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Amy Neumann’s (@CharityIdeas) NEW book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude…” #Gratitude #Quotes

5 Sep


“Amy Neumann’s new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here!” 

My new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here! 150+ of my personal favorite quotes on gratitude, kindness, and social good.

At last!  I am so excited to share 150+ of my favorite quotes to inspire and show gratitude.  My new book is here!  On paperback, or eBook version.  Makes a great little “Thank You!” 😀

More details here!

Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude, compassion, and bright view of the world.  

To follow up after a great client meeting, interview, or event, or as an anytime thank you to colleagues, donors, customers, family, or friends, this book has the perfect inspiring quote for the occasion.

This book is a lot like life:  open it up anywhere, and be amazed at the serendipity!

Thank YOU so much for being you!

Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation By Amy Neumann

Paperback: $8.88
Ships in 3-5 business days
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation – Downloadable By Amy Neumann

eBook (ePub): $1.88
Download immediately.
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
© 2012 Amy Neumann, Good Plus Tech LLC.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – CC 3.0
ISBN:   978-1-300-16079-3

Unleash Your Happiness – 10 Tips on How To Be Happier!

9 Aug

This post originally appears in The Huffington Post

Unleash Your Happiness

This post was co-written by Lotay Yang and Mahei Foliaki.

“Think,” “believe,” “dream,” “dare”… these four words represent the foundation of Walt Disney’s inspiring legacy. But, they can also assist in creating the conditions for one’s lasting happiness. This is true. Consider this phrase: Think and visualize it. Believe it’s possible. Dream big. Dare yourself to make it happen.

All of the writers on this post are dedicated to promoting and living a positive life, so we understand just how powerful those words can be. Humanity has been on a perpetual search for the ideas and realities that help us navigate around anything blocking our progress. And no matter how long that takes to achieve, happiness is (and will always be) a non-stop journey.

It is also “an inside job.” Yes, it starts with how you feel about yourself. A spoken word, a favorite recipe, and a road trip are among the millions of things that can spark the fire within us that says, “I am worthy.” We must build on that feeling, and let our light shine, brightly and consistently. As the advocates of optimism remind us, happy people make others happy.

Readers will notice that each of our tips are complemented by the colorful, eclectic artwork of international artist and designer Isa Zapata. Indeed, her artistic brilliance gives vision and voice to our words. So feast your eyes, continue to celebrate the good, and unleash your happiness!

Smile more
1  of  11
And why not?! Make your smile authentic, and give the world a window into your positive thoughts. As an Oprah Magazine articleby Jennifer Margulis points out:

When someone smiles out of genuine delight, a facial muscle called the orbicularius oculi involuntarily contracts, crinkling the skin around the eyes. Most of us are incapable of deliberately moving this muscle, which means that when a person fakes a smile, [the] orbicularius oculi likely won’t budge.

So be real! As your life can be your message, your smile can be your signature.

Posted: 08/09/2012 10:26 am

Art , Happiness , Inspiration , Love , Happiness Tips , Finding Happiness , Happiness Advice , Joy , Kindness , Positive Outlook , Positive Thinking , Self Esteem , Self-Improvement , Photo Galleries , Smile , Healthy Living News

For more by @2morrowknight, click here.

Follow Amy on Twitter @CharityIdeas & check out her other site,!

Gratitude: 77 Things To Make You Smile

18 Jul

Recently, driving in the glorious Ohio countryside on a very hot, sparkly, sunshiny day, I started thinking about all the wonderful things there are to smile about.  Here are 77 to start with, and if you have more to add, please do!  The things that make us smile are limitless.  Next time something makes you smile, think about how amazing that is, and smile a second time.

77  Random Things to Smile About

  1. Sunshine
  2. That happy feeling of love
  3. Giggles
  4. Ice Cream cones
  5. Traveling somewhere you don’t speak the language and being able to communicate anyway with something akin to charades or Pictionary, proving we’re all human and love the same things
  6. Helping a nonprofit for a few minutes online with Sparked
  7. Cozy thunderstorms
  8. Uplifting quotes
  9. Smiling at a stranger and them smiling back
  10. Donating miles or rewards points with Kula Causes
  11. An elderly lady lovingly tending her garden
  12. Driving on a barren stretch of highway where you can see rolling hills for miles
  13. Old-fashioned town squares
  14. Funny road signs
  15. Fireworks
  16. Jumping into the deep end of a cold swimming pool – 30 seconds later
  17. Tofurkey. Just saying it.
  18. Cows
  19. Dollar store treasures
  20. Babies laughing
  21. Hawks gliding like kites in the air
  22. The smell of Play-Doh
  23. Bubbles. All manner of bubbles.
  24. Dogs who look like they’re smiling
  25. Bacon
  26. The impact a $25 microloan on Kiva makes in changing someone’s life
  27. Finding a four-leaf clover
  28. The first sip of ice-cold water on a scorching-hot day
  29. That pucker face you make when you bite a lemon (or maybe a pickle)
  30. Real hand-written letters in the mail
  31. The friends you make on Twitter
  32. That moment when you smell something that evokes some very pleasant memory, but you can’t quite place it, but then later you remember it fondly
  33. Doing something you thought was “impossible”
  34. Empathy
  35. Laughing fits that make your eyes water and your stomach muscles hurt
  36. Realizing how lucky you are
  37. Serendipity
  38. An America flag with the sun shining behind it so it’s almost glowing
  39. Rainbows
  40. The mesmerizing colors and flight of hummingbirds and dragonflies
  41. Stand-up comedy
  42. Getting lost and stumbling on an adventure
  43. Walking barefoot on grass, or soft sand
  44. Compassion
  45. Doing something good for the environment
  46. Being prepared for anything
  47. Describing to any 10-year-old that we didn’t have the internet, or even cell phones, when we were their age
  48. Family
  49. Running into someone you know in a big city you don’t live in
  50. 30 Rock
  51. Really cool bugs — as long as they’re not on you
  52. Picnics on a whim
  53. Frozen lemonade
  54. Trying to stay clean when it’s muddy, then finally getting a little muddy, then what the heck, just going for it and getting all mud-licious
  55. Smelling roses when they’re warm in the sun
  56. Venice Beach
  57. Curiosity
  58. Optimism
  59. The sound of rain hitting a tent or maybe a window if it’s really quiet
  60. Festivals
  61. Food items presented on sticks
  62. “Puffy clouds”
  63. Walking in the rain, splashing in puddles, and getting soaking wet even though you don’t have spare clothes
  64. Learning a new language so you can eavesdrop in cafes in other countries
  65. Wagging tails
  66. Any moment when you think, “Life is good.”
  67. Farmer’s markets
  68. Walking in the woods
  69. Hearing from a long-lost friend
  70. Quirky little factoids you never knew
  71. Whistling in a store, then hearing someone else start whistling, and knowing they’ll shortly wonder why they just started whistling
  72. Helping a nonprofit for a few months with Taproot or Catchafire
  73. Spotting unexpected wildlife
  74. Sparkly things, especially disco balls
  75. Smartphones
  76. People
  77. Adding your own  smile-inducing things to this list in the comments 😀


Positive Belief Energy – The Inspiration of @LinkedIn’s Bryan Breckenridge

5 Jul

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

~ W. Clement Stone

Being around positive and optimistic people, in person or online, is something that inspires me on a regular basis.  People like Sean Gardner (@2morrowknight) with his Awesome Blog, Ann Tran (@AnnTran_) with her inspiring blog, and countless others.  One of those people is Bryan Breckenridge, whom I first came to know through his amazing social good work with LinkedIn as their “Nonprofit Success Enabler.”  LinkedIn has long been a favorite and often-used site for me, which you can learn more about here. is all about positive energy, optimism, and uplifting ideas and stories.                          Photo by Amy Neumann.

Bryan (@BGBreck) spends a lot of time figuring out positive ways to make the world a better place, and shares it on his blog,, as well as on LinkedIn, where you can find helpful articles like Why Volunteering Is Good For Your Career.  I had a chance to talk with him in a little more detail about Belief Energy, how people can leverage LinkedIn for Good (and business), and how the two complement each other and provide continuous sources of ideas back and forth.

Bryan sees the world through an energetic enabler’s eyes.  In his career, Bryan has helped thousands of nonprofits operate better using online platforms.  Bryan is also helping people from all over the globe experience more optimal living.  In 2011, Bryan joined LinkedIn to launch their LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions  program.  Bryan also launched his personal development think tank at that time, Belief Energy .  Belief Energy, LLC is committed to helping people experience more optimal living.  Thousands of people from around the world have joined the Belief Energy conversation on facebook.

Your vibrant energy and passion for positive change also extends to your personal life.  Can you talk about your site Belief Energy and how your work at LinkedIn and your personal mission intertwine?

Yes, I bring all of myself to work.  It’s not work for me, it’s a calling.  I intentionally integrate my professional and personal life.  It improves both in my experience.  Especially if I follow a surge and rest approach.  Nobody can go 110% all-out in all categories forever.

Belief Energy, LLC is a personal development think tank that I created in March 2011 after reaching a personal plateau in my personal and professional life.  I knew I could live a more optimal life and roll a significant career upgrade into it, as well.  I’d done it before.  Here’s a video I created for more context on Belief Energy and my quick personal and professional reflection on 2011:

I would not have written the LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions program business plan if Belief Energy didn’t exist.  I knew what I did next in my career had to enable the enablers.  I knew what I did had to tap into my inner and outer life (my soul/belief and action/energy selves).  When I interviewed with executives at LinkedIn at the beginning of last year I could have sworn many of them were reading entries from the Belief Energy blog word for word.  I couldn’t believe it.  They let me pitch my passion infused business plan for nonprofits.  They loved it and have supported it from the start.  LinkedIn has been 100% supportive of my Belief Energy work, as well.  LinkedIn supports personal and professional transformation more than any company I’ve ever been a part of.  In fact, I plan to host a global Belief Energy workshop in LinkedIn’s global meeting rooms this year.

LinkedIn is a great place to share your volunteering and giving passion. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero (Flickr).

Your passion for helping your community professionally started in the mid-90s and led to helping nonprofits on one of the world’s largest social networks:  LinkedIn.  Last  year you helped launch the new “Volunteer Experiences & Causes” profile feature.  Do you have a couple tips on how individuals can leverage this?

The “Volunteer Experience & Causes” profile section was one of our most requested Profile enhancements.  It became available to all our members in September 2011.  Everyone knows that volunteerism is good for the world. But according to a recent LinkedIn survey, we now know that volunteer experience also can make candidates more employable. Intrigued?  Consider this:

·           41%* of professionals surveyed state that when evaluating candidates, they consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid experience.

·           20%* of hiring managers say they have made a hiring decision based on a candidate’s volunteer work experience.

·           *Based on a U.S. audience.

What you can do to help spread the word?

1.       For starters, please complete the Volunteer Experience and Causes section on your LinkedIn profile with past/current volunteer experience, causes you care about, and organizations you support.

2.       Share the new section with your network and encourage your connections to update their profiles too. You can also point them to our blog post for more information.

3.       Finally, ask the nonprofits you support or work for to encourage their support base to do the same.  Some organizations like Green Peace, The Nature Conservancy, Samaritan’s Purse and may more are asking their LinkedIn Followers to populate the section and highlight their organizations.

What resources are available for individuals and nonprofits who want to make the most of LinkedIn?

Two excellent resources:  Our nonprofit YouTube channel and a group I’d invite everyone to join called, “Nonprofits In Success.”

To learn more about how LinkedIn can help your nonprofit or cause here are 7 short videos about using LinkedIn for Non-Profits.


Bryan Breckenridge

You can learn more about Bryan at or on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter @BGBreck.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

How To Become a Creative Warrior

12 Jun
This post originally appears in The Huffington Post.
Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Becoming a Creative Warrior

Posted: 06/09/2012 7:00 am

This post was co-authored by Eliza Wing.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. — Eleanor Roosevelt

So many of us who wish to find a more creative approach to our lives struggle with motivation, self-criticism and doubt. We wonder: How can we produce high-quality work? How can we manifest the creative impulse we feel? Too often a creative drive that we experience can spark but then fizzle out because of our lack of confidence.

We worry. How can what I produce be valuable when there is so much that is beautiful and intelligent around me? We want to know. How can I, as an artist, writer, business leader, develop a productive, meaningful path to creativity?

Chogyam Trungpa‘s seminal book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, describes a potential path for those interested in spiritual development, including meditative and loving-kindness practices. His words are also apt inspiration for those of us exploring our creative dimension.

Trungpa advises us to “feel that you are not special, but ordinary, extra-ordinary.” His advice seems contradictory, especially when we apply it to the creative urge. We’ve been trained by history and society to believe that the “true” creative must be special, different, even elevated. But living with the ordinary as Trongpa suggests helps us see that this is not so. Instead, we can begin our journey by adopting some of these “ordinary” tenets inspired by his teachings:

Notice that goodness is all around us. Begin to notice the brief, beautiful moments that your interaction with the world brings you. The sound of a bird’s wings as it moves from branch to branch, the flash of sun coming from behind a cloud, your child’s hug (no matter how quick and rare). This appreciation allows you to see just how lovely the ordinary is. In the words of acclaimed painting instructor Charles Hawthorne: “Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision — it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so.”


The beauty of a moment captured – photo courtesy of Steve-H on Flickr
Acknowledge that you are fearful. Let’s face it. Creating is daunting. Living is difficult. How much of your day do you spend masking the fear (which can manifest in all sorts of ways) — are you neglecting writing that book, starting a painting, crafting a business idea? Are you instead tweeting (too much), checking email, having a little more wine than is useful for clear creative expression? All distractions. If you can stay with your fear, letting yourself experience rather than avoid it, you may find other feelings within the fear. There might be sadness, anger or anxiety. Or all three! In any case, your goal here is to be gentle with yourself. Now is not the time to add to the fear by piling on criticism. Be tender with yourself. Forgive yourself for perceived lapses and inadequacies. You will find yourself much more able to free up your creative flow.

Be simple. The most effective works get the basic stuff right. Whether it is composition, narrative structure or the moving crescendo of a speech, remember the essentials and get them right. How easy it is to over-complicate things and to stray from our core idea! If you can capture what it is that inspired you to begin your project in the first place and keep referring back to it as you move along, you will help yourself immensely. This is not to say that things don’t evolve as you develop them. It is merely that we can fall through one rabbit hole after another until we are past the point of no return.

“Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box.” — Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

Chaos. It’s everywhere. And there’s nothing wrong with letting it nudge you out of complacency. So, while you keep it simple, you play at the edges. Think of any practice that you are working to perfect. It isn’t static. Instead, once you have mastered one element, you realize that there is more to learn. In Trongpa’s tradition, the closest corollary is coming back to the breath in meditation. We sit and our mind wanders. And we bring it back, acknowledging that our mind has strayed and appreciating that we can return again and again to our foundation, our idea.

As long as I tell the truth, I feel that nobody can touch me. — Henry Rollins

Be true to yourself. At base, Trongpa’s message is to be truthful and kind — advice that applies directly to our creative selves. It is not about the labels you give yourself or your work, no matter what your work may be. It is, in the end, you and an ordinary white canvas, a blank page, an expectant audience. If you can gaze at the empty space and connect with your common, ordinary human impulse you will see that you are no more special than the rest of humanity. And that is okay. As you connect to your work and your audience with humility and honesty, the impact of your desire to connect will feed you and will inspire others.

It is you, extra-ordinary in your ordinary approach to what inspires, that will produce the most truthful, moving work.

Eliza Wing, the former president and CEO of and president of Sideways, now runs Wing Consulting. Wing, who is also a writer and a painter, brings extensive online editorial and digital expertise to her clients. She strives to integrate creativity and creative thought into all that she does.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

For more by Amy Neumann, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter:

An Amazing All-In-One #NPTECH Resource Page from @SocialBrite

16 Mar

This is an incredible set of resources from the one and only – one of my personal favorite sites for all things social media, nonprofit, and technology.  Thanks Team SocialBrite!

Visit them often!

Sharing Center

A free learning hub for nonprofits & change-makers:
Power guides, tools, tutorials, reports, resources & more

2nd Life

Power guides

Twitter icon by Matt Know

Twitter Guide





social media policies

Social media policies

Video: Open Media Foundation

Video & media

  • Creating media: resources, tutorials on effective use of video, multimedia, audio, podcasting & more.
  • Strategy: Step-by-step guide to creating a media strategy.
  • Video skills: Guide to shooting better online video.
  • Video guide: Elements of a video project



Gov 2.0

Cause organizations

  • A deep, timely directory of cause organizations making a difference in the social change & nonprofit worlds, with reviews

All of these guides, directories and tutorials live on the Socialbrite site except where noted. Please contribute your own resource listings! We share everything here under Creative Commons licenses.


Image credits for the rotating slide show for the Sharing Center navigation of (all photos are Creative Commons Attribution):

Only Hope by royryap
Andy at the Getty by Kevin Dooley
torraera (camels) by bachmont
Beautiful old lady from Darap (Sikkim) village by Sukanto Debnath
Muchilottu Bhagavathy Theyyam ceremonial mask by freebird (bobinson)
Blue (underwater statue) by John Carleton
One gear in a Clock by G & M
Untitled (flower) by josef.stuefer

Image credits for the rotating slide show for the Resources navigation of (all photos are Creative Commons Attribution):

The oyster in the shell by on1stsite(comp broken and in need of eyesurgery)
Light Painting by Steve Jurvetson
look downstairs into stairwell whirl by quapan
Sarah Austin by JD Lasica
Time by John Morgan
Q-Park by Wolfgang Staudt

On this page:
Power guides image by Cambodia4kids; Monitoring photo by CaronNYC; Partners photo by Jemingway

With huge thanks to Click on the SocialBrite logo for the original page!

You can follow Team SocialBrite here:

And to get the latest and greatest updates in real time, here are several fantastic #nptech experts on Twitter SocialBrite recommends (and I do too!)

Twitter bird


12 Great Online Fundraising Platforms for Donors and NonProfits

3 Mar

This article originally appeared on Mashable.

Thanks to the social web, each of us has the unprecedented ability to offer not only monetary support but also the reach of our own online networks in support of a cause. Non-profits can also tap into a myriad of sites enhanced by social media to turbo-charge fundraising campaigns and galvanize supporters.

Picking up where last year’s list left off, here are some of the best funding sites that leverage social networks and online crowds to help you do some (social) good. If there are others that you find worthwhile, please share them in the comments.

1. Causes

causes imageFully integrated into the world’s largest social network, Causes lets Facebook users launch and participate in online campaigns for collective action, like fundraising, signing petitions and garnering attention for a cause or organization.

For Donors: The Causes application prompts individuals to create grassroots communities or “causes” in support of specific issues or non-profit organizations and then invite their Facebook friends to join them in their efforts.

For Non-profits: Non-profits can use Causes to build communities of supporters, run fundraising campaigns, distribute petitions and build a volunteer base for free. In order to accept donations through Causes, a non-profit must be a 501(c)3 that is also registered with GuideStar. Non-profits still must pay the 4.75% processing fee via Network for Good.

2. Crowdrise

crowdrise imageCrowdrise offers online tools for personal fundraising, event fundraising, special occasion fundraising, team fundraising and sponsored volunteerism. Star power from co-founder Edward Norton and social media-powered, high-profile fundraisers have helped set this crowdfunding tool apart from others.

For Donors: In addition to starting a fundraising campaign, giving to one, volunteering or interacting within Crowdrise, you can accumulate points for your activities. You’ll earn 10 points for every dollar raised or donated and double points for giving to a featured charity. Top point winners get prizes such as electronics, clothing and giftcards.

For Non-profits: Non-profits can benefit from Crowdrise’s turn-key solution meant to complement their existing fundraising and volunteer activities. Basic accounts are free, and there is a $299/year cost for a Featured Account. Crowdrise deducts 5% on donations made through their site with a $1 transaction fee for donations under $25 or a $2.50 transaction fee for donations of $25 and up.

3. DonateNow/Network for Good

donatenow imageThis site provides a secure donation system that powers the online fundraising efforts of many non-profits. It also has a Volunteer Network to connect individuals across the country with more than 200,000 virtual, local and global volunteer opportunities.

For Donors: Some people may not ever come into direct contact with Network for Good until they make an online contribution to a non-profit that uses DonateNow behind the scenes. But you can go to the Network for Good site and make donations and manage your giving history directly. You can also set up automated monthly giving, buy a charity gift card, or download a badge for your favorite charity to add to your website or blog.

For Non-profits: Using the DonateNow service, you can select from three plans: “Lite,” for a 5% fee per donation; “Main,” with a one-time account setup fee of $199.00 and a monthly fee of $49.95; and “DonateNow Deluxe” for $99 per month. The latter two plans have a 3% donation fee. They also offer a service called EventsNow powered by givezooks with transaction fees of 5.5% and $0.99 per ticket or donation and a fee-based e-mail service powered by Emma.

4. DonorsChoose

donorschoose imageThis site vets every classroom project request submitted by teachers and processes donor transactions. They then purchase all related classroom materials, ship the items directly to the schools and notify the principal of the pending shipments. They close the loop by providing photos of each project taking place with teacher and student letters and a cost report showing how donations were spent.

For Donors: You can donate to the classroom project of your choice and then invite your social network friends, fans and followers to join your efforts.

For Non-profits: Teachers are encouraged to submit classroom projects to the site and to use social media to garner support. Projects less than $400 have the best chance of being funded.

5. FirstGiving

firstgiving imageThis site empowers individuals to raise money for causes easily and provides non-profits with fundraising campaign management tools.

For Donors: The site provides individuals with the tools to raise money or donate to a cause. Donors can choose to cover the fees that are normally passed on as a transaction fee to the non-profit.

For Non-Profits: FirstGiving partners with non-profit organizations so they can plan, execute and measure their online fundraising campaigns. Non-profits can sign up for an account and receive donations weekly, less a 5% fee. Non-profits can also let their supporters know that anyone can create fundraising pages on behalf of the organization.

6. Givezooks!

givezooks imageGivezooks! is geared toward non-profits and provides them with tools to manage fundraising efforts. Fundraisers on givezooks! can be promoted using e-mail, widgets and through social media channels.

For Donors: While not specifically geared toward the individual donor, givezooks! provides a grassroots fundraising tool for non-profits. In turn, non-profits can encourage people like you to create grassroots fundraising campaigns on their behalf and individuals can tap into their own personal social networks for additional support.

For Non-profits: To get started, non-profits pick a plan, create a custom givezooks! fundraiser: a campaign, event or wish list. Organizations also select their payment gateway: Sage, PayPal, CyberSource, or AmazonPayments. The givezooks! Social Fundraising platform starts at $129 per month. Their Events product is priced separately based on a transaction fee starting at 2%.

7. Help Attack!

helpattack imageHelpAttack! wants to make it easy and fun for anyone to “turn social actions into social good.” Anyone can pledge any amount of money for each action they take online (currently on Twitter and Facebook) and give it to their favorite non-profits. There’s a gaming and discovery component so users can unlock coins and learn about new non-profits and causes to support.

For Donors: Sign in to HelpAttack! with your Twitter or Facebook ID, choose a non-profit from the site’s database to support and pledge a specific amount per action for a 30-day period. Then simply go about your tweeting, commenting, uploading photos to Facebook, and engaging with your friends online. At the end of 30 days, the site tallies your social activities, and you can return to the site to make good on your promise.

For Non-profits: Any 501(c)(3) can be included in the site’s database and cultivate philanthropists from their fans and followers. The fee for non-profits is 4.75% via Network For Good. HelpAttack! has a freemium model with the paid upgrade costing $25 at sign up and an additional 4% from the donation stream.

8. Jumo

jumo imageJumo, a registered 501(c)(3) organization, considers itself a social network that connects individuals and organizations. Created by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, its functionality is linked closely with Facebook.

For Donors: You must have a Facebook account to sign up and use. As a donor, you can find issues and projects to support, follow related news and support those causes. In some cases, you donate to an organization through a donate button on their Jumo page.

For Non-profits: Jumo is open to all organizations or groups with a charitable mission. Non-profits can add their organizations or projects by clicking on “Add a Project” at the bottom of every site page. In some cases, a page may already be set up in an organization’s name, and they can click “Become the administrator” on the page to claim it. To receive donations through Jumo, non-profits must provide their organization’s EIN. Donations on Jumo are processed via Network for Good so there is a 4.75% fee per transaction.

9. JustGive

justgive imageFounded 11 years ago, JustGive was created to help individuals find charities to support. The JustGive Guide narrows a database of over 1.5 million charities (from Guidestar) down to the 1,000 organizations that meet stringent requirements and then groups them into 19 categories. The site also offers various ways individuals can support their causes, such as charity gift cards, charity wedding registrations and charity gift collections.

For Donors: The minimum donation through the site is $10 and payments can be made via American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or Visa. You can also set up recurring donations to process on a monthly basis. Track the donations you make through your giving history, which helps at tax time.

For Non-profits: To create or correct their listing on JustGive, a non-profit needs to first register with Guidestar. Organizations can set up a JustGive donation page and download a “Donate Now” button to put on their website or blog and lead donors to JustGive to process donations. JustGive provides a record of donations downloadable as a CSV or PDF file. There are no setup costs but there is a 3% fee per donation.

10. Razoo

razoo imageRazoo provides tools to search for and donate to charities, create an online fundraiser with no setup fees or monthly subscriptions and collaborate through social media.

For Donors: You can find and support your favorite cause or non-profit or set up your own fundraiser. You can also organize a team or join someone else’s to raise money including races and mission trips.

For Non-profits: With Razoo, non-profits can accept online donations and create fundraising campaigns for specific projects or start a fundraiser for a good cause. You can also claim access to your organization’s listing (based on the IRS Business Master File) to share your stories for free on your fundraising page and use the DonateAnywhere widget to accept donations through Razoo. Razoo’s per donation transaction fee is 2.9% with an additional 2.0% for team fundraising tools.

11. SocialVibe

socialvibe imageSocialVibe is part of the social offerings from branding agency Svnetwork. The company refers to SocialVibe as a “social media utility” that connects people with brands in support of causes.

For Donors: By interacting with brands who have set up campaigns on SocialVibe, you can contribute to non-profit organizations partnered with the site. Each time you share branded content on your social media channels and blogs, you earn points that translate into micro-donations for the cause of your choice. The more social media accounts you connect to SocialVibe, the greater your impact. You can also add the SocialVibe app to your Facebook profile.

For Non-profits: SocialVibe is limited in how it works specifically with non-profits. It is currently affiliated with 40 charitable partners in the areas of education, environment, heath, hunger and poverty, animals, arts and culture, and peace and human rights.

12. Sparked

sparked imageSparked is an online-only volunteer network that incorporates crowdsourcing principles to bring talented individuals together in support of non-profits.

For Donors: Instead of donating money, you’re giving time and in-kind contributions. And if you have a spare moment, Sparked will help you fill it. You provide the site with your specific skills, such as copywriting or graphic design. Specify what types of causes interest you such as environmental or health. You’ll then start receiving requests from the site to help non-profits on relevant projects such as developing copy and designing a new direct mail piece for a conversation project.

For Non-profits: Any non-profit can create a profile specifying their sector and needs. They can then post challenges that are distributed to the vast volunteer network. Note that this site does not provide fundraising tools.

9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn – Zen Habits

2 Mar

This post originally appears on one of my favorite inspirational sites, Zen Habits.

9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn

Post written by Leo Babauta.

Kids in today’s school system are not being prepared well for tomorrow’s world.

As someone who went from the corporate world and then the government world to the ever-changing online world, I know how the world of yesterday is rapidly becoming irrelevant. I was trained in the newspaper industry, where we all believed we would be relevant forever — and I now believe will go the way of the horse and buggy.

Unfortunately, I was educated in a school system that believed the world in which it existed would remain essentially the same, with minor changes in fashion. We were trained with a skill set that was based on what jobs were most in demand in the 1980s, not what might happen in the 2000s.

And that kinda makes sense, given that no one could really know what life would be like 20 years from now. Imagine the 1980s, when personal computers were still fairly young, when faxes were the cutting-edge communication technology, when the Internet as we now know it was only the dream of sci-fi writers like William Gibson.

We had no idea what the world had in store for us.

And here’s the thing: we still don’t. We never do. We have never been good at predicting the future, and so raising and educating our kids as if we have any idea what the future will hold is not the smartest notion.

How then to prepare our kids for a world that is unpredictable, unknown? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.

This requires an entirely different approach to child-rearing and education. It means leaving our old ideas at the door, and reinventing everything.

My drop-dead gorgeous wife Eva (yes, I’m a very lucky man) and I are among those already doing this. We homeschool our kids — more accurately, we unschool them. We are teaching them to learn on their own, without us handing knowledge down to them and testing them on that knowledge.

It is, admittedly, a wild frontier, and most of us who are experimenting with unschooling will admit that we don’t have all the answers, that there is no set of “best practices”. But we also know that we are learning along with our kids, and that not knowing can be a good thing — an opportunity to find out, without relying on established methods that might not be optimal.

I won’t go too far into methods here, as I find them to be less important than ideas. Once you have some interesting ideas to test, you can figure out an unlimited amount of methods, and so my dictating methods would be too restrictive.

Instead, let’s look at a good set of essential skills that I believe children should learn, that will best prepare them for any world of the future. I base these on what I have learned in three different industries, especially the world of online entreprenurship, online publishing, online living … and more importantly, what I have learned about learning and working and living in a world that will never stop changing.

1. Asking questions. What we want most for our kids, as learners, is to be able to learn on their own. To teach themselves anything. Because if they can, then we don’t need to teach them everything — whatever they need to learn in the future, they can do on their own. The first step in learning to teach yourself anything is learning to ask questions. Luckily, kids do this naturally — our hope is to simply encourage it. A great way to do this is by modeling it. When you and your child encounter something new, ask questions, and explore the possible answers with your child. When he does ask questions, reward the child instead of punishing him (you might be surprised how many adults discourage questioning).

2. Solving problems. If a child can solve problems, she can do any job. A new job might be intimidating to any of us, but really it’s just another problem to be solved. A new skill, a new environment, a new need … they’re all simply problems to be solved. Teach your child to solve problems by modeling simple problem solving, then allowing her to do some very easy ones on her own. Don’t immediately solve all your child’s problems — let her fiddle with them and try various possible solutions, and reward such efforts. Eventually, your child will develop confidence in her problem-solving abilities, and then there is nothing she can’t do.

3. Tackling projects. As an online entrepreneur, I know that my work is a series of projects, sometimes related, sometimes small and sometimes large (which are usually a group of smaller projects). I also know that there isn’t a project I can’t tackle, because I’ve done so many of them. This post is a project. Writing a book is a project. Selling the book is another project. Work on projects with your kid, letting him see how it’s done by working with you, then letting him do more and more by himself. As he gains confidence, let him tackle more on his own. Soon, his learning will just be a series of projects that he’s excited about.

4. Finding passion. What drives me is not goals, not discipline, not external motivation, not reward … but passion. When I’m so excited that I can’t stop thinking about something, I will inevitably dive into it fully committed, and most times I’ll complete the project and love doing it. Help your kid find things she’s passionate about — it’s a matter of trying a bunch of things, finding ones that excite her the most, helping her really enjoy them. Don’t discourage any interest — encourage them. Don’t suck the fun out of them either — make them rewarding.

5. Independence. Kids should be taught to increasingly stand on their own. A little at a time, of course. Slowly encourage them to do things on their own. Teach them how to do it, model it, help them do it, help less, then let them make their own mistakes. Give them confidence in themselves by letting them have a bunch of successes, and letting them solve the failures. Once they learn to be independent, they learn that they don’t need a teacher, a parent, or a boss to tell them what to do. They can manage themselves, and be free, and figure out the direction they need to take on their own.

6. Being happy on their own. Too many of us parents coddle our kids, keeping them on a leash, making them rely on our presence for happiness. When the kid grows up, he doesn’t know how to be happy. He must immediately attach to a girlfriend or friends. Failing that, they find happiness in other external things — shopping, food, video games, the Internet. But if a child learns from an early age that he can be happy by himself, playing and reading and imagining, he has one of the most valuable skills there is. Allow your kids to be alone from an early age. Give them privacy, have times (such as the evening) when parents and kids have alone time.

7. Compassion. One of the most essential skills ever. We need this to work well with others, to care for people other than ourselves, to be happy by making others happy. Modeling compassion is the key. Be compassionate to your child at all times, and to others. Show them empathy by asking how they think others might feel, and thinking aloud about how you think others might feel. Demonstrate at every opportunity how to ease the suffering of others when you’re able, how to make others happier with small kindnesses, how that can make you happier in return.

8. Tolerance. Too often we grow up in an insulated area, where people are mostly alike (at least in appearance), and when we come into contact with people who are different, it can be uncomfortable, shocking, fear-inducing. Expose your kids to people of all kinds, from different races to different sexuality to different mental conditions. Show them that not only is it OK to be different, but that differences should be celebrated, and that variety is what makes life so beautiful.

9. Dealing with change. I believe this will be one of the most essential skills as our kids grow up, as the world is always changing and being able to accept the change, to deal with the change, to navigate the flow of change, will be a competitive advantage. This is a skill I’m still learning myself, but I find that it helps me tremendously, especially compared to those who resist and fear change, who set goals and plans and try to rigidly adhere to them as I adapt to the changing landscape. Rigidity is less helpful in a changing environment than flexibility, fluidity, flow. Again, modeling this skill for your child at every opportunity is important, and showing them that changes are OK, that you can adapt, that you can embrace new opportunities that weren’t there before, should be a priority. Life is an adventure, and things will go wrong, turn out differently than you expected, and break whatever plans you made — and that’s part of the excitement of it all.

We can’t give our children a set of data to learn, a career to prepare for, when we don’t know what the future will bring. But we can prepare them to adapt to anything, to learn anything, to solve anything, and in about 20 years, to thank us for it.

Posted: 02.14.2012

Pinterest: 101+ #Infographics on Social Media, Job Search, SEO, and Mobile – Plus #Quotes

1 Feb

Follow Me on Pinterest

Image from Mashable

Like so many of us, I am a bit obsessed with infographics.  They lay out complex statistics, timelines, and interesting facts in a simple, visually-appealling way.  With a quick glance, it all makes sense, whatever the topic may be!

Pinterest, the latest social media network taking the world by storm, is all about visuals – “pinning” your favorite images – photos, graphics, infographics – onto boards you share with other like-minded people with similar interests.  It’s a bit like creating Lists, or Groups, but it’s all about the visual element.

This creates dizzying opportunities to share great infographics, and I’ve found it incredibly useful for keeping some of the best ones I come across filed together in one place for easy access.

Here are some favorites!  Check back often – new ones are constantly being added.  And please connect so I can see your boards too!

For all the latest infographics, along with fun Geeky things, positive quotes, and more, please join me in sharing on Pinterest!

Follow Me on Pinterest

You can join Pinterest here or tweet me @CharityIdeas for an invite!

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Social Good Stars: LinkedIn’s Meg Garlinghouse : Tips and Tricks for LinkedIn

25 Jan

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Social Good Stars: LinkedIn’s Meg Garlinghouse

Posted: 01/24/2012 9:40 am

This is the fifth installment of the Impact series, #SocialGoodStars. The people highlighted here are passionate, dedicated philanthropists, strengths to their communities, and social media masters. They also happily share their vast knowledge with others, making them shine as leaders in the Social Good world. You can read the fourth interview with Mark Horvath of Invisible People here.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
~Winston Churchill

If anyone understands the overlap of our professional and charitable lives, it’s Meg Garlinghouse. She is head of LinkedIn for Good, connecting 135+ million professionals’ knowledge and experience with nonprofits’ needs, globally.  With nearly twenty years of experience in the technology and philanthropy sectors, a background in international development, and time with the Peace Corps, she’s learned first-hand the power of giving. She also currently serves on the Boards of Network for Good and VolunteerMatch. Her Twitter bio notes: “Coffee Addict. Peace Corps Volunteer. Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Enthusiast. LinkedIn for Good. Bias for action.” So grab some coffee (and pie?) and learn more about how the worlds of social good and personal growth are intersecting.
Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero (Flickr).

“You personally spent time in the Peace Corps, and have helped with programs leveraging the power of the internet at several organizations including Yahoo!, Network For Good, VolunteerMatch, and of course LinkedIn. Do you have any advice for people looking at ways to jump into philanthropy, in person and online?”

There has been no better time than now for individuals to get involved in philanthropy and have a huge impact. The Internet enables people to find the perfect philanthropic or volunteering opportunity that matches what they care about with ways they can provide support. Coined by DonorsChoose, the notion of citizen philanthropist, the ability for any individual to raise funds and awareness for causes, is also gaining traction. Through nonprofits like Charity:Water, you become the fundraiser for the organization, leveraging your connections to create an even bigger impact for the cause.

I have a strong bias that individuals should use their unique skills and experience to impact an organization. While cash resources are always important, we desperately need people’s knowledge, skills and experience to come up with new solutions to old problems. The Internet also allows people to collaborate or crowdsource knowledge, insights and information. Some of my favorite examples of this include Sparked and Ushahidi.
“What recommendations do you have for professionals using LinkedIn, to help them leverage personal volunteering experience and share their favorite causes with others?”

This fall LinkedIn launched a Volunteer and Causes field that enables you to add your volunteer work, causes you care about and the organizations you support to your LinkedIn profile. We wanted to make it easy for professionals to include their social impact as part of their professional identity. In addition to the field being an important addition to your professional profile, it also helps nonprofits build their brand. Your association with an organization is an implicit endorsement and can help strengthen its brand and drive awareness. Your connections will be automatically notified when you add this field.

And don’t forget, volunteering is good for your career. There is a great deal of data that indicates that employers care about volunteer work. According to a survey LinkedIn did, 1 out of every 5 hiring managers agree that they have hired a candidate specifically because of their volunteer work.

“Can you talk about the mission behind the newly-created LinkedIn for Good Foundation?”

I think companies’ biggest opportunity to impact the world lies in what their core mission and unique assets are. LinkedIn is in the business of connecting talent with opportunity. The mission of LinkedIn for Good is: Connect the talent and passion of professionals with opportunities to use their skills to make a positive impact on the world. The Foundation that we just created is 100% employee-managed and focuses on leveraging the talents of our employees to impact nonprofit organizations.
“Have you seen any trends with nonprofits and LinkedIn? Where do you see online philanthropy headed for 2012 and beyond?”

I believe that human capital is the future of philanthropy. This skill-based, or pro bono marketplace is in its infancy but we are beginning to see a movement. Professionals, particularly Millenials, are looking for more ways they can make an impact through the workplace. Corporations (HP, Microsoft, IBM, Gap, Deloitte and others) are investing heavily in programs that inspire their employees to participate in skill-based volunteering. And several nonprofits have emerged to create a marketplace that connects the right professional with the right opportunity. Taproot is certainly a thought leader in this space who is driving this movement. Other interesting organizations to watch include CatchaFire and Sparked.

I believe that in 2012 and beyond this trend will continue to grow and the collaboration of human knowledge and passion from every corner of the earth will result in some game-changing solutions to the many global challenges we face.
“Where can people find resources and tips LinkedIn for Good offers for philanthropy professionals and nonprofits?”

We created a Learning Center specifically for nonprofits and nonprofit professionals.

Meg Garlinghouse, Employment Branding and Community at LinkedIn.

You can learn more about Meg on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter @MegGarling. Another helpful LinkedIn for Nonprofits expert is Bryan Breckenridge or @BGBreck.

Amy Neumann is a writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

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