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.

Who Gives A Crap on indiegogo

Who Gives A Crap is a brilliant social enterprise. Three young guys have used crowdsourcing platform Indiegogo to successfully launch their toilet paper business and raise money to build toilets in developing nations.

A good example of a new business reducing risk to their initial investors through crowdfunding. They’d have a lot to prove if they were asking for millions of dollars, but for fifty bucks, a funny, believable video and a box of toilet paper will do.

It goes like this. If they raise more than $50,000 (which they’ve done in just over 50 hours) they’ll do a production run of their toilet paper and send packs to those who bought them on the site. They’ll donate half their profits to WaterAid to build toilets where there are none. If they raise over $100,000 they’ll go into business and stock the line in stores.

Why has it worked?

The guys have developed their own eco-friendly and attractively packaged toilet paper and a whole heap of hilarious toilet jokes. They’ve set up their indiegogo site with a really funny, effective, high-quality video about their project and have set a good range of options for giving/buying.

They’re selling a product we all value, and we’re all enjoying the way they’re selling it to us and that we’re making a social contribution at the same time!

What’s indiegogo?

Indiegogo began in 2008 as a crowdfunding platform for independent film makers. Each project sets a target amount to raise and contributes 4% to Indiegogo if they meet their target. Tax incentives are only available to US customers through Paypal. Projects on the site also include registered charities, people looking to fund their mother’s holiday, their child’s college tuition, medical expenses or small business.