dimanche 18 septembre 2011

WikiLeaks a besoin d'argent, vite.

Cet article de Guy Adams envoyé depuis Los Angeles  pour The Independent, montre à quelles expédients doit se résoudre une organisation qui ne structure pas son fundraising à temps.

Can the cult of Assange save cash-strapped WikiLeaks?

Roll up, roll up! The great WikiLeaks memorabilia auction has just begun. The laptop computer on which "Cablegate" was compiled is on offer for £6,000, while some signed versions of those famous diplomatic cables can be yours for just £2,100. And do I hear £240 for a sachet of prison coffee once purloined by an incarcerated Julian Assange?

With normal sources of revenue stifled by a financial services embargo – and running costs and legal fees mounting – the website's proprietors are doing what comes naturally to cash-strapped citizens of the internet era: selling a selection of prized second-hand possessions on eBay.

The first of four fundraising auctions was announced at the weekend, featuring 10 intriguing lots ranging from a print of the directive in which Hillary Clinton asked US officials to spy on the UN, to a signed photograph of Mr Assange, the WikiLeaks founder.

"In this framed unique photo, Julian Assange leans against a column at the front of Ellingham Hall where he has spent almost 300 days under house arrest," reads the accompanying blurb, which informs bidders that the image was autographed at Mr Assange's 40th birthday party. "It is one of only four photos of Julian in the world that were signed on this occasion," it adds.

That item was going for £640 last night, although bidding will not reach its crucial stages until Thursday. Bigger ticket items include the laptop computer, described as having "led to hundreds of front pages and a causative element in ongoing political turmoil and reforms". It has attracted a bid of £6,000.

Some of the organisation's prominent supporters have also chipped in. Vivienne Westwood is offering two tickets to her Paris fashion show later this month for £8,000. Chef Sarah Saunders will cook dinner at your home for £800. And John Pilger, the filmmaker, has contributed a signed movie poster, currently going for £420.

WikiLeaks, which is funded by donations, said the auction is an effort to replace cash lost during an "unlawful financial embargo" during which the Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union have refused to process payments to its accounts.

The celebrity sales patter attached to some auction lots may, however, lead critics to complain that the organisation has become unduly interested in promoting its founder. Mr Assange's soaring profile is reported to be a factor in simmering disputes which have recently seen several of his former colleagues resign from WikiLeaks.

Included in the auction, for example, is a coffee sachet purloined by Mr Assange during his stay at Her Majesty's pleasure before Christmas. "This rare item has been signed on one side: 'Julian A, Prison coffee, smuggled out of Wandsworth Prison by me on 17 Dec 2010'," reads the blurb. "On the other side of the sachet Julian has inked a fingerprint. The sachet is unopened."

Mr Assange is currently staying at the 650-acre Ellingham Hall estate, in Norfolk, while he fights extradition to Sweden. He denies charges of sexual misconduct with two women in Stockholm, saying they are part of a wider conspiracy against him.

Whistleblower's wares on offer

Item: CableGate preparation computer

Description 'The database machine allowed the WikiLeaks team to search the full set of cables and extract the cables to be sent encrypted to media organisations throughout the world.'

Item: Julian Assange's prison coffee sachet, signed and fingerprinted

Description 'Scarce item of memorabilia from Julian Assange's time in prison. When he left to go under house arrest in Norfolk, he smuggled out this, one of three sachets of coffee. The sachet is unopened.'

Item: Cable on UN spying, signed and fingerprinted

Description 'The unique cable details Hillary Clinton asking her diplomats to spy on UN officials, requesting them to collect details of UN officers, including Ban Ki-moon's DNA. Julian has also written the WikiLeaks' slogan on the cable: "Courage is Contagious."'

Item: Signed photograph of Julian Assange

Description 'Exclusive photo (13cm x 18cm) of the organisation's founder. It was taken at Ellingham Hall where Julian is under house arrest.'

mercredi 7 septembre 2011

Saint Joseph du Dakota : peut mieux faire

L'oeuvre des Indiens sioux du Dakota est une légende dans le monde du fundraising. Ils ont récolté en 2010 près de 50 millions de dollars et leur patrimoine s'est accru durant cette période de près de 12 millions de dollars pour atteindre 76 millions.

Pour y parvenir, les fundraisers qui travaillent pour eux font appel à des méthodes vigoureuses, pas toujours en accord avec la réalité.

Ce qui a conduit l'association à se faire épingler par le BBB pour des pratiques qu'ils considèrent comme abusives, notamment en mentionnant des urgences qui, au regard de la richesse de l'association, n'ont pas lieu d'être.

In the Alliance's opinion, direct mail appeals sent in 2010 cited emergency financial needs that are not evident in the financial statements St. Joseph's provided to the Alliance.
Specifically, direct mail appeals included references to St. Joseph's emergency financial needs related to the cost of utilities.  Below are excerpts from such an appeal:
“South Dakota winters are known to be brutally cold.  They can last up to six months.  The cost to heat and light the 20 children's homes--along with classrooms and other school buildings--takes a huge toll on our budget.
"That's why I'm looking to you...for your urgent assistance.  Would you please send an emergency gift right away to keep our Lakota students warm this winter?
After leaving the accounting department, I did some additional calculating.  I discovered utilities alone cost us $4.68 a day per child.  Now, at first glance, this may not sound like very much, but when you multiply it by 220 boys and girls, it's an enormous drain on our limited resources.  The total?  Over $376,254"
Given the resources available to the organization, the Alliance disagrees with the claim that the cost of utility expenses is an emergency need.

Quand j'ai reçu un premier mailing de la succursale française de cette œuvre, j'ai cru tout d'abord à une opération frauduleuse car l'adresse et le téléphone sont celles d'une société de services qui assure le secrétariat.

Finalement, j'ai pu vérifier qu'il s'agissait bien d'une opération de fundraising international conduite depuis les Etats-Unis grâce à l'intercession de quelques personnes en France et une avance de fonds de 300 000 euros venant des Etats-Unis.

Le grand manitou du fundraising de cette association catholique est Kory Christianson. Il est si bien considéré par ses pairs qu'il a reçu en janvier 2010  le Max L. Hart Nonprofit Achievement Award.

The Direct Marketing Association's Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) announced Kory Christianson of St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota as the 2010 recipient of its Max L. Hart Nonprofit Achievement Award.

The award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual within the nonprofit community, and was presented at a luncheon on Friday, Jan. 29, during DMANF’s 2010 Washington Nonprofit Conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“The Awards Committee was very impressed by the detailed and enthusiastic nomination submitted on Kory’s behalf,” said Mary A. Bogucki, chair of DMANF’s Awards Committee, and vice president, Amergent.  “We received notes from individuals praising Kory from both the corporate and nonprofit communities. His leadership, integrity, and humility are the true hallmarks of a worthy recipient. It is no surprise we reached a unanimous decision to present him with this year’s Max Hart Award.”

Christianson has worked in the development office at St. Joseph’s school for over 16 years.  As the executive director of development, he oversees their USA, Germany, and France fundraising programs and leads a team that raises over $50 million annually in support of programs and services for the Native American population throughout all of South Dakota. His commitment to service of the nonprofit community continues, as he is a volunteer fundraiser for the Mitchell Christian School and a member of the Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Foundation board of directors. In 1999, he became a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and in 2000 was awarded the Charity Fundraising Executive of the Year Award by the National Federation of Non-Profits.

St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, South Dakota, is a residential and educational center dedicated to helping the state’s Native American population.  The school is privately operated and receives no regular government funding.  Through the generosity of its supporters, St. Joseph’s provides for all the needs of its 200 students — everything from food and clothing, to a well-rounded education and counseling — at no cost to them or their families.

DMANF’s award was established in 1990 as the Nonprofit Achievement Award, and was renamed in 2005 for Max L. Hart, formerly of the Disabled Americans.  Hart is a DMA Hall of Fame honoree and longtime advocate, supporter, and champion of professionalism for the nonprofit fundraising community. 
Pour l'anecdote, il prend la parole aujourd'hui mercredi 7 septembre dans quelques heures à Omaha sur le thème de la maximisation de l'impact du marketing direct. Je peux vous dire qu'il en connaît un rayon. Il n'est pas avare de son expérience qu'il aime à partager avec d'autres.

Les résultats de ses opérations en France sont très encourageants. Lors de la première année de récolte, St Joseph a engrangé 664 000 euros pour 180 000 euros de frais de fundraising. Ce qui a laissé un solde des ressources de 453 000 euros.

L'agence en charge des opérations ne fait pas le détail. A titre d'exemple, un donateur qui a envoyé un don payé sur sa société a reçu en retour un reçu libellé à l'ordre de la société, ce qui est bien normal, mais ce qui l'est moins est que cette personne n'existe pas en tant que donateur, les courriers ultérieurs ne lui sont pas adressés mais à la société.

Comme package d'accueil, on peut mieux faire.

Un mois plus tard, le donateur a reçu un nouvel envoi, cette fois contenant un calendrier et une lettre dans laquelle on trouve une révélation, l'école pour laquelle ses fonds sont sollicités contient en tout et pour tout 200 élèves, soit rien qu'aux Etats-Unis, 250 000 dollars de dons par élève, de quoi leur offrir un palace cinq étoiles.

Les textes du calendrier sont assez calamiteux car ils donnent l'impression que les Européens ne viennent en aide aux Amérindiens que depuis 1927 data à laquelle des prêtres de la mission du Sacré Cœur ont fondé l'école Saint Joseph du Dakota.

Visiblement les rédacteurs de l'agence n'ont jamais entendu parler des tribulations du jésuite flamand Pierre-Jean de Smet, exactement au même endroit, mais près d'un siècle plus tôt.

Ils ne connaissent pas grand-chose non plus de l'histoire des Indiens sioux car ils auraient pu tirer profit du fait qu'au moins un tiers d'entre eux possèdent des noms français.

Notons que cette association n'est pas la seule à venir en aide aux Indiens sioux.  L'association Oiseau Tonnerre est plus modeste dans ses moyens mais pas dans ses ambitions. Elle présente l'avantage de ne rien ignorer des liens entre les Français et les Sioux, liens que l'agence française de Saint Joseph du Dakota méconnaît totalement.

Pour en savoir plus, je recommande chaudement l'ouvrage d'Arnaud Balvay :

lundi 5 septembre 2011

Ce qui compte, c'est le donateur

Movie Mondays: How one simple change caused 1000% growth in donations

Je suis frappé par la capacité de nos confrères américains à résumer en quelques minutes un point important.

Dans ce post de Christopher Davenport, le fundraiser Tom Ahern rappelle une règle de base de la communication avec le donateur.

Il ne s'agit pas de se faire plaisir, mais de faire plaisir au donateur, lui démontrer que son don de 15, 35 ou 10 000 euros sert à quelque chose.

samedi 3 septembre 2011

Fundraising : il faut dire la vérité aux donateurs

De retour de Somalie, Unni Karunakara, le patron de Médecins sans frontières, a fait des déclarations dans la presse qui méritent d'être soulignées car enfin une association caritative parle vrai en ce qui concerne les promesses faites aux donateurs.

Curieusement dans la dépêche de l'AFP, il n'est pas du tout question de ce point  précis :

Somalie: le terrain le plus difficile pour les humanitaires
NAIROBI — La Somalie, avec sa guerre civile et la multiplication des centres de pouvoir, est le pays le plus difficile au monde pour les humanitaires, contraints de travailler à l'aveuglette face aux conséquences d'une sécheresse historique, estime le président international de Médecins sans frontières, Unni Karunakara.
MSF est une des rares organisations à ne pas avoir quitté la Somalie depuis le début de la guerre civile en 1991, et à travailler aujourd'hui dans certaines régions du sud et du centre contrôlées par les islamistes shebab.
"Mais même avec les réseaux dont nous disposons, nous avons de graves difficultés pour accéder aux régions à problème, et pour mener les estimations indépendantes absolument essentielles pour distribuer de l'aide", souligne le Dr Karunakara. "Aujourd'hui, nous travaillons à la marge" du problème, estime-t-il.
La Somalie "est pour moi le pays le plus difficile" où opérer. "Nous travaillons en Afghanistan, en Irak, mais nous n'avons pas besoin de gardes armés dans ces pays", relève le président international de MSF, de retour d'une visite en Somalie, à Mogadiscio et à Galkayo.
"En Côte d'Ivoire, où il y avait une guerre, il nous a fallu 36 heures pour mener notre première opération. Ici (en Somalie), même obtenir une voiture fait l'objet de négociations".
La sécheresse en Somalie, consécutive à plusieurs saisons sèches, touche 3,7 millions de personnes soit la moitié de la population selon les Nations Unies.
La famine qui en découle sévit essentiellement dans des régions contrôlées par les shebab, où MSF maintient plusieurs programmes d'aide médicale, notamment à Dinsor et à Mareere. "Mais même là, notre accès est très limité", reconnaît le Dr Karunakara.
Les régions officiellement contrôlées par le gouvernement sont, souvent, également difficilement accessibles, ajoute-t-il.
"On parle beaucoup de lever de l'argent et d'amener de l'aide à Mogadiscio. Mais le vrai défi est de savoir comment amener la nourriture du port vers les gens qui en ont besoin", estime le Dr Karunakara.
Du centre et du sud du pays, la crise humanitaire s'est transportée à Mogadiscio, avec l'arrivée de 100.000 personnes fuyant la sécheresse.
"risque d'épidémie élevé"
"Le risque d'épidémie est élevé en raison du surpeuplement et de l'accès très réduit" à des sanitaires et à des points d'eau. MSF a entamé dans la capitale somalienne une campagne de vaccination contre la rougeole, avec 3.000 enfants vaccinés à ce jour, et doit ouvrir la semaine prochaine un centre de prévention du choléra.
"Nous voyons déjà beaucoup de cas d'infections de la peau, des yeux, des poumons, des diarrhées aiguës. Tout ceci est le signe d'une très mauvaise situation hygiénique", s'inquiète le médecin.
Le retrait des shebab de Mogadiscio le 6 août n'a pas radicalement amélioré la situation. "Il y a un vide du pouvoir" dans les quartiers qu'ils ont abandonnés, obligeant les organisations humanitaires à négocier avec quiconque y dispose d'un réel pouvoir, dit le patron de MSF.
"En ce moment nous interviewons 200 personnes pour des postes d'infirmières. Mais chaque embauche doit être discutée avec les chefs de clans, qui vont dire ensuite qui peut être embauché ou pas", relève le Dr Karunakara.
Le patron de MSF rêverait de davantage de visibilité quant à l'ampleur de la crise. Les contrôles effectués par ses équipes suggèrent un taux de malnutrition sévère de près de 30% chez les enfants de moins de cinq ans, mais il souligne qu'"il ne s'agit pas de données scientifiques".
"Nous évitons de donner des chiffres globaux, car de tels chiffres ne signifient rien", estime-t-il, appelant de ses voeux "un accès beaucoup plus ouvert aux régions touchées par la sécheresse, afin que nous puissions y mener de vraies estimations".

En revanche, dans  ce papier de Tracy McVeigh dans les colonnes du Guardian, le journaliste se fait bel et bien l'écho des propos de Unni Karunakara que tous les fundraisers devraient conserver à l'esprit : ne pas faire des promesses qui sont sans rapport avec la réalité.

Charity president says aid groups are misleading the public on Somalia

Médecins Sans Frontières executive says charities must admit that much of the country can't be helped 

The head of an international medical charity has called on aid agencies to stop presenting a misleading picture of the famine in Somalia and admit that helping the worst-affected people is almost impossible.

The international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Dr Unni Karunakara, returned from Somalia last week and said that, even though there was chronic malnutrition and drought across east Africa, hardly any agencies were able to work inside war-torn Somalia, where the picture was "profoundly distressing". He condemned other organisations and the media for "glossing over" the reality in order to convince people that simply giving money for food was the answer.

According to Karunakara, agencies have been able to provide medical and nutritional care for tens of thousands in camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, which have been receiving huge numbers of refugees from Somalia. But trying to access those in the "epicentre" of the disaster has been slow and difficult. "We may have to live with the reality that we may never be able to reach the communities most in need of help," he said.

Karunakara said that the use of phrases such as "famine in the Horn of Africa" or "worst drought in 60 years" obscured the "man-made" factors that had created the crisis and wrongly implied that the solution was simply to find the money to ship enough food to the region.

He described Mogadishu, the Somali capital, as dotted with plastic sheets supported by twigs, sheltering groups of weak and starving people who had walked in from the worst-affected areas in southern and central Somalia. "I met a woman who had left her home with her husband and seven children to walk to Mogadishu and had arrived after five days with only four children," he said.

"MSF is constantly being forced to make tough choices in deploying or expanding our activities, in sticking to our principles of neutrality with the daily realities of people going without healthcare, without food. Our staff face being shot. But glossing over the man-made causes of hunger and starvation in the region and the great difficulties in addressing them will not help resolve the crisis. Aid agencies are being impeded in the area.

"MSF has been working in Somalia for 20 years, and we know that if we are struggling then others will not be able to work at all. The reality on the ground is that there are serious difficulties that affect our abilities to respond to need."

He said charities needed to start treating the public "like adults". He went on: "There is a con, there is an unrealistic expectation being peddled that you give your £50 and suddenly those people are going to have food to eat. Well, no. We need that £50, yes; we will spend it with integrity. But people need to understand the reality of the challenges in delivering that aid. We don't have the right to hide it from people; we have a responsibility to engage the public with the truth."

Chronic malnutrition, said Karunakara, is not new in east Africa and needs long-term action. "The Somali people have been living in a country at war, with no government, for 20 years, with several long periods of hardship, of famine and drought. This harvest failure is just what has tipped them over the edge this time, a catastrophe made worse," he said.

A brutal war between the transitional government, which is backed by western nations and supported by African Union troops, and armed Islamist opposition groups, notably al-Shabaab, is ongoing in Somalia. Fierce clan loyalties keep independent international assistance away from many communities, meaning that Somalis are trapped between various forces, depriving them of food and healthcare for political reasons.

"We face constant difficult challenges over simple things like a new nurse or getting a car," said Karunakara. "When we need to be saving lives with a fully fledged medical response, we constantly need to be communicating with both sides in a war, reminding them what humanitarian aid is. One needs only to look at how few charities are working in Somalia."

Ian Bray, a spokesman for Oxfam, said it was unhelpful for aid agencies to be seen to be arguing with each other.

"We're being honest with donors and we have always been honest," said Bray. "A drought is a natural occurrence; a famine is man-made. We don't go around to people saying we have a magic wand, give us £5 and we will make Africa feed itself. We do say give us £5 and we won't use it to give you a history of Somalia, but we will use our expertise to save lives. This is what the bargain is we make with our donors. If you support us, we will do our level best to alleviate the distress for those people in most dire need."

jeudi 1 septembre 2011

Des avortistes pas en phase avec la société

Dans le Guardian, la journaliste Polly Curtis se fait l'écho de l'inquiétude des organisations avortistes britanniques face à la perspective d'un changement de législation.

Les associations de gauche qui militent pour la banalisation de l'avortement se heurtent à une difficulté considérable, il est très difficile de « vendre » un avortement au public habituel des donateurs.

Leur action d'influence ne peut s'appuyer sur une action de masse par le biais du marketing direct car elle risque fort de perdre beaucoup d'argent.

La solution consiste à faire des actions d'influence auprès de pourvoyeurs de fonds publics ou para-publics.

C'est la recette à laquelle fait appel, par exemple, SOS Racisme.

Toutefois, cet échec à entrer en empathie avec la population est révélatrice du fait que ces associations proposent des politiques qui ne sont pas aussi en phase avec ce que pensent les citoyens que les grands médias (comme le Guardian) le prétendent.

A titre de comparaison théorique, je suis frappé par le fait que l'Œuvre des orphelins de la Police recueille à elle seule 15,5 millions d'euros du public pour seulement 0,1 million d'argent public.

Le budget de l'Œuvre des orphelins de la Police.

En d'autres termes, on pourrait avancer que cette association est bien plus représentative de la France que SOS Racisme dont le budget d'un peu plus de 1 million d'euros est pour l'essentiel payé par de l'argent public et par Pierre Bergé.

Abortion law reform plans criticised by women's groups 
Charities and health bodies call on equalities minister to intervene and protect rights of women to get impartial advice
A coalition of women's groups has written to the equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, urging her to intervene in the row over backbenchers' attempts to reform abortion protocols. They say the proposals could delay abortions and allow anti-abortion groups to counsel women.

Featherstone is being asked to seek a guarantee within government that the current system won't change, ahead of a potential vote that could overhaul the existing counselling services for women seeking to terminate a pregnancy

The signatories to the letter include the Fawcett Society, the Women's Health Equalities Consortium, the Medical Women's Federation and the National Assembly of Women as well as the trade union Unison.

It will pile pressure on the Liberal Democrat minister, who has faced criticisms that she has failed to intervene on other coalition policies that Labour claims adversely affected women.

"Preventing abortion providers from offering decision-making support opens the door for organisations opposed in principle to abortion to become formally involved in counselling women on their pregnancy options," the letter says. "Previous governments have always acted on evidence and taken guidance from expert medical professionals. There is no evidence of a need for change in this area and no support from professional clinical organisations for such change."

The intervention comes amid wranglings in government over how to handle an amendment that could be selected when the health bill returns to the Commons next week, which would mean all women seeking abortions would be offered counselling independent of the abortion provider, in a move that could strip charities that provide the services of their current role. It is being proposed by the Tory backbencher Nadine Dorries and Labour's Frank Field and backed by a campaign with links to anti-abortion groups.

On Sunday, the Department of Health said that it would go ahead with plans to introduce independent counselling and consult on how it would work, in a move that was interpreted as caving into the campaign.

After an intervention from No 10 and furious Lib Dems, the government announced it will not support the amendment – though MPs will still get a free vote – with David Cameron and DoH ministers voting against. It also reworded its position on the plans, saying it would consult on the "best" counselling options for women but that the outcome was not a foregone conclusion.

Anne Milton, the public health minister, wrote to coalition MPs yesterday to clarify the government's position and confirm that the health ministers would vote against it.

On Thursday, the Right to Know campaign, which is supporting Dorries's and Field's campaign and is backed by some known anti-abortionists, responded robustly to the government's opposition to the plan. It published a poll of MPs conducted in April, prior to the row over the implications of the move, which found that some 92% backed the statement. "A woman should have a right to impartial advice when considering having an abortion, from a source that has no commercial interest in her decision."

A spokeswoman for the campaign said: "The widespread support for the objectives of this campaign is unsurprising.  It is important that conflicts of interest are removed from the provision of abortion counseling.

 "We want to see women considering abortion provided with the space to think through their decision. This is not a party political issue. The welfare of women is at stake here.

Yvette Cooper, the shadow equalities minister, said the changing position had left the issue mired in confusion. "There is now complete confusion and chaos in government on abortion. This is what happens when David Cameron pursues short-term headlines without thinking the issues through," she said.

Darinka Aleksic, co-ordinator of the Abortion Rights UK campaign, said: "We need to be clear, these amendments are an attack on women's reproductive rights. If implemented they will limit, rather than expand, the availability of impartial advice and information to women facing unplanned pregnancy. Their aim is to restrict and deter women from accessing abortion services."

Evan Harris, vice-chair of the Liberal Democrat federal policy committee and pro-choice campaigner, said: "Previous governments in this sensitive area have always acted only on the basis of the best advice from expert medical organisations and I will strongly urge the government not to disturb or propose disturbing the existing arrangements for providing unbiased advice until this has demonstrated that there is a problem and persuaded the Royal Colleges or BMA of the case."