Recently, I’ve seen a ton of companies using their give back as a marketing strategy. I love that companies are shining a spot light on the good that they do! It also gives you another reason to purchase from one company over another which can be nice in a world with 500 options; but when you are using the giveback as the tie breaker to picking one product over another, how do you chose? Further more, how do you know if the giveback is worth the extra cost? I’ve done some research on my own and found some good rules of thumb to follow when buying for impact. I’ll list them below but would love to know what your favorite do good companies are to buy from!
- Look for a sizable impact – a 5% donation is GREAT and that company definitely is making an impact on the organization they are giving to but it’s not a reason to pick a more expensive product or one that isn’t quite what you want. Most companies are giving at some level, whether they advertise it or not. Sometimes, you are better off donating a dollar online to that charity since 5% of 4.99 is .25 cents and the competitors product is only 3.99. If you LOVE their product than the donation is just an added bonus! If you are just picking it for the donation, then go with the 3.99 competitor and donate directly to give more.
- Look for a combination of things – sometimes, the company may be donating only 5% BUT they also spend extra budget on sustainable and green products, and free education programs for their employees. Those added perks are enough to justify paying that extra dollar because then your impact per dollar is much higher.
- Look for 1 for 1 give backs or specific quantifiable donations – an example would be TOMS donates 1 pair of shoes for each pair that’s purchased. Better yet, Newman’s own has specific products that donate 100% to a non profit.
- Decide ahead of time what types of charities are most important to you – Having 2 or 3 causes that are most important to you can help you decide quickly at the store! With more and more companies coming out with impact branding, things can get overwhelming picking a product AND an impact with one purchase. If you know kids and animals are your main priority, you can shave some time on low impact purchase decisions.
- Do some research ahead of time on the things you buy the most – For example, for all my fellow wine drinkers out there, ONEHOPE wine gives back 50% of their profits to different charities. I also, always have fundraisers open that give another 10% back to another local charity (click the picture below to see all the wine available and impact PNC Rescue for pups in need). This is now my main source of wine buying. It takes the thinking out of it when I know ahead of time what purchases will be making an impact. Then when I’m at the store, while impact shopping is important, if I really like something I don’t feel bad buying it if it doesn’t have a give back. I have my impact spending budget figured out already, and I feel good about what I am doing.
I hope these tips help! It’s wonderful to see the new trend in impact marketing because it gives YOU an added differentiator and reason to buy in a world full of options. While direct donations typically have the biggest impact, we can spend wisely and use our everyday budget to do more. The more we buy with impact, the more companies will feel compelled to do more. Let’s put the pressure on these companies to share their impact and strive to do more, where and when they can. I completely understand and agree with companies being for profit and being an active part of a strong economy by taking in those earnings. It’s not my intention to put pressures on companies to take in little to no earnings to give to others unless they have the means to. I believe whole heartedly that you have to have to give, so taking care of yourself is the first step in taking care of others; both financially, physically, and mentally!
When it comes to giving in general, we can feel a lot of pressure from every corner to give more. Our friends are always hosting something, the local store is always asking us to round up, and our office just loves when we donate to wear jeans in the office :). Make a giving budget for the quarter or year and include your impact purchases; this allows you to feel good about what you are doing and anything extra is a bonus!
- X amount of dollars to local animal shelter that I got my dog from for the year — This is my sizeable donation for the year
- Twenty $20 dollar donations to friends charities per year
- Wine fridge stocked with ONEHOPE Wine – impacting national and local charities, including school classrooms in my neighborhood
- New shoes each year from TOM’s (they give a pair for a pair)
- Volunteer time at x amount of hours per month
- Lemonade stand 1 x per year for the kids to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
- Attend 3 fundraisers per year with up to $100 dollar donation for auctions etc.
- Use Amazonsmile when making all amazon purchases – Pick your charity
- Always round up at the register if asked
- % of my sales goes to x shelter
- Take the time to purchase with impact when it makes sense
This example is fairly close to what I set up for myself each year. This is something that works for me and feels good to me. You decide what is important to you. When it comes to giving, you’ll make the biggest impact if you have a plan and if you do what is right for you.
Always remember, you and your family come first. The more you take care of yourself, the more you’ll have to give. This is a hard one for all you givers and caretakers to swallow but just think of the impact you’ll make at your best and when being strategic?!?! The best part is, giving and service to others is a big part of becoming your best you and a huge milestone in your path to showing yourself love by sharing with others. So when we talk about B : you and love yourself, giving can bring your more than you ever knew.
** It’s important to note that I do sell ONEHOPE Wine for income. I believe in their mission and I got behind it whole heartedly. I can take care of my family and others with one mission, and I’m extremely proud of what I do! **