Have you ever thought about what you can do to end extreme poverty? Or how you can make a difference for someone else by changing one thing in your life?
These are all possible with the help of Thankyou. With their All For business model and Daniel Flynn and co-founders’ determination to end poverty, as consumers, we can make help end extreme poverty.
Daniel Flynn at 19 years old, along with 2 friends, decided to make a difference. The three of them created Thankyou. Since then, Daniel has continued to reflect and improve the business and his mindset to make sure the actions are truly helping the people.
I was lucky enough to have a chance to interview the author of Chapter One and the Co-Founder of Thankyou, Daniel Flynn.
Let me take you through the journey of Thankyou, their unique business model, and their mission to create a world where no one lives in extreme poverty.
Daniel Flynn – Co-founder of Thankyou and Best-selling Author
Impossibility is only an opinion, not a fact.
Daniel Flynn is the co-founder and the managing director of Thankyou, one of Australia’s mainstream social enterprises. He founded Thankyou at the age of 19 with his then-girlfriend, now wife. He is currently residing in Australia with his wife and 2 children.
It has been 12 years since starting, and Thankyou has grown and raised over $17 million AUD to impact the lives of people across 22 countries. Thankyou’s goal is to fill in the gap between the rich and poor, to end extreme poverty. To do so, Thankyou is a social enterprise, where their mission is to use its products and services to redistribute wealth, break the system, and help those that are in extreme poverty.
While it was not the easiest ride, Daniel and his co-founders never stop innovating and think outside the box to achieve their mission.
In the 12 years, Thankyou went from selling bottles of water to writing a bestselling book, Chapter One, to their current line up of over 50 different products of hand soap, hand sanitizers, body wash, and so on and their latest campaign No Small Plan.
Once you see it, you can’t unsee it
From a young age, Daniel knew about global issues such as poverty,
“I was aware. But I had never stopped to consider just how enormous the problem was. Because to me, it was a challenge that was ‘out there somewhere’.”
Luckily, that changed and it changed for the good. With one fact, Daniel was able to realize the reality and it motivated him to do something about it.
In 2008, nearly 900 million people across the world still didn’t have access to safe water.
“I grew up in Australia, home to more than 23 million people. How could it be possible that almost 40 times Australia’s population still didn’t have safe water?
…I knew I could no longer ignore the concept of world poverty – and it had been simply a ‘concept’ to me, until that point… In Australia, we spent roughly $600 million on bottled water every year. Worldwide, the figure was closer to $50 billion annually. That was in 2008. Since then, the current bottled water industry totals almost $100 billion.”
With the realization of the harsh truth for millions of people and the big money in the water industry, the two extremes gave Daniel the idea for Thankyou and their first product.
A ‘silly’ product with good intentions
With that one fact and an eye for opportunity, Daniel and his friends created their first product, “a silly product”, bottled water.
Why is it a silly product? Well, for a few countries including Australia, tap water is perfectly drinkable and also very accessible. Yet, people spend a lot of money on bottled water in Australia.
On the other hand, there are many people who don’t have access to clean water. Even though water is essential to survival. It didn’t make sense to Daniel, and he wanted to do something about it. That was when the silly product became the method of making changes.
“We had no business experience, we had no money and we were adamant that we were going to take on the biggest bottled water brands in the country and funnel the surplus profits of the $600 million Australian bottled water industry into helping eradicate the world water crisis.”
The approach was simple; instead of the profits lining shareholder pockets, choose Thankyou Water, and you’ll fund life-changing water projects in developing nations.
It was more than just providing bottled water, Thankyou made sure they were making the best and most sustainable choices possible. However, after years of looking for the most responsible and eco-friendly option, in the end, plastic bottled water was just not good for the environment.
However, Thankyou didn’t stop there, they still wanted to end extreme poverty, so they moved on to their new products in order to achieve their mission.
Chapter One – You are more than just a reader
After 7 years, Thankyou decided to try something new. In 2016, Daniel decided to release Chapter One, “the first installment of ‘The Thankyou Book’ – a book that will be written chapter by chapter, not once we’ve made it, but as the story grows.”
Since Thankyou does not have shareholders or investors for funds, their dream of expanding is significantly harder in comparison with other expanding companies. And that’s when Chapter One came out, they wrote their 7 years at Thankyou into a book and all the profit of Chapter One funds Chapter 2.
Thankyou used Chapter One’s profit to fund their expansion to New Zealand and into new projects.
Chapter One’s purpose was to inspire and encourage people to take action while showing people the journey Thankyou had. The book was an invitation for you to take action for your dreams, your purpose, and of course, to join Thankyou in changing the world.
“We set a target of raising $1.2 million in four weeks, launching Chapter One online and in retail stores at a pay-what-you-want price. People told us we were crazy, that you can’t sell a book without a price tag and that it wouldn’t work, but at Thankyou we have always been driven by this question – ‘But what if it does work?’”
No Small Plan – “But What if it does work?”
An idea ‘too big’, for a world ‘too broken.’
No Small Plan was launched in 2020 as a campaign to expand Thankyou globally, so more consumers have the choice to join Thankyou in ending extreme poverty. They wanted to make Thankyou products accessible to more people and to do so, the most efficient way was to collaborate with big companies around the world.
Thankyou sent out invitations to their biggest rivals and some of the largest companies in the world to make a difference together by distributing Thankyou products (hand soaps, body soaps, body scrubs, hand sanitizers, and hand creams).
With the help of marketing and Thankyou’s users, the campaign was very well received and many brands reached out wanting to join and make a difference. Right now, Thankyou is preparing and making sure that they are doing the right thing and that they are moving towards the goal of ending extreme poverty.
No Small Plan is also not a quick plan, if the goal is to end extreme poverty, it is important that Thankyou and partners take the time to make the best choice.
In 10-15 years from today, we want to be able to look back and say we made the right call – not just a quick one. Why? Because the impacts of this partnership could take us, humanity, one step closer to the end of extreme poverty.
To End Extreme Poverty, Thankyou
After learning about these amazing things Thankyou is doing, you must be very curious to learn more about it.
Let’s hear it from Daniel:
“As a social enterprise existing solely to see the end of extreme poverty – to get a result the world’s never gotten before, [Thankyou] needs to be prepared to do something that’s never been done before. You need to be prepared to break the mold and change the status quo or as I like to say high-five the status quo in the face – with a chair.”
Thankyou’s vision is a world with no one living in extreme poverty and to do so they have uniquely constructed their business model and mission to reach the vision.
Thankyou’s mission is to “[amplify] impactful change-makers to better serve people living in extreme poverty by redistributing wealth from consumer spending”.
For their mission to work, Thankyou’s goal is to produce high quality products that are good for the consumers and the planet. By selling as much of their product as possible, the profit that is made is then directed to the Thankyou Charitable Trust, where the money can then go to change-makers to help end extreme poverty.
Unlike regular businesses or ventures, Thankyou does not have investors or shareholders. Any leftover profit from paying the manufacturers, workers, and bills goes to the charitable trust and is used to change the world.
Thus, it is important that Thankyou thinks outside the box, such as No Small Plan and Chapter One to help achieve their goal.
Stay Tune for the Next Big Impact
Since launching No Small Plan, Thankyou has been preparing and sorting out all the detail to launch their final release, so stay tuned for it. I am sure, Thankyou will continue to come out with exciting new campaigns to achieve their vision.
Before we go, here are a few quotes from Daniel that you should know about:
That the dreams we have matter. Thankyou was a dream many years ago and today we’ve given $17 million AUD to [change-makers] and every day we are a step closer to seeing the end of extreme poverty. The dreams and individual choices you make matter, never forget – you have the power to change stuff.
If you are interested in learning more about Thankyou, please visit their website!
In addition, you can access Chapter 1 of Chapter One on their website for free! Highly recommend that you check it out! Join Thankyou and end extreme poverty!
I hope you enjoy this interview, it was an honor to have the chance to communicate with Daniel Flynn and learn more about Thankyou! If you are interested in other interviews, please check out my previous interview with Bee Saving Paper or Onmateria!