February 2009 Micro-Fundrasing Call With Christopher Knight

By Alex Mandossian on February 27, 2009
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Christopher Knight

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January 2009 Micro-Fundrasing Call With John Dealey

By Alex Mandossian on January 30, 2009
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John Dealey

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January 2010 Micro-Fundraising Call with Bonnie Bruderer

By Alex Mandossian on January 29, 2009
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Bonnie Bruderer

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A Gift of Acceptance

By Linda M. Lopeke on January 1, 2009
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Jan 1The gift of acceptance is perhaps the greatest gift you can give. Certainly it’s very special.

It’s not the easiest gift to give because it means risking. And it means loving “what is”.

It means putting ourselves out there, venturing into the unknown. Going where we have not gone before and where we do not know what we will find or experience.

And ultimately it means whatever happens, it (and we) will be ok.

No requirements for us to change. No requirements for others to change. No requirements for circumstances to change. It’s just all ok. And so then are we.

No one knows what the future will bring. All we have is now. I accept that. I encourage all of you to do the same. Can we agree to make that our “through-years” resolution?

December 2008 Micro-Fundraising Call
with Jack Canfield

By Alex Mandossian on December 26, 2008
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Jack Canfield

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A Gift of Giving

By Linda M. Lopeke on December 25, 2008
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red giftMRIs reveal that making a donation activates the brain’s reward center–giving you a boost of dopamine. When you help others, the primitve part of your brain lights up to experience pleasure.

So, if you’re looking for something to do with a few saved pennies, consider giving them away.

And, if you don’t have any pennies handy, consider joining us tomorrow for our last Final Friday Fundraising call of 2008 and donating $10, $25, or $40 to help us finance the dreams of entrepreneurs in the developing countries of the world through Kiva.org.

No spare change? No worries, we’d still love to have you join us on the call.

A Gift of Opportunity

By Linda M. Lopeke on December 23, 2008
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OpportunitiesJust read about the 10,000 Women global initiative launched by Goldman Sachs.

They’ve publicly committed to spending $100M over the next 5 years to support expanding the entrepreneurial talent and managerial pool in developing and emerging economies.

The program is being run in partnership with leading academic institutions like Columbia University and other key development organizations. The intent is to provide 10,000 women with a solid business and management education, a strategy seen as one of the most important means to reducing inequality and ensuring more shared economic growth.

The global initiative is expected to help open doors for thousands of women whose financial and practical circumstances prevent them from ever receiving a traditional business education. They will be provided with the opportunity to develop specific skills, such as drafting a business plan, accounting, public speaking, marketing, management and accessing capital. There will also be a select number of MBA and BA scholarships funded.

In reading all about the new program, I was reminded of what Alex and I are committed to doing through the SMARTSTART Business Success Program. Except that we’re not limiting the education to women and you don’t have to live in a developing country to qualify for the support. Oh, and it won’t cost $100M for us to implement it either.

Kind of makes me wonder why there haven’t been more takers. Particularly since the only people who will ever have income security are those who create their own work and run their own businesses. Maybe it’s as simple as we should be charging a whole lot more than we are for the gift of this first rate opportunity to learn, grow and prosper regardless of one’s circumstances.

Say It Isn’t So, Justin!

By Linda M. Lopeke on December 16, 2008
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I was disappointed to hear it had been reported by Forbes magazine that The Justin Timberlake Foundation had spent $146,000 on expenses in 2006 but only donated $32,500.

Obviously I am not an “insider” at Forbes (or anywhere else for that matter) but I do see them as a credible source of information.

This is a common problem for fund-raising organizations because the people who give intend for their donations to go to the cause or work they choose to support, not to foundation overheads and other dubious black holes of spending. When they find out this is not happening, they think twice about donating again.

Let us state again you can rest assured the generous micro-donations you make to SMARTSTART Giving are indeed being directed to Kiva.org. As we have previously disclosed, only the small amount deducted by your credit company (something we do not control) is taken from the $10, $25 or $40 that you donate. Your money is then pooled with that received from other donors for the current month and is given to Kiva on the first Friday of the following month.

Certainly there are expenses involved in operating SMARTSTART Giving. Alex and I cover those expenses (which are not insignificant) personally as part of our ongoing monthly commitment thus ensuring the money you want to be used to support other entrepreneurs in the developing countries of the world is, in fact, doing just that.

To see the people whose lives you are changing by supporting our work, just click on Loans (in the navigation bar) and check out their faces and stories. Together we are doing some really great things. Thank you for helping us by supporting our vision for SMARTSTART Giving.

Meet Winner Leanne Abraham

By Linda M. Lopeke on December 14, 2008
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Leanne AbrahamJoin me in welcoming Leanne Abraham, another Canadian winner to the SMARTSTART Business Success Program. Leanne is located out in British Columbia but is soon to be living in Cairo, Egypt making her my longest distance student in the program.

Thankfully the internet allows us to connect with those in far away places and I assure you Leanne has some great ideas for how to make the best use of her upcoming year in the program (stay tuned for updates).

Have a quick listen to Leanne; you’ll see what I mean.

Meet Winner Tony Roebuck

By Linda M. Lopeke on December 13, 2008
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Tony RoebuckI was very intrigued about meeting this winner when I visited his web site at www.mindful-one.com and when we had our first chat on the telephone I found myself feeling very peaceful indeed.

Winner Reverend Tony Roebuck is both a pastor and a coach who specializes in mindful counselling and hypnotherapy. His mission? To help others embrace wholeness through mind, body, spirit and energy healing. He’s looking forward to working on this in the SMARTSTART Business Success Program. We can all use some of that, don’t you agree?