2/8 Excerpt from Long Note!
One last note: today, by popular demand, I've posted a Blog entry that I think many of you will find especially meaningful. It's the reintroduction of our most popular column – "Profiles in Courageous Generosity." I hope you'll take just a moment to read it because this is one you really don't want to miss, particularly if you like to hear about the sacrifice of the everyday hero. It's online and available for you now at http://modestneeds.typepad.com.
Good morning, everyone!If you follow the Modest Needs blog (at http://modestneeds.typepad.com/), then you know that in Tuesday's post, I promised several electrifying announcements throughout December 2006. I'm thrilled to share the first of these announcements with you today – and it's a big one. Earlier this week, I received word that the 'matching grant' which has been doubling the value of your recurring donations to Modest Needs throughout 2006 has officially been renewed for 2007!
The terms of next year's matching grant challenge are equally exciting. Initially, the grant has been renewed for the same amount as this year's grant. It will match all recurring donations (e.g. automatic pledges) made by individual donors to Modest Needs, each time the pledge actually is paid, up to a preliminary maximum of $300,000.00 in 2007.
In other words, if you're currently pledging $1.00 a day ($30.00 a month) to Modest Needs, then that pledge will continue to be worth $60.00 a month throughout 2007 until we've claimed the entire initial value of the matching grant.
This alone is obviously fantastic news. But next year, there's an added incentive for us - and this is where things get really exciting:
If, with your help, Modest Needs grows to the point that we can claim the entire initial value of the match ($300,000.00) by the end of July 2007, the maximum value of the grant will substantially increase for the remainder of the year.
Honestly, I don't have a figure yet as to how much the value of our matching grant will increase if we meet this interim goal because this will be determined by several factors we can't predict right now – including how quickly we're able to claim the entire initial value of the matching grant itself.
However, knowing the folks who operate the private foundation that is providing this matching grant as I now do (I've been working closely with them for over a year), my 'educated guess' is this: If we meet this preliminary challenge and claim the entire $300,000.00 by 31 July 2007, the value of the matching grant probably would increase to at least half a million dollars. But one thing I know for certain: the earlier we claim the entire initial value of the grant, the larger the new value of the matching grant becomes.
Best of all, this goal of claiming the entire initial value of this matching grant in seven months is well within our reach. All it's going to take it a little bit of teamwork – and that's one area where the Modest Needs community especially excels.
So please, look for Modest Needs' annual appeal next week either by email or post – and please accept in advance my personal thanks for taking just a moment to read it.
Remember, this is just the first of several similar announcements I'll have for you this month, but in the meantime, I'm always excited to hear your thoughts. You can reach me directly either by replying to this note, or by sending mail to mailto:drkeith%40modestneeds.org. I truly value your comments, and I do my best to respond to each letter I receive personally.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read this very exciting update. Take care, and be well!
All best,Dr. Keith P. Taylor
Good morning, everyone!Before anything else, I want to thank the many hundreds of you who've written in since Saturday with kind words about our Today Show appearance last week. I have to tell you, the response we've seen since Saturday has just been phenomenal for reasons I would never have guessed – but more on that in a second.
For those of you who missed the segment and didn't mean to, I wanted to let you know that the entire Today Show piece on human kindness and 'paying it forward' is now available for you on the Modest Needs website, at http://www.modestneeds.org/explore/media I've 'You-Tubed' what turned out to be a terrific segment, so there's no downloading required – it's 'instant on' for everyone. I know you'll really enjoy it, but please don't go just yet. I have some unexpected but fantastic news to share – and that unexpected news is actually the reason for this short, impromptu update.
For some time now, we've been working with The Oregonian – the largest daily paper in the Northwest – to complete what we thought was going to be a small story on the work all of us do together at Modest Needs. As it turns out, that story ran on Saturday, 18 November – the same day that we did The Today Show. But it wasn't such a 'small story' after all. To our surprise, it turned out to be a feature. And it is, quite literally, the best piece of writing about Modest Needs since our original USA TODAY story some four years ago.
The response from people in Oregon since the publication of this story, 'Small Change: Big Difference' on Saturday has just been overwhelming. The story is so powerful that, in the space of 48 hours, Oregon has become the state with the second-largest contingent of people supporting Modest Needs (previously, Oregon was something like number 42 out of 50!)
Many of you who support Modest Needs have been asking for a solid published piece about this work that you could share with friends, family and co-workers. I'm telling you, this is the story you've been waiting for. Please take a moment to read this remarkable article – and, if you feel so inclined – to share it with persons you think might like to read it. The direct link to the article is:
I'll have more news to share with you after the Thanksgiving Holiday, including a new 'Profile in Courageous Generosity' that's really going to start the holiday season off with a 'bang' at Modest Needs. But in the meantime, as we all pause to count our blessings, I want to tell each and every one of you how thankful I am to know and work with you to change the world, one family at a time. Even though I don't hear from most of you every day (or even occasionally), the Modest Needs Community has become my second family. I simply couldn't ask for a better blessing than that.Until next time, here's wishing you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Take care, travel safely, and be well. I look forward to hearing from some of you soon.
I'm thrilled to report that, after a four year hiatus from live television, I've been invited to reappear on The Today Show. The segment in which Modest Needs is involved will air on NBC this Saturday, November 18 in the 8:00-9:00am hour in your time zone. And this is going to be a really terrific segment if I do say so myself. Let me give you just a quick sneak preview.
Recently, The Today Show began conducting a series of experiments designed to answer a very complex question: In a world that is sometimes less kind than we'd all like for it to be, what is it that motivates people to show kindness to one another?
I can't tell you much about the experiments that The Today Show conducted without giving the whole segment away. What I can tell you is that they provide a fascinating look at the psychology behind human kindness. I've been asked to return to The Today Show to discuss the results of those experiments based on my experience as someone who daily observes through Modest Needs the altruism that so many of you demonstrate through your ongoing support of this very important work.
Believe me when I tell you that this is going to be an eye-opening look at what motivates people to reach out to one another- and why, sometimes, people elect not to reach out, even when they could. I'm truly honored to have been asked to return to The Today Show to participate in this study, and I know you'll really enjoy the segment itself. From what I've seen and heard of it already, it really is a magnificent piece of work.
And as if all of this isn't enough, you'll get to see me 'sweat it out' on live national television (a nerve-wracking experience, even at its best) with either Campbell Brown or Lester Holt (I don't yet know who I'll be speaking with.) – and in a suit yet! This will be, by the way, the only chance you will ever have to see me in a suit – at least, if I can help it.
In all seriousness, I consider it a great honor to be able to serve you as the public face of the human kindness and generosity that are the cornerstone of our work together at Modest Needs. Let's hope that I do a good job and that many more people are inspired to participate in this work once they hear a bit more about the miracles that you've made possible at Modest Needs over the past five years.
So, set your VCRs and Tivos, tell your friends, and get ready for a great time on Saturday morning! And after the segment airs, I'd really love to hear what you thought of it. As always, you can contact me directly by sending mail to email@example.com I do my best to personally answer every letter that I receive.
I'll have more 'too big for the blog' news for you shortly, including a truly inspirational 'Profile in Courageous Generosity' that I've been working on for quite some time. But in the meantime, you can always see the day-to-day Modest Needs news via the Modest Needs Blog. I hope to see many of you there soon.
So until Saturday, here's wishing you and your family more health, happiness and prosperity than your lives can possibly contain. Take care, and be well!
My very best,
Good morning, everyone!
This will be the world’s shortest news update because really big news doesn’t require too many words. Get ready:
Modest Needs’ new friend, Emmy award-winning actress Allison Janney, appeared on the Ellen Degeneres Show yesterday – and while she was there, she took four minutes or so to talk about the work we do at Modest Needs.
This episode of the Ellen Degeneres Show will air today at its regularly scheduled time in your city, so be sure you set your Tivos and such. We’ll have the clip online at Modest Needs as soon as we can get it ourselves. But if the Modest Needs website appears to run a little more slowly than usual today – well, now you know what’s happening!
Also today – and this is especially fitting – I’m proud to announce the world premiere of Modest Needs’ new Public Service Announcement, featuring Allison Janney. When you see it, I think you’ll agree that it just couldn’t have turned out any better than it did. It’s beautiful.
I’ve ‘You-Tubed’ the 30 second version of the PSA so that you won’t have any trouble watching it. You can see it right now on our homepage, at http://www.modestneeds.org/, or on the Modest Needs Blog, at http://modestneeds.typepad.com/
And finally, while you’re at Modest Needs having a look at the PSA, I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to enjoy one of the most important innovations we’ve made to Modest Needs since our launch in 2002.
We have finally made the Modest Needs Ledger (now called ‘Browse Applications’) completely interactive. Helping hard-working families has always been rewarding, but I think you’ll agree – it has never been quite this much fun before!
To view the new ledger page, just click ‘Browse Applications’ from the Modest Needs homepage, at http://www.modestneeds.org/ I honestly think you’ll be impressed.
After you’ve had a look at our PSA, our innovative new ‘Browse Application’s page, and – perhaps – seen the Ellen Degeneres show (most of you will see it before we do here!), I’d love to hear your comments. As always, you can reach me directly by sending mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so very much, as always, for your kindness, compassion, and ongoing support of Modest Needs Foundation. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Take care, and be well!
Dr. Keith P. Taylor
President / Executive Director
Modest Needs Foundation
‘Small Change: A World of Difference’
8/26 Renewing the Gulf Coast
If you're one of the many families struggling to rebuild your lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Modest Needs wants to help you through our special Gulf Coast Renewal Initiative.
Modest Needs' Gulf Coast Renewal Initiative is designed to offer several critical types of assistance that are not available elsewhere to qualified Gulf Coast families. Types of assistance available only through this program include (but are not limited to):
~ Assistance with the cost of returning to your hometown, if you're currently living in another US state and are ready to go home;
~ Assistance with the cost of building supplies, if your home is still standing and you need help with the materials necessary to repair it;
~ Assistance with the cost of basic household necessities, if your home is already livable but you need help to afford items like beds, or a refrigerator; and
~ Assistance with the cost of housing / utility deposits, if your home is no longer livable and you need help to relocate WITHIN one of the Gulf Coast states; and
~ Assistance with the cost of insurance deductibles, if your home was insured against flood damage, and you can't start rebuilding because you can't afford to pay the insurance deductible.
How Modest Needs Works for Applicants
Modest Needs makes three types of grants, all designed to stop the cycle of poverty before it starts for a struggling individual or family. Our grants generally remit payment for an emergency expense on behalf of an applicant.
All of the services we provide at Modest Needs are absolutely free, and our grants come with absolutely no strings attached. They do not ever have to be repaid.
Applicants should know that though our maximum grant is $1000, historically, our average grant has been for about $180. In addition, to ensure that our available funding is used only for the purpose intended, Modest Needs does not pay cash directly to our approved applicants. Rather, when we approve a grant to cover an emergency expense, we pay that grant directly to a creditor.
If you're facing a temporary financial crisis because of an unexpected emergency expense and qualify for no other type of assistance, you can complete and submit an application either online (recommended) or by mail simply by visiting our Applications and Instructions page.
If we have an application slot available, the entire application process should take you less than ten minutes. And, if our donors indicate a high degree of interest in your application, we will make every effort to fund it as quickly as possible, usually within two weeks or less.
Double the Value of Your Donation: Make a Pledge!
Thanks to the generosity of a private foundation that has asked to remain anonymous, YOUR PLEDGES TO MODEST NEEDS ARE BEING MATCHED, DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, THROUGHOUT 2006!!
What does this mean to you? Simple. It means that in 2006, your 'small change' has TWICE the power to change a life at Modest Needs!
Thanks to this matching grant, throughout 2006 at Modest Needs:
a $10 weekly pledge is worth $20 a week
a $100 monthly pledge is worth $200 a month
a $1000 annual pledge is worth $2000 this year
And so forth, with NO LIMITS OF ANY KIND, until we've qualified to receive the entire matching grant of $300,000!
Best of all, under this matching grant initiative, your pledge to Modest Needs is being matched, not just once or twice, but EVERY TIME YOUR PLEDGE IS MADE! In other words, a $100 monthly pledge at Modest Needs isn't worth just an extra $100. It's worth an extra $100 EACH AND EVERY MONTH, for all of 2006.
We need YOUR help to qualify for the entire $300,000 matching grant. Right now, with a large matching grant at stake, a pledge of any size has more power than ever to change a life at Modest Needs.
You can create a pledge of any size you like - in two minutes or less - through our express giving system. And you can rest easy knowing that, at Modest Needs, your personal information is protected by Bank of America and Authorize.net - the leaders in online security. You can also explore these other ways to give.
Especially now, when your 'small change' is worth so much to people who really NEED our help, we appreciate your generous support of hard-working individuals and families with 'modest needs.'
Remember, you can also make a gift or pledge by phone. To do so, please call (212) 463-7042.
Without you, this work would not be possible.