Sonlight's Commitments: Beyond Great Curriculum
The lemonade stand dilemma
Imagine this: You head out for some garage sales on a Saturday morning and discover two lemonade stands, one block apart. The lemonade and fresh cookies look good ... but one stand's wares look particularly fresh and appealing. The kids at both stands are happy and eager.
Which one would you patronize?
What if you knew that the children with the fresher cookies also went out of their way to respect their mom? They cleaned up the kitchen after the morning's cookie baking and lemonade mixing. They wisely saved some of the money they earned and donated a lot of it to worthwhile causes.
Perhaps you, like many, would be delighted to share your fifty cents with that stand and those young proprietors. And, you'd feel pretty good about that, right?
Sonlight goes beyond lemonade and cookies
It's true that Sonlight customers tend to love our curriculum. But did you know there are even more things about Sonlight you might find appealing?
Sonlight goes to great lengths to be an ethically responsible company with an enduring commitment to generous missions giving.
Sonlight seeks to steward its resources and influence prayerfully, courageously and wisely. This means we participate in God's Kingdom work by embracing our responsibility and privilege to:
- Provide the absolute best educational resources for your family.
- Lead the field in stewardship and be above reproach in ethical business practices.
- Generously support strategic Christian missions endeavors through missions giving.
We'll expand on each of these below. To read a whole article about Sonlight's missions giving, click here.
Excellent educational resources
Careful stewardship and ethical business practices
You may not be as familiar with our second, more "behind the scenes" commitment. In a nutshell, Sonlight believes that Christian companies should lead their field in excellent business practices.
Therefore, Sonlight has the confidence and courage to conduct business according to the highest standards among companies. Here are a few key principles that keep us functioning with integrity:
- Our employees are unique individuals who deserve fair compensation for their talents and work. Accordingly, we pay employees well and offer solid benefit packages for them and their families. These wages and benefits are competitive with what employees' skills and contributions would be worth in the general marketplace around us.
- Sonlight cultivates a working environment that encourages transparency, creativity and excellence. Sonlight truly values every employee's insights and ideas. Managers listen to their employees, and every person on the team has continual opportunities to contribute to Sonlight's office culture and to the direction of the company. All of this is part of Sonlight's commitment to be a great place to work.
- Sonlight values the suppliers and vendors with whom we do business. Going against the all too common practice of stringing out suppliers and vendors, Sonlight pays every bill by the due date at the very latest. In most cases, we pay suppliers before the deadline on the invoice. This cultivates trust with our suppliers and ensures that they can continue running their businesses well. We are honored to pay our vendors as we would want to be paid.
- We also believe we're called to be good stewards of the physical resources with which we've been entrusted. Our robust recycling program and rooftop full of solar panels reflect that commitment to wise stewardship. As we generate our own energy through solar panels, we've earned tax credits and we'll save money over the long-run as we reduce our dependence on outside energy.
- Ethical business practices also mean treating customers well. When our customers speak, we listen. We recognize that we are here to serve you; if we're not doing that, we've missed the point. That's why one component of our caring customer service is a money-back guarantee far superior to that which any other homeschool resource company dares to offer.
Generously supporting Christian missions work through missions giving
Our third responsibility and privilege—to support missions endeavors through giving generously from our profits—gives us particular joy.
When John and Sarita started Sonlight, they did so with the primary goal of helping missionaries stay on the field one more year by connecting them with the homeschool resources they needed.
As Sonlight has continued to become an increasingly profitable company, John and Sarita hold it close to their hearts to continue supporting missions in strategic ways. In addition to creating curriculum that helps parents cultivate a love of God, others and missions in the hearts of their children, Sonlight gives a large percentage of its profits to four strategic missions organizations.
In 2009, Sonlight donated nearly two-thirds of post-tax profits to missions organizations. After we pay our employees a fair market wage plus benefits, after we pay our bills "on time at the latest," and after we cover our taxes and obligations, we seek to donate as much of our profits to missions as possible. (Of course, we do reserve some profits for future projects and growth. This lets us strive to increase our value to you and our impact for His Kingdom.)
Read more about the heart behind this commitment here.
The heart of the matter
So enjoy Sonlight's refreshing homeschool curriculum and know you're also supporting significant endeavors behind the scenes and around the world.