Rep. Chambers, NEC Blunder over Handling of Election Complaints

first_imgDrama unfolded yesterday in the courtroom of the Supreme Court, when a lawyer representing Rep. Bhofal  Chambers denied that his client’s complaint filed against Maryland County senator-elect, Gbleh-bo Brown  was never heard by the National Elections Commission (NEC).Although documents before the Full Bench of the Supreme Court showed that NEC conducted an investigation and subsequently ruled in the matter and denied Chambers’ allegation on December 27, his lawyer Cllr.  Famere Stubblefield insisted that his client did not appear at any NEC investigation regarding his allegation.Cllr. Stubblefield also challenged the NEC to produce any documentary evidences to show that his client was ever invited for any hearing.The NEC lawyer Cllr. Joseph Blidi admitted the claim, explaining that Rep Chambers attended the hearing only based on a telephone conversation he held with the Chairman of the NEC.Rep. Chambers who represents Maryland County Pleebo-Sodoken District in the House of Representatives on the ticket of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), protested against the conduct of last December’ Special Senatorial Election. He is claiming a recount of the results of the 143 polling stations in the county because of irregularities, which NEC argued it did.It all started when Cllr. Famere Stubblefield was asked after he appeared before the High Court yesterday whether his client was ever invited by the NEC for an investigation about his complaint.  Cllr. Stubblefield in his reply said, “It is true that Dr. Chambers appeared before the NEC’s investigation in Maryland County, but he left later because the other party was not there.”The move by the high court’s full bench to hear the complaints is based on the decision reached by Chamber-Justice Philip Banks, that the writs of prohibition filed by the contending parties was purely constitutional and could not be decided by a single Justice.He also quoted Dr. Chambers as saying, “I can’t answer to anything in the absence of the other party.”Interestingly, when Chief Justice Francis S. Korkpor openly read the NEC’s ruling he quoted part of it as saying “two of Dr. Chambers’ witnesses took the stand and they testified before the NEC’s magistrate in Maryland County.”He further quoted the NEC ruling, saying, “Dr. Chambers himself was present at the hearing and he made some clarification. He even asked the magistrate to allow some of the election observers to testify.”When Cllr. Stubblefield was asked by Chief Justice Korkpor to authenticate the statement, he replied “It is false and misleading. Rep. Chambers did not appear for a hearing. That document was manufactured by the NEC.”“Let them show me any notice or document that they invited our client. The only thing Rep. Chambers received was a telephone communication between him and the NEC Chairman asking him to go back to Maryland County for the hearing,” Cllr. Stubblefield argued.When the NEC lawyer was also asked whether they even issued a notice inviting Rep. Chambers to any investigation, Cllr. Blidi responded, “No, we did not send any notice to him.  What we did was that the Chairman only telephoned him about the hearing and he attended it.“We did not manufacture any statement from Rep. Chambers. It is the testimony of him and his witnesses,” Cllr. Blidi insisted.Ruling in the matter is reserved.Out of the 15 senators declared winners by the National Elections Commission (NEC) after the December 20 polls, three are yet to  be seated due to the complaints filed against them by their opponents. The three senators affected by the court’s order due to protests from contending candidates are Senators-elect Varney Sherman, of Grand Cape Mount, Morris Saytumah of Bomi and Jim Tornolah of Margibi.Three other Senators-elect protested against candidates that were certificated by the NEC. These candidates are: Gbleh-bo Brown of Maryland County, Alfred Chea of Grand Kru County and Conmany Wesseh of River Gee County. The protesting candidates claim in their various writs of prohibition that they are protesting the results of the election that saw victory for their opponents due to fraud.They claim that the decision by the NEC to go ahead to certificate winners of the election in the face of protests filed against some of the winners was illegal and called on the high court to order the NEC to revoke the certificates, until an investigation into the matter is completed. In her apparent reaction, a lawyer for the NEC told the court that the commission was in no error to certificate winners in the December senatorial election because the commission was acting legally.NEC lawyers have argued that the protesting candidates are in error by going to the Supreme Court because it is only the NEC that is clothed with the authority to investigate election matters.Lawyers for the NEC say certification of winners of the election does not mean that any of the declared winners cannot be removed from his/her seat when their investigations prove that there was fraud in the process. Friday, heard by the high court, according to observers would determine whether the senators-elect in question some of whom have already taken their seats would be removed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Cache Carnival

first_img SharePrint RelatedCome one, come all to Cache Carnival!March 25, 2019In “News”Introducing Creation Celebration EventsFebruary 19, 2019In “Community”Cache Carnival festivities from around the worldApril 30, 2019In “Community” Celebrate geocaching creativity and diversity around the world!Join Cache Carnival starting March 25, 2019, and earn up to five souvenirs* inspired by historic carnival locations by collecting points on your Leaderboard (previously the Friend League) before the carnival ends on April 14, 2019.Cache Carnival celebrates geocache creativity—collect extra points for finding highly favorited geocaches or earning a Favorite point** on a cache you own!But that’s not all! Geocaching would not exist without the people who channel their creativity and innovative spirit into making great experiences for others. So we’re welcoming all geocache owners (and folks who want to celebrate their favorite cache owners) to host events celebrating geocache creation to inspire the next generation of geocache makers. We’re calling these events Creation Celebrations. Anyone who logs an “Attended” at a registered Creation Celebration event will earn a sixth souvenir! Learn how to host or find a Creation Celebration event in your area.Read more about Cache Carnival rules in the frequently asked questions.Share your favorite caches or caching story with #cachecarnival.——————————————————————————————————*Souvenirs are virtual pieces of art that can be earned and displayed on your profile.**Geocaching Favorite points are a simple way to track and share the geocaches that you enjoyed the most. Premium members can award Favorite points for geocaches they love.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Change the World by Working in a Virtual One: Interview with Evonne Heyning

first_imgHow does your organization use Second Life?Amoration is a nonprofit studio developing ManorMeta, a futuristic TV/DVD series and interactive online network for families around the globe. ManorMeta’s growing architecture has quickly taken over our free time. ManorMeta premiered in early 2006 and quickly became a destination for world-changers and innovators in design, education, sustainability, artificial intelligence, and the arts. Our goal has been to produce a family media series built on a very fantastic new technological age.ManorTV is kid-friendly edutainment now in early production. Our virtual home has six foster kids, three adults, numerous animal and computer-generated characters, and is filled with music, humor, and technological magic. (Think: next-generation “Sesame Street.”)Amoration, our 501(c)3 organization, has produced media and developed new concepts for programming in the virtual world since December 2005. We have provided support on nonprofit projects such as Camp Darfur, producing crossover print and video machinima from our builds to compliment real world awareness events. The ZeroOne art show (a festival of art and digital culture that took place in San Jose, California in August 2006) increased demand for our rare designs and we opened two ManorMeta Mineral Matrix education shops to build a growing business in the virtual world.Why did you decide to do something in Second Life? After a fun job interview in the virtual world in the Summer of 2005 and encouragement from Sue Stonebender and friends from the Omidyar Network (a mission-based investment group committed to fostering individual self-empowerment on a global scale), I gave Second Life a test run in January of 2006. With the pilot for the ManorMeta series nearly finished, we needed a dynamic, collaborative building space that would help us develop our ideas on interactivity in real and virtual spaces. Second Life became a tremendous tool for set and character development and storyboarding – now, story ideas emerge from our Second dramas! We’ve successfully turned our early-adopter audience into active participants by starting our process in the virtual world.How was the project planned? What expertise was needed? We have had mostly positive results in presentations with potential partners, Amoration Advisors, and volunteers. The world is intriguing enough to gather interest, but few find they have enough juice and bandwidth to sign up for Second Life and join us in the virtual world on a regular basis. Those who meet us there and play often get very involved in like-minded projects! Some who cannot join us in Second Life still spread the meme through the Web; we provide them with a natural spotlight space with links and interactive content at no cost.Our first development award came from a key Linden partner so we did not worry that our investment in the platform would be considered wasteful. We found our virtual world meeting enhanced our work with Omidyar Network and other leaders from many different disciplines. We host some advisor meetings in-world (in Second Life) as a way to stay connected and integrated with our virtual space.The learning curve has been steep and it has taken us every bit of nine months to learn building, scripting, event hosting, and media production in-world. We have tried to do this without investing extra money into Second Life; instead of hiring scriptwriters and machinima producers, we learned how to do it ourselves.How did the project unfold? What were some of the challenges? What worked well? As a development platform, Second Life is an excellent tool. It works well for archiving drawings, ideas, storyboards, and movement directions. Of course, if you write about hackers and digital access, you’re bound to get hacked and “griefed” (the Second Life term for virtual harassment). As a networking device, it is clever and very sticky; it has tremendous potential as our computers and bandwidth catch up with the technology. Some of our primary mentors and advisors are unable to run Second Life smoothly on their primary work computers due to software and hardware restrictions, so we are not yet able to integrate them with our virtual-development process.How much time and money did you spend? To date we have spent less than $20 in Second Life. Our goal is to keep this project as sustainable as possible while providing financial stipends for the volunteer artists who have been working on this project for the last year. Amoration is a young 501(c)3 sponsored by the International Humanities Center; our staff has been working as volunteers for our arts education endeavors since 2004. We have approximately two dozen AMO Advisors who have given time and talent to help this project grow.How did you explain the project to organizational leaders or constituents? As an independent studio, we hold true to our organizational mission. We seek partners and projects that enhance a better world vision and we have made many new friends through the ManorMeta experiments.What are the benefits to your organization? The largest benefit to our organization is the interactivity, feedback, collaboration, and creative capital that we have exchanged in fun and captivating ways. There is so much potential as we build and bridge these new frontiers for kids around the world.What advice would you give to other nonprofits who might be interested? Write to us now at [email protected] We have found many tremendous pieces in this puzzle and we’d like to hear how you think they should fit together. If you have helpful leads for product and production partners for AMO Studio, please drop a line or introduce yourself in-world to In Kenzo, Common Cure, or any avatar from the ManorMeta group. We’ve been meeting tons of actors, stunt leads, musicians, and other talent and our team for this project is growing every week. We consider this to be a family and we invite people who want to create a culture of conscious compassion to tell us what you love to do.Copyright: CompuMentorSource: http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/page5902.cfm?cg=searchterms&sg=second%20lifelast_img read more

The Kiwi’s Fleeting Flight

first_imgKiwi, which can be seen on YouTube right here, is one of the most popular videos of the last year, with more than 12 million views to date. Here’s a write-up of it:There are several powerful messages behind Kiwi, but mainly, it makes you think: no matter how absurd and seemingly out of reach your dreams are, what’s stopping you from achieving them?… Some people have described how Kiwi “sticks in your subconscious.” I know that whenever I feel sad, I’m going to close my eyes, visualize the thing that’s in my way or keeping me down, and tilt my head to the side to see the happy side of it.Sentimental, maybe even saccharine, but true. Limitations may not look like limitations if you shift your perspective and invest great effort. And, fortunately, this doesn’t always have to mean fleeting joy with a crashing end.last_img read more

Creating Compelling Experiences of Persuasion

first_imgThis seminar examines ways – when creating experiences, events or media designed to get our message across and raise funds – in which we can avoid distraction of the audience while delivering our message. In addition, we will lay out certain methods that can be applied to all forms of communication of any scope for agencies of any size or mission.The discussion will explore practical applications of:• Exploration of Assumption• Circumventing Preconception• Comfortable Disorientation• Successive Revelation, and• Subliminal EngagementAbout Our SpeakerKile Ozier has built messaging experience for over 25 years across myriad contexts; from theme parks to academic institutions and non-profit agencies. In academia, he has created campaigns totaling over $3 billion for such institutions as Stanford University, Harvard Law School, Johns Hopkins University and more. Founder of one of the most respected AIDS funding organizations in the US, San Francisco’s Academy of Friends, Ozier has been cited for the quality and efficacy of the experiences he creates by a disparate spectrum of clients, from the United States Navy to the Themed Entertainment Association. He is also a great cook.last_img read more

Listening To the Bad and Using It for Good

first_imgOne of the great things about social technology is that anyone can have a platform for promoting their view of the world – via blog, comments on another person’s blog, Facebook page, Twitter, etc. That means that sooner or later, people are going to talk about your organization or cause online. That can feel great, if they love you; or it can feel bad, if they say stuff that’s not so nice. But I think the not-nice stuff is even more valuable sometimes, especially when it relates to our communications and customer/donor service. It’s good to know when people aren’t happy, because it can help us do a better job serving them by solving problems we may have been unaware about.Tactical Philanthropy blog asked me my philosophy on this topic after GiveWell blog had some not-so-nice things to say about Network for Good, which I replied to and discussed before eventually settling the matter. I thought I’d share what I said:Good marketing is about listening to the audience, acknowledging their perspective and having a conversation based on that perspective. A good marketing relationship is like any other relationship – it’s based in listening and conversation, and not simply monologue. Now everyone – including donors – has the tools to talk to the world, and that means nonprofits have the opportunity to listen, and sometimes, to start a conversation. I consider the Internet one big focus group – a place to see what donors, nonprofits and others are saying and doing, and a means to engage those audiences in conversations about what they care about. Donors’ blogs are incredibly useful – they are audience research, a feedback loop, a sounding board and a place to start a relationship – all rolled into one.That’s all really easy to say, but hard – even painful – to experience. Blogs allow people the freedom to talk about your issue or organization in their own words, and that means a loss of message control, which can be difficult to embrace. Sometimes what people say online is not especially nice or constructive, or it may not be based in a thorough understanding of any issue. It can be unpleasant – and sometimes, I think it’s best not to respond if what you read is a cheap-shot from someone not very invested in the issue at hand. I’ve stayed out of some conversations for that reason. But often, what a comment or post online may lack in warmth, it more than makes up for in authenticity and passion, and, however much it hurts to read it (and it hurts, especially if you believe in what you do), it’s very useful to know what people are honestly thinking. Those honest thinkers are worth listening to and learning from, and speaking with.In the case of GiveWell, it was very important to know people don’t have a good understanding of our fees, and why. Obviously, we should do a better job explaining them, and we will. I stand by our fees and believe they are incredibly fair considering all that we offer nonprofits, but if folks think they are not worth it, then I need to listen to that opinion – and learn from it, then do a better job as a communicator going forward.If I were working in marketing at United Airlines, I’d spend more time reading http://www.untied.com/and thinking about how to improve my company than I would on creating new ad campaigns.We have a serious problem in our sector right now – so bad, we might end up with an untied.com of our own. Most donors stop giving to charity because of dissatisfaction with how they were treated by the charity rather than personal constraints like financial problems. Too much mail, no thank-you acknowledgements, and little information on how their money was spent. If they are that mad, we had better listen-and learn.last_img read more

Organizing Your Nonprofit Marketing Plan

first_imgA properly organized nonprofit marketing plan supports itself like a pyramid. For each goal, there are objectives; every objective has strategies; and each strategy has tactics.However, all too often the terms goal, objective, strategy and tactic are used as interchangeable ways of saying the same thing. Plainly put, they are not – and the resulting lack of precision can be problematic.GoalsA goal is a “statement of being” for the plan. While the completion of the goal signifies the end of your plan, the objectives, strategies and tactics are the means to that end.ObjectivesCompared to the goal, objectives are more focused and specific, and the best-formulated objectives express results as measurable outcomes. Think in terms of the awareness, attitude or action that you hope to invoke. Often there are multiple objectives in support of a single goal. Meaningful objectives start with action verbs and have four parts. They:Identify a specific audience being addressed,State a measurable outcome,Set an attainment level, andSet a timeframe.StrategiesStrategies are where the rubber meets the road. Rarely is one strategy enough to fully accomplish an objective. Likewise, it is not unusual for a single strategy to serve multiple objectives.TacticsTactics are the specific tools you use to implement your strategies. News releases, brochures, media pitches, e-newsletters, blogs, Web sites, surveys, focus groups, and videos are just a few examples that spring to mind. It is the truly creative part of the plan’s authors to decide exactly which tactics are needed to successfully implement the chosen strategies.In ClosingA good marketing plan is interlinked from top to bottom. Without good tactics, a strategy will not successfully complete an objective, rendering the success of a goal limited.A true marketing plan forces the authors to employ the right mix of experience with critical thinking. With this understanding of the key differences between goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, the end result is a plan that can be executed successfully.(Source: Arketti Group)last_img read more

Review of Recent Online Communications Benchmarks Studies

first_imgAs more and more organizations turn to the Internet to enhance and expand their fundraising, advocacy and communications work, a number of key questions have arisen, including:How does our online program compare to other programs?What are reasonable goals for list growth, response rates, churn rates, etc?How can we measure the success of our online work?Until very recently, little data existed with which to answer these questions. However, in the past year, several studies have aimed to establish the benchmarks needed to evaluate the performance of nonprofits’ online communications, advocacy, fundraising, and email messaging programs.We recently reviewed these studies: the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study, the Online Marketing (eCRM) Nonprofit Benchmark Index TM Study, and the donorCentricsTM Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis, and we have provided a brief summary below of the main findings on which all three studies agree.SHARED FINDINGS The three recent benchmarks studies capture online program metrics from a variety of nonprofits that focus on a multitude of issue areas. Though the data differs somewhat among the studies, one point is perfectly clear: the Internet is the place for nonprofits to invest! 1. Online Giving Is On The Rise All three studies found that the amount of money raised online per organization is rapidly increasing. Though the statistics vary fairly widely, the studies reflect the general trend of growth in nonprofit online fundraising programs.The Online Marketing (eCRM) Nonprofit Benchmark IndexTM reports a growth rate of 27 % in median dollars raised from 2005 to 2006.The eNonprofit Benchmarks Study reports a 40 % growth in average amount raised from the year 2003-2004 to the year 2004-2005.The donorCentrics Analysis reports that the median cumulative growth in online donors amongst its study participants has been 101% over the past three years.2. Rapid Response Pays Both the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study and the donorCentrics Analysis note significant spikes in online donations due to giving after the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. All three studies emphasize the importance of nonprofits’ quick response to a natural disaster or other breaking news.3. Email Lists Are Growing The eNonprofit Benchmarks Study and the eCRM Nonprofit Benchmarks IndexTM both report growth in email list sizes. The former reports an average growth of 73% across the 15 study partners from September 2004 to September of 2005. The latter reports a median growth rate of 47% from July 2005 to June 2006. In addition, the Index Study reports that organizations with smaller lists (under 50,000) grew twice as fast as those with larger lists.4. Bigger Lists = More Money & More Actions The eNonprofit Benchmarks Study illustrates that email list size is directly proportional to the number of advocacy actions and letters generated. Simply put, the bigger the email list, the larger the number of advocacy actions generated.Likewise, the eCRM Nonprofit Benchmarks IndexTM split funds raised online by email list size to show the difference in amount raised by various file sizes and the trend of larger email lists raising more money holds true.5. Fundraising Messaging Metrics Holding Steady Both the eNonprofit Benchmarks Study and the eCRM Nonprofit Benchmark IndexTM calculated open, click through, response, and conversion rates on fundraising messaging from their data. These metrics have stayed consistent over the last two years.ADDITIONAL INTERESTING FINDINGS 1. Online Donors Versus Offline Donors The 2006 donorCentricsTM Internet Giving Benchmarking Analysis by DonorDigital and Target Analysis Group reviewed data from 12 nonprofit organizations to compare online giving with offline giving. The key takeaways include:Online donors tend to be much younger and to have higher incomes than direct mail donors.The distribution of online donors is more evenly spread over age ranges while direct mail donors are heavily concentrated in the 65-and-older age group.Online donors tend to join at higher giving levels, give larger gifts, and have higher lifetime giving than offline donors.Only 4% of newly acquired online donors also gave direct mail gifts in their first year on the list, but 46% of them gave direct mail gifts in their renewal year.Multiple-channel donors have higher revenue per donor and higher retention rates than single-channel donors.Revenue for donors who gave online was 28% higher ($114 compared to $82) than donors who only gave offline.Donors acquired online tend to lapse at higher rates than donors acquired by mail. Some of this turnover may be attributed differences in cultivation strategies.2. Website Traffic and Site Visitor Registration Convio’s Online Marketing (eCRM) Nonprofit Benchmark IndexTM Study looked at website traffic and visitor registration across 16 client websites. The key points the study found include:The websites received an average of roughly 26,000 unique visitors per month.The groups had a median growth rate of 30 % in unique web visitors in the year studied.Groups with e-newsletters and member center registration had a median registration rate of 2.8 % per month.Recommendations for improving website sign up rates included consistently providing compelling content and incentives to register, optimizing the registration process, and providing multiple engagement opportunities.Source: http://www.mrss.com/last_img read more

What Every Smart Non Profit Needs To Know About Web 2.0

first_imgWhat sort of outreach are you doing? How do you find new donors, new members, new volunteers? Something big is happening online, it’s free, it’s fast and more and more non-profits are figuring out how to use it.How much did your organization spend on direct mail last year? How many press releases did you issue? How many galas, walkathons, donor dinners and community events did you sponsor? All designed to get the word out. All produced, at great expense, to help you tell the world about the great work you’re doing.The new internet changes the rules. You may have heard the rumblings about Web 2.0. About Google spending 1.6 billion dollars to buy YouTube.com, or about all the teenagers spending way too much time at MySpace. Surely there isn’t room for your organization in this revolution! Or, if there is, no doubt it is going to take you a lot of time, planning and money…The good news is that the community-centric model of Web 2.0 is custom-made for organizations that do good work. No ticket required; no technology needed. The very same tools that have made it easy for a 14-year-old guitar player from Japan to become world famous make it easy for you to reach a larger audience than ever before.It’s a whole new Internet. Here are the six free things you can do right now to figure it out.1) Put yourself on YouTube.It is now the 8th most popular website on the Internet. And you can be there for free. Search YouTube for “ASPCA” to see how.2) Get found on Technorati.Technorati tracks blog posts and site changes. Registering your URL takes only a few minutes.3) Measure your traffic. Free.Measure your marketing campaigns. Google provides critical information about where your traffic is coming from and how people are navigating through your pages.4) Tap the blogs.Run a search on technorati.com or feedster.com to determine which bloggers are talking about you and your area. Then cultivate relationships with them.5) Donations with Squidoo.The fastest-growing fundraising co-op on the Web helps nonprofits raise money and drive traffic, by letting people create easy-to-build web pages on any topic.6) Digg it!Digg.com lets people vote on the news and web pages that are important to them, bringing the best stuff to the top. This is a free way to gets lots of traffic to your site.Source: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/12/free_onepager_f.htmllast_img read more

How Crisis Compels Donors to Give Online: A Study on Disaster Giving

first_imgOnline giving is growing exponentially per year, from just over half a billion dollars in 2000 to more than $4.5 billion in 2005 (source: ePhilanthropy Foundation), however it still represents a relatively small percentage of total charitable giving.The notable exception is giving in response to humanitarian crises, when the Internet is becoming donors’ avenue of choice.The Chronicle of Philanthropy has noted that Internet donations for the 2004 South Asian tsunami relief accounted for more than one-third of the total raised – more than twice the proportion of online gifts in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.After Hurricane Katrina, half of relief giving was online, representing the largest outpouring of donations online in history.Marking the one-year anniversary of that disaster, Network for Good made this study of the recent, large-scale humanitarian emergencies that promoted massive online donations in order to analyze:Why donors give onlineHow donors give online: their giving behaviorsImplications for nonprofits seeking to fundraise onlineBe sure to view the other Network for Good studies listed in the related articles below for more in-depth research.last_img read more