I was reading something last night that got me thinking about a slightly different approach to business. Yes, it's necessary to make a profit. I've got a family to support and bills to pay. But there's no law that says businesses can't support bigger goals other than just fattening the bottom line.

So here's what I've decided to do. For at least the next 7 days, 25% of all of my sales (except repeating payments for memberships) will go to one of three charities. The buyer will get to decide which. After 7 days, I might change the percentage, but I'd like to continue the program at some level or other.

Here are the three charities I've chosen, along with my personal reasons why:

The Red Cross

A few months before I graduated from college, some guy who lived in my apartment building came home drunk, fell asleep smoking, and set the building on fire. While I was sitting on the sidewalk across the street, wondering whether everything I owned was about to go up in smoke, it's the Red Cross who was there to put slippers on my bare feet and make sure I was okay. Thankfully, although the water did major damage to the floor boards and carpet in my apartment, my own stuff suffered only minor smoke and water damage.

The Red Cross is well known for their disaster relief, emergency training, and other efforts.

My church's education fund

When I was living away from home and working my way through college, I gained a deep appreciation for financial aid to students...because I got very little (just a bit now and then from my parents). When I'd been living at home before transferring out of state, I'd had much more time and energy to devote to things like studying more than the bare minimum, student government, and other activities that contribute so much to the value of education.

I think struggling to support yourself through a year or two of school is good experience, but having to fight tooth an nail to survive the entire time wastes so much that students have a unique opportunity to experience and learn. So I've always wanted to help support those who are still getting their education.

Reader Comment:
Antone Roundy said:
Update: I've extended this program indefinitely at the 25% level (you can see that on many of my sales pages, and at checkout, but I thought it'd be worth mentioning here for anyone who wonders).
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My church has a special fund that's used to help people in developing areas break the cycle of poverty by getting education that they wouldn't have been able to afford on their own.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

I don't have a personal story for this one, but I'm sure many of my customers do. I wanted to include an option especially to benefit children.

St. Jude is dedicated to research and treatment of cancer and other catastrophic diseases that affect children. Donations help support research to find cures, and also provide treatment to children whose families otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it.

How you can help

If you'd like to help raise money for these good causes, please spread the word about this effort (use the sharing links to the left, email your friends or customers, etc.), or simply tell people about the products you see listed on the Gecko Tribe homepage.

Buyers can select a charity to receive a percentage of their purchase price on the checkout screen that's shown just before going to PayPal to make a payment.