For those that haven’t heard of “Boot Campaign“:
The Boot Campaign is a grassroots initiative started by 5 women from Texas known as the Boot Girls. They provide an easy and tangible way for Americans to show support of our troops (both past and present) that’s practical and directly benefits our military. Proceeds from boot sales are donated to partner charities, who assist returning veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and varying degrees of physical injuries.
Sounds great right? That’s what I thought, before I looked further into it.
First of all they talk a lot about “Partner Charities” … which made me think that they must be for profit. I searched the IRS charity database for anything “Boot Campaign” related and came up with nothing. That was strike #1 for me.
The boots are listed for $130 in their online store… which I assumed was being donated directly to veterans. Wrong… Here’s the break down as listed on the “Shop” portion of the website:
$80 to produce the custom branded boot. According to the FAQ section of their website, the boots are manufactured in the U.S. by ALTAMA Footwear. I know that manufacturing in the U.S. is a heck of a lot more costly then overseas, but still… $80? That doesn’t sound right on any sort of quantity order, so i’m calling bullshit on that price.
$25 of your purchase price covers cost for the website, marketing materials, and merchandise. *Poof* there goes another 20% of the money you gave them.
That leaves $25, which Boot Campaign claims is going directly to charity. Seeing as they are not an actual charity, they have to pay tax… My guess though, is that since the Boot Campaign is passing the money on to actual charities they get a tax receipt for their donation.
$25 / $130 = 19.2%
19.2% of your money goes to helping veterans. Sure you got a pair of American made boots out of it, so if you feel good about that breakdown then go for it.
Their goal is to sell one million boots. It’ doesn’t specify a time frame, but at their current rake of $25 minimum per boot, that is $25,000,000 alone that they will collect for “the website, marketing materials and merchandise”. Superbowl commercials in the future maybe?
I have a background in marketing, so i’m no stranger to the idea of giving people something tangible so they remember your brand, and tell others about it. The truth is, that subdued logo doesn’t exactly jump out at you, and the boots are pretty plain looking so chances are no one will even ask about them, unless you go out of your way to wear them out of context with a suit or to church or something.
Since it’s not that obvious on the website, I just hope people are aware that by buying a pair of boots from Boot Campaign, they are basically getting a pair of boots and doing a small amount of good.
I’m a big advocate of supporting veterans, but in my opinion if you want to donate money, donate it directly to the veteran charity of your choice. If you want boots, buy boots from somewhere else.
What do you guys think about this? Let me know in the comments.