Since I graduated college I struggled with the concept of having a job and contributing to the world.
It didn't matter what job I had or how much community service I did, I never felt like it was enough. That I was doing my part in contributing to the world. So when I started this business I wanted to make sure that from the beginning - a portion of every dollar I made went towards something good.
It didn't matter if I only brought in $1. 10% was going to go somewhere that mattered. If you're looking for a special reason behind my decision to donate money - the truth is - it's because I wanted to. It felt good to me. And the beauty of having your own business is that you get to decide where the money goes.
As soon as I made money in my business I knew where I was sending funds. I split 10% of every dollar I make between the following three organizations.
1. Kiva - When I was in b-school, I thought about going into finance. I'm good with numbers and I thought it would be really amazing to work for an organization like KIVA where I entrepreneurs could get loans through micro-financing. This sounded like the coolest thing in the world to me, and would be a way for me to work in finance and believe in what I was doing. (again - I was on the search to finding my calling).
Instead I ended up taking an internship at Coca-cola (I don't drink soda so that was interesting) and staying in marketing. But the dream of being involved with Kiva never went away. Through my business - I choose women entrepreneurs around the globe who are in need of funds for their business. The great thing is - when they pay it back, I loan it to another woman in need and every time I make money in my business, I add to the pool of money that I loan to female entrepreneurs.
2. V Day - I remember hearing about the Vagina Monologue for the first time. The play written by Eve Ensler about consensual sex, rape, and sexual violence against women. Since the play wasn't by me at the time, I went and bought a copy of the book. I've been following the stories and subsequently the launch of V-Day ever sense. It only made sense to me to then use money that I made to not only empower women to start their own business, but to be a champion for the expulsion of violence against women on a global level. So in addition to donating money to Kiva, I also donate money to vday.org.
3. OCRFA - In 2013 my aunt was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. The same cancer that took my grandmother from me in 1984. Naturally my aunt was tested for the brca II gene mutation. She tested positive. For those that are not familiar with brca - the day I went in to do my genetic testing (since my mom also tested positive for the gene), was the day that Angelina Jolie announced that she had brca I and was having preventative surgeries. While my sister and I did not test positive for having the gene, ovarian cancer claimed my grandmother and my aunt. Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. If ovarian cancer is found (and treated) before the cancer has spread outside the ovary, the 5-year relative survival rate is 92%. However, only 15% of all ovarian cancers are found at this early stage. I am committed to detection and treatment being found early for women at risk of this disease.
Contributing to the community in as many ways as I can is important to me. That's why I give not only time but also money toward making a difference in the world we live in.