Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Cocktail #1

Hot Buttered Rum

1 ounce dark rum
1/2 cup boiling water
1 heaping tablespoon hot buttered rum mixture
~ cinnamon
~ nutmeg

Hot Buttered Rum Mixture
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 cups good-quality vanilla ice cream, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Combine the rum, boiling water and the frozen hot buttered rum mixture in a heat-resistant glass. Stir well.
2. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon and serve immediately.

Hot Buttered Rum Mixture
1. Place the sugar, butter, ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg in your food processor and blitz until smooth.
2. Place the hot buttered rum mixture in a container and freeze. It will not hard freeze, and is easily accessed when preparing the drink.

NOTE: If using all of the mixture immediately, you do not have to freeze it.
Double this recipe easily for large parties or for a handy, winter-long supply of hot buttered rums.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Today is National Which Promotional Day?

Have you noticed that the media has been reporting on bullying this month?  I wonder if its because it is National Bullying Prevention Month?  Did you know that next Saturday is National Make a Difference Day?  And the 3rd week in October is Character Counts Week?  If you are a business, you can create a promotion based on a Promo month just like the media has been doing.  Or you can craft a press release and tie in attributes of your business with the promo month.  So choose wisely from the following list:
  • Class Reunion Month
  • Women's Small Business Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Positive Attitude Month
  • Mental Illness Awareness Month
  • Diversity Awareness Month
  • National Liver Awareness Month
  • National Mammography Day - 3rd Friday in October
  • Auto Battery Safety Month
  • National Pharmacy Month
  • National Physical Therapy Month
  • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Make a Difference Day - 4th Saturday in October
  • National Chiropractic Month
  • Photographer Appreciation Month
  • Celiac Sprue Awareness Month
  • Health Literacy Month
  • Healthy Lung Month
  • National Animal Safety and Protection Month
  • National Orthodontic Health Month
  • National Down Syndrome Month
  • National Book Month
  • National Health Education Week - 3rd Week in October
  • National Crime Prevention Month
  • Breast Health Awareness Month
  • National Reading Group Month
  • National Dental Hygiene Month
  • Vegetarian Awareness Month
  • National Window Safety Month
  • Teen Read Week - 3rd Week in October
  • Head Start Awareness Month
  • German American Heritage Month
  • Red Ribbon Month
  • Polish American Heritage Month
  • Family Health Month
  • Gay and Lesbian History Month
  • World Blindness Awareness Month

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Collective Effort

 Take an image and put Photoshop's "stained glass" filter applied to it.  Why?  because I felt it best illustrates the complexity and beauty of crowdfunding.   With the filter, my painting is a large composition pieced together out of smaller chips of colored glass.  Each contribution to a crowdfunded project is a small part; the sum of the parts makes up a whole that is greater than the totality of the individual pieces. Crowdfunding is a network of individuals who pool their resources (is it always on the internet?) to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.[1]

I am helping others and I, too, am starting my own crowdfunded campaign using Kickstarter.  It has been a really fun experience for someone like me with a marketing consulting firm and new PR platform tech  project, but I started to wonder if there were any alternatives to the platform I chose.  Of course there is.  Today, I compiled this list of crowd funding platforms. Each one has a slightly different agenda.  

wefunder  "crowd investing platform for startups"
Startup Addict "a community for entrepreneurs, investors & startups"
Appsfunder "support new mobile apps"
RocketHub "a launchpad and community for independent artists and entrepreneurs"
quirky "Complexities relating to financing, engineering, distribution, and legalities. . . of brilliant people executing on their great ideas."
New Jelly "allows talents to showcase their work, goals and dreams."
Cofolio "allows small businesses to efficiently raise money from their local community."
Kickstarter "a funding platform for creative projects."
StartSomeGood "connects social entrepreneurs with people who want to help."
Peerbackers "an online funding platform that allows business owners to raise capital from their “peers” – in small increments – in exchange for tangible rewards to those who contribute."
Eppela "Art, technology, cinema, design, music, comics, literature, no-profit initiatives: think up ideas, share them, get them funded, and bring them to life."
Indiegogo "People all over the world use our industry-leading platform to raise millions of dollars for all types of campaigns."
Crowdtilt ". . . we’re trying to make it easier for groups to do things together – we just want to make that process of grouping those funds as easy as possible."
AngelList "a platform for startups"
crowdfunder "early stage funding through equity, revenue, and contribution-based investment."
MicroVentures "an investment bank for startups. We conduct due diligence on startups and then if approved we help them raise capital from angel investors."
OnSetStart "crowdfunding company that has committed itself to a higher standard of its category and will continuously innovate to improve ways to enable our economy and the growth of small businesses."
GoFundMe "allows regular people to accomplish extraordinary things with easy-to-use personal donation websites."
Crowdrise "an innovative, crowd-sourced community of volunteers and online fundraisers that are coming together to answer the call to service, create online fundraising projects for charity. . ."
Razoo "Give to or fundraise for the nonprofit of your choice."
Go Get Funding "Launch your personal fundraising website and accept donations for any cause, project, event or charity"
Techmoola "Inventor Funding &Technology Crowdfunding." "an open source project to pioneer "community powered reporting." Through Spot.Us the public can commission and participate with journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics.
Authr "helps aspiring and established Authors raise funds for their book projects."
Grow VC "the first global, transparent, community-based platform dedicated to entrepreneurs and investors."
Peoples VC "to enable individual investors to participate in the growth and success of small companies, while helping entrepreneurs succeed through grassroots funding, with special support for companies and investors after the initial public offering of stock"
EarlyShares "an equity based Crowdfunding platform. . . connects investors and entrepreneurs securely and effectively. "expands CrowdFunding to make a home for gadgets, startup businesses and technology products; and, makes CrowdFunding for creative projects and great ideas more fun!"
Crowdcube "Raising business finance through online investments... helping start ups and growing businesses by providing business finance opportunities for online investments with our equity based crowdfunding platform."  "the leading UK crowdfunding platform specializing in helping creative projects get full funding."
ArtistShare "is a platform that connects creative artists with fans in order to share the creative process and fund the creation of new artistic works."
PledgeMusic "helps artists and bands design a specifically tailored fundraising campaign to raise money for their next release."
Fondomat "the original Czech crowdfunding platform enabling its users to raise money for any activities or projects. . . create a project free of charge"
Rock The Post "a crowdfunding website designed to fund small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits. It is the ideal tool for entrepreneurs to leverage networks, reach out to new contacts, and fill in the missing pieces of their projects."
Sponsume "a global platform dedicated to collaborative funding and co-creation."
Prosper "the market leader in peer-to-peer lending—a popular alternative to traditional loans and investing options."
Zopa "people who have spare money lend it directly to people who want to borrow."
Lending Club "an online financial community that brings together creditworthy borrowers and savvy investors so that both can benefit financially."
GlobalGiving "connects you to over 1,000 pre-screened grassroots charity projects around the world. It's an efficient, transparent way to make an impact with your giving."
Zidisha "Zidisha is the first peer-to-peer microlending service to offer direct interaction between lenders and borrowers across the international wealth divide."
Upstart "lets you raise money in exchange for a small share of your income for 10 years. It's an investment in you, not your idea or your business."
Crowd Funding Kids "Projects For Teen Entrepreneurs 13-19 Years Of Age."
ChipIn "mission is to make it easy to collect money."
Fundable "crowdfunding platform based on rewards & equity"
Sonic Angel "innovative music platform for young talent where fans make the difference!"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today is National Why Promotional Days?

Did you know that tomorrow, August 10th is S’mores Day and two days later it will be Vinyl Record Day?  If I were a small business, I would jump at the opportunity to promote myself and my brand by associating my business with these two days.  Although, sitting around an open fire with slabs of wax isn’t the most advisable practice, I might increase my brand equity and corporate image with a niche audience of aging hipsters.  In fact, my Steven LaRose brand might offer special deals on Dagoba chocolate for your organic chocolate S’mores and a link to Dude Behind the Record Counter (my favorite music site on tumblr).  In the end, if I offered some sort of special incentive on these days I could help differentiate me as a product.  This can only lead to increased demand for my business.  I suppose random or gratuitous “Appreciation Day” tie-in’s could back-fire.  For example, it would not suit my Steven LaRose brand to glorify “Poet's Day” on the 21st of this month.  So choose wisely from the following list:

Aug. 7: Lighthouse Day, National Mustard Day, Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day, Professional Speakers Day, Purple Heart Day
Aug. 7-9: Twins Day
Aug. 8: The Date to Create, Happiness Happens Day
Aug. 9: International Day of The World's Indigenous People
Aug. 10: Smithsonian Day, S'mores Day
Aug. 11: President's Joke Day
Aug. 11-9/9: Ramadan
Aug. 12: IBM PC Day, International Youth Day, Sewing Machine Day, Vinyl Record Day
Aug. 13: Blame Someone Else Day
Aug. 13-15: Kool-Aid Day
Aug. 14: National Garage Sale Day, V-J Day
Aug. 15: Best Friends Day, National Relaxation Day
Aug. 17: National Thrift Shop Day
Aug. 18: Bad Poetry Day, Cupcake Day, Mail Order Catalog Day
Aug. 19: Aviation Day
Aug. 20: Virtual World's Day, Men's Grooming Day
Aug. 21: Hug Your Boss Day, National Homeless Animals Day, Poet's Day, Senior Citizen's Day, (World) Daffodil Day
Aug. 23: Valentino Day
Aug. 24: National Waffle Day, Full Moon
Aug. 25: Kiss and Make Up Day, National Second-hand Wardrobe Day
Aug. 26: National Dog Day, Women's Equality Day
Aug. 27: Global Forgiveness Day, Oil and Gas Industry Appreciation Day
Aug. 30: National Holistic Pet Day

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Marketing a Non Profit Event Links

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Biz Grant deadline June 30

Chase and LivingSocial want to help fuel that drive by awarding up to 12 individual grants of $250,000 to 12 small businesses.

Career Opportunity Grant for Artists

Career Opportunity Grants are designed to provide financial
assistance to professional artists, arts educators and
professionals engaged in arts administration for travel to
in-state, national, or international events, programs or
seminars; and for other activities that will contribute to
the strength of the applicant's professional standing or skill.
These cash awards help artists and other arts professionals
take advantage of impending, concrete opportunities that will
significantly advance their work or careers. The awards are for
unique, short-term opportunities that do not constitute routine
completion of work in progress.

Quarterly Deadlines: June 1, September 1, December 1, March 1

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May is.....

May is ... National Stroke Awareness Month
Motorcycle Safety Month ... National Senior Travel Month
National Photo Month ... National Salsa Month ... National Egg Month
National Teaching and Joy Month ... National Tourism Month
National Military Appreciation Month ... National Barbecue Month

Monday, April 16, 2012

Crater Lake National Park Press Kudos

Examples of press I got for clients:,8497/

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Funds for Writers

THE FLORENCE TYSON FUND --- The Mission of the Fund is to support therapists and clinical programs that provide creative arts therapies--music, dance, drama, art and poetry therapy--to people in the community who suffer from, or are at risk for psychiatric problems, such as depression, anxiety, or severe mental illnesses.

THE ROYAL LITERARY FUND --- The Society administers three charitable trusts, which award occasional grants to professional authors who find themselves in sudden and temporary financial difficulty. The Francis Head Bequest grants to professional writers (writing in the English language) who were born in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and who are over the age of 35. It is aimed at authors who by reason of illness or otherwise are in financial difficulty. The John Masefield Memorial Trust provides grants to professional British poets or their dependents who are faced with sudden financial problems. Margaret Rhondda Awards assist and support women journalists who are in needy circumstances.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Casting Calls

1) House Hunters International
2nd January 2011

Are you buying a home abroad?

If so, we'd like to put your story on TV! HGTV's House Hunters International is looking for energetic individuals, couples and families who are passionate about their search for a new home or vacation property abroad. This hit series takes viewers behind the scenes with a real estate agent to decide which international home is best for you!

If you've recently purchased a home abroad, we would love to speak with you and hear about the ups and downs of your journey.

We are currently casting in multiple countries around the globe. Send an e-mail with your name, phone number, location and attached photo to, and we'll send you additional information.

2) More to come

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Interacting with Other Bloggers-Why It's a Good Thing

Responding to blog posts on topics relevant to your organization or company can be an effective way to engage customers, clients, co-workers, constituents in a discussion about issues or to get the word out about your work or product ot company. Interacting with bloggers, however, can be very time consuming. A little advanced thinking and strategizing can help you engage bloggers and their readers more efficiently to get the desired results. So why interact with other bloggers and web content creators? Why not just read and maintain your own? Lots of good reasons:

1.Interacting with other bloggers can create a portal to your website. Commenting, sharing and liking other blogs can intrigue other readers and followers. This can position you as a contributing authority and make readers curious about your company or brand; a kind of give-and-take in the blogging community.

2. From Writer’s Digest 10 Ways Writers Lose Blog Traffic, Number 7 reminds us all to read (and comment) on other people’s blogs. To read the whole piece, click on this link:

3. Don't know where to start? Find some blogs you like that tend to post material of interest to your company, and follow them. You can use a free service—like—to capture posts from all your favorite blogs so you can track and read them all in one location.

4. Find at least one or two blogs with a regular audience of significant size. These blogs will offer the best chances for discussion and a large enough audience to get wider distribution for information about your topic.

5. Bloggers love getting comments, so you can respond to blog posts whenever you read one that inspires additional thoughts or that you find useful. Include insights you’ve gained, while respecting the privacy you might reference. Compliments may be preferred, of course, but constructive criticism or corrections are also generally welcome. It is not in your interest, though, to chastise a blogger or question his or her expertise.

6. Contact the blogger after you have a good understanding of the blog’s focus, point of view, and style and feel it would be an appropriate venue for promoting your product or company. Suggest that the blogger write about your product, and give reasons: there is timely news about your product, it will be of interest to your readers, etc. It is best to contact bloggers by e-mail if you can find their address, but you may also do this through the comments button if necessary. Your message can be informal, but professional. You are more likely to get the blogger’s attention if you refer to specific posts he or she published or a recent news item that provides a timely peg for writing about your product.

7. Once you get a blogger’s attention it can often lead to additional coverage by other bloggers or news organizations. Getting coverage on a popular blog could also help you spread the word about the value of your products and promote a positive image about you to the general public.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Grant Opportunities

1. Garden Grant Opportunity from the Whole Kids Foundation. These grants are open to nonprofit school or school districts (public, private or charter – elementary, middle or secondary) and/or a 501(c)(3) organization that is developing or currently maintaining a school garden project that will help children engage with fresh fruits and vegetables.

2. Childhood Obesity Rapid Response Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association. Grants will be geared toward activities like grassroots organizaing, coalition building, public opinion research or media relations to influence public policies affecting healthy weight and living among children.

3. Scotts Miracle-Gro is accepting applications for the 2012 Grassroots Grants program. Grants of up to $1,500 are awarded to local communities to help bring edible gardens, flower gardens and public green spaces to even more neighborhoods in the United States. The application deadline is February 24, 2012

4. The Rolf H. Jensen Memorial Public Education Grant provides a $5,000 grant to one local fire department to support a community-wide fire and life safety education program or campaign. Funded by the RJA Group, the grant is open to any fire dept. (career or volunteer) located in the United States or Canada. The application deadline is February 3, 2012,%20awards,%20grants/For%20public%20educators/Rolf%20H.%20Jensen%20Memorial%20Public%20Education%20Grant&cookie_test=1

5. Classics for Kids Foundation aims to bridge the funding gap and enhance school music programs by providing matching grants for beautiful new stringed instruments.
If your school or non-profit organization believes in the role of fine instruments in your program, and can show evidence of need and commitment to raising matching funds, you are a strong candidate for the Classics for Kids matching grant program.
The next application deadline is March 31, 2012

6. The Safeway Foundation supports nonprofit organizations whose mission is aligned with their four priority areas: Hunger Relief, Education, Health and Human Services, Assisting People with Disabilities. All organizations funded by The Safeway Foundation must serve the community where Safeway operates stores.
The next application deadline is March 31, 2012

7. The Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need. They look for carefully defined points where their funds can make a difference in bringing about systemic changes that can improve lives. They focus on three program areas: Criminal and Juvenile Justice, Health Reform and Workers’ Rights. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Applicants should submit letters of inquiry six to eight weeks before proposal deadlines. The next proposal deadline is March 26, 2012.

8. The Thornton S. Glide, Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation is a perpetual California charitable trust. Its purpose is to provide benefits for qualified organizations committed to animal protection organizations, other land and wildlife conservancy groups, agricultural purposes, preservation of land in its natural state, and opera, symphony, and other similar civic organizations. The foundation has two programs; a regular grant program for funding up to $25,000 and a major grant program for funding up to $50,000 intended for capital expenditures.
The next application deadline is August 15, 2012.

9. RBC Blue Water Project™ Guidelines & Eligibility.RBC Blue Water Project offers:
Leadership Grants. These grants range from $25,000 to $500,000, are awarded annually and are directed to organizations that are leaders in providing programs in North America and other countries where we do business; and
Community Action Grants. These grants range from $1,000 to $5,000, and focus on local watershed protection. They are available on an on-going basis to local or community organizations in Canada, the United States or the Caribbean.

10. Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation Toolbox for Education grant program. Through the program, Lowe's will donate a total of $5 million to U.S. public schools and public school parent teacher groups at more than one thousand public schools.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Writer Grants & Money

Susan Pliner, Executive Director
Money for Women/Barbara Deming
Memorial Fund, Inc.
P.O. Box 309, Wilton, NH 03086
The Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund awards grants
of up to $1,500 to poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, visual
artists -- as well as for a mixed-genre category (illustration
and text) -- who are feminist women. Application fee is $20.
Two application deadlines each year: December 31 (art and fiction)
and June 30 (nonfiction and poetry). Fund does not maintain email,
phone, or website. To request application materials, write above
address and include SASE.


On February 1, 2012, Creative Capital will begin accepting
online Letters of Inquiry for grants in Emerging Fields,
Literature and Performing Arts. To be eligible to apply, an
artist must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident,
at least 25 years old, a working artist with at least five
years of professional experience, and not a full-time student.
Selected grantees receive up to $50,000 in direct support and
a suite of services valued at more than $40,000. The Inquiry
Form will be open until March 1, 2012.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King

Address at March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (Aug 1963)

Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed - we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech (Dec 1964)

I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

Most of these people will never make the headlines and their names will not appear in Who's Who. Yet when years have rolled past and when the blazing light of truth is focused on this marvelous age in which we live -- men and women will know and children will be taught that we have a finer land, a better people, a more noble civilization -- because these humble children of God were willing to suffer for righteousness' sake.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Domain Name Resources

Ajax Whois
Easy Domain Finder
domain hacks
Dot-o-mator: Domain and company name ideas generator.
DomainsBot: Domain name search engine.