5 Reasons You Should Not Read This on Labor Day

first_imgAt Glassdoor, we are all about helping people finding a job and company they love, and helping employers recruit top talent. It’s what we do, and we love it. So on one hand, yes, we love work (a.k.a. labor). On the other hand, while the employment industry makes our work possible, we love a little time off. Add the two hands together and it becomes clear that we at Glassdoor celebrate work-life balance.For that reason alone, we recommend that you stop reading this article now, it’s about work, and you should not be working today.Hopefully, most of you have stopped reading. For those of you still with us, perhaps we should explain exactly why it’s so important that you enjoy your day today.5 reasons you should not read this Labor Day story1.. Work/life balance is a good thing: Work-life balance is the proper prioritization between the work you do (the things you do to earn a living) and your lifestyle (the things you do to better enjoy your life). It’s a simple concept, but one that many people struggle with everyday—and it’s likely more important than we realize.According to a recent study by the American Sociology Review, 7 out of 10 American workers struggle to find a proper balance between their work lives and their home lives. As reported by the Mayo Clinic, lack of work-life balance has been shown to result in fatigue, stress-related heath issues, missed experiences/lost time with the people we love most and increased work expectations. While there are many resources to learn more about work-life balance, we learned a lot about work-life balance from 80’s hero Ferris Bueller (but that’s another story).Have we convinced you to stop reading this article and have some fun yet?2. There are a ton of shopping opportunities today: Like many holidays, Labor Day has become a shopping holiday. It’s true; there are endless shopping opportunities today, so if there’s something you need, or just really want, today might be the day to buy. If you’ve got the shopping bug, we’ve found a few great resources to check out:Today.com —The best Labor Day deals of 2015: How to shop like a proPeople.com—Get Your Credit Cards Ready! 10 Sales to Shop This Labor Day WeekendU.S. News & World Report —The 9 Best Sales of Labor Day 2015Have we convinced you to stop reading this article and do some shopping?3. The weather is still AMAZING: Technically, today, (September 7, 2015) is still summer. That’s right, the last day of summer is September 22, and this is the last holiday we’ll have before we enter fall. Here in Mill Valley, Calif. it’s going to be 80 degrees and sunny, and you better believe our Glassdoor kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders will be enjoying the bay. We hope the weather is amazing where you are too!Go out and do something fun! (Source: Glassdoor Photos)Have we convinced you to stop reading this article to enjoy the sun?4. There are plenty of excuses to be a couch potato: Sports fans have a special reason to celebrate today, the return of Football! While the first NFL game isn’t until Thursday, today marks the official start of the season. Non-sports fans, or those just looking for some good entertainment, should check out the myriad of TV marathons today, including:Animal Planet’s Best of Shark Week kicks off at 6 a.m. PT!How about six straight hours of Friends? TBS has you covered!FXX will be airing a Simpsons marathon starting at 6 a.m. PT!If these don’t thrill you, check out this complete marathon list from zap2it.comHave we convinced you to stop reading this article to enjoy some TV time?  5. Your government wants you to take a day off: You must deserve it, right? In truth, Labor Day is so much more than a day to go to a parade, host a BBQ or your last chance to wear white pants this year.It’s the U.S. government’s way of saying we all deserve a day off. But, where did the Holiday originate? As AOL points out, there are conflicting theories as to who created the tradition. We do know that the first Labor Day parade was held in NYC September 5, 1882, which became an annual tradition. By 1885 other states began to follow suit and in 1894, following pressure from organized unions and various strikes, President Grover Cleveland made it a national holiday. Thank you, Mr. President.In the end, if our government thinks we deserve a day off, we should take them up on the offer, right?Avoid workplace burnout (Source: Glassdoor Photos)If you’re still reading, you haven’t followed any of our advice.Our recommendation is to go out and enjoy your day. However, if you’re still not convinced, I suppose it’s time we give up and offer two last activities:Check out Glassdoor’s top rated companies for work-life balanceRead a list of the careers with the best work-life balanceHappy Labor Day!last_img read more

How to Write a Disruptive Cover Letter in 2018

first_img 23 hours ago 23h Marketing Communications Specialist Allied Telecom Group Arlington, VA Part Time Security Guard Allied Universal Washington, DC Electrophysiology Lab RN trustaff Washington, DC 23 hours ago 23h Front waiter – 1789 Restaurant Clyde’s Restaurant Group Washington, DC Browse Open Jobs 3.8★ 23 hours ago 23h 4.0★ Restaurant Manager Red Lobster Suitland, MD 4.5★ 3.0★ 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 3.0★ 23 hours ago 23h Restaurant Manager Uncle Julio’s Arlington, VA Police Officer Metropolitan Police Department of Washington DC Washington, DC Market Director, DMV sweetgreen Washington, DC 23 hours ago 23h Rehab Clinical Leader Kindred Healthcare Washington, DC 3.4★ 23 hours ago 23h Ah, the dreaded cover letter. For many job seekers, the cover letter is harder to write than a resume. And while some job applications list it as optional, this does not mean that a cover letter is a waste of time. In fact, this one piece of paper (or that one email attachment) can make or break your chances of landing an interview.We chatted with career coach and CEO of WorkItDaily, J.T. O’Donnell, about the keys to getting hired in 2018 and she insisted that wowing recruiters boils down to delivering the right kind of cover letter.Wait, there are different kinds of cover letters?Yes!The biggest trend in cover letters is the concept of “disrupting” the reader. Disruptive cover letters tell a compelling story that creates a connection between the applicant and the hiring manager or recruiter. The goal? To be “original, different, refreshing.”“The cover letter is your opportunity to connect with the employer, show that you understand them,” says J.T. O’Donnell. “Recruiters and hiring manager want an informed candidate. This cover letter is not about you, it’s about them. It’s about what you know about the company, why you’ve connected with them, and why you so badly want to work for them.”In her recent lifestream webinar, “Help Me Get Hired,” J.T. dug into what it takes to get hired in 2018 and outlined some of the most common cover letter mistakes, as well as the solutions. Here are our favorite takeaways:1. Don’t regurgitate; Innovate“A cover letter should not be an overview of your resume. That’s the biggest mistake. Showcasing your experience and qualifications is what the resume is for, not the cover letter. Making this mistake will get your application sent to the ‘No’ pile.”2. Grab their attention“A good cover letter grabs the reader at ‘hello.’ You want the first sentence of the cover letter to grab the reader and completely disrupt. Come up with an attention-grabbing first sentence. Make a statement or have a really interesting question that you start with and bold in the center of the page. This will pique the reader’s interest and entice them to continue reading.3. Tell a story“Stories are memorable because they create emotion and they create connection. You want to show that you’ve done your research and understand where you can add value to the company. They should be able to feel a connection with you when reading your cover letter.”4. Ditch the formalities“Another mistake people make is being too formal instead of being personal. The biggest example of this is strategic a cover letter with ‘To whom it may concern.’ There is nothing more impersonal and dry than this phrase. It shows a lack of effort. In this day and age you can find a recruiters name, find the hiring manager’s name. If you cannot find this, there’s a better option: ‘Dear Hiring Team.’ That is more personal and warmer.”Get more advice from J.T. O’Donnell on “Help Me Get Hired”! Plus, take our survey when you’re finished! 2.9★ Browse More Jobs 3.1★ 4.0★ 3.4★ Nursing: Medical Surgical MedPro Healthcare Staffing Washington, DC 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23hlast_img read more

How to Find & Land the Creative Job of Your Dreams

first_img 23 hours ago 23h Manager Software Engineering Zulily Seattle, WA Sr Strategic Transportation Analytics zulily Seattle, WA 23 hours ago 23h 2.6★ 23 hours ago 23h 2.6★ Product Owner – OTT and Connected Devices zulily Saint Petersburg, FL 2.6★ Talent Acquisition Coordinator Zulily Seattle, WA 23 hours ago 23h View More Jobs Software Engineer- Site Zulily Seattle, WA Lead Software Engineer Zulily Seattle, WA Hot New Jobs For You Digital Analyst zulily West Chester, PA 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 23 hours ago 23h 2.6★ Senior Program Manager, International Technology & Operations Zulily Seattle, WA 23 hours ago 23h 2.6★ 23 hours ago 23h 2.6★ 2.6★ 2.6★ It’s not easy being a creative in a world that increasingly favors those with technical skills. There’s a lot of pressure to enter into high-demand occupations like software engineering, data science or finance. And while there are a lot of benefits to entering fields like this — ever-increasing demand, job security, high pay — the truth is, these careers just aren’t for everyone.Take me, for example. I’m a right-brained thinker through and through — even if I had listened to conventional wisdom and studied something like computer science or business instead of English, I truly don’t believe I would be very happy in a more traditional role. In order for me to thrive, I need a position where the vast majority of the work I do is creative, preferably in the realm of writing or campaign ideation — and I know there are others like me out there.Unfortunately, the job opportunities available to creatives aren’t quite as numerous as those available to folks with a STEM or business background. Sometimes, it’s enough to make you feel like you should abandon a creative career altogether. But that doesn’t mean that there’s no demand out there for creative skills like writing, design or photography — just ask Jana Krinsky, Director of Studio at online retailer Zulily.As Director of Studio, Krinsky is responsible for the cohesive look of the Zulily app, and all of the creative assets — images, videos and GIFs — that live within it. To do so, she leads a team of hundreds in building sets, shooting products and editing the final pieces every day, resulting in over one million images taken per year. Glassdoor’s Emily Moore recently caught up with Krinsky to learn more about her day-to-day job, how she ended up in her current position and what advice she has for aspiring creative professionals — here’s what she had to say.Glassdoor: What does your role as Director of Studio involve, and what do you enjoy about it?Jana Krinsky: As the Director of Creative Studio at online retailer Zulily, I oversee a team of 350+ creatives support staff and leaders across our HQ in Seattle, WA and our corporate office in Columbus, OH. With our storefront being completely digital, our photographers, copywriters, graphic designers and stylists have the crucial role of telling the stories of thousands of products and brands, generally only available for 72-hours. It’s our job to make each brand (we offered over 15,000 just this past year!) a hero for the day. To help our customers easily transition from click to cart, we process over 2M samples per year, write thousands of copy descriptions and create compelling imagery on one of our 50+ studio sets — this is where our styles build hundreds of scenes, work with models of all ages, sizes and species, hosting plenty of pets each week!The best part of my job is every day at Zulily is an opportunity to win as a team, one of our core company values. With so much of retail moving to mobile — 73 percent of Zulily’s orders come from mobile (Q418) — storytelling has become an integral part of our jobs. It’s really rewarding for me to see an individual push boundaries within their craft, and convert a fun idea into a serious business driver. For instance, this year, we’re continuing to test and try animation and video within the Zulily experience, launching hundreds of different pieces of creative involving this medium in Q119.14 Perfect Jobs For CreativesGlassdoor: What did your career path look like — how did you end up as Director of Studio at Zulily?Jana Krinsky: I’d spent over a decade working in traditional retail and learned the power of visual storytelling within this industry. I wanted to apply this knowledge to my next endeavor, which is what drew me to Zulily in 2015. Zulily was doing, and continues to do, something truly different with a low-inventory business model that gives shoppers great deals on both big and boutique brands, across a diverse selection of product categories — women’s & kids apparel, footwear, consumables, beauty and wellness, pets and more.  I originally led our copy and photo editing teams, and from there was promoted to lead our Editorial Studio, and now hold my current position overseeing all of our creative studio division.Glassdoor: Did you know from an early age that you wanted to pursue a creative job, or did you discover your passion further down the line?Jana Krinsky: I knew early on I wanted to work in a position and company that allowed me to be creative, but also a highly operational business-minded and educated person. One of the unique qualities of Zulily, and specifically their creative studio team, was how different and dynamic the work is and how it was all built on an incredible operation platform — every day is a new challenge and provides a new opportunity to test and try in creating a compelling customer experience but in balance with protecting cost and timeline. In traditional retail, you have a physical storefront or seasonal catalogs that are very calculated and take a year plus of planning. But at Zulily, our work is agile — and what we create and design today makes an immediate impact on our business tomorrow. Creative is an integral component to every part of the ecommerce process — it’s how a customer identifies your brand, shops your app and remains a loyal customer. At Zulily, we launch a new store every day, meaning my team must move quickly to visually pique shopper interest and clearly communicate what makes each product a must-purchase. This creativity and momentum are what fuels my passion for my job, each and every day.Glassdoor: In an economy that increasingly values technical skills, do you feel there is still a demand for creatives?Jana Krinsky: While technology is becoming increasingly valuable, creatives are still very much in demand, and provide the human touch element technology still can’t provide.  At Zulily, technology is core to what we do, and we use proprietary tools built by our in-house engineering team to provide us internal processes and real-time data and analytics to ensure our creative is resonating with customers.We are a data-driven culture, and my team keeps a close pulse on customer data, such as product reviews and returns, to internalize how we make creative decisions at both the sale and product level. We use technology to not only keep us optimized, but additionally, to track the success of specific images, helping creatives make decisions on how we style and photograph upcoming sales, brands and products as we learn from customer behavior.Glassdoor: Creatives are often told not to pursue their passion as a full-time job, but rather to explore it on the side. What’s your response to that?Jana Krinsky: If you are passionate about having a career as a creative, you can absolutely pursue it as a full-time job. To me, ecommerce is an industry with so much potential; there are so many ways creatives can push the industry forward as more people around the world shop via mobile, and on-the-go. Design and creativity are at the heart of propelling the industry forward, with a key partnership with merchandising and technology, and creatives are vital to providing an essential human touch that brings visual storytelling to life.At Zulily’s Studio, we employ over 350 individuals, both support staff and creatives, including photographers, graphic designers, stylists, photo editors, copywriters and more, and our work is integral to the Zulily shopping experience.  What we create today impacts our business tomorrow — so the volume is huge, and with that, our creative team gets tons of practice at their craft and new challenges every day.6 Ways to Pay the Bills When Pursuing Your PassionGlassdoor: What’s your best tip for those looking to pursue a creative career?Jana Krinsky: The advice I would give to individuals looking to pursue a creative career is to understand what your day-to-day job will entail and how your own creative vision will fit into the process and the company. You should absolutely bring your own creative style to projects, but it’s important to remain flexible and allow your ideas and vision to align cohesively with the style of the brand. It is unlikely that your personal aesthetic and taste will fit every client’s need or vision, so embrace the creative challenge of compromise and strive to impress them and stretch yourself.Glassdoor: Anything else you want to add?Jana Krinsky: At Zulily, Creative Studio is a team focused on career development, both within a team member’s current role and in succession to their next position, within Creative Studio or within the organization as a whole. We have opportunities for a multitude of skill and experience levels, making us not only a great place to be a creative, but to also grow into a leader. Software Engineer, MVP Zulily Seattle, WA 23 hours ago 23h 2.6★ Maintenance Technician III Zulily McCarran, NV 2.6★last_img read more

International Day of the Girl Child: Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescents Around the Globe

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 11, 2016October 12, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, 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)On International Day of the Girl Child, we are reminded of the importance of addressing the health needs of young women and girls. In 2013, maternal disorders were the fourth leading cause of death for young girls ages 15-19, largely due to the high prevalence of early pregnancy, unsafe sex and child marriage. The Journal of Adolescent Health recently released a set of systematic reviews examining interventions aimed at improving the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).Adolescent pregnancyUNFPA, Motherhood in Childhood: Facing the Challenge of Adolescent Pregnancy, 2013Approximately 11% of infants around the globe are born to adolescent girls ages 15-19, and nearly all of these births occur in LMICs. About one in five girls living in low-resource settings becomes pregnant before she turns 18 years old, which can have devastating implications for her health and wellbeing. Adolescent pregnancy is associated with an increased likelihood of contracting sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), undergoing an unsafe abortion, dropping out of school, experiencing mental health issues and developing life-threatening childbirth-related complications.A review of 21 interventions designed to prevent unintended and repeat adolescent pregnancy in LMICs found that conditional and unconditional cash transfer programs were generally the most successful for preventing pregnancy. Interestingly, a program in Malawi found a reduction in adolescent pregnancy among families who received unconditional cash transfers, but not among families who received cash transfers conditional upon school attendance. Programs that provided contraception directly to young people were generally the most successful for increasing contraceptive use. However, very few interventions resulted in decreased sexual activity or delayed sexual debut.Sexually-transmitted infectionsYoung people, and young girls in particular, are especially vulnerable to acquiring STIs. Developing countries carry the largest burden of global STIs, which are associated with negative health consequences that can last well into adulthood. Every year, about 228,000 adolescent girls around the world, many of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa, are infected with HIV. Girls are also 3-4 times more likely than boys to be diagnosed with chlamydia.A review of 21 interventions designed to prevent STIs among adolescents in LMICs found mixed results for a number of different interventions including educational programs, life-skills trainings, mass media campaigns and cash transfers. Overall, mass media campaigns seemed to be the most effective for reducing risky sexual behavior. Some behaviors were easier to modify than others: while 12 out of 17 interventions aimed at increasing condom use were successful, only 1 out of 4 interventions designed to decrease transactional sex was successful.Child marriageUnited Nations Children’s Fund, Ending Child Marriage: Progress and prospects, UNICEF, New York, 2014Child marriage is a violation of human rights that disproportionately affects young girls. In 2014, about one in ten girls was married before age 15, and about one in three was married before age 18. Girls living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are at greatest risk of becoming child brides and also of dropping out of school, suffering from intimate partner violence including sexual coercion and having an adolescent pregnancy.A review of 11 interventions designed to prevent child marriage in LMICs found that only six had at least some positive impact on reducing the prevalence of child marriage or increasing the age of marriage. Interventions that focused on reducing financial burdens on families with young girls, either with cash transfers or assistance with paying school fees, were the most common approach and also the most successful.A community-based approachComparing the effectiveness of interventions that employ different strategies and are implemented in diverse global settings is difficult. The most successful interventions often take inter-sectoral, multi-faceted approaches to improving the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents. Involving local adolescents in the development and implementation of programs designed to serve them is a key strategy for maximizing impact. The community-based approach to research and programming is a powerful tool for ensuring that interventions are appropriate in local contexts and for empowering young people to invest in themselves and their futures.—Read about “Act Now for Adolescents”, a knowledge summary from the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.Hear another perspective on adolescent sexual and reproductive health from Patrick Mwesigye, Founder/CEO of the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum.Check out another systematic review of interventions designed to improve global adolescent sexual and reproductive health.Learn more about global adolescent health from the World Health Organization.Share this:last_img read more

6 Tips to Avoiding DIY Dinner Disasters

first_imgThe average person may see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in a single day. From binge-watching your favorite shows to checking the pile of coupons in your mailbox, advertisers have inundated our lives. Most of the ads we see… Full Story,Dressing up for Halloween is one of the best parts of the holiday, especially if you’re a creative person. But buying a Halloween costume can get expensive, with many costing more than $50 a pop. And unless you plan to… Full Story,You may not find it on an official calendar anywhere, but Friendsgiving is a newer holiday that has gained popularity in recent years. Much like Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving is a time to gather around the table with loved ones in the… Full Story,My birthday is on Halloween, so every year I get super excited. I plan what my costume will be, decide how I want to celebrate and text all my friends to let them know. Last year, I was finally able… Full Story,Not much of a football fan? Don’t know what all the cheesehead hat-wearing and face paint-smearing is all about? Skip hanging out at the local sports bar or sitting in the stands at a game, and put on your entrepreneurial… Full Story,Living paycheck to paycheck can feel like an endless scramble. Rent is due on the first but your paycheck won’t clear until the second. On top of everything, you need to pay for groceries, a bus ticket, and utilities before… Full Story,Decision fatigue is the decline in energy and focus you experience after making too many decisions. This mental drain causes your brain to abandon your willpower in order to seek more immediate rewards, which leads to poor decision making and… Full Story,If you ask a random person on the street what they do, chances are they have a lot of slashes and hyphens in their job titles. In this day and age, if you don’t have multiple sources of income… Full Story,Do you consider yourself a financially responsible young adult? Personally, I like to think that my finances are mostly in order. Rent, student loans, car payments—everything big is blocked off nicely. If the math works out right, I have a… Full Story,In the financial world, nothing evokes feelings of terror quite like the word “bankruptcy”. It’s become synonymous with a complete and utter collapse of one’s finances – a black hole that’s almost impossible to climb out of. When you declare… Full Storylast_img read more

2 Birds, 1 Stone: Achieving the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals Together

first_imgExamining Alignment at the Global LevelThe degree of alignment demonstrated shouldn’t be surprising. Climate impacts have the potential to slow, and even reverse, progress on the SDGs. For instance, the 2013 UNDP Development Report warns against a potential setback in poverty eradication in Peru and the country’s Bicentennial Plan for 2021 estimates climate change cost up to 20 percent of the national GDP by 2020. Climate action is essential to stave off these impacts.But even more immediately, well-designed policies and actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhance resilience to climate impacts can provide broader sustainable development benefits. We saw the strongest areas of alignment between the INDCs and SDG targets related to poverty alleviation, energy, agriculture and land use, forestry, infrastructure and cities and human settlements.For example, Thailand’s INDC identifies ambitious actions under its Environmentally Sustainable Transport System Plan, including extensions of mass rapid transit lines, construction of double-track railways and improvement of bus transit in the Bangkok Metro areas. Implementation of these actions has the potential to contribute to SDG target 11.2 to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all while improving road safety.When it comes to actions aimed at increasing resilience and adaptive capacity, Mexico’s INDC commits the country to improve watershed management and land conservation in order to guarantee food security and water access in the face of growing climate threats such as drought, floods and storms. This aligns strongly with SDG target 2.1 to end hunger and ensure all people’s access—particularly the poor and vulnerable—to safe, nutritious and sufficient food year-round by 2030.Meanwhile, advancing action on the SDGs can in many cases contribute to mitigation and adaptation. For instance, Niger’s INDC identifies the lack of literacy and numeracy in rural areas as a significant impediment to disseminating the technologies needed for climate-smart agriculture and land management. By targeting these rural communities in implementing SDG target 4.6 to improve literacy and numeracy by 2030, Niger can lay the necessary foundation for achieving its climate goals.Alignment at the National LevelTo complement the global-level analysis, the paper also examines the extent of alignment between individual countries’ INDCs and the SDGs. We selected Colombia and Uganda for this exercise because they are two of the first countries to translate the SDG targets into their national development plans.In the case of Colombia, climate actions in its INDC aligned with 40 of the SDG targets across 12 of the SDGs; actions in Uganda’s INDC aligned with 56 of the SDG targets across 15 of the SDGs. This shows that even at the individual country level, there is significant scope to align these agendas and generate mutual benefits during implementation. EDITOR’S NOTE 02/28/2018: The new Climate Watch platform is now available, allowing you to explore historical and projected emissions, countries’ climate targets and their linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals.As leaders gathered last week in New York for the UN General Assembly, it was a momentous occasion for two unprecedented international agreements adopted in 2015. Last week marked the one-year anniversary for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, while entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change came ever closer as an additional 31 countries formally joined it.These two agreements’ far-reaching goals include eliminating global poverty and achieving zero-carbon, climate-resilient development. A substantial, hugely challenging task? Surely, but new analysis finds that there’s much greater alignment between these two agendas than we may realize. In fact, implementing them together has the potential to generate significant mutual benefits.The Paris Agreement is underpinned by 162 intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) that detail 189 countries’ plans to reduce emissions and enhance their resilience to climate impacts. The 2030 Agenda consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are further broken out into 169 targets. WRI’s new working paper, Examining the Alignment between the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and the Sustainable Development Goals, finds that the climate actions communicated in INDCs align with at least 154 of the 169 SDG targets.  A wide range of actions that countries put forward in their INDCs – both for mitigation and adaptation – provide enormous potential for mutually supportive implementation with the SDGs. However, despite the scale of potential alignment, countries’ climate plans may not fully recognize or capitalize on these opportunities. Similar mapping exercises for all countries can help identify opportunities for aligned and integrated implementation. One Common FutureThe climate and sustainable development agendas are no longer distinct challenges to be pursued in tandem, but rather integral components to achieve a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. Recognizing the extent of alignment that exists between the two agendas is a first step in understanding the benefits of approaching national and sub-national implementation in an integrated manner.Though coordination at the national level often remains a challenge, countries can seize the available synergies by bringing together institutions and developing an integrated approach to planning, budgetary and monitoring processes. Tackling the SDGs and INDCs together can maximize scarce resources, catalyze information-sharing and technology development, enhance capacities and skills—and ultimately, create a better world for all.last_img read more

Mere Steps from the Oval Office, a Growing Solution to Climate Change

first_imgAs Washington and the world continue to parse President Donald Trump’s announcement of a U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, an Obama administration legacy just steps from the Oval Office represents part of the solution to the climate change challenge.Not the Barack Obama legacy. The Michelle Obama legacy: the White House Kitchen Garden, which current First Lady Melania Trump has vowed to keep.Mrs. Obama spent her years as First Lady doing what no other had: taking on climate change. And it was all down to her love of vegetable gardening and drive to get America to eat healthier. Her goal may have been healthy children, but Mrs. Obama’s White House Kitchen Garden spurred a movement that’s helping combat a warming planet. Food production accounts for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. Not all foods are created equal, though. Beef, for example, emits 20 times more greenhouse gases per gram of protein than common plant-based protein sources such as beans, peas and lentils. Plants are generally more land- and water-efficient at producing protein for human diets than animal-based foods. By choosing to create a vegetable garden rather than rearing sheep on the White House lawn (as Woodrow Wilson did), Mrs. Obama may not have realized it, but she scored a victory for addressing climate change.That’s important because the climate impact of the average American’s diet is roughly on par with the climate impact of their energy use. This impact could be cut in half just by swapping some animal-based foods for plant-based ones like the 55 different varieties Mrs. Obama grew on the White House’s South Lawn.Mrs. Obama is not the only First Lady to elevate the homely vegetable garden to national importance – Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden helped fortify Americans during World War II – but she is the first to have used her megaphone to raise the issue of healthy, plant-rich eating at a time when climate change threatens our future like never before. It’s so worrying that 200,000 people hit the streets of Washington in April (including yours truly) to urge the new administration to reverse course on climate change and listen to what the science is telling us.Part of Mrs. Obama’s magic is that she made foods that are healthy for people and planet a passion project for so many others. The number of gardens in Washington, D.C. schools has grown by more than 50 percent since 2011. Beyond providing fresh and affordable vegetables, these gardens teach students about the environment and nutrition, as well as English, art and even engineering concepts. Chicago’s O’Hare Airport has an aeroponics garden that provides the airport’s restaurants with herbs and vegetables. And, inspired by the former First Lady’s efforts, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia began a garden right on campus, saying that “if the White House can do it, we can do it, too.”Between 2008 and 2013, the number of millennial food gardeners sky-rocketed by 63 percent to 13 million. The number of U.S. farmers’ markets increased by more than 93 percent from 2006-2014, and public school districts purchased almost $800 million of locally and regionally sourced food in 2013 alone.In her farewell speech, she spoke on the importance of hope, and let us in on her very personal hope that she has made us proud. As a fellow vegetable gardener, I can assure Mrs. Obama that she has.Whether she set out to do it or not, she took an important step forward in correcting the unsustainable trajectory the planet is on. She made food production and food choice a topic of national conversation — especially among our youngest, whose food choices will have a major impact on climate change and their own health for decades to come.It’s time to stop treating nutrition, agriculture and environment as separate policy domains. Climate change is already spurring floods, fires and droughts that hurt farmers and threaten our food supply. Americans will be healthier when their food habits and policies align to promote sustainable, plant-rich nutrition and a thriving environment.The former First Lady understood that what we grow and eat has profound impacts, even if she – like many Americans – may not fully realize just what shifting diets toward plant-based foods means for climate change. Intentional or not, Mrs. Obama carved out an indelible climate legacy. With her new role as private citizen, it will be exciting to see what’s next for Michelle Obama’s vegetable-first advocacy.last_img read more

As Cities Grapple With Mobility Revolution, 10 Principles Emerge to Guide Them

first_imgPublic Benefits from Open DataNew mobility companies are generating stupendous amounts of data—everything from congestion and speeds in every segment of the city roads 24/7, to origins and destinations of trips, to traffic safety hotspots based on vehicle braking patterns. The standardization of open data allows cities a way to responsibly tap into these data streams to inform traffic management and transport planning. While this has become a common talking point, we haven’t yet seen much movement. Companies endorsing this principle (number eight in the list of 10) is a big deal.When cities have access to anonymized transport data, they are able to make better decisions for public transport services; understand and respond to traffic speeds, lane and curb use; plan transport infrastructure with more accuracy; and respond to traffic accidents and other unexpected events, like disasters, much faster and more effectively.Open data also enables entrepreneurs to innovate and compete – all way-finding apps rely on open data, for example – as well as make it easier for travelers to plan across multiple modes of transport.Fair User FeesPrinciple #7 encourages fair user fees across all modes of transport, a step that would level the playing field and let the market do its work.Buses and rideshares are both part of the solution. Flickr/Via Tsuji Streets in cities are scarce and valuable resources, yet right now we enable use of that space today with hidden incentives, subsidies and priorities, often focused on the least efficient mode of travel, the individually used private automobile. On-street parking, the most convenient and valuable space to park, is paradoxically cheaper than off-street garage parking. In peak periods, buses carrying 60 passengers are caught up in streets congested by single-occupancy-vehicles. Fuel taxes in many countries do not cover the cost of building and maintaining road infrastructure. Electric vehicles don’t pay fuel taxes. All internal combustion engine vehicles get a free pass on the real costs of their emissions and traffic incidents on the health of city residents and the cleanliness of the buildings and air. Meanwhile, pedestrians and bicycles, which are both clean and space-efficient, must vie for space.Fairer user fees can help iron these inconsistencies out. The cities, private sector companies, NGOs and advisors that endorse these principles are stating their belief that user fees should include the price of externalities such as congestion, pollution and traffic safety risks. Revenues from pricing externalities can then be redistributed to the society through better and more affordable public transport services and safer walking and bicycling infrastructure, for example.Shared Autonomous Vehicles in Dense AreasAutonomous vehicles are the next major disruptive technology on the horizon. Principle #10 encourages shared rather than individual ownership of autonomous vehicles in dense urban areas.The decision to move a car today is made primarily based on its marginal costs – how much more is it going to cost me to take this trip? People usually think in terms of fuel, tolls and parking costs and ignore the single-largest marginal expense: your personal time (or that of a paid driver).Freed of the driver, the marginal cost of moving a car will be insignificant. Researchers at UC Davis calculate this cost at 10 cents per kilometer (15 cents/mile). Rather than pay for parking, it will be cheaper to keep the vehicle flowing in traffic or return home to park for free. There’s a possible downside: Autonomous cars could become everyone’s personal courier for pickup and drop-off of any item, leading to more congestion and pollution, not less. Shared vehicles eliminate that danger.Requiring that AVs be shared in dense metro areas also flows directly from earlier Principles. If we support Principle #5 (equity), shared means that the poor, too, will be able to enjoy the benefits of self-driving cars by purchasing just a seat rather than the whole vehicle. If we follow the guidance of Principle #3 (efficient use of city lanes, vehicles and curb access), these vehicles should be shared.Shared fleets do not imply one type of vehicle. There would still be a diversity of vehicles and price/quality options, including what we call now mass transit. But sharing does maximize public safety and emissions benefits, and ensures that professionals manage maintenance and software upgrades.Destination DisruptedThe Shared Mobility Principles were written in 2017 by a founding coalition of nine NGOs, including WRI. The endorsement of these 15 companies, which account for 77 million passenger trips a day, signals that businesses are also buying in to the idea that sustainability is necessary for the health of cities. Most importantly, we need these companies to put their shoulders to the wheel. Each in their own way have changed mobility. Now we need their expertise in technology and innovation to improve it. Mobility is undergoing a huge shift—from the emergence of shared cars and bicycles to the impending self-driving cars—and we’re just starting to understand the full effect on cities. The revolution has implications for equity, accessibility and sustainability, and has caught many cities unawares, leading to court battles, unexpected impacts on congestion and lots of uncertainty.A consortium of leading city and transport organizations, including WRI, developed the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities to help cities make sense of these changes. Now, with 15 of the world’s leading transport and technology companies signing on, innovative players from the private sector have sent a powerful message of support around a common vision of the future for cities, and how we can get there.By supporting the Principles, these companies, which include Didi, Lyft and Uber, as well as bike-sharing giants Ofo and Mobike, are throwing their heft behind a set of basic ideas about how mobility should work in cities.There are 10 principles, but let me highlight three of them, and elaborate on the ways they can help us solve urban mobility:Shared Mobility Principles for Livable CitiesWe plan our cities and mobility together We prioritize people over vehicles. We support the shared and efficient use of vehicles, lanes, curbs, and land. We engage with stakeholders We promote equity. We lead the transition towards a zero-emission future and renewable energy. We support fair user fees across all modes. We aim for public benefits via open data. We work towards integration and seamless connectivity. We support that autonomous vehicles (AVs) in dense urban areas should be operated only in shared fleets.last_img read more

9 Questions You MUST Ask Before Hiring a Freelance Blogger

first_img Originally published Mar 7, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated September 14 2017 Topics: Freelancing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack You know that blogging is indispensable for a successful inbound marketing strategy, but despite trying all the tricks of the blogging trade, you just can’t find enough time to consistently blog at the frequency and quality level you need to stay ahead of your competitors. When other marketers in your shoes reach this point, there are a couple of routes they commonly take. Many will hire an in-house blogger to create content and manage the blog’s CMS. Others don’t need a full-time employee(s) to manage their blogging needs, though, and will opt for a part-time, freelance blogger. Usually, freelance bloggers don’t manage your CMS, but the content creation effort lies squarely on their shoulders.Free Download: How to Hire and Work with FreelancersHiring a freelance writer to feed your blog with content comes with some bonuses — namely, they cost less than hiring a full-time, in-house employee. But many marketers and business owners have been burned by freelance writers who are unresponsive, deliver poor quality content, disappear when they get busy with other projects (or a full-time day job), and miss deadlines. Working with freelancers like that not only presents scalability issues, but it also takes up so much of your time researching, interviewing, and reviewing writing samples that you could probably just use that time to blog for yourself.So how do you get it right the first time? How do you ask the right questions to weed out the unreliable freelancers, and pick the ones that will create great content for your blog on a consistent basis? Here are the questions you should ask and indicators that will let you pick out a super star freelance writer for your blog who you can rely on for a long time to come.The BasicsStarting with open-ended questions like these should give you a good indication of how experienced the freelance blogger is — if they can pointedly answer these questions, they are experienced enough to know what’s important to mention in their response. If you’re met with vague or generic answers, or they don’t ask intelligent follow-up questions that help narrow down their focus, they might be a generalist that isn’t specialized in your industry or blog writing, specifically. Or worse, they’re simply unprepared for your interview — not the person you’d like responsible for diligently creating content.What types of content do you create?Sometimes you’ll encounter a freelancer who writes a great whitepaper, but when faced with developing a compelling blog post, he or she can’t quite pull it off. Get your candidate talking about the types of content they write — blog posts, press releases, ebooks, printed books, business proposals, manuals, etc. A good freelance writer is capable of writing more than one content type, but listen for which assets they emphasize most, as some offer more transferable writing skills than others. Former journalists, for example, are more likely to make great bloggers than technical writers.About what industries do you write?Freelance writers can usually write about more than one industry, especially those that make their living off freelance writing full-time (more on that later). But if on their resume or during your interview, a candidate claims they are adept at writing about every industry, it’s more likely they are spreading themselves too thin. They are probably okay at writing about a lot, but not great at writing about anything. A good freelancer knows his or her limitations. If you’re interviewing someone who claims such a thing, ask for writing samples around your industry and those related to yours. For example, those in the marketing industry would also ask to see samples of writing about technology and business to see if their claims really hold up.Describe the tones in which you’re comfortable writing.Great freelance writers can adapt their tone based on the company for which they’re writing. If you’ve written a content style guide, you already know the exact tone for which you’re striving. See if they mention words that match those you’ve placed in your style guide — objective, humorous, balanced, lighthearted, etc. If your candidate is able to do this, they are likely naturals at adapting tone on a client-by-client basis. It also means they’ve probably read your blog content and have the ability to distill style and tone on their own. That’s a skill that is honed with experience, and you can be confident that they can tweak copy to make it sound appropriate for the business at hand.The Deal-BreakersAll of the great freelance bloggers are capable of doing these things, and incorporate it into their regular writing process. Subpar freelancers, however, may position these as extras or add-ons — or just something they don’t know how to do. Ask these questions to separate the wheat from the chaff.How comfortable are you conducting interviews?Bloggers don’t always have to conduct interviews to create content, but it’s a skill that should be in their back pocket. Writers are sometimes characterized as introverts, but as your blog grows, it may become necessary that your blog content reflects opinions expressed by industry influencers, subject matter experts, and customers. If your freelance blogger is going to stick with you for the long haul, they should be able to comfortably conduct interviews on the phone, in person, or via social media to get the quotes they need to create quality content. When having this discussion, it doesn’t hurt to ask whether your candidate has already forged connections in your industry, either. If they have specific industry experience, it’s likely they’ve spoken to some people in your network. This is not only a good signal of legitimacy, but also an asset for your blog content if they’ve maintained their relationship.What’s your research methodology?No matter how prolific a blogger, no candidate should claim they don’t usually have to perform research when writing posts. At the very least, bloggers should perform cursory research on topics to ensure they’re covering all necessary angles. But more importantly, a freelancer that works with you in the long term will (and should) pursue topics that are challenging and outside their immediate realm of knowledge.So ask — how do you learn about new topics about which clients ask you to write? When new features, products, or technology comes out in your industry, how do you learn about it? What publications, resources, and researchers do you visit to inform your content? In their responses, consider whether they are citing reputable sources, and whether they have an actual process in place. If they flounder through the question, you know they aren’t used to pushing the envelope when they blog, and are instead content to rely on a limited knowledge set to inform blog posts.Do you know how to optimize content for search engines?Some freelancers may peg search engine optimization as an extra. In this day and age, professional and experienced freelance writers are adept at optimizing blog content and consider it part of the regular process of creating blog content. That doesn’t mean they perform in-depth keyword research for you or coordinate your SEO strategy. It does mean that, armed with knowledge from you of the keywords for which you’re trying to rank and some brief time spent in a keyword research tool when necessary, they can optimize a title, headers, and blog content, write a compelling meta description that makes readers click, and internal link to pre-defined pages on your site with the appropriate anchor text.Describe the proper layout and format of a blog post.An effective blog post holds a different structure than any other content type. Does your candidate know how to lay out and format a blog post? If you’re conducting an in-person interview, ask them to draw a properly laid out and formatted post. If you’re conducting an interview over the phone, provide a blog post and ask them what about the layout and formatting is correct, and what is incorrect. Look for responses like:Include an image.Visually break up any long blocks of text.Use formatting devices like headers, bullets, check marks, and numbered lists.Include a call-to-action in every post.Break up content into sections or steps.If you hire a freelancer who turns in work without properly laying out and formatting content, you’re creating unnecessary work for yourself that negates the reason you’ve outsourced blog content creation in the first place.Coordinating SchedulesIf you find a candidate who, after asking the previous questions, appears to be a good fit to write for your blog, get into some logistics around both of your schedules. Freelance writers all carry different schedules and workloads, and working out those kinks before forging ahead in a long-term relationship will help set the right expectations from the onset.What are your freelance work hours?This is a loaded question, but it will let you know if they are full-time freelancers, or freelance in addition to maintaining a full-time job. It’s a critical difference that may present a problem for your business, depending on your blogging needs.Those with a full-time job other than freelancing have less flexibility to respond to content you need on-demand. For example, you may need some quick content turned around when you’re trying to capitalize on a breaking news story in your industry. Or perhaps you need a revision on a blog post slotted to go up at the end of the business day. Will they be able to respond in time? And will their work be diligent, or rushed through during their lunch break?This is not to say a freelancer with another full-time job can’t blog well for you. But it is information you should ask before making a hiring decision so you can put safeguards in place — like an editorial calendar, stringent due dates, and revision cycle guidelines.Describe your typical revision cycle.Speaking of which, the way your candidate describes their typical revision cycle is telling of how seriously they take their work with clients. Anyone you hire to blog for you should be open and happy to perform revisions you request, especially during the beginning of your relationship when your blogger is just getting ramped up. Your candidate should not only be able to describe how they tackle revisions (indicating they are actually used to performing them), but also volunteer that he or she is happy to perform 2-3 revisions on blog posts within a pre-determined timeframe.If, after you ask all of these questions, you are blown away by your candidate, don’t pull the trigger quite yet. Always, always, always ask for two things: samples of his or her work, and multiple references. It’s easy for a writer to get published on the internet these days, so existence of work doesn’t mean the working relationship was good or that the quality of work necessarily meets your standards. Jot down notes during the interview, and compare those notes with what the freelancer’s references say about their work ethic, capacity to learn, and flexibility. If you see great blog samples and hear good reviews, then congratulations — you’re no longer solely responsible for feeding your blog!Have you ever hired a freelance writer that turned out to be amazing (or a total bust?) Share what you learned about the process in the comments.Image credit: mrsdkrebslast_img read more

MHTF Terms of Reference Finalized

first_imgMany thanks to all who contributed valuable time and energy to the drafting and reviewing of these Terms of Reference. We look forward to applying these guidelines to an exciting work-plan, which is now under development. We will post more on that in the coming weeks.Share this: Posted on April 14, 2009November 13, 2014Click 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 Maternal Health Task Force Terms of Reference ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: I am pleased to post the final MHTF Terms of Reference (PDF, 68kb) which will be used to guide our work over the next three years. This document outlines the ways in which the MHTF will operate to achieve its goal and objectives, and describes the niche that the MHTF aims to fill in the expanding global response to improving the health of mothers everywhere. This document is the result of extensive research and consultation with an array of maternal health experts around the world, and it was the subject of a launch meeting that took place in Washington, D.C. in late February 2009. (Download the report — PDF, 60kb — of that meeting.)last_img read more

How World Cup brought enemies Iran & USA together

first_imgWorld Cup How the World Cup brought enemies Iran and USA together 20 years ago Ives Galarcep 19:55 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) USA Iran 1998 World Cup Ben Radford World Cup United States v Iran Iran v Spain Iran United States Spain When Iran faces Spain on Thursday, it will be come exactly 20 years after the most politically-charged World Cup match of all time Politics have stayed out of the spotlight for most of the first week of the 2018 World Cup, but when Iran faces Spain in Wednesday’s 2018 World Cup showdown in Kazan, Russia, it will arrive just a day before the 20-year-anniversary of the most politically-charged match in finals’ history.Iran and the United States have had a complicated and often hostile relationship for the better part of the past 40 years, so when the two countries were placed in the same group for the 1998 World Cup, political overtones immediately surrounded the match.”We’re not going to let politics play a part in this,” then-U.S. coach Steve Sampson said in the lead-up to the match. “We want to show that what we want coming out of this match besides a positive result was that the two countries are able to compete, meet each other on the field, compete effectively, and afterwards exchange jerseys as a sign that this is hopefully a start of what can be a new relationship between the countries of the United States and Iran.” Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar The build-up to the match coincided with a thawing of relations between the two nations, which had been adversaries since the fall of the U.S-backed Shah of Iran following the Islamic Revolution in the country in 1979.That, coupled with a hostage crisis that saw 52 American diplomats kept captive in the Tehran-based U.S. embassy for 444 days, led to a complete ceasing of all diplomatic relations between the countries.The two nations find themselves in that same position today, but there was a brief period of improved relations that coincided with their World Cup meeting. That historical backdrop made the 1998 World Cup match in Lyon, France a politically-charged event, one that even drew threats of protests and required a larger-than-normal police presence.Despite the distractions, and the history between the countries, players from the two teams joined together to take a group photo before the match, a moment that made a big impression in both countries and around the world.”We talked about taking the picture together, and we asked everybody how they all felt and all the players were all for it,” then-U.S. midfielder Tab Ramos told Goal. “We all thought that this was sports, and whatever happens in politics that’s obviously off the field. We want to make people happy and make people cheer, so we took the picture together.”The United States wound up losing to Iran on the way to an awful showing at the 1998 World Cup. Three losses in three matches doomed the Americans to a last-place finish in Group F, with Germany and Yugoslavia proceeding to the last 16. This led to the departure of Sampson, who was eventually replaced by Bruce Arena — though, coincidentally, another candidate in the running for the job then was current Iran coach Carlos Quieroz.”We were a little bit afraid of their counter,” Ramos recalled of the match, which finished with the Iranians winning 2-1. “That was a good Iran team. We had the ball more, but I think on the counter they were really dangerous and eventually they got us. If anything, we were dominating the game but unfortunately they caught us and sometimes that’s just the way it goes.”USA Iran 1998 World CupThe result was a historic one for Iran, marking its first World Cup victory, a feat the Iranians didn’t match until they defeated Morocco, 1-0, in their 2018 World Cup opener. The 1998 victory led to celebrations in the streets of Iran, not only for the first World Cup win in the nation’s history, but because it came against a country long seen as an enemy of Iran.As bad as the 1998 World Cup was for the United States, one of the few bright spots was the sportsmanship shown in the match against Iran, a display that eventually helped lead to the two countries playing each other in a friendly in the United States in 2000.”Maybe we did have a little effect on the political climate getting better,” said Ramos, who is in Russia at the World Cup working as an analyst for Telemundo. “When you’re a player that’s not really what you do, but if you can help people understand each other and come together it feels good to do that.”Not only did the nations play each other in a friendly, two members of the 1998 Iran team that defeated the Americans wound up playing in the United States in Major League Soccer. Iranian forward Khodadad Azizi spent the 2000 season with the San Jose Earthquakes, while defender Mohammad Khakpour played with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1999, where he was teammates with Ramos.”(Khakpour) was the nicest guy, and one of the few foreign players who I visited his house for dinner, and he came to my home for dinner,” Ramos told Goal. “We develped a really close relationship and I think it started that day in 1998.”last_img read more

14 ways to build your email list

first_imgThis is one of the most common questions I get asked: How do I build by email list? Here are 14 ways courtesy of Kivi Leroux Miller, queen of email knowledge, and Network for Good. Nonprofits marketing friends, this is a must-read!If you want more, please join our free training with Kivi this week. Register here for:7 Steps to Better Email Fundraising & CommunicationsDo you want to grow/build your email list? Do you know if anyone is reading your emails? Does your email outreach need a design or copywriting upgrade?Free TeleconferenceSpecial Day & Time:Thursday, June 25 at 4 p.m. (eastern)last_img read more

Nonprofit Storytelling: 6 Tips for Interviews

first_imgFar better than organizational jargon or sterile statistics, stories help donors (and future donors) learn an organization’s personality. Stories help donors feel engaged in the work-and see the difference they can make in a real person’s life. They empower the organization and its supporters to continue on. But getting good stories is easier said than done. Here are a few tips we’ve learned from interviewing hundreds of people who have received help from charitable organizations.Start with the end in mind:  Do your homework. Get the “story behind the story” from the program manager before you ever pick up the phone. Think of the story you want to end up with and backtrack from there to draft your questions.Never use the word “interview”:  The word “interview” makes people feel like they’re being interrogated by Woodward and Bernstein. It can cause anxiety and stage fright. Instead, ask if you can “chat for a few minutes about the assistance he/she received.”Talk less, listen more:  Use the first minute or so to make the interviewee feel at ease and express your thanks. After that, zip your lips. Closed-ended questions will give you just what you might expect — one-word, dull answers. Ask questions like “what did the help mean to you?” and give people time to think about and respond to the question. Resist the urge to fill dead air as some of the best responses come when the interviewee is given the floor.Veer from the script: As mentioned in #1, a list of questions is always a good idea. But that said, it’s a starting point. Listen closely to the interview, and be ready to jet off in another direction if needed. Use probing questions to get more in-depth answers.Get approvals:  After you’ve drafted the story, give the interviewee a chance to review for accuracy. Most make no changes, but it’s better to know any problems before publishing it. Keep a paper trail, you might need it.Be prepared for anything:  Interviewing for nonprofits is unique. You’re talking to people who were — or are — in crisis. Don’t be surprised if you encounter hostility, tears and any other emotions. Listen and be empathetic, but never say, “I know what you’re going through.” Most importantly, stay calm no matter what’s thrown at you. Source: Merritt Engel is Vice President of Merrigan & Co., a Kansas City-based agency that specializes in messaging for non-profit organizations.last_img read more

Weekend Reading

first_imgPosted on February 4, 2011November 13, 2014Click 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)Recently on the MHTF blogClimate change and maternal health on GlobalMamaMaternal mental health on GlobalMamaWe posted a job opportunity at FIGOSome reading for the weekend:Mobile phones saving lives in AfricaShelters for poor pregnant women in IndiaFighting fake drugs may hurt the poor?Obstetric fistula on RH Reality CheckShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Weekend Reading

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 1, 2011November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week on the MHTF blog:We received the final posts from the Young Champions of Maternal HealthWe introduced a series of posts on cash transfersKG Santhya from the Pop Council wrote about her research on JSY in IndiaThe deadline for abstract submissions for the MHealth Summit is next weekFrance Donnay from the Gates Foundation reflected on her experience at the 29th Congress of the ICMCIESAS is moving along with their evaluation of Mexico’s ALSO programSome reading for the weekend:Evaluating the evidence: post partum hemorrhageMisoprostol use in MozambiqueNew data from the OECDPrioritizing family planning in UgandaShare this:last_img read more

Some offbeat ideas for creative nonprofits

first_imgCompleting the Labor Day weekend theme of creativity here on the blog, I wanted to highlight my friend Kivi Leroux Miller’s recent blog roundup on “Quirky, Kooky, and Off-Beat Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising,” in case you missed it.Among the mind-expanding possibilities:1. An appeal from a hummingbird2. A book club for a prospective donor3. Donor names on toiletsThe full post is here.last_img

The 7 deadly sins of marketing – and fundraising

first_imgCartoon courtesy of Tom Fishburne, MarketoonistThis is just too brilliant not to share. Tom Fishburne is so smart.So what are the 7 deadly sins of fundraising? What would you say?Sloth: Whatever we put in last year’s appealEnvy: Silicone wristbands! Because it worked for Lance!Greed: Forget the thank-you note – just send another appeal!Gluttony: A whole bag of Oreos will help you write the appealLust: Buy fancy shoes when the annual appeal worked – you deserve it!Wrath: Put 100 statistics in your appeal to lapsed donorsPride: It’s going to be a great fundraising season. Everyone loves us!last_img read more

3 very simple things that are easy to forget

first_imgThese 3 things are nonprofit marketing 101. And I forget them on a daily basis when I’m down in the weeds!1. We’re not our audienceIf an appeal appeals to you, question it. Is it focused on you or your audience? 2. Our audience doesn’t think like usDo you explain what you do as you think (from the inside of your organization out) or as your audiences thinks (from the outside in)?3. Our audience doesn’t take action without guidanceDon’t assume people know how to help. Ask clearly and boldly.last_img read more

How to raise money when every politician is asking for it

first_imgThere’s a nice piece this month in Fundraising Success by Tom Harrison, who offers helpful tips on raising money when every inbox and mailbox is clogged with electioneering. (It’s not online yet but should be soon here.) I think it’s worth sharing his advice. 1. Don’t anticipate failure – you’ll fail. If you’re afraid of the election and react by reducing your marketing and fundraising efforts, you guarantee a self-fulfilling prophesy of failure. So don’t stop fundraising.2. Know your audience. Your donors may not be big into political giving — or those funds may come from a different pocket. Keep in close contact with them and remind them of the importance of your cause.3. Be smart about timing. Tom tested different dates in the 2008 election, and he found it better to drop direct mail before October 7 and after November 7. He also recommends ad buys on television and radio be timed May to September, lighter in October and the first week of November, and heavy again during giving season. Avoid the month before the election but don’t skip an appeal. Just slide the dates to avoid the election crunch.4. Make sure your appeals don’t look like political ones. Stand out from political mail with smaller envelopes (direct mail) and clear subject lines and “from” addresses (email).5. Be opportunistic. If the media is focusing on certain issues because of the election – and they relate to your cause – take advantage! Highlight how your cause addresses challenges the candidates cite – without being partisan (unless your organization already is).The bottom line? This election cycle, don’t give up on fundraising and marketing. Just adjust around these realities. That strategy gets my vote!last_img read more