A Pianist Who Plays for Charity

What did you do this summer? Hit the beach? Visit the in-laws? Take the grandkids to Disney World? Ask Mark Damisch and the 57-year-old Chicago lawyer will tell you he spent five weeks on tour playing piano concerts in Scandinavia and Russia to raise money for worthy causes. Damisch’s exhausting schedule – 21 concerts in six countries  – isn’t for the faint of heart. But he’s a pro at marathon travel. (He was in Copenhagen, Denmark, when we spoke.) This …

Buy Pink and Support Breast Cancer Research

October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many people are supporting their family, friends and others who have encountered the disease with the purchase of products that align with the cause. With pink being the official color for the cause, many retailers are generating limited edition pieces emblazoned with tints and shades of the hue while also donating all or a portion of the sales to the initiative.  Here are a few items worth considering. Scarf  Vera Bradley – …

Beyond the Pink: Breast Cancer Charities Rated

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month — as if you couldn’t tell by all the pink-ribbon logos on products, 60-year-old Liam Neeson in hot-pink underwear, and football players, young and old, wearing pink football gear. Even the White House has turned pink. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women and the fifth leading cause of death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which urges older women to get their mammograms. Breast cancer has …

In a Time of Enmity, the Charitable Deduction May Be Too Good to Give Up

The Federal Government is looking for money.  I know, big surprise.  Next target: remove the charitable gift deduction. In a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Jack Shakely shares that in this time of deficits, the deduction may be too costly to keep. And he has a point. An individual giving a million dollar gift to a building project or a new national program – doesn’t need the tax deduction. Seventy percent of Americans don’t itemize and don’t get the …

How Much Does Your Candidate Give To Charity?

It’s Super Tuesday and voters in 11 states are waking up to the opportunity to help determine who will be the republican candidate for president of the United States. From job creation to the deficit to the future of Social Security and Medicare, we put the candidates under our own microscopes in order to help us figure out which lever to pull. But what about their character? With all the mudslinging and canned debate rhetoric, how do you tap into …

5 Tips for Being a Charitable Cheapskate

Anybody who knows me personally or has read what I write realizes that while I make a sport out of pinching pennies, I don’t condone being a cheapskate when it comes to giving to charity or helping those in need.  And there are a lot of “charitable cheapskates out there like me: When I surveyed 300+ proud, self-proclaimed cheapskates for my last book, I found that on average they donated more than twice as much to charity as the typical …