50% of profits or 100% of profits to charity? Same, same but different?

My previous blog on the Australian/US collaboration Who Gives A Crap : toilet paper that builds toilets outlined their catchy campaign and their social enterprise commitment to give 50% of their profits to the charity WaterAid. There are some negative comments on their home page about why you should buy toilet paper from an enterprise that keeps half the profit. I haven’t checked on Kleenex’s home page, but I wonder if they get any stick for keeping profit…

Well another Australian toilet paper social enterprise came to my attention today. Looloopaper is a subscription-based provider that gives 100% of their profits to charity! First comment: subscription is a good model to minimise risk and keep storage costs down. Second comment: 100%! Awesome! I’m in!

But is it possible that the team behind Who Gives A Crap and Looloopaper keep the same proportion of your well-spent toilet paper dollar, despite Looloopaper giving TWICE the proportion of profits to charity? Well, if Who Gives A Crap operates on an equity model (good for start-ups because the team only get paid once there are profits to pay them with) their 50% of profits is their income. But if Looloopaper has their team on salaries, then they get paid before profits are calculated. Different model, massively different perception!

Either way, buying from either of these gems will mean much more of your toilet paper profit goes to charity than ever before. And if you just want to donate to the toilet cause, I can’t vouch highly enough for Jack Sim’s fantastic World Toilet Organization.

3 thoughts on “50% of profits or 100% of profits to charity? Same, same but different?

  1. What would be your view on using Radical Transparency to tackle the possible ill conceived notion that the 100% of profit to charity model is better then the 50%?
    I just thought of opening up my companies figures to the public as a possible tool to educate customers exactly where their money is going and dispel any myths that the 50% to charity is only a marketing ploy.
    This is all new to me, I’d be interested in your opinion

    • Hi Crystal,

      I’ve recently been asking myself the same question! What I’m trying to think through are potential downsides e.g. people then coming to hassle me about how much we’re spending on this or that… but then I’m not sure that’s a bad thing – maybe that’s what being accountable is!

      So I think that’s where I’d focus – what are the risks of making your company’s figures public? What could go wrong? If you can’t think of anything and a bit of research doesn’t turn anything up, put them out there!

      There’s always the chance that nobody would read them anyway – public companies all have to publish their financial reports and while some of them make the news, I’m sure there are many that don’t get scrutinised.

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