(On the call, you identified 21 folks who you expect/want to be at the IC but aren’t registered yet – don’t forget to ask them to register!)
April 2014 - National Grassroots Conference Call – Global Campaigns
Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director
Welcome everyone to the RESULTS Global National conference call for April 2014. As always, it’s an honor to be on with all of you and to do this work together. I want to especially welcome new folks to the call, including the group in Jackson, Mississippi! Welcome!!
I first want to thank you for the brilliant work on the appropriations process. You got record numbers of your members of Congress to sign onto letters to key decision-makers (and also weigh in directly) that brought attention to issues that would otherwise die for lack of attention. I know sometimes the appropriations process can seem really technical and on the surface uninspiring. But this is the way that decisions are made on billions of dollars, and your ability to engage with your members of Congress—to make it real, to move them to action—is really determining life-and-death priorities. So thank you for the great work.
This spring, we’re leading US advocacy on an incredibly important issue—helping ensure that all the children in the world—the poorest, the most marginalized, the children living in conflict affected and post conflict countries—get to attend school, and while in school, they can learn. Right now 57 million children are not in school.
Our specific advocacy target is achieving a two-year $250 million pledge from the Obama Administration for the Global Partnership for Education. The Global Partnership for Education is seeking to raise enough money from donors to support education for more than half of those out of school kids over the next 4 years.
The GPE will have this pledging conference in late June. The success or failure of this conference will be THE SINGLE most important signal to poor countries as to whether the world is serious in supporting them and whether they can be ambitious in reaching every child with school AND in ensuring kids are learning. We have just over 600 days until the end of 2015—the target date for the Millennium Development Goal of ensuring every child completes a full course of primary school. And it’s also a moment when we are formulating goals for post-2015 and, frankly, debating how ambitious they will be. For both these moments, the GPE replenishment will either signal to poor countries to accelerate NOW AND be ambitious - that we are serious as a world community is supporting countries, OR that we are not. Also this offers a huge chance to leverage from donors and poorer recipient countries alike.
The actual amount of money from the US is not huge—it is totally doable within our basic education funding. But it is a very big lift politically right now, which is why your work to get a lot of members of Congress to sign on to a letter to the Administration (and to weigh in personally), and your really aggressive media work will be crucial. The sign-on letter you led on in 2010 for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was critical to getting a $4B US pledge. And your media work was absolutely essential to getting the President this past December to pledge up to $5B for the Global Fund for the next three years.
This GPE pledge is a smaller amount of money but will actually take more political lift. We need to pull out all the stops for this. You’ll hear more on the sign on letter and media opportunities later in the call.
Dr. David Chard, SMU
Today we’re very fortunate to have a very special guest on our call with us—
Dr. David Chard. Dr. Chard is dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University.
Dr. Chard is a nationally and internationally recognized expert with a research focus that includes reading and mathematics strategies for early grades, learning disabilities, special education, and reading instruction for students with disabilities. He has published more than 50 research articles and co-authored 14 books.
In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed him to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education which oversees and directs the work of the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education.
Dr. Chard has served as a Peace Corps educator in Lesotho and works to support education efforts internationally as well as domestically, including in some of the world’s poorest countries and including working with the GPE.
Dr. Chard was a special keynote at the RESULTS Texas Regional conference and you got rave reviews. We are honored to have you on the call today to share your perspective of the role of education in many of the world’s poorest countries and the importance of the GPE.
Interested in early literacy and numeracy, working with UNESCO on learning metrics
About 120 million children don’t make it to school or leave after 4 years of school. That group of children should be a key focus of our efforts. A quarter of a billion children do not learn basic literacy and numeracy. There is also trouble with students being ready for post-school life. For example, in Mali – 85% of adolescents are unable to read in any language, and these are school-going adolescents.
Encouraging news: We’ve done a better job of getting kids to school, but what they receive when they get there isn’t as powerful as it needs to be. GPE is working on international standards, including assessments. If you can create basic early assessments, and those outcomes can be shared with policymakers and donors, you also can help teachers know what to focus on re: best practices, but contextualized. This brings attention to inequities across and within countries.
This isn’t just a humanitarian issue.
- Have to find something to sell.
- Have to find a way to sell it.
- Students successfully complete high school.
Recommended: The work of Dr. Paul Collier
*Because more kids are getting to school, we must maximize the outcomes of those schools.
*Multilateral contexts have been impressive. Example: When some non-profits have moved in and set up schools where schools aren’t functioning well, and bring to the table a curriculum that’s more contextually appropriate. That kind of wisdom doesn’t always come when you’re just working with one or two agencies.
*Hard to find qualified teachers in conflict-ridden countries. And lots of trauma within a given community. Quite a challenge.
Finally I want to encourage every person on the call to please join us at the RESULTS international conference in DC June 21-24. If you’re not already registered please consider and please also reach out to your broader action network—not only your RESULTS partners.
I talked with a friend of mine who I have known since 2nd grade and she isn’t a RESULTS partners, but she registered and is coming to the conference. So reach out and use the conference to build the community of engaged advocates
This will be an amazing conference with a dialogue with World Bank President Jim Kim on ending global poverty, with Tavis Smiley and MRE discussing how we can create a reignite a movement to end poverty in America, with other amazing health and education leaders, with 100 young leaders, with allies and activist from over a dozen countries and you!
Offer people the chance to make a difference and to learn skills that are so powerful and so missing in our citizenry and to help build our community and our movement nationally and globally.
John Fawcett, Legislative Director
- First phase of appropriations season is over – sign-on letters (many bipartisan) and line item requests – you did absolutely terrific work
- House sign-on letter on maternal and child health and nutrition - 103 signers – an increase over last year’s number of 64!
- House TB sign-on letter – 43 signers – an increase over last year’s number of 30.
- Senate sign-on letter on maternal and child health and nutrition – 23 signers this year – almost a quarter of the Senate!
- Senate TB letter – 12 senators!
Appropriations hearings have begun.
- This month’s action – Ask your representative to sign onto the letter by Rep. Schakowsky (D-IL) asking the Obama Administration to pledge $250 million over 2 years when the GPE pledging conference happens in June.
- The Global Partnership for Education really targets kids in fragile and conflict-affected states. GPE provides 61% of its funding to these countries – a leader level.
- GPE can leverage contributions from other countries – not only from other donors but also from recipient countries themselves.
- From 2000-2011, domestic financing for education grew 15% in GPE countries and 6% in non-GPE countries. GPE’s work to help create national strategies encourages national investment in education, complementing the funding of GPE.
- GPE is not a high priority for this Administration, so our work is key.
- We’ll be working on Rep. Schakowsky’s letter until May 1 – utilize the fact that Congress is on recess through most of the rest of April, and then follow up when Congress is back in session the week of April 28th. And you have promised to reach out to 36 more representatives!
Colin Smith, Deputy Director of Communications
Thanks to all advocates who worked on our recent media tour featuring a global education expert!
- Remember: outreach to media, even if it doesn’t lead to a meeting the first time, is important to relationship-building! So bravo to all for your efforts.
- We can use the media we generate to then generate congressional support for GPE.
- What tactics have been working:
- Connecting local poverty issues being discussed and written about to global poverty issues and, by extension, global education
- Talk about how education affects kids in your own life and how much further ahead our kids can be simply because of our opportunities
- What works in one city may not always work in other cities. The very best pitches are personalized to context.
- Editorial writers write down their thoughts – get to know where they’re coming from and what they’re thinking about. Show that you care about their work, are “meeting them where they are,” and are persistent.
- Education is being talked about already in your papers! Make the connections from there.
- 25 editorials, 30 op-eds, 150 LTEs. On the conference call, you planned to pitch 36 editorials or op-eds to your local media by April 30!
Lisa Marchal, Senior Global Grassroots Associate – Grassroots Café
Global Partnership for Education campaign resources continue to be available online and through the Weekly Update
Katy Windschill, Grassroots Expansion Agent - Share
When several journalists at our local paper rejected our pitch to interview global education expert, Benedicto Kondowe, we were delighted to discover that our local NPR affiliate was interested in having us. We instantly informed RESULTS staff so they could book Benedicto's flight to Atlanta ASAP. Then, come the night before our scheduled interview, we were nervous to hear our journalist wanted to postpone our interview for Friday, a time Benedicto was already scheduled to be in Salt Lake City. When we didn't hear back from her in our attempts to find a better time for everyone, we decided our only option was to show up at our original time only to discover she wasn't in the office! But not wanting to disappoint a group of 4 dedicated people, the interim director met with us for an impromptu, full interview of 45 minutes.
I'm very comfortable public speaking to large audiences, but put me in front of a camera or a tape recorder and I'm terrified. I had as much jitters as I did back stage before a big dance performance. Fortunately, we had the help of communications director, Colin Smith, who advised us to speak in short sound bites, be clear and concise in our message, and practice the night before. When we were asked the inevitable question, "Why should Atlantans care?", we were prepared to share that not only is education an investment with paybacks improving the global economy, decreasing armed conflict, and decreasing the spread of diseases such as HIV- but also the relationship between poverty and access to education is no different here in Atlanta then in countries where people live on less than $2 a day—and furthermore, it's quite frankly the right thing to do.
But as exciting as this experience has been for us, our work is not done. NPR agreed to interview us and record our conversation, but they made no promises to broadcast the feature. Now it's up to us to continue to be persistent until we hear our story on the radio.
Cindy Changyit Levin, Grassroots Development Associate
A "Celebration of Everyday Heroes" Blends Fundraising and Outreach
Instead of having a volunteer share about a fundraiser, today I’m going to share my own experience with you about a house party I hosted at my home in St Louis. I did that to test drive brand new resources we have to help you host an “Everyday Heroes” fundraising event with an outreach theme.
A little background: I am a fundraising coach on staff at RESULTS, but I’m also a volunteer. You may not know I just moved to St Louis this year, so my personal connections for outreach and fundraising were starting from scratch. But, I’m determined to start a RESULTS global group here and as part of that strategy, I invited everyone I’ve met so far to come to a RESULTS fundraiser. See, an invitation to a “Celebration of Everyday Heroes” party sounds more fun and less intimidating than a “RESULTS Group Start Meeting.”
I admit inviting strangers isn’t comfortable for me, but magic can happen even when you get a “no”. For instance, the “no’s” on my list actually turned into: 2 invitations to speak to classrooms, 2 invitations to speak to social justice groups, and 4 donations from new donors. Inviting for a fundraiser is a great excuse for outreach conversations!
But…about the event. Twenty people arrived and when I gathered guests together, I framed up the program to set people at ease, telling them, “I’m excited to tell you about RESULTS, an organization I’m passionate about. By inviting you here, I’m sharing this piece of myself with you so we can get to know each other better and I can invite you to be a part of it, too.” A short 20 minute program included my story of what RESULTS means to me, a showing of the RESULTS Everyday Heroes video, and my invitation to engage with us by donating or by helping RESULTS make connections for the group start. Throughout the party and my talk, I ran a slide show on the wall of you, my partners, dressed up in hero costumes at the International Conference with reasons why you advocate.
We’ve raised over $2000, which is about the cost of supporting two RESULTS groups…exactly what we’re going to have in St Louis! But I am telling you, by using the Everyday Heroes language and asking for people to help make connections and start a group, it changed the whole tone of the event to be more collaborative. I’ve never had so many people come up to me after the talk saying things like: “I want to hear more about this and how you can partner with my nonprofit” and “I own a store. How about a day when 15% of the profits go to RESULTS?”
As for outreach, you’ll be happy to know that we did indeed have a group start and we have a new global group with 8 members that will have its first meeting this coming week!
I hope that story has your imaginations moving about how an Everyday Hero themed fundraiser can help you reach your outreach goals. We’re finalizing a resource for you called the “Fundraiser to Go,” a mailed kit of resources on a flash drive with great tools for you to use, including:
- Sample fundraising shares from partners, including mine from this event
- The RESULTS “Everyday Heroes” video and other videos
- A slideshow of RESULTS partners in superhero costumes
- “Everyday Hero” invitation templates
- Sample emails for invitations and followup
- Even ideas for appetizers!
We’re sending these to groups who regularly throw house parties, but please contact me at if you would like to receive a “Fundraiser to Go” resource kit to host your own Celebration of Everyday Heroes.
Roleplay – Pitching the Global Partnership for Education Story to Your Editor
I hope you’re well. Thank you for your stellar editorial on [issue/subject].
I’m part of a group of local volunteers focused on poverty issues, and on the heels of the referendum we’ve been partnering with [local school board member] to draw attention to education issues globally. I thought [newspaper] might also be interested in taking a look at the global education crisis and how it relates to us here in [your city or state].
The world still has a long way to go on education: nearly 40% of grade school children globally still can’t read or write. Fortunately, we can do something about it this spring: the only international organization focused on education, the Global Partnership for Education, is inviting donors like the U.S. government to an important conference in June to help get 29 million more kids in school worldwide.