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Offer Your Services as a Charitable Donation Through Paint it Forward

Contributions and charitable giving. How many times are you asked to provide a check or free services or discounted services? I want to tell you how we handle that.

I am Ron Ramsden, I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor up here in New England.

It’s been a business; you have to expect people to ask you for contributions.

If you are a convenience store, a painting contractor, or you are the bank, someone is going to ask you to write a check.

What we like to do is write checks when we feel the need and we can afford to write a check. Sometimes you get recognition, and we are not always looking for recognition, we are giving from our heart, and when we believe it needs to happen.

But we also have some pretty cool services we offer, which is painting.

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We do offer it a couple times here, as a campaign, and the campaign as some of you might have heard of Paint It Forward.

I want to walk you through the different steps of painting it forward and how we go about getting people to nominate other people, and that’s how we get people to figure out who we want to give this charitable donation to.

And our charitable donation is labor and paint, at no cost to the recipient. There is no set amount, you could give $1,000 worth of labor and material, or you could give $5,000.

We found out sweet spot to be $3,500, you can send a crew in there for a couple of days, and work wonders with our paint.

So, let me walk you through first how you nominate someone, and how you get people to nominate.

We go and we fill out a Google form, you can make Google forms on Google, we ask for people to nominate other people, organizations or other charities.

Occasionally, we will get someone to nominate someone in their own family, and it’s usually a wife nominating a husband, the husband has fallen into hard times, it may be injury, sickness or something like that, that financially in the house needs a little help.

So, what we ask is the person nominating, of course, their name first, all their contact information, because if we have more questions that we have to narrow the field down to choose one, sometimes we have to ask additional questions.

And if they are awarded the contribution, we have to know how to coordinate it, you need all that information, and make that a must fill out.

Secondly, we want to know who they are nominating, what organization, person, or charity.

From there, we ask for the charities information, address and things. If the charity has a website, we would like to check that out too, but it is anything else, we then ask for a paragraph or two, or story on why this person should be chosen.

Sometimes you get a one or two line answers and sometimes you get 2 or 3 paragraphs and sit down when you are reviewing these.

Some of them are really touching stories and it is really hard on some occasion to make a decision because you just want to give your services to everybody, so I want to warn you about that first.

So, what we do is we get the nomination pages. And how do we get the word out? The word goes out through all our networking groups

We ask at the end, usually, does anybody have an announcement? We use that time for our announcements.

We also might want to print out something about it. If you want to put a flyer together or our 60-second commercial during our BNI networking events, we always mention it then.

And what I usually do is mention it a few times coming up into it… we usually start this nomination process, about 2 months prior, to choosing somebody.

Also, any other networking event. Then we want to post it on social media: Facebook, wherever else you can put it, we email this to all our clients.

All your client’s email list put a Mail Chimp campaign out there and make sure you get it out to them. And then you can take the link to that Google form and add it everywhere.

And then you want to remind people to nominate, because people have best intentions, but they don’t always jump on it right away.

So, you might end up with 5 nominations, you might end up with 30 nominations, our average is probably 8 to 15 nominations at any one time. Some of them, it’s not easy to pass, but there is so much more need in some places.

We then narrow it down to about 3 different people or organizations, and then we start really digging it into finding out what they are doing, maybe make some phone calls, emails and ask some additional questions.

Recently, we chose an organization called ‘Debby’s Treasure Chest’. Debby’s Treasure Chest is in the city, right next to me that helps a lot of needy families.

This is actually their second time being nominated, the first time we were overwhelmed and we did choose somebody else, but this time they haven’t had any work done in their facility for a long time.

It is basically where people drop off clothes and things for needy people, they sew it, they clean it, people come in and they give them cloth sizes, toys for the kids, books for the kids, backpack, this is a totally non-profit organization.

Nobody takes any kind of salary, and they have been overwhelmed lately, so we decided that this would be a great time, we contacted the person who nominated them, let them know they won.

They were very excited obviously, and we had to find out a time to present them, the winner. You can walk in the office and say, congratulations, and everybody is happy.

But this is the time that you can get a little media coverage from this, every now and then you have to pat yourself on the back and this is the time we pat ourselves on the back and we show the community that we are giving back.

So, we go in, we used to bring balloons, flowers and things like that, that was really great, we stepped it up a little bit this time and I want to show you how.

So, we had a check made out, it is a good-sized check, it’s basically a white wood, this one happens to have a frame on it, you can write right on it.

So what we did is, we write Debby’s Treasure Chest on it, we had $3,500, and we brought this in, in a big bag, actually used a Home Depot black bag, because it fits perfect around us, and we were able to present them with that.

During a get-together, they had with about 40, 50, 60 people there. And they did take some pictures.

The media was there, actually, the police department was there taking pictures, they were a part of it, so we actually got a lot of press, not that we were looking for, but it’s nice to get it.

So, a sign like this, a whiteboard, checkmate out this, this is about $100, your local printer can do something like this, the guy who does all my engraving, printing and things was able to put that together for me.

So, this was a great eye catcher and it got a lot of wow factor. So, now what we do is, we’ve given them the donation, now we have to act on it.

What we do is, then we make an appointment with them and then we can go over colors with them ahead of time, if we have to bring in a color person to give us a hand, we do, if they don’t know their colors, and then we can coordinate it on our time.

So, maybe it is a Saturday, maybe a crew would like to donate the day. Not all the time that my crew wants to give up their Saturday, very understandable.

Some of my crew’s spouses, significant others work on Saturdays, and they are at home with kids or helping other people so I totally understand that.

It is my decision to give the charitable donation away so we tend to do it during the work week, on a Thursday or Friday, if it bleeds over to Saturday, also do it, we make sure it happens.

On this one, it just happened to work out that we are doing it next month, and we are going to be doing it not on weekends because they can actually control the foot traffic in certain areas, so they are giving different offices for us to paint.

We are going to make this fun, we are going to take more pictures, we are going to have shirts made up, with our paint it forward, our logo, Debby’s Treasure Chest giving back on the front of it

We are going to give it to all the staff there, so they all have one, we will all have one, and we will get some great media coverage out of it.

So, that’s how we give out back to our major contributions, in the painting field in my area, we do get some press, we will actually then take the pictures from that.

We are going to write up our own article and then we will send it over to the local newspaper. Local newspapers also love when you give them everything on a silver platter.

The people writing for the newspaper, they can’t be everywhere, they can’t take pictures, but if you can provide all these for them, you are more likely to get put into the paper.

So, we have those free newspapers, those will be happening, our page newspaper, that would be happening.

We are also going to post this on all of our social media channels, and as well as send this out as a MailChimp campaign, just to let them know that we gave back.

We sent one out when we got awarded this, we had a picture and the title was giving back to our community, a nice picture, a nice paragraph or two underneath it, and that’s all we did.

Great way to give back to the community, I just wanted to share how our process is. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at, or find me on Facebook, I would love to chat with you.

Have fun, give back, it feels so good when you can help other people, thank you, have a good one.

About the Author

Ron Ramsden is the owner of the successful Ramsden 1-800-PAINTING, who implemented the DYB SYSTEM, and crushed it in 2015, and now coaches other painting contractors around the nation to do the same.