The Fundraising Factory

Go Green

June 3rd, 2014

There are so many awareness ribbons it’s hard to remember what all the different colors represent. However, one thing for certain is when you see someone wearing a ribbon pin you definitely know they are supporting a cause.

I just finished making a new color awareness ribbon for Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.  The bright lime green is the color that represents mental heath awareness.  Surely these fun colored ribbons will have observers asking pin wearers what the ribbon represents. They are little walking billboards.  The almost glow in the dark lime green hopefully will shed a light on the need to acknowledge mental health as an integral part of our being and that curiosity will start conversation between people.  Once again I am bowing my head in gratitude and thankfulness to participate in shining the light on this important cause.

Thanks for the Inspiration

May 23rd, 2014

It’s easy to forget why I do the work I do. The meaning of my work can get lost in the day to day operation of pin making.  Thankfully I am reminded when I hear someone on the other end of the phone tell me how important my pins are to them, not just the fundraising but the way they are worn and causing awareness and conversations to happen between people. They are opening eyes and hearts in communities. It’s crazy cool when I think about it.

Most recently, it was my friend Ed Bride from Prevent Child AbuseVermont that reminded me about it and awakened me to my purpose once again.  An awesome infusion of inspiration came to me to move forward on a design for the new Kids Pins.  My heart is filled with joy to know that children will be happier, healthier and safer in part for this work I am able to do today.  I feel incredibly honored right now. So what are you grateful for today?


When you think about your daily routine do you reflect on how you are making a difference to those around you?  My challenge for you today is to do something for someone else and experience the joyful connection in your heart.

What Was That?

March 17th, 2014



The Universe Speaking?

This morning as I walked into the office the phone was ringing.  Hello. “Do you have a book?” Excuse me – what did you say?  The caller said she had just been given a Designs by Lucinda pin as a gift.  She had read the story behind the pins on the promotional cards that come with Lucinda Pins.  She wanted to know if I had written a book and could she buy it from me?

It was an almost unbelievable moment but these kinds of “coincidences” occur more often than most of us notice and forget to give thanks for them. Put simply, for me it was a confirmation that I was on the right path.  Why do I say that?  A few weeks ago I made a commitment to myself to finally write a book.  For years I have been asked to write a book and now I know the road to ‘my next best self’ will be found on this journey.  This is going to be fun now that after 25 years I have said YES!  Thank you universe!

Footnote: the Photo above is one of our book pins:



Random Acts of Giving

December 30th, 2013

I wish this day could be the movie Ground Hog’s Day.

Four girlfriends thought they would get together, have a bite to eat then do a little Christmas shopping.
During lunch one of the women announced she had an idea.   You’ll see this really turns out to be a mission.  She reached in her wallet and handed each of the
other women a Benjamin, WHOA!  We quickly learned there were strings attached.   The $100 came with some serious ground rules for our shopping experience.

First… You must buy a gift for yourself.  Giving to yourself is first and foremost.   I liked where this
was going.

Second… You must buy a gift for someone you know.  Giving to those we love strengthens our relationship bond.  No problem.  I can do that.

Third… You must buy a gift and give it to someone you do not know.  Random acts of giving open your
heart and the heart of the recipient.  Now this excites me!

Finally… You must return in an hour and a half  with the gifts and pictures as proof of the random giving
act.  Should you not be able to complete the mission as the rules dictated then you had to return the 100

Just before we set out to shop, our server placed a big and beautiful sugar rimmed Maine Blueberry Margarita in the center of our table.  We toasted a “Merry Christmas” and on the count of 3 only the ice cubes and 4 straws remained in the glass as evidence we had been there.

An hour and a half later we reconvened… at a local tavern. We broke out in a show and tell session and
gleeful stories rolled off our tongues. We passed our phones around staring at pictures of strangers who
received the random act of giving.

Lisa is in the middle.  She  gave this family of 4 a gift certificate to LLBean.  Definitely happy campers with their two adopted Indonesian children.

 The man smiling at Sandra is happy because she just bought he and his wife lunch.  They plan on paying it forward for sure.  The joy of Random Giving is flowing!

This pair of Jill McGowen texting gloves wound up on the paws of this young woman who I met in Starbucks.  She was a bit taken back and shy at first but it looks like she got beyond it.   She was so cute.  She told me she got a great parking spot at work today and she knew that meant she was going to have a great day.  She was right!

Everyone we came in contact with wished they were doing what we were doing and those who were the
recipients of random acts of giving were blown away and all of them said they were going
to pay it forward!

Funny thing is, anyone can do what we did.  It’s the giving that makes the difference not the amount of
money spent.

It was a super amazing shopping day to say the least!  I don’t want to make this a national holiday I just want to make it a habit.

If you have a random act of giving story please share.


Storytelling – Animation is Mesmerizing

December 1st, 2013

In a previous post I said I would write a couple of tips on good storytelling.  Here’s the third of three.

Facial expressions, body gestures, and vocal tone add character to telling a tale.  However, the size of an audience dictates the amount of body language you might use in your account of a story.  With a large audience distance can be a problem.  So what can you do?  Pulling out a power point is not the answer if that’s what you were thinking.  Short of jumping up and down, with arms waving frantically to keep an audiences attention, the other choice is vocal animation combined with those carefully chosen words that I talked about in a previous post.

Combine your words in ways that perhaps your audience has never heard them before.  Think about giving your words certain tones and pitches.  Enunciate your words to match their meaning. Volume is your best friend and inserting a whispering sentence to a large audience while bending forward just a little adds an unexpected dynamic to your presentation.  Of course it should be appropriate to your content.  I use this technique almost every time I am public speaking.  You have to give it a try.  It’s so much fun to watch your audience lean forward and even sit up straighter in their seats.  Use a rhythmic cadence and change it up.  That adds more color in your words.  Don’t forget that silence is a beautiful thing.  Add pauses or even stop in mid-sentence.  Animation engages and mesmerizes your audience.  It may even get you a standing O!



Kiss and Tell the Story

November 21st, 2013

In a previous post I said I would write a couple of tips on good storytelling.  Here’s the second of three.

We all know the KISS rule.  Keep It Simple Silly. That means for me – stick to the story.

Every story has a beginning, middle and an end.

Start with the OMG, listen to this.  Grab the listener’s attention at the beginning with your dramatic headline.  I call it the hook – they can’t wait to hear more.

Draw them into your story by picking and choosing your words like you were selecting one flower at a time to create a magnificent bouquet.  The use of choice words create a picture in a listeners mind.  By doing that, the story teller taps into our imagination and transports us to a scene outside ourselves.

A good storyteller creates the end with an exact closing moment.  They know when  to return us to our own thoughts and experiences and leave us saying wow!

Go  for it and create your own magical mystery tour.



Storytelling – The Heart and Art of the Matter

November 21st, 2013


In my last post I said I would write a couple of tips on good storytelling.  Here’s the first of three.

Words can Wow – vocabulary selection can make or break a good story.  As an artist, words are like paint colors to me.   Depending on when and where they are used each word holds hue, and value. They paint a picture or scene.   Be authentic when choosing words that express and reflect the emotional component of the story that you are sharing.  Feel the words you choose and your audience will feel them too.   Emotions, after all, are contagious!



Chocolate “Salami” Dessert

July 15th, 2012

At my fundraiser brunch to benefit the Maine Cancer Foundation I promised I would let you in on a few of the recipes and also the results of my fundraising efforts.  It’s probably not the best idea to experiment with new recipes on guests but I have been known to be a risk taker and rule breaker.  Is anyone thinking Pat Benatar right now?  No, Okay.  Anyway, I tried a few new recipes out on my friends/guests and this one was definitely a hit so I knew I needed to share it with you.   By the way I raised a few thousand dollars from that brunch.  Now that’s some sweet!  If you are interested in how I did that just click this link.  I am not finished fundraising for MCF yet but you can be sure that I will let you know the final tally when I am done.

Meanwhile, here is the recipe for this cute little finger dessert.  What you will love about this besides for the fact it’s chocolate is that it is super easy to make and can be done a day in advance.


Chocolate “Salami” for Fundraising Brunch

What you need:

1 (12 oz.) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips. I used Godiva but Hersey’s will do just fine.

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced into 6 to 8 pieces

2 Cups (1/4 of a 12 oz. pkg) vanilla wafer cookies crushed into crumbs 1/3 Cup sliced almonds. I bet you could try walnuts and also add dried fruits cut up into small peices as well if you wanted to get a little creative. I am thinking dries cherries would be good. I mean chocolate and cherries. That’s a YES!

raspberries and mint for garnish

What you do:

1. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler or a metal bowl or saucepan that will rest on top of another sauce pan.  Fill the bottom pan half way with water.  Put the chocolate and butter in the top pan.  Heat the water over med/low so the water is barely steaming.  After about 1 minute, gently stir the chocolate and butter.  Every minute or so stir.  Once about 80 percent is melted remove from heat and continue stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth.  It should be just warm to the touch.

Add the vanilla, cookie crumbs, almonds.  If you went the creative route now would be the time to add dried fruits.

2. Put the pan in the freezer until the mixture is slightly firm.

3. Spray a large sheet of plastic wrap with vegetable cooking spray.  Spread the mixture evenly along one long side.  Roll to form a log shape about 21/2 to 3 inches in diameter and 10 to 12 inches long.  Place the log in the freezer for at least an hour until firm or overnight for use the next day.

4. Remove the log from the freezer about 2 hrs before plating and cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Garnish with raspberries and mint.

5. Watch them disappear!

Is your charitable gift a responsible investment?

June 19th, 2012

The Chronicle of Philanthropy posted a blog  Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Gives With No Strings.

As soon as I saw the name Steve Wozniak, I had to read more.  Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple and I have an insatiable curiosity of exploring Steve Job’s success.  You may assume correctly that I have read his biography by Walter Isaacson.  If you have read the book you already know Wozniak’s slant on sharing. If not, I’ll just say this.  He  wanted to give away for free the programming knowledge/secrets that were the underpinnings of Apples’ great products way back in the beginning.  Jobs thought differently.  I didn’t say better I said differently.

Wozniak’s comment at an appearance at the AFP TechKnow conference, in Orlando, Fla. “I would never give a gift that has restrictions,” “I leave that to people who know more than me.” indicates a lack of financial responsibility and good stewardship of his resources and indicates a laziness in his approach to real involvement in community. It’s what I would term a lazy donation.  Lazy donations do not hold nonprofits accountable.  Without accountability mismanagement of funds, and lack of consequence to program failure or success could result.  This does not make for improving a community.  It’s near to throwing bad money after good!  No pun intended.

Donors should consider a restriction list that includes answering questions such as:

1. Of the revenue coming in how much goes to administration? And how much goes to Programs/Services? Ask the nonprofit directly or Charity Navigator is a respected source to see how a non profit is ranked for revenue analysis.

2. What statistics can they provide to prove the success of the services/program that needs funding? And do they have a strategy that will include funding sustainability for the program.  In other words do they expect you to keep throwing money their way year after year.

3. What contributions have non profits made to the community besides what they are selling, their program.  That means outside of their gig how are they involved in community/business.  It’s only fair to ask. Business are judged similarly.  We comparison shop when we are buying from them.  It’s well documented that people do choose to buy from a company that is socially responsible over another that is not given the products on every other level are fairly equal by comparison.

So why shouldn’t nonprofits be put to the test as well?

As an example, if two animal shelters asked for a donation and both provided similar services with the exception that one was building a park for dogs that enhanced your community and the other did not, which would you choose to give your hard earned dollars to?

It is more work for donors but in the end we’ll have stronger non profits!

Are donors PO’d at your QR Codes?

June 12th, 2012

Joanne Fritz asks the question in her blog post today.  Are QR codes reaching their tipping point?  She sites Joe Waters statistics that 14 mil. mobile users are scanning.  This piqued my curiosity because at the BlogWorld Conference in NYC this past weekend Scott Stratten actually spoke about QR Codes in his session on the 7 Deadly Sins of Social Media.  Oh you missed a good one!  NO worries though I found this short You Tube clip of Scott titled The Problem with QR Codes.  It’ so worth the 2 minute watch especially if you need a good laugh right now.  He’s a hilarious teacher.  The Comedy Channel needs to pick him up.  Ok, enough of my obsession with Scott Stratten.

Image is from

Prior to Blogworld, I have been experimenting with QR Codes, putting them on the fundraising LULU Cubes.  People can find additional information about the Non Profit just by scanning.  It also serves as  another avenue/vehicle to give.  It can’t hurt provided the link is working.

What about using QR’s  for a merchandising fundraising campaign by applying a QR Code to whatever it is your selling.  As an example, I provide an informational/functional promotional card for my fundraising pins.   On the inside is a blank area for an org to adhere a sticker with whatever additional message they want to include in the card.  It is the perfect space for a QR Code and message.
I want to take advantage of all the tools out there and non profits can too!  Take Stratten’s advice, think and you use them correctly.

Are you are you using QR Codes?  I’d love to know if they are proving results and I bet other readers would as well.

Thanks for sharing and have a Scan Good Day!