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Five Things to Ask Before You Give a Non-profit Your Money!

By Leadership, Motivation One Comment

There are over 1.5 million non-profits registered in the United State. If you donated $25 every day to each of those organizations, it would take you 164.38 years to say you supported them all financially. Luckily, we as individuals, do not need to support every good cause out there. Everyone has different interests. I like to help at-risk youth travel abroad and learn from interacting with diverse cultures. You might like to help shelter the homeless and get them back on their feet.

Here are five questions you can ask yourself when thinking about what non-profit(s) to give your money to.

1. Where does my money really go? Check for the organizations financial documents and financial charts. They are usually located under the “about us” or “donate” landing page. If you do not see their financial statement on their website, this should be a red-flag and I would not recommend donating to that cause. When donating, you will want to see more than 70% of your money going back to their core mission (education, programs, research, etc.). 15-20% (25% max) should be spent on fundraising and 5-10% on administration costs such as facilities, maintenance and employees.

2. Where do my friends give? I posted on Facebook “what are some good organizations I should donate money to” and within 24 hours I got more ideas and explanations of good causes then I could think of. Most likely your circle of friends are interested in the same things you are. They might have a couple organizations they already support and will be able to provide you with some valuable information and statistics about some organizations you were not aware of.

3. What are the top three things that interest me most in the world? For me I love to travel, give and speak. Writing down your top three things that interest you most will help narrow your decision on which organization you might be interested in giving to. When you choose an organization that you are interested in, your passion shows and both you and the organization benefit.

4. Is it local? Not because it needs to be local to give. I give to several organizations across the world, the reason why this is important is because you might want to go and check out what they do. How are their facilities? Talk to an employee and see how long they have worked there and why they do what they do.

5. What do I get out of it? Don’t just think about the organization, think about yourself. If you are donating to a school in Africa, are you interested in receiving updates from students on what they are learning? If you are donating to an animal shelter do you want to be on their list that show animals that are getting adopted and treated to see where your money is going? See what the organization does for their donors and how they reward them for supporting their mission.

Here is my challenge to you: Ask yourself these five questions and take $10 this week to give to one organization that you have never donated to before. I will do the same. When you find the organization you want to give to, post it below and share with everyone why you chose it. I look forward to hearing who you are giving to this week and why.

QUESTION: Will you take the $10 challenge?

Simon_Sinek and Ryan_Avery

Interview with Simon Sinek

By Leadership No Comments

This week I was able to interview one of my favorite “students of leadership” and authors, Simon Sinek.

I was offered this by my friend and podcast extraordinaire, Jared Easley! (Check out his podcast, he has interviewed the greats like Seth Godin, Michael Hyatt, Guy Kawasaki and more!)

I recommend you listen to the entire interview because it is packed with insight, inspiration and information that will transform your life! Here are three takeaways you should consider for being a stronger speaker, leader and champion in your industry!

“One trait all successful leaders must have – courage. It’s not about charisma; it’s not about having a wonderful personality it’s about taking the risk before everyone else does.”
I felt like he was speaking right to me when he was sharing this. I am excited and at the same time nervous to

“To really be able to make a difference, you have to be able to devote your energy and yourself to one thing, not a lot of things!”
I agree with Simon on this 100%! In fact, I teach this in several of my workshops. It is not about doing a lot of little things good but rather doing one thing so well, over time, you become the best at it. Once you become the best at something, other doors open, your other passions can live and you become more satisfied with what you are giving the world! 

“Advice to young speakers and writers – don’t strive to be one, but be interested in sharing an IDEA, be interested in GIVING and not focusing on yourself!”
I have mixed feelings on this one but I agree with him about sharing an idea and being ready to give more to your readers, audience and listens than you take. Remember… “When you give more, you get more!” I think you can focus on being a speaker or writer but have in mind first how you will add value and change people’s lives with your voice!

He is on my top list of favorite speakers and authors and I cannot wait to meet him in person one day soon. Listen to the podcast to get the full interview and remember to always have courage, focus on one thing and give more than you take! As always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan Avery

P.S. What is some of the best leadership advice you have ever received? 

Marketing Fail

Marketing Fail!

By Leadership, Motivation 2 Comments

I am at the post office getting stamps and I look to my right to see the above image. Freedom is scratched out and I ask the cashier “Why does the line go through the FOREVER like that?”

He says, “It’s so people don’t steal them and try to use them as a stamp.”

I laughed and thought he was joking because they are magnets. I thought “a) are there really people that dumb enough to try and use an oversized magnet as a stamp and b) why on earth would they choose to put a line through FOREVER?”

He did not laugh back and was completely serious!

They could have made any other mark. A huge X through the entire stamp. They could have put a watermark over it. they could have done so many other things than cross out FOREVER!

All I am saying is I am considering this to be a HUGE marketing failure for the Post Office! Would you agree?

Question: What is a “Fail” you have seen recently? 


Keep Going!

By Leadership, Motivation No Comments

When you are going for your goals there will be obstacles in your way! The bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles!

They are there as markers to see if you are ready to make your dreams happen! Look at them… and run right through!

We all have goals and dreams and when a bump comes up or a roadblock stands in our way, we have to keep fighting and moving forward toward the dreams we have for ourselves.

This week has been full of surprises, ups and downs and some major roadblocks! However, so many people and organizations are on board for the World Record on April 16th and this goal is worth fighting for.

Your goal is also! Keep going, keep pushing yourself and keep making things happen! It’s worth it! As always…

Dream BIG,

Ryan Avery

Question: What goal do you want to accomplish this year? What obstacle stands in your way?


By Leadership, Motivation 9 Comments

I am excited to announce that on April 16th with the help of McGraw-Hill, 800 CEO Read, Alpha Kappa Psi, local Toastmasters, Fort Collins community members and students at Colorado State University, together we will break the record for the largest book signing in history!

The current record according to the Guinness Book of World Records is: The most books signed by one author in a single session is 4,649 by Sammy Lee (Hong Kong), who signed his book “Autopilot Leadership Model” in Shenyang, Liaoning, China, on 19 January 2013.

There will be more to come and in the next eight weeks. I will blog about our journey, planning and what it takes to break the record. Make sure to subscribe to the blog posts (right-hand corner of this post) because I will send out information on giveaways, ways to help and how you can be part of this World Record!

We will sign 5,000 copies of my (and Jeremey Donovan’s) new book – Speaker, Leader, Champion: Succeed at Work Through the Power of Public Speaking on April 16th. Email me at if you have ideas of how you can help, people you know who can promote the event or if you want to volunteer the day of the signing!

I am beyond excited to be breaking this world record with you and can’t wait for us to make history at CSU!

As always….

Dream BIG,
Ryan Avery

Robin Sharma and Ryan Avery

START – Friday Quote Day

By Leadership, Motivation, Quotes One Comment

Each Friday I will give you five quotes to get ready for the weekend.

Each week I will focus on one word.

Because this is the first week of many, I thought it would be appropriate for the first word of Friday Quote Day to be … “Start!!”

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey

“You just have to keep on doing what you do. It’s the lesson I get from my husband; he just says, Keep going. Start by starting.” – Meryl Streep

Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come.” – Greer Garson

“It’s impossible to map out a route to your destination if you don’t know where you’re starting from.” – Suze Orman

What is your favorite quote above? Do you have a quote you can add about starting? Share your comments below and share this article if you feel inspired! As always…

Dream BIG,


Make Things Happen With Ryan Avery

GIVEAWAY: What Are You Doing to Make Things Happen?

By Leadership, Motivation 23 Comments

I am excited to be launching my new website, This blog will focus on articles that enhance our life, improve our communication and identify what it takes for us to be more successful.

As many of you know, my tagline is “Dream BIG.” About five years ago I had someone say… “Yeah Ryan, we know you are a dreamer but what are you doing to make those big dreams come true?”

Ever since then I am reminded everyday that you can’t just dream, you have to act! You have to put the work in. You have to think BIG and start small but remember if we can’t dream it, there is no way we can achieve it!

So… “What are you doing to #MakeThingsHappen in your life?” 

What goals do you have? What dreams are you working towards? What are you doing today and everyday to make sure you are living the life you want?

Today’s GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below before February 11th at 12pm PST and two lucky winners will receive a signed copy of my new DVD Push Past It! 

I am looking forward to continuing to provide content that will help us be stronger communicators, leaders and more successful. Leave your comment below, stick around and subscribe for more articles. Enjoy the start of your week and as always…

Dream BIG,

Ryan Avery