Porn Cares: Lessons for Giving to Charity
The decision whether or not your company should be active in a charitable way can be a complicated or simple one. It does not take a lot to support local or national charity in some way (even a couple hundred or thousand dollars a year), but it does take real dedication to a social mission to be consistently donating more or doing large sponsorships.
There are a few companies in our industry that do frequently give in a big way to causes around the world, and that’s awesome. In fact, most charitable donations actually come from individuals, only approximately five percent of support comes from corporations.
I’m proud of the many events JuicyAds hosts, we have been able to host some pretty amazing events to give back to our industry and clients, but it wasn’t always this way. Humble beginnings as an affiliate marketer did not allow me to do much in terms of a social mission, but I always dreamed of being able to. Years ago I operated a mountain bike videos website (before the meteoric rise of YouTube) and I took all the proceeds (and then some) and sponsored local biking events in my region. It was the first of my ventures to support in a charitable way, but it would not be the last. Lesson One: Be profitable before you give it all away.
Today, things are different. JuicyAds has sponsored nearly every single industry convention in some way. We are known for consistently throwing wild events like our “Boobs, Booze and Bowling” party in Las Vegas that attracted Rolling Stone last year, and hosting sexy events like Juicy (Naked) Dodgeball. We have even raced GoKarts around the world with the YNOT Grand Prix, and got our sneakers dirty with the X-Rated Run. We don’t do it to pretend to be big ballers, we do it because it’s our company’s culture. But sometimes I look around at some of the other companies in our industry and think, “You spent how much on that? Are you serious?” There’s a bold difference between giving back to clients and the adult industry and completely pissing away money for the sake of ego when it could be doing something to better the world. Lesson Two: Don’t give money away for the wrong reasons.
Even for those companies looking to better the world, escaping the stigma of “the dirty evil porn industry” isn’t always easy. People have a lot of misconceptions about our industry and the people in it. (Most commonly, when people find out I work in the adult industry they almost always assume I am a porn star for some reason.) It seems that people’s minds always believe that there is only one part to this business when in fact there are lots of moving parts (and mainstream companies) associated with porn. The good news is, porn is being more widely accepted by the newer generations in North America and Europe (we were raised thinking that the Internet is for porn). Historically, from the overall charity pool in the billions of dollars, it has been religious groups who have received the largest percentage of donations. Nearly one-third of the global giving ($114 billion) is towards religion. We may not be giving towards the local church (which is the most common of all worldwide donations) but Porn cares. Despite what many people think about the industry, we actually do care. Lesson Three: Understand that others do not share these beliefs, and they may not want your money.
Some people will say that once a company gets big enough it’s “their responsibility” to donate and to support the world and the people who inhabit it. That’s bullshit. It’s always a choice and some companies are interested in helping out many are just not. Some are run by leaders who prefer the money in their pocket, while others do not believe in donating to organized charities. Of course, it’s widely known that the budgets for many charities are so skewed that only a small percentage actually goes to helping the cause or doing research, most of it goes to administration, marketing, and the like. (Who’s the evil and dirty industry, again?) The Ice Bucket Challenge raised well over $220 million globally, actually spends 79 percent of its annual budget on programs and services (28 percent on research) but not all organizations are structured this way. Charities have become huge businesses (yes, remember many are still businesses even though they are not for profit). In 2014 alone, total donations were more than $358 billion, and that figure has grown each year for the last five years. Even small percentages of that total going towards administration salaries and other non-essentials is a huge amount of money. Lesson Four: Know exactly how your dollars are going to be spent.
With that said, as one of the Top 10 advertising networks in the world, JuicyAds has a much larger social mission than just selling advertising. We are dedicated to the profit and success of our clients, but even more so dedicated to Entrepreneurs around the world. We use the power of our advertising network and technology to improve our clients’ results, and we use our success to improve the well-being of Entrepreneurs globally. As I write this, our “Juicy Cares” commitment for 2015 has exceeded $10,000 for this year alone, and involves over 68 countries around the world. The initiative is dedicated to making dreams come true for Entrepreneurs living in poverty. There are many people who have the ambition and intelligence to be successful, but have never been given the chance to succeed. Many people have pride and do not want a hand out, but want to work hard towards a better future for themselves and their families. By supporting them more directly, it’s possible to enact more significant change. We have supported agricultural farmers in Peru, coffee bean growers in El Salvador, Livestock producers in Egypt, and even a banana tree reseller in Guatemala, just to name a few. Over $2,000 of this year’s commitment is directly benefiting entrepreneurs in the country of Nepal, which has been hit by not one but two devastating earthquakes this past year. Ironically, 2014 was actually a lower year for international charities due to fewer overseas disasters. Regardless, we are dedicated to their success even if they are never going to become one of our clients. Lesson Five: Dedicate yourself to something long-term.
Prior to being dedicated mostly to hand-picking and helping entrepreneurs living in poverty, we donated to many other causes, everything from providing relief from natural disasters including the Japan earthquake and floods in Canada. We have aided to provide clean drinking water and protecting wildlife. You can read about the surprising thing that happened after I participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the October 2014 XBIZ World issue. Most recently we donated to the local Humane Society (I did it for the pussy). Lesson Six: If you want to make a significant difference, choose one charity.
We are often a very responsible advertising network, working closely with copyright holders and removal agencies to work to remove rampant piracy to help protect the future and profits of our industry. We are also supporters of the ASACP (founded by industry magnate Alec Helmy), as well as the Free Speech Coalition. Lesson Seven: Do not forget about our industry and those close to you that need support.
During my soul-searching years (after my marriage to “The Blonde” ended) while traveling around the world with all you crazy and amazing industry people, I realized how lucky we are to be able to make our fortunes on people having sex. Just think about that for a moment — we make money because people fuck on video! Meanwhile, we travel to countries that have large collections of people living in poverty. For the most part the people in these countries are not any different than you or I, but the primary difference is that they were born somewhere else. Lesson Eight: Realize that your life struggles are likely simple compared to those of others, and that’s why charity is important.
I like to think that through the help of my company (and all the other initiatives in the adult industry as a whole) has helped to make the lives of many people just a little bit more “juicy.”