When I started my own business, I made a decision to be public about our charitable giving. It was a practice I learned from Anita Roddick and the Canadian-based leaders (all women) of The Body Shop. The Body Shop was my first job-job and it baked the concept of a triple bottom line into my happily bleeding heart. The idea of sharing this is to inspire giving through business. I think we’re all gifters at heart. The flow of allowing and aiding is our natural way of being.
As a business, if you’re not giving back, you’re taking too much.
Next to war, the greedy shadow side of commerce is the most destructive force on the planet. The yin to this yang is that business can be a restorative force and potentially the brightest hope for humanity. I’m not an economics scholar, but I know what’s sacred.
To give is to receive. And we’re in this together—the bigger, beautiful whole.
Here are the simple ways Team D gave this year…
We chose one product line—our Meditation Kits—to be our charity vehicle for the cash we would donate from the business. Profit/costs of digital products are more predictable than physical goods, so digital makes sense.
The introduction to each Meditation Kit reads:
$5 USD from every Meditation Kit sold is shared with three charitable causes:
1. Eve Ensler’s V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.
2. charity: water, which has set out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world.
3. A disaster relief fund. We set aside one third of the monies raised to be disbursed to local relief efforts if and when major natural disasters occur on the planet.
Our business operating principle: We create content to help elevate consciousness—spread Light, with Love. We share our prosperity by creating a supportive work culture, and weaving philanthropy into our commerce. We believe that it’s critical for evolution that business transforms into a healing support system for humanity and the Earth.
We (mostly) focused our giving on these three causes/orgs that are attuned with our values. We disburse the funds twice a year. We’re Canadian-based, so we collect in both CAD and US currencies.
Collectively, we gave to: V-Day, charity: water, and a variety of disaster relief orgs in Canada, the US, and India. Also: Together Rising, Plan Canada, Dress for Success, Yes! Magazine, Wikipedia, and a team member’s church. We also donated a percentage of sales from Your Big Beautiful Book Plan to WriteGirl.
In response to immediate crisis
We chose another product/offering—Desire Map + Fire Starter Sessions Licensing—to incentivise people to donate their own money directly to an organization we chose. In this case, Together Rising for the #FamiliesBelongTogether campaign.
It worked like this: You make a donation to Together Rising and email your receipt to us. Donations of at least $1000 USD received our Desire Map Facilitator Program, valued at $2500 USD, for free. Donations of $300 USD or more received our Fire Starter Sessions Facilitator Program, valued at $1000 USD, for free.
For our Canadian friends, we accepted $700 USD donations for the Desire Map Facilitator Program, and $200 USD donations for our Fire Starter Sessions Facilitator Program. (Together Rising only operates in US currency, so we subtracted 30% to equalize the exchange rate.)
*We did a similar campaign in 2017 for Hurricane Harvey, where people could donate to any disaster relief organization that resonated with them. Thanks to 161 women in our community, we raised $100,951.58 USD over a 3-day period.
Goods in kind
We also donated a number of Desire Map Licenses to women who are running workshops for marginalized populations, and gave away a few hundred books to other non-profits who serve female-identifying communities.
Volunteering as a Team
Team D is virtual, and the ten of us are in five different countries. A handful of us are based in Vancouver so we’ve started volunteering as a group. So far we’ve worked at a local soup kitchen and Dress for Success. The intention for 2019 is to focus our volunteer time on one organization, so we can form closer relationships and (hopefully) make more of a positive impact.
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Before I go…
I’m always wishing we could raise more more more funds. That said, we gave in a healthy way this past year. Our hearts are happy. We’re growing in the right direction.
I’ve never regretted giving, ever. Even when we have to juggle some funds to cover our own bottom line and our philanthropy, or push harder to earn, giving is as important as selling. We just make it work.
If you set some coin aside as it comes into your business, you won’t miss it. And you’ll feel reeeeally good when it comes time to gift it.
Conscious commerce doesn’t have to be an oxymoron. Business can be a vehicle of loving care. It’s got to be.
Danielle + Team D