Welcome to episode 153 of The Retirement Years on Profit Boss® Radio! In this episode, you’re going to learn all about the unique, interesting, and inspiring ways that people are giving back and changing the world for the better.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to wait to become a philanthropist in order to make a big difference. Doing Good While Doing Well is all about making a commitment today!
If you want to learn how to give what you do have (whether it be time or money) in order to make the world a better place, today’s episode is for you.
So, tune in to Profit Boss® Radio and get ready to discover the steps you can take right now to make things better for those around you – no matter what your budget is!
Here’s what you’ll find out in this week’s episode of Profit Boss® Radio
- Why it’s important to get involved in your community right now instead of waiting to give in the future.
- How to shift your mindset to make giving part of your monthly spending plan – no matter what your finances look like.
- How two New Yorkers used leveraged giving to raise $12,500 to forgive over $1.5 million medical debt for vulnerable Americans.
- How to use pooled giving to help others in your area.
- What one of my clients did to give a single mom in her community a huge financial boost.
- Why sponsoring a child is an easy way to change lives for the better.
- What my husband and I did to say “THANK YOU” to everyone who provided our daughter with extraordinary medical care – and how you can give back to people who make a difference in your life as well.
Unique, Interesting, and Inspiring Ways To Give:
- #1: Leveraged Giving
- Find a way for a single donation to multiply itself for a greater impact.
- RIP Medical Debt makes it easy for donors to make an impactful difference in the lives of those struggling with medical debt. Every $100 you donate, forgives $10,000 in medical debt for someone else.
- Anyone can make a donation and receive a tax deduction for their gift.
- #2: Pooled Giving
- Participate with organizations that support doing good.
- In Missouri and Kansas, the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection donates 100% of what it receives from its Christmas program to local nonprofits. They raised over $1.5 million last year.
- #3: Make a Difference Locally
- One of my clients and ten of her friends decided to help out a single mom who happens to be a waitress at a local breakfast restaurant. They made a plan to go to brunch on Saturday and leave $100 each in cash, leaving her with a huge tip!
- #4: Sponsor a Child
- For less than $40 a month, you can donate to an organization like World Vision, Compassion International, or Save The Children to give a child ongoing financial support as they develop, learn, and grow. This money helps children break free from poverty by improving water and sanitation, providing healthcare and nutrition, education, protective services, and spiritual programs.
- #5: Focused Effort Toward the ONE THING You Care Most About
- A group of high school classmates from 40 years ago made a bucket list wish come true for one of their own. A 58 year old woman named Dana Kennon is suffering from Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to her lungs and bones and all across her body. Her “dying wish” was to go to Disneyland with someone who had never been there before, so she could see it through their eyes, seeing Disneyland for the first time. Her former high school classmates rallied together and made that trip to Disneyland happen and now they’re even raising money to pay for her chemotherapy treatments, which her insurance has stopped covering.
- In October of 2018, our daughter was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and received incredible care from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. As a way of saying thank you, my husband and I launched a fundraiser and matched donations, allowing us to give over $12,000 to make a meaningful impact in the lives of patients and their families.
Resources and Related Profit Boss® Content
- RIP Medical Debt
- John Oliver Segment on RIP Medical Debt
- Compassion International
- World Vision
- Save the Children
- Dana’s Medical Fundraiser
- Harlyn's Fundraiser for the Bass Center at Stanford Hospital
Call for Listener Stories
Hey Profit Boss® Radio listeners! If you reach a financial goal you’re proud of, tell me about it! I will continue to share listener win stories throughout 2019. Remember, the Profit Boss® community is here to support you and that includes celebrating with you when you accomplish something incredible.
- If you crush a specific financial goal, I want to hear from you.
- If you’re thankful for something that has happened in your financial life or career, I want to hear from you.
- If you are making big financial or career plans, I want to hear from you!
Your financial success is possible and so many of you are already making that a reality! So, don’t keep your wins to yourself! Share them with me so that I can air them throughout the year on Profit Boss® Radio.
Email your audio clip to email@example.com. And we’ll be in touch if we plan to air your story. Thanks, ladies!
And let’s not forget that this show is powered by you and your stories and questions. Every month I’ll be doing an #AskHilary episode where I answer listener financial questions.
- So, what’s that top of mind money question that’s been pinging around in your brain?
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Pick up your mobile phone right now. Yes, right now. And open your voice recorder app. Yep, go ahead and open that app and record yourself asking me that question. Just say your name, first name only is okay, and then what city you’re from, and then ask away.
Anything you want to ask. And once you’re done recording, export that beautiful little recording and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear your questions!
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Hello, profit boss. We're wrapping up 2019 with a feel-good episode. This is the hallmark special of Profit Boss Radio episodes where you're talking about doing good while doing well. What does that mean? It's making a difference in your community and with people you know and care about today before you're wealthy enough to be a philanthropist. It's building relationships with the people whose lives are about solving the problems that matter to you, becoming a part of that network, putting a stake in the ground and saying, “I'm going to leave this planet a better place than I found it.” It's making a commitment to voluntary giving, rather than complaining that your friends, family, community, and the government aren't doing enough. It's putting a stake in the ground and saying that you do have enough to give some of it away whether what you're giving away is your time or your money, and by the way, those are the only two things you can give away. Of course, you can be someone who encourages other people to give up their resources and you would be giving up your time to do that. Because I say doing good while doing well is an important part of being a conscientious member of society.
Look, ultimately, you're either going to leave the planet a better place than you found it or not and this is one way that you can really, really, first of all, contribute to your own experience of yourself, being a person who makes a difference with other people, and also really join the army of people who are committed, that humanity has a better planet to live on in the future than we do right now. I will share with you that when I was digging myself out of tens of thousands of dollars of debt, I put charitable giving in my monthly spending plan. If I recall correctly, it was $30 and maybe it went up to $50. And I will tell you that it's a mindset shift to go from being that I don't have enough money to even live a life that I am interested in living to being that I have enough money to give some of it away because you have to have enough in order to give some away. If you're paying your bills and paying for what you're enjoying, and you're also giving something away, it's just a different experience of life. And it was a pleasure. It was fun for me. Sometimes I would find at the end of the month I had gotten to the end of the month and I hadn't spent that $30 or $50. I hadn't given it away and it was fun for me to find ways and opportunities to do that. You can do that with individuals or charities and we're going to talk about more of that today.
So, today's episode is about unique and interesting and even inspiring ways that people are giving. We have links to all of the different charities and opportunities to give that I’ll mention in the show notes at HilaryHendershott.com/153.
Our first example is leveraged giving, finding ways to give where giving $1 or one unit or one thing multiplies on itself. My example of this today is RIP Medical Debt, Rest in Peace Medical Debt. RIP Medical Debt is a not-for-profit company that buys medical debt for pennies on the dollar. And instead of collecting the debt, it forgives the debt. They were featured on John Oliver last year and you should watch that video. You can watch the video by clicking into the show notes and then we'll have a link to it there. But, you know, John Oliver really talked for a long time about this charity. It's a very special segment that he did and it's really fun and entertaining and it will alter your opinion of humanity. Anyone can donate and receive a tax deduction for their gift to RIP Medical Debt. Some facts about medical debt, more than $100 billion in unpaid medical debt every year adversely impacts debt of patients, physicians, and hospitals.
Nearly two-thirds of US adults under age 65 or 116 million people had medical bill problems or debt. They went without needed care because of the cost or they were uninsured or underinsured for a period of time. Medical debt contributes to more than 60% of the bankruptcies in the US. Now if you're thinking, “Look, that's their bills. They should cover their bills. Why? Nobody else is paying my credit card bills. Why should I cover somebody else's?” Well, the fact of the matter is, look, people get into a very tough situation when you have an accident or some medical outcome and you end up in the emergency room or urgent care and you're sort of stuck with this bill that you couldn't plan for and couldn't possibly save for. And, you know, unfortunately, I'm not going to get into a discussion of the healthcare system but we all know costs are going up so quickly that they're, in some cases, unimaginable costs for certain procedures and certain medications. And, you know, we don't have a system where an ordinary human being can afford an extraordinary treatment no matter what they do. It's just a bit of a broken system right now.
And I'm just being honest with you, I don't have that many soft spots. I have soft spots for children and for animals but for the most part, you know, if you listen to this show, I am very much an advocate of people being responsible for their own choices. In this case, I think good people could get themselves into bad situations very quickly. So, I do think that this is a very, very good cause. So, whose unpayable medical bills does RIP forgive? It's individuals who make less than two times the federal poverty level, individuals who face financial hardship. So, they owe debt that's more than 5% or more of their annual income and individuals who are insolvent. They have debts greater than their assets. So, here's the kicker, why should you donate to RIP Medical Debt? Well, because on average, $1 abolishes $100 of debt. It's pretty amazing because these folks who own the debt, they are willing after a certain period of time of trying to collect on it. They sell it to other organizations or entities who give them money and then go try to collect on it. But give them money, but for the reduced dollar. So, in this case, again on average, if you buy $1 of medical debt, you are line-iteming out $100 of debt from someone's asset sheet.
There are no tax consequences for those whose medical debts are forgiven. The forgiveness is a gift from a detached and disinterested third party. So, forgiveness of the debt does not count as income for the gift recipient. There's an example on the organization's website. It's a really heartwarming story. Two New York women who heard about RIP Medical Debt and took it upon themselves to raise $12,500 in order to purchase $1.5 million of medical debts and forgave them. Totally amazing.
Okay. The second really interesting way you can give this season is pooled giving. So, a colleague of mine who's a successful business owner attends the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, which has locations in Missouri and Kansas. And while I couldn't find anything on their website specifically talking about this program, she says that the church donates 100% of its Christmas program donations to local nonprofits and mission efforts last year over $1.5 million. So, you can participate with organizations that support doing good while doing well.
The third example is making a difference locally. So, a client of mine says that she and 10 other women wanted to make a difference for a single mom, who happens to be a waitress at a local breakfast restaurant. They're all planning to go to brunch on Saturday. At the end of the meal, everyone will put down $100. The money will pay for their breakfast and the remaining will be this waitress’ tip. Pretty amazing. I love stories like this.
Fourth example, sponsoring a child for a pretty low monthly cost usually less than $40. From what I saw, you can sponsor a child either internationally or in the US, providing ongoing financial support to them as they develop, learn, and grow. According to World Vision’s website, the child sponsorship program addresses the root causes of children's vulnerability. They empower children, their families, and their communities to break free from poverty. They take a comprehensive and integrated approach to community development using evidence-based interventions in their programming. Some of the things these organizations are helping communities do is improve water and sanitation, health and nutrition, education, child protection, and other spiritual programs. And some of the things that they said about their programs are they're effective. Their holistic community-empowering approach is helping kids and families transform their lives.
So, for example, kids are healthier. 89% of the severely malnourished children they treat in severe relief environments made a full recovery. They have more children have local health services. So, moms and kids in Zambia are six times more likely to get healthcare when they're being supported by a program like this. Kids are thriving in school. So, in Bangladesh, 68% of kids have reading comprehension versus 4% at schools without the program. And also, water solutions are long-lasting. A study conducted by the University of North Carolina's Water Institute found that 8 in 10 of their wells drilled in Ghana were still functioning at high levels after two decades. That's 33% higher than the industry average of 6 in 10. I got this example from my sister who has been sponsoring a child for many years and I have been seeing little girl’s pictures in my sister's kitchen for many years, so we're all watching her grow up and it's pretty fun. So, some organizations you can sponsor a child through our Compassion International World Vision and save the children just to name a few.
Okay, the fifth and final category I'm thinking about this season for making a difference doing good while doing well is making a massive, concentrated difference for one thing that you really care about. I have two examples. In the first, a group of high school classmates from 40 years ago made a bucket list wish come true for one of their own. A 58-year-old woman named Dana Cannon is suffering from stage IV breast cancer that has spread to her lungs and bones and all across her body. Her “dying wish” was to go to Disneyland with someone who had never been there before so she could see it through their eyes, seeing Disneyland for the first time. Her former high school classmates rallied together and made that trip to Disneyland happen and now they're even raising money to pay for her chemotherapy treatments which her insurance has stopped covering. Of course, we're linking to her Facebook fundraiser in the show notes.
And I'm wrapping up today's episode with our second example of this very special way to give and that is how my husband and I were able to give $12,200 to the Bass Center at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital this year. If you listen to this podcast, you know that in October of 2018, our at the time two-year-old daughter, Harlyn, was diagnosed with b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. It was very important to me this year to give back so I started a fundraiser. I simply made a post on Facebook and I said, “You know, in honor of Harlyn’s third birthday, which she would not have made it to without the good folks at the Bass Center. The Bass Center is the Center for Childhood Blood Diseases at Stanford Children's Hospital, which is also called Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. I wanted to raise $3,000 and then we said we would match that with $3,000. So, this is leveraged giving, and it provides people a reason to give because they know if I give $100, it's actually going to turn into $200 to this charity.
So, with one post, I'm proud to say that we raised about $5,000. So, I had to then double the number. I said, “Okay, we were going to match up to $3,000. Now, we're going to match up to $6,000,” and we were able to raise $6,200. So, Robert, and I wrote a check for $6,000 and we donated that. We had a big presentation ceremony at the Bass Center a couple weeks ago when Harlyn was there for her most recent procedure. And it was great fun. If we're friends on Facebook or you saw those pictures on Instagram, you saw the picture of her really celebrating with that huge check. It was bigger than her and I will tell you that I definitely feel an eternal debt of gratitude to that entity, that organization, the Bass Center. And so, for me, this was the most meaningful way I could thank them. I mean, look, I don't have years of education in childhood cancer, so I can't necessarily contribute to the cause. What I can do is I can raise money. And if you're motivated to give, Harlyn’s link to her fundraiser is still live and, of course, you can find that at HilaryHendershott.com/153.
So, today, as we wrap up, I'm not ashamed to say I'm encouraging you to find a way to give something. I would love it if you would make a commitment to give on a monthly basis, whether that's $5 or $50 or $500 but I really want to hear about how you decide to make someone's day or contribute to someone's efforts or donate to a charitable cause. Please find me. You can message me on Instagram. I'm hilary.hendershott. You can email us at email@example.com. We’ll compile your examples and I will make them either a future episode or a future moneywise segment. Happy holidays! I want to wish you a Happy New Year. If you're listening to these episodes as they publish, there will not be another episode until 2020, a brand new decade. Congratulations on all of your successes and all of your prosperity! And thank you for listening to Profit Boss Radio.
Hendershott Wealth Management, LLC and Profit Boss® Radio do not make specific investment recommendations on Profit Boss® Radio or in any public media. Any specific mentions of funds or investments are strictly for illustrative purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice or acted upon by individual investors. The opinions expressed in this episode are those of Hilary Hendershott, CFP®, MBA.