Yvon Chouinard has always given to charities, but by now you’ve heard of his amazingly generous gift to humanity. If not, the quick of it is that Yvon is the founder of outdoor apparel company Patagonia worth about a few billion dollars and has decided to put his shares into trusts and non-profit organizations. These entities are set up to ensure that the profits from the company, upwards of $100 million annually, are directed toward climate change charities and protecting the environment, specifically undeveloped lands.
Chouinard and his family will no longer be the beneficiary of the company’s profits, but will have control over the trusts and be able to dictate where the funds go and what charities to support. The catalyst behind this move that the NY times reported on, was that Chouinard showed up on a Forbes billionaire list. This caused him to ask his team to figure out how he could apply his wealth in ways he cared about, but when that took too long he formed the trusts.
Chouinard joins many of the famous billionaires who have pledged to give away all of their wealth, aptly named the Giving Pledge. While Chouinard didn’t officially join the Giving Pledge, he has found a cause to support, like other wealthy people. For example, Sean Diddy Combs has given to many charities supporting youth and education through his foundation, the Sean Combs Foundation. Brad Pitt established a few different charities to rebuild homes damaged in natural disasters, likely from his interest in architecture. (He took time off from film to study with renowned architect and artist Frank Gehry.) Pitt is also interested in humanitarian causes as well as political ones.
Social Media Charities and Causes
However you do not have to be a movie star or music mogul to give back. Many TikTokers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers partner with charities to aid in raising awareness for the cause as well as donations. Many of these campaigns end up raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the given charity. You don’t even need to have a lot of followers to give back.
Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014? The Ice Bucket Challenge was a viral marketing sensation where someone would have to nominate someone else to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads. If they did, they would give $10 to the cause and if they decided to skip the ice bath they would donate $100.
Patrick Quinn and former Boston College basketball player Pete Frates are credited with starting the challenge, sadly both of them have passed away from complications due to ALS. The challenge went viral after Frates nominated a few Boston Red Sox baseball players to take the challenge. $115 million in donations was raised with a number of celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other high profile business people taking the challenge. In addition the cause was brought to the forefront of the national media as well.
Even if your campaign does not go viral, many people give back on their birthdays. On Facebook, social campaigns can be created to ask friends and family for donations to the birthday celebrator’s favorite charities. Five billion dollars from 85 million people has been raised since the inception of the charity function. (After the Ice Bucket challenge, Facebook implemented this feature). Zuckerberg also notes that many of the donations are less than $25, which shows the power of aggregation.
On a daily basis, we are so busy with our lives, deadlines, fire drills, and unforeseen events, however, we need to remember that we are lucky that we can do these relatively fun things and get paid for it. There are many other people out there that are struggling to simply find a roof over their heads.
You don’t need to be Chouinard from Patagonia, Sean Diddy Combs, or Brad Pitt. You don’t need to start the next Ice Bucket Challenge. If anything, take heed from what Zuckerberg has said, every little bit makes a difference and if you can incorporate that into your messaging you and your charities will be winners.
What charities do you give to? What causes do you care about? Drop us a line and let us know and we’ll try to feature them and give them some prominence and awareness!