Donating a portion of your sales to charity benefits both your soul and your bottom line.
At a standalone act, giving to charity is great. It makes you feel great and can be quite addicting.
There are also some big business perks.
Why Giving Back Makes Sense Business-Wise
If you decide to tell your customers about the charities you’re donating to, it can help earn you more money. Here are some reasons why:
1. Customers Like Your Products More
In addition to having your customers think you’re a rock star business because you care about important causes, demonstrating social consciousness causes people to believe your products are higher quality.
This occurs thanks to the “benevolent halo effect,” where positive feelings towards a business turn into positive feelings towards a business’s offerings as well.
2. Boost Customer Loyalty
According to a study, “90% of consumers would switch brands to one associated with a social or environmental cause” and 80% said they would “buy a product from an unknown brand if it had strong social or environmental commitments.”
This is especially true when you donate to causes that resonate with your target audience. You’re essentially saying, “Hey! We have something in common! We both care about the same thing. We think alike.”
People tend to trust people who think similarly to themselves.
3. Improve Your Business’ Reputation
Supporting charities is one of the most trustworthy and admirable things your business can do. And it can make a big difference in terms of how your business is perceived.
Giving back helps solidify your business’s identity as one that is caring, honest, and ethical; plus, it makes you stand out from the competition.
BONUS: Get Tax Deductions For Your Donations
If you live in the USA, when you donate to tax-exempt non-profits and other charitable organizations, you lower your taxes by reducing your amount of taxable income since the amount you donate is tax deductible.
This is the process to take advantage of tax deductions:
- Claim deductions for charitable giving using SCHEDULE A (Form 1040).
- Make sure to donate to qualified organizations.
- Actually give cash or property (having promised to do so in the future doesn’t count).
- Abide by specific record-keeping requirements (including saving canceled checks and acknowledgment letters and appraisals from the charities).
- Keep your own written records of any donations you make (including the organization’s name along with the date and amount you donated).
How to Setup an Automated Donation Program
Companies like Amazon and eBay have had a lot of success with their donation programs, which also help reduce rates of cart abandonment. Personally, I love using smile.amazon.com while I’m shopping. They give back .5% of the money you spend to a charity of your choosing.
There are a variety of donation programs available online where you can do something similar. Some programs enable you to donate a portion of your pre-tax sales to charities of your choosing. Others let your customers tack on small donation amounts to their purchase costs. And there are some that allow customers to select the specific charities they’d like to support.
Here are some options:
How to Donate When Using The Low Hanging System Model
If you’re selling on Amazon, Etsy, or eBay via the Low Hanging System model, you can obviously still donate a portion of your proceeds to charity.
eBay specifically has an eBay for Charity program where you can choose a % of your final listing fee to donate to a charity of your choice. The minimum contribution is 10%. If you want to donate another way, here are their guidelines.
Etsy doesn’t have an official program, but they have an article encouraging working with nonprofits and sharing ideas on how you can gain more exposure right here.
I haven’t found an official article for Amazon, but some forum threads suggest putting information in your “About The Shop” section would be a great place to tell people what you and your shop stand for.
It’s Really a No-Brainer
Donating to charitable causes is a stellar thing to do. We could all use a little more goodness in this world, and the fact that doing so also helps you to sell more products and earn more money makes it a total no-brainer.
I hope you found this list of donation apps and plugins useful. If you end up trying one, please leave a comment and let me know how what impact it has on your business.