Barcelona will be looking to offer a positive response to an uncharacteristic wobble when they welcome Athletic Club to Camp Nou on Saturday.Ernesto Valverde’s reigning champions have dropped five points in their last two outings, with a home draw against Girona followed by a shock midweek defeat at Leganes.They remain top of the table, with arch-rivals Real Madrid having also come unstuck last time out, but have allowed the chasing pack to close in – with six teams now separated by just three points. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Athletic will be hoping to provide another twist in the title chase when they head to Catalunya, having already held Real this season, but are without a victory since the opening weekend. Game Barcelona vs Athletic Club Date Saturday, September 29 Time 3:15pm BST / 10:15pm ET TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US) the game will be shown live on television on beIN Sports. It can also be streamed live online using the beIN Sports CONNECT service. US TV channel Online stream beIN Sports beIN Sports CONNECT In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast live on television but it can be streamed via Eleven Sports. UK TV channel Online stream None Eleven Sports Squads & Team News Position Barcelona squad Goalkeepers Ter Stegen, Cillessen Defenders Alba, Semedo, Lenglet, Pique, Marlon, Vermaelen, Miranda Midfielders Rafinha, Alena, Busquets, Coutinho, Rakitic, Arthur, Roberto, Vidal Forwards L. Suarez, Messi, Dembele, Munir, Malcom Samuel Umtiti is facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a knee problem, but fellow defender Clement Lenglet is back from suspension.Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were rested for the defeat at Leganes and can expect to be drafted back in as Valverde puts faith in his tried and tested, while Messi starts on the bench as Valverde has en eye on the Champions League fixture against Tottenham in midweek.Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Rakitic, Coutinho, Suarez, Dembele, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Roberto, Vidal. Subs: Busquests, Arthur, Messi, Rafinha, Cillessen, El Haddadi, Vermaelen. Position Athletic Club squad Goalkeepers Remiro, Simon, Oleaga Defenders Ganea, Nunez, Martinez, Alvarez, San Jose, Berchiche, Balenziaga Midfielders Etxebarria, Iturraspe, Muniain, Cordoba, Susaeta, Garcia, Rico, De Marcos, Capa, Garcia, Lopez, Nolaskoain, Benat Forwards Williams, Aduriz, Guruzeta Eduardo Berizzo has no fresh injury or suspension concerns to contend with.Full-back Inigo Lekue and goalkeeper Iago Herrerin remain unavailable, although the latter has returned to training.Athletic Club XI: Simon, Balenziaga, Martinez, Yeray, De Marcos, Extebarria, D. Garcia, R. Garcia, Berchiche, Williams, Susaeta.Subs: San Jose, Oleaga, Muniain, Aduriz, Capa, Lopez, Oleaga, Nolaskoain.Betting & Match Odds Barcelona are heavy favourites to take all three points, with bet365 pricing them at 1/7 to emerge victorious. Athletic Club are considered to be 16/1 shots, with a draw available at 15/2.Click here to see all of bet365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Barcelona are unaccustomed to enduring blips in La Liga and will be eager to ensure that their current dip lasts no longer than two games.Reverting back to their strongest XI should aid that cause, even when taking into account uncharacteristic mistakes from the likes of Gerard Pique over recent outings.Lionel Messi has been passed by Andre Silva on the top scorer charts, so the prolific Argentine will be looking to get back among the goals against Athletic.He has five efforts to his name so far, and eight across all competitions, with all of those having come at Camp Nou.Messi netted home and away against Athletic last season, so will want to keep that run going.The Bilbao-based outfit will be fully aware of the threat posed by a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but also by a number of his team-mates.Athletic are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and saw a run of three successive draws ended in midweek when they went down 3-0 at home to Villarreal.
Harry Winks hailed Lionel Messi as the ‘greatest ever’ after Barcelona dashed Tottenham’s Champions League hopes in Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Wembley.Messi scored two and made two as Mauricio Pochettino’s team failed to recover from defeat in Milan two weeks ago, falling six points behind the top two in the race to qualify from Group B, and Winks believes his side were ultimately undone by the ‘exceptional’ Argentinean.Spurs fell 2-0 behind inside the first half at Wembley before Harry Kane halved the arrears shortly after half time, only for Messi to restore Barca’s advantage with a close-range finish. Erik Lamela pulled one back for Tottenham before Messi added a fourth in the final minute. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Winks, who was starting in his first Champions League game of the season, played the full 90 minutes as he continues his rehabilitation from the ankle injury which kept him out of last season’s run-in, and afterwards spoke of his pride at having shared a pitch with the five-time Balon d’Or winner.“I did enjoy it,” he told the Evening Standard. “To play against him was an honour. The result takes away a lot of the enjoyment from the game, but in years to come, when I look back and say I played against — in my opinion — the greatest player to ever play football, it will be a proud moment.“It’s so difficult to reflect on that right now because we’ve lost and, ultimately, that’s the most important thing. I’m gutted.“The only way I can really describe [facing him] is he’s just completed football. The man just knows where everybody is. His weight of pass is just exceptional. He’s just special. But everyone who has played against him has said the same thing for years.”Winks made five Champions League appearances for Spurs last season on their run to the last-16 where they were eliminated by Juventus, and the 22-year-old England international, who broke into the first team at White Hart Lane in 2016, has relished the opportunity to learn from Europe’s finest as Tottenham seek to establish themselves as a regular presence on the continent.”For me, it was special to play against a player like that. I learnt a lot from it. I’ll watch the game back and I’ll dissect my game. There were times when I gave the ball away sloppily, which wasn’t good enough.”
Celebrating the Christmas spirit in style, Bengal batsman Pankaj Shaw cracked an unbeaten 413 in a local cricket league game here on Sunday.Shaw played the massive innings turning out for Barisha Sporting against Dakshin Kalikata Sansad (DKS) in the three-day first division league tournament conducted by the Cricket Association of Bengal.The 28-year-old middle-order batsman plundered 44 boundaries and 23 sixes during his blistering knock.Barisha Sporting were overnight 192/2 with the No. 4 batsman on 44 as he carried forward his sublime knock today.Shaw shared 203 for the sixth wicket with Ajmer Singh (47) and 191 for the eighth wicket with Shreyan Chakraborty (22) as Barisha Sporting piled on a mammoth 708/8 declared in 115 overs at the Oxford Mission Douglas ground at Behala.Put in, Dakshin Kalikata Sansad were bundled out for 369 in 114.1 overs to concede a first innings lead to Barisha who returned with four points.DKS were 96/2 after 20 overs at close as they settled for two points.Shaw, who made his Ranji debut against Rajasthan last season, has played 12 First-Class, four List A and 12 Twenty20 matches for Bengal.
After their heroics at Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium chasing down 351 against England on Sunday, the Virat Kohli-led India will stay put in Pune for two more days before moving to Cuttack for the next ODI. Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav slammed centuries as India came from behind to register a three-wicket win in the first ODI.While the teams in general prefer to reach a match venue well in advance, India have opted for a longer stay at the education hub of the country. With threats of a possible disruption from disgruntled ex-BCCI officials, who are on the receiving end of the Supreme Court order still looming, the BCCI officials in charge were quick to dismiss that reasoning. (India’s second highest successful chase)”This was always the plan to have a longer stay in Pune. There are no problems with the host Orissa Cricket Association who have a organising committee in place to ensure smooth conduct of the match,” a BCCI official told India Today. (Kohli breaks Tendulkar’s record for most tons in successful chases)Team sources have confirmed they prefer spending more time in Pune for better practice facilities. Even on arrival in Cuttack on Wednesday, a day before the second match, players will only have an optional training session. The win in Pune may have eased the training burden even more, although the bowling unit which still looked rusty, adjusting from Tests to ODIs may have some work to do. (Kohli is from another planet: Michael Vaughan)England will also travel to Cuttack on Wednesday morning.advertisement
“Australia have been doing good and India is”Australia have been doing good and India is performing well. Its going to be tough for the Australian boys to perform on turning tracks. Australian tracks are totally different,” said the swashbuckling batsman.”They are a little bouncy, but flat wickets. When they play on turning tracks, its going to be tough for them,” said Dhawan who made his Test debut in a sensational fashion at Mohali against Australia with a 174-ball 187 in March, 2013.He also heaped praises on Delhi keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who recently made his India debut in the shortest format of the game.”He (Rishabh) is doing good, performed very well in Ranji Trophy and was rewarded with an India call-up. He has his own game, backs himself and that?s what I like about him,” Dhawan said. PTI NRB SSR RMT SDM
Imran also warned about the after effects of any incident Imran also warned about the after effects of any incident happening during the final. “If something God forbid happens, then it will put Pakistan cricket back by 10 years,” the former captain said. PTI Cor AT AT
Novak Djokovic has admitted that prior to his son’s birth, tennis was his number one priority, but now it is completely opposite and his focus has shifted to his family.Djokovic, became a father in October 2014 when his wife Jelena gave birth to his son Stefan. “Tennis was my number one priority when Stefan was not born. Now it’s completely opposite,” Sport24 quoted Djokovic as saying.”I have a son, a wife, a family, and I am extremely grateful for the blessing of being a father.””I’m at the stage where I’m trying to be the best possible husband, father and tennis player. It is challenging, but not impossible. Everyone is trying to be the best version of themselves. That’s the case with me as well,” he added.The 29-year-old Serb admitted despite of trying his best, he cannot be at 100 percent every day in each role.”At the same time, I cannot be at 100 percent every day in each role, although I try to give my best. I cannot give as much anybody else expects of me. But, I can always give as much of I expect from myself,” he said.The Serb lost the top spot in the ATP rankings to Britain’s Andy Murray last year and has been struggling of late since his last grand slam success at the French Open last year.The World No. 2 also said that he has no plans of ending his tennis playing days anytime soon, though.”I continue to play tennis with the same passion and love that I had when I picked up the racquet for the first time in my hands. Tennis makes me strong and gives me great emotions and as long as I feel it, I’ll continue to play,” he said.advertisementHe also said one of his goals is to retain the numero one spot, however, it is not his main priority.”I want to improve and have a long career. I don’t see myself ending my career anytime soon, although I’ll be 30-years-old,” he said.”I have a lot to accomplish, and a lot to prove to myself and others. But, consciously taking into account all the other things going in my life, I cannot separate myself professionally, as a tennis player, and privately, as a father and a husband, son, brother, friend. This all makes me complete as a person,” he added.
Pakistan’s cricketers, past and present, have told the PCB not to expect the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to schedule any bilateral series with the country in the near future. (BCCI not in touch with PCB for India-Pakistan bilateral series: Shaharyar Khan)WATCH: BCCI AWAITS GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSETold about media reports from across the border that the BCCI has written to India’s external ministry for clearance to play against Pakistan this November, former captain Javed Miandad burst into laughter. (Pakistan ready to play India if BCCI gets government nod: PCB chief)”They just want to play around with us as always. They are least interested in playing us in a bilateral series,” Miandad said. (PCB isn’t begging but will push for India series, says Shaharyar Khan)He noted that in the last few years, Pakistan had made all efforts to get India to resume playing bilateral series, but with no success. (PCB against boycotting cricket ties with India)”They make one excuse or the other. This latest sweet trap is perhaps to convince Pakistani officials to not bring up the issue of bilateral series with India at the ICC meeting next month,” he said.The Pakistan Cricket Board has said it would discuss the issue with the ICC. (PCB should isolate India: Former ICC president Ehsan Mani)Pakistan’s Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq said it is good news if India are seriously pursuing the option of playing with Pakistan. (India must compensate for cancelling bilateral series: PCB)”I don’t know what is happening, apart from what comes in the media, but if they want to resume bilateral series this year it would be a big boost for both Pakistan and Indian cricket and fans,” Misbah said.advertisementPCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, reacting to the media reports, said that so far the BCCI had not spoken to it about playing a possible series in November.”They have not said anything officially to us so far, so we are just going by the media reports. But if it is correct than we will also have to get clearance from our government,” Khan said.Pakistan’s former captain Rashid Latif said the PCB should take the Indian board seriously only when it confirms in writing it has clearance from its government.”Until than the PCB should pursue its case in the ICC and use all legal means to get compensation from India for the number of times they have refused to play us at neutral venues,” Latif said.
Los Angeles, Apr 7 (PTI) Legendary comedian Don Rickles has passed away at the age of 90 in his home and the cause of death was kidney failure.Renowned for his insult comedy, Rickles was a force to reckon with who, for 60 years, earned a living by making fun of people from all walks of life, including singing legend Frank Sinatra, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Born on May 8, 1926, in New York, Rickels was raised in the Jackson Heights neighbourhood of Queens.Following graduation from Newtown High School, he served in the U S Navy during World War II, then studied acting and graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.Rickles was sarcastically nicknamed “Mr Warmth”, who had a mock disdain for one and all – from public figures to the ones who paid tickets to watch his show.He went unnoticed for years as a more conventional stand-up comedian, but Rickles discovered his biggest strength when he turned the tables on his hecklers.Rickles shot to fame after he insulted the hot-tempered Sinatra, who was deemed as a spoilt sport.When the superstar singer and actor walked into a Miami Beach club in 1957 where Rickles was performing, the comedian greeted the “New York, New York” singer from the stage: “Make yourself at home, Frank. Hit somebody” and Sinatra too roared with laughter.Rickles then assaulted people with his comedy- famous or ordinary ones like the Jews, Asians, African Americans, the Irish, Puerto Ricans, red-headed women, short men and others, who loved his performances.advertisementIn June 2012 when, during the American Film Institutes tribute to actress Shirley MacLaine, Rickles joked that he “shouldnt make fun of the blacks. President Obama is a personal friend of mine. He was over to the house yesterday, but the mop broke.”He made numerous appearances on “The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts” that ran on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-80s.Talk show host and comedian Johnny Carson provided Rickles a late-night stage by making him one of the most-visiting guests of “The Tonight Show”.At age 32, Rickles landed a small part in Robert Wises submarine drama “Run Silent, Run Deep” (1958), starring Clark Gable. In 1960, he was cast in “The Rat Race” with Tony Curtis and Debbie Reynolds.He also appeared in films such as “Kellys Heroes” (1970), “Pajama Party” (1964), “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1965) and Martin Scorseses “Casino” (1995). He also voice acted as Mr Potato Head in the “Toy Story” films.He had two series titled “The Don Rickles Show”; each ran a handful of episodes.Rickles is survived by wife of 52 years, daughter Mindy, son-in-law Ed and grandchildren Ethan and Harrison. PTI RDS BK
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Manish Pandey said his team needed to improve its death bowling following a four-wicket loss against Mumbai Indians on Sunday.”Even in the first game against Gujarat Lions, we struggled with death bowling. I thought we can improve a little more. Two games in a row, and it is high time we start thinking and applying our mind about this in the meeting,” Pandey said. (Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya guide Mumbai Indians to 4-wicket win vs Kolkata Knight Riders)Mumbai Indians needed 64 in the final 30 balls but pulled off a sensational victory with one ball to spare, courtesy youngsters Nitish Rana and Hardik Pandya’s counter-attack, after being reduced to 119/5 at the beginning of the 17th over.”If bowlers hit yorkers consistently, it would be obviously difficult for the batsmen. They missed a few, we missed a few. They played very well in the end and we have to work a bit more on death bowling. We shall overcome this,” Pandey said. (Gautam Gambhir upset with fielding lapses after close defeat to Mumbai Indians)”It looked like we might win, but the two batsmen – Hardik Pandya and Nitish Rana – played really well. We could have bowled with a little more plan. We will bounce back,” he said.Pandey also lauded Hardik Pandya and said that the all-rounder was growing slowly and steadily in confidence. (Rohit Sharma reprimanded for showing excessive disappointment over umpire’s decision)”He is a very good player and coming up to be a very good all-rounder. We have seen how he has batted and finished games for India at number 7. Slowly he has matured as a player. He is gaining in confidence from all these matches,” he said.advertisementPandey was satisfied with his innings of 47-ball 81 although it went in vain.”It was definitely satisfying. From where I started, I wanted to finish it, taking one over at a time and eventually stayed till the 19th over. That’s where I can play my game and finish matches,” he said.He conceded that the dew factor worked against his team in the second innings. (IPL 2017: Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, set unique record)”The dew definitely played a big role as the ball comes on to the bat well. There is always an advantage (of batting second) if there is dew,” he said.When asked about the extent of batsman Chris Lynn’s injury, Pandey said it was too early to say anything. Lynn injured his shoulder while fielding. (IPL 2017: Will Kolkata Knight Riders miss Chris Lynn for the entire season?)”Lynn has put icing on the shoulder and it is too early to say anything,” Pandey said about the Aussie opener.
I presented at the No More Homeless Pets Conference this weekend on how to connect with our audiences through a greater understanding of how people think, and I want to tell the story of how I messed up and what I learned.I spoke about the discovery of mirror neurons, which show how we relate to each other’s experience, and I told the story of how this insight came from observing a monkey in a lab. I described the experiment, and its implications for our understanding of human connections.That was a mistake. A story that featured animal experimentation, whatever the type or circumstances and whatever the point, was not the right story to tell to my audience. And of course the irony was I made this mistake in a speech about connecting with audiences. So I managed to make a meta mistake too. When you mess up, all you can do is own up. So here’s what I said about my mistakes:I want to apologize to all of you — everyone in this community and especially the conference organizers. I sincerely and utterly regret referencing an animal experiment in my speech. I understand now that this was not appropriate and upsetting to many of you. I am also sorry to have fallen so short of my goal: which was to express my heartfelt support for your work and to inspire you to do it well. It’s a great irony that in talking about connecting to an audience, I missed wide of the mark in my own talk. I made a mistake, and I feel terrible about it. I will post this sentiment on my blog as well, and I will be expressing it in my workshop this afternoon. Thank you for your understanding and for all you do for animal welfare.I’m a perfectionist, so I feel physically ill when I make mistakes. Like now. But I have to say, the things I’ve gotten wrong (and the apologies I’ve made) have been hugely instructive, however painful. In fact, they have been far more effective in making me a better person and professional than the things I aced. So I’m sharing this story to show what I learned once more: Know your audience well — and know when you have failed to connect. When you err, own it and learn from it. It’s a lifelong process to try to understand our connections to each other and our disconnects from each other. I can say from personal experience, that work is never really done. We may have mirror neurons, but that doesn’t make us mirror reflections of each other. Our different perspectives are rich territory for misunderstanding – but also for enlightenment. In other words, I feel both stupid and a little smarter.
Photo of a vampire bat colony from the Conservation CentreThere is a fight afoot over the genetic origins of kindness, and it’s skillfully chronicled by Jonah Lehrer in the March 5 issue of The New Yorker. Here are the basics as I understand them.Charles Darwin saw altruism as a challenge to his theory of natural selection. If you were willing to give up your life for someone else, you wouldn’t reproduce and there would be no offspring to inherit your nobility, he posited. He explained altruism as a way for individuals to sustain the colony and therefore survive themselves.Yet altruism is everywhere, in many species, as Lehrer notes – even when it doesn’t ensure individual survival. Vampire bats starve to death within 60 hours if they don’t have their fix of blood. When one has had a bad night of hunting, another will give it some of its own supper by locking mouths and passing on digesting blood (ew, I know). Honeybees will defend a hive with their sting, even though the act amounts to suicide. And of course we humans sometimes sacrifice ourselves for others too.To explain this seeming paradox, a theory called “inclusive fitness” evolved over the past six decades. It explained altruism in genetic terms. If you make a sacrifice for kin, you’re just taking another route to perpetuating your own DNA. Altruism is attributed to the need to spread our own genes. This idea has the support of many scientists, since an entomologist named E.O. Wilson built off early work on the topic and wrote many books and papers on the subject. But now, after 60 years of studying insects at Harvard, Wilson has had an apostasy. He says inclusive fitness isn’t all it cracked up to be. Many species aren’t cooperating, after all, even when there are close genetic connections among them. He teamed up with two other scientists to ask, if cooperation (also known as eusociality) is such a successful strategy, then why is it so rare?They believe the answer is that kin working together is a consequence and not a cause of eusociality. In other words, says Lehrer, in an ant colony, “sisters don’t get along because they’re sisters. Rather clumps of females just happen to be the most likely to evolve the necessary preadaptations. They work together because they can’t leave; they have become slaves to the queen.”Wilson now believes in something more akin to group selection. In recent studies of cooperative species, clumps of cooperators thrive and replicate, while selfish groups die off. Wilson is quoted by Lehrer as saying, “Selfishness beats altruism within groups. But altrustic groups beat selfish groups.” Says Lehrer: “Goodness might actually be an adaptive trait, allowing more cooperative groups to outcompete their conniving cousins.” Humans are neither wholly selfish nor completely cooperative. We’re somewhere in between. As the scientific community ironically dukes it out over theories of cooperation, I’m left with a few inexpert thoughts. First, whatever the genetic purpose, we are altruistic. We can and do help each other. That’s the one thing that’s not in dispute. Second, most living things fare better when they work together. Third, as professionals dedicated to inspiring people’s better angels,we should embrace these facts as good news indeed, whatever the biological reasons. If we’re wired to be nice at least some of the time, there’s hope for all of us.
Here’s a quick, good read for a Monday morning: 3 ways to get people to open your emails, based on brain psychology.1. Use something personally relevant to grab attention2. Make your subject line oddly short, long or different3. Surprise people by switching it upWhy do these work – and how exactly do you make this happen? Read this ClickZ article for the details
Do you know how your nonprofit’s email stats compare to others in your field?Depending on your specific industry, the numbers could differ quite a bit.Every year, Constant Contact gathers and examines over 200 million emails from our customers to give you a better sense of how your results compare to others in your industry.Here are a few interesting stats from our October 2014 data:While nonprofits in the Arts and Education industries have open rates of about 25 percent, religious organizations have the highest open rate by industry at over 30 percent.And while religious organizations have a click-through rates of just over 7 percent, membership organizations come out on top with 9 percent click-through rate on average.Visit our Comparison by Industry Chart to see all the updated stats we have available.Once you have a better idea of how your nonprofit compares to others in your industry, you might be interested in how you can improve your own personal numbers.To help you get started, here are five questions to ask before hitting send on your next email:1. What’s in it for my audience? If you want people to open your emails you have to provide readers with something valuable.Think about why your subscribers signed up for your emails. What are they hoping to get out of it? What expectations have you set? Are you providing them with all the information they need?Make sure you’re including useful content such as case studies of the work your nonprofit is doing. That gives your subscribers a clear picture of how their donations and support are being used. Your audience will feel closer to you because they’ll have a better understanding of the difference your nonprofit is making.2. Is my subject line making a good first impression? Your subject line is one of the most important lines in your entire email. To capture readers’ attention, avoid using generic subject lines like December Newsletter. Instead think about what will inspire them to open your email. You might want to ask a question, include a deadline, or incorporate a list.One of the most important things you can do is keep your subject line short. Staying around 40 characters in the best way to ensure your complete subject line will be readable on all devices. Sometimes even a one word subject line can have a good impact.Here are a few examples:· Last Chance: Register for our Holiday Event· 4 Big Ways You Can Get Involved· Have You Done Your Part?For more inspiration, use these 12 subject line tweaks.3. Can people recognize your emails?Especially around the holidays, many nonprofits send out emails with more red and green than usual. Creating holiday-themed messages can be a nice touch, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about your brand.Every email you send out should include your logo to reinforce your organization’s brand. You may want to look for opportunities to bring in your company colors, or add your mission statement to your email signature.These little additions add a level of familiarity and make each message a reflection of your values. You can create a customized email template to save yourself time and establish consistency.4. Are you making it easy for people to take action? In order for an email to be effective it has to be easy for readers to consume and clear what their next step should be.Be sure to preview it on a couple different devices before sending. As more and more people are opening emails on mobile devices, you want to make sure the text is big enough to be readable.You also want to make sure you have a clear call to action. One smart approach is to make sure you’re giving readers a way to take action near the top of your email. That way, they can see your call to action right away even if they don’t scroll through the entire email.5. Are you providing opportunity for further connection? Email is one of the best ways to connect with your audience because you’re reaching them in a place they likely go every day — their inbox. Still, don’t underestimate the importance of connecting with your audience in multiple places.Provide buttons to the social media channels you’re active on, as well as any blog or podcasts that you manage. The more opportunities your audience has to connect with you, the more likely you are to stay fresh in their minds.When your audience connects with you on social media, there are great opportunities for your organization to get in front of their audience when they interact with your content. Likes, retweets, or shares translate into valuable social media endorsements that will peak interest with a whole new audience.Ready to improve your email marketing results?Get started today: grab a sticky note and jot down what you want your audience to get out of your next email.Stick this reminder somewhere visible in your workspace and let it guide you through your next email.Be sure to check back with your reports after to see if there’s anyimprovement in your opens or click-through rate.
Steps Your Nonprofit Can Take to Transform the Potential into RealityAlthough the Uniform Guidance is now law of the land, it will take further action to realize its promise. State associations of nonprofits and others have invested countless hours of advocacy over the last three years to secure these reforms. Yet the journey still is not complete. Here are the steps your nonprofit needs to take:· #OwnYourOwnCosts: It is essential for your nonprofit to have financial management systems in place that track your indirect costs so you can negotiate your federal indirect cost rate and receive more than the 10 percent minimum.· Protect your rights: If a state or local government tries to deny your nonprofit the reimbursement rates guaranteed by the Uniform Guidance, stand up for your nonprofit’s rights. Among the many safeguards put in place by OMB, pass-through entities may not ask your nonprofit to sign a waiver of its right to this reimbursement. Our quick guide, Know Your Rights … and How to Protect Them, details your nonprofit’s rights, highlights potential compliance challenges, and explains how the Uniform Guidance should be properly interpreted. · Stay informed: The laws in many states and localities will need to be adjusted to comply with the Uniform Guidance. Join your state association of nonprofits for information on how to help make these needed changes, and sign up for our free e-newsletters to stay up-to-date on the latest developments.· Report back: As you enter into new grants and contracts, share your experiences—positive and negative—using the confidential Uniform Guidance Implementation Report Form on the National Council of Nonprofits website. The information that nonprofits share will help the network of engaged state associations of nonprofits monitor compliance, compile data and patterns that can be addressed at a government-wide level, and identify good processes and solutions that can be replicated to help nonprofits across the country meet their missions. (Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from our friends at the National Council of Nonprofits. Jennifer Chandler, Vice President and Director of Network Support & Knowledge Sharing, offers insight on new legislation that will allow nonprofits to own their true costs.) How the Fundraising Game Has Changed Forever – and Four Steps Your Nonprofit Should Take to BenefitA “game changer.” It will “transform the landscape … for generations to come.” No, these aren’t ads for a new car or reviews for movies coming to a theater near you. They are descriptions of the impact brought about by new federal rules for many grant awards—impact that just may make life less stressful for nonprofit fundraising professionals and development directors everywhere.For the first time, the federal government is acknowledging what nonprofits have known all along: to deliver effective services in our communities, nonprofits must incur basic costs to keep the doors open and the lights on. The federal government, through the new Uniform Guidance issued by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), now requires that any government using federal funds—whether local, state, tribal, or federal—to hire a nonprofit to deliver services must pay its share of indirect costs (sometimes called overhead or administrative costs). For fundraising and development professionals, this reform can mean less stress and urgency chasing down private donations and grants to fill in the large gaps left unfunded by governments. With government now mandated to pay for these “indirect costs” when the initial funds flow from the federal government, it will ease pressure on private philanthropy to fill all-to-common gaps left unfunded by governments. Not only that, but with this historic acknowledgement from government that indirect/overhead costs are essential to service delivery, some private funders are revisiting their policies and coming to a similar logical realization.To put the impact of this new rule in perspective, consider the size of the gaps that governments historically have left unfunded. According to a recent Urban Institute survey, 53 percent of nonprofits reported that governments capped reimbursement for indirect costs. Of those, 76 percent reported that governments imposed caps of 10 percent and below – and 24 percent reported zero reimbursement for indirect costs. Just imagine the effects on the fundraising climate if all of these nonprofits received just the 10 percent minimum mandated by the Uniform Guidance, much less the full amounts that far exceed that floor.
Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Jonathan Medows is a New York City based CPA who specializes in taxes and business issues for freelancers across the country. He has a resource section with how-to articles specifically for the self-employed at his website, www.cpaforfreelancers.com.Every year in the weeks around tax time, I hear from freelancers who can’t file their tax returns on time or who have filed but can’t pay the IRS the money they owe. Given the state of the economy over the past several years, it’s not surprising that I meet with many freelancers who are several years’ delinquent on their tax returns or their tax payments or both.These people are not in a good situation, but there is good news for them. It’s called the IRS Fresh Start program.The goal of Fresh Start is to help individuals and small businesses meet their tax obligations, pay back taxes, and avoid tax liens. Liens allow the government to establish a legal interest in your property and assets if you don’t pay outstanding tax debt. Once a lien is put on your property, the IRS can take away that property and liquidate it to pay your debt.The Fresh Start program uses several tools to help individuals who owe back taxes avoid liens and levies. People who take advantage of the program must get all their back tax returns filed and start making payments on time before they will be accepted.Here are the details on two that are especially applicable to many of my freelance clients:The IRS’s Offers in Compromise program allows certain individuals to settle their debt for less than what they fully owe. Individuals whom the IRS determines are financially unlikely to be able to pay the full amount of their tax liability in a timely manner are more likely to get compromise agreements.If the IRS believes you can pay the full amount you owe – either as a lump sum or on a payment plan – it usually will not compromise with you. This determination is made by weighing your income and assets, among other factors. You can use this tool to determine if you’re eligible for an offer in compromise.Every year, I help freelancers complete Form 656-B and submit it to the IRS. This packet of documents includes their compromise offer to the tax authorities, along with financial statements documenting their inability to pay in full, a $150 non-refundable fee and their first compromise payment.If you are interested in making an offer in compromise and think you are eligible, it’s best to do it as soon as possible. The IRS has up to two years to consider an offer, and penalties and interest continue to accrue on the unpaid tax liability during that time. Offers that are rejected can be resubmitted or appealed.Streamlined Installment Agreements are available for individuals who owe up to $50,000 and are current with their tax filings. The agreements allow them to pay their debt through monthly direct debit payments for up to six years.You can apply online for an installment agreement. If you have had a tax lien placed on your property, getting into a direct debit installment plan may qualify you to have that lien withdrawn. If you default on the installment agreement, however, the IRS may file a new Notice of Federal Tax Lien and resume collection actions.If your annual income is up to $100,000 and you owe less than $50,000, an installment agreement is a less-painful way to get right with the IRS. If you are in the same situation with your state taxes, as many freelancers are, look into whether your state has similar programs. New York State, for instance, offers installment payment plans and offers in compromise to delinquent taxpayers.It can be intimidating to deal with the IRS directly, and you might need help getting your application filled out and your delinquent returns cleaned up and filed. Get professional help with the Fresh Start process and, at the same time, ask your CPA to get you onto a disciplined schedule of saving money throughout the year to make quarterly payments and do your regular tax filings. Once you go through this effort, you won’t want to get into this situation again in the future.
Freelancers come in all shapes, sizes, and variations – but there are 3 bad habits that haunt freelancers of almost of every field.These are the top offenders – the nasty inclinations that freelancers struggle to break!1. All work, no playStagger over to the nearest mirror. How you lookin’, my friend? Tired? Haggard? Underfed?When was the last time you got a good night’s sleep, or did something really fun? When did you last unplug from work?Listen, most freelancers are prone to being workaholics; it’s just part of the archetypical lifestyle.But working yourself to near-burnout over and over and over again eventually takes its toll; at some point, your body or your brain will revolt, and you will, probably in fact… burn out.Even if you escape a meltdown for an inordinate amount of time, you’ll become a humorless stressball – and your work will suffer for it.Make time for play, even in small increments. Engage in silly, relaxing activities. Try to take care of yourself physically and mentally.Build in room for family, friends, and fulfilling hobbies. Let your brain decompress.You do your freelancing AND your life no favors when you work, work, work with no relief.Join the Union (it’s free!)Become a member2. Apologizing for reasonable requestsDo any of these phrases sound gratingly familiar to you?“Sorry – but I wondered when my invoices would be paid?”“I’m sorry, could we talk about this project today?”“So sorry, would you mind sending me my tax forms?”DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR REASONABLE, RUN-OF-THE-MILL FREELANCE REQUESTS. STOP SAYING SORRY! I YELL BECAUSE I CARE!Gratitude and politeness are lovely, laudable things. But you are providing a service to clients, and they are compensating you for that service; you do not have to grovel.SPECIAL NOTE TO MY FELLOW FEMALES: Yes, ladies, we are especially prone to doing this, because culturally we have been taught that having any kind of need is embarrassing and cumbersome and oooohhhh so unladylike/unsexy and we should just suffer in demure non-threatening silence until we die.Throw off that noise: refuse to apologize for existing.At its best, apologizing constantly is a verbal tic. At its worst, apologizing implies that (fair or not), you HAVE SOMETHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR.Don’t make your clients wonder why you’re constantly acting guilty. Resist the urge to apologize– it can cause more problems than it ever solves.3. Having no boundariesSo your client called you at 9 PM… on a Saturday.Of course you answered, and of course you don’t mind talking about their project for an hour! Plans, what plans?And no, of course you don’t need to charge them for this little “chat” – why the very word “chat” is so non-threatening, so very free-sounding… sure, they can call you back at any time!Being boundary-less is not good client relations. It’s definitely not good for YOU, personally, and it sets up unrealistic expectations about freelancers in general.It will attract needy, anxious, abusive, demanding clients like a moth to a flame, and it will drive you b-an-an-a-s.What do you think, freelancers? What are the worst habits you see out in the freelance world?Kate Hamill lives and works in New York City, where she consumes an inordinate amount of Sriracha daily. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @katerone.
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Sometimes, freelance life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your friends who work a “typical 9-5” might be jealous (or imagine) that you can start work at noon, break for a 2pm yoga class, and wear yoga pants as you return calls.But the reality of freelance life can often look much different – picture piles of deadlines, money stress, difficult clients, and working way more than 40 hours a week.If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed lately, then it might be time to try self-care.Many of my therapy clients and workshop participants think of self-care as their weekly yoga class or monthly massage or annual beach trip.All of these things are great, but what about reducing stress on a daily basis?Mindfulness – being aware of the present moment – can help.Mindfulness sometimes gets confused with having an empty mind or sitting in silence for 20 minutes twice a day. For many of us (myself included!), this may not be practical.Mindfulness can be practiced in moments in stolen moments as we commute, before a big meeting, and when we wake up in the morning.You may be wondering – how do I start? Where do I start? What do I do?Here are 3 quick ways you can practice mindfulness, starting right now:1. Sound your breath.While sitting or standing, take a deep inhale. Imagine you can fill all the way down to your toes with air, then release the air on your exhale with a sigh or a sound.Any sound is good. If you’re standing, imagine that your feet are rooting you into the ground, like a tree. With each exhale, you plant your roots and feel the ground underneath you a bit more.This can help you ground physically into the present moment and into the physical space that you’re in (you can do this exercise anywhere – work, home, subway).Find some zen with us (it’s free!)Become a Freelancers Union member2. Listen to music mindfully.Put on a favorite song/instrumental piece. Wear headphones or earbuds if you’re in a loud place. Allow yourself just to listen, without simultaneously checking your email or answering a text.Notice any thoughts or feelings that come up. Notice the melodic line in the music, or the sound of each instrument, or the speed of the piece. Be in the present moment with the music.3. Just pause and notice – for 1 minute.Set a timer on your phone for 1 minute. Then notice – tune into your breath, your body, and your mind.Notice the inhale and exhale each time you breathe, any tension or tightness you may feel in your body, and any thoughts moving through your mind.Just allow yourself to be present to whatever you notice, without rushing to judge or fix it. Allow yourself this minute of pausing the hustle.It may not sound like a lot, but a little bit of mindfulness every day can go a long way. As stress peaks at the holiday season, why not give yourself the gift of mindfulness?Maya Benattar, LCAT is a music psychotherapist with a NYC-based private practice. She is passionate about mindfulness as a tool to reduce anxiety, improve self-awareness, & encourage gentle self-care. You can find her at www.mayabenattar.com or @mayabenattar where she blogs & tweets frequently.
Mumbai, Sep 13 (PTI) Over ten lakh students across Maharashtra will play football on September 15 as the part of the “Maharashtra Mission-1- Million” initiative, state Sports Minister Vinod Tawde announced here today.”The initiative will be kicked off by state Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Bombay Gymkhana here by hoisting a flag,” Tawde told reporters.Mumbais famed Dabbawalas (tiffin carriers), deaf and dumb students, cancer patients will also play football, he said, adding that football matches will be played at Shivaji Park, Oval Ground, Azad Maidan, and at various Gymkhana grounds at Marine Lines in the megalopolis.The minister said the governments objective is to make students come out and play on the ground.”In Sangli, students of schools without play grounds have come together and they will be playing football at a stadium on the occasion”, he added.In Pune, inmates of Central Prison will also play football.Students in Naxal-affected regions of Gadchiroli will also play the game on that day, and the entire atmosphere in the state will be pro-football, Tawde added.”We have distributed around 90,000 to one lakh footballs in around 30,000 schools in the state,” he said.According to officials of state Sports department, Mumbai Football District Association president Aaditya Thackeray and his team will also play football that day.They said a football selfie point has been established at the Lonar lake in Buldhana district to create a football buzz, they added.”We have asked district sports officials to invite sports persons to encourage the students,” the officials said. PTI NRB NSKadvertisement
FC Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has said his squad will face Girona this weekend determined to maintain its perfect record.At the pre-match press conference on Friday, Valverde said he wanted his charges to “extend the winning streak” for as long as possible, Efe news reported.”Tomorrow’s match is very important to us, and we know that the rival will be extra-motivated. We should be up to a derby match, because there is an emotional part that matters,” he said.”This match is special for them (Girona) and we have to know how to approach this kind of match,” the coach said. “They are playing at a good level and they were good against Sevilla. I see an optimistic atmosphere there and a will to stay in the top-flight.”Valverde hinted that Luis Suarez, who was on the bench against Eibar earlier this week, will start on Saturday.A journalist asked the coach about his role in the superb form being shown by superstar Lionel Messi, who has scored nine goals in five La Liga matches, including four against Eibar on Tuesday.Valverde quipped that his only contribution was putting Messi in the line-up.”I have not been able to play a cross to him,” the coach said, confirming that he has no plans to rest the Argentine. “I am not accustomed to substituting a player who has scored four goals in one match.”