How Lack of Fundraising Strategy Harms Your Personal Finances

I held a candid conversation with a soon-to-retire sports personality (name withheld for ethical reasons but let's call her Jane) about her future after years of active professional sporting. She was concerned about how to sustain her charitable activities without blowing her savings.

Influential individuals, including celebrities and athletes, are very active in charitable activities. The strong influence that communities have in supporting 'one of their own' or backing their home team help fuel these relationships. Some of the successful athletes are also beneficiaries of community driven non-profit programs. Therefore, athletes are more likely inclined to returning the favor through engaging in community empowerment activities. But at what cost?

From my conversation with Jane, she told me that despite having registered a non-profit under her name, her donations to other charities were made using her personal account (nothing wrong). However, as someone who wants to engage more in charity work, the problem then becomes how does she solicit for funds using your personal account? And how does she manage her personal finances separate from the charity work?

Like Jane, there are other individuals passionate about charity work but lack strategies to raise funds from their networks and hence end up blowing their savings just to keep up with the spirit of giving back to the community.

Without following a solid plan, it is easy to veer off your goals. And without a strategy, lack of financial prudence creeps in and this becomes a liability to your personal and non-profit accounts.

Once concerns about financial management and accountability set in, the risk of harm to your brand and person escalates. The impact is devastating to both your non-profit activities and to your personal life, including financially. The negative publicity damages your reputation and credibility. It might also attract punitive action from government and professional enforcement agencies.

Some of the disciplinary actions from professional regulators and government (federal) include; deregistration, freezing of personal and the organization's assets, or imposition of fines to serve as a warning.

Luckily for Jane, her case was quite straight forward as so my input was technical. We set up the technical structures for her non-profit and developed a strategic, operational plan. The strategic operation plan will act as the policy guideline for the non-profit in the midterm.

I am also glad to have met Jane and worked with her to develop a prudent plan on how to solicit and manage funds from wealth in her network. Most importantly, I am glad to have worked with Jane in separating her personal financial activities from those to do with her organization.

There might be other people with similar concerns like the ones that Jane experienced. Others might have unclear strategic fundraising plans. I advise you seek professional assistance to straighten up these concerns. They not only stifle your organization's growth potential, but also exposes you to self-inflicted reputation or financial harm.

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Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Craker – Personal Finance Book Review – Bartering and Gifting

Challenging economic times inspire people universally to make wise financial decisions. Whether it's choosing to repair a vehicle instead of purchasing a new one, or investing in simple pleasures vs. opulent outings, such behaviors are proliferating. One culture that has always lived austere, yet meaningful lives is the Amish. Increasingly, people are intrigued by their lifestyle; and wonder what aspects of their living they could comfortably imitate.

Lorilee Craker is the author of the new book, "Money Secrets Of The Amish-Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving." She examines their lifestyle, which is extravagant in peace, family and community closeness. For them, thrift is a muscle that is exercised regularly.

Craker interviewed Amish folk in Michigan and Pennsylvania, including an Amish banker whose clientele is 95 percent Amish. During the Great Recession in 2008, his bank had its best year ever. Amish experts and Englishers' (Amish reference to anyone non-Amish), financial perspectives accentuate the book too. Here, two of their money-saving habits, bartering and rethinking gifts, are discussed.

Bartering. Bartering was a popular social behavior from the 1880s to the Great Depression. It's common again today. The Amish, who have a long history of living outside a cash economy, love to swap goods for goods, goods for services or services for services. In regards to bartering, ask yourself, "What are you good at and what could you negotiate for something of worth?"

Unfortunately, Americans can be too proud to barter, but it's popular in foreign countries. Barter, and you will:

  • Build relationships and community.
  • Engage on a deeper level when you must express your needs.
  • Think of your assets first before your needs.

If you're uncomfortable bartering, start with your friends and acquaintances; and seek bartering opportunities. Post what you need on social media sites.

Rethink Gift Giving . The Amish give one gift per child for birthdays and christmas. Gifts are often useful, need-based and hand-made, regardless of the recipient's age. The first step in rethinking gift giving is to scale back. Consider giving gifts that are either: a. experiential or charitable, or b. homegrown in some way.

Experiential gifts. Give the gift of a single experience, shared or not, of know-how, skill, and most importantly, memorable. Examples include sporting events tickets, museum memberships, or Horseback riding lessons. Experiential gifts can be expensive or cheap, as it's more about investing in the relationship.

  • Un-wrappable gifts. They can be fun, frugal, yet meaningful. Give coupons for services including babysitting, housecleaning or yard work.
  • Coupon-gifting. Consider giving the gift of time, allowing you to create memories, which are priceless. Coupon gifts are also something to anticipate using.
  • Make a donation in the recipient's name to an endeared charitable cause.

Homegrown. Examples include painted pottery, made candles, garden stones, and soap.

  • Cook, Can, Bake. "Somehow there's something about a kitchen gift that's infused with so much more than the cost of ingredients," says Craker.

Secondhand. Aim for 20 percent of your gifts to come from resale, consignment or thrift shops, suggests …

Personal Finance Book Review – How To Give Your Kids $ 1Million Each

By: Ashley Ormond

ISBN 978-0-73037-548-7

Book Price: $ 29.95

Senior executive in the finance industry

Ashley Ormond has worked in the finance industry for over 25 years. In this time, he has served as a senior executive in major international banking and finance groups. He has also been a director of several companies including listed, private, charitable and not-for-profit organizations. He has degrees in economic history, law and finance.

A plan to release wealth to our kids

Mr. Ormond reveals a plan to release wealth to our kids. In 9 chapters, he shares, how to find $ 1 per day (Ch. 2) to invest using investment basics (Ch. 4). He also delves deeper into company shares (Ch. 5), property investments (Ch. 6), growing funds over time (Ch. 7), helping your kids to implement his plan (Ch. 8), & other ideas.

Investing $ 1 a day adds up over time to $ 1,000,000

Ashley Ormond shares with a personal tone to educate readers through simple analogies and scenarios. He is an organized and relational writer who discusses his "aim" openly to validate the purpose of his book. Ashley states, "The aim of the $ 1 million is to enable them to do what they really want to do … rather than what they have to."

Mr. Ormond establishes foundations for readers to apply his ideas. His willingness to guide them through the process leads him to share 4 ground rules for building wealth as, "Make regular contributions … Invest the money in growth assets … reinvest all investment earnings in the fund … never spend it. " Powerful clues towards increase!

Readers are confronted with their responsibilities, as in Ashley's advice to invest $ 1 a day, he challenges readers, "Close your eyes, take a deep breath and say to yourself, 'My child's financial future deserves $ 1 per day …'"

Ashley believes in practical application of ideas, hence his provocation towards involving our kids in wealth building, saying, "The earlier they learn good financial habits, the better … the age of 10 is a good time to begin …"

Ormond employs bullet points to quickly connect readers to key information. He does this in the case of keys for gaining wealth, stating, "Wealth comes from: learning some basic rules … having a plan and setting some goals … sticking to the plan." His ideas are clear, simple, and aimed towards provoking readers towards action.

A plan to give our kids $ 1 million that works

Ashley Ormond guides readers through a simple and practical plan to give our kids $ 1 million each. It works!

Success Step: Phone your local bank and set up an appointment with their investment advisor, discuss this review.

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My Personal Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Story

I filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy a few months ago. I have been documenting the experience to share with the people who will find themselves in need of this information in the next few years. It's not a topic for casual conversation for most people, and the web is rife with e-books, courses, services and other junk.

I'm not an attorney, and I won't offer any advice, and don't intend this narrative to persuade you to take any particular action or opinion. This is just my experience, and of course my own particular perspective will shade it.

The story begins in 2005, when a business failure coincided with family illness and other non-financial problems. We struggled to cover our bills by selling personal possessions – furniture, TVs, a timeshare, tools, sporting goods and more. Finally, in early 2006, my husband found a job. By then we were more than 6 months behind on our credit card account payments, and struggling to get the mortgage and car payments paid no more than a month late. Relatives were giving us food, and I had become depressed to the point of thinking and talking about suicide.

Depression

The financial situation was complicated and worsened by my depression. I felt unworthy; incapable of making a decision, frustrated by my inability to find work while at the same time conflicted about actually having to give up self-employment and find a job again. And this, my friends, was the problem. Without some element of faith that I could feel better, I was hopeless and self-defeating. Until I found the means to believe in myself again, I was unable to move away from failure.

Happily, I did find a way out of my depression, and the answer was within myself. If you are feeling like I was, there is an answer, inside you, and your mission will be to find the way to connect with it. This article is not intended to help you find that answer. The path is different for everybody, and it may lie in religion, renewing physical activity, meditation, intellectual pursuits, or a combination of some of these, or something else entirely. You'll know it when you find it, and if you listen, it's probably already calling to you.

Exploring Credit Counseling / Credit Management Options

Two weeks prior to my husband's return to work, I started believing that we'd find a solution to our situation. Up to this point I had been screening caller IDs, allowing the answering machine to take all calls from bill collectors. I began talking to some of the bill collectors to see if there was any way I could negotiate my way out of this situation, but it was really serious. I was beginning to get court notices that we were being sued by some of the credit card companies. Just when we had a paycheck to rely on, we faced the possibility of garnishments!

So, I wrote down the toll-free numbers of various credit help organizations I …

New Book Advocates Declaring Your Own Personal Championship Season

In Becoming Your Own Champion, Duane Martinz teaches readers how to achieve success by creating their own rules to play by. His energetic cry is to declare your own championship season and then do whatever works for you to become a champion.

Early in the book, Duane talks about how too many people sarcastically say when asked how they are, that they are "living the dream." They act like life is a sentence they are serving rather than a gift they can enjoy, and they fail to seek out opportunities to improve their situations and live life on their own terms.

Duane knows the reason that holds most people back is a negative attitude and a failure to believe they can succeed. Rather than focusing on the bad things that happen and using those as our excuses for not moving forward, he suggests: "How about claiming that everything that happens to you is for a great reason-to move you forward and closer and closer to your goal and the person you want to be. Think like W. Clement Stone. Everyone is out to help you and do you good. "

Duane knows it is hard to believe that success and personal fulfillment are possible. We all have fears, but we need to have enough faith in ourselves to take the first step. We don't have to succeed overnight. We just have to say yes to the opportunity. As he states, "That's how we all start-scared, nervous, but finally we say yes! We say yes to success, and then we stress."

Yes, all this advice is easier said than done, but Duane has taken his own advice many times. He has repeatedly overcome the obstacles, fears, and negative thinking that have held him back. What I love about this book is that he also uses very realistic examples we can all relate to. He's not a professional athlete or a multimillionaire, but a guy just like most of us. Because he has not let fear stop him, he has become a successful public speaker, husband, and parent. Nor did he have the easiest upbringing. He came from a large family that did not have a lot of money. Some of his family members tended to party or get in trouble, which made people think less of him by association. He did do great in school, and yet, he decided one day he would be the first in his family to go to college.

One of Duane's practical examples concerns his college experience. He had previously always told himself he was good at math. It was like a refrain running through his head, "I'm not good at math." But when he got to college, he had to take math. Fortunately, he was determined to succeed, and as hard as math was for him, he found a mentor who helped him to change his thinking and he also started reading positive thinking self-help books. Once he started to think, "I can do math," …

Personal Finances and Debt Management

Income is hard-earned and precious in terms of future needs. Don't think of it as 'easy come, easy go' as many are all too wiling to do. To ensure one can manage one's needs and not go into debt it is advisable to put some aside each income day. That little next will grow in time and when emergencies arise it will be on hand. If, on the other hand, one has already stuck bad times and has debts as a result then there is a way of managing it.

For this exercise you need a special book. It can be an exercise book in which you rule some columns, or the more specialized ledger bought from the store. On one page you need to write all your debts, include such things as rent, expected cost of shopping, and such. It matters not the quantity or size at this stage. Make a total at the bottom.

On the opposite page write out all your income. You will quickly see how much short you are between the two columns. Now here comes the tricky bit.

Subtract the rent and expected shopping from the spending total. Now decide what are the most pressing bills you have to pay and the total of them? Ring each company and offer a smaller payment per week or fortnight over the next couple of months. Don't over reach yourself and make sure this is doable.

Make a note of this commitment on the debit side and total that to the rent and shopping amounts and make sure you have covered them. Now take a little extra, whatever you can afford, even if it's as low as $ 5 or $ 10 and slip that into an envelope and put it in a safe place. Don't spend a cent unnecessarily. Forget the cups of coffee and luxury items because they don't fit the budget.

Slowly work your way out the debt situation and don't buy anything for which you can't pay cash. Cut up the credit card and use only cash to purchase your goods. Rent can be paid through the b-pay system is possible, along with the bills from other companies. This will save you time and effort in running around.

This program works and all it takes is discipline and time to work out the budget and stick to it. In time the little bit you set aside each income day will give you security to deal with the unexpected humps as they arise. They might also be enough to provide an outing or a holiday once in a while. Under no circumstances relax about managing debt because you will never regret it.

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The Benefits of Using a Personal Trainer

Trimming down and maintaining your ideal weight can be hideously difficult. From eating the right food to choosing the right exercise and everything in between, one may invariably forget one pertinent detail or make a mistake regarding their diet and end up 10 pounds overweight or with bulging biceps when all you really wanted was to tone your muscles.

While the fee that a personal trainer may charge may make your knees bulk, wait till you read and learn about the benefits of hiring one.

Accurate Fitness Evaluation. Let's face it; a lot of us tend to over-or under-estimate our physical abilities and therefore end up with strained muscles and joints (which can lead to health problems) or a lax exercise regime (which lengthens the time enabling us to reach our fitness goals) . However, with a personal trainer, your physical fitness will be accurate evaluated and you can be quite sure that whatever fitness program you end up with is the ideal one for you.

Motivation. It really is easier to exercise with someone around and a personal trainer is just the right person to have on your side if you have a fitness goal you're sweating to attain. A personal trainer will know exactly when he has to act as a tough general, a great source of encouragement and inspiration or simply as a friend to talk to and listen to your personal health woes.

Customized Fitness Program. Contrary to popular opinion, there's no such thing as an exercise or diet program that fits all. In short, what may work for others may not work for you and what may take others weeks to achieve may mean one year worth of effort in your part. But how will you be able to determine what fitness program is best for you unless you consult an expert?

Safety. A lot of accidents can happen during unsupervised exercises so having a personal trainer will ensure that you are using health club equipment the right way. Not only does this prevent serious physical injuries, it ensures that you get the most out of your exercise routines.

The Need for Change. Perhaps one of the things that hits even the most health-conscious individual is boredom! Sometimes, all that one needs is a little change in one's exercise routine and with a personal trainer beside you, he or she can come up with different exercise programs, all geared towards keeping you active and interested in going to the gym.

What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

So are you convinced now that a personal trainer is what you have been needing all this time? If so, following are some of the items you should look for in a personal trainer.

oEducation. Remember, you are relying on this individual to guide you in your fitness goals. As such, it is important that he or she is certified by reputable fitness organization such as ACSM or NSCA.

oExperience. It builds one's trust and confidence if …

What You Will Learn From A Personal Styling Training Course

When you feel that it's time to give your wardrobe an overhaul, you usually consult some fashion magazines (online and printed ones) to check out what styles, colors and designs of pants, dresses, and clothes that are considered "in" and fashionable for you to own and wear. There are also certain TV shows can also be great sources of everything that's currently trendy and hot in the fashion scene.

These two reliable ways of finding out what type of clothes and outfits you would need to get to improve your wardrobe can only take you far though, especially if you don't have the build of a model or that popular celebrity you are a big fan of. You probably already know that not all of the latest designs and styles of clothes that are currently trendy do not really suit or look flattering to all types of bodies.

To make sure that you always make the best decisions when investing in any new set of trendy clothes and outfits to add to your wardrobe, you can undergo a personal stylist training course.

Undergoing A Personal Styling Training Course

When undergoing a personal stylist training program, your trainer or mentor will usually start with helping you acquire or improve your positive self-image. This is an important part of the whole course. Once you become more confident and feel better about yourself, you will then start learning about industry styling and illusion tricks that can help you realise a personal style that impeccably suits you, enhances your great features and hides the ones that you are not so proud of .

Most personal styling courses will help you learn how to do and even master the following:

• Correctly evaluate the shape of your body and face.
• Emphasize your positive physical characteristics and minimise your other attributes.
• Give balanced proportion to your outline by using different tried and tested fashion tricks and clothing shapes.
• Choose and work with color schemes that enhance and flatter your innate skin tone.
• Correctly select the best hairstyles that flatter the shape of your face.
• Take better care of your skin and hair.
• Using fashion wisely to suit you.
• Make the most of the value of your wardrobe. This means you will learn how to achieve a lot within a limited budget when it comes to shopping for new clothes and how to mix and match them properly, to fully maximise your investments in your new sets of wardrobe.
• Think in another way and break out of fashion repetition and regular norms.

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Personal Injury Cases Need an Expert to Sort Out

Filling your personal injury cases is lot like picking apples from the trees. If you pick them too early when they are green they aren't healthy and you may get stomachaches. On the other hand if you wait too long for them to become ripe, they will fall on the ground reducing the amount you will get from your produce. So to get the maximum value for your apples, picking the right apples at the right time requires an expert's eye and hands. Similarly it requires an expert personal injury lawyer or a law firm who can get you the right compensation at the right time.

As the process of compensation settlement cannot be redone, you only have one chance to make your case, and a very strong one at that, to win a significant amount. You and your lawyer need to be aware of:

• Medical problem arising from your work related injuries

• Extent of damage to your body and your prospect of earning in the future affected by the injury

• PPD ratings if the case is catastrophic

• Clear understanding of future medical care

Four ways to increase your personal injury compensation settlement: –

1. Hire worker's compensation expert- Hire lawyers who specialize in worker's compensation and personal injury cases having an impressive past records winning cases. Also do check the compensation amount they have been able to get for their clients.

2. Take photo of your injuries- Taking the pictures immediately after getting injured to show the extent of injury would work in your favor in getting the right compensation amount. Armed with these pictures, your lawyer can convince for maximum compensation allowed.

3. Get medical treatment that you need- Always get the first aid immediately to avoid further damage to your health or body. Take medical help or seek doctor's opinion. Even if you do not have any health insurance cover, your lawyer will be able to work with the medical provider to get you the right treatment you need and pay for it after your personal injury compensation settlement.

4. Be patient- Showing patience will work in your favor as it has been seen that workers receive larger settlement if the insurance company does not think that they are desperate for money and willing to wait and fight out the case.

How long does a personal injury compensation claim takes to settle?

It all depends upon workers' medical condition, how long does worker take to become medical stationary (3 to 6 months). After recovering from injuries if the case does not settle at the demand stage then worker need to file a loss sue. This then goes all the way to the trial stage. The time of trial is almost a year depending upon how defense opposes your claim (s). So it typically takes 1 to 2 year to settle your compensation case.

Mistake personal injury victim makes

• Accepting too little as a claim- This usually results when the injured worker represents …

Money Secrets Of The Amish by Lorilee Craker, Personal Finance Book Review – Buying Bulk and Foodies

Challenging economic times inspire people universally to make wise financial decisions while still enjoying life. One culture that has always lived an austere, yet meaningful existence is the Amish. Increasingly, people are inspired by their lifestyle; and seek ways to simplify their own lives.

Lorilee Craker is the author of the new book, "Money Secrets of the Amish-Finding True Abundance in Simplicity, Sharing and Saving." She examines their practices, extravagant in peace, family and community closeness. For them, thrift is a muscle that is exercised regularly.

Craker interviewed Amish folk in Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania, including an Amish banker whose clientele is 95 percent Amish. During the Great Recession in 2008, his bank had its best year ever. Amish experts and Englishers' (Amish reference to anyone non-Amish), financial perspectives accentuate the book too. Here, two money-saving habits of the Amish are highlighted: buying in bulk and being authentic foodies.

Amish Foodies (aka Feinschmeckers). Feinschmeckers are Amish foodies-people who eat well and plenty. The Amish love to stick to cheap ingredients, easily accessible in their gardens, root cellars or barns.

Gardening . Gardening is frugal and the epitome of wholesomeness. It's cheaper to buy seeds than it is to purchase vegetables. Gardening can be fun, allowing for time in the sunshine. Its biggest challenge is its time-consuming nature.

Canning. Canning is once again hip in these tough economic times (The inaugural National Can-It-Forward Day was celebrated Saturday, August 13, 2011).

Farm To Table. Buy directly from the farmer and you'll save considerably. Beef and milk from grass-fed livestock, and eggs from land-grazing chickens taste better than their mass-produced counterparts. They're also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and E. Meat is less fatty than confined cows that eat soybean and corn instead of grass. Farm-to-table businesses promote a slower, kinder, gentler type of food consumption with a shortened food chain.

Community Supported Agriculture. A farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. The shares typically consist of a box (or basket) of vegetables, but may include other farm products too. As a consumer, you purchase a share (aka a "membership" or "subscription"). Each week in return, you receive a box of seasonal produce.

Farmers Markets. Farmers markets are commonplace today. They unite country folk who produce healthy foods in an earth-friendly way and townspeople who pay a little more. When patronizing your local farmers market, keep these tips in mind:

  • Learn what's produced regionally and ask growers about future market offerings. Buy in season.
  • Arrive early and reap the market's best selections.
  • Arrive later in the day and benefit from lowered prices, in exchange for farmers not lugging their wares back home.
  • Be adventurous-buy ethnic, heirloom or rare vegetables. Google recipes.
  • Pre-plan meals and purchase accordingly at the market.
  • Bring durable canvas bags or backpacks for transport and small change to expedite transactions.

Buying In Bulk. The Amish buy in bulk monthly at dry good stores or damaged goods outlets (damaged or expired dated products are still …