Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ideas That Work

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Giving Two Times During the Holidays

As you know the New York Times is often a source of ideas for our Thursday "News you can Use" column. November 11th an article ran that was destined for the end of the week segment...until I spoke to Don Murphy, the Valley Secretary for Pittsburgh.

The article, "Dollars That Turn Into Bees, and Other Gifts Given Twice",was a very interesting piece about how both giving and Holiday shopping are expected to be down this year - and how some individuals and organizations have devised cool strategies to give in ways that honor or benefit someone on your gift list.

Ideas described include donating bees to a developing community in honor of a loved one to giving a membership to the local art museum to an art lover.

These are good and worthy ideas. In regards to our Learning Centers, I wrote in Northern Light a couple of years back about the Vaughtiers who gave a Builders Council membership to their daughter's grandfather. A 33rd degree Mason from Harrisburg, he suggested the Learning Center as a way to help his granddaughter's reading troubles. The daughter is now a successful college graduate.

I had just read the Times article when I spoke to Murphy about his Valley's Hiram's Scottish Rite Riders Motorcycle Group. The Riders have been a tremendous advocate of the Pittsburgh Learning Center. We were discussing their 2009 Motorcycle Raffle, which raised a lot of money.

"Steve," Don said, " the group is already working the next raffle for a new bike. They were promoting the raffle entries as great stocking stuffers!"

I called Bill Roberts, a member of the club. Not only was this true, but apparently the idea has been pretty successful. "We sold a bunch of tickets at our last Valley event," relates Roberts. "We've also put our a number of order forms to get tickets around the bike. I've had to restock our supply of order forms. People keep taking them."

This is a great way to promote our Learning Centers as show our loved ones we care. Can you promote something similarly to benefit your LC? It may be tight for this year but it is and inspired way to give twice!


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