The end of the year is a big time for nonprofit organizations to collection donations. Whether it’s the holiday spirit that’s got people feeling extra charitable, or it’s the last opportunity to make a tax-deductible donation, a lot of donations come into nonprofits around this time.
And while I’m all for end-of-year donations, I think there’s something truly special about businesses that give back year-round. But with so many other tasks to accomplish as a solopreneur (who’s likely also spending 40+ hours per week at a full-time job), it can be a lot to manage.
Luckily, there are so many amazing ways your business can give back, not just at the end of the year, but all the time!
Include it in your prices so your business can give back.
The easiest way that your business can give back is to include a donation in your prices. When you’re calculating how long a project will take you, what expenses you’ll incur from each project, and what you’d like to be able to pay yourself, add in a line item for donations.
When I began formulating the cost for my new custom brand design services, I knew I wanted to include a charitable donation as part of my new business model. I decided that 10% of all And Possibly Dinosaurs income would be donated to my local chapter of the ACLU.
So, when I was calculating my prices, I factored in this new expense and decided on a flat rate based on all expenses, including payroll, client gifts, and charitable donations.
Promote what organization(s) you support in your marketing.
Once you’ve factored your desired donation into your prices, market that shit!
I love hearing that a business I’ve supported donates a portion of their income to a nonprofit organization. In fact, several food trucks I frequent have had cash tip jars earmarked for certain causes (a family member who lost everything in Hurricane Harvey, a local police officer who was diagnosed with cancer, etc), and I’m much more likely to do a cash tip (in addition to my credit card tip) when I see those signs.
If you’ve picked out one specific charity, list that on your website under your prices! I, for example, have a note right under the call to action on my services page that 10% of my income goes to my local ACLU.
In a lot of cases, this will increase the likelihood that someone will book your services or buy your product, which in turn increases your income and your donation!
Mark all income from one place for donations.
Some bloggers don’t make their own prices because their income comes exclusively from affiliate links. If that’s the case, and you have more than one affiliate site set up, mentally choose one of those sites (maybe the one with the smallest average income to start) to be where your business donations come from.
For example, if you have affiliate income for a few different courses, Amazon Associates, and ShopStyle, figure out which one brings in the least amount of income. That means you’re not super dependent on it to pay the bills, so you won’t notice if it’s gone. But that income could make a big difference to someone else!
If ShopStyle is the affiliate site that sends you the least amount of income, earmark those payouts for a specific charity. Any time you get money from ShopStyle, then, you’d donate it to your favorite nonprofit right away, before you have time to miss it.
Donate overages to a nonprofit.
Conversely, if your income fluctuates a lot throughout the year (an increase in affiliate income over the holidays, for example), set a monthly income goal, and only make a donation when your income exceeds that goal. If you want to donate anything above and beyond that income goal, awesome! Otherwise, if you’re not ready to make that leap, you could do a percentage of any income above your goal.
This means your business can give back when you’ve got some flexible income, but you’re not giving up money you need when your business is strapped for cash!
Ultimately, if you decide your business can give back, it’s not too difficult to do! Simply set up some processes so you’re not forgetting about charitable giving, and you’ll be amazed at the impact your business can make!