Choosing a charity with meaning January 09 2014

It was back in Fall of 2012 that I had the idea to start a pet treat business. From the very beginning, the idea of giving back through charitable donations was part of the master plan. The tricky part is choosing a charity, as there are sooooo many people and pets in need.

For many, our pets are our best friends. For me, my best friend is still the first person I ever met – my mom. She's "one tough lady" as a doctor recently told her. That she is. She escaped persecution in Nazi Germany, immigrated to America, became a registered nurse, married my dad (59 year ago), raised six kids, and has survived a whole slew of heath problems ranging from a congenital heart defect to Lyme disease to an autoimmune disease, and as of 2013 near complete blindness in one eye.

So right there, in a brief summary of one person's life, a whole slew of potential charities come to mind which Natural Annie™ could support. There's charities to WWII and Holocaust survivors, struggling immigrants, those needing help with higher education, those serving the sick and suffering, those with congenital defects, research organizations for heart, Lyme, and autoimmune diseases.. and the list goes on and on. Multiply that by all the friends, family members, and furry family members you have, let alone the life stories of complete strangers, (oh, and don't forget environmental organizations), and you'll soon discover just how difficult it is to choose just one charity to support.

No one likes to see their heart-felt donation wasted on careless spending. When you buy Natural Annie™ products, it becomes my responsibility to ensure that the portion of your money which Natural Annie™ donates on your behalf is put to good use. I recently stumbled upon the Charity Navigator which rates the financial health, accountability, and transparency of charitable organizations. Simply search for the name of the charity and instantly view figures such as the percent spent on fundraising, total annual revenue, and even the salary of key stakeholders! Knowledge is power. Armed with information, it becomes easier to narrow in on the organizations to support.

At Natural Annie, we're just starting out. We don't have a clue what our annual sales will be... but we hope significant, thanks to you :) To ensure your confidence in our giving record, we will post our contributions on our Facebook page. We'd love to declare a percent of our income as donated to charity, but until we have at least a year under our belt, we're going to donate in lump sums instead.

We're so excited to be up and running, and can't thank you enough for your support (hey wait, that's a Bartles and James line!)