June 25, 2010; Source: ChildAdvocacy360.com | Ever wonder why not enough good things happen for children in this country? New research says the problem is due to a “huge gap” between good work that’s being done for children by foundations and nonprofit advocacy groups and what the public is being told about what’s working.
The report, conducted for Child Advocacy 360 Foundation, says that if more information was made available about the solutions and in-roads being made on behalf of children, public support would likely follow. In a statement the president and founder of Child Advocacy 360, Hershel Sabin, said, “Solutions offer good news. They have the power to offer the hope for change. This engages and encourages more parents and caring citizens to support a wider range of programs that benefit all children, especially those that are disadvantaged and underserved.”
To determine the likelihood of the public response to positive messages about children and progress being made on their behalf, Topos Partnership and Douglas Gould & Company interviewed some 2,006 registered voters nationwide, conducted six focus group sessions in three states and tested 240 participants on their ability to repeat the core of a message and pass it on to others. “Advocates are better served by talking about getting kids off to the right start, as opposed to fixing a problem,” said Douglas Gould, president, Douglas Gould & Company. “Stories should always stress the role of community and people working together as opposed to individuals or families,” he added.
In the end, Sabin says, “Sympathy for children is not enough to win public support. Instead, he said, “People want to know who’s doing what that works. Give good news a chance. Instead of focusing on charity, emphasize the fact that collective responsibility and the power of people working together for change, yields solutions to improve the lives of children.” A copy of the study and executive summary are available at the Child Advocacy 360 website.—Bruce Trachtenberg