Monthly Archives: November 2011
|November 30, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Management, Philanthropy, Research||
Could you be putting off potential supporters by over-telling your story or does an abundance of information make people want to support your cause even more?
A study recently published by the American Psychological Association in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology concludes that people tend to pull back from learning more about complicated, far-reaching problems.
The article, On the Perpetuation of Ignorance: System Dependence, System Justification, and the Motivated Avoidance of Sociopolitical Information by Steven Shepherd and Aaron C. Kay, explains that when people lack knowledge about complex, in-real-time problems they are actually less likely to seek out additional information on the topic than to not do so. In fact, when faced with negative information about large-scale problems – social, economic, environmental – study participants were less motivated to educate themselves about them and instead preferred to put their faith in bureaucracy (the government) to mitigate the problems away.
If unfamiliarity with a topic is associated with being more likely to support another entity taking care of it, it might be tempting for nonprofits to take this evidence and run with a “don’t worry about the facts and figures and all that silly data – we’ll take care of everything with your ($) help” message tone that smacks of condescension and actually may not resonate with supporters. However, too much information, especially negative information, may also turn people off to learning more about the problem and your mission. Paragraphs (and frankly, sometimes just graphs) describing the scope and nature of a problem and how your services assist in solving it are enough to lull some into a deep sleep and along with them, your giving campaign.
How can you link large-scale problems to the needs of the individuals and families you serve each day? Should we just stick to the personal narrative, the heart-tugged struggles and successes at the individual level and forgo mentioning the meta?
What do you think – how can this research be applied to nonprofit messaging?
|November 28, 2011||Posted by M. P. under News||
The video below is a collection of responses from Occupy New York attendees to the question: Are nonprofits part of the solution? Now, I am not exactly sure what solution is being referred to, but I’d hanker a guess that the concept is as varied among the interviewees as their comments.
I have been pondering the similarities and distinctions between nonprofits and the Occupy movement for a few weeks. I hope to write more about it (specific to Pittsburgh) in the future, but for now, what do you think? Are nonprofit organizations part of “the solution?”
How much do service and advocacy nonprofits and the Occupy movement have in common?
What can one learn from the other?
|November 22, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, Research, Youth Development||
Data from the groundbreaking National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NATSCEV) capture, in unprecedented detail, the amount and type of violence youth witness within the home. More than a ¼ of children have experienced the terror of at least one episode of familial violence in their lifetime. Over 11 percent of youth reported witnessing or overhearing violence – either verbal threats and attacks or physical aggression – in the past year while 6.6 percent were exposed to physical violence between their parents during the same time period.
The majority of cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) were reported to have a male perpetrator (78 percent), most often the father or other male (boyfriends not living with the mother, etc). Over 1/5 (22.6) of youth witnesses to IPV reported incidents with only female perpetrators and 8.6 percent reported witnessing violent acts featuring both male and female perpetrators.
When asked what immediate reactions, if any, they had toward the violence, nearly half of the children responding to the survey had attempted to halt the violence by yelling (49.9 percent) while 43.9 percent attempted to leave the vicinity and less that ¼ of respondents (23.6) called for assistance.
Reports, both scientific and anecdotal, linking tough economic conditions to violence and abuse within the home have been widely reported in the media since the downturn took hold. This study provides compelling evidence of the need for continued and improved screening protocols, violence prevention, and intervention methods to address the violence children are exposed to within the home, in times of economic growth or decline.
The brief Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence by Sherry Hamy, David Finkelhor, Heather Turner and Richard Ormrod discusses the survey results in-depth and is available in PDF form at the National Criminal Reference Service website.
|November 17, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Management|
What makes a job a fulfilling job?
What do nonprofit professionals expect from their organizations?
Are nonprofits meeting the needs of their employees?
During the summer of 2011, Professionals for NonProfits (PNP) surveyed employees and potential employees (those looking for jobs) in the greater New York City nonprofit sector on how they felt about their current job and what elements of employment they considered essential.
Essentials & Nonessentials:
Among the employment factors considered most essential, respondents listed respect and trust from management, a compelling organizational mission, a fiscally stable organization and competitive compensation packages in line with those offered by similar agencies. Least essential factors included staff diversity, child care, and casual dress codes.
In Need Of:
When asked to identify any essential factors that were currently unmet, the majority of participants were frustrated with office politics, with 74 percent claiming that internal politics interfered with their work, 66 percent reported that their employer did not offer salaries and benefit packages similar to other nonprofits, and 65 percent felt that outstanding performance was not recognized at their workplace.
The full report includes data on respondent demographics and perceptions of working in the nonprofit sector during the economic downturn. The Good Nonprofit Job Report – New York, as well as survey results from nonprofit professionals in New Jersey and Washington DC are available at the Professionals for Nonprofits website.
What are your “essentials” for fulfilling employment?