With the Global Financial Crisis in full swing, most everyone is tightening their purse strings. It is not just retail sales which are showing a steep downturn, but so too are charitable donations. Not-for-profit organisations rely heavily on philanthropy from businesses, foundations and people on the street for their livelihood. So it's not a pretty picture for charities right now. Take on example, when the Association of Small Foundations surveyed about 200 of their members, they found that more than half said "they would eliminate support to some charities in order to be able to fully support the rest of their grantees."
To help in their own small way, the eco apparel company Nau, will for the week of 8 December to 15 December, be donating 10% of all sales to select non-government organisations (NGOs). If that weren't enough of a motivating gesture, for the same time frame, you can also buy Nau garments at 30% off retail. Just use the promotion code "GIVE" on their online order page.
Nau already give 2% of every sale to not-for-profits, via their customer directed Partners for Change program, but are upping it by 8% for this special week. Their 'Gifts of Change' initiative gives you a discount, and their Partners of Change, (Kiva.org, Breakthrough Institute, Mercy Corps, Ashoka and Ecotrust) a little more funds to carry on their important work.
And NGOs need will need all the help they can get. The Wall Street Journal notes that even the very well endowed Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is slowing on its grant giving. The Guardian reports that in the UK, the global financial crisis is expected to blow a £2.3 billion black hole in charity funding. And IRIN, part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, observes that some key charities are experiencing "significantly lower" charitable contributions.
(We wrote last week that Horny Toad, the sister company of Nau, were also giving 30% to customers who donated clothes to thrift stores and charities, via their Spread the Warmth project. Giving obviously runs in the corporate blood, even if it does help attract customers.)
We should point out that you can always give to worthy causes, without needing to make a purchase. Try our Holiday Gift Guide: For the Philanthropist as a starting point. Though, in the case of Nau's initiative, you could feel two forms of a warm fuzzy glow. One from your donation aspect of your purchase, and secondly from snuggling inside the cheaper cosy jacket you scored.
More Corporate Philanthropy on TreeHugger
• Tom's Shoes Buy One, Gift One to Aid Ethiopia for Christmas 2008
• 1% Percent For the Planet
• Yvon Chouinard Wins Environmental Good Guy Award
- Top photo source
- Skier Image: From Nau, by Gabe Rogel