Tag Archive for Giving Back

Fun with Numbers 12-12-12 edition

The promotion that I ran with Amazon (Kindle version available to download free any time on December 12, 2012) has just ended, and being the web metrics geek that I am, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the results.

First of all, a big Thank You! to all those who helped.

There were lots of emails, Facebook posts, Google Plus shares and Tweets flying around yesterday.  Lots of people heard about Giving Back for the first time, and lots of them were moved to take action and download the book.

I view the promotion as a big success.  According to Amazon’s stats, 673 copies were downloaded during the 24 hour period.

That’s about twice as many people as had the book before, (the existing base was mostly print, only a handful of digital copies), bringing the total to more than 1,000.  If you’re running the math on the financial attractiveness of writing a book, my advice is to keep your day job.  🙂

Amazon doesn’t provide a lot of stats about where the “Kindle Direct Publishing” purchases come from, so I’ll make some guesses.  Most people who tweeted, created Facebook posts or forwarded an email used the link that I provided (http://amzn.to/W7010b) which encoded my affiliate tag.  From the Amazon Associates report, I can tell there were 664 clicks on that link on 12/12/12.  I’d assume the conversion rate from “looking at the product page” to “downloading the Free Kindle version” was pretty high, so I think that the affiliate tagged links count for a large fraction (80%+) of all the buyers.

Some of the chronological highlights of the day

But that doesn’t give adequate credit to the people who wrote Facebook posts (13 that I’m aware of), commented on, shared or liked those posts (about 20), liked the Giving Back Facebook page (18 new people yesterday), tweeted or re-tweeted (15 or so), or the 2 Google Plus posts and 2 more shares and 3 posts on Amazon.

In addition to the Kindle downloads, 4 people bought paperback copies.  That may not sound like much, but for me, it’s a big day (like I said, keep your day job.)

The other exciting thing was seeing my book climb the ranks.  That’s one thing that Amazon does very well.  They segment their catalog at a granularity that books can fairly easily rank in *some* category.  My print version lands in the “Books > Business & Investing > Jobs & Careers > Volunteer Work” category, and while I don’t know the full formula, the 4 copies I sold on the 12th were enough to push me up to #16 in the ranking, which will decay over time probably dropping me out of the Top 100 by the end of the day tomorrow (of course, if I sell more copies, I could climb rather than fall….[Wow!  That happened!  3 more copies early on the 13th carried me all the way to #4, though now on the way back down.])

The digital version appears in two categories:

Non-fiction > Advice & How To > Parenting > Family Activities

Non-fiction > Business & Investing > Professions & Industries > Non-Profit Organization & Charities

Amazon tracks “Free” Kindle content separately from “Paid” Kindle content, with Top 100 ranking lists for both types in all of the categories and sub-categories.  So, as the promotion ended, and my content changed from “Free” back to “Paid”, all of the standing I’d built up in the rankings disappeared.  (Presumably, it would return, although be decayed, if I made the content free again.)  Anyway, the top rankings that I received in each category (again, Kindle Free content only) were:

  • Non-Profit Organizations & Charities:  #1
  • Professions and Industries:  #1
  • Family Activities:  #3
  • Parenting:  #6
  • Business & Investing:  #8
  • Advice & How To:  #26
  • Non-Fiction:  Not Ranked.  I never quite made it to the top #100, but I must have been close.  When I was #8 in Business & Investing, the #6 book was #97 in Non-fiction.  So, I’m pretty sure I was in the Top 150.  Plus, if you look at the “Non-fiction” category, a bunch of the top entries are actually fiction.
  • Overall:  #398

For those of you who were around for the “Flash Mob” print-book launch back in August, these results were better, with 20 copies sold at that virtual event.  I sent this invitation to a larger group, and was more intentional about asking people to share it.  And, hey, a free Kindle version is something that’s easier to pass along to a friend or acquaintance than a suggestion to buy an $18 paperback….

I was also surprised/impressed with the amount of free Kindle content that seemed interesting.      See for example, The Top 100 Non-Fiction “best-sellers”.

Finally, I’ll note that promoting the give-away was a good excuse to get back in touch with some friends I hadn’t heard from in years, so that was another great benefit!

[The Facebook page stats are on a longer latency, and I’m still waiting for them to come in.  I’ll perhaps add a bit more color for reach and virality when Facebook provides the information.]

 

My Kind of Store: Reach and Teach

Craig Wiesner, co-founder of Reach and Teach, stopped by my blog the other day to offer congratulations on finishing the book, and commenting that Giving Back was the sort of book that fit in well at their store. This was a nice symmetry, since Craig had offered encouragement on the project just as I was starting to get serious about it, when I met him at a party in March 2011.

I interpreted Craig’s comment as an invitation to drop by the store, and I’m glad I did!  I’d been meaning to go before–they make their space available for community events, and some Collaborate For Africa (C4A) meetings have happened there, though somehow, I’d missed going.

While they were flipping through Giving Back, I was looking around at all the great stuff.  I’m mostly drawn to books, so flipped through (and bought) one on community organizing: Beautiful Trouble a how-to, with page-long descriptions of key principles and examples of implementing them.  Turning your old Palm Pilot into one of those “Hairy Dan” palettes with a magnetic stylus that lets you deposit iron filings was one of “62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer”.  They also had a great selection of kids’ books, and toys and games.  I bought a couple of those, too, though don’t want to spoil the surprise of potential recipients by listing them here…  I decided I would leave a couple of things to purchase with my royalties from their sales, plus I had to rush off for dinner, but it was one of my favorite store visits in years!

Steven Ketchpel

Giving back is using your time and money to make the world a better place.

Along the way, you’ll discover a new wealth:

  • Friends who share your vision
  • Skills you develop while volunteering
  • Opportunities to work together with your family
  • Gratitude for what you have
  • Insight about what is important to you and how you can impact the world
  • Seeing your children grow in compassion, leadership,and kindness

The Book

Giving Back is a “how-to” book that supports you and your family in your journey.

For those just getting startedGiving Back walks you through finding your first volunteer project or donation.

For those looking to get deeper involved, Giving Back helps you think through your strategy:  unique talents you can bring, your ability to assume a leadership role, or even start your own non-profit.  Donating strategically means maximizing your gift’s impact by finding an efficient organization and taking all available tax benefits.

For families, giving back can be something you do together to strengthen family bonds, build a legacy, and help your children grow into their own.  The book offers lists of volunteering ideas appropriate for different age groups, tools for thinking about kids’ relationship to money, and discussion guides for sharing family values and collaboratively choosing ways to become involved.

Giving Back also includes lists of web resources and books to make the most of your journey.  Quotes from inspiring leaders and stories from real people witness to the transformative power of giving back.

The Site

This website is designed to:

  1. Promote the book to prospective buyers
  2. Supplement the printed copy with content that does better electronically
  3. Enable discussion with the community interested in giving back
  4. Share my latest thoughts (via blog posts)

The Blog

I write about volunteering and donating, primarily, but not exclusively.  I’m also concerned about our environment, and justice as displayed in our economic, political, judicial, and education systems.  Occasionally I rant, but more often I try to synthesize a response to something I’ve read or heard, or share personal experiences.  I welcome suggestions for topics, and feedback on what I’ve written.

Steve Ketchpel

 

Stanford Grads Lead Building of Hospital in India

(Excerpt from Giving Back)

Stanford Grads Lead Building of Hospital in India

Five twenty-something Stanford alumni, united by their student volunteering experience in India over the course of a decade, hatched a plan to help meet one of the key needs for the Indian state of Jharkhand: local medical care. Nearly one hundred thousand villagers have to travel three hours or more to get to the hospital at the state capital. Building a local health center would provide timely care that could save lives and double as a community center for health-education programs. Despite their busy professional lives and living spread out across the United States, the cofounders of Hospital for Hope  kept at their dream. They started off by raising more than $100,000 for the construction costs through their online efforts, happy hours, and gala events, learning to partner with other nonprofits to pull together the large events. They worked with One World Children’s Fund (their fiscal agent), Construction for Change (to do the building), and Jagriti Vihara (JV), the local nongovernmental organization that will work with other community partners to run the hospital.

With the initial money raised and construction underway, the Hospital for Hope team has entered a new phase, planning for the staffing, operations, and ensuring the sustainability of the hospital. Now taking the role of consultants to JV, they’ve researched the best models for hospitals in developing areas, along with pitfalls to avoid. The project has provided valuable real-world experience in all the skills required to carry out a complex project: visioning and planning, implementation, partnering, and management. These skills have transferred to their day jobs, but the most valuable part of their volunteer experience was the inspiration of working with people so committed to helping others. As cofounder Golda Philip says,

We were searching for what we wanted to do, a sense of purpose and vocation. JV gave us a model. . . . It provided inspiration for all of us at an early, critical stage of development as professionals and global citizens responsible to the people around us.

Busy day: finalizing text, domain and first event!

 

Finalizing the Text

 

Due to some tight deadlines, in order to have copies for the event tonight, I had to approve the printing “sight unseen” (well, I’d reviewed many drafts and the “digital proof” that CreateSpace provides).  When the copies arrived Wednesday, I sat down and read it cover-to-cover, and found a few niggling changes that I wanted to make before I called the first edition “done”.  So, combining a late night Wednesday night, with timely help from Thess on layout and Nancy on editing, and the final text is now awaiting approval from CreateSpace.  It should be ready by Saturday afternoon.  In the meantime, you won’t be able to order the old version, so there are at most 30 “upside-down airplane” copies out there that will be exceedingly valuable some day…  🙂   (The changes are quite minor, really.)

 

Progress on the Domain Hosting

 

This was an unbelievably large headache.  I was trying to transfer the domain from the company where I registered it to the company that I wanted to have host it.  What they advertise as an “up to 5 day” process took me 35.  I gather both companies made some mistakes along the way, but one crazy story was that since I had registered the domain for 10 years, and a transfer included a one year extension in registration, and no domain can be registered for more than 10 years, I had to wait a year before I could transfer it.  Anyway, it’s now in the hands of the right company, and I’ll be able to at least put the rudimentary stuff that I promised in the book up on the site between now and the weekend, with upgrades coming after that.

 

Hospital for Hope Fund Raiser

A group of Stanford students has done some serious fund raising to build a hospital in rural India.  The NGO that is their operational partner there, Jagriti Vihara, was founded by Shri Upadhyay (“Daduji”) in 1975.  I had been introduced to Hospital for Hope through One World Children’s Fund, and included their story in Giving Back (I’ll include the excerpt as a separate blog post).  The awesome cover photo was taken by Jason Koenig of jkoephoto.com during his trip to the Hospital for Hope site.  So, there were a couple of good ties that resulted in my opportunity to have the books available at the event.

Amit Garg helped get things set up, distributing copies of the book and marketing postcard around the room.  They had a nice spread of food (though I think the caterers were caught off guard with the large percentage of vegetarians in the audience), a performance by an a capella group, a short video, and then speeches by Daduji and Amit.  I”d offered to donate proceeds of book sales for the evening to Hospital for Hope, so they elected to charge a slight premium and request $20 donations for the books.  Of course, a couple of memorable “First’s”:  First Sale, First Multi-copy purchase (5!), First Signed Copies.   

The picture is of me and Daduji.  I really enjoyed the chance to meet him and learn a bit more about his project and life.

Thank you, Hospital for Hope team, for hosting me tonight, and for all that you do to bring greater health to the world.

 

Books on their way!

 

In spite of my concerns about submission guidelines, CreateSpace approved the printing of Giving Back, and the first copies are now on their way to me in the mail, and should be here in time for the Hospital for Hope fund raiser!

It’ll be a few days before the purchase link is available on Amazon, but if you are interested in buying a copy, I’d encourage you to wait until August 30th at noon (PST).  I’ll try to organize a sales blitz then, with the hope that I’ll make it into the “best seller” for my category during that hour.

Book pending approval for printing!

Cover of "Giving Back"

Woo-hoo!  After some last minute fiddling with my ISBN, I submitted Giving Back to CreateSpace  this afternoon.  CreateSpace is Amazon’s subsidiary for self-published, print-on-demand works.  Over the next 48 hours, they will review it, and almost certainly, reject it.  I submitted the files knowing that I violated their submission requirements.  Certain elements of the design of the book intentionally stray into the margins, but are still within the print area of the page.  It’s called (as I learned from the designer) “hanging punctuation” and, unfortunately, it’s not supported by CreateSpace’s automated review process.  So I expect to get a rejection, which I will appeal, and the people should nod in sagacity, approving the elegance of Dave’s design.

Unfortunately, we’re cutting the time very tight, and it probably means that I won’t have books for the Hospital for Hope fundraiser at Stanford on 8/16.

Still, this is a great milestone to celebrate, and I especially want to thank my fabulous editor Nancy Carleton, my layout person extraordinaire Thess Bautista, and  design consultant Dave Blake with his artistry and encyclopedic knowledge of fonts.

As you can see from the picture, I went with the blue.  The votes were very evenly divided, but with the designer, editor, and photographer all favoring blue, they carried extra weight.  I over-ruled the popular vote and went with the longer sub-title primarily to have keywords “volunteering” and “donating” in the title for people that might be searching on those terms.

 

3 Ways to Think About Legacy Giving

Bottom Line:  If you have kids under age 18, and you don’t have a will which establishes your chosen guardian for them, you should fix that right away.  Beyond that, your bequests say a lot about your values.  I found it liberating to think about the good that organizations could do with my assets when I no longer needed them.


I met a friend for lunch today….

and one of the topics that came up was estate planning.  I went through the process myself a year or so ago, and have been helping out my parents with theirs.  My lunch guest has two young children, so there’s an extra importance that she and her husband take the time to think about it and specify guardians for their kids.

I also recommended the book by Liza Hanks:  A Mom’s Guide to Wills and Estate Planning, published by Nolo Press.  Liza did my estate plan, and I thought she was fabulous:  knowledgeable, friendly, competent.  She helped guide me through the process of thinking about how I wanted to divide my estate and establishing the legal documents and entities to make it happen.   She writes the Estate Planning Blog at Nolo.com.

In addition to the legal aspects of it, there’s the consideration of how such bequests are a part of your giving plan, the way you financially support organizations and causes you care about.  In fact, I’ve included a section about that in my upcoming book, Giving Back.

Excerpt from Giving Back

Estate planning, legacy giving, or planned gifts are all more pleasant-sounding ways to talk about a topic that makes people uncomfortable: death, and what happens to your money after you die. Avoiding the topic doesn’t make it go away. If you don’t get around to putting your affairs in order in time, it makes the probate process more confusing and expensive for everyone (else) involved. Your first concern is establishing a guardian for your minor children, if needed. Drafting a will (and keeping it up-to-date) will ensure that, in the event of your death, the people you choose will have the legal authority to care for your minor children. Your will also determines how your assets are distributed after your death. Many people choose to devote some of their estate to the charitable causes they supported during their lifetimes.

The very word legacy calls to mind long-term, almost larger-than-life expectations. What’s your legacy? What enduring mark did you leave during your life on this planet? How will future generations remember you and your actions? Clearly, your descendants are the living part of your legacy. Their very existence is determined by the path you took through your life. Your professional achievements may be memorialized, especially creative endeavors such as a musical recording, a patent, a book, or a collection of photos. Perhaps you made a physical mark on your environment by constructing a new home or planting a garden or grove of trees. Another part of your legacy is the way you treated other people, their recollections of your relationship, and the efforts you made to improve their lives. That is, giving back can be an important part of your legacy.

Your will represents your final opportunity to influence the world. Rather than let the state decide what you would have wanted (if you die without a will), take the time to consider the legacy you’d like to leave, and work with a lawyer (if needed) to write it into a precise, legally binding document, a plan for the future beyond your lifetime. Providing for your family is probably the foremost consideration on your mind, and appropriately so. However, creating the full vision of your legacy may mean incorporating others, such as those organizations you feel are transforming the world into the fuller expression of what you envision for it. During your lifetime, you supported those organizations with your volunteer time and donations. After death, you can still provide financial support from a portion of the assets you accumulated over a lifetime.

There are three different approaches to thinking about a legacy gift.

  1. As a memorial gift
  2. As income replacement
  3. As a bold, strategic gift

The first approach, memorial giving, is simply to include the organization in your will. A token amount shows the organization was an important part in your life, an association you want to acknowledge even on the solemn occasion of your death. Perhaps you include favored organizations as a suggested recipient of memorial gifts.

A second approach to legacy giving is to think about income replacement for the organization. If you’ve been a significant donor over a period of years, will the absence of your gift cause them hardship? If you fear the answer might be yes, and you have the means to do so, you can establish an endowment-style gift that generates enough income on an annual basis to match what you gave each year during your life. The typical endowment payout policy is about 5 percent of its value (which assumes investment returns are slightly above that, to maintain the real, inflation-adjusted value of the principal). So you’d need to start with an amount that is twenty times what you’d like to give on an annual basis. For example, if you make a $1,000 gift each year to a local organization that teaches urban gardening, and wanted to sustain that gift “in perpetuity” after your death, making a $20,000 bequest would likely enable them to draw $1,000 worth of interest each year without running out of money. Of course, not every organization has the structure in place or the discipline to maintain that type of long-range planning. If you’re worried your wishes for an endowment-style gift will be beyond their capabilities, you may be able to find a community foundation that has more of the financial experience and structure in place to administer the gift over the long term. Donor-advised funds may also provide the service, though that may require a $100,000 or larger initial grant.

The third approach to legacy giving is to consider a bold, strategic gift. At the time the organization receives your bequest, you won’t need the money anymore. So, free from personal attachment, what would a larger gift enable the organization to do? Hire more staff? Start a new program? Remodel their facility to make it more suitable for the people they’re helping? Of course, it’s hard to project today what the organization’s priorities will be years from now when they receive the gift, but it’s still a useful thought exercise to consider the potential impact of different gifts. Don’t limit yourself to a single organization, but think about which one(s) would make the best use of your gift, or be most transformed by it.

As a final thought experiment, ask yourself the question “Why wait?” Being able to see your gift make a significant difference to a favorite organization is a powerful validation of your success. There are certainly reasons to save the assets you need for your family’s long-term well-being, but if there’s an opportunity that captures your imagination, think about whether it would be feasible to do both. Discuss it with your family to see if they share your enthusiasm. Sometimes a bold vision will radically change your priorities, as it did for the Salwen family, who tell their story of downsizing and giving half the proceeds of their house sale to the Hunger Project in The Power of Half (Salwen & Salwen, 2010).

 

 

Cover letters that prove you’re not a flake

Yesterday, a friend asked for feedback on a cover letter she was preparing.  She’s a recent grad from Stanford, with an incredible passion for eliminating homelessness, and a track record of achieving impossible things.

That got me thinking about cover letters in general.

I’ve heard from several volunteers that they’ve offered their services to an organization they wanted to help, and then never heard back.  You’d think that should never happen, given the clear needs of nonprofits and the fact that people are offering something for free, but it can and does, most commonly because:

  • The offer went to the wrong person in the organization
  • The organization is not well set up to handle volunteers
  • The person you sent it to is too busy
  • Too many volunteers have been “flakes” and you’re lumped in with them

What goes into a good cover letter

A cover letter offering to volunteer isn’t that different from a cover letter applying for a job.  You need to:

  1. Convey your competence
  2. Convey your passion
  3. Outline the terms of the proposed engagement
  4. Give them a way to follow up

Busy, Busy!

Nonprofit people are, like the rest of us, busy people.  (Read “The ‘Busy’ Trap” Tim Kreider’s NY Times opinion piece if you haven’t…) So, help them out by:

  • Keeping the letter short, with everything they need in it (OK to attach a resume, but the letter should make your case on a stand-alone basis)
  • Proving you’re not a flake by showing you’ve done your homework on them

Excerpt from Giving Back on Approach Letters

Approaching the Organization as a Volunteer

Nonprofit staff members are busy people, and they may see your offer to help as more of a burden than blessing. Many cold calls that organizations receive result in their having to spend more time to assess, train, and coordinate the prospective volunteers than those volunteers give back before losing interest. You can help demonstrate you’re serious about your intended commitment by doing your homework first, and sending a well-written approach letter answering their key questions. If you can be introduced by someone who is already a friend to the organization, that’s even better. An impressive introductory letter will answer:

  • Why did you choose this cause and this organization?
  • What impressed you most about the organization?
  • What interactions have you had with the group so far?
  • How much time do you have? When?
  • What unique skills do you have?
  • What would you most like to do to help? Are there specific people or projects that sound most intriguing? (You may not get your first choice, or be able to work directly with the person whose biography you saw on the website, but these expressions of interest will help them match you up.)
  • Who does the organization know who knows you?
  • What’s the best way to reach you?
  • Do you intend to involve children in your volunteering? What are their ages?

Including a donation check along with your inquiry about volunteering is a sure way to be taken seriously.

A Sample Approach Letter

As if opening a time capsule, I was able to find an approach letter I wrote in 2004 to James Dailey, then the project manager for the Grameen Foundation’s project developing open-source software for microfinance. Although the URL to my background and interest is no longer active, the letter itself is a good example of an approach leading to a fruitful collaboration. I volunteered hundreds of hours that year for Grameen, using my technology background to help them write requirements documents and conduct an evaluation of software development firms.

From: Steve Ketchpel  
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2004 3:56 PM
To: James Dailey
Subject: MFI open-source software
 
Hello James,
 
 You’ve been recommended to me by a couple of different
 people: Peter Bladin and Robert Sassor. I’m starting a yearlong
 project at Stanford, and am interested in helping MFIs to scale through
 technology. From my research so far, it seems that back-office
 portfolio management software is a key step to increasing the capacity
 and attracting new capital (through securitization).
 
 I’ve seen the moap project (though haven’t had a lot of time to
 dive into all the details), and it looks like it hasn’t really attracted
 the critical mass of developers needed to make progress. I’d like to
 speak with you to see what your plans are relative to efforts in this
 space.
 
 Peter mentioned that you were going to be in Uganda for a couple
 weeks, so perhaps we can schedule some time when you return?
 
 A brief background on the project & on me can be found at
 http://www.rdvp.org/index.php?p=project_detail&id=46
 
 If you have recommendations on people to speak with or resources
 that I should review in the meantime, I’d welcome the pointers.
 
Steven Ketchpel, Ph.D.
Reuters Digital Vision Fellow
Stanford University

Approach-Letter Exercise

Take the elements on the list preceding the sample letter, and craft an approach letter to your proposed organization. See if you can find the email address or direct phone number of the volunteer coordinator or executive director of the organization. If you’re ready, send your message and set events in motion for a fruitful giving-back partnership.

Book launch: T-1 month

Bottom Line:  I think the book should be out within a month.  I’m really excited–initial readers have been very positive.  I could use your help with a few decisions on the cover, and also with promotion.  If you could introduce me to journalists or others who could help spread the word, I’d definitely appreciate it.  I’m also considering whether to do a book launch tour, and would welcome suggestions for cities (better still, venues) I should come visit.


Things are coming together!

I got word today that my submission for cataloging to the Library of Congress had been approved.  I’d mentioned I was excited about the cover, so here it is!  The awesome pictures were taken by Jason Koenig of  www.jkoephoto.com when he was on a trip with Construction for Change to visit their project in India building a Hospital for Hope, created by Stanford students and profiled in the book.  The picture of me was taken by my thesis advisor Hector Garcia Molina.

I have a few questions that I’d like your feedback on:

Title in Orange

Title in Blue

[polldaddy poll=6378084]
[polldaddy poll=6378088]

The quotes are still coming in, but so far:

Giving Back is exemplary in presenting solid how-to information that shows prospective volunteers and philanthropists how to chart a path that leads to personal satisfaction while doing good in the world.

— Bob Graham, Founder and CFO of Namaste Direct

Anyone who is serious about giving, or who wants to teach kids to be lifelong givers, should read Giving Back. I often find myself wanting to give, but I’m not always clear on how best to do it. Giving Back is a practical primer for moving from heart to hand. Not only does it provide great strategies and activities for effective giving; it also leads you through the process of creating a giving game plan. I came away from the book feeling both inspired and equipped to up my giving game.

— Paul Lamb, Nonprofit Consultant and Social Entrepreneur


Giving Back
starts families down the path of volunteering. The book is an invaluable guide for finding how you can contribute your time, unique skills, and money to effective organizations making a real difference. No matter what age your kids are, you’ll find excellent ideas for involving them in your giving or doing volunteering together. This book suggests ways to create great family experiences and memories by doing good together!

—Perla Ni, Founder and CEO, GreatNonprofits

Ketchpel’s Giving Back is the perfect guide for families who want to learn to volunteer and give together – with the details you’ll need to tailor expectations for any age level to engage in meaningful service. The magic of volunteering comes to life with captivating accounts of service and learning to inspire family conversations and plans. Giving Back models these Listening and Learning Conversations to help your family create the scaffolding for a family culture of reciprocity and connectedness – one that will nurture skill-building in children, and foster autonomy, responsibility and motivation in teens. Share this insightful book and change the world – one family at a time!

– Leif Erickson, Executive Director, Youth Community Service

Help with Promotion

After spending a year of my life writing it, I want to make sure that Giving Back doesn’t land with a thud, number 38,121,786 on the Amazon list.  So, yes, I’d love to get your help with promoting it.  A self-published work has an extra challenge (hard to get reviews published, e.g.) so I’d welcome your ideas and connections on how to break through.

  • Can you suggest / introduce journalists, bloggers, or other notable people who would be interested in learning about Giving Back and potentially sharing it with their audience?
  • What websites should I be sure to send the announcement to?
  • Both within and beyond the Bay Area, where should I go to do events (probably more like a 2 hour workshop/seminar than just a signing, but format still TBD)?  Do you know people who might like to help host/organize an event there?  Or have a suggestion for a venue I could contact?
  • How else should I prepare for the launch?
Add a comment or drop me an email to givingbackbook@gmail.com

Thank you!