24 July 2006Want to help charity, give back to your community, donate skills, time and money and generally change the world – but don’t know where to start? South African philanthropy is now just a click of a mouse away, thanks to Greater Good South Africa. Greater Good raises support for the work of South African charities and promotes a culture of philanthropy in the country, with the ultimate aim of “eradicating extreme poverty in our lifetimes”.Through its comprehensive interactive website, the organisation creates innovative ways for businesses and individuals to help the work of non-profit development organisations of their choice.Greater Good fosters a long-term relationship between people and causes, encouraging donations of money, second-hand and surplus goods, skills and time.In return, it provides details on the objectives, activities and performance of charities, including clear information on their needs. The organisation allows donors to “experience the gift of giving” by providing ongoing feedback on how their contributions have made a difference.Greater Good is sponsored by the Shuttleworth Foundation, Noah Financial Innovation, Cadiz, Deutsche Bank, SAA Voyager, eBucks, American Express and Kaehlo.Its website has a well-stocked community noticeboard allowing charities to request money and services, and donors to offer money, goods and time to specific causes and organisations.Greater Good also runs a number of campaigns with innovative ways of helping charities. Recent campaigns include the Giving Exchange, Teachers Dream, Do It Day and Donate-a-Book.The Giving Exchange“The Giving Exchange aims to raise the bar for giving and receiving in South Africa,” says Greater Good on its website. “The challenge is for South Africans enjoying a 21st century lifestyle to effectively get resources to where they are needed most in our communities.”The Giving Exchange allows ordinary people, businesses and charities to meet and come up with new and effective contributions that involve more than money. It allows causes to access the expertise, skills, talents and resources they need.Some 125 charities are selected – by vote – to participate in Giving Exchange expos, held in major centres. The campaign allows donors to compare and select who to support, based on their own criteria.Teachers DreamTeachers Dream, a partnership between Greater Good and the Shuttleworth Foundation, aims to improve education by connecting donors to educators who need grants for projects that improve education in South Africa.More often than not it is teachers who have brilliant ideas of how to make maths and science come alive, how best to demonstrate life skills, how to show children the geography of the land and how to explore the arts.Exciting and worthwhile proposals – projects, outings, and activities – from dedicated teachers are posted on the Greater Good website. Donors may then contribute to fulfil that dream. Most Teachers Dream proposals require grants of less than R5 000 – time and goods can also be donated.“Many great educator ideas could easily come to fruition with support of relatively small grants,” says Greater Good. “In real terms, it actually doesn’t cost that much to take a class of Grade 4 learners to the planetarium or the Grade 10s to an inspiring exhibition.”At its launch, the Teachers Dream initiative received warm praise from Education Miniser Naledi Pandor.“Teachers Dream is inclusive,” she said. “Its reach transcends geographical space, enabling school communities that are remote or rural to be as connected to South African giving communities as their urban counterparts.“This project will give pupils an opportunity to realise their full potential by exposing them to a variety of career prospects.”An important condition of a Teachers Dream donation is that successful educators report back to funders. They are given a disposable camera to record their dream and post it back along with written feedback. Their report is then posted on the Greater Good website.Do It DayDo It Day takes charity beyond money. Greater Good has set aside 28 October 2005 as the day “South Africans will be rolling up their sleeves and assisting causes to achieve specific one-day projects”.The campaign aims to connect causes to volunteers so they can benefit from work and skills not normally available.In July and August development organisations all over South Africa and submitted one-day projects that need volunteers. Do It Day projects range from developing business and marketing plans to building, renovating and gardening. There’s something for everyone.The Do It Day projects are posted on the Greater Good website, and volunteers can sign up individually or as a team.Projects include an action fun day for Aids orphans, planting a tea garden at the Sparrow Skills Centre, developing a marketing and communications strategy for a positive parenting organisation, and both training in bookkeeping and installing windows and doors for the Siyakhula charity.Donate-a-Book“In South Africa, poverty excludes many children from the enrichment that reading brings,” Greater Good says on its website.“A brighter, better future for all South Africans becomes more likely if we are busy now raising generations of thoughtful, independent life-long learners – and reading is the key to that.”Greater Good encourages online donations to buy books, in support of the work of organisations such as READ, Biblionef SA, the South African Children’s Book Forum and the Athlone School for the Blind Braille Production Programme.Donation vouchers range in price from R50, which buys a book for a pre-schooler, to R5 000 – buying a starter library for a poor school.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Where does the time go? There are just ninety days left until the end of the year. This means that you’re probably putting the final touches on your year-end fundraising plans and have a solid campaign ready to go. Not so much? First, don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time to create a solid plan and get the most out of the year-end giving season. Take a deep breath, then carve out some time to review your goals and start honing your campaign materials. Here at Network for Good, we recently published two free fundraising guides that can help you plan your marketing efforts and create a great appeal. You can download them here (registration required): How to Make the Case for Giving 7 Steps to Your Best Nonprofit Marketing Plan EverSecond, surround yourself with inspiration and smart advice. Our goal is to supply both with this blog, and here are a few of our favorites to add to your list:Future Fundraising Now: No-nonsense practical advice from Jeff Brooks, one of our favorite fundraising gurus.Sasha Dichter’s Blog: Big thoughts on giving from the mastermind behind Generosity Day.Sea Change Strategies: Alia and Mark offer simply brilliant thoughts on nonprofit storytelling, effective appeals, strategic planning, and everything in between.Fundraiser Grrl: When you need a laugh, Fundraiser Grrl totally gets it.For more inspiration, check out the Nonprofit Boot Camp and Social Media for Nonprofits conference happening on October 10 & 11 in San Francisco. Our friends at Social Media for Nonprofits have put together some great workshops to help your organization be the best it can be. There’s still time to register, and you can save $20 off with the code “N4G”.
5 Tips for Streamlining Your Online Fundraising ToolsOnline fundraising tools can make a huge difference in the amount of donations a nonprofit receives. Just being able to accept online donations has increased the reach of many nonprofit organizations, and it allows donors to give whenever they wish, by simply connecting with their smartphones, rather than having to wait until they are home with a checkbook handy.Since the majority of the population accesses the internet regularly, nonprofits are able to communicate with potential donors and share their message more frequently than ever before. Over the years, marketers and publicists have determined which formats are the most effective for brochures, postcards, posters, and other types of material used to promote organizations of all kinds. Donation software has also been developed, tested and re-designed to increase its effectiveness.Fundraising websites are like other websites in some ways, but they have some differences that should not be overlooked. Donation software, in particular, has been found to be most effective if it follows these five guidelines.Donation software should be mobile-friendly. If a potential donor is online using a mobile device and clicks your “donate now” button, but can’t navigate through the donation page on the device’s small screen, you will lose the donation. People are easily frustrated with pages that don’t work well, or are confusing, and leave the page in a matter of seconds.Limit the number of fields requiring input. When a form requires a lot of information, users are likely to leave the page without completing it. This means that even though they fully intended to make a donation when they got to the page, the fundraiser software became a hindrance, rather than a tool for helping them complete the intended action.Avoid links away from the donation page. It may seem appropriate to include a link back to your website or resources for more information on the good work that will be done with the donations you receive, but bear in mind that people are easily distracted—especially online—and interesting links that direct potential donors away from the donation page are stopping the donation process.Limit the amount of text on the page. Your website is a great place to share as much information as possible about your cause and the good work done by your organization. Your donation page should focus only on accepting online donations. A couple of sentences and an image that evokes emotion are enough to keep the donor inspired. Excess text can trigger “fine print” skepticism.Keep it simple. Complex options on a donation form make it less likely that donors will complete it. Fundraising websites should include options for recurring giving, and offer suggested donation amounts that the donor can choose with one click, but never include suggestions such as a percentage of the donor’s income, that would make them stop to think. They are much less likely to complete the form if there is more for them to do.Since 2001, Network for Good has helped over 100,000 nonprofit organizations raise more than $1 billion online. To discuss how we can help you get the most out of your fundraising efforts, contact us today or call 1-888-284-7978 x1.
Review Step One In Step One of this two-part post, I shared my take on why this type of emotional candy works so well to raise money or recruit volunteers. I cited a reliable litmus test for photo impact—would you share it with your own family and friends, and would they “like” or share it? Here are some recommendations, with examples: For policy and intermediary organizations: Connect the dots between your work and the people who are the ultimate beneficiaries. If your organization is not an animal rescue or somehow directly related to puppies, kitties, or babies, these alternatives will be far more effective in helping you forge connections and motivate giving. Most important, they are authentic, relevant expressions, rather than manipulative clickbait. Organizations like yours have it even harder when building relationships and motivating action, be it giving or something else. That’s because your work is indirect. For all causes and organizations: Highlight the similarities between your audiences and your organization’s clients, participants, or beneficiaries. Get detailed and personal in words and/or photos. The close-up (bottom left) of the little girl focused on drawing is compelling! Clearly, we never want anyone to be homeless, much less our own family. The cause has the potential to scare off supporters because of their fear that it could happen to them. Stigma! However, by photographing an older resident (like your grandma or mine) reading to a couple of kids, Hope House busts through and connects us with the residents in a positive way. (I remember when my grandma read to me.) The Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation does a great job of this on its Facebook page, as shown in the post above. Here, the foundation makes it easy to make the connection between its work and the individuals who benefit from its grants for a real “aha!” moment. The details are what sticks (or doesn’t) and make your story memorable and more likely to be shared. How do you make your organization’s content compelling—beyond kitties, puppies, or babies? Please share your recommendations in the comments! You’re working on legislation related to a cause or supporting other cause organizations. This makes it challenging for prospects to connect emotionally. It takes your audience time and thought to make the connection between your impact and people, which is always a deterrent. Findlay Hope House does a great job of this on its Facebook page time and time again. Consider the post above, showing kids without homes living in Hope House’s transitional housing. But there is a great method of speeding that vital connection—make the message for your prospects and supporters. Connect the dots between your organization’s work and impact and your ultimate beneficiaries, even if there are layers in between. Okay, your organization is one of many that can’t use kitty or puppy photos to raise money or recruit volunteers. So what can you do to quickly and effectively connect with the emotions of prospects and supporters? Step 2: Make emotional connections and compelling content—if not candy—even without the supercute. Review Step One With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.
How do you fund your mission?A healthy nonprofit has multiple sources of funding, including individual giving. Depending entirely on grants or public funding is risky, as either could be lost without any control on the part of the nonprofit. A robust fundraising program provides needed financial security, expands your community, and grows awareness for your cause.How do you make sure your fundraising is successful? The best way to get started is to sit down and create a plan.The Number One Indicator of Fundraising SuccessAccording to the Individual Donor Benchmark Report, which studies nonprofits with operating budgets under $2 million, the number one indicator of success is having a written fundraising plan.Nonprofits with a fundraising plan—even if they don’t end up using it—are more likely to be successful. Why? The act of planning—going through last year’s numbers, analyzing results, assessing your financial health and looking for growth areas—gives you a healthy foundation to grow your programs. It keeps you focused, helps you think critically about new fundraising ideas, and ensures your activities support your mission.Want more planning resources? Check out 8 Resources to Help with Fundraising Planning.We know that fundraising planning is important. So, are nonprofits listening?Network for Good recently surveyed 10,000 small to mid-sized nonprofits to learn more about how they depend on fundraising plans, and the results were fascinating, to say the least.Q1: Do you currently have a written, 12-month fundraising plan from which you are managing revenue-generating activities to balance your budget?On the surface, it seems like many nonprofits are already using fundraising plans. But what about those ones who aren’t?Q2: If you don’t have a fundraising plan, what is the leading factor that is hindering your ability to create and implement one?A lack of time is the leading factor preventing nonprofit managers from developing a written fundraising plan, followed by a lack of insights and strategic know-how.Of course, it takes more than just a fundraising plan to ensure success—the plan is just the beginning. Successful fundraising is predicated upon multiple factors: a written plan, an effective strategy and case for support, staff and board consistently implementing tasks, and technology to track and build donor relationships.Unfortunately that’s often a tall order in a small shop. Often understaffed and underfunded, how does a small nonprofit afford the time and strategic help needed to develop a plan and sustain their mission?A New Model for SuccessNetwork for Good has initiated a new strategy to help smaller nonprofits move to more diversified and sustainable fundraising. We have coupled access to a personal fundraising coach with simple, easy-to-use fundraising software to ensure small nonprofits can continue their mission and sustain funding for programs commonly dropped due to lack of funding.In particular, the software and coaching combination was designed to help small and medium-sized nonprofits accomplish everything they need to thrive, including:Engage their boards in fundraising activities.Craft compelling stories to reach donors’ minds and hearts.Plan a successful year-end fundraising campaign.Analyze data to better understand their donors and inform their plan.Sounds great, right? The question is, does this model of software and coaching really work?The short answer is YES.Participating nonprofits raised, on average, 27% more revenue without a net increase to their expenses.What’s a Personal Fundraising Coach?So, you may be familiar with Network for Good’s software: donor management (designed just for small nonprofits) and fully integrated campaign pages. But what about the personal fundraising coach?Participating nonprofits are matched with a fundraising expert who has experience within their cause area and whose expertise matches their unique needs and challenges. Organizations get the help they need when they need it, without the risk of hiring a full time fundraising professional.These individuals provide one-on-one strategic support in everything ranging from creating a 12-month fundraising plan to developing a successful event to crafting an effective appeal. Whatever individual challenges a nonprofit is currently facing, the coach is there to provide strategic guidance.Looking ForwardIn recent years, many small nonprofits have struggled to find ways to create a model for survival, let alone growth. Diversified funding, affordable yet effective tools, and the help of a personal fundraising coach have helped hundreds of nonprofits in the last year to build a more certain and sustainable future.Click here to talk to us. We’ll give you an overview of the software, strategy, and coaching that can help your organization thrive.
Since it was founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday has exploded in popularity. In 2015, $116.7 million were donated in this one day. The next year, that number jumped to $168 million. 2017 is expected to be record-breaking as well.So, what can you do to make sure you get your piece of the giving day pie?Our research here at Network for Good shows that, rather than seeing #GivingTuesday as a single event, it pays to approach this day as the kick-off of a month-long year-end giving campaign. In fact, nonprofits who used #GivingTuesday to launch their year-end campaigns raised, on average, five times more overall during year-end.Not only that, but nonprofits using Donor Management raised more than those without it. It makes sense – having a donor management system lets you effectively harness your data to create better plans, quickly create targeted emails to specific subsets of donors, and easily store this information from year to year to build on your past success.If you’ve never participated before, now’s the time to start.
From an internship at an LGBTQ nonprofit to his time on staff at an animal rescue organization, and now with Network for Good, Lenny Wrigley has lived the day-to-day of nonprofits for the past six years. In his role as customer success specialist, Lenny serves as a guide for many nonprofits as they join the Network for Good family.“Nonprofits are what makes the world go ‘round. They’re how we get change in the world. There are a lot of people who are scared of change, even in nonprofits, but change is a good thing. That’s what nonprofits are trying to accomplish. At Network for Good, I get to be part of that process of change with a wide range of nonprofits, from animal rights to religious rights to gender identity and sexual orientation rights. It’s a full spectrum. It feels good to help. Change and challenge is what we need in the world.”Q&A with Lenny Wrigley, Customer Success SpecialistWhat do you do at Network for Good?I work with nonprofits during their first 90 days with Network for Good, getting them up and running smoothly in the system and teaching them the tools and best practices.I currently work with about 100 nonprofits. I love directing and coaching them and seeing their growth. I enjoy sharing different issues other nonprofits have had and how to get ahead of the problem with our software. I’m a very proactive person, so I like teaching them how to avoid certain habits.What is your experience with nonprofit organizations?I interned for a semester with the Family Equality Council on their communications team, helping with their website, writing blog posts, and contacting their members to participate in different articles and activities.After that, I worked at the Humane Rescue Alliance, interviewing people who needed to surrender their dogs, discussing their different options, and providing resources. With a job like that—when you’re dealing with the life and death of an animal—when it’s rewarding, it can bring you to tears. At the same time, when it’s not rewarding it has the exact same result. I have a lot of respect for anyone who works at a rescue organization.What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not at work?I’m in school right now, studying behavioral science and religion, and then I start seminary school in June, so that keeps me very busy. I love to read books. I recently read UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality, which looks at the different scriptures that have been used against the LGBTQ community and how they’ve been taken so out of context that they’re not the same scriptures that they were thousands of years ago.I’m also a fan of hopelessly romantic stories like Me Before You and Nicholas Sparks’ books; self-help and positive psychology books; and the Harry Potter series. This past Christmas I read Becoming by Michelle Obama. I love to be in a library or book store and just read books all day and not have to worry about anything else. I wasn’t like that as a kid. I wouldn’t pick up a book as a kid.Lightning RoundDream vacation? IsraelMost recent book read? Torn by Justin LeeLast movie seen in movie theater? The Best of EnemiesYour theme song? Anything by Taylor Swift!Favorite color? PurpleRead more on The Nonprofit Blog
We know how tempting it can be to take a break from fundraising after the hustle and bustle of year-end giving in November and December. However, spring is a popular time to send out fundraising appeals.Why Launch a Spring CampaignEnough time has passed since year-end giving that fundraisers feel comfortable asking for donations.Without key dates like #GivingTuesday and New Year’s Day providing natural bookends for a campaign, fundraisers can be more flexible about when to send out appeals and by when to request donations be submitted.While a great option, spring campaigns aren’t quite as omnipresent as year-end campaigns, which means less competition for donors’ attention.Now that you know why a spring campaign is a great idea, it’s time to figure out how to make the most of them.5 Best Practices for Spring CampaignsDevelop a theme. From your messaging to your visuals, working with a cohesive theme is a great way to connect direct mail, email, and social media posts. These communications should look and sound like they’re part of one overarching campaign. Use an integrated marketing approach and send out multiple types of communications to compel your donors to act.Choose a fundraising strategy. Recently, Network for Good hosted a webinar all about spring campaigns, featuring one of our Personal Fundraising Coaches, Andrea Holthouser. During the webinar, Andrea recommends choosing one key strategy to focus on this time of year, such as acquiring new donors or encouraging monthly recurring donations. What strategy will you choose? Listen to the webinar for more spring campaign tips.Create a themed everyday giving page. Once you have developed a cohesive theme to connect your messaging and wording, why not create an online donation page to match? Update the link attached to the donate button on your organization’s homepage during your spring campaign and make sure your email blasts drive traffic to your dedicated page as well.Tell a story. Choose a beneficiary who was helped by your organization in 2018 and ask your donors to help people, animals, or causes like them in 2019. Remind your donors that their gifts make an impact throughout the year and that making more than one gift is a great way to increase their impact for the cause they care about.Don’t forget the flowers! If you’re using your own images or stock images, it’s worth ensuring that any outdoor photos reflect the correct season. If your area is experiencing great weather, it might be worth skipping the snow-covered shots and opting for full trees and landscaping in the background. Even if the temperature isn’t quite spring-like, a little aspiration might just grab the viewer’s attention and prompt a positive response.A spring campaign is the perfect way to fundraise for a new initiative, raise more for your annual gala, or wrap up your fiscal year. Engage and renew donors, attract prospects, build awareness, and plant the seeds that sustain your organization. Download our 30-Day Spring Fundraising Plan to launch your campaign today!Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
Posted on September 30, 2016November 18, 2016By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Delivery in a health facility is one of the indicators being used to measure progress in global maternal newborn health under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, research from numerous settings has illustrated that an increase in facility-based birth does not necessarily result in fewer maternal deaths or neonatal deaths. High quality of care is essential for improving health outcomes and ensuring that women continue to seek care throughout their current and future pregnancies. There is huge variation in quality of care and maternal mortality across facilities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, but research in this area is scarce.In a recent study published in The Lancet Global Health, Kruk and colleagues used nationally representative health system surveys to examine the quality of maternal health care provided in facilities in Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in relation to volume of deliveries and surgical capacity. Quality of care was evaluated using a set of indicators that measured the facility’s availability of 24-hour skilled staff, referral system, electricity, safe water, equipment for infection control, and ability to administer oxytocin, antibiotics and magnesium sulfate when necessary.The overall quality of care in the sample of 1,715 facilities was low. Nine out of ten facilities providing obstetric services in this region did not have the capacity to perform cesarean sections. The majority of primary facilities—facilities that did not offer cesarean sections—lacked the capacity to respond appropriately to common obstetric emergencies such as pre-eclampsia/eclampsia and postpartum hemorrhage by administering magnesium sulfate and oxytocin, respectively. Only 47% of primary facilities had skilled staff available at all times, 39% had referral capacity, 36% had safe water and a mere 11% had electricity. Although secondary facilities—facilities that offer cesarean sections—generally had better quality of care compared to primary care facilities, only 60% of secondary facilities had adequate safe water supply and 66% operated with electricity.Consistent with findings from high-income countries, higher delivery volume was associated with better quality of care in primary and secondary facilities in these sub-Saharan African countries. Primary facilities with fewer than 500 deliveries per year tended to have the poorest quality of care.The indicators used in this study reflect just a few of the most essential resources and practices necessary for providing high quality maternal health care. Basic infrastructure including electricity and safe water and medicines such as oxytocin and magnesium sulfate are essential elements of high quality care. This study also raises an important question: What steps can be taken to ensure that facilities provide quality care regardless of delivery volume?While increasing facility-based delivery may drive improvements in maternal and newborn health outcomes, what happens when a woman arrives at the facility is critical. A focus on understanding and improving the quality of maternal health care is crucial for reducing preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.—Read about the paper in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health news.Hear from Margaret Kruk in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health podcast: Is any care good care? Explore the new standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn health care from the World Health Organization.Check out the Obstetric Emergency Drills and Training Kit designed to help facilities in low-resource settings prevent and respond to obstetric emergencies.Learn about respectful maternity care, another key component of high quality maternal health care.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Jamaica is already benefiting from Chile’s assistance in building capacity in the areas of trade policy and trade promotion. This is being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for technical cooperation between the Export Promotion Bureau (ProChile) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which was signed last year. “On behalf of my colleague Heads of Government, I would like to assure you that these programmes are of great importance to CARICOM and make a significant contribution to the community’s efforts to boost its human-resource capacity and expertise in these critical areas,” he said. President of the Republic of Chile, His Excellency Sebastián Piñera, has expressed interest in entering into negotiations on a free trade-agreement with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Story Highlights President of the Republic of Chile, His Excellency Sebastián Piñera, has expressed interest in entering into negotiations on a free trade-agreement with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).Mr. Piñera said the Chilean Government, which already has free-trade agreements with more than 70 countries in the world, has been looking forward to starting this process “for a long period of time”.He was addressing the third plenary session at the 39th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Friday (July 6), at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, in St. James.The Chilean President said his country has a history of being a very open economy and is of the strong belief that free trade is the best way to achieve development.Jamaica is already benefiting from Chile’s assistance in building capacity in the areas of trade policy and trade promotion. This is being facilitated under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for technical cooperation between the Export Promotion Bureau (ProChile) and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), which was signed last year.Mr. Piñera explained that under the agreement, both countries will organise an annual plan that will include training programmes and also aims to increase bilateral trade.ProChile assists small and medium-sized enterprises in their trade expansion efforts by leveraging the opportunities afforded by recent trade agreements, fostering public-private partnerships, and helping to position Chile in the international marketplace.The President also pledged to continue to strengthen his country’s scientific and technical cooperation with CARICOM as well as provide better assistance in mitigating the impact of natural disasters.In his remarks, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, thanked the President for his country’s continued cooperation on a wide range of areas, including technical assistance in the form of training courses in natural resources, agriculture, health and nutrition, international negotiations with diplomatic training and foreign language training for high-school teachers in trilateral cooperation with the Government of Mexico.“On behalf of my colleague Heads of Government, I would like to assure you that these programmes are of great importance to CARICOM and make a significant contribution to the community’s efforts to boost its human-resource capacity and expertise in these critical areas,” he said.Mr. Holness said CARICOM also appreciates the technical assistance provided through the various training programmes that have been offered in the areas of disaster management, and look forward to continued collaboration in this critical area.The Prime Minister said the Community greatly appreciates Chile’s understanding of the challenges facing small island developing states (SIDS), and thanked the country for registering its readiness “to stand by this vulnerable category of countries”.Mr. Piñera was specially invited to attend the meeting of CARICOM Heads which began on July 4 and ends today.The Conference of Heads of Government, which consists of the Heads of Government of the Member States, is the supreme organ of the Caribbean Community and determines and provides its policy direction.