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Hey, hey, TBD fam!
I am so excited for our episode this week as we dive into baking a giveback into your business.
I have lots of resources for you so make sure you check out all our mentioned links.
Let’s dive in! I know you’re going to love this topic!
Links mentioned in this episode:
Learn more about the 7 Key Financial Needs in my One Key Offer Masterclass
Take the 2% Pledge and become a giving company
Read Profit First to learn about bi-weekly allocations (this is an affiliate amazon link)
Purchase the DreamMoney™ Blueprint or Calculator for support in creating your Giving System
Organizations I give to:
Hello, hello, my friends and welcome back to the show! We have two more episodes in our DreamMoney series and I’ve been having so much fun breaking down this acronym! So if you’re just now joining us, definitely check out all the episodes starting at Ep 19 because it’s such a good money conversation!
Not to mention, our topic today is also going to be an invitation to get more deliberate with your money by baking a giveback into your business, that’s also an intentional way to create more meaning between you and your money!! I know you’re going to love this one.
Before we dive in though, I am fresh back from seeing a dear client and colleague, Robyn Gobbel, after her book was published a couple of weeks ago and then I recovered from Covid last week so I am finally getting back into routine and am so grateful to finally be feeling better. Stay well out there, y’all! It took a full week to recover and I’m still at about 90%.
But seeing Robyn was so good. So, so good! We’ve worked together for 2 years now and to finally get to see each other in person was just the best! The online world is so wild sometimes. You get to know people so well seeing them on zoom week after week, but when you get to hang out in person, it’s like seeing someone you’ve seen a thousand times. So normal.
It was truly an epic weekend getting to celebrate her and her book, getting to go to her book signing, getting to collaborate with her book editor, Holly Timberline and choose what passages Robyn would read that night. I got to have dinner with her whole family afterwards and then spend the whole next day walking on the shores of Lake Michigan talking about 2024 dreams that we’ll be translating to her 2024 DreamMoney Blueprint on our next Zoom call and I got to spend a good amount of time at her house with her hubby and son, eating homemade tomato soup from the garden, and getting to see her office in real life vs. just behind her on zoom.
It was so good! And it really made me miss more in person events with my people where I get to hug you in real life, spend time together in the same space – sometimes not even talking about anything, just being there together. So, there were definitely some beautiful seeds planted for that, but it was a really meaningful time to see people’s response to Robyn’s book, see her community turn out for her in real life, and also get to meet her support team, her family, her childhood best friend, the people who love her and champion for her and cheer for her work and impact. It was the best!!
So, my friends, we are talking all about meaningful giving today! Why to do it, how to do it, how I got started, and an intentional action step to help you get started too!
If you’ve ever joined me for Leap Week or the 1KO Masterclass, which you can sign up for in the shownotes, you know I talk about 7 key financial needs that are unique to us as business owners.
Now, these 7 key needs have been developed over the years of working in my DreamMoney Blueprint. I got started with Profit First back in 2018 and this system has grown and evolved from there.
Profit First® lays out 4 key needs:
Over the years, I found it helpful to break things down even further based on the most common needs of my clients – especially ensuring that we know what sustainable margins look like for hiring and reinvesting because these can get quite high, quite easily!
But in 2018, I had a few goals:
So in this episode, I want to dive into how we actually create a giveback, some of the biggest obstacles that come from giving, some ways this looks inside my business, and how to become a giving company starting today!
So back in 2018, I still didn’t know a whole lot about sustainable margins and what that really meant. When I paid off that $30k in debt and started paying myself more, finally!! There were definitely some mindset shifts that I had to make back then, which I alluded to in last week’s episode. Which P.S., I think we’re going to need a whole episode on paying yourself more!!
But one of the things that was important to me is that if I was going to make more, I wanted to give more too so as I stepped into giving myself a consistent paycheck for the first time, I also stepped into consistent giving too.
To make that happen, I added a giving allocation to the traditional Profit First accounts I was already setting up and opened a specific account that was just for philanthropic giving – an account I still have today!
The thing about learning to give that year though was I didn’t know what causes I wanted to support, what I actually wanted to be doing with this money, what system I was going to create around it, nor how it would feel to intentionally give. Would it feel good and like I was giving from a place of generosity? Or would it feel savior-y?
As a White Woman, this was a very present fear for me as I was deep in my inner work of waking up to White Supremacy that year and at the very beginning stages of building awareness of how money intersects with literally every single system of oppression. Obviously, this concern was a valid one. What I arrived to is there’s a difference between giving and equitable giving – something we’ll dive into in just a second.
When I set out to become a giving company, there were a few goals:
So let’s talk about what happened.
When it came to giving sustainably, I knew I needed to decide what percentage of my money I could give that I could maintain over time. Deciding on a percentage vs. a number amount also meant that as revenue increased, the amount I could give would increase too! Such a huge win!
Back in 2018, I started at 5%, which I maintained for 2 years. But as I started to grow my team, I shifted this back to 2% to give me more funds to pay my team well. This was also around the same time I started teaching the complete DreamMoney Blueprint process to hundreds of other entrepreneurs where I was very up close and personal with so many people’s numbers and margins, I started to realize the sweet spot of 2%.
That this was not only a sustainable margin for literally every business owner to step into, but it was also a margin they could maintain. And it was here that I founded the 2% pledge – a social initiative that encourages you to pledge 2% of your gross revenue to organizations, causes, and candidates who are creating equitable change.
The 2% Pledge, which you can take on my website, never touches a single dollar of your money. It simply allows you to give your 2% while others give their 2% that can add up to a world of change!! And the best part is, the pledge asks you to start giving at least 1% right away if you need a stepping stone to start giving and then increase it to 2% within the next 12 months.
Now, you might be thinking 2% doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re in the early stages of making your way to $250k in yearly gross revenue – every single dollar counts so very much. Especially as you’re building your team, managing your reinvestments, and all of those other key financial needs I mentioned before.
It’s only when you’re making MORE than $250k a year in gross revenue, that I encourage you to start increasing your giving margin, but even then – it’s not by much. For example, even when you’re at $1M in yearly revenue, I recommend giving no more than 5% until your business is stable at this revenue level. If you’re loving this margins/percentages conversation, I lay out all of my recommendations margins in both the DreamMoney™ Blueprint and DreamMoney™ Calculator so you can see how margins shift as revenue grows always with an eye on ensuring you have sustainable margins for each of your 7 key needs!! So good!!
You might also be thinking, 2% isn’t much. I’ll wait until I can give more. But it’s giving from where you are that strengthens your giving muscle and bakes it into your money systems right here, right now. Your 2% makes a difference right here, right now. And your 2% will grow over time.
All in all y’all, 2% is a sustainable margin that allows us to not just give once, but give in a way you can maintain, which adds up to more impact over time! If you want to start giving 2% of your revenue, make it official by taking the pledge at meganhale.co/pledge
Now… choosing to become a giving company is truly just the first step. How are you going to ensure you’re giving the money you set aside?
This comes down to creating a giving system. And this has definitely evolved for me over time.
Your first step is creating a giving fund, which is simply a bank account you’ll move your 1-2% of revenue into every other week.
If you don’t set it aside, it’s so easy for this to become a practice you overlook, but when you see money in that account every time you login to your bank, it will remind you to disperse your funds!
So create a giving fund! Honestly, the hardest part about becoming a giving company is simply opening up your fund because it’s adulting, which is usually never any fun. But I can promise you, it’s worth it!
So open your fund and allocate your money every two weeks. If you’re new to allocating funds, definitely start by reading Profit First so you can get the lay of the land of how this system works, which will give you a great foundation. It’s exactly where I started!
From here, we need to decide how you’re going to give. And there are no wrong or right ways. What I’ve developed for myself is a quarterly giveback that has gradually become a thirderly giveback as that’s how I typically structure my year.
I also have found that the way I like to give is donating 60% to organizations & causes that are doing amazing work and 40% to those who need a helping hand where there is no 503c tax write off. It’s an emergency fund, so to speak, to help people out when they need it.
I’ve given to people who have lost everything in a house fire, I’ve given to people who need life-saving surgery because our health insurance in this country is absolute crap, I’ve provided meals to single moms who are running businesses and need one less decision on their plates that night. The giving has no rhyme or reason. I simply like being able to help and know there’s a system in place that is directly tied to my values here.
The other 60% has taken some time to figure out – especially finding organizations I trust and clarifying the causes I most care about. When I first became a giving company, it felt overwhelming figuring out where to donate money. Chances are you might feel the same way. And that’s likely because you have multiple causes you care about. How do you choose? You might also question where your dollars will have the greatest good, the greatest impact.
And if I could give you any advice, one thing that created an obstacle for me early on was being so intentional with my dollars that I had to find the right organization, the right cause, the right financial structure, etc. When what was more important was choosing an organization that I believe in, doing my due diligence so I knew what percentage of my dollars would go to the actual cause vs. being put toward admin, and not feeling like I had to be married to any particular cause or organization. I could give around.
Although I know how great it feels when you’ve partnered with a cause or organization, it can take some time to find your faves. In the meantime, keep your eye out for organizations doing great work, use a website like NonProfit Explorer or Charity Watch to vet organizations, and then disperse the funds. It’s through the act of giving that we learn what causes and organizations feel the best to get behind and you don’t have to be married to it to start. Allow these organizations to gain your dollars over time.
A few organizations I give to regularly include Together Rising for both their domestic and international philanthropy, Black Girl Ventures which connects Brown and Black Women founders with startup capital because representation in entrepreneurship and wealth matters to me, and our local Food Bank here in Omaha – especially around the holidays.
What I’ve found over time is that when you build a giving practice into your money systems, it invites you to ask yourself the question “What causes do I care most about?” “And how can I directly steward my money to care for these causes?”
I’ve seen some people choose 3 organizations they want to support every year. I’ve seen some people choose one organization a month. I’ve seen others save up all year and write a big fat check to their charity of choice. Again, there’s no right or wrong way. It’s your way that you decide!
The last two pieces I want to dive into are the differences between giving and equitable giving and how to hold giving, especially how to talk about it because this is an important piece.
I am in no shape or form an expert on equitable giving, but what I will share from my White Woman perspective is that there is a risk in giving being very tied to saviorism and/or soothing a guilty conscience while bypassing the actual real work. For instance, if you’re going to support an organization doing Equity Work without looking at where you’re upholding inequities, giving can quite easily turn into a box you simply check vs. doing the most important work that’s truly needed.
The easiest way to ensure you’re giving equitably is to stay engaged in your own equity work. Equity work isn’t just about race. It’s such a broader concept that seeks to level the playing field. The more equity work you do, the more causes and organizations you’ll be exposed to, which helps your dollars spread more equitably as a result. But more so, it ensures you’re staying connected to your awareness of the world you want to help create and your role in helping create it.
That’s why when you take the 2% pledge, it isn’t just about giving money. It’s about giving money through the lens of equity, which also asks for your commitment to stay connected to your own work.
This is also a big piece for our last concept here, which is choosing how you want to hold giving. I’m sure we’ve all come across people who boast their donations or when we come across a business that has a giveback baked in, it’s pretty easy for us to spot businesses that are doing it to look good vs. actually doing good.
Here’s my take. If there are people who are giving to look good and who are actually giving – I really don’t care. As long as they’re actually giving to causes that are doing good in the world, that’s what I care most about. I’m not going to police their motives.
But, giving and especially talking about giving can actually feel like an obstacle for lots of us because what if we come off as one of those people who’s just trying to look good vs someone who actually cares.
Here’s what I want you to know.
When we don’t talk about our giving, we’re reducing the visibility of the causes we care about and more importantly the organizations that are doing amazing work in the world.
When we talk about it consistently, we raising that visibility and there are all different ways to talk about it.
I think one of the other barriers that shows up for us when and if we talk about giving is that we’ll open the floodgates for people to make the ask for us to give to them. And that might happen. I’ve had that happen only once in the past 5 years since I became a giving company and we’re always allowed to say “no”. We might fear that others judge where we put our dollars or that we’re boastey to talk about it. I’ve also had that happen exactly once in the past 5 years and we have to realize that’s other people’s money stuff. It isn’t ours to carry. We hold full sovereignty to choose where our dollars go, when they go, how they go, and just because we’re a giving company doesn’t mean we give without boundaries.
And spoiler alert – the fear of having people ask you for money because you’re vocally a giving company is the same fear you’ll have to navigate when you’re making more money and people ask for a loan or a gift or what have you.
Both of these situations will invite you to clarify your boundaries – how you give, how much you give, what makes you feel comfortable giving, etc. You get to choose.
What I can share from being a giving company for the past 5 years is I’ve never regretted being in a position to help when help is needed by having a pre-determined amount I’ve asked my business to set aside that I know is sustainable for me to say yes to. I’ve never once regretted writing four figure checks and five figure checks to organizations that are doing amazing work in this world and best believe it’s added so much more meaning to every single dollar that walks through my door.
Because when we have a giveback baked into our business, our revenue isn’t just about us or our team or our clients. It’s about supporting people we’ll likely never meet who might live a world away. It’s about supporting people in your community who maybe you do get to put a face with a name. It’s about connecting you to the power of your money and the good it can do when you’re making even more of it. It’s about connecting you to your POWER of stewardship, your values, and turning heartache into change.
Meaningful money has by far been the most powerful shift for me along my journey of reshaping the way money feels. Having meaningful money goals that are tied to my needs and dreams like I mentioned in last week’s episode is one part of it, having a meaningful giveback that’s directly tied to my values and my vision of the world I want to see is another, and of course we still have one more episode to go as we dive into meaningful earning & marketing next week.
But I’ve never met a client or community member who’s regretted being a giving company and I’d love to add my 2% to your 2% if you feel called to take the pledge!
So, I’ll go ahead and wrap us up here for today y’all! The pledge can be found at meganhale.co/pledge. If you want help implementing your give-back plan, I highly advise you join me in the DreamMoney Blueprint or DreamMoney Calculator as we’ll get this system set up and rolling!
You not only get a powerful financial system for you in your business that will radically shift your financial fluency, but you’ll also be supporting my dream of building an app that can get these tools to even more people to help them make more and yes give more as they too take the pledge.
So until next time, my friends, here’s to the courage to keep showing up even when clarity is still forming – knowing, trusting, believing the next right step is always on its way. See you soon!
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