Read and Make an Impact with Simplicity and Savings #ImpactEzine

At the end of May, I shared with you a guest post from fellow Global Team of 200 members, Lisa Van Engan and Amy Sullivan, for a Philanthropy Friday. They talked about how they joined their shared passion for making a difference by launching an Ezine called Impact.

I’m happy to share with you the hot off the press summer issue of Impact today. This issue is all about living simply and saving while also leaving space for giving back.

I was honored to be asked to contribute to this issue as well. You can find me talking about monthly giving on pages 12 and 13. As a contributor, I had the opportunity to read through the Ezine over the weekend. I can tell you that there are some great tips in there!

Read the summer 2014 issue of Impact with Simplicity and Savings

Cover photography by Mickie DeVries

Cover photography by Mickie DeVries

If you missed the guest post from Lisa and Amy, you can read it here.

Do you have any tips for simplicity and savings to add?

Philanthropy Friday: Moving Forward and Asking for Help

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GiveForward and contains affiliate links, but the words and thoughts are my own. 

Last week I shared that I am in the process of getting a divorce. It’s not easy to share something so personal, but writing is my therapy and I needed to get what was swirling in my head out. Since the post, I’ve received an amazing amount of comments, messages and calls of support from friends online and in real life.

In the past couple of months, I’ve talked with a lot of people about my situation. I’ve needed advice, information or just a listening ear. My support system has rallied around me, and I’ve come to realize the importance of asking for help.

One of the best pieces of advice I have received so far is to not be afraid to speak up when I need something. People will help. But you have to let them know what you need. Too often people keep their challenges to themselves because they think they should be able to handle it themselves. That others will judge them or simply not understand their situation. There’s often a stigma attached to asking for help, as if it were a sign of weakness.

When I saw that a Facebook friend moved into a new house in the town next to mine, I messaged her and asked if she might give me her empty boxes. Not only did she accommodate, but she offered me free drive by hugs any time I want and an open invitation to visit again and just hang out. And I thought I was just scoring some boxes to use as I prepare to sell my house.

I’ve found that people do want to give to others. They go the extra mile when they know the story and feel the desire to help.

Raise Money for a Loved One in Need. It's Quick, Easy, and Secure at GiveForward.com

Giveforward.com is an online fundraising website that gives people an easy way to raise money for those loved ones in need. I first wrote about GiveForward in 2011. They are worth another mention after 3 years!

As an organization, GiveForward focuses on compassion. As a platform, GiveForward helps to break the stigma of asking for help and empowers those who want to give. Whether you create a fundraiser or give to a fundraiser, you can feel good about helping someone in need. To date, GiveForward has helped raise $98,051,700 towards medical expenses. My post from 2011 noted over $9 million, so it is evident that people have discovered the power of this fundraising platform.

I’ve seen families suffer greatly due to unexpected medical problems and the expenses that come with them. I’ve also seen people rally for those families to lessen the burden. What would happen if they didn’t ask for help? Life would certainly be different.

Have you asked for or offered help to someone recently?

Philanthropy Friday: Buy One Give One in Business and in Life

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

b1g1I was first introduced to B1G1 Business for Good through Carol Pearce at Naked Specs. You may recall how Carol’s company donates five pairs of glasses or the equivalent funding amount for treatment, such as cataract surgery, when a purchase is made in her online optical store. She uses B1G1 to ensure that the charities and projects that Naked Specs supports are completely vetted.

Before I had the chance to contact B1G1 on Carol’s advice, I had an email in my inbox thanking me for the mention of B1G1 in my post about Naked Specs. It was from B1G1′s Chairman, Paul Dunn. While he was in Cambodia on the 2014 B1G1 Study Tour, he noted that we should connect when he got back.

B1G1 is based in Singapore. As the website notes, “B1G1 Business for Good is a collective brand for businesses who share the vision of giving back and making a difference in our world.” When Paul and I finally connected via Skype (on an evening for me and a morning for Paul, due to the time difference), the first thing I noted were the large letters on the wall behind him: Impact Habit Connection. When I asked about the words, Paul told me those words are what drives B1G1.

So how does B1G1 work? The following screenshot from the website explains the program.

screenshot from b1g1.com

screenshot from b1g1.com. click the image to enlarge

B1G1 is a membership-based company. When your business joins, you can choose which high-impact projects you want to support. As a member you can use the B1G1 logo and share your impact with your clients and/or customers. (See how a B1G1 member is sharing its impact here.) You can also create a gratitude certificate to give to your clients / customers so they know their purchase made a difference. Paul shared the story of a man who gave extra money when he paid his accountant for doing his taxes, just because he knew he his money would be going to a good cause.

B1G1 does not take a percentage of donations, so 100% of members’ giving goes directly to the charities and projects they support. You can find out more about how the program works and how the organization is structured. There is the social enterprise side that works with businesses, and the nonprofit side that works with the worthy causes.

The causes and projects that are the recipients of the donations are put through a strict selection process that looks at three key elements: impact and efficiency; transparency and integrity; and uniqueness and scalability. If you are wondering about impact, you can view this neat interactive map that shows the participating businesses and the projects they support all around the world. According to the website, they work with nearly 1,000 businesses from over 20 countries, with members creating over 30 million micro-giving impacts since 2007.

So how did B1G1 come about? The story is actually quite amazing. Watch this video to hear founder Masami Sato tell the story of how she overcame some incredible obstacles while making her small business work and how it led her to let go and imagine a world that was full of giving. It is 17 minutes that is worth your time. (Particularly if you are a mother, as I know many of my readers are!)

Prior to being involved with B1G1, Paul (who, by the way, was one of the first ten people in Hewlett-Packard Australia) tells me business was all about adding value and having fun. Today, business is all about giving back.

If you are not ready for B1G1 Business for Good, there is also a personal giving side of B1G1 called Giving Life. Giving Life allows you to tie basic everyday activities to giving. You can create your own giving journal, track your impact and share with others.

Are you ready to unleash the power of small?

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