Do You Allow Money to Define Your Self-Worth?

Kathy LeMay

Kathy LeMay is an expert fundraiser and has helped raise over $175 million for social change. Yet she is the first to admit that everyone has a complicated relationship with money. People either think they don’t have enough money, or they feel guilty for having too much. Kathy says that she was raised in a struggling mill town in the 70’s. Her family, supported by a very strong mother, survived with the help of others. As an international philanthropist and founder of Raising Change, Kathy has worked with a wide range of people, from those in abject poverty to people who own multiple homes throughout the world. She knows that fortunes can disappear in an instant and that those fortunes have nothing to do with your self-worth as a human being. Yet she struggled with that issue about herself when she found that her own self-confidence and feelings of self-worth were tied to her achievements and successes, not who she is as a person.

In her self-reflection she asked herself if she lost everything, what would she have? She looked at the qualities that she valued: would she be less compassionate, have less empathy, still be thoughtful, show up and listen to her friends? Money did not define any of those qualities. Now Kathy says her attitude about money is more detached like looking at a painting that someone else painted. She is no longer affected by adjustments in her bank account. And her new perspective about her own self-worth has helped her create a more successful business.

Your Worth Is Based on the Concept, “Because You Are Here, You Matter.”

Kathy says she chose a career seeking significance rather than success and the people she has met, mentored and worked with through the years have helped her become the person she is today. Kathy began her career at 23 by volunteering to help women in war-torn Bosnia. She marvels in this conversation with Dr. Nancy about how she thought at such a young age that she could help victims of genocide, but she did help by using those qualities that give her the humanity and empathy to reach out, listen to others, and witness their plight. At the core of it is that women have far more courage than we think we do. When we listen to that small voice inside us, we naturally reach out to support others.

Next Step: In 2019 Completely Transform Fundraising Around the World

Kathy has trained hundreds, perhaps thousands of people to become social entrepreneurs, raise money and work for social change. But this past year, she developed the foundation for her next goal: to reach “the first thousand fundraisers throughout the world” with an online master class. She taught the master class to 70 people last year. These courageous people inspired her to widen the scope and develop a digital version. She promises that the at home instruction will open doors for you that you never imagined and enable you to become one of the top fundraisers in the world. Check out her website,, to see the video about it and get on the mailing list to get ready to change the world.

Listen to learn more about this amazing class and Kathy’s advice about how to defend what you feel most passionate about, and more of her insights and powerful stories about self-discovery and what defines self-worth.

Order Dr. Nancy’s new book or pick it up at your book store

Kathy’s guidance about listening also appears in Dr. Nancy’s new book, In This Together: How Successful Women Support Each Other In Work and Life, along with thoughts, inspiration, and stories from 40 successful women across a variety of careers—from authors to actresses, CEOs and professors—encouraging women to support each other in the workplace and in life. Learn about action plans on how all women can work together to break free from the binds of gender inequality. Then remember to get your copy – and gifts for your friends.

Women Connect4Good Working For Parity

On December 20, 262 women (and men) came together to effectively change the world. That was the day that Women Connect4Good Inc. partnered with Take The Lead Women in an exciting and monumental 24-hour crowdfunding campaign to support them in their effort to propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025. As a part of the effort, we had 24 hours to raise $300,000. Women Connect4Good Foundation pledged to match every dollar up to $300.000. Other sponsors also pledged to match additional funds to achieve $600,000 in 24 hours.
We not only met that goal, we surpassed it. Through crowdsourcing we were able to raise $312,160!!! Take The Lead will use these funds as well as the Women Connect4Good match to support program growth, provide more free community resources, and give more women the training, mentorship and coaching they need to take the lead in their own lives and careers.
Take the Lead founder and Leading Women co-author Gloria Feldt was thrilled with the response, and touched by the Women Connect4Good contribution. “I don’t think I personally can ever honor and thank her (Dr. Nancy) enough. The money is great and essential, but it’s what the money MEANS for the future of this leadership parity movement that is most significant.”
“We were just at the place where we couldn’t possibly deliver on our mission in a truly significant way without building an infrastructure to support it. I was trying to do everything and that was just not sustainable,” Gloria added.  “This campaign, which could only have happened because of Nancy’s vision and collaborative spirit, is enabling Take The Lead to kick start the future. People love matching gifts because they know their own contributions will be doubled in value, and in this case, they were quadrupled in value, then Nancy matched them all!!”
The parallel missions of Women Connect4 Good and Take The Lead intersect with women’s empowerment, gender parity by 2025 and the support of women to work together to create a better world. It has always been Women Connect4 Good’s mission to educate people to develop women-helping-women networks to raise the status of women and change the world. And that runs perfectly with Take The Lead’s work.
Gloria, and Take The Lead’s co-founder Amy Litzenberger, a former investment banker with extensive experience in strategic planning and funding of start-up and emerging growth companies, came together in 2013 to form the organization. Amy was questioning why women had stalled at 18-20% across all sectors. Gloria, who had spent over 30 years advancing women, including having served as President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, had been so obsessed with the very question Amy asked that she had literally written the book on it, No Excuses, 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.
We both wanted to build a better world for the women we loved and respected,” Gloria said. “We did it for our friends and colleagues, women we watched hit the glass ceiling again and again. We did it for our daughters, hopeful we could create the right tools to help them embrace their power and live their lives without limits. We did it because we wanted to see women reach leadership equality and pay equity in our lifetime.
As Gloria says, as a community, we are united by our shared commitment and vision for equality. And as individuals, we must each do our part to support this movement and to build a better world. At Women Connect4Good, we can think of no better way to start a new year than to join hands with other women and together, change the world.
Donations to Women Connect4Good and Take The Lead Women are both tax deductible if you want to join us and help push these issues forward.

Adolescent Girls Hold Power To Create Global Change

Cheryl because I am a girlBy Cheryl Benton, “Because I am a Girl” Private Sector Development Committee
Here are some sobering facts about girls in the developing world:

  • 65 million girls are NOT in school
  • 41,000 girls are forced into early marriages EVERY DAY
  • Childbirth is the leading cause of deaths for girls between 15-19
  • Being young and female in many areas of the world means you are denied the most basic human rights and your very life can be in peril.

Research findings from Plan International reveal that violence against girls is frighteningly pervasive – girls expect to be victims of violence, and the levels of violence that they experience are seen as ‘normal.’ They seldom feel free from violence at home, in their communities, or at school. For example, 80 per cent of girls in one area of Ecuador, and 77 per cent of girls in an area of Bangladesh, said that they ‘never’ or ‘seldom’ feel safe in their community. In West Africa, 30 per cent of girls said that they never or seldom feel as safe as boys on their way to school.
We must change this, because we know that:

  • For every 10 percent increase in female literacy, the economy can grow by 0.3 percent.
  • For every additional year of education that a young woman has, child mortality decreases by 9.5 percent.
  • And we know that when we support girls to be strong, these soon-to-be women will be able to uplift their entire families and communities.

“Because I am a Girl” Gives Girls a Brighter Future
Earlier this year, I, along with four colleagues who have worked together in a voluntary role with global organizations that are helping women and girls, was introduced to Plan International USA and a program they launched four years ago, called “Because I am a Girl.”  We were so impressed we asked how we could get more involved and help support the program. The result: we are now Plan USA’s first ever-Private Sector Development Committee. Our (voluntary) role is to build awareness of Because I am a Girl and raise funds for their programs. Let me tell you why we got so excited about their work. We hope you will get excited too and will join us by becoming a “Champion of Change.”
Because I am a Girl is changing the future of some of most marginalized and at-risk girls in the world. The programs are helping girls to “Learn, Lead, Decide and Thrive.”  It’s one of the few programs that focuses on adolescent girls with programs that enable them to realize their own power as they transition into adulthood. It also has created gender awareness programs for boys, which is also critically important. Women cannot eliminate these inequities alone. The results are life-changing, not only for these girls but for their families and communities.
Here are highlights of a few of the programs:
Ethiopia: Girls’ Empowerment Through Education – Improving access to and the quality of education for 5,000 schoolgirls outside of Addis Ababa.
Egypt: Safer Cities for Girls – Educating and empowering girls through savings and loan groups, mentoring programs and leadership training.
Sierra Leone: Girl Power – Promoting Equal Rights and Opportunities for Girls – Protecting girls and young women from gender-based violence.
Nepal: Fighting Against Child Trafficking – Preventing the practice of child trafficking through educational programming and the creation of rehabilitation centers for trafficking survivors.
El Salvador: Girls Promoting Gender Violence Reduction – Prepared 1,800 girls and 180 boys to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in their communities.
The Impact of “Because I am a Girl”
Since the program was launched in 2012, it has changed the lives of 4 million girls directly through “Because I am a Girl Programs,” 40 million boys and girls through gender awareness programs, and 400 million girls through policy changes.
Become a Champion of Change
We invite you to join us. We are building a community of women who want to support this global movement for the rights of adolescent girls. I truly believe we have a moral imperative to help these girls. If not us, who?
With your support of “Because I am a Girl”, we can change their future.  For example, a gift of $1,000 can keep 5 girls in school, and education is key to lifting girls out of poverty. Please contact me if you would like to learn more.
About Plan International
Plan International is a non-profit global development organization that has been lifting children out of poverty since 1937. Today it is a billion dollar organization, working in 50 countries, with top ratings from Charity Navigator. It is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 development groups in the world. Plan USA is one of 21 fundraising offices.

Women Helping Women Through Philanthropy

city-people-woman-streetWomen philanthropists are driving the ever-growing number of advocacy and charitable organizations seeking to advance the well-being of women and girls. The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI) at Indiana University-Purdue University has found consistently that women and men give differently. In almost every income bracket, women give more than men: baby-boomer and older women gave 89% more to charity than men their age, and women in the top 25% of permanent income gave 156% more than men in that same category.
In trying to explain the gender giving differences, WIP has found that women tend to be more altruistic and empathetic than men, partly because of the way men and women are socialized regarding caring, self-sacrifice and the well-being of others. Men tend to give when an appeal frames the donation as being in the man’s self interest or as a way of maintaining the status quo, while women tend to give to promote social change or help those less fortunate, research suggests.
Women often focus on helping other women. For example, the Maverick Collective, founded by Kate Roberts and Melinda Gates, recruits high-net-worth female philanthropists to invest more than just their money to support women and girls around the globe. In addition to cash donations (starting at $1 million), the participating women also share their bright ideas and remain heavily involved as key leaders over time, even traveling to help evaluate the progress of a project.

Women Have a Long History of Helping

Women helping women and men is nothing new. In fact, women in America have always been agents of change – even when they had few officially recognized rights. In Colonial times, women tackled issues like moral reform, care of widows, children and the mentally ill, conditions for women prisoners, aid for soldiers, temperance, abolition of slavery, suffrage, libraries, the environment, culture, health issues, and more.
Women’s sense of their “place” changed dramatically in the 1800s, and they started to transition to a group of skilled fundraisers, passionate advocates, powerful leaders, dedicated volunteers, irresistible forces for social change, and tireless workers. Women of every ethnicity joined voluntary associations to raise money and especially to care for women and girls.
Women have done amazing things in terms of giving, and started Mount Holyoke Seminary, Smith College, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, American Red Cross, and YWCA to name a few. Women also established three-quarters of the public libraries in the United States, many before Andrew Carnegie became involved and later to raise the 10 percent match he required. Women in the Rockefeller and Vanderbilt families started the Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of Art. Despite a slump in women’s philanthropic activities from the 1920s to the 1960s, women took an active role in the Civil Rights effort, feminism, and infiltration of the workforce. The 1970s saw formation of the Ms. Foundation, the first women’s fund in the United States.

Supreme Court Helps Women’s Efforts Expand

The philanthropy arena expanded for women in the 1980s when the Supreme Court ruled groups like Jaycees, Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis could no longer exclude women. It wasn’t long before women were serving as the officers running these philanthropic clubs. More recently women have organized to support equal rights for women, drunk driving laws, breast cancer research, economic development and employment opportunities for women, and many more.

Help Where You Can

Today more than 100 women’s funds around the globe belong to the Women’s Funding Network (WFN), representing a collective $465 million in working assets and invest over $60 million per year. WFN is is the largest philanthropic network in the world devoted to improving the lives of women and girls. All across the US, 131 United Ways have developed women’s leadership councils. Every year, more than 56,000 women volunteers in women’s leadership councils raise more than $155 million just from other women.
Giving isn’t limited to wealthy women. Small donations can yield big results. Is there an organization in your community that resonates with you? A place where you can donate your time, treasure, or talent? You don’t have to donate a million dollars to make a difference. Instead, focus on what you can to do to improve the status of women and girls in today’s society.
Seeing women find a better way of living proves our efforts are all worthwhile. We are all sisters, and women need help all over the world. It’s our job to help them. When we do, we have an impact, not only on their lives, but on the lives of their children and future generations, entire countries, indeed the world.
I am so honored to be a part of the work done by the many organizations Women Connect4Good supports. I urge each of you to find a way to reach out and help a sister somewhere in the world today. When women help women, we all win.

Gift to Paris in Support of Freedom

3419504638_f51bde6682_bWhen the people of Paris were attacked on November 13, the world mourned and reached out to them. Messages poured in to support them in both their loss and their determination to maintain their free society in spite of terrorist threat.
We the people of the United States are reaching out, too. For the past few years, I have served on the board of The Responsibility Foundation, Inc (501c3). Our mission is to bring into reality the vision of Victor Frankel, a Holocaust Survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, considered to be one of history’s 10 most important books. Victor believed that liberty was only part of the freedom equation. We must also exercise personal responsibly to remain free. He envisioned a Statue of Responsibility to be installed on the Pacific Coast to bookend the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast as a symbol to complete the image of a free society.
We also want to gift the French people a Statue of Responsibility to honor their commitment to liberty, remind us all we are all connected and our hearts are with them. Their loss and pain is ours as well. Help us promote this campaign to build a Statue of Responsibility for them, a symbol of reciprocation and gratitude for their gift of The Statue of Liberty.
Gofundme has an ongoing campaign to build the statue and gift it to France. This is an amazing thing we can do. Go to this link to find out more and share it with your friends. We can do extraordinary things for one another when we work together.
To find out more about the inspiring artist commissioned to create the statue and the larger plan for the Statue of Responsibility, go to The Statue of Responsibility website. It is more than a monument; it is a movement for the future of liberty in our time.

How to Make Fundraising Everyone's Responsibility

As everyone who has ever led a fundraising campaign knows, it’s hard to get everyone on the committee to take responsibility and truly embrace the goal.

6 Tips on How To Get Your Committee to Take Responsibility

  1. Fundraising How-to GuidesCommunicate. In fact, OVER-communicate. You’re familiar with all the details — and you remember them —  because you focus on them daily. But your committee members are busy living their lives. Unless you keep reminding and updating them, they’ll forget all about it. Keep them in the loop.
  2. Motivate. Continually restate the goal and benefit and focus on accomplishments and progress. No one wants to be on a losing team.
  3. Make it fun. Humans avoid suffering. It’s a fact of life. They also avoid boring, tedious, futile and pointless meetings and activities. So don’t do that. Instead, find ways to include laughter, good food and drink, music, beauty and fellowship in all activities.
  4. Assign at least one committee member to focus on making it a good experience for the volunteers. It’s hard to ask for money and keep going in the face of rejection. Make sure they know they are appreciated and that their efforts are making a difference.
  5. Assign at least one other person to focus on making it a good experience for the donors. Recognition events, opportunities to meet beneficiaries, and events where they can socialize with others who are helping is a great way to strengthen these relationships.
  6. Rather than struggling with too few helpers, challenge each committee member to bring in one other to join the fun.

Sure, it’s hard to remember all these details, but once you get the initial structure in place, you can focus on being the FUN meister who talks to everyone and cheers them on.


Kathy LeMay Inspires Other Women to Help Change the World

Dr. Nancy: My own volunteer efforts lead me recently to hear a truly amazing woman speak about how each of us can help.
Kathy LeMayKathy LeMay uses her gifts to raise, not just money, but a global community to make the world a better place. She founded an organization called, Raising Change in 2005 to help others transform their relationship to social change. She is also chairwoman of the Board of World Pulse, a communication organization dedicated to broadcasting the global voice of women.

  • Kathy has been a global fundraiser for 15 years.
  • She has raised over 100 million dollars.
  • Her causes are in the areas of women’s human rights, hunger, poverty relief and movement building.

Now she has written a book, The Generosity Plan: Sharing Your Time, Treasure, and Talent to Shape the World.  I found it to be both inspiring and a guidebook to empower women to find their own change agents.

Teach Philanthropy To Children

N: Kathy, why you do what you’re doing today?
Kathy LeMay: I grew up in the oldest mill town in the United States. My mother raised my 2 sisters and me on a $6,000 salary for years and we got food banks and food stamps and I’m grateful for those public safety programs where they supported us. And we had very little and yet my mother always told us that compared to other people, we were very blessed and that we should be grateful for what we do have and resources we had access to. So she opened my eyes to the much larger world that was around me and to make sure that my sisters and I didn’t fall victim to anything, and that we felt powerful with who we were.
K: So as I moved forward I was mad about a lot of things that I saw that seemed wrong and unfair to me. And my mother said to me, “Okay, what are you going to do about it?” With her there was no way to just complain, you had to take an action. So it seemed to me activism was something you could do for free. You know, could you show up and stuff envelopes, and go to a rally and get involved in Democracy in the United States. And that’s what I did.

Making Money for a Cause

K: And after awhile I realized I could make some money for these initiatives. They were good ideas, but they had no money. So I started fundraising. And of course, when you start fundraising, it puts you across the table from people who have vastly more resources than you do. And I really had to learn how to navigate that — as someone who didn’t grow up with money I felt very intimidated.
K: So what I started to learn is the people sitting across from me cared as much as I did. They wanted to help as much as I did. And they didn’t know how to make a difference. And I started to realize that because I dedicated my life to causes about equality and fairness and justice, I was slowly becoming an expert about how to make these things happen. But I was actually a great asset and resource to these folks, who hadn’t been immersed in the same field that I had and wanted to learn from me. I found that every single one of us has something important to offer. We all matter to the conversation about making the world a better place and part of our work is finding out what those gifts are and then sharing them.

How to Find Your Own Generosity Plan

N: People really don’t know how to help. Your book, The Generosity Plan, really helps educate people. I’ve found if you give people the vision and the opportunity to give and ways they can give with time and talent, they usually rise to the occasion.

N: I don’t like the negativism of the term non-profit. I prefer to call them “social profit organizations.” Now, you had a role model in your mother. She gave you a vision as to how you could go out and change the world and challenged you to do it. I had the same kind of people in my life. It really became a kind of responsibility and expectation that we, in our family, did those things. Not everyone has that background.
K: Absolutely. I just recently met a woman who just recently graduated from college, who moved to the East Coast, who got a job, which is not a small thing, to make it to New York and find an apartment and a job, right?  And she said there’s got to be something more than this. And she sought me out and said she’s always known, “There’s a greater purpose for me. I’m supposed to be applying my heart, my smart go-getter attitude, to make a difference in someone’s life.” I have never met someone who can’t make a difference.

What Breaks Your Heart?

K: How do you spark in people that they can? I ask people, “What breaks your heart? What keeps you up at night? What gets you out of bed in the morning?” And then you really land on that.
N: I like to help people notice that in their lives, they’ve already been philanthropic. People think they’ve got to do something great, like the Nobel Peace Prize or something. But their random acts of kindness show they are a caring, giving person. Isn’t that really the first step to creating a philanthropic person?
K: Mother Teresa grew up in Eastern Europe and she heard about Calcutta and she didn’t know what to do and she went there and just helped one person. She didn’t go there with a great master plan. It broke her heart and she showed up. About the work, she said, “What we’re doing is just a drop in the ocean, but if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Inspired By Mother Theresa

N: Yes, you can drop a pebble in the water and it ripples out.
K: People aren’t often invited to step up and change the world. And if you’re one of the people inviting someone, they will be shocked. But you just keep pushing. And if you’re being invited by someone, trust that the person inviting you sees something. They know what they’re doing. The advice, in particular, I give to women is, “Just slow and steady wins the race.” Take it a step at a time. Sure I’ll go to this first meeting or this event. Step back and ask, “What did I like about what I heard? What resonated with me? What made sense? Was there anything that didn’t click or didn’t’ make sense?  Who in the room seemed an interesting, thoughtful person who you could go to and ask, “You seem really involved in this. Tell me how you got there, how you got more involved.” Take some time to learn and explore.
K: The causes I personally care about are women’s human rights and animal rights. When you have a generosity plan, what really helps is to figure out what your deep values are. What are you passionate about? Then you know when to say yes and why, and how to say no without hurting someone’s feelings. Then you learn more and then your connection continues to grow. And then one day, someone looks at you and says, “You know you seem to know about this. Can I take you to lunch?” And then you get to pay it forward for the person who once did it for you.

How to Recruit New Members

N: Our best way of creating membership is to create a bit of ownership. If a woman brings another woman into it, just as a friend, just as an opportunity for them to come in and learn, it’s a soft sell. It’s not “you’ve gotta do this.” And I think that part of it… people also need to know if it’s the right time in their lives, ff they’re able to give time. If you’re a busy mother with children and you’re working you have to prioritize. If you’re going to volunteer, you’re going to take on a cause, but it has to fit into your life as well. I do know some people who unfortunately try to be all things to all people. And in my profession, we see a lot of burn out. You can tell when it’s time for them to leave, because they feel overwhelmed if you ask them to do one thing more. But you also know that the people who are the busiest get the most done and they are very good at it.
N: What are the questions that you ask people to inspire them to give?

How to Inspire Others to Give

K: I go back to their giving roots. A lot of times people think they’re just starting from point zero. I have rarely found this to be the case. “Did you grow up in a faith based tradition? Did you ever see your mom volunteer? And what’s quite amazing is the number of stories around, “You know, my mom used to help with blood drives or collect food. Or we did give checks to the church food baskets every week.”
K: So you find they did have a history of philanthropy, it just didn’t look like Bill Gates. I remember asking this woman once, “When did you start volunteering?” And she said, “Not until college.” And I asked, “So nothing in high school.” Because she was telling about her mom who seemed like a very giving person and I could just see that rubbing off on her. And she stopped and she said, “Kathy, I just remembered when I was 12 years old, I was a Candy Striper at a hospital.” And we went back to that and she talked about the patients and the people she was with and giving them magazines and taking the time to talk with people and feeling like, “When I just show up and listen, it really matters and makes a difference.”

Finding Your Passion

And when we were creating what she could do, what she was passionate about, she decided that she wanted to make sure that some of it was showing up and taking time to listen, because she now knows that’s one of her philanthropic gifts. And at 12 to be in a hospital and be with people who were very sick. And she’s older, so this was pre-Hospice and many were dying and she was still brave enough to go and be with them knowing that they may not be there the next day. And she began to realize, “I have a lot to offer. “ And that became the core and the heart of her generosity plan. And from there it just became, which folks, which organizations. But she really found that her giving roots ran deep.
K: I ask people to go back and remember. And they’ll say, oh I’ve been giving a long time, because when I was six, I did the UNICEF boxes. I asked for candy, but I also asked people to give me pennies, nickels and dimes….
N: Yeah, I didn’t know anybody who didn’t sell candy in high school or grade school, in Brownies or something.
K: Yeah and that’s not easy. You stand outside of a grocery store and ask people, “Will you buy this for a dollar?” And people reject you. You can learn to do it.

What Is The Right Amount To Give?

N: During the worst of times, people give more. It’s something they can control in their lives. I’ve seen that in my own fundraising; people tend to give during the hardest times.  But let’s talk about the amount, because that seems to be the kicker for people. That they don’t think they have enough money, or time and talent.
K: Yeah, I think that the money thing does throw us.  People don’t know how much to give. People think: What if I give too much and it’s more than I can handle in my budget? I don’t want to go back on my word. Or what if I get on a mailing list and get overwhelmed with requests. Or What if I start giving and then they want more? I don’t want to be rude, because I care, but it’s more than I can manage.

Fears About Giving

K: So I ask people not think about the dollar amount but instead to ask, what is the total percent of my total budget I can give to make a difference?  So you look at your whole pie and say, I give this much to shelter and heat and I give this much to food and I give this much to luxury and down time and nurturing me. What’s the percentage in your pie that you want giving to occupy that is a good starting point for me or reflects where I am. So that’s one.
K: How you can gauge that is look at what you gave last year and look at your percentage was. So I just worked with someone who said, “I want to be at 10%. It’s a tithing tradition in my family and how do I get there? We looked at last year’s tax returns, did a percentage and she was at 6.7. So that’s good. It won’t be that much work to get to 10.  I said you may not get there this year, You might have to go 8 or 9% this year, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t think, “How much money do I want to give away?” Think, “How much percentage do I want it to occupy in my budget?”

Advice on Asking for Donations

N: Most people hate to ask for money. But, if you believe in this and you care about this, it’s always easy to ask. I’ve done a lot of fundraising and I’ll continue to do a lot of fundraising. But I can ask, because I believe. I can ask because I care. I can ask because I’m committed. I’m not going to ask you to do any more than I do, because it is equal sacrifice. But I am going to ask you, because I believe in what I’m doing and I believe in my cause. I try to explain that to women when we’re talking about fundraising…most people if you’re truly committed and you truly, genuinely believe in what you’re doing…understand that and see your passion and they’ll give what they can.
K: Someone once said to me, “I can’t believe what you do for a living is ask for money.” And I said, “I can’t believe what you think I do for a living is ask for money.” I said, “In the multiple conversations I have with donors, talking about their financial gift occupies one to two percent of the conversation throughout the year. There’s so much more going on.”
K: But when I ask people who are afraid of fundraising, ”What’s your fear?” most people say, “It’s getting rejected.” And you have to realize that the odds are you’re going to get rejected. So walk in knowing that you’re going to get some “no’s.” It’s not personal. It’s not like you’ve just asked someone to pay your mortgage. And they said no. It’s not about you.

Matching Donors With Causes

There’s no shame in talking to people and saying: “I want to take you to lunch…and talk to you about this organization and how passionate I am. I don’t know if this group is going to be a match for you….or something you’re going to care about and might join me in, but I thought we could have a lunch to explore it. And if not, then at the end of a lunch, I appreciate so much the time to share with you and explore with you and learn about what you care about and, if yes, then we’ll go from there.” Just say to people, it’s either a match or it’s not and we’ll find out.
N: And you’re right, they can either say yes or no and you can be pleasantly surprised. But again, it’s about not taking it personally and seeing it as an opportunity to develop a relationship that someday may become more fruitful. It’s a contact that you make. They say sometimes it takes up to 5 contacts before people do anything. So it’s a matter of developing a relationship, because you get to tell your story and they get to tell theirs. And I think that’s the value and so important for all of us to try to understand why we do what we do.
N: I really applaud your efforts. One group I work with, Female Leaders in Philanthropy, is working very hard to put women in the workplace, so they have jobs and are able to care for themselves. Everyone can make a difference. Everyone can help in some level.
K: if people want to learn more about the book or how you can create a generosity plan, you can go to The good news is that we’re launching a new website this year and we’re going to be doing workshops where people can get together and talking about their plans with one another. Or you can get the book on Amazon and you can create a plan all on your own.

Create Your Own Giving Plan

N: And part of the proceeds go to your own plan as well; isn’t that right?
K: Exactly. I give out probably 30-50% of my income a year to organizations I care about and to close people in my life, who live in the United States, but who live below the federal poverty line, and I consider that a critical part of my philanthropy. And the company gives to organizations that we really feel embody our vision that there truly is enough for everyone. That no one needs to go without and that another world is possible. And we really support those organizations that are bold and brave and fierce in their work.
N: Yes, just get out there and make it a better world. Kathy, you speak it, you talk it and you are it, so that’s your extreme value.

How Social Media Are Affecting Social-Profit Organizations

Social-profit organizations always operate with small staffs and people who can feel maxed out. Social media opportunities today stretch staff resources to the breaking point and have created three major problems.
This excellent article explores three negative consequences and what to do about them.

The 24/7 news cycle creates compassion fatigue.

People feel overloaded with bad news and their ability to relate is exhausted. The fix for social profit groups: share more success stories for positive uplift online.

Internet trolls blast venom and hate across blogs and media.

This causes people to turn off and turn away from social media, which is not what you want to happen to your website or blog. Monitor carefully so you can block, delete, ban, report, and move on.

Constant need to monitor and update causes social media burnout.

Get away from your smartphone or computer. And watch less cable news!
Read the full article here.

Tips for Fundraising Success: 11 Ways to Make the Money Work

Fundraising is essential to success for social-profit groups, and it takes a lot of work to achieve success. Use these 11 tips to increase your bottom line while avoiding frustration in your volunteers.

1) Handling the money

It’s like banking. Split responsibility for money handling between two people who are not related. Always employ check and balances in all financial matters. Avoid temptation by locking up all checks and cash until you take it to the bank.

2) Watch your costs

Scrutinize accounts and eliminate or reduce expenses wherever possible. Controlling your costs boosts your bottom line faster than increasing sales. But remember to budget for celebrating your success.

3) Build relationships with merchant donors

Always make clear the value you are providing in return for them partnering with your group. Give them a sheet that explains your goals and add them to the follow-up call list. If the benefit is clear, they may provide gift certificates, coupons, extra discounts to prizewinners or other creative awards.

4) Be flexible and understanding

Circumstances change for both donors and supporters. Coach your volunteers to flex: If someone won’t buy your fundraising product, ask if they can help with a gift. A struggling merchant may be willing to donate slow-moving merchandise in exchange for a nice program ad.

5) Report and track

Keep your team in the know. Report at regular milestones and be sure to allow enough time for a final push to the top. Summarize helpful benchmarks such as participation levels, average sale size, revenue per participant, etc.

6) Give the workplace a break

Don’t ask parents to pressure co-workers to buy something in their child’s fundraiser. Leave a catalog in a high traffic area so people can sign up. Coach volunteers on “reciprocal fundraising” so they always buy something from those who buy from them.

7) Build your team

Pay attention to your group dynamics to keep everybody pulling together. It’s win/win when all your leaders and volunteers feel like they are working for a common goal.

8) Put orders and checks in a lock box

Have it handy at the start of the drive, and have only two keys. See Item #1 above. This will help keep track of donations, notes and suggestions.

9) Provide sample order forms

Check that all information is complete before putting their payment in the bank bag. Example forms can make clear what info you need.

10) Check-check the checks

Make sure they are made out correctly and signed before you separate them from the order form.

11) Rubber checks

Bummer, but it happens. If you have made a note of the selling source on the back of each check before depositing, you’ll be able to quickly notify the seller and follow-up. Never deliver a large merchandise order before a check clears. And never involve a child in resolving these issues.

Adapted from by Kimberly Reynolds

FLiP's Evening in Paris Raises Over $26,000

In its first annual Evening in Paris event, Female Leaders in Philanthropy netted more than $26,000 to fund the group’s three service projects in Springfield, Missouri. FLiP is a United Way Women’s Initiative. The funds will go to support:

  • Formally Yours, which provides prom dresses for needy teens (discontinued program)
  • Suit Yourself Boutique, which outfits women in transition with work attire
  • The Ozark Food Harvest Backpack Program, through which FLiP provides weekend food for needy students at eight elementary schools

The evening drew hundreds of attendees who purchased $75 tickets, bid on silent auction items, competed in live bidding for French-themed paintings donated by eight local artists, and pledged support for the coming year. In addition, a ninth painting, depicting a vibrant couple dancing, was selected for reproduction as a poster, which will be available for purchase throughout the coming year. The crowd partook of a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres and a lovely buffet dinner with dessert provided by the Tower Club in Springfield.

Jim Anderson, President of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, served as master of ceremonies. Chairman Dr. Nancy O’Reilly spoke representing Female Leaders in Philanthropy. As part of the program, Aleah Woodmansee described how she benefited from Formally Yours after a car accident depleted her savings. Lisa Miller explained the importance of business attire she received from Suit Yourself Boutique. And elementary school principal Dr. Kevin Huffman recounted the crucial role played by the weekend food provided through the backpack program.

Kudos go to Diamond Sponsor The O’Reilly Family Foundation; Emerald Sponsor Karen Krittenbrink; Ruby Sponsor Arvest Bank; Sapphire Sponsors Penmac and PJC Insurance; Pearl Sponsors Empire Bank, Great Southern Bank and Magers Management.

Thank you to auction contributors, artists and event volunteers!
Acacia Spa Raylene Appleby Bank of America
Competitive Fitness/Kellie Smith Cornerstone Jewelry Sandra D’Angelo
DB Salon/Duane Bone Haven Richardson Cheryl Dandridge
Dickerson Park Zoo Esthetiques Fabuless Interiors
Grove Pharmacy & Spa Natalie Hodges Dr. Kevin Huffman
James Decor Jelly Beans Lisa Miller
Meyer Center Missouri State University Athletics Mud Lounge
Obelisk Ozarks Regional Y Ozarks Technical Community College
Chalen Phillips Lotus Rain Reynolds Plastic Surgery
Springfield Art Museum Springfield Business Journal Springfield Hot Glass Studio/Terry Bloodworth
Springfield Pottery  The Review Shoppe  The Tower Club
 Town & County  Trailwood Designs United Way/Jennifer Kennally
Waverly House Aleah Woodhouse   Wine Styles
Tammy Crabtree Alicia Farris Cindy Kopenhafer
Nancy O’Reilly Sharon Warren Cindy Quayle
Charli Stout Debra Sutherland Dorie Bauer
 FLiP Membership Team    
Betty Parnell Judy Bilyeu Paula Adams
Candy Letterman Karen Krittenbrink Ramona George
Charlotte Horsman Kristy Chastain Raylene Appleby
Cindy Howell Cindy Norman (Evening in Paris Chair) Merry Hogue
Sallie Hazelrigg Diane Homan Nadine Ridder
Sandra D’Angelo Dorie Bauer Nancy O’Reilly
Shannon Handwerker Hayley Hutchins Pat Dierking
 Tamara deWild    
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