Microsoft Offers $10,000 Prize for a Better Spell Checker

first_imgTags:#hack#tips Microsoft Research and Bing are sponsoring a contest called the Speller Challenge. The goal: create a spell checker that delivers “the most plausible spelling alternatives for each search query” and deliver the service over a RESTful API. The first prize is $10,000. Registration opens on January 17th 2011.According to the rules:The goal of the Speller Challenge (the “Challenge”) is to build the best speller that proposes the most plausible spelling alternatives for each search query. Spellers are encouraged to take advantage of cloud computing and must be submitted to the Challenge in the form of REST-based Web Services. At the end of the challenge, the entry that you designate as your “primary entry” will be judged according to the evaluation measures described below to determine five (5) winners of the prizes described below.The contest seems to be for students, but it is open to anyone except:Entrants who are younger than 18 years of ageResidents of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and SyriaEmployees of Microsoft Corporation or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiaryPersons involved in any part of the administration and execution of the competition orImmediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household members of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.I hope lots of good hackers enter this, because I could always use a better spell checker. klint finley Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac…center_img How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees? Related Posts Why You Love Online Quizzeslast_img read more

On point: Thomas making progress, could join Cavs earlier

first_imgQC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES “We have to make sure he’s 100 percent,” Lue said Monday as the Cavs regrouped following an embarrassing loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “We have to worry about him as a player and a person. If he’s not right, not healthy, we don’t want to rush him back to set him back even more.”Thomas isn’t keeping his status any kind of secret. In the first few weeks of his rehab, he kept a lower profile as he worked out in the team’s facility away from reporters and cameras. Lately, he’s been front and center, giving everyone a glimpse of the strides he’s made in coming back from a torn labrum.Lue credited Cleveland’s training staff with a slow, steady approach in bringing along Thomas, who came to the Cavs in the blockbuster trade last summer that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.Irving and the Celtics have won nine straight and lead the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, Cleveland has remained patient, although it’s clear that Thomas can’t wait to get back onto the floor in meaningful games.“I just wanna HOOP!!!!!” he tweeted Sunday night.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Read Next Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Thomas has been increasing the intensity of his workouts and is making strong progress in his recovery from a serious hip injury that ended his 2016 season in Boston and delayed his debut with Cleveland.As Cavs coach Tyronn Lue and a member of Cleveland’s medical staff kept an eye on him from an adjacent floor at Cleveland Clinic Courts, Thomas broke a healthy sweat during a workout Monday under the guidance of assistant coach Phil Handy, who fired him passes and praise. Thomas worked on his 3-pointer , man-to-man defense, conditioning, ball handling and free throws as he nears a return that may be coming sooner than imagined.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutAlthough the team has not disclosed any change from its original timetable estimate of the end of December, it’s apparent that Thomas is getting closer.At 4-6, and lacking a second scorer to complement LeBron James, the Cavs might be tempted to rush Thomas along. But Lue said it’s imperative for the team to stick with its plan so as not to harm the 28-year-old. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 View comments Russell drops 23 points, 8 assists as Nets beat Suns CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – In this Friday, May 19, 2017 file photo, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas looks to pass the ball as Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert, left, defends during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals in Boston. Day by day, Isaiah Thomas looks a little more like an All-Star point guard like himself. And just maybe like one who can rescue the reeling Cavaliers. Thomas has been increasing his workout load and is making strong progress in his recovery from a hip injury that ended his 2016 in Boston and delayed the start of his 2017 season with Cleveland, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Day by day, dribble by dribble, Isaiah Thomas looks a little more like an All-Star point guard – like himself.And just maybe like one who can rescue the reeling Cavaliers.ADVERTISEMENT Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf PLAY LIST 01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH The Cavs need him. Without Irving, the Eastern Conference champions lack a proven scorer to take some pressure off James. Thomas won’t help Cleveland’s suspect defense. In fact, it might be a little worse with him on the court, but its offense would go to another level with Thomas.He can drive. He can shoot. He can get to the line.“We still have a 30-point scorer, All-Star point guard that’s coming soon,” James said recently. “So that’s exciting.”Once he returns, Thomas is expected to move into the starting lineup, with Derrick Rose coming off the bench and running the Cavs’ second unit. It’s been dreadful starts by the Cavs’ first five that have been at the heart of their early struggles. Thomas could fix that, but until he’s ready, the Cavs have to come out with more energy and a greater sense of urgency.Thomas should also help Cleveland’s woeful 3-point shooting. The Cavs enter Tuesday night’s game against Milwaukee 25th in the league in 3-point accuracy (33 percent) and tied for 16th in 3-pointers made per game. Thomas made a Celtics record 245 3-pointers last season and knocked down at least one in 57 straight games.Against the Hawks, the Cavs started 3 of 25 from behind the arc and finished 10 of 36 – thanks mostly to Kyle Korver heating up during a fourth-quarter comeback.“We have guys that can shoot the ball,” said Kevin Love, who was taken to the hospital Sunday after falling ill. “I don’t know what it says on pace, but last year we really pushed the ball with ‘Bron and Ky and really opened up the floor. But we’re just not shooting the ball well from 3, and that has to change.”There need to be other changes, and Lue said it’s time for his team to begin making them.“Just have to keep attacking it,” he said. “Have to keep showing film and continue to keep talking about it. I think guys are embarrassed and we should be embarrassed of how we’re getting beat. Teams that we’re playing, having guys out, key guys out and still not being able to win. We all have to continue to keep searching and continue to keep fighting and continue to play hard.”And at some point, they might get some help. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasalast_img read more

Mbala, Ravena lead Mythical Team

first_imgCayetano: 4 social media groups behind SEA Games ‘sabotage’ Paul Lee confident he will be back before new season starts Completing the women’s Mythical Team are UE’s Love Joy Sto. Domingo (75.64 SPs), NU teammates Rhena Itesi (71.14 SPs) and Ria Nabalan (69.00 SPs), and University of Santo Tomas’ Sai Larosa (61.00 SPs).Marian Justine Domingo of UP has also been named as the Rookie of the Year.The awarding ceremonies will be held before Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Finals on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Ateneo’s Thirdy Ravena dunks against University of Santo Tomas in the second round of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netBen Mbala has officially been named UAAP Season 80 MVP.The Cameroonian big man led defending champion La Salle to a return trip to the finals.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Mbala ran away with the award after amassing 96.58 total statistical points (SPs) after averaging 26.0 points, 13.08 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.3 assists, and 1.3 steals.Joining Mbala in the Mythical Team are Ateneo forward Thirdy Ravena (66.50 SPs), NU guard J-Jay Alejandro (63.86 SPs), UE scorer Alvin Pasaol (63.43 SPs), and La Salle high-flyer Ricci Rivero (56.29 SPs).FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutUniversity of the Philippines’ Juan Gomez de Liaño has also been cited as this season’s Rookie of the Year after netting 11.61 points, 6.15 rebounds, 2.54 assists, and 1.0 steal in his first year in Diliman.In the women’s division, NU bruiser Jack Animam has also been tabbed as the Season MVP after collecting 77.29 SPs. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Reader question: What’s a good framework for a fundraising plan?

first_imgToday, I’m answering another reader question. Beth asks:Can you provide a basic (simple) framework to create a fundraising plan (or resources to do so) – for a brand new nonprofit and their completely new to fundraising staff? Thanks!Here’s what Network for Good recommends in our Fundraising Campaign in a Box. (You can get the whole free kit here. It has worksheets, templates, etc.)1. Figure out what you’re trying to accomplish.Any campaign worth its salt is about getting results. What results are you and your organization looking to achieve? When you’re planning your outreach, remember these three tips:There is no such thing as “the general public”…Instead, you need to segment your communications to be effective and targeted.Some audiences are more important than others. Think about your goals and who holds the key to your success. Lack of participation from primary groups can cause your campaign to falter or fail.2. Determine how you’re going to accomplish your goals (tell a great story).So – you have groups of people and actions you want them to take. How are you going to tell your story in a compelling manner? What themes, messages and ideas are you going to take from your arsenal of content to encourage action? Need inspiration? Read How to Tap into the Heart and Soul of Your Organization When You Write.3. Determine which communications channels you’ll use.There are a variety of online and offline channels that you can use to send the right message to the right audiences. Examples of online channels include your website, search marketing, email marketing and social networking. Offline channels include things like direct mail, paid advertising and public relations.4. Decide which resources you need to get the job done.Ensure that you have all of your tools and resources in place to make your job-and the jobs of your audience(s)-as easy, effective and cost-effective as possible.Is email an important part of your plan, but you’re still communicating with supporters via Outlook? (eek! Stop what you’re doing and read 5 Steps to Choosing the Ideal Email Service Provider)Is your website well-branded and easy to use, with a clear way to donate?Is your website set up to take safe, secure online donations? (I of course recommend Network for Good!)5. Determine who will execute your campaign steps.Accountability will make or break the success of a campaign. As much fun as it is to pass the buck, now is as good a time as any to decide which members of your organization, board or volunteers are responsible for the different portions of your campaign.6. Lay out how you will measure your success.In the case of holiday fundraising, this could be as simple as a dollar sign with a number after it. But take a moment to consider what other goals you may have. Wow your organization’s Board and leadership with conversation rates, list-building, website traffic and any other number results into which they can sink their teeth.7. Set your timeline and benchmarks.One of the defining features of a campaign is that it has a defined start and end. Now that you have planned out the ‘who, what and why’ questions of your campaigns, it’s time to determine the when. Continue to build your campaign plan by setting ownership and deadlines for the associated activities. Begin with the end in mind – if your campaign will run from 11/1 – 12/31, work backwards to be sure that all activities will happen in a smooth manner. Don’t use magical thinking to set deadlines! Run activities in parallel if you are worried about compression time-wise.Good luck!last_img read more

Free Charity Fundraising Event Ideas for Nonprofits

first_imgFundraising ideas are always in demand for nonprofits, and the options are endless, but many of them cost a lot of money to produce. High-end fundraisers, like an annual gala, bring in the big donations, but they are a lot of work and can be very expensive to put on. Not everyone can participate in them, so you also need to have fundraisers that are more casual and easier to put on. Here are some ideas for low-cost, or free, fundraising events.Use What You’ve GotThe first step in free charity fundraising is to assess your resources. Take a look at what your organization already has that may be of use. If you have a building, look at your space — both inside and out — and see if you have a place you can use for an event. If the indoors is all office or clinic space, but you have a lawn, then consider an outdoor function. A couple of ideas to get you started thinking of possibilities might be:Build community by holding a small-town feeling event like a pancake breakfast or spaghetti supper. If you can get some “celebrity” chefs (the mayor, radio personalities, doctors, etc.), you can create a bigger draw.Support the arts by hosting an art show or sale. Use hallways as the gallery if you don’t have a room you can dedicate to the effort. You can sell pieces and charge a commission, encouraging sales by publicizing the fact that a certain percent of all sales goes to the charity. Of course, you can ask the artists to donate something for an auction too. Alternatively, you could just make it a show and ask local businesses to donate the prize money. Additional funds can be raised by selling ad space on a program or through sponsorships that you will publicize on flyers for the event. You also have the opportunity to make money from entry fees and guest admissions.Take Advantage of Fundraising WebsitesPhysical events are fun for guests and are a great way to give potential supporters a sense of connection with your organization, but more and more people are spending time online and developing personal networks there. Young people, especially, connect with others online and love to share what they are passionate about, so the Internet can be a great “place” for free fundraising.Auctions are great because the process is familiar; you get the donations, post details (pictures are vital!), and buyers make their offers and pay with online donations when it’s over. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, though. Consider the popularity of the “ice bucket challenge” that came out of nowhere and spread virally.Every organization is different, so the opportunities are endless. Hopefully, these ideas have given you a starting point for planning some events of your own.Network for Good has a blog with more free information on nonprofit marketing, including how to set up an effective donation page, and how to be successful at nonprofit fundraising. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your fundraising efforts, so contact us today or call 1-888-284-7978 x1.last_img read more

Fundraising Benchmarks, Donor Data, and You: A Q&A with Heather Yandow

first_imgI’m a big fan of Heather Yandow from Third Space Studio. Heather produces a labor of love for small and mighty nonprofits: The Individual Donor Benchmark Report (IDBR). The IDBR highlights fundraising data trends for nonprofit organizations with annual budgets under $2 million. If you’d like to share your organization’s data for the next IDBR,  please visit Heather’s website for more info.Keep reading this post to discover why the IDBR’s data is so valuable and to collect a few nuggets of wisdom from Heather about donor data.What is the IDBR and why should organizations care about the findings?Heather Yandow (HY): The Individual Donor Benchmark Report digs into the fundraising data of small and mighty nonprofits, those with annual budgets under $2 million.It’s a best practice that nonprofits need to set goals, track outcomes, and learn from past performance. But collecting and analyzing data in a vacuum only gives part of the picture. Organizations also need to the ability to measure the impact of their fundraising and compare it other organizations like theirs, as well as to the larger sector. That’s why we created the Individual Donor Benchmark Project.There is no other benchmarking resource for smaller organizations with individual donor fundraising programs.  Simply put, the IDBR is a resource for nonprofits to see how they stack up. It helps answer questions like:Where is our fundraising doing well?What parts of our fundraising program might need a little more attention?What experiments could we try to improve our fundraising program? What data do you need to have in order to participate in the research?HY: We’ve tried to streamline the data organizations need to participate to only the most critical metrics. To participate, you’ll need to report numbers like:Organizational revenue and expensesTotal amount of individual donor revenue and number of donorsAmount raised online and number of online donorsYou can preview of the full set of questions on this site .We’ve also decided that none of the questions are required. So, if you are unable to answer a question or two (or five), that’s okay! Set aside one hour to dig into your data. You’d be surprised how much you can accomplish with one focused hour! And you might just get on a roll and keep going. Now, for something fun. On a scale from 1-10, how much do you love data?HY: I’m probably an eight. I do love data and spend a good bit of my time collecting data, training about data, and helping organization harness the power of data. But to be a ten, I think I’d have to be this guy. I’m not there yet! What are common challenges orgs face when trying to access the data they need and how can they overcome these challenges?HY: The most common challenge is that organizations don’t have a database that they know and love. For some, it’s hard to get data out of their system. For others, they don’t trust the data they do access.Here are four tips to help you start gathering this data:Take a look at this year’s survey questions. Print them out and identify what data you can easily find (like last year’s total income) and what might take a little more time to figure out (like retention rate). If you run into problems, know that you can skip a question or two on the survey. I know that sometimes a number just isn’t easily available, so you can just leave that question blank.From Network for Good: Don’t have a user-friendly donor database that can help you store, access, and analyze your donor data? Network for Good’s new donor management system is everything you need and nothing you don’t. Check it out now! Last year’s big finding was about how much more money organizations raised when they had a fundraising plan. Are you looking into that again this year or are you trying to determine new/different factors that contribute to fundraising success/misses?HY: Both! We are definitely digging in to our finding that a fundraising plan is the secret to individual donor success. To start, we want to get a better understanding of what a typical fundraising plan looks like. Does it include an annual development calendar? An analysis of the previous year? We’re hoping that getting more specific information will help identify the critical parts of the fundraising plan.At the same time, we will also be looking into other factors that may contribute to fundraising success, like Board participation in fundraising or the number of meetings organizations hold with donors and potential donors.If organizations want to participate in your research, what’s in it for them and how can they sign up?It’s easy to be part of the survey! Just visit http://www.thirdspacestudio.com/idbproject/ to learn more and start the survey.As a thank you for being part of the survey, you will receive:a results reports as well as the complete survey results to share with your colleagues and Boardan invitation to a special webinar just for survey participants to dig into the resultsa copy of official Individual Donor Benchmark Report and Infographica chance to win one of 50 coveted consultations with Ravela Insights, experts in donor data analytics, database strategy, and prospect identificationa chance to win one of five Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training prize packs with a subscription to the Grassroots Fundraising Journal as well as a book from the Kim Klein Fundraising Series Consider all the many ways that you might get the data you need. Your database may produce a perfect report – but it might not! You may need to take a closer look at your data by putting it into Excel. Or, you might need to look at the report from your online payment processor to find information about online gifts and monthly donations.last_img read more

PLOS Collection Explores Measurement Challenges in Expanding Coverage of MNCH Interventions

first_imgPosted on May 8, 2013March 8, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick 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)As we noted last week, PLOS Medicine launched a new collection on May 7, Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.The collection compiles evidence related to tools and indicators for collecting high quality evidence to expand coverage and improving the quality of care for key health interventions.About the collection:Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, a PLOS Collection, presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field. Coverage indicators are widely used to assess whether interventions are reaching women and children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through population-based household surveys. This collection of original research articles and reviews shows that while some indicators can be measured accurately, others may not provide valid results and therefore need further investigation and development.Highlights of the “Measuring Coverage” collection include two articles that address approaches for strengthening quality of maternal health services: “Validating Women’s Self-Report of Emergency Cesarean Sections in Ghana and the Dominican Republic,” and Testing the Validity of Women’s Self-Report of Key Maternal and Newborn Health Interventions during the Peripartum Period in Mozambique.”The collection also includes reviews key determining and interpreting inequalities in coverage and discussing  new findings, strategies and recommendations for action.For more, watch video of the May 7 launch event at the National Press Club, or visit Impatient Optimists to read a blog post by Miriam Claeson and Wendy Prosser of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Free Maternity Services in Kenya: Do They Include Respectful Maternity Care?

first_imgPosted on December 13, 2013November 7, 2016By: Nora Miller, Research Assistant, Respectful Maternity Care program, Women and Health InitiativeClick 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)Unlike many of its neighboring countries, where progress has been made toward the MDG 5 target of increasing the proportion of births with a skilled birth attendant (SBA), Kenya has struggled. In fact, the country experienced a reduction in the percent of births attended by SBAs: from 50% in 1989 to 44% in 2010. This has contributed to an excessively high maternal mortality ratio of 488 deaths per 100,000 live births, leaving it off track  to meet MDG 5 by the  2015 deadline.In an effort to address this issue, the newly elected Jubilee Government included the promise of free maternity services at public facilities in its 2013 campaign and officially abolished user fees in June of this year.  While there has been much celebration of the free maternity services policy and the historic gains made for women’s rights in general, many members of civil society and the public at large have expressed skepticism about the impact this will have on reducing maternal mortality, and anecdotal evidence suggests mothers have avoided the free maternity services fearing that quality of care will decrease.Even though the new policy removes an important financial burden, it does not fully address the numerous deterrents to receiving care that women must overcome in order to access services. In addition to known geographic, financial and cultural barriers, research conducted by the Kenyan Federation of Women Lawyers, Family Care International and the Population Council has shown that disrespectful and abusive care from providers serves as a major deterrent to the decision to deliver in health facilities in Kenya. These studies show that many women choose to deliver at home because they fear the inhumane treatment they may experience if they go to the hospital. Under the new policy, respectful maternity care remains a concern, as women who access the free services may risk be subjected to humiliating or degrading treatment by health care providers and hospital staff.The new policy does not  account for measures necessary to accommodate the expected increase in demand: additional investments are needed to increase  the number of facilities or expand existing facilities’ capacity; ensure availability of supplies and equipment; and train health workers to provide respectful maternity care. Additionally, the policy does little to address the persistent shortage in human resources for health—an issue that has recently been compounded by a health worker strike.In short, removing user fees plays a key role in reducing financial barriers, but does not ensure that women will make the decision to deliver in health facilities, with assistance from SBAs, nor  guarantee that the care they receive will be delivered with respect.Kenya’s 2010 Constitution provides for human dignity and the right to life. In providing free maternity services, the Jubilee Government has taken laudable steps towards protecting women’s right to health and in ensuring that financial barriers will not prevent women from accessing care in facilities. However, much more remains to be done to guarantee the Constitution’s claim of the right to human dignity, especially with regard to women’s  experience of childbirth in health facilities.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Women, Girls and Universal Health Coverage: Who Is Accountable?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 14, 2015December 7, 2016By: Belkis Giorgis, Global Technical Lead for Gender, Management Sciences for Health (MSH); Fabio Castaño, Global Technical Lead for Family Planning and Reproductive Health, Management Sciences for Health (MSH)Click 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 post is part of the Woman-Centered Universal Health Coverage Series, hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force and USAID|TRAction, which discusses the importance of utilizing a woman-centered agenda to operationalize universal health coverage.Who is accountable for the young woman dying during childbirth in a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia? For the woman in a health center in Bugiri in Uganda? For the girl child in a rural home in Uttar Pradesh, India? In a shanty town in Tegucigalpa, Honduras? Who is accountable for the women and adolescent girls in a thousand places everywhere?The burden of ensuring safe delivery does not fall solely on the shoulders of women and girls, but falls on all of us. Whether we are policymakers, service providers, development workers, husbands, fathers or mothers-in-law, we can all make a difference. It is our responsibility to do so.  As a society, we owe it to women to ensure they have a safe delivery and access to family planning information and services.Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among women and female adolescents in their reproductive years in low- and middle-income countries. Both family and cultural structures, as well as the health system, fail many women and girls, especially those living in rural and hard-to-reach regions. This is evidenced by the father who married off his daughter when she was a child, the husband who would not let his wife go to a health facility and a lack of affordable, accessible, quality facility-based care. These factors—in addition to ill-equipped clinics, poorly trained health workers and cultural perceptions that childbirth does not require skilled care—contribute to the high maternal mortality rates in developing countries.We have the responsibility to hold policymakers accountable for reforming health systems in pursuit of universal health coverage (UHC), which will transform populations’ health and save women’s and children’s lives. UHC shifts the burden of health costs from women to society and in a small way, shows our gratitude to women for giving life. UHC recognizes that women should not be neglected when they give birth and that women should not die while giving life. The responsibility of caring for women during delivery is a societal debt paid partly by eliminating the obstacles to safe, skilled and respectful care during childbirth.Because women often bear the greatest share of the economic costs associated with their families’ health, UHC can also have a proportionally greater effect on women by dramatically reducing their out-of-pocket costs and offering financial protection.Low-income countries must start with modest but high-impact services. A core package of services for reproductive, maternal and child health driven by community health workers provides the logical cornerstone of UHC plans.Family planning should be non-negotiable and included in even the most frugal UHC plans. Everyone has the right to access family planning services, which includes the ability to choose when and how to utilize a variety of options. Fulfilling the unmet need for family planning alone would prevent 150,000 maternal deaths and 640,000 newborn deaths globally each year.Through UHC, health systems can be strengthened to ensure that frontline health workers are in the right place at the right time to deliver the right services effectively.Who is accountable? We are. UHC that delivers for women and girls in the post-2015 era requires us all to be accountable. We must embrace this responsibility to accompany, support and empower women and adolescent girls on this journey fraught with both barriers and possibilities.Share this:last_img read more

Top 3 Storytelling Essentials for Fundraising

first_imgOnce Upon a Time…Everyone loves a good story. In celebration of National Tell a Story Day, we’re opening up early registration to our May Masterclass Webinar, “How to Tell Stories That Take Supporters from Passive to Passionate.” Discover the four steps to successful storytelling with Julia Campbell, author of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits.Whether you prefer to curl up with a good book or get lost in a film, the story is what captures our imagination. A good narrative brings people together and forms a common ground; it evokes emotion, sparks passion, and creates empathy.For a nonprofit, a good story can:intrigue journalistsinspire donorsmotivate staff and boardrally supportersignite advocacysecure corporate sponsorshipStories are the basic building blocks for reaching our goals.As fundraisers, you’re responsible for arousing sympathetic emotions and inspiring action. The most powerful way to do that is to tell a great story. But what makes your story great? What do you need to include?The essential elements of any good story are the character, desire, and conflict.CharacterYour protagonist is who your audience relates to. Personalize your organization and mission. Look at your data and find those case studies that can serve as representational stories for the work you do. People are twice as likely to give a charitable gift when presented with an emotion-inducing personal story that focuses exclusively on one character’s plight.DesireWe all want something. What is the desire within your character’s story? Is it a need to change their world, to obtain something, get rid of something, restore order, or escape a threat? Make sure their need is powerful and immediate.ConflictConflict refers to the obstacles that arise and prevent the character from getting whatever she or he wants. Powerful stories about relatable people overcoming challenges inspire the reader (or listener) to help. Tap into those universal human emotions and your audience will engage with you.Particularly when it comes to telling your nonprofit’s origin story—whether you’re discovering how to tell it for the first time, or simply want to refresh your approach—a powerful narrative is the foundation of successful fundraising.Join us for our May webinar “How to Tell Stories That Take Supporters from Passive to Passionate” to explore more tips to create the ideal story for your fundraising.Early registration now open. Sign up today!last_img read more