December 27, 2009 : 7:29 PM

Many Ways to Give

For some reason when I'm on Holidays (or vacation as they say in America) I always feel the urge to donate money. I'll struggle for a week on which TV to buy, looking at features, deals, discounts all in the effort to save a few hundred but then see an ad for Fred Hollows foundation and feel this insatiable urge to donate $1,000. I also had this funny notion that someone there would see my donation and call me personally to thank me for the donation. But alas I got a generic printed letter as if I donated $20 and a bunch of junk mail (a pet peeve).

After seeing this video from Mother where they donated $10,000 USD as cash in a briefcase it got me thinking. It's not the amount that matters it's the gesture. Sure donating $10,000 via an online transaction is nice, but dropping that wad in cash to an actual person, video taping it and putting that video online gives you much more bang for buck.

In fact a briefcase of cash is the best way to pay for anything. I realise now that putting the deposit on my unit would have been much more dramatic (read: awesome) had I filled a briefcase with $60,000 and marched into the bank. I also missed an great photo opportunity.

Seriously though I have a point, so back to my main point.

Donating money to a charity is easy to do if you associate the donation with something tangible. $500 seems like a lot of money but if you say "Well that's just one months Adsense revenue" it has more meaning.

Here's a few ways to easily donate some money to charity without really feeling the pinch.

Adsense Revenue:
Donate a months Adsense revenue. If you earn <$100 a month on this then pledge to donate 6 months worth.

In fact any revenue you make from your site you can donate. For Bannerblog I donate 25% of it. This ends up being a sizeable chunk of my yearly contributions.

eBay Stuff
The digital garage sale. Find some stuff you no longer use. eBay it and donate the money to charity.

Client Gift = Donation
Clients hate this. Well they never will say so but they get nothing, you get he charity donation tax write off and if the client complains they look like douche bags. So it's tough to do every year but slip it into the regime or make it a regular thing for all smaller (read: non important) clients.

No Friday Drinks
Cancel one of the Friday drinks in your office and donate the budget to charity. Or if that's too crazy cut the budget by half and have everyone drink soft drink!

% of ????
Donate a % of something to charity. Your salary, the amount you spend on clothes or the amount you spent on presents.

Karma Offsetting
Download a movie or copy some MP3's? Donate the money you would have paid for those goods instead.

No Coffee Wednesdays
Don't have a coffee on Wednesdays and put that money to a charity fund.

The Coin Jar
Keep a coin jar in your office of home. Dump your coins in there at the end of every day. My coin jars busted out at $187 when I finally got around to counting. So don't tip waiters keep the coins for people who really need it. (Note: this applies to Australia where waiters/bar staff are paid well. Not in the USA)

Provide Links to Charities
Pick a couple of the charities you support and give them prominent links on your site. Ask your workplace to do the same. Go one better by having a small page explaining why you support that charity. I've seen plenty of blogs doing this but not that many small company sites. Banks do it best. I'll have to do this myself :)

Two years ago we bought every major Soap client One Laptop Per Child . We bought $5,000 worth of them! It felt great. The next year we got clients Flip cameras! This year a random assortment of junk.

And remember don't donate in little pieces save it up so you can do one big grand gesture like the briefcase full of money.... no just kidding, give regularly. You'll feel much better.

The added benefit of all this giving is people will buy less shit they don't need thus subtlety saving the environment from making more shit. I just watched the video below so I'm in that anti-consumerism mode. Even though I work in advertising.

Posted at December 27, 2009 : 7:29 PM
Archived in: misc