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:
Posted on August 28, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Maternal health advocates often point out that when a mother dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, her surviving family members, particularly her children are left to face a range of negative effects. And, indeed, substantial quantitative evidence from around the world has reinforced this claim: there is little doubt that maternal deaths are strongly associated with an increased risk of poor health, educational outcomes and economic status for their children. Further, the effects seem to be particularly acute for girls. However, gaps in knowledge remain: while it is obvious that mothers’ and children’s health are connected, it is not clear how these connections function. A new study, “Costs of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania,” by Alicia Ely Yamin, Vanessa M. Boulanger, Kathryn L. Falb, Jane Shuma and Jennifer Leaning published in PLOS One offers critical evidence on this gap in knowledge. The researchers’ in-depth, qualitative approach provides crucial evidence on both the profound effect of a mother’s death on her surviving children, and sheds new light on the many connections between mothers’ and children’s well-being. The authors write: “The study illuminates the high costs to surviving children and their families of failing to reduce maternal mortality in this region and highlights potential pathways through which maternal mortality and maternal orphan morbidities are linked. Our findings are consistent with the existing literature on vulnerable children, but highlight the specific health and social impacts that a maternal death can have throughout the course of a child’s life and the all too frequent cycle of poverty and suffering that stems from the high cost of failing to prevent a maternal death and subsequent inaction to protect and support maternal orphans.”Throughout, they emphasize the critical role of underlying factors, such as poverty and inequitable gender norms in enhancing the health risks faced by women and children alike. The study is the first in a series led by the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights program on the Health Rights of Women and Children (HRWC), and supported by the Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health, both of which are based at the Harvard University School of Public Health. The project aims to document both root causes and long-reaching impacts of maternal and child mortality in order to inform the development of evidence-based policy and advocacy at the national and global levels.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
On World Humanitarian Day, a Focus on Reproductive and Maternal Health Providers in Humanitarian Settings
Posted on August 20, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Yesterday, on World Humanitarian Day, K4Health launched a new Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings toolkit, a set of resources that offer guidance for health care providers, emergency workers, communications professionals and others. It covers a range of health issues, including a module on maternal and child health, and brings together a range of resources that K4Health began compiling following crises in Haiti and Pakistan, which inspired the creation of a general toolkit for use in a range of humanitarian settings.In addition, UNFPA marked World Humanitarian Day with a profile of Muneera Sha’aban, one of Jordan’s first midwives, who is now working in a UNFPA-supported clinic to ensure that Syrian women who have fled conflict in their home country to Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp deliver safely.From the article:The 69-year-old midwife says she enjoys doing her job regardless of all the difficulties she encounters serving in one of the UNFPA-supported clinics in Za’atari Camp for Syrian Refugees in Jordan.Muneera’s days start very early, as she makes her way from Amman to the camp, some 80 kilometres away. She leaves her house at 6 in the morning and takes two buses to arrive at the camp by 9.“I have to work to make a living, but without the love I have for the work I am doing, life could have been more difficult,” she says, adding, “I return to my house at 6 in the evening, backed with satisfaction.”World Humanitarian Day also marked the launch of “The World Needs More #___” a campaign that invites the public to share their answers to the question: “What do you think the world needs more of?” Check out campaign submissions on Twitter.For more on the vital role that midwives play in ensuring that women deliver safely in the midst of conflict, catch up on coverage from NPR and the MHTF blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Announcements of New Technologies Underscore Complexity of Challenges in Maternal Health Service Access and Quality
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 3, 2013February 2, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In the past week, three potentially high-impact innovations have made the news. Each holds promise for easing some of the key barriers that women face in reaching high quality maternal health care in a timely way, and together, they demonstrate both the common need for improvements in areas such as transportation and communication, which often inhibit women from reaching health care, and technologies that ensure women who reach health services receive the high quality of health services they require.First, last week, WHO, announced that it, in collaboration with medical technology company Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) and Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development partners that they would begin scaling up production of the Odon device, an obstetric tool designed for use in settings where birth attendants lack the skills or equipment needed to safely perform forceps or vacuum-assisted deliveries.Second, the Thomson Reuters foundation reported on the launch of the Ghana pilot project for Zero Mothers Die, an effort that draws on the many potential uses of mobile technology, enabling pregnant women to communicate with skilled birth attendants and earn money to cover costs associated with using health care , while also building the capacity of health workers.Finally, The Atlantic and The Huffington post both reported on a new design for a “donkey ambulance,” equipped with an inflatable saddle that British charity HealthProm and designer Peter Muckle developed with the aim of enabling women living in remote, mountainous areas of Afghanistan to reach health facilities that would otherwise be out of reach.Share this:
Posted on July 7, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)For the first time it can be said that fetal growth and birth size is not predetermined by genetics, but by the health status of the mother. Fetal growth and birthlength are incredibly similar when babies are born to well-nourished, well-educated mothers—despite diverse ethnic and genetic backgrounds.Today INTERGROWTH-21st, an international study led by researchers at Oxford University, published its first results paper of the project, which proves the previously held belief that size and growth of babies differ due to ethnicity and race is not true. This has tremendous implications on the importance of maternal health care and interventions.“Currently we are not all equal at birth. But we can be,” said the lead author Professor Jose Villar of the Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Oxford. “We can create a similar start for all by making sure mothers are well educated and nourished, by treating infection and by providing adequate antenatal care. Don’t tell us nothing can be done. Don’t say that women in some parts of the world have small children because they are predestined to do so. It’s simply not true.”In order to study fetal and infant growth around the world, researchers studied nearly 60,000 pregnancies in eight defined urban areas in Brazil, China, India, Italy, Kenya, Oman, the UK and the USA. Using identical methodologies and equipment, researchers performed ultrasounds from early pregnancy through delivery to measure fetal bone growth and at delivery measured birth length and head circumference. This representative data is the first of its kind.But why is it so important to have these standards and understand what affects fetal and infant growth? Currently no single global standard for fetal growth exists, instead there are at least 100 differing standards, posing problems for both identifying and treating undernourished newborns. “This is very confusing for doctors and mothers and makes no biological sense. How can a fetus or a newborn be judged small in one clinic or hospital and treated accordingly, only for the mother to go to another city or country, and be told that her baby is growing normally,” said Professor Stephen Kennedy, University of Oxford, one of the senior authors of the paper. The standard produced by the INTERGROWTH-21st fixes this problem. The standard serves as a global standard for fetal and infant growth—the first of its kind—and is consistent with existing WHO standards for infants. For example, the mean length at birth of the newborns in the INTERGROWTH-21st study was 49.4 ± 1.9 cm, compared with 49.5 ±1.9 cm in the WHO infant study.The INTERGROWTH-21st growth standard will help maternal and neonatal practitioners around the world address the problem of poor growth. As of 2010, 27% of births around the world, or 32.4 million babies a year in low- and middle-income countries, are born already undernourished. Poor growth evident by small for gestational age babies has a significant implication on an infant’s start to life—putting them at increased risk of illness and death compared to babies well-nourished at birth. Small birth size also increases a person’s risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease in adulthood. In addition, caring for undernourished newborns puts incredible strain and economic burdens on health systems and societies.Until now it was thought disparities in growth were largely determined by unchangeable factors, like genetics. Now we know the ability to close disparities and ensure fetal and infant growth and health is in our hands. Professor Zulfiqar Bhutta, from The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, who is the Chair of the Steering Committee of this global research team, says: “The fact that when mothers are in good health, babies grow in the womb in very similar ways the world over is a tremendously positive message of hope for all women and their families. But there is a challenge as well. There are implications in terms of the way we think about public health: This is about the health and life chances of future citizens everywhere on the planet. All those who are responsible for health care will have to think about providing the best possible maternal and child health.”Poor growth is not inevitable. Knowing that all babies can grow at the same rate empowers us to provide appropriate care—evidence-based care that ensures healthy mothers, healthy babies.To read the full article on these new standards, click here. In addition, more information about the INTERGROWTH-21st Project, including updates on the release of the new growth standards, can be found at its website: www.intergrowth21.orgShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Virtual Conference – Live StreamingCreating a Nonprofit Donor Experience to Increase Giving and Drive RetentionTuesday, March 27, 2018 | 12:00PM – 4:00PM ET The highly anticipated upcoming Virtual Conference hosted by Network for Good will bring together industry leaders for a robust discussion on the importance of amplifying the donor experience.Register Now to grab one of the few spots left!Great donor experience and engagement generates more giving, keeps donors close, and boots your personal satisfaction level and achievement. It is a win-win! Here are some additional thoughts about donor behaviors: Donors support causes to accomplish their personal missions, not yours!Those who get a great experience when supporting one organization (vs. another, because that’s the choice your donors make—there’s only so much attention and dollars to go around), engage significantly more than someone who doesn’t.That means more donations, but also more volunteering, campaigning, and program participation or advocacy. As your donors get more engaged—and become part of your organization’s family, in a way—the more likely they are to stay close, for the long term. More donations, greater retention. All good!But there’s even more to gain! Engaged donors When your donors are more engaged, they’re far more likely to share their passion with family and friends, expanding your organization’s reach and prospect base with NO ADDITIONAL staff or budget. You couldn’t do the same even if you had the staff and budget, because it’s your donors who have these trusted relationships in place.If your organization has between 100-2500 donors and prospects with contact information and has raised at least $15,000 in the last year from individual donors, ½-day, no-charge, Virtual Conference will be a real game changer. REGISTER NOW for our Virtual Conference where we will explore this topic in great detail. There’s no better investment in the future of your organization—and in yourself.You’ll learn:The theory and research behind the donor engagement phenomenon (great for building buy in and excitement)How your donors and prospects brains really work, so you work with them, rather than againstFrom the most-experienced experts out there, including a colleague fundraiser who will share his organization’s eye-opening donor engagement story.And you’ll have the opportunity to schedule a one-to-one readiness assessment session with one of our engagement coaches!Don’t miss out: Register today!
Last March, Martha Allen became the new executive director of Extra Table, and in Martha’s own words, “time flies when you’re having fun.”Launched in 2009 by well-known Hattiesburg restaurateur Robert St. John, Extra Table makes a difference in the lives of Mississippians by fundraising to stock food pantries and soup kitchens across the state with wholesome, nutritious food; serving 39 food pantries and soup kitchens across 29 counties in Mississippi. In 2017, Extra Table shipped over 130 tons of food to pantries in need.“We’re out of food here.”In 2009, St. John received a call from the Edwards Street Fellowship Center—a food pantry that was helping feed 800 families a month—in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They had completely exhausted their food inventory and desperately needed help to make sure that they could supply their clients who would be showing up in a few days.A 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, St. John figured the fastest, easiest way to get food to the pantry would be to call his food distributor, Sysco, place an order, and have the truck drop-ship the order at the agency’s doorstep the next day.Afterward, he wondered if other agencies throughout Mississippi, who were responsible for feeding those in need, were having similar problems. Skeptical that there was a hunger problem, he dug into the issue only to discover that he was living in the state that had the most food insecurity in the nation.On his tour of other food pantries and agencies, St. John learned that hunger and obesity almost always go hand in hand. If one doesn’t have enough money to purchase proper food at a grocery store, he or she will go to the nearest convenience store and eat junk. As a result, a primary element of Extra Table’s mission is to provide food that is healthy and conducive to pre-existing conditions and diets. The organization not only feeds people but makes a difference in the long-term impact that food has on a person, and in turn, their community, state, and resources.Feeding the Hungriest StateIn a small nonprofit, the executive director does everything. As Allen says with a laugh, “You’re the person who gets to lead the organization by day and scrub the floors by night.” By managing a team of interns from the University of Southern Mississippi as well as an active board who volunteer, she juggles an intricate system of schedules, communication, and delegation.“It’s not just about delegation; it’s about recognizing people’s talents and abilities. Much of what I’ve learned over the past 15 years is how to inspire and motivate volunteers in a way to gain their trust so that you are the person or organization they call when they have volunteer time. You must be smart about how you plug volunteers into supporting roles. You can’t ask the accountant to always do financial related things; that is their day in and day out job. How can you tap their talents and keep them fired up and feeling needed?”For example, Allen has found that you can ask the preacher to write a press release because, while writing sermons is their wheel house, press releases are a slight challenge. The hair stylist can recruit volunteers because they see many people on a daily basis. It’s about figuring out how everyone’s talents align with the jobs you need to get done. That insight evolves in a leader over time.Like many of the nonprofit leaders Network for Good works with, Allen didn’t set out to be an executive director. An art student with a degree in art history and interior design from the University of Alabama and a Masters in Architecture from Mississippi State University, Allen worked at Sotheby’s in New York and designed casinos with a Memphis-based firm. When she moved back to Mississippi, she knew she didn’t want to design schools and libraries, so she looked for another career quickly finding herself knee deep in the non-profit world.Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta, Allen credits her ability to succeed in the nonprofit world to those southern hospitality roots. “Fundraisers are one quarter dinner party!” she says. Nonprofit work is all about developing relationships, sustaining those relationships, and sharing your message in an attractive way.Allen’s passion and desire to take care of others continues to drive her.“I think it drives a lot of women. You have to love something intensely and intimately to do this type of selfless work that requires long hours and depends on lots of delegation and balance. Everyone spends so much time at work, but nonprofit work is different. It’s all consuming. There are so many things you do to prepare before you even get to the office and in the evening after you come home. But I go to bed at night knowing I made a difference in the lives of people that can’t break the cycle of their current circumstances, and they just need help. They need a meal. Food is a basic human right. No one should be hungry. Many days their world is so dark and bleak, but the food that we provide gives them hope. It shows them that someone noticed them and that they’re important. I like being able to make that kind of imprint. In the nonprofit world you spend your time going the extra mile. Because that’s what makes a difference.”On Fundraising“I don’t mind a bit asking people for money when it’s making a difference! There are people with hearts of gold who don’t know what to do with their money. And there are people that make an extra $500 or $5 a month and they would love to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”For Allen, it’s all about being able to tell people about Extra Table and the impact they have. When she sees those same people with tears in their eyes say, “I want to be a part of this,” she knows she’d never leave something that makes that kind of impact. Extra Table launched their first year-end fundraising this year and surpassed their goal. They’ve been named Charity of the Year by multiple organizations. Still, Allen knows fundraising in the nonprofit world is hard work. There’s no product to sell like in the for-profit world. If funding goes away or the economy takes a downturn it makes things even harder.That may be why Allen says her greatest accomplishment some days is to just keep going, to constantly be inspired by the world around her and stay open to people“Everyone around you is important and has something to teach you. If you work hard, great things are going to happen. If I continue to work hard and keep learning and put one foot in front of the other and keep a good team around me, then positive things and great accomplishments are going to keep coming Extra Table’s way. It’s my mantra.”Women in Philanthropy is an ongoing blog series in celebration of Women’s History Month, featuring some of the incredible women Network for Good has the pleasure to work with.Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
Posted on March 31, 2015October 27, 2016By: Celina Schocken, Jhpiego; Courtney Chang, JhpiegoClick 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)Oxytocin is the first-line drug for the prevention and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) and is widely available in developing countries. There is a large market for oxytocin and there are many manufacturers of the drug; however, there are growing concerns that products are not in good condition when they are injected, either because of poor manufacturing or degradation along the supply chain.Issues with inconsistent oxytocin qualityIn 2012, a study by US Pharmacopeia and the Ghanaian Food and Drug Authority found that only 8% of oxytocin samples in Ghana had market authorization. The majority (97.5%) of samples failed either assay or sterility testing and over 55% of samples failed their physio-chemical assay. Even when a product is properly manufactured, storage and labeling of the drug along the supply chain and in facilities varies: in fact, only 8% of oxytocin samples were stored in the proper temperature (2°-8° C). The study ultimately concluded that 65.5% of oxytocin sampled in country did not meet quality standards, severely impairing the ability to prevent and treat PPH.In most countries, we lack clear information about the quality of oxytocin administered to postpartum women. More studies are underway, as it is critically important to ensure that quality oxytocin is administered.Limited product choices for quality oxytocinIn order to regulate quality, the WHO prequalification process helps identify quality drugs for countries. Currently, there are no WHO-prequalified oxytocin products; the only regulated products currently in the market are approved by Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRAs), which are national bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration. This less stringent regulation is present despite a high volume market for oxytocin; globally, 100 million doses per year are used for prevention and treatment of PPH. There are at least 300 different oxytocin products manufactured by at least 100 manufacturers, creating a market that is difficult to regulate.Most oxytocin in developing countries is procured by national procurement agencies, and most do not require WHO prequalification of oxytocin. These agencies are very resource-constrained and tend to focus on procuring high volume for low cost.Current market structure threatens qualityFor manufacturers, the low price of oxytocin—ranging from about $0.15 to $0.20 per 10 international unit (IU) dose—paired with a large number of competitors, creates a highly price-sensitive market. Achieving prequalification requires a manufacturer to upgrade its factory or improve manufacturing processes, likely adding 5-12% to the cost of products: a cost that makes thriving in the current market too difficult.In a market where procurers do not require regulatory approval, prequalified or SRA-approved drugs simply will not be competitive against non-quality assured drugs and manufacturers will have no incentive to go through WHO prequalification. Instead, in order to stay competitive in the market, manufacturers will compromise the quality of their products order to keep prices low, boost sales and sustain profits.Promoting a market shaping strategy for improved oxytocinAs the market for oxytocin grows, national governments and international partners must work together to ensure that manufacturers are incentivized to produce quality oxytocin. National governments and international partners should rally around a market shaping strategy that involves the following components:International partners working with national procurement agencies to improve procurement guidelines and procedures to ensure that only quality drugs are accepted into countriesInternational partners working with National Drug Regulatory Agencies and others to increase awareness about quality issues with oxytocinStricter enforcement of national guidelines and routine quality audits of drugsFor more information on quality oxytocin, please read the Business Case: Investing in Production of High Quality Oxytocin for Low-Resource SettingsThis post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Family Care International and the USAID-Accelovate program at Jhpiego which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.Photo: “DSC_0096” © 2009 Colin, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on May 11, 2018May 14, 2018By: Staff, Maternal Health Task ForceClick 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)Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaAdvisor, Social and Behavior Change Communication: Save the Children; Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaInternational Consultant – OB/GYN (Obstetrician/Gynecologist) [specialization in fistula treatment]: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); EritreaMaternal and Newborn Health Advisor: Jhpiego; LiberiaASIAAsia Regional Program Coordinator: EngenderHealth; New Delhi, IndiaProgramme Analyst, Maternal Health: UNFPA; Jakarta, IndonesiaEUROPEEvidence, Insights and Evaluation Manager: Marie Stopes International (MSI); London, United KingdomTechnical Officer: World Health Organization; Copenhagen, DenmarkNorth AmericaAdvisor, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings: Save the Children; Washington, DCAdvisor, Newborn Health: Save the Children; Washington, DCAssociate Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Discovery & Tools: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Seattle, WADirector of International Research: Guttmacher Institute; New York, NYGlobal Maternal and Child Health Research Associate: Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA (with significant travel and time in Ethiopia)Program Manager, Health Systems and Financing: ThinkWell; Washington, DCProvincial Director, Clinical Education and Quality Improvement: Provincial Health Services Authority; Vancouver, BC, CanadaService Provision Assessment (SPA) Specialist, Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition: PATH; Rockville, MDSexual, Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) Senior Director: CARE; Atlanta, GA—Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Once you exit the North exit of JR Kameari Station, you will see the police station that is said to be the original model of the manga. There is no proof, but it looks just like the police station from the manga. You can find statues of Kochikame characters throughout the city. There are over fourteen statues! Here’s a photo of the statue of one character, officer Nakagawa Kenichi. The location of each bronze statue is written on a map that is distributed at the station and the service counter of the shopping arcade. An English version is available with a recommended route to see all the characters as well. Let’s take a map to look for all the characters! This is the Katori Shrine, which is over 700 years old. It is around a 3 minute walk from the south exit of the station, and appears quite frequently in the series. Every September, there’s a festival at the shrine where many mikoshi (portable shrines) liven up the city. Within the precincts of the shrine, you will find Ryō-san’s statue. The god of battle has been worshiped at Katori Shrine. Lately, people visit to worship the “god of victory, matches, and luck” along with “the god of sports”. Visitors here write wishes on wooden plaques that have designs of Ryō-san from Kochikame and “Captain Tsubasa”, a manga themed around soccer that also takes place in Katsushika. You can find the autograph of the manga artist, Yōichi Takahashi. Along with Katori Shrine, another place that is fun to stop by is inside the shopping center, Ario. On the third floor, you will find the “Kochikame Game Park”, a theme park that replicates the world of Kochikame. There are displays of the police office, costumes and plenty of places you can take memorable photos at.The Shopping Arcade with the Downtown Tokyo Feel The manga “Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Kōen-mae Hashutsujo”, otherwise known as “Kochikame” has been running in the magazine “Weekly Shōnen JUMP” for 40 years. The story takes place in Kameari, Katsushika ward, which is actually located in Tokyo. The city itself has a nostalgic atmosphere of old-fashioned Tokyo. This time, we will introduce you to the Kameari area.Welcome to the World of Kochikame The charm of Kameari isn’t just the world of Kochikame. You can experience the authentic feeling of Japan through the shopping arcade. About a 2-minute walk from the south exit of the station, you will find a shop that sells a variety of side dishes. This is actually the entrance of the shopping arcade that is aligned with my vegetable and fruit shops. It is a unique environment where small buildings stand side by side under a large roofed area. It is crowded with local shoppers, daily. Kameari is a wonderful city where you can meet Ryō-san, the main character of “Kochikame”, and friendly locals. Easily accessible from Asakusa and Oshiage (SkyTree area), why not stop by the next time you are in the area? 香取神社 View Information
There must be many people who want to take a bath in hot springs in Japan if you come to Japan. It is good to go to hot springs and relax while taking a bath in there. But some people might not feel like taking off your cloths or washing your body before getting into a bath which need you to have time and work to do. Some people even feel that taking a bath together with people you don’t know is not your thing.It is true that you can not drop off at a hot spring easily since you need to have enough time to do all the process. So those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in hot springs, here are better choices for you, which are “foot baths and hands baths”. Foot baths means that you only put your feet into a hot spring pool. As you can imagine, hands baths means that you only put your hands into a hot spring pool. The only thing you need to do for those two is taking off your shocks or roll up your sleeves. You can get to try even you don’t have much time.Also there is more special things you will definitely like here in Wakura hot spring area (妻恋舟の湯).Let’s take a look at two of them here.Food bath which gives you a feeling of oneness with the oceanThere is a foot bath place called Tsumakoibune-no-Yu (妻恋舟の湯) inside of Yuttari Park (湯っ足りパーク) along the coast line. You can get to use it for free.There is a roof which allows you to take a food bath even its raining. There are also bathrooms and vending machines near there.There are shoe storage you will get your shoes in at an entrance. You will take your shoes off there then get in barefoot.The special thing in this place is incredible view especially the horizon you will get to see while you are taking the food bath.There are no walls for a side which faces to the ocean. So it let you see the huge ocean without anything in front of youYou will get to see Notojima island (能登島) and Notojima Bridge (能登島大橋) clearly over pine trees planted along the coast line if it’s nice weather and you are lucky.You can also get close to the ocean barefoot if you want since there is a wood path from this place all the way to the coast line.But we put walls up in winter season. So if you come here in winter, you need to see the view through windows.Wakura foot bath place “Tsumakoibune-no-Yu (妻恋舟の湯)” gives you a feeling of oneness with the ocean. Don’t forget to bring a towel with you.Warm you up at a Hand bath place then eat Onsen eggs afterwards!There is a hand bath shaped like a circle with a roof on the top inside of Bentenzaki Park (弁天崎源泉公園) near the ocean.You can cook eggs in hot spring water here. So you should have eggs with you when you come here. If you put your eggs in hot spring water for about 15 minutes, you are ready to eat. Good for you. It will be ready while talking with your friends.Related article ：Hand baths are the easiest way to try hot springs. You don’t need to take anythings off.You will feel that your body is getting warmer even you just soak your hand up till your wrist.Also there are wooden benches near there. If you sit there, you feel warm on the bottom since they make benches warm using hot spring water.It will be a good idea to stop off here, bringing eggs with you while you are taking a walk in Wakura hot spring area.There are more foot baths and hand baths in Wakura hot spring area. Foot baths and hand baths will get you take a break from walking around, enjoy the horizon over the ocean taking a bath, stop off to warm your body up in winter, relax while waiting to get eggs done.Most of the foot baths and hand baths are free.Let’s give it a try. Highly recommended.Information”Tsumakoibune-no-Yu (妻恋舟の湯)” inside of Yuttari Park (湯っ足りパーク)Address：1-1 Wakuramachi Hibari, Nanao-shi, Ishikawa-PrefecturePhone：0767-62-1555（Wakura Onsen Tourism Association）Opening Hours：7:00～19:00Closed day：NonePrice：FreeWi-Fi：NoneStation：Wakura Onsen Station (和倉温泉駅) on JR Nanao Line(JR七尾線）Access：Take a taxi from Wakura Onsen Station (和倉温泉駅) for about 5 minutes or walk from the center of Wakura hot spring area for about 8 minutes.Bentenzaki Park(弁天崎源泉公園)Address：Wakuramachi, Nanao-shi, Ishikawa-PrefecturePhone：0767-62-1555（Wakura Onsen Tourism Association）Opening Hours：24 hoursClosed day：NoneWi-Fi：NoneStation：Wakura Onsen Station (和倉温泉駅) on JR Nanao Line (JR七尾線)Access：Take a bus toward to Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉行) from Wakura Onsen Station(和倉温泉駅) and get off at Wakura Onsen bus stop (和倉温泉) then walk about 3 minutes.
Travelers and expats alike gather in Roppongi.About 3 minutes from the Roppongi station there’s a restaurant, where lovers of vegetarian cooking meet up once every month.Over 1700 members! “The Tokyo Vegan Meetup Group”The group is mainly intended for vegans and vegetarians, but anyone can join.The 1700 members (as of December 2014) is made up of both those visiting Japan and Japanese (50/50).Vegetarians, people who love vegetables, people searching for new friends, or even people who just love Roppongi, are welcome.Vegan BuffetMembers pay at the front, and then enter.Every month there are about 40-60 participants, so it’s always lively.Both in line and at the tables people is casually enjoy their conversations. They discuss a litany of topics, such as vegan restaurants they visited recently, or how to search for stores for vegetarians, or even how they make food at home. All of the food is vegan, and as such contains no meat, fish, or dairy products.Put whatever you like onto your plate and enjoy your meal.This is their pumpkin pie. At this meetup they had a good menu for dishes specific to the season.Every season they have a slightly different menu. The menu is displayed on their homepage before the event.Only 3 minutes from the Roppongi Station! “The Pink Cow”Walk a brief 3 minutes from Tokyo Metro/Toei Chika Tetsu Roppongi station’s 3rd or 5th exit, and find their meeting place, “The Pink Cow”, near the Roppongi 5-cho intersection. It hosts a lot of events, and has staff that can speak both Japanese and English. Their vegan menu is specific to the vegan meetup parties.How do I join?(Meetup Homepage)The Tokyo Vegan Meetup Group HPFirst, get on their homepage and register. (They also have an application for smartphones and tablets.) You can also register with your Facebook account.Set the location to Tokyo, and search for “vegan”, and several groups will pop upClick “The Tokyo Vegan Meetup Group” and join.When an event is scheduled, a confirmation mail in your email inbox, press “join”, and you’re registered.Final CommentsThe meeting is once a month in Roppongi.It could be a great way to meet not only vegans and vegetarians, but people from all walks of life.InformationThe Pink CowAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi 5-5-1 Roppongi Roa Building B1FHours of Operation:Fri~Sun: 17:00~00:00Tue~Thurs: 17:00~00:00Scheduled Holidays: Mondays, For other holidays, please check the HPWi-Fi: NoneAccepted Credit Cards: VISA, MASTER Card, JCB, AMEX, Diners*Cash only for the vegan buffetLanguage Accessibility:English, JapaneseMenu Language: English menu availableNearest Station: Roppongi StationAccess: 3 minute walk from Tokyo Metro/Toei Tikatetsu Roppongi StationPrice Range: 2000~4000 yenPhone Number: 03-6434-5773Official Webpage:The Pink Cow