How to Start Giving Back with Your Business

Comfort Zone Adam BraunIf you’ve been feeling a tug on your heart (and wallet) to make giving back a more structured part of your business model – this video is for YOU.

I’ve gotta warn you, though – once you watch it, you’ll be out of excuses.

You’ll be READY to give. Just like that.

My aim here is to ASSURE you that you don’t have to be making five, six, seven (even FOUR!) figures to make a meaningful difference:

You already have enough to give.

Let me explain.

In this video, we’ll cover:

  • how + why I got started giving back through my business
  • the wildly simple two-step formula to giving back through your business
  • what else you can give (besides money)
  • how + where to vet the organizations you’d like to give TO
  • how to involve your clients + customers in the process

Click below to watch (or take a listen):

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.

 

IN A (COCO)NUT SHELL

 

STEP 1: DECIDE.

Decide that you’re GOING to give. That’s the most important decision. Everything else will fall into place from here.

Decide how MUCH you’re going to give. (You can definitely give time, supplies, even prayers – but I’m talkin’ about money for the purposes of this post.) Whether it’s 5 or 10% of your gross revenue, profit, or your salary – just go with what feels GOOD and a bit of a stretch. (I promise it will come back to you in beautiful ways you can’t even imagine yet!)

Decide who/what you’ll give TO. Use a site like Charity Navigator to vet these organizations and make sure they’re good stewards of their funds. Talk to people at the organization and to some of their donors. Know that you CAN change your mind and focus as you feel led – but start with a list of a top three.

The possibilities are endless and so exciting when you let your imagination run – just PICK ONE to start.

 

STEP 2: DO IT.

Do your work. Use this new commitment to giving to inspire you to be BOLDER than you’ve ever been before. Let it add some pep to your step in knowing there’s an extra layer of goodness and value that comes from the work you’re doing in the world.

Get your customers + clients involved! M dreamies LOVE being part of these giving back projects. They feel already great about the results they get from A Course About Copy – being part of the bigger ripple effect with these wells and the school has been icing on the benefit cake.

Work out the details with a tax pro. Depending on how much you give – you may be eligible to get deductions on your taxes. Talk to somebody about that before next year’s tax time, but DO NOT let it keep you from giving now. You’ll get it sorted by then – trust me :)

YES – it’s that simple. Let it be that simple.

 

BONUS STEP: IMAGINE HOW AMAZING YOU’LL FEEL ONCE YOU GIVE.

Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 9.13.57 PM

 

There really are no words to describe how this feels.

Awesome is overused, but really – how all of this came together is truly worthy of awe to me.

An obvious God thing.

It’s totally validating to see how your work has changed your clients + customers’ lives for the better.

But it’s beyond humbling to see how your work has changed lives of people you don’t even know – and may never meet.

All because you made a decision to ACT on that hunch.

 

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU

Whether you’re one of the over 500 entrepreneurs who’s done business with me in the past two years, a FUTURE member of the ACAC fam (or of products + programs I’ve yet to create), or a friend or community member who joined the cause just because you felt led to – THANK YOU.

There’s no way I could’ve done any of this on my own. (With my comma-free paychecks and limited vision ;))

And this is truly just the beginning. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

 

Transparency note (years later!): I recently deleted the photo of the students from the Santa Marta school that was included in my PoP impact report. I’m pretty sure but not 100% that PoP would’ve gotten waivers from each family / guardian since this was a joint venture with the community, but either way – it doesn’t feel right to share their images here when *I* didn’t meet and discuss with them directly. File under “unlearning white saviorism.” I’m sorry for any harm or discomfort sharing the official photos may have caused the first time around and am committed to not repeating this action. Also worth noting: I find myself cringing a bit while reading the copy / watching the video above (since at the time I wasn’t yet aware of my own white savior vibes and currently have diff thoughts on broadcasting philanthropy), but keeping it here for now for the gems we can gather from it. Thanks for being on the journey with me <3

 

YOUR HOMEWORK

In the comments below, share:

What are some of your favorite for-purpose (non-profit) organizations to give to?

Got any creative ideas for non-financial giving?

Let’s discuss!

To KNOWING you’ve got enough to give,

nik

P.S. If you liked this post + want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your buddies, I would greatly appreciate it! You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to see new videos before I’ve had time to turn them into blog posts ;)

 

Convo Copy Cheat Sheet

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LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.

  1. Lillian De Jesus

    This is awesome Nikki! Wow I’ve been working on this the past couple of months. I started my Giving Back page on my website and I decided 50% of my Canva course revenue will go to my favorite childhood cancer organizations. The question I had in mind was there were SO many that I love and that have helped my family how can I distinguish who to give to first. So… I think what I’ll do is do a year per organization. This year I can donate to Give Kids The World Village and then the next year to Make A Wish… and so on.

    Thanks so much for giving me the confidence to do this! I’m so happy for you and all the lives you’re helping.

    Take care,
    Lillian :)

  2. Jess Catorc

    So glad you shared this Nikki! I have been volunteering with a local charity and just knew I wanted to be able to give back more with my business… well now is the time!
    So inspiring seeing what you’ve done with the school, hoping this will be the start to a great chain reaction with other entrepreneurs :) xx

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks, Jess! Absolutely – felt compelled to spark a wakeup call and help folks realize that the giving back doesn’t need to be complicated. Just needs to happen :)

  3. Jo

    Hey Nikki! Just want to commend you on the awesome work you are doing Caring outward with your business! I, too, believe that businesses need to Care for people – so much so that it is one of the key components of my message. I feel like Caring is not only the wave of the future, but also a growing social responsibility as our wide world draws in closer and closer to us. (<– did that make sense,lol?) Bravo, Sister! And, thanks for being a leader in this way. :)

  4. Shannyn

    I love this. I have been a blogger who earns full time income and am so lucky- so I do a Virtual Pug Run every year with my readers and network. Last year we raised $8k! I’ve also given up my birthday for charity water to donate a portion of profits during my birthday month. Every time I’ve given it has come back to me. I’m launching my own social media management business and will make giving a regular and passive form of my business…. Giving doesn’t always have to be a fundraiser or a donation drive- it’s just built in and that’s amazing.

    Love that you give back. I hope more folks do it and I hope I can do better and give more… You inspire me!!!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      “Every time I’ve given it has come back to me.” << amen, Shannyn! Thanks for doing what you do :)

  5. Elyse

    Love this Nikki! I’m redoing my online platform and I want to include giving back!

  6. Morgan Gist MacDonald

    Nikki, I LOVE this message. You know how I decided you were my kind of entrepreneur gal? In a sea of websites selling services, yours was the ONLY one I’d ever seen that had a “Giving Back” tab. This was in the days when ya’ll were funding water wells, but I was immediately hit with a sense of “Yes! This, giving back, is SO important to business and life and our journey here on this planet.”

    I knew I wanted to use my growing biz to give back, and you gave me the nudge and the direction. I have loved contributing to PoP, and it has been so awesome to see how your abundance mindset has grown and influenced all of us.

    Thanks for your willingness to give! And to encourage us to give, also. :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Love that, Morgan. I’m so thankful to you for helping make this POP school (and the next!) happen. Pleasure giving with you, sister :)

  7. Whitney

    As somebody who’s no stranger to the internal “I should start giving” / “now’s not the right time” argument, this video was really perfect right now in my biz.

    The Charity Navigator tip was especially helpful and a great action step to take this motivation and DO SOMETHING about it. Digging in and exploring the site is on my weekend to-do list.

    Thanks Nikki, for the encouragement and the tough love that is really IS that easy to start giving. And that we already have more than enough. :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Wahoooo, Whitney! This was for YOU then :) Come back to share some of your favorite finds after you’ve had a look!

  8. Natasha Vanzetti

    Oh Nikki, I had tears and goosebumps watching this one! I’ve always been a big supporter of helping others and have quite a few charities I’ve worked with over the years. A few years ago I raised over $100k in 2 months for http://www.olivialambertfoundation.org.au/ (a cause very dear to my heart) and now act as a Trustee for that Foundation today.

    I’ve been wondering how I can continue to help and support others through my business so you’ve given me the nudge to look into this further. I’m so honoured to be part of your ACAC family that contributed to the POP school and look foward to sharing my new charity pledge soon.

    Love your work, Natasha xxx

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      That’s amazing, Natasha – so honored you’re part of the ACAC fam too :) Mwuah!

  9. Lindsey

    Awesome work Nikki! Very inspirational. I started giving back with my work about 6 years ago and started hosting charity work outs (I’m a personal trainer). We chose different charities every month and on two separate occasions raised money for our own clients who had difficult times in their families.
    My favorite has been the last 4 years I have raised over $1,200 each December and purchased toys for Toys 4 Tots. Nothing better than loading up 5 carts at Target and then taking them to the warehouse knowing they are going to a good home.

    I plan to incorporate formal giving as a % of my biz in 2016. Thanks for the inspiration.

    I am still doing monthly work outs and giving! Best day of the month for me.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      That’s great, Lindsey! Thanks for sharing your giving style to inspire those reading this convo :)

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