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Expand generosity through transparency and vulnerability

first_imgIn The Generosity Network, philanthropist Jeffrey Walker and fundraising expert Jennifer McCrea team up to show how a shift from transactional to transformational philanthropy can help your nonprofit accomplish even bigger goals. The book is a deeply inspirational instruction manual for forging connections that can move your mission forward. Beyond inspiration, this dream team of social good offers plenty of practical advice for fundraisers looking to build meaningful relationships with donors and partners. One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is the focus on understanding the emotional roots of relationship building and learning to create true partnerships with major donors and community leaders through trust. As you might expect, transparency is paramount.From The Generosity Network:“Today’s best nonprofits recognize this truth. They welcome two-way transparency, even when it’s difficult or stressful—and that includes being willing to entertain tough questions and challenges from well-intentioned supporters. Painful conversations, they’ve found, can be a path to discovery, learning, and growth.”To fully embrace the idea of transparency, Jeffrey and Jennifer say that nonprofits need to first understand the vulnerabilities of donors and partners, including:— the importance of personal or public recognition. Some donors want public recognition, others prefer to stay out of the spotlight.— the intensely personal reasons for giving. Each donor’s motivation for giving will be unique.— how much connection the donor wants with your organization. Some donors may consider their gift connection enough, while other donors crave ongoing involvement.— the experience your charity represents in the donor’s life. Has there been a life-changing experience that drives them to give to your cause?— any concerns the donor may have about giving, such as how the money will be spent or how much of a difference can be made.Of course, it’s still critically important for organizations to practice openness when forging partnerships and bringing on new donors. You can show your commitment to transparency by being open about these three factors:Your mistakes and missteps. Be as open about your failures as you are your successes. Show what you’ve learned and how you’re improving. Don’t try to hide mistakes—as we have seen all too often, this usually backfires.How your strategy has evolved. Changing course isn’t something to be ashamed of, it shows how your organization is growing and adapting along with changing circumstances.Your areas of uncertainty. Be upfront about what you don’t know or areas of weakness. This can help you identify strategic alliances, but also lets partners know you are a real organization, with imperfections like all others.The book is officially available today, and you can learn how to create your own Generosity Network in our free webinar on October 1 at 1pm EDT. Jeff and Jennifer will be our guests and will share their insights to help you build a network of partners that will create lasting results for your organization. Register now to reserve your spot.last_img read more

Perfect nanotubes shine brightest

first_imgFacebookTwitterPrintEmailAddThis ShareDavid Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduMike Williams713-348-6728mikewilliams@rice.eduPerfect nanotubes shine brightestRice University researchers show how length, imperfections affect carbon nanotube fluorescenceA painstaking study by Rice University has brought a wealth of new information about single-walled carbon nanotubes through analysis of their fluorescence.The current issue of the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano features an article about work by the Rice lab of chemist Bruce Weisman to understand how the lengths and imperfections of individual nanotubes affect their fluorescence – in this case, the light they emit at near-infrared wavelengths.The researchers found that the brightest nanotubes of the same length show consistent fluorescence intensity, and the longer the tube, the brighter. “There’s a rather well-defined limit to how bright they appear,” Weisman said. “And that maximum brightness is proportional to length, which suggests those tubes are not affected by imperfections.”But they found that brightness among nanotubes of the same length varied widely, likely due to damaged or defective structures or chemical reactions that allowed atoms to latch onto the surface.The study first reported late last year by Weisman, lead author/former graduate student Tonya Leeuw Cherukuri and postdoctoral fellow Dmitri Tsyboulski detailed the method by which Cherukuri analyzed the characteristics of 400 individual nanotubes of a specific physical structure known as (10,2).“It’s a tribute to Tonya’s dedication and talent that she was able to make this large number of accurate measurements,” Weisman said of his former student.The researchers applied spectral filtering to selectively view the specific type of nanotube. “We used spectroscopy to take this very polydisperse sample containing many different structures and study just one of them, the (10,2) nanotubes,” Weisman said. “But even within that one type, there’s a wide range of lengths.”Weisman said the study involved singling out one or two isolated nanotubes at a time in a dilute sample and finding their lengths by analyzing videos of the moving tubes captured with a special fluorescence microscope. The movies also allowed Cherukuri to catalog their maximum brightness.“I think of these tubes as fluorescence underachievers,” he said. “There are a few bright ones that fluoresce to their full potential, but most of them are just slackers, and they’re half as bright, or 20 percent as bright, as they should be.“What we want to do is change that distribution and leave no tube behind, try to get them all to the top. We want to know how their fluorescence is affected by growth methods and processing, to see if we’re inflicting damage that’s causing the dimming.“These are insights you really can’t get from measurements on bulk samples,” he said.Graduate student Jason Streit is extending Cherukuri’s research. “He’s worked up a way to automate the experiments so we can image and analyze dozens of nanotubes at once, rather than one or two. That will let us do in a couple of weeks what had taken months with the original method,” Weisman said.The research was supported by the Welch Foundation, the National Science Foundation and Applied NanoFluorescence.-30-Read the ACS Nano article “How Nanotubes Get Their Glow” here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/nn2050328Read the abstract here:http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn2043516See a video of fluorescent carbon nanotubes here:http://youtu.be/4ceWLcOMxz0CAPTION:A video produced by the Rice University lab of chemist Bruce Weisman shows a selection of nanotubes fluorescing as they twist and turn in a solution. New work at Rice revealed how the fluorescent properties of specific types of nanotubes are influenced by the length of the tube and any imperfections. Weisman said those properties may be important to medical imaging and industrial applications. (Credit: Jason Streit/Rice University)last_img read more