1 September 2008Recent unhappy thoughts of a disappointing Tri-Nations 2008 campaign were erased at the weekend as the Springboks ended their competition with a record 53-8 victory over the Wallabies. The win brought the curtain down on Percy Montgomery’s outstanding career.South Africa entered their final Tri-Nations match needing a win to avoid a first-ever home whitewash in the southern hemisphere’s flagship rugby competition. Incredibly, when the dust had settled on their clash in Johannesburg, the Boks had prevented that ignominious record with a sensational 45-point victory.South Africa’s loss to the Aussies at the Absa Stadium in Durban had been the world champion’s third on the trot and after that lacklustre performance they had come in for heavy criticism in the week leading up to the clash at Coca-Cola Park (formerly Ellis Park).StructureMost experts felt the Boks needed more structure in their approach. The question was whether or not it would be on show in Johannesburg, and what effect it would have on the Springboks’ play.The answers to the questions were clear: there was more structure on show on Saturday and with it came more opportunities. By making effective use of those opportunities, the Springboks raced to a record margin of victory over the Wallabies as they outscored them by eight tries to one.The score makes clear the dominance that South Africa enjoyed in all phases of play. The direction that was absent in their disheartening losses earlier in the Tri-Nations was back and Springbok fans were treated to a rich dollop of traditional Bok rugby.Effective approachThe effectiveness of the approach that had won South Africa the 2007 Rugby World Cup left one wondering why there was ever an attempt to play the game in any other way. It also left Bok supporters hoping that their team will from now on stick to the tried, tested, and successful.Australia were first on the scoreboard after five minutes of play when, after they had kept the Springboks pinned in their half of the field, Butch James was trapped offsides. Matt Giteau slotted an easy penalty attempt to put his team 3-0 ahead.South Africa went onto the attack from the restart and eventually capitalised from a knock on by Wallaby skipper Stirling Mortlock. The Boks moved the ball left, but looked pretty static until Andries Bekker ran onto a pass into a gap and raced through to dot down. Butch James converted to increase SA’s lead to 7-3.Easy run-inOnly three minutes later, South Africa had crossed for a second five-pointer. Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez took a quick tap and spun the ball wide. Jean de Villiers drew a defender and passed to Jongi Nokwe for an easy run-in. James was wide with his kick, but the Boks’ lead had grown to nine points at 12-3 in front.Australia had an opportunity to get back into the game four minutes later, but Lote Tuquri dropped a pass with an open goal line in front of him.After 25 minutes, the Springboks extended their lead. The Australians were shoved off the ball after a scrum near their own try line and South Africa made them pay for conceding the tighthead; Du Preez moved it wide and after a few pick ‘n drives Nokwe was freed up for another easy canter over the line.James was off target with conversion, but South Africa’s lead had grown to 17-3.The flyhalf had another kick at goal shortly afterwards from right in front after Springbok pressure led to the Wallabies conceding a penalty. This time he was on target and SA led 20-3.BeastBok loosehead prop “Beast” Mtawarira had been making Matt Dunning’s life miserable in the front row and after just 32 minutes the Australian coaching staff had seen enough as Al Baxter substituted Dunning.Four minutes the Springboks scored their bonus point try and Nokwe again benefited after he found himself on the end of an overlap once more. Schalk Burger made a break from a lineout before finding De Villiers with a pass. He pulled three defenders in before releasing Nokwe to cross for a hat-trick of tries.Butch James added the extras and South Africa took a 27-3 lead, which was the score when the halftime whistle sounded.Any concerns that the Springboks might go off the boil in the second half were quickly dispelled when they added a fifth try only three minutes into the second stanza.Long-distance tryDe Villiers made a break and his centre partner Adi Jacobs, running a good angle, burst through the Australian defence. A neat sidestep wrong-footed the last defender as Jacobs raced through for a long-distance try.James kicked the conversion and South Africa were 34-3 ahead.After 50 minutes the lead was extended as Nokwe scored a Tri-Nations’ record fourth try in a single game.A clever grubber kick by Conrad Jantjes was gathered by Odwa Ndungane and left wing Nokwe, looking for work on the right, was on hand to take the offload from Ndungane and crash over for another try. Unfortunately for the flyer, he was injured in the act of scoring and had to be substituted.James missed the kick, but the lead had been extended to an astonishing margin of 39-3.A few minutes later Matt Giteau intercepted and ran through to dot down for the shellshocked Aussies, but the try was disallowed and the flyhalf penalised for straying offsides.Australian tryNot long afterwards, though, the Wallabies finally cracked the South African defences. After retaining possession through a number of phases, they worked the ball up to the Springbok try line. They then moved the ball quickly to the left where Drew Mitchell crossed in the corner for the five-pointer.The conversion attempt by Giteau was wide of the mark, leaving the score at 39-8.After about 15 minutes without a change to the score, Ruan Pienaar, on for James at flyhalf, scored the Springboks’ seventh try with a brilliant solo effort during which he beat three defenders before crashing over near the uprights.Percy Montgomery knocked over the conversion to put South Africa 46-8 ahead.Nail in the coffinTwo minutes from the end the Boks struck again to make their victory margin over the Wallabies their biggest ever. Substitute Danie Rossouw made a powerful run that split the Australian defence and then committed the final defender to the tackle before passing to Odwa Ndungane, who rounded off the move.Montgomery added the extras to make the final score 53-8.It was a vastly improved performance by the Springboks and the woes at the breakdown where Victor Matfield and company had played second fiddle during their three successive losses were comprehensively rectified; more players were committed to the loose ball and SA bossed the breakdown.The pack, with “Beast” Mtawarira to the fore, dominated the set scrums and the lineouts, which had been strangely unreliable in Durban, were more solid.DefenceSouth Africa’s defence, upon which Springbok teams pride themselves, regained its hard-hitting edge and the game plan that won the Boks a World Cup was once more in evidence.Coach Peter de Villiers insisted the Springboks were still a long way off the level they could achieve, putting their performance at only 60 to 70 percent of its potential. However, observers have by now learnt to take his pronouncements with a pinch of salt.SA skipper Victor Matfield, upon whom cheers rained down during the after-match interviews, praised his team, saying their character had shown itself when the pressure was at its greatest.Australia’s coach Robbie Deans quipped: “We’ve already seen in this tournament how little it takes to go from being a victor and enjoying the experience to a loser and not enjoying the experience.”Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
The leading sports goods manufacturer and exporter from this town in Uttar Pradesh, who was abducted late Tuesday while he was headed home, has been rescued, police said on Wednesday.Sudhir Mahajan (55), the managing director of M/S BDM & Sons (Pvt) Ltd, was found tied to a tree in Khatauli town of Muzaffarnagar district late Wednesday, a police official said.Earlier, the abductors had demanded Rs.2 crore from the businessman’s family, Deputy Inspector General of Police Zaki Ahmad said. He added that teams were formed to nab the kidnappers. Mahajan was abducted late on Tuesday when he was headed to his Defence Colony residence at the Mawana road here. He left his factory at the Sports Goods Complex on Delhi road in his car around 8.30 p.m. According to police, the manufacturer of BDM cricket kit had stopped briefly to buy some paint boxes from the market. Around 10.30 p.m., the driver stopped the car around 300 metres before Defence Colony to check some noise in the boot space where the paint boxes were kept. However, when he was heading back to his seat, three kidnappers pounced on him from a nearby bush and forced themselves into the car and held the driver and the businessman at gunpoint, police said.Around 11.30 p.m., Mahajan’s son Siddharth received a text message and a phone call in which the kidnappers demanded Rs.2 crore for releasing his father, according to a police official.
A growing number of people are giving even bigger bucks online. A new study, “The Wired Wealthy” by Convio, Sea Change Strategies and Edge Research, looks at these major online donors in depth. Read the full study below, or just check out these key points from the study:Major and moderate donors are generous and onlineThe e-mail files surveyed represent one percent of the membership but 32 percent of the revenue for this sector80 percent of the wired wealthy made donations both online and offline72 percent say donating online is more efficient and helps charities reduce administrative costs51 percent said they prefer giving online and 46 percent said that five years from now they will be making a greater portion of their charitable gifts onlineMost charity Web sites are missing opportunities to fully engage wealthy wired with their organizationOnly 40 percent said that most charity Web sites made them feel personally connected to their cause or missionOnly 40 percent said that most charity Web sites are inspiring48 percent felt most charity Web sites are well-designedEmail shows signs of lost opportunities to connect with various donors74 percent said it was appropriate for the charity to send an email reminding them to renew an annual gift74 percent said that an email from the charity about how their donation was spent, and what happened as a result would make them more likely to give again65 percent said they always open and glance at emails from causes they supportThree distinct groups of donors emerged based on the extent to which the donor sees the Internet as a source of connection between themselves and the causesRelationship seekers (29%) – the group most likely to connect emotionally with organizations onlineAll business (30%) – not looking for a relationship or emotional connection, but a smooth and simple donation processCasual connectors (41%) occupy the middle ground, showing some interest in sustaining an online relationship, but also wanting a smooth and simple processNonprofits should create and provide options that let the wired wealthy customize their online experience with the cause, says the study.
RFP/RFIScripted demosUsability testingReference checksFull-cost proposals 5. Test vendors against your needsRFP/RFI. Issuing a Request For Proposals can help you identify vendors. If you can ask clear, unambiguous questions that can be answered with a yes or a no (andmaybe some amplifying text), an RFP can be helpful. Recognize that any question you ask the vendor should be a question that you can score a response to. So a “yes” answer has to mean something specific, and that gets points. A “no” means the opposite and gets no points. A well-written RFP can help you identify vendors who wouldn’t have been on your radar otherwise, or help narrow the field when you have too many vendors to evaluate in-depth.However, it is difficult to craft an RFP that will accomplish this goal. Also, some vendors do not respond to RFPs. Depending on your needs, you might be able to get the information you want with a short Request for Information (RFI), or even a phone call. RFIs are good for answering basic, factual questions.Scripted demos. You are really only going to hold demos with a few vendors-three or four is usually the ideal number. The goal in holding demos is to compare apples to apples between the different vendors.The most critical step is to use a script to tell the vendors what they need to show you to prove that they can meet your requirements. The demo should focus on those areas that emerged as the top priorities in your needs assessment.Have everyone on your team rate the demos (usually a 0-10 scale with a space for comments). These ratings should not be anonymous. For instance, it’s important to know whether it was the gift-entry person or a program manager who rated a system poorly on gift entry features.You will probably have a list of questions that arose during the demos that you’ll want to ask their customers. You’ll also have general questions about the vendor: Did it cost what they told you it would cost? Do they answer your questions promptly? Do they introduce new bugs every time they upgrade the software?You need to talk to enough references to distinguish between bad clients and bad software. So if you hear something from just one site about problems, it could be that their staff wasn’t trained properly, or they didn’t configure the non profit database software properly, or they outgrew the software but can’t afford to change it.Approach reference checks like reference checks for hiring someone: you may live with this database longer than you will live with most of your employees. It’s critical to ask detailed questions about the software and vendor.Optionally you may want to visit client sites that are using the non profit database software and find out how it works in real life. That can be incredibly educational. If you take this step, look for organizations similar to yours in size and complexity.Full-cost proposal. You may have received a cost estimate when you first talked to the vendor. As some point, you will need to get a detailed cost proposal. It should include the software, training, conversion, and ongoing maintenance fees. Particularly with non profit database software that is sold by module, you really won’t know the final cost until you have a conversation with the vendor and say, for instance, “We think we can do without the volunteer module. We can keep tracking that in Excel or in our FileMaker database. But we really need the events module.”Adapted from Robert Weiner’s “All You Need to Know about Choosing a Donor Database” presentation. You can listen to the complete presentation or read the transcript by clicking on the presentation title above or the “related article” link below. 2. Complete a Needs AssessmentWhat are your requirements? What’s working well now? What can you not give up? And what’s wrong now? What are goals in doing this project? What are you trying to fix? Maybe it’s not something that’s broken now, but it’s something that, as you consider the growth the organization is going to experience, you think will become a problem in the future. For example, you’ve never done major-gifts fundraising, but you’re going to start within the next year or two and your current software won’t support that activity.Here are the questions to ask yourself and your team:Is software really the problem? You might have the right database already, but the people who were trained have all departed the organization and no one has been trained since. Or the database may have modules that can do what you need but you haven’t purchased them. Or your organization might have mis-configured the non profit database software -it can actually do what you need but it’s not set up properly. Or perhaps the wrong people are managing the database.If software really isn’t the problem, new software isn’t going to make your life any easier. So first you need to decide whether this is a truly a software problem, or a people or process or policy/procedure/communication problem.What do you really need? You need to distinguish wants from needs. A true need is a single requirement that will disqualify any non profit database software that lacks it, regardless of price or other attractive features. For instance, if you’re a Macintosh shop, Mac support is mandatory. Those features that are not mandatory need to be prioritized. When you look at systems, you should first eliminate those that don’t meet your mandatory requirements. Then you can and focus on those that meet most of your top priorities.What can you afford and support? There may be non profit database software out there that can meet every one of your requirements, but will it cost vastly more than you can spend? Will it require new staff people to support it-positions you can’t afford? Or will it require a higher level of technical skills than your staff possess? The following article was transcribed from a teleconference presented by Network for Good on April 15, 2008. This post was updated March 28, 2016.When you boil down your non profit database software selection process, there are five basic steps:Convene the right team.Specify your needs and priorities.Secure funding.Identify a pool of potential vendors.Test vendors against your needs. 3. Secure FundingDepending on the non profit database software, software may be the smallest part of your purchase. As databases become more complex, you often need other things to go with them. For instance:A new server to run the software onUpdates/replacements for hardwareUpgrading your network so you have a fast-enough connectionTraining for your staffConverting your data from your old system to the your new oneDeveloping new reportsAn annual or monthly fee to continue using the software (unless it’s a free piece of software to begin with)There is set amount for how much you should spend on your database. It really depends upon your needs.|4. Identify a Pool of Potential VendorsNow that you know what you’re looking for and have a ballpark budget in mind, you need to identify a list of potential vendors of non profit database software . If you are part of a network of organizations that do similar types of work, that’s usually a great place to start. There might also be deals between your national headquarters and vendors or deals between other chapter offices of your organization and vendors that can save you money. Even if you’re an independent group, you can find out what other similar organizations are using.You can also ask on general purpose lists, such as TechSoup and Idealware. Talk about your specific requirements so that you hear from comparable organizations.Try to find vendors that have experience working with organizations that are similar to yours, unless you are willing to take risks. Sometimes it is completely justified to take a risk on a vendor who has never worked with your kind of organization before because their technology meets your needs, they inspire confidence, and they are interested in getting into your market. They may be willing to give you a great discount in order to prove themselves in your market. But only accept the discount if it is software that looks like it’s really going to meet your needs.From Network for Good: Our donor database software is specifically designed for small to mid-sized nonprofits. 1. Convene the Right TeamFirst, convene a group of people who will select the non profit database software . The team should consist of subject matter experts in the areas that the database is going to address. Since we’re talking about a donor database, that’s usually direct mail, major gifts, grant writing, gift-entry, and IT staff. You need to get input from the people who will actually have their hands on the keyboards, getting the donations in, running those reports, etc.Selecting a non profit database software is not an IT decision. It is a business decision about how you’re going to run your nonprofit. Techies should be included on the selection team so they can advise you on the standards that are appropriate for your organization, but it’s not a technical decision.You also need to realize that while you’re trying to get input from everyone, you may not be able to satisfy everyone in this decision. You’re probably not going to be able to afford, or necessarily even find, a database that will do everything the team can possibly imagine.So part of the exercise is going through a prioritization exercise so that you know which needs are most important.
I’m very excited that my organization, Network for Good, has partnered with Emma to offer a new Email campaign tool. I won’t use this space to extoll its virtues (though as a marketing person, I have to say there are many), but I did want to celebrate the fact this week with a couple of email posts. Here are 9 ways to create vastly better emails:1. Define Your Audience. You could buy an enormous list of cold prospects (WARNING: bad idea!) or focus on a carefully built list of people who care. You’ll do much better with the latter group who has given you permission to communicate with them. No one likes spam. (Some people enjoy SPAMÂ®, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of meat.) 2. Define Your Message. Do you have the right message and right time for that message? Focus your message on your audience’s interests, aspirations and desires rather than your own need for money. It’s all about “you marketing” versus “me marketing.” 3. Get to the point in spectacular fashion, in the first few words. The subject line of your email needs to seize the audience’s attention. Don’t ever bury the lead. (A good trick that usually works – throw out your first paragraph.) 4. Offer something of value to the reader-helpful tips, for example. Those are likely to be saved, not trashed. People will think of you in a favorable way. 5. Segment and personalize. The more the missive speaks to the receiver as an individual, the more likely they will perceive it as something other than spammy slop. 6. Be different. People are drowning in email. Whether it’s the tone of your message or the startling honesty of your subject line, a standout element is required. 7. Make the call to action so incredibly easy to do, people just can’t say no. Strive for a one-click or one-second level of ease. 8. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe or get off your mailing list. Include an unsubscribe button and an easy way for people to contact you to update their information. It’s convenient, transparent for you and keeps you in line with CAN-SPAM rules. 9. Don’t email donors, subscribers, etc. via Outlook. Ever. It will get you into trouble. You need a professional email outreach tool.