Boost your business by supporting worthy causes with these charity-inspired design ideas

Supporting charitable causes is really important. Plus, it makes you feel great. But what if it could also benefit your business’ bottom line?

Increasing the number of designs available in your shops is one of the best ways to optimize your chances of creating high-selling products.

After all, figuring out what designs will sell well and which designs won’t is largely a numbers game.

So we created a big list of design ideas for you (150+), all of which relate to a variety of charitable causes.

We also included a list of charitable-cause design templates so you can come up with even more design ideas of your own. And we added a month-by-month list of when awareness is raised for certain causes throughout the year.

If you want to go a step further, you can donate a portion of the sales you make from these design ideas to the causes they support.

If that’s something you’re interested in, you can find a list of resources at the bottom that help you choose the most worthy charities.

(Some charities give only a small percentage of the proceeds they receive to the cause they support.)

To learn more about setting up an automated donation program, click here.

Now, let’s get started…

Here is the big list of charitable causes and design ideas

Instead of including the list of causes and design ideas here (and making this post crazy long), we created a PDF that you can download below.

The list includes 60+ causes with 2-4 design suggestions for each cause. And the causes pertain to the following categories:

  • Illnesses, conditions, and disorders (e.g. breast cancer and autism)
  • Humanitarian (e.g. hunger and homelessness)
  • Social justice (e.g. racial and LGBTQ inequalities)
  • Environmental (e.g. global warming)
  • Military (e.g. disabled veterans)

The list also includes a clickable table of contents so you can easily jump to whichever cause interests you most.

Here’s a preview:

You can download the PDF here.

Charitable-cause design templates

As we created our big list of causes and design ideas, some patterns started to emerge.

So, in addition to our big list, I thought it’d be helpful to outline some design templates. You can apply these templates to a variety of the causes included on the list or any other causes there weren’t mentioned.

Fight Against [insert cause/condition]

Fight [insert cause/condition]

Stop [insert cause/condition]

End [insert cause/condition]

Stand Against [insert cause/condition]

No More [insert cause/condition]

Create a world without [insert cause/condition]

Together we can stop [insert cause/condition]

I support [insert cause]

Find the cure (with an image related to the cause)

HOPE (with a specifically colored ribbon indicative of a certain cause in place of the ‘O’)

SURVIVOR (with a specifically colored ribbon indicative of a certain cause in place of the ‘I’)

Hope. Believe. Love. (with an image related to the cause)

Someone I love has/is battling [insert condition] ]

[Insert condition] Warrior/Champion

Stronger than [insert condition]

Love is stronger than [insert condition]

My hero is now my angel (with an image related to the cause)

Calendar of causes

For many of the causes included in the PDF, awareness is raised during certain months.

Below, I’ve linked a number of causes to their corresponding month so you can plan your designs and promotional strategies accordingly.

January

Birth defects
Blood donations
Cervical cancer
Glaucoma
Thyroid cancer

February

Eating disorders
Heart disease
Prenatal infections

March

Brain injuries
Colorectal cancer
Developmental disabilities
Endometriosis
Kidney cancer

April

Autism
Oral cancer
Parkinson’s disease
Sexual assault
Stress

May

Arthritis
Asthma and allergy
Hepatitis
High blood pressure
Mental health
Osteoporosis
Skin cancer
Stroke
Women’s health

June

Cataracts
HIV testing
Men’s health

July

Eye injury prevention
UV safety

August

Immunization
Medic alert
Psoriasis

September

Alcohol and drug additional recovery
Childhood cancer
Healthy aging
High cholesterol
Leukemia
Ovarian cancer
Sepsis
Sickle cell anemia
Suicide

October

Breast cancer
Dental hygiene
Domestic violence

November

Adoption
Alzheimer’s disease
Diabetes
Lung cancer
Prostate cancer
Stomach cancer

December

Aids
Influenza

Resources to find the best charities to support

As a I mentioned earlier, not all charities are equally worthy of your donations.

Sometimes, a big percentage of the proceeds go toward covering the organization’s administrative expenses. And there are other “charities” that are outright scams.

To help you donate wisely, here is a list of resources to check out:

BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Charity Navigator
Charity Watch
GuideStar

What do you think of this list of charitable causes and design ideas? Do you think these types of designs will be a hit or a miss with your customers? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!


Add this easy upgrade option to your Etsy shop to increase your earning potential

Want a quick way to earn more money from your Etsy listings? We’ve been testing an easy strategy involving shipping insurance that I think you’ll really like.

As an add-on, Etsy lets you create “shipping bumps” for your store, which mostly involve faster shipping options.

But another thing you can add is a shipping insurance upgrade. This type of upgrade is great because you don’t have to do anything extra when people purchase (unless, of course, an order does get damaged).

But you’d need to replace any orders damaged during shipping anyway if people ask. So this way, you make some extra income. And most people won’t even need to use their insurance.

So far, we’ve been making some easy sales from this upgrade option — not a ton of sales, mind you. But all the sales are passive income and they are likely to increase as we get closer to Christmas.

(We’ve already started seeing sales pick up as the holiday season progresses.)

To learn how to set up this optional insurance upgrade in your Etsy shop, keep reading below.

Here is the 3-part process…

Part 1: Create the insurance upgrade

You can add upgrades to individual Etsy listings. Or you can add them to a shipping profile.

How to add an insurance upgrade to an individual listing:

  • Login to your Etsy account.
  • Click Shop Manager.
  • Select Listings on the left-hand side.
  • Choose a listing you want to add the upgrade to.
  • Scroll to the Shipping section and choose either an existing shipping profile or where it says Enter custom shipping options.
  • Complete all the required information.
  • At the bottom, select Add a shipping upgrade to complete the setup.

How to add an insurance upgrade to a shipping profile:

  • Login to your Etsy account.
  • Click Shop Manager.
  • Select Settings on the left-hand side and choose Shipping settings.
  • Click the Edit link on the shipping profile you want to add the upgrade to. (NOTE: If you haven’t created any shipping profiles yet, you will need to do so.)
  • Scroll down to where it says Shipping upgrades.
  • Click the Add a Shipping Upgrade link.
  • Input your shipping upgrade settings. Here’s what I used:

You could create another upgrade for International destinations if you wanted.

I named the upgrade “Upgraded Optional Insurance,” but you could modify that.

Next, you choose your Shipping carrier and select a mail class (if you want).

Then, you input the price you want to charge people for the upgrade. I tried three different price points:

  1. $2.50
  2. $3.75
  3. $5.00

But you can charge whatever you want.

Finally, select Save profile and the upgrade will be applied to however many listings you have with that shipping profile.

NOTE: When you set up this insurance upgrade, bear in mind that the price you set for the upgrade will be added to the base shipping costs you charge.

For example, if you have a base shipping cost of $4.95 and an insurance upgrade cost of $2.50, the total shipping cost for buyers will be $4.95 + $2.50 = $7.45.

If there’s any question about a buyer’s selected shipping option or whether he or she purchased the insurance upgrade, just check the receipt page for the order in question. There, you’ll be able to see the mail service that the buyer chose.

Part 2: Add info about the upgrade in your Shop Policies

  • In your Etsy account, go to Settings then Info & Appearance.
  • Click the Policies tab.
  • Scroll down to the Additional Information section.
  • Add a message about the insurance upgrade.
  • Click Save.

This is what I wrote and you can feel free to copy and paste this info into your own Shop Policies:

Optional shipping upgrade: INSURANCE. Sometimes accidents happen. When you purchase our insurance upgrade, if you accidentally damage your item, just send us a picture within 60 days and we’ll re-send you a new one for free.

Part 3: Add a blurb about the upgrade to each individual listing’s description (optional)

Parts 1 and 2 are the most important and can be done in less than 10 minutes.

But if you want to take it a step further and optimize your chances of having people purchase the insurance upgrade, I recommend implementing part 3 as well.

Just, depending on the number of listings you have, this part can be more time-consuming. But, again, part 3 is optional.

  • Go to Listings on the left-hand side of your Shop Manager.
  • Click a listing you’ve added the upgrade option to.
  • Scroll to the Description section and add a quick write-up about the upgrade.
  • Click Publish.

I included pretty much the text here that I added to my Shop Policies.

That’s it!

That’s all you have to do to increase your Etsy earning potential. And if you stick to parts 1 and 2, you can wrap this up in under 10 minutes.

When your customers check out, they’ll be able to select the insurance upgrade from a drop-down menu with their shipping options. Then, the cost of the insurance will be added to their totals.

Here are the results I got…

I added the optional insurance upgrade about a month ago. And so far, eight purchases have been made, all at the $2.50 price point.

These results obviously aren’t fantastic. But I think once holiday shopping really kicks into gear more people will start buying the upgrade.

People want to make sure their gifts arrive safe and sound. And if they don’t, they want the peace of mind knowing they can quickly and easily get replacements.

If you look at companies that sell things like electronic devices, one of the most profitable parts of their business is selling insurance.

And that’s exactly what we’re doing here with this insurance upgrade, which, again, most people won’t need to take us up on, so it’s almost entirely pure profit.

Adding an insurance upgrade to your Etsy shop takes very little time and doesn’t cost a cent, so you really have nothing to lose.

If you end up adding an insurance upgrade to your Etsy shop, let me know how the experience goes for you by leaving a comment below.

How to “hack” your computer with custom hotkeys for folders, text, apps, and more

I’m always interested in hearing about long-term sustainable ways to increase my productivity and work more efficiently. The faster and easier you can make your work tasks, the more free time you have for friends, family, hobbies, and whatever else you enjoy.

A while back I was turned onto the idea of hotkeys, or keyboard shortcuts, in a course I was reviewing as a way to make basic tasks you often repeat flow faster and more seamlessly.

Basically, the way hotkeys work is you take a computer function you often perform or a piece of text you often type and assign a keyboard shortcut to it.

Then, instead of going through a range of more complicated motions to complete the function, you just type a series of 1-3 keys and POOF, it’s done!

Hotkeys have the potential to be big time-savers. And so, I really wanted to share this post with you.

First, I go over some of my favorite practical uses for hotkeys. Then, I cover how to set up hotkeys on a PC and on a Mac.

Let’s take a look…

Practical uses for hotkeys

Below, I share a list of the hotkey functions I recently learned how to create that I think are pretty useful.

Set up hotkeys to…

Autocorrect text language (for example if you make the same typos often)
Insert your email address
(since it’s something you type a lot)
Insert your website
Create an email signature
Create text templates for emails, documents, social media, etc.
(this is the major one!)
Open folders
Open apps

There are tons of other functions you can set up hotkeys for. But I think these are some of the most practical.

And below, I’ll show you how you can set up these hotkeys using either a PC or a Mac.

How to set up hotkeys using a PC

The easiest way to set up hotkeys for Windows is to use the AutoHotkey application (it’s free). AutoHotkey can help you set up hotkeys to do just about anything.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Go to AutoHotkey.com.
  • Click the green download button.
  • Click download AutoHotkey Installer.
  • Click to open the installer and leave all values as their defaults.
  • Continue through the installation process until it’s complete.
  • Click finish and return to your desktop.

Now, you have to set up an AutoHotkey script for whatever action you want the hotkey to perform.

  • Right-click anywhere on your desktop.
  • Choose New, then AutoHotkey Script.
  • Give the script a name related to the action it’s going to perform and hit enter.
  • Right-click the script and choose Edit Script.
  • You’ll then be able to add in your script for a specific action.
  • Click File and select Save As.
  • Choose All Files as the Save as type.
  • Save the file by its script name and add .ahk as the extension.

To enable your script, double-click it on your desktop.

NOTE: Each time you restart your computer, you’ll need to re-enable the script by double-clicking the script file on your desktop.

If you want to get around this, you can set up the script to automatically start when Windows starts.

Here’s how to do that:

  • Right-click your script on your desktop.
  • Choose Copy.
  • From the Startup Menu, choose All Programs.
  • Scroll down to Startup and right-click the Startup Folder.
  • Choose Explore.
  • In the folder that pops up, right-click and choose Paste Shortcut.
  • A shortcut file will appear with your script’s name plus “shortcut.”

Your script will now be able to start and load the next time to restart your computer.

AutoHotkey basics

1. When creating scripts, there are specific symbols that represent certain keys:

^ = Control
! = Alt
+ = Shift
# = Windows logo key
& = You can use the ampersand key in between any two keys or mouse movements to combine them into a hotkey.

To view an all-encompassing list of keys, go here.

2. After creating a command for a specific action, you need to add two colons.

[command]::

For example, ^h::

3. When you create text templates, if you want to add text to a new line, you need to add the command SendInput {Return}.

For example…

[command]::
Send, Your text goes here
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your next line of text goes here
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your third line of text goes here
Return

4. At the end every script, you need to type ‘Return’ on a separate line as an indication that the script is complete.

5. You can add multiple hotkeys to script. Just separate them with the Return function.

6. After trying to activate a hotkey, you may get an error message about something you need to go back and edit. Everything needs to be entered in exactly right in order for your hotkey to work.

To learn more about setting up hotkey scripts with AutoHotkey.com, go here.

How to set up hotkeys using a Mac

Getting started setting up hotkeys on a Mac is a bit simpler than on a PC.

Just…

  • Go to the Apple icon in the top left-hand corner of your Mac.
  • Select System Preferences.
  • Next, choose Keyboard.
  • Then, choose Text in the second tab.
  • You’ll then see a few built-in shortcuts, but you can delete those or add more of your own at any time.

(NOTE: Mac shortcuts don’t work on every application. For example, you might have issues using them with Google Chrome and Microsoft Word.)

Now that you know how to start creating hotkeys using a PC and a Mac, let’s dive into how to set up the specific hotkey functions I mentioned earlier.

Autocorrect text language on a PC

These scripts help make any typing you do faster. Plus, they help eliminate typos, especially if you’re prone to forgetting apostrophes.

::ive::I’ve
::im::I’m
::ull::you’ll
::dont::don’t
::cant::can’t
::wont::won’t
::didnt::didn’t
::couldnt::couldn’t
::wouldnt::wouldn’t
::shouldnt::shouldn’t
::gonna::going to
::wanna::want to
::kinda::kinda of
::idk::I don’t know
::idc::I don’t care
::btw::by the way
::ty::Thank you
Return

You can add any other abbreviation you commonly use to your own script. Just make sure every entry follows this format:

::text language::autocorrect

For example, ::LHS::Low Hanging System

You might even add one for your name or anything else you type a lot.

For example, ::RR::Rachel Rofe

Create shorthand text for longer phrases on a Mac

For any commonly used longer words or phrases you want to create shorthand hotkeys for, just assign a keyboard combination, input the abbreviation plus one tap of the space bar into the Replace column. Then, type the full word or phras in the With column.

For example, type ‘btw’ + Space into the Replace column. Then, type “by the way” into the With column. Now, every time you type ‘btw,’ it’ll be replaced with the full phrase ‘by the way.’

Insert your email address on a PC

^e::
Send, YourEmailAddress@YourEmailAddress.com
Return

This script can come in handy whenever you’re filling out forms or you want to sign up or subscribe to something. I chose e for email as an easy way to remember this script.

^e:: translates to pushing the control key then the e key (Ctrl + e).

And instead of YourEmailAddress@YourEmailAddress.com, you would obviously type in your actual email address.

Then, whenever you press Ctrl + e, your email address will appear.

Insert your email address on a Mac

For example, use ’em’ as the shorthand hotkey combo. Add that to the Replace column and then type out YourEmailAddress@YourEmailAddress.com’ into the With column.

Then, whenever you type ’em’ + Space, your email address will appear.

Insert your website on a PC

^w::
Send, YourWebsite.com
Return

This is another script that comes in handy when you fill out forms or want to leave an email signature or forum signature. This script translates to Ctrl + w. And, again, just type in your actual website after Send, and type Return on the next line.

Insert your website on a Mac

Similar to how you create other hotkeys on a Mac, type your website’s shorthand in the Replace column and then type your full website address in the With column.

For example, ‘LHS’ + Space in the Replace column and ‘LowHangingSystem.com‘ in the With column.

Insert an email signature on a PC

^s::
Send, Your signoff
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your name
SendInput {Return}
Send, YourWebsite.com
Return

For example…

^s::
Send, With love,
SendInput {Return}
Send, Rachel Rofe
SendInput {Return}
Send, RachelRofe.com
Return

This script is great for quickly signing off in your emails. It translates to pressing Ctrl + s (for signature).

Insert email signature on a Mac

This Mac hotkey is slightly more complicated to set up. Presumably, you’re going to want text on separate lines in your email signature.

To add line breaks, you need to type out the text you want to appear in your signature. Then, wherever you want a line break, hold down the Option key and click Enter or Return to make a new line.

When you’re done, copy the text for your signature and paste it into the With column and add something like ‘sig’ for signature to the Replace column.

Create a text template on a PC

Hotkeys can be really useful when comes to inserting text templates — customer service responses, for example.

In the past, I’ve shared a number of copy-and-paste customer service templates that are big time-savors, especially during the holidays.

And so, to make those templates even easier to use, I created easy-access hotkeys for each of them. You just have to copy and paste the scripts below into your own Autohotkey scripts and then save them to your desktop.

This way, you don’t have to go fishing for a Google doc or wherever you might have stored the templates. After setting up the hotkeys, all you have to do is press the hotkeys wherever you want the text inserted and it will automatically be typed out.

Template 1: When a customer receives the wrong item

w & i::
Send, Hey there,
SendInput {Return}
Send, We are very sorry for the mix-up and any inconvenience this has caused.
SendInput {Return}
Send, We do our best to get our orders right 100 percent of the time. But unfortunately, mistakes can sometimes occur.
SendInput {Return}
Send, We will get the correct item shipped out to you asap and make sure to send it priority.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Please accept our apologies again and let us know if there’s anything else we can assist you with.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Thanks.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Kind regards,
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your name
Return

I chose w & i for ‘wrong item.’ And you would just need to press the w key then the i key. You don’t need to push the ampersand key.

Template 2: When an item arrives damaged 

a & d::
Send, Hey there,
SendInput {Return}
Send, We are very sorry your order arrived damaged.
SendInput {Return}
Send, We do our best to package our products securely with the highest quality packaging materials. But unfortunately, sometimes things do still get damaged during the shipping process.
SendInput {Return}
Send, We will get a replacement item shipped out to you asap and make sure to send it priority.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Please accept our apologies again!
SendInput {Return}
Send, Thank you.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Kind regards,
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your name
Return

I chose a & d for ‘arrives damaged.’ Just press the a key then the d key to run this hotkey.

Template 3: When an item hasn’t arrived yet 
Version 1: If the customer did NOT pay for expedited shipping

(This is 99% of cases – for example, if a customer ordered via UseGearBubble where all shipping is standard)

n & e::
Send, Hey there,
SendInput {Return}
Send, We’re sorry your order is taking so long to arrive.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your order has shipped, however, and is currently in-transit with USPS so you should receive it within the next few days.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Here is the tracking number: [insert USPS tracking number].
SendInput {Return}
Send, According to it, your order is due to arrive on [insert the new estimated arrival date].
SendInput {Return}
Send, Please accept our apologies again for the inconvenience and let us know if there’s anything else we can do to assist you.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Thanks.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Kind regards,
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your name
Return

N & e stands for ‘not expedited’ to help you remember this hotkey.

Version 2: If the customer DID pay for expedited shipping

y & e::
Send, Hey there,
SendInput {Return}
Send, We’re sorry your order is taking so long to arrive.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your order has shipped, however, and is currently in-transit with USPS so you should receive it within the next few days. I have also gone ahead and refunded your expedited shipping costs since the expected delivery date has passed.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Here is the tracking number: [insert USPS tracking number].
SendInput {Return}
Send, According to it, your order is due to arrive on [insert the new estimated arrival date].
SendInput {Return}
Send, Please accept our apologies again for the inconvenience and let us know if there’s anything else we can do to assist you.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Thanks.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Kind regards,
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your name
Return

Y & e stands for ‘yes expedited.’ (You don’t have to use any of the hotkeys that I came up with. You can make your hotkeys whatever combination of keys that works best for you.)

Template 4: When a customer just isn’t satisfied 

n & s::
Send, Hey there,
SendInput {Return}
Send, We’re sorry you weren’t completely satisfied with your purchase.
SendInput {Return}
Send, If the item arrived not as described or was damaged in any way, we would be happy to get you a replacement sent out asap.
SendInput {Return}
Send, If you could please let us know more about why you were not satisfied, we will do our best to address your concerns. Or, if you would like to proceed with a refund, then of course we can do that for you right away.
SendInput {Return}
Send, We strive to create top-of-the-line products that our customers love, and we want you to be satisfied with everything you purchase from us.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Please let us know how you would like to proceed and our apologies again that you weren’t completely satisfied.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Thanks.
SendInput {Return}
Send, Kind regards,
SendInput {Return}
Send, Your name
Return

N & s stands for ‘not satisfied.’

Create a text template on a Mac

Take each customer service template and wherever you want a line break, hold down the Option key and click Enter or Return to make a new line.

Then, copy the text with the line breaks, paste it into the With column and add a shorthand hotkey to the Replace column.

Open a specific folder on a PC

There are probably a number of folders that you need to access frequently, especially if you’re doing the Low Hanging System— folders with your designs, for example.

To save time searching for these folders on your computer, you can create hotkeys to open them automatically.

For instance, say you recently downloaded my 2018 promotional holiday graphics and you want to gain faster access to those files without having to search through embedded folder after embedded folder.

What you can do is find the file on your computer, right-click on it and select Copy full path. You’d then paste that path into your AutoHotKey script.

For example…

#a::
Run, C:UsersUserDownloads2018 Promotional Holiday Graphics from RachelRofe.com.zip
Return

First, you come up with a hotkey combination, such as #a (Windows logo key + the letter a). Next, you add the double colons. Then, on the next line, you type Run, and that’s where you paste your file’s path.

Open a specific app on a PC

You can also set up hotkeys to run specific apps, such as notepad or calculator. For example…

#c::
Run, calc.exe
Return

#n::
Run, notepad.exe
Return

(C for calculator and n for notepad.)

These are just a few of the many things you can do with hotkeys. Can you think of any other practical uses? What would you set up hotkeys to do? Leave a comment below and let me know.