Imagine this. You’ve had a bad day at work. For months, you’ve been trying to persuade everyone to recycle. No one is complying. In frustration, you send out a mass email. “Only 5% of staff is putting paper in the recycling bins. We need to do better,” you say.Bad move.Why? When we are deciding whether to do something, we typically look to see what others are doing (“social proof”). As Robert Cialdini has thoroughly documented, we’re compliant creatures. If we see everyone else is ignoring the recycling bins, we’ll ignore them too.If you lament that no one is listening, no one will listen. By emphasizing inaction, you discourage the very behaviors you’re seeking.If you want action, make people feel they are are part of something positive: “We’re aiming for 100% of paper recycled by Friday – and we’re on our way there.”If you’re at a nonprofit that’s attracted hundreds of donations when you wanted thousands, don’t say, “Fewer people have supported our cause this year. So many kids are going without lunch. We really need your help.”Say: “Your donation will provide a school lunch to Jason every day this year. Join the hundreds of donors supporting kids like him.”Here are three tips for turning your frustration over what isn’t working into a message that compels action – instead of more inaction.1. The number one thing you can do to overcome resistance is to celebrate and publicize the people who are taking action. It will help inspire the ones who aren’t.2. If you don’t have enough people to highlight, try getting just one – preferably a person who people respect (or who has authority). Ask that person to explain why he or she is taking action. Maybe you’re not the best messenger and that person would be better.3. Last, if you can’t succeed on those fronts, try to convert just regular one person. Then ask that person to explain why they changed their mind. Converted skeptics are the most motivating of any messenger for the people who have failed to act. The people who aren’t on your side are more likely to relate to someone who once felt like them.Bottom line? Accentuate the positive if you want a positive reaction.
Music 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.
Posted on December 3, 2012August 15, 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)Are you presenting at the Global Maternal Health Conference 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania? Do you plan to tune in to the live stream to view sessions remotely?Join the team of guest bloggers for the conference! With GMHC2013 right around the corner, the MHTF is looking forward to a lively online scientific dialogue about issues presented at the conference sessions. In an effort to fuel this conversation, we hope to engage a variety of perspectives–from various geographic regions and sub-fields–by connecting with health and development bloggers around the world.You might be interested in writing a guest blog post if:You would like to connect with a broader audience about the work you are presenting at GMHC2013,You work in global health and development and would like to share your thoughts on how the issues discussed in the sessions relate to your work in your specific context,You are working on similar issues to those discussed in the sessions, and would like to share your insights,You have a passion for global health and writing, and would like to help synthesize lessons learned from the sessions.Guest posts will be posted on the MHTF Blog and cross-posted on a number of other leading sexual and reproductive health, development, and global health blogs.If you are participating in the conference (either in Tanzania or remotely via live webcast) and would like to guest blog about the work you are presenting or the sessions you attend, please submit a brief statement of interest or a sample blog post of less than 300 words to Kate Mitchell ([email protected]).Please also get in touch if you plan to blog on your own blog or your organization’s blog or website. We would love to discuss linking to your posts and cross-posting content.Take a look at the posts from the first Global Maternal Health Conference.For more information, contact Kate Mitchell ([email protected]).Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
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:
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 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:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 24, 2014November 7, 2016By: Renuka Motihar, Independent Consultant and member of the Executive Committee of the White Ribbon Alliance IndiaClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, what does the future hold for international maternal mortality targets? The MHTF is pleased to be hosting a blog series on post-2015 maternal mortality goal setting. Over the next several weeks, we will be featuring responses and reactions to proposed targets from around the world. Please share your thoughts with us!In India, there has been considerable economic progress, but the country is still grappling with inequities and the basic right to safe childbirth. There are about 30 million pregnancies; 27 million deliveries and about 56,000 women are lost in childbirth each year. This accounts for 19 percent of maternal deaths around the world. Most of these can be prevented. India still has a way to go to reach MDG 5, which would require reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to 109 deaths per 100,000 births by 2015. There has been some progress in the country in the last decade. The MMR has fallen from about 390 to 212 deaths per 100,000 live births in about 10 years, approximately 67 percent decrease. There are some areas in the country, such as states of Assam, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand that still have MMRs greater than 300 deaths per 100,000 live births. Social determinants such as early age of marriage and early and repeated childbearing are also contributing factors. Thirty-six percent of Indian women are malnourished and about 55 percent are anemic. Bodies are ill prepared to handle childbirth with poor nutrition, stunting with negative outcomes for maternal health. The main causes of death in India have been found to be heavy bleeding (hemorrhage) and eclampsia (high blood pressure).The Government of India has policies and programs to improve outcomes for maternal health. Janani Suraksha Yojana, a safe motherhood cash assistance scheme, and now the Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakarm (JSSK) have facilitated the shift of births from homes to health facilities. Births in clinics and hospitals have increased over 75 percent in the last 5 years; however the maternal mortality ratios have only declined by approximately 25 percent. But the question arises: Are the health facilities equipped with the desired quality to handle the onset of numbers? Is there adequate inter-partum care and emergency care for complicated deliveries? Is the poorest woman being able to reach services? Is it inclusive and equitable?To address quality of care issues, quality protocols are being developed — for the labor room, antenatal care and postnatal care by the government and there is an effort to standardize. There is an attempt to strengthen supportive supervision, task shifting (reduce dependence on doctors and train a cadre of health workers for providing services), strategic skilling, respectful maternal care and maternal death reviews. However, challenges still remain: India is a vast country, and problems of supplies of essential drugs, medicines, inadequate human resources, inaccessible terrain, socio-cultural factors, and translating policies/programs into action persist. The government of India is grappling with all these issues and is focusing on improving quality of services. There is a realization that only looking at numbers is not enough. Improving quality of services is critical. As Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Government of India and Mission Director, National Rural Health Mission has said in a recent meeting, “We need a shift in the focus on achieving numbers to achieving quality of care”. The global targets for preventing maternal deaths are useful in providing goals to aspire for a country. They have acted as a catalyst to accelerate progress. However, the targets currently only reflect maternal mortality. They do not reflect maternal morbidities or the fact that for every woman dying in childbirth, many more women suffer long-lasting and debilitating illnesses, which are now being neglected. For countries, a relative or percentage target may be more useful; and those countries that are on track should also examine the reaching of targets sub-nationally. However, within countries, focusing only on numbers is not enough. Efforts need to go beyond numbers to reflect on enhancing the quality of services, and, in turn, improving the lives of women and children.If you would like to submit a guest post for to our ongoing series exploring potential goals for maternal health in the post-MDG development agenda, please contact Andrea Goetschius: [email protected] this:
Posted on January 28, 2015May 9, 2017By: Jocalyn Clark, Executive Editor, Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition at icddr,bClick 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)Increasingly, I’m asked to advise and assist with the problem of predatory journals. While it’s probably only an annoying nuisance to many in the developed world, the increasing number of spam emails inviting articles and conference participation is beginning to feel like a potentially serious problem for developing world scientists and institutions. This demands action, as Richard Smith and I argue in a recent editorial in The BMJ.That’s because these countries’ relative lack of development also extends, unsurprisingly, to scholarly publishing. Whereas in rich country institutions we would have training, supervision, and support that generate a level of literacy to discern predatory versus legitimate journals, this is often missing or nascent in developing country institutions. As a recent paper shows, the majority of authors in predatory journals are inexperienced and based in developing countries.Predatory journals (a term first coined by librarian Jeffrey Beall) are fake or scam journals that send phishing emails offering “open access” publication in exchange for payment, without providing robust editorial or publishing services. They have been discredited by the scientific community, and because they are not indexed in standard databases any research published in them is effectively lost. Their motive is financial gain, and their modus operandi is a corruption of the business model of legitimate open access publishing.Many organisations and universities around the world are facing this problem, but it appears predatory publishers may be particularly targeting institutions in the global south.I’m struck by how many more spam emails from predatory publishers I get to my Bangladesh institutional email than I do to my Canadian academic account. In a recent seven day trial, I received 14 predatory journal spam emails to my icddr,b account and six to my University of Toronto account; a colleague at Harvard in the same period got just two.This can’t be explained by inadequate junk mail filters, as the system we use at my organisation in Bangladesh is an industry standard.I recommend a five point plan for researchers to avoid predatory journals, which involves “doing your homework” to check the credibility of a journal or publisher, and always being sceptical of unknown journals. To distinguish legitimate from predatory journals, here are some useful sources of information—none of which are adequate on their own:Is the journal or publisher listed in Beall’s List? If so, it should be avoided, as this “blacklist” is regularly updated and specifies criteria for identifying predatory journals and publishers.If claiming to be an open access journal, is the journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)? This is a sort of “whitelist,” and journals here must meet specific criteria.Is the publisher a member of recognised professional organisations that commit to best practices in publishing, such as the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE); the International Association of Scientific, Technical, & Medical Publishers (STM); or the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)?Is the journal indexed? Do not accept the journal’s claims about being indexed. Instead verify these claims by searching for the journal in databases such as PubMedCentral (free) or the Web of Science (requiring subscription).Is the journal transparent and following best practices when it comes to editorial and peer review processes, governance, and ownership? Are there contact details for the journal and its staff (email, postal address, working telephone number)? Reputable journals have a named editor and editorial board comprised of recognised experts. Are the costs associated with publishing clear? Credible journals do not ask for a submission fee. Many bona fide open access journals require a publication charge, but this is levied after acceptance and through a process separate from the editorial process.To help with “doing your homework” authors can consult new guidance from COPE, which—along with the DOAJ, OASPA, and the World Association of Medical Editors—has set out principles of transparency and best practice that set apart legitimate journals and publishers from “non-legitimate” ones.These sources of information can help any researcher struggling to avoid predatory journals, but should supplement rather than supplant extensive discussions among co-authors about the right and reputable target journals for their papers.In addition, those of us who collaborate with and advocate health research from developing countries should lend our support to colleagues, especially junior colleagues, to spread publication literacy and to fight against the predatory journals.This post originally appeared on BMJ Blogs.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
“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:
What motivates donors to continue giving to an organization? Traditionally, research that’s focused on charitable giving has looked at how to motivate donors to give an initial gift. But are you doing everything you can to increase donor loyalty? After all, fundraising pros know that donor retention is the golden ticket. Apply these five best practices to your fundraising work and turn one-time donors into loyal, ongoing supporters.1) Build an Emotional ConnectionCompanies that optimize the emotional connection between their brand and their customers outperform competitors by 26 percent in gross margin and 85 percent in sales growth. Customers who feel emotionally connected to a brand are:At least three times more likely to recommendThree times more likely to re-purchaseEmotional connections are even more necessary in the nonprofit realm. A logical connection isn’t enough to go the distance. Emotional connections influence both the length and frequency of a donor’s engagement with your organization.2) Get FeedbackConsumer brands use post-interaction surveys to gather insightful feedback from customers. Set up your survey to ask any question you’d like to know the answer to. They can be especially helpful to nonprofits for gathering feedback on the online donation experience, for asking opinions on various issues, and for collecting ideas to improve the donor experience.3) Practice Social Listening and EngagementSurveys aren’t the only way to listen to your donors. Smart brands use social media to learn about their consumers. Engage with your supporters by responding to questions and sharing relevant information. Nonprofits can gain the same benefits by paying attention to what people are saying on both their organization’s social pages and individuals’ social pages. And they can build a relationship by responding in relevant, meaningful ways.4) Focus on the IndividualTo generate loyalty, you have to focus on each person as an individual. Consumers are used to getting customized communications that are personalized. Similarly, donors expect nonprofits to leverage what the organization knows about them to make their experience the best it can be. For example, find out what types of causes they support and share related programs they may be interested in. Learn how they prefer to give—whether via email, text, social media, or snail mail—and make the process easy for them. Find out when they like to give and time your requests appropriately.5) Show That You Appreciate ThemBrands often have customer appreciation events that are designed specifically to show customers that they’re valued. Appreciation doesn’t have to come in the form of a big event, however. Nonprofits can show appreciation to donors via letters, personalized videos, photo galleries of the project the donor has given to, etc.Ultimately, it comes back to building the relationship with your donors. They want to feel that they’re a valued part of the work that your organization does. They want to feel connected. As you focus on seeing your donors as individuals, you’ll be able to craft a donor experience program that results in loyal supporters.Learn why the donor experience is vital to a successful organization and how to implement an effective donor experience program by downloading “A Better Donor Experience: Is it the Cornerstone of Donor Loyalty?”