Sticky Week III: Hang Your Message on Hooks

first_imgThis is my broken record alert (from flickr’s 45 street), as well as a signal I’ve broken the rule I laid out yesterday, which is to be unexpected. Here’s my broken record refrain: If you know me, you know I’m always talking about how it’s best to appeal to the existing values of an audience instead of trying to convert them to your set of values. Don’t make your world view a prerequisite to a person taking action.Made to Stick, the book I’m blogging this week, explains a fresh new reason why it’s better to work from an audience’s existing schema than to try to build them a new one. It allows you to make profound ideas compact, which in turn makes them stickier. I quote:How do you do that? You use flags. You tap the existing memory terrain of your audience. You use what’s already there.People are tempted to tell you everything, with perfect accuracy, right up front, when they should be giving you just enough info to be useful, then a little more, then a little more.Nonprofits are very guilty of that second point – telling everything. Tell less, in fewer words. It’s more effective, always.Another way to think of this approach is to visualize a person’s mind as a bunch of little hooks (the Heaths say the brain really has them). If you can attach your message on a bunch of existing hooks, it’s going to stick like velcro. If you try to make new hooks, you’re in for a big, messy self-help project.last_img read more

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What I learned about bourbon in Kentucky

first_imgI’m in lovely Lexington, Kentucky today giving a workshop for nonprofits. It’s hard to miss the horses here, along with the bourbon. In fact, one of the participants here today, George Cherry from Red Bird Mission handed me two business cards. The first was for the mission. The second was from Maker’s Mark. George is a Maker’s Mark Ambassador.What great marketing. George has a real business card from Maker’s Mark which has his name as Ambassador, an ambassador number and a barrel number. George’s barrel number is 691267, which means because he’s been a faithful ambassador for a couple of years, he has a real whiskey barrel with his name on it. When they uncork it in six years, they are going to invite him to see it. George also told me that Maker’s Mark sponsored the Keeneland races here and holds other events around Lexington. But most important, they’ve got George out talking about their product in a very engaging way. He even has a pen that looks like the bottle:So here’s what Maker’s Mark shows us:Business cards can be marketing vehicles, not just name cards. Do you have cool stuff about your nonprofit on your card? Flickr lets you make great cards of unique sizes with photos. It’s worth asking people who like you to evangelize for your cause, but it’s important to give them an easy way to do it, like card bearing their name.Reward the people who evangelize for you over time.I’d love to see a Maker’s Mark of nonprofits with brand ambassadors like George.last_img read more

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Campaigns to emulate: Tips from Ploughshares

first_imgKatya’s note: Blog reader Michael Stein wrote me recently to ask me my thoughts on his online fundraising campaign for Ploughshares Fund: PeacePrimary.org. I liked it, and so I asked him to tell us what he learned in running the campaign that would help us. Happily, he obliged. Here is a very helpful guest post from Michael. By Michael SteinPloughshares Fund in San Francisco is conducting an innovative online fundraising campaign in conjunction with its 25th anniversary with a project called PeacePrimary.org. Twelve nonprofit organizations working on peace and human security issues were selected by Ploughshares to be in the running to win a $100,000 grant to amplify their message during the 2008 elections. Each selected organization has to campaign online and offline for votes, one dollar equals one vote and the organization with the most votes by Oct 31 wins the grant. Each organization also gets to keep the money they’ve raised throughout the two month campaign.A few things we’ve learned so far running this campaign:1) The biggest factor in driving donations and votes for PeacePrimary.org has been the email campaigns conducted by the twelve selected organizations. On average, the organizations are emailing their constituents every two weeks during the two month campaign. Email fundraising is alive and well.2) “Matching gift” fundraising campaigns are excellent for motivating donors to make online gifts in a short period of time.3) Collaborative fundraising campaigns (where several nonprofits band together to raise money) offer a fresh approach to reaching out to an online and offline constituency, which could apply to any type of advocacy coalition.4) Facebook has helped us reach out to colleagues and friends online, and our Google Analytics show a strong ability for this to drive traffic to PeacePrimary.org. The personal nature of Facebook communications is useful to draw attention to a cause.The twelve nominees are: American Friends Service Committee, The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Citizens for Global Solutions, Faithful Security, Genocide Intervention Network, Global Green USA, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Peace Demands Action, Refugees International, True Majority, Union of Concerned Scientists, Women’s Action for New Directions. Please vote. Michael Stein is an Internet strategist based in Berkeley, California. Read his blog here.last_img read more

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Boo! This is scary.

first_imgI got asked today, “What scares you?”What’s downright horrifying, besides the fact that I’m in a hotel lobby that has a Kenny G CD on endless repeat, is how easy it is to fall into the missionary mode and forget to be marketers. We think people care just because we have good intentions. But here’s thing — in the words of a People magazine writer who gets a lot of pitches from charities, “NICE IS NOT ENOUGH!” That’s true, and it’s also terrifying.Today at the well-organized, thoroughly enjoyable NC Nonprofit conference, where I was speaking, I asked people to answer the following four questions – and take a fifth step – before saying a word to anyone. Since nice is not enough, you’ve got to answer all of these for your supporters:1. Why me? Why should people care about you, and how are you revelant to their lives, their values, their priorities?2. What for? What do they personally get out of supporting you and what social good will result?3. Why now? What’s so urgent about your appeal? Why should people act now?4. Who says? How credible is the messenger? Who thinks this is worthwhile? The four one is a new one. I’ve been talking about the first three for a few months, until I realized that in marketing today, the messenger has become even more important than the message. People look to friends and family for what to believe and how to act. We need to find many messengers speaking on our behalf to their own circles of influence.Hence the addition of, “Who says?” I hope the answer is not just you. That would be scary.The whole presentation is here if you’re interested!last_img read more

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Craig’s List: Marketing rules to live by

first_imgLast week, I participated in a very interesting series of presentations and discussions on social marketing, organized by Craig Lefebvre from one of my favorite nonprofits – PSI.The main point of my presentation was that all nonprofits need to apply social marketing to everything they do – not just programs or outreach but also partner relationships, training trainers, media relations and of course fundraising.So what is “social marketing?” Well, Craig provided the best list I’ve seen in a long time about what should define this field. I’m going to share this list in the interests of encouraging us all (myself included) to strive toward these principles in whatever we do in the philanthropic sector.Here is “Craig’s List”of social marketing principles:Focusing on audiences, their wants and needs, aspirations, lifestyle, freedom of choice. And not just those audiences identified by our epi friends as having the greatest need, or by our pr colleagues as the low hanging fruit, but the people who are crucial to the success of our programs – the volunteers, business leaders, distributors, partner organizations, media representatives and policy makers to name a few.Targeting aggregated behavior change – priority segments of the population, not individuals, are the focus of programs. Social marketing must be based on theoretical models that guide the selection of the most relevant determinants, priority audiences, objectives, interventions and evaluations for population-based behavior change such as theories of diffusion of innovations, social networks, community assets, political economics and social capital. My belief is that the major reason we cannot achieve public health impact for many of our interventions like HIV prevention is that we do not design interventions for scale, we design them with models of behavior change that are most effective with individuals.Designing behaviors that fit their reality. We need to bring to behavior change the same insight, thought and rigor that designers bring to their work in developing products, services and experiences. If more social marketers thought like designers, and didn’t act as technicians plugging the latest scientific finding into their ‘message machine or wheel’ my hunch is we’d be more successful – and sleep better. Behaviors, not just messages, need to be tailored for people’s real lives – not the one we imagine or theorize they have, if we think about them at all.Rebalancing incentives and costs for maintaining or changing behaviors. Though you might say ‘gotcha! back to pros and cons’ it’s a bigger idea than that. Rebalancing doesn’t mean convincing a person to use a new set of weights in their personal equation to calculate risks and benefits of acting in certain ways. People LEARN new behaviors and what I am mystified by is how complex theories are dragged out to explain and try to modify behaviors when simple learning principles like what gets associated with what and what gets rewarded and punished (or not) are often the elegantly simple solution. Rebalancing also means adjusting the environment, policies and marketplace whenever possible to shift power to the individual to have freedom to choose and basic human rights. We need to start asking ourselves questions like: where do inequities in health status stem from? Is income generation a prerequisite for health improvement in impoverished communities? How do we allow markets to work for the poor and vulnerable?Creating opportunities and access to try, practice and sustain behaviors. We must take distribution systems, in all their forms and expressions, as seriously – if not more so – as the messages and creative products we produce. People do not think or choose their way to new behaviors – they must have access to the information they need to make informed choices (in ways, places and times that literacy, cultural and other considerations should inherently inform: relevance should never be an after thought in social marketing). And they must have the opportunities to try new behaviors, practice them and then be able to sustain them. Behavior change is not a one-off proposition.Communicating these behaviors, incentives and opportunities to priority audiences and letting people experience them. ALL social marketing programs are mired in the last century when it comes to models of communication. The reflexive urge to continue with top down, command and control techniques will continue for awhile (aka Source – Message – Channel – Receiver or inoculation models). I hold out that the technological revolutions we are experiencing in communications will lead to the adoption of modern communication models to frame our thinking and activities – even if many have to change while kicking and screaming or longing for ‘the good ol’ days.’ And then there are the questions we started asking 5 years about how do we apply what we know about positioning and brands to develop powerful and sustained behavior change programs, and not just logos and tag lines or … mission statements.Thanks Craig!last_img read more

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Collective Lens: Photography for Social Change

first_imgOne face to a problem moves us, millions overwhelm us. Successful fund raisers for social causes have known that for a long time.   A recent series of studies by psychologists provides the research that proves it — they have found that fund-raising appeals do best when they are crafted around a single gripping image.So, you can imagine my delight in discovering this fabulous photography site called Collective Lens: Photography for Social Change.   It uses images to promote social and humanitarian causes. The project’s intent is to educate and inform the public on important issues around the world, and connect individuals to organizations.All of the photos on the site are submitted by the public. Individuals can upload photos that depict a social or humanitarian injustice, or charity in action. The photos are organized by category, and viewers can then quickly find out information about relevant organizations, non-profits, and NGOs. Likewise, organizations themselves can submit their information to our site in order to inform viewers on how they can get involved.The photo above caught my eye.  It is a young Cambodian girl in Siem Reap near one of Cambodia’s major tourist attractions.  The caption says it all, “This little girl is playing with the only toy she could find, a polystyrene, while tourists walk past her.  What can we do?.”  There are links to several charities that provide support and assistance to children in developing countries.Another contributor to the site is Natalia who has shared some compelling photos of children beggars from Afghanistan.  Or check out the photos from Kathy Adams who runs Empowerment International and has been sharing photos from Nicaragua and Costa Rica that show the impact of her organization’s work.Source: http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2007/09/collective-lens.htmllast_img read more

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Change the World by Working in a Virtual One: Interview with Barry Joseph

first_imgHow does your organization use Second Life?Global Kids brings a global youth development model into Teen Second Life (TSL). We use TSL to develop an awareness of global issues and leadership skills amongst teenagers who are currently in TSL and in our after-school programs in New York City. We have a number of projects that use Second Life in different ways, all funded by either the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation or Microsoft. One is a game development program. Another is a machinima, filmmaking in a virtual world. A third one is a version of our in-person leadership program, designed for teens “living” in TSL.Why did you and your organization decide to create a presence in Second Life? TSL is the best online environment available for leveraging the Internet to scale up both our work and our reach. And it’s quite affordable.How was the project planned? What expertise was needed? We work with staff who are experienced in treating youth as people, not obstacles, who care about global issues, and who understand how to use technology as a tool for education.How did the project unfold? What were some of the challenges? What worked well? This past summer we ran Camp GK. It was a four-week program in which the campers – teens in TSL – spent three hours a day, five days a week, participating in workshops about such issues as the genocide in Darfur and global inequality. Their mission was to pick their own issue, learn about it, then develop a project to educate and inspire their fellow TSL residents to take action.They selected child sex trafficking as their issue, developed a teach-in to promote the event, and then launched a maze – and a rather difficult one – filled with photos and text to educate visitors about the issue. At points throughout the maze, visitors were asked questions, and couldn’t proceed unless they answered them correctly. But when did answer correctly, you would also get free stuff – like t-shirts and balloons – branded with the issue. At the end of the maze, teens were transported to a monument in the sky, which offered three different ways to take action. In the first four weeks since the launch, 2,000 teens have visited the maze and over 450 have donated a total of $150 USD.How much time and money did you spend? The Camp took three full-time staff members and two teen interns over 12 weeks. The budget was in the mid-five figures.How did you explain the project to organizational leaders or constituents? We said it was a fun way for teens to spend time in Second Life, meet new friends, learn about what is going on in the world, and have their voice heard.What are the benefits to your organization? We are developing best practices for bringing this type of education into Second Life. We are figuring out how to reach larger numbers of young people interested in taking leadership roles in the virtual and the real worlds.What advice would you give to other nonprofits who might be interested? Network, network, network. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Get on the SLED (Second Life educational) listservs and regularly visit our blog Global Kids’ Digital Media Initiative.Copyright: CompuMentorSource: http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/page5902.cfm?cg=searchterms&sg=second%20lifelast_img read more

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Case Study: The Heifer Project

first_imgEach page offers more information about that particular animal and several quick, easy options for donating. Plus, when you make the donation in honor of a friend or relative, you can customize the electronic or print notification card. The Heifer ProjectCreative Online AppealsThe Heifer Project’s online gift catalog offers site visitors a fun, meaningful way to contribute. In fact, it’s creative and informative enough to warrant being a cornerstone of the whole site. An image of the “cover” of the gift catalog is the dominant feature on the home page, and every page on the Heifer Project’s site includes a graphic for the gift catalog with text that says “Donate through our gift catalog.” Plus, “Giving Programs” is the top item in the site’s navigation, linking to a page with information about gifts of stock, special challenges, and ideas for other ways to give. Periodically the Heifer Project includes on the home page a special note of thanks to their online donors. The organization is raising $2 million a year online.How It WorksThe main gift catalog page is friendly and inviting. A short introductory sentence explains that gifts (i.e., your donation) from this catalog help families around the world. You then select from a variety of animals to donate to a family – chicks, goats, sheep, bees. NOTE: A shopping cart model for donations usually doesn’t work- it confuses the donor – but this is a clear exception!last_img read more

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The CDC’s Second Life: A Best Practice for Social Networking

first_imgThere’s nothing very unusual about two red-headed women chatting in the headquarters of a Federal agency…unless one of the women is actually a man, and the headquarters actually exists on a server somewhere in Linden Lab. That man is John Anderton, who is responsible for bringing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into Second Life. I met John’s avatar, Hygeia Philo, when I happened to see an announcement of a CDC Health Fair listed in New World Notes and decided to find out more about what the CDC is up to in Second Life.John first started exploring Second Life last March, and by July he had convinced the powers-that-be at the CDC to let him establish an agency outpost there, which he built with his own virtual hands. John seems to be the CDC’s go-to guy for their health communications “Special Forces” missions, having been detailed to work on public health crises like the CDC’s response to the anthrax scares, the flu vaccine shortage and setting up new communications offices in various parts of the agency. He currently (at least until next week) is working in the Office of the CDC Director with the charge of exploring how social media can be used to promote public health, and he plans to continue to serve as the CDC’s virtual face in Second Life.When we met, John graciously agreed to do an interview, which we conducted by e-mail, phone and in Second Life.Can you tell me about the Center at the CDC where you work, and what your role is there?I am presently on detail to the Office of the CDC Director, Office of Enterprise Communications. I am the lead for Project Fulcrum; an initiative to advance public health using new media, to recruit new persons into public health careers, and to reinvigorate old public health brands that have fallen by the wayside. Before this assignment, I have served for the last five years as Associate Director for Communications Science in the Center at CDC that deals with HIV, STDs and TB (called NCHSTP, for short). In that role, I was charged with lead responsibility for managing campaigns, media, special projects, contracts, issues management, exhibits, and clearance of communications products and materials for the Center. I have worked at CDC in a variety of communications positions, in several areas. I have a PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior, and a Masters degree in Public Administration.How widespread within the CDC is knowledge and interest in internet-based applications like Second Life and other social media?CDC is always looking into better ways to understand its audiences and the public, and to communicate its messages in timely, credible, and relevant ways. An internal blog was started recently, and podcasts began last month for outside audiences. The internal news website is in its second year of daily publication, and it featured a story about CDC in Second Life a few weeks ago, so I think the knowledge of what we are doing internally is growing. I have presented on it a dozen times to various internal constituencies to build inertia around expanding our presence in world. I started looking into Second Life (SL) last March, when only 175,000 persons were in-world, as a way to advance the CDC mission using this new medium, for this specialized audience. We acquired our avatar formally in July, and introduced the space in August. The SL presence has been continuously evolving since that time.How did you personally become involved as a CDC representative within Second Life? Are there others who are doing work in-world from your Center or other divisions of the CDC?I began exploring YouTube as a means of disseminating CDC health content, and ran across a machinima presentation on Second Life, in March, 2006. Intrigued, I wrote a white paper to make the case to management for CDC to enter SL, and was authorized to explore and begin involvement. I created an avatar with purpose; Hygeia was the Greek muse of health, and the last name of Philo means ‘lover of,’ thus a CDC av with the metaphoric moniker of Hygeia Philo (lover of health) seemed perfectly appropriate. I waited until July 13 (CDC’s 60th anniversary) for her to formally enter Second Life for the reason that birthdays are rites of passage (drivers license, voting, etc.) and her birthday into the new world, as CDC celebrated maturity in the real world, also seemed appropriate. Everyone I meet has been congenial and both surprised and pleased to see CDC in the SL space. I have been working in SL on a daily basis, part time, for almost 8 months now. As far as others at CDC – the National Center for Environmental Health is exploring how to educate about toxic waste in SL, and the Strategic National Stockpile is exploring training issues in SL. The Injury Center is also thinking about how to get involved, too.I love the thinking behind Hygeia’s name. If it’s not too personal a question, how does it feel to be a man in real life but use a female avatar?I think of working with the CDC space and Hygeia Philo like hosting a trade show booth with a colleague. I am there to represent CDC in the best way possible, professionally and personally. The Juwangsan address [the location in Second Life] and the avatar in SL are both parts of that image. The gender discrepancy between myself and my role in SL doesn’t bother me, and I don’t get much grief at CDC either, as I tend to thoroughly explain why the avatar was chosen before explaining my role. I don’t see Hygeia Philo as an alternate John Anderton, rather I see her more as the face of the Agency that I am working with to disseminate health information. More of a partner than a puppet, and I do not hide my true identity when asked, interviewed by the press, or during discussions. When I attended the Second Life Community Conference in San Francisco this past August, the distinction between myself and Hygeia caused a little amusement for a few people, but no apparent consternation.Please tell me about how the CDC’s presence in Second Life came about. How much resistance did you encounter from others at the CDC to the idea of building a virtual office?I met with Randy Moss, at the American Cancer Society to learn about how the ACS was raising money with the in world Relay for Life, and then attended the Second Life Community Conference in San Francisco to continue studying how people were playing, interacting, transacting, and studying the possibilities of SL. Both contact experiences were transformative; I came to see this as neither a fad nor a game, but as a social movement and a glimpse into the future of social interaction, learning, and even being. The blended reality aspect of real and virtual worlds is fascinating to me. I wanted to build a space that could both educate and foster/enable dialogue. I routinely change up what is offered, based on interactions with residents who stop by, or whom I meet when I am exploring. The transience of the space is also marvelous; one can change on a dime, if something new presents itself. The day the E. coli scare occurred, I posted a “Real Life Health Alert” in the space for persons to learn about what was going on, and what to do about it. To those who saw it, it was very favorably commented upon; as a bridge builder between real life health threats and virtual education opportunities.Everyone at CDC has been saying “Go go go!” there is not internal resistance; rather a chorus of support that is also a little agitated that I cannot go even faster! In world, after an interview with the Metaverse Messenger [a Second Life-focused newspaper downloaded by almost 50,000 people each month], the Editor responded favorably to my request to publish health info in her pub, so I have contributed a weekly column to this news outlet for the last 5 weeks. That has been great too, as a learning tool about virtual media, and the intersection with real world media.I found out about the CDC in Second Life during a “health fair” you were offering there. How often do you do those, and are there any other virtual activities in which the CDC is involved? You came on the first day of the first CDC health fair. Events drive interest among SL residents, and I had marveled at how concerts and fashion shows rivaled presentations by the Lindens [the staff of Linden Labs] as both entertainment and information dissemination opportunities. Rather than a big press conference (which we will do later, when we expand), I decided to go the highly localized route of a community health fair. In the real world this is a nice, local platform to display health information, to educate on specific issues while building community and establishing credibility of source. I was delighted at the attendance, and content of discussions. It was surprising to me to be at the top of the list in Rik’s Picks, in New World Notes, and kind of exciting to receive coverage from the Second Life News Network on the Fair. I’m not sure if that is due to the novelty of the event, an interest in what CDC is doing, or some other factor, but the interest has been wonderful. CDC is ramping up a variety of offerings, and will require us to expand and complicate the space a bit, but I don’t have a timetable for these upcoming developments.The CDC’s National Center for Health Marketing’s director Jay Bernhardt is one of the first I know of in a Federal health agency to write a blog. While it is not updated very often, I think it is still a significant milestone and an indicator of the CDC’s desire to use the latest tools to communicate with its audience. Are there any other examples of how the CDC is using newer internet/social media or other tools (e.g., mobile phones) to reach its audiences beyond just offering a static website?I would suggest that you contact Jay with that question – I’m not in a place to be able to answer that effectively.What has been the response of SL residents to the CDC’s outreach in-world?Almost without exception, I have been warmly greeted by old and new SL residents. People are kind of amazed that CDC would treat it seriously, and that we are not there for profit. I hope that CDC can continue to grow and evolve in the SL space, as it grows and changes itself. With such rapid development, it forces us to stay on our toes!Are there specific health issues that you tend to focus on that are more prevalent among Second Life residents because of their demographics and behavioral risk factors?I would like to gradually introduce the topic of sexual health into the space, as a way to promote discussion about the links between what one says and does in Second Life, and then one’s actions in real life. Liaisons in real life, foreshadowed and even pre-enacted though virtual spaces have led to documented disease transmission, and discussion about this seems generally absent from SL. On the demographic side, there are all kinds of opportunities to introduce topics relevant to persons in their 30s about screenings, health and emergency preparedness, childhood milestones, and other topics. On the behavioral side, there is also plenty of room for talk about good eating, active lifestyles, eye strain, and other health topics relevant to persons who spend significant amounts of time sedentary in front of a monitor. The possibilities are hard to count, there are so many.How do you see Second Life fitting into an organization’s overall social marketing strategy?Second Life joins the list of audiences, interests, and channels that link the American public with their public health infrastructure. Given that half of residents are international, it also broadens and deepens the CDC communications portfolio into addressing wider audience needs and concerns. I suppose that it is a tactic, and not a strategy in itself, but one that suggests that attention to new media requires constant vigilance, and willingness to experiment. If SL fails, for some reason, the movement of persons into online congregate social settings will probably continue to expand, and understanding how to reach these audiences will continue to be important.For people at other agencies or organizations who may be considering establishing a presence in Second Life, what advice would you offer? Do it. Now. In my career at CDC, which spans a short 15 years, four new technologies have emerged and merged with mainstream communications. My first business card had my name, title, address and phone number on it. Then came a fax machine number, then an email address, a website, and most recently, a metaverse designation and avatar. These are all ways that I can receive contact from the world and matriculate therein. They have gone from slow, to fast, to real time. One must be in all of these modes to communicate effectively with the audiences with whom we participate, and to understand the places they inhabit. Galileo reminded us that one sees farther if one stands on the shoulders of giants. There are plenty of giants out there to partner with, in this new medium, and most of them are friendly. Also, and importantly, establish excellent relationships with the IT department; with all of the updates coming from Linden, internal firewalls, network up and downtime, and corporate/governmental IT security issues will cause frequent calls for assistance.Have you hooked up with any groups of nonprofits that are working on how best to integrate their causes into SL like TechSoup.org? No, other than the American Cancer Society and some exchanges with the New Media folks, I have not begun to run with the big dogs. I am still studying how to best interact with persons, groups, and constituencies to best participate in this wondrous landscape. I hope to continue to learn, evolve and adapt to the space in fruitful ways, and if it goes really well, to lead trends.Is there anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t touched on yet? Second Life is part of one’s first life; not separate from it. Even the immersionists have to sleep, eat, and interact with the Real World. If one can merge good health practices in real life with the fun and play of Second Life, then physical and psychological realms can be enlightened and good habits enacted, to personal benefit. If this happens collectively, then public benefits are achieved, and public health becomes a reality, in virtual and actual ways. Thanks for the chance to talk about these issues.Thank you to John for providing such an insightful and compelling glimpse into the process he has gone through to keep the CDC in the position of leading trends among Federal agencies. I hope that when other organizations and agencies see that even the CDC, with all its bureaucracy and generally slow uptake of new technology, is taking Second Life and other social media seriously, that they should too. I predict that the CDC’s entry into SL will open the floodgates for other people working on health and social issues.If you are in Second Life and would like to visit the CDC’s virtual offices, you can click here to teleport directly. If you are not already in Second Life, you can first download the software and get a free account.Source: http://www.social-marketing.com/blog/2006/11/cdcs-second-life.htmllast_img read more

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10 Tips to Improve Your Nonprofit Website

first_imgHere are just a few tips on making your website more effective:1. Make your site social media friendly.Include social sharing links on every page of your nonprofit website. Encourage video and photo sharing, link to your social media profiles, and make it easy for bloggers and social networkers to embed your videos and feature your images on their sites and profiles. This will attract new traffic sources, retain visitors, and build community around your cause.2. Put your most compelling content front and center.If you have video or photos showing the work you do, use them! Strong imagery can help you build connections in a way that is not possible with words alone.3. Look at your website from the visitor’s perspective.If you were a first-time visitor to your website, would you understand the mission of your organization? Are the actions you want a visitor to take clear? Is the navigation easy to understand? Surveys are a great way to gauge your site’s usability and keep it dynamic in a universe that is always changing. Sites like Survey Monkey allow you to set up a survey that is simple and inexpensive.4. Email sign-up should be one of the most prominent items, and the easiest action for a visitor to take.If you don’t have an email newsletter, you should. You can build your list and strengthen relationships by maintaining regular and meaningful contact with people who have already shown an interest in what you do. It’s also easier to collect emails if you provide interesting content in return.5. Think about the home page description of your organization.If you only had ten words to describe yourselves, what would those words be? Make sure the words you use on your site are accurate and descriptive. It also helps if those words mirror the keywords and phrases people are likely to use searching for you or your issues.6. Prominently feature your ‘Donate Now’ button.Visitors shouldn’t have to think about ways to engage with you – you need to show them how you want them to engage. Putting a Donate button on your site doesn’t guarantee anyone will use it. But if you make a compelling case for your work, you should make it easy for visitors to support you.7. Don’t hide your address and phone number.Even in this high tech world, we still know that the best way to build a relationship is showing people that you’re real. Phone numbers and addresses build trust and a sense of accessibility and is often the one piece of content people are looking for when they go to your site.8. Three clicks and you’re out.Make sure everything you might want a visitor to do on your site is no more than three clicks away. Research indicates that you lose 40% of visitors with each click.9. Build and test your search function.A search function and site map is a quick and easy way to help users get to their destination as quickly as possible. Tools such as Google Analytics will tell you if users are finding what they need on your site.10. Connect to your blog.An organization’s blog is an effective way to share your latest news and online engagement. Think of your blog as your website’s little buddy. Only start a blog if you have something to say and are ready to make a commitment. If you aren’t sure, try guest blogging for someone who already writes on similar topics. A blog also helps raise your ratings with search engines. (Read See3 blogs here.)Learn more about see3’s strategy services.last_img read more

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Tips for an Effective Contact Us Page

first_imgMake it easy to find and skim. List your Contact Us page prominently in your site navigation, and include it in your email communication.  This adapted article is reprinted with permission from Microsoft Office Live Small Business and the E-WRITE Bulletin. One of the hardest-working but most underrated pages of any nonprofit website is the “Contact Us” page. It hangs in the background, behind more glamorous pages, ready to offer the most basic but essential of information about an organizationWhat makes an effective Contact Us pageIt should answer two key questions: How people can contact your nonprofit and why they should want to contact your nonprofit. Here are some key tips on how to address those questions. What information to include Many organizations wonder how much contact information they should share. For example, is a land-line phone number enough or should you include a cellphone number? What about publishing the street address of your home office? Here are specifics.Always list a physical address or (snail) mailing address. Often  suggest they’re reachable only online-that is, they have an email address and that’s all you need to know. Even if you don’t have an office where supporters or constituents can visit you directly, there are likely service providers, vendors, and others who should know your physical location. By listing a phone and physical address, you also appear more legitimate as a real organization.Beyond that, many people prefer support local organizations and look online for causes in their region. The opportunity to secure local supporters who can attend events, volunteer and drop off donations makes it worthwhile.  Use an embedded email submission form if necessary. Website email forms can be ponderous, particularly if one simply needs to ask a question. But a form may be necessary if your organization needs information for taking assistance requests, or collects subscriber information for newsletters or white papers.Include a photo of your organization’s location and/or directions. These are much less important if you don’t have a physical office or a reason for constituents to visit. Even so, directions are worthwhile if service providers and vendors are likely to need them. If your organization depends on getting people to visit (such as for regular events, donation drop-off, etc.), you may want to consider a separate “Directions” page. A picture of your signage may help some people find you more easily. Link to your blog or social media profiles. “Contact Us” means being reachable through all channels. If you write a blog related to your cause, or have a LinkedIn or Facebook page that you’d like to expose to customers and prospects, include links to them.  List at least one email address that is checked regularly. Yes, you may get spam. But email communication is an expectation, and is a convenient way for supporters to reach your organization after hours. Your email address should be clickable so that users can instantly open the link in their own email programs to send you a message. Creating an email link is similar to creating a URL link; simply replace “http://www.anycause.org” with “mailto:johndoe@anycause.org.” Provide related page links for more information. Where appropriate, include links to your programs and giving pages, customer service or technical support, your newsletter sign-up page, and/or your FAQ page. Example: “To learn more about industry news and trends, sign up for our monthly newsletter.” Additional tipsUse images only if they add editorial value. A photo of your staff or your office may add warmth and personality, as well as help customers locate your business. But clip art of a telephone or a mailbox adds no value.  List all appropriate phone numbers. At the very least, list your main line and a fax number. Consider including any alternate numbers (such as for departments), and a cellphone number if you feel comfortable doing so. Also, mention where and how someone can leave a voicemail message for you after hours. Not listing a phone number at all suggests you’re understaffed or not customer friendly. List events you attend or promote. If you are active in events in your community, and would like to meet supporters and constituents through them, list information and links about the upcoming events along with your role. This is a smart way to market your organization and mission. The downside: Your Contact Us page will require more frequent upkeep. Guide people on why they should contact you, without a lot of verbiageOffer simple instructions on using your contact information. Example: “Please call us or email us to arrange a, or visit our warehouse to .” Another: “Call us for a free consultation.”last_img read more

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What generations are generous?

first_imgIt must be research season – the interesting studies just keep coming! Here is another:Donors across all generations tend to give roughly the same amount to philanthropic causes, when controlling for other factors such as income, education and frequency of attendance at religious services, according to “Generational Differences in Charitable Giving and in Motivations for Giving,” a study conducted by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University and sponsored by Campbell & Company. Key FindingsThere are some generational difference in giving, mostly between the “Silent” and Great generations and Boomer and later generations. Giving differs mostly by factors other than generation – educational attainment, frequency of religious attendance and income. To the extent that these differ by generation, they explain the observed difference in giving by people of different generations. Motivations do vary by income, race, education, region of the country and religious attendance but vary little by generation after controls for these other factors. Millennial donors are most likely to be motivated by a desire to make the world a better place. They give consistent with their income, education level, frequency of religious attendance and marital status.The full study is here.last_img read more

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Two More Job Opportunities at MHTF

first_imgPosted on April 22, 2009August 17, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A key part of the MHTF’s workplan is knowledge management and state-of-the art information & communications technologies. The Knowledge Management Specialist will design and maintain the first knowledge management system dedicated exclusively to maternal health. And the Technology and Information Dissemination Specialist will build a system that allows maternal health specialists and stakeholders to communicate easily and frequently. Energetic, imaginative candidates are welcome to apply through the links above, or at EngenderHealth.org. Thanks!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Global Maternal Health Conference 2010: June 14th Update

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 14, 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)From the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010 co-organizers: The Public Health Foundation of India and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth Preparations for our conference to take place in Delhi 30th August – 1st September are well underway and the level of interest is high!We received well over 500 abstract submissions for panels, posters, and presentations, which have been reviewed by our scientific sub-committees.  Their recommendations are resulting in a conference program that we believe will present a true and comprehensive picture of the maternal health field around the world.All the abstract acceptance letters will be emailed by the end of this week.As we have been reviewing abstracts and talking to colleagues, we are struck by the sheer number of maternal health research, implementation, and advocacy projects that are being conducted.   Calls for ‘scaling-up’ have clearly been heard, and this conference will be a propitious opportunity to share experiences and coordinate efforts.Stay tuned to the MHTF Blog and the conference page on our website – we will be posting updates more and more frequently as the conference nears.Share this:last_img read more

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Live From the G8: 1,744,128 Voices Can’t Be Wrong

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 28, 2010June 21, 2017By: Amy Boldosser, Senior Officer, Global Advocacy Program, Family Care InternationalClick 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)Amy Boldosser, a member of Family Care International’s global advocacy team, was in Toronto from Thursday through Sunday, for the G8 and G20 summits.  Amy’s coverage of the summits is being posted on Blog 4 Global Health, RH Reality Check, and the MHTF Blog. (June 25, 2010) Canada, the host country for both summits, has declared that maternal and child health will be a central focus of the G8 agenda. FCI and our advocacy partners from around the world are working to ensure that this is far more than a symbolic step — that the G8’s discussion leads to concrete financial commitments, and that governments are held accountable for delivering on these commitments and saving women’s and children’s lives.Civil society organizations from across Canada and six continents today invited an additional 1,744,128 people to the G8 and G20 negotiating tables. More than a dozen civil society networks brought petitions signed by almost 2 million individuals from around the world conveying the message to global leaders that it’s time for action. The various petitions call on the leaders to make meaningful commitments on the Maternal and Child Health initiative, to honor the pledge to help developing countries adapt to climate change, to agree on a concrete plan to sustain HIV/AIDS treatment programs and deliver on promises for universal education.In addition to the petitions, a statement released by students’ organizations around the world, including the Canadian Federation of Students, representing over 150 million students called for a commitment to education and public services. The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/G8/index.cfm)  delivered a letter to G8 leaders signed by 14 million health workers, urging G8 leaders to double official development assistance (ODA) for maternal, newborn and child health to fill the 3.5 million gap of health workers in countries where women often give birth alone or without professional help.All of the petitions were presented to Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s office, although in the interest of saving trees the groups did not print out what would have amounted to 72,000 sheets of paper filling 18 boxes but rather presented the petitions on CD.Dorothy Ngoma, Executive Director of the National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi, said that it is immoral that 350,000 or more women are dying each year during pregnancy and childbirth. The question, Ngoma said, is “why have the world leaders in the G8 failed to protect women’s lives?”  She continued, “Who is going to protect these women? World leaders promised to cut maternal deaths by 75% by 2015 but we don’t seem to be making much progress.”All of the speakers at the event highlighted the broader issue of accountability. Ngoma mentioned the promises made by the G8 at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005 which included G8 governments committing to an increase in overall Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) by around $50 billion a year by 2010 as well as an increase in ODA for Africa by $25 billion by 2010. While aid has increased since 2005, there is still a shortfall of $18 billion to meet these commitments.  The G8 itself has recognized the need for greater accountability for its commitments.  At the G8 Summit in L’Aquila, the leaders committed to “strengthen our accountability with respect to G8 individual and collective commitments with regard to development and development-related goals.” The Muskoka Accountability Report released by the G8 prior to the Summit this week noted that some governments are meeting some commitments some of the time but that “countries are $10 billion behind the five-year, $50 billion commitment they made at their 2005 Summit in Scotland.”As we wait for first news reports on commitments from the G8 Summit currently underway, civil society is keeping the focus on these very large commitments which have already been made but not met.  We don’t need more promises from the G8 today, we need action on existing commitments to reduce poverty and specific concrete financial commitments to The Muskoka Initiative for maternal and child health that will actually be delivered upon. We’re adding our voices to those 1,744,128 concerned citizens, and many others around the world who are watching today, in calling for change.Share this:last_img read more

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C-Sections on GlobalMama and Caesarean Community of Practice

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 18, 2010June 1, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we recently mentioned, MHTF also has a blog on Medscape/WebMD and we’ve published a post today on caesarean sections in the United States and throughout the developing world.Also, we’ve created a page for a community of practice (CoP) working on caesarean indicators. The group met in January 2010 in Baltimore to discuss how to improve measurement of caesarean birth and developed a meeting report with recommendations for moving research forward.In addition to the caesarean CoP, MHTF has participated in the Clean Birth Kits Community of Practice to investigate the role of clean birth kits in improving maternal health.These communities of practice serve as a platform for experts in the field of maternal health and its related fields to share knowledge and information to reach consensus on major topics in maternal health that are major areas of debate. As we move forward, the development of additional CoPs around other pressing maternal health issues is likely.Share this:last_img read more

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No Santa in India

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 1, 2011June 20, 2017By: Hellen Kotlolo, Young Champion of Maternal HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This blog post was contributed by Hellen Kotlolo, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.All around the globe, the Christmas trees, lights and decorations are going up as December hits. Children are hinting for presents, shopping malls are decorated, Christmas carols are sung and in South Africa many children are getting new clothes: ‘Christmas clothes’. But unfortunately for many this is the only time they get clothes, and others, even more unfortunate, have to go without any gifts. Parents are borrowing money just to buy their children Christmas clothes while some are planning for holidays and to visit their close family, relatives and loved ones.In India things are different; it is mostly ‘business as usual’, apart from a few Christmas decorations in some of the more ‘western’ malls and shops. In the first week of December, I attended a National Convention for compiling innovations for improving primary newborn care in India. The convention was a participation of different NGOs and their efforts to improve newborn care and working in collaboration with the Government. The workshop went well but to my frustration I still felt and voiced that it was important to provide integrated care of newborns and mothers. In the two day workshop, HIV was not even mentioned, and the innovations were limited to the urban wealthy in contrast to focusing the care for the poor and most vulnerable. HIV is more prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa but exists around the globe and although the estimates are low and unknown in India, I ask myself about those babies that are exposed. I sometimes wonder with Africa engulfed and burdened by HIV/AIDS if it is only our issue, or if it is really a global issue?For months before my departure for India, I had been working on getting together a PMTCT documentary. After painstakingly recruiting a willing pregnant woman and finding an obliging and interested trusted health journalist, the piece was finally aired on national television in South Africa on “Special Assignment” a week after World AIDS Day and so far the feedback has been great. The website is: http://www.health-e.org.za/news/article.php?uid=20033048.Following the workshop, I returned to the office and started preparing for the meeting we had with “GRAVIS” our NGO-partner responsible for implementation and statistical support of the Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) project. They are working in the underserved villages of the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. I worked on the presentation and identified the emerging issues from the baseline survey in order to make recommendations. The meeting was meant as discussion for not only sharing the data and the emerging issues but also for planning activities and methods of interventions for the project. We set up dates and deadlines for the weeks to follow. A day after the meeting I went with the team to a meeting to Paranpur to attend a review meeting where the district and government officials also attended. Language still forms a great barrier in communication so at times I take the role of a photographer and I am becoming good at the job. I also shared my experiences in India and experiences in South Africa along with my Ashoka Young Champions idea to the state CDHO, NGO coordinator and representatives from the NGO.Christmas was approaching and as the messages and phone calls from home began, I started feeling the Christmas spirit and missing home even more as the days approached. I was fortunate to take the 24th and 25th off for Christmas. We shared Christmas with our neighbours, a family that lives in the same apartment block as us. They do not celebrate Christmas as such but shared the day with us, and for Christmas lunch we exchanged a few presents. It made the day special as it is both my husband’s and my favorite time of the year and far away from home where we would have indulged in his mom’s wonderful cooking followed by my family’s annual get together with huge and lovely Christmas lunch. The 26th I was on the road to Rajasthan to attend GRAVIS’s state level workshop that we had been invited to. As we drove down to Rajasthan my heart was in Africa more than ever and speaking to my grandmother was a very motivating and emotional reminder that far away across the seas there awaits love and warmth for me.December and January are also wedding seasons in India and we were invited to a wedding which was a wonderful experience in such a diverse and interesting culture. It is not about just attending a wedding but experiencing society which one is in.We organised a belated Christmas party in the office and exchanged presents as wishes for the New Year. The question of Santa brought about many religious complexities and the Christmas party at work showed how different people, from different religions, cultures and different beliefs came together to share the love and purpose of the festive season. To have faith, to believe, to share, to help others, to love beyond, that’s also what my nine months mentorship represents and that’s what the Christmas party represented for me. Sharing and spreading of the festive spirit.Share this:last_img read more

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‘Regional Conference on Fistula’ in Karachi: Call for Abstracts

first_imgPosted on January 18, 2011August 18, 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 upcoming “Regional Fistula Conference” is requesting abstracts from interested presenters. The conference will be held at Sheraton Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan from 4-6 March 2011 in collaboration with UNFPA. The last date for submission is 20th February, 2011.For additional details:website: www.pnfwh.org email: fistulaconference@hotmail.comView the conference flyerShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img

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MHTF Partner Lee Karen Stow at the International Slavery Museum

first_imgPosted on March 11, 2011November 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 partner Lee Karen Stow, a photographer, opened an exhibit last week at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, UK. Her exhibition, 42, “aims to show the beauty, spirit, hope and the value to society of women not just in Sierra Leone, but women everywhere, who wake each morning with the belief that one day, life really will get better.” Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img

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Recapping International Women’s Day

first_imgPosted on March 9, 2011November 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)We had an exciting International Women’s Day yesterday at the MHTF. You can read what MHTF Director Ann Blanc had to say about the Young Champions of Maternal Health, updates from our partners and view our website in three new languages. There was flurry of activity on the web yesterday as organizations wrote about what they are doing to improve the lives of women. Below is a snapshot of some of the important work being done on women’s health.EngenderHealth President Pamela W. Barnes and Jeffrey L. Sturchio on investing global women’s healthMaternal health and neglected tropical diseases from the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases“Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development” from USAID, the Gates Foundation and othersThe Kaiser Family Foundation marks the 100th IWDJill Sheffield from Women Deliver and Nalini Saligram from Arogya World on the 100th IWD as a catalyst for changeCelebrating IWD at the Guardian“A Woman’s Health is Her Primary Wealth” at Management Sciences for HealthNick Kristof on women leadersWomen’s health on IWD at USAIDTwo new challenges from ABC on maternal health and surviving childbirthShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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