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3 tips for being calmer and more creative

first_imgHBR has a nice post this week on quieting your mind – and recharging it. You can check out the whole article here, and I’ve posted a quick summary. Try one or all of these three practices:1. Mini-meditation: For 10 minutes on public transportation each morning, close your eyes and imagine a relaxing scene like a tree or waterfall. Try to focus only on that. If you drive to work, arrive 10 minutes early and do this in the parking lot. Says author Matthew May, “People who meditate show more gray matter in certain regions of the brain, show stronger connections between brain regions and show less age-related brain atrophy.” Sounds like a good reason to try this!2. Pulsing: Take breaks between stretches of 90 minutes of work. You just spent a lot of energy – now recharge for five minutes by doodling, listening to music or taking a brief stroll.3. Daydream walks: Find 20 minutes or so to let your mind wander. A lunchtime walk or morning jog are good times to try. Do not think about work but rather something you like to imagine, like a dream trip. You’re taking care of your creative brain – and the benefits will extend to all of your life.last_img read more

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Trying to motivate people to change? Reward them.

first_imgIf you’re familiar with marketing, you know the principle of a benefit exchange: a reward offered in return for taking an action. A benefit exchange answers the question: What’s in it for me?For example: If I buy Nikes, I’ll feel like an athlete. If I go to your meeting, I’ll get some face time with senior staff.Benefit exchanges are useful for all kinds of situations. Like getting someone at work to agree to your proposal, encouraging people to change their habits or inspiring someone to donate to a cause.But we often get the benefit exchange wrong. We don’t offer a strong enough reward – or a sufficiently clear call to action.So here’s a mini-marketing refresh on strengthening the reward part of your benefit exchange. If you’re trying to persuade someone to do something, think about sharpening the “what’s in it for me?” answer with a better reward.A compelling reward has five important attributes: It should be immediate, personal, reflective of your audience’s values, better than competing rewards, and credible.Immediate: The best rewards are available to our audience right away. Few of us take action based on a reward that we expect to receive in the far future. It is human nature to seek instant satisfaction over distant gratification. So think about what your call to action will do for someone in the short term. Eating a hamburger satisfies our hunger, drinking beer makes the ball game more fun, and wearing cologne makes us feel sexier. Donating to charity makes us feel we made a difference for one person, today. How can you show an immediate result may be possible?Personal: The reward needs to make people feel their life will be better as individuals or within their tight circles of friends, family and community. Take the attributes of what you want people to do and sell them as benefits. What will recycling or sidewalks or education policy do for your audience? At the end of the day, the personal connection, not the grand concept, grabs our attention.Grounded in audience values: We can’t easily change what other people believe, but by plugging into their existing mind-set we unleash great power behind our message. Make sure the reward you are offering is something others seek – not just what you want. Those two things are rarely the same, but we often imagine they are!Better than the competition: Think competitively about your reward. Is it better than what people get for doing nothing – or something else? Don’t forget there’s a reason people aren’t taking action. They may be deriving benefits from those behaviors. How can you make your reward better than what people get from maintaining the status quo?Credible: Last, you need to make sure the claim of your benefit is believable. People need to believe they can get the reward. Show other people gaining the promised benefit or telling a good story can bolster your case. Make the promise change credible.If people aren’t doing what you want, you may find out why by reviewing this list. Are you making your offer sufficiently irresistible? Or could you sweeten the reward in one of these areas? It’s worth the effort to consider, because a great benefit exchange makes it far easier (and faster) to get to yes.last_img read more

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3 Special Ways to Show Your Donors Some Love

first_imgSending thank you notes and providing tax receipts are important steps to building good donor relationships—but they’re just the beginning. Here are three ways you can go above and beyond with your donor appreciation.1. Say happy birthday!Food Finders Food Bank in Lafayette, Indiana, asks a surprising question on its donation page: What is your birth month and day? No, there isn’t a legal age for donating. Food Finders is collecting birthday information so that they can send donors happy birthday ecards in 2014, says Food Finder’s Director of Development Cheryl Precious. Contacting your donors to celebrate lets them know that you care and keeps you in mind.2. Feature their stories in your newsletter or on your website. Each month, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services features a different volunteer. Why should your nonprofit promote its donors? Highlighting the people you support and the people who support you keeps your mission front and center for everyone. “Donors commit their hard-earned money and time to your cause, so emphasizing them says thanks and gives your nonprofit more credibility,” says Network for Good’s Senior Communication and Success Specialist Annika Pettitt.3. Host a special event.Giving donors a behind-the-scenes experience or hosting programs for them is an exclusive experience that shows your gratitude. The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, hosts donors for a quarterly luncheon and discussion series, as well as special tours. Annika says that unique activities are an extra fun way to encourage a relationship with donors and keep them involved.Image Credit: Shambhulast_img read more

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10 Social Media Stats for Nonprofit Marketers

first_imgIs one of your 2014 goals to get your social strategy in order? Here are 10 fun stats on social media that can help you decide how to spend your time.73% of U.S. online adults now use social networking sites. Source: Pew Tweet this.Roughly one-third of the world’s population is now online. Source: We Are Social Tweet this.68% of Instagram’s users are women. Source: Business Insider Tweet this.50% of nonprofit communicators label social media as a “very important” communication tool. Source: Nonprofit Marketing Guide Tweet this.Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets. Source: Buffer Tweet this.71% of U.S. online adults are now Facebook users. Source: Pew Tweet this.55% who engaged with causes via social media have been inspired to take further action. Source: Waggener Edstrom Tweet this.In the U.S., users spend 114 billion minutes a month on Facebook. Source: Business Insider Tweet this.70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside of the U.S. Source: 9Clouds Tweet this.40% of Facebook users surveyed say they log in to the social network multiple times per day. Source: Pew Tweet this.Need some help thinking about how to leverage social media for your nonprofit’s outreach strategy? Download this free guide from Network for Good, Social Media Mini Guide for Nonprofits.last_img read more

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The Secret Sauce of Record-Breaking Year-End Campaigns

first_imgPrep your team to:Be confident in sharing year-end messages.Be ready for a flood of requests for help and info, especially in December.Immediately share important feedback they receive on any component of last-minute marketing so you can correct the course if necessary. Go!Like most tasks, implementing your year-end campaign is a lot easier (and will be so much more successful) when based on a research-based plan. Don’t skip that step.Write right.Make sure your tone is personal and your call to action clear and easy to act on. Consider these five steps to a successful year-end email campaign.This last recommendation is so important. If you skip it, you’ll risk undermining campaign success. If you do it, you’ll do great. Get on it!That’s my year-end campaign secret sauce. What can you add? Share your tried and true practices in the comments below!With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org. Outline Your Plan Every connection you squeeze into 2014 allows you to deepen the relationship just a little more! So clarify your goal, think through what will be top of mind for these folks, and start reaching out right now.Do more of what has worked best to engage your most loyal supporters while you have their attention.Your trends analysis will also highlight the channels and messages that hit a positive nerve with each audience group. These are the ones you’ll want to replicate in the remaining weeks of this year. Use that info to shape some year-end-specific messages.Go beyond online channels to share those messages. Although email is a timely and relatively low-cost format for targeted campaigns, print and social media campaigns can be great complements if resources allow. There is still time to get another postcard out the door, if it makes sense.Ramp UpLine up your team and budget.Although the stats indicate that year-end is a productive fundraising time, you’ll have to work better and harder than ever from the get-go to generate gifts, because all fundraisers are onto the same stats.Spend a few minutes with colleagues in your organization, ideally one-on-one, to ask for their help and to thank them for their help in making marketing a success (even if their role is very indirect).Then, get your website, donation processing, and colleagues ready to respond.Make sure your site features:Recent stories about programs, including some programs introduced pre-2014 (to connect those folks who haven’t checked in much this year).A big donate button on every page, with a “phone in your gift” number.A recently tested online giving process.Consistent messages and look-and-feel across your entire site, including the donation page. Avoid confusing donors; make it easy for them to feel confident in giving by making your donation process match the rest of your materials.center_img Come in close and listen hard. This is a secret I don’t want to broadcast to the entire world.The secret sauce to ensuring year-end campaign success that I’ve seen work time and time again is this year-end checklist. Year-end campaign creation and management is a busy, often overwhelming process fraught with anxiety. This checklist is the best antidote I know, and it doubles as a surefire tool to propel you to your year-end victory lap.Pinpoint Where You Are Right NowRoll up your sleeves and take a long, hard look at this year’s fundraising results to date, both quantitative and qualitative. Note: If you have no idea what your results are, designing ways to measure success is a must for 2015.Assess results against your benchmarks. Review year-to-date results, and compare them to your benchmarks to see what’s working as hoped and what’s not.This is easier with hard numbers, like those associated with online petition signing or registration, online giving, or other actions that you can directly track to their source. More challenging, but equally important, is drawing insight from quantitative information such as client, volunteer, or donor feedback and stories from the field.Identify meaningful trends:Which matches are working? Which target audience is responding to what campaigns, channels, and messages?Who else should you be in touch with? Have any surprise visitors—groups you didn’t expect to engage with your organization—surfaced this year?Who fell off your radar that you need to rekindle the relationship with before it’s too late? Who was a loyal supporter in previous years but has been significantly less responsive this year?last_img read more

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Your Four-Step Plan to Conquer Social Media on #GivingTuesday

first_imgNonprofit Social Media StrategyWhy is there an emphasis on using social media for #GivingTuesday campaigns?  Because social media is immediate and is built for engagement. On a day of giving like #GivingTuesday campaigns, social media will help you:Communicate updates quickly.Create a sense of urgency.Spread your campaign to people inside and outside of your traditional networks.This post is not meant to be the magic key to making your #GivingTuesday campaign go viral. Instead, use these four steps to help set yourself up for social media success on December 1.Step One: Draft your plan.Nail down these three things to get your basic plan in place:1. Focus on your story. The theme or major story that you are communicating through your #GivingTuesday appeal should be an integral element of your social media messaging.For example, Badass Brooklyn Animal Shelter posted social media updates on #GivingTuesday about a group of dogs they were rescued during the first week of December. They featured stories of these pups throughout the day and reiterated that donations saved these dogs’  lives. The images were branded with the #GivingTuesday logo, a call to action to donate, and a short URL that lead directly to Badass’ donation page.For more on multi-channel messaging, check out this blog post from Vanessa Chase.2. Stay consistent with messaging. Map out your social media posts from November to the end of #GivingTuesday. If you draft all your content all at once, it’s easier to see the natural progression of your posts while keeping your campaign’s theme consistent. Line this messaging up with your email campaign, phoneathon, or other mediums you are using to ensure your message is consistent and clear.3. Pace yourself. Don’t stay glued to Facebook the whole day. Pace yourself or give yourself a break. If you’re planning on doing all the social media yourself, please don’t! If you typically have an active social fan base and anticipate needing help, recruit a volunteer or colleague you trust to help you monitor social media or work “shifts” throughout the day.I highly recommend that you schedule the majority of your “donate now!” posts beforehand and create updates on campaign milestones as they are available. In addition to asking for gifts and updating supporters on your campaign’s progress, use social media to thank donors, interact with your ambassadors, and answer questions.Step Two: Recruit some social media ambassadors.To get the most out of your social media efforts, recruit social media ambassadors to help spread your message on #GivingTuesday. Start asking your most loyal social media fans to share and post original content on their pages as a way to drive donations on #GivingTuesday. Better yet, send them pre-made tweets and Facebook posts that they can simply copy paste and post!If you want to take it a step further, ask these ambassadors to launch their own peer fundraising campaign on behalf of your nonprofit.Step Three: Get a tool to automate content posting.You’re going to be quite busy on #GivingTuesday, and you shouldn’t be pausing every hour or so to update your nonprofit’s social media accounts. Luckily, there are many tools out there to help you automate this process so you don’t have to be glued to Twitter and Facebook. Here are a few to look into:BufferSprout SocialHootSuiteTweetDeckSocialOomphThese tools can help you update your Facebook and Twitter accounts with a steady stream of shareable content during the week leading up to and on #GivingTuesday.Step Four: Get some graphics going.Your social media followers respond to images:  with images get two times the engagement and Facebook posts with images have an 87% interaction rate. Images are definitely the way to go!But, keep in mind, not all images get the same rate of attention. Be sure to post images that are relevant to your audience. And, “images” doesn’t necessarily mean “photos.” These images can be calls to action to donate, an infographic highlighting the impact of your work, or be part of your storytelling campaign. Free tools like Canva or PicMonkey are great for creating your own images. Just be sure to use consistent branding throughout your images so it’s obvious that these visuals are supporting the same message and the same campaign on #GivingTuesday.Here are a few social media images created by nonprofits for their #GivingTuesday campaigns:Have questions about leveraging social for #GivingTuesday? Reach out to me on Twitter and let me know how I can help.Need more help with #GivingTuesday in general? Download our essentials guide to plan a successful campaign from start to finish.last_img read more

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10 Reasons to Celebrate the Health of Moms—and Those Working to Improve Maternal Health—this Mother’s Day!

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 11, 2012March 14, 2018Click 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)Mother’s Day 2012 provides a good occasion to celebrate accomplishments in the field over the past year. The Maternal Health Task Force shares ten exciting developments.The State of the World’s Midwives report provided the first comprehensive analysis of midwifery services in countries where the needs are greatest.The MHTF & PLoS launched an open-access collection on quality of maternal health care.UNICEF & UNFPA launched the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities, to increase access to maternal, child, and newborn health commodities.Joyce Banda, an advocate for women’s health & rights, became Malawi’s first female president.The White Ribbon Alliance, along with many partners, developed the Respectful Maternity Care Charter: The Universal Rights of Childbearing Women.Direct Relief International, Fistula Foundation, & UNFPA partnered to develop the first-ever Global Fistula Map, outlining the global landscape of the issue.The first-ever estimates of preterm birth rates by country were published in a new report, Born Too Soon: A Global Action Report on Preterm Birth.Save the Children’s 13th State of the World’s Mothers report focused on nutrition during the period from pregnancy through the child’s 2nd birthday, the first 1,000 daysThe World Health Organization added Misoprostol to the List of Essential Medicines, a critical step toward preventing post-partum hemorrhage.Melinda Gates announced plans to help raise $4 billion to dramatically increase access to family planning around the world by 2020.Please add to the list in the comments!Share this:last_img read more

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New Study Takes a Closer Look at Which Birth Control Works Best

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 25, 2012June 21, 2017Click 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 new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, May 24th, found that the effectiveness of long-acting reversible contraception is superior to that of contraceptive pills, patch, or ring. This is important news for the global health community–especially in light of Melinda Gates’ recent announcement of her decision to make family planning her signature issue and primary public health priority.From the Time Magazine article about the study:The study involved 7,486 women participating in the Contraceptive Choice Project, run by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The women, aged 14 to 45, were given their choice of contraception for free and then tracked for up to three years for unintended pregnancy. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that longer-lasting contraceptives were up to 20 times more effective — that is, women using IUDs, implants or hormone injections were up to 20 times less likely to get pregnant — after three years than the shorter-acting methods of birth control.Read the study here.A number of news organizations have written about the study:Time Magazine, Which Birth Control Works Best? (Hint: It’s Not the Pill).The Wall Street Journal, Long-Lasting Birth Control Cuts Pregnancy RateABC News, Birth Control: New Research Gives Boost to IUD EffectivenessShare this:last_img read more

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Planning Beyond the 2015 MDG Deadline to Reduce Maternal Mortality

first_imgPosted on January 16, 2014November 7, 2016By: Himanshu Bhushan, Maternal Health Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of IndiaClick 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 approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!Point 1:India has the largest annual birth cohort of 26 million babies. In 1990 our maternal mortality ratio (MMR) was 600 deaths per 100,000 live births which declined to 200 in 2010India achieved 66% decline compared to 47% of global decline.We have wide variations in the states. Uttar Pradesh in 1997-98 had MMR of 606 while Kerala had 150. UP came down to 309, while Kerala came down to 81 in 2007-09.The point decline of UP was 297 while that of Kerala was 69. UP declined by 49% whereas Kerala only 46%.Now the point is: targets for UP and Kerala cannot be same.Point 2:The targets and goals for MDGs were set in the year 2000, but its active monitoring by international and national organizations and countries began only after an initial 5-7 years passed. The countries started monitoring the achievement in the past 5-7 years.While keeping next MDG goals and targets and in view of our experiences with different states/provinces it is suggested that:There should be different goals for countries depending upon their present level of achievement since further reduction after achieving a low/very low MMR will not be easy.Percentage reduction (differential) for different groups of MMR i.e. MMR between 500 to 400 . . ., 100 to 20. . . can be one of the options.Every country can then give a differential target or goal to the States and population within their country.For each such group of MMR, the broad strategies should also be decided as a suggestion for the states so that the states having less than 100 or 50 MMR have a clear vision what additional focus is neededWhile preparing strategies, socioeconomic factors should be taken in account along with clinical causes.Process indicators for every 5 years and its part for every year should be simultaneously decided so that the countries know and concurrently monitor where they stand if they have to achieve a certain level within the defined time period.Finally, we need to discuss what should be our ultimate commitment for maternal mortality, whether it should be limited to reduction or should be a commitment like achieving a zero level, at least for preventable deaths – as in the polio programme.The points raised above are at present not the view policy of the government of India but my thought process based on experiences in the implementation and seeing the ground realities from close.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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7 Tips to Make Your Donors an Irresistible Fundraising Offer

first_imgCLOSING EXAMPLE:Imagine your fundraising offer, in a nutshell, is to donate a meal that costs you less than $2.00.Your specific, simple, emotional, rewarding, leverageable, urgent, actionable appeal works like this (I’ve offered a few variations to show there’s no one right way to do this, but you’ll succeed if you include all the compelling elements):Your $2.00 gift will feed Joe a hot nutritious Thanksgiving dinner in the company of caring friends. Please give before Monday to reserve Joe’s place. Donate a $2.00 meal before next Monday so Joe gets a hot, nutritious Thanksgiving dinner in the company of caring friends this Thursday.The choice is yours. Joe can be cold, alone and hungry this Thanksgiving. Or warm and fed, in the company of a caring community. It all depends on you.Give the gift of a nutritious, hot Thanksgiving dinner, served in the company of friends. Just $2.00 received by Monday will reserve a place for Joe.Specific problem – You can show a photo of it. Donor can easily visualize the impact.Simple solution – Your reader is asked to do one thing. S/he doesn’t need to know all the reasons that bring Joe, and folks like him, to your mission. Or how you provide the meal. Or what ancillary services you provide (though you may hint at that in noting Joe will be “in the company of friends”). Offer up the information about additional support services you provide in your future donor communications.Emotional need – Fulfills human urge to help/make an impact; to connect with others.Reward – Feels good to help a real person. Now. Implication is that when you help someone in your community it makes the community betterLeverage – Good deal. Inexpensive. Fed someone, and then led to other “ripple effects” (implication Joe will get not just nutrition, but also other supportive care).Deadline – Feed someone a holiday meal, at a time people can feel very depressed and alone.Call to action – Do it now, here’s how, and it’s easy.Ready to Create Your Own Irresistible Fundraising Offer?Simply include these seven elements and you’ll be ahead of the game.And remember to keep it simple and focused.Black and white is good when it comes to offering options to join you (or not) in your mission. Your donor should think “Yes, I’ll help” or “No, I won’t help.”And, since your offer is so clear and compelling it would be unthinkable for them to say “no.”Right? 1. Specific ProblemSomething you can visualize happening. Or not happening. Not something broad and generic like “support our cause.”  If you’ve had success in the past with a generic appeal, I understand. That can work, especially with folks who already ‘get it,” but that limits your reach and appeal.  To expand beyond folks who already love you requires greater specificity. And, to be frank, when you’re more specific you’ll secure larger gifts. So stop leaving money on the table and describe a specific fundraising goal and cost to achieve what you propose.ACTION TIP:  If you know it costs $20/month to feed a senior, I’d like to know that.  In fact, in deciding how much I should give, I need to know that! It might cause me to give $240 to feed a senior for a year.  If you just ask me to “support our senior nutrition program with a gift of any amount,” I may just give you $25.#NFGtips: Before you send out any appeal, make sure your donation page makes it easy for donors to give.2. Simple SolutionSomething capable of being easily grasped by your audience.  Not all the underlying complexities.  Your fundraising offer is not a place to educate your donors. Or try to explain them into giving. Don’t feel compelled to expound on every nuance of what you do. Or every piece of the puzzle.  Get right to the most important part of what you do.  The demonstrated outcome.ACTION TIP: Donors simply want to show you they care. They want to make the happy ending come true. They want to see themselves as heroes.  Giving becomes a reflection in the mirror of who they are: compassionate, generous, values-based people. Donors will give when they’re persuaded that doing so is an excellent expression of who they are. If you want to tell the rest of the story (and you should), do it after the fact. In your thank you letters, emails and year-round communications. By the time next year rolls around, they’ll have a whole story bank in their minds and hearts, and will likely give even more passionately.Think of your fundraising offer as lighting the first spark. Then let your stewardship communications over the ensuing year fan the flames. 7. Call to ActionAsk early and often. Think about the single, most important thing you need to communicate; then tie your opening to your reason for writing as quickly as possible. It may be only thing your prospect will read before deciding whether or not to continue reading, or simply toss you into trash.ACTION TIP: Make your ask explicit. Spell it out in black and white. Force a decision with introduction that triggers an “I’ll help/I won’t help” decision.Every morning Jim dreams of getting onto a basketball court again. But his war injury means this will never happen. Unless you help.Isabelle dreams of being 1st in her family to go to college and ‘make something of herself.’ Instead she’ll probably get a minimum wage job right out of high school. Unless you help.Offer multiple ways to give (e.g., via remit piece and envelope; link to your website; telephone number). Make branded giving pages user-friendly and mobile responsive. Assure the landing pages include the campaign-specific call to action. Begin with “YES! I’ll help _________.” This seals the deal and helps the donor feel warm and fuzzy about their decision to help. 4. Donor BenefitsHuman beings always ask themselves: “What’s in it for me?” Always show your donor what the benefit will be if they give. Remind them they’ll feel really good.  Studies show merely contemplating giving releases “feel good” dopamine. Everything about giving –thinking and doing –is good for us!ACTION TIP: Tell prospective donors giving will save a life… lead to a cure… offer a resource for them and their children… make their community a better place. You can also add in benefits like tax deductions, inclusion in a giving society and even token gifts (like invitations to free events, being entered into a raffle to win something, etc.). Perhaps one of the biggest benefits you can offer is to make your donor feel like a hero. 3. EmotionalPeople give when their hearts are touched.  Usually from ONE compelling story.  Often from a photo that depicts this story, accompanied by a compelling caption. A zingy, succinct opening line can help as well.ACTION TIP: Come up with something memorable and “sticky” with which folks can easily connect. Usually the best way to do this is through storytelling. Don’t make it an educational lesson or intellectual exercise. Something people will struggle to remember. People don’t give because of the fact that 27,000 people in your community are hungry. Or 200,000 birds are soaked in oil and can’t fly. They don’t give to statistics. They don’t give with their heads. They give when something tugs at their heart strings. One hungry child. One oil-drenched, grounded bird. One wrong they can believably right with their gift.center_img 6. DeadlineStrike while the iron is hot. You’ve worked hard to trigger folks’ emotions. Don’t let them put off giving until a future time, when their ardor may have cooled.  Offer deadlines.ACTION TIP: Create a sense of scarcity.  No one likes to lose out on a good deal. Matching grant deadline.  Doors about to close deadline. People waiting in line deadline.  Year-end tax deduction deadline. Even if you can’t find a natural “scarcity” deadline, give some kind of deadline like: “Do it by next Monday.” 5. LeverageOffer the donor a “good deal” – show them how they get a bigger bang for their buck than may seem to be true at first blush.  People love to S-T-R-E-T-C-H their dollars.ACTION TIP: Describe how their dollar goes further than they might imagine. One meal provided in the third world will seem relatively cheap. One dollar given that will be matched dollar-for-dollar due to your matching grant is alluring.  One dollar given that has ripple effects, helping not just the recipient, but their entire family, is tempting. How to Create a Nonprofit Fundraising Offer That Can’t Be Refused Do you know what the 40/40/20 rule is? It’s something long preached by direct mail experts, and it reveals that the key to success with your fundraising appeal is not the thing most nonprofits spend the greatest amount of time on.Alas, it’s not the “creative.”Here’s how the “40-40-20 Rule” goes:40 percent of a direct mailing’s success is dependent upon the list; 40 percent of the success comes from the offer; and 20 percent of the success is due to the creative.40 – Mailing list (audience you’re talking to)40 – Offer (what you’re asking audience to do)20 – Creative (words, pictures, fonts, colors and design)Today we’re going to talk about the offer. Because if you don’t make it clear and easy for folks to take the exact action you desire, then the rest of your mailing has little purpose.7 Compelling Fundraising Offer Essentialslast_img read more

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3 Smart Year-End Email Fundraising Strategies

first_imgEditor’s note: Want more email fundraising tips? Join us on Tuesday, September 26 at 1pm EDT for a 30-minute webinar, #NFGTips: Your Email Strategy for Year-End. Can’t make that time? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording. Click here to save your spot!In my last article I discussed the importance of getting all your year-end ducks in a row.Today we’re going to take a quack at assuring your year-end email series gets opened and acted upon.A quack at it?Yes! Because I’m guessing you don’t have your ducks lined up to make this year’s email appeal worth all your effort.  What do I mean? I mean the majority of folk receiving your email will simply hit ‘delete.’ And that’s just not going to pay your bills.You need to get all your email duckies in a row. And I know exactly which three are missing.I’ve been in that duck pond. I know where your world-wide webbed feet are taking you.You’re painstakingly wordsmithing the appeal message… agonizing over just the right tag line… angsting over which photo is the most compelling… meticulously crafting your killer call to action… thoroughly assuring your donate button link is working… worrying about your colors and type face… and distressing about how you’ll measure your results. All essential things. But your email is still going to drown.Yup. Your poor little email is just a sitting duck for that delete button.Unless… you shift some of your energy to three simple, yet too often overlooked or back-burnered, things: The “From” line The “Subject” line List segmentationLet’s Start with the “From” LineThis is arguably the most important part of your email. According to a Constant Contact study, 64% of people open emails because of the organization it is from; compared with 47% of people opening emails because of what’s in the subject line. To avoid having your precious email wind up in the trash bin, you need to use the ‘Just Ducky! ’ Rule. And the ‘From’ line is at the heart of this rule. Let me explain.When folks see an email from you in their inbox you want them thinking “That’s just ducky!  An email from _____. She always has something interesting to say.”Whose emails do you open first? Chances are good that when you open your email box a majority of the messages are of little interest to you. You don’t know who they’re from, they look like junk, or they’re coming from someone who doesn’t interest you enough to compel you to open their message.  If you have time, maybe you will.  If you don’t, maybe you’ll hit “delete.”Who the email is from is often what motivates people to open it.  Your email should come from a person or brand your targeted reader knows, trusts and, ideally, likes.  Often this will be the E.D.  It could also be another beloved staff member or lay leader. Even when you have a trusted brand, you’ll likely get a better response from the person at the brand. People give to people, not institutions. If you’re not sure about this, it’s certainly something worth testing!Don’t duck out on this responsibility, please. Think about who the email is coming from before you begin to write.  Don’t leave it until the very end. Too often no one thinks about it; then the IT person or the administrative assistant is assigned to “launch” the email. Typically they do one of two things: (1) simply launch the email from a corporate account, or (2) innocently ask “Who’s it coming from?”The first is not so good, because it’s a thoughtless approach.  The second is not so good, because it’s an afterthought (and I’ve seen more than one occasion where the appeal was delayed because it took awhile to find a signatory or to create a new “from” email account that would work).Put a feather in your cap by planning ahead so that when your reader opens their inbox they exclaim: “Just Ducky!”Let’s Make your Subject Line a Real Firequacker!The subject line is the window into your message. 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone (Source: Convince and Convert).To be a great e-mallard you’ve got to give the reader a reason to open the email. Waddle you gonna do about this? You’re gonna make your subject line one or more of these things: urgent; intriguing; exciting; specific; useful; compelling; emotional, shocking or funny (even daffy). That’s what it takes to get folks flocking to you.Here are a few real examples:Four pounds, that’s what’s up This led to email about how a food bank client had gained weight after receiving nutritious food at an on-site pantry at her senior apartments.) Intriguing/FunnyAbandoned by budget cuts, they’re counting on usThis led to e-appeal to fund home care for seniors who were losing critical lifeline services due to budget cutbacks). Urgent/SpecificWhy the cheerleaders shaved their heads This led to a message from Indianapolis Colt’s coach Chuck Pagano, who was battling leukemia. Shocking.Get into your donor’s head as much as you can, and try to make it about the donor rather than your fundraising goals. For those who’ve given in the past, how about a simple: Did you forget you made this possible? This also has the subtle psychological benefit of reminding them they already did something. (Remember, one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence is “commitment and consistency.”).  Compelling. Specific. Intriguing.Is it all over between us?This was suggested by grassroots fundraising guru Kim Klein. Emotional. Compelling.You have only a few seconds to capture attention. Subject lines with less than 50 characters have open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more, and click-through rates are 75% higher. So generally plan to keep your subject line to 50 characters or fewer.For more inspirations, check out some holiday email subject lines here. If you happen to use MailChimp they have a  free tool to test the strength of your subject line. They also help you add emoji’s, and they suggest words that will negatively affect your open rates – You may be surprised – two of them are: ‘Help’ and ‘Reminder.’You can find a whole duck boat-load of ideas – many of which are as good as they’re quacked up to be — in 200 More Email Subject Lines from End of Year Fundraising. Just avoid those that could be coming from any nonprofit (e.g., “Just 48 hours left” is not great. “48 hours left to rescue drowning ducks” is better).But don’t mislead. That will make you a dead duck. Folks don’t mind being teased a little, but they don’t like being lied to. If folks open your email, but then see it’s not at all about what you promised, they’ll toss you right out.While we’re at it, consider your pre-header.  That’s an extra tool to convince your subscribers to quack open your email. What is it? It’s the snippet of text at the top of your email (or a link to the online version) that your subscribers see first, sometimes even before they open the email. Because even if you get your email open, studies show that 51% will delete your email within 2 seconds of opening it.  Aargh!Most email clients display the pre-header right after the subject line. This means if you’re using images, you absolutely must include an ALT description of the image for those folks (most) whose images are blocked. Talk to your IT folk if you don’t know what I’m talking about. And keep in mind the typical inbox preview pane will only show 30 to 40 characters (the typical mobile device shows around 15 characters). So make your lead-in count.Segmentation can Make or Break your Campaign.Imagine you’re an animal rescue agency. Half of your supporters love dogs; half love cats. Wouldn’t it make sense to devise tailored messages for each segment?The same holds true for folks who gave big gifts vs. small ones. And folks who gave for the first time vs. ongoing donors.You want to tweak your appeal slightly to show people you know them.You also want to customize your asks (and your donation landing pages) to match the language in your appeal.The more specific and targeted you can be, the better.Once you get these three things nailed – “From” and “Subject Line” plus List Segmentation – getting your email opened will be like water off a duck’s back.Hasn’t this been pun? Want more email fundraising tips? Join us on Tuesday, September 26 at 1pm EDT for a 30-minute webinar, #NFGTips: Your Email Strategy for Year-End. Can’t make that time? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording. Click here to save your spot!last_img read more

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Monthly Gifts Checklist

first_imgAccording to M+R’s Benchmarks Study for 2018, monthly giving revenue increased by 40 percent. A monthly, or recurring, gifts program builds a community of loyal, engaged donors; while simultaneously providing the regular income you can depend on.Recurring gifts are also the best prevention against lapsed donors. Someone who commits to a regular gift to your organization is with you for the long haul.By the NumbersFollow this step-by-step checklist to keep your monthly donors connected and engaged.Customize your online giving page to reflect your monthly recurring gifts program.Make the giving process obvious, easy, and transparent.Feature your donate button prominently on your website and include a link in all of your online outreach.Provide the option to choose monthly giving in every ask, appeal, and campaign in order to help donors realize giving more is possible.Add impact labels to monthly giving levels to illustrate what a gift can do.Create a special membership program to foster a sense of belonging.Design a special thank you and stewardship program for monthly donors.Include updates on your monthly giving program in your annual report, newsletters, and on your organization’s website.Plan a dedicated monthly giving campaign to target donors who may be more likely to give on a monthly basis.Develop ways to upgrade monthly donors to new giving levels over time.Track your progress and measure which methods are most successful in creating new monthly donors.Share results, stories, and updates on the impact of your recurring donors.Download our eGuide, “How To Enhance Your Donor Engagement,” for more on how to engage your donors.last_img read more

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Key Takeaways for Maternal Health from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2018 Annual Meeting

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 27, 2018July 27, 2018By: Merce Gasco, Senior Technical Advisor, John Snow, Inc.; Natalia Vartapetova, Senior Technical Advisor, John Snow, Inc.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) held its annual clinical and scientific meeting in April 2018 in Austin, Texas. It was encouraging to see that woman-centered care and disparities related to health were part of this year’s conversation.In addition to disparities, the meeting addressed family planning services and postpartum contraception risk-management. Presentations and discussions centered around underlying causes and prevention of maternal mortality as well as the growing knowledge base and recommendations for cervical and breast cancer screening and treatment.The focus on women’s preferences, values and goals—such as shared decision making, preference-sensitive care and non-directive counseling—in addition to medical knowledge and evidence, prioritizes well-woman care and applies to emerging areas of work in low- and middle-income countries.Health disparitiesIn the United States (U.S.), the risk of pregnancy-related death for black women is three-to-four times higher than that of white women. As such, we were pleased that there was deep analysis of the social determinants of health by socioeconomic background, race and age. ACOG is a leader in developing guidelines and protocols in the U.S., and it is promising to see positive results in maternal outcomes and improvement in health services for women who continue to receive poor quality care. ACOG is now expanding its program and adapting its guidelines and protocols to address the specific issues found in low-resource settings, including rural and urban areas of poverty in the U.S.Family planning risk-managementWhen it comes to providing a contraceptive method to women, and adolescents in particular, ACOG encourages clinicians to consider the benefit of providing a contraceptive method immediately (preventing unintended pregnancy) and not to postpone contraception while waiting for test results or gynecological examination. If there are no evident contraindications, its new guidance suggests that providing contraception at the time a young woman asks for it is preferable. This is a significant step for women, and we hope providers adjust their protocols using these new recommendations.Postpartum family planningPostpartum family planning was emphasized as a way to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity. There are a variety of options available. For example, as long-acting methods such as the intrauterine device (IUD) have become more acceptable for providers and women over the last few years, and postpartum insertion proven safe and effective, more obstetricians and gynecologists are being trained in the method. There has also been increased advocacy for the method, and insurance companies in some states are now covering the cost of a second IUD after the first is expelled postpartum.Postpartum hemorrhageAs previously stated, there are concerns related to the World Health Organization’s weak recommendation of the use of tranexamic acid for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). ACOG supported treating PPH with misoprostol and oxytocin. The title of one of the sessions, Rethinking Postpartum Hemorrhage Management: The role of Simple Technologies in Expanding Access to PPH Management, emphasized continued use of proven treatments.We are pleased that ACOG continues to evolve on issues from social determinants of health to guidelines that meet women and girls’ immediate needs. The information shared at the ACOG meeting is very useful for agencies working to improve maternal health in the U.S. and globally.—Access key resources from the meeting>>Watch conference-goers discuss key takeaways from ACOG 2018>>Learn more about maternal health in the United States>>Share this:last_img read more

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Imperial Oil reports first quarter profit down from year ago raises dividend

first_imgCALGARY, A.B. – Imperial Oil Ltd. raised its dividend nearly 16 percent as it reported that its first-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago.The Calgary-based energy company says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 22 cents per share, up from 19 cents.The increased payment to shareholders came as Imperial reported a profit of $293 million or 38 cents per diluted share for its first quarter. That compared with a profit of $516 million or 62 cents per share in the same quarter last year.Rich Kruger, Imperial’s chairman and chief executive, says Alberta’s mandatory production curtailment order significantly affected the company’s financial performance.Kruger says improved upstream realizations were more than offset by reduced downstream margins.last_img read more

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Tennis Finally Crowns An American Woman Not Named Williams

Saturday marked the first time since 1998 that the women’s draw at the U.S. Open was won by an American not named Serena or Venus. Sloane Stephens, who was ranked 957th in the world in July and entered the tournament unseeded, beat fellow American (and good friend) Madison Keys handily, 6-3, 6-0. Stephens, Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe, all of whom made at least the semifinals at this year’s Open, are all 25 years old or younger and have tons more tennis to play in their primes. Could they be the players who finally take the torch carried so long by Serena and Venus Williams?Before Thursday, it had been 36 years since every player in the semifinals of the women’s draw at the U.S. Open was an American. And before Saturday, the last American not named Williams to lift the U.S. Open trophy was Lindsay Davenport, who dominated the game from 1998 to 2000, finishing the 1998 WTA season as the top-ranked player in the world and nearly collecting a career Grand Slam over the course of just three seasons.1Davenport now coaches Madison Keys. Not a bad influence to have in your box. The Williams sisters’ dominance notwithstanding, American women have had a rough go of it at the U.S. Open — and have seen less success at every other major as well — during the past two decades. But that wasn’t always the case. During the first 20 years of the “Open era,”2The Open era began in 1968 when the French Open decided to allow professionals to play alongside amateurs. the women’s draw at the U.S. Open saw 15 champions from the U.S. It took American women three years to capture their first U.S. Open title in the Open era (Virginia Wade of Great Britain was the first to lift the trophy, in 1968, and Australian legend Margaret Court, who along with Billie Jean King is the only woman to win the U.S. Open in both the pre-Open era and the Open era, won in 1969 and 1970). But after that slow start, American women won 15 of the next 17 titles. King won in 1971, 1972 and 1974 (her last time) before passing the torch to Chris Evert.Evert dominated the tournament from 1975 to 1982 — her six titles in that span are tied with Serena Williams’s for the most in the Open era.3Helen Wills Moody — also an American — still holds the all-time record, with seven titles. Tracy Austin picked up two titles, in 1979 and 1981, and Martina Navratilova, who became an American citizen in 1981, won four of her own from 1983 to 1987.4She lost in the 1985 U.S. Open final to Hana Mandlíková.This American pre-eminence carried over to the other majors as well. From 1971 to 1987, U.S. women won at least one major in each season.51988 and 1989 were busts for anyone in women’s tennis not named Steffi Graf. In 1988, Graf asserted herself as the best tennis player on the planet by winning all four majors — and Olympic gold. In 1989, she won three of the season’s four majors. And from the beginning of the Open era through 1984, 12 different Americans made it to at least one Grand Slam final (and five of those 12 won at least one Grand Slam).The parity that once existed in U.S. women’s tennis dwindled a bit in the years that followed Navratilova’s final title at Wimbledon, in 1990 — at least in terms of the number of players who made it to a Grand Slam final. In the subsequent 27 years, just nine Americans have made at least one Grand Slam final. But of those nine, six have gone on to win at least one Grand Slam.Before Stephens did it on Saturday, the last American not named Williams to lift a trophy at a major was Jennifer Capriati, who knocked off Martina Hingis at the 2002 Australian Open. Fifteen years is a huge gap in parity, but the work of the sisters alone in this period — particularly Serena Williams, who won 23 titles — still meant that this would go down as one of the most dominant eras of American women’s tennis. The pair have won 30 of the last 75 finals and have combined for eight U.S. Open trophies.In the end, it’s fitting that the final major of the 50th season of Open-era play would go to an American — of the 199 majors contested over that span, 85 have been won by an American, by far the most of any country. And if Stephens, Keys and Vandeweghe have anything to say about it, that number should only grow. And above all, parity in American women’s tennis appears to be on the upswing again. read more

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