Use the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to Strengthen Your Donor Communications

first_imgDonor communications that connect—that appreciate, energize, and activate your prospects and donors—are the key to fundraising success. But you already know that.What you may not know, however, is that few organizations do donor communications well. Most have lots of room to improve, as evidenced by the focus on donor communications in conference agendas, e-newsletters, blog content in the field, Facebook chats, Twitter discussions, and more. If that’s your organization, you’re not alone!Now, with the release of Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, by Mal Warwick/DonorDigital, we have proof of the ways most donor communications fail and the impact of those failures. If you’ve asked for resources to strengthen donor communications and have been turned down or just haven’t found the time to tackle them, this is the kick in the pants you need. These striking findings come from a six-month study of donor communications—both online and offline—from 16 large nonprofits, following online contributions to each organization. Since “multichannel donors are more loyal than single-channel donors,” researchers focused on how much and how well outreach is coordinated across channels for a consistent, recognizable, and satisfying donor experience.What I love about this report is that the researchers share what’s good, bad, and ugly in multiple dimensions so we get an idea of what’s working well (that is, what to strive for and what’s happening in organizations you’re competing with for donor dollars), as well as what’s not. Take a look at these findings:Thank you letters—a reliable cultivation tactic—arrive way too late or not at all. The quickest thank you letter, sent via USPS, arrived in 12 days. The slowest took 28 days. Eight organizations didn’t mail a thank you at all.Most donor communications content is inconsistent—in tone, message, and or/graphics—across channels, so it’s more likely to confuse and annoy recipients than to strengthen loyalty or motivate them to give. Most organizations do reach out to donors via multiple channels.Follow-up appeals via direct mail are frequently implemented, but that second ask can come months after the initial online gift, diminishing its success rate.Sustainer programs (aka monthly giving) provide a strong base of revenue, especially during economic dips, and “new online donors are highly responsive to monthly giving recruitment.” But only one organization integrated its monthly giving ask into mail and email, whereas four didn’t make monthly giving asks at all. There’s much more to learn in the full report, and I recommend that you download it now. Wherever your organization currently sits on the good, bad, and ugly continuum, there’s always room to do donor communications better.With refreshing practicality, Nancy Schwartz rolls up her sleeves to help nonprofits develop and implement strategies to build the strong relationships that inspire key supporters to action. She shares her deep nonprofit marketing insights—and passion—through consulting, speaking, and her popular blog and e-news at GettingAttention.org.last_img read more

Fundraising for a Cause? Look into Peer Fundraising

first_imgFundraising for a Cause? Look into Peer FundraisingPeer fundraising, also called peer to peer fundraising, has become a popular way to raise money, but it is also exceptionally useful for spreading the word about your cause. In addition to meeting your nonprofit fundraising goals, you also gain new supporters.How Peer Fundraising WorksYour existing supporters become your first line of outreach in a peer fundraising campaign. As with any fundraiser, you begin with your plan. Then, instead of just sending out your appeal, you also send out a request to forward your information, share on social media, etc. to your supporters’ own personal networks. With minimal effort, you are able to turn your supporters into advocates for your cause and have them help raise the money your organization needs.Keep It SimpleBecause you are so passionate about your cause, your organization, and fundraising, it can be tempting to provide your supporters with too much information. Your supporters can get easily overwhelmed if they feel like they are being asked to do anything that’s too involved. Therefore, ensure your peer fundraising materials are more simplified than what you might present otherwise.You still need to make a strong case, and nothing does that better than engaging stories. Make it clear with your heading that it is a story, and use a layout that indicates a quick read, as opposed to an academic presentation of the “facts,” so that people will be drawn in and not be afraid they don’t have the time to read it now.Peer Fundraising Is an Online EndeavorInclude links to your donation page wherever it’s appropriate. If your organization gains a supporter, but she can’t figure out how to contribute, then the effort was wasted. Your supporters know that they are asking for money and their friends recognize the technique by now.Taking advantage of peer fundraising has enabled even very small nonprofit fundraising efforts to reach huge numbers of people. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet in this new, and fun, approach!Network for Good has a blog with more free information on how to be successful at nonprofit fundraising. We also have specialists available to discuss how we can help you get the most out of your peer fundraising efforts. Call us today at 1-855-229-1694 to learn more!last_img read more

Nonprofit Branding Done Right Raises More Money

first_imgWhen it comes to updating nonprofit branding, there can seem be more questions than answers. Questions like:Will rebranding increase donations?Will rebranding make it easier for us to convey our organization’s impact and value?Is now the time for us to rebrand?We finally get answers to these million-dollar questions in The Rebrand Effect: How Significant Communications Changes Help Nonprofits Raise More Money (free download here).This eBook from nonprofit communications agency Big Duck is based on the results of a national survey of 350 nonprofit organizations that rebranded within the last 10 years.For the study, Big Duck defines a comprehensive rebrand as developing or changing four or more of these elements:Brand strategyOrganizational nameTaglineLogoKey messagesElevator pitch.A limited rebrand includes three or fewer of these elements.Here are the highlights of this study and what they may mean for your organization:The Good News: Nonprofits that Rebrand Raise More Money.According to the study, most organizations invest in rebranding in hopes of connecting more quickly and firmly with individual donors and prospects. Statistics show those hopes are the reality for many organizations.Fifty percent of organizations surveyed reported revenue growth, with the greatest increase seen in individual giving. This success rate is particularly striking since many participating organizations were in the process or rebranding, or had done so within the last one to two years, so felt it was too early to assess the impact of those changes.Organizations that Comprehensively Rebrand See Greatest ROI.More than half (56%) of the organizations that completed a comprehensive rebrand saw revenue increase, compared to 41% of organizations that implemented limited rebranding.And the impact of comprehensive rebranding exceed revenue gains. The survey found that organizations making more comprehensive changes are likely to see these additional wins:Greater audience participation, from program registration to activism.Improved staff ability and confidence to communicate effectively about the organization, its impact, and value.More media coverage.Several Factors Influence Rebrand Results.The data shows that results stem from more than the rebrand itself. Organizations that rebrand with any or all of these elements already in place are far more likely to get to goal:New, clear organizational focus or strategic plan (within last 12 months)New leadershipStaff and leadership committed to advancing branding and communications changes.In other words, these factors lead to relevant and robust rebrands. If your organization has any or all of these success factors in place, rebranding may well deliver significant value! Dig into the full report from Big Duck to learn more about if, and how, rebranding done right is likely to move the needle for your fundraising efforts.Bonus: Nonprofit branding is important so don’t ignore it. Are you reflecting your brand in all aspects of your giving experience: Events, donation pages, emails, and peer-to-peer campaigns? If not, we can help. Talk to a rep to learn more.last_img read more

Code of Conduct for Research in Low-income Countries

first_imgI was fortunate to attend the plenary discussion in Arusha. Richard Horton provided a provocative performance as Chair, and the panelists were excellent in their responses.However, little mention was given to WHO’s WHO’s role and responsibilities in health research: Draft WHO strategy on research for health. That document states, “all the goals concern all Member States and all individuals, communities, institutions and organizations involved in the production and/or use of research, including WHO.”Paragraph 25 discusses the issue of standards:No country is self-sufficient in its research capacity, so Member States need to be able to share research outputs. Effective and equitable sharing requires internationally agreed norms and standards for research; with this in mind, the standards goal concerns the promotion of good practice in research by means of work to establish agreements on good practices, scientific benchmarks, ethical guidelines and accountability mechanisms. The achievement of this goal is essential for winning public support and confidence.The principles from Arusha are sound, and the debate will no doubt continue. But live, Q&A sessions in plenary will not always allow for panelists to critically think through the implications of their intuitive responses. Caution is needed, with consideration of the inadvertent effects that may arise.Several examples in relation to the points proposed:A PhD researcher (from the global north), applying for ethics approval at their host University for their independent, original research is immediately in breach of the first point.  Is it feasible that Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, the LSE etc., etc. would change their academic standards of research to insist that all research in LMICs is a joint endeavor – unless you happen to be from the global south?The World Bank/IBRD is a funder of research (often at the country’s expense) but would they shift to this principle on all their publications? Including those that inform their financing decisions with a country? They are after all, a Bank.It is not just “medical” journals that need to heed the call. Aspirations for effective coverage and quality of care for all (i.e. Universal Health Coverage) require many types of health workers. Public health, midwifery, nursing, management, pharmacy and other journals should all be included.More reflection is needed, and perhaps the WHO is best placed to steer a future code. In the meantime, we should all continue to encourage “health” journals to ensure that health information is available for all.For more information on Integrare’s presentations on the High Burden Countries Initiative in Arusha please click here.To learn more about the H4+ High Burden Countries Initiative, click here and follow ICS Integrare on Twitter. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on February 6, 2013March 21, 2017By: Jim Campbell, Director, Instituto de Cooperacion Social Integrare based in Barcelona, SpainClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Global Maternal Health Conference in Arusha, Tanzania had many highlights, including the closing plenary presentation from Dr. Mahmoud Fathalla ( watch the presentation here and see Karen Beattie’s blog), and the GMHC2013 manifesto proposed by Richard Horton (see Ann Starrs’ blog for more).A recent article in The Lancet also reports on the plenary discussions on a proposed new Code of Conduct for health research in low-income countries. Lancet Editor Richard Horton  reports:The meeting in Arusha was opened by Agnes Binagwaho, Rwanda’s Minister of Health. She argued passionately that research and ethics must be more closely bound together. She spoke about the theft of data from Africa and the new enslavement of Africans. She called for a Code of Conduct for research in low-income countries.Here is a draft of a Code – a set of principles – assembled from a debate between Agnes Binagwaho, Wendy Graham, Rafael Lozano, and Marleen Temmerman: No ethics committee, funder of research, or medical journal should approve, support, or publish research about a low-income country without joint authorship from that country.In any research project in a low-income setting, local scientists must be included as co-principal investigators.Before starting research in a low-income country, western authors and institutions must define a clear plan for how they will transfer research skills back to that country. Medical journals and their publishers must ensure that all global health research is free at the point of use in countries.Western journals must facilitate language translation of research, either themselves or by enabling local journals to republish freely.last_img read more

PLOS Collection Explores Measurement Challenges in Expanding Coverage of MNCH Interventions

first_imgPosted on May 8, 2013March 8, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As we noted last week, PLOS Medicine launched a new collection on May 7, Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.The collection compiles evidence related to tools and indicators for collecting high quality evidence to expand coverage and improving the quality of care for key health interventions.About the collection:Measuring Coverage in Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, a PLOS Collection, presents innovative assessments of the validity of measuring population coverage for interventions in this field. Coverage indicators are widely used to assess whether interventions are reaching women and children in low- and middle-income countries, particularly through population-based household surveys. This collection of original research articles and reviews shows that while some indicators can be measured accurately, others may not provide valid results and therefore need further investigation and development.Highlights of the “Measuring Coverage” collection include two articles that address approaches for strengthening quality of maternal health services: “Validating Women’s Self-Report of Emergency Cesarean Sections in Ghana and the Dominican Republic,” and Testing the Validity of Women’s Self-Report of Key Maternal and Newborn Health Interventions during the Peripartum Period in Mozambique.”The collection also includes reviews key determining and interpreting inequalities in coverage and discussing  new findings, strategies and recommendations for action.For more, watch video of the May 7 launch event at the National Press Club, or visit Impatient Optimists to read a blog post by Miriam Claeson and Wendy Prosser of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

The Lancet’s Editor Richard Horton Provides Commentary on Recent MMR Estimates

first_imgPosted on May 28, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)If you have been following the news and our MMR Estimates Blog Series, you know that the WHO and IHME recently released new global estimates for maternal mortality. These estimates have strong implications for global maternal health goals as they will be used as baselines for Post-2015 targets.Dr. Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief at The Lancet, recently addressed a common concern with these estimates—the estimates differ greatly at a regional and country level. Dr. Horton points out, “These differences are not at all obvious when one examines the headline numbers from each source. IHME’s global estimate for maternal deaths is 292,982. The equivalent UN figure is 289,000. But at the regional level, big differences begin to appear.” In fact, 15 of the 75 countries with the highest burden of maternal mortality have estimates that differ by 1,041 to 21,792 maternal deaths. The discrepancy of 21,792 deaths falls on India—the country with the highest number of maternal deaths in the world.For a country that needs to strategize well to address this high burden of disease, India is faced with a discrepancy that could affect how they respond. Dr. Horton says, “[If] you were India’s new Prime-Minister-elect, Narendra Modi, you might just alter the urgency with which you acted to reduce maternal mortality if you believed the UN figure, which records a remarkable 21,792 fewer maternal deaths than the independently calculated estimate from a competing large international collaboration. It would not be unreasonable if other Presidents and Prime Ministers, let alone Ministers of Health, were confused by these often strikingly divergent results.” The discrepancies not only affect the important decisions of country officials, but also affect the credibility of the estimates themselves.So what can be done to address these discrepancies? Dr. Horton suggests reviewing the methods and models used to generate these estimates. “[The] Gates Foundation funded Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease… meets next month in Seattle. One of its remits is to ‘engage in dialogue with other efforts on global health estimates.’ A further goal is to review strengths and weaknesses of the GBD’s methods. But this second objective will solve only half of the problem. Someone also needs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the UN’s methods. [The Independent Advisory Committee for the Global Burden of Disease] could consider conducting a careful comparison of methods used by both the UN and IHME.”The most important conclusion of this discussion is that country leaders need accurate data to effectively mitigate maternal mortality. As the common management adage teaches us, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Hopefully with increased collaboration we can bridge the gap between UN and IHME estimates for maternal mortality.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

VIDEO: Take an Interactive Tour of Our Donor Management System

first_imgAs a small nonprofit, you need systems that intuitively understand the jobs you need to accomplish. On any given day, nonprofit development staff members are hard at work communicating with supporters. The fundamentals of your work can be broken into five categories: soliciting donations, stewarding donors, acknowledging gifts, analyzing your data, and reporting on activity. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one, integrated system that would let you do all of that? There is! It’s a donor management system.Our Back to School campaign continues with a campus tour—of our donor management system.An all-in-one donor management system (DMS) allows you to track your donors’ activity with your organization; send appeals and acknowledgments; and launch campaigns with branded, designed donation pages. Well-organized information focuses your efforts and shows you new ways to improve your fundraising results.At Network for Good we believe small organizations deserve great technology. Take a tour of our donor management system and see for yourself:See the full picture of your contacts and donors.At-a-glance reportingClear visuals show your progress and trends, eliminating time spent searching and creating reports.View an immediate snapshot of your lapsed donors to know where to target your outreach.Record donations, relationships, and communications to better track information on all of your contacts.Use our recommended filters to segment groups of donors and contacts for targeted cultivation.Keep your data clean and organized with automated checks. Easily find and merge duplicate contacts.Combined with our beautiful donation pages and inspiring peer to peer fundraising campaigns you’ll have the best donor experience integrated with the easiest donor management software powered on any device. Read our recent blog post, 3 Ways to Efficiently Fundraise with Donor Management, to find out how a DMS can improve your fundraising efforts.Network for Good believes in the power of small nonprofits. We believe a donor management system should save you time and improve efficiency, in order to free you up to do the good you do in your community.Want to know more? Contact us for your own personal “campus” tour. We’d love to show you around!last_img read more

A Maternity Ward During the Ebola Outbreak: My Experience As an Ebola Fighter

first_imgPosted on July 1, 2015June 12, 2017By: Rudy Lukamba, Medical Field Coordinator, Women for Africa FoundationClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This week Dr. Lukamba is taking part in Safe Mothers and Newborns in CaixaForum Barcelona, a workshop supported by the MHTF, ISGlobal and Aga Khan University.There are so many ways to become famous; unfortunately West Africa will mark humanbeing history by being the area on Earth which experienced the worst Ebola outbreak. Ebola disease was known since 1976, but in this part of the world, no one was having an idea about it in November 2013 when the first cases started in Guinea Conakry. The weakness of the health system, the poor communication, the lack of coordination and resources contributed to the quick and large spread of the disease all over the subregion. Ebola created fear and panic in the societies of all countries affected; a lot of health facilities closed because health workers- who paid a huge tribute during this outbreak became afraid to treat any patients with Ebola-like symptoms. So the virus was killing one person directly and several others indirectly—mainly women—because all complications during pregnancy present similarly to Ebola (e.g. infection, eclampsia, bleeding, etc).Our intervention as Ebola fighters was less to treat patients affected by the virus than to avoid that those who were not Ebola infected died due to lack of proper care. The challenge was to provide maternal health care in the context of the Ebola outbreak. What follows is an account of our experience at the Maternity of Saint Joseph Catholic hospital in Monrovia, Liberia from November 2014 to June 2015. Our main method of work was to adjust the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) protocols to our reality of referral maternity which has to deal with all obstetrical emergencies. The main rule of IPC is the NO TOUCH POLICY. So our main concern was to find the way to attend to a pregnant woman without touching her. We developed innovative protocol to make it possible.All the patients, including all maternity patients, were going through hand washing with chlorine solution 0,05% and control of body temperature at the gate of the hospital. Then everybody passed by the triage to separate suspected cases (patient with fever and 2 to 3 others Ebola symptoms such as bleeding, body pain, vomiting, convulsion) from clean cases (patients having only pregnancy-related problems). Suspected cases were sent to the holding center (a building separated from the main hospital building) which was considered a red zone: an area where the wear of advanced personal protective equipment was mandatory. Quick assessment to evaluate the condition of the patient and blood specimen was taken for major endemic diseases (e.g. malaria, typhoid) and for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). An initial treatment was started waiting for the EVD result. When the EVD test was negative the patient was then cleared and sent to the maternity for further management. A delivery room was set in the holding building to attend to pregnant in advanced labor that couldn’t wait for the result to come.Patients without any symptom were sent to antenatal care, which was a new screening, comparing information from the patient’s history with those from the triage. Women were then scanned with an ultrasound which allowed a good clinical assessment without touching the patient.  Patients in labor were sent to the maternity, which was divided in three areas: red zone (labor and delivery room, because health professional were dealing with a lot of body fluid), yellow zone (postpartum, because the secretion was small) and green zone (nursing station). Over a 6 month period we screened 4,000 pregnant women, realized 700 deliveries, and performed 250 C-sections. And most important, avoiding the death of so many women who were wrongly suspected of Ebola. However the fight against Ebola is still going on.This post has been lightly edited from its original posting on the ISGlobal Blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Invest in Young People to End Child Marriage, Maternal Mortality, and to Achieve the Development Goals

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 14, 2015October 13, 2016By: Kenny Simbaya, White Ribbon Alliance Citizen ReporterClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On September 25, 2015 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, 193 Member States of the UN unanimously adopted the post-2015 development goals christened Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are 17 in total with 169 targets. They were received with both optimism and skepticism.The SDGs are an opportunity to end extreme poverty, hunger, protect the planet and end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths. To achieve these goals, we need accountability and citizen engagement.As an advocate for maternal and newborn health issues, I would like to share some thoughts on Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is about ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The health and well-being of mothers is central to this goal, and if we collectively work to achieve it, the new generation of women will enjoy one of their most respected responsibilities – that of bringing a new life.However, ending maternal and newborn death will remain a pipe dream unless we invest in young people with a special focus on girls. Ensuring girls enjoy their human rights just like boys do, will mean that we work hard to end child marriage.Statistics from UNFPA show that 70,000 adolescents die annually from causes related to pregnancy and child birth: pregnancy-related complications, together with HIV, are the leading causes of death among girls 15 to 19 years old. In fact, the risk of maternal death for mothers younger than 18 in low- and middle-income countries is double that of older females. During this year’s UNGA, a young mother of two and White Ribbon Alliance Citizen Reporter from West Bengal, India, Santana Murmu (now 18), shared her own experience of being married at 14. She now advocates for the improvement of maternal health and campaigns to end early marriage everywhere.“The world must stand together to condemn child marriage as it has adverse impact to the development and health of both the child-bride and that of her would-be newborn,” shared Murmu.To achieve this objective, we must engage young people. Children that are now 15 years old were newborns when the Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000. When the SDGs come to an end, these children will be 30 years old. The SDGs are a young people’s agenda – they will be the ones to implement it.Photo: “Indien” © 2008 M M, used under a Creative Commons Attribution license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Share this:last_img read more

TORONTOS TREY ANTHONY LANDS A DREAM JOB WRITING FOR OWN THE OPRAH

first_imgAdvertisement Award winning playwright, executive producer, actor, creator, and stand‐up comedian Trey Anthony, is known for the ground- breaking television and theatrical  production ‘da Kink in my Hair. Critics have referred to Anthony as The Oprah of the Canadian theatre scene! Trey was also the executive producer, co‐creator and writer of the hit television show ‘da Kink in my Hair for Global Television. In the series she was the outspoken, wise‐cracking, Joy, who has become an audience favorite!On August 6th, Trey posted this amazing news to her Facebook page: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Twitter Login/Register With: Congratulations Trey!  Keep up the good work!You continuously prove to us that we should NEVER GIVE UP!FOLLOW TREY ANTHONY’S SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELSFACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/trey.anthony.90TWITTER: https://twitter.com/treyanthonyINSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/blackgirlinlove/STUDIO: http://www.treyanthonystudios.com/IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0031028/ Facebook Advertisementlast_img read more

New film Iqaluit takes viewers on journey to Nunavuts capital

first_imgDanielle Rochette APTN National NewsA film titled “Iqaluit” was released in Montréal this week.Director Benoit Pilon takes viewers on an excursion to the capital of Nunavut.Pilon’s film offers a glimpse into the lives of people living in the north.drochette@aptn.calast_img

Alberta spending more but saving more Highlights from the fiscal update

first_imgEDMONTON – Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci released the third-quarter fiscal update Wednesday showing the province on track for a $9.1-billion deficit when the budget year ends March 31 — $1.4 billion lower than expected. Here are some other highlights from the update:— The province is expected to take in an extra $1.9 billion in revenue this year for a total of $46.9 billion.— Spending is going up to $55.9 billion, about $1 billion more than projected in last spring’s budget.— Crude oil royalties to bring in $883 million, almost double what was expected.— Revenue from bitumen royalties to be $2.4 billion, about $188 million less than projected.— Personal income tax revenue expected to be $10.9 billion, $322 million less than expected.— Corporate income tax to generate $3.9 billion, about $66 million less than budget.— Capital plan spending forecast to be $9.2 billion, in line with the budget.— The unemployment rate was projected at 7.6 per cent at budget, but is now pegged at 6.8 per cent.— Of the 90,000 new full-time jobs created in the last year, most are in the oil and manufacturing sectors.— Debt for capital and operating expenses is forecast to reach $41.7 billion — about 12.4 per cent of GDP — with debt servicing costs at $1.4 billion.last_img read more

Canadian Natural reports 961M Q1 profit up from 583M a year ago

first_imgDaily production averaged 1,035,212 barrels of oil equivalent, down from 1,123,546 in the first quarter of 2018.On an adjusted basis, Canadian Natural says it earned 70 cents per diluted share from operations compared with 71 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.Analysts on average had expected a profit of 51 cents per share and revenue of $5.25 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. CALGARY, A.B. – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. reported a first-quarter profit of $961 million, up from $583 million in the same quarter last year, as it benefited from higher prices due in part to Alberta’s mandatory production curtailments.The oilsands producer says the profit amounted to 80 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of 47 cents per diluted share a year ago.Revenue totalled nearly $5.25 billion, down from $5.47 billion in the first quarter of last year.last_img read more

Protests erupt in West Bengal over BJPs LS poll candidate selection

first_imgKolkata: Protests erupted in various parts of West Bengal after the BJP, in its first list of 28 candidates, nominated its veterans and defectors from the ruling Trinamool Congress to take on Mamata Banerjee’s party in the state. With old-timers being overlooked in favour of turncoats and newcomers, protestors gathered outside BJP offices in various parts of the state and, in some places, put up posters of rejected ticket aspirants outside the offices. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja BJP state vice-president Raj Kamal Pathak submitted his resignation after he was denied a party ticket. The saffron party, which bagged two Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2014 elections, is now targeting 23 of the state’s 42 constituencies. Of its 28 candidates, nearly 25 are new faces, with a thrust on active political workers rather than greenhorns from the glamour world. Unlike the TMC which had 18 new faces and a mix of old-timers and greenhorns, hardcore politicians and personalities from the film industry, the BJP has put faith on its own leaders and defectors from other parties. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway “If after serving the party for three decades and holding the post of vice-president do not make me qualified to get a party ticket, it is better to resign from the post,” Pathak said. The veteran BJP leader wanted to contest from Hooghly district, but he was overlooked in favour of a newcomer in the party. BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said efforts will be made to pacify the dissidents. “There can be resentment in some places, but everything can be sorted out through discussions,” BJP state secretary Rahul Sinha said. This is not the first time the BJP has faced such protests. During the Kolkata Municipal Corporation polls in 2015, several ticket aspirants staged protest rallies outside the party office. Of the candidates, five had recently defected to the saffron party from the Trinamool Congress and one from the CPI(M). Union minister and BJP MP from Asansol Lok Sabha constituency Babul Supriyo has been renominated from the same seat and is pitted against actor Moon Moon Sen of the TMC. State BJP president Dilip Ghosh will contest from Medinipur seat against TMC leader Manas Bhunia. BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha will take on TMC heavyweight Sudip Bandopadhyay in Kolkata North Lok Sabha seat. State BJP vice-president and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grandnephew, Chandra Kumar Bose will contest from Kolkata South Lok Sabha seat. Former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh, once known to be close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, will be fighting against TMC candidate and actor Dipak Adhikary, popularly known as ‘Dev’, from Ghatal Lok Sabha constituency. The BJP has fielded former Trinamool Congress MLA Arjun Singh from Barrackpur Lok Sabha seat. Singh, who had recently joined the saffron party, has been pitted against TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi. In Coochbebar Lok Sabha seat, the party has fielded former TMC youth leader Nishith Pramanik, while in Jadavpur, expelled TMC MP Anupam Hazra will contest against TMC’s Mimi Chakraborty, an actor by profession. Another former TMC MP Soumitra Khan, who joined the BJP in January, has been given ticket from Bishnupur (SC) Lok Sabha seat. Former CPI(M) MLA Khagen Murmu, who too had switched over to the BJP, will contest from Malda North seat against TMC’s Mausam Benazir Noor, who had recently defected to the party from the Congress, in Malda Uttar seat. Former TMC leader Sreerupa Mitra Chowdhury, who had contested elections on a TMC ticket from New Delhi, is the BJP candidate from the neighbouring Malda South seat. There are four women candidates and one Muslim nominee in the first list. The BJP in minority-dominated seats such as Malda South, Malda North and Basirhat did not field any candidate from the community. “We do not believe in giving tickets just on the basis of religion. For us winnability is the biggest criteria,” said a state BJP leader. The Lok Sabha elections in the state will be held from April 11 till May 19 in seven phases.last_img read more

Will resolve identity issue of Gorkhas CM

first_imgDarjeeling: Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Friday stated that she will resolve the identity issue of the Gorkhas and work out a permanent solution. On a campaign tour of North Bengal, Banerjee preached the mantra of unity at Naxalbari in Darjeeling.Flanked by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) president Binay Tamang, TMC candidate Amar Singh Rai and TMC leader Goutam Deb along with tribal leaders and tea garden workers, Banerjee stated: “We are together- Hill and plains. This is India. This is Bengal. Here Bengalis, Gorkhas, Adivasis and minorities are all one. There is no difference.” Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe Chief Minister said BJP is the root cause of all unrest. “We placate the Hills while BJP fans communal fire. Even CPI(M) and Congress follow suit. There is full understanding between BJP, Congress and CPI(M) in Bengal,” alleged Banerjee. She stated that TMC does not want clashes, murder, unrest and political strife. “We want peace and development. We want to work together. We want schools, hospitals, roads and tea gardens to be opened,” Banerjee said. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe TMC supremo also expressed her gratitude towards the GJM. “We are together. We have fielded a son of the soil- Amar Singh Rai. We need someone to stand by the people through thick and thin, not someone who always runs away to Delhi.” Banerjee stated that the 2019 election is very important. “You have to throw out the BJP government from Delhi. They have fooled you. During the last general election and election campaign in North Bengal, Narendra Modi had clearly stated that if voted to power the Union government would take over and run all the locked out tea gardens of Terai and Dooars. Not a single one has been taken over,” she added. The TMC supremo alleged that Modi has also hoodwinked the Gorkhas. “During a campaign in 2014, Narendra Modi had assured that if voted to power, he would carve out Gorkhaland. Forget Gorkhaland, they did not give a central university to the Hills either,” stated Banerjee. The state government on the other hand has sanctioned a university in the Hills. Banerjee stated that despite the Assembly segments of the Darjeeling Parliamentary constituency including Matigarah-Naxalbari, Phansidewa, Siliguri having Congress and Left Front MLAs, she has never been deterred from carrying out development activities. “We have provided rations, free health care, free education and drinking water in closed tea gardens as well. I come every month so that you all don’t feel neglected,” she said to the people. Banerjee then announced a host of schemes and development activities of her government. “We will also work out a permanent solution for the Gorkha identity issue,” assured Mamata Banerjee. Without naming anyone, Banerjee alleged that the loot amassed during demonetisation is now being spent during elections. She gave a clarion call to the people, urging them to vote sensibly to oust the Modi government from power.last_img read more

Theres No Place Like Home For John Isner

John Isner became the top-ranked American male tennis player by playing his best tennis at home. He wins more than two-thirds of his matches in the U.S., but just half elsewhere. Tennis writers have portrayed Isner’s strength at home as a weakness abroad. But in his sport, where players set large parts of their own schedules, displaying a repeatable competitive advantage is an opportunity, not a liability.1Unlike, say, in the NBA, where an Eastern Conference team that struggles out west can’t replace trips to California with more home dates.Even as he’s pledged to solve his road woes, Isner has filled his calendar with U.S. events. His home-court advantage has helped him rise this month from the world’s No. 13 to No. 10. A couple of weeks ago at a tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Isner reached the semifinals, where he took a set off No. 2 Novak Djokovic. This week in Miami, he reached the round of 16 but lost on Tuesday to No. 7 Tomas Berdych. In two weeks, Isner will seek to defend his title in Houston.These wouldn’t have passed for spectacular American results when Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras ruled the sport in the 1990s, or even when Andy Roddick and James Blake took up residence in the top 10 during the last decade. These days, though, pretty good is as good as it gets for American men in tennis. None of Isner’s peers got past the round of 64 at either tournament this month; he was the last American man at each by at least two rounds. And no other American man is ranked in the top 60 in the world. (There’s little reason to hope for better things from the next generation: No American ranks in the top 20 in either the under-20 or under-21 world rankings.)Isner is famous among casual fans for his role in the longest match ever played, which he won over Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010, with the basketball-like 70-68 score in the fifth set. But he’s done his best work at home. Fourteen of his 17 career finals and six of his eight career titles have come in the United States. He’s been an entirely average player at the tour level2This means matches that count towards a player’s official match record: matches at Grand Slam tournaments, in Davis Cup matches and at ATP World Tour events. away from the U.S., winning 51 percent of his matches. At American events, he’s won 69 percent.“I always play my best in the United States,” Isner said at a press conference in Indian Wells. “A lot of times, especially in Europe, I have ‑‑ you know, I haven’t had great results at all.” He was at a loss to explain why, offering perhaps a lack of toughness at overseas tournaments. “There is no reason I can’t have a result like this outside of the U.S.,” he said.The reasons for Isner’s home advantage are varied. The obvious suspects, like the surface he’s playing on and the strength of his opponents, don’t fully explain it. A lot of it comes down to Isner himself.It’s true that much of Isner’s home success has come against weak competition. He has thrived at smaller U.S. tournaments that are optional for top players, who mostly live in Europe and don’t bother to make the trip. These events account for all of his U.S. titles and all but two of his U.S. finals. Just 6 percent of his matches at those events have come against top 10 players, none ranked in the top four. The relative weakness of his competition thanks to these events can be seen in the median ranking of his opponents over the last year: just 64, making his the softest schedule of any player in the top 35 in the world rankings.Isner also gets to play on hard courts, his favorite surface, at most of the U.S. events where he chooses to play. Just two are played on other surfaces: Houston, on clay; and Newport, R.I., on grass.These factors alone don’t explain Isner’s U.S. success, though. I pulled his career match record and ran a logistic regression, controlling for surface,3Isner has played 32 matches on grass, 66 matches on clay and 256 matches on hard courts. I separately ran the regression with each surface and also combining hard and grass, since so few matches are played on grass. The results were essentially the same. the ranking of his opponent4Technically I used the logarithm of his opponent’s ranking, since there is a much wider gap between the No. 1 and No. 10 players in the world — and therefore the probability of beating each one — than there is between the No. 10 and No. 100 players. and the value of each match, in ranking points.5The goal was to check whether Isner plays better in higher-leverage matches, those that count for more — i.e. matches in big tournaments, or later rounds of smaller ones. If he does, this effect could be confused with a preference for home courts. That’s because many of his U.S. events have weak fields, pitting Isner against early-round opponents whom he’d likely beat anywhere. That gives him more high-stakes home matches, so if he thrives in high-stakes matches, it might help explain his home advantage.To calculate the leverage of each match, I took the number of ranking points Isner would receive if he lost the match and subtracted it from the number he would get if he won, then lost the subsequent match. The result is roughly the value of the match, as prize money rises with ranking points and the points also determine a player’s subsequent seedings and affect his earning potential. The calculation is complicated by the ATP’s change in ranking points in 2009, so it isn’t exact, but since most of Isner’s tour-level matches came after 2008, the effect is small. Even after controlling for these factors, Isner remains a homecoming king. Surface, it turns out, isn’t a statistically significant driver of his success. Nor is the value of winning the match. His opponent’s ranking is highly significant. But independent of these factors, a 50-50 match for Isner away from home becomes a match he’ll win two out of three times in the U.S.Tennis isn’t usually associated with strong home-court effects, because of its individual and international nature. Many events draw fans from across the globe, who cheer for players from countries other than their own. And most players get few chances to play at home outside of the Davis Cup, the partisan international team competition that provides a rare home-court advantage in tennis. A popular explanation for home advantage in many other sports — that officials are influenced by partisan crowds — doesn’t translate to tennis because electronic line-call review at the sport’s top levels has greatly reduced the potential influence of subjective calls on match outcomes.Perhaps Isner thrives so much at home because of his background in college tennis, a level of competition where the team is primary. Isner starred at the University of Georgia and loves college team sports, spending much of a press conference last Saturday in Miami breaking down his NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket. Isner counts on support from American crowds, and was taken aback by U.S. Open fans’ cheers for his opponent, Frenchman Gael Monfils, last summer.Isner lamented his inconsistency away from home in that Indian Wells press conference, and he’d naturally rather do as well outside the U.S. as he does in it. But if he had to choose between his unbalanced current record and, say, maintaining the same win probability everywhere, he should opt for the status quo. Ranking points and prize money nearly double at each stage of a tournament, rewarding players who alternate finals with first-round exits over players who consistently lose in the second round.6We can illustrate this by imagining a simplified five-tournament sequence in which each tournament has 32 players and five rounds. Points and prize money double each round, from one point and $1 for a first-round exit up to 32 points and $32 for a title.Player A, with one title and four first-round losses, would pick up 32 points and $32 for the title, and an additional four points and $4 for the other four tournaments, for a total haul of 36 points and $36. His record would be 5-4.Player B, with five quarterfinal exits, would get four points and $4 in each tournament, for a total of 20 points and $20 — barely half the yield of Player A, despite a superior win-loss record of 10-5.So inconsistency in tennis is good. Even better is predictable inconsistency. A player who doesn’t know when he’ll thrive can’t plan around it. Someone who does best at clay-court events can schedule as many as he can fit in. A player who plays best at home ought to schedule as many home tournaments as possible. Isner has learned that lesson. He has reaped the benefits of a tournament calendar that still features a significant number of U.S. events, even as players from other countries have ascended in the rankings.In addition to the U.S. Open and the mandatory events in Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati, Isner had 10 ATP events in the U.S. to choose from in 2007 and 2008, his first two years on tour. That number declined to nine, then eight and then, this year, seven. But the decline in American men’s talent has been even steeper during that time, making ranking points at those events low-hanging fruit for Isner. Combine the easy fields with his home-court preference, and Isner finds lots of success in places such as Atlanta, Winston Salem, N.C., and Houston — even as events he played earlier in his career in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, San Jose, Calif., and New Haven, Conn., have vanished.Early in his career, Isner didn’t choose so well for himself. In his first two years on tour, he opted to play just three of his 10 non-mandatory events in the U.S. But from 2009 to 2013, he managed to play 29 of his 53 optional events in the U.S., even though only one-fifth of such events took place there. Last year, the U.S. hosted eight of these events, and Isner played in seven. He reached the semifinals of six and the finals of three, winning twice.Isner has taken advantage of his home-court preference more wisely than his peer and frequent doubles partner, Sam Querrey. I ran the same analysis on Querrey, the second-ranked American man today. For Querrey, too, surface and leverage weren’t significant. He also showed a significant home-court advantage, though the effect was smaller and less significant than for Isner.7A 50-50 match away from the U.S. for Querrey would turn into a match he’d win 62 percent of the time at home. Yet after playing almost exclusively at home in his rookie year on tour, Querrey has opted to play events away from the U.S. almost as often as home tournaments, averaging one more optional road trip per year than Isner.Perhaps many players would show a strong, significant home advantage if they had the chance. None of the world’s top five players gets more than two or three home events each year. Players from the other Grand Slam-hosting countries — the U.K., France and Australia — have a few more opportunities. But those countries combined have about the same number of tournaments as the U.S.Tennis’s general move away from the U.S., and Isner’s impending 29th birthday, might keep him from entering as many home events in the future. He’s compensating by making more of his opportunities and stepping up at the bigger U.S. events, such as this month’s strong runs and his finals in Cincinnati last year and in Indian Wells the year before that. If Isner can keep improving at the big U.S. events, he won’t have to worry about getting better away from home. read more

Two Arrested In Connection With Burglary At Kenai Central High School

first_imgLangham: “The total value of the stolen property by Brower and Gordon was greater than $750 and less than $25,000.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai Police Department have arrested two individuals in connection with a break in and burglary at the Kenai Central High School wood and metal shop that occured on December 20. As part of the ongoing investigation into the burglary, Byron G. Gordon, age 40, of Kenai was arrested for Burglary 2nd Degree and Theft 2nd Degree. Also arrested was Kevin W. Brower, age 51, of Kenai. KPD Luitenent Ben Langham: “Byron Gordon entered and remained at the Kenai Central High School wood and metal shop interior building fenced in area and property while commiting the crime of theft in the 2nd degree. Kevin Brower arrived shortly after shortly after in his vehicle and collected Byron Gordon along with a stolen welder, power tools, and other stolen property.” Brower was arrested on January 22 in connection with a burglary at the Kenai Wash and Dry according to Langham he was released and then a warrant was served for his and Gordons arrest in connection with the burglary at Kenai Central High School. Brower told investigators that he returned days later on his own, and took another welder from the school. According to Langham, Brower was found in possession of the second stolen welder during a consent search by KPD. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-two-arrested-for-KCH-break-in.mp3VmJennifer-on-two-arrested-for-KCH-break-in.mp300:00RPdlast_img read more

Googles rumored Pixel 3A dons a purple hue in new leak

first_img Phones See It Now playing: Watch this: On Friday, Blass also tweeted an image of the rumored phone in a (very) light purple color. The side button on the purple phone appears to be yellow, while the earlier image of the phone had an orange button. 15 Pixel 3 features you should use right now See it Tags That phone, possibly also known as the Pixel 3 Lite, is rumored to include some of the same features as the current Pixel 3 but at a lower price. The Pixel 3 phones on store shelves today have received acclaim for their top-notch cameras and innovative features — but they’re expensive. The Pixel 3 starts at $799 (£739, AU$1,199), and the larger XL model starts at $899 (£869, AU$1,349). Blass’s photo follows a series of earlier leaks about the Pixel 3A, aka Pixel 3 Lite. In November 2018, the Russian blog Rozetked posted photos of a device that looked similar to the Pixel 3 but with larger bezels and a headphone jack, which neither the Pixel 3 nor 3 XL have. Adding to the mystery, the phone was pictured with a C-shaped logo on the back.  Google didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment. 6:32 Images of what’s purported to be a new Google phone: the Pixel 3A or Pixel 3 Lite.   AndroidHeadlines Editors’ Note, May 7, 2019: CNET’s Google Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL reviews are here. Read more about both phones and why Google decided to release these budget handsets. We expect to see the official fourth-generation Google flagship phone in the fall — probably October. But new photos continue to pop up showing another new Pixel phone that may preempt the Pixel 4, according to rumors. Leaker Evan Blass on Wednesday tweeted an image of a phone he says is the Google Pixel 3A. The same photo was also posted on Slashleaks, with the caption “Google Pixel 3A press render leaked.” Neither Blass nor Slashleaks posted any further details.  The date shown on the phone, however, is May 7 — the very day Google’s I/O conference is set to kick off. Sprint Mentioned Above Google Pixel 3 XL (64GB, just black) In purple. pic.twitter.com/hgcC1V7zxK— Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 26, 2019 Best Buy $929 Post a comment $929center_img See It Verizon Wireless $919 $949 See It CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 17 Photos Google Pixel 3 XL Review • Pixel 3 XL review: Everything we love about the Pixel 3 on a bigger screen New budget Pixels coming May 7? 0 Google Pixel 3a pic.twitter.com/WFb1bfvlK9— Evan Blass (@evleaks) April 24, 2019 Originally published April 24. Update, April 26: Adds image of rumored Pixel 3a in purple. Share your voice Android Pie Googlelast_img read more

Texas School Official Removed Over Books White Supremacist Symbol

first_img Share Fibonacci Blue, WikimediaAt a “March 4 Trump” event, a man holds up a sign reading “Deplorables and Alt-Right Unite,” that features an image of Pepe the Frog. The cartoon character has become a symbol for white supremacist groups.A Texas school district has removed an assistant principal from his post after he authored a children’s book whose central character is also a white nationalist symbol.The Denton school district, north of Dallas-Fort Worth, said in a statement Monday that the publicity generated by Eric Hauser’s work has become a “distraction.” He’s being reassigned to an undetermined post.This summer Hauser self-published “The Adventures of Pepe and Pede,” about a frog and centipede seeking “truth and honesty” against “deceitful forces.”In the district’s statement, Hauser apologized for the negative attention brought to colleagues.Pepe the Frog appeared more than a decade ago in an online cartoon and the Anti-Defamation League says the character has been appropriated by white supremacists and other racists in online memes.last_img read more

Recap Two lanes shut due to accident on M6 in Staffordshire

first_imgUPDATE: All lanes have now reopened Two lanes are closed on the M6 motorway in Staffordshire due to a collision this afternoon (Wednesday March 20). Inrix, the traffic data company, reports the collision has taken place on the northbound carriageway between  J12 A5 (Gailey) and J13 A449 (Stafford South). Lanes one and two are reported to be shut and traffic is queueing. The accident, which was first reported at around 3.15pm, is understood to involve a car and a lorry. The ambulance service are reported to be at the scene. Highways England have confirmed they are on their way to the scene. A spokesman said:  “2 lanes (of 4) closed M6 J12 Gailey to J13 Dunston due to a collison. Traffic officers on route.” We will bring you further updates as we get them on the feed below. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive   Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page. And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive.16:08All lanes now openAll lanes have now reopened.15:59Minor injuriesThe ambulance service have confirmed they were called to the scene just after 3pm and one person is receiving treatment for minor injuries.15:27Travel time 15 minutesTraffic data company Inrix reports 15 minute delays against expected travel time.15:26Ambulance at sceneInrix, the traffic data company, reports paramedics are at the scene. Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Police search for missing womancenter_img Driver named following fatal collision Punter found hiding in bushes last_img read more