Charitable Contributions – Make A Difference

Charitable Donations

Does your company make charitable contributions or give back to the community?

Kinds of Charity Donations

Charity donations come in many forms. Cash donations are the most common but donations of time, skill and items are also much needed. You can donate clothes, food, water and tents to disaster relief operations. Many charities accept used clothing, knitted items and shoes and distribute them to the needy. Orphanages and shelters would greatly appreciate your toy donations.

You can also donate vehicles, furniture, computers, books, old cell phones and practically anything that you may no longer have a use for but others can certainly benefit from. Additionally, giving your time through volunteer charity work is extremely valuable.

For me, I have chosen to donate my skills and time and to benefit charitable causes.  I have also chosen to run for various charities.  A charity in many ways is like a business so having a professional image allows the charity to hit the ground running.  I have created logos and letterhead for one charity, designed t-shirts to be sold to raise money and donated gift certificates to be auctioned off to raise money for a charity.

Speaking of hitting the ground running, I ran a 5K (sponsored by a client) to benefit the Maine Cancer Foundation and I am currently training for a marathon to benefit the Red Cross and the Health Ministry of the Southern Tier (benefiting those without health insurance).

In January, I will be running the Disney Marathon to benefit Caleb’s Crusade, a charity established by my friends to provide funds for childhood cancer research and to help children and families affected with childhood cancers to cope with their everyday expenses incurred during treatment and relocation.

Reasons for Giving to Charity

Big natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Cuba, and the tsunami in Japan can compel individuals to give what they can to affected communities. Others encounter eye-opening experiences that lead them to start giving to charity.

Many  businesses are motivated to give because of tax deductions associated with charitable donations. In addition, charitable giving is also a good way for a company to strengthen its brand and develop good relations with the community. Giving to charity can also help drive business as many customers are likely to buy from a company that gives back to society.

For individuals, tax breaks are also a top reason for donating to charity. On the other hand, there are also many individuals who give solely out of their desire to help people in need. Others support a cause that they can identify with, they believe is important, or has personally affected their lives. For instance, friends and families of cancer patients or survivors may donate to charity to help fund research, provide treatment, or create awareness about the disease.

For me, it was watching my friends 4 year old son, Caleb, fight a losing battle with leukemia in less than a year.  I witnessed a strong family get stronger but still not have the strength to overcome that terrible disease, even after many forms of treatment including chemo and a bone marrow transplant.

Shortly afterward, my ex-husband, the father of my two older sons, was diagnosed with brain cancer.  He is an active, otherwise healthy Little League coach and father of 4 (remarried with 2 more boys).  Three years post-diagnosis, he is maintaining his quality of life after having undergone chemo, radiation, numerous surgeries and trial medication.

Two years ago, a lifetime family friend was diagnosed with liver cancer and at the age of 33 and after less than a year of fighting, lost her battle with cancer.

Whether the donation comes from an individual or a business organization, giving to charity – for whatever reason, in any form, whether a big or small amount – will help make a difference in the lives of many people who are in need.

I hope that you will join me, in your own way, in helping the cause of your choice, so that together we can make a better world.

Fast Solutions To Drive Traffic to Your Website

SEO and Website Traffic

Website traffic is for many business models, the key to profits. The more traffic you have, the bigger your bottom line. Whether you’re launching a new product or just want a quick influx of cash, sometimes you need tons of traffic quickly. Here are 5 fast solutions to drive traffic to your website.

#1 Social media.

Social media works quickly and if you have a large following on any of the social media sites, you can generate a ton of traffic to your website quickly. The key is to create attention grabbing posts that arouse curiosity, make people laugh or stir up a controversy. You want to generate click throughs to your website.

Make the most of your social networking tactics and use technology to get the job done. For example, one StumbleUpon post can be integrated with both Facebook and Twitter profiles so you’re making waves on all three social sites at once.

#2 Article marketing.

Article marketing works well when you concentrate your efforts on quality article marketing sites with large audiences. One well written and informative article, rewritten a few times, and submitted to a handful of directories can generate the traffic you’re looking for. Be sure to include a bio box that includes a call to action and a link to your website to motivate click-throughs.

#3 Blogging.

Post on your own blog or be a guest blogger on a blog with a large number of subscribers. Like social networking, if you offer an informative, controversial or entertaining post, you’ll have people clicking through to your website like mad. Of course, if you also promote this wonderful blog post(s) via social media, you can double your traffic results.

#4 Video content.

It’s amazing how quickly a video can go viral. Like print content, videos that entertain, stir up a bit of controversy or offer tremendous value cause a buzz. They’re forwarded to friends and downloaded on laptops and mobile devices around the globe. A good video can generate all the traffic you need. Again, integrate a bit of social media to promote your video, blog about it too, and you can multiply your traffic results.

#5 Partnerships.

Partnering with a relevant or compatible business can work quite well to generate traffic fast. The key is to come up with a mutually beneficial agreement. Find people in your industry that are willing to work with you and help each other drive traffic. A partnership may include guest blogging on each other’s sites, swapping advertisements or even promoting one another in your ezine.

It’s possible to drive a ton of traffic to your website fast. The trick is to have a plan in place, know your audience and your goals, and take action. To your success!

Link Your Facebook Employer to Your Fan Page

After launching Design Lab 10, and having an appreciation for the value of social media networking and marketing, I quickly created a Fan Page on Facebook. I then went back to my personal profile and input my company as my employer (partially because I am a stickler for detail, but mostly to take advantage of one extra place to promote the company). What I found was that in doing so, I actually created an additional page (a Community Page) for Design Lab 10 and it wasn’t linking to my Fan Page as I had hoped.

A Community Page is usually not properly maintained (you can go in and claim it, but don’t be fooled, that doesn’t do you justice or make it link to the Fan Page that companies put time and money in to maintaining). Some of your “fans” “like” activities are being wasted on the Community Page. Additionally, those fans don’t receive the updates that they would if they “liked” your Fan Page.

I looked at others’ pages and they seemed to be experiencing the same shortcoming. I even checked with people I consider to be experts in this type of glitch and no one seemed to have the answer. Until recently!

After numerous hours of research and combining lots of other people’s knowledge with mine, I am writing this post to share how to link your Facebook profile employer link to your company’s Fan Page.

Since Facebook has recently launched a new profile page, please take note as to which profile version the directions below refer. These first few steps are the same regardless of which profile version you are using.

In order to complete the directions below, you will need either Firefox or Google Chrome installed on your computer. Most of us have one of those (or both) but if you don’t you can click on the link below. You don’t need to be technically gifted to use either of the developer add-ons, don’t worry.

To get and use Firefox follow these two steps:

1. Install Firefox and run the setup.

2. Install add-on: Firefox Web Developer

To get and use Google Chrome follow these two steps:

1. Install Google Chrome and run the setup.

2. Install add-on: Web Developer extension

Now, you will need your Facebook Fan Page unique URL ID number. To get it:

1. Go to your Fan Page.

2. Look in the web browser bar and after the last forward slash (“/”) you should see a number* – copy and paste that number to a blank document so you can have it available.

*If you don’t have a number in the browser bar because you have renamed your Fan Page, don’t worry. Click on the Photos tab and then click on any photo or album. The number is now displayed in the browser bar at the end of the URL. Copy and paste all of the numbers after the last equal sign (“=”) – that is your ID number.

This is where which profile you have comes in to play.

Follow these steps if you have the old profile:

(Make sure to use either Firefox or Chrome when doing these steps.)

1. Go to Profile -> Info tab -> Edit

2. Select Education and Work -> look for Employer field box (with Add Another Job below it) and put your cursor in the box so you can find it easily.

3. Open the Web Developer add-on that you installed.

- In Firefox, go to Tools (on the top bar of browser window) -> Web Developer -> Forms -> Display Form Details

- In Chrome, look to the right of the browser bar and you’ll see a little picture that looks like this: Click it and then Forms -> Display Form Details

(You’ll see a whole bunch of coding “gibberish” at this point, don’t worry, that means you’re doing it right!)

4. In the box where you left your cursor* paste your unique URL ID of your Fan Page that you copied before.

*It should be next to code highlighted in yellow that looks like this:

- the last number of the code could be a 0 or a 1, depending on how many jobs you already have listed.

5. Turn off the Web Developer add-on and continue filling in the form as you would normally%u2026TA-DA!

Follow these steps if you have the new profile:

(Make sure to use either Firefox or Chrome when doing these steps.)

1. Go to Edit Profile -> Education and Work -> Edit

2. Write in the name of your company in the field to add a new employer and hit enter.

3. Open the Web Developer add-on that you installed. (

- In Firefox, go to Tools (on the top bar of browser window) -> Web Developer -> Forms -> Display Form Details

- In Chrome, look to the right of the browser bar and you’ll see a little picture that looks like this: Click it and then Forms -> Display Form Details

(You’ll see a whole bunch of coding “gibberish” at this point, don’t worry, that means you’re doing it right!)

4. You will see a red outlined box around the name of the employer that you just entered and the other fields that will get filled in regarding this job. In the 7th grey box within the red outlined area, paste your unique URL ID of your Fan Page that you copied before.

*It should be next to code highlighted in yellow that looks like this:

- the last number of the code could be a 0 or a 1, depending on how many jobs you already have listed.

5. Turn off the Web Developer add-on and continue filling in the form as you would normally -TA-DA!

What a relief and congratulations on a job well done! If you think this was daunting, or need help, feel free to hire a qualified person to do it for you (hint, hint). If you enjoyed the information, please leave a comment, or go “like” me.