Filtered by Category: Philanthropy

One Thing

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the world is a harsh and horrible place.   If we were to go strictly by what we see on the evening news, we’d likely never venture out of our homes!

Do not let current events and politics taint your view of the world in general.   It is a vast and beautiful place filled with wonder.  

This is not to say that bad things do not happen, and are not happening.   I am not a Pollyanna and I watch the news myself so I am well aware of these things. 

I choose to focus on the good, simply because focusing on negativity doesn’t do my health and well being any favors – nor yours. 

I also believe that we can affect change.  Each of us has the power to do something to make the world better for someone else.  This does not require a huge investment of time or money.  If each one of us did just ONE thing, we could make an impact that could lead to bigger changes.  Think about this for a minute.  Right now there are an estimated 7.4 billion people living on planet Earth.   If everyone took the time to do just ONE thing to help another person, imagine the good it would generate.

I know what you’re thinking.  You are thinking it is impossible for every single person on Earth to do something because of geography, poverty, and other barriers that exist.  Kindness knows no barriers.  Love knows no barriers.  Compassion knows no barriers.

But let’s just assume that not everyone could do something.   Even if a small group of people did something, it would be far better than doing nothing.   Think if everyone in your neighborhood decided to designate a day to perform a random act of kindness.  How many people would be impacted that day?  If you have 100 people performing an act of kindness, then 200 people benefit.  The person performing the act, and the beneficiary of this kindness.

Now let’s think bigger.  What if your workplace or school decided to designate a day to perform a random act of kindness?   If you have 500 people in your company or school, 1,000 people will benefit.

It’s important to celebrate these acts of kindness and to gather everyone together to “report back” on what they did and how it made them (and the beneficiary) feel.   Doing so inspires more action, and could motivate others to follow suit.

Have you ever been in line at the drive through and had the person in the window say “your coffee (or whatever) was paid by the car in front of you”?  Guaranteed that if it has happened to you, you have gone on to pay for the car behind you, and that person did the same for the car behind them.  This is because kindness inspires more kindness.  It’s a chain reaction of goodness. 

Is it possible to change the world?  Yes.

Can one person make a difference?  Yes.

Spread some kindness today.

Happy Saturday

A Little Does A Lot

Summer is a great time to volunteer as a family.  With kids home from school and longer daylight hours it's the perfect time to join together and do something good for the world.  You don't have to go far to volunteer or spend a lot of money to make a difference.  

Inspiration can be found right in your own neighborhood.  Here are some ideas:

  • Help an elderly neighbor with chores like housekeeping or lawn maintenance
  • Drive an elderly neighbor to doctor appointments or to the supermarket
  • Help clean up a park or nature preserve
  • Help clean up a beach
  • Volunteer at the local animal shelter
  • Volunteer to deliver meals to homebound individuals or seniors
  • Volunteer at the local nursing home to help with events for residents
  • Start a letter writing campaign for troops serving overseas
  • Adopt seniors at a local nursing home and write letters to the residents.  Send cards on holidays and their birthdays.

Inspiring Action

If you’re using email as the primary means of communication with your employees about your charitable giving program, it’s time to rethink your strategy.  One of the best ways to promote your program and volunteerism among your employees is via your company’s intranet.  Your intranet is a powerful way to connect with your employees and to connect your employees to each other, especially if you are a global company.  

Don’t just use text to communicate.  Instead, consider more creative ways to get your message across.   One of the most effective ways to communicate is via video.   The fact that Facebook has now added a video feature is a testament to how wildly popular video has become as a way of sharing content.

Record and upload videos of your volunteers in action.  One idea might be to record short video clips of your employees talking about their favorite community event that they participated in, or about a memorable moment as a volunteer.

In other words, you need to capture people’s hearts in order to keep their attention.  Here are some things to keep in mind when posting content about your program on your intranet:

  • Make it inspiring
  • Make it connect emotionally to your audience
  • Post photos in addition to videos.  Photos are as popular as video when it comes to sharing content

For more information on how to post content that gets noticed and shared go here:

How to Go Viral

Giving Day

If you want to create an event that will unite your employees and raise a lot of money, consider doing one big fundraising drive across your locations.   This is a really great way to raise money if you are short on resources and don't have a staff to run monthly or quarterly fundraising events.

The idea is to choose 1 day out of the year and designate it as your company's "giving day".   You can select a special date, for example the anniversary of your company's founding. Or your founder's birthday.  Whatever date you choose, before you announce any plans, be sure to partner with your Finance department to ensure that you have the proper processes in place to support a program on this grand a scale.  It's important that you establish this up front because you never want to launch a campaign of this magnitude without the proper "checks and balances" in place form a finance and audit perspective.   Once you have all your financial "ducks in a row", partner with your Marketing and Communications department to promote the heck out of it.  You'll want to highlight the reason why you are doing this fundraiser, and which non-profits will be the beneficiaries of your giving.  Be sure to tie it back to your company's culture and values.  Create posters and a communications campaign around the event to keep employees informed and engaged before, during, and after the event.  Post information about the fundraiser on your company's intranet with a countdown to the big day.   Provide regular status updates on funds raised.  If you have it in your budget, have shirts or pins made up that you can distribute to all your employees in commemoration of the event.

You can set a fundraising goal, or you can make it a fun "competition" between departments, divisions, or locations.  It's a super way to engage your employees and raise money for our deserving non-profits.  

Everybody wins!

All Hands On Deck

Last Friday I attended a non-profit luncheon to accept a Corporate Leadership award on behalf of my company.  While I was there, I heard several of the speakers talk about the challenges that non-profits face with regard to staffing.  Government cuts in funding often leave these wonderful organizations with no choice but to cut their staff in order to be able to fund their programs.  The issue with this, is that while reducing headcount may save dollars for programs, the programs are often not able to move forward because there are not enough people to run them.  

Listening to these stories drove home for me the importance of volunteering.   More than ever, non-profits are facing the very real possibility of closing their operations or suspending, even eliminating, some services that they provide due to lack of staffing.  Skilled volunteers are as important as ever in their ability to provide the assistance to those they serve.    So today, take a moment to think about your talents and how you can donate your time and expertise to helping your local non-profits.   Reach out to some organizations in your community and ask how you or your employees can help.   Volunteering is a key component of giving.  I guarantee based on what I heard on Friday, that will not be turned away.

Happy Sunday!