Is HEART ON a charity?
No, but we’re not a regular business, either. HEART ON Apparel is a California Benefit Corporation, which allows us to balance two legal purposes: profit and the benefit of our communities. Our 50% of profit to charity rule ensures that, even if we tried to maximize the profit motive, we’d also equally benefit our causes. It’s a structural rule that protects our highest ideals even if the founders, as human beings, turn out to be imperfect (spoiler: we’re not perfect).
Where does the money from my purchase go?
The chart below shows how we calculate profit, from sales (your purchases) to the checks we cut at the end of every quarter. Sometimes, when we support a cause that’s more urgent (for example, disaster relief), people can’t wait until the end of the fiscal quarter to eat. So we’ll estimate expenses based on what they have been in the past and send the money ASAP. If expenses end up being lower than expected and we could have donated more, we’ll send the cause a check for the difference. If they end up higher and we would have donated less, that’s on us.
Why these causes?
There are so many people and organizations out there doing important work, so we follow a few heuristics for choosing charities to feature. We focus on charities that spend the vast majority of funds on their mission rather than administrative expenses. We prioritize charities that attack the root cause of the problem, not awareness of it. We prioritize organizations run by the affected communities over white knight outsiders. We prioritize organizations with known leaders and transparent funding sources. In the event of a disaster or acute need situation, we’ll prioritize organizations that can help the people affected the fastest. We’re continuously adding new organizations (or established ones we may have overlooked earlier). Don’t see your favorite charity listed? Let us know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org
These are great causes. Why not donate 100% of profits?
Because profits are the most sustainable way to grow HEART ON, which in turn increases our contributions over the long term. So we'll use 50% of the profits from HEART ON to buy more inventory, develop new apparel, and get the message out to more people. Then, charities get 50% of a bigger pie, and we have even more fuel to reinvest and grow.
When will we find out how much each charity received?
We’ll send the contributions at the end of every fiscal quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31), unless the cause is disaster-related or time sensitive, in which case we’ll send the money as soon as we can, as often as we can. After any contribution, we’ll proudly post the amounts here.
What’s the real goal for HEART ON?
In addition to raising money for good causes, we want to show that it’s possible to build a business in an environment where half of profits go to the public good. Back in the day in America (and today in most developed countries around the world), we did exactly this with taxes levied by an elected government. Today, the corporate tax code allows the biggest companies to shirk that responsibility. And we’re not sure that funding the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, or even our local police department even qualifies as a public good. So we’ll send contributions to the charity of your choice while we work to elect leaders to fix the root problems at the institutional level. We have no illusions about creating a perfect world — but hopefully, we can show that a better one could exist.