Small Business in the Fight Against AIDS

While major contributors stepping up through public outreach and direct donations are greatly applauded for their impactful efforts, small business is highly encouraged to lend support in the fight against AIDS.

Small business is the backbone of the U.S. economy, and assistance from within the small business community stands to not only raise funds, but also awareness. Not a single community in the country is unaffected by the AIDS epidemic. Yet many businesses shy away from supporting existing or creating their own initiatives to eradicate the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Regardless of size and budget, all businesses can join in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in the following ways:

Tax-Deductible Donations Small business owners can deduct up to 50 percent of their adjusted gross income. The tax-exempt status of any organization must be verified to ensure it is an approved charity. In most cases, they identify as a 501(c)(3) organization.

Promote Volunteer Opportunities Posting information in common areas about volunteer opportunities and fundraising efforts puts one’s workforce in touch with ways to assist. Organizing company-wide volunteerism events boosts morale. Employees are five times more likely to remain with a company that practices philanthropy.

Partnering Small businesses coming together to construct fundraising events reaches a broader audience and garners greater community recognition. All fundraising events play a role in the greater cause. Larger organizations are able to reach a larger audience through great events like Santa Skivvies Run and AIDS/LifeCycle or local small business fundraisers like that that Bunnies of Las Vegas has organized with other local escort services in Las Vegas, NV to help spread awareness.

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Learn more at

Learn more at

Small Business and (Product)RED

The (Product)RED initiative is by far the largest-scale partnering in the fight against HIV/AIDS with business heavy-hitters such as Nike, Apple, Starbucks and Bank of America lending support to the cause that donates all monies raised to the Global Fund.

Small businesses are not to be discouraged by their inability to directly partner with (Product)RED. The company is protected by trademark and traditionally partners only with big business, but a small business may donate a portion of company earnings directly to the Global Fund and promote the effort as “inspired by (RED).” Independent businesses utilizing Square to process credit card payments can order the $10 SQUA(RED) card reader for $10, with 97.25% of the fee going to the Global Fund.

Grassroots efforts geared toward stopping the spread of AIDS may not be as widely touted as those by big business contributors, but are not to be ignored. Beyond being socially responsible, consumers recognize efforts of all sizes, and small businesses stand to gain through all philanthropic endeavors.

World AIDS Day

Though Apple has a history of supporting World AIDS Day in conjunction with the widely recognized (RED) charity, they are greatly stepping up their contributions for 2014. This year Apple has partnered with leading App Store app developers to raise money and awareness. All funds given to RED by Apple will be handed off to The Global Fund to fight AIDS. This multi-faceted effort includes:

-Beginning Monday, November 24 through December 7, the App Store’s Apps for (RED) campaign will feature 25 popular apps with new content. The Global Fund will receive all profits from the purchase of participating (PRODUCT) RED apps and in-app purchases on said apps.

-On Black Friday, November 28, consumers purchasing select Apple products will receive special edition (RED) iTunes gift cards, with Apple donating a percentage of each issued card to The Global Fund.

-On World AIDS Day, Monday, December 1, Apple will donate a portion of every sale at Apple’s retail and online stores to The Global Fund to fight AIDS.

Though the percentage donated on World AIDS Day has yet to be specified by Apple, it is safely assumed to be significant given Apple’s history with charitable AIDS contributions. Since the inception of (RED) in 2006, Apple has been a supporter, beginning with a (RED) iPod Nano and expanding to include other products.

This summer, (RED) co-founder Bono and Apple designer Jony Ive came together for an onstage interview at the Cannes Lions Festival. During the discussion, Bono highlighted Apple’s unpublicized role in effectively supporting the (RED) initiative. According to the activist and U2 frontman, Apple had donated $75 million to that point but remained “annoyingly quiet” about their participation in (RED)’s fight for an AIDS-free generation.

Though deciphered by some as a public criticism, Bono’s remarks were simply intended to highlight the fact Apple does not widely tout fundraising efforts despite being called out by some for not doing enough. It seems Apple has taken the comments to heart in this very public and impactful support of the World AIDS Day 2014 campaign.