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How To Prepare For a Virtual Pitch

COVID 19 has impacted everything including in-person meetings around the world, pitch events,  including the just concluded Social Innovators Boot Camp Pitch Competition. Everything is moving online.

Here are a few helpful reminders of how to get camera-ready for your virtual pitch. This is really important as it can affect the quality of your delivery so please bookmark and save this post.

1. Give your undivided attention:  Please, try to being unprepared before you turn on the camera. Check everything a day before so on the day of your pitch, you just plug and roll.                          Pick a position and remain there for the duration of time you will be on camera and speak directly to the camera. This can be hard- I know. Avoid looking at your phone and if possible, LOCK  the door to the room you are in to limit background noise.

2. Lighting and background:  Here is a trick that works magic! Avoid sitting in front of a window. Instead, make sure the window is in front of you. You can also try a desk lamp aimed at your face. This helps to reduce shadows and enhance your overall appearance. Try to ensure that your background is simple and clean so that the view does not distract the audience from you and the content of your pitch.

See all the free information you are enjoying. Just imagine the content yo are set to get once you sign up to SO YOU WANT TO DO GOOD? Ok continue reading . I digress.

3. Connectivity: Plug your computer or device directly into your network by ethernet cord, if using one. I constantly leave my mobile hotspot on so I can switch if I have to. Close all other applications so as not to overwhelm your computer or device. This one can make or mar you ( picture your system going off due to hanging issues). If you live in a third world country like Nigeria where power outage is real, please turn on your generator and use that till the end of your presentation. . Make sure your device is fully charged and plugged in with the latest version of the browser or app you are using installed.

4. Audio: Utilize a microphone to enhance the audio quality. If available, utilize headphones to avoid echos. Try to avoid that long earpiece. I know its sold everywhere but please eh try the smaller earbuds, you look more polished.

5. What to wear: Avoid solid white shirts without a jacket, and bright colors, especially green, which can pull focus from your face and change your skin tone on camera. (I copied and pasted this one haha). Select colors that are near in value to your skin tone to keep the focus on your face. Loose patterns and muted color ties are good options. Try to avoid clothing, jewelry, or hairstyles that would interfere with your microphone.

As a final note, your pitch is a work in progress. Once you deliver your pitch, take stock of what worked and what didn’t, because it can always be improved and refined over time. Try out new approaches and techniques until you find your own perfect pitch.

Best of luck!

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Original post culled from MIT Solve

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New LinkedIn 2020 Features

 

LinkedIn has always been my favourite platform. If you are not actively engaging on LinkedIn as a professional, I recommend you do so.

This year, LinkedIn has released some exciting new features that will benefit your personal and organizational brand. If you want to grow rapidly, you should consider them.

Below, we have shared some of these exciting new features.

1) Name Pronunciation

Say goodbye to wrong pronunciations.
LinkedIn’s name pronunciation feature is a simple and effective for promoting inclusion and positioning yourself as one who respects others. As you may know, it is quite embarrassing to mispronounce other people’s names so I am personally grateful for this addition.

This new feature, allows you to record a 10-second audio clip and add it to your profile. This allows other users  listen to the recording to learn how to correctly pronounce your name.

Do note that you currently can’t record or edit your name pronunciation on the LinkedIn desktop site. It can only be done on LinkedIn iOS and Android mobile apps.

2) Reactions
You might not think of LinkedIn as a typical social network, but more people are using the platform to connect and engage with fellow professionals. LinkedIn has added a ‘reactions’ which allows you to express yourself better.

All you need to do is press and hold the like button, choosing from a range of different expressions: like, celebrate, support, love, insightful, and curious.

Register HERE for So You Want To Do Good?

3) Live Video
We all know videos are the next big thing right? It gives you an opportunity to connect better with your audience or followers. LinkedIn Live videos get on average 24x more comments than native videos produced by the same brand.

Sadly the review process to be approved to o live is not for the faint heart. Check it our below:

  • Video and overall content creation history
  • Audience size and engagement history
  • Member or Page account has been in good standing
  • Two Factor Authentication (2FA) enabled in account settings

So Goodluck to You!

4) Polls
LinkedIn Polls is a great new feature for driving quick engagements on the platform.You can use LinkedIn Polls as a conversation opener. For example, LinkedIn’s Andrew Seaman encourages voters to share experiences in the comments, as well as taking part in the below poll:

5) Organic “Carousel” Posts
LinkedIn “carousel” posts aren’t exactly new for 2020 — in fact, the feature doesn’t exist on LinkedIn.

But we have seen a surge in people sharing interactive, scrollable posts on LinkedIn over the last few months:

So what’s the secret? LinkedIn documents.

LinkedIn documents can be previewed in a scrollable format, making them a perfect cheat-code for brands and businesses looking to share dynamic, engaging galleries of images on the platform.

So which of them will you be trying?

 

Original post by Jillian Warren

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Call For Technical Bloggers

Donors For Africa is looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about playing a transformation role in global development.

Serving with us will improve your leadership and writing skills as well as expand your professional experience.

Blog posts will:

  • Adhere to the DFA vision and mission
  • Be about 500 – 1000 words
  • Be written in an informal voice yet cerebral
  • Be submitted weekly, according to a predetermined schedule
  • Be subject to editing for grammar, length, and style

Interested writers should send an email to mail@donorsforafricafoundation.org including

  • CV
  • A brief cover letter outlining topics you wish to write about
  • One sample posting, with title: An example posting that is representative of your general blog content (500 words or fewer)
  • A brief author bio, written in third person (100 words or fewer)

Selected volunteer will receive the following;
Benefits:
1. Gain access to an exclusive development network
2. Receive first hand information and support on global opportunities where possible

3. Join selected training at DFA and many others

Volunteers must have;

A working personal laptop, be self driven, competent in MS Word and other forms of new media, strong writing skills, a good attitude. Graphics and website management is a plus but not a MUST.

Above all, must be willing to contribute.

Please send resume to mail@donorsforafricafoundation.org

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted!⠀

Please note that this is NOT a paid position.

We can’t wait to receive your application.

Deadline is September 22nd

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Meet the Commonwealth Scholar

IF I COULD, YOU DEFINITELY CAN!

Hello everyone!

My name is Glory Orejesu Ajayi, I studied International Law and Diplomacy for my undergraduate degree at Babcock University where I finished with a second class upper division in 2017.  I am a 2019 Commonwealth scholar currently studying for an MA in Gender and International Development.

I heard about the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship for the first time from a friend who had gone ahead for her masters through the same funding body. I picked it up from there and went on to do my research about it and took note of the application timeline. Prior to that time, I had put in for admissions at various UK universities in preparation for the scholarship but to my amazement, the schools I was offered admission weren’t on the list for funding that year. Unusually, I didn’t feel bad, but reviewed the list of eligible courses and applied for admission at the University of Warwick, since it had a course that aligned with my career direction and it was offering a broader curriculum for the course. I worked on my admission application alongside my Commonwealth application. Actually, I didn’t think about the selection criteria (By this I mean I did not give in to fear that I wasn’t qualified for the scholarship) but I put in my best in the application with the little experience I had gathered over the years in my chosen career path from working, interning and volunteering.

The application essays were really tough but I pushed through despite different challenges. I felt sick at some point during the process but I didn’t give up or stop giving my best (reviewing, receiving feedback, reflecting and rewriting). I told myself that it was better to attempt it, and if it doesn’t work out I will know that I didn’t chicken out along the way. Through hard work, tenacity, resilience and God’s favor, I found myself receiving two competitive and prestigious awards: The University of Sussex Chancellor’s International scholarship and the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. This was because I didn’t stop at just applying for Commonwealth shared scholarship but I also applied for internal funding in all the schools I put in for admission.

The essence of this short piece is to encourage someone who has a dream to study abroad through a fully funded scholarship, it is possible! Please give it a good shot If I could get it at my first attempt, you can too!

My advice: Please position yourself for global opportunities by attending trainings, conferences in line with your chosen path, working and also volunteering. Be intentional about your inner circle because they are able to give you information that will change your life forever. Lastly remember that your competition is not your next door neighbor but someone in a more developed country who has access to more information and what better way to prepare and compete than to research, be up to date with what is happening in your field and learn from others that have gone ahead.

Social media handles

Facebook: Orejesu Ajayi

Instagram: Orejesu Ajayi

Twitter: orejesu_ajayi

LinkedIn: Glory Orejesu Ajayi

 

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Winner, SIBC Pitch

Donors for Africa Foundation is a grant management nonprofit organization leading change, organized the first digital social innovators boot camp in Africa, targeted at equipping and building the capacity of nonprofit professionals, social enterprises and impact led businesses who are solving some of the world’s biggest challenges Africa. Following a rigorous selection process and months of thorough training, Aisha Dirisu, the founder, Peniel Foundation, emerges the winner.

 

Aisha Dirisu is the Executive Director of Peniel Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organization that inspires, empowers, and advocates for youths living with disabilities to attain their full potential. She is a trained Development Economist from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, and a Monitoring & Evaluation consultant with a government parastatal in Nigeria. She has a certification in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the prestigious Lagos Business School Nigeria, YALI alumni, and an African change-maker fellow who was invited in 2019 to participate in the World Youth Forum, which held at Sham el-sheik, Egypt.

 

Can you tell Us More About Your Work with Person’s living with Disabilities?

 

While pursuing a Master’s Degree at the University of East Anglia, UK, I volunteered to care for autistic children. It was the first time I would ever come directly in contact with anyone living with a physical or mental disability. While volunteering, I realized how skilled and talented each child was and had the potential to become under the right circumstances. Coming home to hear the horrid stories and witness the discrimination affecting persons living with disabilities, I decided to become a strong advocate for people in this demography.

Through Peniel Foundation, we inspire, empower, and advocate for people living with disabilities so they can actively contribute to nation-building. The foundation’s primary focus is to connect youths living with disabilities to job opportunities, equipping them with the tools required to succeed and become financially and economically independent while actively contributing to nation-building. Some of our impacts include;

The recent launch of an E-mentorship program that connects youths with disabilities in Africa to successful Mentors around the world for their personal and professional development. Since we launched this platform, 3 of our mentees have gotten internship opportunities, and another is to be employed by a radio house. We also have over 50 mentees and about 55 mentors on our mentoring database.

Increased advocacy response to the COVID -19 pandemic, through our Instagram Live Series, where youths living with disabilities engage with other successful persons with disabilities from around the globe to show what’s possible and share how they attained their success.

Last year, to commemorate the International Women’s Day on March 18, 2019, we partnered with Include Me Africa and AIIVON to organize a stakeholders’ forum. At this meeting, we addressed the inclusion of women with disabilities as well as in entrepreneurship, employment, community development, and governance with solutions raised and submitted to stakeholders. Over 55 participants were present.

We partnered with British High Commission & CBM to increase the representation of persons with disabilities as beneficiaries of the Chevening Scholarship. On July 20, 2020, an attendee living with disabilities received the Chevening Scholarship.

We organized a free 2-day workshop & training tagged Peniel Empowers for youths living with disabilities where they received digital marketing and entrepreneurship skills training in 2018. A year later, one of the attendees got a grant to upscale her Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC).

Winning this pitch competition has been a life-changing and paradigm-shifting experience as I am now better equipped to achieve our vision for Peniel Foundation. We were challenged to scale up the impact of our work and received technical expertise and training from leading development experts across Africa.

My vision now is to ensure that we achieve more systemic change in the policies affecting a person’s living with disabilities. More private sector companies must consider hiring talented young people with disabilities in their workforce. COVID-19 has shown us they can work anywhere. We also hope to increase our advocacy calling on more construction companies, private and public sector firms, churches, Etc, to ensure their buildings are easily accessible by individuals living with any disability.

We must become more inclusive in our workforce, educational institutions, and government. Nigerians must become more aware of these issues and stop the discrimination.

I am genuinely grateful to Donors for Africa for this unique opportunity. Thank you so much.

 

 

About Donors For Africa
Donors for Africa connects funding and development agencies to competent indigenous organizations implementing change on the African continent. We have raised over $349,000, through grant writing and income-generating activities, provided technical support to over 50 women-led organizations, trained 500+ nonprofits and reached over 16 thousand people weekly via the organization’s learning platform. Through our MISSION, we are determined to build a better world by strengthening the capacity of mission-driven African Social Innovators to access funds, achieve groundbreaking results, and create sustainable organizations.

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Tips to Grow Your Non-Profit Organic Reach on Social Media

Having an organic reach ensures that your organization can grow an impactful network that could be of great use in the future.

1) Learn best practices for each platform: Never take a one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing, especially with organic content. To reach the most people, organic posts need to be optimized. And to optimize content, you need to understand the platform and audience you’re optimizing for ⁣

2) Develop a content strategy: No shortcuts here. If you want organic content to perform well on social media, you have to put some thought into it. If you don’t spend time on a social media content strategy, why would a stranger spend time on your content? ⁣

3) Be consistent, : You know the drill. Post regularly and post at the right time. When is that, exactly? It’s when your audience is online and active. Hootsuite found the best times to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. ⁣

But definitely double-checks your analytics and adjusts accordingly. ⁣

What are you waiting for?

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Stories Your Non-Profits Should Be Telling on Social Media

What you do should be documented as much as possible as it contributes to the world knowing about you. It is important to share different stories so that stakeholders have a better understanding of your organization.

1) Social Proof Stories.⁣
What are your members, donors, or your partners saying about you? How have they been moved by your work? Who are your biggest supporters?⁣

2) Values & Ethics Stories.⁣
In these stories, you depict the values and ethics that are at the core of your organization. Examples of core values can include integrity, excellence, empowerment, respect, embracing diversity.⁣ Value stories will help people identify with your organization. A major reason people give is when there are shared values. ⁣

3) Founder Stories. In telling your founder story, you need to ask the following questions:⁣
Why was your organization started in the first place?⁣ Who identified the need?⁣ What was that like for them? What were their struggles in the beginning? ⁣

4)Impact Stories.⁣
These stories are by far the most important. Donors, volunteers, staff, stakeholders – they all want to know what impact your organization is having on the problem, the cause, and the world.⁣

Are you affecting change? How can you showcase the great work you are doing through those that you have helped?⁣

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How to Optimize Your Social Posts for the Visually Impaired.

With increasing conversation on inclusion and diversity, here is how to create content for the visually impaired and some other information you may find useful.⁣

Know that it is important that you think about how to engage and meet the needs of this demography.⁣

1) Make Text Accessible⁣

Every time you share a piece of writing online, you need to think about its accessibility in two ways. First, is the text visually accessible? And second, is it easy to read?⁣

When I say “visually accessible,” I mean, quite literally, can people see it? It’s more difficult to read text that’s in an unusual font, very small, or in a color too close to the background color. ⁣

2) Make Images Accessible⁣
We’re always being told that social media is visual. Most of its content, interaction, and appeal revolves around photos, infographics, images, and memes. However, if you’re a person who can’t see, or can’t see very well, this isn’t ideal.⁣

Whenever you share an image on social media, you should make sure that:⁣

– The photo should be well lit with clear angles⁣
– To check the color palette, use a free website called Who Can Use. ⁣

You can plug in the hex numbers for any color combination and the site will show you how it looks to people with different visual impairments. ⁣

Another helpful tool is Color Safe. This is another free app with a similar approach. You tell the app your background color, font size, and a few other design details and it suggests accessible color combinations.⁣

3) Make Video Accessible: If you’re creating a talking-head video, make it accessible for people who rely on lip-reading. ⁣

Make sure the person speaking is facing the camera and their face is well-lit. Ask them to speak naturally, at a normal pace, and with no exaggerated facial movements. They should also avoid covering their face with their hands or clothes.

At DFA we love to share content that we learn from every day as we work with our teams and new clients.

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Top Non-Profit Marketing Mistakes You are Making

When planning your marketing plan it is easy to make mistakes that may affect your content and even how the general public views you.

Below are key things to avoid:

1) Designing a nonprofit logo without variations: As you build your organization’s brand, a high-quality logo is a must-have. You’re going to use it everywhere online and in print, which also means that it’s important to have it in a variety of different file types ⁣

2) Don’t purchase a short-sighted website domain name. Donors are looking for a website domain with .org instead of a .com as one of many ways to verify your nonprofit status. Purchase both versions if available, but the .org should be the primary. (We typically recommend NameCheap as the place to go.) ⁣

3) Don’t use Facebook as a website substitute. I have said it several times. These platforms are not ours. They are renter properties. Your website is the only platform where you can tweak things around as much as you like.⁣

4) Don’t use personal email for bulk messages. In addition to looking unprofessional, it can be an unpleasant experience for the recipient. Please use Mailchimp, it is more affordable and free for start-up nonprofits.⁣

5) Not setting up organizational email addresses⁣
Since you now know how great it is to have a nice domain name, set up official emails. ⁣

Setting up a Google for Nonprofits account is a free and easy way to use Gmail for your organization’s email addresses with your domain name tacked on the end.⁣

So which of these mistakes have you made and currently working on rectifying?⁣ Remember Marketing is all you do within your organizations and these are some of the basic areas to start with!⁣