I’ve gotten more involved in philanthropic efforts in the handmade community. I’ve been donating 10% of my Etsy sales to charity since opening my shop, have done special promotions in my shop where all sales were donated to crisis relief efforts and have donated items from my shop to things like auctions and giveaways for good causes.
Over the last month, I’ve been exposed to a lot more people who are doing great handmade work for good causes. It started when I was talking to handmade people, trying to figure out what we could do to help raise money for relief efforts in Japan. I have been so impressed by how many handmade artists and bloggers have stepped up to donate time, money and their art to help those in need. I was able to participate in a Twitter chat devoted to using handmade shops and blogs for philanthropy, and through that, became connected to a blogger/shop owner who was organizing an effort to spend the month of April focusing on blogs and shops that donate to great causes.
You’ve seen me blog about both of these big efforts – the Love For Japan shop and the Handmade With Purpose blog. Both of these efforts highlight the giving spirit and wonderful artistry of MANY people and it’s been an honor to be involved in each. I feel that I’ve found something I can stay passionate about and want to continue in this direction.
I’ve also been really fortunate to be connected to a great organization for my sales donations. Once a year I select a new org to donate to, and this year’s org, the Emergency Fund, has been extremely receptive to my interest. I’ve been in touch with a contact from their development (fundraising) department and am excited to have been invited to attend an event of theirs and get to know their organization better – and it’s been less than a month since I approached them about donating sales to them this year!
So – with these 3 major things happening all at once and so recently, I’ve been on a bit of a “handmade philanthropy” high and feel like this may be something I can really grow into. Even when I feel like I’m in a rut creatively or am just not in the mood to sew or knit, I get instantly energized when I hear about a cause that needs promotion. Lindsay from the Handmade With Purpose blog and I have talked about putting together a “How To” series for handmade philanthropy, which will hopefully come to fruition soon. Maybe someone is trying to tell me something?
There’s still more to say about my efforts to improve my shop, so keep an eye out!
Has your shop been involved in any philanthropic efforts? How was your experience? Do you have any questions or concerns about getting involved in stuff like this?