Photos from the 25th Anniversary Ball are now available to view from http://sportingimages.com.au/current/2008twball/ Check out the images and see how much fun was had.
Network for Good is once again providing year-end giving data for The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s 2013 Year-End Online Giving Tracker. You can use this resource to see how online giving is stacking up each day of December and to compare those numbers with the last few years. To supply the data for the tracker, we looked at a set of 14,300 charities who received donations through Network for Good’s online giving platform. You can view this data by month, by week, or look at the entire span of information from November 1st through the end of the year. Check it out by visiting The Chronicle’s site, and let us know how the trends compare to your own year-end fundraising results.
What 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. 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?
Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. Furthermore, nearly half of those polled were mostly concerned about how organizations use their money. This was also the top concern in the Money for Good study released last year. Since 2002, donors increasingly believe that charitable organizations “waste” money—on staff salaries, fundraising expenses, or other core costs considered administrative or not directly benefiting programs. You know what comes next: Donors favor organizations with low administrative and fundraising costs. In fact, 54% of donors like charities that get good ratings by validators like Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau, which seem to reward the “lean and mean” organizations. And now we are squarely back in the thick of the Overhead Myth.Quite a bit has been written and discussed about the Overhead Myth and the charity “watchdogs” or validators, so I won’t add to that debate here. Without a doubt, the measure of nonprofit performance has gotten stuck on financials. This is only one part of the story of an organization’s effectiveness. Nonprofits that have the resources to invest in talent, systems, and infrastructure are more likely to be successful, which is directly seen in their programs’ impact and results.So, if we know donors are scrutinizing charities more than ever and questioning how nonprofits are using their money, how can we restore donor confidence? Change the conversation. Share your vision and plans for the future. Celebrate your successes, and be honest about your challenges and how you are addressing them. Quantify your results and impact, both in numbers and stories.If donors see that you are doing good work with visible results, then the “administrative” costs and how you spend money on staff and fundraising, for example, fit within a broader context of organizational effectiveness. It then makes sense that having the financial resources to pay competitive salaries to hire talented and experienced staff will lead to stronger programs and results. Fundraising expenses become part of your organization’s overall strategy for growth and reinvestment of revenue to create a stronger foundation for innovative and expanded breadth of services. You get the picture.Donor trust should never be assumed. It’s earned. While you may not be able to shift your donors from restricting their gifts to specific programs, you can inspire greater investment by positioning everything you need—from vision to staff to resources—to continue doing your work well. The 2015 Giving USA report announced that giving levels across the United States returned to record highs, finally restarting the philanthropic pause triggered by the 2008 recession.If donor confidence seems to have been restored and all is right in the charitable world again, why does a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy poll point to stalled levels of confidence in nonprofits? Of the 1,000 or so people surveyed, 64% said they had a great deal of confidence in charities. More than 50% is pretty good, right? So what’s the problem? Donor trust levels have stayed about the same since 2002, when Paul Light, a professor at New York University, started studying donor confidence.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 20, 2013March 8, 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)The 66th World Health Assembly convened today, May 20 with addresses and discussions focused on the post-2015 global development agenda. The Assembly runs through May 28, and will feature numerous discussions and consideration of resolutions on issues that are critical to advancing maternal health.The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) has prepared an overview of side events on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Among the highlights is “Securing the future: Saving the lives of women and children,” which will focus on success stories, as well as key challenges for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and Every Woman Every Child movement. It will provide an opportunity for discussion of a proposed resolution on the ‘Implementation of the recommendations of the Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.’ Other key events include a session on promoting accountability for maternal and child health, which will provide health ministers an opportunity to share perspectives on progress and challenges for MDGs 4 and 5, and to reflect on the “unfinished business” that will require attention past the 2015 MDG deadline; and a session on the importance of human resources for health.For more on the proceedings of the World Health Assembly, including the provisional agenda and highlights of each day’s proceedings, visit the World Health Organization media center. Share this:
Posted on January 17, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Members of the White Ribbon Alliance contributed the following comments regarding post-MDG maternal mortality targetsAs 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!By Rahmatullah Niazmal, Consultant for PDM 1 & 2 and Overall Supervisor for RHP2, JICA-Reproductive Health Project Phase 2, Ministry of Public Health, AfghanistanAfghanistan is one of the countries which has high maternal mortality ratio (MMR). The current MMR is about 327/100000 live births. Respectively under-five mortality is 97 /1000 live births and, and the infant mortality rate is 77/1000 live births, according to the Afghanistan Mortality Survey, and the contraceptive prevalence rate is about 20 percent. The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has committed to improving access to maternal and reproductive health care; and enhancing the quality reproductive health care services is one the MoPH’s top priorities. However, still, there are challenges that MoPH has been competing with. Despite huge efforts that have been put by MoPH for the last one decade, much work remains to be done to maintain the current progress and improve further.The following are the goals for reaching beyond 2015:Increase access and utilization of quality reproductive health servicesIncrease deployment and distribution of trained SBA at national levelDecrease the number of home deliveries – which currently account for a greater proportion of births than institutional deliveriesFill the gap between knowledge(>90%) and utilization (20%) of family planning servicesLower the adolescent birth rate and reduce child marriage in the country.Build capacity at the national level about breast and cervical cancer for early prevention and treatmentEnhance capacity for obstetric fistula treatment, prevention and re-integration at the national levelRaise awareness about STIs, HIV and AIDS among adolescents and vulnerable populations.By Ronald Wonder, Managing Partner, PLUS CONSULTS, UgandaMy thinking on this issue is that targets are useful in driving progress in countries including Uganda but absolute targets are much better. It should then go further to set quotas for respective districts, starting with those with high mortality rates and trickle down to household in the sub counties.This would give more meaning to policy makers, individual and civil society organization making an effort to curb this problem among expectant mothers in Uganda.Keep the fight on to protect our mothers.By Jonas Fadweck, Youth Director and patron of Thuchila Youth Empowerment Programme, Project Officer of WHCCA-Malawi, member to White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, and Girl Rising Regional Ambassador, UgandaIn order to improve maternal health in countries such as Malawi, I believe the following should be made priorities under the next development agenda:To increase rural bicycle ambulances for easy transport, especially in the community, for pregnant women: many women die before reaching the hospital, and many others deliver on the road before reaching a health facility – which is a disaster.To train other community members and/or increase expertise in the field in order to reduce the work load for nurses and midwives.To establish community mobilization campaigns to help people realize the importance of women to deliver at the hospital, attending antenatal clinics, and the consequences of teenage pregnancies.To introduce and increase maternity wings to health centres that now have no maternity services.To promote and encourage transparency and accountability.These are some of the contributions we can make to enshre more women and reach target goals.By Kezaabu Edwidge, Project Coordinator, Health Community Empowerment Project, UgandaThere is a great concern on maternal health and the situation is alarming: mothers are still dying in labour and post delivery due to problems related to pregnancy, labor and pueperium. Involvement of all stakeholders is of paramount importance. In Uganda, young people, in particular adolescents and youths engaged in unprotected sex – who face unwanted pregnancy – require more attention. This is important to address the issue of teenage pregnancy, and related concerns such as abortion. The issue of male involvement at all levels starting with the families, then to managers and leaders of all categories. Family planning is also a concern as most people shun off services because of ignorance, the myths and misconception and the unmet need.By Jonathan LugemwaA percentage target is appropriate: taking into account previous methodologies used in communities before these formal interventions came into practice because our current surveys describe that formal interventions which are brought to the people in a provisional standards without their consent are less eligible to create permanent change so its very much vital to include especially the local populations.By Uhawenimana Thierry Claudien, Public Relations and Communications Officer, University of Rwanda, College of Medicine and Health SciencesThere are considerable efforts underway to reduce neonatal mortality and maternal mortality in Rwanda, which now has a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 340 deaths per 100,000 live births. However, a lot needs to be done in order to ensure no mother or child should die as a result of child birth or pregnancy complications.In some rural areas in Rwanda – mainly in the mountainous areas that are hard to reach – I have noticed that the physical settings may be the leading factor in maternal and child deaths. Some villages are far from the health facilities (7-8 kms) and the roads leading there are not well furnished. This leads some pregnant mothers to not complete the four recommended antenatal care (ANC) visits, which are vital to the safe pregnancy and delivery. Some women deliver along the way to the health center due to circumstances leading to the delay at home, and the delay to reach the health facility.Thus I would like that in the next targets to reduce maternal and child mortality, governments should put much emphasis on making the population aware of the birth preparedness and complication readiness; and also removing the barriers that impede the population from accessing obstetric services in a timely way, such as reducing the distance to the health facilities in areas that are hard to reach, availing ambulances at health centers that are far from the district hospitals, increasing the community health workers’ skills and knowledge to deal with some pregnancy related complications.As the number of adolescent girls who become pregnant increases in Rwanda, there is a need to educate them on health policies, including on how they can receive adolescent friendly services near them; and mobilize the whole community to go beyond the limits of culture and religion and support the sexual and reproductive health information on behalf of the adolescent. By doing this, no adolescent girl will be stigmatized because she has used contraceptives, and those who will accidentally get pregnant will not hide it; something that put them under the risk of death or injury. In addition, the rate of abortion will be reduced among this age group.There is a need to involve men in maternal and child health initiatives by giving them the knowledge and necessary skills required for them to support mothers and babies, as well as helping them understand their interests in embracing that role. Thus, there will play a key role in empowering the girls to be confident of themselves and to say no to unwanted sexual intercourse pulses, or will not seek to exploit you girls sexually.As for family planning, there is a need to train more professionals in providing services of family planning and who are experts in contraception usage. There is a tendency nowadays that nurses or midwives only administer any method of FP to a woman and at the end of the day, she faces side effects some of which may be fatal. But, if we have experts in contraceptives’ administration and counseling, some of the issues and myths preventing people from accessing the services will be kept at arm’s length. In addition to this, there is a need to keep on increasing the number of skilled birth attendants so that they be proportional to the number of deliveries taking place in health centers and hospitals. This will improve the service delivery given to the mothers and will reduce some of the risks associated with overloading the health personnel.Lastly, laws related to maternal and child health should be incorporated in the country’s legal framework and on top of that, the existing laws should be revised and even hold accountable men who impregnate girls and abandon them or those who refuse to support their pregnant partners among many others.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on March 31, 2014August 10, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)mHealth for Maternal Health is an ongoing blog series that aims to share the knowledge and experiences of academics, implementers and funders from the mHealth and maternal health communities. As part of the series, we reached out to experts to gain insight on pressing questions around financing, partnerships, challenges and innovations in mHealth for Maternal Health. The post below includes responses by Patty Mechael, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance and Ken Warman, Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.The last few years have seen a proliferation of mHealth pilots, particularly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. A review published in PLOS Medicine showed that more often than not, these pilots failed to reach scale, leading to the coining of the term “mHealth pilotitis”.Due to a lack of coordination between organizations, pilots often lead to duplication of efforts and can take scarce time and resources away from local governments. Uganda’s decision in 2012 to place a moratorium on mHealth pilots was a wake-up call for the ICT4D community that perhaps it was time to take a step back and reconsider the scatter-shot approach that had become the norm. However, while organizations are eager to scale up their mHealth interventions, it has quickly become apparent that there might not be an easy cure for pilotitis. Despite the number of pilots, there is a lack of a strong evidence base and consensus regarding what would work at scale.To gauge where the mHealth community should focus its efforts moving forward, we asked experts and donors the following question: Do we still need more pilots in mHealth or do we know enough to say what works and should be scaled?According to Patty Mechael, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance, “When asked the question on whether we need more pilots- my general response is absolutely not – except in the increasingly rare case of a completely new use of mobile technology within the health sector or for health promotion that has never been tried. We do know a great deal about what works. The reality is that, you can make almost anything work in a pilot phase with enough undivided attention and resources.Rather than viewing the development of a successful mHealth intervention as a binary transition between the pilot phase and scale-up, organizations should be willing to take an iterative approach. Mechael adds, “The latest thinking is to design for scale from the outset and approach implementation as well as complementary monitoring and evaluation in phases- similar to any technology development and/or program life cycle- where by assessments of each phase informs the next- including the decision to abandon course or adapt when something does not seem to be working in the early stages.”In the poetic words of Samuel Becket, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”However, for an organization to successfully adopt an iterative approach, it is critical that donors also shift their mindset. According to Ken Warman, Senior Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Many mHealth interventions take several iterations to become operational and integrated into a health workers daily routine. Most pilots are not sufficiently funded to reach this milestone so they are never really adopted and embraced for going to scale. I feel we, the mService community are still focused on vertical, niche applications and are not yet paying enough attention to larger, systemic issues and working towards an integrated ecosystem servicing a broad array of user needs.”For mHealth to move to the next phase in its development and become integrated into health systems, there need to be collective efforts by developers, implementers, donors and governments to work together to collect robust evidence about what works, and act nimbly to adapt and improve programs at different phases in their life-cycle.Do you have an opinion on the role mHealth can play to improve maternal health? What do you see as the biggest advantages of mHealth? The limitations? If you are interested in submitting a blog post for our ongoing guest blog series on mHealth for Maternal Health, please email MHTF Research Assistant Yogeeta Manglani.Share this:
Posted on May 16, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Some view the rate of Cesarean sections as ubiquitous, others scarce. Either way, rates that deviate far from the WHO’s recommended rate of 15 percent are undesirable and pose health risks to both moms and babies. To highlight this fact, the birth story of the MHTF’s very own Kate Mitchell was recently featured in PRI’s article, “Why are Cesarean sections so common when most agree they shouldn’t be?” From the PRI story:Kate’s birth story“‘I constantly meet women who have very similar experiences to me,’ says Mitchell, ‘where they were committed to having a low-intervention vaginal birth, and their providers were also committed to support them in that, and somehow they still ended up having a C-section. That’s the mystery to me. I don’t understand how that happens… The evidence suggests that a C-section is a more risky route of delivery than a vaginal birth,’ she says. ‘So why are we delivering more and more babies in a risky way?’”Lack of clear clinical guidelines“One problem, experts say, has been a lack of clear guidelines specifying the circumstances under which a C-section is medically necessary, leading to a wide variation in the prevalence of Cesareans across hospitals. A study published in March of last year found that the C-section rates across Massachusetts ranged from 14 to 39 percent, with no differences in the condition of the patients that might explain the variation. ‘It really comes down to a difference in styles across hospitals,’ says Sakala. ‘We need to rein in those differences.’In an attempt to do that, this February the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued joint guidelines that call on doctors and hospitals to avoid Cesarean sections, even if it means letting first-time mothers remain in labor longer and push harder. The guidelines recommend letting first-time mothers push for three hours or more during labor. They also recommend using forceps to get the baby out vaginally.”Kate’s story is not uncommon. While the under medicalization of birth is a problem in many countries, so is over medicalization. A combination of legal, clinical, and cultural factors have brought us to a dangerous new normal for birth. To review the implications of an increase in Cesarean sections on maternal health and rights, see our previous post.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on January 7, 2015February 6, 2015Click 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)Young mother and child,India.The International Development Design Summit (IDDS) is an intense, hands-on design experience that brings together people from all walks of life to co-create low cost technologies that improve the livelihoods of people living in poverty. Coming to India in July 2015, IDDS Aarogyam is a four-week summit that will focus on designing low-cost technologies that address global health challenges in remote and resource-poor settings. Hosted by HIVE—a nonprofit organization in Chennai, India that focuses on providing a space for innovations to come to life and thrive—the summit will be a one-stop shop for all innovators – giving them access to knowledge, expert advice and market information & networks.With expert instruction by Zubaida Bai, founder of ayzh, and prominent instructors from MIT’s Design Lab, summit participants will learn about the collaborative design process and work closely with local communities to be able to develop contextually relevant solutions that can be deployed to strengthen the healthcare system and empower the various stakeholders in the process. Participants will also create prototypes and business models designed specifically to support the creation of inclusive healthcare solutions in the communities where the summit is organized. However, the intention is that the models will have the potential to be replicated and scaled up across geographies that need access to quality healthcare.Quality healthcare, especially in rural India, is inaccessible to the masses due to weaknesses in accessibility, health systems, and human resources. This leads to 700 million people without any access to specialized care and one million deaths every year. IDDS Aarogyam aims to facilitate holistic healthcare solutions that meet people where they are and acknowledge their status, aspirations and dignity by bringing together a global and specialized mix of participants who undergo intensive modules that nurture co-creation to create practical technologies that improve the quality of healthcare services and render it accessible to the masses in resource-poor settings.Who will be thereThe intense, hands on summit will bring together frontline community representatives and members from the host town, health workers, midwives, students, business leaders, engineers and designers from across the globe who will be engaged in an intensive ecosystem of learning and development working closely with local communities to be able to develop contextually relevant solutions that can be deployed to strengthen the healthcare system and empower the various stakeholders in the process.Apply to participateWe are looking to bring together a mix of 45 participants who have the following characteristics:Expertise or a background in public health, engineering, design, business, government, or local community vocations (farmers, mothers, welders, mechanics, etc.)Enjoy creating things with their hands and believe they can solve problemsShow passion and enthusiasm for improving livelihoods with technology, even if they are not a technologistHave a strong likelihood to continue working on their project and/or another IDIN activity after the summitExcellent team playersRepresent a diversity of nationalities, cultures, ages, genders, professions, interests, and backgroundsStandard application criteriaApplicants must complete an application by 5 pm EST on January 20, 2015 – no late or incomplete applications will be reviewedApplicants must be 18 years of age to applyApplicants must be able to attend the entire summit: July 6,2015 – August 1, 2015Apply online or print and mail an applicationScholarshipsA limited number of scholarships to attend the summit are available. These will cover the cost of travel and stay during the summit and will be offered based on financial need of the applicant. Please apply here on or before 20th of January 2015.Questions?Visit the IDDS Aarogyam website to learn more details about participating in the event.For any additional questions, contact the lead organizer, Habib Anwar, by email or phone.email: [email protected] | INDIA: +91 74011 76711 | USA: +1 617 949 1057 ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: < Young mother and child>©<2009>< Steve Evans> used under a Creative Commons Attribution license:< https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/>Share this:
“As a kid growing up, my opportunities were limited when it came to being able to go somewhere like the YMCA. As a YMCA employee for 23 years, I have seen benefits from the dollars United Way has provided for children’s programs. Now it’s like I’m on the outside looking in, seeing how awesome it is for these kids to have this kind of childhood experience. I have always been interested in kids, and 20 years ago, United Way was the organization I felt strongly about in being secure and taking action to create change.‘ I know I can count on United Way, and that the money is going to the agencies and not being spent frivolously. I have seen firsthand what United Way dollars have done to our community and feel they make a huge impact. If you build a strong community, then you have a better place to live. ” —Beth Alban, Donor since 1989, United Way of Greater Stark County “PATH accelerated the delivery of a vaccine against deadly Japanese encephalitis in Laos and Cambodia, and our vaccine technologies helped ensure the vaccine’s safe arrival in each community.” Type #2: Donor StoriesDonor stories engage supporters because they’re about people like them. These stories convey the subliminal feel-good message “people like me do are making a difference,” which motivates donors to stay close and give again.These stories are much more impactful than names on a donor list, but not enough organizations use them to model great giving. Get inspired by this compelling donor story from the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation. I think you’ll see what I mean: Type #3: Beneficiary and Donor Testimonials Annual report content doesn’t get better than this! Beth’s testimonial works so well because it’s specificity brings her relationship with the United Way to life.Caveat: The most powerful testimonials aren’t about your organization, they’re about how someone like your donor has benefited being involved with your organization.If you’re not already banking stories and testimonials, now’s the time to get started. They’ll transform your annual report…and your donors’ response to it!P.S. Still putting your annual report plans into place? Check out this post to get off on the right foot: 2 Ways to Transform Your Annual Report from Dull to Dynamic On the other hand, looking ahead stories demonstrate your organization’s potential impact. Piggyback on impact to date to give your donors a preview of what’s to come in the next year (more of the same good work and success) thanks to their support. Here’s a great example from EcoJustice: Never underestimate the power of someone’s words in an annual report. To make the most of testimonials, include as much personal information as you can to bring them to life. The United Way of Greater Stark County does in this powerful testimonial: How Unforgettable Stories Motivate Giving & Keep Donors CloseWith budget and staffing challenges touching us all in some way, it’s hard not to evaluate how much time and money go into your annual report.I encourage you to consider this advice from master fundraiser Tom Ahern: “Think of your annual report as a once-a-year golden opportunity to deeply connect with your customers’ (e.g., donors’) feelings, dreams, aspirations, hidden and sometimes even embarrassing needs—like the need to be liked; or the need to do something good in the world, a need as common as the air in our lungs.”An annual report that conveys your organization’s impact in a vibrant and memorable way fulfills your donors’ needs. It keeps them close and engaged. And engagement is the most reliable path there is to donor retention.So, what does this have to do with people’s stories? Rich, personal stories help fulfill your donors’ needs. They let them touch and see the good work they’re funding. Simply put, these stories (paired with vibrant photos, of course) are real, moving, and memorable.Below are the three key story types for annual reports.No single story type works for every donor. You may want to use your donor management database to segment donors by giving history and interests to get a clear sense of which stories will be most relevant for your primary annual report audiences.Type #1: Beneficiary Stories (a.k.a. success stories)I like to categorize success stories into two groups: retrospective stories and looking ahead stories. Retrospective stories show your impact to date and build credibility for your organization.These “our work in action” stories directly connect donors with the change they’ve generated. Be explicit! Link successes with your donors’ support. Give them the credit they deserve. Consider this example from PATH: