Originally Posted by JohnnyRedStorm
I wish I would have knew, I would have donated a few dollars out of my pocket. You guys are doing a great job giving back.
You still can. http://www.freethechildren.com/donate/index.php
Honestly, and I think a lot of my fellow staff members feel the same way, I'd genuinely be MORE proud to see even a dozen of our members get involved in supporting causes like this one than I am of the community donation. The community donation is certainly a sacrifice from the staff, but it's generally a passive act of support for most.
What I'd LOVE to see is an effect on some of our peers - to get our fellow members involved, too. Granted most of us came here to discuss shoes at one point - but the community is about more than that and we, as individuals, are about more than that. Regardless of what the folks in Beaverton may think, NikeTalk is not an industry marketing tool - it's a gathering place for like minded people, and it's my sincerest hope that we can use it to make a positive difference in the greater global community of which we're all a part.
We run NT like a social
business. For-profit ventures kick in a few bucks to charity to improve their image for the sake of ultimately benefiting the bottom line. Charitable impact IS our bottom line. Our goal is to generate the greatest possible POSITIVE effect for our investment as a group. So, when we try things like the t-shirts, etc. as fundraising - that's the goal, not sales. There's a limit to how much we can accomplish with ad revenue and we need to move beyond it, so we're exploring fundraising options and, given that many people expressed demand for t-shirts, those interests dovetailed. It's a shame more didn't support that, since Rajah had some AMAZING designs that I wish we could've produced by now, but perhaps we can come up with something more effective. The point, though, is that this is the type of thing I want us ALL to be involved with. It isn't a one way flow from the staff out.
So if you all have ideas - for fundraisers, for causes, and so on - this is the space to share that and work together to continue to improve our contribution. We really want to see people take something like our kiva.org lending team, for example, and really run with it. $63,000 since we started running ads is fine - but it's really only the tip of the iceberg. Again, if you had any idea how little we received for ad views and even clicks, you'd realize how easily we could DOUBLE our charitable impact if the few of your who are interested would just kick in even $10 to these or other causes each time we donate. It may seem like a drop in the bucket - but remember, we're making these donations after getting FRACTIONS of pennies for each page view. If that isn't proof that these droplets add up, I don't know what is.
If this inspires you to donate - please do. Seriously, that would absolutely make my day.
We try to help encourage donations with fundraisers, to give people products at our cost to help get donations out there, and it's like coating vegetables in a deep fried, chocolate batter. The contribution itself, service to the community, IS the nourishing component. It's healthier to eliminate the "incentive" portion of that and just get people involved directly, hoping that it will eventually become part of their lifestyle. In the global context, we're all incredibly privileged - and that represents a responsibility. We're here having a good time together online, and yet at the same time - here's a village in which 90% of the children can't read. We complain about Yuku being down - they can't get online. This charity built latrines and classrooms some of our younger and more sheltered members probably wouldn't deign to set foot in - and we're here celebrating it because of the improvement it's made to this community. So, we hope this acts as something of a reality check for people who come here because they've been dazzled by some sneaker companies multi-million dollar marketing blitz, who feel they need to spend more on a pair of shoddily made sneakers than familes in Salabwek, Kenya make in an entire YEAR. For the cost of that streetwear t-shirt you don't need, we can really make a big difference in someone's life or support those working to preserve our environment and save the lives of people and animals around the world and, really, that should bring you greater satisfaction than the t-shirt would. Maybe it sounds like a silly stump speech, and I don't expect everyone to become ascetics, join greenpeace, become vegans, and become social justice activists overnight. What we can do, though, is try to move forward together one step at a time and become better and more responsible global citizens - and I hope that becomes a true COMMUNITY process and an ongoing component of our activities here, not just a quarterly donation announcement thread in which 20 of our thousands of members come through with the golf clap.
Obviously there's no comparison between what we're doing and what other sites in this sector are doing - we're not even playing the same game. This sort of donation is a positive step, one we hope others will follow, but there's too much potential here to feel satisfied with grants like this one.
So, the question then is, well, how do we then take that next step - and the answer begins with you all. We take that next step together, it can't just be about ad revenue.