The number one villain in the way of good decisions

first_imgOne of the worst things we can do when making decisions is to frame them too narrowly. This can lead us to the wrong thought process – and false choices.As Dan Heath puts it in his new book, “The first villain of decision making, narrow framing, is the tendency to define our choices too narrowly, to see them in binary terms. We ask, ‘Should I break up with my partner or not?’ instead of ‘What are the ways I could make this relationship better?’ We ask ourselves, ‘Should I buy a new car or not?’ instead of ‘What’s the best way I could spend some money to make my family better off?’”Or – to put this in nonprofit terms – we ask, “Should we have an event or not? Should we blog or not? Should we get rid of that board member or not?”Dan’s new book Decisive is all about this kind of problem. Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work provides practical ways to beat narrow framing and other villains of decision making. Here are two of his tips (and I quote):1. Consider opportunity cost. If you are considering an investment of time or money, ask yourself, “What is the next best way I could spend this time/money?” If you can’t come up with any other combination that seems enticing, you should feel more confident that you’re making the right investment. 2. Multitrack your options. Always try to think AND not OR. Can you avoid choosing among your options and try several at once? For instance, if you’re deciding whether to invest time in Spanish lessons or ballroom dancing classes, do both for a while until one of them “wins.” Or, rather than hire one employee out of three candidates, could you give all three a 2-week consulting project so that you can compare their work on a real-world assignment?For more tips, join a free Network for Good webinar with Dan today at 1 pm Eastern. Register here.PS for fun, here is one of Dan’s great teaching videos on giving better presentations. It draws on his book, Made to Stick.last_img read more

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Free webinar: Turn first-time donors into repeat givers

first_imgHow many of your first-time donors go on to give again? What kind of impact would it have on your fundraising if you could retain more donors each year? We’ve asked two of the best fundraising experts to share their secrets. Join our free webinar on Tuesday, September 24 at 1pm EDT to learn from Jay Love and Tom Ahern as they show you how to create a communication plan that will help you retain more donors and raise more money. Register here.If you’d like to see more long-term benefits from your year-end fundraising and donor acquisition efforts, you do not want to miss this session.Turn First-Time Donors Into Repeat DonorsTuesday, September 24th 2013 1 pm EDTlast_img

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How the Benefit Concert is Shaping Philanthropy

first_imgMusic has been one of the most powerful ways causes, celebrities, and communities can connect to raise money for serious issues. We recently caught up with Art Taylor, president of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, who shared his insight on why these events can be so successful for nonprofits of all sizes.Legacy of Aid: August is the Anniversary of the Benefit ConcertFor over forty years, the benefit concert has served as one of the most popular, easily recognizable forms of aid for charitable organizations. It all started back in August 1971 when George Harrison called a few friends—Ringo, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, to name a few—to play at the world’s first benefit concert. The Concert for Bangladesh played from Madison Square Garden with ticket and recording sales helping to raise $18 million. These stars likely didn’t realize they were forever changing charitable giving in time of a disaster. Concerts are now a popular vehicle for causes around the world to raise visibility and funds—often targeting a younger crowd or introducing their campaign to an audience not yet familiar with it. “Music is a universal pleasure that cuts across cultures and backgrounds,” says H. Art Taylor, president of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. “Music is a unifying experience—it’s a natural choice for charities to turn to benefit concerts as a means to raise funds.” Star power can play a big role but doesn’t always spell success. In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, Wyclef Jean’s charity, Yele Haiti, came under scrutiny about its finances. This controversy underscores the importance for charities to make sure they are fully transparent and accountable before implementing a benefit concert which can attract a lot of media attention. And star power isn’t the only way to go. Charities across the country have seen great success with smaller scale benefit concerts ranging from high school bands to regional bands. The principles and watch-outs apply regardless of your headliner. 7 Do’s and Don’ts when planning a benefit concert for your organization:1. Know your partners. If you are co-hosting the benefit concert with another charity, take a moment to investigate them by pulling their report at Give.org. Don’t assume it is well managed just because it has a 501(c)(3) charitable tax exempt status. 2. Pay attention to regulations. Make sure any state regulatory requirements have been met, including verifying your ability to solicit. 3. Check tax deductibility disclosures.If the benefit concert tickets are sold in a charitable fundraising context, seek out a tax advisor to find out about tax deductibility disclosures that may need to be made. 4. Beware of cheaters. Take reasonable measures to reduce ticket scalping. Examples might be: limiting the number of tickets sold to a single purchaser and ensuring computer safeguards are in place to avoid someone “snatching” all the tickets as soon as they are made available. 5. Practice your FAQ.Make sure answers are readily available for reasonable questions about your mission, target amounts to be raised, and how collected funds will be used. 6. Be clear. If the intention is to collect funds restricted for a specific purpose (i.e., disaster relief) make sure that all charity participants agree to this restriction and are able to carry out this work as soon as possible.7. Be transparent about finances. Share information on the total amount collected, the cost to hold the concert, and how much went to the cause. Post this information on the charity’s and concert’s websites. The Future of Benefit Concerts“Charity benefit concerts will continue to play a role in generating funds and advocating issues,” says Taylor. “Large events work well in times of major crisis or when a big star has a personal stake in a cause. Smaller, targeted local events can be successful as well.”Whether packing a large event venue or a local concert hall, organizers should be creative and coordinate effectively to ensure that benefit concerts are a useful tool for raising awareness and charitable dollars. A benefit with local bands and resources combined with a coordinated effort between multiple nonprofits may be a good option for some charities. Whether large or small, however, the expense and coordination efforts for events can be prohibitive and should be considered carefully in terms of the investment of time and resources. Often charities will measure ROI through funds raised as well as impact to the audience. For more helpful tips on nonprofit collaboration, including information on accreditation, visit the BBB Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org. For advice on planning a successful fundraising event, download Network for Good’s guide to Hosting Your Most Fabulous Fundraising Event Ever.last_img read more

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Social Media Content Is Sitting Right in Front of You

first_imgContent for your social media channels is sitting right in front of you. Really! Your website, donor appeals, and newsletters are just waiting to be translated into a Facebook post, tweet, or YouTube video. Repurposing content can take some time, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll start thinking of ideas to feed your social channels in your sleep. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are some quick tips and content ideas for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: Try experimenting with videos and picture slideshows. Quick tips: Do share candid images. Don’t share stock photos. Ideas for posts: Quick tips: Don’t be afraid to retweet. Share content that is relevant to your audience. Repurpose a success story from an appeal letter. Do some research on hashtags. Does your issue area or local community have a hashtag? Post images of your team prepping for an event. Ideas for posts: Twitter Quick tips: Invite people to join your email list. Think visual. Studies show that posts with images perform much better than posts without. Post a photo from an past year’s event for #tbt (Throwback Thursday). Which posts have done well in the past? Try to repeat what works well but with a fresh twist. Facebook Share opinion pieces from your staff or experts from your issue area. Even more than on Twitter, hashtags can help you connect with new audiences. Share stats from your annual report. Instagram Don’t be afraid to be fun. Organizations are made up of people, and your Facebook fans know that. Step outside the box every once in a while and let your personality shine. Create an image of your mission statement. (We like Canva for projects like this.) Share a photo of your volunteers in action. Post pics of the thank you notes your organization sends (or receives). Live tweet an event, rally, or staff luncheon. Share a glimpse into the day-to-day life of staff, clients, and volunteers. Remind everyone what a $25 donation will accomplish. Ideas for posts: Follow back. You can’t have a conversation if you aren’t following your followers. Get more ideas (101, in fact!) for social media posts by downloading 101 Social Media Posts and watching our archived webinar The Art of Social Media, with social media expert and author Guy Kawasaki. And if you aren’t following us on our favorite social channels, what are you waiting for? TwitterFacebookInstagramlast_img read more

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A New View of Grant Resources

first_imgA truly sustainable funding model is the holy grail of nonprofits. A great way to achieve that goal is by making sure you have a diversified revenue stream that includes individual donations, fees for service, and grant funding. A healthy organization can stack up these funding sources for a strong foundation that supports their mission. Grant seekers ask us for lots of advice, so we chatted with Cynthia Adams, president and CEO of GrantStation and a longtime friend of Network for Good, about a new way of approaching grant funding, including a recently launched resource called the PathFinder.NFG: Cynthia, what have you found to be the biggest hurdle for nonprofits looking to secure grants?Cynthia Adams: Actually, there are three significant hurdles. First you have to thoroughly identify what you need the funding for, which isn’t as simple as it sounds! Second, you have to identify the right grant makers to approach for the funding. And third, you need the skills to develop and write compelling grant requests.Most organizations are familiar with the tried-and-true grant makers, but what are some overlooked sources of grant funding?CA: I am very fond of looking outside the box when identifying potential funders for a project. For example, I like to look at national and international associations. These groups, especially those associations representing companies that manufacture goods, can often be fabulous sources of support. The Toy Industry Association offers literally thousands of donated toys via the Toy Industry Foundation.What do you recommend to organizations that don’t have someone on staff who can take on researching, applying for, and managing grants? Does this require a full-time person?CA: It depends on the size of the organization and the number of grant proposals you expect to submit. At GrantStation, we’ve just launched a new free resource called the PathFinder. It includes tons of resources in a searchable database to help everyone from novices to the most experienced individual in the areas of grant research, grant writing, and grant management.We talk a lot about storytelling and reporting on impact for individual donors. Where does this fit in with grant funding?CA: Storytelling is an integral part of the grant-writing process. You want to engage the person reviewing your proposal right off the bat, so opening your request with a true-life story is a great way to do that. I often include a case study or “story” in the statement of need as well.What’s the smartest way for fundraisers to combine grant funding with making the most of gifts from individual donors?CA: I had this rule of thumb when I was working as a development director for nonprofits: I would use any significant gift from an individual to leverage any grant proposal I was working on. So, if someone came by and made a $1,000 gift, and I was working on a proposal to upgrade all the office equipment, website, etc., I would ask that donor if I could use their gift to help leverage the grant. It worked for me!Thank you so much, Cynthia, for sharing your insights on new ways to approach grant funding. For more help with expanding your funding base with grants, download our archived webinar with Cynthia Adams, Getting Started with Grants: How to Make Your Requests Shine.last_img read more

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#GivingTuesday Success with a Staff of One: Q&A with CASS

first_imgWhat surprised you the most about #GivingTuesday? Because I experience and witness street harassment in Washington, DC, I can see the immediate importance of CASS’ mission. CASS mobilizes the community, through online and offline activism, to end public sexual harassment and assault in the DC metropolitan area. The campaign caught my eye and I was inspired to donate to it on #GivingTuesday. After I became a donor, I was delighted to receive some of the best post-donation communication ever! CASS has become one of my favorite nonprofit customers that we serve in DC. Thank you, Zosia, for sharing these details with us! If you want to put on a great #GivingTuesday campaign in 2015, we can help. Sign up to get Network for Good’s #GivingTuesday resources sent directly to your inbox. ZS: We started reaching out to donors four weeks in advance with soft touches via email. A week or two before, we gave all of them a call and asked folks to pledge. During the campaign, we reached out via email and social media. Afterward, everyone who donated received a special thank you email and a handwritten card. Zosia Sztykowski: We set a very ambitious goal for our end-of year-campaign—triple what we had done in the previous year—and based on our experience, we knew we’d have to get a strong start on #GivingTuesday for that to work. #GivingTuesday and New Year’s Eve are always the best giving days for us. Last year, Network for Good customer Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) had a great #GivingTuesday campaign and won our prize for Best Social Campaign. The organization raised more than $17,000, came in fourth on our leaderboard for number of donors, and exceeded its original goal by 43%. ZS: We’re planning to reach out to more big donors way in advance to build a lot of momentum for #GivingTuesday. ZS: Yup, just one—me! Needless to say, I had some pretty serious tunnel vision going in late November/early December. But our volunteers are one of our strongest assets. They get the word out and solicit people in their networks. Every time we run a campaign like this, we don’t just reach multiples of our dollar goal, we also multiply the length our donor list, and I think this is directly attributable to our grassroots strategy. If a volunteer team is well organized and engaged—trained, prepared with all the materials they need, and knowledgeable about the organization and its fiscal needs—then they will follow through. Better yet, they’ll make it fun. It’s really about starting a conversation with volunteers that continues throughout the process. Because CASS had such great success on #GivingTuesday 2014, I wanted to do a Q&A with Zosia Sztykowski, the nonprofit’s executive director, to find out how they put together an amazing campaign with just one paid staff member.center_img How did you plan and set goals? ZS: Plan, plan, plan. Read about others’ successful strategies. Get your emails and your social media materials ready well in advance. Know that you’ll need all hands on deck on #GivingTuesday. Have a schedule—but be prepared to throw it out the window if you come up with a better idea at the last minute. How did you manage it all with very few paid staff members? CASS only has one paid staff member, right? And how did you make sure volunteers followed through with their commitments to help make it great? What is the number one piece of advice you would give to nonprofits doing #GivingTuesday for the first time? What will you differently this year? ZS: It’s amazing how generous everyone is even when every other organization is asking for donations at the same time. There’s something very touching about that. It really is a day about giving in the broad sense of the word. In 2014, we managed to quadruple what we raised in 2013 on #GivingTuesday because of this generosity. How did you reach out to donors before, during, and after?last_img read more

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Understanding the Flow of Reproductive Health Knowledge in Ethiopia

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 1, 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)K4Health recently published a needs assessment and network mapping of family planning and reproductive health information in Ethiopia. The overall goal of the assessment was to gain a better understanding of the accessibility and flow of information relating to family planning and reproductive health among key actors in Ethiopia.In Ethiopia, K4Health sought to explore the current family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) knowledge management system; examine information flows and barriers at different levels of the health system; and identify areas to strengthen health information sharing and use. Using a novel, participatory approach (Net-Map) yielded a highly visual presentation of the data that identifies key FP/RH actors in Ethiopia, explores the nature of relationships among the actors, and examines the level of influence of the different actors with regard to reproductive health information exchange. Using the Net-Map approach, the researchers were able to identify bottle necks to information flow and opportunities to improve that flow across health system levels in Ethiopia.This body of research aimed to determine how to better meet health care professionals’ dynamic information needs so that they can provide better health care to the populations they serve. In Ethiopia, reproductive health indicators can be improved through better health information exchange. This report provides important recommendations that can help get the right information delivered to health care professionals when they need it and can help enhance the quality of health care programs countrywide.Read the full assessment here.Share this:last_img read more

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Rethinking Family Planning in China

first_imgPosted on July 6, 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)Family planning laws in China, particularly the one child policy, are being challenged by high profile scholars and other individuals this week. The Wall Street Journal‘s China Realtime Report explains the issue and why we are seeing increased activism surrounding family planning in China:A group of 15 prominent Chinese scholars issued a open letter [in Chinese] on Thursday calling for a rethink of country’s family-planning laws, arguing that the law in its present form is incompatible with China’s increasing respect for human rights and need for sustainable economic development.It was the second open call for reform of the one-child policy this week, and comes less than a month after the shocking story of a seven-months pregnant woman forced undergo an abortion ignited a firestorm of anger online.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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PLOS Medicine Editorial Spotlights Access to Health Information as Central to Human Right to Health

first_imgPosted on May 2, 2013March 13, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In an editorial published this week in PLOS Medicine, the editors discuss the critical need for improved health information, particularly clear, accessible reference materials that enable health care providers to put the best evidence into practice and bolster health care in low and middle income countries. In their discussion of the critical need for high quality reference and educational materials, the authors single out the issue of postpartum hemorrhage.From the editorial: It is in the poorest settings where basic health information may prove most valuable. For example, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal death worldwide; yet despite being recommended by the WHO and other professional bodies, active management of the third stage of labor to prevent PPH was found to be correctly used in only 0.5% to 32% of observed deliveries in seven developing countries . Worryingly, six of the seven countries were found to have multiple guidelines and conflicting recommendations for active management of the third stage of labor.The authors go on to point out that while important sources of knowledge, expanding dissemination of the sort of evidence published in medical journals alone is not sufficient. Instead, the most critical resources may be those that translate evidence into forms that can be readily applied:Medical journals remain a key part of the knowledge translation process, almost exclusively dealing with the final stages of knowledge creation (primary research), distillation (systematic reviews and guidelines), and commentary (editorializing and contextualizing by experts) via peer review and finally dissemination. Although making research openly available to be both read and reused is an essential step toward a vision of wider access to healthcare knowledge, disseminating information on its own is not enough to ensure evidence is used in decision-making. In many settings it is access to secondary reference and educational materials based on the best available evidence that is severely lacking yet probably more crucial for clinical practice than the most recent observational study or clinical trial findings.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Woman-Centered Maternity Care, Family Planning, and HIV: Principles for Rights-Based Integration

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 6, 2013March 6, 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)Our colleagues at the Wilson Center Global Health Initiative are hosting a discussion with experts on rights-based maternity care and the intersection with family planning and HIV. The event will take place on June 11th from 3-5pm at the Wilson Center in Washington DC.About the event:Increasingly, family planning and HIV programs are seeking to expand their services to include maternal health care. The movement to integrate health services provides an important opportunity to share lessons learned across the different communities on their experiences with rights-based care. Join us for a discussion with experts in rights-based maternity care and its intersection with family planning and HIV.Click here for the list of speakers for the event.Click here to RSVP.Click here for directions to the Wilson Center.Learn more about this topic by visiting the MHTF’s topic pages focused on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS and respectful maternity care.For a compilation of the latest news and publications on maternal health, HIV and AIDS, click here. For a compilation of the latest news and publications on respectful maternity care, click here.Explore the MHTF’s ongoing blog series on maternal health, HIV, and AIDS and respectful maternity care.Share this:last_img read more

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New Research: Examining Maternal Health in the Context of Women’s Health Throughout the Lifespan

first_imgPosted on October 16, 2013February 2, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Each year, the Maternal Health Task Force and PLOS Medicine work together to organize an open access collection of research and commentary on maternal health. The two organizations team up to identify a specific and critical theme that merits further exploration within the broader context of maternal health. The Year 2 Collection, titled ‘Maternal Health is Women’s Health‘, launched in November and focuses on establishing a stronger understanding of how the health of women and girls before pregnancy influences maternal health—and also considers the impact of maternal health on women’s health more broadly even beyond the reproductive years. Today, the MHTF and PLOS Medicine are delighted to announce the addition of 12  articles to the Year 2 collection. The articles include research on the effect of prophylactic oxytocin for postpartum hemorrhage delivered by peripheral health workers in Ghana, a commentary that calls for the prioritization of cervical cancer in the post-2015 era, as well as an article that explores the impact of maternal deaths on living children in Tanzania, and much more. Our colleagues at PLOS Medicine shared a blog post on their blog, Speaking of Medicine, about the additions to the collection. In this excerpt, they describe in more detail the theme for the Year 2 collection:This theme was created to highlight the need to consider maternal health in the context of a women’s health throughout her lifespan. While pregnancy is limited to women of reproductive age, maternal health is influenced by the health of women and girls before pregnancy. The effects of key health issues such as the impact of poor nutrition, poverty, lack of available quality healthcare and low socioeconomic status can occur during childhood, adolescence, throughout the pregnancy and beyond. These issues can heavily influence a woman’s maternal health, heightening the risk of complications in pregnancy, such as obstructed labour in adolescent girls or increasing the likelihood of HIV infections due to a woman’s physical susceptibility and her relative disempowerment.Read the post on Speaking of Medicine.The following new articles from PLOS Medicine and PLOS ONE have been added to the MHTF-PLOS collection on maternal health:Preconception Care in Low and Middle Income Countries:  new opportunities and a new metric by Joel G. Ray and colleagues.Reproductive and maternal health in the post-2015 era: cervical cancer must be a priority by Ruby Singhrao and colleaguesEffect on postpartum hemorrhage of prophylactic oxytocin by peripheral health personnel in Ghana: a community-based, cluster-randomized trial by Cynthia K. Stanton and colleaguesSetting Research Priorities for Preconception Care in Low-and Middle-income Countries: Aiming to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality and Morbidity by Sohni Dean and colleaguesFactors Affecting the Delivery, Access, and Use of Interventions to Prevent Malaria in Pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Jenny Hill and colleaguesHIV and the Risk of Direct Obstetric Complications: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by Clara Calvert and Carine RonsmansAntenatal depression in Sri Lanka and the factor structure of the Sinhalese version of Edinburgh Post Partum Depression Scale among pregnant women by Suneth Buddhika Agampodi and Thilini Chanchala AgampodiComorbidities and Lack of Blood Transfusion May Negatively Affect Maternal Outcomes of Women with Obstetric Hemorrhage Treated with NASG by Alison El Ayadi and colleaguesCosts of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania by Alicia Ely Yamin and colleaguesAcute Maternal Infection and Risk of Pre-eclampsia: a Population-Based Case-Control Study by Caroline Minassian and colleaguesRepresentation of women and pregnant women in HIV research: a systematic review by Daniel Westreich and colleaguesAttitudes Toward Family Planning Among HIV-Positive Pregnant Women Enrolled in a Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Study in Kisumu, Kenya by Shirley Lee Lecher and colleaguesCommunity Health Workers and Health Care Delivery: Evaluation of a Women’s Reproductive Health Care Project in a Developing Country by Abdul Wajid and colleaguesAnalysis of the Maternal and Child Health Care Status in Suizhou City, Hubei Province, China, from 2005 to 2011 by Hui-Ping Zhang and colleaguesWhen Women Deliver with No One Present in Nigeria: Who, What, Where and So What? by Bolaji M. Fapohunda and Nosakhare G. OrobatonTo learn more about the MHTF-PLOS Collection on Maternal Health, contact Kate Mitchell.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Making Real Change for Maternal Health Through Advocacy in Uganda

first_imgPosted on May 15, 2014November 4, 2016By: Robina Biteyi, National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance UgandaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In Uganda we are witnessing a recent increase in maternal deaths . We once reported that 16 women die every day in our country, but that number has now increased to 17. White Ribbon Alliance is tackling this trend by pushing the government to invest adequately in Emergency Live Saving Care. Ugandan citizens are stepping up and demanding that action should be taken. Together, we pushed the government to make a commitment to the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women and Children to save maternal and child lives. That commitment was made, and the real work has begun in making sure the Ugandan government follows through with their commitment.We know our women and their babies are dying due to lack of emergency obstetric and newborn care (EmONC). This is why we pushed the government to commit to provide this care, and they did. In 2011, the Government of Uganda stated that all health centres would provide basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) and 50% would provide comprehensive obstetric and newborn care (CEmONC).As White Ribbon Alliance, we campaign for this promise to be delivered. We carried out assessments and collected evidence on the provision of care, and we brought together many different leaders in our society for us to collectively decide what the focus needed to be of our campaign and how we would achieve our goals.Our assessments in 43 health centres across three very diverse districts have shown us that not one of the three districts is currently meeting the minimum requirement for BEmONC nor CEmONC. We collected the stories of the challenges people were facing to try to access the care they needed and made a film to show our policy makers.The assessments carried out to assess maternal health service delivery have brought both anticipated and unexpected successes. As expected, they allowed us to bring real evidence into discussions and campaigns. Also, as we engaged with health workers, district officials and community leaders to complete the assessment, it was reported that this process broke down some of the communication barriers that existed before the assessment. The communication facilitated by the assessment process has led to local actions now being taken to make improvements.As we moved through the districts, people voiced their experiences and we recorded them and connected with local media to document what was happening. We petitioned the district leadership based on the evidence collected and they addressed the petitions in their meetings. Since this engagement with the district leaders, we have already seen real increase in budget allocation for these essential services. Without our evidence and campaigning, the facts would not be known.We are also bridging the gaps between national administration and district councils. The provision of equipment and supplies are critical components of EmONC. To address bottlenecks in these supply chains, we are in discussions with the National Medical Stores and district teams. In addition to addressing the supply chain, we are amplifying the district demands for an increased budget commitment at the national level. We are doing this by pushing through our national networks and media so that emergency care gets the focus it needs in the national budget priorities.We know that if we work together to link citizens’ demands with national leaders, we can save mothers and babies lives. Nobody wants to lose a mother, and no couple wants to lose their baby. We know what works and we know with the right investment in emergency care, we can make the same progress that is happening in other countries around the world. We are calling on all partners in Uganda and beyond to join us in advocating for this government commitment. Please track our progress and get in touch with us through our blog page and Facebook. Please join us to #ACTNOWTOSAVEMOTHERS.If you would like to share your in-country story with us, please email Natalie Ramm or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

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Five Ways an Innovative Program Increased Facility Birth in Nigeria

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 13, 2015October 28, 2016By: Nnenna Ihebuzor, Director of Primary Health Care Systems Development; Seye Abimbola, Research Fellow; Ugo Okoli, Program Director of SURE-P Maternal and Child Health Programme, Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development AgencyClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of our Translating Research into Practice Series, which features guest posts from authors of the MHTF-PLoS open-access collections describing the impact of their research since publication.The Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) was set up as a game changer to reduce maternal and child mortality so Nigeria could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on maternal and child health (MCH). Established by the national government in 2009 to improve the availability of skilled birth attendants in rural communities, the program engages newly graduated, unemployed and retired midwives to work temporarily in rural areas. Four midwives are posted for one year to selected primary health care (PHC) facilities to provide the human resources for health necessary to achieve the MDGs in their states and local government areas.1. Scale upSince the publication of our PLoS Medicine paper, the MSS has subsequently been scaled up from 625 PHC facilities to an additional 375 facilities, providing 1,000 facilities across Nigeria with an additional 4,000 midwives and 1,000 community health extension workers.2. Antenatal care, facility delivery, and family planning increase, maternal and neonatal mortality decreaseThe MSS continues to contribute to improved health outcomes in the rural communities where antenatal care visits and facility delivery have increased by more than 100%, family planning uptake by more than 200% and maternal and neonatal mortality have decreased by 19% and 5%, respectively, since the 2009 baseline. In 2012, inspired by the success of the MSS, the national government created an MCH component of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), which provides an additional 1,000 PHC facilities and strategies to mitigate some challenges encountered in implementing the MSS. Since its commencement, routine monitoring data show a 50% reduction in maternal mortality, 48% increase in antenatal visits, 61% increase in skilled birth attendance and 59% increase in first time acceptors of contraceptives in SURE-P MCH facilities compared to the baseline data.3. Policy Change for Family PlanningThe experience of implementing the MSS has helped reveal to the national government the existing realities of PHC in Nigeria. This has contributed to influencing a change in national policy to now allow community health extension workers, who form the bulk of the PHC workforce in Northern Nigeria, to provide contraceptive injectables to women.4. Conditional Cash Transfers Increase Facility DeliverySince antenatal care uptake far outpaces facility deliveries within the MSS, SURE-P MCH includes a conditional cash transfer component that is currently being piloted in 18 of Nigeria’s 36 states. Pregnant women receiving the cash transfer are required to attend four antenatal care visits, deliver in a facility and attend postnatal visits. In return, they are given N5,000 (US$32), pro-rated based on the number of conditions they meet. Preliminary results show a 27% increase in facility delivery with this incentive.5. Improved community engagement and human resources investmentFurther, the MSS has renewed attention to community engagement in PHC by reactivating community health committees, which have been successful in ensuring community ownership and support for health workers. To support these committees in generating demand for MCH services, SURE P MCH introduced a cadre of 6,000 lay community-based health workers nationwide. Selected by the committees, they help pregnant women, mothers and their children use PHC facilities along the continuum of care.Despite these improvements, the high health worker attrition within the MSS continues. This is worse in northern Nigeria, where in some states only one third of deployed midwives stay. SURE-P MCH is trying to address the challenges responsible for attrition: challenging living and working conditions, irregular payment of salary and deployment far from home, since the majority of the midwives are from southern Nigeria.The way forwardAlthough we’ve seen great success from the MSS, SURE-P MCH and the MSS together support only 10% of PHC facilities in Nigeria. While they significantly improve health outcomes where they are implemented, nothing short of active support for PHC by states and local governments will make a major dent on national MCH indices to affect progress towards the MDGs. Translating MSS into significant improvements in national MCH indices requires innovative ways of getting sub-national governments to support PHC. One such way is contained in the 2014 National Health Bill, which was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan on December 9th, 2014. The bill guarantees that 1% of national revenue will go to PHC, but sub-national governments have to match federal allocation as a condition for accessing support for PHC. Hopefully this new law will help us to turn the page on PHC governance in Nigeria.Share this:last_img read more

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How to Write Awesome Emails Your Donors Want to Read

first_imgWhen you want to contact your donors, chances are, you email them. And so does everybody else.Your donors, through no fault of their own, have inboxes that are constantly bogged down with messages from various organizations, businesses, stores, news outlets, and bloggers. And it’s a rare person who actually reads all of it.So, how do you “cut through the clutter?” Here are five tips to ensure your email reaches (and resonates) with your donors:Tip 1: Think Before You Write.Before you start typing, think about why you’re writing. What is the purpose of the email? Is it to get the word out about your nonprofit’s recent activities? Is it to invite donors to an event? Is it an appeal for donations? The most effective emails focus on one thing. In other words, don’t combine the invitation to join the peer-to-peer campaign with a program announcement and sign off with a donation request to fund a new roof.Sure, you have a lot of things to tell your donors, but unless this is your periodic newsletter (and formatted as such), keep each email to one topic. If the need is vital, it deserves its own email. Need help narrowing down your list? Write down what you want to say and prioritize the messages by need.Once you’ve finalized your email’s topic, it’s time to start an outline. “Outline?” you say. “It’s just an email. What do I need an outline for?” True – emails should be short – but again, we’re going for effectiveness here, and there’s nothing like an outline to keep your writing focused.Here’s what I’m suggesting: At the top of your outline, write the goal of this email (e.g. “get donations to the Spring campaign”). Then, jot down whatever supporting points or bits of information that you think will encourage your readers to take that action. Once you’ve got this bit figured out, you have my permission to start writing.Tip 2: Craft a Killer Subject Line.The hardest thing to write is always the first line. It’s no different when it comes to an email. And there’s a lot of pressure resting on this line, especially when 35% of people say that their decision to open an email comes from subject line alone. How do you write a subject line that convinces your donors to click?In the words of author Ann Handley, ask yourself: “WWYO – What Would You Open?”Many studies have investigated what makes a subject line effective, and they all seem to agree on a few key points:Keep it short, but on point. Too short and it’s not explicit enough, too long and you’ll lose your reader’s attention. Practically speaking, if the subject line is too long, it will probably get cut off in the recipient’s email reader. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 6-8 words.Personalization helps. People love reading their names. Use tokens to include your recipients’ name in the subject line, so it appears you’re addressing each person directly. And, in general, the subject line should relate to something that sets the sender apart or fits with a more narrow interest. For example, “How your dollars are making a difference?”Avoid sounding like spam. Certain words are spam triggers, and if you use them in a subject line, your donors’ email provider could move the message directly to the spam folder. Also, don’t use all caps in the subject line. Not only does it look like you’re shouting, but it also makes your message more likely to end up in the spam folder. Your subject line should relate to what it’s introducing.Tip 3: Make Your Copy Count.The writer’s classic, The Elements of Style, argues that every word of every sentence should serve a purpose, or be deleted. You don’t have to be quite so ruthless with your emails, but you should try to keep your messages short and succinct. Write no more (and no less!) than it takes to get your message across. Some studies show that the optimal email length is 50-100 words. Of course, some of your emails may need to be longer (like an appeal) but, the principle of brevity still applies.The email marketing platform in Network for Good’s donor management system has pre-built templates for appeals, acknowledgements, and more. Curious to see it up close? Click here to request a demo.And while we’re on the subject of your email copy, remember that you’re writing to humans. Humans have a sense of humor. You don’t have to be all business, all the time. If people find your emails warm, friendly, and even a little entertaining, they’re more likely to keep reading time after time.What else can you do to make sure your email is effective? Stay away from large “spray and pray” blasts to your entire list. Breaking your list into smaller segments allows you to write more effective messages. For example, the thank you message you send to recurring donors should probably be different than the one you send send to first-time donors.Tip 4: Have a Clear Call to Action.The body of your email serves one purpose, to draw your recipients to your Call To Action (CTA).Your CTA is what you want your recipient to do after reading the email. For example, if the goal is asking for donations, the CTA would be “Donate now.”Your email should always have one goal and one CTA. Let me repeat: it is always a bad idea to have more than one CTA. Why? Distraction. If you put multiple CTAs in an email, your audience is going to get confused and distracted. Worst of all, they’re not going take the action you want.Tip 5: Track and Tweak.How do you know if your emails are working? Your email marketing platform should show you two basic statistics: open rates and click rates. The open rate (what percentage of recipients opened your email) will tell you how successful your subject line was. The click rate will show you what percentage of recipients clicked a link in your email. To judge the effectiveness of your email copy, look at the click-to-open rate, which is the percentage of clicks from the people who opened the email.As a rule, always be testing. If that last subject line got a 20% open rate, see what you can do to bump it to 23%. If you had a high open rate and a really low click rate, review the copy and find ways to make it more compelling.There are a lot of options for email marketing systems, but only Network for Good donor management combines built-in email marketing with a personal fundraising coach to help you craft the perfect appeal. Develop targeted lists of donors from standard and custom filters. Then, draft your email from scratch or use one of our pre-built templates. All of the data from your email (opens, clicks, etc.) lives in your donor management, and your donor profiles are updated to show who got the email and how they responded. And acknowledgement tracking? That’s automatic. Click here to see it up close in a personal demo.last_img read more

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How to Harness Emotion as You Get Ready for Giving Season

first_imgLast week, we introduced a series on four lessons learned from fundraising for real nonprofits in Baltimore. This week, we’re diving into the first lesson: the emotional nature of giving.We’ve said it before– giving is an emotional act. Donors give when they can feel a connection – when they know they are doing something to help something (or someone) that they care deeply about. They could care less about your goal to reach $10,000 by midnight – what they really care about is ending hunger, ending systemic poverty, destroying the school to prison pipeline, providing safe shelter for women in need, or making recess fun again.When the Network for Good team went out to help real nonprofits, we learned this first-hand. The team that raised the most did so by leveraging the already-emotionally driven assets of the nonprofit (Wide Angle Youth Media), and sent them out to all of their family and friends. This double shot of an emotional appeal combined with personal connections between the donors and fundraisers themselves resulted in over $2440 in a 12-hour period.What can other nonprofits take from this?Tell a Good StoryWhen the Network for Good team ambushed Wide Angle Youth Media (WAYM) at their office in Baltimore, their initial plan was to create a video in the spirit of what WAYM does. The team quickly discovered that a project like that would take much too long, so they decided to use WAYM’s existing assets.The team watched one of WAYM’s videos and used that as inspiration to create a giving page.A successful giving page is one that creates a compelling story as to why the donor should give. To do that, use the five C’s of storytelling:Core message: The core message is that one thing you want people to remember after hearing your story. When developing your story, ask yourself three questions:What do I want donors to think?What do I want them to feel?What do I want them to do?The answers will help you uncover your core message and how to structure your email campaign. They’ll also guide you through the logical and emotional sides of crafting your story and engaging donors with the copy.Connection: Powerful stories are about creating an emotional and authentic connection with readers. This often happens in the beginning of a story (“Call me Ishmael.”)  The same goes for an email. Think carefully about your message’s salutation and the first sentence. How will you hook a reader and get them to stick with you through the end? A great example is personalization. Using a donor’s first name in the salutation (e.g. “Dear Sarah”) is a powerful way to build a connection.Character: This is often the person writing the email, or it might be a monthly donor talking about why she was moved to offer ongoing support, or the story of a person served by your programs. It could even be the story of a shelter dog finding a forever home. The sky’s the limit.Conflict: Conflict is crucial in fundraising. It creates a sense of urgency, which encourages people to respond (and give) to help you resolve the conflict. “These villagers have to walk five miles a day for fresh water. Donate now to build a new well.” Conflict and call to action are intertwined.Call to action: A call to action is the thing you want people to do. A good call to action is very specific and active: Click here to give. Donate now. Use active and affirmative phrases that motivate people to follow through.Work your networkAfter creating a stellar donation page, the Network for Good team of fundraisers did everything they could to spread the work to their networks. This meant Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, as well as personal appeals to potential large donors. At the end of the day, over $2440 was raised.Why did this work? Donors are three times more likely to give when asked by someone they know. Imagine, if you asked 5 people to give, and each of them asked five more people, right away that’s 30 potential donors. And this is perhaps the strongest argument we can give for why you should consider making a peer-to-peer campaign as part of your giving season strategy. More importantly though, it’s why you need to spend time now building up your relationships with the donors in your database already. When you’ve spent more time fostering a meaningful connection with your donors, they’re much more likely to be ready to give come December.For more ways to build an emotional connection with donors, grab a copy of 7 Ideas to Engage Your Donors Before Year-End.Check back next week as we dive into the second learning from our day in Baltimore, and how local nonprofits can take steps to overcome the time and capacity challenges that threaten their success.last_img read more

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Our New Power Woman of Tech: Maria Canfora

first_imgSilicon Valley isn’t the only hub for tech start-ups these days. The Washington D.C. area is quickly becoming a solid alternative for attracting highly-educated, ambitious and talented people in the technology sector. DCA Live has highlighted a key list of thought-leaders, innovators, and drivers of change in various industries, since 2014. One key group of individuals making an impact on the business community of DC are women, and today, DCA Live is putting out its list of the 40 women under 40 who are driving change.The Trending 40 Women in Tech includes founders, CEOs, investors, engineers, financial experts, marketing gurus, and others who contribute to the local ecosystem. The New Power Women of Tech includes our very own Maria Canfora, Chief Financial Officer, Network for Good.In a hi-tech culture that has gained a reputation for being unwelcoming to and biased against women, Maria has made a name for herself. “I absolutely love what I do,” said Maria. “Being a part of a start-up’s culture, the growth, the fast pace is invigorating. The energy is what attracts me to start-ups. And the special culture at Network for Good is unlike any I have experienced. Being a B Corp, it is one that is not only driven by their financial performance, but also the desire to develop a product that allows customers to do good.”She continued, “We are in a small and well-known group of about 2,000 companies—such as Warby Parker glasses, Dansko footwear, Patagonia outdoor clothier, and others—that are committed to meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”In this leadership role, Maria is well equipped to help drive the year-over-year 40 percent+ growth that Network for Good is experiencing.  She has more than 20 years of experience guiding start-ups and other tech companies to IPO; three to be exact. She was also the winner of the Women in Technology Leadership Award for Corporate Public Sector Small Business in 2014.Given Maria’s wealth of experience in helping start-ups build from the ground up to successful IPOs she wanted to offer these tips:Managing the Growth. Way too often start-ups hire like mad. This approach locks in overhead expenses. Sadly, most are not able to support that growth by sales.Refining Your Brand. It is easy to want to be something for everyone, especially in a high-growth space. No one wants to turn down business. But the sooner a company can identify the niche they play in and refine their brand to reflect that, the better suited they will be to take on that market share.Hiring Isn’t Just for HR. Every person in the organization should have a hand in ensuring that each new hire is a good one. When you are growing so fast, it is easy to overlook the hiring process when if anything it should be the most rigorous.last_img read more

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6 Steps to Improve Your Year-End Strategy

first_imgIt may seem too early to think about your year-end campaign, but trust us…it’s not! The final two months of the year are a crucial time for nonprofits. The numbers speak for themselves — 30% of annual giving occurs in December, and 10% occurs on the last 3 days of the year. Now is the time to start planning how you’ll boost your fundraising efforts to attract the generosity of people who are focused on giving at this point in the year.The best way to create a strategic year-end plan is to base it on your donor data. Using this data will optimize your efforts, ensuring you don’t waste resources. In this post, we’ll share five steps for using data to inform your year-end strategy.1) Segment Your DonorsDonor segmentation is important for two reasons. First, it gives you a better idea of who your donors are, how involved they are in their chosen cause, and their giving habits. Second, it provides a way to deliver relevant, customized communications that will pique donors’ interest. The more personal you get with your communications, the more your supporters will feel like part of your team. Segmenting your donor list serves as the foundation of your year-end strategy. Use our Donor Segmentation Cheat Sheet to get your donor data in order today.2) Recruit Top Advocates, Participants, and Volunteers for a Peer-to-Peer CampaignPeer-to-peer fundraising (also known as social fundraising or simply P2P) leverages your network of supporters to fundraise for you. Social fundraising campaigns are most successful when the campaign has a firm deadline — which is why they’re perfect for year-end fundraising. You can tie your P2P campaign to the theme of giving thanks, the holidays, or plan one that celebrates the upcoming new year and ends on January 1.Once you’ve segmented your list according to the detailed data on your contacts, you’ll know who to recruit for your P2P campaign. Focus on those who are consistently involved with your work, whether they volunteer, contribute financially, or simply spread the word about your organization.3) Promote Your Monthly Giving Program Across All ChannelsThe end of the year is an ideal time to promote your monthly giving program. People are in a giving mood, and they’re setting resolutions for the new year. Make it easy for them by inviting them to join your team of active, monthly supporters. Make the most of your monthly giving program in your year-end campaigns. Feature it in your email and direct mail appeals, promote it on your social media accounts, make it the default donation frequency on your giving page.You can promote your program across all your channels in a variety of ways. The first step in gaining new supporters is to make them aware of the opportunity. Again, use your segmentation to send messages customized to each group of donors.4) Approach a Major Donor for a Matching GiftMatching gifts increase not only the revenue per solicitation, but also the response rate of campaigns. There are several reasons why matching gift campaigns work, not the least of which is the desire to be part of a meaningful movement.Year-end campaigns gives you a reason to approach a major donor for a matching gift. Again, this time of year is when people are already in a giving mood, and they’re looking for opportunities to get involved. If you present a major donor with an innovative campaign idea at this time of year, the chances are high that she or he will agree. Scan your data to see which major donors are likely to be open to this idea and focus on those donors first.5) Build Direct Mail and Email Templates Specifically for Year-EndSwitch things up by creating special branding for your year-end communications and donation page. Celebrating the end of the year will get people freshly excited as they see you making the most of this time of year. These banners and templates might include snippets of what you and your supporters have accomplished together throughout the year. Use your data to see which donors celebrate which holidays and customize your direct mail and email templates accordingly.6) Create a CalendarAs you’re brainstorming ideas and creating to-do lists, don’t forget to plan out your calendar in detail. Once you’ve decided what your year-end strategy will consist of, create a calendar that outlines the tasks associated with each campaign and tactic and specifies who within your organization will be responsible for each. From #GivingTuesday to holiday cards to major donor phone calls, assigning dates to the campaigns and tactics you intend to implement will ensure nothing gets lost in the hubbub. You’ll also be able to identify opportunities you missed by noting any holes in your calendar that could be filled. Schedule your social media posts, note which hashtags you’ll use, and include links to relevant materials.Be Sure to Send Your Thank YousStart the new year right! Follow up your year-end campaign by using the first week in January to send your thank yous, expressing gratitude for the role your supporters play in the work you’re doing together. These thank yous will reinforce the good vibes and motivate donors to continue their support.Close out the year with a bang by taking advantage of your donor data. Create a targeted, effective strategy by following the steps we’ve outlined and rest easy knowing that your strategy is based on a firm foundation.last_img read more

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Women in Philanthropy Profile: Janet Cobb

first_imgA native of California, Janet Cobb currently serves as one of Network for Good’s Personal Fundraising Coaches. She has lived and worked in Oregon, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, before finally calling Chicago home. Cobb has thoroughly enjoyed her professional experiences in the culinary arts, in the high school classroom, and in fundraising and development; not to mention the gift of being a wife and a mother to three children who have become phenomenal young adults.Coaching NonprofitsWhat’s involved with your coaching process?In my role, I work with small nonprofits across the country to help them strategize around their fundraising efforts, particularly through the effective use of online fundraising, donor management, and communication tools. Together, we coordinate an integrated communication and fundraising plan that is data-driven and right-sized to fit each individual organization’s capacity to implement. I offer strategic and practical advice along with encouraging and supportive accountability.How long have you been a fundraising consultant?I’ve engaged in various aspects of fundraising throughout my career in the nonprofit arena and transitioned into coaching and consulting in 2013.How did you get started in nonprofit work?I’ve been a “do-gooder” my entire life and have worked within the nonprofit industry—in programming, administration, and fundraising—in some capacity my entire career. Working primarily in smaller nonprofits and schools, the program staff was often responsible for fundraising efforts. I remember in the 1980’s, conducting a ‘monthly giving’ program via snail mail when our donors mailed in $1 bills each month, sorting bulk mailings by zip code on tables in the retreat house dining hall, and sponging stamps long before self-stick existed. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I was heavily involved with strategic planning and grant-writing focused on transforming outdated classrooms and libraries into 21st century learning environments. By 2004, I moved more directly into fundraising and development work. Since then, I’ve been responsible for donor communications, database management, special events, major gifts, strategic planning, and capital campaigns—sometimes all at once.What keeps you in the nonprofit sector?I believe in the power of empowering others. The nonprofit sector declares that “we” are all in this together instead of “every ‘man’ for himself.” I believe in the interdependence of the community that fosters the independence of individuals within that community.What do you enjoy most about coaching fundraisers?Through coaching, I get to work with so many fabulous nonprofits that do great work in their own corner of the universe—doing good to make the world a better place. Fundraising is about engaging in conversation with others who care about what you care about, so that the donor has the opportunity to make an impact in a way that is meaningful to them. I enjoy sharing the skills I’ve acquired with others to make a positive impact.What’s your proudest accomplishment with the organization?My proudest accomplishment as a coach is that I’ve been able to support the fundraising efforts of more than 150 small and early-stage nonprofits who have a passion for their mission but can benefit from encouraging and supportive accountability around fundraising. I get to help bring their vision to reality!Women in Philanthropy is an ongoing blog series in celebration of Women’s History Month, featuring some of the incredible women Network for Good has the pleasure to work with.Read more on The Nonprofit Bloglast_img read more

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Calling for an Integrated Approach to Maternal and Newborn Health: Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 15, 2015October 25, 2016By: Amy Boldosser-Boesch, Interim President and CEO, 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)Next week at the 68th World Health Assembly, the Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM) Working Group — led by WHO in partnership with Family Care International (FCI), the Maternal Health Task Force, UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID, the Maternal Child Survival Program, and the White Ribbon Alliance — will launch its much-anticipated report, Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM). For FCI and our partners, this report presents an important opportunity to highlight the critical linkages between the health of a woman and that of her newborn baby.One of the core strategies recommended in the EPMM paper is integration of maternal and newborn service delivery, with a particular focus on the mother-baby relationship. FCI has been a long-standing advocate for integrated care for women and newborns. A research study we conducted with Aga Khan University identified the many interventions that affect the health of both a woman and her newborn.  These research findings underscored the many important ways that maternal, fetal, and newborn health are strongly interconnected.More recently, in collaboration with the International Center for Research on Women and the KEMRI-CDC Research and Public Health Collaboration, FCI conducted research in Kenya to document the immediate and longer-term effects of maternal death on children, households, and communities. The consequences of a mother’s death, the study found, are devastating. The first result, far too often, is the death of the newborn, another tragic sign of maternal-neonatal interconnection. But maternal deaths also cause other profound and long-term social and economic harms, as surviving daughters are forced to leave school, families suffer under huge medical and funeral costs and lost income, households break down, and communities lose the presence and contributions of some of their most productive members. The tragic costs of a maternal death, for newborns and their families, are highlighted in the study’s title, A Price Too High to Bear.Collectively, these studies make a compelling case for the creation of stronger linkages between health services for women and for their newborns. Together, the maternal health and newborn health communities must work to ensure that research, policies, health services, and advocacy all support an integrated approach to maternal and newborn survival — one that helps finally to put an end to the preventable deaths of women and their babies.This blog also appears at The FCI Blog.Share this:last_img read more

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