If you’ve ever wondered where your money goes when you buy from CORDA, and why our products cost what they do, thank you!
I’m totally serious.
I appreciate that you care about who you give your money to and what happens with that money next. And it’s humbling to know that many people choose to purchase from CORDA because they want to support a small Catholic business. Thank you so much for that, too!
But I’d argue that we’re not a Catholic business simply because we make Catholic products. I want everything we do, in every aspect of the business, to be informed by the faith, and that includes the money side of things.
So, where does your money go when you buy from us?
Some of it goes to other small businesses who help us with ingredients, printing, photography, and other aspects of our products. Each year we spend about 30% on ingredients and raw materials alone.
Another big part goes to our team. It’s important that we pay a just amount for their help and skill, plus we distribute a profit share each quarter and have a small celebration together at the end of the year.
We also give back to parishes, schools, youth groups, ministries, CGS atriums, dioceses, Newman Centers, and many other groups, through donated products and money. Every time we help with a fundraiser, for example, we donate 15% of sales to the organization. We also help sponsor Catholic radio, conferences, the arts, and more.
Some money stays in the bank, to make sure we have the cash flow we need at any given time. Take the summertime when sales are at their lowest, but at the same time our costs are the highest of the entire year, as we stock up on things we’ll need for the holiday season, plus cover our regular expenses (payroll, overhead, etc.). Keeping money in the bank gives us the working capital we need to make it through, without going into debt.
And of course there’s all the “business-y” things that cost money: 3% off the top for credit card processing fees, 10% on shipping over and above what customers pay, and 15% in taxes, to name just a few.
Then, as funds allow, some money goes back into our existing products to keep improving the quality and design, and we also invest in research and development for future products like new candle scents.
That’s a lot, but have you noticed anything that seems to be missing? Many businesses budget around 10% and as much as 40% on this, but we intentionally don’t spend any money here.
It’s digital ads and affiliate marketing. None of the money you spend with us goes to Google or Facebook advertising, or to pay “influencers,” or anything else like that.
After all, this totally flies in the face of “best practices,” and some people have even told me CORDA won’t survive without doing these things. And honestly, do I think we could increase sales if we did Google ads, or if we gave a kickback to people for sending customers our way? Absolutely.
But the why behind CORDA isn’t to increase sales, it’s to share our love for saints and the faith. Call it naivete, but I’d rather put money into great ingredients and our great team, so that we can make things that folks genuinely love and are excited to share with others.
Every time you purchase from CORDA, and every time you spread the word, you truly help make it possible for us to keep doing what we’re doing. It’s like a vote of confidence in our team and our products, and we are so grateful for your trust in us!
Running a small business means there’s a lot of people and a lot of things to take care of, and I want to do my best to be a good steward of the money that comes into the business. If you have any questions, please know that you can always reach out to me! Thank you again for your support and for caring where your money goes.