Thursday, September 8, 2011

Some feedback please?

In lieu of my usual Thrifting Thursday post today, I thought I'd get your feedback on something I've been thinking about.

I recently read one of our missionary's newsletters and saw that he needed a significant amount of money to continue his work safely and effectively. Of course, I wanted to do something to help. However, I'm not independently wealthy (nor are any of you). So I was thinking about what I could do. I can sew and craft, and I have an Etsy shop.

What I really want to do is donate all profit (above the production costs) of handmade items in my shop to this particular missionary for a certain amount of time. I was thinking perhaps a month.

But then I got to wondering, are there laws that govern this kind of thing? I looked it up on Etsy and I understand everything except the first point, "Members represent that any charitable fundraising complies with all applicable laws."

What applicable laws?? I've googled it and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. All it talks about is direct fundraising, like if I would put a "Donate" button on my site and people would receive nothing tangible in exchange for their donation. That's not what I'm thinking of doing.

I really want to do this, but I know what the legal system has become in our country. I'm sure there are laws about how I can and can't do this, and I don't want to get in trouble trying to do something good. I also don't want to have to hire a lawyer or attorney. I want to help a missionary, not pad the pockets of a lawyer.

I was thinking of telling exactly how much money was going to the missionary in each listing. That way people will know it's all above-board and honest. This missionary has an organization that is registered as a nonprofit organization, so that part shouldn't be a problem.

Maybe I would be safest spreading the word through my blog and not mentioning it on Etsy? Like if I would add a sticky post to the blog that says, "All profit (above manufacturing costs) from the handmade items in my Etsy shop during the month of __ will go to __."

Have any of you done anything similar? Do you have any thoughts, even if you've never done this yourself? I'd love to hear from you!


that TOPS lady said...

I don't think you would get in any trouble at all. The way I see it, people are buying things from you and what you choose to do with the money is your business. Announcing that you are choosing to support a missionary shouldn't cause any problems.

Christa said...

That's what I thought, too, but that little Etsy clause made me wonder.

busyknittymom said...

I think you will be well within the law, since you aren't doing "charitable fundraising", but are selling items and donating your profits to a charitable cause. And my second thought is: "oh, great! All I need is another reason to buy Christa's things...I can think of enough reasons on my own" :D LOL

Christa said...

:) Of course, I was hoping a few people would think that!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I don't think you'll have any issues. Frankly, what a seller does with her profits is her business. But if you're worried about it, just make sure that you keep records of everything, including a tax receipt from the charity.

Ginny said...

I think I know of another Etsy seller that did something similar. I suggest you look in the forums on Etsy; maybe your answer is there.

Christa said...

I did look on the Etsy forums, but they mostly talk about the big charities like Susan G Komen and American Red Cross. (It's mostly similar, I guess.)

I'm glad I don't want to raise money for them, though, because they won't let you use their name without paying a huge amount of money. In one way, I can understand their desire to protect the integrity of their fundraising. But in another way, I think, "Good grief! They're just wanting to raise money for you!" :)