My Story

Day 305 : 5 Ways Your Company Can Give

How to give in your companyHow does your company give back?

Are you eco-friendly in your office? Do you have a charity you support as a team?

Do you volunteer to make a difference or do you do nothing at all?

I recently had the opportunity to chat with the owner of a company called RIO POP that was founded on the principle of giving back.

Day 303: Give 303

ROI Pop changes the world with philanthropy in the company“We started ROI Pop because we saw an overwhelming need for our types of services in the nonprofit world and we have the skills to fill this need.  That is the business side of it.  For me personally it is much greater than that.  Everyday, and I mean everyday I take a few moments to think about how fortunate I am to a have been given an incredible life.  I worked hard for it as well, but the foundation that I was given made the rest possible.  As you and I both know many are not as fortunate and that is what motivates me to make things just a little bit better.  The rest of my team feels the same way, we are believers in what great nonprofits do for our world.  We want to work with the ones that matter and are truly committed to their cause.  When ROI Pop is all done we want to be able to say we mattered, we made a significant difference, someone is better off because we took the time to care.  If we can do that then we can say it was a success!  In the short time that we have been operating we are already seeing signs that we will be successful, so that is exciting.” quoted by ROI Pop Founder Brant Claussen.

Brant and I have a similar mission with our businesses. As much as we wanted to start our own company and make a living from what we love to do we wanted to give back to our community and the world at the same time. We all have to make money to pay the bills but what if your company could give at the same time. Brant and his team at RIO Pop are doing just that – changing the world with their expertise and skill. Not only is their focus on helping not-for-profits (NFP) understand and maximize their exposure in the world of social media (most NFP organizations cannot afford to have a person on staff that specializes in this) but they have chosen 2 worthy organizations that are creating great impact in the world to support. RIO Pop just awarded grants valuing $50,000 in services to help bring awareness and funds to two great organizations.


“The grant awards consist of ROI Pop’s professional internet marketing services including pay-per-click advertising management and online strategy development. Drop in the Bucket and Healthy Child Healthy World are both highly-deserving nonprofits with strong foundations of demonstrated effectiveness in creating positive outcomes for the children they serve, and raising awareness to their respective causes. ROI Pop’s Grants will serve to increase their website traffic and click-through rates there-by increasing their online visibility and fundraising efforts.” states Brant. 


My hope is that buy shedding light a new company who’s mission it is to help others it will inspire you to do something in your company to give as well. You don’t have to own the company to get a philanthropic initiative started. If you want to “Be the Change you See in the World” talk to your boss and your co-workers and get a program of your own started at work.

Here are 5 ways you can ensure the company you work with is philanthropic:

1) Join a company that has philanthropy at the fore front of their business mission.

2) Approach the company you work for to match a donation made by employees to a designated charity.

3) Ask our boss to start a volunteer program during work hours so each of the companies employees have the opportunity to volunteer 1 day a year with pay.

4) Do pro-bono work for a charity with the skills you can offer within your company.

5) Instead of giving to each other for birthdays and holidays choose a charity that money will go to instead – use the Ethical Giving approach.

What is your company doing to give back?

Have you done something to start a giving revolution at work?

Share you story with us and let’s inspire corporations around the world to bring philanthropy into the work place.

Whether it’s money or expertise we all have the power to do something. Being philanthropic at work is easy but someone needs to step up and take the lead. Will it be you?

Time Commitment: 15 years of dedicating my business to philanthropic work

Cost: Nothing to me but have raised millions for charity

Day 302: Stand Up for What You Believe In – Even if it Means Standing Alone

What Do You Believe?

Have you ever had a moment in your life when you had to make a choice to do something to help another person or did you walk the other way?

There are times in our life when we are given the opportunity to stop and stand up for another human being.

I had a chance to stand up for a family and it was one of my proudest ways to give.

Day 302: Give 302

We can do no great things, only small things with great love.  ~Mother Teresa

I have said this often – I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world – Vancouver, BC. My son and I were enjoying a beautiful day down our our ocean front park running and playing in a big open grassy field. People come from all over the city to spend afternoons with their family to having large picnics, enjoying the surf and the sun.

My son and I were playing near a family setting up for a large picnic.  I heard a man speaking in a rude fashion to the family. They had reserved a special picnic area that had built in BBQ’s, a cover and picnic tables so they were able to host their entire family for a fun day in the park. They had respectfully asked the man to not sit in this area as they were expecting more guests. The man took offence to being asked to move along and started speaking in an abusive manner. His language was so rude I am not able to repeat his harsh words it in this post. His behaviour quickly turned from not only abusive but included many rude racial comments. Sentences like ” You are not welcome in our country.” ” Speak English” “We don’t want you here” started coming out of his mouth for the entire park to hear.

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.  ~Sydney Smith

The family was Persian. Their culture makes up a wonderful part of our community in West Vancouver. The family didn’t know how to react as the man was so abusive he could have become violent at any moment. My son asked me what was wrong with the man and I just could not stand by and watch without doing something to help.

I approached the man from a safe distance and told him to keep his thoughts and words to himself as I didn’t want my 3 year old son to hear or learn from his disgusting behaviour. I was not abusive but I was also not friendly. The man instantly lashed back at me with his words calling me names that I would never repeat in my life. It was at that point I would not put up with anyone abusing me or anyone else.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.  ~Winston Churchill

I stood up to this man in a way I didn’t even know I had in me. I strongly believe that people who feel a need to bring others down with their mouths do not have the courage to stand up when someone stands up to them. I promptly told him he was not welcome in our neighbourhood and I would be calling the police to have him removed. He quickly backed down from my stand and removed himself.

How to Teach Your Child Big Life LessonsMy son was now at my heels asking me what I was doing. I had to explain my actions to my  3 year old so he could learn from the unfortunate incident. These are the lessons I taught him:

1) When someone needs help you don’t walk away –  you stop and help.

2) Believe you can make a difference by helping another human being.

3) Stand up for what you believe in and use your voice to change the world.

4) Call the police whenever you need help. They are there to support and give back to the community to keep it safe for everyone.

I could have easily walked away with my son but I didn’t. I believed what the man was doing was wrong and he was scaring people in my own community. Someone had to tell him what he was doing was wrong and his racial views were wrong and damaging. Was I scared? A little but I had to stand up for what I thought was right. What was I teaching my son if I didn’t stop to help the family and give back to them in a way that no one else was willing to do.

Do you have a story to share similar to mine? A moment in your life when you stood up for another human, an animal or the planet. Leave us a comment so others will be inspired to have the courage to change the world. 

Time Commitment: 5 minutes

Day 301: What is Giving?

Hillside enjoying the sounds of musicWhat really defines giving? Is it a Wikipedia definition we search on Google? It is donating millions of dollars to one organization in hopes to create the change in the world you want to see? Or is it as simple as one small action, one small gesture, or participating as a community to bring people together to create change.

This give did just that – it brought a community together to enjoy life and create change for people around the world and the planet.

Day 301: Give 301

The 28th annual Hillside Music Festival is the place to be every 3rd weekend in July in Ontario. The Hillside Team does a 3 day music festival for 3 reasons:


2) Peace

3) Planet

Just when I thought I was going for the music I realized this weekend was so much more than just a music festival. I was giving back in more ways than I could count.

There are a list of initiatives that Hillside has taken to help give back to the community as well as the planet. Just by attending the event our family gave back in so many ways:

1)      Supporting musicians from all over the world

2)      Recycling, Reusing, Reduce

3)      Planting Trees

4)      Supports Charitable Organizations both local and foreign (Meal ExchangeBracelet of HopeCommunity Torchlight, Habitat for Humanity) the list goes on Giving to Hope to  AIDS / HIV in Africa

5)      Solar Powered / Living Roof Main Stage

Over the past 20 years Hillside has calculated through their green initiatives they have saved over 410 tonnes of C02. (Equal to 80 cars taken off the road for 1 year)

Here are a few ideas any corporate or fundraising event could embrace to save of massive amounts of waste. Environmental reduction to help save the planet

1)      Volunteers washing all the dishes, cutleries and glassware used over the course of the weekend.

2)      Water Tanker providing fresh drinking water so bottled water does not have to be purchased by guests

3)      Shuttle Buses to encourage less driving

4)      Meatless Meals provided by food vendors

5)      Tree Planting (partnering with the Green Legacy Programme)

6)      Educational Classes on all things sustainable and the environemnt

Other than the tree planting we participated in all these ways plus a few of our own.

1)      We camped rather than staying at a hotel saving on a weekend of electricity.

2)      We drove our fuel efficient rental car to the Festival.

3)      We brought our own reusable beer mugs (from Vancouver) from previous year’s attendance. (You could buy a new one that was made from corn!)

I felt great attending an event that was giving so much. What if ever event took the time and thought that Hillside has to help the planet, educate and entertain! Have you been to an event this summer that creates change in the world. Leave us a comment and tell us about the event you attended. 

Time Commitment: 2 days of nothing but great music and fun in the sun

Cost:  $40 day pass to $110 for a 3 day weekend pass

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