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Archive | October, 2010

Do Good By Giving

How to give and know you’re doing some good


(ARA) – Making a charitable donation during the holidays isn’t just an act of kindness, often it’s also an act of faith. As you mail your donation check or drop some bills and loose change into that collection bucket outside the grocery store, it’s only natural to wonder just where the money is going, who it’s helping, and if it’s really helping anyone at all.

Wouldn’t it feel good this holiday season to know your contributions are really making a difference? Knowing who your donation benefits can help make the act of giving even more enriching for you and the recipient of your generosity. Fortunately, there are ways to do good that you can also feel good about, knowing the real effects of your efforts. Here are two ideas for holiday giving that you can know will make a difference:

Donate your time

Everyone is busy during the holidays, but if you want to be confident your charitable giving is really making a difference, donating your time to a worthy cause is a good option. Not only will you enjoy the spiritual nourishment of actively helping others, you’ll be able to see the actual results of your contribution. The options are virtually endless and you can find a way to give that fits your schedule and personal preferences.

Are you handy around the house? Contribute your time to an organization that builds or repairs homes for those in need. Perhaps you’re a good cook or a deft server? Volunteer to prepare or serve meals at your local soup kitchen. Do you get along well with kids? Contact churches or homeless shelters in your area and volunteer for their child care programs.

No matter how you choose to do it, donating your time costs you nothing more than a few hours, but can deliver the reward of seeing firsthand just who your contribution is helping.

Finance a micro loan

Money is often what people in need require most. Yet if you believe the old adage “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” you may feel hesitant to just hand over cash without knowing your donation will help the recipient build a better future for themselves. Funding a microfinance loan for a small business owner in a developing country is a great way to ensure your donation not only helps someone immediately, but helps create a better future as well.

Organizations like World Vision provide micro loans – ranging from $25 to $5,000 – to small businesses in  Mexico, the Philippines, Kenya and Rwanda. Through the organization’s website, www.worldvisionmicro.org, you can fund a loan – entirely or partially. What’s more, you can select the entrepreneur you would like to help and designate exactly how much to loan that person. The website provides details on business owners, why each needs a loan, and how they will use the loan. After you’ve made a loan, you’ll get reports on how your chosen entrepreneur has spent the money, how his or her business is faring and how the entrepreneur is re-investing profits.

Your loan is recorded as a tax-deductible monetary donation. When borrowers repay their loans, their funds go back into World Vision’s local community bank and the money is loaned out again to help other entrepreneurs in the same community. The repayment rate for World Vision loans is nearly 99 percent. Microfinance loans foster small-scale entrepreneurship and foster long-term solutions to poverty by helping individuals and communities transition from poverty to independence. Log on to www.worldvisionmicro.org to learn more.

When you make a charitable donation during the holidays – or any time of year – your heart is in the right place. You’ll feel even better about your contribution if you know for sure you money is ending up in the right place as well.

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Video Blog Post: Dream BIG

 

Dream BIG video post from Dewitt Robinson on Vimeo.

I accepted the video blog challenge at Tentblogger.com. You can read more about it here. This may be the beginning of more frequent video blog posts 🙂 I’m not an expert in video blogging, but I’m learning the key is to simply execute. Ideas about blogging are just ideas. Simply having them on paper, sharing them online (or offline), is not good enough. We must execute. So here it is….my-Dream-BIG-video-post.

How did I do it? A simple flip cam, a free vimeo account, and the motivation to Dream BIG.

Thoughts?

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Good Everyday

I have an idea that’s birthed out of frustration. Not too mention this idea is somewhat the premise for the book that I’m writing. As the economy changes, so have traditional routes of entrepreneurs evolved.

There has been an emergence of social enterprises, that not only do good, but are also considered for profit.

So here’s my idea…help as many people as I can, with as many micro-projects in the US as possible with only $1. That’s right, rather that’s it! I would like to grant 92 dreamers that want to see good happen in the earth by donating a small seed to see how much great work can be accomplished within 7 days.

So here is how it will work:

Step 1. I connect with dream-givers to give $1 towards a project.

Step 2. I donate the $1 from the dream-givers to the person who manages the project. The manager will be selected by referral (and competition as the project attention grows).

Step 3. The project manager has 7 days to complete the project with as much impact as humanly possible. The PM will leverage local partnerships, social media, and good ole’ fashion hard work to help as many people as possible with only one dollar- period.

Imagine a lunch item being purchased for a homeless person. Or how about a book purchased for a child with no books at home. Get this, it may even be buying gas for someone at the gas station. Who know where people’s frustration may lead them.

I need help with connecting with people willing to give $1 towards a project. And that will recruit one other person, and that person will recruit another person, and that person will recruit another person, until we get to 92 projects funded and completed. If I start today, this will carry me through December 31, 2010.

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