Africa included in EIB’s latest funding round

first_imgThe European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved €6.5 billion ($8 billion) in funding for projects in EU countries, Africa, Asia and Latin America.The announced funding will support some 36 projects in 17 EU countries including energy, transport, housing and water schemes in the other three regions.A total of $2 billion has been set aside for the EIB to partner with international financial institutions in issuing green bonds in developing economies worldwide.The green bonds will be used to address challenges associated with changing climate.The set aside budget will help countries secure energy supply through expansion of energy generation resources.For instance, African countries to benefit from the initiative will improve access to electricity to underserved consumers through the development of medium sized renewable energy projects.A 17MW wind farm will be developed in Lower Austria and hydropower plant in Georgia, using the funding.EIB says a share of the $8 billion will be directed towards modernising energy distribution networks and for smart meter rollout in Italy and Spain, respectively.The Scottish city of Dundee will construct a new waste to energy project.The Rwandan capital, Kigali, will benefit from the development and modernisation of its water infrastructure and improve water services.Werner Hoyer, president of the EIB, said: “New financing approved today demonstrates the EIB’s firm commitment to improving education, energy, transport, housing and water needs and ensuring that businesses can expand. This includes both new initiatives to transform the global green bond market and improve daily life in western, central and southern Africa.”The approval was made during EIB’s first meeting of 2018 held in Luxembourg last week. UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development BRICS Image credit: Stock. Finance and Policy AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Generation Previous articleManaging aging distribution and power transformersNext articleCentral Africa to receive improved energy access Nicholas Nhede RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA last_img read more

Minnesota handles Nebraska-Omaha in season opener

first_img“I’m extremely happy,” McBrayer said. “I’m having a lot of fun, I’m smiling, just like I was two years ago. I’m playing with a lot of confidence right now, and credit to my teammates for getting me confident early.” Omaha never threatened in the second half, and Pitino was able to get all of his players significant playing time. Minnesota experimented with different lineups over the final 20 minutes as the Gophers cruised to a 28 point victory.Jordan Murphy, who regularly posted double-doubles last season, picked up right where he left off last season when he tied Deandre Ayton for the nation’s lead in that category with 24. Murphy totaled 12 points and 10 boards in 24 minutes of playing time.One of the night’s most impressive stats came from freshman Daniel Oturu, who made his first start for Minnesota. The big man brought down five offensive rebounds, all in the first half. He had eight boards overall to go along with 14 points. “I think he’s going to be special, I really do,” Pitino said of Oturu. “He’s one of the more underrated, when you talk about these big time recruits, he’s probably not talked about in that category, but he’s going to be terrific.”Even though the game wasn’t close, there were still exciting moments in the second half. Not once, but twice, sophomore Isaiah Washington brought The Barn to its feet after connecting with freshman Jarvis Omersa for flying dunks.“It was a great feeling,” Washington said. “I know [Omersa], me and him have been talking about it for a long time, and now that we had the opportunity, it was a great feeling.”Minnesota will face a step up in competition when they next take the court against Utah at Williams Arena on Nov. 12. Minnesota handles Nebraska-Omaha in season openerGophers play team basketball to capture first win.Chris Dang, Daily File PhotoFreshman guard Amir Coffey drives the ball up the court on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 at the Sports Pavilion.  Nick JungheimNovember 7, 2018Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintOn Tuesday, people across the country gathered at polling stations to cast their votes in the midterm elections. However, voting was not the only thing people gathered for. November 6 also marked the return of college basketball season. Williams Arena was the site of one such contest, as the Gophers (1-0) defeated Nebraska-Omaha (0-1) 104-76 to begin the 2018-19 campaign.“Positives were, ball movement was really, really good,” said head coach Richard Pitino. “Twenty-eight assists, that’s a lot, and to leave 18 turnovers out there, I think offensively we could be pretty good, and we still have a long way to go.” Minnesota came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, taking a 14-3 lead. Omaha didn’t make a field goal until Zach Jackson hit a tough shot over junior Amir Coffey with 13:25 to play in the first. However, once that bucket fell, the Mavericks caught fire and took a 19-18 lead four minutes later.The game went back-and-forth until senior Dupree McBrayer hit a go-ahead jumper to put the Gophers ahead 27-26. From there, Minnesota never looked back. They went on a 23-5 run over the final 5:22 of the half, punctuated by Coffey, who drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with 0.8 seconds remaining. He hit all three free throws and the Gophers went into the locker room up 50-31.Minnesota was clearly glad to have Coffey back after a shoulder injury cost him much of the 2017-18 season. Seeing increased playing time at the point, he led the team with 18 points.  “We have some calming influences on the court, and [Coffey] is definitely that,” Pitino said. “That’s important when you’re looking at a point guard. … [Coffey] never, ever seems rattled.”McBrayer also dealt with injuries last season. Now fully healthy, he had a strong night from behind the arc, hitting five of six three-point attempts. The sharp-shooter enjoyed his final season-opener.last_img read more

Taking flight – the departures board is beginning to look a little crowded

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Subscribe now for unlimited access To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

Roundtable: Wales and devolution

first_imgHelen Molyneux, NewLaw SolicitorsIt has been a ‘perfect storm’, but the storm has been a long time comingHelen Molyneux, NewLaw Solicitors‘There are opportunities for all private law firms, but it very much depends on the area you practise in and who your clients are,’ she says. ‘We’ve been building towards this for the last six years and it’s interesting for us to observe the sudden “noise” that has built up around ABSs. I think the profession’s response has been disappointing. People have been thinking “it won’t happen”, and in consequence I am seeing law firms in my sector closing down and running off work in progress because they can’t see how they can continue following the (portal) fee changes and Jackson reforms. It has been a “perfect storm”, but the storm has been a long time coming.’Wales factfile Jennifer Perry, Gocompare.comWorking for a business that is a national brand, and knowing the actual cost of maintaining that brand, I struggle to see how the profession can compete on that basisJennifer Perry, Gocompare.comSo what is to be done? There is a consensus that practising solicitors as a collective need to raise awareness of what they can offer to the market that the arrivistes cannot. All agree that the Law Society can help in this regard. Says Lewis: ‘The arms-length nature of the profession is something that can and does appeal, both in the commercial sector and in terms of advising public bodies.’ Alun Jones, managing partner of Hugh James, concurs: ‘The profession has an opportunity to differentiate itself from the non-lawyer/new entrant market. Our role has become somewhat blurred over the last few years. If you look at the personal injury, will-writing and conveyancing markets, there is nothing new in having competition. But we need to occupy the ground of “trusted adviser” before somebody else comes in and takes it from us.’ He adds: ‘It’s been shown that a large percentage of people believe all will-writers are lawyers, for example. We’re missing something here. Only collectively are we big enough to fight the brands.’Separate jurisdiction: timelineFebruary 2013: Welsh Government Evidence to Silk Commission publishedMarch 2013: Silk Commission Call for Evidence closesSpring 2014: Silk Commission reportSpring 2015: UK general electionSpring 2016: National Assembly for Wales elections2016/17: Earliest date for UK legislationPost 2020: Implementation following next elections to the National Assembly for Wales.Anne-Louise Ferguson, a leading in-house lawyer in the NHS, laments: ‘Anybody who is seen to be offering a legal service is assumed to be a lawyer. That’s the problem with having different terms for people offering these services. The public seems to think, “If you do that, you’re a lawyer”.’ Alun Jones agrees: ‘If the profession is to regain its status as “trusted adviser” a larger consumer education exercise needs to be carried out. The first question a client should be asking is, “Are you a solicitor?”. It seems so obvious to us.’Opening up the market cannot be described as either a ‘Big Bang’ or damp squib quite yet. The number of firms converting to ABS status has been relatively modest, at over 100, but Alun Jones for one believes ‘more of us will be looking at it in future as it becomes clear what ABS actually means’. He believes the profession remains ‘resilient’, though traditional partnerships may need to consider changing their modus operandi. ‘Small firms may have to be specialists in future rather than general practitioners. It could be a threat on the one hand, but it’s a huge opportunity on the other. It depends if your glass is half full or half empty. Bold decisions need to be taken.’Agricultural law specialist Rhodri Jones adds: ‘I would not have considered joining a four- to five fee-earner practice had it not been in a specialised sector where there is not a great deal of competition.’ For specialist firms like his, he stresses, there are new opportunities to combine services with other professionals, such as accountants.Another catalyst for structural change is the funding environment. Credit has been scarce since the 2008 crash and recent high-profile law firm collapses across the border in England have hardly helped restore confidence. Says Molyneux: ‘[Bank] funding for law firms over the last four or five years has been absolutely atrocious. There are opportunities with the ABS model to fund your business in a different way, but we’re not used to doing that. And we’re not used to the constraints that other types of funding impose on us, when there could be venture capitalists involved and shareholders. It’s not like a partnership, where every year you take the profits out.’Lewis suggests: ‘There are business models that have traditionally operated in law firms. Maybe the law firm’s time is over for certain types of operation.’ Williams observes: ‘The comparison between venture capital funding and traditional bank funding is an interesting one. Law firms have had a very easy ride for decades. In the halcyon days before the crash, a finance director would meet the bank manager once a year for a chat about how things are going. Now it’s the chief executive once a quarter and it lasts several hours. It’s not beyond the bounds of possibility today that your relationship manager will say, “That line of business doesn’t seem to be doing very well, get rid of it”.’The duty to the client, worryingly, can be seen as secondary.*Commission on Devolution in Wales: Second Call for Evidence, Cymdeithas y Cyfreithwyr (The Law Society), March 2013For more information about the Law Society’s Wales office see the website. Rhodri Jones, Agri Advisor SolicitorsMany of my clients, if they were trying to sort these issues out on their own, would need reassurance that the service is there in the language of their choiceRhodri Jones, Agri Advisor SolicitorsA project to provide internet access to law for Wales through a single website remains in development. In the meantime, solicitors are in the invidious position of not being able to assure themselves that they have access to all the relevant legislation in areas of devolved power. The Law Society has been campaigning on the issue of accessibility ‘for at least a decade’, says Lowri Morgan, head of Wales for the Law Society.Chancery Lane acknowledges that the current system is complex and in need of reform, essentially because the politicians have not got it right. In Scotland, which has ‘reserved powers’, everything is devolved except for those matters which are specifically reserved. Wales has ‘conferred powers’, where everything is reserved except for those matters that are specifically conferred. And even matters that are specifically conferred have exceptions, creating the ‘jagged edges’ of responsibility to which lawyers and other constitutional observers colloquially refer.Is that clear? Not to many. The body charged with sorting this out is the Commission on Devolution in Wales (Silk Commission), which was established in 2011 to examine the case for the devolution of taxation powers to Wales, as well as a possible widening of the subject areas currently devolved. Silk’s first report, published last November, recommended a big transfer of power from London to Cardiff in respect of funding for Wales. Its second, on the powers of the National Assembly, is expected next spring.Nothing is likely to be resolved soon. In its evidence to the Silk Commission published in February, the Welsh government put the case for the so-called ‘reserved powers’ model of law-making for the assembly, but shied away from calling for a distinct Welsh legal jurisdiction. Is it possible to have one without the other? There is no consensus. Cardiff Bay is anticipating a move to reserved powers by 2021 at the earliest (see timeline, right).There is another stumbling block: the Barnett funding formula. As one attendee observed: ‘Any change in the devolution settlement with the Barnett formula as it currently stands would be difficult. One of the criticisms of Barnett is it doesn’t properly recognise the special circumstances of Wales in terms of geography and socio-economic factors.’ In its own response to ‘Silk’ last month, Chancery Lane also argued that consideration should be given to ‘reserved powers’. But it voiced doubts about ‘capacity within the law-making arm of the state’ to realise this model. The National Assembly has just 60 members, compared with Holyrood’s 129.Geldards’ Huw Williams, who has given evidence on devolution to various committees both at Cardiff Bay and Westminster, believes the capacity issue could be easily overcome: ‘People tend to focus just on the number of assembly members. But if you look at the cost of democracy in Wales as a whole, by which I mean councillors at the unitary authority and community council levels, Wales has a surfeit of democracy by European standards. You could find the resources for additional assembly members by a much more rational distribution of local authority councillors.’At the table were: (left to right) Helen Molyneux, NewLaw; Jennifer Perry, Gocompare.com; Anne-Louise Ferguson, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, Legal and Risk Services; Alun Jones, Hugh James; Paul Rogerson, Law Society Gazette; Lowri Morgan, The Law Society, Wales office; Huw Williams, Geldards; Emyr Lewis, Morgan Cole; Rhodri Jones, Agri Advisor Solicitors; Sophie Hughes, Watkins & GunnWelsh devolution has not so far extended to the provision of, and competition within, legal services. Unlike Scotland of course, where liberalisation has yet to take effect and is less radical in any case. How much of the panel’s ‘thinking time’ is occupied by the opportunities and threats offered by alternative business structures? ‘It’s occupying all of mine,’ says Helen Molyneux, founder and managing director of personal injury outfit NewLaw. Her firm, which became the first ABS in Wales a year ago, has formed pioneering joint ventures with vehicle incident management group FMG Legal and insurance giant Ageas UK.center_img Wales has 2,811 solicitors in private practice, employed in 487 firms.Nine top-200 firms are based, or have a presence in, Wales: Eversheds, DAC Beachcroft, Berrymans Lace Mawer, Slater & Gordon, Morgan Cole, Hugh James, Geldards, RadcliffesLeBrasseur and Simpson Millar.Several leading Wales companies have in-house departments, including MoneySupermarket.com, Iceland Foods and Redrow.12 alternative business structures have been licensed in Wales, including NewLaw, Admiral Law, Lyons Davidson and Simpson Millar.There are 180 trainee solicitors in 91 practices.Sophie Hughes, head of the family team at south-east Wales firm Watkins & Gunn, also points up the acute trading difficulties presented by the withdrawal of legal aid. When that is combined with a struggling housing market, she stresses, ‘it’s hard work at the moment’. And discounting the economics for a moment, Hughes also points to the enormous difficulty of providing access to legal aid with a rapidly shrinking provider base in a nation with a mountainous geography, and commonly indifferent and expensive public transport. Like James Herriot, the legal aid lawyer is sometimes obliged to go to the client these days – if there is a legal aid lawyer to be had in the first place.Molyneux believes the travails of PI firms in particular are compounded by the fact that law firms do not have the budget to market themselves effectively against new entrants such as the Co-op. She believes this is a competition issue. Some solicitors have formed innovative structures aimed at acquiring the marketing clout that will enable them to prosper. QualitySolicitors, which has run TV advertisements, is perhaps the most prominent.But Jennifer Perry, legal and compliance director at Gocompare.com, is sceptical about their chances of success. ‘Working for a business that is a national brand, and knowing the actual cost of maintaining that brand, I struggle to see how the profession can compete on that basis. It’s a serious amount of money, when you consider the costs of going online as well.’ ‘Jagged-edged’ devolution boundaries have placed lawyers in Wales on shaky ground,The Scottish National Party’s majority at Holyrood is an enduring reminder of how devolution can have unintended consequences. It shows that single-party majority government can happen under systems of proportional representation, confounding the Edinburgh parliament’s designers. Next year’s independence vote north of the border, a direct result of that miscalculation, rather overshadows the equally unforeseen – and in some respects unique – consequences of devolution in Wales.There is not space here to describe the tortuous process of Welsh devolution over the last two decades. A recent Law Society discussion paper navigates this terrain admirably*. But I am able to report from the Gazette’s latest roundtable in Cardiff how keen lawyers in Wales are to resolve the so-called ‘jagged-edged’ settlement that currently prevails.In summary, there are seemingly arbitrary boundaries between what is devolved and what is not, a problem that was brought into sharp relief in 2011 by the positive vote on extending the law-making powers of the National Assembly. To complicate matters further, it is not always the assembly that is responsible for pushing those boundaries. Morgan Cole’s Emyr Lewis, a senior fellow in Welsh law at the Wales Governance Centre, University of Cardiff, observes: ‘Divergence happens as much as a result of legislative momentum in London and inertia in Cardiff as the other way round.’Incoherent legislative boundaries are a bane for solicitors, potentially shaking the foundations underpinning their trusted advice. Take housing law, for instance. Lewis says: ‘Housing associations in Wales are more regulated [than English associations] because the Welsh Assembly decided to add extra regulatory powers into the England and Wales housing act, whereas the Westminster parliament has seen fit to deregulate the sector. Regulation in Wales has moved into government, while in England it’s become an increasingly weak part of the domain of an arms-length body.‘So if you are advising social housing bodies in Wales, and others in England, it’s a very different context, not just in policy terms but in legal terms. As long as we have a single jurisdiction, with solicitors and barristers qualified within that jurisdiction, it is at their peril that people will advise on matters originating in Wales without checking that they are on firm ground – particularly where there is statutory regulation.’ This ‘mystical Celtic outcome’, as Lewis describes it, contrasts with Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are separate jurisdictions.Another unique attribute of the Welsh devolution settlement is the disputed role of language in the law. People are not allowed to use Welsh language in any court outside Wales, unless they are incapable of speaking English. This might appear to be a relatively insignificant distinction, but not so, says Rhodri Jones, who practises agricultural law in rural Wales. ‘It’s a huge issue,’ he says. ‘Verbally, 75% of my advice is in Welsh, but my written advice is probably only 50% Welsh, because it’s easier to go back and forth with the other side in English.’This seems to have been overlooked when civil claims processing was centralised at Salford. Because the Welsh language contact centre is not in the same location, says Jones, ‘it’s much more difficult to get issues resolved speedily. The service is not on a par with English. And it’s not just practitioners who are contacting these centres. Many of my clients, if they were trying to sort these issues out on their own, would need reassurance that the service is there in the language of their choice’. The border between England and Wales remains highly permeable. Cients from border areas may seek advice and court representation from solicitors and counsel based in firms in Chester, Liverpool, Birmingham or London. And, as Lewis stresses, the need for clarity is hardly served by indifferent access to the very laws of Wales.last_img read more

RM 40th anniversary brings C-K back with some classic rides

first_imgRM Sotheby’s 40th anniversary celebration kept it classic on the weekend, with event goers enjoying the chance to get behind the wheels of several classic cars and a car show featuring a collection of rare and expensive vehicles from all over North America.Hagerty, a classic car collecting and insurance company, was set up at the RM 40th event grounds to give people the chance to take a free ride and drive into the country in some classic cars from its own fleet.“Rather than, you know, just going to a car show and you just see the cars, we want to actually have a chance to get people out behind the wheel and drive them and experience it,” said Cam Corteggiano, Hagerty Canada’s event coordinator.He said it’s exciting for classic car fans who may have never owned one.“Let them live it and not just kind of witness it,” he said.Corteggiano also said its a way for people to remember their past.“For some people, it was their dad’s first car or the first car they owned, and to get behind the wheel again just kind of brings them back to that time,” he said. “They have a really good time and they really really appreciate it, and it’s a win-win for everybody.” Glenn Walton was one of those people brought back in time during his ride. He got to drive a British-made 1960s MGA sports car that was pale blue like the sky. Walton had a remote controlled version of the car as a child.“It was a dream to drive it, so I struck that off my bucket list,” he said. “This is the real thing.”Hagerty had four cars, with people getting to go on 30-minute rides. Corteggiano said their schedule was packed.“Today has been a zoo,” he said.The RM 40th grounds also hosted the Concourse d’Elegance, showing rare collector cars from all over North America. Proceeds from the Concourse d’Elegance went to the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent.Mike Genge, the foundation’s president, said the Concourse d’Elegance included more than $300 million worth of classic cars.There was also a VIP tent to raise money of the foundation.“Having the VIP tent and making people feel special about being a part of the event actually enticed them to donate,” said Rosa Corsini, who organized the tent with Carlo A. Corsini.They said the VIP tent helped bring in sponsors from Michigan, Connecticut, and all over Ontario. Carlo said he came to help his friend Rob Myers.“Rob Myers is magic,” he said. “I just have a lot of admiration for what he’s done for this community.” One of Hagerty’s four classic cars that the public got to drive for free during RM Sotheby’s 40th anniversary. (JAKE ROMPHF, Postmedia News)last_img read more

SA ‘must speed up housing delivery’

first_imgMore than 12-million South Africans are in dire need of proper homes, with more than 60% of this number living in urban areas. Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has acknowledged that the demand for housing in South Africa remains very high, and that the government will need to speed up its plans to address a backlog estimated at over two-million. “You must remember that there are thousands of others out there who are not as lucky as you, so if you don’t want the house just give it back to us, please don’t sell it because you say it’s yours, government has given it to you,” she said. The Lufhereng forms part of the western extension of Soweto, and is said to be the largest low-cost housing development to take place in the area. The first phase of the project has delivered about 2 433 freehold stands of which 1 192 have been earmarked for subsidised housing while close to 1 000 units have been turned into RDP houses. Sexwale said the government’s new human settlements approach, and the Breaking New Ground policy adopted by Cabinet, would aim at lowering the backlog in “the shortest possible time”. RDP, bonded housing “It is going to take us time, but we will get there, it’s going to take one step at a time,” he said during the launch. that also coincided with a symbolic hand-over of house keys to six new beneficiaries.center_img Speaking at the launch of Lufhereng Housing Project, a new housing development initiative situated in Soweto, on Tuesday, Sexwale agreed that the R18-billion set aside by National Treasury for housing would not be enough to meet the current housing challenges. Source: BuaNews Sexwale said the project would offer families a range of options depending on income levels. These include fully subsidised 40 square metre homes, credit-linked 45 and 50 square metre units, and those that will give owners an option of a bond. Earlier, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane urged the beneficiaries of the new houses to resist the temptation of selling their properties through profit-making schemes. 18 August 2010 “We are now discussing in order to have the money increased, because if we want to move at a speed that is needed … we will need more money,” he said.last_img read more

MY TOP 10 MOMENTS…

first_imgRachel Grant Well for my last official written piece for TFA, I thought I would do ‘My top 10 moments or things’ during my time with TFA.1)      The staff at TFA…may well sound corny but I doubt you will ever come across a group of people more dedicated to their work. There have certainly been some difficult times for the sport, and currently still are, but these people give 100% in everything they do and really want to see the sport succeed. They take a lot of flak everyday and continue to put the sport first. I have a lot of respect for these people as both my work colleagues and my friends and will miss them dearly.2)      The volunteers Australia-wide…There are so many volunteers in our sport that do so much work for so little reward or even thanks, which makes them incredibly special people! Cathy Gray, Ian Matthew, Lou Tompkins, Dennis Coffey, the Australian Coaches and staff, technical panel members and more. There are so many others that work incredibly hard at a local level doing so much for the sport, like Matt Wood from Woolgoolga Touch, who comes along to all TFA events at Coffs Harbour and gives up his days to help with the event. I want to thank everyone who I have worked with for the way you give yourself so selflessly to the sport. I cannot finish number 2 without mentioning Lisa Plummer, my media off-sider who has provided so much friendship, help and assistance with national events and the monthly newsletter and also the boys ‘From the Fishbowl’, Adam and Kane. They have amused us at recent National 18’s and NTL’s with their wit and humour, while expertly providing commentary and keeping the whole day in control. I will definitely miss their voices over the loudspeaker.3)      The 2005 Youth World Cup is easily the biggest event of my career to date, organising national and international media for the 6 Aussie junior teams and the event itself.The Youth World Cup had many ‘moments’, with some of the standouts including: ·         The South Africans singing in the Opening Ceremony·         The Mixed 18’s performing out of their skin to claim their title ·         The Thailand team being convincingly thrashed in every match but still showing the utmost respect to their team mates, officials, opposition and crowd·         The dramatic Mens 20’s final and the exceptional performance of the Aussies 4)      The Northern Eagles Mens 20’s winning the 2006 NTL was one of the most emotional sporting events I have ever been privileged enough to see. The boys, their support staff and their families all handled themselves so incredibly well after the traumatic events leading up to the NTL. 5)      The 2005 National Under 18’s saw for the first time, the celebrity match…and who could go past guest referee Tony Eltakchi in his finest form, the Jamaican Dr Bruce Watts, Kane Weeks letting no player stand in his way, Joe Williams letting his stepping do the talking, Peter Topp being sin binned and Eltakchi’s final penalty “penalty for being too good!” They had us all in stitches.   6)      Sixty Seconds in Touch has become my weekly ritual, a chance to sum up the happenings of the week and the upcoming events. A chance for people to advertise, announce and highlight important things. My awesome husband took it upon himself to design me a logo and the weekly edition has now become the most-read article on the TFA website with around 1000 people logging on each Monday to read it. I hope it will continue on!7)      Another memory comes courtesy of two of our young Touch stars who has gone on to play in the NRL, Benji Marshall and Joe Williams…Many will remember the AusTouch launch and National 18’s Opening Ceremony where Joe Williams fell off the stage but composed himself beautifully…how his chair managed to make it’s way to the edge of the stage is only a question Benji can answer. My thanks go to Joe and to Benji who always made themselves available for interviews, promoting the sport, talking and encouraging the up and coming junior players.8)      The TFA Media & Marketing Kit is something I’ve been working on for a few months and have madly been completing this last week. I created the final Master DVD on Friday and will leave TFA staff to produce a copy of the Kit for every affiliate. It contains marketing essentials such as posters, a television advert, a 3 minute promotional clip and plenty of helpful documents such as ‘How to write a Media Release’, ‘How to maintain your website’ and much more. It will be distributed Australia-wide to every affiliate over the coming weeks!9)      TFA staff put in an incredible amount of time and effort to produce the 2006 NTL Opens finals for the Fox Sports production. It would be remiss of me not to include it here as it was fantastic to see the sport back on the national airwaves and the show put on by the players in all 3 finals was fantastic.10)  The Touch-e-Talk newsletter has been running monthly for over 1 year now and I hope it will continue to get bigger and better…eventually to the stage where it can be printed and produced professionally…keep reading and keep supporting ideas such as this so TFA can get them off the ground.last_img read more

Why your nonprofit’s URL matters

first_imgAs someone with a common name that’s spelled a bit differently, I’m all too aware of the confusion and errors that happen because of a unique moniker. When people are expecting Karen with a K, I’m forever spelling out C-a-r-y-n. For me, this typically only causes minor inconvenience and some interesting conversations about names. For your organization, though, an unusual name, unconventional spelling, or indistinguishable acronym could negatively affect your marketing efforts. The same can be said for your nonprofit’s domain name. Having an easy-to-remember (and difficult to mess up) domain name can help supporters quickly find your organization online and reduce confusion when you’re telling folks about your nonprofit on the phone, in person, or in print. How do you choose the right URL for your nonprofit? Marc Pitman of FundraisingCoach.com offers these tips on choosing a good domain name: 1. Keep it simple. Make sure it’s easy to remember and understand, especially when saying it out loud. 2. Avoid numbers when possible. When you substitute numbers for words, it’s more difficult for your supporters to remember if your web address contains the numeral or the number spelled out. 3. Also register variants of your name. If there are common misspellings or typos that might lead your supporters astray, consider registering those domains as well, so you can point those visitors in the right direction. 4. Get the .com, and other extensions. Most organizations will want to get the .org of their chosen domain name, but cover your bases and register other extensions of the same domain name. Soon, you’ll also be able to register .ngo and .ong thanks to the folks at Public Internet Registry.Network for Good is partnering with Public Interest Registry to help get the word out about the new .ngo and .ong domains. These domains will give nonprofits and other non-governmental organizations worldwide an opportunity to secure a new top-level web address. Since Public Interest Registry will manage a validation process to ensure that only genuine NGOs are granted these new domains, having an .ngo or .ong address will help organizations reinforce trust and credibility. The new domains will be available early next year. So, what can you do now? Sign up to submit your Expression of Interest—you’ll receive updates about these new domains and be the first to know when .ngo and .ong are available. For more details on submitting your Expression of Interest and to sign up, visit www.globalngo.org Do you plan to secure an .ngo/.ong domain name for your organization? Share your domain name questions and experiences in the comments below to join the conversation.last_img read more

3 Tips for the Ultimate Donation Experience

first_imgEach year, our Digital Giving Index shows that the online donation experience matters. Donors are more likely to give (and more likely to give larger donations) when they are presented with a donation page that keeps them in the moment of giving. In this video, Annika Pettitt from Network for Good’s Customer Success Team shares three key elements that will make your online donation page more effective and help you reach your fundraising goals.For expert guidance on creating a donation page that inspires donors to give more, register for the free Ultimate Donation Page Course.last_img read more

The ABCs of Donor Prospecting

first_img We think our donor list is a pyramid. You’ve probably seen the donor pyramid a million times and think your donor files look like this: a strong base of general fund donors, a solid but somewhat smaller core of midlevel gifts, and a few major donors on top. What we’ve learned, however, is that the pyramid isn’t really a pyramid at all. In reality, it looks more like a sombrero: many people giving small amounts and a few people giving large amounts, with very few midlevel donors. Virtually every nonprofit has high-capacity donors hiding in plain sight. A whopping 40% of donors in a recent study admitted they could give more than they currently are. Our job as fundraisers is to identify those prospects so we can start moving them up to greater levels of giving. Here’s how to start making that happen.The Myth of the Donor PyramidFirst, let’s talk about the donor pyramid—what we think it looks like, what it really looks like, and the opportunities it holds for your nonprofit. Most donor lists are more sombrero than pyramid. This missing middle isn’t because of our donors’ behavior. It’s because of ours. We have prospects for every level hiding in our general fund, but most nonprofits don’t have an intentional midlevel strategy. These folks need to be identified and given more love and attention to encourage them to move up to midlevel and eventually major gifts.Who Are Your Midlevel Donors?Midlevel donors are sort of like the forgotten middle child—the “Jan Brady” of donors. They might look like low-level givers. They could be volunteers or have attended your events. They’ve probably engaged with you but just haven’t made a gift. Thing is, these prospects are very likely to give on the first ask—but they need personalized attention to get there.Most major donors actually begin at the bottom of the pyramid. Annual fund donors are strong prospects for moving up to midlevel giving. These are your future major donors, so it’s worth investing your time and resources in moving them up.What’s your favorite strategy to find more donors?Direct mail and/or online acquisition campaignStaff and board brainstorm names of prospectsProspect researchAll (or some) of the aboveA combination of these is the most popular strategy, closely followed by brainstorming names. Brainstorming sounds like a great plan, but it can become derailed by magical thinking—“If we only had this particular mega-millionaire donating to us”—while you overlook great prospects already in your own backyard.ABCs of Identifying ProspectsThere are opportunity costs associated with cultivating donors in terms of time and money, and we have an obligation to be good stewards of our nonprofit’s resources. This means learning the ABCs of prospecting:Access: People we already know or with whom we share a solid connection.Belief: People who share similar interests or already believe in our mission.Capacity: People with the ability to move up the giving pyramid.Effective prospecting begins with Access—prospects we already know. Unfortunately, we often skip ahead to Capacity and start with who’s rich. And that’s where we get into trouble. Capacity does not equal interest (Belief), nor does it equal generosity.If you don’t have Access to a big donor, or if the big donor doesn’t already have interest or Belief in your mission, despite their Capacity, pursuing them may come at the expense of missing the “millionaires next door” already in your files.Prospecting Tips for Greater GivingHere are some final points to consider when identifying and cultivating general fund donors to move up to the next level of giving:Longevity: How long has the donor been on your files? Long-term giving could mean moving a donor into planned, recurring, or major gifts.Cumulative giving: Be sure to look at cumulative giving, not just the amount they give each year. A donor who gives $2,500 four times year tends to be more receptive than one who gives an annual lump sum of $10,000.Engagement: This is huge. Are they volunteering? Are they reading your emails and newsletters? How involved are they in your organization? People who are investing time in your nonprofit are great candidates for moving up the pyramid.Referrals: People who were referred to your organization by another donor, especially major donors, meet the Access requirement right off the mark.Remember: Donors give for their reasons, not ours. For greater success, start with the folks you already know.Adapted from Network for Good’s Nonprofit 911 webinar Find High-Capacity Donors Hiding in Plain Sight, with Rachel Muir, founder of Girlstart and vice president of training at Pursuant.last_img read more