The Value of Giving

As a business, we at Reno Type have made a choice to give to our community, and to try to make this corner of the world a somewhat better place. We do this by providing employees with insurance, and paying them a living wage. We also provide free and steeply discounted work to select non-profit organizations. Over $30,000 this year already. Our artConnect program, which helps artists and non-profits also makes a difference… but has a real cost.

In going over last quarter’s numbers, I realized the COST of giving. I wonder about it’s value though. Are our clients willing to pay a bit more for our work because of our generosity? Are folks who are not currently our clients willing to work with us instead of brand X because of all we do? Sadly not… or at least it does not seem so. The cheapest shop gets the work. In light of this, a smart businessman would cut wages to the industry average, and stop giving away work.

I never said I was smart, though. And there are two bottom lines to look at: the fiscal and the societal. If the only one I looked at was the traditional one, I don’t think I could look at myself in the mirror.

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