Giving Tuesday is November 27 – “Be the change you wish to see in the world”

By now you’re probably familiar with Giving Tuesday, the unofficial but widely observed national event that takes place annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

The event was initiated in 2012 as a way to kick off the season of giving and remind people the holidays are about more than consumerism. Last year it raised some $274 million in contributions, a 55 percent increase over 2016.

Like the rest of the holidays, Giving Tuesday tends to sneak up on us each year. If you haven’t had the chance to decide how and where to bestow your holiday giving this month, consider the following suggestions for making those choices.

  • Often, corporations or anonymous donors will match individual cash donations bestowed to certain nonprofits on Giving Tuesday. You can get double the bank for your buck if you direct your holiday giving to one of those causes — or maybe triple the bang for your buck if your employer also matches your contribution.
  • Depending on your situation, giving doesn’t have to be about contributing your own money. Think instead about donating your time as a volunteer; giving blood; baking or cooking for someone else; passing on something of value; donating unwanted belongings to a nonprofit like Goodwill; being a grassroots publicist for the event or organizing a fundraiser through which others with more means can donate.
  • Choose a cause or causes that have personal meaning to you, whether they involve children, women, animals, the fight against a given illness, a certain philosophical issue or something else that’s affected your life.
  • Vet your top choices through an objective site such as Charity Navigator that summarizes each organization’s previous work and reports how much of your donation will help the cause itself instead of administration.
  • Share your story or experiences on the Giving Tuesday website to try to inspire others.
  • Stash away the receipts from your donations to 501(c)(3) organizations to earn eligible deductions during tax time.
  • Consider supporting future generations of working women by contributing to the Stephen Bufton Memorial Education Fund or to the American Business Women’s Foundation.

Small Business Saturday is November 24!

The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) is proud to support Small Business Saturday® this Nov 24.

Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 to help strengthen local economies. Today, it’s a holiday shopping tradition and part of a nationwide Shop Small® Movement dedicated to uniting communities and supporting all kinds of small businesses. From the corner store to your favorite diner to a trendy online boutique, it’s unique small businesses like yours that help local communities stay vibrant.

Participating in Small Business Saturday is a great way to reach new customers and promote your business. Here are some ideas for getting involved on Nov 24:

Let your customers know that you plan to participate in Small Business Saturday. Visit com/MarketingSupport for free promotional assets, such as ready-made social posts, to show your support.

Join ABWA this Nov 24 to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

3 Reasons Saying ‘I’m Sorry’ And ‘Thank You’ Can Change Corporate Culture

Companies that train their employees in what are commonly referred to as “soft skills” are finding those efforts pay off in productivity and retention.

People with soft skills are adept in areas such as interpersonal communication, leadership, problem solving and adaptability. But often still missing in the soft-skills department, some corporate analysts say, is the willingness to show an even softer side – specifically, saying “thank you” and “I’m sorry.”

“Simple as they sound, those phrases – which most of us were taught by our parents as good manners – are often difficult for many people in the corporate culture to say,” says Keith Martino (, author of Expect Leadership and head of CMI, a global consultancy that customizes leadership and sales development initiatives.

“But there’s a great value and power to saying ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘thank you’ in the corporate world. The first time someone apologizes or says a genuine ‘thank you,’ the whole environment shifts.”

Martino has observed corporate cultures becoming healthier when workers and leaders learn more about each other, care about each other and communicate better. As a result they work better together.

“So many people in today’s corporate culture have lived through not being valued in the workplace,” Martino says. “As we moved from the industrial age to technology, the thing that got left behind was the human element. People are starving for the human touch.”

Martino gives three reasons why saying ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ carry power in the corporate culture:

  • Rebuilds relationships. Leaders who can put themselves in the shoes of an employee whom they berated can build strong bridges throughout the company by apologizing and showing a more respectful approach next time. “People feel more valued and no longer threatened,” Martino says. “Every word you speak is an act of leadership as you influence others.” A thank you to a deserving employee also forges a more trusting, respectful relationship. “Being specific and genuine with the thank you heightens a person’s self-image, their view of the workplace, their boss and co-worker, and motivates them to keep up the good work,” Martino says.
  • It shows character. Humility shown in saying “I’m sorry” is essential to leadership, as well as to the rank-and-file, because it authenticates a person’s humanity, Martino says. Saying “thank you,” he adds, reflects an appreciation for others that is essential in building a successful team. “Competence is no substitute for character,” Martino says. “When people see a co-worker or boss doesn’t thoughtlessly put themselves above them, bonds and productivity grow. Character is a key element that attracts people and builds the foundation of a company.”
  • It energizes everyone. It’s easy to get wrapped up in daily business obstacles or an overloaded email box and skip saying “sorry” or “thank you.” “But when these new habits are formed, showing that everyone values everyone else, a spirit of cooperation flows like a river throughout the company, creating a consistently positive culture,” Martino says.

“The relationship qualities, founded on mutual respect, that were common 100 years ago are still essential today,” Martino says, “and without them organizations fail. Walls go up, people get alienated and can’t work together anymore.”

About Keith Martino

Keith Martino ( is the author of Expect Leadership, a series of four leadership books – The Executive Edition, in Business, in Engineeering, and in Technology.

Clarity of Closet- business clothes with a twist!

Have you ever headed to your closet to dress for an important day at work, only to find that — in spite of a rack full of options— you have nothing appropriate to wear?

In some cases that’s due to our tendency to snap up colorful or standout wardrobe pieces that are fun to buy, while foregoing the basic but highly functional staples that can take us through the most conservative business meeting. Such pieces are seldom exciting, but they’re almost always appropriate and can be ramped up with fun accompaniments and accessories as needed.

As such, Real Simple has assembled a list of core pieces for fall 2016 that can easily be mixed and matched, are available at different price points and could well make your life easier this fall.

  • Black tank to dress up or down
  • Short-sleeved white t-shirt (opt for several less-expensive ones you can switch out as they gray)
  • Short-sleeved black t-shirt (a little longer than cap-sleeved)
  • Long-sleeved white t-shirt that skims your body without clinging
  • Long-sleeved black t-shirt (that could be worn under a dress shirt)
  • Black turtleneck, possibly cashmere
  • Two fitted white button-down shirts, one silky and one cotton
  • Crisp white blouse that looks softer than a button-down
  • Thin-knit crewneck sweater that layers easily
  • Neutral-shade cardigan (hip length tends to be flattering)
  • Black dress
  • Pencil skirt that grazes the tops of the knees
  • Dark, boot-cut jeans (consider stretch denim with less than 2 percent Lycra)
  • Black pants in all-season fabric
  • Skinny jeans (not too snug in the waist)
  • Khaki pants with a flat front and no crease
  • Dark-wash, slim-fit denim jacket
  • Cropped jacket in a traditional tweed or solid color
  • Ballet flats in neutral or red
  • Basic black pumps
  • Knee-high flat boots in black or brown
  • Ankle-grazing high-heeled boots

As for the fun accompaniments? Consider pairing the above with some of the latest trends for this fall. Elle suggests capelets; velvet; statement chokers; tinsel-like trims; pinstripe suiting; David Bowie-style chunky boots; extra-long sleeves; navy overcoats; schoolgirl jumpers; gray plaid, one-arm tops; statement furs; unusual gloves; the pairing of pink and yellow and cross-body fur stoles as cutting-edge styles.