The Evolution of Infidelity

first_imgThe BBC News placed a sultry photo of a likely-undressed man and woman about to kiss alongside the headline of a story, “Genes may be to blame for infidelity.”  They report on the speculation by Tim Spector (Twin Research Unit, St. Thomas Hospital) that “if one of a pair of twins had a history of infidelity, the chances her sister would also stray were about 55%” instead of the estimated 23% of women who supposedly are not faithful (how this statistic was ascertained was not disclosed).He stressed that genes alone did not determine whether somebody was likely to be unfaithful – much was down to social factors.    But he said it made good sense in evolutionary terms to get a good mix of genes – and for women to chose a better option if one came along.    However, he stopped short of concluding that there is an infidelity gene.     He said: “There is unlikely to be a single gene for anything like this.  But there are likely to be genes that participate in it, a number of genes working together, it might be things like risk taking or those associated with personality.”A social psychologist is quoted denying that the behavior is genetically based, but more likely based on imitation of the parent.Notice the moral schizophrenia in this story even if you accept the premise.  Alongside the strictly naturalistic explanation for immorality are the words infidelity and unfaithfulness, and the word good, all words loaded with moral connotations.  But if unfaithfulness evolved as a sexual selection strategy, if it “makes good sense in evolutionary terms,” who is to call it unfaithful?  It is certainly faithful to the only one who matters in Darwin’s universe: me, myself, I.  So yes, selfishness makes perfect sense in a selfish universe, because selfishness is the highest good.    Do you see, dear reader, how destructive evolutionary thinking can be in the most intimate matters of the heart?  This article essentially encourages the cheater, saying, “You can’t help it; you are doing just what your genes lead you to do.  In fact, what you are doing makes perfect evolutionary sense and is actually a good thing for #1.” Notice that fellow evolutionists rarely condemn this kind of nonsense.  If they disagree with it, they usually just replace one evolutionary just-so story with another.  None dare call it immoral, even when it involves crime (see 07/18/2003 headline about the evolution of rape).  Michael Ruse once rationalized the genocide in Nazi Germany in evolutionary terms, refusing to call it evil, but instead claiming that such societies are usually “unstable.”  That means that, conceivably, if it were stable, it would make perfect evolutionary sense.  Democracy, on the contrary, is not stable either; “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  So is the Bill of Rights doomed to failure, because it counters the evolutionary pressure of natural selection?  Is that why so many Darwinians in elite universities are Marxists?  Let’s conduct a survey of how many evolutionists cheat on their spouses, to make sure they are not just promoting Darwinism as a pseudoscientific rationalization for their behavior.    So, Mr. Spector, you’ve told us a nice little story about how cheating makes perfect evolutionary sense.  Now tell us about the evolution of broken homes, devastated children and heartbroken spouses.  This evolutionary tale is not just dumb, it’s evil.  Maybe that’s why the British pronounce it evil-you-tion.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Zuma to take up issues with Mugabe

first_img5 August 2009South African President Jacob Zuma indicated on Monday that he would be contacting Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to discuss tensions in that country’s unity government, following a meeting with Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.“Given this situation, I will be contacting President Robert Mugabe on the matters raised by Tsvangirai,” Zuma told reporters in Johannesburg after meeting with Tsvangirai.Zuma said he would also contact other Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders to “brief them on how we can continue working together to make quick progress in Zimbabwe.”Tsvangirai told reporters that it was “five months since the formation of the unity government, so I was updating Zuma, as the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community, on the progress and areas of slow progress.”Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change claims there has been a recent crackdown on its members.While the issues that Zuma and Tsvangirai discussed were not mentioned, Tsvangirai said he was pleased by Zuma’s willingness to intervene.Zuma said he was confident that agreement on outstanding issues would be reached, adding that former president Thabo Mbeki, who mediated the agreement of the unity government, had also been briefed on the situation via a letter.Zuma said the problems in neighbouring Zimbabwe were “weighty”, but could be resolved. Tsvangirai had “indicated few deadlocks that we still need to look at, but I am confident that they will be sorted out.”The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has claimed a recent crackdown on its members, following the arrests of several lawmakers which it says are aimed at robbing the party of its slim parliamentary majority.Key appointments, including the appointment of Zimbabwe’s central bank chief and attorney-general, have been referred to the SADC for regional mediation.Tsvangirai is frustrated by the lack of progress in resolving the thorniest issues in the agreement, after Mugabe apparently refused to budge on his re-appointment of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank governor and Johannes Tomana as attorney-general.The MDC also says scores of party legislators, students, activists, lawyers and ordinary party members have been arrested or are missing, while there reports that farm invasions are continuing in the country.The MDC holds a slim majority in Zimbabwe’s parliament, but some MDC members of parliament are awaiting trial or have been convicted of political crimes and have been suspended from parliament. The MDC says the claims against its members are politically motivated.The MDC joined Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party in a fragile coalition government set up in February, nearly a year after disputed elections, in an agreement brokered by the SADC.The unity government was created to end the violence that erupted after disputed election results led to a political deadlock, crippling the country’s economy and prompting millions of Zimbabweans to flee into South Africa.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

South Africa continues to create jobs

first_img13 March 2012 After rising by 5.0 percent in January, employment in South Africa registered an annualised growth rate of 1.5 percent in February, according to the latest Adcorp Employment Index, released on Monday. The index is regarded as the most representative barometer of employment trends in South Africa. During the month, the economy created 24 000 jobs, slowing from the 80 000 jobs created in January. Most of the jobs were created in the informal sector, about 22 000 or 91.7 percent of the total, Adcorp reported. In the formal sector, employment growth was strongest in the manufacturing sector, with 5.3 percent, the construction sector, with 4.7 percent, and the wholesale and retail trade, with 3.5 percent. This was the first time in more than 12 months that job growth in the production-oriented sectors exceeded job growth in the consumption-oriented sectors. Mining employment, however, continued to shrink, with a loss of 3 000 jobs in February. High-skilled employment – that of senior managers and professions – reported the strongest growth in terms of occupational categories.It grew 5.3 percent, whereas low-skilled employment, trades and elementary workers, reported the steepest decline. It registered -1.3 percent. About 68 percent of all South African workers were employed by small businesses employing fewer than 50 people. Against this backdrop, 440 000 small business closures were observed over the past five years, according to Adcorp, while the number of new business start-ups had fallen to an all-time low. Adcorp noted that the small business sector was the most important originator of jobs in SA.Sapalast_img read more

South Africa, India ties ‘bearing fruit’

first_img20 March 2012 South Africa’s relations with India continue to yield positive results, SA High Commissioner to India Harris Majeke told a business seminar hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Chennai, India on Monday. The five-day seminar, part of and international Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI) led by Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, kicked off on Monday and ends in Mumbai on Friday. “This gathering serves to reinforce the longstanding friendship that both India and South Africa have shared since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1993,” Majeke said. Billions in trade, investment “We have been able to build quite a diversified economic and political framework, with bilateral trade between our countries growing from US$4-billion to $11.1-billion over the 2005 to 2011 period.” Majeke said India ranked among the top 10 investing countries in South Africa, with investments estimated at over $6-billion to date. South Africa’s investments into India have also been growing steadily, with investment now amounting to $250-million. Majeke said initiatives that were being undertaken to step trade and investment up further. These included the establishment of an India-South Africa joint ministerial commission, the India-South Africa CEOs Forum, and the signing of trade and various other agreements. South Africa and India also cooperate on defence matters and small enterprise development.SA, Indian business delegations “We are also in the process of negotiating a preferential trade agreement between our countries,” Majeke said. “This will further accelerate trade flows, and extend the range of traded goods, which will deepen the mutually beneficial trade and investment ties between our developing countries of the South,” he said. The seminar is being attended by over 100 South African and Indian businessmen and women. Sibongile Sambo, managing director of SRS Aviation and part of the 45-member South African delegation attending the seminar, said she had already managed to negotiate a potential deal with an Indian aviation company this week. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Rain or Shine banks on Cruz, deals Star its 1st loss

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Read Next Cruz came off the bench and fired 18 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the win.Rain or Shine, though, had to gut it out in the end as the pesky Star refused to die late, trimming what was once an 11-point lead, 88-77, in the final 1:29, to as low as five, 92-87, after an Allein Maliksi floater with nine seconds left.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 shutoutCruz had a chance to seal the game shut in the end, but uncharacteristically muffed both freebies and even fouled Malcolm Hill with four ticks remaining.Luckily for the Elasto Painters, Hill could only muster a split as Gabe Norwood secured the rebound to end the game. View comments J’Nathan Bullock also poured 18 markers, 11 boards, five assists, and two blocks as his side remained unbeaten since his entry for first-choice import JD Weatherspoon.Fresh from their stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup, Norwood contributed 15 points, 11 rebounds, and four dimes, while Raymond Almazan had 13 markers and 14 boards in the victory.“Finally, we were able to beat Star this season. I thought we’ll never win against them (this season),” said coach Caloy Garcia, as his side rose to a 4-2 record. “It’s all defense. It started in the first half, the energy was there, the effort was there. I just told the players that when they’re inside the game, what I look is more efficiency than you being tired. Everybody who played today came out strong.”From a 28-all deadlock, Rain or Shine unfurled a 24-4 tear abridging the second and third quarters to erect a 52-32 edge at the 7:31 mark of the third period.However, the trio of Hill, Paul Lee, and Ian Sangalang brought the team back to as close as three, 75-72 with 5:23 remaining before Cruz went on a tear of his own for the Elasto Painters late.ADVERTISEMENT “We’ve been playing a lot better,” noted Garcia. “I told the players since we made the trades that we became the number one defensive team based on the stats. I think it’s about defense, the effort is there. When we play good defense, our offense comes. But we still have lapses during the game.Hill topped Star with 26 points, 20 rebounds, and three assists, while Lee got 17 markers, seven boards, and three dimes.The Hotshots saw their four-game winning run halted as they drop to a 4-1 slate.The Scores:RAIN OR SHINE 92 – Bullock 18, Cruz 18, Norwood 15, Almazan 13, Ahanmisi 10, Matias 5, Borboran 5, Daquioag 5, Tiu 3, Ponferrada 0, Yap 0, Maiquez 0, Trollano 0.STAR 88 – Hill 26, Lee 17, Sangalang 11, Maliksi 10, Jalalon 8, Barroca 4, Ramos 4, Simon 3, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Brondial 0, Pingris 0, Dela Rosa 0.Quarters: 15-15, 41-30, 68-56, 92-88. Martinez bags silver, Perticheto wins bronze in figure skating Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters 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 Jericho Cruz. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netJericho Cruz took charge late for Rain or Shine as it dealt Star its first loss with a 92-88 squeaker in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The energetic guard fired 10 of the Elasto Painters’ final 17 points as they doused the Hotshots’ rally in the fourth quarter and stretch their winning run to three.ADVERTISEMENT UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensionlast_img read more

Tabora hopes to help bring back interest in bowling with PSA recognition

first_imgRead Next READ: Krizziah Tabora wins 53rd Bowling World CupThough Tabora can be seen as this era’s torchbearer, she knows that one victory won’t be enough to cement her legacy. So she remains hungry to continue representing the Philippines in every tournament she joins in, including the Asian Games in August in Indonesia.“We’re preparing for that,” said Tabora, who is aiming to bounce back from her forgettable run in the 2017 World Bowling Championships last December.“There’s always going to be pressure, especially after I won in the Bowling World Cup. I admit that I was pressured in the World Championships and that’s why I wasn’t able to perform. But we’re preparing for the next challenges,” she said. “In bowling, you can’t say who will perform well in any tournament. It’s really unpredictable, so you have to be prepared.”ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Ancajas: Next Manny Pacquiao hasn’t been born yet John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 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 Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City AFP official booed out of forum LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexicocenter_img Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa LATEST STORIES Krizziah Lyn Tabora is nothing but grateful for all the accolades coming her way after winning the women’s championship in the 2017 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.“Until now, I can’t believe that I’m one of the awardees. I thought after the World Cup, that’s already the best award I could get, but I’m surprised that I got a prestigious award like this,” she said after being recognized as one of the three Athletes of the Year in the SMC-Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards night on Tuesday.ADVERTISEMENT READ: A night of sports heroesKrizziah Tabora. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netTabora was only the sixth bowler to be bestowed the honor following legends like Paeng Nepomuceno, Bong Coo, Ariane Cerdena, CJ Suarez, and Biboy Rivera, and the first since Rivera in 2010.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 26-year-old believes that this distinction could help her bring the public’s interest back to the sport of bowling.“This honor is big not just for me, but for Philippine bowling as well. We’re putting bowling back to the people’s consciousness because of my win and I hope we could continue growing because of all of these,” she said. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_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

Over 28,000 Deaths in the First Day of Life in Bangladesh Reminds the Urgency of MNH Services Integration

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 6, 2014June 23, 2017By: Mohammod Shahidullah, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neonatology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical UniversityClick 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 Maternal and Newborn Integration Blog Series, which shares themes of and reactions to the “Integration of Maternal and Newborn Health: In Pursuit of Quality” technical meetingA new mother and her six-day-old baby receive a postnatal check up at the new government clinic in Badulpur, Habijganj, Bangladesh. Photo: CJ Clarke/Save the ChildrenThe continuum of care has become a rallying call to reduce the maternal deaths, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, and child deaths. Continuity of care is necessary throughout the lifecycle (adolescence, pregnancy, childbirth, the postnatal period, and childhood) and also between places of caregiving (including households and communities, outpatient and outreach services, and clinical-care settings). Within the continuum, all women should have access to care during pregnancy and childbirth, and all babies should be able to grow into children who survive and thrive.Unfortunately in the modern era of medical science, the program efforts addressing the health of mothers and newborns are often planned, managed, and delivered separately; though, from a biological perspective, maternal and newborn health are intimately linked.Integration of maternal and newborn health is an important approach to avoid separation between a mother and her newborn baby, places of service delivery, or at any event of health services. A persistent divide between training, programs, service delivery, monitoring, and quality improvement systems on maternal and newborn health limits effectiveness to improve outcomes. But it is evident that at the public health level, even with scarce human and financial resources, integrated service packages can maximize the efficiency for health services.In the last two decades Bangladesh has demonstrated extraordinary progress in reducing maternal and child deaths, but unfortunately, newborn mortality declined in a much slower pace and reduction of stillbirths was not even on the agenda. Fortunately, the country recently prioritized newborn survival and incorporated some priority interventions to reduce neonatal death. Improved delivery care services became one of the key strategies for improving child survival in addition to overall development of the health service delivery system.The following newborn-specific interventions are prioritized to achieve the commitment of ending preventable child deaths by 2035:Ensure essential newborn care, including neonatal resuscitation and application of chlorhexidine in the umbilical cordIntroduce and promote kangaroo mother care (KMC) for premature and low birth weight infantsEnsure proper management of newborn infection with antibiotics at the primary care levelsEstablish specialized newborn care unit at the sub-district and district levelEnsuring delivery by skilled birth attendants at the community levels and establishing an effective referral linkage to ensure continuum of care from community clinics to the sub-district, district and higher level hospitals—which can provide round the clock emergency obstetric and newborn care—are actions incorporated in the declaration. These give a clear indication of the government vision on integrated approaches to improve maternal and newborn health.Intra-partum complication, prematurity-related complications and newborn sepsis are the major causes of newborn death is Bangladesh. Without integration of maternal and newborn health we cannot reduce mortality especially due to the fact that intra-partum complications and prematurity-related complications together cause 67% of all newborn deaths in the country. Bangladesh recently scaled up the Helping Babies Breathe initiative and that is a unique example of integration of maternal and newborn health.Every year in the first day of life, 28,100 newborns of Bangladesh die indicating the importance of integration of maternal and newborn services in pursuit of quality of care.This post originally appeared on the Healthy Newborn Network Blog and has been lightly edited.Share this:last_img read more

How to Train Providers Where Maternal Mortality is Highest

first_imgPosted on February 13, 2015October 28, 2016By: Atziri Ramírez Negrin, Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and ResearchClick 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)In Mexico, maternal mortality continues to be a public health problem. Throughout the country, the burden of maternal mortality varies greatly between different locations. The three states with the highest maternal mortality ratio are Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas. The main causes of maternal mortality continue to be hypertensive pregnancy disorders and postpartum haemorrhage.Medical interns practice management of postpartum hemorrhageIn order to help meet the needs of these underserved and high-burdened states, newly graduated medical students are required to oversee a low-income community for an internship year after completing medical school. However, this means that the most inexperienced clinicians are caring for the most vulnerable with restricted access to other medical assistance.Based on these worrisome facts, the director of community service at the National University and I decided to organize a three-day course covering pre-eclampsia and postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) for the soon-to-be doctors of the most affected areas in Mexico. We hosted 160 students, which was a big challenge, but an encouraging one.The first day a very important question was posed to the medical students: “How many of you have seen a woman die from postpartum haemorrhage?” The answer was shocking: half of the medical students had witnessed a maternal death caused by PPH during their short practice.The students were trained using both e-learning modules and hands-on experience. The PPH and pre-eclampsia/eclampsia e-learning modules were created by the Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute and Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER). The three hands-on PPH simulations were key to solidifying knowledge presented in the e-learning modules.At the first station, students practiced risk factor assessments and bleeding measurement. A series of clinical cases were posed where risk factors were reviewed. Also, students were handed gauzes and compresses soaked in red liquid to practice assessing what different quantities of blood looked like.At the second station, students learned how to build a low cost balloon for uterine tamponade with condoms and Foley catheters. They then practiced inserting the balloon in a pelvis model to treat simulated PPH.At the last station, participants were faced with a delivery patient model where they assisted a delivery, practiced shoulder dystocia maneuvers, implemented the active management of the third stage of labour and followed a PPH protocol, which included pharmacological strategies.Students were asked if they considered the training course interesting and useful and the answer was an overwhelming, yes! Ninety six percent considered it very useful and interesting. One of the most curious comments during the feedback was that although students considered the training adequate for their skill level, 50% thought it should have been given much earlier, since the skills were needed for many cases during medical school.Overall the course participants and staff had a great time. Hopefully this will become a routine course every year and perhaps available to all medical school students before they finish their career!Any comments or suggestions, please feel free to e-mail the author at:atziriok@yahoo.comShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

3 Reasons Your Grantmaking Strategy May Not Be Working

first_imgPictured Here: Central Alabama Community Foundation – what they’re doing is working.It’s understandable. Programs, not payroll nor paperclips, create excitement and enthusiasm among your board, grant committee, and community when it comes to awarding grants. However, if you are in the philanthropy business, you are in the capacity-building business. We can’t create the type of long-term, lasting change we seek without strong organizations. As grantmakers, we’re dependent on nonprofit leaders that can sustain and scale their impact without applying for more grant dollars.To borrow an example from our for-profit friends, have you ever seen the show “Shark Tank” on ABC?If so, you know that the first questions asked after the entrepreneur’s pitch will be, “What are your sales for the last year?” and “How much do you plan to sell this year?”The sharks dig into the company’s ability to effectively market, sell and scale their product, before digging into its competitive advantages or how it’s manufactured.The sharks know that investing in sales and marketing isn’t a separate strategy. It’s an integral part of their investment strategy. More precisely, it’s the path to their return.I have never met an investor that restricts their funds from sales and marketing. That would be foolish. Investors (funders) depend on a company’s revenue growth, increased profits and sales multipliers to create a return on their investment (impact).In the same way, nonprofit capacity and sustainability are not separate or standalone strategies. They are critical components of all grants and to ensuring our philanthropy creates long-term, lasting impact.Yet, we reverse this order all the time. We ask the nonprofit about its programs, outcomes, and impact, and then maybe (not always) we’ll dive into a sustainability plan.Now, you may be thinking, why don’t we just fund sustainable nonprofits and stop this article here? We can just reject nonprofits that need to build their capacity, right?Well, we wouldn’t have many eligible applicants. According to Network for Good’s 2017 research across 10,000 nonprofits, the overwhelming majority heavily relied on single‐source funding.A startling 78 percent of nonprofits applying for grants have no written or specific fundraising plan to sustain their program, after the grant period (on the other hand, 85 percent view their funders as credible, go-to sources for technical fundraising assistance). Further, according to a new report released by GuideStar, approximately 50 percent of U.S. nonprofits are operating with less than one month’s cash reserves.Therefore, if we want to create long-term change and lasting good, we must stop referring to the capacity building as a standalone strategy. We must view it as part of a comprehensive, holistic strategy – as being implemented by the Central Alabama Community Foundation.[CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO]Nonprofits Must Respond to Emerging Needs, Not Live by ContractsDo you believe the environmental challenges we face today are the same as 50 years ago? Do you believe child development and education is unaffected by the growth in social media?As our communities’ complex challenges evolve, we must ensure that the nonprofits we fund have the resources they need to stay nimble and responsive.Nonprofit leaders operating with razor-thin margins, no process to measure success or retain talent will be caught flat-footed during times of emerging needs or a shifting landscape.So, practically speaking, what can you do?As part of The Walton Family Foundation’s Environment Grant reports, nonprofits are asked, “What notable obstacles did you face during this grant period?” as well as, “What changes to the project were made?”The program staff is interested in knowing how work plans, staffing, and timelines may shift throughout the grant period. This enables them to coach the grantee on navigating unforeseen challenges, re-allocating funds from the original proposal or calling in additional support, instead of using the report to rigidly enforce grant contracts.What would happen if you asked your grantees these questions in your reports?Short-Term Strategies Don’t Fix Long-Term ChallengesDo you believe that racism has been wholly eradicated? Do you feel all Americans have affordable health care? No, of course not. These issues are multifaceted and will, undoubtedly, continue to evolve in the foreseeable future.If we wish to confront longstanding issues plaguing our communities, grant strategies must be designed with the long-term in mind. However, grant funding is inherently short-term in nature (do you know any funders that make 10-year commitments through an annual grant cycle?).Yet, how often do we measure outcomes created 10 years after the grant period ends? Do we know if those dollars are creating the same impact today? Has the program declined?Hopefully not.Shifting to multi-year commitments is not sufficient. We must ensure with greater certainty that our grantees have the capacity to self-fund their programs, long after the grant period.So, practically speaking, what can you do?The YouthBridge Community Foundation is an emergent, three-staff member foundation in St. Louis, Mo. The foundation’s CEO, Michael Howard, regularly educates YouthBridge donors and donor-advised fundholders on how to make gift decisions with the long-term in mind.“You’ve proven your commitment to lasting good and meaningful change,” was the headline phrase from a recent newsletter, educating stakeholders on why the foundation is building the capacity of local nonprofits. This education is enabling YouthBridge to increase their investment in the fundraising capacity of nonprofits serving children and youth in the St. Louis area.Do your board members and donors understand the importance of nonprofit sustainability? How might you educate them in your next communication?Community Needs Outweigh Grantmaking BudgetsWill you be able to fund 100 percent of the letters of inquiry or grant applications you receive this year?Most likely not.This is where we derive the phrase, “competitive grantmaking.” Grantmaking is competitive because needs (generally) always outweigh grant dollars available.Because grantmaking is a zero-sum game (a dollar here can’t be invested there) we need to measure the “impact-per-dollar” of each grant. We must ask ourselves, “Will we create more outcomes if we invest a dollar into this program or that one?”To expand this metric with confidence, grantmakers should pair grant dollars with an investment in an organization’s fundraising capacity. Network for Good has found that, on average, every $1 invested into a nonprofit’s fundraising capacity produces $10 in the program or general operating funding. These are dollars that can be used to amplify and expand the nonprofit’s impact—without tying up additional grant dollars from the funder.So, practically speaking, what can you do?The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation recently revamped its annual grants process to provide community impact staff with greater depth and insight into the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses.During this process, nonprofits are asked to express any concerns about their ability to financially sustain their programs, and some even take a comprehensive assessment. For a group that identifies fundraising as a core challenge, a micro-grant for fundraising services is bundled into their award, ensuring that the organization not only diversifies revenue but also increases the impact of each grant dollar over time.Have you considered bundling a micro-grant for fundraising capacity alongside a restricted or program grant? Could you pilot this concept with a handful of your grantees?Please comment.  We would like to hear from you.last_img read more