Late last year the Georgetown Mayor and City Council displaced the East Bank of Demerara minibus and car park in preparation for the relocation of vendors who are to be removed from the Stabroek market wharf to facilitate much needed repairs there. The park is now in an area just South of where it originally was.The first challenge is the obvious smaller area which cannot accommodate the volume of vehicles. The unavoidable searching and jostling for parking spots create congestion leading to traffic buildups in an already overly congested area. In addition, the area is poorly lit at night and with the menace of ever-present rampant gangs, many commuters have been robbed.This seeming norm in criminal activities in that environ creates high risks for all who depend on public transportation, especially women, with reports of some being groped. Children are also exposed to these dangers. With no alternative, commuters have to take those risks every day with fear lingering in their minds at a place that is literally a stone’s throw away from the country’s Parliament Building.Many questions abound. Despite national cognizance of the space constraint in the city, more specifically that area, the question of why would the Council remove that main public transportation park to accommodate vendors is still unavoidable. This does not take away from the fact that the vendors needed to be relocated.The Council in its defence would cite lack of space. While that’s a good argument, probingly, it must be asked if the related deliberations were thorough and inclusive of all Councillors. On the surface, it appears that safety and other concerns of commuters were and probably are still not given the necessary consideration as thousands are being affected every day.The Council cannot be oblivious of the security concerns at all transportation parks within the city for incidents of robberies continue to be highlighted in the media. It did make effort towards some lighting and, with the Guyana Police Force, to have some level of security presence. However, it is not adequate and from reports, the security presence is not sustained especially in the evenings and late into the nights.Even if the necessary security measures are implemented at the parks, it is not a guarantee that crime will disappear. However, it will offer a much needed and effective deterrent allowing for almost immediate response and very importantly, comfort the troubling mindsets.Adequate and necessary security measures, including effective lighting, should have been in place immediately upon the relocation of the park. It therefore becomes mindboggling as why such necessary things were not implemented and sustained even months after. All of the bus and car parks within the city are security risks and all are poorly lit, including some main roads that lead to them.That, and the criminal activities it encourages, continue to compromise that aspect of public safety. This is a continuous cycle and with every passing day, frustration and fear among commuters increase. One can argue that if the City Council is really concerned about commuters’ safety, it would be making more noise, increased Police presence, even if it’s just to appease.The knowledge and presence of security measures have positive psychological effects. Its absence, or being grossly inadequate, causes one to wonder if the leadership and the rest of Council really understand the magnitude of what transpires at those parks especially in the evenings and nights and particularly at the East Bank park.There is great difficulty in accepting the Council being unaware which brings to the fore the frightening scenario of the current inadequacies probably being accepted as adequate with believably scant regard for commuters’ safety.It must be noted that for every sitting of Parliament, traffic within the immediate area is restricted. This further compounds the congestion at the East Bank park and further increases the risks for criminal activities. Importantly, Police ranks are deployed to enforce the traffic restrictions for the duration of a parliamentary sitting which sometimes go beyond midnight.While that is deemed necessary to ensure the safety and easy access for parliamentarians, it demonstrates that ranks could be made available to be stationed at the parks during the entirety of what is considered as the high-risk hours. This is what City Hall should be advocating for given that its own resources may be limited.The Police implements generally effective and pleasing security mechanisms for the Christmas period with temporary outposts at various points. The positive effect of that is known. The obvious question is why it cannot be sustained to some extent with emphasis on the parks throughout the year.While the force has its own constraints over resources, collaboration with the Council and strategic planning can result in an acceptable and adequate mechanism that could mitigate the current situation. From the Council’s standpoint, even if it is not responsible for the security at the parks, it can demonstrate its genuine concern for commuters’ safety by being proactive. All it takes is will.
CCH Tax Day ReportEffective July 1, 2016, the Director of Revenue may, in the Director’s discretion and in lieu of the other requirements for the mailing of tax return forms, mail to any taxpayer a paper or electronic notification setting forth: (1) the requirement of filing a tax return, and (2) methods by which the taxpayer may obtain a blank return, including the telephone numbers of the Division of Revenue and, if applicable, an Internet site containing returns that can be downloaded.S.B. 285 (Sec.133)Ch. 298 (S.B. 285), Laws 2016, effective as noted
When we think about what motivates people at work, some cliches come out. Money? Maybe. Power? Perhaps. But as someone working for a mission you know it’s something else — altruism.But what may surprise you is this isn’t just a truism in the nonprofit sector. It works in most places.This past Sunday, the New York Times had a fascinating magazine profile of Adam Grant, the youngest-tenured and highest rated professor at Wharton. Grant focuses on workplace psychology and the effects of altruism in your career. His research shows generosity at work is a strong motivator that spurs increased productivity and creativity. Helping others, it seems, helps ourselves. (As a person, Grant is radically generous, spending hours a day helping students, colleagues and strangers for the sake of being useful to others.)Early in his career, Grant worked with a demoralized call center to show the positive effects of altruism. Since one of the center’s purposes was funding scholarships, Grant had a student who benefited from the fundraising efforts speak to the telemarketers for ten minutes. The student told the callers how the scholarship had changed his life – and how he was headed off to work for Teach for America. A month later, the call center reported workers were on the phone 142 percent more and raising 171 more. A follow up found revenues had rocketed up 400 percent. Grant concludes the greatest untapped source of motivation is service to others. This reminds me of Daniel Pink’s writing on a higher purpose being a powerful professional motivator.Maybe that’s why there is research suggesting that the first instinct of humans is to contribute to the greater good at their own expense. We’re wired to do what motivates us to do our best.In my own work at Network for Good, where we not only support nonprofits like yours but also seek to help companies bring philanthropy into the workplace, we find these ideas hold true. Allowing employees to do good for others builds loyalty, increases job satisfaction and boosts morale. Giving rewards to employees like charity vouchers have been documented to make people happier and more satisfied with their jobs. We know giving makes us happy. Maybe it makes all of us more motivated – and successful – too.
Read Part One This post continues our new How Did You Handle…? series—specific how-tos based on your experiences. There’s still time to make productive changes to your year-end appeal! Here are more year-end campaign change-ups, attempted for the first time this year by some of your fundraiser peers (with early results where available).1. Change-Up: Launching matching gifts for first-time donors (including those coming in on #GivingTuesday).We secured two donors—one who is an absolutely new donor—to offer a dollar-for-dollar match (up to $1,000) for all first-time donors. We are also offering a separate $500 match to new online donors on #GivingTuesday.As director of development, I pushed the match approach and found supportive donors. I was thrilled when our executive director jumped on board and found a matching donor for #GivingTuesday.But that’s not all. Our executive director pledged a $500 gift if all staff members contribute to the campaign. Great news: Our board is already at 100%!Goal: I had used the matching challenge in other types of campaigns and found it highly successful in increasing the number of new donors and total gifts. We’re hoping to achieve the same value this year. We’ll keep you posted! Results to Date: Just starting our year-end campaign (our executive director hand-signs all appeal letters and adds personal notes to many of them).Source: Alan Gibby, director of development, Shelter Care Ministries2. Change-Up: Revising our channel and format mix for year-end appeals to include direct mail for prospects who don’t read our emails.After digging into our email database statistics, we noticed that many of our donors don’t check their emails. Direct mail is our best hope for engaging these folks; this way we know they’ll receive an appeal. We’re sending them our first-ever direct mail appeal.Goals: We hope to strongly encourage our consistent donors to increase their gifts and reactivate our lapsed donors.Source: Kiki Fornito, development associate, Build ChangeNote from Nancy: Other fundraisers reported very different changes in their year-end channel and format mix:· “We are moving to an 80-20 split between email and direct mail outreach to members in our fundraising campaigns; the goal is to convert members to donors. Early results are positive,” reports Laural Bowman, political affairs manager with the Ohio State Medical Association.· “We are reaching out via phone to donors as a supplement to our direct mail year-end campaign. Of course, we’re tracking what impact these calls, which are low cost but labor intensive, have on results, and we’ll use that data to fine-tune next year’s year-end approach,” says Jayme Hayes, president of Junior Achievement of the Eastern Shore.Whatever your organization’s mix, the crucial takeaways are to always look hard at response patterns to year-end and other fundraising campaigns and to do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.If one of these approaches makes sense for your organization—based on data and anecdotes, not just gut instinct—see if there’s at least some small way you can incorporate it into remaining elements of your year-end campaign. It just might make a difference!With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.
You’re excited – and so am I. Sometime over the next few days we get to invest five glorious minutes to configure our inbox and voicemail so anyone who tries to email or call our office is kindly informed that we are unplugging for Independence Day. Effectively raising money for a nonprofit organization is hard work and we need, and deserve, some dedicated downtime. However, so does everyone else, even if they aren’t working at your nonprofit.Too often, the Out-of-Office notification, be it email or voicemail, is a missed opportunity to creatively promote your nonprofit, build or enhance a relationship or advance the donation process through meaningful engagement. Let’s face it, nobody really cares that you will be out of the office, why, or for how long. They care even less that you’ll have “limited access to email,” or that your office “will reopen on July 5, 2016.” The person trying to contact you probably has a question – and the call may even be related to making a gift to your organization. They need, and deserve, an answer – holiday or not.After all, generosity doesn’t take vacations. Existing and would-be donors may want to provide a credit card number, ask where they can make an online gift, get your mailing address to send their check, or ask a question about donor benefits or tax-deductibility.With that in mind, consider a proactive, donor-centric approach when creating our OOO messages. Here are three simple ways to make your OOO notification meaningful, memorable and possibly even profitable:Connect your greeting directly to your Mission and programs.Think impact. Explain that you may be out of the office yet your nonprofit continues to make a major impact even when the office isn’t open. For your email OOO message, graphics and tag lines should instantly showcase the impact and value of your nonprofit. Use positive action verbs in your voicemail OOO notification to confirm that a closed office does not mean your nonprofit is taking time off from its vital Mission.Think about all of the time and energy you invest in trying to thoughtfully engage your donor. When they contact you via phone or email, the opportunity is there even if you’re not. To make it a worthwhile engagement for both the person reaching out to your organization and your nonprofit, use the technology available to share valuable information about your programs and donation process. Convey a similar but abbreviated message as you would in an appeal email or letter. Anticipate why an existing or prospective donor needs to connect.Think FAQ, then efficiently direct them to the information they need to make or fulfill a gift online or via direct mail. Your email OOO message is an opportunity to brand your organization and demonstrate value without writing volumes of irrelevant details. Use relevant or seasonal graphics and links to anticipate the person’s immediate needs while showcasing the impact and value of your nonprofit. Remember donor-centric puts the focus on the OOO notification reader, not on you. And most definitely not on the wonderful details of where you are spending your vacation or with whom or for how long.For voicemail OOO messages, leverage voice tone and energy to convey attentiveness even in your absence. Yes, smiles do transfer over phone lines. The caller is far more concerned with a resolution to their question than with your official title, 3 alternate contacts, and a litany of phone numbers or extensions. Keep it donor-centric, sincere and high energy while providing actual directions to aid the caller—not send them on a wild goose chase. Be sure to provide details about your nonprofit’s Mission, donation process, and available resources to answer their question without sounding like a directory. After all, your recorded voicemail message is still a dialogue between two people. Recognize everyone over weekend “will have limited access…”If your OOO notification or message can make them smile, laugh or be memorable, you have initiated or enhanced a relationship. If it drones on with meaningless or perfunctory information, you can expect their eyes to roll but you probably can’t rely on their immediate donation. If you love the good your nonprofit does throughout the year, express it in your OOO notifications. Guide them through the online or direct mail giving process and give them access to other vital information they may be looking for. Make certain your website and social media anticipate their needs as well as simplify the donation process. And invite them to share their philanthropy with their social networks.Everyone on the planet knows that if they’ve reached a voicemail the person they’re calling is unavailable. Don’t state the obvious. Use that valuable time to inspire them with humor related to your nonprofit or the time of year while demonstrating with sincerity that they, and not just their potential gift, are important to you and your organization every single day.
Posted on March 7, 2013June 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)The following guest posts provide snapshots of the work of three recipients of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants for work on innovative WASH and gender interventions in India.By Akhila Sivadas,Project Director, Center for Advocacy and Research, New Delhi: Rajasthani camp, a cluster of 600 households in South Delhi, is one of the 27 settlements where the Center for Advocacy and Research is facilitating the formation of Women’s’ Forums, which enable the community to collectively negotiate with the municipality for better sanitation services. Like all other settlements we have worked in, the women of Rajasthani Camp were frustrated with broken toilets, clogged drains, and garbage heaps in their community. The Women’s Forum launched a multi-pronged initiative this past fall. Armed with the community-specific disease data that emerged from a health conversation we convened, the Forum raised their concerns with a local leader who pressured authorities to fix the situation. Their persistence and determination has already paid off: toilet renovations are currently underway.By Sampath Kumor,Project Director, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust, The Self Help Groups of Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust provide potent platforms to discuss and disseminate the objectives of the WASH and gender project. Women from socially and economically marginalized groups have now found a forum to discuss subjects that have always been disapproved and stigmatized. For communities with little choice but to defecate in the open, the process of identification of the risk and vulnerability of the same (particularly for adolescent girls) is a step closer towards the aim. In addition, targeted Self Help Groups for young women are utilizing peer-to-peer discussions to address menstrual hygiene management. The march is on!By Kathleen O’Reilly, Texas A&M University: In our research on successful sanitation habits in rural West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh, we have learned that using a toilet is so commonplace for mothers with young children that they often do not recognize the advantages gained by having a toilet. Despite casual replies to questions about the convenience of a household toilet, observation of mothers’ daily routines reveals that they take advantage of the toilet’s proximity by leaving children unattended when they use it. We have found that the toilet has become so useful and so habitual that women are no longer conscious of the burden it would be to take children with them for open defecation.For more in the WASH and Women’s Health blog series coordinated by WASH advocates, click here, or visit WASH Advocates.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on March 4, 2013March 21, 2017By: Charles Banda, Executive Director, Freshwater MalawiClick 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)Imagine giving birth, or watching a loved one give birth, in a mud-floored hut without access to clean water or a basic latrine. This is the reality for millions of women in Malawi and other developing nations.In Malawi, approximately 30% of people in rural areas lack access to clean water and more than half lack basic sanitation. Malawi is one of most perilous places for a woman to give birth, with nearly 40% of rural women giving birth at home. The birth rate is among the highest in Africa, at over 40 births per 1,000 people, and the maternal mortality ratio is also exceptionally high, with approximately 460 deaths for every 100,000 live births.As Oliver Cumming of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine pointed out at the Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC2013) in January, but the vast majority of home births in Malawi take place in a home that lacks improved water and/or sanitation facilities. Changing this will require taking on many challenges. For instance, upwards of 80% of Malawi’s inhabitants live in rural areas, so distance to health services is a major challenge. The geographic proximity to emergency obstetric care is a key factor in determining the risk of whether or not rural deliveries will be safe, but even in the presence of medical care, lack of access to a clean water source and sanitation facilities can lead to severe risk of infection for both women and babies. However, efforts are underway to improve conditions for birthing mothers in Malawi.Her Excellency, Dr. Joyce Banda, the President of Malawi, has recently sanctioned the President’s Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood to address barriers faced by women in rural areas to giving birth at a health facility. This is achieved in part through the construction of Maternal Waiting Shelters, which are built adjacent to birthing centers or health clinics, and provide a place where women can stay with an attendant prior to giving birth.The shelters will allow rural expectant mothers to make the long journey to medical clinics before the onset of labor, while providing them a space to wait until they are ready to give birth. The implementation of these new waiting shelters will reduce the risks that go with giving birth at home in remote villages with traditional birth attendants, often far from any medical, clean water or sanitation facilities.In order to further improve maternal health in Malawi, Freshwater Malawi together with its U.S.-based sister organization, Freshwater Project International, has developed an idea that is focused, but comprehensive it its approach. Our proposal is a pilot project that includes a community-driven, social work approach to the provision of a fresh water source (borehole) and sanitation facility (latrine) at a Maternal Waiting Shelter built adjacent to a health center/birth facility in a rural area of southern Malawi. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: The project will also include neonatal hygiene care/behavior change training and resources for healthcare professionals to implement with expectant women in the waiting shelters. A site-specific assessment study of the maternity ward at the health center and delivery of a 40-ft container of obstetric-specific medical supplies and equipment will be implemented by our partner organization, Project C.U.R.E.Monitoring of key health, social, environmental, and performance indicators will be used to quantify and demonstrate the benefit to maternal and neonatal health. The primary objective is to reduce incidences of infection at birth. The expected impact of the project includes a reduction in maternal mortality in the southern region of Malawi. This project is innovative because it utilizes a comprehensive, cross-sectorial approach to saving lives at birth through the provision of safe, sanitary access to WASH resources and further strengthens the obstetric capacity of the health centers. If the pilot project is successful, plans will be made to scale up the initiative at other Maternal Waiting Shelters throughout the country.For more on the WASH and Women’s Health blog series coordinated by WASH advocates, click here, or visit WASH Advocates.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on January 7, 2014November 7, 2016By: Natalie Ramm, Communications Coordinator, Maternal Health Task Force, 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)USAID sent out a press release yesterday announcing the award of the Fistula Care Plus Project to EngenderHealth and the Population Council. We, at the Maternal Health Task Force, look forward to working with EngenderHealth to reduce the incidence of fistula around the world.Taking one more step toward improving maternal health globally, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announces the award of the Fistula Care Plus Project to EngenderHealth and its institutional partner, the Population Council. Obstetric fistula, a hole that develops between the birth canal and one or more of a woman’s internal organs, is caused by obstructed labor without access to timely and skilled medical care, such as cesarean section. Delaying the age of first pregnancy and increasing access to contraception are also critical to the prevention of fistula. Fistula results in chronic, uncontrollable leakage of urine and/or feces, a devastating lifelong disability that affects a significant number of girls and women in Africa and Asia. New cases, all preventable, are continuing to occur. Often women who have fistula from obstructed labor also bear the sorrow of the loss of the baby.To read the entire press release, please click here.Share this:
Posted on March 13, 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)One aspect of the Maternal Health Task Force’s mission is to increase access to critical maternal health information and evidence. We know that language can be a barrier to access, especially since the scientific literature is primarily in English.As part of our information outreach efforts, we would like to learn more about the need for maternal health information in languages other than English.We are currently conducting a short survey to learn more about the maternal health community’s translation needs. We recognize the limitations of this survey given that it is in English. However, if you could think about the needs of your colleagues, that would be extremely helpful.Please let us know your thoughts!Take the survey now: https://harvard.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_81Um1cyLslyF5L7Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
In 2016, Network for Good’s blog covered topics ranging from fundraising planning and capital campaigns to leveraging a donor database. Here are the top posts of 2016.10. Are You Ready to Launch a Capital Campaign? 3 Questions to AnswerThis post by guest blogger Barbara O’Reilly gave nonprofits a reality check when it comes to the how and why of a big capital campaign.9. 3 Ways to Use Your Donor Database to Prioritize Your OutreachEarlier this year, Network for Good developed a new Donor Management System to help small to mid-sized nonprofits raise more money. This post outlined three ways you can use your fundraising data to create a sustainable individual giving program.8. Real-World Peer Fundraising Tips from the #CloseTheGap CampaignNetwork for Good customer, East Oakland Youth Development Center, raised more than $30,000 with a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign. Guest blogger Nancy Schwartz showed you how they were so successful with their first peer-to-peer campaign in this top ten post of 2016. 7. Why Your Mid-Level Donors Aren’t Giving More: Q&A with Maeve StrathyAfter we hosted a very popular Nonprofit911 webinar with fundraising expert Maeve Strathy, we featured a Q&A with her on how to make the most of your middle donors. 6. Crash Course: Your 7-Step Nonprofit Fundraising PlanAccording to the Individual Donor Benchmark Report, a key indicator of fundraising success is having a fundraising plan. This post broke down the fundraising planning process into seven easy steps.5. Thank You Calls as a Donor Retention Tool: 6 Steps to SuccessIn this post by guest blogger Claire Axelrad, readers learned how and why picking up the phone to thank donors is a fantastic (but often overlooked) donor retention technique.4. Here’s the Best Way to Fundraise on FacebookAfter Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing had such a successful #GivingTuesday, I had to know how they reached so many donors. In this post they shared the secret to their success: a smart Facebook strategy.3. 2016 Fundraising Trends and OpportunitiesThis post featured three fundraising trends that were positioned to grow individual giving this year. Did any of these strategies work for you?2. How to Inspire More Donations at Your Fundraising EventsFundraisers are always looking for more tips about fundraising events. The second most popular post of the year delivered many ideas to get donors to give and give big at your events.1. 7 Steps to Turning Event Attendees into DonorsAnd after that event is over…what do you do to keep those event attendees engaged? In our top post of 2016, guest blogger Claire Axelrad gave us some valuable tips on how to make sure the supporters who show up at your event don’t fall off your fundraising radar.Thanks to all our readers and guest bloggers!What was your favorite blog post of the year? Do you have any topics you’d like to see us cover in 2017?