Tired of bake sales? So are Jasmin and Matthew von Teichman.
There’s always a risk that the work and money that go into a fundraiser will exceed the amount of donations that actually come in. That’s what happened when Jasmin von Teichman spent hours making cupcakes for her kids’ school fundraiser only to see a paltry turnout and little in the way of money being raised. So, last winter, she and her husband Matthew von Teichman decided to start Donate Naturally to get away from event-based fundraising. It’s an online grocer that automatically donates 15 per cent of each sale to a charity of the customer’s choice at no additional cost. Bonus: right now, there’s free next-day delivery within the GTA.
The donation funds come from the money the company saves by not having a retail location and keeping a small staff.
“We don’t have a high-rent footprint,” says Matthew. “We operate out of a warehouse in the middle of nowhere at the north end of the 427, so we don’t have to pay a lot for space. We have no fixed assets or a marketing budget that’s eating up profits, so we can take a chunk of that for donations.”
The shop covers 1,300 products, including bins of produce, grass- and fruit-fed beef from Grandview Farms (which the von Teichmans also own), household cleaners, and beauty products. As the name suggests, it focuses on the feel-good, organic, free-range, and healthy stuff, so you’ll still have to head to the corner store if you’re jonesing for Doritos.
The long list of charities and causes that benefit from the donations include public and private schools, daycares, hospitals, women’s shelters, and children’s charities. Matthew notes that if a customer’s preferred charity isn’t listed, they’re happy to add it to the list.