mercredi 31 août 2011

Sans contrainte de l'Etat, pas de bénévoles pour les associations caritatives allemandes

Dans les colonnes de l'hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel, la journaliste Catherine Cheney révèle les conséquences inattendues de la fin du service militaire en Allemagne pour les associations qui dépendent des objecteurs de conscience pour assurer leurs missions.

Lack of Volunteers
End of Conscription Causes Headache for Charities

When Germany eliminated conscription this year, an extensive civil service program for conscientious objectors also came to an end. A new program launched to replace it, however, has not found enough volunteers. Now, many service organizations are facing shortages.

When Matthias Fritzsche began working as a volunteer helping the elderly in Berlin, he had no idea how many people were in need of assistance. Now, a year later, he says the experience has helped him find his calling.

Fritzsche, though, wasn't a willing volunteer when he began his stint with the relief agency Malteser International. For decades, young Germans who registered as conscientious objectors to mandatory military service were required to perform volunteer work instead. Without that policy, 26-year-old Fritzsche might never have decided to pursue a career in medicine.
"I wouldn't have chosen to do this, so it's good the government said I had to," says Fritzsche, who will continue volunteering for Malteser after serving in the civil service for 10 months.

That government requirement, though, is now ending. On July 1, the German government officially terminated its mandatory military service for young men -- which means the army of conscientious objectors, upon which the German social sector had relied on for 50 years, will also disappear. And just as the German military is struggling to attract recruits to fill the military ranks, the federal government is scrambling to attract volunteers to a federal program that is meant to fill the civil service void.

'Commit Themselves to the Common Good'

Many social service organizations are concerned that the effort will not be successful. The new Federal Voluntary Service is looking to eventually recruit 35,000 volunteers for placements across Germany. Unlike the civil service program, available only young men opting out of the military, the new service is open to women and does not have an age limit.

German Family Minister Kristina Schröder has said she invites others to "commit themselves to the common good" and to ensure that the new service "will be as successful as the civil service over the last 50 years."

Critics, though, argue that the government cannot expect to change the "culture of volunteerism" in just a few short months. An all-too-quick transition, they say, has led to miscommunication and confusion. And, looking to the Sept. 1 start date for the voluntary year, they worry that the young men who once opted to work in retirement homes, youth programs, and hospitals did so, at least initially, because it was required.

Now that the national volunteer service is, in fact, voluntary, who will sign up?

"This kind of voluntary work has to be established in Germany," says Claudia Kaminski, a spokesperson for Malteser, which relies on volunteers for its humanitarian aid work. "Our society is used to this mandatory military service, and now its end shows our society that everyone has to care."

'Rather Difficult'

Kaminski says that as of Aug. 18, about 320 volunteers from the Federal Voluntary Service had signed up for assignments lasting six to 24 months with Malteser, though the organization had expected 1,000 new contracts by Sept. 1.

"The way [the new service] was communicated was rather difficult," says Kaminski. "First the government told us we are going to shorten the service, and then it was quite surprisingly stopped in the middle of the year."

Forty percent of the civil service volunteers at Malteser agreed to stay on longer, which Kaminski says will help with the transition. But she expects it will take years for the organization to regain its annual number of volunteers, and until then, it will face challenges in serving the community at the level it has in the past.

The extended service of civil service volunteers like Fritzsche not only helps organizations during the transition, but also allows the government to keep lower-than-expected recruitment numbers hidden in the small print.

Hermann Kues, a state secretary in the Family Affairs Ministry, which oversees the new service, touted the fact that there were 17,300 Federal Voluntary Service contracts as of July 1. He said it was a sign of the nationwide interest in volunteering. But 14,300 of those contracts were with former civil service volunteers who extended their service, meaning only 3,000 new people had signed up to serve by the launch of the program.
The Ministry of Family Affairs said it expects 10,000 new contracts by the end of October, with an eventual goal of 35,000 volunteers.

"The Voluntary Civil Service is completely new and we have to do some publicity to make sure people know about the service," said Katja Laubinger, a spokesperson for the ministry.

Part The ministry has made marketing a priority for the new service in the hope that it will gain the national reputation of its two counterparts, the Voluntary Social Year and Voluntary Ecological Year, which have been around for decades and already have registered a combined total of more than 30,000 volunteers for the upcoming year.

The Voluntary Social and Ecological Years are also federally funded, but organized primarily on a state-by-state basis. They are available to young people ages 16 to 27. Like the new voluntary service, they offer a minimal stipend and state-sponsored health insurance to its recruits.

Laubinger says there were discussions about the possibility of merging the new service with these two existing volunteer programs, but the government ultimately decided to maintain the balance between having national and regional organizations.

Bernd Kuhlmann, who places young people in Ecological Voluntary Year assignments throughout Berlin, has a different take. "Young people know us, the schools know us, and we're very successful," he says. "We would have preferred to … make one organization of it."

Fearful of Losing Funds

In a perfect world, says Kuhlmann, the government would continue to provide funding without exerting control, as it did with the civil service, which was "integrated into the framework." Instead, he says, organizations did not receive some of the funds they had counted on for the upcoming year.

"We had 70 spaces here in Berlin for conscientious objectors," Kuhlmann says. "We made partnerships with new organizations and facilities, but now we have lost our funding."

Hartmut Brombach, who coordinates Voluntary Social Year placements across Germany, says he fears losing people in addition to funds. He says it will be more expensive for civil service organizations to take on young people who opt for the Voluntary Social or Ecological Year over the Federal Voluntary Service.

In a continuing back-and-forth that reveals the confusion surrounding this new Federal Voluntary Service, the government says this is not the case.

Hammond Schäfer, a spokesperson for the Family Ministry, counters that the government provides civil service organizations with €200 per volunteer each month regardless of the program they choose. "Quite a few civil service organizations are skeptical," he says, trying to address the confusion over numbers. "They're not very fond of the federal voluntary service."

"We must take part in this new program, because if we don't take part we won't get any money," said Brombach. "But I think the solution will not be one or the other but a third way between these two programs."

Despite the concerns and the confusion, there is some cause for optimism.

The number of young people signing up for volunteer programs has grown by tens of thousands over the last decade, and on average, three people apply for every one position offered by the Social Voluntary Year. Those numbers could increase more with the addition of women and senior citizens who were not able to participate in the civil service. And with a €350 million annual budget, the government is investing more than ever in volunteer services.

A Legitimacy Problem

Some organizations are confident that with continued coordination, the problems will work themselves out.

"The government was aware about the need of compensation relating the abandonment of military service and civil service," explains Gisela Graw of the humanitarian aid organization Arbeiter Samariter Bund. "There were, are and will be common meetings, efforts and modifications regarding the new national voluntary service and the challenge of establishing it with success."

But time is ticking for the Federal Voluntary Service to assert itself as a worthy replacement for the treasured tradition of the civil service.

"The government has a lot of money, they have a big office, and yet they only get 3,000 people to sign up," Kuhlmann says, sitting before a stack of brochures on environmental volunteer opportunities in Berlin. "Now, they have a problem of legitimacy."

Le scandale SOS Racisme

Le journaliste Tefy Andriamanana dans les colonnes de Marianne le jeudi 25 Août 2011 a exposé les soucis financiers de l'association SOS Racisme à la suite de l'échec de son concert du 14 juillet 2011.

Une tapée de partenaires mis en exergue sur la promo du concert…

La lettre de l'association pour solliciter des fonds à ses « parrains ».

Le constat d'échec transmis par cette lettre est terrifiant. Comment avoir envie de verser des sommes, souvent importantes, à une association qui avoue être isolée dans la société française ?

C'est sans doute cette marginalisation qui explique la « défaillance » de certains partenaires.

Le résultat positif du concert semblerait donc davantage révélateur du succès des artistes mobilisés plutôt que de l'adhésion à une cause antiraciste mal gérée, vieillie et moribonde. En outre, l'image de marque de SOS Racisme est désormais associée dans l'esprit des Français à des démarches liberticides ou délatrices. Pas de quoi ouvrir les porte-feuilles.

Enfin, il est proprement scandaleux qu'une association qui prétend représenter une majorité de Français (voir le texte de la lettre) ne récolte que 6,8 % de ses recettes de donateurs ordinaires, de citoyens comme vous et moi.

Quand le budget est alimenté par des subventions publiques ou par Pierre Bergé, on ne peut pas prétendre refléter la population française.

Un objectif pour SOS Racisme, cesser de dépendre des subventions publiques et trouver ses recettes de fonctionnement auprès des Français.

Pourquoi ne pas essayer le fundraising ?

Dominique Sopo a évoqué la « situation financière des plus délicates » de son association suite à son concert du 14 juillet. Manque de chance, SOS Racisme a raté une subvention de 100 000 euros venant du Conseil régional d’Île-de-France.

SOS Racisme dans le rouge ? L’Union a révélé dans un article au ton cinglant que Dominique Sopo, président de Sos Racisme, a envoyé une lettre le 21 juillet aux parrains et marraines de son association afin de récolter des dons. Dans son courrier, le président semble vouloir dire que certains sponsors du « Concert pour l’égalité » du 14 juillet, ont fait défaut mettant ainsi à mal les finances de l’association. « En raison de la défaillance de certains partenaires, cette opération nous met dans une situation financière des plus délicates, dont l'association doit sortir le plus rapidement possible », écrit-il.

Mais si SOS Racisme n’a pas pu avoir tous les financements nécessaires pour son concert, ce n’est pas forcément la faute aux autres. En effet, l’association aurait bien aimé recevoir l’obole de la Région Île-de-France. Elle a fait une demande en ce sens pour une subvention de 100 000 euros, a-t-on appris au Conseil Régional.

Mais, manque de pot, le dossier de l’association n’a pas pu déposer de dossier complet avant la réunion de la commission permanente du 8 juillet. Résultat, le chèque de 100 000 euros lui est passé sous le nez. Une jolie perte quand on sait que les dépenses 2009 de l’association (selon les comptes publiés au Journal officiel ) frôlent les 1,1 millions d’euros. Néanmoins, l’association a pu toucher une subvention de 160 000 euros de la Mairie de Paris, qui a en plus versé 30 000 euros pour le village associatif mis en place à l’occasion du concert et encore 40 000 euros pour son fonctionnement.

Du côté de Sos Racisme, on confirme l’existence du courrier de Sopo, tout en précisant que ce genre d'appel aux dons est fréquent. En revanche, pas de commentaire sur la question de la subvention ratée.

Mais même si l’association « aurait aimé avoir plus d’argent pour le concert », elle refuse de tirer la sonnette d’alarme sur sa situation financière. « C’est normal pour une association comme la nôtre quand on mène ce genre de projet », explique-t-on. On dénonce aussi la reprise de l’article de l’Union par des sites et blogs d’extrême-droite comme Fdesouche : « Pour eux, on aura toujours tort, qu’on gagne ou qu’on perde de l’argent ».

Quelle est la situation financière exacte de l’association ? En 2009, selon ses comptes parus au Journal Officiel, SOS Racisme a touché 904 596 euros de dons et subventions pour des dépenses de 1,095 millions d’euros pour la même année. La plus importante subvention est d’un montant de 348 000 et vient de l’Acsé (Agence pour la cohésion sociale et l’égalité des chances), un organisme public. Dès 2009, l’association connaissait des pertes financières de 3 660 euros plus exactement après un excédent de 31 778 euros en 2008. On apprend aussi que la dette de l’association était de 305 701 euros en 2009.

L’association qui compte une trentaine de permanents, n’est donc pas aussi riche qu’on pourrait le croire. Et la subvention ratée au Conseil régional d’Ile de France n’a pas arrangé ses affaires. Ironie du sort, le vice-président chargé de la culture à la Région n’est autre que… Julien Dray, un des fondateurs de Sos Racisme. Comme quoi, l’association ne peut pas avoir des potes partout.

Voici l'article de l'Union

La petite lettre du président Sopo SOS Racisme « en situation financière des plus délicates »…

Ruinée par le concert du 14 juillet, SOS Racisme est une association au bord du redressement judiciaire… Dominique Sopo essaie de s'en tirer en tapant ses contributeurs ordinaires, et donc majoritairement, les ministères, l'État, le contribuable. Une bonne idée en cette période de crise de la dette et de déficit public…

DIMANCHE dernier, dans nos pages Satyricon, nous expliquions que la très socialiste association SOS Racisme, pour être richement dotée, notamment en fonds publics, connaissait régulièrement des soucis en matière de « phynances ».
En effet, le budget annuel de cette annexe du PS tourne autour du million d'euros, dont un peu plus de la moitié sort de la poche des contribuables.
Cette année, SOS Racisme qui voulait « renouer avec sa capacité à imposer des problématiques dans la société française », pour reprendre les mots de Dominique Sopo et sans rapport avec la proximité des primaires et de la présidentielle, a reçu, en sus de ses financements ordinaires, 230 000 euros de subventions prises sur le budget supplémentaire de la mairie de Paris.
Un soutien qui se décompose comme suit : 160 000 euros de subvention pour le concert, plus 30 000 euros pour le « village dédié à SOS Racisme » et enfin 40 000 euros pour le fonctionnement de l'association, sans parler de la mise à disposition du Champ de Mars entre autres broutilles et attentions sympathiques de ce brave Monsieur Delanoë…
Résultat : la belle fête de la gauche et de l'égalité entre potes a réussi au-delà de toute espérance avec plus d'un million de personnes. Cependant, explique Dominique Sopo, dans un courrier qu'il aurait pu intituler SOS Pognon, « en raison de la défaillance de certains partenaires, cette opération nous met dans une situation financière des plus délicates, dont l'association doit sortir le plus rapidement possible. C'est pourquoi, connaissant votre attachement à notre action, je me permets de vous solliciter de façon exceptionnelle afin que vous puissiez nous aider à la hauteur de vos possibilités… »
Et le brave Sopo d'adresser sa bafouille aux ministères, histoire de voir l'État l'aider à financer une campagne présidentielle à la sauce des potes bien compris. Après tant d'années de mauvaise gestion sur fonds publics, c'est au contraire le moment de mettre un terme à ce gaspillage opéré sur le dos des contribuables. Laissons les parrains et marraines privés de SOS Racisme assumer les errements de la gestion Sopo et consorts.
L'État a déjà donné, comme le rappelait la Cour des comptes qui pointait de « graves insuffisances de gestion et de rigueur » sur les budgets 1997 à 2000 : « L'association n'aurait pas pu échapper à la mise en redressement judiciaire sans des concours financiers publics de caractère exceptionnel, subventions au titre de la réserve parlementaire de 1998, 1999, 2000, sur le budget de l'Éducation nationale et surtout en 2001, subvention des services du Premier ministre au titre des fonds spéciaux. »
Et comme l'État, c'est nous…
Philippe LE CLAIRE

lundi 29 août 2011

Les malheurs du Labour seront-ils résolus par le fundraising ?

Dans cet article du Guardian les journalistes Polly Curtis et James Ball dévoilent les conséquences pour les travaillistes britanniques d'un changement de la loi électorale britannique sur les dons aux partis politiques. Un choc pour le parti de gauche qui s'est longtemps reposé sur les versements effectués par les syndicats et quelques grosses fortunes. Les travaillistes vont devoir se réinventer et, pourquoi pas, tenter une solution nouvelle pour eux : le fundraising.

Labour could be ruined by proposed cap on political donations

Annual limit on funding would affect all major parties, with Labour facing a potential deficit of £13.5m

Labour could face financial ruin under plans being developed to cap the biggest donations to political parties, a Guardian analysis shows.

The independent standards watchdog is said to have agreed to recommend a new limit on donations, introducing an annual cap with figures ranging from £50,000 to £10,000 being considered. Such a move, in an attempt to clean up political funding, would end the six- and seven-figure donations to the Labour party from its union sponsors, as well as the Tories' reliance on the richest city financiers.

An analysis of five and a half years' worth of donations to the parties reveals the move would most dramatically affect Labour's funding base. If the £50,000 limit had been in place over the period, Labour's donations would have been reduced by 72%, the Conservatives' by 37% and the Liberal Democrats' by 25%.

A source close to the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which has been reviewing the party funding system and is due to report in October, said it was trying to find a way to impose a cap without bankrupting any one party.

Some committee members are arguing for more public funding for political parties, but most believe this is not achievable in the current economic climate. The debate now appears to rest on whether union money should be treated as single large donations or as multiple small donations from individual members' affiliation fees, and whether those affiliation fees should automatically go to Labour.

Union members could be given the option to donate their fee to another party in what would be the most radical shakeup of Labour's relationship with the unions in a generation, which would be fiercely opposed by union leaders.

"The thing we are going to have to decide is whether to bite the bullet and suggest public funding," the source said.

The committee, chaired by Sir Christopher Kelly, is due to meet on Thursday to decide the core issues. Nick Clegg, who is responsible for political reform, has promised to start cross-party talks on funding reform after the committee reports.

There is deep suspicion in Labour that senior ministers want to use the reforms to destabilise the financial foundations of the party. A spokesman said: "We would expect the Conservatives to stick to their promise that they will recognise that this issue needs to be resolved through cross-party consensus.

"We value the link with the trade union movement and any attempt to rewrite our constitution and deprive Labour of millions of working people's voices would leave politics a poorer place."

A Conservative spokeswoman said: "If the purpose of a cap is to deal with the perception that money can buy influence then it must apply equally to individuals, companies and trade unions, from whom the Labour party receives 85% of funding and who get extensive policy concessions in return."

A Liberal Democrat spokesman insisted that the coalition would not impose a deal on the parties. "The history of party funding reform is littered with corpses. You have to do it in consultation with the other parties," the spokesman said.

The analysis also reveals the impact a potential cap of £50,000 would have on all the political parties' already fragile balance sheets. Party accounts show that the Conservatives' extravagant spending at the last election – outspending Labour by two to one – and restructuring of their pension liabilities left them temporarily more in deficit last year, with a shortfall of £6.2m in 2010, which would jump by around £13m to £19.6m had their donations been capped at £50,000.

Despite its lower spending, the potential impact of the changes on Labour finances would be more severe, with more than £16m of funding disappearing from party coffers, transforming a surplus last year of £3.2m into a £13.5m deficit.

The Liberal Democrats' deficit of £335,000 expands to £1.9m. Labour separately has outstanding debts of nearly £10m, the Tories £2.6m and the Liberal Democrats £411,000.

Previous negotiations over funding failed in 2007 with the parties unable to agree a cap. Those were chaired by Sir Hayden Phillips, a former civil servant.

Phillips said the problem of the party funding system was "chronic". He urged the parties to make changes before the next scandal emerged.

But he warned that the hurdles facing reform have grown, because of the perceived closer links of the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, to the unions and because the economic climate makes it harder to justify public funding.

"When I produced my report and negotiated with the parties, public funding wasn't a big bone of contention. I think there would be much more reluctance now even though I still believe it is the right solution. The political party system is essential to democracy. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to provide a stake in the way parties are is funded."

samedi 27 août 2011

L'ouragan désorganise le fund raising

Mal Warwick a remarqué dans un de ses livres qu'on ne peut pas écarter l'impact de la nature sur le fund raising en rappelant qu'un important mailing conçu par lui et destiné à la région de San Francisco fut mis en distribution la veille d'un important tremblement de terre qui a dévasté le nord de la Californie.

Quelques années plus tard, l'ouragan Irène a le même impact sur les finances de candidats à la candidature républicaine.

Fund-raising Likely to Be Canceled Due to Irene

Campaign Cash

News and analysis on campaign fund-raising.

Three big presidential fund-raisers scheduled for this weekend in the Hamptons are up in the air thanks to the impending arrival of Hurricane Irene, currently hurtling toward New York.

Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was scheduled to attend an event on Saturday at the East Hampton home of Emil W. Henry Jr., a former assistant United States Treasury secretary, and another on Sunday — some hours after Hurricane Irene is expected to make landfall in New York — at the Southampton home of John Paulson, the billionaire hedge fund investor.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Romney said the events would probably be rescheduled.

Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor, was also scheduled to be in the area, attending a fund-raiser thrown by William Mack, the Manhattan real estate developer.

Tim Miller, a Huntsman spokesman, said the campaign was still evaluating whether the event would be held but maintained that Mr. Huntsman’s White House bid would not be deterred by a mere hurricane.

“Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor Irene will keep Governor Huntsman off the campaign trail,” Mr. Miller said.

jeudi 25 août 2011

Quel est le vrai visage des Français ?

Intéressante question à laquelle Bernard Petitjean, patron du cabinet Seprem, apporte une réponse dans sa lettre Matière à réflexion n°91 :

Les vacances ont, entre autres intérêt, celui de nous faire sortir des microcosmes dans lesquels nous vivons et de nous faire découvrir les « vrais gens » qui constituent les cibles auxquelles s’adressent les médias et les communicants.

Durant l’été, a compilé des centaines de données pour définir un portrait-robot statistique de ce Français moyen que cherchent à toucher tous les médias généralistes. Le résultat ne manque pas d’intérêt si on le met en perspective par rapport aux sujets valorisés par les médias et aux traitements qu’ils utilisent.

Le Français moyen est en effet une Nathalie Martin de 40 ans qui pèse 62,4 kilos pour 1,62 mètre, chausse du 38, a voté Nicolas Sarkozy et se définit comme catholique comme 64% des Français et hétérosexuelle comme 96%. Elle a un niveau d’études inférieur au bac comme 54,7% des Français, gagne 1.793 euros par mois (soit 20% de moins que son homologue masculin), épargne 16% de ses revenus et produit 390 kilos d’ordures par an.

Ce Français moyen est technophile : il téléphone en moyenne 28 heures par an, envoie 1.096 SMS et surfe 833 heures sur Internet. En matière de médias, il passe 1.138 heures par an devant son téléviseur, mais c’est à la radio (qu’il écoute 15 heures par semaine) qu’il fait le plus confiance pour s’informer. Durant son temps libre, il lit régulièrement 6,5 titres de presse magazine différents.

L’importance du nombre de magazines différents lus par nos contemporains nous alerte sur les limites d’un exercice consistant à ne prendre en compte que ce qui est commun, ou au moins majoritaire. S’il existe plusieurs dizaines de magazines féminins, de décoration ou d’information, mais aussi de radios et de télévisions, c’est en effet bien parce que ce qui différencie les individus est parfois plus important que ce qui les réunit !

Pour prendre en compte cet aspect des choses, Le Nouvel Observateur (N° 2439 du 4/08/2011) s’est aussi adonné aux délices du « Data Journalism ». On découvre notamment dans son dossier sur « La France des records » que c’est à Mulhouse qu’il y a le plus de jeunes et à Marnes-la-Coquette le plus de riches, que c’est en Dordogne que l’on compte le plus de retraités, en Lozère le plus de chômeurs et en Touraine le plus de francs maçons ; last but not least, c’est à Montpellier qu’il y a le plus de fumeurs de cannabis, mais le Nord-Pas-de-Calais l’emporte pour l’alcoolisme, l’obésité et la consommation de viande de cheval.

On le voit, si les médias de masse ont encore des efforts à faire pour mieux coller à ce qui rassemble les Français, les médias de segmentation ont aussi de beaux jours devant eux pour répondre aux attentes spécifiques des multiples tribus gauloises …

Bonne reprise, bon travail, et à jeudi prochain pour une nouvelle « Matière à réflexion ».

lundi 22 août 2011

Quand l'argent des donateurs disparaît

Une image qui fait pleurer et remplir les enveloppes retour.

Que devient l'argent versé par des donateurs quand surviennent de grands désastres ?

Est-ce la même chose offrir des dons pour les Japonais victimes du tsunami que pour les Haïtiens ?
Il est des questions auxquelles il vaut mieux ne pas répondre sinon on risque de mettre à mal un juteux pan du « charity business » qui engraisse toute une foule qui fait carrière dans l'humanitaire et enrichit les agences qui conçoivent leurs campagnes.

Car au fond des choses, l'argent versé par les donateurs sert avant tout aux donateurs à s'acheter une bonne conscience, aux humanitaires à vivre dans le monde virtuel qui est le leur et aux agences à faire bosser leurs équipes.

Quant à ce qui se passe quand les fonds qui passent à travers toutes les mailles du filet arrivent finalement dans un coin perdu du Tiers-Monde, il vaut mieux ne pas savoir.

En le criant trop fort, on risque de désespérer le café de Flore.

No tarp relief for Haiti's homeless

Individual Americans donated a total of $1.4bn after the 2010 earthquake, yet 600,000 Haitians are still living in tents. Why?
Mark Weisbrot in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday 22 August 2011 18.32 BST

Haiti, in August 2011, awaiting tropical storm Emily, threatening further misery for the 600,000 earthquake survivors living in displacement camps. Photograph: AP
At a sprawling internally displaced persons (IDP) camp of battered tents and tarps, in the Barbancourt neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, a confrontation was underway. A landlord, who claimed ownership over land on which some 75 families had been living since the earthquake, was very angry. A crowd of hundreds had gathered and a man in his thirties said that the landlord had beaten him and destroyed his tent.

"These people have been here for 19 months and I want them out of here!" the landlord shouted. He was yelling in English now because a group of activists had arrived, including the actor and human rights campaigner Danny Glover. They were defending the camp residents, but the landlord wasn't having it.

Meanwhile, a group of heavily armed troops from Minustah – the UN military force that has occupied the country for the past seven years – came on the scene. They were tense and sweating in the morning heat, and as the confrontation continued and the crowd spilled into the street, another contingent of troops arrived, bringing the total to about 15.

Finally, a well-known human rights lawyer, Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), showed up. He explained to the landlord – in another heated argument – that there was a legal and judicial process for evictions, and that as a matter of law, people could not be evicted without a court decision. The standoff came to an end, for the moment, as residents returned to the camp to avoid being locked out and possibly losing their possessions.

Nineteen months after the earthquake, almost 600,000 Haitian people are still living in camps, mostly under tents and tarps. Despite the billions of dollars of aid pledged by governments and donors since the earthquake, there are probably less than 50,000 that have been resettled. And for the 600,000 homeless, the strategy seems to be moving in the direction of evictions – without regard as to where they might end up.

"The government, in collaboration with international donors and some NGOs, is trying to pretend that there is no land," says Etant Dupain, an activist with the group Bri Kouri Novel Gaye (Noise Travels, News Spreads). His group is organising to stop the evictions, and he was present in the confrontation in Barbancourt on Saturday, where he tried to defuse the confrontation by talking to the landlord, whom he happened to know. "But there is land," Dupain said to the landlord. "They gave a big piece of land to Minustah, and this was cultivated land."

Indeed, this seems to be the heart of the problem: the international donors, led by the US, do not seem to care enough to resolve the problem by "building back better", as President Clinton promised after the earthquake. Or building much of anything, really. (Clinton heads up the Haiti Interim Recovery Commission – which, until recently, was called the Haiti Interim Reconstruction Commission; he is also the UN's special envoy to Haiti.)

A visit to another IDP camp called Corail, about 12 miles outside Port-au-Prince, makes this lack of commitment clear. About 10,000 people live in "transitional shelters", which are made of plywood and have a cement floor and corrugated steel roof. It's not exactly a house, but is a huge step-up from a tent or tarp, which floods in the rain and can be entered with a razor blade. The shelters are about 18sq m each and designed to last three to five years. Just across the fence, another 60,000 people are surviving in tents and tarps.

Building transitional housing would not be a long-term solution to the problem – people need to be resettled in permanent homes, and equally importantly, they need jobs – but transitional housing could be built for the entire IDP population at a cost of around $200m. This should be doable, considering that international donors have pledged $5.6bn since the earthquake (pdf).

But to do this, the government would have to acquire the necessary land. This is entirely constitutional, in many countries including the United States, and compensation could be provided to the landowners. Land ownership is, of course, very poorly documented in Haiti, but that is no excuse. The land could be acquired first and the owners compensated as their claims are settled. That is where the will is lacking, and the "international community" should bear most of the responsibility here, because in reality they are in charge.

Meanwhile, landowners – or those who claim to own the land which is occupied by about 1000 IDP camps – have stepped up their efforts at evictions, often through violence and coercion. Some have hired thugs with machetes and knives to destroy tents. In the Port-au-Prince suburb of Delmas, the mayor has ordered police to deploy, without a legal order to evict, destroying tents and using force to evict the residents – the majority of whom are women and children. With the compliance of NGOs, they have sometimes even cut off water supplies. In late May, a 63-year-old woman was killed when a security guard working for the landowner knocked her to the ground in the camp of Orphee Shada.

Some 94% of IDP camp residents have said they would leave if they could, according to a recent Intentions Survey from the International Organisation for Migration. They just have no place to go.

Half of all American households donated money to Haiti after the earthquake, for a total of $1.4bn in private donations; and the US Congress has appropriated more than $1bn in addition. Why can't this money be used to provide shelter for the victims of the earthquake, 19 months later?

samedi 20 août 2011

Save the children sous les projecteurs

Faut-il croire que seul le Daily Mail s'est intéressé à ce film ? La BBC diffuse enfin un documentaire sur cette association charitable quarante deux ans après que celle-ci en eut obtenu en justice l'interdiction.

Banned Ken Loach charity documentary to be shown after 42 years

By Sally Beck
Last updated at 1:10 AM on 21st August 2011

A banned film which exposed the charity Save The Children Fund as being bigoted and abusive is to be shown for the first time after 42 years.

ITV commissioned the documentary from leading director Ken Loach in 1969 to mark the charity’s 50th birthday.But the fund won an injunction to stop it being shown.

Justin Forsyth, the current chief executive of the charity, which is now called Save The Children, said: ‘There are some really worrying bits in the film, particularly with the attitudes and approaches.

Candid: 'Auntie Lena' in the film

'I was embarrassed by some of the bigoted attitudes then, but it was a snapshot of the charity in 1969. Ken’s narrative does bring alive a lot of big questions about aid and attitudes.

‘Our immediate reaction now was, of course we should have the film out there even if it’s a bit embarrassing for us and critical of us because it does raise questions about charities that need to be talked about.’

Mr Loach said: ‘We knew we were making a film that was contentious. We weren’t there to do a PR job.’

At the time, the charity wanted the film destroyed. Lawyer Irving Teitelbaum struck a deal saving a single copy of the film.

He said: ‘They wanted to destroy it but the deal that we managed to do was that it would be locked in a vault at the British Film Institute and they would throw the key away.’

It has remained at the BFI, untouched and unseen, until Save The Children was asked if it could be shown as part of a Ken Loach retrospective.

Contentious: Director Ken Loach said he the film was never supposed to be a PR job

The film, produced by Tony Garnett, researched by sociologist and author Jeremy Seabrook and directed by Mr Loach, was shot in Kenya and the UK and begins by showing a project for deprived children called Hill House in the Essex countryside.

Children from industrial cities were sent for a three-month holiday and a good bath with disinfectant.

Surrogate parents Uncle Chris and Auntie Lena are charged with teaching them table manners and personal hygiene.

But Auntie Lena says that slum children are ‘cunning’, possess ‘a certain amount of animal instinct’ and that their parents are lazy.

One boy reveals: ‘Anyone who’s wet the bed has to have a cold bath in the morning.’ Another says: ‘If he [Uncle Chris] catches you playing around in the annexe, he hits you.’

The film moves to Kenya, which became independent in 1963, and the charity’s Starehe School for street boys in Nairobi.

An American teacher at the school says: ‘I cannot conceive of a school anywhere else in the world where the mother language is not allowed to be spoken on campus.

'These boys are segregated from Africa. If a boy loses contact with his culture, who is he?’

Mr Loach, 75, said: ‘Save The Children thought that we were on the side of the angels and, without any self-awareness, they felt they were too.

'The bigotry, particularly with the benefit of hindsight of

40 years, is just intolerable.’

Mr Forsyth added: ‘I’m glad it wasn’t destroyed. We’d be very happy to work with Ken again although he may not want to work with us.’

* Save The Children Fund will be shown at the BFI from September 1 until October 12. Ken Loach At The BBC is available on DVD from September 5.

Ne dites pas à ma mère que mon fils fait du fundraising…

Alastair Campbell avec sa compagne actuelle Fiona Millar et leur fils commun Calum photographiés en 2008.

Ne dites pas à ma mère que mon fils fait du fundraising… elle le croit pianiste dans un bordel. Un article amusant du Daily Mail sur le fils d'une huile du Labour britannique qui se retrouve dans l'équipe de fundraisers du parti.Lien

Nepotism row as Campbell son is given a plum job with Labour

By Chris Hastings
Last updated at 1:14 AM on 21st August 2011

Labour has been accused of nepotism after handing a plum job to the son of former Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell.

Calum Campbell, 22, has been a member of the party’s fundraising team since December and his role involves working closely with Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman.

He was appointed to the post just five months after his father made a donation of £10,000 to the party.

Close: Alastair Campbell with his partner Fiona Millar and their son Calum in 2008

The revelation is embarrassing for the party’s leadership, which has tried to shame the Conservatives over the issue of securing valuable work experience for family and friends.

Ms Harman launched a scathing attack when it was disclosed that the Tories auctioned off internships at a party fundraising ball in February.

She said the event summed up the Government’s elitist and out-of-date attitude to social mobility.

However, she was later left red-faced when it was revealed that her own son, Harry, began his career working at public-relations firm Smart Company, which was founded by Deborah Mattinson, a Labour Party adviser and friend of Ms Harman.

Richard Harrington, the Tory MP for Watford, said last night the appointment of Mr Campbell’s son smacked of cronyism.

He said: ‘This is the sort of nepotism we have come to expect from the Labour Party under Ed Miliband.

Cronyism : Tory MP Richard Harrington said nepotism is expected from the Labour Party lead by Ed Miliband

‘Labour’s biggest trade union donors chose him to become leader despite his brother having more votes from party members.

Now Alastair Campbell’s son turns up at Labour HQ after Mr Campbell donated thousands of pounds to them.’

Electoral Commission documents show that Mr Campbell, 54, gave £10,000 to the party last year, making him its largest single donor.

His son would appear to be as passionate a Labour supporter as his father. His Facebook page includes links to a number of groups, including

‘Ed Miliband for PM’ and another championing the work of the Labour Diversity Fund, which was established to encourage people from under-represented groups, including those from low-income backgrounds, to stand for Parliament.

There is also a link to a more unsavoury group – ‘I will have the biggest party ever when M.thatcher [sic] dies’ – which allows people to post insulting messages about the former Tory Prime Minister.

The links were all available to anyone visiting his Facebook page on Friday afternoon, but suddenly disappeared after The Mail on Sunday contacted Labour’s Press office.

A Labour spokesman last night denied any suggestion of nepotism and insisted that Calum Campbell was appointed on merit.

He said: ‘Calum was given the job, which was advertised, because he was the best candidate.

The idea that he got the job because of his father is plain wrong.’

vendredi 19 août 2011

Le fundraising libère le candidat

Ron Paul face à ses compatriotes.

Ron Paul, un des candidats républicains à la candidature pour les prochaines élections présidentielles aux Etats-Unis, défend des positions souvent à contre-pied de celles de son parti, notamment sur des thèmes qui sont chers aux plus gros donateurs et aux différents lobbies.

Un des raisons qui explique une indépendance d'esprit, qui tranche sur la grisaille et le conformisme des autres candidats, est tout simplement l'importance de son recours au fundraising. Grâce aux dons de milliers d'Américains ordinaires, il ne dépend pas de riches contributeurs qui à la fois garnissent les coffres des candidats et leur imposent leurs vues.

C'est un des rôles du fundraising, libérer les hommes politiques de l'emprise des puissances de l'argent pour leur permettre de défendre leurs idées.

Second time’s the charm as Paul learns from ‘08 bid

While other candidates are dominating headlines in the Republican presidential campaign, Ron Paul is quietly commanding a campaign that’s showing a level of maturity in fundraising and performance that was lacking four years ago.

The 12-term congressman from Texas has raised nearly double the amount of campaign cash he had at this point in 2007, and in his second-place showing in the Ames, Iowa, straw poll, he garnered nearly four times the support he had last time, falling just shy of knocking off Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota in her own backyard.

Overall, some supporters say that Mr. Paul has already won by forcing several of the top-tier GOP contenders to move closer to him on the issues. But this time around, the 75-year-old also is doing a much better job of turning those issues into a credible bid for the country’s top office.

“We have a lot more supporters and a lot more organization,” Mr. Paul said in a recent interview with The Washington Times at the Iowa State Fair. “I think the campaign team is a lot more sophisticated, and they know what to do out here. We had a lot of enthusiasm four years ago, but we didn’t know how to organize it and direct it. We didn’t really know how this system worked. So, we should do better and we should expect better.”

The Paul campaign also claims to have honed electoral strategy, swapping out the 50-state plan it employed four years ago in favor of a “laserlike” focus on Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada — home to the first three contests of the nomination process.

‘MORE SOPHISTICATED’: Ron Paul’s campaign experience is serving him well this time around as he seeks the GOP nomination for the presidency. (Associated Press)
Grass-roots supporters have returned from the 2008 campaign, which for many of them marked their first foray into politics. Since then, many of them have gained additional political experience through their involvement in the tea party movement as well as local, state and national elections.

“The grass-roots activists are greater in number, and they’re also more seasoned,” said Jesse Benton, a campaign spokesman. “They have a greater understanding of the right things to do to influence people, to influence their neighbors, and be effective in the process.”

In addition, Sen. Rand Paul, a tea party superstar from Kentucky, is going to bat for his father in public appearances and television interviews, giving the 75-year-old a powerful political surrogate and “symbol to activists around the country that these ideas can win, and, if we do the right things and work hard, we can have victory,” Mr. Benton said.

Going into last weekend’s Ames straw poll, the campaign and its supporters exhibited a political savvy that was arguably lacking four years ago. Gone were the fife-and-drum corps that led his small but loud army of followers into the Iowa State University basketball arena in 2007.

Also gone was the suit and tie that made it hard to fit in, replaced with a cotton plaid shirt and tennis shoes. Also gone was the sense that Mr. Paul was a libertarian nut with no hope of winning the poll or the nomination.

“This time around, there is a little less fervor, but more resolve, because people felt they were so close the last campaign,” said Jason Gregory, a 37-year-old warehouse worker from Des Moines and a Paul backer.

Mr. Paul also broadened his message, reaching out to family-values voters who otherwise might shy away from his libertarian views.

In Iowa, he told pro-life evangelical Christians that his championing of liberty has always been rooted in the rights derived from God, including the right to life.

But states, he said, should decide whether homosexuals can marry. He also has vowed to end all foreign aid, including aid to Israel. Last week, he said there’s no evidence that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon, though he conceded that it would be natural for them to do so given the fact that they’re encircled by nuclear powers.

For those stances, Mr. Paul remains anathema to some Republicans.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told reporters he would never cast a vote for someone who believes it is OK for Iran to have a nuclear device.

“Everyone in the house may have a gun, but the 2-year-old doesn’t get one. You don’t let a child have a loaded gun and expect it is going to turn out well,” Mr. Huckabee said.

Asked whether he could vote for Mr. Paul, Mr. Huckabee said, “Let me just say, I don’t think I’ll ever have that opportunity.”

Some of Mr. Paul’s supporters like that he rankles other Republicans.

“He is not a phony,” said Carol Wilberding, a 67-year-old retiree from Waterloo. “The others many times are self-serving. Some fabricate things and some just outright lie.” She added, “I think they are afraid of him because he upsets the status quo. He doesn’t just follow the party line, and they do.”

Mr. Paul’s campaign style also sets him apart.

At the Iowa State Fair, more often than not, he waited for passers-by to approach, while the rest of the field aggressively, often awkwardly, sought out hands to shake, people to talk to and babies to gaze upon.

“My nature is that I never felt good about going up and interrupting people,” he told The Times. “I feel like I’m violating their privacy. Eventually, people will come your way if what you are thinking is worthwhile.”

Powered by so-called “money bombs” in 2008, Mr. Paul raised $34.5 million and won some straw polls, but that didn’t translate into support in the early primary and caucus states. He won 1.1 million votes, or 5.6 percent of the popular vote in the nomination contest, while Sen. John McCain of Arizona won 9.6 million voters, nearly 47 percent of the popular vote on his way to winning the Republican nomination.

Mr. Paul and his supporters are hopeful that his fortune will change this campaign season. They take solace in the fact that the national dialogue has swung onto his court, with increasing attention being given to cutting government spending, ending the military conflicts overseas and questioning the role of the Federal Reserve.

“There is a revolution going on in this country and you are at the forefront of it,” he told supporters gathered at his tent at the straw poll. “Nobody can stop this revolution — our time has come.”

jeudi 18 août 2011

L'utilité d'une check list

Lorsqu'on prépare un mailing, il est utile vérifier que l'on n'oublie rien, même les points les plus cruciaux. Je me souviens, voici quelques années, un client m'a adressé le mailing pour que je lui fasse une lecture critique. C'est un travail que je fais très souvent et qui permet d'avoir un regard neuf sur un projet déjà bien avancé. Dans ce cas, ils avaient tout simplement oublié l'adresse où poster les chèques du bon de retour !

Voici la check list proposée par nos amis de SOFII :

A checklist to help supercharge your fundraising appeals

By Damian O’Broin

Checklists are great. They can make onerous tasks more manageable. And in a busy agency or fundraising department they can be a lifeline to ensure that work is done properly and to the highest standard.
So today I thought I’d share with you two of the checklists we use at Ask Direct to ensure that the campaigns we produce are as effective and compelling as possible.
If you use these 12 points to review the campaigns you produce, it will supercharge your fundraising appeals.
I’ll be honest, though. It can be very difficult to create appeals that tick all 12 of these boxes. We rarely manage to do it. But we’re always trying to get there.
I should also say that we didn’t invent these. We stole them from people who are far cleverer than we are.

The first checklist we stole from Patrick Renvoisé and Christophe Morin, who wrote a book called Neuromarketing (Thomas Nelson, Inc, USA, 2007). In it they argue that the part of brain responsible for action, what they call ‘the old brain’, only responds to six stimuli. And if you want to motivate people to take an action – such as giving money to your cause – you need to use these stimuli.

So here’s checklist no. 1, the Neuromarketing checklist.

1. Self-centred

The old brain only really cares about itself. So you need to make sure that your fundraising appeals are about the donor, not about your organisation. The donor should be the centre of the story, the hero of the piece. Your organisation is merely the trusty sidekick who helps her achieve whatever remarkable thing it is that you’re asking for her help with.

2. Contrast

Our old brains are finely attuned to contrast, difference and change. We notice the new. Does your appeal surprise? Is it unexpected? And does it move between the bad – whatever problem you’re trying to solve – and the good – the positive outcome you’re hoping for?

3. Tangible

The old brain isn’t good at abstract concepts. It likes things to be tangible and concrete. It doesn’t want to end poverty, but it would quite like to stop a child from going to school hungry. It doesn’t get environmental justice and sustainable development, but it would like clean drinking water and not to have an incinerator built next door.

4. Beginning and end

Our old brains pay most attention to what comes at the beginning and the end. The middle tends to be a bit of a mush. Think of your favourite novel. You can probably recall how it starts and how it ends, but I doubt you could relate in detail everything that happens in the 300 pages in between. So make sure the most important information is at the beginning and end of the appeal. And make sure there’s a good story to tie the rest of it all together.

5. Visual stimuli

Apparently the old brain doesn’t even understand words. So make sure you have strong visual stimuli to engage people and move them to action. Wherever possible use images of people, ideally looking straight at the camera.

6. Emotions

As they say in their book, ‘…researchers have demonstrated that [we] make decisions in an emotional manner and then justify them rationally.’ If you want people to take action, you have to engage with their emotions. Make sure your fundraising appeal packs an emotional punch. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t go out.

So that’s the first six. They’re the easy ones.

We also stole the next six. They come from Robert B Cialdini, author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (William Morris and Limited, Inc, USA 1993), who identified six ‘weapons of influence’. Here they are.

7. Reciprocation

Give something. Someone who receives a gift feels obligated to return the favour. This is why premiums – stickers, labels, pens – lift response. But this a lever of influence you need to use with care and prudence. You don’t want a sense of obligation to descend into resentment. Perhaps there are better things you can ‘give’ to your donor, such as special access, insider information – or even gratitude – that would cement and deepen the relationship and a shared sense of obligation to each other.

8. Commitment and consistency

Once people publicly commit to something, they tend to stay consistent with that commitment. I came across a great example of this recently at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention, when Craig Linton of the Greater London Fund for the Blind showed their donor pledge form. New donors area asked to sign a pledge (not compulsory) to ‘continue my regular gift for as long as I can afford it. I reckon these few words will really help to reduce their attrition rates.

9. Social proof

Social proof is hugely influential. We are surprisingly herd-like and will often take our lead from others. How can you demonstrate social proof in your appeals? One technique that has worked in telephone campaigns is to tell donors how much other people gave to the appeal. The donor is very likely to follow suit. Try to think of ways of showing the breadth of support for your cause. If people know other people ‘like them’ – people of the same gender, or from the same locality – support you, they’re more likely to do so themselves.

10. Liking

We prefer to say yes to people we like. So, is your organisation likeable? Do you seem human, genuine, friendly, caring? Do you demonstrate this with excellent donor care?

11. Authority

We are also remarkably easily swayed by authority. Do you come across as authoritative? Do you sound like you know what you’re talking about? Are you experts in your area? Interestingly, one way to convey this is by talking in detail and specifics, using concrete language. The more detail you provide, the more vivid your storytelling, the more likely it is that your donor will believe you. More on that here.

12. Scarcity

Scarcity and exclusivity are powerful motivators. But they can be hard to apply in general fundraising appeals – you often want as many people as possible to contribute. But you should always consider ways to employ scarcity. A J Leon, again at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention, had a great example where he limited the number of donors to a project to a hundred. And these 100 people got special access and benefits. It was a runaway success. You can watch it here

So there you have it: twelve things to aim for in your next fundraising appeal.