Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week
Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week )
  December 17, 2004 
Contents In This Issue
    Getting Results From Charitable Giving
    by Gail R. Shapiro

  • Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach
    Focusing your vision, achieving results

    Coaching for Corporations, Businesses and Individuals


    "Be a 'go giver' not a 'go getter'."

    -- David Bach

    Getting Results From Charitable Giving
    by Gail R. Shapiro

    It's the end of 2004, and your desk is overflowing with solicitations from many worthy charities. How do you decide which to support, and at what level? How do you say "no" to personal requests for those you won't support? What will influence your giving decisions?

    The answer is planning: determine your goals, use those goals to make a plan -- and then stick to it! Planning is the most efficient and effective way to manage all aspects of your life, including charitable giving.

    Charitable giving shows your support for those people and causes you value and consider worthy. Your gifts are your personal response to human needs, improving the quality of your life and others'. Charitable giving is a profoundly creative act, nurturing YOU as well as the recipients of your gifts.

    As you create your plan, think of yourself as a philanthropist ("lover of people"). You don't have to be wealthy to be a philanthropist, you just need to share a desire to make a difference. In fact, of the 89% of American households which donate to charitable causes annually, those earning the least give the most, proportional to their income. And 44% of adults volunteer an average of 3.6 hours a week. As a philanthropist, you become a very powerful agent of change -- at any level of giving.

    Here are the Six Steps to Build Your Own Charitable Giving Plan:

    1. Decide who will participate in the discussion.

    Will it be you alone, or your spouse, children, friends, financial advisors, employees or co-workers?

    2. Define your interests.

    What do you care about fervently? Why are you giving? To support an institution? Respond to a crisis or help find a cure for a disease? Honor a friend or remember a loved one? Save money on taxes? Fulfill a religious obligation? Gain recognition for your business?

    3. Determine your giving level.

    How will you establish a charitable giving budget? Will it be a pre-determined percentage of your income (net or gross), a fixed amount, or whatever is left over after your other obligations are met?

    4. Choose the recipient(s) for your gift(s).

    Will you support a cause or philosophy, a political candidate or party, or a friend going through a tough time? Are you passionate about animal rights, the environment, the arts -- or a particular population, such as immigrants, children, or the disabled? Do you want to benefit a particular geographic area, such as your hometown? Where do you want to make a difference?

    5. Decide on the best vehicle, and your timetable for giving together, as these are closely linked.

    You can make a gift of cash, time or property directly to an organization. Or make a planned gift, such as a bequest. You can set up a donor-advised fund through a community foundation or a brokerage firm. Or give to a national fund like the United Way, to a women's fund, or religious federation.

    6. Put your plan into practice and review it regularly.

    Be creative. Find a need and fill it. See what needs to be done -- and do it. Even very small gifts, carefully chosen and implemented, can have enormous impact. With your plan in place, you now can say, "Sorry, it's not in my Charitable Giving Plan this year" to requests you don't wish to support.

    When you match your gifts with your goals -- when you give proactively, not reactively -- you not only are doing good, you get much more pleasure from your philanthropy. Happy Giving!

    Gail R. Shapiro, Charitable Giving Consultant, can be reached at


    Gail gives valuable advice in putting together a Charitable Plan. We have used her suggestions over the past year and it's helped us feel proactive and good about our giving. This year put together a plan that works for you. Involve your families, employees, and friends, as it is fitting. Make a difference in a way that reflects what's important to you.


    Novakowski Family Gives Holiday Donations

    Each year in the beginning of December, we sit down as a family to talk about giving to others. This year, our children, Jamie and Anna, once again chose Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ( to receive our family's gift. Why? Jamie said it quite well, "Rather than having one person or family benefit, we want to contribute to a cause that will impact advancement in a field. This has the potential to benefit many."

    We also selected two other Funds to support. My husband, Bill, chose the Ashland Emergency Fund. So many people are unable to pay for oil delivery, gas and electric heating bills and food that is nutritious and good for them. He feels this is a way to help with that situation.

    The Fire Chief in Ashland is stationed in Iraq and it's tough duty. He asked that residents help out by donating items for our soldiers in Iraq through The Federated Church in Ashland's Operation Kee. We will be providing non-perishable food items, sun screen, all those things we take for granted back home.


    Ready to put together your goals for 2005? Just by writing your goals down you move to the top 3% of society. Goals give you a clear sense of direction. You become what you think about most of the time. Successful people think about their goals most of the time.

    When you write your goals this year:

    a. Write the goals in the present tense. (I am working out 3 times per week.)
    b. Start each goal with the word "I".
    c. Ask yourself which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on your life. Make that your No. 1 goal.
    d. Set a deadline, make a plan, and take action every day.
    e. Think and talk about your goals -- this stimulates creativity.

    To receive a form to capture your goals for 2005, send Andrea an e-mail at with "Goals 2005 Form" in the subject line.


    Coach Andrea's Coaching Tip of the Week is brought to you by Andrea Novakowski, Master Certified Coach who provides Business and Personal Coaching to Corporations, Businesses, and Individuals. Andrea is a professional coach who partners with people to set goals and create momentum to produce effective results in their business and/or personal lives.

    Andrea is available for individual coaching. If you are serious about reaching your goals and living with greater fulfillment and satisfaction, consider using a coach. To schedule a COMPLIMENTARY initial consultation, send an e-mail to Andrea at


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    Focusing your vision, achieving results

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