Intimate Fundraising Events – Parlor Meetings, Political Fundraisers and Investment Parties

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Great ideas often lead to big things, but somewhere along the way investments and fundraising are often required. Non-profits, political causes, and commercial startups all need cash to expand and grow. Although many groups may dream of a mega grant or super venture capitalist, support from small donors and individual investors are often the foundation from which all things grow.

One of the most successful ways of attracting these individuals is through small gatherings. These “house parties” are a popular and successful way to raise money for nonprofits, political functions, and business ventures. Although the reasons for these gatherings are always to raise funds, the purpose for the money creates subtle differences in the structure and style of the events.

Let’s take a look at all three types of events and see how they vary.

Nonprofit events are called by many names including a parlor meeting, house meeting, house party, or round up. The purpose can vary from funding for social programs or religious organizations, support for the arts, humanitarian outreach, environmental awareness or assistance for dozens of other charitable causes.

• These small charitable parlor meetings are usually hosted by two or more people commonly referred to as co-chairs.

• Successful house parties need two or more months advance notice.

• As a practice, the host does not ask for money. Instead, one of the co-chairs or the featured speaker will speak about funding needs and the benefits of supporting the organization or cause.

• One popular way to increase donations is to offer matching dollars. This is a popular incentive. A major funder agrees to make a specific donation as long as his or her amount is matched by other supporters.

Political Fundraising can be focused on a single candidate, group of candidates, or local political party. Small group fundraising accounts for a significant amount of dollars for both minor and major candidates.

• Political house parties usually begin with a committee led by a chair. In most cases, all the members are responsible for bringing in guests.

• The purpose should be defined. There can be more than one goal, but each goal should be very clear.

• Unless it is a general fundraiser, a target audience should be defined at the beginning. Food, location, and activities should be geared to target audience.

Investor Meetings also go by several names including networking house parties or Angel events.

• Although these small parties are often held in homes, informal settings in business or prestigious locations are also OK.

• Incentives, perks and well known speakers are often used to attract attendees.

• A few commercial groups are available to organize events.

Although the three types of small events have some differences, successful events share many of the same elements.

1. Prestigious location – Private homes are fine, and sometimes the best choice. Setting the event in a prominent neighborhood or in a notable home can attract guests and set a financial tone.

2. Organizers set a realistic financial goal with a specific amount they plan to raise.

3. The budget should be set in early planning and should be paid for in advance. (Dealing with last minute fees or unpaid bills creates a negative atmosphere.) A flawless event reflects on the organization, candidate, or company.

4. Leadership should be clear and defined. Jobs and roles need to be written down and understood by all members of the team.

5. Time management is very important. If the event is listed as two hours, don’t run over time. Running overtime makes potential donors angry.

6. Aggressively Market target audience. Make sure to budget for marketing campaign which may include personal contacts, mailed invites, direct mail, and entertainer contacts.

7. Thank you letters (or calls) should be sent to all attendees who attended parlor meetings or investment parties, whether they immediately invested or not.

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Ghost Writer

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Ghost Writer

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Ben Trovato, an up-and-coming young lawyer in a prestigious Kansas City law firm, snares the penthouse apartment in his building when its long-time occupant dies. But Ben soon finds that the deceased former occupant hasn’t exactly vacated the premises. Despite the inconvenient fact of his death, famous mystery novelist David Shepherd is still very much in residence. They say that ghosts have unfinished business on earth, and this one has something very specific in disembodied mind. Shepherd’s voice finds its way into Ben’s head, and makes it clear that Ben will have no peace until Ben helps him finish his earthly business. Ben must produce the manuscript of Shepherd’s final novel, concluding his popular series of mysteries involving down-and-out detective Doug Graves, and deliver it to Shepherd’s publisher. The deal gets sweeter for Ben when he meets beguiling publisher Robin Atwater, who wants that manuscript almost as much as Ben wants her. But complications ensue, and his collaboration with Shepherd leads Ben into a shadowy corporate conspiracy, forcing him to make choices that threaten his career, his romance, and maybe even his life.



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Zuma: From a Herd Boy to a President

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Book Title: Zuma, A Biography

Author: Jeremy Gordin

Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers

Zuma, A Biography is an intriguing story of an uneducated herd boy who became president of the Republic South Africa, Jacob Gedley’hlekisa Zuma, (2009 to the present). He is the third democratically elected president of South Africa following in the footsteps of the international icon Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Both Mandela and Mbeki were educated presidents in the finest educational institutions graduating as barrister and economist respectively.

Zuma was born on 12 April 1942 into the Zuma clan at Nkandla, a rural area situated in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, the birth place of the great Zulu King: Shaka Zulu. Zuma was the first son of Nobhekisisa Zuma and his second wife, Gcinamazwi. Zuma’s mother was a domestic worker and his father a policeman. Zuma’s father died while his son Jacob was too young. He remembers nothing of his father.

In the book, a portrait of Msholozi (Zuma’s praise) as a man of contradictions emerges. He is at ease in his leopard skin attire embedded in his deep cultural roots of the Zulus (the largest tribe in South Africa). He is a shrewd modern politician and also a proud polygamous man. He is known for his affable demeanour and infections smile. Yet, he is equally eloquent in the international arena and talks through the complexities of global economy without a hint that his formal highest standard of education remains the primary school level.

In this unauthorised biography, veteran journalist Jeremy Gordin takes us through the journey of Zuma – from his humble beginnings as a herd boy, trade unionist, political prisoner (with Nelson Mandela), exile life and of course his quest to become president of South Africa.

Gordin paints a picture of a man whose life was never destined for greatness. Zuma spent his childhood years as a herd boy and never had an opportunity to complete his primary education. Zuma’s family was poor, if not destitute. However, it was his mother’s work as a domestic worker in the white suburbia in Durban that introduced Zuma to the harsh realities of apartheid.

The book tells of Zuma’s quest for freedom – joining the African National Congress (ANC) at a tender age of 17, his incarceration on Robben Island, his time in exile, and the transitional years of the 1990’s.

However, the book focuses on Zuma’s role in the post-apartheid South Africa. Zuma served in the President Thabo Mbeki’s cabinet (1999 to 2005) as deputy president. On 14 June 2005, Zuma was fired for the misdemeanours of his friend and former financial adviser.

Gordin takes us through Zuma’s political roll-coaster ride from political wilderness (after his firing from the deputy presidency) to his election as a president of the ANC in 2007 and his descend to highest office – that of the president of the republic. Zuma defeated Mbeki his political nemesis in the highly contested party election in 2007. He later presided over his party’s national executive committee meeting (2008) that decided to ask Mbeki to resign from the presidency, a mere six months before the end of his term of office. Mbeki agreed to step down in an emotional televised address to the nation.

To this end, the Zuma’s biography is an important book in that it shows the workings of democracy in Africa’s newly independent state (since 1994). Despite the intense political rivalry of the two men – no blood was shed, although Mbeki’s supporters deserted the ANC to form their own political party shortly after he was fired. But, Mbeki remains a member of the ANC and works closely with Zuma in the peace building mission on the African continent.

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The Ghost Writer

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The Ghost Writer

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THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM Enter the creepy small town of Robberton, Indiana where nightmares become reality. JD, a mysterious Internet blogger and creator of the “Ghost Writer” blog, encourages the online community to post spooky stories and eerie encounters. After posting their stories, four Robberton teenagers make a pact to uncover the true story behind these strange events and the darkness that lurks in every corner of their town…and in their own minds. In this unique blend of horror and satire, “The Ghost Writer” will challenge you to dig up Robberton’s frightening truth, exploring the supernatural realm through the eyes of the characters as they experience episodes of surreal suspense and psychological turmoil that come when they least expect it. Enjoy—at your own risk.



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Procedure For Proper Article Writing and Submission

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Have you ever wondered what the work of a content writer is?

Well, it’s article writing and submission. To be more precious, writing an article in a proper way and then submit it to the company for whom you are writing.

Now, a question may arise that what type of writing is generally preferred?

The writing that will definitely satisfy the customer requirement is preferred. For this to happen, article writing should be done only after through research on particular themes and topics specified for the particular articles.

Also the writer who is writing the article needs to be very careful about the length of the article. It should neither be too long nor too short. The language that will be used for writing the articles should be clear, understandable and specific.

Here are some important steps in article writing and submission:

Do a thorough research on the keywords or topic you want to write the article on.

Jot down the points you find that will be helpful and useful for the article.

It’s better not to apply the “copy & paste” method. Instead, it’s preferred to see the points and write it in your own words. This makes the writing original in content.

Now, divide the article in 4 (four) major parts, namely introduction, main body, conclusion and title.

The introduction part should focus briefly on the things or writings that are shortly following it. Sometimes, why the need for writing an article on such a specified topic can also be explained in this part. Focus on writing the introduction in such a manner that it creates a source of interest on the reader’s mind.

The main body will focus on a detail discussion of the topic. Usage of sub groups, sub paragraphs, images, bullets and numbering, tables can all be used inside this part. Make sure, it meets the requirements of the readers as much as possible.

The conclusion part will briefly highlight a brief summary of the above content and most importantly how the reader will benefit from the article.

Now the most important part. Select an appropriate and interesting title for the article. Also keep it in mind, that it is those sensational titles that 80% of the viewers are attracted to and only for that they start reading the articles. Don’t make the title too long. Always prefer for a short, specific, eye-catching title.

Now, after you write the article you need to be very clear about the submission procedure. While submitting, you should mention properly the title of the article, number of words taken to write the article, your name, date of submission, and most importantly the topic, theme or keyword on which you have written the article.

The article should be interesting and reach in content. Also keep in mind that it’s very important to hold the readers back to the edge of the seat until they finish reading the article. For this, you have to frame the writing of the article in a very attractive format.

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How Much Does it Really Cost to Write and Publish a Book?

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When an aspiring author is thinking about writing and publishing their book, the question of cost inevitably comes up. All books are different, though, so asking how much it costs to publish a book is like asking how much a house or a car costs. The price depends on the book itself.

Longer books are more expensive, and so are full-color books and hard-cover books. Self-publishing the traditional way, meaning a print run of a couple thousand copies, requires more money up front than print-on-demand. But the cost per copy decreases when you print an inventory, meaning you can make more of your money back faster. Obviously hiring a ghostwriter to write your book significantly increases the cost of the writing–it’s free if you do it all on your own. And working with a one-stop shop for your publishing services, as opposed to finding suppliers on your own, will affect your production costs. All these factors, and more, play a role in your publishing expenses.

With that said, I’ve done some research to put together the following list of expenses you should budget for when writing and publishing your book.

Writing: As I mentioned before, writing your book is free if you do it all on your own. Working with a coach or taking a class to write your book will cost more. And hiring a ghostwriter will be the most expensive way to write your book. However, working with a coach or hiring a ghostwriter will help reduce your editing costs-something to keep in mind. And don’t be afraid to invest money in the writing process–well-written books sell better.

Editing/proofreading: Again, if you do it yourself, or find a friend or two to read your book for you, you can get the book edited for next to nothing. However, this approach isn’t recommended. The content of your book is the foundation of your publishing venture, so you can’t afford to skimp on expenses associated with creating a good, marketable manuscript. Every writer needs an editor, and at least a proofreader. A professional will help you create a professional product.

Design (both cover and interior): Although I know many self-publishers do their own interior design in Microsoft Word, you probably don’t want to design your own book cover unless you’re a graphics designer. Covers can range in price, depending on the level of customization and amount of illustration required. And many self-publishing companies offer stock templates you can choose from to save money. The same goes for interior page design. Some companies offer stock templates, or you could do it yourself. But if you have lots of graphics or illustrations, or you want a custom job, the cost will be higher.

Miscellaneous production costs: In addition to the design expenses, producing your book also includes securing an ISBN number, copyright fees, and shipping from the printer to you (or your warehouse). You may also need to pay someone for order fulfillment.

Printing: As I mentioned before, it costs less to get your book set up with a print-on-demand publishing company, and then you don’t have to worry about warehousing the books and fulfilling the orders. But the cost per copy is significantly higher than if you printed one or two thousand copies. I recommend looking at both options very carefully, and if you know you can sell a thousand copies through your existing marketing channels, then bite the bullet and have them printed. You’ll make your money back faster.

Your Book Investment
Regardless of the cost, keep in mind that your book is an investment in yourself and in your business that will pay off. Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to do it the right way and create a quality, professional product.

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Source by Melinda Copp

The Ghostwriter’s Midnight Cry: Poems, Rap/Song Lyrics, & Dreams (The Ghostwriter’s Memoir) (Volume 1)

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The Ghostwriter's Midnight Cry: Poems, Rap/Song Lyrics, & Dreams (The Ghostwriter's Memoir) (Volume 1)

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What began as therapy during a teenaged meltdown, this compilation of poems and songs has continued to help me overcome major depression, PTSD, and suicidal ideation.



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Top 10 Swipe File Ads and Sales Letters For New Copywriters

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One question new copywriters often ask is, “what are the best swipe file ads?”

It’s a good question, too — especially since swiping the wrong ads can often do you far more harm than good.

My opinion on this is, I don’t really “swipe” anymore these days.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a list of favorite ads to study for ideas, ad structures (very important), and inspiration.

So here goes — my top 10 ads (in no particular order) copywriters should study:

* Scott Haines’s “Trump University” sales letter

* Gary Halbert’s “Betty’s Diet Book” print ad

* Gary Bencivenga’s “Interviews That Win Jobs” print ad

* Eugene Schwartz’s “The TV Owner’s Guide” print ad

* John Carlton’s “Combat JKD” print ad

* Jim Rutz’s “Integrated Health Solutions” sales letter

* Mel Martin’s “What Never To Eat On An Airplane” sales letter

* Gary Halbert’s The “Crime Connection” sales letter

* Gary Halbert’s “The Josh Abraham Letter” sales letter

* Gary Bencivenga’s “Lies Lies Lies” magalog

Now, something to note:

In a couple of these cases, I really don’t know how much money the ad pulled. Usually, you’re better off only studying ads that earned the big bucks. But either way, studying these ads has been extremely profitable for my business.

Fortunately, you can find some of them online free, too. (Just “Google” them.)

But in some of these cases, you will may have to pay a little money to get the rest of them (or ask the copywriters who wrote them).

And that’s as it SHOULD be.

You’ll get way more value out of copywriting instruction and tools you have to hunt, sweat and pay for than if you can just print and stuff them in a folder free.

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Ghost Writers: Us Haunting Them, Contemporary Michigan Literature (Made in Michigan Writers Series)

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Ghost Writers: Us Haunting Them, Contemporary Michigan Literature (Made in Michigan Writers Series)

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For Ghost Writers: Us Haunting Them editors Keith Taylor and Laura Kasischke asked twelve celebrated Michigan writers to submit new stories on one subject: ghosts. The resulting collection is a satisfying mix of tales by some of the state’s most well-known and award-winning writers. Some of the pieces are true stories written by non-believers, while others are clearly fiction and can be funny, bittersweet, spooky, or sinister. All share Michigan as a setting, bringing history and a sense of place to the eerie collection.

Ghosts in these stories have a wide range of motivations and cause a variety of consequences. In some cases, they seem to dwell in one person’s consciousness, as in Steve Amick’s “Not Even Lions and Tigers,” and other times they demonstrate their presence with tangible evidence, as in Laura Hulthen Thomas’s “Bones on Bois Blanc.” Spirits sometimes appear in order to communicate something important to the living, as in James Hynes’s “Backseat Driver” and Lolita Hernandez’s “Making Bakes,” to change the course of events, as in Anne-Marie Oomen’s “Bitchathane,” or to cause characters to look inside themselves, as in Elizabeth Schmuhl’s “Belief.” The supernatural stories in Ghost Writers visit a mix of Michigan locations, from the urban, to the suburban, and rural. Authors find ghosts in family farmhouses, downtown Detroit streets, an abandoned northern Michigan lighthouse, gracious Grosse Pointe homes, a mid-Michigan apartment complex, and the crypt of a Polish priest in the small town of Cross Village.

Taylor and Kasischke have assembled a collection with a diverse mixture of settings, tones, and styles, ensuring that Ghost Writers will appeal to all readers of fiction, particularly those interested in the newest offerings from Michigan’s best fiction writers.



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Writing Success – Why Versatility is a Writer’s Greatest Asset

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The writing profession comes with many perks. As a successful writer, you have the power to express yourself, to shape the way others see the world and to make things happen. Long after your footprints vanish from the sands of time, the words you write will be read, shared and remembered. But are you more than a writer? Because, in order to succeed, you certainly need to do more than just write. Indeed, this article shares with you, 3 reasons why versatility is crucial to writing success.

1. It makes you more convincing – Don’t we all love writing that reaches out and pulls us right into the page? Many successful writers are intelligent, passionate and detailed in their craft but most of all they are convincing. When Michael Crichton wrote the sci-fi classic, Jurassic Park, he tapped into another part of himself- used his extensive medical experience to advantage. The result is a fictional work that reeks with authenticity and of course one that has made Crichton financially successful. These days, readers demand that writers ‘show and not tell’. But how can you show what you do not know? When you discover, develop and harness a wider range of talents, your writing will sparkle and your readers will be hooked for life. Versatile people can bring their wealth of experience, the richness of their lives, into their work. if you want to take your writing success to the next level, try discovering your multi talented self.

2. It makes you more productive – Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? Often the best solution is to take a short break from the project and return to it with renewed zest. If you have been working hard at your writing for weeks, now is the perfect time to find a new challenge, to try something different. Rediscover your passion for song writing or dance, learn to knit a sweater, style hair or paint a water colour portrait. Make time to see life with new eyes and allow your fingers to show you what they can do. There’s more to life than paper and pen. Take a break. Decorate or cook, reclaim your love for fashion or art, find another side to you. You are a multi-dimensional being: daughter and mother, father and son, friend and sibling, spirit and soul. To succeed as a writer, you must be willing to become everything else you were born to be. Oprah Winfrey is an award winning talk show hostess, actress, producer, publisher, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Don’t underestimate yourself. It is possible to succeed at many tasks, to become versatile without compromising your high standards.

3. It opens the door to financial success – In today’s publishing world; a writer must wear many hats in order to succeed. In addition to endless proofreading for instance, he or she must be willing to craft proposals, negotiate an advance, organise robust marketing campaigns, budget, administrate, network at functions, speak in public and flesh out ideas for yet many more books. Have you got what it takes to succeed? You better do. Financial gurus have taught for years that the key to wealth and uncommon success is having multiple income streams. But how can one have multiple income streams without multiple talents and interests? Before best selling author, Amy Tan, became a novelist she worked as a commercial copywriter. Since the Joy Luck Club, she has added screenwriter, essayist, public speaker, journal editor and amateur musician to her resume. After all creativity is not all about producing; it is also about leveraging what you know. Many writers today are also athletes, politicians, photographers, entrepreneurs and scientists. With the invasion of mass media technology, the younger generation is reading less and so the onus lies on the modern scribe to communicate beyond the book. If you aspire for writing success, don’t get ahead of yourself, just plan ahead. For instance, you could craft your writing so that it appeals to a wider audience. Or maybe learn to write songs or screenplays, publish your own blog or newsletter… step outside the box. Dr Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, makes much of his income, not from book sales but, from high profile speaking engagements.

I will never forget the fictional character, Oliver Twist. He was young, scrawny, homeless, unschooled and yet he wasn’t afraid to ask for what he wanted. Even after he got a beating for his trouble, Oliver continued to yearn for a better life. Likewise in all of us there is a desire to become successful. If you want to grow as a person you must sustain a healthy sense of curiosity. And if you are still hungry for writing success, then take the time to discover, develop and harness your many talents.

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Source by Ogo Ogbata