challenge the way ‘yesterday’s business’ was done.

We hadn’t set out to sell Thankyou, find a shortcut, or secure an ‘exit’ for the founders. We set out to accelerate growth in the most efficient way to help end extreme poverty at global scale. How? By securing a partner to help take this social enterprise to a global scale - without compromising our fundamental values. We stuck to those last five words stronger than maybe some anticipated we would. If we didn’t, we’d be making announcements a long time ago. But here we are seventy eight weeks into our five-week campaign (lol).

And like explorers that set sail to find an Island that not all believed was there, we found it – although it looked a little different to what we expected (plot twist). But most things in the history of the Thankyou story do.

Just before Christmas, our board reviewed where we landed. The board pack was titled ‘The Revolutionists’. It’s a name given to a group willing and prepared to go against the grain when it comes to ‘the way’ business has always been done.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to take those who’ve walked very closely on ‘No Small Plan’ through where we’ve landed. A few of us have lived every high and low of the ‘No Small Plan’ rollercoaster, but the response has been overwhelming to those who heard it in their entirety. Some responded, saying this is better than they ever dreamed how ‘No Small Plan’ would land, others have thanked us for taking the hard road (not the quick wins – which were there!), and some said this way forward is ‘truly Thankyou’. In each response, we’ve seen a new sense of vigour for the next Chapter of Thankyou.

To you, our community. This is an update. Not an announcement or a launch day. Because on that day, it will be clear who’s with us and (therefore) who isn’t. Competition has been hot here in Australia, but as we go global, the competition (of which many ‘competitors’ have now had a good look inside the Thankyou operation, you’re welcome 😉) will be even hotter.

We are busy preparing for that announcement and launch many months from today*. On that day, you won’t just hear about the landing of No Small plan, but you’ll meet our genesis products reimagined, the next chapter in the Thankyou book and a few other things too.

*Of course, we wanted to drop the exact date in this piece so you can pin it in your diary, but if 2020 and 2021 taught us anything, it’s to be very solid on your direction but a little more chill on exact launch dates and timelines.

Last year collectively we were named number 29 on the Australian Financial Review’s Top 50 Corporate Philanthropists in Australia. Above us, most were multi-billion-dollar enterprises. To date, $17.57 million has been given to impact the lives of so many people in over 33 countries. We believe this is still just the beginning. While we all wait, here’s what I think is pretty special about Thankyou. Even though we spend (so much of) our time dreaming and working on the future at Thankyou – I still walk up to the shelf at the supermarket, and I still choose Thankyou. Even though a million new brands are fighting hard for a place in my shopping trolley, I still get to make a decision and choose the product I know will have a greater impact. I tidy the shelf a bit to help the team out (some companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for people to do this). Still, multiple times a day at the sink or in the shower, I’m reminded of the simplicity of this idea — that the products we choose and use every day already make a difference.

Thank you for coming on the journey.