The New Leaf Love Fund 💚🌱
I’m a big believer in thriving businesses not being solely for profit; that love and fortune should be shared. AND I don’t believe businesses should flaunt their charitable giving as some kind of self-congratulation or marketing buzzword/‘selling point’ (uurgh!), so this page is going to be a bit of a funny one for me to write.
Meanwhile, this section of the website exists to show you some of the workings under the Leafology bonnet… Not least because I do want you to understand that you’re part of something good and positive in the world when you purchase, and that we’re all in this together.
Every time you purchase from Leafology, you are going to be helping real people who need support.
This – the New Leaf Love Fund – is a community-created project, since your purchases are going to be propelling the whole thing, meaning that we can (together) do some good in the world.
Why I’m doing this (my motivation)
I have created the New Leaf Love Fund as a source of focus for myself as I exist as a business owner in a beautiful but problematic world; to help me connect the growth of my business and my drive to ‘scale’ it with doing something meaningful ‘out in the world’.
To explain: although I have acquired some relevant skills (and hopefully will acquire more), it’s not necessarily in my nature to be a business person. Sales speak, acronyms & retail tricks more often baffle me than turn me on(!), and I have often felt like a fish out of water – or simply bored – at networking events or business workshops. But I am highly creative, compassionate and ambitious, so creating the New Leaf Love Fund motivates me in a wholesome and clean manner to build my business as efficiently as possible, knowing that the more I do so, the more I get to help others feel better, even in the tiniest of ways, about existing in this world.
My thinking: Leafology can have a deeper and wider-reaching impact than only the daily joy of using the lovely plant-based products which so many of you take pleasure in!
Love is greater than fear.
What is the New Leaf Love Fund exactly?
Good question. I’m deliberately keeping it open (with some specifics detailed below). I am seeing it as an ‘umbrella’ fund – a little pocket of money which builds, as more of you purchase from Leafology, whose sole purpose is to make other people’s lives a bit easier through channelled acts of support and kindness.
What kind of causes will my Leafology purchases help support?
The New Leaf Love Fund is not restricted to a set number of named charities or even always/necessarily restricted to structured organisations at all. I like the idea of occasionally surprising individuals and even strangers with ‘random acts of kindness’. Therefore, sometimes money will be given directly, sometimes products of equivalent value might be donated and, at other times, money will be used to conceptualise and facilitate original, mini projects which aim to help, through creativity and collaboration.
I’ve been planting a tree for every purchase made by my customers, since January 2021, and intend for this to continue, now absorbed into the New Leaf Love Fund, which will additionally support further causes.
There will likely be some core recipients, according to my own values, in the areas of nature/wildlife/environment, animal welfare & rights, human empowerment and physical/mental health – while others may drop in and out. The word ‘love’ is in the project title for a reason; it’s the most important thing there is, and it can be shown in countless ways.
I also encourage and welcome ideas from customers who would like to nominate particular organisations or individuals in need of help. (Please contact me through the contact form here with any such suggestions to be added for my consideration.)
One cause I’m likely to continue to support is homelessness. I spent a few years volunteering and working at a local drop-in centre for the homeless here in Oxford (serving free food and drinks, chatting to guests who were often in dire need and co-leading weekly creative writing workshops) and I’ve been very inspired by my time there, during which I met people with extraordinary experiences and in difficult circumstances.
Turning over ‘a new leaf’ means change, hope and excitement for the future. It means possibility.
When people feel hopeless, small moments of interpersonal care mean much and can be life-defining. I believe it’s our duty to look around ourselves and notice the ways in which we can help; something this project will encourage me to do myself, more and more.
What about the numbers?
This is where I want to keep things slightly less vague (because it matters that you know what’s happening when you purchase from Leafology). In setting the idea for the NLLF up, at the end of December 2022, I spent ages looking at the numbers of the last couple of years, trying to work out what ‘percentage’ of profits I could stick to giving consistently without leaving myself personally out of pocket; whether it should be a set amount per order placed, or a portion, and whether I should take my material costs into account, or work from the top line only, etc. etc…
As a tiny business (I am technically a sole trader without any employees), this is only going to be a tiny level of micro-giving, and these are challenging times for retail in general, but after thinking about my dream percentage (then reining that in, so I myself have a hope of paying my own living costs, etc…), I have arrived at 7% of profits being the number I will be meeting.
The number 7 is said to represent perfection, completeness, material fortune and luck (among other good things)! That said, it’s possible that this could increase in future, as my business grows. Let’s see!
My intention is to keep on track of spending through the New Leaf Love Fund on a quarterly basis, and to sometimes update you on some notable moments/causes, in case of interest, without shouting about it too much (because I think the best giving is discreet). 💚
‘But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.’
Thank you for making this possible.