Category Archives: Community

#GivingTuesdayNow being held on May 5 to address COVID-19 efforts

 

Give the widespread usage of technology in every facet of our lives, it’s not surprising that individuals across the United States supported the online movement, #GivingTuesday, in record amounts last fall.  On December 3, 2019, individuals supported a variety of charitable causes with more than 4 million gifts totaling roughly $510 million.  This amount represented a 28% increase from the amount given during the 2018 #GivingTuesday campaign.

Given the growing need by nonprofits working to address the COVID-19 pandemic, #GivingTuesday organizers are urging individuals and nonprofits to rally together to support their local communities’ efforts to address the impact of the coronavirus.  On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, a new online campaign will attempt to drive global generosity, civic engagement, business and foundation action to support nonprofits all over the world working to slow the impact of coronavirus.  #GivingTuesdayNow is an opportunity when individuals can come together and give back in any way they can, no matter who or where they are.

The #GivingTuesdayNow campaign is being organized by a global network of nonprofit leaders, business partners, and generous individuals, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, PayPal and NBC/MSNBC serving as the signature media partner.  #GivingTuesdayNow is similar in form and function to the late Fall appeal, but now there is an even greater sense of urgency to support our community and social services.

How can individuals help?  On May 5, individuals are encouraged to participate in the effort using whatever means they can and to use social media to spread their participation and recognize others using the #GivingTuesdayNow hashtag to create a global feeling of unity and support.  Organizers of the effort offer several opportunities to participate including donating to nonprofits in their communities working to help ease the suffering of millions affected by COVID-19, supporting local small businesses—especially those that may be able to donate products or services to nonprofits on the front lines of the pandemic, and demonstrations of gratitude to healthcare workers, service providers, and other essential workers who risk their own health on a daily basis.

What should nonprofits do? Given the urgency of the situation, using social media to reach your audiences helps you communicate key information quickly, create a sense of urgency, and share your updates to people in and out of your traditional networks.  Before #GivingTuesdayNow begins, nonprofits must take some time to plan through their efforts to reach out to donors, volunteers, advocates, and social media followers.

As soon as possible, nonprofits need to sketch out the draft of their #GivingTuesdayNow plans, including developing the storyline or theme for their messaging.  An organizational plan doesn’t need to be overly detailed given the urgent need and short turnaround time, but nonprofits should think through how this storyline will be woven into messages across multiple channels, including your website, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media channels used by the nonprofit.

Storytelling and Planning.  Your story may focus on your organization’s heroes, the impact of your programs and services, or those you are serving during this pandemic.  Whatever its focus, organizations need to be consistent with messaging throughout the day and use the different channels to build a story.  Sending out one message on #GivingTuesdayNow will not work neither will sending a similar message through all of your channels.

You need to entice your supporters to want to learn more and seek out your updates among the many that they’re going to receive from other worthy causes.  It may help to draft your #GivingTuesdayNow messages all at once so that you can see the natural progression of your messaging across channels and throughout the day.  Your updates should be spread out across the day.  Start with strong messaging that ends with a “donate now” option and follow that throughout the day with informational updates that further your storyline.

Recruit organizational supporters!  #GivingTuesdayNow efforts will succeed only if you get others to tell your story.  Whether you’re the nonprofit executive director, marketer, or fundraiser, you cannot do the work alone.  You simply do not have the vast network needed to reach the numbers necessary to see a huge impact on your efforts.  But, your online supporters do!  Tapping into your most active volunteers and loyal donors and asking them for help will result in your #GivingTuesdayNow updates being seen by more people when they add their own thoughts and words of encouragement to your shared posts and forwarded emails.

#GivingTuesdayNow should not be a replication of your #GivingTuesday efforts.  We are in an unprecedented time of need and urgency, and your messages should accurately reflect your organization’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 virus.  With a well-developed storyline and messages customized to tap into the personality of each platform, nonprofits will not only be able to succeed in educational efforts and fundraising but also be able to reach out to their local communities with words of gratitude for those on the frontline and words of encouragement for everyone whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus.

Young Professionals for Sustainable Development Goals Seminar Series

Read more and apply for the UNA-SF & USF-MNA YPSDG Program at https://www.una-sf.org/ypsdg

A joint program of the United Nations Association, San Francisco Chapter (UNA SF) and the University of San Francisco School of Management’s Master of Nonprofit Administration Program (USF-MNA). If you would like to learn more about the program to decide if it’s right for you or to offer a similar program through your organization, you can download the latest version of the program toolkit available under the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.

Overview

Young Professionals for Sustainable Development Goals Seminar Series is a professional development program for young professionals looking for opportunities to align their careers with the UN Agenda 2030 or make a career transition to a different sector or industry while focusing on some or all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

This program was first offered in San Francisco, California in 2018. Participants included Global Disaster Response and Relief Lead from a top-tier tech company aspiring to work for the United Nations, a recent graduate of a Masters Program in Public Policy looking for a position in Corporate Social Responsibility, a healthcare professional planning to start her own nonprofit, and other talented and highly motivated young professionals with diverse backgrounds and a shared passion for creating a better world.

Most of the participants reported that making useful professional contacts with mentors and panelists, building long-term peer support relationships, learning about relevant networks and opportunities, and feeling supported, inspired, and more confident integrating UN SDGs into their work as hallmarks of the program that they found genuinely helpful. The overwhelming majority of past participants gave the program the score of 8-10 out of 10 for being extremely helpful for their personal and professional development.

Program Structure & Objectives

The program consists of 4 monthly half-day sessions at the War Memorial Veterans Building and 30+ hours of self-study. Through panel discussions, a dialogic process called World Café documented with the Collective Narrative Methodology, and curated self-study and peer learning participants deepen their understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, explore possibilities to contribute to UN Agenda 2030 in different sectors and industries, work on developing the right mindset and the appropriate skills to contribute to real change, learn about relevant tools, resources, and networks, and develop a relationship with a mentor who is well-positioned to support specific career aspirations of the mentee.

Mentoring

Past participants in San Francisco were mentored by Mark Ward, a former Senior Advisor to the head of the UN Mission in Libya, Kate Arcieri Walter, Senior Foreign Policy and Diplomacy Services Officer at the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco, Mary Elizabeth Steiner, President of the United Nations Association of the USA, San Francisco Chapter, and Dr. Marco Tavanti, Director of Nonprofit Administration at the University of San Francisco among others. We work with each participant individually to find an appropriate mentor based on the specific background and career aspirations.

Additional Training

Up to 4 participants can be selected to go through an additional training in World Café facilitation and Collective Narrative Methodology. Such participants would be called Hosts-In-Training and they would participate in the planning and facilitation of program sessions.  This additional training requires a 45-hour commitment to participate in Zoom calls, study training materials, process data harvested from program sessions to create collective narratives, communicate with internal and external stakeholders and co-facilitate World Café dialogues at program sessions.  This is a great opportunity for young professionals to get leadership experience, receive professional recommendations from the Program Director, and get this training acknowledged on their certificates of completion.

Admission Process

We admit candidates on a rolling basis. We start reviewing the applications 2 months before the first session of the program. The strongest applicants are invited to have a 30-min video call with the Program Director and/or other members of the Hosting Team. Additional interviews may be scheduled if the Hosting Team decides that it would help with the evaluation of a specific candidacy. Admission decisions are made by the Hosting Team and confirmed by the President of the United Nations Association, San Francisco Chapter and the Director of the University of San Francisco School of Management’s Master of Nonprofit Administration Program and are typically communicated within 2 weeks after the interview.

Admission Criteria

Our Hosting Team works on creating a balanced class of 20 participants to maximize the benefits of peer learning and peer support in the program. We are looking for candidates who are deeply committed to building a better world, have a genuine interest in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and demonstrate the potential for leveraging the program to significantly increase their tangible contribution towards the SDGs.

Program Fees

Admitted candidates are asked to pay a one time registration fee of $300. This registration fee includes morning snacks and lunches. All decisions become final 1 week before the first session of the program: registration fee cannot be refunded after that. The additional training in World Café facilitation and Collective Narrative Methodology is a work-trade program and does not require additional financial contributions from selected participants.

Certificate

Participants who attended all 4 sessions and successfully completed all program assignments receive certificates of completion from the United Nations Association of the USA, San Francisco Chapter (UNA SF) and the University of San Francisco. Hosts-In-Training have their facilitation training mentioned on their certificates.

What Participants Say

Participants of the first cohort in San Francisco were asked in a follow-up survey what they would say to their past self who was just considering joining this program. Here are some of their responses:

  • I think you took a very wise decision to join this program”

  • “I would say it was such a right decision to ‘just do it’”

  • “Absolutely attend every seminar and don’t stress about it. It is going to be a significant learning experience.”

  • “Yes, join. An opportunity to learn, connect, gain support, be understood, find a mentor and learn new skills.”

  • “Definitely join the program, you will answer questions for yourself you never even knew you had.”