Business Tips: Giving Back

With the launch of the team giveaway this week, we”re officially into the holiday season of giving.

Participating in a program like this is really a win-win situation for everyone, especially for those of us who often want to help those around us but don”t always have extra money. For your customer, knowing you”re contributing profits to a charity is one more way to help them feel good about spending their hard-earned cash.

From giveaway auctions like the team”s to personal donations of items to individual causes, to setting aside a percentage of your shop sales for a charity, there are many different ways to incorporate giving into your holiday business plan.

First, the easy button: promote the heck out of the team giveaway!

If you missed the deadline to contribute to that (and in the interest of full disclosure, I missed it, despite my best intentions) here are a few other ways to spread the love:

You can go through Etsy itself and donate items to shops dedicated to raising money for specific causes. For example, this shop accepts items and the sales go to relief efforts in the Gulf Coast.

or this shop which raises money for flood relief in Pakistan

You can search the forums for other shops dedicated to certain causes. I actually joined Etsy way back in 2005 solely to donate items to the shop collecting for the Hurricane Katrine relief fund.

You can also simply choose a charity and donate a percentage of your Etsy sales from a certain time period.
Here are a few to choose from:

The Humane Society
The Red Cross
(my apologies to our European/Australian/non North-American EcoEtsians. I”d really love it if you linked your favorite charities in comments, thank you)

Don”t forget to note your chosen charity in your shop announcement. While this should not be done simply to increase sales, letting your customers know you care about a cause IS a good way to develop a lasting relationship with people who share your concerns. Here”s a blog post by GreenEarthGoodies about that very thing, if you”d like to know more.
Side note: don”t forget to keep the values of your items noted for the tax man, unfortunately, he”ll ask you for them.

You can also join one of the charity craft-ups and make an item to send to a particular cause.
CraftHope is just one of many, feel free to add your favorites in the comments. My annual project has been making items to benefit my local animal rescue organizations.

Last, but not least, once the holiday shipping rush is over, it is a wonderful thing to take your extra inventory down to a Toys for Tots pickup (if you make toys) or maybe to a local homeless shelter (if you make blankets, hats, scarves, food, or even personal care products), or even to a local hospital, women”s refuge, children”s ward or animal shelter. Giving something made with love to a person or animal who doesn”t get enough of it is a pretty hearty reminder of why we are all hanging around on this rock in the first place.
Here”s to a lovely holiday season for us all.

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  1. This is a wonderful article. If you want to help and give to those in need, you have so many organizations to choose from. Even if you lead a rather busy life, you can still play a part in helping the people who truly need your time or money.

  2. This is a great article and a great tie in to the giveaway. I do love giving a portion of my earnings to charity and there are so many good ones. I recently gave to Kiva, which gives loans that you get to recycle after they are paid back!

  3. I’m delighted to see that you mention the EuropeForCharity shop :) Thanks a lot ! The people on Etsy are really awesome … well, most of them anyway 😉