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Fears of a dire precedent as Brazil seeks results-based REDD+ payment

first_imgCritics worry that Brazil’s reference level for deforestation and the lack of guarantee that the carbon will stay locked up could set an unsustainable precedent for future payments.The forest reference levels currently used in the proposal are high enough that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon could double and Brazil would still qualify for “results-based” payments. Almost a decade after it was founded, the Green Climate Fund is ready to start paying tropical countries for emission reductions from REDD+. A proposal from Brazil has been submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) board meeting for payments for 2014 and 2015. But advocates and forest policy experts say the way the emissions-reductions savings are being calculated, and the likely possibility that the reductions will not be permanent, might end up setting a poor precedent for future payouts from REDD+.Scientists agree that reducing deforestation and increasing forest areas play a critical role in keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Forests could provide almost a quarter of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed by 2030. However they receive less than 3 percent of climate mitigation funding.“In terms of directing climate finance to forests, we are off by at least an order of magnitude,” Frances Seymour, a renowned forest expert and distinguished senior fellow at the World Resources Institute (WRI), said about REDD+ projects.REDD+ was initially proposed as climate change mitigation mechanism that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by paying developing countries to keep their forests intact rather than cutting them down. Now the GCF, the multilateral climate fund created under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is considering proposals for a pilot program for REDD+ results-based payments at its 22nd  board meeting in South Korea this week.Unlike past REDD+ projects that received funds from the GCF to implement programs, the pilot program, announced in 2017, will pay countries ex-post for results achieved between December 2013 and 2018. The $500 million pilot program will pay $5 per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and limit each country to 30 percent of the total amount. Proposals are evaluated by a technical board and will be considered on a rolling basis at the GCF board meetings, which are attended by board members and observer NGOs.Choosing the right reference levelSome forest experts have raised concerns about the feasibility based on what they consider clear issues with one of the proposals. In its proposal submitted to the GCF, Brazil says it reduced its emissions in 2014 and 2015 by 1.25 billion tons of CO2e in comparison to the deforestation average from 1996 to 2010. It is requesting payment for 2 percent of that, around 25 million tons of CO2e. The Independent Technical Advisory Panel’s assessment of the proposal recommends paying for 19 million tons. If approved at the GCF rate of $5 per ton of emissions reductions, Brazil would get just over $96 million.But advocates say the 1996-2010 average, the so-called Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL B), represents years in which deforestation in the Amazon was exceptionally high, and doesn’t provide a meaningful comparison.“Under the current reference level, deforestation in Brazil could double and they would still be able to get payments,” said Jutta Kill, a researcher at the World Rainforest Movement and biologist who applies her work to support social movements. “If a different reference level had been chosen that reflects the reality of growing emissions, then Brazil would have had a significantly lower level or no claims at all because emissions are going up.”Not everyone agrees with this assessment.“The FREL of Brazil, recognized by the UNFCCC, is appropriate and scientifically rigorous,” says Daniel Nepstad, president and executive director of the Earth Innovation Institute, who has researched deforestation in Brazil for 30 years. “The risk of claiming otherwise is that it will punish Brazil for its success in lowering deforestation so rapidly through 2012, which created the huge difference between FREL and deforestation today. But this is a measure of Brazil’s success.”Pictorial representation of Brazil’s FREL as submitted to the UNFCCC. FREL (A) refers to the mean annual CO2emissions from the period 1996 to 2005 (1,106,027,616.63tCO2); FR(B) refers to the mean annual CO2emissions from the period 1996 to 2010 (907,959,466.33tCO2). Credit: UNFCCCCurrently, countries can choose their own reference level as long as the technical assessment of the FREL has been finalized by the UNFCCC. Brazil’s case is important in that the FREL for the Amazon biome was the first reference level submitted to the UNFCCC for use in results-based payments.In Brazil, deforestation levels were extremely high from 1996 to 2005, and then dropped substantially. Since 2012, deforestation rates have been creeping up again. Between 2014 and 2015, the years for which Brazil is claiming payments, deforestation in the Amazon increased from 5,012 to 6,207 square kilometers (1,935 to 2,397 square miles), an almost 25 percent increase.“In 2014 and 2015 Brazil had the two worst increases in deforestation since it started to rise again,” said Maria Fernanda Gabara, an anthropologist who works with indigenous communities in Brazil. “It’s really contradictory that they are getting payments for these years.”Keeping the carbon locked upThe Green Climate Fund was set up in 2010 as part of the financial mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It has 24 board members, representing an equal number of representatives from developed and developing countries. It seeks to “promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development.” But some experts are concerned that this mission may be at odds with Brazil’s recent shift in government, and question if the emissions reductions that the GCF is paying for will remain locked up forests.“From a climate perspective, REDD+ can only have a benefit if the carbon is kept sequestered,” Kill said. “There is nothing in the proposal that guarantees to keep the carbon in the trees.”Jair Bolsonaro, the recently elected right-wing president of Brazil, ran on a platform of reducing environmental and legal safeguards for forests. He has signaled his intention to develop the Amazon, which experts say has already led to an increase in deforestation.“The annual rate of deforestation is increasing. Whether [it] stays that way we can’t say for sure,” said Peter May, a professor at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, in an interview. “But last year there was a considerable upswing in deforestation after Bolsonaro got elected.”According to Brazil’s official monitoring system, Deforestation in the Amazon has increased from 4,571 square kilometers (1,765 square miles) in 2012 to almost 8,000 square kilometers (3,090 square miles) in 2018 — the highest in almost a decade.Brazilian Amazon deforestation 2002-2018. Image via Mongabay.One of Bolsonaro’s first moves after taking office in January this year was to move control of indigenous lands and the forest service under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture, which has been touted as a win for agribusiness.This means there’s a chance that the emissions reductions the GCF would pay for might not be permanent.“Brazil was able to reduce deforestation in the past, but it hasn’t stayed down. Now even though deforestation is on the rise, they will be getting paid,” Thomas Fatheuer, a social scientist with Heinrich Böll Stiftung, a German political foundation focused on green policy, told Mongabay. “It’s like rewarding someone for having quit smoking for a few months, even though they are still smoking today.”Political pressureDespite the problems with the proposal and bad precedent it could set, some believe that political pressures could push the GCF to accept Brazil’s proposal anyway. Bolsonaro has threatened to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and recently withdrew his country’s invitation to host COP25, this year’s UNFCCC climate summit, which will instead be held in Chile. Some believe that failure to follow through on environmental pledges like REDD+ payments could provide further fuel to the Bolsonaro administration’s anti-environmental stance.“If the Green Climate Fund and the UNFCCC refuse the proposal from Brazil, that might give Brazil more of excuse to leave the climate agreements,” Federal Rural University’s May said. “So that might act as a push for them to say yes.”Given the pro-development stance of the current government, not being able to fulfill expectations around environmental agreements and mechanisms like REDD+ may become further weaponized by the government.“If we kill [the] GCF contract today,” Nepstad said, “the chance that the new admin will roll back forest conservation policy will grow.”To add to the external political pressure, the GCF board might be feeling the pressure from inside as well. The board came under fire at its meeting last July for failing to approve any of the projects under consideration and disburse funds from the more than $10 billion in pledges it has attracted from countries. The meeting was described as “very difficult” by the chair of the board, Lennart Båge.“They are in a sort of double bind,” Fatheuer said. “REDD+ unfortunately has the perverse implication that by not paying out emissions reductions now, it gives countries like Brazil the justification to say ‘conservation doesn’t work, let’s develop instead.’”Banner image: The tinctorius poison dart frog inhabits the greater Amazon rainforest in Suriname and Northern Brazil. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Sarah Sax is a freelance environmental journalist based in New York City, formerly with Vice News. You can find her on Twitter at @Sarah2theSax.Clarification: This article has been updated to include the the full name of Maria Fernanda GebaraFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this article. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Genevieve Belmaker Amazon, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Carbon Finance, climate finance, Environment, Featured, Finance, Forest Carbon, Forest Destruction, Forests, Governance, Rainforests, Redd, Tropical Forests center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

QPR starlet extends Stevenage stay

first_imgQPR youngster Bruno Andrade has extended his loan spell at Stevenage by another month.The forward is currently in his second loan spell with the League Two side having made 13 league appearances for them last season.He rejoined Borough in February and has gone on to make four further League Two outings – and opened his account for them when he scored the only goal of the game in Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Plymouth.And now it has been confirmed that Andrade, 21, will stay at the Lamex Stadium until March 31. Bruno Andrade 1last_img read more

How Brazil is Preparing for a Tidal Wave of Data

first_imgFurther reading:German National Football Team Uses Real-Time Analytics for a Competitive EdgeHow Sports Teams are Using Big Data to Improve Performance on the Field3 Ways Football Teams Are Using Technology To Make Players Safer Since their inception, sports and data have gone together like peas and carrots – just ask any baseball statistician, basketball strategist, or horse racing aficionado. These days, the ability to analyze massive amounts of data allows teams to fine tune their recruitment and develop true competitive advantage over their opponents.However, teams and players aren’t the only parties generating data — any large event is going to generate a tidal wave of information, and a month-long, worldwide football tournament is no exception. How can a host country like Brazil prep for the data created by 600,000 frenzied football fans?last_img read more

How to be resilient in hardship

first_imgMy friend and colleague Amanda alerted me to this article on the five traits of resilient people. Since that quality is needed by so many of us now, I thought I’d pass on the insights from Jessie Sholl. What occurred to me as I was reading this list is that you probably have every one of these qualities. Working for a good cause is a daily exercise in resilience. Please share that quality with those who need it now.1. Be Positive. “Resilient people are characterized by an ability to experience both negative and positive emotions even in difficult or painful situation. They mourn losses and endure frustrations, but they also find redeeming potential or value in most challenges.” If you work for a good cause, you have this quality. You find hope amid terrible tragedies in the course of advancing a mission.2. Live to Learn. When resilient people encounter pain, they look for solutions. That would be you.3. Open Your Heart. Counting your blessings and committing acts of kindness and service boost resilience. That’s your day job!4. Take Care of Yourself. Good physical and mental health boosts resilience. 5. Hang on to Humor. This is so true. A laugh goes a long way. Do you bring levity to the job?For more on these qualities as well as the amazing tale of Turkey Lady, read the whole article.last_img read more

6 STEPPS to viral success for your cause

first_imgby Kate Olsen, VP of Strategic Projects at Network for Good @Kate4GoodFellow cause marketers, wouldn’t you like a dollar for every time someone told you to ‘make it go viral?’ The beauty and frustration of virality is that you never know what will catch on. Context, creativity and conversation all have to align to get tens, hundreds or thousands of people to talk about your idea at the same time. We may not be able to make things go viral by sheer force of will, but Jonah Berger has a few ideas about how to engineer messages and campaigns that are more likely to spread. Below are a few tips from his new book Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Jonah outlines six key STEPPS that will transform your cause marketing messages into content that will entertain, inspire and incite people to spread the word.1. Social Currency: How will talking about your campaign affect the sharer’s status in his/her community? Will it make the sharer look knowledgeable, in the know, generous?Example: Packaging your message in a slick piece of media, such as the documentary Girl Rising, makes it easy for people to recommend – they seem intellectual, generous and pop culture savvy.2. Triggers: Can you relate your message to a context or habit that is already part of the sharer’s daily life? Examples: Workplace giving and volunteering as a social norm, giving a $1 at checkout, or this NYC Department of Health anti-soda campaign 3. Emotion: Does sharing your message move people emotionally? Can you touch the heart?Examples: Charity: Water puts the supporter as the hero of the campaign, showcasing the personal connection to the cause to share with social networks. This RedSnappa video epitomizes making an emotional connection with your message.4. Public: Can you add a social proof element to your message so people can see that others support your cause?Examples: Movember mustaches, breast cancer pink ribbons, Livestrong yellow bracelets, ‘I Voted’ stickers5. Practical Value: Does spreading your message help people help others? What is the impact you are driving?Example: Causes that make the supporter experience tangible include Dress for Success and Adopt A Classroom. Consumer campaigns that make a tangible donation alongside a useful product include One Pack = One Vaccine and FEED Projects.6. Stories: Is your message or campaign related to a larger narrative people want to share? Examples: Ben & Jerry’s went to congress with a 900 Pound Baked Alaska to protest drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Ben & Jerry’s made a social statement but used their product to illustrate their point, that makes the story sticky relevant and memorable.)Want to know how to craft a powerful story? Download this archived webinar presentation from Jonah Sachs on ‘Winning the Story Wars’.P.S. Thank you to PointWorthy for recommending this fabulous read.last_img read more

How to strengthen your nonprofit from the inside out

first_imgAn organization’s ability to accomplish its mission is only as strong as the organization’s infrastructure. As you fight to make the world a better place, how do you make sure you’re providing a nonprofit workplace that fosters fairness and complies with the necessary rules and regulations? I recently had a chance to catch up with the Aina Gutierrez, author of Walking the Walk: A Values Centered Approach to Building a Strong Non-Profitand Deputy Director of Interfaith Worker Justice. Her new book is an easily digestible, yet comprehensive, practical guide to organizing and improving internal operations and finances.NFG: What drove you to write this handbook? Aina Gutierrez: The national nonprofit I work for, Interfaith Worker Justice, has a network of more than 40 affiliates that are small organizations with less than 10 staff. Part of my job in the last twelve years has been to train these groups on the subjects outlined in the book (office administration, fundraising, financial management, board development and human resources). There were two trends I saw in talking to these groups and other small nonprofits I’ve been involved with. The first is that most small groups struggle with these “back office” issues because there were few training resources and materials for those that juggle multiple roles and don’t have the time (nor passion!) around building systems and procedures. And yet, many of them were really struggling with personnel issues and managing their budgets. It caused many staff and board leaders stress and burnout.The second is that many of the policies and procedures of small nonprofits don’t seem to reflect the values that the organizations espouse in their programmatic work. A number of staff work for low pay and few benefits. Most small organizations don’t have access to constructive feedback or support. I felt strongly about the need to reflect the organization’s values in the way it operates, and that a written resource might be the best way to do that.NFG: The book is geared toward small nonprofits with fewer than 10 employees. We work with many organizations who also have volunteer “staff” or staff members who are running their nonprofits on the side? Can you share some advice for those situations? AG: Sure. It’s pretty amazing, but the smallest nonprofit isn’t that much less complicated to run than a more established organization. Both have boards, raise money, file government forms and have policies. This can be tricky for groups without paid staff, or with part-time staff. There’s never enough money or time to accomplish everything.NFG: Can you share some advice for those situations?AG: So I would recommend that your readers do a quick assessment of each area outlined in the book and highlight parts that seem important to the organization that are missing. The book has chapters on staff, board, office systems and management, government requirements, finance, and fund development. And just start working on it, bit by bit. Include a few tasks in the organization’s workplan, or find a board member or two that are willing to help. There’s a lot of information online and from allied organizations that can be easily adapted and used for small nonprofits. It’s really just being aware of the back office work that needs to be done and doing a little bit at a time.NFG: There’s an entire section on building and managing your board. We hear from many nonprofits who struggle with this relationship. Why do you think this is often such a difficult piece of the puzzle?AG: I think any institution made up of passionate people who bring with them varying ideas and perspectives will not be without its share of internal struggles. An organization’s board is no different. Managing the board can be very rewarding, but it can also be frustrating at times.. And, as staff, it can sometimes feel like its not worth the time and energy to build a strong board, so it falls by the wayside.But, it is worth it. The key is to continue to recruit and develop leaders that care about the organization and have something wonderful to contribute to its success. If someone doesn’t have a skill set or experience to help, or creates a lot of drama, or brings a different agenda to the table, or doesn’t want to do any work – that person shouldn’t be on the board. It can be time consuming to recruit and keep the right people for the job, but a small group of people that really connect and are willing to work can help build the organization in some really incredible ways.NFG: What are some of the challenges you’ve observed in nonprofits who don’t have strong administrative systems? AG: Oh goodness, there are so many stories. Every nonprofit I’ve worked with has at least one horrible story that cost a lot of time, energy and usually money to fix. I certainly have made plenty of own mistakes in this area!The biggest challenge with organizations that don’t have strong systems is that it’s not an efficient way to operate. Pulling together a 300 person mailing shouldn’t be an all day job. But if your database is disorganized, the printer jams the envelopes, and you have to run to the post office to buy stamps, it can take hours. It impacts the important work that the group should be doing. And its super frustrating for the staff!Having weak systems can also cost a lot of money. I’ve worked with a number of groups that miss government filing deadlines and have to pay late fees. Or groups that order office supplies last minute and pay expensive overnight shipping for a meeting. Or, groups that miss grant deadlines because there are not good tracking systems for applications or reports. These things all cost the organization a lot of money, and there often isn’t money to go around.NFG: What are the payoffs for getting it right?AG: One of the biggest rewards of those with good administrative systems is that they are able to engage more people in their work. Organizations that are able to efficiently communicate with their constituents and potential supporters via email or direct mail are more likely to receive more donations and support than those that don’t communicate. Donors that are assured the organization is run well will continue to give and often give more. Board members that are better connected or informed about the work will more likely be better engaged and provide more help.Having good administrative systems is really the backbone of any strong nonprofit organization. It has a direct impact on its programmatic work and financial viability.NFG: This book is obviously a great guide for emerging organizations, can established nonprofits learn a trick or two as well? Should these organizations re-assess their processes? How often?AG: Yes, definitely. I encourage readers of more established groups to first review the policies and practices outlined in the book and make sure they have similar structures in place. Second, take a look at their own policies through a values-centered lens and see if there are areas that don’t reflect the organization’s values. And third, consider if its time to update a few things. For example, my organization recently looked at our healthcare plan to see if we should try the state-based exchange through the Affordable Care Act. It didn’t make sense for us to change right now, but it is likely something that will impact our healthcare benefits in the future. Even long time organizations should try and keep up on policy changes that could benefit small nonprofits.All organizations should look at the administrative and financial progress made every year. Don’t look at everything, but when the organization is making its annual goals and objectives, it should include some work on internal policies and procedures. Incorporate this work incrementally into the organization’s board and staff and new things will be done every year. Progress is something to feel good about!Thanks to Aina for her insight and for providing a handy guide to policies and processes that can sometimes feel daunting. For more tips and insight, check out Walking the Walk: A Values Centered Approach to Building a Strong Non-Profit.last_img read more

5 Online Fundraising Tools that Should Be Part of Your Donation Management Software

first_img5 Online Fundraising Tools that Should Be Part of Your Donation Management SoftwareBy the time a potential donor gets to your donation page, your organization has invested a significant amount of outreach effort in them. Make sure your online fundraising tools are user-friendly so your donation page doesn’t drive them away. If a page looks unprofessional or is difficult to navigate, users are not going to try to sort it out. They are going to leave the page—without making the donation they had intended to.A great call to action will be ignored if the user becomes frustrated with the page. You want the online donation experience to build trust and make donors comfortable. In order to make your donation management software as engaging and successful at increasing donations as possible, make sure you integrate these five online fundraising tools:Branding: Your constituents recognize your brand, so your donation page should include the same logo, font, colors and themes as the rest of your marketing material. When a donor clicks on a “donate now” button, they should arrive at a page that looks like the rest of your site, so that they are comfortable that they are in the right place for giving money to your organization.Mobile: 31% of all website traffic is users on mobile devices. A donation page should be “responsive,” meaning it is designed to display properly on mobile phones and tablets as well as computer monitors. (Don’t worry about the technical aspects, effective fundraising software has this feature built in—you just have to make sure you choose one that is optimized for mobile.)Call to Action: Your website and email communications should always include a “call to action.” You have to tell people what you want them to do. Your donation page should also include a call to action that relates specifically to making a donation to support your cause.Tracking: One benefit of reaching out to donors online is that you are easily able to track the effectiveness of your outreach. This is how we know how much traffic comes from mobile devices, or what percentage of emails get opened. This is an invaluable resource for nonprofits. Pay attention to what parts of your website get looked at, and which emails get opened. By comparing the results of various campaigns, and different approaches (email, website, etc.) you can see what call to action gets the most response—and the highest donation rate.Testing: Online marketers have found that in some ways, the virtual world reflects the physical world, and people respond the same way online as they do in person. But more often, people behave differently online, and there is no way to predict what way that will be. For example, subtle differences in headlines have been found to make big differences in the rates at which emails are opened. Your donor management software should allow you to compare results from changes that you make so that you know immediately if something has gone wrong—or right!Since 2001, Network for Good has helped over 100,000 nonprofit organizations raise more than $1 billion online. To discuss how we can help you get the most out of your fundraising efforts, contact us today or call 1-888-284-7978 x1.last_img read more

Millennials as Your Secret Weapon

first_imgNonprofits are finding new ways to tap the most vocal supporters outside their core networks to become active supporters of their causes. These supporters, or peer influencers, could be even more important than your brand. While young people may be inclined to “like” or share your existing information, you must respect the fact that they are capable of much more. Focus instead on inspiring Millennials to create and share their own perspectives. Give them the opportunity to take greater ownership over how you are perceived in the world. Peer influencers can help establish trust, exchange ideas and information, and demonstrate relevance. You can begin to embrace peer influencers and make them work for you by following these steps:Consider working with influencers so you can know the message they are sending while giving them room to adapt and remix it.Create opportunities for influencers to be creative, and recognize their efforts when they have success.Make sure your website and landing pages are easy to read and access, or the influence will not work.Monitor the reach of your influence (retweets, etc.).Help your staff understand and leverage the power of influencers.At the end of the day, Millennials are highly selective about what organizations they engage with in a crowded and noisy marketplace. Even though peer influence might attract a Millennial to click or read, it might not be enough to persuade them to follow your social channels. The key to reaching and engaging Millennials isn’t to do more traditional, expensive advertising and marketing campaigns or flashy, creative social efforts that emerge from inside your operation. It’s about finding a way into conversations between Millennials, and then letting those conversations take their course.Adapted from Network for Good’s eBook “The Millennial Donor Playbook,” by Kari Saratovsky, Chief Engagement Officer at Third Plateau Social Impact Strategieslast_img read more

6 Things You Need for a Successful Year-End Email

first_imgCreating 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.last_img read more

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