How You Can Support the People Who Make Your Gifts

By Cheryl Mahoney Today, we’re excited to tell you about a UniversalGiving partner who’s doing great work for the world!  The Hoop Fund is located down the hall from us at the Hub SoMa, and they also share our international focus. The Hoop’s mission is to create a more  connected marketplace, building links between consumers and the people who created the products they buy.  The Hoop partners with entrepreneurs, artisans, and farmers, and invites the people who buy their products to help fund their work.  The Hoop gives you two choices: you can directly fund a microloan to a project of your…

Doing Good (twice over) with Holiday Gift Packages

Today’s guest post is from Chelsea Iverson. If you will be giving to charity this holiday season or are considering making a personalized and meaningful donation on behalf of someone you love, you’re not alone. Holiday giving is a tradition that combines the Scrooge-inspired spirit of Christmas with generous year-end-tax breaks. Each year, charitable organizations around the world receive millions from contributors during the holiday season. It seems that the tougher the economic times, the more dedicated we are to helping those who are most vulnerable. According to the Red Cross, 68% of Americans believe that it is especially important to give…

“The Power of Giving”

by Charles McWilliams “In order to get something, you first need to give” –Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs practice this basic property of reciprocity. Those who we consider ‘rich’ are often capable of giving much more than those we may consider ‘poor’ and I’m not referring to monetary assets by any means. Those who are ‘rich’ are capable of giving value to others, and this is precisely why they tend to receive so much. Yet, one more important principle works imperatively with the basic properties of reciprocation, especially when applied to human interaction: one must give to give,…

Dear Mr. Claus

By Cheryl Mahoney It’s that time of year again.  Garlands are strung and lights go up and the malls are packed and kids write letters to Santa Claus.  And sometimes, adults do too.  Here’s what I might ask for, if I were to write to the man at the North Pole. Dear Santa Claus (or St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, or Kris Kringle–whoever’s listening), I hope you, and Mrs. Claus, and the elves, are all well this year.  In the enchanted land of Santa’s village, I’ve no doubt you are.  Out here in the rest of the world, I can’t complain for…

Gratitude and Giving

By Cheryl Mahoney I don’t expect many people to read this post the day it goes up.  I don’t expect many people to be on the internet on that day either.  I won’t be–I’m typing this on Wednesday, not Thursday, though thanks to delayed publishing that’s the date you’ll be seeing at the top.  I don’t expect many people to be reading on Thursday because, as I likely don’t need to tell you, Thursday happens to be Thanksgiving.  And I expect people will be a little too busy to be reading. Busy with turkeys, and football games, and traditions, and long-distance calls…

Time to Give Back

By Cheryl Mahoney I want to talk about American Idol today.  Not about singing or about snarky judges, and I freely confess that I have never watched a single episode of the popular show.  But I stumbled across a news item recently about “Idol Gives Back,” an annual American Idol event designed to raise money for charity.  Apparently it’s been canceled for 2009.  One article says that they’re making the event biannual, to help them focus on keeping up the quality of the show.  More sources cite the floundering economy as the reason, and I even read an article which cited Simon Cowell…

How to Make this Holiday Season Truly Meaningful

By Cheryl Mahoney Christmas is coming, the goose might be getting fat, but wallets are getting thinner.  There have been a lot of gloomy predictions this year about struggles to pay for Christmas.  I think we need more positive thoughts on that subject. #1: I think that scaled-back holidays are often nicer than huge ones.  I firmly believe that buying fewer gifts makes for better gifts–as they say, quality over quantity.  When I go hunting for lots of presents for someone, I usually end up buying kind of so-so things because I just don’t have that many good ideas.  Focusing on a…