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18 March 2019

AmDee Weekly Digest March 18

News that Matters to You


Women’s History Month

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Women are leaders of the nonprofit sector
The Guardian
International Women’s Day has become a global movement of celebrating women’s achievements while also recognizing the gender inequalities that persist. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day emerged as part of the labour movement in North America in the early 1900s. By 1975, International Women’s Day was celebrated on March 8 by the United Nations and throughout many countries globally. International Women’s Day has been closely linked historically with the labour and peace movements. We are asking this year that we hearken back to the roots of International Women’s Day and examine women’s work, particularly in the non-profit sector, and the inequities that still exist. We call on all governments to #BalanceforBetter their investments in community sector initiatives.

Serena Williams outlasts Victoria Azarenka in one mother of a second-round match
USA Today
You don’t get tennis matchups much more special than Friday night’s Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka tilt at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. And you definitely never get them in the second round. When the final serve found its home, it was Serena Williams with a breath-taking 7-5, 6-3 win over Azarenka in a match fit for a final but relegated to the second round due to Azarenka being outside the top 32 and an unlucky draw. There was no feeling-out process in this one. No body blows. Both players exchanged haymakers from the start. High-level tennis with equal parts skill and flair. The remarkable first set lasted one hour and 12 minutes and was some of the best tennis played on tour this year. Long rallies. Long games. Neither player giving an inch. Six of the first seven games went to deuce and the set included seven breaks of serve.

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Website Security News

WordPress Shopping Sites Under Attack
ZDNET
WordPress-based shopping sites are under attack from a hacker group abusing a vulnerability in a shopping cart plugin to plant backdoors and take over vulnerable sites. Attacks are currently ongoing, according to Defiant, the company behind Wordfence, a firewall plugin for WordPress sites. Hackers are targeting WordPress sites that use the “Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce,” a plugin installed on over 20,000 WordPress sites, according to the official WordPress Plugins repository. These attacks are one of those rare cases where a mundane and usually harmless cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability can actually lead to serious hacks. XSS flaws are rarely weaponized in such a dangerous manner. These hacks are occurring because of the plugin and vulnerability’s mode of operation, both of which combine to create the perfect storm.

Cyber attack forces Jackson County to pay $400K ransom
The Jackson County government paid online criminals about $400,000 this week following a cyber attack that crippled the county’s computer system. County officials are in the process of decrypting computers and servers a week after the first signs of an attack, said Jackson County Manager Kevin Poe on Friday. The FBI is investigating the ransomware scheme. Ransomware refers to hackers who lock victims out of their computers and other internet-accessible devices and then demand a ransom in return for restored access, according to digital security software provider Avast. “They demanded ransom,” Poe said. “We had to make a determination on whether to pay. We could have literally been down months and months and spent as much or more money trying to get our system rebuilt.” To deal with the threat, the county hired a cyber-security response consultant with experience in negotiating with hackers, Poe said. The consultants paid the ransom in bitcoins, an online currency, and the county reimbursed them, he said. The attackers wanted bitcoins, which are difficult to trace, according to Poe.

Spotlight on Women in Cybersecurity
Security Boulevard
We have a tough road ahead still, but not an impossible one, by far. The world is becoming more open, more accepting. People are remembering historical figures in the world of technology, and honoring them: Ada Lovelace, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson. So many women made so many contributions to the world of technology. As well, I think that we women are finally starting to break through the kind of old thinking that women should stay out of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and “leave it to the men”. I’ve found nothing but helpful and wonderful coworkers of all genders. I know that I’m lucky in a lot of ways, but that still speaks to the fact that women are being more accepted.

Apple tied to new privacy website, suggesting future security marketing
CNET
The tech industry’s already-boiling privacy debate may get even hotter soon.
Apple appears to have purchased the web address PrivacyIsImportant.com, which according to public registration records, was bought on March 4. Currently, the site is just a blank white page. MacRumors was first to notice the domain purchase. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. If indeed Apple is planning something, it’d fall in line with the company’s ongoing marketing over its products like the iPhone and its Mac computers. During CES in Las Vegas in January, Apple put up a billboard promising “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.” Apple’s moves come at a time when privacy issues are squarely in the public debate. Governments are attempting to force, through potential legislation and court battles, access to encrypted messages on WhatsApp, Signal and other apps. They’ve argued, in effect, that privacy is not absolute. Meanwhile, Facebook’s poor handling of user data landed CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg in congressional hearings.


Website Accessibility News

Government agrees that Australia’s NDIS needs a chatbot
ZDNET
Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be getting a chatbot after the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS flagged that having such technology in place would reduce the frequency of calls and improve “interactive problem solving”. Following the committee’s report on the NDIS ICT Systems [PDF], the federal government on Thursday agreed to implement all six IT-related recommendations. “While the NDIS is designed to assist people with disability to achieve their goals while exercising choice and control, it is acknowledged a number of challenges relating to ICT remains and requires ongoing work,” the government wrote in its response [PDF]. Specifically, the joint committee asked that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) co-design, with end-users, a “fit-for-purpose chatbot for the website and portals”. “The committee believes that the absence of a systems-based tool, which would integrate NDIS business processes, policies, and guidance to staff via a central repository is contributing to the current inability of [the NDIS Contact Centre], NDIA, and LAC staff to provide consistent and clear information to prospective and existing participants and service providers,” it said.

UNICEF Report Suggests Better Access to Assistive Technologies Could Increase Number of Students With Disabilities in Schools Across Central Europe, Central Asia
Top News Gazette
On March 7, UNICEF announced that at least 75 percent of an estimated 5.1 million children with disabilities in Eastern and Central Europe and Central Asia have fewer opportunities as their classmates due to a lack of quality, inclusive education. According to the report, millions of children in these areas never enter school, and children less likely to enroll never benefit from learning or complete primary or secondary education. Children with disabilities in these countries, hundreds of thousands according to the report, remain in “special” schools, segregated from their peers. “This is a tragic waste of potential – for these children, their families, national economies and society,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, Ms. Afshan Khan. “Today, UNICEF is calling for investments in quality availability and affordability of assistive technologies, as these products have the potential to drastically increase the number of children with disabilities accessing their fundamental right to education.”


Nonprofit News

Report Identifies Barriers to Nonprofit Advancement for Women of Color
Nonprofit Quarterly
In a new report by the Building Movement Project, researchers uncovered something many women of color in the nonprofit sector intuitively know and find intimately familiar: Due to gender and race-based discrimination, women of color encounter significantly more barriers to advancement than white women and men of color. The report, Race to Lead: Women of Color in the Nonprofit Sector, builds on the group’s 2016 research on the racial leadership gap in the nonprofit sector. The original research surveyed more than 4,000 nonprofit professionals and found that the dearth of people of color in leadership was not due to lack of ambition but to discriminatory policies and practices. By examining the impact of race and gender on career advancement, the latest report provides better understanding of the unique experiences of women of color.

10 Lesser-Known Ways Nonprofits Can Generate Social Media Support
Forbes
In the last few years, the way businesses interact with customers has changed radically. For most, it’s no longer about calling customers or using storefront signs to catch people’s attention. Now, one of the best ways to grow a customer base is through social media. From interacting with followers to giving people an inside look at what your organization does, social media is an excellent tool for promoting a business. For nonprofits looking to connect to an audience base, social media can provide free, easy ways to get the word out. In addition, there are a few lesser-known ways nonprofit organizations can spread their mission and generate social media support. To help you become aware of these various social strategies, we asked members of Forbes Nonprofit Council to share their top social media engagement strategies below.

Legislation To Repeal Nonprofit Tax Getting Bipartisan Support
The NonProfit Times
A new report commissioned by Independent Sector (IS) shows that the new tax will annually divert an average of $12,000 from each nonprofit’s mission. About 10 percent of nonprofits are considering dropping transportation and parking benefits entirely, although these employer-provided benefits are mandated in some metropolitan areas like Washington, D.C., New York, and San Francisco. “These (UBIT) provisions divert precious funds away from missions and the communities who need it most,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of IS. “We heard from nonprofit leaders who were concerned about the impact of these taxes and confused about how they were going to be implemented. We commissioned this research to educate the nonprofit community and urge Congress to quickly repeal these two provisions.” Momentum for repealing the tax on nonprofit employee benefits is growing on both sides of the aisle, and “ASAE is hopeful Congress will move repeal legislation this session so that nothing distracts associations and other nonprofits from their core mission. Bipartisan support is growing to repeal this onerous tax on nonprofit employee benefits,” said ASAE President and CEO John Graham, FASAE, CAE.


Fundraising News

Female Fundraisers Still Earn Less Than Male Colleagues
The NonProfit Times
There is a 10 percent difference in salaries between male and female fundraisers, according to new research published by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). And, previous surveys indicate that the gender gap has not narrowed appreciably during the past 18 years. The research, based on more than 10,000 responses to AFP’s Compensation and Benefits surveys from 2014 to 2018, found that controlling for all other factors, women fundraisers make 10.5 percent less than their male colleagues. Across the five years of the survey, women accounted for 77 percent of all the respondents. The Impact of Gender on Fundraising Salaries 2014 – 2018 was published through AFP’s Women’s Impact Initiative (WII), a campaign to assess, address and highlight the specific issues and challenges that women in the fundraising profession face, including pay equity, harassment, inclusion in leadership, and others. A similar study using data from the AFP Compensation & Benefit Surveys for 2000 – 2005 found that controlling for all other factors, women were paid 11 percent less than men during the period. In contrast, a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center found that, on average, women overall working in the U.S. made 84 percent as much as men. Research from Statistics Canada shows that Canadian women earn 87 cents on the dollar compared to every dollar earned by a man.

Direct Response: Test Your Fundraising Ask Methodologies
The NonProfit Times
What motivates a donor to give is one issue. How much you can persuade them to given is a completely different story. What it comes down to is testing and those tests don’t have to cost much to perform. Some ideas on the direct response ask string were presented during a session at the recent ANA Nonprofit Federation Washington, D.C., conference. The session was presented by Angie Miller, vice president of development at HumanKind and Ashley Gundlach, vice president of client services of Nexus Direct. You should test ask strategies because it’s easier than you might think and an inexpensive way to make a significant impact on your program. There’s a good chance you’re leaving money on the table. Start small and build from there, according to the presenters. And, don’t isolate asks to your reply form or donation page, get creative, they suggested. It is important to establish key performance indicators, such as an increase in average gift; lift in response; small, but meaningful number of high-dollar gifts; a decreased cost per dollar raised; and, acquiring donors with the potential for a higher long-term value. One of idea to test an compared how changes in the ask string will impact the highest past contribution vs. the most recent contribution vs. the donor’s average gift.


Did you know that The AmDee blog covers topics related to WordPress, web design, web security, SEO, and content marketing topics for nonprofits and small businesses? Have a question or topic you’d like us to cover? Email us with the subject line “Dear AmDee”.

Christine Job

Christine is AmDee’s Sales and Marketing Manager. She is also the Social Media and Content strategist for AmDee. Her entrepreneurial experience, as well as her experience as a business development consultant, gives her the ability to craft sales and marketing strategies that are lean, comprehensive and effective, not only for AmDee but for also for AmDee clients as well.