General Question

Spargett's avatar

How does companies donating profits to charities affect your purchasing?

Asked by Spargett (5385points) July 7th, 2008

How much of an influence does it have when a company donates more than 10% percent of profits towards related charities?

I have a company I’m starting and I’d really like to donate 10% at the start of our annual or quarterly profits towards charities related to the demographic. My business partner thinks thats absurd.

I really don’t feel like 10% is much, and besides, I think it’ll help people purchase more, which isn’t my motive, but may help convince my business partner otherwise.

What are your thoughts on this hypothetical scenario?

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15 Answers

mirza's avatar

Companies donating to charity has no impact on me what so ever.

Here’s a fact about the first year of the RED campaign that came out on TIME MAGAZINE:
Money Spent on Advertisint: $ 100 MILLION
Money Actually DONATED : $ 18 MILLION

jrpowell's avatar

I’m always a bit skeptical of companies that do it. The charity could be the, “Buy the owner of this company a new boat fund.” A good tactic is to let people pick from a list of specific charities when they check-out. I feel better when they do that.

And informing people about how you treat your employees might help too. I refuse to shop at Wal Mart since they treat everyone like shit. Costco might be a little more expensive but they pay everyone a decent wage and have a good benefits package.

I shop at Costco.

Spargett's avatar

It’ll be an online aviation related merchandise store (MVRK™). We’ll design and make our own products in the USA.

The charitie(s) will be donated to will be listed on the site.

And yes, the RED campaign was a marketing ploy, there won’t be millions of dollars in marketing spent on this. Just listed on the website.

jrpowell's avatar

And I didn’t really answer the question. If two companies are selling the same thing at the same price I will buy from the one that will donate to charity.

wildflower's avatar

For me, ethics would be the third point of comparison. After price and quality. In other words, if you offer same quality and price as your competitors, but you’re donating 10% of your profits to charity, I would choose your company.

mirza's avatar

@Spargett: i think i would be motivated more to buy stuff from your aviation store if you gave like a free sticker or a poster of your current page

jrpowell's avatar

And seriously. Communicate with the customer. Let them know what is going on as much as you can. I bought a t-shirt a little while ago and didn’t hear anything from them for weeks. I didn’t know if my debit card didn’t go through. The shirt showed up but it took about a month.

And don’t try to make money from shipping. I went to buy a Obama shirt and was ready to plug in my CC number. Then I saw the shipping charges. It was around 9$ to ship a fucking tee-shirt. I closed the tab. I would have probably bought it if they would have just added 6$ to the price of the shirt.

delirium's avatar

I have more of a tendency to buy from a company that is sustainable about their packaging and their merchandise. Though it’d be cool to see if they supported something verifiable like heifer. is one of my ABSOLUTE favorite companies because they’re really really ecologically concious. I absolutely adore how conservative they are about packaging. They use cut up ads from the newspaper as packing. I even wrote them this really long letter about how much I appreciated the way they do business.

Spargett's avatar

All excellent feedback. I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences.

Response moderated
YARNLADY's avatar

I do not like the idea of companies advertising that they donate to charity. If they would give a discount instead, I could donate to the charity of my choice, and I would receive a tax deduction for it. Instead they use my money, I have no say in which charity they support, and I don’t get the tax write-off.

Tomfafa's avatar

Nah! Proper liberals donate as little as possible. But if you sell jumpsuits I could wear will flying an open cockpit biplane… I’ll shop… if you could customize with my ‘team anti-gravity’ logo… better.

Kraigmo's avatar

The company has to have a quality product, good price, and ethical behavior first.

Then after that, if two companies are similar, i’ll choose the one who gives to charity.

I buy Paul Newman’s products for all these very reasons.

dabbler's avatar

I like the charity aspect, but :
– it is really tough to tell how genuine are the claims of some corporations who claim charitable activity. Some will donate last year’s product at full retail value and claim that, which I consider somewhat bogus.
– I might not like the charities you pick as well as some charity you pick. Although any decent charity should be acceptible.
Document your charitable contributions for the customers.

For my tastes your ‘Made in USA” claim is worth more and would motivate me more. If you can provide some accounting of how much of what’s inside and how much each of those are also made in America that can help, especially if you have gone out of your way to get electronic components that are made in the US, which is impossible in some cases and difficult in others.
Give us a picture of the happy smiling US citizens who have jobs because of this excellent decision to make your products in the US.

Strauss's avatar

If a company donates to charities as a part of an overall philosophy, it would affect my opinion. An example is Newman’s Own line of organic foods. Their literature always states that a certain amount of profit after taxes goes to charities. I also like that Dawn dish detergent is donating large amounts of money and energy to wildlife protection. These are just a couple examples of a positive effect a company’s donations can have.

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