The Importance of Giving
I’m very excited when I hear that celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah Winfrey have written million-dollar checks to help the victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake. Maybe I can’t write a million-dollar check, but I can write a five- or a ten-dollar check or more. How about you? Can you do the same?
People often think that it takes the million-dollar or thousand-dollar checks to raise money, but statistics show that 73% of the billions of dollars raised every year for charity comes from small donations . . . not the thousand-dollar or even the hundred-dollar checks, but from people just like you and me who write the little checks.
You and I can also make a difference in other ways. We all have influence and a circle of friends. Obviously, Oprah’s circle of friends is a lot larger than yours or mine, but what’s stopping us from starting a fundraising drive in our schools, communities, or workplaces? There’s no reason that we can’t create some kind of donation card and then go to our circle of friends and say, “If you donate a dollar, I’ll write your name on this card and tape it to the wall in my business place to let everyone know that you’re helping us make a difference!”
People often say, “Someone should do something about that problem.” I’m here to say, YOU are that person. Please get together with your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers and let’s get busy. I personally don’t know anyone who was affected by this earthquake, and I’ve never even been to Haiti. But I am a human being, and I have a heart. When I watch TV, hear people’s stories, and see how they’re suffering, that motivates me to get involved and make a difference.
This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the people of Haiti, and to people like you who CAN (and hopefully WILL) do something about it.
Thanks for helping me live my fantasy of spreading this BE NICE message and giving nice people a voice.
BE NICE News
Helping Hands for Haiti
In response to Haiti’s devastating earthquake, people from every walk of life immediately stepped up to lend a hand.
A fundraising campaign done solely through text messages raised $24 million for the Red Cross in less than a week. “This is history, historical, record-breaking results,” said Roger Lowe of the American Red Cross. (To donate, text “Haiti” to 90999. Your cell phone bill will be charged $10.)
Many celebrities joined the international outpouring of support. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen offered $1.5 million; actress Sandra Bullock gave $1 million, and singer Madonna donated $250,000. The Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie foundation and Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network pledged $1 million each, while cyclist Lance Armstrong’s foundation committed $250,000.
Other celebrities organized telethons. Actor George Clooney organized and co-hosted MTV’s Hope for Haiti Now telethon with singer Wyclef Jean. Larry King’s celebrity-filled two-hour event raised nearly $9 million, with help from Jennifer Lopez, Paula Abdul, John Mayer, Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Seacrest, Nicole Richie, and countless other stars.
U.S. corporations have also stepped up. Citigroup pledged $2 million, while Goldman Sachs and Bank of America donated $1 million each. Paul Mitchell Schools Dean and Cofounder Winn Claybaugh called on his 100 schools to unite in a nationwide fundraising effort for the devastated island. “Our goal is $1,000 per school, times 100 schools, for a total of $100,000,” Winn said. John Paul Mitchell Systems pledged up to $10,000 in matching funds.
“I challenge every family, individual, business, salon, and other organization to do something similar, whether it’s recruiting 3 friends, 20 teammates, or hundreds of employees to get organized, active, and involved,” Winn said. “I’ve often heard it said that ‘somebody should do something.’ Well, YOU are that somebody. YOU can make a difference, and I hope that you will!”
Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAb981D4ooc for a special message from Winn Claybaugh about Haiti relief efforts.
A BE NICE Story
Do you have a BE NICE story to share? Send it to stories@BeNiceOrElse.com. If it appears in the newsletter, you’ll receive a BE NICE T-shirt and CD!
In the closing message of his final Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien shared the following message:
“To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicismit’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
It struck me as a very appropriate Be Nice message. I wasn’t sure if you had watched so I wanted to make sure you “heard it.” It was actually a very touching moment. Here is Conan basically getting fired from his dream job and this was the message that he had to share with his fans. I enjoyed hearing his message and thought you would, too.
Ewing, New Jersey
Monthly Audio Message
Peter Vidmar is the highest scoring American gymnast in Olympic history, leading his teammates to America’s first-ever team gold medal at the 1984 Olympic games. He went on to win the silver medal in the individual all-around competition and, with a perfect score of 10, he captured the gold medal on the pommel horse. Peter is one of only three athletes inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame twice: first as an individual, and then as a member of the historic 1984 USA men’s gymnastics team.
In this monumental interview with Winn Claybaugh, Peter shares some of the most powerful and inspirational life lessons ever captured on a MASTERS CD. Listen in as he talks about his early years in gymnastics, the importance of believing in yourself, and how to make permanent changes. Learn simple techniques for achieving your goals, like working on your skills for an extra 15 minutes a dayso easy but rarely done. Peter also describes the three components of a perfect score in gymnasticsrisk, originality, and virtuosity (ROV)and shows how you can apply them to make yourself a “perfect 10” in business and in life.
CLICK HERE to hear this inspirational interview.
If you enjoyed this month’s audio message, CLICK HERE to join the thousands of subscribers all over the world and receive MASTERS Audio Club for just $12.95 each month.
Accomplished entrepreneur, strategic marketing consultant, and esteemed author Vivian Glyck has experienced a lifetime of success. In 2007, inspired and awed by her love for her own son, the San Diego wife and mother shifted her focus, energy, and talents to a farther-reaching vision: delivering hope to children in rural Uganda. She founded the Just Like My Child Foundation (www.JustLikeMyChild.com) on the premise that every child in the world deserves the same hopes, dreams, education, opportunities, health care, and love that her son was offered.
Vivian realized that becoming a mother opened her heart to the needs and concerns of mothers and children all around the world. Although she knows that many children in the United States need love and care, Vivian felt driven by the fact that war, malaria, and AIDS are ravaging the country of Uganda, leaving countless orphans in their wake. Noting that the children she met in Africa were funny, smart, and so full of love, “just like my child,” Vivian established the Just Like My Child Foundation.
Focusing on one local area, or cluster of villages, at a time, the organization addresses the critical issues of disease, poor nutrition, inadequate education, unsafe drinking water, poor infrastructure, and lack of economic development. The goal is to empower communities by providing the infrastructure, support, and education that will enable sustainable, community-driven development. Just Like My Child scholarships provide safety, education, and strong role models who empower children to know they have value and worth. By partnering with a Ugandan hospital, Just Like My Child is building a surgical suite, providing malaria and AIDS/HIV education to adults, and distributing life-saving medicines and resources, such as ARV treatment for HIV/AIDS and bed nets to prevent malaria.
In light of the devastation in Haiti, Vivian Glyck serves as a shining example that one passionate individual can make a difference in the world.
Giving Back Is Good for the Giver
While many companies are laying off employees, slashing product prices, and spreading messages of doom and gloom, others are embracing a spirit of giving and turning their attention toward those in need. They know that giving back and helping others is the kind, compassionate, right thing to do, and it also makes good business sense.
In companies that only engage their people’s time from nine to five, the employees show up to work for one thing and one thing only: to receive a paycheck. By allowing and even empowering people to use their time and resources through work to raise money and awareness for causes they are passionate about, you will begin to engage their minds and hearts as well. And when that happens, their performance at work skyrockets.
As the leader of your business, only you can be the loving and involved coach and cheerleader who communicates to your team their valuable purpose. Your commitment and involvement in charitable activities shows your staff that their presence at work each day involves more than it says in their job description. It’s one thing when people can say, “I’m an [insert your job title here].” It’s another when they can claim, “I’m also involved in changing the world, healing the planet, and helping those in need.”
If you want to increase business, passion, and creativity in your company while giving back to those in need, follow these simple strategies for engaging your team in a charitable fundraising campaign:
- Set a clear fundraising goal. Make sure everyone knows how much you’re going to raise and how you’re going to get there.
- Measure your progress every day. Make a fun, effective, visible “thermometer” for counting and reporting every dollar, and update it every day.
- Get personally involved. You may not realize it, but your team spends a lot of time watching you. You are their mentor, and they will follow your lead.
- Personally celebrate every fundraising victory. Get out of your office and praise that staff member who baked cookies for the bake sale or brought donations for the rummage sale. Encourage your company’s other leaders to celebrate with the team, too.
In a time when some statistics show that 75% of Americans are fearful of losing their jobs, let’s all remember that the antidotes to fear are hope, action, and opportunities. Yes, fundraising can require a lot of work, but it’s good for your team, good for business, and a really nice thing to do. If you fully embrace your company’s fundraising campaign, you and your entire team will fall more in love with your business than ever before!
Do Something!Quotes of the Month
Support Nice Celebrities
People become famous for all sorts of reasons, and their fame can last for 15 minutes or a lifetime. In the matter of our BE NICE revolution, I’m most interested in what an individual does with his or her celebrity. I tend to be more attracted to movie stars’ talent when I hear that they’re also nice people or that they do amazing things with their star power.
Let’s face it, a movie star can make good things happen just by picking up the phone. You and I might have to work a little more to have the same impact. Since I know firsthand how difficult it can be sometimes to make a difference, I’m always thrilled to hear of celebrities who’ve chosen to use their star power in worthwhile ways.
For example, when I asked Donny and Marie Osmond why they decided in 1983 to use their celebrity power to make a difference in launching the Children’s Miracle Network, which now serves 17 million children a year, they said it was a dream of their mother’s. They took the urging of their lovely mother and have since raised almost $4 billion.
If celebrities can make that choice, then I can make the choice to support themI’ll pay money to see their movies (not the violent ones), I’ll watch their television shows, I’ll buy their music, and I’ll see them in concert.
Although there are thousands of celebrities who do good things with their name and power, there are a few who stand out right now for the lead they’ve taken in helping with relief efforts for the people of Haiti. So here’s your “home play” assignment for this month: Support those nice celebrities! In addition to the individuals, foundations, and corporations mentioned earlier in this newsletter, do a little research and see who else stepped in to help, and do what you can to support them.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
“A pessimist, they say, sees a glass of water as being half empty; an optimist sees the same glass as half full. But a giving person sees a glass of water and starts looking for someone who might be thirsty.”
G. Donald Gale
Winn Claybaugh’s Be Nice (Or Else!) The Newsletter!
Copyright © 2009 by Winn Claybaugh. All rights reserved.
Editor: Gail Fink