Harness the Web for Social Good (and win $10,000)

first_imgBy Jono SmithDo you believe in the power of the web to help nonprofits create social change? Do you know a talented Web strategist or developer interested in coming up with new ways to use the Web for social good? The Case Foundation is sponsoring two $10,000 prizes for Web enthusiasts who do just that.Network for Good, NetSquared, and the Case Foundation have come together to challenge developers to mash-up the Network for Good online donation processing API with another Web service to either (a) enhance the online donor experience or (b) revolutionize a nonprofit’s ability to fundraise online. As if changing the world was not enough, the two winners will each receive a $10,000 prize. Full details here: www.netsquared.org/mashup/donatenowchallengeMashup? Mash what? Learn more here.last_img read more

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Synching your online & offline marketing

first_imgHere is today’s fundraising and marketing tip from Network for Good! You can sign up to receive them via email here.Online fundraising only makes up a portion of your overall marketing plan. It’s not a stand-alone initiative–it’s an integrated part of your communications strategy. Not only is your strategy multi-faceted, but your donors are too! Below, check out our tips for integrating your offline and online tactics to best reach your donors across all channels in your online plan: Offline Mailing Tips: •Ask your donors their preference. No, we’re not talking about pizza toppings or movie genres. Reach out to your donors and find out what communications and donation options they prefer. You may think the majority of your folks are strictly offline (or exclusively online). Don’t assume! Get to know them! •Send a cultivation mailer to your lapsed donors inviting them to visit your website. Direct them to a special page on your site that makes an appeal for why they should make another gift. Learn how to make this landing page compelling. •Use email to boost direct mail response. Remember: Your donors hang out in multiple channels, and you want to give them options. You can email your subscribers telling them to watch the mail, or wait for the call. You can also try following up a special appeal with an email, saying, “We hope you read our recent letter, just click here to make your donation online today. It’s convenient and saves us money.” The first renewal effort might be conducted by email, followed by the usual multi-letter series, and eventually a phone call. •Develop a program to gradually gather the e-mail addresses of direct-mail donors who want to add email to their communications with you. Test asks in the direct mail (P.S., buckslip, reply device, etc.) and track response to find the most effective and least expensive ways to gather e-mail addresses without depressing gift response. •Follow up with email. Email is the fastest and cheapest way to let your donors know what happened after they donated. If your donation appeal made the situation seem urgent, your donors will be left scratching their heads if they don’t hear anything else from you about it. •Create complementary content. Entice donors reading your printed communications to visit your website for “exclusive” content. Not sure what to offer? Maybe you have educational tips (“Download 10 tips for managing your diabetes!”) or other downloads of content people can’t get from a postcard or letter. Tips for Other Channels to Consider: •Events. Having a fundraising walk? Hosting an educational program? Create an email list sign-up sheet to capture in-person email opt-ins. •Marketing collateral. Craft your call to action on your brochures and handouts–and let that action have an online option! If you’re requesting donations, give potential donors the address/directions to donate online if they so choose. Remember: Include your website on everything you print/produce. •Business cards. In a previous article we advised building your email list in a variety of ways, including email opt-in information in your email signature. Next time you order business cards, why not include a small call to action? (Ex: Donate online at… Or, Visit our website to learn more…) •Phone calls. Did you just collect a donation over the phone? Does a donor want some follow up? Try this: After you finish a telemarketing call, tell the donor, “We’d like to send you a receipt to acknowledge your gift. The most efficient way is via e-mail – that way we don’t have to waste paper and postage.” (Thanks to the great Madeline Stanionis for this tip!)last_img read more

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Photo Tips for Nonprofits

first_imgCaptionsJust a few words about captions. Every photo and graphic needs a good caption. Captions should be concise and tell a story about the photo. Editors need to understand what’s in the photo and why it is important. Give them some background information on your company and write the caption in newspaper style — describe the who, what, why, when, where and how. In addition to helping editors, all this information will optimize photos for search engine pickup. You should also identify people in the photograph Left to Right. Include the hometowns of the people pictured, to increase interest in your photograph among papers that cover those hometowns. You will want to include as much information in the caption as possible, but try to keep it concise — 80 words is the wire service standard. Article provided by PR Newswire’s Nonprofit Toolkit, an educational resource devoted to Non Profit public relations. Visit the Nonprofit Toolkit today and receive a waived annual membership ($195 value) and more than $2,000 in discounts and free services. Headshots: For personnel announcements, you should include a headshot of the executive. Headshots should be well lit and can be done on a solid background or as an ‘environmental headshot’ where the person is shot in their office or outside.   For environmental headshots, be sure to emphasize the person and not the surroundings.Event Photos: Photos taken at events should highlight the theme of the event including any persons speaking, a rally, group projects, etc. Avoid large staged group shots. General Photo Tips Other IdeasOnce you have a selection of photos you must decide how to distribute them to the media. That is where PR Newswire comes in because that is PR Newswire’s business — distribution of information to the proper media points. Your PR Newswire account executive can help you with distribution suggestions and walk with you through the simple, but effective, technological steps that will get your pictures to the right editors.  To ensure that your photograph can be used by print media, you need to supply a high-resolution photo that looks great when printed in a newspaper or magazine. The standard requirements among the wire services and newspapers are a length of 9 inches on the longest side and 300 dots per inch resolution. If this all sounds like a foreign language to you don’t worry PR Newswire’s Photo Desk is here to help. Additional Tips to RememberKeep a supply of portraits of company officials handy, but do not limit these to only headshots. Action portraits make more of a statement.Do not make 500 prints of your picture and send it out through the mail. Most photo editors at media outlets prefer to receive photos digitally from a distributor like PR Newswire.Forget black and white photos! Color pictures are used almost exclusively on the front pages of newspapers, always on TV and throughout magazines. Using Photos to Convey Your MessagePhotos should be an important part of any organization’s publicity program. Photos help to brand a news release and make it stand out from the crowd.The checklist for any company planning a publicity effort must include an item for photos. The final decision in a given case may be to use a photo element in the publicity program, or it may be to NOT use photos but the issue should be discussed for every publicity effort. Below are some tips to make your photo usage successful. Visit the Nonprofit Toolkit today and receive a waived annual membership ($195 value) and more than $2,000 in discounts and free services. Quality is Key – Hire a PhotographerThe next step is to hire a good photographer. A good photographer may be costly but it is the best money you can spend. If the pictures are not shot correctly, the whole photo effort will be wasted.  To determine the quality of the photographer, ask to see his or her online portfolio. This is a collection of their photographs. You might also ask to see pictures from their last several shoots.   If you believe that the pictures are the kind of pictures that will tell your story, you have your photographer. If you are not pleased, consult another.   Once you have the photographer lined up, spend time explaining just what you expect from the pictures, what story you are trying to tell and what message you want to deliver to readers and others who will see the photos. Too often, photographers are poorly assigned, uninformed and therefore make poor pictures.Need a photographer? PR Newswire has a global network of photographers who can get you that perfect shot.last_img read more

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The 3 things that drive me insane

first_imgAnd they drive your audience insane, too.These three things are subsets of the absolute WORST thing you can do – waste someone else’s precious moments on this earth. Life is too short to do such a terrible thing.The following marketing/fundraising/writing behavior is crazy-making:1. Not getting my attention or getting to the point within a few seconds. I will give up on your message after that amount of time.2. Making things more complicated than they need to be. Don’t make me work to understand what you’re saying.3. Missing the point. Don’t bury the lead. Go right into the juicy, emotional stuff: the good stories, the human face on the issue, the surprising outcome.last_img read more

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Successful Fundraising in Turbulent Times

first_imgThings seem to be falling apart all around us and it can seem that our organizations are going to fall apart also.  But, how bad is it for nonprofits?  And what can be done to strengthen our fundraising programs so that we can survive and maybe even grow?Check out this archived presentation to:Understand what this current economic situation will do to your fundraising and how to take advantage of the opportunities inherent in this chaotic environmentLearn three or four things you can do immediately to raise money between now and the end of the yearKnow what are the main weaknesses of your own fundraising program and what you should do to address themAbout our speakerKim Klein is internationally known as a fundraising trainer and consultant. She is the founder of the bimonthly Grassroots Fundraising Journal. She is also the author of Fundraising for Social Change (now in its fifth edition, 2006), Fundraising for the Long Haul (2000), which explores the particular challenges of older grassroots organizations, and Ask and You Shall Receive: A Fundraising Training Program for Religious Organizations or Projects, Raise More Money (2001) which she edited with her partner, Stephanie Roth, and Fundraising in Times of Crisis (2004). Widely in demand as a speaker, Kim has provided training and consultation in all 50 states and in 21 countries.last_img read more

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The totally annoying, often wonderful lack of control you have in the social web

first_imgI’m reading Dave Evans new book, Social Media Marketing in an Hour a Day. It’s excellent. Even though I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable in social media, and even do trainings on the topic, there is so much I’m learning. I highly recommend it, for everyone from beginners to intermediate social media folks. I also recommend Allison Fine’s book (“Momentum”) if you want more of the background on the social web.Here’s a key point Dave makes far more eloquently than I ever have: “You’ve got to give up control in order to gain a presence in the conversations that matter.”What he means is, you can’t control the conversation online. And that conversation REALLY matters. To be a part of it, you have to cede control and listen, then participate. And you have to do so honestly. Because disclosing who you are is key to building trust.I say this all the time, less succinctly, but I’ll admit this is easier said than done. When you experience this lack of control, it is not fun or easy. It’s often irritating. But you have to do as he says, and over time, you’ll appreciate the experience and its value.I’ll give you a personal example. A few days ago, you may have read my post, The Perils of the Pre-Ask. My point was as a marketer, you should always ask directly for something. You should not just talk about yourself or have “awareness” as your goal — you should always be focused on getting someone to act in some way. It got picked up in a few places. Peter Panepento of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Prospecting Blog interpreted my post this way: that you should always ask people for money. Then a bunch of people understandably assumed this is what I was saying and that I don’t believe in cultivating relationships or asking for something other than money. This killed me, since I’m constantly telling folks NOT to treat donors like ATM machines. It was painful. It was annoying. I wanted to yell at Peter for starting the whole thing (sorry Peter, I’m your fan, but I’m just being honest and holding myself up as a case study.) But I didn’t. Because that would be wrong. He was taking my premise, riffing on it and generating a conversation, and that’s what blogging is about. Kivi picked up Peter’s pickup, adding her own comments, which made me happier.This is CONVERSATION.So I went onto Peter’s blog, identifying myself clearly, thanking the commenters, agreeing with some of their key points, and explaining the interpretation of my post was not what I was trying to say. (Sadly, I did this a day late because I’m behind on my day job, so that’s not best practice, but better late than never.)I also sent Peter an email personally (because I know him) and said thank you for the post — and clarified my point.Now I’m continuing the conversation here.That’s social media. I’m a participant, just like anyone else. So “all” I can do is to participate.The good news, while that being “just” a participant can feel powerless, it’s quite powerful. Honestly and directly and openly being a participant can have a really good outcome. Beth Kanter recently shared another example of this that I experienced. It’s a good read. Actually, everything Beth writes is good. So read her blog regularly if you don’t already.The moral of the story? Participate, in the good and the bad, openly. It’s powerful stuff. If you listen, you learn. Those folks have much to teach you, and much to share. And while it feels dangerous at times, it’s more dangerous not to participate. As Dave says:“On the social web, your absence is conspicuous. Failing to participate retards the advancement of trust. In fact, it can increase the likelihood of mistrust.”last_img read more

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Emailing now is good; Bad email is not good

first_imgIf it’s not apparent from the screetching halt to my blogging the last week, things are BUSY. This is the time of year when donations are flowing, and the pace will keep picking up until the last hours of the year – when online giving reaches its peak.Don’t forget: Email your supporters now and again the week between Christmas and New Year’s.But don’t make it bad email.Jeff Brooks of Future Fundraising Now has a great post on why email response rates are down. The main reason: Because email quality is down. He says if email is dying, it’s suicide.The issues?Poor permission and opt-in practices.Lack of relevance.Overmailing.Lack of differentiation.Lack of personality.Poor design. Don’t do these!last_img read more

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The Fire of Future Solutions

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 1, 2011June 20, 2017By: Seth Cochran, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Seth Cochran, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. He will be blogging about his experience every month, and you can learn more about him, the other Young Champions, and the program here.My mind is on fire.Maybe it’s the altitude or perhaps the furious travel schedule. Or it might just be that I spent the better part of the last week fully immersed in the explosive energy of the Young Champions Future Forum (YCFF) in Accra, Ghana. But in any case, I have so many ideas burning up my brain that I can hardly breathe. The YCFF was solid gold.After back-to-back overnight flights from Peru and then New York, I landed in Ghana dirty, dizzy and dazed. I had a shower and hustled over to the hotel’s restaurant where several of myYoung Champion compatriots were hanging out. We ordered a round of Cokes and started catching up.But before we could really start talking, a young man set up a massive keyboard near the door and started playing it at a disruptively high volume. Like an obnoxious voice at the table, the keyboard kept breaking up the conversation with jarring interruptions. But everything changed when an older woman with traditional dress and slightly tinted glasses walked into the room with a wireless microphone and started singing. Her perfect sequence of pop favorites from the last forty years set a hypnotizing foundation for an enlightening exchange.Ashoka paired every Young Champion with an Ashoka Fellow working somewhere in the world. The diversity of placements resulted in a wide variety of experiences and talking to each other about our challenges and what we learned proved to be an incredible education. Besides hearing about how ideas and plans have changed, it also became clear that organizational structure and sustainability were common challenges across every placement.How do we structure roles and responsibilities to best engage our teams? How can we find additional resources so we don’t have to depend exclusively on donor charity? The epiphany is not in the answers to these questions, but rather in the fact that everyone is trying to answer them.When we moved into the formal part of the YCFF the next day, I had a hard time staying focused. I kept thinking about sustainability – about how I could more effectively engage donors and introduce business into OperationOF’s program to reduce our reliance on them. With a very small budget and the Young Champion program finishing at the end of May, this is a question that keeps me up at night.I snapped out of internal monologue when Ashoka Fellow Kathryn Hall-Trujillo (aka Mama Kat) talked about unlocking empathy and connecting people in The Birthing Project. This part of her narrative seemed to shake something loose inside me. Over the next several days, we heard from several accomplished entrepreneurs, all of whom contributed to the developing fire inside of me. I felt a collection of possibility converging into something yet unknown.The lineup of speakers reached its peak in the legendary Dr. Fred Sai who shared his deep knowledge and insight with an unparalleled charm. Dr. Sai gave us a brief history of the Safe Motherhood movement and then answered questions from the group. When Ifeyinwa Egwaoje asked Dr. Sai about how to improve the situation for mothers in Nigeria, Dr. Sai smiled and said, “Goodluck.” The room, surprised at such a short and seemingly consigned answer erupted into laughter. But as the laughter calmed, Dr. Sai repeated his answer, which is also the Nigerian President’s name, and then went on to discuss how critical engaging government was achieving the objective.While the speakers proved to be extraordinary, the other Young Champions were the final element that turned the kindling fire inside me into a bonfire of innovation. Sparked through an exchange with Zubaida Bai, I came up with an idea. Every other Young Champion I shared it with contributed to that idea in some way with momentum building up to an unclenching excitement. This idea, which I am not yet ready to roll out, is a way to answer many of the questions that keep me up and night. Now, I am losing sleep thinking about how to make this idea a reality.That is why my mind is on fire.Share this:last_img read more

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Moving the Next Phase of the Project and Future Forum

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 1, 2011June 20, 2017By: Martha Fikre Adenew, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Martha Fikre Adenew, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.After wrapping up the last operational year in March, the second phase the Birthing Project New Orleans in collaboration with Kellogg Foundation was started in April. Since the Mississippi projects were included, we had to travel to the rural part of USA where one of the Birthing Project USA is operating.Anguilla Birthing Project is one of the Mississippi Delta’s Birthing Projects which was started in January 2010. The project is coordinated by a community elder, Ms. Emma Cooper-Harris, the project includes a sister-friend component like the other Birthing Projects. The objective of the trip was to perform an evaluation of last year’s project and to find ways to move to the next phase by introducing new ideas which were very important to the community. We were doing community organizing to bring different people and organizations on board to make greater achievement on the future project.All the different members of the communitiy from local schools, the health department and WIC office were all very welcoming and willing to form a partnership. One of the reasons for the positive response was the presence of the coordinator who they all know very well and respected. The big lesson from this trip was when we want to implement a program in any community, we have to first be accepted by the community. We need to show the face of a person who is very well known and influential in the community. In our context, especially in rural areas, it is important to include people such as community and religious leaders in our work. In addition, if we need the participation and involvement of the community in our projects, rather than telling them what to do we have to approach it in a way that the community takes the project and modifes it in their own way.At the end of April, it was of course very exciting because of the Future Forum of Young Champions. I was eager to meet the Young Champions again in Accra and I was very happy to spend time with them. It was a great opportunity to meet different amazing people whom I have learned a lot from. Talking with Young Champions and listening to the other professionals’ presentations was very inspirational which only escalated my passion to work on maternal h​ealth.Share this:last_img read more

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Almost the End

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 27, 2011June 20, 2017By: María Laura Casalegno, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by María Laura Casalegno, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. This is her final post about her experience as a Young Champion, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.Although I will stay in my current placement for one more month, the Young Champions Program is officially ending.I cannot believe that this exciting program is coming to an end. It is amazing to see how these nine months passed by so quickly. It seems like just yesterday when we left our homes to start our new lives in our new countries. I am trying to keep track of everything I have lived and everything I have learned. This experience has left me with a lot of knowledge, wisdom, new friends, and new families.Overall, I have been involved in the organization of several courses, have developed my own project, and have held other important meetings. In everything I’ve done during the past nine months, I’ve sought to make an impact on women’s health and also on the wider community. I have been acquiring medical knowledge, but I have also been learning how to manage an organization. The most important thing, though, is that I have been learning about life, different cultures, and different people.I participated as a student in several courses organized by PACEMD, my host organization. I took the PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) course and the ALSO (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics) course. I have obtained my certification as a provider in both courses. I have also participated in a Critical Obstetrics Course. I organized an international meeting about sexual assault aimed to launch the SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) Program in Mexico. I have been in contact and I have taken part in several meetings with the Federal Ministry of Health. The supportive relationship between PACEMD and the Ministry of Health was and is the key to establish the ALSO Program as one of the main federal strategies to decrease maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality nationwide.I have also been collaborating with the Women’s Institute. They have a Health Mobile Unit which goes to rural communities and hold workshops about Sexual and Reproductive Health; the nurses perform pap smears as well. During the last month I collaborated with Formación y Capacitación (FOCA), an organization which has a collaborative alliance with PACEMD. Next year I am going to work with them and PACEMD in developing the Obstetrical First Responder for Communities (OFRC) Program.All the knowledge that I have obtained has made me more committed to the maternal health field. I will continue working in this field, I will continue learning from experts, and I will continue developing projects and ideas to achieve the goal of decreasing maternal mortality rates and to give women tools to improve their own health.As I expressed in other blogs, I will stay in Mexico for one more year, working with PACEMD in the development of several maternal, sexual and reproductive health projects. I will be coordinating the ALSO, BLSO and OFRC Programs in Mexico and probably in some other countries in Latin America. I will be working with rural and indigenous communities where women are the most affected by lack of access to health services (a social inequity reflected in the high maternal mortality rates in these areas). With Dr. Haywood Hall and some other key people from the ALSO Program, we are developing a project that will shift the paradigm in the management of obstetrical emergencies. The project will focus on training systems, providers of different levels of medical attention, and different institutions. The main goal is to train providers from the first level (communities) to the third level of attention, strengthening the chain of survival and ensuring that every woman has access to optimal care when she faces an emergency. To do this, we are going to use the proven experience with ALSO, BLSO and OFRC training.My experience in Mexico was great and I think it will be even better next year. And, what can I say about all the amazing people I have met along this long journey? All the Young Champions, the Maternal Health Task Force and Ashoka staff, and all the people from the PACE office in Mexico became my new family around the world. It is so rewarding to meet people who want to “change the world” and make it a better place.I am really happy I have been a part of this program. And I think this group of Young Champions is just getting started as the next generation of changemakers!Share this:last_img read more

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Jill Sheffield on a Post-MDG World

first_imgToday, Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver, echoed similar thoughts and unveiled what Women Deliver will be doing to being conversations about maternal health and other health issues beyond 2015:Beginning now and into 2012, we will post every few weeks the opinions of key thought-leaders around the globe about ICPD [International Conference on Population and Development] and MDG5 and what should happen after the deadline dates of 2014 and 2015. We will ask them to speak to specific questions and encourage you to comment. In the fall, we will have an online discussion forum to gather further comments, ideas, questions, and suggestions. It’s time to begin the conversation—and we have designated space on Women Deliver’s website to do just that. Check out the entire post and be sure to keep an eye on Women Deliver’s site as the conversations unfold.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:center_img Posted on July 8, 2011August 17, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Back in May, we posted on GlobalMama about how to start thinking about advocacy, development and health policy after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) reach their 2015 deadline:[After 2015] a useful framework for addressing some development challenges will disappear. Even if all of the MDGs are achieved, which looks highly unlikely, none of the problems associated with them will have disappeared. Reducing poverty by half or maternal mortality by two-thirds still leaves a large number of people in poverty and mothers dying due to pregnancy complications.last_img read more

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Reflections on the ICM in Durban

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 30, 2011June 19, 2017By: France Donnay, Interim Deputy Director, Maternal, Neonatal & Child Health, Senior Program Officer, Maternal Health, The Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)I am sitting in a huge auditorium filled with a very special crowd: midwives from all over the world. They are cheering, arguing, listening, celebrating. In Durban, South Africa, the 29th Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives is in full swing. Here are my three highlights.First, the presentation by the President, Bridget Lynch, of the Global Standards, Competencies and Tools for Midwifery, covering Education, Regulation, and Country Associations Capacity Assessment. While this sounds trivial, it is no small achievement. Until now, midwives from various countries trained and practiced in many different ways. Standardization of education and practice across countries will now be possible. There is a long way to go before this newly available guidance is put into action, but it already makes midwives stronger and more united. Go to internationalmidwives.org for more.Second, the launch of the first ever State of the World ‘s Midwifery – Delivering Health, Saving Lives – prepared by UNFPA with support from – no less – than 30 organizations, from USAID to DFID, AMDD to Save The Children, WHO to UNICEF. The report outlines the key role of midwives in delivering care at all levels, and presents country specific profiles of midwifery in 58 countries in all world regions. The role of skilled birth attendants, in particular midwives and others with midwifery competencies, is crucial to addressing maternal and newborn mortality and to promoting women’s and children’s health. In addition to evidence accumulated over time from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia and France, quality midwifery has spurred development in countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Tunisia and Thailand. Midwifery personnel and services are unequally distributed –between countries as well as within countries. The report examines the number and distribution of health professionals involved in midwifery services. Most midwives are women, and the report explores the constraints and challenges that they face in their lives and work; and the report calls for accelerating investments in midwifery services, as well as “skilling up” other categories of providers living and working in communities under the supervision of midwives. Attending the sessions were many pediatricians and obstetricians, and that is a first as well.Finally, the Foundation with AMDD organized a panel with three outstanding voices from the field: Kaosar Afsana from BRAC/Bangladesh, Fatima Muhammad from the Society for Family Health in Abuja/Nigeria, and Phoebe Balagumyetime, from the Ghana Health Services. They presented encouraging results from projects operating in very challenging environments, from crowded impoverished slums in Dhaka, to remote villages in the North East of Nigeria and the Northern part of Ghana. They showed how locally designed configuration of health services and transportation systems can increase access to life saving care for women and children. Helen de Pinho, from the Columbia University based Averting Maternal Death and Disability, brought all of this together to show that intelligent health leadership engages communities in driving local solutions.The audience was good too: midwives clad in colorful outfits, listening attentively, getting up to share their own challenges.Share this:last_img read more

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Weekend Reading

first_imgPosted on September 16, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:A report on Sierra Leone from Amnesty InternationalA new event in the Maternal Health Dialogue SeriesChangemakers competition from AshokaA discussion of appropriate technology in The GuardianSome reading for the weekendMaternal malaria and birth weightFree c-sections increasing their use in the CongoHow to succeed in the DRCShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Project Update: BRAC’s Manoshi Project

first_imgPosted on February 14, 2012June 19, 2017By: Emily Puckart, Program Associate, MHTFClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)BRAC’s Manoshi project works to establish a community-based health program in urban slum areas of Bangladesh in order to reduce maternal and child mortality. In May 2010, BRAC instituted a mHealth project in order to redesign the Manoshi Project’s health delivery system. By incorporating mHealth technology into the Manoshi project, BRAC staff hoped that pregnant women facing health emergencies would become easier to reach virtually which in turn would improve their chance for emergency management of their health problem, their chance for quick referral to a health center of clinic if needed, and ultimately improve their chance for survival. Two goals of BRAC’s mHealth project were to “streamline emergency management and increase accountability through hotline” and “develop efficient and effective protocols for providing automated response to patients, and hence increase scalability of the model in places where no doctors are available.”The emergency support system included the establishment of an emergency hotline, the integration of medical records, and software for emergency services in order to connect emergency calls to ambulance and hospital system which would encourage fast referrals to ambulances and health clinics. This emergency management system with the establishment of an emergency hotline should decrease maternal, neonatal and child morbidity and mortality in the urban slums of Bangladesh by allowing community health workers to quickly respond to maternal health emergencies. The hotline agent could also arrange for transport, and notify the closest hospital or clinic that an emergency case would be incoming, giving the health facility time to prepare. By creating a centrally driven hotline, it is also easier to track the processes around management of women’s health emergencies as well as identify “holes” in the system that could contribute to maternal morbidity and mortality.During the phase of this project funded by the MHTF, BRAC staff sought to establish patient response protocols, ensure preparation of emergency resources (hotline agent, community health workers, health facilities etc.), mobilize community support, ensure patient acceptance and trust in BRAC’s emergency service, and develop evidence-based plans for an effective emergency management system for maternal and child health.As BRAC staff began to wrap up this phase of the project they conducted an evaluation on the status and use of the hotline system in order to assess the status quality of the system, the quality of services provides, and the opinion of hotline system users. They collected data between December 7 -21, 2011, and focused on the urban slums of Dhaka city (population of 223,487 people) that are now under the emergency management system. Some interesting information came out of their survey, including:During the survey period a total of 86 emergency calls were placed, 1/3 of all calls were made by beneficiaries about 65% of whom were in their antenatal period of pregnancyMost patients (83%) were able to get the hotline during their first attemptBased on interviews of 30 callers of the hotline – 57% of callers (or the husband of the caller) owned the mobile phone, followed by ownership by neighbors and relatives94% of calls required referrals to health centersBRAC also spoke to patients and managers regarding the hotline. One patient noted that it was a relief to always have someone attending to the hotline in case the local health workers were on vacation. Another patient urged BRAC to staff the hotline with female doctors since female patients can be uncomfortable discussing pregnancy related issues with male doctors, especially considering they do not even discuss these issues with their husbands. As the establishment of the hotline was a new event, BRAC has continued conducting meetings and outreach with stakeholders at the community level in order to encourage usage of the hotline when emergencies arise in the future.Although this study was conducted in a small area with a small sample size it provides a valuable insight into the importance of establishing emergency management systems as well as the challenges that these types of systems may face.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Inbound Marketing Tips from Dharmesh Shah

first_imgI spoke at Artez Interactive DC today (#artezDC on Twitter if you want to check out the highlights) and while there, I got to hear Dharmesh Shah talk about his new book, Inbound Marketing. Dharmesh founded HubSpot and Website Grader. He calls himself a hackrepreneur. (Full disclosure, we use HubSpot at Network for Good and I was given a free copy of his book today. I am a fan.)Here’s what he had to say: “You have a moral obligation to say to yourself, what am I great at, and how do I use new tools to be a superpower at inbound marketing.”• We walk around in bubbles, isolating ourselves from marketing messages. We screen calls, don’t open mail, etc. That means the outbound model of marketing – ie, pushing messages out to an audience – gets screened out. Consequently, it’s an increasingly expensive way to get to people.• The better way is to pull in the people who are looking for what you have. You can do that by pulling people in with creativity, not cash.• So how do you get found? You look where people (and you) live – Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, foursquare, Yahoo! Answers, etc. Your website is your home base where you ultimately engaged people – it’s your center of gravity that takes the relationship you form at these online outposts and takes it to the next step.• As ye SEO, so shall ye reap. Optimizing your website for search (search engine optimization) is essential. It gets you off of the paid traffic morphine drip. More people, less expensive results. Keep in mind the Google ranking algorithm – f(n): Context + Authority (which is the number of links and the power of those of links). By FAR the most weight given by Google goes to authority, so pursue those links! Get people to link to you! The longer your website is around, the better – so start a website NOW, even if it’s not great. These are keys to getting on the first page of Google results and therefore to SEO. Check how you’re doing using his Website Grader. That shows how you’re doing in all of these areas.• Build a blog following: Even if no one on your team can really write and you don’t write often. (This is the one area I don’t think I agree with him – if you have no time and can’t blog regularly or tell good stories, and you have a horrible blog no one reads, you may be better off using that time to engage with bloggers with a following. But we measure success differently – I’m looking at donor relationships, he’s focused on SEO.) He feels like it pays off because people care and want to hear the stories on your blog, even if they are not frequent and old. He says Google likes it – it helps rankings and drives more visitors and links over time. Experiment with different kinds of content. He’s experimented with audio, video, cartoons and how-to focused on his message, because it’s sometimes surprising what format resonates most. For example, cartoons are their best content – it brings in more people than well-researched articles. He said it also works well to take a stand. A strong point of view works best – not a crafted, protected message. There is usually bigger perceived risk than real risk to breaking out and getting attention by taking a stand.• Create content that is hot: You need to ask yourself, am I getting out things that could actually get spread and go big? You’ll fail if you don’t at least try to do this.• Social media: The value of social currency and capital is huge. That’s why social media is worth our attention – injecting our cause into online social relationships is powerful. • Twitter: Even normal people use Twitter now. His twitter.grader.com tool to measure your relative authority. The basics are: bio in profile (76% don’t bother to do this! Yikes!), have an Avatar, put up your background, etc. Then say meaningful, useful things – which too many people on Twitter don’t. Don’t tweet for tweeting’s sake. That’s how you build reach. Like your email newsletter, it’s one more way to build relationships. He uses TweetDeck to manage Twitter.• Retweeting: He analyzed 100 million tweets to see what gets retweeted. Most retweeting happens at midday. Words matter: the terms please retweet helped. Blog, post, free, social media were other hot terms. If you use self-reverential words (I, me), you are far less likely to get retweeted. • Find the stars: Once you’re engaged in social media, look for high social capital people. For example, on Twitter, find the people who are stars tweeting on your issue. Engage them. You can find those people with his twitter.grader.com tool.• Facebook trick: Cheap market research on Facebook – Go to footer, ads, and pretend you’re placing an ad. When you do that, Facebook tells you how many people on Facebook match your demo profile. Nifty way to do your homework to see if this is where your audience is.• Google Wave: It’s Google, so don’t ignore it. But you’re safe on ignoring it now because it’s so complex and hard. Google Buzz – it’s too early to say, he says.• FourSquare: He’s a fan because it connects your physical presence to your online presence – a useful thing for nonprofit events. It’s a great way to set up virtual locations for events.last_img read more

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Andrew Sullivan on New Media: “A mosh pit of universal dyspepsia and amusement – and value”

first_imgI’m blogging Andrew Sullivan’s keynote at NTEN’s 2010 Nonprofit Technology Conference (#10ntc on Twitter). As you know, he was once editor of the New Republic and now has a prominent blog with the Daily Dish at the Atlantic.His spoke about his beliefs about blogging and online communication. When he started his blog, he tracked down Matthew Drudge for advice. He said this influenced his thoughts heavily. He shared these thoughts with amazing eloquence and writerly, thoughtful articulation:1. BROADCAST: A blog or an online page is not a publication. It is a broadcast. It does not stay static, and it has to change. It has to change at a brisk pace or it dies. The brisker the pace, the more engaged the readership and the more obsessive compulsive, co-dependent relationship between blog and reader. This is very hard work, but it has to be this way.2.ONE PAGE IS ONLY ONE PAGE: And every page is as accessible as any other. The barrier of entry to any page on the web is zero. All is equally accessible, which is democratizing. A page of Peep decorations is as accessible as the New York Times. In old form journalism, the barrier of entry was so high and that has disappeared overnight. Any obscure little page has as much entry as the front page of the New York Times. 3. PEOPLE READ ONLINE JOURNALISM ALONE: But you do not feel alone doing it. You have a personal relationship with the person who has written the words – like any reader – but unlike reading, you’re on the other side of the screen. You’re in relationship with the writer. He talked about his first blog post, and the fact that someone wrote back in minutes of his first post. This was a shock, and the more he did it, the faster the feedback – flaming, applauding, debating. My favorite quote from him: “Blogging is not writing. It is throwing oneself into a mosh pit of universal dyspepsia and amusement – and value.” When he stops blog, everyone thought he’d been carted off it a straitjacket but sometimes he’s just collecting his thoughts. But blog does not allow you to not say anything for a day. He said a million people are following him – and “they don’t expect to be entertained and informed, they expect me to say things they agree with. They get pissy when that doesn’t happen.” He says he feels like the Verizon ad with people following him around constantly. “Human beings have never lived like this before.”4. THE INTERACTION OF TRUST: For years, his decision to leave mainstream journalism and to blog was thought to be crazy and not serious. But that is not the way to view it. “The sheer database of knowledge that a million readers have keeps you honest and accurate.” When you make a mistake, you have to correct yourself. You can’t hide from your errors. You have to admit them in the same context and with the same power – “which is a humiliating thing. But the process of manning up and acknowledging mistakes is a [worthy] enterprise.” These readers over time became like friends. He created a letters page to highlight these readers’ comments but no one was reading it. Then he began incorporating his readership into posts with the “two cents of the day” so readers would be a more explicit part of a community. One time, he asked his readers to take a photo of the first thing people see in the morning from their window – now he posts one each day. Again, this is to create a community from what started as a soapbox. The atmosphere of this community leads people to share stories. He talked about the intensely personal accounts people shared around late-term abortion and the powerful effect it had him and within his community. 5. NIMBLENESS: The lack of control and immediacy and pace of new media is terrifying, especially for those who have something to hide. And everyone has something to hide. But transparency is ultimately a good thing. Control leads to smugness, error and corruption. A lack of control does the opposite. Accountability is tough on a person but it is better than the more guarded, old-style accountability in which information is doled out when and if the authority decides it will be. “People keep think they can own the Internet, own a site. But that is like putting a wire fence around the water.” Readers will go where they want, information will flow, and things will get out. The moment of wisdom comes when you accept that. Yes, there are some personal, private things we don’t want people to know. But if you’re out there far enough, your life can be disseminated to everyone on a moment’s notice. “I’ve had to move from a writer to a conversationalist, writing incomplete shards of thought fertilized by other people’s observations. It’s not a lecture, it’s a roiling, rambling conversation. I had to let go of my authority as a writer.”Last, he spoke of the protests in Iran and how the broadcast and community that happened simultaneously online: “It is an exhilarating thing for the changing to hearts, minds and souls.”last_img read more

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How to work with corporate partners at times of emergency

first_imgNetwork for Good has a free new eGuide out from my colleague Kate Olsen. How to Help: 5 Steps to Effective Corporate Disaster Relief Campaigns provides insights gleaned from ten years of powering disaster donations for nonprofits and corporate partners at Network for Good.While this eGuide is intended for a corporate audience, it’s worth a peek. In times of disasters, whether local or international, companies may want to work with your organization to provide assistance. It helps to understand your potential partners’ perspective and best practices for working together.And Kate offers these tips for picking your corporate partners. You should seek ones who:• share your values and respect your mission• value the assets and expertise you bring to the partnership• invest their resources (beyond dollars) to help with communication, training, program supplies• hold you accountable for how you use their philanthropic investment• take a long-term approach to partnership and seek to evolve the relationship over time• have ties to the community in which you serve (partners can be local, national or global)• champion your cause and celebrate your partnership’s accomplishments with their employees, customers and stakeholdersNow is the time to start building deeper partnerships with companies. Check out the guide,kate and please feel free to share it with your corporate partners. They can learn more, download the PDF and join the disaster preparedness conversation here.last_img read more

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New research: How to reach your donors’ heads along with their hearts

first_imgToday, Hope Consulting and GuideStar release the second part of the Money for Good research, and it’s packed with fascinating findings.* Going into giving season, it provides useful insights into influencing donors’ donation decision making.The goal of this study was to determine if and how it’s possible to direct more charitable dollars to high-performing nonprofits. The authors of the study believe this is an especially important aim right now. With giving down overall, we need donations directed to where they will accomplish the most good.The challenge is that most donors don’t spend much time thinking about nonprofit effectiveness. They are loyal to their favorite causes, and they are quite satisfied with the work those organizations do. They give for personal, emotional reasons rather than ratings. Earlier research by Hope found individuals research only about one-third of their donations, and they almost never do it to find the “best” organization. Advisors and grantmakers do far more research than individuals but are similar in that the relative rating of a nonprofit isn’t usually the determining factor for funding. Is it possible to change this? Hope set out to find out with new research on over 5,000 donors and 1,500 advisors and foundation grant-makers. They determined that moving just 5% of donations will lead to a $15B impact, and they believe that scale of change is possible.The researchers say donors, advisors and grantmakers do care about what difference their charities make and would like better information on impact, financials, legitimacy, and organizations as a whole. According to the research, these audiences profess to want a Consumer Reports or Morningstar for nonprofits, with several dimensions to any rating rather than simple seals of approval. Of course there isn’t a single source of this quality of information on all charities right now, though there are many organizations like GuideStar, Charity Navigator, Great Nonprofits, GiveWell and others who rate some charities on various different dimensions.Donors specifically state:— They want a broad range of information on nonprofits’ impact, financials, and legitimacy.— They want data provided in transparent formats or portals that provide them with several pieces of information. They prefer these formats more than 2:1 to simple seals or ratings.— They want this information from third-party portals that provide information on nonprofits. Specifically, 53 percent of donors want to use such sites, though few know they exist today; and— Of all the information they are looking for, impact and effectiveness data are seen as the greatest unmet need for each group – and the most urgent need for the sector.So what is your highly effective nonprofit to do? Here’s my opinion. When it comes to individual donors – who account for two-thirds of giving — the right brain decides and the left brain justifies. Donors are compelled by the heart but want approval by the head before giving. By showing why your nonprofit will do a great job making a difference, you ensure engagement with both sides of the donor mind.I agree with Greg Ulrich, an author of the study, who says: “We found that donors want a range of information provided very transparently. Giving is ultimately an emotional and personal decision, and this keeps the power in the donors’ hands.”Here is some further advice from the authors of the study.– Donors are pressed for time, so giving them what they need – and not what they don’t – is more critical than ever. They look to you first for information on your organization.– Explain your impact clearly and transparently along with how you use money, your legitimacy, and your mission. You can shift the conversation from overhead to these more important considerations.– Make sure your GuideStar report is up to date! It is another key source of information for donors.– Seek out reviews from organizations like Charity Navigator and Philanthropedia, and then show them off on your homepages and in your solicitations. Place this positive information where donors are looking for it.– Donors are all different, so get to know your supporters and connect on what they care about most.You can review the full study here.(Full disclosure: I was on the advisory committee for the study but my enthusiasm for the study is independent of that role.)GuideStar and Hope Consulting – Money For Good IIlast_img read more

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The state of social media and what it means to you

first_imgI’m a big fan of the work done by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Last week they released the mobile study I covered here. Last month, Mary Madden at Pew shared some fascinating data on social media. She agreed to my posting her deck here for your benefit.Here are some highlights:*The cat photo, of course*The fact that American Internet use has leveled off at 74%*Mobile is at an inflection point*The most valued aspect of social media is the ability to connect to those close to us*Facebook reignsTo me the biggest surprise was how high school buddies represent such a huge proportion of Facebook friends!So what does all this mean to us? Remember: *Social media is worth using as an engagement or relationship building tool — that’s why people are there using it – but not as a self-promotion tool, ever.*While it’s early days, you need to start thinking about mobile (I’m at work writing a white paper on it, which will come out next month, so stay tuned). State of Social Media: 2011 View more presentations from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Projectlast_img read more

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