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Why a philanthropy date night is good for your relationship

Earlier this week I announced the launch of Recipe for Good, an eBook that gives you the tools to become a philanthropist. Today is the last day to download it for FREE!

Are you ready to have a conversation with intention? It will be more romantic than you might think!

Let's consider the variety of ways we interact with our significant other throughout the day. We talk in the early morning with sleep still in our eyes, while one of us is brushing our teeth, via text message, while driving, or making dinner, but not all of our conversations exist with intention. Often, we're merely recounting the stuff of life (which is incredibly important to any relationship), but sometimes you need to make a plan and focus on something really big.

By working through this process together, your shared and divergent interests will rise to the surface, and you'll create a tangible action plan to move forward and support organizations you both value.

I promise that you'll gain a lot from this experience, and it's also a great excuse to go out to dinner or make something special at home! Romantic, right?

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New eBook | Recipe for Good

I wrote you an eBook, and for the next three days, you can download it for FREE!

This is big, and I want to tell you a little more about it. (If you can't wait, scroll down to learn how to download your copy.)

I know the answer to this question already, but I'll ask it anyway. Do you have a personal philanthropy strategy?

Most of us don't. Without one, our good intentions may never fully satisfy us, and we risk falling into a giving pattern that doesn't align with our goals and passions. (Raise your hand if you felt pressured by a friend or family member into making a donation to a cause you didn't value.)


Imagine what it would be like to feel empowered every time you give. Or joyful at the difference you made. Or truly purposeful, knowing that your support is a direct result of your personal convictions and beliefs.

It's possible.

Maybe you want to give for the first time, but don't know where to start. You're not alone. The ocean of need is vast, and thousands of organizations vie for our attention daily. How do you know you're making the right decision?

Simply by reading this blog, it proves you have philanthropic instincts. After all, philanthropy, at its root, is defined as a "love of humanity." By seeking to improve the food system, you already share a deep love for the earth, its animals, and the people who toil the land to bring ingredients to our table. Your heart is already in the right place, you just need a guidebook.

Want to be a philanthropist? Start calling yourself one

I believe giving is a lifestyle, not just something we do once a year during a swell of holiday good cheer. Philanthropy can mean everything from retweeting a donation appeal from your favorite charity, to volunteering in any capacity, or committing to a monthly financial gift.

You probably already participate in philanthropic opportunities throughout the year, like bringing in a can of soup for your building's food drive or donating gently used clothing to Goodwill. But sometimes, if we don't endow our alma mater or write a check big enough to get our name on the door, we think of ourselves as inadequate.

It's just the opposite, though. Once you start thinking of yourself as a philanthropist, you'll stand taller and find more confidence when it comes to giving back. My goal is to help you integrate philanthropy into your daily life and show you just how easy it is to give once you have the right strategy in place.

Why you need a personal philanthropy strategy

You'll find more details about this in the eBook, but imagine walking into the grocery store without a shopping list, or starting to make dinner without the main ingredient or the proper knife. The results will be mediocre, frustrating, and unsatisfying.

The same goes for giving. Without a strategy that reflects your goals, interests, and beliefs, your giving will remain mediocre. But if you take a small amount of time to delve in and discover what you care about most, I promise that any giving you pursue moving forward will be far more meaningful.

Recipe for Good

Recipe for Good is a short eBook designed to inspire your giving. You'll identify what you value most, write a mission statement, and develop a tailor-made philanthropy strategy to suit you and your family.

Although Recipe for Good is written with the budding food philanthropist in mind, the exercises are not limited in any way. Upon completion, you'll be equipped to begin giving to any sector you desire, including food.

Download your free eBook!

Visit Amazon to download the eBook for free through Wednesday, September 12th.

Don't have a Kindle? No problem! Just download the Kindle app for your iPad or smartphone.

I'm giving it away for FREE for three days because I believe that the difference you'll make with it is more valuable than a few extra dollars in my bank account. (In order to make this eBook available on the Kindle, I can't give it away for free indefinitely, but after September 12th, you can download it for the very reasonable rate of $0.99).

Some websites force you to submit your email address in order to gain access to exclusive content, but that's not a requirement here. I won't ask for anything from you in return, but if you are compelled to do something, here are a few ideas.

1. Follow through. Promise to go through the entire eBook, discuss it with your spouse and family, and really take steps to give back in a way that works for you.

2. Tell your friends and family. Share this post in your social networks to help spread the word about this unique approach to giving.

3. If you'd like to stay in touch, sign up for the newsletter. I don't send emails very often (you won't be hearing from me every other day), but I do like to keep you up to date on news, the Book Club, and ways you can take action and get involved to change the food system.

That's it. Download it, share it, and please come back to let me know what you think!



Giving 101: Restaurants Serving Slices of the Philanthropy Pie

The latest restaurant trend isn’t family-style dining or cocktail pairings with every course. It’s actually something aimed at helping you be more philanthropic. Restaurants have seized the opportunity to push their favorite charities to diners at the end of a good meal.

I recently spent an evening at Lucques in Los Angeles, and when our bill came, it included a donation card for chef Suzanne Goin's favorite charity, Alex's Lemonade Stand. It was almost like being at a benefit. If we chose to make a donation, there was a blank line to fill in the amount that would be added to our bill. When our server noticed me reading the material, he gave me an additional postcard with more details. Clearly, the staff was prepared. None of this was pushy, however. It was just an option. A way for you to punctuate your evening, if you're interested.


Eat Less, Give More

A new NGO, Go Halfsies, has been brewing up partnerships with restaurants in Austin, Texas and New York City for its pilot launch.

In the organization’s own words, Go Halfsies is “a social initiative offering restaurant-goers a choice that provides a healthier meal portion, reduces food waste, and supports the fight against hunger."

Going “halfsies” makes philanthropy straightforward for even the most passive donor. We all must eat. We all dine in restaurants (some more frequently than others), and in general, Americans are a generous bunch.

As a potential donor myself, I dug through the website and read its materials to learn more about the Halfsies model. I'm sharing my critical thoughts with you to give you an example of how to evaluate a potential giving opportunity.



Giving 101: 10 Food Nonprofits to Follow on Twitter

Most giving doesn't begin by making a donation. Instead, best practices when considering getting more involved in philanthropy involve doing research and learning more. In today's wired world, following potential grantee organizations on Twitter is a great way to deepen your knowledge of the organization. Here are 10 fantastic nonprofits working to change the food system. Check out their feeds!

  1. Share Our Strength
  2. Heifer International
  3. Landesa
  4. Wholesome Wave
  5. Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
  6. Slow Food USA
  7. The Gentle Barn
  8. The Food Trust
  9. Farmer Foodshare
  10. 1,000 Days



Giving 101: How to double your donation for free

How would you like to double, or ever triple your gift to a nonprofit? It's easier to do than you might think, and doesn't involve you spending a dime over your intended donation. The secret? Your company's matching gift program.

Corporate matching gift programs are an easy way to maximize any gift you plan to give to a nonprofit this year. It doesn't just benefit the nonprofits that receive a check, but goes a long way to boost office moral. When a company offers matching contributions, it sends a message to employees along the lines of "I care about what you care about."

This generosity goes a long way to help employees feel valued, engaged, and aids in staff retention over the long-term. For non-profits, studies have shown that matching gifts can be strong incentives for fundraising appeals that ultimately lead to increased donations.

Take Action

Find out if your company offers a matching gift program. If it does, review the policy, give some thought to which organizations you'd like to give to this year, and make a plan for your donation. If your company does not offer a matching gift program, consider speaking with the human resources manager to see about starting one.