The Importance of Hearing Awareness

Did you know that this week is Hearing Awareness Week in Australia? Hearing Awareness Week has been around for a several years and takes place in August?

Unfortunately hearing impairment has a stigma attached and often people who are affected will hide the symptoms as long as is possible. In addition, awareness about the impact of hearing impairment is much too low and here is why we should take more notice:

The facts about hearing impairment

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Mission Driven Fundraising & Social Marketing Campaigns

Mission Driven Fundraising & Social Marketing Campaigns

Mission driven fundraising refers to fundraising that is designed and implemented to promote the organisational mission. There are many misaligned fundraising initiatives solely focused on raising money and completely detached from the organisational mission – a topic for another time.

When fundraising and mission merge positive results are almost guaranteed – provided a good social marketing campaign is part of the strategy – no fundraising  strategy can succeed if not enough people know about it – no matter how good it is.

Fundraising Overheads

Fundraising consumes an enormous amount of resources – money and time, often up to half of what is being raised. There has been much public discussion about the acceptable level of expenditure for fundraising campaigns as these resources, on the face of it, compete or are taken away from service delivery resources.

Headlines like “Charity Spends More on Fundraising than Research” don’t inspire public faith in charitable organisations and are regularly reported in the media. [Read more…]

Bring on the education revolution to save the planet!

Bring on the education revolution to save the planet!

What do Australian children need and what can the public and the government do to help protect them and make the future more secure?

Children are naturally vulnerable and most people wish to ensure they are protected and grow up to reach their full potential regardless of their background and circumstances. There are many individual issues that affect the quality of childhood. These include their health & mental health, the provision of sufficient opportunities and the quality of their education to name just a few.

In addition, there is one overarching issue that affects all of us, a common denominator that has not found its way into policy and practice yet: the safety of our planet. Sustainable management of our resources is being discussed this week at the Rio + 20 summit and this is extremely timely.

We have known about the negative environmental impact of large scale economic activity for at least four decades. The assumptions upon which we have based social service delivery to protect children have changed and continue to change. Nothing is simple anymore but children need to inherit a clean and safe environment as the minimum foundation to prosper.  So what do we have to do to attain a sustainable lifestyle for them? How will the effect of climate change influence the delivery of social services to children? What does climate change mean for the policy and practice of protecting children? [Read more…]

confessions of an Earth Hour sceptic

Saturday the 26th of March was Earth Hour – a social marketing phenomenon that started in Australia in 2007  and is now known around the world. The high visibility of switching off lights makes Earth Hour  a corporate responsibility dream.  In just 5 short years it has captured the imagination of a global audience with its initial intend to

” make a bold symbolic statement about the critical issue of climate change and to engage Australians in taking action”.

This rapid growth must make it one of the most successful social marketing campaigns globally.

I have been an Earth Hour sceptic since its inception, wondering how on earth switching the lights off for one hour could possibly assist in moving us towards a sustainable lifestyle – although I did switch off our lights on Saturday at 8.30pm.  I do, however, recognise Earth Hour’s potential to build on its success and speed up positive social change.

My main concern is that this ‘bold symbolic statement’ let’s us off the hook, offers an easy way out. [Read more…]

“together we can change our world”

“together we can change our world”

When most people think Girl Guides they probably don’t think of progressive girls and young women who play a significant advocacy role in local and global issues?

Well,  think again everybody!

This is precisely what the 10 million members of the world’s largest  volunteer organisation for girls and young women do, with memberships across 145 countries including Australia.

As their Global Action Theme, girls worldwide say: “Together we can change our world”. This theme is based on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). An activity pack supports the curriculum and helps children and young women to learn about the MDG’s and, most importantly, to take action on the issues that affect them and their communities. [Read more…]

the girl effect

On the 8 March 2011 we are celebrating the centennary of International Women’s Day – a good occasion to remind us of the plight of girls around the world.

Did you realise that currently:

  • women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half the world’s food, and yet earn only 10 % of the world’s income and own less than 1% of the world’s property?
  • women make up 70% of the worlds 1.3 billion people who live in poverty?
  • women over the age of 15 in the least developed countries are twice as likely to be illiterate than men.

The solution? [Read more…]

from social investment to social return on investment

a social enterprise????

I recently attended the inaugural ”Social Return Forum” put together by a colleague of mine, Oliver Wagg  of New Climate for the 3 Pillars Network.

Concepts like social investment, social return on investment and a social investment market are much talked about lately by social investors, social entrepreneurs, those generating social profits and intermediaries alike and seem to have gone mainstream – and for good reasons:

  • We all want and need to know if our efforts are making a difference to the issues we are trying to address.
  • This evidence base to inform further investment has been missing in large parts of the social sector.
  • Evidence of social returns is instrumental for those investing funds in social issues and who are convincing others of the merit of these investment.

To state the obvious and track back a little – we are hungry for alternative approaches to welfare funding and need evidence about whether approaches work or not. [Read more…]

get your organisation ready for a sustainable future

The response of organisations to the economic, environmental and social challenges, in short, sustainability challenges of the 21st Century will determine their future success. Furthermore, corporate social responsibility initiatives can focus business on realising its full potential, economically, environmentally and socially.

Evidence has been mounting that innovative collaborations between business, civil society and governments significantly accelerate positive progress towards sustainable development goals. [Read more…]

hello cool world!

hello cool world!

true love between two speciesThis blog is an opportunity to voice our uncensored views and share ideas with others. It focusses on individual action and corporate sustainability activities to assist us to reconcile our lifestyles and corporate behaviour with the needs of society.

The blog will be managed by me, Ulrike Schuermann alias chief blogger. My passions are social justice, the environment and positive social change – which is an increasingly difficult challenge considering the current state of the world.  My desire to stimulate positive change has influenced the choices I have made to date.

Having been educated in Germany at the University of Duesseldorf in adult Psychology, Sociology and Pedagogic I tend to drift towards educating and sharing the lessons I learn with as many others as possible. I love to de-clutter and de-mystify the vast array of corporate sustainability and responsibility approaches and create meaning for those who work in these areas. I also love to focus diverse groups of people on common ground to achieve results. [Read more…]