4 questions to ask before checking the box

first_imgA few years ago, Bonny Wolf told a great story on NPR that goes something like this:In Chicago, a friend cuts off the end of roast beef before she cooks it. She does it because her mother does it. Her mother does it because her grandmother did it. So one day, the friend asks her grandmother why for years she has cut the end off the roast beef. The reason? Her grandmother says, “because my pan is too small.”I love this story because it tells us so much of how humans think. We often do as we have always done out of tradition or habit or imitation without questioning why. We move within our personal frames of reference, over and over, back and forth, until our ways are ingrained and unquestioned.Established nonprofits and companies create cultures that inadvertently lock in this dynamic. It is a very hard thing to resist the comfort of checking the same boxes without even asking how they got there. Each of my children went through a phase where they asked “why?” about every last thing. It has passed. Things get familiar and they don’t feel the need to pose the question. I think familiarity is one of the biggest barriers to innovation. It’s why we pay for fresh eyes – like consultants. – to ask “why?”In the spirit of rejecting the familiar frame we’re given, here are four questions to ask yourself before you check the same old box:1. Why did we start doing this activity?2. What underlying purpose does this activity serve?3. If it’s because of problem, is there a way to solve its root cause and prevent even needing to do the activity in the first place?4.If it’s because of an opportunity, is there a way to go bigger?The box may not be needed after all. There may be better ways to spend your time.last_img read more

Two can’t miss webinars: Dan Heath and Guy Kawasaki!

first_imgNetwork for Good has two amazing webinars coming up – and (as usual) they are free with registration.*Nonprofit 911: How to Get More Followers on Social Media w/ Guy KawasakiThursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. EasternWhy isn’t your hashtag everywhere? When’s the best time for a Facebook status update? What does it mean when someone +1’s you on Google +? How come no one liked your picture, story, update, tweet, share, friendship, etc? You might be caught a social media slump!Tune in Thursday, March 21 at 1 p.m. Eastern to hear tech and social media expert Guy Kawasaki lead a free presentation giving nonprofits the insider scoop on garnering support via the most popular social media platforms.Register here.Nonprofit 911: The Decisive Organization: Building a Culture of Better Decision-MakingMonday, March 25 at 1 p.m. EasternBest-selling Switch author Dan Heath’s done it again! Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work hits shelves next week. He’s going to stop by and pre-release the most helpful decision-making practices to the Network for Good audience via a Nonprofit 911 webinar on Monday, the 25th at 1 p.m. Eastern. Join Dan Heath as he makes it easier for your organization to make that sound decision. Bonus: Dan will be giving away a free copy of his new book to 10 lucky nonprofits on the call.Register here.*If you can’t make the date for Guy Kawasaki, sign up anyway. You will get a recording of the webinar afterward! Dan Heath’s session is live only, so we won’t be sending recordings.last_img read more

The magic two words that will get people to retweet you

first_imgDan Zarrella is one of my favorite thinkers on social media, because he mines massive amounts of data and bases his recommendations on hard science. This is relatively rare yet needed in the field of social media marketing, and so he’s well worth following.He recently analyzed 2.7 million tweets and concluded the following that people retweet when they are asked nicely as part of the original tweet. Conclusion? If you have something you want people to spread, ask them – with a pretty please.last_img

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

Maternal Health Commodities: Looking Beyond Medicines

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 16, 2012October 12, 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)This post is part of a blog series on maternal health commodities. To view the entire series, click here.Written by: the Fistula Care team at EngenderHealth.The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities is working to improve access to essential but overlooked maternal health medicines, such as oxytocin, misoprostol, and magnesium sulfate. This is welcomed, wonderful news: Proper access to these drugs will save the lives of many women every year. As we consider how to improve mothers’ health worldwide, however, we must recognize that life-saving medicines are only a part of the story. Facilities require equipment and supplies to save lives, too.On the USAID-funded Fistula Care project, we at EngenderHealth have given some thought to the essential obstetric equipment that hospitals should have on hand. As it turns out, very little on our equipment list is exclusively for genital fistula repair surgery. The same retractors, specula, scissors, scalpels, and forceps can largely be used not only to repair fistula, but also to enable health providers to carry out cesarean sections, laparotomy and other surgeries. That is, the same tools that enable trained surgeons to repair fistula can also allow hospital staff to provide the comprehensive emergency obstetric care that will prevent fistula – not to mention maternal deaths.Equipment requirements go beyond surgical kits: Autoclaves, operating tables, and appropriate lighting can improve care hospital-wide. All equipment – both large and small – must be appropriately maintained and, when necessary, repaired. Ensuring local capacity for maintenance and repair is therefore essential.A functioning surgical service also needs supplies – items like gloves, disinfectant, gauze, and sutures that will naturally be used up and need replenishing. These items share the supply chain needs of the essential medicines, and it follows logically that improving access to lifesaving drugs could efficiently translate into systems able to maintain and appropriately distribute necessary consumables, too.Costing of consumables for maternal health is acknowledged as an issue that has not received sufficient attention. Our recent cost study assessed the average consumption of supplies related specifically to fistula surgery. Just like our equipment list, most consumables for fistula repair overlap with those required for emergency obstetric care.Can the UN commission include equipment and consumables among its concerns? Perhaps not, since its specific focus is central to its success. Nevertheless, all players in the maternal health field would do well to keep in mind that lifesaving medicines are just part of the story. Properly maintained, functional equipment and appropriate consumables also save lives.Learn more about the Fistula Care project here.Share this:last_img read more

New MHTF Topics Page: Post-2015: What’s Next for Maternal Health?

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 23, 2014August 10, 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)The MHTF is pleased to announce the launch of our latest topic page: “Post-2014: What’s next for maternal health?” Along with our ongoing guest blog series on the proposed maternal health goal for the post-2015 development agenda, the topics page will compile key findings and debates on the position of maternal health in ongoing global and national discussions of health and development goals and challenges. The page includes resources on progress and lessons learned under the MDG framework, as well as on the position of maternal health in the ongoing process for developing the next global development framework. As with all of our topics pages, the post-2015 topics page will serve as a hub, featuring the latest in research, news and debates. To recommend a resource, please contact us.  If you would like to submit a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on proposed maternal health targets, please email Andrea Goetschius: goetschi@hsph.harvard.eduShare this:last_img read more

“Taking Measure of Growth Charts” Published in The Wall Street Journal

first_imgPosted on December 22, 2014October 28, 2016By: Alison Chatfield, Project Manager, Maternal Health Task Force, 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)Are newborn growth charts one size fits all? Are growth charts developed based on how babies in the U.S. have grown in the past applicable in the U.S. today, or to countries around the world? Is it possible to create truly global standards for how a baby should grow?These are the questions at the heart of a new article published in The Wall Street Journal by Jo Craven McGrinty. Current practice has physicians assess a newborn’s weight and length against growth charts generated from data on previous births in the country they live in. This practice could work if a country’s population is completely healthy, and therefore provides an optimal standard for comparison. But, if it isn’t, then using population-specific standards can lead to certain characteristics of poor growth becoming institutionalized. What is needed are growth standards that provide an indication of how babies should grow under optimal conditions, rather than comparing growth to how babies have grown in the past.Enter, the INTERGROWTH-21st Project. The INTERGROWTH-21st Project has created globally validated growth standards that provide a universal norm of how babies shouldgrow under optimal conditions. By including approximately 60,000 healthy women from eight countries in the study, the project was able to develop true norms for fetal growth and newborn size that can be used in any country.Like the WHO Child Growth Standards before it, the INTERGROWTH-21st charts are poised to replace national-level growth references that describe how babies have grown in the past. The article ends on a forward-looking note, acknowledging that the INTERGROWTH-21st charts are just one of several assessment tools that are needed to inform interventions to improve maternal and newborn health, “but measurements pegged to good health are a start,” McGrinty concludes.The full article can be found at the Wall Street Journal.This article was reposted from the INTERGROWTH-21st blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

7 Best Practices for Donor Thank You Emails

first_imgWe all know that saying thank you is good etiquette. Timely thank yous for donor gifts are expected, as they should be. With just a little extra thought, your thank yous can make a meaningful impact and truly delight donors. And there’s no time like the new year to refine your donor thank you process. Let’s explore seven best practices for creating donor thank yous that generate warmth and a sense of teamwork.1) Say Thank You Within a Week of Receiving a GiftInclude a simple “Thank you for your donation!” with your gift receipt, followed by a more detailed thank you letter or email. If you can, send your thank you within 24 hours of receiving the donation, but definitely within one week of receiving a gift. Whether your first detailed thank you comes in the form of a snail mail letter or an email will depend on how your donors prefer to receive communications. Either way, don’t delay sending this thank you, or you’ll risk donors feeling unappreciated.2) Send From a Recognizable NameYou don’t want donors to miss your email because it gets mistaken for spam. Send your emails from a recognizable member of your staff, such as your executive or development director. You can set this name in the email blast templates in your donor management system so thank yous will always come from the same person. This way, donors will be able to identify the email as yours. Plus, sending from someone higher up in the organization will also make donors feel valued.3) Make Your Subject Line SpecificLet donors know even before opening the email that you’re communicating gratitude. Including words like “thank you,” “grateful,” or “gratitude” in the subject line lets donors immediately identify the email as an expression of thanks. This will also help your thank yous stand out from the other emails you send your supporters.4) Keep the Focus on the DonorKeep the attention on the donors and their gifts, rather than focusing on your organization. Donors should feel they are an integral part of your team, not just a source of money. Use “you” and “your” frequently, and make sure that you always include your donor in any “we” statements.5) Acknowledge Previous GiftsLet regular donors know that you haven’t forgotten previous gifts. Include a brief line mentioning donations given in the past and that you value their ongoing partnership. This will make your thank you more personal and cause donors to feel like a true member of your team.6) Share the Impact of the GiftThank yous should be inspirational, giving donors a feeling of accomplishment. For thank yous sent immediately after a donation is given, remind the donor what’s planned for their gift. After the project or campaign is finished, share the results of how you used the gift. Although the work is never done, taking time to celebrate the impact that the donor’s gift made is motivational and may even result in another gift. Tell an impact story or include a testimonial from a community member.7) Say Thank You More Than OnceIt’s nearly impossible to say thank you too much. Donors will especially value thank yous sent on the anniversary of a large or first gift, on meaningful holidays, after a vital year-end campaign, and along with project updates.Thank yous are one of the most important communications your organization sends to donors. They can make donors feel a part of your team and part of the important work you’re accomplishing together. They can also inspire donors and motivate them to continue their support.Want more ideas on how to create meaningful thank yous? Read 10 Creative Ways to Thank Donors to learn what makes a thank you effective, what to avoid in a thank you, and when to say thank you.Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

Exploring Maternal and Child Health Among Sex Workers and Their Children

first_imgPosted on December 14, 2016January 6, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public 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)Last week, the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health welcomed Saki Onda to speak about a vulnerable, understudied population: female sex workers (FSWs) and their children. Much of the global health research and programming efforts thus far have focused primarily on the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV in particular, among this population. The HIV infection risk is approximately thirteen times higher among FSWs compared to the general population. A number of factors put sex workers at greater risk of contracting STIs, including a lack of access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and increased exposure to violence.The issue of maternal mortality and morbidity among FSWs has been widely neglected in the public health literature. Along with colleagues Brian Willis and Hanni Marie Stoklosa, Saki recently published an article in BMC Public Health titled, “Causes of maternal and child mortality among Cambodian sex workers and their children: A cross sectional study.” The researchers interviewed 271 FSWs in Cambodia to explore the causes of maternal and child deaths. This was the first study examining these outcomes among sex workers.The authors found distinct differences between the causes of maternal mortality among FSWs compared to non-FSWs: While postpartum hemorrhage and pre-eclampsia were the most common causes of maternal deaths in the general population, complications from abortion were the leading cause of maternal death among FSWs. The most common causes of death for children under 5 were HIV and infection among FSWs compared to prematurity and acute lower respiratory tract infections in the general population. While the results cannot be generalized because of the study design’s limitations, these preliminary findings warrant further investigation in different global settings using more robust methodology.The FSWs who participated in the study reported experiences of disrespect and abuse from healthcare workers. One woman in Paraguay explained, “The majority of sex workers do not want to go for antenatal care because doctors do not treat them well because they are sex workers.” A woman in Uganda told the researchers that a nurse once told her, “You prostitutes go aside and we will treat the respectable people.” Especially in settings where sex work is illegal, FSWs may fear seeking care and disclosing their occupation to providers.Given the vulnerability of FSWs and their children, increased global efforts to understand and address their sexual, reproductive and maternal health needs are critical. According to Saki, these efforts should involve a rights-based, evidence-informed approach, community engagement, comprehensive health services and a focus on ending stigma and discrimination.—Explore resources on maternal health, HIV and AIDS.Are you working on a project related to the health of female sex workers? Tell us about it!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Report Hyundai Heavys Union Considering Strike

first_imgzoom The labor union of South Korea’s shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) said that it would launch an industrial action as a response to the company’s plans to split its businesses, according to Yonhap News Agency.The union claims that the latest development in HHI’s plans to reorganize its businesses into six separate companies next year would lead to a sell-off.Namely, under the earlier announced plans, the businesses would be split into shipbuilding-offshore plant-vessel engines, electric and electronics, construction equipment, renewable energy, robotics, and services.Expected to be finalized by the first half of 2017, the move would be conducted as part of the shipbuilder’s self-rescue scheme as HHI aims to increase competitiveness and improve its financial status.After nine quarters of posting losses, Hyundai Heavy Industries returned to black in the first quarter of 2016 when it booked an operating profit of KRW 325.2 billion.The company managed to maintain its earnings streak in the third quarter of the year as it posted a net income of KRW 334.4 billion for the period, while its net income for the first nine months of 2016 jumped to KRW 971.1 billion, compared to a net loss of KRW 985.1 billion seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more