If you feel the need to strengthen your financial management savvy, check out StrongNonprofits.org, a new website featuring free tools, how-tos and guides.Developed in partnership between The Wallace Foundation and Fiscal Management Associates, the site contains more than 64 resources for anyone involved in nonprofit financial planning, monitoring, operations or oversight, and particularly nonprofit afterschool program providers. Features range from a nonprofit accounting guide, to an article on sensible growth strategies, to a podcast on how to understand the true costs of programming. The site also offers an array of helpful tools, including the “Go or No Go Decision Tool,” a questionnaire that helps an organization decide whether accepting a contract would help – or hurt – the group’s bottom line.The site includes:• A Five-Step Guide to Budget Development—a presentation that describes a team approach to budgeting essentials such as setting financial goals, forecasting results and monitoring progress.• Budgeting and Financial Planning Tools—Excel-based templates to provide organizations with a framework for building program-based budgets, projecting cash flow, and evaluating revenue scenarios.• Guide to Effective Board Leadership—an easy-to-follow description of how nonprofit boards can do the necessary financial oversight of their organizations.You can find the site here.
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.
by 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.
Now create your own giving pyramid and think it through. If it feels ambitious but achievable, then it is a great place to start with a first year goal. If it seems too easy to achieve, boost the dollar amount. Too much of a stretch? Dial back.Leverage with matching fundsOne of the most powerful tools on #GivingTuesday is matching funds. Consider identifying a lead donor for your #GivingTuesday campaign who is willing to donate marketing fuel to your campaign engine, with matching funds.Even a small amount of matching fund dollars can provide significant benefit to a campaign. If you can raise as little as 5% – 10% of your total fundraising goal in matching funds, there are simple but effective ways to use this to amplify your campaign. These are a few ways to deploy the dollars effectively: · Match a % of dollar raised up to the amount of matching funds you have. So if you have $5,000 against a $50,000 goal, match $1 for every $10 raised until you reach your goal.· Match the first gifts every hour up to an hourly amount. So, if you have $10,000 in matching funds, match the first $1,000 each hour for the busiest ten hours of the day.· Match only gifts up to a certain amount. If one of your goals is number of donors, rather than just dollars, cap your matching funds at $100 or another amount that reflects your likely average gift.· Match gifts that further other objectives, like donors that set up recurring gifts. In this instance, consider doing a bonus match for a monthly donation, since these are an organization’s most engaged supporters over time. Your goal will be one of the most visible anchors of your #GivingTuesday campaign, so make it a motivator. It should be big and meaningful enough to get people excited to work hard. If it’s too attainable, it will feel like just another day at the office, and it will be hard to motivate your team.Everything you do for the next eight weeks depends on motivation and focus; set that goal today, and start planning your giving party on December 2nd! Party on!If you’re a fundraiser, you’re seeing news about #GivingTuesday everywhere.And the buzz is for good reason – #GivingTuesday is not only the launch of the giving season, but has become an international celebration of generosity. And your donors, prospects, staff and volunteers are likely to be hearing a lot about the big day – from you or someone. So, it’s time to solidify your #GivingTuesday plans.GivingTuesday, when done well, can have all the excitement and engagement of a great party, while building awareness and donations for your cause. It can also carry good feelings forward through the December giving season to boost your overall year-end fundraising efforts.What will make it a great day?Like a great party, the secrets to #GivingTuesday success combine great planning with a little magic. And like a party theme, your campaign goal is the part of the plan from which everything else stems. If you ran a #GivingTuesday campaign last year, you have a benchmark against which to think about 2014. If you’re in your first year, setting goals will be an educated best guess. Achieving your first year goal is where the (Planning + Luck) = Success equation comes in. Dollars are likely to be one of the key elements you measure, but it doesn’t need to be your only goal. These are a few goals to consider instead of, or in addition to, funds raised:· Number of donors· Number of new donors· Number of volunteers/hours (if you are including an activity)· Number of recurring donors· % Participation among key groups – like staffBuild a pyramidEven if you don’t have prior experience with #GivingTuesday, you can do some predictive planning around logical paths to your goals. Giving pyramids are a simple way to add a quantitative element to planning your dollar goal. They let you sanity check your goal by putting it on paper, rather than just guessing.How do you build a giving pyramid? Let’s take one example: Your nonprofit would like to raise $50,000 on #GivingTuesday. If you’re a small nonprofit, just eliminate zeroes from this example.Here is one illustration of how to predict a path to success with a giving pyramid:· $50,000 Goal· 8,500 donors in data file· 255 Donors if you achieve 3% participation (and you’ll definitely attract new donors too, so this should be a safe bet)So how might this set up in a giving pyramid?
5 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.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on July 5, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The June issue of the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition published by our colleagues at icddr,b focuses on the neglected issue of maternal morbidities.Introducing the issue, Mary Ellen Stanton and Neal Brandes of USAID write:This series of papers presents, for the first time in two geographic areas, a comprehensive snapshot of the short- and long-term consequences of acute maternal morbidity. The icddr,b surveillance site in Matlab, Bangladesh, has a unique set of records of the reproductive health of individual women that provide data accumulated for decades. This was selected as an ideal site to draw upon the database to examine retrospectively long-term and prospectively selected short-term consequences of maternal ill-health. This is the first attempt to obtain greater precision on the consequences of maternal ill-health, using a robust methodology and an extensive dataset, with added qualitative studies and postpartum physical examinations of women following childbirth. In addition, we have included a study that provides contrasting and additional information from Action Research and Training for Health in rural Rajasthan, India.In an editorial, Marge Koblinsky et al. note how little we currently know about maternal morbidities:While the estimates of maternal mortality and its consequences are built on relatively limited data, women who suffer from direct obstetric complications that kill—obstructed or prolonged labour, puerperal sepsis, septic abortion, severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia, and postpartum haemorrhage—are estimated to be far higher in number yet less well-documented. The global estimates range from 15% of pregnant women suffering from complications—about 20 million women annually—to 1-2% in resource-poor settings when the definition is restricted to the most severe morbidities.Even less is known about the numbers and description of the consequences women may suffer as a result of pregnancy and childbirth and the life threatening obstetric complications. These consequences—maternal morbidities or disabilities—are estimated to affect 15-20 million women worldwide each year.The other papers published in the issue explore:the types and severities of maternal morbidities in Matlab and Chandpur, Bangladesh;social, economic, and cultural factors associated with maternal morbidities;perceptions and consequences of cesarean births;psychological well-being during pregnancy;physical and emotional violence against women with maternal disabilities;the impact of maternal morbidities on child development;the economic cost of maternal morbidities;community-based methods for understanding maternal morbidities; andthe physical, economic, and psychological consequences of morbidities in the first year postpartum.Share this:
Posted on May 24, 2013March 8, 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)The MHTF is packing up and heading to Malaysia for the Women Deliver conference May 28-30. Women Deliver conferences always provides a unique forum for advocates, donors, researchers, programmers and policy makers to come together address a range of issues affecting women and girls.This year’s conference comes in the midst of a number of major developments for the global maternal health agenda. In the past year, the London Summit on Family Planning generated $4 billion in new investments in family planning, and launched the FP2020 campaign. This is big news for maternal health, since one third of maternal deaths could be prevented just by addressing the unmet need for family planning. And, the 1000 Day countdown to the 2015 MDG deadline began amid ongoing negotiations for the post-2015 global development agenda. In fact, in just the past week, the World Health Organization released the 2013 World Health Statistics report – which shows that maternal mortality continues to decline by around three percent annually – half of what is needed to reach MDG5 by 2015; the World Health Assembly began discussions of the recommendations of the UN Commission on Lifesaving Commodities for Women and Children; and the inaugural International Day to End Obstetric Fistula was marked.As we look ahead to the conference, we look forward to hearing:What will Melinda Gates say about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s family planning strategy?What will UN leaders and grassroots advocates say about how maternal health and the post-2015 global development framework?What will this year’s Countdown to 2015 country profiles show about which countries are accelerating progress toward improving maternal health?How will UNFPA’s new initiatives on family planning and maternal health foster new partnerships and innovative technologies to expand access and quality of health services?What discussions, announcements and events are you looking forward to? Please join us in person and online next week:On Tuesday, May 28, Ana Langer, Director the Women and Health Initiative and Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, will take part in the Presidential Session on Women’s Health on at 14:45 in the Plenary Hall.Throughout the conference, the MHTF will be at booth #201.Our colleagues at the Wilson Center will be blogging highlights from each day’s events.We will be sharing a special Women Deliver edition of the MH Buzz next week to highlight new research findings and other top news for the conference.Women Deliver will be webcasting videos of many sessions live, and will save videos as archives for viewing later. Plus, the Women Deliver website has links to tons of other ways that you can participate – even if you cannot make it to Malaysia. Check out their ongoing blog series on the 2013 conference, the conference agenda, and schedule of partner and side events.Whether you’re participating in the conference online or in person, please share your thoughts with us: the MHTF will be cross-posting blog posts and re-tweeting maternal health news throughout the conference. Follow us on Twitter @MHTF or email any blog posts that you would like us to consider for guest or cross-posting to Kate Mitchell: email@example.com or Sarah Blake: firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Spring is in the air and it’s the perfect time to launch a fundraising campaign. Use this time to engage and renew donors, attract prospects, build awareness, and plant the seeds that sustain your organization. Tailor your spring campaign to:Raise funds to support a new initiative.Expand the impact of your annual gala.Boost your end-of-fiscal-year giving.You’re just 30 days away from launching a winning spring campaign. Use the steps found in our 30-Day Spring Fundraising Plan to plan and execute your spring campaign and raise more money before summer begins. Want a taste of what’s in the guide? Here are three areas you can’t afford to miss.Establish Action PlansTo create the most compelling spring campaign that will generate the greatest impact—financial, engagement, awareness—consider your fundraising and nonfundraising objectives, and then answer the following questions:What are you trying to accomplish?What would the ideal results look like?Whom are you trying to target?What do you most want them to do for your organization?What call to action would motivate your target audience?Would a one-time donation or recurring gift raise the most funds?Choose Your Focus or ThemeA good fundraising campaign calls for so much more than simply communicating your organization’s financial needs. Develop a campaign theme and call to action that is compelling, donor-centric, and tells a personal story.Focus your appeal on an individual and their story to better resonate with donors on an emotional level. Incorporate photos that capture who your donor can help and what they can achieve through your mission and programs. Imagery can create a powerful attachment between your donor and your subject. Use similar imagery on your donation page to continue that connection through the entire donation process.Create Appeals and AssetsThe design of your appeal is the heart and soul of your spring campaign. Its impact and effectiveness will directly determine your fundraising results. Create an appeal that:Features donor-driven, inspiring content.Shares a relevant story that climaxes with an emotional hook.Focuses on the impact a donor’s gift will have.Specifies a call to action with a sense of urgency.Include images and materials that demonstrate value and quality.Want more spring campaign tips? Download the 30-Day Spring Fundraising Plan today!Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
The neighborhood around the JR Tennoji Station in Osaka, known as Abeno/Tennoji, was a place where tourists could experience the true atmosphere of working-class Osaka. However, after Abeno Harukas, Japan’s tallest skyscraper, was erected in the area, the vibe totally changed, and that common-denominator appeal has made way for a modern shopping spot. With hotels and museums, including the Harukas 300 observatory inside Abeno Harukas, the area has become a recommended stop for any visitor to Osaka, Japanese or international.In April 2015, the Foreign Customer’s Salon opened, with services designed to cater to international visitors. The Foreign Customer’s Salon is split into the “Service Salon” and the “Experience Salon,” and offers international tourists ways to have a more comfortable trip in Osaka.Get Sales Tax Exemptions and Have Goods Delivered at The Service SalonAt the Service Salon, you can undergo the process for getting sales tax exemptions, store your bags, and have purchases delivered to your hotel (Osaka Marriott Hotel/Tennoji Hotel/Sheraton Hotel Osaka) so that you can enjoy a stress-free shopping experience in Abeno Harukas. The Salon also offers regional tour information, so stop by if you’re not sure where to go in Osaka. The staff members speak English, Chinese and Korean so you don’t have to worry about not speaking Japanese either.Enjoy Traditional Japanese Culture at the Experience SalonThe Experience Salon is an venue for various Japanese cultural events. Previous events have included tea tastings and sweets tastings. There are future plans for other events that convey other interesting things about Japan, such as Tanabata decorating and traditional handicrafts. Check the Abeno Harukas Kintetsu calendar (Japanese) to learn about the ongoing events.Souvenirs for Sale at the Kokumin Drug StoreThe Kokumin drug store opened on the same floor at around the same time. Naturally it has all the standard items stocked, such as medicine and cosmetics, as well as appliances and souvenirs, so you can get all your shopping done here.Popular Hello Kitty goods include cell phone straps and towels. Kokumin also sells Japanese products like chopsticks and fans.We recommend these traditional items if you want something truly Japanese!The array of green tea-flavored sweets, along with a variety of rare products, will be of great interest to tourists. The Foreign Customer’s Salon was created to accommodate the increase in international visitors to Abeno Harukas as a new sightseeing spot. While Osaka has plenty of famous tourist areas like Namba and Umeda, why not go see what Abeno has to offer?InformationAbeno Harukas Kintetsu Foreign Customer’s SalonAddress: Osaka, Osaka, Abeno, Abenosuji, Abeno Harukas Kintetsu Wing-kan 3.5FHours: 10:00-20:30 (some floors inside the department store may have different closing hours, so confirm beforehand)Other Languages: English, Chinese, KoreanAccess: Tennoji Subway Station (Tanimachi, Midosuji Lines), JR Tennoji Station, Osaka Abenobashi Station (Kintetsu Minami Osaka Line), Tennojiekimae Station (Hankai Uemachi Line)Phone: 06-6624-1111Homepage: Abeno Harukas Kintetsu
Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum – A Paradise for Ramen LoversFor ramen enthusiasts who have eating an authentic bowl in Japan on their to-do list, a visit to the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum is a must.Called “Ra-Haku” (short for Ramen Hakubutsukan) in Japanese, this museum is like a food theme park, with a collection of famous ramen shops from all over Japan. Here, you can taste some of the most popular noodles nationwide, from Hokkaido to Kyushu. In this article, we feature popular ramen shops in the museum, along with other things to do.Two Recommended Ramen ShopsThe first floor of the museum contains a gallery and museum shop. The first and second basement floors have eight ramen shops (as of July 2019) where you can enter and order food. Listed below are two popular and recommended ramen shops.If you wish to taste ramen from different shops, we recommend ordering the mini-ramen size. The mini-ramen is a slightly smaller portion and is a little more than half the standard size. It’s perfect for those who wish to try more than one type of ramen or for people with a smaller appetite.At Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, all shops have the mini-ramen size available to order.Some shops at Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum offer vegetarian and vegan options and/or non-pork ramen. See the official website for the latest details.1. Hacchan Ramen (Fukuoka City, Fukuoka)The first shop is Hacchan Ramen from Fukuoka Prefecture, famous for tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen.Started in 1968 in Fukuoka, the main restaurant operates exclusively at night, between 21:00 and 2:30 since its opening. With no website, Hacchan is known only by the most dedicated ramen fans.The staff of Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum negotiated for around 25 years for Hacchan to take a spot. The shop owner refused many times before accepting the offer and adding their location in March 2019. With increasing visitors to Japan and the Tokyo Olympics coming, Hacchan decided to take on the challenge and expand into Yokohama.Try Hacchan’s Rich Tonkotsu Soup 15 Best Ramen Shops In Asakusa And Tokyo Skytree – Chosen By An Expert! Yokohama – Make The Most Of A Day Spent In Minato Mirai! Read also Tsukemen And Abura Soba Noodles – Differences And How To Eat Them The inside of the museum is designed like the streets of Japan in 1958 during sundown. 1958 is the year when the world’s first instant ramen was invented.The subdued, dark ceiling colors, and decorations give a relaxing evening feeling to the museum. There are also movie theaters, allies, and public baths that will make you think you’ve slipped back in time as you walk around.The posters and signs inside are carefully made to match the atmosphere and are great for taking and sharing photos with friends.Retro Dagashi Snacks at Yuuyake Shoten!A must-visit is Yuyake Shoten, a shop selling cheap retro, Japanese-style candy and snacks known as dagashi.You can find classic Japanese snacks such as Baby Star Ramen (pictured above, to the right) and squid snacks in the shape of paper money. Prices start from as low as 10 yen, making it’s easy to pick up a few items to try.If you’re lucky, you may be able to meet the joyful store manager. He may joke with you, saying things like, “here is your 100,000 yen change,” while giving you a 100 yen coin.He sometimes even jokes in English so non-Japanese speakers can enjoy the humor. Be sure to stop by during your visit to the museum.Yuyake Shoten: http://www.raumen.co.jp/floor/dagashi.html (Japanese)Access to Shin-Yokohama Raumen MuseumThe video above shows how to get to the museum from the closest station, Shin Yokohama Station. Use the Yokohama Subway Line for convenience; it is a minute walk from exit number eight. Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum View Informationmuseum1-Day Admission Price: Adults (middle school age and above) 310 yen; children (elementary school students) 100 yen; seniors (age 60 and above) 100 yen.In cooperation with Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum Mini Ramen (570 yen with tax)Hacchan’s ramen has a rich tonkotsu broth made with a generous amount of pork bones. The soup is boiled on high heat in a specialized pot and cooked until the bones melt. The resulting flavor is full without a strong pork smell.To emphasize the soup’s deep flavors, the ramen is topped simply with scallions and char-siu. The richness is apparent from the first sip, so if you plan on trying several bowls of ramen, start with an empty stomach.On the table, you will find red pickled ginger, garlic, and soy sauce to add to your ramen. The ginger provides a lighter but delicious taste. Try adding different seasonings to enjoy a new flavor as you enjoy your bowl.Hacchan Ramen: http://www.raumen.co.jp/shop/hacchanramen.html (Japanese)2. Rishiri Ramen Miraku (Hokkaido Rishiri Island)A second recommendation is Rishiri Ramen Miraku, a restaurant from Hokkaido. From Yokohama, it is approximately an eight-hour journey to the main shop on Rishiri Island in Hokkaido, requiring a plane and ferry ride to get to.The main restaurant location normally operates for only two and a half hours, but this extremely rare ramen can be enjoyed at the museum.Delicious Broth Made from Rishiri KelpMini toasted soy sauce ramen (570 yen with tax)The staple dish is the toasted soy sauce ramen. Many visitors come to Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum just to sample this.The secret behind its popularity is the Rishiri kelp dashi (broth) used in the soup. The exquisite broth made from Rishiri kelp has a slight saltiness, used at high-end restaurants in Kyoto and Osaka. The Rishiri kelp broth mixes with pork, chicken, or toasted soy sauce soup broth to create a delicious harmony of flavors.The dark-colored soup has a smooth yet rich flavor without any heaviness. It complements the firm noodles well, creating a delicious dish.We recommend topping it with tororo kelp (additional 100 yen). The tororo is another form of Rishiri kelp, and adds a refreshing extra layer of flavor to the rich soup.Rishiri Ramen Miraku: http://www.raumen.co.jp/shop/rishiri.htmlSlip Back in Time to the Showa EraMost people come to enjoy delicious ramen at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, but there areas where you can enjoy different activities. The interior of the museum is in a classic Japanese Showa-style, revealing what Japan used to look like in the mid-twentieth century. There is also a dagashi candy shop and a street performance area where magic shows and Japanese story-telling are held.It is a great place to walk around while waiting for vacancies at ramen shops or even after your meal.