The idea of local business philanthropy sounds good to many business owners. However, they don’t always make an effort to include it as one of their business practices. It’s just something that sounds theoretically good. However, this isn’t the case at Urban Mattress where we donate 2% of every sale to local charities. If you’re a budding philanthropist, think about it this way: you’ll get a mattress and you’ll get to do good!
When was the last time that you gave any money to charity? It was probably when the last disaster happened and people were in great need in that moment. When 9/11 happened and when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, people were very moved by the extent of the destruction. So they called up the Red Cross or any other charity that was working to help people in this area and gave them money. Everyone wanted to do something to help out.
However, when there’s no disaster happening, we conveniently forget about those who might be in need. Local business philanthropy is part of an ongoing effort to change attitudes like this. If you’re thinking about giving to a local charity, consider the following tips:
What Cause Is Closest to Your Heart?
When you’re giving money to charity, you should try and give to a charity that works for a cause that you like. For example, if you feel particularly moved by the plight of victims of domestic violence, you can give to a local charity that works with this population. If you are more concerned about the state of the environment, you can give to a charity that works to improve the environment. There are a number of causes that charities are currently working with. You just have to find one that speaks to you.
If you don’t know what charitable cause you feel strongly about, do a little bit of digging. What books or movies have moved you in the past? What issues were they dealing with? Is it possible to give money to a charity that’s working with those issues? The advantage of working with a charity like this is that it will give you a greater sense of satisfaction.
How Much Can You Afford to Give?
People think that if they’re giving to charity, they need to be able to give a sizable amount. They’re afraid of what the people running the charity will think if they send in $10 or $25. However, every little bit counts. This is why we, at Urban Mattress, give 2% of all our sales to charity. On the face of it, 2% doesn’t sound like much. But 2% of every sale in the course of a year adds up to a great deal.
You can either give to a charity through us. Or you can give directly. Just remember to give as much as you can afford. If that’s just $10, that’s fine, because it’s the thought that counts. And if you give $10 each month for a year, that adds up to $120 annually, which is a sizable amount.
Plus, remember that different people have different standards of living. For you, $10 may not buy much because you might go to more expensive shops and restaurants. But for someone who doesn’t have much money to buy groceries, $10 is a lot and can buy two meals a day. Plus, if you’re sending to charities working with people overseas, remember that the American dollar is a very strong currency. When converted into the currency of a developing nation, it can become a lot of money and help people to buy a lot of things.
Keep in Touch
A lot of charities will keep in touch with you when you send them money. They often do this just in order to get more money. But sometimes, they also do it because they want you to know about all the good things they’re doing. So it’s a good idea to glance over the materials they send you, or to read them in detail if you have the time. It’s always nice to know how your money is being used and it will probably motivate you more to send them more money when you know that they’re involved in meaningful projects.
Plus, it’s also possible that the focus of your favorite charity might change in a way that you don’t really care for. In that case, you can look for another charity that will use the money you give them for the things that you think are important. It’s your money, so you should have a say in how it’s used.
Feel Good About It
Why do people give money to charity? In order to help those in need, of course. But besides the fact that you’re doing some good in the world, there’s also the sense of satisfaction you get from knowing that you did some good. That smile on a kid’s face when they’re well-fed and well-clothed can make you feel good too. Knowing that you helped someone who needed it and deserved it can give you a sense of satisfaction.
It’s ok to let these good feelings wash over you, even if the amount is small. Even if you didn’t set out to help someone and it just happened accidentally, it still counts. So if you buy a mattress from Urban Mattresses and we give 2% of the money to charity, it can still make you feel good.
So pause a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. This is positive reinforcement which will ensure that you make the effort to better someone’s life again in the future.
Keep Doing It
Now that you know all the good reasons why you should support local business philanthropy and local charities, don’t let it slip out of your mind. Don’t give money at Christmas and forget about your favorite charities the rest of the year. Set a reminder for yourself to keep giving as and when you can.
You can set a Google alert or just leave yourself a note on your desk where you can see it. An inspiring quote about giving will also remind you about how good it feels to help others. Here are a few:
- “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn
- “Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.” – Ellen Degeneres
- “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa
- “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.” – Charles Dickens
- “Speak the truth, do not become angered and give when asked, even be it a little. By these three conditions, one goes to the presence of the gods.” – Gautama Buddha
If you don’t like any of these quotes, find one that speaks to you. Everyone has a different philosophy about giving. And you have to stay true to yourself by following it. So find a quote or write something yourself—something that will remind you why you decided to give in the first place.
Contact your local Urban Mattress store for more information about local business philanthropy and giving to local charities.