Giving During the Holidays: Make a Difference This Season with Your Indie Business

This year, while you take stock of your indie business inventory, prep for those big shows, and pull together gift sets, why not add a charitable donation to your holiday promotions? Giving during the holidays is a great way to make customers feel a deeper level of involvement in their purchase. It also promotes the generosity of your small business, and shares with your customers a cause that is near and dear to your heart.  

Holiday Charitable donation packaging

Promotional holiday packaging ideas

One way I like giving during the holidays is to create a special Zelma Rose discount promotion. This year at holiday craft shows, my indie business will be offering $10 off each purchase with a $1 donation to the Red Cross.  Not only does this give my customers a special discount to help them with their holiday gift giving budget, but it also encourages them to give just a small amount to a cause.  

Indie business promotions that give a discount when a customer donates are easy to set up.  Something like the above promotion only requires a separate transaction note or code in the sales book.  For each sale where a customer chooses to give, in this case, $9 is subtracted from the total cost of the sale.  A note is made alongside the sale. At the end of the show when you evaluate your inventory and sales, the dollar collected is put aside as part of a charitable donation.  Donations can be made following each show, or made in one lump sum after the holidays and before the new year.  Remember, charitable donations are tax-deductible, so giving during the holidays is a good thing for all aspects of your business!

Another kind of promotion is one that establishes a long-lasting relationship between your indie business and a charity.  Local California maker Vintage Remade has incorporated giving into the fabric of the business.  With every sale, year-round, $5 of the purchase goes to help support widows and orphans in Njewa, a village in Malawi where owner and designer Michelle McCreary spent time as a volunteer.  Michelle uses a page on her website to give customers a clear sense of what they are helping support with every purchase.  She also uses signage and postcards to advertise her giving at holiday shows. 

 Vintage Remade 

California maker Vintage Remade 

If you do not already have a cause that is near and dear to your heart, but would like to include a charitable donation as part of your holiday indie business promotion, ask around.  Chances are your friends, family, customers, and retail partners have causes that they feel deeply about, and would love to share with you. Collect a list and do some research.  If the charity is local, it is always nice to reach out and let them know you are planning on giving during the holidays.  They may be able to supply you with a press release or printed materials to share with your customers about their organization and cause.  Customers love knowing more about their donation and it is always nice to supply a takeaway, like a postcard or pamphlet, that informs them further about the organization. 

Consider spreading the love this holiday season by including a charitable donation with your promotions.  The holidays are a perfect time to try it out.  If you establish a strong connection with a charity, the possibilities are endless for how you can continue to work together.  

What are your plans for giving during the holidays?

Signing off by the Bay,


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