Update - June 2018: After months of research and thought, we've chosen our first non-profit partner - Humane Society International. The work they do around the world is truly remarkable and I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with them. We're specifically contributing to the work they're doing to end the dog meat trade in Korea and other parts of Asia. If you're looking for a cause to support, I highly recommend taking a look at them (I believe they are set up in a few locations around the world).
"How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top." Yvon Chouinard
2 weeks ago, I celebrated my 25th birthday. Metorik began almost 18 months ago, so that made it my 2nd birthday since starting Metorik.
Like January 1, birthdays are a good time to reflect and figure things out. For me, it meant reflecting on the past year and how Metorik has grown in that time.
Almost exactly on my birthday (it was the day before), I came across an amazing organisation called 1% for the Planet. It was started back in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, the founder of Blue Ribbon Flies.
The idea and reasoning behind it is pretty simple. 1% for the Planet vets and works with thousands of non-profits that focus on environmental causes. Businesses (and individuals) that become members of 1% for the Planet pledge to give 1% of their revenue to those non-profits (directly, not through 1% for the Planet).
Those of us bootstrapping businesses without any funding or investment are constantly reminded to 'stay lean', 'keep costs low', and 'prioritise profitability and scaleable growth'. I couldn't agree more and constantly preach the same. So it may seem a bit crazy to other founders to see me willingly give away 1% of the revenue I work so hard to earn.
But I believe we all have an obligation - especially those of us running profitable online businesses - to leave the world better than we found it.
After reading through the 1% for the Planet website at around 10am, researching more about the organisation and the non-profits it works with, going to Ikea (because it was a Sunday and that’s what you do on a Sunday), and giving it some very brief consideration, it was 5pm and I was certain that 1% for the Planet was something I wanted to be a part of. My application was in by 10am the next day.
And now a couple weeks later, Metorik is a proud business member of 1% for the Planet and will be donating 1% of its revenue going forward.
If you’re in a position where joining 1% for the Planet is possible, I hope that you’ll consider it and take some time to learn more about the amazing work they and their non-profit partners do.
Some questions and some answers
Which non-profits will Metorik be working with?
I'm going to be spending some time soon investigating non-profits that align with Metorik's goals. I'll definitely be sharing more about the organisations Metorik partners with over the next 6 months.
When will Metorik start giving 1%?
Immediately, and I will be retroactively donating 1% of all revenues from January 2018 onwards.
Why not just give 1% directly to non-profits instead of joining 1% for the Planet?
Accountability (1% for the Planet verifies all donations). Transparency. Structure. Advice. Community. So many reasons.
Why make a big deal of it with a public post and not just give silently?
I think it’s important for businesses to be vocal and transparent about their charitable efforts, much like I try to be vocal and transparent about the day-to-day running of Metorik through this Behind the Scenes blog. Why? It helps inspire others to do the same, and I want customers of Metorik to know that they’re supporting a company with a conscience and desire to do good. Personally, I likely would not have thought to investigate giving a portion of Metorik’s revenue to charity without knowing of an organisation like 1% for the Planet and its many business members that inspire me like Patagonia.