My Dear Readers:
In this note I get to do two things — one I love to do, and another I’m not so crazy about.
The part I love is to provide you with a brief summary of the Josephson Institute’s achievements in 2013.
Some of you may not be aware of the Institute’s range of activities and achievements, and I want those of you who have supported us both morally and financially to share in our pride.
The second objective of this letter (which I don’t love so much) is to ask previous donors to support us again before the end of the year (at an even higher level, if possible). I also hope to persuade those of you who have not previously made a tax-deductible contribution to do so.
In this cause, I blatantly appeal to every motivation I can think of: 1) your altruistic desire to help us improve the ethical quality of society; 2) your compassion and possibly affection for me and my mission in response to my sincere expression of need; 3) your gratitude for anything we may have done or written that helped you, encouraged you or enlightened you; and, finally, 4) a sense of moral obligation to help us meet the costs of any of our free services and communications that you found valuable.
Please give because we are doing spectacular work with great results.
To justify your altruism it may help if you know that this year our CHARACTER COUNTS! program reached about 8 million children and their families, helping them better understand and meet their ethical obligations and strengthen their character.
We substantially enhanced our impact with the introduction of CHARACTER COUNTS! 4.0, a comprehensive student development system integrating state-of-the-art character development strategies, academic goals and values (including the core of Common Core), social and emotional growth, the development of life skills (including 21st Century Skills identified by educators as essential for success in college and careers).
To implant our effective attitude and behavior change concepts and tools, we distributed at no cost to the educational community several documents articulating Critical Educational Outcomes (Model Standards for Academic, Social, Emotional and Character Development) and specific methods of achieving these outcomes (the CHARACTER COUNTS! 4.0 Matrix).
You should also know we introduced CHARACTER COUNTS! to the country of Colombia this year. We already have more than a dozen top schools there employing CHARACTER COUNTS! strategies, and two additional trainings with another 20 schools are scheduled in the first quarter of 2014. But that’s not all — more than 20,000 students in Nigeria are using a special school planner that integrates CHARACTER COUNTS! lessons.
Finally, we have just completed a massive national survey on the State of Education in America and we will be releasing results in early 2014.
In addition to our character development work with youth, we have also been active and successful in working with public agencies (especially in the policing profession – we are writing a book commissioned by the Department of Justice on Creating an Exemplary Policing Organization), Native American communities (programs on governance and ethics) and we helped the premier global public relations firm Fleishman Hillard develop a comprehensive ethics program that is serving as a model for the public relations industry.
Give because you care about me and/or the Institute.
My appeal to compassion is explicit. This has been the toughest year EVER for the Josephson Institute and we have never needed your donations more. Our ability to continue our good work depends on generous financial support from people like you.
Give out of gratitude.
I receive letters every week from people who thank me for an insight, image or anecdote we shared through our free newsletters, Facebook pages and other social media, speeches or our mobile app. If you would just give a dollar or two for every time we made you feel better or smarter or when we inspired to you listen to your better angels, it would make a huge difference. And we in turn will be grateful to you.
Give out of ethical obligation.
I won’t get too preachy here, but many think there is an ethical duty to support causes you derive benefit from and/or believe in.
Okay, that’s my best shot. I do hope you will join our small but growing band of idealists who believe that we can make a better world.
Please accept my warmest and most sincere wishes for a happy holiday season,
Your faithful and dedicated servant,
President and Founder
Josephson Institute, CHARACTER COUNTS!