DECEMBER 2022 / JANUARY 2023
Celebrating Inclusion Figures
When bestselling author John Elder Robison was a child, few had ever heard of Asperger’s syndrome. As a kid, Robison was often punished for “misbehaving” and “laziness.” It wasn’t until adulthood that a doctor suggested to him that he might have Asperger’s. “The knowledge,” said Robison, “changed my life forever. It took some time, and a lot of hard work, but the knowledge of how and why I am different transformed my life.” In 2007, Robison published his heartfelt memoir, “Look Me in the Eye”, detailing his life with undiagnosed Asperger syndrome and savant abilities. The book instantly became a massive bestseller! His other books include “Switched On”, “Raising Cubby”; “My Life with Asperger’s”, and “Be Different – Adventures of a Free-range Aspergian”. John’s books are sold in a dozen languages in over 65 countries.
In addition to being a best-selling author, he has worked in the music business where he created sound effects and electronic devices, the best known of which were the signature guitars he built for KISS. Later Robison worked on some of the first video games and talking toys at Milton Bradley. After a ten-year career in electronics, he founded Robison Service where he oversees the restoration of classic European motorcars in Springfield, Massachusetts. Robison is also a trustee of the Eastern States Exposition, New England’s State Fair, and an accomplished performance photographer. He is a hiker, a music lover, and a world-class champion eater.
Today, Robison continues to write about his experiences with Asperger’s syndrome, while remaining a tireless advocate for those on the autism spectrum.
2022 End-of-Year Report
It is that time of year again when you are required to complete the Best Buddies Biannual Report. This report is available to be completed online via the following link:
This is a reminder that to remain accredited by Best Buddies International, you must submit the report by the deadline of Friday, February 24, 2023.
Mobile Marketing Tips for Every Generation
It’s no secret that people are attached to their phones—checking email, social media, and even shopping, purchasing, and making donations. If you haven’t figured it out, your nonprofit needs an engaging mobile presence. This used to be a nice-to-have; now it’s a must-have.
Mobile marketing is a key component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. And optimizing your website for all devices and screens is crucial for staying relevant with today’s audiences, especially millennials and Gen Xers, but even the more tech-savvy baby boomers. And if you don’t keep up you’ll lag behind, losing online visitors, donors and, ultimately, donations. Join Molly Coke for a webinar that explores mobile marketing and generational marketing.
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
2:00 p.m. EST: Register Here
Global Staff Webinar: Corporate Citizens
Please join us for the first Global Staff Webinar of the year! This session will cover all there is to know about corporate citizens and will feature guest speaker Elizabeth Townsend, Lead, Program Manager for Best Buddies in Delaware.
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
9:00 a.m. EST: Register Here
Unlock the Secrets of Member Motivations
Do you know how and why members decide to join your organization? Join this special session to hear from Fiveseed’s Rosie Siemer, membership expert and principal researcher of a first-of-its-kind groundbreaking study on member motivations. Featuring lessons learned and studies from Cuseum, South Carolina Aquarium, and Wichita Art Museum, this session will reveal how leading arts and cultural organizations are leveraging research, new benefits, and technology to better meet member needs. Attendees will gain actionable strategies for creating more member value by improving the member experience.
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
2:00 p.m. EST: Register Here
Kicking off 2023 at Staff Leadership Conference!
The International Programs team attended the U.S. Staff Leadership Conference earlier this month. Our team used this opportunity to share time, energy, and ideas with our U.S. colleagues as we prepare for a fantastic year in 2023. We are energized and ready to help you continue the impactful work you are doing to spread the mission of Best Buddies around the world! We thank each of you today and every day of the year for your commitment to our mission. Inclusion lives here and with each of you.
Best Buddies in Social Media
Happy Chinese New Year from Best Buddies in Hong Kong! Best Buddies in Hong Kong, in partnership with the Fu Hong Society, celebrated the last day of the year of the Tiger by hosting a fundraiser and selling flags in honor of Flag Day.
Best Buddies in Peru held a friendship program sports group outing at the pentagon. They participated in activities such as jump roping, dance, and karate.
Best Buddies in Turkey sailed to new friendships in the year! Our new volunteers at the Special American Robert High School 4 met with their buddies this year at the matching ceremony which Program Manager, Çağan Liznak attended.
And the Bestie of the month goes to…
Sercan Duygan, Country Director for Best Buddies Turkey!
This month’s Bestie Award goes to Sercan Duygan, Country Director for Best Buddies Turkey. Sercan successfully introduced Best Buddies to Turkey over a decade ago and has continued to grow. He is an innovator who has brought sustainability to Best Buddies Turkey and has fostered connections with various companies and the U.S. embassy. Thank you, Sercan!
Tip of the month!
Flexibility regarding scheduling can help you retain more volunteers in 2023. One of the best ways to gain insights into the availability of your volunteers is by asking them. This may seem like a basic concept, but you would be surprised how many nonprofits forgo capturing this data as part of their onboarding process. Think about the trends you could capture and leverage just by asking volunteers what time works best for them to give. Another tip is to make the volunteer registration process as streamlined as possible for supporters. A streamlined process will demonstrate to volunteers that your organization values their time.
Fun Fact of the month
There’s a world record for the holder of the most world records: Ashrita Furman, who’s set more than 600 records and currently holds more than 200. His records have ranged from the fastest mile on a pogo stick, the longest time to hula hoop underwater, and greatest distance traveled on a bicycle balancing a milk bottle on his head.
Recorded Trainings on Google Drive
Global Staff Webinar: Digital Marketing (10/26/2022)
Global Staff Webinar: Strategic Planning (9/28/2022)
Global Staff Webinar: Volunteer Management (9/14/2022)
Global Staff Webinar: Jobs Program (8/4/2022)
For more staff resources, please visit our Programs Staff Library
If you have an event, story, or Bestie nomination to share in our next International Programs Newsletter, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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