Patagonia Giving Money in a New Way

Last Tuesday we read that “old-style charity is out” in the Pozen article. Professor Hollis challenged us to determine whether this could really be a true statement. This linkĀ from Patagonia’s website shows how one of the most classic methods of giving, donating money, can be applied in a new way. In 2016, Patagonia decided to give 100 percent of their global retail and online Black Friday sales to grassroots nonprofits that are involved in environmental protection. Patagonia followers referred to this as a “fundraiser for the earth.” While the company only expected to make $2 million in sales, they made, and donated, $10 million. Similar to Patagonia’s venture, REI closes its stores on Black Fridays to encourage people to get outside instead of shop.

Two takeaways from this article. First, relating back to our discussion from last week, I found Patagonia’s idea to be simple, yet innovative. Donating money to charities is about as “old-style” as it gets when it comes to methods of giving. However, the concept of promoting sales on a certain day was something new and meaningful. The second point that I think is important to take note of is that I could not find any information regarding whether Patagonia repeated this venture in 2017. Was $10 million just too much for the company to miss out on? Did the nonprofits not use the funds they were given in a way that Patagonia desired? I will have to do more research as to why Patagonia did not seem to repeat their donations in 2017.

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