1. Properly documenting donor contributions. "Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, which authorizes deductions for charitable contributions, states that a charitable contribution shall be allowable as a deduction only if the donor provides qualifying documentation to the IRS upon examination. For cash donations of less than $250, donations must be substantiated by a bank record or contemporaneous written document. For cash donations of $250 or more, the donor must provide a qualifying receipt from the charity or church. A qualifying receipt will include the name and address of the organization, the name and address of the donor, the dates of the donation(s), the amount of each donation, and a statement from the charity or church that no goods or services were provided in exchange for the donation except general intangible religious benefits" ("The 6 Requirements of Charitable Contributions," compiled by Frank Sommerville and Samuel Ogles, SkillBuilders).
Provide more help to your church's donors between now and December 31 with our downloadable 2016 Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts.
2. One tip for listening well. "Leaders who get great results over a sustainable time period have a secret sauce: they are good listeners. … [Several] tips will help you be a great listening leader, including this one:
Ask a few times. Most of the time, when (someone is) asked 'How's it going?' the answer is, 'Fine.' … But after the 'Fine,' just ask, 'How are things going in the role we have for you?' That conveys you really want to hear their experience, and they are much more likely to tell you what's really going on"
("Listening Well as a Leader," by John Townsend, drtownsend.com).
3. Keep your voice down—to gain authority. "Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch (a technique I learned from a speech therapist) by keeping your lips together and making the sounds "um hum, um hum, um hum." And if you are a female, watch that your voice doesn't rise at the ends of sentences as if you are asking a question or seeking approval. Instead, when stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end" ("10 Powerful Body Language Tips," by Carol Kinsey Goman, amanet.org).
4. Don't succumb to the midday slump. "It's hard to stay focused for eight hours straight. How can you feel more energized throughout the workday? Try this tip:
- Tailor your tasks to your energy. Most people are at their best in mid-morning and late afternoon. Organize your to-do list around these peaks and valleys"
("How to Overcome the Midday Slump," by Carolyn O'Hara, hbr.org).
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