Communities in Control

Our Community is running it’s annual Communities in Control conference in May 2017 in Moonee Ponds, Victoria.This year, the theme is “What Makes Healthy Communities? People Have the Power!” and brings together a stellar lineup of community sector thinkers, leaders and visionaries.  A particular highlight of the conference this year will be Andrew Denton’s delivery of the 2017 Joan Kirner Social Justice Oration in conversation with ABC News 24’s Breakfast co-host Virginia Trioli.

I started going in 2014 – it was awesome – so book here!

Advice on Beating the Heat

summer sun

Everyone as at risk during extremely hard weather but some people have a higher risk than others of becoming ill.  It is very important that those of high risk take extra care of themselves during hot weather.

Here is some simple advice to help you survive and thrive in Summer:

  1. Keep hydrated:  Drink regularly.  Have plenty of cold water and ice in the fridge.  Carry a bottle of cold water with you when you’re away from home.
  2. Eat sensibly:  Eat cold light foods such as salads and fruit, rather than hot or heavy options.  Avoid salty foods.  Try to eat normally even if you don’t feel like eating as your body needs energy to cope with the heat.
  3. Behave accordingly:  Follow your doctor’s advice if you have any medical conditions.  Keep physical activities to a minimum.  Avoid strenuous activities like gardening, home improvements, or sport.  Rest if you feel tired to conserve your energy.
  4. Stay cool inside:  Stay inside and out of the heat as much as possible.  Draw blinds and curtains to keep the heat out of the house during the day.  Open the house up when the sun goes down.  Use a fan or air conditioner set to cool.  Splash cold water on your face and the back of your neck.  Take a cool shower or bath or use a wet flannel or towel to wipe yourself down.  Freeze a damp cloth to use as a cold compress at night to keep your neck cool.
  5. Stay protected outside:  If you must go outside, go in the early morning or the evening when it is cooler.  Whether the sun is shining or not, use effective sunscreen, wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella, wear light-weight light-coloured loose-fitting long-sleeved cotton clothing, and wear effective sun glasses.  Visit air-conditioned libraries, galleries, theatres, shopping malls, or cultural centres.
  6. Check on others:  Monitor babies, children, elderly neighbours, and pets for any symptoms of heat-stress as they tend to be more vulnerable to the heat.

International Day of Forests – 21/Mar/2016

International Day of Forests 2015.03.21The ACT-ABC-Hub – has helped plant 246.0 native trees in Australian forests by supporting Greenfleet, one of Australia’s most trusted environmental charities.
 
As we join the global community to celebrate the International Day of Forests on March 21, we are proud of our commitment to reduce our impact on climate change by offsetting our emissions with Greenfleet’s native forests.
 
Forests and trees sustain and protect us in invaluable ways. They provide the clean air that we breathe and the water that we drink. They host and safeguard the planet’s biodiversity and act as our natural defence against climate change.
 
Join us and thousands of individuals and organisations who take practical climate action with Greenfleet and celebrate the International Day of Forests by donating to this special cause.

NFP Lessons for 2015 from NonProfit With Balls

NWB15 very interesting lessons learned identified by NonProfit With Balls in 2015.

  1. An organization not built on strong values will crumble like dried hummus.
  2. An elephant in the room is most destructive when it is ignored.
  3. Diversity means differences, including of perspectives.
  4. There is more than one way to do activism.
  5. Anyone of any age can be totally awesome or totally crappy.
  6. The perception of who is leading matters as much as who is leading.
  7. Bigotry is like getting something stuck in your teeth.
  8. Not taking risks is one of the biggest risks of all.
  9. If there’s writing on the wall, don’t whitewash it.
  10. We cannot compare a nonprofit platypus to a for-profit porcupine.
  11. When we use silver bullets, we often shoot ourselves in the foot.
  12. Donors are looking for authentic partnerships.
  13. The squeaky wheel gets the worm, and it is inequitable.
  14. If no one is listening, it’s probably because you’re not either.
  15. A unicorn in the hand is worth two working in real estate.

Do yourself a favour, have a laugh and learn!

Gugelev on Endgame Theory

icda-headerMany organisations assume that the best way to increase their impact is to scale up – get bigger, service more areas, reach more people.  But what if the answer lies in thinking differently, not thinking bigger?  What role will your not-for-profit organisation play in the overall solution to the problem you set out to tackle?

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Endgame Theory authors Alice Gugelev and Andrew Stern proposed six possible endgames:

  • Sustained service: You keep on doing what you’ve always done. This is the default endgame for many not-for-profits – yet it’s not always the right one
  • Open source: You invest in research and development, then share what works by serving as a knowledge hub for other organisations
  • Replication: You demonstrate what works, then persuade other not-for-profits to deliver it
  • Government adoption: You demonstrate what works, then persuade the government to deliver it
  • Commercial adoption: You demonstrate what works, then persuade private companies to deliver it
  • Mission achievement: You achieve your mission, and the job is done, everywhere, for all time. This only works if your mission is well defined and plausibly achievable – for example, “to eradicate malaria”.

So, if you’re a not-for-profit organisation, what’s your endgame?

The Institute of Company Directors Australia is putting on two November seminars only in Melbourne and Sydney featuring the article’s co-author, U.S.-based social entrepreneur and impact acceleration expert Alice Gugelev.  More information can be obtained here.

Hootville’s de Hoedt on Public Speaking

Public Speaking PyramidOur Community published this short piece of advice about public speaking from Hootville Communications head honcho Brett de Hoedt in its latest Our Community Matters ezine:

So what makes a “good speaker” “good”?  Well Brett took a cue from nutritionists who – like the Egyptians – created a pyramid long ago that still gets referred to today.  Say hello to the public speaking pyramid.  It all starts with knowledge. Note the lack of whole grains, dairy or legumes in this pyramid!

Sign up here for more great advice

Disruptive Media on Annual Reports

DM-logo-altOur Community published this short but compelling piece of advice about annual reports from Disruptive Media in its latest Our Community Matters ezine:

  1. Make your annual report an all-rounder
    Your annual report can be a multi-purpose publication that works as a marketing tool across the entire year, so you get maximum mileage from the time and money you’ve invested in it. This type of report can help you strengthen your brand, raise your profile, improve fundraising opportunities and connect with the people you want to reach.
  2. Go digital
    Many organisations publish their annual reports online. Not only does this save on printing and distribution costs, it also seriously extends the value of what you’re producing.  Creating a digital report opens up opportunities to reuse content across social media, allowing you to extend your reach and share your story with a wider audience.
  3. Find a theme
    Giving your annual report a theme is a great way to make it more memorable. The theme will guide the style of writing, photo selection and overall design. Using a theme keeps your message consistent and binds the report together. It also makes for much more interesting reading.
  4. Create a story
    People love stories. There’s something incredibly powerful about a personal account that just can’t be matched by cold facts and figures. So look for ways to thread stories throughout your report. Quotes, interviews and short stories are great ways to show how you’ve made a difference.  Remember, too, that stories don’t have to be confined to print – videos make compelling, highly shareable content.
  5. Use quality photos
    Just as a good yarn is irresistible, so too do photos have spectacular pulling power. Well-placed photos break up large chunks of text and can breathe life into an otherwise dull report. Photos also connect with people on an emotional level, which can help them to better relate to what your organisation is about. The visual story of your annual report is just as important as the words, so it’s worth investing in good-quality photos throughout the year. As a bonus, of course, you can get extra mileage out of great photos in your other communications too.

Sign up here for more great advice

Abby Clemence on Sponsorship

Infinity Sponsorship logoWhat can you do to give your sponsorship proposal the best chance at success?  Here are 5 Laws of Sponsorship Proposals from Abby Clemence at Infinity Sponsorship.  Use them wisely:

1.  Save Your Precious Time
Never send out a ‘cold’ proposal without first starting a conversation.  You’ll save time, money and heartache if you pick up the phone first and ask questions to discover whether there is a ‘fit’ between your organisations.

2.  It’s Not About Your Needs
A potential sponsor knows what you want.  Make your proposal about how they can become more successful by aligning with you.  It’s not about logo overload all over your website.

3.  A Proposal is a Taster
It’s a discussion starter, not the final word on sponsorship with your event or organisation. Make sure you convey the message that you want to dive deeper in conversation once they’ve read your proposal.

4.  Avoid “Logo Overload”
If all you can offer is logo placement, you have misunderstood the power of the sponsorship relationship.

5.  Get it Professionally Designed
Just do it.  Your proposal is competing with untold numbers of other not-for-profits, events and marketing opportunities for sponsors.  You’ll want to stand out. Trust Abby!

 

COTA on Volunteers

COTA LogoAustralian volunteers are essential to society and many charities would struggle to survive without them – but the benefits don’t only flow one-way.  Here are a few interesting points about volunteers from the Council of the Ageing (COTA):

  • Of the 600,000 Not-For-Profit organisations in Australia, only 60,000 have paid staff
  • Volunteers annually contribute $200 Billion to the Australian economy
  • The numbers of volunteers in Australia has doubled from 3.2 Million in 1995 to 6.1 Million in 2010
  • The rate of volunteering by young people in Australia has increased from 16% in 1995 to 27% in 2010
  • Volunteers are happier, healthier, live longer and sleep better than those who don’t volunteer.

So…what are you waiting for?