We’ll maximize our giving opportunities on the site and give them high visibility on our home page and other pages, especially our most visited pages and those pages that tend to evoke strong emotions (animal pages). This is a sample plan for an imaginary local animal rescue organization called Save the Animals (STA) which is trying to take their outreach efforts online to become well known in the community. While the specifics of your online fundraising plan will be unique for your organization, the overarching themes will likely be similar. This intensive plan calls for a relatively high budget but you will likely want or need to dedicate much less.The goals of this online fundraising plan are to:Open an online channel of communication with direct mail donors who want it.Acquire new online donors.Cultivate and re-solicit existing and new online donors.The key to acquiring new online donors will be developing partnerships to drive traffic to our site, building a large e-mail list for prospecting, and making our site even more successful in converting visitors into donors. In addition, we’ll expand the opportunities for raising money elsewhere online. At the same time, we will use our direct mail (and telephone) program to offer online communications to those donors and to integrate online communication with other fundraising communications.1. WebsiteOur site should be a major tool in engaging and interacting with new and existing donors, while still meeting the needs of our various other constituencies- people seeking to adopt, kids, animal lovers, etc. Some of our donors also probably visit our site now and then, so it needs to demonstrate to them that they’ve invested wisely. They should see offline fundraising themes reflected on the site, new content, things to do, compelling features, etc. Many new people will also visit our site simply to look at the animals, without any intention of adopting. We’ll need online mechanisms to engage those people and to turn them into donors. Here’s what we’ll do to make that happen.We’ll re-develop our site to improve its look and feel and increase its functionality. We’ll focus on finding vendors and/or application service providers (ASPs) who offer easy-maintenance solutions to reduce the burden on staff. Then, we’ll work to make our site more appealing to our various constituencies with interactivity (surveys, contests), news, compelling appeals, easy event sign-ups, and new features like e-cards. On an ongoing basis, we’ll monitor opportunities for promoting STA’s work online in the context of animal-related news and our many events.2. E-mail marketingWe’ll develop an e-mail outreach program for communicating regularly with donors and prospects. The program will initially include a monthly e-newsletter with donor and non-donor versions and occasional action or event alerts. Eventually, we’ll build in targeted e-mail messages for people with expressed interests in certain subjects like a no-kill policy, dogs, feral cat care, etc., and deliver e-mail renewals for existing online donors; and solicitations and special appeals for both existing donors and prospects. As our e-mail list grows, we’ll test ways to use email to boost response to direct mail, such as:– Sending a pre-mail e-mail that tells people that they’ll be receiving an important letter in the mail or invite people to respond– Sending a post-mail e-mail that says “We hope you received our recent letter. If you haven’t had a chance to give yet, please give online today. It’s fast, easy, and efficient.”We’ll promote some online services in our direct mail – especially our store during the holidays. Increasing our visibility on our offline corporate partners’ Web sites through links, banners, and special campaigns. We’ll develop and implement strategies for building our e-mail list. In addition to offering simple email sign-ups on our site, we’ll design creative ways to build our prospect e-mail list through incentives, such as offering a chance to win a gift certificate to a local pet store for people who subscribe to our e-newsletter.3. Increasing site trafficWith a compelling website and technology in place to manage content and donor relationships, we’ll develop campaigns to drive traffic to our site. We’ll work to improve our search engine and directory rankings and links, create and run campaigns on our site and elsewhere, and develop corporate partnerships and sponsorships to drive traffic to our site. Strategies will include:Finding an appealing, easy-to-remember URL We will develop a persistent program for gradually gathering the e-mail addresses of direct mail donors who want to add e-mail to their communications with us. We will test asks in the direct mail (P.S., buck slip, reply device, etc.) and track response to finding the most effective and least expensive ways to gather e-mail addresses without depressing gift response. We’ll send test and track communications and re-solicitations to these donors.6. Tracking, benchmarking, reportingWe’ll evaluate the e-mail messaging program by tracking the number of recipients that are converted into new donors and the number of gifts and renewals received from existing donors in direct response to an e-mail solicitation. We’ll also carefully monitor the overall giving levels of donors receiving the e-news versus donors not receiving the e-news to evaluate the e-news as a cultivation tool. Promoting our fundraising campaigns on media sites. We’ll develop graphics and try to place them free on national, regional and local media sites. We’ll send a cultivation mailer to our lapsed donors inviting them to visit our Web site. We can direct them to a special page on our website that makes an appeal for why they should make another gift. Promoting our site as a no-kill information center by disseminating (free) content, tips, facts and interactive devices to other sites with links back to our site. The spring appeal will be combined with a no-kill (or other issues) awareness campaign with special web pages and a strong tell-a-friend element. While it will have a fundraising element, the focus of this campaign will be to build our online reputation and our e-mail list.5. Integration with Direct MailWe’ll use traditional communications channels to build our donor e-mail list and promote our website. Promoting our events online through event listing services like CitySearch.com, local media listings, and others. Maximizing our search engine rankings by improving our meta tags, buying some keywords, and paying for increased rankings at some sites.4. Special CampaignsWe’ll run a few targeted online campaigns throughout the year: one in December, and one in the spring.The December campaign will have a holiday focus with special holiday giving opportunities (gift memberships, with the calendar as one of its features) and also drive traffic to our store. We’ll evaluate our site traffic to determine which content is most appealing and increase the visibility of that content, as well as tie in giving opportunities.7. BudgetExpenses depend on many choices, but might include:Website redevelopment (including back-end functionality) $15,000-$100,000E-mail messaging system set-up fee $250-$500 one timeWebsite maintenance $500-$2,000 monthlyE-mail messaging on-going fees up to $250 monthlyBanner ad development $5,000 annuallyOnline campaigns $10,000-$50,000 eachConsultant – ongoing monthly retainer $3,500 monthly– Consultation on website development– Development of online partnerships– Production and management of monthly e-news and up to one stand-alone solicitation to donors and non-donors– E-mail messaging system management, including monthly data imports/exports to integrate with offline database– Integration with direct mail– Copywriting for appeals for the site
Whether you’re building a Web site from scratch or simply revamping your existing site, it’s helpful to understand what to include, what to leave out, and how to organize the data you’re presenting. In this article, modified from a blog post on the AU Interactive blog, one technology strategist offers simple ways to think about your Web site.1. EASY is the most important feature of any Web site, Web application, or program. The web is about fulfilling needs. Create a site that lets people find what they need as easily as possible. This means prioritizing:Discoverability. Drive usage. Everything on your Web site should be easy to find; features should enhance content, not distract from it.Recoverability. Generate features that make it easy for others tell friends about your Web site or bookmark what they’ve found. Remove barriers to account signups. Encourage tagging. Make sure that these actions are readily available and free to the user.2. Visual design and copy are extremely important. How you communicate with visitors via text should complement how you communicate with your visitors visually. Remember: Your organization’s credibility is at stake with your Web site. Begin with the design, then the markup, then develop the back end. Remove distractions and simplify.3. Open up your data as much possible. The future is not in “owning” data, so share it with others. Expose every axis of your Web content for people to “mash up,” or reincorporate, into their Web sites.Offer an RSS feed for everything on your site. Use an application programming interface (API), which will allow requests to be handled automatically by computer program, although be sure to protect yourself from intentional or unintentional abuse (for example, a newbie programmer unwittingly making 100 server requests per second).4. Test, test, test. You can do your best to make educated guesses about what will work, but you will never know unless you create it and then test it. Create goals to be able to gauge and measure progress.5. Release features early and often. Always be aware of your end goals. Don’t offer “me too” features just to have them – stay true to your overall purpose. Small increments show visible progress: Start with a core set of features, then create plug-ins for additional functionality. Ideally, your development should be modular, incremental, and well-documented to mitigate future problems.Remember, too: If you stay personable and honest and set expectations, people will be a lot more receptive when things on your site break.6. Be special. Passion for what you are doing and creating is paramount. If you believe in it, do it. Don’t let anyone else tell you that it’s not possible or shouldn’t be done. Create purple cows. Challenge the status quo. Do it against the odds, and with little start up money. (Raising too much money can hurt you and make you lose focus.) Prove all your detractors wrong. Passion and a belief in yourself will get you through the rough times.7. Don’t be special. Don’t reinvent the wheel: Use common standards or open-source frameworks whenever possible. Also, try to share user databases, e-commerce systems, and other elements between your projects to prevent a “siloing” effect, whereby systems won’t interoperate.8. If you plan on developing a successful Web application, plan for scalability from the ground up. Anticipate growth and plan for problems ahead of time. Document everything. If you want a good real-world case study on scalability, check out Inside LiveJournal’s Backend (PDF). Find a top-notch hardware partner if you don’t want to deal with the nitty-gritty details yourself.9. Identify the tools you need. A few to watch, pay attention to, or implement right away:Microformats . This set of simple, open-data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards will help open up your data easily and contextually.Adobe Apollo , a cross-OS runtime that allows developers to leverage their existing Web development skills (such as Flash, Flex, HTML, Ajax) to easily build and deploy desktop Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), Web applications that have the features and functionality of traditional desktop applications.Whobar , a tool that manages digital identity by allowing users to log in to a Web site using InfoCard, OpenID, or i-names.Akismet , which helps prevent comment and trackback spam.10. Keep abreast of user-generated content and social software trends. This is a bit of a catchall, but I’d like to list what has been working and not working regarding user-generated content.Not working:Requiring participation from everyone. Not all users need to participate to generate social value.Buying communities.Social networks for the sake of social networks.A Wikipedia-like consensus model, whereby many people contribute to a single idea for the greater good, is not a good model in general and probably cannot be duplicated outside of Wikipedia.Working:Giving users control; being open to different uses you did not anticipate.The Dunbar principle, which holds that there are a limited number of people with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships. Target segments of under 150 people.The Web site should provide value to the individual; the organization should derive aggregated value from all the individuals that use it.Social sites have and need different types of users; each should be motivated and rewarded equally.Many voices generate emergent order: You can get much value by tracking all of that user data.Copyright: AU InteractiveSource: http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/webbuilding/page6694.cfm
Even though nonprofit organizations aren’t required by law to publish annual reports, most nonprofit leaders recognize the value annual reports can provide. A well-written annual report will help you demonstrate your accomplishments to current and future donors, cultivate new partnerships, and recognize important people. Nonprofit managers working on annual reports most frequently ask these five questions.Do we really need an annual report?Yes. You don’t need a beautiful, full-color, glossy 40-page production, but you do need some sort of accounting of the organization’s work over the past year. Even if it is only a two-page flyer you photocopy, you should get in the habit of producing an annual report.What’s the most important part of an annual report?The most important part of a nonprofit annual report is the description of your accomplishments. We want to know what you did, but more importantly, we want to know why you did it. What were the results? Why did you spend your time and money the way you did? What difference did it make? Don’t assume that readers will automatically understand how your activities help you achieve your mission. Connect the dots for them.What needs to go in the financial section?The financial section of a nonprofit annual report should clearly explain where revenues come from and how they are spent. It’s also helpful to include pie charts, bar graphs, or other visuals that help readers see the big picture and understand financial trends. A short narrative description is also essential, explaining in plain English the meaning behind all those numbers.How do we handle the donor lists?Organize your list of donors however it makes the most sense for your organization. Most nonprofits organize donors by contribution level and then alphabetize each of those lists. You can also alphabetize the full list without regard to donation level.What should an annual report look like?If you aren’t sure how your annual report should look, spend some time looking at other annual reports to discover what you like and don’t like. You can find links to over 100 nonprofit annual reports at www.NonprofitAnnualReports.net See how other organizations in your field or geographic area are designing their reports.You’ll find more resources and training on writing nonprofit annual reports at www.NonprofitMarketingGuide.com/annualreports.htm. About the Author: Kivi Leroux Miller provides training and personal coaching on all aspects of nonprofit marketing and communications to organizations big and small across the U.S. If you want to write newsletters and annual reports that your supporters will love or create websites and blogs that educate and inspire, visit www.NonprofitMarketingGuide.com, where you’ll find a free e-newsletter, articles, webinars, e-courses, and more.
PackagingPackaging need not refer to a tangible product. Packaging is how your organization puts itself together. How is it “wrapped” or presented to your constituencies? Does your direct mail have a similar look or feel to your brochures or annual report? Are there common denominators that “brand” your organization? Work with marketing communications professionals or volunteers to conduct a communications audit of your existing materials. Ensure that your staff is not distributing materials they developed themselves that look like a young student created and photocopied it. Cheap, poorly designed materials can destroy your credibility more than you can imagine. Hire specialists or ask design students or volunteers for assistance.Develop a new look every 2 to 3 years to keep fresh. This does not mean changing your logo, name, or corporate stationery. This relates to the standards you use for all your communications vehicles. What font and colors do you use? What graphics and images do you use to convey your message? Establishing a manual will help guide your staff and volunteers in using the same standards. Consistency is the key here to build your brand. Elaine Fogel is president and CMO of Solutions Marketing & Consulting LLC, a boutique-style agency with a strong focus on nonprofit and public organizations. Elaine is a senior contributor to MarketingProfs.com and its Daily Fix blog—rated in the top five marketing blogs. She chairs the American Marketing Association’s Nonprofit Special Interest Group and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ international communications and marketing committee. Her articles have appeared in many marketing and nonprofit publications. You can reach Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.This article first was originally published on December 13, 2007 based on a December 23, 2004 article in Today’s Fundraiser. It has been updated. © Elaine Fogel 2004 Reputation This is a key brand ingredient for nonprofits and is heavily weighted. It can set you apart, or erode your existence. One negative media report on a nonprofit can set it back to the point where it may not recover. A nonprofit’s main asset is its reputation. A product like Tylenol, which had its share of brand erosion several years ago after they recalled bottles following incidents of tampering, recovered with good PR tactics and investment.The public, however, has higher expectations for nonprofits and sets the bar at a different level where skepticism rules. Ensure that everything you do furthers your mission each day. Develop a crisis communications plan long before you need one. Conscript a risk assessment committee and conduct an assessment for the entire organization. Just knowing where your gaps and weaknesses lie, then making modifications may help avert future disasters. In the nonprofit sector, we sometimes market services and occasionally a product, but most frequently, we market “heart.” The by-product of our existence has more importance than any consumer product can muster. The results of our success affect others. If a product fails to live up to its reputation, a consumer can ask for a refund or simply choose not to buy it again. But at a nonprofit, we typically help people (or animals) live a better quality of life—an outcome that cannot be refunded or returned.So, how do you differentiate yourselves from others to access the funding dollars you desperately need? How can you create a brand without spending a fortune? Focus on the cornerstones of a brand: name, packaging, history, reputation, and customer experience.NameIf your name says it all and has brand recognition, keep it. Work with it. The American Cancer Society doesn’t need to explain what it does. because it’s self-evident. Similarly, names like the Phoenix Art Museum or the National Center for Victims of Crime give prospective supporters a good idea of their mandates. If you don’t have a large marketing budget, this is half the battle—name recognition.If your organization’s name doesn’t speak to who you are, and you don’t have big bucks to build your brand, confusion can result. Compassionate Friends or Concern America may be worthy organizations, but just from their names alone, it’s difficult to tell what they do. In these cases, it takes a strategic approach and money to build brand equity—the public image they impart. If there are no options here, then develop a tagline that sets you apart and hints at what you stand for. Use it on every piece of communication to help build recognition for your cause or mission. HistoryI used to think that a nonprofit’s history couldn’t possibly interest anyone. Every time I heard about my former organization’s origins, I would gag and ask, “But how are we relevant to today’s donor or client?” That’s only true to a point. Without overindulging your organization’s history in print, longevity in the nonprofit world can increase credibility, bringing value to your organization just as it would in the consumer world.Tell your story in a few sentences on your Web site in “Who We Are” or “About Us” pages or in your corporate brochure. I wouldn’t recommend a diatribe. Connect the dots from your origin to your organization’s relevance today, explaining how you bring your mission full circle. Supporters typically help organizations whom they believe are worthy and do good work. Your history helps to sustain that. Customer ExperienceEvery donor, volunteer, staff member, or prospective supporter is your customer. Their experiences at every organizational touchpoint help establish their impressions and may make the difference between their support and avoidance. From the person who answers your telephone, or the staff who respond to donation receipt questions, each individual plays a significant role in this experience and thus builds your reputation.Hire a market research company to conduct mystery shopper calls to your organization using different scenarios, or conduct a survey of those who have used your services or made gifts to your organization. If you don’t have the funds, conscript marketing students or your lay committee. This will help you identify the gaps that need zapping. Develop a customer service manual for staff and volunteers that outlines your protocols and standards, and then reward those who model it well.Understanding what branding is in the nonprofit sector is only the beginning. Being proactive will help reap the benefits of increased exposure, revenue, and volunteers. In this competitive marketplace, nonprofits need to differentiate themselves from the throngs of other choices. Make your case for support easier to convey by defining your brand, living it, and refining it when necessary. And when you can afford it, bring in marketing communications specialists to guide you. You can’t afford NOT to market and brand effectively today. It’s an investment in your organization’s tomorrows.
Photo by sadalit, flickr.If you are a company or nonprofit teaming up to do cause-related marketing in 2008, take heed: slapping charitable branding on a product is not enough. Today’s consumers are socially conscious but they are also savvy — and skeptical. Cause-related ventures are held to high standards, and vague claims of social good are scrutinized. So, in support of Cone’s What Do You Stand For? project, here are the four things all cause-related ventures should stand for:1. SuitabilityDoes the partnership pass the sniff test for suitability? For example, even if the company donated all of its profits, Hummer would never be a good partner for Greenpeace. Sounds obvious, right? But I’ve seen some partners that seemed poorly suited this year, including Trident promoting Save the Children nutrition and literacy programs. Gum doesn’t fit with nutrition — or literacy, since it’s not even allowed in libraries or schools. Operation Smile would have made more sense as a partner. You want a fit that makes sense to the consumer – it’s stickier that way (pun intended). You also want a fit that makes sense to the partners, who should look for a deeper win-win. An ideal partnership is one where the cause and company’s objectives reinforce each other. 2. AuthenticityA close cousin of suitability, authenticity is about the company walking the talk of the cause. A nice example is the Pure Prevention campaign, which my organization helped plan and support (so I’m biased). Luna Bar walks the talk of health concerns and nutrition, so it makes sense for them to support a cause that focuses on the environmental causes of breast cancer. Check it out here.3. TransparencyThis is HUGE. It’s not enough to say, we’re partners and a portion of proceeds benefits xyz charity. Both the company and the charity need to say what amount of money is going where to do what. Very, very clearly – on everything. Put it on price tags, marketing materials, everywhere. Err on the side of openness. The RED controversy shows there are people out there watching! (PS: RED has done a good job on reporting – check out their site.)4. Selling PointLots of research, including from Cone, shows consumers will buy cause-related products over those that don’t have a charitable tie-in, PRICE AND QUALITY BEING EQUAL. So don’t think alignment with a cause is a unique value proposition, unless you have the same price and quality. If you don’t, you need other selling points. The Susan G. Komen partnerships make things pink, which believe it or not, is a selling point — people went crazy for Campbell’s cans in pink because they looked neat (and were different and unexpected). So color can actually be a selling point. What value can you add to you add to the product in question that extends and supplements the charitable merits it presents? Figure it out. You want people to buy into this!I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to follow these principles – and don’t just take my word for it. From Cause-Related Marketing Blog, here’s a great analysis of what happens when you don’t.
1. We’re not our audienceCheck that appeal/letter/message before you send it. Is it focused on you or your audience? The correct approach: focus on, respect and engage the audience first.2. Our audience doesn’t think like usCheck how you make your organization/services/information accessible to people. Is it presented to match your org chart or the mindframe of your audience? Correct approach: you guessed it, the latter.3. Our audience doesn’t take action without guidanceCheck every communication with your audience. Does it make it clear what you’re asking them to do and why? Is your “ask” unmistakable? Make sure it is.
My esteemed colleague, William Masson, sent me this story in today’s Washington Post. It chronicles the story of how how Devraj Kori (Dave), a 17 year-old from Fairfax County, VA, got the attention of 9,000 people in 1 week.I hope you’ll read the full article but for the sake of time, here’s a summary.Last Thursday, Dave called Dean Tistadt, chief operating officer for the Fairfax, VA county system AT HOME to ask him why he hadn’t closed the schools for a snow day. Dave’s call was returned later that day by Mrs. Tistadt who was NOT AT ALL PLEASED by the young man’s intrusion. Here is what she said.“How dare you call us at home! If you have a problem with going to school, you do not call somebody’s house and complain about it. Get over it kid and go to school.” (Yikes! Actually it’s a little more nasty than this but you’ll have to check it out yourself here.)Dave, who I imagine, was NOT AT ALL PLEASED by Mrs. Tistadt response, downloaded her message from his cellphone and posted it as an audio link on Facebook with the message “Let them know what you think about schools not being cancelled!” He also posted The Tistadt’s work and home phone numbers. Finally, he ended his “advocacy campaign” by posting Mrs. Tistadt’s message on YouTube.The rest, you might say, is history… Within 24 hours 100’s of people had listened to Mrs. Tistadt’s message on Facebook and thanks to the viral nature of the Web that number had increased to 9,000 as of yesterday!It’s interesting to note that Dave’s “campaign,” which started as a plea for an additional snow day (clearly not one of the most urgent issues of our time) has now morphed into much more philosophical debate. Some folks are calling it a clash of the generations, others are debating privacy issues, while still others have applauded Dave for “exercising his First Amendment Rights.” Regardless of your take, this story is an EXCELLENT case study of how to use the Internet to achieve your advocacy goals. Specifically, here are the 6 key ingredients for online marketing that are illuminated by this recent “storm.”1) Make sure your campaign is urgent and timely. Dave did not wait weeks (and slog through an ARDUOUS brand approval process) to send out his “appeal.” Instead, he uploaded the audio file from his cellphone to YouTube and posted it to Facebook on the same frigid day. The point is that his “campaign” may not have worked so well if he had sent it out a week later and the weather had turned warmer. The story wouldn’t have been timely; it would have turned stale.2) Make your “ask for support” concrete and easy to do. I can’t stress enough how important it is to make it EASY and OBVIOUS for people to do what you want them to do. Why? Because people are BUSY! Dave was so smart to pose a question and post two phone numbers on Facebook. That’s it! Follow his example. Figure out what your audience can do and ask them to do that ONE thing. I know this can feel frustrating because there is so little time and so much to do in the world. But you can’t save the world overnight.3) Speak in your own voice, in other words be real. I’m not sure why this is the case, but the culture of the Internet is a VERY different beast from the culture of offline media. Specifically, “Web speak” tends to be more informal, more down-to-earth, i.e. more REAL than broadcast communications. Don’t make the mistake of using the same voice for both mediums or your campaign may fail. Be sure to be approachable and accessible when you are online.4) Send your appeal to the right audience. This “rule” is so obvious that it almost seems silly to emphasize but let’s face it many of us still forget to “target” our campaigns. ALL successful marketing campaigns require that THE RIGHT PEOPLE receive the right message at the right time. Online marketing campaigns are no different. They only work with people who are also online and facile with “Web 2.0 tools.”5) Use communications vehicles that can easily go “viral.” Dave could have created a flyer and taped it to his classmate’s lockers to publicize his plight but he didn’t which is good because it wouldn’t have worked. While “direct mail” appeals may help you spread the word to several hundred folks, by their very nature they are unlikely to go viral. If you want to reach LARGE numbers of people you’ll have to use the tools that enable you to do that. Short of buying a $100K spot on broadcast media, the Internet continues to be the highest leverage vehicle for reaching thousands of people overnight.6) Diversify. Dave used both YouTube and Facebook as “tools” for his campaign. I bet he also “telemarketed,” that is called several of his friends to tell his story, and sent out e-mail. This is an important point. Don’t be wedded to using one marketing tool alone – diversify. Use traditional and non-traditional media to get out the word. You never know what will drive the most response.Bonus: Being controversial always helps! Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a good story or drama, particularly one that is controversial. While I think we all share this trait, younger folks in particular place a high value on “bucking the system.” That is in part why “The Truth Campaign” has been so successful. If you want to add a little spice to your markering campaign, make it controversial. This will get people talking and help you spread the word.I would love your thoughts re: other key ingredients for being successful online. Write me!Source: The Nonprofit Technology Blog:http://www.nonprofittechnologyblog.org/About the Author:Jocelyn Harmon is the Director of Sales & Marketing for NPower Greater DC Region. Jocelyn has over seven years of experience in development, marketing and communications for nonprofits, with special expertise in corporate and foundation relations, special events and online marketing, Prior to joining NPower she was employed as Director of Development and Communications for the National Council of Nonprofit Associations/The Nonprofit Congress – the network of state and regional associations serving over 22,000 nonprofits in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Jocelyn received her B.A. in Literature from New York University and her M.A. in Sociology from the University of Washington. In 2006 and 2007, she served on the American Marketing Association Foundation’s Nonprofit Marketing Conference Committee. She has also been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals since 2000.
1. Don’t do a newsletter, do something different.People are inundated with newsletters, just like they are with wristbands and appeals with address labels. Yawn. So why not put your time and energy into something more unique and personalized? Like a phone call from your staff five minutes after someone gives or journal entries from program beneficiaries?2. If you do a newsletter, write to the medium.If you still do a newsletter through the mail, fine, if it follows #3 on this list. But when you take your newseletter online (and you should), you CANNOT simply take the format you would use in the mail and throw it into an email! Write to the medium. Online communications need to be shorter and formatted for the Web. You should not have to download a PDF and turn pages on your computer. Grab attention with photos, short text, good stories. As more consumers access your emails via mobile, you have to meet them there with worthwhile, easy-to-use content.3. Make it about the donors and what they did — or whoever is your target audience.The newsletter should not be about how great you are, it should make your donor feel important. It should be about how great your donor (or audience member) is. And it should do something for that audience – make them feel good about themselves, or, if you’re a membership organization, make their life easier. Giving out information about your charity is not the same thing as making someone feel good! I’m waiting for someone to make the newsletter so much about the donor that they use technology to insert the name of the donor in the newsletter title. I’d be blown away with a newsletter called “How Katya has helped CARE”. Even if you don’t go that far, do everything you can to write to the audience and their interests. That’s the key to a good newsletter, and the key to all marketing, always. Consumers expect us to talk to them personally, and we have to deliver. I get about a dozen nonprofit newsletters a week. Most are so poor they aren’t worth reading, and for that reason, they weren’t worth writing. There are notable exceptions, but in general, I feel about newsletters the same way I feel about most mission statements-nonprofits spend a whole lot of time on them, but no one is really inspired by them. So how do you become the dazzling exception? Here are three suggestions for improving your nonprofit newsletters.
Need to start online fundraising? Have you checked out PayPal or Google Checkout?It’s time to consider a better (but still free!) solution. Network for Good provides a free online fundraising service to registered 501(c)3 organizations — DonateNow Lite.How does DonateNow Lite compare to Paypal?Donor experience is heightened because of Network for Good’s use of a donation form (rather than a shopping cart).Donors receive automated tax receipts and online donation history.You can accept recurring donations.You can track donations with online reports.Our service is registered to process donations for nonprofits from the residents of all 50 states + DC — PayPal is not. (While Network for Good is a registered charity in all requiring states, we recommend that you also seek professional advice for your unique situation in complying with applicable laws governing charitable appeals in the respective states.)Network for Good is a nonprofit like you are.We offer our subscribers free fundraising training & resources at www.fundraising123.org.Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions!
What does digital fundraising look like in your organization?For the 500-plus nonprofit organizations (88% are small- or medium-sized, like yours) surveyed in the 2016 Digital Outlook Report, the picture is pretty dismal:Insufficient budget (76%)Insufficient staff (76%)Unable to prove ROI to colleagues and leadership (37%)Sound familiar? It should! These findings highlight the same lack of investment that undermines traditional fundraising and marketing for too many organizations.It’s a real catch-22: Success is impossible without the necessary investment in staff, skills, and budget. In this scenario, identifying and analyzing the analytics that shows what to do more or less of is likely to drop low on the to-do list.Professionalizing Digital Fundraising Is the Ultimate Success Factor: Ready, Set, GoCare2, HJC, NTEN, and the Resource Alliance collaborated on this survey to discover how to “best leverage digital communications and fundraising to make the world a better place.”The research team shares these success factors:Ready: The right staff (with the right skills) and sufficient budget are in place.Set (Part 1): The ability to distribute the right content to the right people at the right time via the right channels.Set (Part 2): The ability to measure, analyze, and improve your digital fundraising. “Without the ability to track and analyze, no amount of staffing, structure, or cultural shifts to digital will matter, and you won’t be able to go”Go: Better-than-ever digital fundraising and communications!Start with These 10 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), or as Many as You Can HandleI held my breath as I devoured the report, hoping to find the magic list of analytics to focus on. Because of that stubborn Catch 22, we have to focus on the few steps—in this case, measuring, analyzing, and acting on key digital fundraising metrics—with the greatest potential and take it incrementally forward from there.The report focuses on the strategic call to action to increase investment in digital strategies. I was lucky enough to learn the researchers’ top 10 metric picks in the #16NTCoutlook session on the findings at 16NTC, NTEN’s annual conference. Their top metrics:New donor acquisition rateDonor renewal rateDonor reactivation rateNet new donorsAverage gift (by channel)Time to first/second giftRevenue per donor (by channel)Cost to raise (by channel)Gross/net revenueLifetime value (by channel)Assess Metrics Through a New Lens for Truly Integrated CommunicationsHarvesting metrics is just the beginning. Analyzing them and putting them to work is the powerhouse steps in the metrics matrix.The Digital Outlook team recommends that you:Look at your digital fundraising metrics alone, and thenMix them with metrics from events, program, and advocacy communications.With all the effort you pour into digital fundraising, it’s time to realign your approach to reflect your donors. Communicating with your people only on fundraising, when some are also in touch with your other campaigns, is counterproductive.Use Fundraising Data Across Functions to Sketch Conversion FunnelsThe research team recommends using the metrics you harvest to draw an accurate conversion funnel that highlights each lifestyle phase. Of course, you’ll need a reliable, comprehensive donor management system in place to make this possible.The process of funnel creation will unearth the major lifestyle stages of donors, prospects, and other supporters, as in the example on this page.Next, Match Donor Communications to Lifecycle Stages (and Other Factors)The research team suggests that the primary way to group and connect with supporters is based on how they behave or interact with you, as opposed to segmenting them based on other elements such as habits, preferences, or values. What do you think? Share your experiences with segmentation in the comments section below.Once you’re clear on the distinct stages relevant to your target audiences, the research team recommends crafting specific messages relevant to audiences in each phase.The marketing and development team at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PCAN) is fully taking on this approach, going so far as to restructure roles and responsibilities by lifestyle stage. For example, a lead generation specialist would work across functions, from fundraising and programs to communications and advocacy.Get Your Donor Database in Shape, Then Use KPIs to Define Lifecycles and Weave Them into Your Fundraising Messages and MethodsFrankly, I don’t suggest you ignore everything else you know (or should uncover) about your donors. Insights such as wants, values, habits, preferences—the kind of insights you’ve gathered through conversations and surveys, outlined in personas, and used as the heart of semi-personalized messages—are equally important.But this radical lifecycle-based approach is refreshing in its boldness and imagination, and it is definitely a valid dimension of segmentation. I’ll be watching the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to see how it goes.Lifecycle on!
Throughout March, Network for Good has been celebrating Women’s History Month with profiles and Q&As of female leaders in the nonprofit sector. From food banks to crisis centers to youth empowerment and rebuilding communities, the leaders of these nonprofits are actively advancing their mission every day; just like all the nonprofits we serve.In case you missed any, here are links to the posts featuring the many Women in Philanthropy we’re proud to work with at Network for Good. We hope you enjoy their stories as much as we have enjoyed telling them. While Women’s History Month has come to a close, the work of these women continues to inspire.Women in Philanthropy Profile SeriesKim O’Brien, Executive Director, Nonprofit Leadership Initiative“I do a lot of connecting the dots. My work is about connecting nonprofit leaders to the resources in the community that can help them with whatever they’re working on at the time.” (Read Profile)Amy Navejas, Executive Director and CEO, Better Health“We don’t want anybody to have to choose between food and rent and a critical medical need.” (Read Profile)Janet Cobb, Personal Fundraising Coach“I believe in the power of empowering others. The nonprofit sector declares that “we” are all in this together instead of “every ‘man’ for himself.” I believe in the interdependence of the community that fosters the independence of individuals within that community.” (Read Profile)Abigail Erickson-Torres, CEO, Bryan’s House“When I see a need, I want to do something about it. I’m always working towards bettering the lives of other people, especially women and children, or people who are homeless, disparaged, or underserved. I wake up every day thinking about how I can make the world a better place.” (Read Profile)Lois Bennett, Founder and Executive Director, Feeding Hands“We all cross paths with people in need every day, but they’re invisible. If we all go through life only concerned about ourselves, we’ll never see anybody else. We’ll never see the needs right in front of us. We’ll never be moved to help, and we will never know the blessing that comes to both the giver and the recipient from serving another. If we can open eyes to see, then we can multiply our impact manifold and help change our corner of the world.” (Read Profile)LaVondra Dobbs, CEO, Via Link“CEOs truly must understand their funding sources. The relationships with those funders and developing other funding streams is crucial. There have been people in foundations who have made my goals possible because they introduced me to other people and got me in doors I knew I needed to get through.” (Read Profile)Robin Cabral, Personal Fundraising Coach“I enjoy connecting donors with the causes that are near to their heart and help them fulfill their own passions and purpose in life. There is nothing more important and noble than serving as this philanthropic facilitator.” (Read Profile)Emily Roisman, Chief Legal Officer and Board Chair, PRoTECHOS“I see a problem and I want to solve it. That’s also what I love about my job as a lawyer. The problems here in Puerto Rico will not be fixed without the help of nonprofits. I’m not going to save the world, but I want to fix the problems that I can see. One of the tenets of Judaism is “tikkun olam,” which means “repair the world.” I love that idea.” (Read Profile)Latoya Lewis, Founder and Executive Director, EnventU“Every young person has a uniqueness to offer this world. The only “difference maker” is an opportunity to explore it. At its core, EnventU is opportunity.” (Read Profile)Martha Allen, Executive Director, Extra Table“You have to love something intensely and intimately to do this type of selfless work that requires long hours and depends on lots of delegation and balance. Everyone spends so much time at work, but nonprofit work is different. It’s all consuming. There are so many things you do to prepare before you even get to the office and in the evening after you come home. But I go to bed at night knowing I made a difference in the lives of people that can’t break the cycle of their current circumstances, and they just need help.” (Read Profile)
Nice’s derby match with Marseille on Wednesday promises to be an extra-special encounter for it will mark the dawn of a new era at the Allianz Riviera – and perhaps Ligue 1.English billionaire Jim Ratcliffe – the richest man in the UK, with a fortune of €10.6 billion (£9.9bn/$12.1bn), according to Forbes – has led the takeover by Ineos, a multinational petrochemical company, which is poised to transform the club’s fortunes. Although no figure has put on the deal, it is widely reported to have exceeded €100m (£90m/$110m).Shrewd transfer business has allowed Nice to firmly establish themselves as a top-10 side in Ligue 1 over the last four years, but they have been unable to keep hold of their top stars, such as Mario Balotelli and Hatem Ben Arfa, both of whom they could only afford to sign on short-term deals, and both of whom ultimately left on free transfers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? It was a situation that frustrated fans, who protested against the previous board’s unwillingness to invest in the team last January, when not a single player was bought, despite an obvious need for a centre-forward after Balotelli, who had already grown disgruntled with life at the club, was allowed to join Marseille.That Patrick Vieira led the side to a seventh-placed finish in Ligue 1 was miraculous. Now, however, the former Arsenal and France midfielder is set to get some attacking toys to play with, with only the uber-rich Paris Saint-Germain able to significantly outmuscle the Mediterranean side financially. Ratcliffe’s fortune is worth twice that of Monaco owner Dimitri Rybolovlev and more than 10 times that of Marseille owner Frank McCourt.The Brexit-campaigning 66-year-old, who has stakes in both cycling and sailing teams, seems an unlikely candidate to invest in the world of French football, yet after failed attempts to buy Manchester United, the club he supports, and Chelsea, there is a belief that Ligue 1 offers a strong investment opportunity.“We want to help improve the image of French football and the league,” Bob Ratcliffe, his brother, told a media briefing as the deal was made official.“Ligue 1 is undervalued compared to the Premier League, for example. There are big clubs in France, so it’s a difficult challenge. The more big clubs in Ligue 1 there are, the better it will be. There must be four French sides in the Champions League.”For the time being, that will have to wait. Instead, there is a focus on the mad dash to complete a summer’s worth of transfer business in the five days before the window shuts on September 2. Due to the impending takeover, Vieira’s side only signed Khephren Thuram, the 18-year-old son of former France international Lilian, before the club changed hands. In the meantime, they lost a key attacking component in the form of Allan Saint-Maximin, to Newcastle.The impasse, though, is over and six players are expected to arrive over the coming days, among them forward Kasper Dolberg from Ajax, Napoli’s Adam Ounas and winger Alexis-Claude Maurice, who caught the eye of Arsenal, Lyon and others, from Ligue 2 side Lorient. Perhaps the most symbolic deal, however, could be the one to draw Stanley Nsoki from PSG. Marseille have been tracking the 20-year-old defender for months but are set to be put in their place in French football’s evolving hierarchy by their nouveau-riche neighbours, who are now favourites to complete a deal. But while there is clearly an appetite for success, the new owners are acutely aware that it will be tough to achieve overnight, particularly given the timing of their purchase.“The transfer window has been difficult, but we hope to use it in the last few days,” Bob Ratcliffe said.“Our ambition is to be in the Champions League in three to five years. We want to compete with PSG, Lyon and the other big clubs in France.”We want to compete to finish in the top four in Ligue 1 and become one of Europe’s best training centres, like Ajax, for example, so we want to work on the infrastructure and the training grounds.”At a time when many of France’s traditional big guns are ailing, Ineos claim to have learned lessons from their struggles and will not adopt a gung-ho youth policy, the type of which has sent Monaco into a tailspin that sees them reside at the bottom of the table. “I don’t think that we will be a club that will buy players aged 27 or 28. We will focus in particular on talented young players, but we are aware that a team needs experience to progress.”If we want to make this project a success, it’s very important to invest in young players,” Ratcliffe added, no doubt with a nod to OM, whose big takeover from American businessman Frank McCourt appears headed down a dead end of trouble.With Bordeaux struggling in the wake of a high-profile takeover from across the Atlantic and Monaco failing to get things right just along the coast, there are plenty of warning signs for Nice fans who might already be dreaming of the club reprising famous European wins over Real Madrid, Barcelona and Ajax. Ineos, it is also worth remembering, own Swiss second-tier side Lausanne, whose fortunes have not taken off under their ownership as had been anticipated.“We are fast learners, these problems have been rectified and we are already seeing the benefits,” Jim said on Monday.With plenty examples of how not to do it in France evident at the present time, if Ineos, Vieira and the players get things right, this could be a deal to revolutionise the hierarchy of Ligue 1.
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 05: Freddie Swain #16 of the Florida Gators scores a touchdown during the first quarter of a game against the Auburn Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)Florida and Auburn are doing battle at The Swamp on Saturday, and thus far, it’s been all Gators. The team’s fans are doing their part to help them score the upset.Auburn has gone three-and-out on both of its drives. Quarterback Bo Nix has been having a hard time communicating with his players. The Tigers had to call timeout because of crowd noise as well.Auburn has gained just 10 yards on offense so far in the game.@AuburnFootball definitely having issues on offense with the noise. Have run the play clock down on majority of snaps so far. Timeout there for Aubie with no team for checks.— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) October 5, 2019 Florida head coach Dan Mullen asked Gators fans to bring their best for the game. They have not disappointed so far.The Swamp is hitting the kind of noise levels it routinely hit when Candlebox was in your car’s CD changer.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) October 5, 2019Florida scored on its opening drive when Kyle Trask found Freddie Swain for a 64-yard touchdown. The Gators have the early lead, 7-0.The game is being broadcast on CBS.
🚨 WEEK 7 SP+ PICKS! 🚨* Miami 27, Virginia 20* Georgia 36, South Carolina 17* Oklahoma 42, Texas 30* Clemson 40, Florida State 19* Penn State 28, Iowa 22 (18-12 sounds more PSU-Iowaish)* Notre Dame 34, USC 25* LSU 32, Florida 24* Et cetera! pic.twitter.com/wnKPIJg6G9— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) October 9, 2019Though Oklahoma won the last meeting between the two teams, the Sooners and Longhorns have split their last six regular season games.But over a longer period of time, the Sooners have largely dominated. Since 2010, Oklahoma has gone 7-3 overall against Texas.Nevertheless, nearly all of the games between the two have been close. The last six regular season meetings have all been decided by a touchdown or less.Last year, Oklahoma lost to Texas in the regular season before beating them in the Big 12 Championship Game. They secured a spot in the College Football Playoff, too.As a result, Oklahoma can probably afford to lose this game and potentially contend for the College Football Playoff, provided they win out.Texas will probably not be so lucky. While a loss to Oklahoma won’t knock them out of Big 12 title contention, no two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff.Can Texas pull off another stunning upset like they did last year? DALLAS – OCTOBER 11: A general view of the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns during the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl on October 11, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Two Heisman Trophy hopefuls face off this week as Jalen Hurts and the Sooners take on Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns in the Red River Showdown. Ahead of the big Oklahoma-Texas game, predictions have been pouring in.One prediction from ESPN’s Bill Connelly notes a very high scoring affair. Connelly is predicting Oklahoma to top Texas in a 42-30 shootout.The game will be played at the Cotton Bowl, with Oklahoma serving as an 11.5-point favorite. But Connelly’s pick still falls just below the 75.5-point over/under.[Related Article: ESPN Predicts Every Game Left On Oklahoma’s Schedule]
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Jake Fromm #11 of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts to a play during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is 28 for 48 for 295 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions against South Carolina today. Certainly not a terrible performance, but not anything crazy impressive against the Gamecocks at home.ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky seemed to be quite impressed, though.The college football/NFL guru compared Fromm’s fourth quarter performance against South Carolina to what he sees from Patrick Mahomes.Those watching on ESPN were pretty shocked when they heard it. “This 4th quarter from Fromm reminds me of Patrick Mahomes” pic.twitter.com/XNDGubGFQw— Cam Newton Stan (@ChasePletcher4) October 12, 2019Did this commentator really just compare Jake Fromm to Patrick Mahomes?😂— Austin Randolph (@austinsrandolph) October 12, 2019“This 4th quarter for Fromm reminds me a lot of Patrick Mahomes” What did I just hear???— Ben Wagoner (@benwwagoner) October 12, 2019Espn announcer just compared a 20 yard drive by Jake Fromm to Patrick Mahomes. I just can’t.— Buckeye Justice (@Buckeye_Justice) October 12, 2019The announcers comparing Fromm to Mahomes right now I can’t make this up— slime (@killmeslime) October 12, 2019Mahomes is arguably the most-talented passer the NFL has ever seen, so comparing Jake Fromm to that (no offense to Jake Fromm) is quite a stretch.Fromm is considered a potential first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, though his play at Georgia this seen has some down on his stock.The Georgia-South Carolina finish can be seen on ESPN.
Comparisons between Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire are unfair, says Neill Collins, arguing the £80 million ($97m) asset is just the first piece in the Manchester United puzzle, whereas the Dutch star at Anfield was the last for Jurgen Klopp.The Red Devils broke the world transfer record for a defender when they lured the England international away from Leicester over the summer.Maguire is expected to make an important contribution at Old Trafford, but cannot carry the weight of expectation by himself. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream His signing forms part of a long-term project in Manchester, with Collins eager to point out that the commanding 26-year-old has joined a United side that are “not great”.A former Sheffield United team-mate of Maguire told The Telegraph: “He’ll be compared to Van Dijk but I think Van Dijk was the final piece of the jigsaw at Liverpool, whereas I’d argue Harry is one of the first pieces in this jigsaw at United, which is a really big ask.“They’ve not got a great side, and I think Harry’s got a lot on his shoulders, but he is up there with the best in the world in that position and, as they improve as a team, I think he will go from strength to strength.”“Maybe these players have to go to a Southampton or Leicester to really prove themselves to the big clubs but he definitely ended up costing United a lot more money.”Another one-time colleague of Maguire, ex-Hull City defender Alex Bruce, also believes that the centre-back’s meteoric rise can continue.He was impressed by the qualities brought to the Tigers fold by one of the best in the business and expects United to benefit from that skill set in the years to come.Bruce said: “I think the biggest compliment you can pay Harry is he improves year after year.“He has excelled in every environment he’s been put in.”“It’s almost abnormal how strong he is – and damn right it hurts when he catches you.“His feet are massive. He must be a size 16 or something. And when he stands on your foot… He’s so powerful that when he comes towards you with the ball you’re thinking, ‘I’m not tackling that!’”Maguire, having helped England to back-to-back victories in Euro 2020 qualifying during the international break, will be back on domestic duty on Saturday when United play host to his former club Leicester. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Jorginho has urged his Chelsea team-mates to be more clinical if they are to succeed in the Champions League.The midfielder scored the game’s opening goal in Saturday’s win over Brighton as Frank Lampard claimed his first Premier League home win as head coach of the Blues.The narrow victory made it back-to-back triumphs at Stamford Bridge following the midweek victory over League Two outfit Grimsby Town in the Carabao Cup. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career But midfielder Jorginho has told his fellow Chelsea players that they must improve in front of goal, with the home side having taken 24 shots in the win over the Seagulls.The Italian scored the opener from the spot, with Willian adding a second soon after, following a first half of 17 Chelsea shots without breaking the deadlock.“It is important because we needed to create a lot [to score against Brighton], but I think we need to be better because we can’t create how we did and score just two goals,” Jorginho told Standard Sport. “These [Champions League] games, you can’t make a mistake because every team is very good. They [opponents] can create just one chance and can score. So we need to be more strong with our mentality to defend.”He added: “The Champions League is very difficult, but we are ready to go everywhere to try to win.”Lampard’s side travel to France to take on Lille on Wednesday night in their second Champions League group game, with both sides heading into the fixture on the back of an opening day loss.The west London side began their European campaign with a 1-0 defeat at home to Valencia, while Lille lost 3-0 at last season’s semi-finalists Ajax.Chelsea have 14 goals from their seven Premier League games this season, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool, with defensive frailties more of a concern for Lampard.The Blues picked up their first clean sheet of the campaign against Brighton, yet only Watford and Norwich have conceded more this season.Chelsea had also gone four matches without a home win, with Willian’s deflected strike and Jorginho’s spot-kick at Stamford Bridge on Saturday ending that run. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts Dubbed “unforgettably strange” and a “brilliant wester,” Johnny Guitar follows saloon owner Vienna, played by the classic Hollywood actress Joan Crawford. Her portrayal gives us a new vision of who the hard-nosed Western protagonist is. She’s a badass woman. Even the “bad guy” in this film is a “bad woman” (Emma Small). Considered one of the first adult Westerns, Johnny Guitar was filmed with dramatic external shots while the characters are faced with internal existential questions of self-hood. It’s not all shoot-em-up and spurs, but rather a mental gunfight, playing out in the setting of a rough and tumble saloon.WatchEl Topo (1970) Nnot the vom-worthy 2016 remake that relied on big-name stars to get us into the theater. Plot: A Mexican village hires American gunslingers to protect them from evil local outlaws and eventually train the villagers to defend themselves. Vibe: Period-Western at its purest. Lore: The film was initially adapted from a Japanese film, Seven Samurais, and reformatted to the gun slinging West. Action: Killer. Score: Killer. An overall straight shot.Watch For the comedy lover who can’t sit through a serious (often slow) Western, you have Mel Brooks to thank for the brilliant spoof Blazing Saddles. Starring Cleavon Little opposite Gene Wilder, the film is a satire on the racism blotted out by classic Hollywood accounts of the American Wild West.WatchThe Outlaw (1943) Editors’ Recommendations It’s only right to honor Clint Eastwood with two appearances on our list of best classic Westerns. After all, A Fistful of Dollars is pure panning gold and Eastwood’s first appearance as a leading man. The iconic Man With No Name/Joe comes upon Mexican village San Miguel and inserts himself into a power struggle between Mexican soldiers and the lording Rojo brothers. Here, Eastwood sets claim to his saddle throne, delivering a gunslinger unlike the good-willed, shoot-only-when-shot-at hero Wayne normalized. Eastwood made history by adding gruff to the anti-hero, now compelled by survival and greed as much as sort of doing the right thing. Plus, Eastwood’s cool delivery is how we wish we spoke in real life. (“Get three donuts ready … my mistake, four.”)WatchThe Magnificent Seven (1960) What would an Western indie film look like? Well, imagine a psychedelic ’70s Western packing bizarre characters and hallucinogenic scenes following a black-clad gunfighter, El Topo, who traverses the desert on horseback. Visually strange and unnerving, El Topo has been the topic of much critique and debate but stands as a staple (albeit experimentation) in the Western genre. Let’s just say, David Lynch is one of its top fanboys.WatchHigh Noon (1952) Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly star in what is often considered the best Western film ever made. Marshal Will Kane (Cooper) plans to leave New Mexico with his new wife (Kelly) only to discover a local criminal seeks vengeance on him. Nominated for both Academy Awards and Golden Globes, High Noon has been preserved in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” In other words, expect traditional Western staples like chases, gunfights, and a cocky protagonist to be outshined by vulnerable dialogue. Some consider the film corny, but those critics don’t seem to understand they’re watching a Western that attempted to maintain tradition while exploring the emotional landscape of its characters.WatchRio Bravo (1959) 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now In a word: classic. An anti-High Noon response, Rio Bravo was created by Western star John Wayne and director Howard Hawks as a foil for everything “soft” and “un-American” they hated about the 1952 classic. Most notably, how Marshal Will couldn’t handle the heat alone. The response was Sheriff John T. Chance and a hyper-traditional, quintessential Western where the leading man shows no fear, has no inner turmoil, and kicks ass all day long. However, the classic, desolate Western look and witty script simply work. With a 100-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a preservation spot in the National Film Registry, we would never curate a list of classic Westerns without Rio Bravo … despite the fact that Sherriff Chance needs to chill out and invest in a skincare routine.WatchBlazing Saddles (1974) Never heard of it? The only film to be directed my Marlon Brando, this 1961 Western was supposed to be helmed by Stanley Kubrick but fell into the hands of the brooding Brando, who cast himself as the lead outlaw, Rio. Rio and his mentor, “Dad,” steal gold from a Mexican bank, but Dad double crossed Rio and the young outlaw ends up in jail. Later released, he finds Dad in California and falls for his daughter. Although it doesn’t have the best reviews, there’s a hypnotic blend of visual depth, Brando mystique, and sappy romance that makes the film a classic.WatchJohnny Guitar (1954) As in Billy the Kid, duh! A popular character in the Western genre, this vintage 1943 film follows the life and loves of Billy the Kid, his partnership with Doc Holliday, and rivalry with lawman Pat Garrett. Out-starring the lot is a young Jane Russell in her breakout role, which quickly turned the actress into a symbol of lust and power, so much that in later marketing she was the only actor billed on the posters. It’s been called one of those “so bad it’s good” films … but we’d watch it over The Room any day.WatchA Fistful of Dollars (1967) The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now Eastwood stars as the mysterious bounty hunter referred to often as Joe in the epic 1966 spaghetti Western The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Joe joins up with Mexican outlaw Tuco (played by fellow Western star and notorious bad guy Eli Wallach), and a series of back-stabbings, shoot-outs, rescues, hangings, and a gnarly bridge explosion ensue. The final installment in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy, this remains one of the most essential Westerns ever made.WatchOne-Eyed Jacks (1961 ) Commons/WikimediaHappy 88th birthday to Clint Eastwood, an icon of masculinity and one hell of a shot. The “man with no name” was born on May 31, 1930, putting his astrological sun in Gemini and moon in Leo. But if Eastwood has any astrological sign, it’s gunslinger. The American actor’s claim to fame in the Western genre shaped the classic anti-hero character we hate to love.We’re celebrating Eastwood’s birthday in the same fashion we honored Horror’s Merchant of Menace, Vincent Price: with a movie marathon. (Accessorize with a Stetson, bandana, buckskin, and whiskey, if you care.Here are 10 of the best classic Western films that will have you saying to that guy who cut you off in traffic: “in this world there’s two kind of people, my friend— those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.”Giddy-up!The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966 ) 12 Classic Sci-Fi Novels Everyone Who Likes Reading Should Read
Saul Niguez has told former Atletico Madrid team-mate Antoine Griezmann that he can “succeed anywhere”, with the Frenchman being backed to overcome a testing start to his time at Barcelona.Big things were expected of the World Cup winner when he arrived at Camp Nou over the summer at the end of a protracted transfer saga.It was expected that a proven performer well versed in the demands of life in La Liga would slot seamlessly into the Blaugrana fold alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Questions have, however, been asked of Griezmann’s relationship with Barca’s talismanic skipper, while he is yet to fire in what was supposed to be a fearsome front line.Saul, though, has no doubts that a man with only three goals to his name so far will come good, telling Sport: “A player of his level can succeed anywhere.“He has to feel comfortable, important, happy, the only thing he’s after is enjoying football and if he’s not enjoying the position he’s playing or whatever, he won’t be at his best. He doesn’t just contribute on the pitch, at least not at Atletico. He’s happy, positive. He’s one of the players that is always good to have.”It has been suggested that part of the problem Griezmann faces at Barca is being shoehorned into a position which may not be his best, but again Saul expects the 28-year-old to overcome those challenges.He added: “Everyone will look for the best solution. He works hard, does his best for the team and if the coach decides if he should play on the left, he will do, and he will adapt to be one of the best on the left flank. He’s really good, he always sacrifices himself for the good of the team and I only have super positive things to say about Antoine.”On adapting to new surroundings, Saul went on to say: “It happens at all teams. You don’t know the mechanisms, your team-mates, if a player wants it to feet or in space… they’re details that come in time. You can be happier because of the weather, the city, the family, but at the end of the day these are the things you have to adjust to and [Griezmann] will be more and more happy in Barcelona all the time.”With Griezmann no longer in the Spanish capital, Atletico had to move to bring in a suitable successor in the last transfer window.Portuguese starlet Joao Felix was the man they turned to, with Saul impressed by a teenage forward snapped up for €126 million ((£113m/$142m) from Benfica.The Spain international said: “He has something different. Don’t forget he’s only 18, very young, but he’s won me over with his desire to learn, to improve, to learn and to contribute to the team. He’s adapting still and when he’s 100 per cent, you can demand more. Now he’s giving everything on the pitch, doing well for the team. Every time he gets the ball, he looks to the goal. He’s one of those different players.”Felix was one of a number of new arrivals at Wanda Metropolitano over the summer, with Hector Herrera and Kieran Trippier among the other fresh faces.Saul added to La Liga’s official website on the Rojiblancos new boys: “The two full-backs Renan Lodi and Kieran Trippier, they’re great at getting up and down the wing, they’re top players and they pose a real threat because they’re excellent at crossing. They’re also adept at coming in from the flanks, so I think they’re real all-rounders.“As for Felipe and Mario Hermoso, both of them are very experienced and top class centre-backs, but their most salient and important feature – as with the rest of the signings – is that they have a willingness to learn and to listen, regardless of how experienced they may be. I think it’s very positive that they’ve settled into the squad very well, as from the very first moment they’ve tried to adapt to things here.“Last but not least, there’s [Ivan] Saponjic and Joao Felix. Joao Felix is getting more playing time than Saponjic, but the same goes for him as the other lads – he’s always working hard in training, he’s a very strong guy when it comes to holding off defenders and creating space, and he has great movement in the box.“I think we’ve signed players across the whole pitch, who aside from being talented footballers are great people who bring a lot to the dressing room. This is especially important given that over the summer a lot of veterans who were important to the squad moved on.”
Bayern Munich’s Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said he cannot see Thomas Muller leaving the club in January but admits he doesn’t expect the former World Cup winner to be happy with his current situation.The forward has not started any of Bayern’s last five games in all competitions and has actually played just 66 minutes in that time.In fact, Muller – who has eight Bundesliga titles in Bavaria, as well as a Champions League winners’ medal from 2013 – has started just three league matches all season for the reigning German champions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career As a result, the 30-year-old has been strongly linked with a move away from Bayern, something Rummenigge thinks is unlikely to happen in the upcoming January transfer window.“I can not imagine that,” said Rummenigge, in an interview with Welt am Sonntag: “The relationship between Thomas and Bayern is totally intact and will remain an important part of our club.”However, the two-time Ballon d’Or winner did admit Muller is not happy with his lack of game time at present.“If Thomas would sit contentedly on the bench, he would be in the wrong club,” said Rummenigge. “That’s the reaction we even want, but he still has to deal with the situation seriously. He’s exemplary.”While the Bayern chief’s claims may have dampened the speculation for now of an imminent move for Muller, the player himself only heightened those rumours earlier this week by stating he is not content with a substitute’s role.“If the coaching staff see me as a sub in the future, I will have to think about my situation. I’m too ambitious to not do that,” Muller claimed.The attacker has found himself down the pecking order since the summer arrivals of Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho, while the fantastic form of Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman have also limited his playing opportunities.Muller has been a Bayern first-team player since making his debut in 2008. In the intervening 11 years, he has racked up nearly 500 appearances and netted 183 goals.Muller has also earned 100 International caps but his association with the German national side appears to have ended after he was dropped from the squad in March this year.