Be Careful When Choosing Your Business’s Charitable Cause

Nikki Waterson
New Writers Welcome
3 min readOct 14, 2021


I played with fire and learnt my lesson, and you can too

A person’s gloved hand with a flame on the palm and fingertips
Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

I’ve written before about how important it is to support social or charitable causes as a small business and the many benefits of doing so here and here. But the question for many business owners considering supporting a social cause remains.

Why do you need to choose a cause carefully?

Well, it’s not as simple as you might think. There are a lot of things that could go wrong if you choose the wrong cause.

  1. Alienating your audience because they disagree with your choice.
  2. When you can’t contribute in any meaningful way, defeating the whole purpose.
  3. The cause turns out to be unreputable or untrustworthy, or worst-case scenario, fraudulent.

The time I chose the wrong charity

When I first started Paws for Giving, I decided to donate 50% of my profit to animal rescues in Australia. That was the whole point of the business. Support small and medium rescues who are primarily, if not 100%, volunteer and are almost always underfunded.

I partnered with 12 animal rescues around Australia. I researched them meticulously, obtaining their financial