#8 Playing the “innovation” card
These days if you are not “being innovative,” chances are you are not “getting funded.”
Though some like to portray all Expat Aid Workers as bureaucratic and resistant to change, that’s simply not true. When faced with funding difficulties and other challenges, some Expat Aid Workers can be quite innovative*.
Here on this blog, for example, in addition to writing about Expat Aid Workers and the stuff they like, we are innovating. We’ve recently begun using Ngram, a new service by Google.
Ngram allows you to chart the number of times a term has been used in books from the 1500′s to 2008. Given that the number of times a term is used is an indication of the general importance placed on the term at the time, we can use Ngram to determine baseline levels of awareness over time around our favorite topic: “stuff expat aid workers like.” We can assume that the frequency of the words “stuff,” “expat,” “aid worker” and “like” in books would have some kind of correlation with frequency on the world wide web in the past couple of decades.
Here’s what we’ve found.
Inputting the terms “expat” and “aid worker” into Ngram, we see a surge in the use of the term “expat” in 2001 and again a jump around 2005. There is a good degree of ups and downs but only a very small rise in the frequency of the term “aid worker” over time.
There is high usage of the term “like” with a much lower frequency for the term “stuff.” “Like” is on the rise as of 2000.
As for the term “stuff expat aidworkers like,” the data show zero usage over the history of all books as far back as we can go.
Total absence of the term “stuff expat aid workers like” over the past 500+ years means there is a clear need for “awareness raising” around this term, and therefore a pressing need for Stuff Expat Aid Workers Like: The Blog. By measuring the increase in the use of the same key words (stuff, expat, aid workers, like and their combination) on Ngram in the future, we will be able to determine any increase in importance and awareness around these terms. Naturally, we will attribute increased frequency of any of the words or combinations of words to our efforts on this blog, and we will show “proven impact.”
But that’s not all….
We are working with Google, Facebook, Wikileaks, and our network of HRI Affiliates on a cutting edge tool called Expat Aid Worker Trends. This tool will allow us to scan and find patterns in expat aid workers’ search terms, Facebook profiles, email, and any other data that comes into our hands concerning expat aid workers or anyone they interact with. We’ll then visually map out the data, and make cool looking info-graphics. (Look for our app in the Apple store in 2011). In this way, we should be able to predict EAW trends around the globe before they hit.
Most Expat Aid Workers are OK with innovation, and if they aren’t, they should be, because managing innovation is key in the fundraising game. As any savvy young EAW will tell you, if you suspect that your initiative or your organization (or you, yourself) might be a waste of time and resources, play the innovation card. Play it correctly and you’ll have donors eating right out of your hand. And when donors eat out of your hand, you’ve nailed one other thing Expat Aid Workers Like: job security.
*involves digital technology, “Internet freedom”, large data sets, mobile phones or some kind of robot or artificial intelligence and sensors