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Ice Bucket Challenge creator: ‘Profitable’ shouldn’t be a dirty word to philanthropists

Companies must embrace being socially responsible to compete in today's market, said Jon Duschinsky, a creator of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than a $100 million for the A.L.S. Association to fund research that led to the discovery of a gene associated with the illness.

Duschinsky, who is CEO of communications agency The Conversation Farm, highlighted the need to encourage companies to commit to philanthropy.

"How do we make it profitable and not a dirty word? How do we make it profitable to do good? How do we incentivize companies to invest in the future of their people," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday on the sidelines of the Future Opportunities entrepreneurship conference in Kuala Lumpur.


Students and others attempt to break the world record for number participants in an Ice Bucket Challenge during events celebrating the dedication of Peter Frates Hall at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., Sept. 13, 2016.
John Blanding | The Boston Globe | Getty Images
Students and others attempt to break the world record for number participants in an Ice Bucket Challenge during events celebrating the dedication of Peter Frates Hall at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass., Sept. 13, 2016.

"If you look at the percentage of GDP represented by philanthropy, it's tiny: Less than 2 percent, which means we're trying to change the world with less than 2 percent of the resources," he said. "It's just daft."

Duschinsky noted that committing to social causes could also help companies differentiate themselves from their peers.

"Making money and doing good are integrally linked because the core that runs down them is that today you have to stand for something," Duschinsky, who is CEO of communications agency The Conversation Farm, said on the sidelines of the Future Opportunities entrepreneurship conference in Kuala Lumpur.

"You can't just be a company offering a product because you're in a world of choice," he said. "You've got to stand for something so that other people can stand with you."

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