Twin Towns residents urged to attend text alert meeting

first_imgMembers of the Ballybofey and Stranorlar communities are being invited to attend a special meeting on the text alert scheme.The public meeting will be held on Thursday 28th March in the Drumboe Suite Jackson’s Hotel Ballybofey @ 7.30pm.All welcome. Twin Towns residents urged to attend text alert meeting was last modified: March 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click 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 share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Takeaways: Sharks respond to ‘kick in the butt’ from management

first_imgSAN JOSE — Brenden Dillon called the shakeup in the Sharks coaching staff a “kick in the butt” Wednesday morning.More than anything, the move to put Steve Spott in charge of the defense, David Barr in control of the forwards and Rob Zettler as the eye in the sky sent the team a message. A shuffle up in the coach’s office is usually the last card management plays before heads start rolling with a trade or someone getting fired. Things are getting urgent after a 1-3-1 road trip last week.The …last_img read more

GJM to attend talks with Bengal government on August 29

first_imgGJM gives Mamata fresh list of demands The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on Saturday said it will attend the August 29 meeting convened by the West Bengal government after the party received an official invitation for talks.“We have received an invitation last night so it has been decided that GJM will attend the meeting. A delegation of senior GJM leaders will attend the talks. It has not been decided who will be part of the delegation,” GJM MLA and senior leader Amar Singh Rai told PTI.The development comes on a day when the indefinite strike in the hills for a separate state of Gorkhaland entered its 73rd day today.A senior state government official said, “We have sent letters to various parties including the GJM asking them to attend the talks. Other parties such as the JAP, the GNLF, the ABGL and many other parties of the hills have also been invited for talks.”Also Read  The GJM, which had expressed its willingness to attend the talks, had set a pre-condition that they should be officially invited.The State government has called for talks on August 29 in response to a letter form the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) requesting a dialogue to restore normalcy in the hills.“As we have been invited now, there is no harm in attending the talks,” a senior GJM leader said.The GJM on Thursday wrote a letter to the West Bengal government expressing its willingness to attend the August 29 talks to resolve the Darjeeling stalemate.The letter, written by GJM leader Binay Tamang to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had said, “No other alternative or modified step will do justice to our plight…other than creation of a separate Gorkhaland.”Mr. Tamang’s missive was preceded by a letter of GJM chief Bimal Gurung who wrote to the State government on Wednesday night requesting a “political dialogue” on the demand for a separate state.last_img read more

West Indies are entertaining in limited-overs format, says MS Dhoni

first_imgIndia may have hammered West Indies in the Test series but MS Dhoni rates them as an extraordinary and entertaining side when they play limited-overs cricket.”I would say in limited overs format, the West Indies are extraordinary. They have the right balance, they are entertaining as well. It will be very interesting (the two match series). It is an early morning start here but it won’t make much of a difference,” Dhoni said. (T20 champions West Indies step into familiar territory with India as underdogs )Moreover, Dhoni will be working with India’s new head coach Anil Kumble for the first time and he too is looking forward to it, having also played with him in the past.”I learnt a lot from Anil bhai, especially in Tests though I have also played with him in ODIs. The way he used to bowl to a batsman, how accurate he was, his consistency was amazing. “Also, how clear he was in his thinking and gameplan. All of that will help him as a coach. Modern day cricket is all about adjusting and that is something that Anil bhai did very well. Apart from that, he is a straightforward guy. The last couple of days with him has been interesting. The more time I spend with him, I get to know him even more as a coach,” Dhoni added.BOWLED OVER BY FACILITIESLike Kumble, Dhoni is also impressed with the facilities at the US and said the country is a “special” market for cricket and there is no reason why the game can’t be successful here.advertisement”As far as the facility is concerned, it is as good as you would get anywhere in the world. Yes, the stadium is not that big, though when it comes to the playing area it is a perfect ground,” said Dhoni ahead of first of two T20 Internationals between India and the West Indies at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium.”Also, what we have to see is that it is a new venture for cricket. Looking at everything, it is a perfect staging ground. Few of other international teams have already played here, also not to forget that some of the T20 leagues have happened. The infrastructure looks good. Overall it is a big occasion. Stepping into the USA for the first time as the Indian cricket team. (India aim to retain second spot in rankings in historic series against West Indies)”As far as effort is concerned, I always felt the USA was big market, a lot of sub-continent people stay here, not only Indians. I feel it is a good start. The timings (broadcast) are also good. It feels good to be here. Earlier people living in US used to travel to the the West Indies to support us but now they have the opportunity to catch the action here itself,” Dhoni added.ON FITNESSWhen asked about his fitness, Dhoni said by playing in two formats of the game gives him ample time to prepare and staying fit.”During this (break) time, fitness is quite easy to maintain. The reason is you have ample time to prepare. What becomes a slight issue is the cricketing aspect. There was a lot of rain back home in India so most of the schedule was indoor with a bit of bowling machine to go with it. There was not much outdoor activity. Anyway feels good to be back. Also, this year we won’t be playing a lot of limited overs cricket so this gives us an opportunity to make the most of two days we have,” said the wicket-keeper batsman.”There is a time for everything. When you start playing, you want to play as much as you can irrespective of the location. That way it is difficult to maintain fitness and workload. But when you get a break, you can follow a proper schedule. It gives you ample time. I have put emphasis on my fitness to prolong my career,” Dhoni also said.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more

The seven (or nine) things everyone wants

first_imgMark Rovner and I have been working on a little project – maybe it will turn into a book. We test-drove some of the content at the Nonprofit Technology Conference, and the NTC conference attendees were brilliant and contributed much to our thought process! The session was received warmly enough that we were asked to type up a little summary for the NTEN newsletter. I wanted to share that (it’s below), as well as the official blog for this topic. We welcome thoughts, comments, additions — any input at all!Here’s what we said:The NTC in New Orleans was full of fantastic, sparkly, shiny new technology tools. And then there was our session. No winsome widgets, no witty Twittering, no Dopplr-found Doppelgangers.And that was the point.Which is this: What makes technology tools great is not the technology. It’s the people behind them. Successful technology is about bonds, not wires. It’s human connections that matter. “Social media” is about “social” more than it’s about “media”. If you missed our session, we summed it up in the title: The Seven Things Everyone Wants: What Freud and Buddha Understood (and We’re Forgetting) about Online Outreach. Some very human principles make or break the success of absolutely everything you do online. These are the kind of truths Buddha or Freud – explorers of the deepest recesses of the human mind — talked about. To achieve true marketing “enlightenment,” you need to tap into fundamental human needs with your technology – rather than hoping technology can inspire alone. You may think this sounds a bit like Maslow – and it is – but with a twist: Maslow was uncovering human needs; We are showing how his and other deep needs can be employed to foster a more humane world. There are at least seven of these fundamental needs, and that’s what we covered in our session. We threw out a need, and the folks in the session talked about how they’d met it through online communications. (Hat tip to Britt Bravo for capturing the examples so well in her blog.) There are other human needs – we’d like to add simplicity and humor to the list of seven – but this was a start.Here is a taste of our discussion. But the conversation is far from over. Please help us continue it – we’re headed toward a book of some kind, we hope. Talk to us at our official blog for the topic.PLEASE: Don’t just read this article, tell us your story.Need 1: To be SEEN and HEARDMaking someone feel seen and heard is the most powerful thing any of us can do with online communications. On the other hand, not listening is the root of most problems, personal (just ask your partner!) and professional (just ask your co-workers!).Examples of great listening:•Teen Health Talk engages youth to talk about health issues rather than lectures at them.•Oxfam has used Flickr petitions successfully in several campaigns. Two of their staff members recently returned from Darfur and are putting together a video to raise awareness about it. They are collecting questions from supporters to include. The bottom line: See to be seen, hear to be heard.Need 2: To be CONNECTED to someone or somethingPeople are sociable creatures, and they want to find other people that share their interests. That’s what fuels Facebook or Twitter or any number of examples. In fact, one could argue that connecting people to each other is the highest and best use of technology.Examples of great connecting:•BeliefNet has prayer circles where people can share prayers for specific people.•March of Dimes’ Share Your Stories allows families of babies in the NICU to share stories. The bottom line: Engage by connecting to what your audience (NOT YOU) wants to hear.Need 3: To be part of something GREATER THAN THEMSELVESWe need to lay out the grand, inspirational vision of our cause. We should show how together we can leave the world a better place.Examples of vision:•18Seconds.org shows the cumulative effect of everyone changing their light bulbs to CFLs.•The MoveOn “endorse a thon” for Barack Obama is only the latest in a long line of creative, uplifting and inspiring efforts.Need 4: To have HOPE for the futureForget doom and gloom, finger-wagging campaigns. People hate them.Example of hopeful messaging:•Earth: The Sequel has been up for 2 weeks and has received 15,000 views.•The Yes We Can Obama video. The bottom line: Ix-nay on the apocalypse. Persuade through inspirationNeed 5: To have the security of TRUSTPeople are starved for a sense of trust. That’s why we glom on to authentic messengers. Examples of authenticity:•76% of givers according to Cone say they are influenced by friends and family. SixDegrees allows people to create widgets that feature a photo of themselves and 250 characters of text about why they support a particular cause.•The Packard Kid Connection site helps kids get ready to go to the hospital. It builds trust because it looks like Club Penguin (Club Penguin is a social network for children), and it has videos of children explaining how things work at the hospital. The bottom line: Cut the crap. Your authenticity is everything.Need 6: To be of SERVICEThe #1 reason people stop giving to a nonprofit is that they feel like they are being treated like an ATM machine. They want to help, but they also want to be of service and to have different ways of serving. That need is not being fulfilled if all they hear is the unimaginative drumbeat of dollars. If you are reading this, you already understand – and embody – the deep need to be useful and of service.Need 7: To want HAPPINESS for self and othersThe core of Buddhism is that everyone wants happiness and to be free from suffering. The more you want happiness for others, the better it is for you, and them.We wrapped up the session with the following happy dance. Remember, it’s about people. People who want to be happy in this world.last_img read more

Should you make your CEO blog?

first_imgNo. Unless they really, really want to.•It takes a huge amount of energy and time to blog. You have to be really enthusiastic about the medium, or it’s really not going to work.•Your CEO may not be your best spokesperson. Perhaps you have a volunteer, another staffer or a constituent that can speak better to what you’re attempting to accomplish through this mode of communications.•You’re welcome to blog yourself, but others may be doing it already! If you don’t want to start a blog yourself, what bloggers in your community are talking about your issue that you could reach out to and engage so they’re spreading the word on your behalf?It really comes down to the commitment and the purpose behind the blog. You need someone who will continually contribute and enjoy the process as it’s happening. And, it’s a great opportunity to think about whom you have helped, or what other champions or advocates you have who could blog to advance your mission.last_img read more

This viral video will make your jaw drop

first_imgFirst Name: AARP 08 Video Last Name: Why it’s great: Incredibly audience centric. Very customized. Extremely fun. And you immediately want to pass it on.center_img You MUST try this out. Be sure to enter your name – it works better that way. Enter your name to see who can bring real change to Washington.last_img

Transparency is the new black

first_imgThe funds of the first bailout package — your tax money – went where? To what end? How are you feeling about Bernie Madoff? How is your trust level in any financial institution?How is the trust level in us?As a “good organization” – aka nonprofit, you may think people trust you. Sadly, plenty of research has suggested otherwise, for a long time. People are skeptical about all organizations.In this environment, everyone needs to go out of their way to be highly transparent and accountable. Show where they money goes, in all your outreach.Our new president is posting a lot of what he’s doing online – he knows the national mood.Transparency is the new black, nonprofit marketeers.You can’t show enough of it.last_img read more

Nonprofit Home Page Tips

first_imgSource: Gayle C. Thorsen, Best Practices Nonprofit Web Site Design ebook Can you communicate in a few seconds what you do and why it’s important?Your nonprofit home page is a crucial introduction to your organization. Within a few seconds, a first-time user should understand the purpose and usefulness of your site. Your home page should show how your nonprofit website can meet the user’s needs; highlight your richest, most current content; and demonstrate your positive impact on society.Your home page (and all other pages) should load very quickly. Don’t use an introductory “splash” page or flash animation.Your mission statement and the word “welcome” should not be on your home page.Strive for simplicity and clarity in design. Your home page should be attractive and engaging, but uncluttered.Put your logo at the top of the home page and on every page on your site. It should always be linked to your home page.A one-sentence tagline on your home page should explain what you do and how you differ from others doing the same.An About Us link should be clearly available for users who want to know more about you.There should be a compelling, local photograph (not a stock shot) that echoes your tagline on your home page. The photo should have alt text and a message-rich caption.Contents are hierarchically arranged to match an F eye-movement pattern. Jakob Nielsen shows how readers tend to scan Web sites by moving left to right across the top of the page, then left to right slightly below the top of the page, then vertically top to bottom on the left side of the page-in a pattern resembling an F. Think about that pattern when placing your most important content.Links on your home page should quickly show readers what actions they can take on the site. Make it easy for them to find the answers to their questions.Share examples of your most interesting, recent site content. There should be a place to glimpse your latest news.There should be a place where people can sign up for your email newsletter. It’s critical to also include a large, colorful donate button.Make strategic use of keywords to make your home page more attractive to search engines.Let users know about your social media presences without distracting them with too many badges and widgets.If you offer an intranet, make sign-in easy to find and easy to use (no more than one click).Offer a site search option with a search box that’s 27 characters wide on every page.Put essential contact information on every page.last_img read more

Storybanking: A Bank That Always Builds Interest

first_imgInvesting time now in building your storybank can ensure your people will always find the right story when they need it.When good causes realize that storytelling can enhance advocacy, fundraising, recruitment and just about everything they do, they start looking for stories everywhere. Staff retreats are held exclusively to collect stories. Board members and volunteers are interviewed to mine their experiences. Web sites are updated with “Tell Us Your Story” pages where members and others can post their anecdotes.Collectively, these processes can yield dozens (if not hundreds) of stories, which presents an entirely new challenge: once you’ve got ’em, where do you put ’em? The answer is a storybank, which can take many forms but generally serves one purpose: to provide a central repository where you can easily and quickly find a story that enlivens whatever point you want to make.We asked readers for best practices in storybanking so we could share them here. Many responded and we built on this feedback with new research of our own. The lessons learned are below, and through it all one message kept coming back loud and clear. If you’re serious about storytelling, get serious about building your own storybank. Stories can be a powerful tool, but they can’t help you if you can’t find them when you need them.Building it doesn’t have to be complicated or costly.If you haven’t started a storybank due to concerns over technical hurdles or huge start-up costs, stop worrying and start building. Some of the organizations that responded to our request had their IT departments whip up a simple proprietary database. Others got a little fancier – with built-in content management, online collection tools, and cross-referencing with photos – but one respondent simply set up a single folder (containing categorized subfolders) on her company’s intranet while another started with just an Excel spreadsheet.Two of the best articles about building a storybank and collecting stories come from FamiliesUSA. Although the organization focuses on health care issues, its tips are applicable for any good cause actively soliciting stories. “The Art of Story Banking” [PDF below] and “The Story Bank: Using Personal Stories as an Effective Way to Get Your Message Out” [PDF below] both offer clear step-by-step guides to help you get started.Collecting stories can also be simple and cheap.Some organizations solicit stories by advertising in internal newsletters and mailing lists. Others send out postcards advertising the URL of their online story bank where individuals could post their own stories. Brandon Seng of the Michigan Nonprofit Association strongly endorses the online approach since it eliminates faxing, transcribing, and other time-intensive activities.The Literacy Volunteers of Tucson used SurveyMonkey to collect information about the quality of their services from volunteers, tutors and students. The survey included some open-ended questions (e.g., “What can you do now that you couldn’t do before?”) and many respondents filled in these boxes with personal success stories.Cathy Beaumont of the University of British Columbia’s development office combs through various publications produced by the school and staff and tells us, “There’s no shortage of material.” On average, she finds two new stories per month to add to UBC’s online story bank.As part of her job as a communications officer at PATH, Teresa Guillien actually goes into the field for two weeks every year and produces six or seven stories per trip. She is accompanied by a consultant (a former NBC journalist), a videographer and a photographer and travels to various countries to interview people face to face.It’s not just about fundraising.Most organizations assume that stories support development, which is true, but we heard from many who were using stories in a variety of ways:The University of British Columbia uses stories to demonstrate to donors the school’s diversity. The Michigan Nonprofit Association uses stories to train staff and help them better understand the work of the organization. The Literacy Volunteers of Tucson uses them in volunteer recruitments and orientations “to give more humanity to the project,” according to Lisa Kemper.Jim Gangl from St. Louis County Public Health & Human Services told us his organization consisted of employees at the end of long careers mixed with younger ones just starting out. “Because there isn’t much in the middle,” he said, “we need stories to convey our experience.”And just this week we heard from an aquarium that was looking to tell stories on the labels of exhibits to create a more engaging experience for visitors. You may find entirely new ways to use stories, but first you have to find the stories and keep them in a safe, easily accessible place. So build your storybank and watch it build more interest in everything you do.To see a sampling of online storybanks:League of Women VotersBoston Youth Environmental NetworkAmerican Cancer Society (video story bank) To see how organizations collect stories online:FamiliesUSAMedicare Rights CenterBarack Obama – Share Your Story About the Economic Crisis(Thanks to Cathy Beaumont, Jim Gangl, Teresa Guillien, Lisa Kemper, and Brandon Seng for their assistance in writing this story.)About Andy GoodmanAndy Goodman is a nationally recognized author, speaker and consultant in the field of public interest communications. Along with Storytelling as Best Practice, he is author of Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes. He also publishes a monthly journal, free-range thinking, to share best practices in the field.Andy is best known for his speeches and workshops on storytelling, presenting, design and strategic communications, and has been invited to speak at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton, as well as at major foundation and nonprofit conferences. He currently serves on the faculty of the Communications Leadership Institute, which trains nonprofit executive directors and grantmakers.In 2007, Al Gore selected Andy to train one thousand volunteers who are currently helping the former Vice President engage more Americans in the fight against global warming. In 2008, Andy co-founded The Goodman Center to offer online versions of his workshops and additional communications and marketing classes to nonprofits, foundations, government agencies and educational institutions across the U.S. and worldwide. When not teaching, traveling, or recovering from teaching and traveling, Andy also serves as a Senior Fellow for Civic Ventures and is on the advisory boards of VolunteerMatch and Great Nonprofits.For more information, visit: www.agoodmanonline.com Resource made available in part due to the support of the Surdna Foundationlast_img read more