Gundy Chasing Stoops for All-Time Big 12 Wins Record

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. When Bob Stoops abruptly stepped down from his perch atop the Big 12 earlier this summer, there were countless columns written about the implications as it relates to the Big 12. Which team might be best equipped to take advantage of Stoops’ sudden departure in the 2017 season? Which coach could step up and become the new face of the Big 12 conference?Since you’re reading this, there’s a good chance your vote is likely Mike Gundy – the third-longest tenured college football head coach with the same team. But many others unrelated to OSU would likely vote Gundy, too. The mulleted-man has finished the season in the shadow of Stoops more times than he’d care to admit, and it’s always felt like his biggest road block to becoming the cream of the conference has been the pesky Stoops-led Sooners.AdChoices广告With Bob gone, Gundy’s mullet campaign of 2017 has been the talk of the conference. He’s been comfortable giving his opinion on topics varying from butch wax to college football playoff expectations for a team prepared to make a run at a Big 12 title. So becoming the face of the conference? That’s been effortless, to this point. The mullet has done all the talking. But it’s yet to be determined if his team is the one best equipped to take advantage of the Stoops-sized void left in Norman.Perhaps the biggest shadow to chase of all in Stoops’ absence is one that may never be tackled: Stoops’ all-time conference win achievement.At 50, can Gundy catch Stoops on the all-time Big 12 conference win list? That’s a projection I’m not ready to make – especially because it’s a question that may not be answered for a decade. But it’s a fascinating hypothetical, no less.Stoops stepped down from OU with a 190-48 record with the Sooners, and the record Gundy could chase – his Big 12 conference win total – is a steep goal to reach with a 121-29 mark.Gundy is only slightly more than halfway there with a 63-39 record in league play as head coach.If Gundy were to continue his winning pace he’s been on since 2010 in conference (averaging 6.28 wins per season), it would take him 10 more seasons to eclipse Stoops’ mark. And that’s cutting it mighty close just based on his own timeline he has in his head.“I don’t think I’ll coach when I’m 60,” Gundy said earlier this summer. “I don’t have the energy. It takes a ton of energy in the world today to run all over the place like you do. Go grab food, go do an interview and drive home late at night and go watch a game. It’s the same thing for us. Go to work early, deal with all the stuff you deal with – with 135 players, talk to the media, recruit, talk to kids.”Of course, winning 6.28 games on average in conference per year is a crazy good pace. It’s a pace that would ensure his Cowboys would remain in contention for Big 12 titles on a near-annual basis, meaning Gundy wouldn’t have a cloud of mediocrity over his head in this scenario. But let’s just assume he loses some steam halfway to 60, and goes through a rough patch. Where, then, might Gundy land? And could he supplant Stoops?Again, a hypothetical. But if Gundy can exorcise his demons with OU this season, I think OSU football could be on the verge of turning a new leaf. That is, if Gundy’s up for the challenge.“Every year, it gets a little more difficult whether you have enough energy to do what it takes to be successful,” said Gundy.last_img read more

VAR controversy in Spurs-Rochdale

first_imgVideos VAR causes controversy again as Spurs host Rochdale in FA Cup Ronan Murphy 04:53 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Heung-Min Son Tottenham 28022018 Getty Videos Tottenham Hotspur v Rochdale Rochdale Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup The video assistant referee overturned two goals from Tottenham in their replay with the League One side at Wembley, sparking more outrage Tottenham Hotspur’s FA Cup replay with Rochdale was mired in controversy as VAR ruled out an early Spurs goal and overturned a penalty.Erik Lamela had the ball in the net early in the match, but saw his goal chalked off as referee Paul Tierney went to the video assistant who cited a foul from Fernando Llorente in the build-up.Interesting start!Erik Lamela thinks he’s given Spurs the early 1-0 lead but the goal is ruled out by VAR. https://t.co/rcwHawaE4I— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 28, 2018VAR strikes againSpurs thought they had the lead, but Fernando Llorente was judged to have committed a foul.Robbie Savage was less than impressed pic.twitter.com/IePFp0rjWk— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 28, 2018Heung-Min Son put Spurs ahead after 24 minutes and had the chance to double the lead shortly after when VAR gave the hosts a penalty, but another controversial decision saw his stuttered spot kick deemed unlawful. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Son put the ball beyond Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis, but stopped during the run-up, and with players encroaching into the area before the ball was kicked, Tierney overuled the goal once more.VAR strikes again. https://t.co/PjuDCjRhcq— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 28, 2018-Spurs goal disallowed.-Spurs penalty ruled out and Son booked,-Rochdale draw level.That escalated quickly…What a pass though!BT Sport 2 HD & 4K UHD pic.twitter.com/iuyJOMvOOQ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 28, 2018Rochdale levelled the tie just three minutes later through Stephen Humphrys, but many fans and pundits felt that Spurs deserved to be three goals clear if it were not for VAR’s impact.If anything, Llorente was fouled. Hideous— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) February 28, 2018Rochdale’s MOTM so far. pic.twitter.com/fdrZvTmAvf— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 28, 2018Ah so that’s what VAR stands for”Very awful really”— Deluded Brendan (@DeludedBrendan) February 28, 2018What a joke of a referee the VAR is an absolute joke it took 5 mins to sort the penalty decision out what a joke— Graham Roberts (@GrahamRoberts4) February 28, 2018VAR is a waste of time but Rochdale have been excellent so far. Spurs desperate for half time.— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) February 28, 2018This is just the latest in a series of controversies surrounding VAR, which has been widely panned in England and elsewhere.Just this week, UEFA confirmed that it would not be used in the Champions League next season, with European football’s governing body deeming it unready for use.last_img read more

Goal Pressure Index Team of the Week

first_imgLeicester City v AFC Bournemouth Riyad Mahrez, Mo Salah and the Goal Pressure Index Team of the Week Goal 00:18 6/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Liverpool celebration Salah Mane Alexander Arnold Getty Images Leicester City v AFC Bournemouth Tottenham Hotspur v Huddersfield Town Liverpool v Newcastle United Manchester City v Chelsea Leicester City AFC Bournemouth Tottenham Hotspur Huddersfield Town Liverpool Newcastle United Manchester City Chelsea Premier League The Liverpool star found the net once again to inspire his side to another win, while the Leicester man struck a fabulous last-minute equaliser Mo Salah did it once again. This was the sort of match in which this counter-attacking Liverpool side were supposed to struggle – but Newcastle United’s deep block simply couldn’t contain the magnificent Egypt international.Pouncing to open the scoring in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Rafa Benitez’ side, Salah set another record as he sailed to the top of Europe’s top five leagues by scoring in his 26th separate competitive club match this season. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp His performance earned him a score of 90/100 on the Goal Pressure Index, presented by Sure and powered by Opta data, to make the Pressure Index Team of the Week.He is joined up front by Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, who struck a sensational 97th-minute free-kick to earn his side a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth, and Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son, who netted his eighth and ninth PL goals at Wembley this season to secure Spurs’ 2-0 win over Huddersfield.Son’s South Korean compatriot Ki Sung-yueng leads the midfield after he scored and assisted in a Premier League game for the first time since January 2014 (against Fulham for Sunderland) to inspire Swansea to a 4-1 over West Ham. Ki leads the Pressure Index overall this week, with a score of 97/100 as he came up trumps for the relegation-threatened Swans.Watch the video above to discover the full team.The Goal Pressure Index is presented by Sure, Official Partner of Chelsea FC, Everton FC and Southampton FC. Join the conversation on Twitter @Sure.last_img read more

What to Make of Another Big 12-Opening Loss for Gundy and OSU

first_imgYou can look at Oklahoma State’s 36-30 defeat to No. 12 Texas on Saturday through two lenses.The first, that of a pessimist. The woe is me crowd. The yeah, throw this season in the dumpster crowd.This crowd was not a fan of the play-calling against the Longhorns. This crowd took umbrage with that now-infamous fake field goal. This crowd … is calling for Dru Brown to see more reps.Full disclosure: this crowd might just be the worst.Then there’s the lens of an optimistic. This view may have a shade of orange in its prescription. In this crowd, some may be prepared to dub Spencer Sanders an all-timer. This crowd didn’t hate the fake field goal, despite the unusual circumstances. This crowd actually thinks Oklahoma State, a team that may have been an onside kick recovery away from a massive upset, might be a good football team.(OK, I give. This crowd is definitely me.)It’s incredible just how much a narrative can shift, isn’t it? Last year, against Iowa State, Oklahoma State was arguably a dropped Tylan Wallace deep ball — which he rarely ever does in any circumstance — from a Cyclones comeback. Instead, the sky began falling. And it kept falling.Last season was a cautionary tale that sometimes an early narrative can actually be right. It turned out, OSU last season was just an OK football team. Nothing special. Six regular season wins, six regular season losses. The definition of average.Is a loss to Texas the same warning sign? Despite that feeling in your gut you got when the clock read all zeroes on Saturday night, I don’t believe so. This much-maligned defense gave up only 36 points — two weeks removed from mighty LSU (heavily sarcastic air quotes) gave up 38. (LSU won, alas.) That questionable play-calling? It’s Mike Gundy and Sean Gleeson — two brilliant offense minds who uncharacteristically left points on the field. And oh, the talent level? On both sides of the ball, OSU has the horses to not only rebound and reclaim momentum in Big 12 play, but to reinforce that feeling you might have stashed away just below that Texas knot, that one that tells you that, perhaps, this team isn’t last year’s team. This team has moxie, spunk.And by golly, this team, despite a deflating Texas loss, is pretty stinkin’ good. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Stay Tuned: FCI at the G8 and G20 Summits

first_imgPosted on June 24, 2010July 14, 2014Click 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)A message from Family Care International:Family Care International will be at the G8 and G20 Summits in Canada this week, and you can follow our live updates on Facebook and Twitter!Follow FCI on Twitter: @familycareintlBecome a fan of FCI on FacebookAmy Boldosser, a member of FCI’s global advocacy team, will be in Toronto from Thursday through Sunday, making FCI one of the few international health NGOs that will be on the scene for these historic meetings. FCI, along with our colleagues from the Global Health Council, will also be blogging the summits at the Blog 4 Global Health; Amy will be posting on RH Reality Check too.Canada, the host country for both summits, has declared that maternal and child health will be a central focus of the G8 agenda. FCI and our advocacy partners from around the world are working to ensure that this is far more than a symbolic step — that the G8’s discussion leads to concrete financial commitments, and that governments are held accountable for delivering on these commitments and saving women’s and children’s lives.To learn more,see FCI president Ann Starrs’s recent article in The Lancet: “Momentum, mandates, and money: achieving health MDGs” (Note: free registration/login required). ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: For more information, read the “Call to Action for the G8” issued by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, or PMNCH (for which FCI serves as co-lead advocacy partner), which demands that G8 countries double their development aid for maternal, newborn, and child health.center_img To lend your voice, sign the ONE Campaign’s petition asking that the G8 commit to training an additional 3.5 million healthcare workers by 2015.Share this:last_img read more

Wolves sign Portugal goalkeeper Patricio

first_imgTransfers Wolves sign Portugal goalkeeper Patricio following Sporting resignation Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 00:25 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Rui Patricio Portugal Getty Transfers Wolverhampton Wanderers Sporting CP Premier League The 30-year-old, who is currently away on World Cup duty, has penned a four-year contract with a side preparing for life back in the Premier League Promoted Premier League side Wolves have signed Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio on a four-year contract.Patricio, 30, leaves Primeira Liga side Sporting CP to make the move to Molineux, becoming Wolves’ second new signing of the transfer window in a deal subject to international clearance.His arrival follows that of Raul Jimenez, who joined on loan from Benfica last week. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Patricio made 460 appearances for Sporting and kept 179 clean sheets, winning the Taca de Portugal twice and the Taca da Liga this past season.However, his time at Sporting ended in acrimony as he terminated his own contract in the aftermath of attack by a section of the club’s supporters at the end of last season after they missed out on qualification for the Champions League.Sporting have opened legal proceedings against Patricio and six other players.He is Portugal’s first-choice goalkeeper and helped them to their first major trophy at Euro 2016.On duty with Portugal at the World Cup, Patricio will look to ensure Wolves avoid an immediate return to the Championship having won promotion in comfortable fashion in 2017-18.Wolves finished top of England’s second tier with 99 points, finishing nine clear of Cardiff City in second and 11 ahead of third-placed Fulham, who won the play-off final to join the top two in the Premier League.last_img read more

Feed the GOAT and he will score! CR7 leaving greats behind

first_imgWorld Cup Feed the GOAT and he will score! Ronaldo leaving all the greats in his wake Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent in Moscow Last updated 1 year ago 22:00 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2018 Getty Images World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal v Morocco Morocco Portugal Opinion Cristiano Ronaldo’s goalscoring is without modern or historical precedent; against Morocco he broke another record. It’s futile to deny his brilliance Lionel Messi took part in a memorable pre-World Cup photoshoot which attempted to underline his class as the Greatest Of All Time – the GOAT. For Paper Magazine , the Argentina captain posed with an actual real-life goat.The rivalry being what it is, it appears Cristiano Ronaldo has taken exception to this seemingly definitive categorisation and has set about correcting it, one facial hair at a time. Against Morocco, he not only debuted a new goatee beard but has begun to stroke it lovingly as well. In his own mind Cristiano has always been the GOAT and so begins his latest quest to convince the world of it. The best way to do that, the beard aside? Goals, goals and more goals. Eighty-five of them in fact.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar In Group B’s second match, Ronaldo overtook Ferenc Puskas as Europe’s highest international goalscorer – even his place as the continent’s greatest modern marksman was long assured.Portugal fans have watched their No. 7 find the net for the national team 85 times and there’s more to come. Each one nowadays is greeted with that familiar, primal growl of “SIIII!” that has become his calling card.And if his World Cup scoring record looked modest before Russia 2018, it is finally befitting of a man of Ronaldo’s stature.He had scored in three tournaments running before showing up here but there was only one goal in each of the World Cups in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He had been fighting fitness concerns in the past before major tournaments but here – even at 33 – he is razor-sharp.Against Spain, first, and now against Morocco, he has blunted another weapon in the arsenal of the critics.Portugal’s GOAT and now Europe’s GOAT. When will his status be beyond reproach?Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2018You would assume that with more football available than ever – and each one of Ronaldo’s matches for club and country accessible to fans all over the world – it would mean that the extra scrutiny would place his prowess beyond doubt.Still for some reason, players from the past such as Puskas and Di Stefano are lionised and admired as every bit better than their modern gladiatorial equivalents.That makes no sense considering the archive footage we have for those greats is nowhere near as extensive as what we have for Ronaldo.Why deny Ronaldo is the best when the evidence is borne out every time he steps on the field? We can see it with our own eyes.He may not necessarily be the greatest exponent of the game that the world has ever seen. Indeed it would have to be a pretty compelling argument to make the case he’s a better ‘footballer’ than Messi currently.But that’s hardly the point. He deals in numbers, those tangible football facts, and in dominating the big moments.Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2018His hat-trick against Spain – especially that last-gasp free-kick – will go down as one of the World Cup’s all-time great performances.His goal here against Morocco rocketed him to four goals in two games and ensured Portugal earned a tally of four points and making qualification as good as secure.The form that he’s in, you wouldn’t bet against him plundering many more before the record books are solidified for Russia 2018 and – who knows – he might even overtake the one-tournament goalscoring record set at 13 by France’s Just Fontaine in 1958.That’s what Ronaldo remains capable of; obliterating records and taking away the only deniability old fans have to his greatness. He is stronger, fitter, leaner, meaner, hungrier than all the old favourites and no numbers can stand in his way.Cristiano Ronaldo GOAT GFXSo out go Eusebio – for the national team, and the likes of Di Stefano, Puskas, Hugo Sanchez and Raul for Real Madrid. This was the year in which he bettered Puskas’s tally for European Cups and in 2016 he bettered Eusebio by winning an international tournament.He’s upending the historical order and leaving modern fans in no doubt about his status as No. 1. The world has never seen a scorer or a winner like him before.He has found a home in this Portugal team; the criticism in previous generations had been that they lacked a genuine No. 9. Ronaldo has provided that for them and the national team has never looked back.This is not a one-man show by any means. Yes, the rest of them facilitate Ronaldo but he is not asked to do everything in an attacking sense like Messi is for Argentina. He is thriving on the service his team-mates are giving him.Feed the GOAT and he will score.last_img read more

Want to Improve Your Email Results? Ask These 5 Questions Before You Hit Send

first_imgDo 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.last_img read more

5 Traits of Great Board Members

first_imgA great board member offers so much to your organization, from specialized professional expertise to high-level fundraising. It can be a challenge to build an A-team board—or even know what to look for—so we asked Rachel Muir, vice president of training at Pursuant and founder of Girlstart, to shine some light on the subject. Here are the five traits Rachel recommends looking for when recruiting for your board. Great board members hold themselves and the organization accountable. Quality board members know it’s not just the organization holding the bag. They take responsibility for their actions and the role that they play in supporting and advancing your cause. They’re passionate about the mission. It’s that passion that allows your board to be successful in recruiting other people to your organization. You want to put board members who feel a strong connection to your work front and center in all you do since their passion gets other people excited about your mission. They open doors to donors—and are donors themselves. Your board’s enthusiasm for your mission furthers your message and compels others to give. Part of enticing new donors includes the board demonstrating their own financial investment in your mission by being donors themselves. Incidentally, having board members who are donors is increasingly important when your nonprofit seeks funding such as grants for capital projects. They focus on the mission with a view to the big picture. Sometimes boards can get involved in micromanaging an organization. That isn’t the best use of their time or your nonprofit’s time. A great board leaves the details to staff and volunteers and keeps its collective eye on the big picture to help your nonprofit stay on track. They aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions. A great board member is ready and willing to ask questions that could shake things up a bit. These could include questions about fiscal accountability or your organization’s overall direction and future. It’s easy to “go along to get along,” but real progress often comeswhen people are willing to speak up, even when it might feel uncomfortable or means expressing an unpopular opinion. So, once you’ve found someone who seems like a fantastic board member, what’s next? Set them up for success from the very start. Make sure every board member knows what your nonprofit expects from their service. Rachel suggests using this downloadable board contract that you can customize to suit your organization’s needs. Want more great ideas from Rachel Muir for helping your board become more engaged and proactive? Download the complete Nonprofit 911 webinar, 10 Tips to Get Your Board Fundraising in One Hour, right now!last_img read more

Best Practices in Donor Thank Yous: Q&A with Pursuant’s Rachel Muir

first_imgIn a recent Nonprofit 911 webinar, Rachel Muir shared strategies to help nonprofits transform their year-end donors into year-round supporters through research, strategy, and plain old hard work.In this post, Rachel takes on another fundraising challenge: thanking donors. She shares her answers to questions from fundraising professionals about how they can make the most of this valuable donor communication.If you include a donation envelope in a thank you letter, is that considered asking for another donation? Rachel Muir: My advice is let the thank you letter express meaningful and heartfelt gratitude only. This letter is not the place to risk offending donors with a donation request. Check out this article for tips on making the most of this donor communication.How donors define over-solicitation?RM: According to Penelope Burk’s research, donors define over-solicitation as being asked to give before they were told their first gift made an impact.If you have a big fundraising event (like a donor lunch) and people donate money, how do you thank them all? Is it ok to do a form letter after a big event with a handwritten signature?RM: Thanking donors isn’t optional, it’s essential. Make sure you plan ahead so that you have enough help thanking donors properly after the event. Most people just want to take a few days off after a big event, but if you crafted a great experience, your donors may be basking in the glow of feeling great about your organization. Do what you need to do to make this last!Yes, your thank you can be a letter you personally sign. Copy will be key here. Your letter can also be a card on stationary with your logo. Digital printing makes these inexpensive to produce.My board is not involved in fundraising at all. My boss appears to have limited interest in getting them engaged. Do you have any advice on making the case for their involvement in fundraising? RM: You aren’t alone! Many fundraisers share your dilemma. Having board members thank donors is the perfect way to introduce them to fundraising for your organization. While they may not reach most donors directly, the ones that they do will be overjoyed to be thanked personally by a board member!  Prepare the board members with a thank you script and a couple of discovery questions. Take five minutes at your monthly board meeting to hand out donor names and scripts and let them make the calls. Don’t forget to ask them to report back their results too!To start, download this great webinar on getting your board members engaged in fundraising to get started.  If you want more Board resources, review this guide with more than 50 tips to develop your board.We are just starting to be more systematic in making phone calls to solicit annual appeal donations. What do you think is the most important part of phone solicitations?  RM: No doubt you are realizing how much persistence it requires to get a donor on the phone! To start, train staff members making calls by rehearsing call scenarios. Empower them with good discovery details on the donors or give them time to research the donors before they make their calls.  Make sure they are prepared with great discovery questions and next steps, such as inviting the donors to events like a behind the scenes tour, a reception for program recipients, or a breakfast with leadership. Even if they never come, the invitation is the cultivation.My organization has different “tiers” of donors according to their giving. Should we be thanking them differently, like a cocktail party for the higher-end givers and just cards for those who give less? RM: Donors do not know what kind of love and attention is waiting for them at higher gift amounts. You do, but they don’t. Most organizations use gift amounts to determine if a donor gets into a major gift portfolio when they should also be examining behavioral indicators and wealth screening to make those decisions.What is best way to reconnect with lapsed donors?RM: One of donors’ biggest pet peeves is not knowing that their gift made a difference. That’s why it’s invaluable for you to reconnect with them. While you may be tempted to talk at them about all the great things you are doing, what they want to hear is that you remember and value them (and their gifts!). Mention what you achieved with their gift as well as a highlight of a program that’s of interest to them. This will help reinforce that they made the right decision to support you!BONUS:  Want to spend some more time with Rachel?  Join her for Fundraising Bootcamp in Dallas, Texas!This one-day training will be loaded with tips and tools to transform your fundraising.  All Network for Good readers receive a $100 discount when they type FRIEND at check out!  As a special bonus, the first 10 guests will get one night free hotel when they sign up for the training. Rachel Muir, CFRE. is Vice President of Training at Pursuant, where she transforms individuals into confident, successful fundraisers through classroom, custom, and online training.  When she was just 26, Rachel Muir launched Girlstart, a non-profit organization to empower girls in math, science, engineering and technology in the living room of her apartment with $500 and a credit card.  Several years later, she had raised more than 10 million dollars and was featured on Oprah, CNN, and the Today show.last_img read more