Jennifer discusses donating to charity...
Today is #GivingTuesday. Just like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is the day when we are supposed to give to charity. Apparently, we need a designated day to be generous. The concept bothers me, although society has gotten so caught up in the consumerism around this time of year, that I guess a reminder to think of others isn’t so bad.
When I wrote my first book, A Heart of Little Faith, I decided that I’d give a portion of the proceeds to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, which researches cures for spinal cord injuries. The hero in my book was in a wheelchair and the theme fit and I thought it would be a nice idea. For my second book, Skin Deep, I donated to a local organization that helps battered women, The Rachel Coalition, since my heroine had been in an abusive first marriage.
Sales from both books made me happy because I had an easy way to give back. I marketed the fact that I was donating some of my proceeds, not because I wanted to brag, but because I thought some people might be more inclined to buy books if they knew it was for a good cause. It also gave the charities some exposure.
My local charity was grateful for the attention and invited me to speak to their board of directors. It was a meaningful experience. An additional bonus was that I sold a few books.
But the biggest problem was that, since I’m not Nora Roberts, my sales are small. The percentage I receive from those sales is small. And the percentage that I then turned around to donate was even smaller. It was embarrassingly small.
So here’s my solution. Both of those books have either just been or are soon to be rereleased by my current publisher. Neither book states that a percentage of my sales will be donated to the charities. Will I continue to donate? Of course. Donating to charity is a big part of who I am and who my family is. But I’d rather do it on my own schedule and in significant amounts to matter.