How AI is Learning to Play with Words Why Your Company’s Tech Transformation Starts W… Related Posts Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Tags:#App Store#Apple#developers#IOS 9 Beta#IPhones#mobile apps These Mistakes Can Derail a Legacy Software Con… david nield Bugs, incompatibilities and other weird things are so common in pre-release software, they’re practically guaranteed—which is why Apple has now blocked iOS 9 beta testers from leaving App Store reviews. Apple apparently wants to nip premature complaints in the bud, which seems very logical and reasonable. But it should have seen this issue coming ahead of time. Developers may be used to dealing with unfinished software, but everyday iPhone users may not be prepared for the unexpected problems that often go along for that ride. See also: 10 Things Developers Need To Know About The New iPod TouchWhat makes matters worse, according to developers: Some of those issues didn’t even stem from programming errors in their own apps, but from iOS 9 itself. In a sense, it was like taking the fall for someone else. Apple has been focusing on improving iOS development, but if it’s serious about supporting its app-making community, it shouldn’t overlook such common-sense matters. Apple Should Have Seen This ComingWhen it comes to mobile apps, reputation can be everything. That’s why App Store reviews and its popularity charts can wield so much power. So naturally, some developers had a right to worry when they saw beta testers leaving one-star app reviews—particularly since some of those problems came from issues in iOS 9’s code. Gotta love 1-star reviews for iOS 9 Beta issues. https://t.co/6lrFn9cP65— Paul Mayne (@paulmayne) July 11, 2015Apple executives must be monitoring social media more closely these days, first responding to Taylor Swift’s plea for Apple Music royalties and now reacting to developer woes like this being tweeted out. Although it didn’t officially announce any changes to its policy, word has spread that the company has indeed blocked beta testers from leaving reviews. Apparently users of the iOS 9 beta now get this message if they attempt to leave an App Store review: Finally — you can’t write App Store reviews from beta iOS. ? pic.twitter.com/xu03SSi96k— Ryan Orbuch (@orbuch) July 22, 2015On the surface, the company appears to have acted quickly, striking reviews mere weeks after the iOS 9 beta opened up to the public. But dig deeper, and you’ll realize that the issue goes back several months. iOS 9 is the first major update to get the public beta treatment, but it’s not the very first to take this route. The company opened up iOS 8.3 betas back in March. See also: Apple Wants You To Help In The War On iOS BugsOpening up early access probably looked like a great way to go. Not only can the tactic help drum up excitement among users, but this wider availability—which also wound up extending to Mac OS X—allows for a huge army of free beta testers. Too bad it also exposed Apple and its app developers to millions of users who don’t necessarily understand what using beta software entails. Better Late Than Never?Clearly, Apple wants to make its iPhone and the apps that run on it as bulletproof as possible. Most recently, it expanded the limit on test devices—from 100 in total to 100 devices per Apple device type (iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, etc). See also: Why Apple’s Letting Developers Test Apps On 100 Apple TVsAs for this latest change, it’s not immediately clear if it the new policy will affect any previous reviews left by beta testers. But at least from now on, developers may get some much-needed breathing room to get their apps fully iOS 9 compatible, without fear of bashing. Hopefully, it will also serve as a timely reminder to users that beta versions are not the same as polished, full releases. The final version of iOS 9 should officially see the light of day when this year’s iPhones are launched around September time. It brings with it a more proactive Siri, multitasking views for the iPad, and a News app that showcases a curated list of articles from selected publishers, among other new features. Image courtesy of Apple
The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) has released its annual State of the Sector survey, and it shows nonprofits like yours are struggling with a tough funding environment and increasing need for the services you provide. This is requiring tough choices – and changing the way you do business, according to the survey.Here’s a summary of the report from the NFF. Does it capture your situation? Are you better or worse off than your peers?According to NFF:Nonprofits need new funding sources and models:• 42% of survey respondents report that they do not have the right mix of financial resources to thrive and be effective in the next 3 years.• 1 in 4 nonprofits has 30 days or less cash-on-hand.• Over the next twelve months, 39% plan to change the main ways they raise and spend money.• 23% will seek funding other than grants or contracts, such as loans or investments.Nonprofits that receive government funding face particular challenges:• Only 14% of nonprofits receiving state and local funding are paid for the full cost of services; just 17% of federal fund recipients receive full reimbursement. Partial reimbursements require additional funding to cover the growing gap as nonprofits serve more people.• Government is late to pay: Among those with state or local funding, just over 60% reported overdue government payments; over 50% reported late payments from the federal government.Under these challenging conditions, many nonprofits are unable to meet growing need in their communities:• For the first time in the five years of the survey, more than half (52%) of respondents were unable to meet demand over the last year; 54% say they won’t be able to meet demand this year.• This represents a worrying trend; in 2009, 44% of nonprofits said they were unable to meet demand.• Jobs (59%) and housing (51%) continue to be top concerns for those in low-income communities.• 90% of respondents say financial conditions are as hard or harder than last year for their clients; this is actually a slight improvement from prior years’ outlook.Nonprofits are changing the way they do business to adapt to the new reality. In the past 12 months:• 49% have added or expanded programs or services; 17 percent reduced or eliminated programs or services.• 39% have collaborated with another organization to improve or increase services.• 39% have upgraded technology to improve organizational efficiency.• 36% engaged more closely with their board. For more on the survey and detailed data, go here.
As fundraisers, we often want to know why and how our supporters plan to donate in any given year. As donors, we usually want to know the same thing from the organizations we support. If I give to your organization, what can I expect? Do you have a plan for me if I am a new supporter? A lapsed donor? A major donor? A peer-to-peer giver? A recurring donor? If you don’t have a plan for me, how do you expect to develop a relationship with me as a donor? We often talk about segmenting lists and personalizing communications, but when it comes to your various donor and supporter types, do you have a holistic plan for identifying, nurturing, and retaining each unique tier of support? While you may have the best intentions, without a clearly articulated plan, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to successfully execute tactics that will help you create a well-rounded, long-term fundraising approach for each type of donor (or potential donor).For best results, your comprehensive fundraising strategy should include: a list of key segments for your organizationhow your organization defines each segmentthe historical and projected fundraising results from each groupthe specific tactics and messages that will help you build relationships with each type of donor You should also understand how each segment interacts with the rest of your donor pool and which triggers move someone from one tier to the next (in either direction). If you don’t have this data, start by talking with your most loyal donors to find out what has them giving year after year.Need some help thinking about this? Download the archived presentation of our free webinar with Sea Change Strategies’ fundraising experts Alia McKee and Mark Rovner. Listen to the recording f to learn from these two fundraising gurus, get an inside look at The Missing Middle report, and get your mid-level donor questions answered.
In the early 1980s, Johnson & Johnson faced a massive organizational crisis when someone laced Extra-Strength Tylenol caplets with cyanide and returned the bottles to store shelves. When the Tylenol link was discovered, the company sprang into action, spending millions to remove pills from stores, communicating its efforts to consumers via the media, and helping to pioneer tamper-resistant packaging that ultimately reduced similar crimes in the future.What does this story have to do with your nonprofit? It’s a great example of effective organizational crisis management: act quickly and decisively, communicate consistently and honestly, and apply lessons learned to prevent future situations. The key is to be prepared for whatever life throws in your direction. But sometimes our plans go awry amid the chaos. Here are five common pitfalls that can derail your nonprofit’s efforts to guide communications during a PR crisis.Slow or no response. Like an ostrich with its head in the sand, you simply hope the problem will go away on its own. Or your team gets stuck trying to find consensus before taking action. By the time you’re ready to respond, days or weeks have gone by and your organization is in a heap of trouble. Solution: Control the message before someone else does. Be prepared with your crisis communications plan and respond quickly.Ill-prepared spokesperson. You task a key senior executive with handling media outreach, but once she starts getting peppered with hard questions, you find she’s not nearly as prepared for the hot seat as you had assumed. Solution: Take nothing for granted. Test your spokesperson ahead of time. Sit down with that person and fire tough questions at her quickly and relentlessly until she can deliver your organization’s message calmly and consistently. Legal concerns. In the midst of the storm, you have to wait for your legal team before taking action. This slows you down tremendously and potentially derails your entire organization. Solution: Have ample conversations with your legal team during your crisis communications prep. What might they need to do or approve? Where would they need to step in? You’ll avoid disastrous delays if you can agree to operating procedures and best practices in advance.Inconsistency or lack of transparency. Your market doesn’t believe your message or find it credible because they’re hearing different things across channels, which makes your nonprofit seem less than honest. Solution: As the crisis wears on, you’ll continue to get tough questions from every corner, so you need to hunker down and ensure you’re delivering a consistent and honest message, whether it’s on television, in print, or on your website and social media channels.Failure to take responsibility. Do you take responsibility? Do you apologize? Similar to being slow to respond, if you fail to address these questions, you’ll extend the news cycle. Solution: From the beginning, own the problem (or, if you didn’t create it, explain clearly how the problem arose) and communicate how your organization is addressing it. Again, be consistent and honest in your message.A final bit of advice: Fix it yourself first.Some crises will be imposed on you externally, out of the blue, and you’ll need to react with your readymade communications plan. But others you might avoid—if you take action now. If you see anything in your organization that doesn’t seem quite right or could create a bit of drama, talk among your team about how you can fix it yourself before external forces make you fix it. Adapted from the Nonprofit 911 webinar “Crisis Communications for Nonprofits” with Susan Kearney, COO of Network for Good. Download the full webinar.
Creating your year-end email appeals? Don’t forget these six key ingredients:An obvious donation button.Your donate button should be big, bold, and above the fold. When your donors want to give, it needs to be as easy as possible. They shouldn’t need to hunt for the link to your donation page.A clear and specific call to action.A vague call to action like “support us” is more likely to confuse than to motivate. To be effective, make your calls to action highly specific and feasible.A sense of urgency.Compel your donors to take action with a real sense of urgency. Let your supporters know when there are only a few more days left to meet your annual goal.Contact information.Make sure to link to a contact page so donors can get in touch if they have an important question. It’s also important to include an easy way for readers to opt-out of your nonprofit’s emails (if you’re not sending from an email service provider like Constant Contact, be aware of CAN-SPAM laws).Mobile-friendly design.Smartphones make it easy to act in the moment, which is important because the decision to donate is often impulsive. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly so you can easily connect with donors at any time, no matter where they are.A compelling case for giving.Asking for a donation is not enough. To stand out from the crowd, nonprofit fundraisers must make a compelling case for giving by using stories, building credibility, and packaging your message.
There’s strong evidence that integrating communications and fundraising into a single team is a real success factor. For many organizations, that shift is far, far away or absolutely out of the question. Even so, you can take small steps to shake up your silos and build productive partnerships.Try any or all of these three approaches to bring your communications and fundraising teams closer together—and boost results. Donors first! Map out how and when your organization touches an individual in each of your target audiences or segments.It’s human nature to ignore a problem until it’s in your face. This technique will highlight what’s really going on.Partner up a fundraiser and a communicator to visually document touchpoints within a week or month for individuals representative of your priority audiences. Use your personas if you’ve already developed them. Map the campaign, message, format, channel, call to action, and timing details for each touchpoint.You’ll likely uncover some days when an individual receives multiple touches with conflicting messages—aka chaos!Nothing is a stronger motivator for coordinating messages and missiles.Bonus: Mapping supporter touchpoints showcases everyone who has played a role in spurring a donation or other desired action. Typically, credit is given only to the creator of the last interaction, overlooking many of the contributors who move supporters to act. Identify what’s working—from each “side”—and do more of that.Ask your communications team to identify the fundraising team’s three most effective approaches and to integrate those techniques into their own work—and vice versa.While you’re at it, ask each team to identify what the other is doing that isn’t working. Try this: Ask each team to give the other one a “free pass” to make a single change to their work, without protest or arguments, for a week. If your marketing director can make only one change to a fundraiser’s direct-mail letter, what will it be? And what single change will the development director make to the marketer’s Facebook post?This practice enables each team to focus on what is truly most important to them, gives each team some level of control, and encourages both to better understand each other without arguing over the merits of the requested change.P.S. I learned this method from my favorite transformative change experts, Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath. The Heaths advocate this underused technique as the most reliable pathway to positive change. Co-create messaging for a single campaign.Select a time-limited campaign that’s related to both teams’ goals. Possible focal points include a significant organizational anniversary, an exceptional opportunity to work with a celebrity, a new program launch, or a change in strategy.Next, task a few communications and development staff members to fully collaborate in creating the campaign messages. This is another useful way each team can learn what’s happening behind the scenes on the “other team” and understand their point of view.Ask collaborators to document the process, especially stumbling blocks, so collaboration will go smoother next time. Then, when the messages are complete, sit down with both teams to discuss the process and the product.Ask the folks who worked together on this campaign to share the high points and the pain of the process, as well as the unexpected benefits for the end product (the messages). Brainstorm recommendations for shifts in each team’s creative, review, and approval process. Then, keep your eyes open for the next co-creation opportunity.Tiny wins like these are the most realistic way I know to shift the status quo. I dare you to experiment with one of these techniques. Let me know how it goes!From Network for Good: Nancy is spot on with her recommendations for communication and fundraising teams. If you can’t implement Nancy’s ideas for tracking donor touchpoints, it’s time to invest in a smarter way to manage your donors. A donor management system can help you keep better track of all your donor information, communication, and more. Talk to a Network for Good rep today and we can help you get started.
Are you being honest about what the experience is?Let’s all agree on this: the giving experience is much more than a donation form. In fact, it’s even more than the moment when you make the ask.Your nonprofit’s giving experience begins at awareness and continues through acknowledgement. Each part of this experience should connect and build on the pieces that come before (and after) it. This consistency reinforces your message and keeps prospective donors in the moment of giving. Your appeals, newsletters, website, online donation page, social media, thank yous, and everything else in your campaign should all have the same compelling story, call to action, and impact statements that help donors clearly understand the impact their gift will have.Step into your donors’ shoes and walk through the entire campaign to ensure that the journey they see is the one you intend them to experience. (It just so happens that Network for Good has a free guide that will help you audit your giving experience. Download your copy now.) Are you putting enough emphasis on the follow through?Getting a supporter to give to your campaign is important, but the stewardship plan to thank, retain, and grow these donors is critical. For each campaign and each core segment, have a clear plan for following up with these donors in a way that connects your communication to the reasons they gave in the first place. As we covered in the first question, this is still part of your donor’s journey and paying attention to retention help you get more from the investment you make in your fundraising campaigns. Do you understand what your data is telling you?It’s very difficult to get smarter about your campaigns if you’re not sure what’s working. And it’s almost impossible to do that if you’re not collecting and tracking the right data. (And no, a spreadsheet no longer counts.) And when you’re not getting smarter, you’re wasting time, money, and your donor’s attention.Make sure your donation and campaign data is flowing into an easy-to-use donor management system that will allow you to quickly track and report on your results. You’ll see who’s giving (and who’s not), understand which outreach works best with each segment, and be better equipped to form the right strategies to meet your goals. (Check out this archived free webinar to learn how to use your donor data to increase your fundraising results this year. You’ll also get a sneak peek at Network for Good’s new donor management software, which is going to make your life a whole lot easier. I promise.) Your communications plan should focus on engaging and inspiring your supporters, but when it comes to making the ask, are the odds in your favor? Here are three questions that will help you optimize your organization’s giving experience.
Posted on July 30, 2012Click 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)According to the Healthy Newborn Network, Health Policy and Planning recently published a supplement, A Decade of Change for Newborn Survival, that shares a multi-country analysis of the changes in newborn care and survival from 2000-2010. The supplement also includes 5 detailed country case studies (Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uganda) focused on the process of taking solutions to scale.It was authored by over 60 health experts with contributions from an additional 90 experts and coordinated by Save the Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program. These analyses took over 3 years, using multiple data streams and new approaches to standardizing qualitative data regarding policy and program change.The five detailed country case studies demonstrate that changing the trajectory for newborn survival is possible even in challenging settings when focus is placed on reaching the poorest families with the most effective interventions. Low-income countries, such as Bangladesh, Malawi and Nepal, that are on track to meet the 2015 target of Millennium Development Goal 4 have reduced newborn deaths at about double the rate that their neighbors have…Learn more on the Healthy Newborn Network.The papers in the supplement are open-access and can be accessed through the links below:Newborn survival: changing the trajectory over the next decadeNewborn survival: a multicountry analysis of a decade of changeBenchmarks to measure readiness to integrate and scale up newborn survival interventionsNewborn Survival in BangladeshNewborn Survival in NepalNewborn Survival in PakistanNewborn Survival in MalawiNewborn Survival in UgandaShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on May 30, 2013August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Our coverage of the Women Deliver 2013 conference continues–with a Storify featuring highlights from the second and third days of the conference, this guest post by Sandeep Bathala of the Wilson Center.Midwives play a critical but unheralded role in maternal health. Their skills are sometimes marginalized in otherwise well-meaning discussions about professionalizing care, and, as was discussed at the Wilson Center earlier this month, they often work in conditions that undermine their ability to provide high quality, respectful maternity care. So when I found the room overflowing at Wednesday’s Women Deliver session, Midwives: Empowerment, Respect, and Quality, I took that as a good sign that midwives will not be overlooked much longer. Here are some highlights from the session:“Midwives are the frontline and backbone” of maternal health, said Pat Brodie of the Papua New Guinea Maternal and Child Health Initiative and WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing, Midwifery, and Health Development. But, she pointed out, recruitment of midwives has failed to keep pace with need, in part because so many positions carry non-existent or low salaries, few incentives for success, little time off, and lack professional training opportunities.Gajananda Prakash Bhandari, Program Director at the Nepal Public Health Foundation described how some issues such as the risks of walking long distances at night, or a lack of support husbands and mother-in-laws who prefer women stay close to their families can discourage women from becoming midwives. Bhandari noted that in places where midwives have higher job satisfaction and feel secure, there are notable increase in their use, which means healthier mothers and children. He proposed scaling up new community-based security committees to address concerns about the safety risks of traveling at night, noting that this could also protect midwives from abusive family members of pregnant women.Afghanistan is one of the least secure places in the world to be a midwife, and it has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality ratios. However, as Pashtoon Azfar, a regional midwife adviser for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), pointed out, this was not always the case. In the 1950s, female members of the Afghan royal family were midwives and teachers of midwives, exemplifying the respect for midwifery at the time. In fact, as Azfar said, the literal translation of “midwife” in the local language is “competent.” But, more than three decades of war took a severe toll on the country’s health system and under Taliban rule, women were denied access to education, and, as a result, there was an extreme shortage in female health providers, including midwives. As a result, maternal mortality skyrocketed: in the 1990s, the maternal mortality ratio was estimated to be 1,300 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. As Azfar pointed out, there have been major changes that Afghanistan in the past decade, particularly the revitalization of midwifery that has been part of health systems strengthening efforts, including an effort by USAID and Jphiego to advance midwifery. “Engagement of women in this profession has led to some level of political and social empowerment,” said Azfar. “However, still there is a long way to go.” For instance, the program is still addressing challenges related to policy development, selection criteria, recruitment, education, deployment, and supervision of midwives. But, there are clear positive effects already: participating midwives have reported increased self-confidence and economic benefits for themselves and their families, as well as a new ability to leave their homes, and midwifery has a bigger presence at the policy level.For more on this week’s news and events on midwifery, read UNFPA Deputy Executive Director Kate Gilmore’s op-ed, “Midwives do more than just deliver babies in The Hindu, check out coverage of the Second Global Symposium on Midwifery from UNFPA, the ICM, or follow the discussion on Twitter at #midwivesmatter, #midwives, as well as coverage of Women Deliver at #WDlive and #WD2013. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on July 10, 2013March 6, 2017By: Dr. Alice Self, Sandwell General Hospital, Lyndon, West Bromwich; Hannah Knight, Research Fellow, Health Informatics, Office for Research and Clinical Audit, Lindsay Stewart R&D Centre, Royal College of Obstetricians and GynaecologistsClick 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)It can be hard to imagine the challenges some women and their families face whilst trying to access timely and effective maternity care:“By the time they struggled to get her an admission card, by the time she was admitted, by the time her file was made up, by the time the midwife was called, by the time the midwife finished eating, by the time the midwife came, by the time the husband went and bought some gloves, by the time the midwife examined the woman, by the time the doctor could be found, by the time the husband went out to buy drugs, IV set, drip and bottle of ether, by the time the haematologist was called, by the time the haematologist came and took blood from the poor tired husband, by the time the day and night nurses changed duty, by the time the day and night doctors changed duty, by the time the t’s had been properly crossed and all the i’s dotted and the husband signed the consent form, the woman died.”Extract from a letter by F Tahzib, University of Sokoto, Nigeria (1989), cited in Thaddeus & Maine (1994)Although it was written almost 30 years ago, this powerful excerpt serves to illustrate some of the numerous and persistent barriers that still prevent many women from receiving effective and timely care, even once they reach a health facility.A group of researchers from the University of Oxford decided to examine the literature on this topic in order to better understand these facility-level (otherwise known as Phase III) delays. Previous studies had tended to focus on the challenges women face in reaching a hospital on time, rather than what happened once they arrived.PLOS has now published this systematic review in its MHTF-PLOS Maternal Health Collection. The review identifies 32 different barriers that can prevent women from receiving timely and appropriate obstetric care once they arrive at a medical facility, and classifies these into 6 categories: human resources; drugs and equipment; facility infrastructure; policy and guidelines; patient-related and referral-related.The most commonly cited barriers in the literature were:inadequate training/skills mixdrug procurement/logistics problemsstaff shortageslack of equipmentlow staff motivationTwo important conclusions emerge from this work and are worth highlighting:Although patient-side delays in the decision to seek care and in reaching a medical facility are responsible for a great number of maternal deaths, focusing only on these delays can mask the fact that many health facilities in the developing world are still chronically under-resourced and unable to cope effectively with serious obstetric complications. Providers and policy-makers must work together to address supply-side barriers alongside demand-side factors if further reductions in maternal mortality are to be achieved.Simple, replicable tools to assess facility-level barriers are badly needed to assist health managers in identifying facilities that deliver sub-optimal care, and in both making and monitoring the required improvements. No generally accepted methodology exists and this makes comparisons between countries very difficult. The authors call for the introduction of benchmark indicators that assess the content and quality of maternal care, rather than the rates of skilled attendance at birth alone.Read the systematic review. Take a look at the MHTF-PLOS Maternal Health Collection.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: