Motivate Generosity
12600 Deerfield Parkway Alpharetta, GA 30004
Phone: (678) 353-3355

a tribute…

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Have you lost someone you love before you had the chance to tell them something you always wanted to say to them? A chance to honor them with your words. Of course you have… we all have.

    Here’s a thought… write a letter to that someone you missed the chance with – a Tribute Letter. Share it with others who knew them as a way to honor the person.

    Take a moment right now and write a Tribute Letter to someone you can still honor with your words – a family member, friend or colleague. Is there a donor you can honor with a Tribute Letter for their dedication to you and your organization?

    As you know, creating a memorial fund is a wonderful way to honor others, as well. Not just for your lifetime, but for many generations. A memorial fund also keeps the work or cause that they cared about deeply going long after you’re gone.

    Why not go back to everyone with a memorial fund and have them write a Tribute Letter. Offer to send it out to family members and friends. Share with your donors the value of a Tribute Letter. 

“A man’s true wealth is the good that he does in this world to his fellows.”

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The Universal Pain Reliever

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Dan Sullivan, a business coach and founder of The Strategic Coach, tells the story of a research project that led him to the feet of a wheel-chair bound woman. She wanted to manage her pain without having to rely on medication. She feared becoming addicted to strong painkillers.

The one thing other than medication that alleviated her pain?


The habit of giving reminds us of how much we have and how much we’ve been given. Not just money. Heritage. Intelligence. Experience. Geography. Life. The list is long.

Giving fosters gratitude.

Gratitude will not only alleviate the pain of life… it will change your view of your circumstances and your view of the future!

You… and your donors.

“How wonderful it is that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Anne Frank

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Do You Know Their Name?

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One of our other Motivation Professionals shared this question, “Do you know the first name of your great grandparents?”

“Wow,” I thought when he shared it!

I don’t.

Then he asked, “How would you feel if your great grandchildren don’t even know your name?”

“Awful,” I said.

“Not because they don’t know my name. That doesn’t bother me as much as the fact that they don’t know my values… what I believe in and hold dear. If they don’t know my name, it means they don’t know me.”

“Exactly,” he said.

“And one of my values is giving back. I want my great grandchildren to know that giving back will transform their life, their children and their community!”

I’ll bet it’s the same for your donors!

“Wealth is not to feed our egos, but to feed the hungry and to help people help themselves.”

Andrew Carnegie
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Just A Little Can Mean This Much

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When Scott Keffer (the Creator and CEO of The Donor Motivation Program) and his son, Josh, who was just ten years old, made the first of two trips to Mexico to build a housing structure for a family in need, they met folks who lived on postage stamp-sized plots of land. Each family would put something on it to live in: a cardboard box, a piece of a trailer, a discarded garage door, whatever. It became their “house,” House, huh? Here, we’d call some of it trash. There, it was their house.

In North America, we live a higher standard of living than 99% of the world.

You don’t have to leave the country to experience this, either.

I am fortunate. Most are less fortunate. Many times, not a result of anything they’ve done, just when and where they were born.

“To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Here’s the really great thing:  around the world or around the corner, just a little can mean a lot! The work you do means a lot.       

“A gift in season is a double favor to the needy.”

Publilius Syrus
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Have You Ever Received One Of These

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A very dear friend of mine told me the heart-warming… and life-changing… story of her early days when she couldn’t afford to buy books, so she would visit the library to learn.

After a couple of weeks of her visiting the library regularly, a book “showed up” in brown paper wrapping. Like a kid on Christmas, she gingerly removed the wrapping (she had to be hush-hush in the library) only to find one of the most powerful gifts you can give: a book!

Each week brought more gifts. Gifts that changed her life. Today, she carries on the tradition… changing the lives of others.

Andrew Carnegie had a vision for free libraries, because he believed in public access to education.

You don’t have to be a Carnegie to give back education.

I give away books all the time. One of my Ten Growth Principles is this: have mentors and coaches. Have them in your car and in your home. How? Through books, CDs, and video.

Today, give back a special book that’s had an impact on you. Help a library meet its goal… or help build a new one.

Give back the gift of education; it will change someone’s life forever.

And it will change yours!    

“I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.”

George Lucas
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Business Owners Have This In Common with You

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What percentage of your donors are business owners? As you know, they are wired very differently than your other donors. Therefore, your language and interaction needs (as with every donor) to affirm that you understand them and their biggest challenges.

You know the old saying, “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Understanding their world is one of the ways we show “how much we care.”

Any business owner who’s still in business has beaten formidable odds to stay in business. Here’s the scoop (depending on which study, the figures may vary a bit): Eighty percent (80%) fail in the first five years; ninety percent (90%) by the end of ten years; and 17 out of 18 fail ultimately.

Wow. They’ve overcome huge challenges!

Congratulate them. Every day and every week is filled with huge obstacles to their staying in business. Ask them who and what were the keys to their success. Every business owner loves to tell their story. Simply ask… then… listen.

You’ll find that some of them will acknowledge the local community… a great chance for you to share your mission.

Giving back allows business owners to recognize the impact for the community… and play a role in helping community organizations to not just survive, but thrive… something that they are working hard at every day… just like you.

 People want to deal with those that understand them… and are like them. You have a lot in common with business owners! Remind a few today.

“We are, after all, only trustees of the wealth we possess… Without the community and its resources… there would be little wealth for anyone. If it be known that a generous measure of the wealth one accumulates is ultimately to be devoted to community use, it may be deemed honorable.”

John Ruskin
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This is THE answer…

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Scott Keffer, the founder of The Donor Motivation Program, moved six different times growing up. As a result, specific neighborhoods don’t hold a huge place in his heart. Specific people do – friends, neighbors, classmates, but not neighborhoods.

Scott’s wife, Beth, on the other hand, grew up in the same small town area all her life. She, and her parents, watched it slowly fade.

The two of them raised their two children these last thirty-plus years in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Now, Scott knows what people mean when they talk about the community they grew up in and how they want to give back.  The answer to our community’s problems lies right here in our community. The federal government is not the answer… it can’t be.

Remind your donors that THEY are a part of the solution when they give time and money to charities in our community.  Donors AND charities are the answer to our community’s biggest problems.   

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Martin Luther
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What Are Your Prints On?

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 You’ve heard it said, “You can’t take it with you. There are no U-Haul’s behind hearses.”

Yet, we forget the incredible legacy we can leave. We call them lifeprints.

Fingerprints are used to find out who was here when they are no longer here. If they identify you through fingerprints, it’s usually not a good thing.

Think about it in a positive sense: what would you like to leave your “lifeprints” on? The people, causes and institutions you care about deeply, right?

Consider the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite. In 1888, when his brother Ludvig died, a French newspaper mistakenly ran an obituary which called him the “merchant of death.” Not wanting to go down in history with those “lifeprints,” his Will created a foundation that would award prizes to “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.”

That’s Alfred Nobel’s “lifeprint.”

What’s yours?

Help your donors leave more and more “lifeprints” on the people, causes and institutions they care about deeply.   

“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”

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Everyone Needs This

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One of the easiest gifts to give, and the most appreciated, is your praise.

An affirmation of a job well done. A hearty thanks for a gift given… time and energy invested. It is a gift… and a rare one indeed.

When was the last time you received this precious and valuable gift? When was the last time you gave it… to your spouse, your children and grandchildren, your colleagues, your donors?

This is one gift you can’t bankrupt yourself by giving away too much. The more you give your praise, the more people will be attracted to you.

However, you must cultivate the habit of giving praise.

Who can you give praise to today?

Right now!

Even the guy who parks your car or serves you coffee. Look for and reward a job well done with a cool, thirst-quenching cup of praise.

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.”

Wayne Dyer
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Donor Won’t Believe This

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Joe heard our presentation on the power of planned giving. At first, he couldn’t believe it.

Is it really possible? How long have I been able to do this? How come I haven’t heard about this before? all flashed through his mind.

He took action and added three planned giving techniques: a charitable income trust, an IRA beneficiary designation and a bequest… at the age of 81. You have to give him credit.

As a result, he avoided capital gains taxes on the sale of a significant stock holding, created a huge income tax deduction, and increased his income by over 24 percent. Very attractive to an eighty-one year old – having an income he couldn’t outlive.

He said it helped him sleep better at night. Planned giving relieved his biggest concern about running out of income.

By the way, he also doubled his annual gift to the nonprofit (his favorite) that introduced him to the concept.

Two years later, he died unexpectedly of a stroke.

Three nonprofits received legacy gifts. His favorite nonprofit received by far the largest gift. Today, a medical clinic bearing his name carries on his passion by providing free preventive, primary, and urgent health care to the homeless and uninsured.

Hard to believe… huh?

Do you have a donor that has a passion for your mission… and yet doesn’t believe in the power of planned giving?

Give them a call and tell them a Joe story… help them believe… and experience it for themselves. 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”                       

Dr. Suess, from The Lorax
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