Four new toads discovered in Sumatra

first_imgPhilautus ventrimaculatus. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. Scientists discovered four new species of toads who, unlike their cousins, live isolated in the highlands of Sumatra.The four toads are distinguishable from one another by their skin patterns, limb shapes and voices.In the wake of the discovery, one of the researchers called on the Indonesian government to strengthen the monitoring of harvesting quotas for toad exports so that scientists can keep track of its population in the wild. BOGOR, Indonesia — Scientists described four new toads from the hills of Sumatra, adding to the island’s already astounding biodiversity.The discoveries mark the first Sumatran additions to the Philautus genus of shrub frogs since the early 20th century. Several were described in the Western Ghats of India in 2009.The researchers published their findings in Herpetological Monographs last month. They hail from the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia, and the University of Texas at Arlington and Broward College in the U.S.Specimens of the newly described species — Philautus amabilis, Philautus polymorphus, Philautus thamyridion and Philautus ventrimaculatus — were collected from 2013 to 2015 in jungles over 1,000 meters above sea level.As in the rest of Indonesia, the forests of Sumatra are full of unknown creatures, but are rapidly dwindling as industry expands, especially in the agriculture and mining sectors. Globally, scientists believe that more than 80 percent of species remain undiscovered.Maps showing the distribution of the Sumatran Philautus genus. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs.The four toads differ from one another in their skin patterns, limb shapes and voices.The last name of Philautus amabilis derives from a Latin word meaning “charming” or “pretty.” For the scientists, this defines the toad’s bright brown back and the dark lines that appear on its arms, thighs, hind legs and outer fingers.The name Philautus polymorphus was inspired by its variety of colors and patterns, but the animal is recognizable by the cone-shaped bumps on its eyelids. Article published by Basten Gokkon Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, New Species, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Philautus thamyridion. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. Philautus amabilis. Image courtesy of Herpetological Monographs. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored 1234 read more

Five Deadly Sins of Website Design

first_imgNonprofit organizations make many mistakes when it comes to the design, presentation and content of their websites. Here are the five deadly sins we commit:Too egotistical: The home page is too often simply an About Us page. It should not be an electronic brochure with your mission statement. It should speak to the user’s values, interests and desires. It’s not “about us,” it’s “about them.”Too meek: There is often no clear call to action on nonprofit pages. Grab a friend or relative, sit them down in front of your website home page, and count how many seconds it takes them to find and click on your Donate button or find another way to do something. If it takes them more than two seconds, you need to place your button in a far more prominent position. Make it central to the page. Make sure it is above the fold. Make it big. Make it colorful. Make it impossible to miss.Too laid-back: Too often, there’s no reason to act now – as opposed to later, or never. You want to inspire someone to act right now, but that can be hard to do if there’s not an urgent crisis to address. Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible.Too dodgy: People want to know where their resources will go if you support them. You must inspire trust. Where will the money go? What impact will result? What lives will be saved, what credible goal will be achieved?Too short-sighted:  Recognize that getting clicks requires cultivation. While you want someone to take action right away, it’s important to remember that it takes time to cultivate people.  Be sure your website includes a way to capture the email addresses of visitors so that you can build a relationship with visitors and turn them into donors in the future.  A newsletter is not very exciting; give people a more compelling reason to surrender their email addresses.last_img read more

4 Tips on Using Photos Online

first_imgAs promised in yesterday’s post, Bryan at Collective Lens has been kind enough to provide these tips, as well as these stunning photos, generously shared by the talented Shehzad Noorani and Kathy Adams.copyright Shehzad NooraniSathi’s (8 years old) face is blacked with carbon dust from recycled batteries. Often she looks so black, that children in her neighborhood call her ghost. She works in battery recycling factory at Korar Ghat on the outskirts of Dhaka. She earns less than Taka 200 ($3.50 approx) per month.Kathy Adams, Empowerment InternationalLook Mom, I CAN count! Empowerment International works with not just students in Nicaragua but also their parents. Getting the parents involved and supportive of their child’s education is one key to success in completing at least primary school (in a nation where only 50% of the enrolled 1st graders complete 5th grade).– Use photos to tell a story. “A picture is worth 1000 words,” as they say. Imagery can go much further than written text to bring out the events and emotions of a particular cause or issue. One photo can describe a pressing situation, warm the heart of the viewer, or cause your audience to react and respond. Furthermore, with multiple photos organized into a photo essay, an entire story can be told from the big picture to the smallest details in an efficient and effective manner.– Use photos to grab the attention of the viewer. In today’s media-driven society, words alone can not compete for the attention of your desired audience. With television, movies, YouTube, texting, and millions of competing websites, your message must make an instantaneous impact. This is especially true if you are vying for the attention of today’s youth. If your message is text only, you should not expect most people to read more than five sentences. Lead with a powerful photo.– Use photos to create an emotional impact. Human faces attract the viewer’s eye faster than any other subject matter. Use this to your advantage, and display photos that showcase the human impact of an important issue and the work that your organization is doing around it.– Copyright issues are extremely important. If you see a photo on the web, you are most likely not allowed to use it. The photographer has full copyrights to the photo unless otherwise noted. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask for permission! Many photographers would be delighted to hear from you, especially if you’re using the photo for a good cause. Keep in mind that the production of good photography costs money and is a career for many people. Also, many websites such as Collective Lens and Flickr allow photographers to mark their photos with Creative Commons licenses, and then allow the public to search for photos marked with these licenses. These licenses allow others to freely use the photos, but only under certain conditions, and always with attribution. For example, a photo marked with a Creative Commons Non Commercial license (CC-BY-NC) can not be used for commercial or advertising purposes. However, it is permissible to use it in an editorial story. It is also important to note that the people in the photos have rights as well. If a photo is to be used for commercial purposes, then every identifiable person in the photo must sign a release. If a photographer does not have releases, then he or she should have marked the photo with a Creative Commons Non Commercial license. Sometimes copyright rules can get complicated, but don’t let that deter you from asking questions if you have doubts about a photo. If all else fails, email the photographer and ask for permission.last_img read more

The Coming Transformation of Social Enterprise

first_imgProfessor Kash Rangan is one of the pioneers of Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative, now 15 years old. Back in 1993, most people took a “spray and pray” approach to philanthropy—writing checks to charities and hoping something would happen. But Rangan and HBS professor Jim Austin, picked by Dean John McArthur to lead the new initiative, saw the potential for research, curriculum, and career development around the challenges of social enterprises, including both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Over the ensuing years, the initiative flourished as did the nation’s social enterprise organizations.Today, the United States has more than 1.4 million non-profit organizations, and they account for 5 percent of GDP. Annual contributions have grown faster than the economy for years, and experts predict an avalanche of cash ahead. By 2052, an estimated $6 trillion will flow directly to social enterprise organizations. Concurrently, a new generation of business leaders and philanthropists is experimenting with hybrid forms of social enterprises while demanding more transparency and accountability from the organizations they are funding. In Rangan’s view, the sector is poised on the brink of transformation, a topic he enthusiastically expounded upon during a recent interview in his Morgan Hall office.Roger Thompson: The terms “social enterprise” and “nonprofit” seem to be used interchangeably. Are they synonymous?Kash Rangan: No. There’s an important distinction. Very early in the program we decided that we wouldn’t focus purely on nonprofits. We thought it should be about social enterprise, regardless of whether it’s for-profit or nonprofit. We defined social enterprise as an entity that’s primarily in the business of creating social value. As long as an organization creates significant social value, we don’t care how it sustains itself—with internally generated surplus or with donor funds.Americans give roughly $300 billion a year to nonprofits, yet we really don’t know much about what charitable organizations actually accomplish. Why aren’t nonprofits more accountable and transparent with all this money?That’s a very big issue in this sector because there is no common measure or framework to assess whether these organizations are accomplishing their mission. Even simple measures are not widely reported, like we got X donations, and we took care of 1,000 children at a cost of $80 a child, which is less than $120 a child spent by comparable organizations. Even that amount of reporting would be very useful, but it is not the norm.By and large the reporting focuses on the costs of raising money. The lower the better, with the logic being that more money can then go to actual programs. So an organization might report, “We spend 6 percent on fundraising, whereas the industry average is 12 to 14 percent.” That’s typical, but beyond that, we don’t know how the other 94 percent is used. How many people came into the program, and what benefits did they get? And then the even bigger question beyond cost efficiency and effectiveness is, what impact did the organization have? Granted it is very complex to get all the way to that level, but even signposts along the way could be very useful.Q: Which is harder: raising money, building a successful organization, or achieving real impact?A: They are all interrelated, but raising money is not the hardest of the three. Getting money is hard, but it is not more difficult than the other two. That’s why there are over 1.4 million nonprofits, each with some amount of funding.Putting the money to good use, building a successful organization, showing that you have a demonstrable impact in achieving your mission, and then scaling the organization are the hardest to accomplish. When you show impact, more money will flow in.Q: Given how few nonprofits can document impact, would you say these organizations suffer from a leadership deficit?No, I wouldn’t put it that way. Many nonprofit leaders are fantastic, more than is acknowledged. They work hard, and they are very passionate about what they do. So I wouldn’t call it a leadership deficit. I think there’s an imagination deficit.“I wouldn’t call it a leadership deficit. I think there’s an imagination deficit.”Leaders typically ask, “Am I accomplishing my program?” But that is too narrow a view. Nonprofit leaders need to be more visionary. They need to stretch themselves more and worry about mission impact. I believe nonprofit leaders get too bogged down in operational issues, be it fundraising, or managing the board, or program execution. They need to be more strategic.Q: What role can HBS and other business schools play in helping develop the next generation of social enterprise leaders?A: I don’t think the business schools by themselves are going to solve this problem. Whether it’s HBS or any other business school, ultimately I think students come to learn how to be leaders in the business arena. Right now 5 percent of our graduates go to work in the nonprofit sector. To expect 20 to 30 percent is asking too much. Maybe we could pump the percentage up to 7 to 10 percent. But at the end of the day, even counting graduates from other business schools, if you produce 2,000 to 3,000 MBAs a year to work in a sector with more than 1.4 million nonprofits, it’s just a drop in the bucket. There are huge salary discrepancies as well.Ultimately our impact lies beyond directly producing leaders for nonprofits. At least half of our graduates between ten and fifteen years out are quite involved with nonprofits. They might not be directly engaged as leaders, but they sit on boards, provide donations, and serve as volunteers. And they can influence and bring about change. That’s where the education we impart at HBS is so important. Our approach to social enterprise has broad appeal to students who may not even go to work directly in the sector. Without it, they would always approach nonprofits as philanthropy. I believe our curriculum conditions our graduates to ask the difficult questions on performance, and even go beyond and recall cases, frameworks, and solution approaches. It is quite a different approach to participating in the sector. In a way they become the catalysts for internal change.Q: Many alumni get involved with corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Critics of CSR often cite Milton Friedman, who famously said that “the social responsibility of business is to increase profits.” Do you agree?A: I absolutely think it’s too narrow a view. In the decade of the ’90s, maximizing shareholder value became a corporate mantra. But the notion that the corporation exists only to maximize shareholder value lasted only a decade. It was a historical anomaly. In almost every other decade business leaders have acknowledged that corporations exist within the larger fabric of society. The School’s second dean, Wallace Donham, said that the focus of a business is to make a decent profit decently.Q: Venture philanthropy, which applies principles of venture investing to social enterprises, has become a hot topic lately. Is venture philanthropy a good idea?A: The first generation of venture philanthropy had its roots in the success of venture capital. Investors were carried away by the notion of gaining economic returns on their investments, not huge returns but some returns, as a way of forcing an efficient use of their capital. The shining example was microfinance, which provided attractive returns, so why not otherforms of social enterprise?I don’t think that’s a realistic view of the work of nonprofits in general. If you look at social service organizations working at the cutting edge of where markets have failed, the idea of venture philanthropy clicking is a little hard for me to buy into. Venture philanthropy has to come of age and reorient itself by defining what measures of social return it is looking for. In some instances social and economic returns could be correlated, but in many cases they won’t. If you are looking for a social and not an economic return, then loyalty to the program rather than an exit strategy may be a better use of funds. The venture philanthropy community has some translation work to do. Right now venture philanthropy is only a small part of the landscape.Q: Another hot topic in the nonprofit world is the idea of creating a for-profit business to help underwrite the cost of operations. Is this the way to go to secure a reliable stream of funds?A: I don’t think so. There’s a lot of charitable money available. Family foundations now number more than 34,000, an increase of 22 percent between 2001 and 2005. Big foundations have more money in their endowments than they can give away. And there is an intergenerational transfer estimated at $6 trillion over the next fifty years specifically earmarked for social enterprises. None of these sources of money is actually looking for an economic return. They’re definitely looking for a social return. That being the case, I don’t think that nonprofits should quickly jump at creating for-profit enterprises. In certain segments like health care, and even arts and culture, it might make sense when the for-profit and nonprofit parts are tightly linked by a common purpose or platform. For example, in health care several very successful social entrepreneurs have created a hybrid model where paying clients subsidize the “free” clients. The whole organization, however, is doing only one thing, eye surgery or heart surgery or orthopedic surgery and so on.But to think that an environmental organization could sustain itself by selling mugs and T-shirts is a bit of a stretch. It is not that hard to put together a for-profit arm, but to have it be a significant contributor to the core mission requires considerable strategic work. It may not be possible for a vast majority of organizations in this space. It could be an unnecessary distraction.Q: Where do you see social enterprise heading over the next decade?A: I am an optimist, and I believe we will see refreshing changes in that time frame. The new cadre of donors, the new family foundations, the folks who are involved in venture philanthropy, the new generation of entrepreneurs, and business leaders engaged in corporate social responsibility initiatives all will start attacking social issues in a much more disciplined way. Nonprofits too are very adaptive organizations. I expect to see some common understanding in the sector of what performance means, and how social value creation is measured and reported. From there on it is only a matter of aligning the money with the causes they care about. Perhaps investment intermediaries will emerge to ease the introductions and connections. There may be some consolidation of nonprofits at the top, but the sector will be a lot more vibrant with many new players and actors helping to facilitate the transformation.About the authorRoger Thompson is editor of the HBS Alumni Bulletin.Copyright © 2008 President and Fellows of Harvard Collegelast_img read more

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

8 Benefits of Having a Nonprofit Blog

first_imgBlogs can help your supporters and potential supporters get to know and trust you.As important as branding is in marketing your organization, it is also important to step out from behind your brand, and show your supporters and potential supporters that there are real people, like them, running your organization. In an overly branded world, people are looking for ways to figure out who to trust. The personal, human tone of a blog can help.Blogs facilitate conversations with supporters and potential supporters.In my book, there are two things all blogs must have: a way to subscribe and comments. Now, I know that many organizations have a fear of being overrun with negative comments.Thing is, if you want to build relationships through your blog, you have to have conversations. Think of the comment area of your blog like a cocktail party. There are going to be superficial commenters, sad commenters, funny commenters, deep commenters, thoughtful commenters, commenters you don’t agree with, and once in a while, commenters you need to ask to leave.For now, just worry about getting people to come to your party, not how to throw them out.Blogs can be fun!When choosing who is going to blog for your organization, please don’t assign it to someone who looks at it as another thing to check off of their to-do list. Writing for a blog is a creative and social experience. It involves not only writing posts, but also reading and commenting on other blogs. Again, it’s like going to a party, and no one wants to chat with the person at the party who’d rather not be there ’cause they were forced to attend. Should all nonprofits have a blog?  Nope.Can having a blog benefit your organization? Yup.Below are eight benefits of having a nonprofit blog.Blogs help provide quick, up to the minute news about your organization and cause.If you’ve worked for a nonprofit, you know how painfully long it can take to put together a newsletter. Blog posts, on the other hand, can be written in 15-30 minutes. Not only can you share organizational news as it happens, you can also comment on how breaking news in the world relates to your cause, or organization.Tip: If you’re going to use your blog as a regular communication tool, please allow readers to subscribe by email as well as rss. Many, many people do not know how to subscribe by rss. Use a service like Feedblitz or Feedburner Email to facilitate readers’ subscribing by email.Blogs can help you work faster.Just because you have a blog, doesn’t mean you should stop having an e-newsletter, or print newsletter. In fact, it can help provide content for both. If you’ve been posting on your organization’s blog regularly, you’ll have lots of content to pull from when you sit down to write your newsletter. If you’re writing an e-newsletter, you can point back to the original blog posts, which will also drive traffic back to your organization’s website.Blogs can help you reach more people.It’s been said that people need to see an advertisement seven times before they will buy. Below are eight ways someone might read one of your blog posts more than once:As the original post on your blog.As an excerpt in your e-newsletter, and clicking through to read the rest.As a mention in your Twitter feed, and clicking through to read the rest.As an excerpt on your Facebook feed, and clicking through to read the rest.When someone emails it to them.When someone shares it with them using an AddThis like button on the bottom of the post.When they find it saved by someone on a social bookmarking site like, StumbleUpon or DiggWhen another blogger links to it on their blog. Blogs can increase the search ranking of your website.Search engines like sites that update their content regularly and have lots of incoming links; consequently, they like blogs!For more information about nonprofits, blogs and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) check out Organic Non-Profit SEO, The Nonprofit SEO Guide, Blogs and Search Engine Optimization, and 2009 NTC Preview: Kevin Lee on Search Engine OptimizationBlogs can give you the press you seek.Rather than crossing your fingers that a reporter will cover a story about your work, blogs can help you create your own coverage. For example, Community United Against Violence used a blog to cover the trial of men accused of murdering Gwen Araujo, a woman they killed after they discovered that she was biologically male. CUAV’s blog eventually drew media attention to the trial when the blog was covered by the news.Also, if you are writing about the same topics repeatedly on your blog, when a reporter is searching online for an expert on your issue, your posts may come up at the top of their search results.last_img read more

The story you absolutely must tell

first_imgA good one! If there is one thing nonprofits need to do more, it is telling stories. Storytelling should be the way we communicate our mission, win support and show impact. Storytelling is how we learned 70% of what we know in this world. Yet most written materials, websites, appeals, grant proposals and presentations are devoid of good stories. We need to fix this.If you’re seeking some guidance on why storytelling matters and some inspiration for crafting great stories, a good starting point is a new book by Michael Margolis, “Believe Me: Why Your Vision, Brand and Leadership Need a Bigger Story.” This short yet valuable manifesto describes why we personally seek stories – and how that need translates into a broader mandate for story as the key tool to organizational vision and change. The book is not a how-to guide but rather meant as a call to action. Margolis is trying to get us to change how we communicate rather than telling us how to do it. He intersperses his book with quotes that eloquently make his points:The ability to see our lives as stories rather than unrelated, random events increases the possibility for significant and purposeful action” — Daniel Taylor, Author of Tell Me a Story.If you’re looking for this kind of inspiration, you can get a free sample of the book here. If you choose to buy it on that site, use the code 7Z8WDVU3 and you’ll get 15% off. (Thanks, Michael!)If that’s not enough to get you thinking of your stories, remember what Maya Angelou said:There is no greater burden than carrying an untold story.last_img read more

America’s Giving Challenge In Full Swing!

first_imgReady, Set, Give!!  – America’s Giving Challenge went live on Causes on Facebook on October 7th and ends on November 6th!  It’s not about how much money you raise, but about how many people in your social network you inspire to get involved and give. You can enter one or more of your causes in the Challenge for a chance to win $50,000 for your cause from the Case Foundation.  The goal is to get as many unique daily donations as possible (minimum of $10), to your cause each day.About the Challenge:America’s Giving Challenge is 30-day national competition that encourages people to leverage their personal networks and online social media to help win cash awards that will total $170,000 on behalf of their favorite nonprofit. Participants in America’s Giving Challenge will compete for daily and overall cash awards based on the number of donations generated for a cause, not dollars raised. Awards will be given to the nonprofit beneficiaries of the causes that garner the highest number of unique daily donations* between 3:00 p.m. EDT October 7, 2009, and 2:59pm EST on November 6, 2009.last_img read more