The sound of the genuine

first_imgWe all know it when we hear it — the sound of the genuine. We hear it less and less these days, because marketing, politics and interpersonal communication often lacks honesty and authenticity. Stephen Colbert captured the erosion of genuine with the word “truthiness.” Here’s what he says in a new Rolling Stone interview by Maureen Dowd:“I’m not a fan of facts,” he boasts. “Facts can change all the time, but my opinion will never change.” Truthiness, a word he made up just before going on air, has been hailed by New York magazine as “the summarizing concept of our age.”Yep, it’s house of mirrors out there. I only feel worse after spending an afternoon at SeaWorld with my children. A lovely day and a great park, really, until we saw the Shamu show, which was themed “believe” with 20 minutes of video and speeches by the trainers filled with vapid platitudes about believing in anything/everything and an Anheuser-Busch salute to troops which had way too much beer logo to be authentic. My seven-year-old saw right through it in five minutes. She actually was laughing by the end. I could hardly glimpse Shamu amid all the truthiness.Fortunately, I spent the morning here in Orlando leading a session at the Multiple Sclerosis Society national meeting and the honest, transparent and effective marketers there made me so inspired that even the saccharine-coated insincerity at the Shamu show couldn’t undo my faith in authenticity.This is one place where we can and should claim our superiority as marketers: being genuine about our genuinely good causes.I will leave my last thoughts on the topic to Diva Marketer Toby Bloomberg, who hit the nail on the head with her blog post this week:Authenticity is difficult to mask… Meeting-up offline is one more reason for bloggers to stay true to the Blog Mantra of Honesty, Transparency, Authenticity and of course Passion. Honesty, Transparency, Authenticity are the building blocks of establishing trust. Sure is difficult to do business without it – online or off.last_img read more

Personalizing your fundraising outreach

first_imgOne of the best bloggers I know, Jeff Brooks of Donor Power, had some interesting data to share about his efforts to personalize newsletters. I’d proposed that nonprofits write their newsletters specifically for the donor — for example, naming the newsletter “How Katya Has Helped X Organization.” He hasn’t done the title like that before, but he has personalized by name in a number of ways, including in headlines (two steps ahead of moi, naturally). Here’s what he says:*The personalized newsletter didn’t do much for the large nonprofit he tried it with. Results were slightly elevated over normal results, but not enough to cover the extra cost.*The approach seems to work better for smaller and localized organizations.*The approach works wonders for urban rescue missions. Jeff has also experimented with a newsletter for high-dollar donors that not only used the donor name, but also gave different content (stories and photos) based on the donor preferences and giving history. The impact on revenue was very good, but the costs were high. The program was very time-consuming to manage, though.I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that personalization is important even if you can’t pull off naming the newsletter after the donor. Think of your donors as people, not ATMs, and write about what THEY care about. It’s not about your programs, it’s about the difference your donors made. Remember, they want to feel important. That’s the kind of personalization we can’t do without. And if you’re an urban rescue mission, try putting the donor’s name in the e-Newsletter title!last_img read more

Are you a social capitalist? Tell Fast Company.

first_imgMy colleagues over at Fast Company asked me to share this announcement:Announcing the 5th annual Fast Company/Monitor Group Social Capitalist Awards—recognizing the top social entrepreneurs in America. Nominate yourself or a deserving organization by June 4 here! (www.fastcompany.com/socap). New this year: awards for for-profit enterprises as well as not-for-profits. For more information, email Keith Hammonds at khammonds@fastcompany.com.There are a lot of smart readers on the blog, I hope some of you will enter.last_img

10 things to engage constituents online

first_imgAt yesterday’s AMA Foundation Conference, I had an excellent time presenting with three very smart people on the above topic. They were Jonathon D. Colman of The Nature Conservancy, Jacob Colie of Mercy Corps and Arlin Wasserman of America on the Move. Here were the 10 things we said were vital:1. Do cross channel promotion (Jacob). In the mail, email your donors before they receive postal mail appeals. On the phone, give your donors the option to give online. Send email to your best offline donors. Make the pieces work together.2. Make marketing a conversation (Katya). Make sure all your online outreach and presences enable two-way conversation with your supporters, fans and non-fans.3. Be accessible, easy, encouraging and intimate (Arlin). Check out how well America on the Move does this on their site.4. Show accountability (Jacob). Make it clear where they money goes!5. Make it easy for people to find you (Jonathon). Optimize your search engine marketing. Start by getting as many high-quality links to your site as possible – and link out to other good sites.6. Segment your way to success (Jonathan and Jacob). Talk with supporters differently, depending on who they are, how they give, the ways in which they support you, etc.7. Test, test, test (Jonathon). Never do one version of any appeal or newsletter. Test different versions so you can learn and improve all the time.8. Make your supporters your messengers (Katya). Ask your supporters to spread the word among their friends and family.9. Offer recurring giving (Jacob). Mercy Corps does an amazing job of “supersizing” their donors into monthly gifts.10. Don’t only ask. Thank and inspire too (Katya and Arlin). Show people the difference they are making.Thank you to all who listened to us, and thank YOU for reading this blog.last_img read more

Top Five Nonprofit Website Mistakes

first_imgHere are the five deadly sins we commit:1. TOO EGOTISTICAL: The home page is too often simply an About Us page. It should not be an electronic brochure with your mission statement. It should speak to the user’s values, interests and desires. It’s not “about us,” it’s “about them.”2. TOO MEEK: There is often no clear call to action on nonprofit pages. Grab a friend or relative, sit them down in front of your website home page, and count how many seconds it takes them to find and click on your Donate button or find another way to do something. If it takes them more than two seconds, you need to place your button in a far more prominent position. Make it central to the page. Make sure it is above the fold. Make it big. Make it colorful. Make it impossible to miss. 2. TOO LAID-BACK: Too often, there’s no reason to act no – as opposed to later, or never. You want to inspire someone to act right now, but that can be hard to do if there’s not an urgent crisis to address. Create a sense of urgency for donating by creating a campaign with a goal and deadline, matching grant, or appeal for specific items or programs that are highly tangible. 4. TOO DODGY: People want to know where their resources will go if you support them. You must inspire trust. Where will the money go? What impact will result? What lives will be saved, what credible goal will be achieved?5. TOO SHORT-SIGHTED: You need a lead generator. Recognize that getting clicks requires cultivation. While you want someone to take action right away, it’s important to remember that it takes time to cultivate people. Be sure your website includes a way to capture the email addresses of visitors so that you can build a relationship with visitors and turn them into donors in the future. A newsletter is not very exciting; give people a more compelling reason to surrender their email addresses.last_img read more

2007 Nonprofit Marketing Survey Findings

first_img55% percent of participating communicators cited lack of resources and leadership support as the greatest barriers to marketing success. 32% cited lack of clarity in messaging and marketing agenda. 52% are frustrated at not meeting fundraising, media coverage or other marketing goals. Targeting campaigns to specific audience segments More audience research to track ROI and impactTraining colleagues, volunteers and board members on marketing plans and messages Better integrating now confusing silos of communications – so that general program and organizational marketing is coordinated with fundraising, membership and volunteer communications. Experimenting with Web 2.0 social networking channels to find out what works, and what doesn’t Results from the 2007 Getting Attention Nonprofit Marketing Survey highlighted this striking gap – while more than 55% of nonprofits are frustrated by lack of resources and leadership support for marketing, only 37% do the tracking that generates increased budgets and confidence. Or, as fundraiser/blogger Jeff Brooks, puts it “63% of nonprofits intend to fail.” My recommendation for your organization is to harvest the low-hanging fruit — the tracking data that’s inexpensive and easy to get and understand. And that’s what’s called analytics for your Web site, blogs, e-newsletters and mobile phone campaigns. Here are some of the rest of the findings from the survey: Over 60% of you don’t evaluate the impact of your communications work, so you have no idea what’s working and what’s not, or how to target your resources. Evaluation – which is challenging and limited in terms of branding and building awareness but easily executed for motivating action (giving, advocating, volunteering, requesting more information) is just as crucial as getting your campaigns out there. Strategies range from the purely qualitative – such as a communications audit and audience research via focus groups – to the quantitative such as counts of unique visitors to Web page A versus page B, or advocates who emailed their representatives in response to e-campaign A vs. e-campaign B. Without it, you’re basically throwing your marketing resources into thin air. So build evaluation into every marketing budget and job description. Most 2007 Marketing Agendas Focus on these 5 Opportunities: Over 50% of nonprofit communicators are focused on two or more of the following initiatives this year: 2006 Marketing Successes Many and Varied – from Surpassing Fundraising Goals and Gaining Leadership Buy-In to Consistent, Pithy Messaging 95% of respondents had one or more significant success to report. Almost 80% cited three or more significant marketing successes. Examples include: Launching a blog, developing, and using, a communication calendar, attracting some new and engaged board members, creating new earned income streams, placing high-profile op-eds and garnering colleagues’ trust. These are just a very few of the hundreds of marketing successes cited by survey respondents. They show me how many ways its possible to increase the impact of your nonprofit’s marketing, even without an increase in resources. Nonprofit Marketers Want to Hurdle these Barriers Faced in 2006 Single-Pointed Focus on Strengthening Ties with Target Audiences, but few Innovative Ideas for Doing So – Get Cracking on Scouring the Marketing Landscape Over 35% of the nearly 400 survey respondents cite strengthening relationships with target audiences as a top priority. But few have strategies in mind to make it happen. Remember, strategies don’t just come to you. You have to invent or discover them. I urge you to start (and keep) scouring the for-profit (and nonprofit) marketing landscapes for best practices, and the wider world for jumping off points for messaging, and trends critical to the issues your organization covers. Sources: http://www.gettingattention.org/my_weblog/2007/05/2007_nonprofit_.html and http://www.nancyschwartz.com/2007_nonprofit_marketing_survey.html About the Author Nancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications. As President of Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/), Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, and Wake County (NC) Health Services. Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention”, (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/getting_attention.html) and read her blog at http://www.gettingattention.org/ for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves. NOTE: You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the copyright and “about the author” info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint.last_img read more

Choosing the Right Email Service Provider for Your Nonprofit

first_imgEmail Service Providers (ESPs) can be absolutely critical in your nonprofit’s online marketing, communications and fundraising success. There are upwards of 40 ESPs out there. They range from basic and cheap to sophisticated and some of them provide additional services such as donation systems. You have to look at what’s out there, compare options and make an educated decision; rather than just choosing blindly and assuming all ESPs are created equally. Try to talk with others who may have used a specific ESP before and get some customer perspective. Find out the answers to these questions to help guide you in the decision making process:Can the ESP integrate original HTML easily? Do they provide templates and if they do, can you use your own, or are you forced to use theirs?What do they count and which statistics do they keep track of? (Deliveries, opens, reads, click-throughs, click-throughs on specific links, etc.) Make sure they can provide all of the data that you need to accurately gauge your results.Can they segment your list? Segment by multiple variables? Whatever your individual needs are, segmenting is important, whether it be by zip code, recent activity, interests or anything else.What are their timed autoresponse tools? When somebody signs up for your list, do they instantly get a reply or confirmation? Can that be delayed, to create a second time they come into contact with your organization?Do they provide unique IP addresses? Unique IPs affect deliverability.And finally, what is their pricing? Different ESPs set their prices in different ways. Some by the number of email addresses in your list and some by how many total emails you send out per month. The size of emails could change costs as can, of course, the total amount of services and complexity of the ESP itself. The difference in pricing can be vast, so do your research and find something that suits both your needs and your budgetary restraints.Learn more about Network for Good’s EmailNow Service and see if it’s right for you. Source: Adapted by Jake Emen from Marc Lee’s Nonprofit 911 Presentation “Email Fundraising on a Tight Budget”last_img read more

Emaily Post’s Guide to Online Decorum

first_imgSometimes email isn’t enough. Email is an excellent medium to maintain contact with college buddies scattered across the country, busy board members, in-laws, and online advocates. But even the most vivid and eloquent email communications are not a substitute for an old-fashioned phone call or (gasp) in-person meeting.Look for opportunities to connect with online supporters. Invite your e-advocates to attend a press conference or volunteer at an event. They will appreciate being asked, even if they cannot make it, and those who do show up will be that much more committed to your cause. To ensure a better turnout, ask for RSVPs, thank the signups, and send them a reminder message. Lastly, make sure that it is easy for participants to get to the location (don’t you just love it when your friends include a Googlemap link?).Source: http://www.mrss.com/news/Emaily-Post-s-Guide-to-Online-Decorum.pdf “Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them;” – Emily PostWhile Ms. Post’s advice about the appropriate dress for a butler in a well-appointed house and the rules of conduct for a debutante are hopelessly outdated, good manners still count. Without a doubt, email is an efficient and cost-effective way to build and maintain relationships, whether with your organization’s supporters or with your own nearest and dearest. But those relationships will be stronger and healthier if you heed the do’s and don’ts of polite email society – they’re simple and apply in equal measure to both groups.Out of inbox, out of mind? Gaps in communication for prolonged periods are a sure way to let a relationship fizzle out. Email lists that have been left idle for extended periods of time tend to have lower response rates (I don’t recommend testing this!). Unless you are actually trying to ditch a wearisome ex, it’s best to maintain regular contact with your supporters, just as you would with friends or family, even if that requires some creativity and legwork when the content is not abundant. But be sure to maintain integrity – always instill your messages with some value because… …no one likes a town crier. Do you know someone who forwards emails indiscriminately? Be it a CNN news alert (that you receive yourself, thank you very much), a chain letter promising good fortune to those who pass it on to seven spirited women, or a cartoon featuring singing Matzo Men, these e-town criers want to be the first to spread the news.Organizations, too, have been guilty of blasting out messages that most recipients don’t care to receive. This kind of behavior is a nuisance. Before hitting the send button, think carefully about whether the message merits the time your recipients will take out of their busy lives to read it.Keep it simple. It is important to keep your messages simple and clear. No legalese, no insider jargon, no buzzwords, and no policy wonk language, please! Words like “churlishness” and “pernicious” belong on GMAT study guide, not in email communications. No one wants to read an email about “H.R. 4526 bill to extend the discretionary spending limits through fiscal year 2011, referred to the Committee on the Budget, and in addition to the Committee on Rules for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.” Rule of thumb – write the email to your supporters as if you were writing it to your mom.last_img read more

What is the average size for a board of directors?

first_imgAccording to the BoardSource governance survey, the average size of a board is 17 members, the median being 15. Organizations with larger budgets tend to have larger boards. It is always good to remember: Average figures only reflect the reality, not a recommended norm.In most states, the laws dictate the minimum size for nonprofit boards. Usually three is the minimum, but in some states only one or two board members are required. Equally, it is good to remember that laws regulate the minimal legal requirements, not what your optimal goal should be.When determining the size of your board, start by thinking about what your board needs to accomplish. Optimal board size may vary according to the stage in the board’s lifecycle, its mission, its fundraising necessities, and whether it is a national or a local board.ReferencesBoardSource, BoardSource Governance Index Survey 2004 (BoardSource 2004).Robert C. Andringa and Ted W. Engstrom, Nonprofit Board Answer Book (BoardSource 2001).last_img read more

Who and why before how

first_imgWhen I’m asked about whether I think a marketing campaign is good, I always ask:Who was the audience and what action was the campaign seeking to effect?These are good questions to ask yourself before you launch any marketing effort. Is it well targeted? Will it resonate with the audience in question? Is it consistent with your brand? Will it get people to act in the way you want?In other words, you’d better know who and why you’re marketing before you jump to how to market something.Some colleagues recently called my attention to two campaigns, and while they both have merits, I”m not sure they nailed the “who and why” before they leaped to the “how.”Here’s the first, which was a PETA campaign that was eloquently blogged by CK. It’s a website trashing the Olsen twins for wearing fur, providing interactive, bloody dress-up games, and a faux Full house video, which unfortunately is nearly as boring and unwatchable as the show.So does trashing these celebrities make sense as a marketing strategy? It really depends on what PETA is trying to do. If they are trying to please their base, yes. It’s a highly negative, on-the-attack, celebrity-shaming, attention-grabbing campaign that is completely aligned with PETA’s brand and followers. If it’s trying to get online media attention for PETA, it also makes sense because it’s blogworthy. If it’s trying to get the Olsens or other celebs to embrace PETA’s cause and/or get new people to support PETA by writing to the Olsens or giving money, I doubt this will work. Going that negative will just estrange the mainstream, which includes people who like Mary Kate and Ashley or, if they don’t, prefer to visit Perez than PETA for their Trollsen dose. Quite simply, the campaign encourages people to think of PETA as being “fringe,” which I think is far less scary than being influential. So if the “who” is new audiences and the “what” is eschewing fur, I don’t think it works.On to a campaign that is the polar opposite of the Trollsens – it’s a feel-good spot sent to me by a reader from Italy. Daniele writes:I’m working for a campaign called superegali.org for the NGO Terre des Hommes Italia. It’s a fundraising campaign for Perù, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe to help kids of these countries. We made a viral video for this campaign where the protagonist is our mascot, a paper toy. The video is a spoof of Dove Onslaught.(If you want to know what the Dove campaign is, I posted on there here.)I thought the video was cute (especially if you’re familiar with the cultural reference of the Dove campaign) for an audience of potential supporters in Italy – provided they know the Dove campaign. But the “why” was unclear. What does the ad want you to do? It seems to ask you to rethink the concept of superhero, but it’s not clear what you’re supposed to do as a result, or how cutting out superheroes helps kids. I think the campaign is interesting but has a perplexing (perhaps even absent) call to action. So I asked Daniele what was the “why” of the campaign. She responded the purpose was to spread the word about their work and raise money. If that’s the “why” of the campaign, I think it could use some tweaking. Thoughts for Daniele?last_img read more

5 Tips for Diving into Social Networking

first_imgToday at Network for Good’s Six Degrees site, we wrapped up our part of America’s Giving Challenge, a campaign by Parade and the Case Foundation. We saw amazing performances by our wired fundraisers, and though the results aren’t yet final we can say they were incredible – many individuals raised tens of thousands of dollars for their causes.To celebrate their achievements, I want to share this week’s tips from Network for Good on this topic, authored by my talented colleague Rebecca Ruby. Here’s what she says:If you’re sitting at your computer hugging your organization’s mission statement, branding guide and/or special event brochure (the one that was approved by everyone in your office, your board, your babysitter, etc. etc.), it’s time to take a deep breath-this idea might scare you. It’s time to turn your message over to your constituents. That’s right: let your fundraisers spread the word for you, outside of your direct reach. People are most likely to donate to a cause if asked by someone they know. Unless you personally know everyone in your town, city, state, country, etc., you need to call in the big guns: your wired fundraisers. Wired fundraisers come in two varieties: passionate fundraisers who happen to use social networking (also known as Web 2.0) tools and people who use these tools who have turned into fundraisers. In order to take full advantage of social networking opportunities, you need to develop a plan to find your wired fundraisers (and capture their email addresses), empower them with your message and let them use their social networking tools to fly solo. Here are a few steps to get you started: Pick one social networking channel in which to get involved. Try Change.org, Facebook or MySpace. Or set up a blog. But most importantly, don’t try to tackle everything that’s out there. It’s better to have a strong presence in one network than to spread your organization too thin across Web 2.0.Search for potential supporters. Search the Change.org network, Facebook Causes or MySpace pages for a nonprofit with a similar mission as yours. See who their “friends” are and invite them to your cause once you’re up and running. Here are some examples: TransFair USA on Change.orgGrassroots International on MySpace Campaign for Cancer Prevention on FacebookMake it easy for supporters to find you. As proactive as you’ll want to be in terms of reigning in new supporters, they’re going to look for you-make it easy for them to do so! Name your social networking page exactly as your organization is named. Again, have a strong presence in one channel rather than all of them. (Better a potential volunteer or donor can find your blog than miss your pages scattered across many networks.) Build your house file. Once supporters of your cause have found you, make sure you give them a strong call to action to supply their email address to you so you can contact them later. Encourage your new supporters to do your work for you (you know what I mean). Having Facebook friends isn’t enough. Now that you’ve started to cultivate relationships with these Internet superstars, empower them to share your charity with others: ask them to recruit friends to volunteer for you, create a charity badge and invite them to post it on their own blogs and social networking sites. Learn more about wired fundraisers by reading Network for Good’s white paper The Wired Fundraiser: How Technology is Making Fundraising “Good to Go.”For more information about social networking, check out transcripts from the two Nonprofit 911 conference calls on Network for Good’s Learning Center – many of these tips come from them!last_img read more

Create Personas to Bridge the Gap with Target Audiences

first_imgBefore your organization embarks on any communications planning or implementing a campaign, it’s vital to understand the interests, perspectives, needs and goals of your base and other audiences, and their behavioral patterns. That’s the only way to connect your nonprofit’s goals — be they building awareness about a new zoning issue that threatens the safety of children at a nearby school, engaging advocates to contact their state senators on a green space protection issue or motivating registration for a new parenting training — with what’s important to your audiences. Personas can help bridge the gap.Traditionally, personas have been used for design of computer hardware and software, particularly Web site usability. Over recent years, marketers (including those in the nonprofit arena) are putting them to work for high-impact marketing planning.Here’s how your nonprofit can put personas to work to strengthen relationships the folks you need to engage:How Can Personas Help My Organization Connect with Our Target Audiences?Personas are hypothetical “stand ins” for your nonprofit’s actual audiences. They enable communications and fundraising folks (and that includes planners, writers, designers and others) to stand in their audiences’ shoes. They let your org shape campaigns around audience needs and interests. And you’ll find far greater success designing a communications plan or a program’s marketing message that works for a “specific person, rather than trying to plan or write for the hazily-defined needs of many or the typical demographically-defined audience segment.Is Persona Just Another Word for Market Segment?No, but that’s a common objection you may hear from the marketing traditionalists within your organization. Market segmentation is a great tool for identifying the groups of people you are trying to reach, and why. But market segmentation can’t shape your marketing messages or choice of strategies.Assume you know that 33% of women aged 25-40 are interested in supporting breast cancer research, and that messages and graphic design are key elements affecting their giving decisions. Well, that’s a good start. But personas add a great deal of richness.A persona will enable your organization to craft the right campaign to reach Miriam, age 36, who wants to give to breast cancer today but is concerned that she doesn’t know enough about how her money will be used if she gives to your nonprofit. She wants to be assured by information showing how contributions are used.How Do We Create Personas that Work?Although personas are fictional, they must be defined with rigor and exactness. Ideally they are based on some understanding of real audiences. It’s easiest to create accurate personas if your organization has some idea of demographics and, even better, data on habits and interests. When you base personas on audience research, you’ll ensure that the personas truly represent your audiences.But remember that personas can’t stand alone. Your nonprofit’s marketing goals must be the overall guide for your communications planning process. Personas are just one of several tools that will increase your marketing impact.Taking in what current and potential audiences are saying about your organization is another useful, easy and affordable way to get to know your community, and strengthen your marketing: http://www.nancyschwartz.com/nonprofits_losing_message_control.html.What Does a Persona Look Like?Here’s a sample persona checklist. The precise details you’ll want to include depend on your organization’s marketing. Are you aiming to increase use of a new health care clinic, motivating volunteers for your mentoring program or build the number of visitors to your nature preserve? No matter your goals, here’s what you’ll want to include in your personas:A one to two page narrative profile, for each persona.A few fictional details about the persona’s life-an interest or a habit-that makes each person unique and memorable. When you start here, the hypothetical constructs spring to life.Brief outline of a daily work day or day at home (depends on who you are trying to reach), including specific details, likes and dislikes.Name, age, photo and personal information.Work environments if you’re trying to reach professionals, rather than individuals, including length of time in the job, professional development habits (if marketing services such as training for social workers on public benefits), information-       seeking habits and favorite resources, personal and professional goals, colleagues with whom the persona works most closely, etc.Personal and professional goals.Sample Persona–Nonprofit Communications Campaign on Community Fitness Context: A nonprofit is launching a new community fitness program and needs to promote it to community activists, politicians, and citizens, and to motivate their involvement. The staff needs to know what’s important to these audiences, so it can shape its messages, Web site and blog (a centerpiece of the campaign), brochures and events accordingly.Challenge: This is the first time the organization is proactively communicating to motivate the launch of fit community programs. The campaign will center on a new blog and Web site, but the nonprofit doesn’t know how to design the site and parlay the blog to most effectively educate its diverse audiences and motivate them to act.The communications team just doesn’t know where to start.Persona (short version): Introducing Frank Cummings, age 64Frank, 67, owns his own home in a moderately-priced area of an industrial-based community in Ohio. He is married, and has two children who now live in neighboring states. Frank took an early-retirement option from the electrical contracting firm where he worked for 19 years. Now he spends a lot of his free time working on his home and yard, and walking in the neighborhood.One problem Frank has noticed as he walks is that the traffic speeds along his street (a connector between two arterial streets) are often well in excess of the 25MPH posted speed limit. Frank has made comments about the high speeds to his city council representative, who is, with Frank, a member of the local Lions Club. But the council-person, while sympathetic, hasn’t done anything other than to suggest that Frank should  lodge a complaint with someone at the city, or the police.Meanwhile, the speeding cars continue, and Frank feels unsafe as he walks.Web use: Like some in his age group, Frank is a late-comer to computers and the Internet. He needed to learn to use a computer-based service mounted in his truck the last few years he was working, and struggled to keep up with the technology that seemed to come much easier to younger people in the firm.Frank purchased a computer primarily to use e-mail with his children, but he also has used several programs such as QuickBooks and tax-prep software. His connection to the Internet is through DSL so it’s not the fastest and Frank doesn’t do like to wait around to see family videos on You Tube or other Web content.Goals:– Slow down the traffic outside his house to increase walker and biker safety.– Make his neighborhood a more enjoyable place to liveApplication: Once the nonprofit got to know Frank, and his persona peers, it was able to shape messages and communications to connect with these individuals’ interests, habits and goals. As a result, they knew they were doing their best to maximize audience response.Readers, craft a set of personas today to re-shape your nonprofit’s organizational or program/service marketing plan or campaign. You’ll find it invaluable to get to know these folks. © 2002-2008 Nancy E. Schwartz. All rights reserved.About the AuthorNancy E. Schwartz helps nonprofits succeed through effective marketing and communications. As President of Nancy Schwartz & Company (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/), Nancy and her team provide marketing planning and implementation services to organizations as varied as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Center for Asian American Media, and Wake County (NC) Health Services. Subscribe to her free e-newsletter “Getting Attention”, (http://www.nancyschwartz.com/getting_attention.html) and read her blog at http://www.gettingattention.org/ for more insights, ideas and great tips on attracting the attention your organization deserves.last_img read more

Your inbox: the death spiral of reactivity

first_imgWhen I got back from vacation on Monday, I had more than 1,000 emails.After two days, I finished answering all of them. It was a hollow sense of accomplishment – sort of like eating the whole box of Thin Mints.This have been the worst two days EVER in terms of my mood and creativity.Then I read what Seth Godin said on this topic. Read his whole post – in fact, read his blog every day – but here are my favorite lines:Do you spend your day responding and reacting to incoming all day… until the list is empty? … and then you’re done.…Years ago, I got my mail (the old fashioned kind) once a day. It took twenty minutes to process and I was forced to spend the rest of the day initiating, reaching out, inventing and designing. Today, it’s easy to spend the whole day hitting ‘reply’.Carving out time to initiate is more important than ever.Then I read what Beth said:According to a new study from AOL, 59% of people check their email in the bathroom. The study of 4,000 users also showed people check their email from the following locations: • In bed in their pajamas: 67%• From the bathroom: 59%• While driving: 50%• In a bar or club: 39%• In a business meeting: 38%• During happy hour: 34%• While on a date: 25%• From church: 15% (up from 12% last year)This is warped. What’s worse – I think I have done most of these.No wonder I’m in a bad mood – I’m in reactive hell. Read email – send email – react – react – and, as Seth says, forget how to initiate.What’s the solution? Beth has some suggestions. They’re good.Here’s what I’m going to do: Get out of the email weeds and look at the rest of the world. Tomorrow, I’m hanging over my desk the top 10 things I need to get done to advance Network for Good’s mission. I’m going to spend more time checking that list than my inbox. I’ll let you know what happens. I’d hang it up now but I need to check the 10 emails I received while writing this post.last_img read more

Clinton Global Initiative

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 15, 2009November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On Thursday September 24, 2009, I attended a gathering of various leaders in the field of maternal health who were in New York to make commitments at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting.As a co-representative of the American India Foundation (AIF) along with Dr. Sanjay Sinho (CEO), I joined innovators from the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth, Jhpiego, the Micronutrient Initiative, the Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Pakistan, and the Lwala Community Alliance in a discussion about how to combat the widespread suffering and needless deaths of mothers around the world.My experience with maternal health comes primarily from Zambia, where I was recently working on a project focused on the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. While I was there, I couldn’t help but notice the widespread lack of communication between individuals and NGOs who were all working toward the same goals. There is no doubt in my mind that efforts were being duplicated, and that some essential aspects of maternal health were being left unaddressed.At the meeting in New York, however, it was extremely encouraging and even inspiring to see all of these visionaries at the same table talking about how to strengthen their efforts through collaboration. We discussed problems ranging from eclampsia to maternal nutrition to the lack of adequate health facilities. The ideas to overcome some of these obstacles were equally as diverse, including public-private partnerships, international fellowship programs for young innovators, and community-based prevention and capacity building. Essentially, no one at the table was approaching the situation in the exact same way, yet everyone was open to sharing and forming collaborations to create new synergies.The problems associated with maternal health in developing countries cannot be addressed with one intervention, by one organization, or in one country. Indeed, to improve the situation of this especially vulnerable population, these issues must be attacked from multiple angles. I see the discussion during CGI as a step in the right direction for maternal health and global health at large.You can read more about the commitments that were made at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting related to maternal health here.Share this:last_img read more

Maternal Health Policy Series: HR for Maternal Health: Midwives, TBAs, and Task-Shifting

first_imgPosted on January 19, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)MHTF is looking forward to the discussion, Human Resources for Maternal Health: Midwives, TBAs, and Task-Shifting, to be held Wednesday, January 6, at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC from 3-5 pm.There, you will see Dr. Seble Frehywot, assistant research professor of health policy and global health at George Washington University, who will address the motivation and methods for task sharing. Dr. Jeffrey Smith, regional technical director for Asia at Jhpiego, who will discuss his field work experience developing workforce plans for midwives and traditional birth attendants, including in Afghanistan. Finally, Pape Gaye, president & CEO of IntraHealth, who will discuss the importance of retention and other long-term strategies in human resources for maternal health.The event is the second in the series, on Advancing Policy Dialogue on Maternal Health sponsored by MHTF, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Global Health Initiative, and there is still time to RSVP! If you cannot attend in person, we hope you will be able to watch the webcast.To learn more about the series, RSVP, or to watch this event or the first event as a webcast, please visit the Woodrow Wilson Center website. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

World Health Day: A Reflection on the Relationship Between Maternal Health and Neglected Tropical Diseases

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on April 7, 2010June 21, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Knowledge Management Assistant, Maternal Health Task ForceClick 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)Women and Neglected Tropical Diseases: Shared History, Shared Hope*The theme of this year’s World Health Day is “Urbanization and Health.” Maternal mortality and morbidity, and neglected tropical diseases have a hugely debilitating impact on urban slum populations—who often lack access to health services. I would like to take this day to celebrate the increased attention to the connected issues of neglected tropical diseases and maternal health and to highlight the importance of a comprehensive, integrated approach to maternal health. This sort of approach not only includes universal access to reproductive health services but also addresses neglected tropical diseases—and their impact on maternal morbidity and mortality.Maternal health and neglected tropical diseases have a number of things in common, ranging from a shared history plagued with little political will to the death tolls associated with each issue—according to the World Health Organization, 536,000 women die from pregnancy complications a year, and neglected tropical diseases kill an estimated 534,000 people a year. More recently, these two global health issues share something else: a boost in funding, international attention and overall momentum.The issue of maternal health is attracting more attention than ever before. Organizations like Women Deliver and the Maternal Health Task Force are reaching out to new partners and new sectors, holding global conferences, and advancing the dialogue around MDG5, the maternal health Millennium Development Goal. New sectors are also getting involved, funding projects, and producing innovative technologies in each of these fields. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which funds international reporting projects, named maternal mortality a priority issue for 2010—and will be funding journalists to investigate the crisis of maternal mortality. Several efforts are underway to investigate the use of cell phone technologies to improve access to maternal health information—and also to track neglected tropical diseases. The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases is building support and raising the profile for the control and eradication of a variety of neglected tropical diseases. Several public-private partnerships are helping to expand the coverage of treatment and prevention of neglected tropical diseases. Finally, President Barack Obama has set an example by naming neglected tropical diseases and maternal and child mortality as two of the four pillars of the Global Health Initiative.It is encouraging that these two issues have gained so much attention at the same time – not only because they share a history of neglect, but because of the impact they have on one another. In a recent paper, Dr. Peter J. Hotez, outlined how certain neglected tropical diseases, such as hookworm, contribute to anemia in pregnant women and explained that deworming during pregnancy has a significant impact on reducing maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. Deworming is also an extremely cost-effective way to improve school attendance—and female education is an important predictor of a woman’s risk of surviving pregnancy and childbirth.The reverse is also true: women’s health during and after pregnancy impacts the incidence and impact of neglected tropical diseases on whole communities. Around the world, women are the primary caregivers for children, the sick and the elderly. They boil water, make sure their children wear shoes, and put their children to sleep under bednets—all of which reduce transmission of disease. If women’s health is not protected, their children suffer: a child who loses his or her mother is far more likely to die before their fifth birthday than a child whose mother survives.The momentum around these two issues is building. The time is now for the maternal health community to focus on a comprehensive approach to maternal health – that not only includes universal access to reproductive health services, but also considers maternal health in a broader context, including the relationship between maternal health and neglected tropical diseases. This kind of comprehensive approach, will dramatically improve the lives of the world’s most economically, socially and geographically marginalized populations—specifically those living in remote rural villages and crowded urban slums.*This article was originally posted on the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases blog, End the Neglect.Share this:last_img read more

Top 5 Highlights from the Women Deliver 2010 Conference

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 6, 2010July 14, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On July 1st 2010, the Women Deliver team announced the top five highlights from the Women Deliver 2010 Conference. See below for a message from our friends at Women Deliver–with a great summary of what happened at the conference and useful links to learn more about each of the highlights.Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the second Women Deliver global conference. To put world leaders on notice that the time for action on maternal health is now, 3,400 advocates, policymakers, development leaders, health care professionals, youth, and media from 146 countries converged on Washington, DC on June 7-9 at Women Deliver 2010. More than 800 speeches and presentations were given at the six plenaries and 120 breakout sessions. The heads of five UN agencies, plus the Secretary-General of the United Nations, attended. Thirty countries, UN agencies, the World Bank, corporations, and foundations helped support Women Deliver. Please see below for highlights and recaps of the conference.1. Key Statements. Read the outcome statements from the:– The Minister’s Forum– The Parliamentarians– The First Ladies of Ghana, Sierra Leone and Zanzibar2. Webcasts. Watch the videos from our plenary sessions and our press conferences, and watch Hillary Clinton’s address to the Women Deliver 2010 attendees.3. Photos. Take a look at photos from the plenary sessions, breakout sessions and other conference events, and download them at no cost.4. Programme. Review the plenary and breakout sessions that were held at Women Deliver 2010.5. Publications and Advocacy Tools. Visit our Knowledge Center to download publications and advocacy tools, including:– Women Deliver 2010 Pocket Card for fast facts on how women deliver for the world.– Why It’s the Right Time: Moving on Reproductive Health Goals by Focusing on Adolescent Girls, the background paper on how promoting girls’ sexual and reproductive health brings us closer to achieving the MDGs.– Targeting poverty and gender inequality to improve maternal heath, the background paper on the ways in which poverty and gender inequality pose significant barriers to maternal health care access and utilization, and thereby impact maternal mortality.Stay tuned for our summary report on breakout sessions by theme.Share this:last_img read more

Global Bloggers Gear Up for the First Day of the Global Maternal Health Conference in Delhi!

first_imgPosted on August 28, 2010July 14, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This Monday marks the start of the first ever Global Maternal Health Conference. The conference is being held in Delhi, India–and will focus on lessons learned, neglected issues, and innovative approaches to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.The organizers of the conference, the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth and the Public Health Foundation of India, are looking forward to a lively online discussion around the happenings of the conference. We have linked up with  global health and development professionals around the world to form a team of global bloggers who will share their reactions to the conference sessions–and fuel a robust online dialogue.Our guest bloggers hail from a number of international health, development, and media institutions including the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Global Health Initiative, Women Deliver, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Centre for Health Policy and Innovation, Earth Sciences University of Cambridge, the Population Council, Gender Across Borders, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, and more.Stay tuned to the MHTF Blog for up-to-date reactions and analysis of the conference sessions.For information on the live streaming of the conference, click here. Join the conversation! Follow the MHTF and EngenderHealth on Twitter: @MHTF and @EngenderHealth.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Senior Program Assistant Vacancy

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 2, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) is seeking a Senior Program Assistant. The Senior Program Assistant will be a pivot point for the MHTF. In addition to supporting the MHTF Director as needed, the Sr. Program Assistant will support the MHTF’s efficient and effective operations and applications, to ensure that its goal and objectives are achieved. The Sr. Program Assistant will support the MHTF Director’s administrative needs, as well as provide graphic design and web support to the MHTF’s external relations and communications functions. Successful candidates will demonstrate an avid interest in maternal health or an allied field, and enthusiasm for the goals of the MHTF. All MHTF team members will operate in close coordination with EngenderHealth’s existing systems and structures.For more information and to apply, please click here.Share this:last_img read more

Community Based MDR in Malawi

first_imgPosted on October 15, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The following is part of a series of project updates from MaiMwana. MHTF is supporting their project, Community Based Maternal Death Review. More information on MHTF supported projects can be found here.Written by: MaiMwanaThe community focused maternal death review (MDR) programme started in May 2010 in Mchinji, Malawi. Some of our preliminary activities have focused on building relationships necessary for carrying out the project. We met with the district health office in order for them to appreciate need to complement the health facility based maternal death review currently being implemented in the district.The district health office identified several focal people to be part of the team. The team then had a study tour to Ntcheu and Lilongwe Districts, districts which had started an initiative similar to our planned project, in order to learn and adopt tools being used in those districts. This was followed by development of some of the manuals and tools we will use in our project.Sensitization of the District Executive Committee was also done in order to solicit support before starting the activity in the community. We are currently awaiting the outcome of the review process and the beginning of our piloting.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more