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As we move closer to the 2004-2005 holiday season, it’s likely that you’ll be asked to donate your time, services, products, or money to at least one charitable cause. Should you do it? I think so- with the following caveats: First: make sure this group is somehow aligned with your personal or business goals. If it is, it’s more likely that your donation will be seen by people you’d like to reach. Your donations will have the most charitable impact AND the greatest potential benefit for you (both spiritually and materially) if you donate to people who are allied with your beliefs. Second: offer the most cost-effective, least expensive, but still valuable option. As a rule, I’d suggest offer a copy of your product with a free 30 minute consultation rather than two hours of your time. There are two reasons for this: time is precious, and I don’t believe you can deduct the time you spend (check with your tax advisor to be sure). Third: Get a receipt or some other acknowledgement of your donation so you have a record of it in case you can deduct it. If you follow these caveats, your donation will have the most impact with the least cost. I believe that what you give out multiplies and returns to you. I also believe in having as much positive impact as possible. Charitable giving can be an effective way of helping others, making a positive impact, and increasing your karmic good all while marketing your business at the same time. How’s that for a win/win/win/win?