Oklahoma State DE Vili Leveni Suffers Season Ending Injury

first_imgOklahoma State lost a key cog in one of the most productive units of the defense on Saturday, as Mike Gundy announced that redshirt junior defensive end Vili Leveni suffered a season-ending injury during the game against Kansas State.“We lost Vili today,” Gundy said after the game via The O’Colly. “Vili’s got an injury and he’s out for the year. We were kind of down one guy there.”Leveni was a key piece along the defensive line for the Pokes, as he provided a versatility that allowed OSU to plug him in both at defensive tackle and defensive end.There has yet to be an official report on the nature of the injury suffered, but it is worth noting that he also suffered a season ending injury last year that forced him to miss the entire football season.Glenn Spencer was bummed out about the whole thing.“He said, ‘I’m sorry, Coach. My bad,’” Spencer told the Tulsa World after the game. “Are you kidding me? I just hugged his neck and said, ‘You don’t have to be sorry about anything. You’re out there fighting, man, you’re a warrior.’ Yeah, he said that to me. I couldn’t believe that. That’s just how bad he wants to be out there.”This season, he racked up two sacks, and twelve tackles, and will now leave OSU dangerously thin at defensive end, with Jordan Brailford also still out after suffering an injury in the preseason.Cole Walterscheid and Jarrell Owens have taken over as starters, and with Leveni out, it’s likely that junior college transfer Tralund Webber and redshirt sophomore Trey Carter will see their playing time increased over the final weeks of the season. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Bedlam 2016: ‘I Don’t Think We Can Ask For Anything Else’

first_imgIt’s Tuesday of Bedlam week, and I am already spent. I don’t know how we’re supposed to do this for four more days! There are so many different ways to think about, look at and write about this game, but I thought what Mike Gundy (and others) said on Monday was apropos.“I think what’s encouraging for the state of Oklahoma is that for a considerable number of times over the last six years, these two schools have gotten together to decide a conference championship,” said Gundy.“I don’t think we can ask for anything else.”Yes. The CFB Playoff dream has flown away and the college football world is focused on pretty much every other conference title game. So we get this largely to ourselves. And like Gundy said, what more could we want?Two teams having won a combined 15 straight games. Mason Rudolph (21-5 as a starter) and Baker Mayfield (20-4 as a starter). Mixon and Perine. Hill and Carson. Dede and The President. An array of pros all over the field. This is a big time game, no matter how much attention it is paid nationally.“We have four million people and we don’t have professional football in the state; although, of course everybody loves Dallas right now,” added Gundy. “As you watch over the last week and a half when they put up the College Football Playoff standings and you have Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in that top 10, that’s a tremendous financial and marketing advantage for those universities and the state of Oklahoma.”OU defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is from Texas, and even he is starting to realize the massive importance Bedlam holds for both OU and the Big 12.“It’s for who’s the best team in the state …” said Okoronkwo. “I feel like this is just as big of a rivalry as it is going to Dallas and the Cotton Bowl playing Texas. This is big, it’s for bragging rights.”Okoronkwo has been talking trash with former HS teammates on #OKState’s team. Says this game is just as big as OU/Texas to him. #Sooners— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) November 28, 2016“Just like Texas man, I don’t like em because my teammates don’t like em’,” added OU tackle Orlando Brown. “The guys from Oklahoma, they don’t like Oklahoma State normally and that’s just how it goes. And I go to OU so whoever y’all hate I hate.”Sports hate, of course (I think). Zac Veatch summed it up well, too.“It’s exciting,” said Cowboy Back Zac Veatch. “We wouldn’t want it any other way. We have prepared well. We are going to go down and play for the Big 12”Oklahoma State safety Jordan Sterns acknowledged the importance of Saturday, but he also said it hasn’t affected the way he is going about his week.“The game itself is huge,” said Sterns. “It’s for the state of Oklahoma, but for me it’s just a game. I prepare for OU the same way I prepare for everyone else. I don’t like to look at them any different than any other team so I’m going to go out there and play hard for my teammates regardless.“There’s going to be a lot of people there and it’s going to be loud. For us though, we’ve just got to go out there and keep doing what we’ve been doing all year and hopefully that will help lead us to a victory.”A victory.I don’t think we can ask for anything else. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

10 Thoughts On Oklahoma State’s 38-8 Alamo Bowl Win

first_imgBOX SCOREAre we having fun yet? When Mike Gundy said earlier this week that this was the best bowl game, I believed him. Or at least I agreed with him that this was going to be an instant classic. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even close. OSU jumped on Colorado from the start of the 2016 Alamo Bowl and set the tone early and often against the Pac-12 runner up before cruising late to a 38-8 victory.From the first few possessions you could tell OSU did not lack for motivation in its 11th straight bowl appearance, and once Mason Rudolph got the offense cranking, it was game, blouses for the Buffs who looked completely and totally overwhelmed by OSU.Jordan Rules. pic.twitter.com/Z2QEJTYfuj— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016In a lot of ways, it reminded me of OSU’s basketball game against Wichita State a few weeks ago. Oklahoma State punched Colorado in the mouth over and over again like it was playing Mike Tyson Punch-Out on Nintendo. Colorado never had an answer. I’m not even sure Colorado knew what the question was.The Pokes were led by Rudolph on offense as they have been so many times over the last two years. The junior went 22/32 for 314 yards and three TDs before coming out halfway through the fourth quarter. Of those 314 yards, 171 came from James Washington who had to leave in the middle of the third quarter with a hand injury but not before racking up the most receiving yards Colorado has allowed to a receiver all season. At one point in the third quarter he had more yards than Colorado’s entire offense.The OSU defense was stifling and unrelenting all night (more on this in a minute). It gave up a TD halfway through the fourth quarter otherwise it could have tallied its first shutout over a ranked team since … 1958 (!)Colorado scores a TD. #OKState was 5:28 away from its first shutout of a ranked team since … 1958.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) December 30, 2016Let’s get to the 10 thoughts.1. Five years with 10 winsOSU has now had eight 10-win seasons in its 103-year history. Mike Gundy has been the coach of five of them (each coming in the last seven years) and was the quarterback for two others. This Alamo Bowl win will not go down as his greatest win ever, but it’s certainly up there as one of the best games against a top-10 team Gundy’s squads have ever played. The 10-win mark is no small thing, either, as we discussed earlier this week. Here are the teams that have five 10-win seasons in the last seven.Alabama: 7Ohio State: 6Clemson: 6Oklahoma: 6Florida State: 5 (6 if it beats Michigan)Stanford: 5Boise State: 5Wisconsin: 5Oregon: 5Michigan State: 5Northern Illinois: 5Oklahoma State: 5That’s a gaudy list, and Oklahoma State is now a part of it. This win was a big deal because 10 Ws is a huge accomplishment. The fact that it came over a top 10 team makes it even sweeter.2. Oklahoma State’s heady RBsChris Carson and Justice Hill combined for 161 rushing yards on 30 carries (just over five yards a pop). Colorado only allows four yards a rush on the season. The duo also had a pair of TDs, but it wasn’t the big plays that won me over on this night. It was the little ones. The patient, yardage-eating lunges that keep the momentum of a drive going in the right direction are what impress me most about Hill and Carson. Plays like this one:dec-29-2016-22-18-09Last year, Carson would have tried to reverse field and would have lost 10 yards. This year? He falls forward for a gain of three, and the drive ends in a touchdown. It’s the little things.3. Unsung heroesPlayers like Blake Jarwin and Jhajuan Seales don’t get a ton of accolades, but they both did it all on Thursday night. Seales laid wood like he was applying for a job at a lumber company post-playing career and Jarwin ran one of the handful of gorgeous Mike Yurcich-called plays to perfection for six.dec-29-2016-22-28-47Holy Ralphie! Watch Jhajuan Seales. https://t.co/YFsTeRjpKB— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016Justice Hill, Mason Rudolph and James Washington win all the awards, but Oklahoma State is great on offense because it has figured out how to get its bit players to buy into a philosophy. Mike Gundy has somehow figured out how to get everybody on the same page which seems as easy as convincing DQ Osborne to order the salad at McDonald’s “because team pictures are on the horizon.”4. Phillip Lindsay is amazingI wish the long lost Lindsay family member was at Oklahoma State because he was about all CU had going offensively. Lindsay had 166 yards on 20 total touches even as OSU keyed in on him in the second half after Sefo Liufau left (and then came back in) after his injury. It was clear the Buffs were out of options on offense, and Lindsay kept racking up yards. I enjoyed watching him.5. James Washington is more amazingWashington put up 171 on nine catches including a TD and effectively did whatever the hell he wanted to do for two and a half quarters before exiting stage left with a grotesquely-twisted finger.dec-29-2016-22-11-52Washington was going against a future professional football player in Chidobe Awuzie, and he abused him so many times I thought Ish Zamora was involved. Part of the problem for Colorado is that it thought it could single cover Washington for most of the first half (where he made his hay).Mike Gundy estimates Colorado played man coverage on about 15 of 20 plays on James Washington before changing. #alamobowl2016— John Holcomb (@holcombOKBLITZ) December 30, 2016They should have called Pittsburgh. You never single cover James Washington. This is what happens. Man, is he going to be fun next season for his senior campaign.Too easy. 17-0 Pokes. https://t.co/XedMKTwgHS— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016“It was a good secondary, we knew that going in,” said Rudolph. “We felt like they hadn’t been challenged all year. Coach Gundy wanted us to take some shots, challenge them on the outside. We did that. Made big-time plays, receivers came down with it. Made my job a lot easier.”6. Colorado got outclassedQuarterback Sefo Liufau summed it up nicely for the Buffs in the postgame presser.“The game sucked,” said Liufau. “It’s kind of obvious. I don’t know what you guys want me to say. It’s pretty frustrating the way kind of things happened. Just didn’t come out with all things firing. I think in the beginning we moved the ball a lot as an offense but weren’t able to capitalize.”Here’s the thing about playing Colorado. You’re not playing Ole Miss and its 15 pros. You aren’t playing Oklahoma and its 17 pros. You’re playing a team that is a lot like you and has three or five or seven eventual pros. You can get away with popping them (which they clearly weren’t ready for). You are even with them in terms of talent and physicality so if your mindset is what OSU’s mindset was on Thursday, you can torch them.The toughest team sets the rules Period— Zac Veatch (@zveatch) December 30, 2016 “Then defensively I challenged them the first practice in a meeting to blitz, to attack, to be aggressive, to be the most physical team on the field,” said Gundy after the game. “That’s what they did tonight. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it didn’t. But it worked for us tonight.”The question for me, the one I’ll think about all offseason is how you take a game like this against a Tier 2 team like CU and translate it to being dominant against a Tier 1 team like Clemson or OU or Auburn or USC.7. This game begs a lot of questionsMy questions:The one aboveWhat were we doing in Bedlam?Why did OSU appear as if it was motivated by Tony Robbins on Thursday against Colorado and Eeyore the donkey in Bedlam (and the Iowa State game and parts of the Kansas game)?That last one is the perplexing one to me. What is the switch that is flipped where you go from middling team that skates by on late TDs to brute semi-superpower that houses top 10 teams without pros? How do you bottle that? Can you buy it on eBay? Is it hidden in Gundy’s mullet? And can it be diffused intermittently over the next 12 months leading up to the 2017 CFB Playoff?The Bedlam question is more annoying than anything else. It it retrospectively frustrating to look back and feel like OSU had its head in the sand in Norman and emptied the tank for an exhibition game. Carson suggested in our postgame show that maybe Mike Gundy just muted Mike Yurcich for the entire Bedlam game.After watching some of the plays Yurcich called on Thursday, I tend to agree.Yurcich! This play made me weak. pic.twitter.com/Tm7njQHxUF— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 20168. The defensive pressure was insaneIt was mentioned over and over again on Twitter, but Joe Bob Clements deserves a raise. He’s a top three recruiter on this assistant staff, and his defensive line was lights out all year including Thursday night. I loved how much pressure OSU brought from the opening kick. If Sefo Liufau and Steven Montez beat you deep then you drink a bourbon, have a moment and go illegally recruit some JUCO DBs then Sefo Liufau and Steven Montez beat you deep.dec-29-2016-22-14-52But OSU wasn’t going to let them have time, be the more physical team up front and eat up small bits of yardage (which Colorado obviously loves to do). More of this in Big 12 play, please!9. Rudolph’s redemptionNo. 2 went to The President so many times on Thursday, I thought we might have to put “Chief of Staff” on his locker for 2017. It wasn’t just the deep balls to Washington, either. Rudolph was on point to everybody. Distributing dimes like he was Stephon Marbury and this was the late 1990s. As Steven Mandeville pointed out in our preview, Neutral-Site Rudolph is a lot more like Home Rudolph than Road Rudolph.Dimes on dimes on dimes. pic.twitter.com/Z2cggctOOA— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016QB1 needed this game, too. After the stink he left trailing up I-35 back to Stillwater after Bedlam, he needed a big boy performance with the whole nation watching. He got it against a secondary accustomed to allowing fewer than 185 yards per game (Rudolph dropped 314), and he has now run his record as a started to 22-6 with 13 (14? 15? 16??) games left to play in his career.10. Come soon, 2017Oh good heavens, I was thinking things about 2017 during this game that would have made even the orangest of OSU fans blush crimson with embarrassment. Here is the reality: Colorado is a good (not great) team. OSU housed them. De-pants them. Fredric Weised them.It was so reminiscent of 2010, it’s almost eerie. The score of OSU’s torching of Arizona that year was 36-10, almost exactly what it was this year. Next year, OSU gets the same schedule (more or less) as it got in 2011. At Texas and Texas Tech. Kansas State, Baylor and OU at home. All of it sets up quite wonderfully.The Cowboys could finish in the AP top 10 this year for just the fourth time ever and will likely be a top 10 team heading into 2017. There are questions (who backs up Justice? who fills in for Jordan and Jordan on defense?), but this will be a prolific offense with a favorable schedule in a questionable conference coming off an elite bowl win.Next season has CFB Playoff run written all over it.We only have to wait eight months to watch it unfold.dec-29-2016-23-21-59 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Photos: Spring Practice Winds Down for Oklahoma State

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. [PFB] Spring practice is nearly over in Stillwater, but we have a few more photos to enjoy before it’s a wrap until the fall. Jackson Lavarnway has been crushing all spring with his photography, and the final practice is no different. Hope you like ’em. [PFB] [PFB]last_img read more

Poll Results: Slight Majority Think 2017 More Loaded Than 2011

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Hey, it’s the offseason … we have nothing better to discuss! On Tuesday I threw out the poll question of whether the 2011 offense or 2017 offense was more loaded. Carson and I discussed it more in-depth on the podcast on Wednesday, but I’m voting in favor of 2011. I’m in the slight minority, though, as 54 percent of you took this year’s offense.All of it sort of comes down to how you view the term “loaded” — this year’s team is probably deeper, but I trusted the top talent in 2011 more than I trust this year’s top talent. Joe Randle was better than Justice Hill. Justin Blackmon was better than James Washington. Brandon Weeden was better than Mason Rudolph. That 2011 team was legit.So again, quantity or quality? This year’s squad has a lot of both, but I think the 2011 team — especially on the offensive line — was just slightly better when it comes to the best players. If football was a 18-player game on offense instead of 11, I might have voted differently.Tuesday poll question: Which #okstate offense was more loaded?— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) May 16, 2017Comments from readers are below.JT: 2011. Better O-line, depth at RB, and a OC who coached with 2 middle fingers extended.Laith: Preseason, 2017. My guess is after this season is over and yards per play, 2011. We have more studs this year but we knew going into 2011 we were going to be great. Do we feel that way this year? We seemed unstoppable back then. Not quite as unstoppable this time around. 2011 had a better o-line, and a proven 1 and 2 at RB.Guest: 2011. They played more consistent than this team has. Consistently blew teams out with high scoring. The current team has had to claw their way back to win multiple times during the last two seasons. The 2017 WR corps is absolutely insane, and as a whole is better than 2011 team. However, that does not make up for everything else though.Ryan O: Could be premature, but I will go with 2011. That team was special, and we may never see anything like it again at OSU. While in BPS that season, my cousin and I would place an O/U bet prior to a series on how many plays it would take us to score … that is how good that offense was. I had a supreme confidence that Weeden would make the throw when we needed it. Case in point, the 4th down slant to Blackmon in the Fiesta Bowl. Everyone in the stadium knew where it was going and they completed it like they were in practice. Just an outstanding season full of incredible talent.Chris Saxon: The fact that this is a legit debate is a really good sign. 2011 team was national Champion caliber.James: This is a really good question! Keeping in mind that hindsight is 20/20 is really important here. So you have to look at this from the timing perspective of going into 2011 vs today. For example, we all know that Joe Randle was immense that year, but we didn’t know for sure going in that he would be.QB – Push – This is a good debate by itself, I think.HB – 2017 – Hill and Co. trumps Randle and Smith here I thinkWR – 2017 – Let’s be real, Cooper and Moore wouldn’t start on this teamOL – 2011 – Given a draft of both units, I’m not sure I take anyone from this year’s team other than CochranOC – 2017 – Not even close. Sorry to all of the haters. It was Monken’s first year and Yurcich has had more than 1,000 days with his QB.Now, let’s revisit this in about 7 months and see what we say about the performance.last_img read more

Social Media for Nonprofits: Top 4 Dos and Don’ts

first_imgYour nonprofit’s social media outreach is a powerful way to share your impact, increase trust and credibility, and highlight constituents quickly and easily. Instead of making social media an afterthought, make it an integral part of your overall engagement strategy. When you do, people will connect with your organization and in the process become powerful allies and advocates for your cause.Here are the top four social media dos and don’ts—plus the “ultimate do”—to help you build engagement with every status update and tweet.Don’t include just a link in your Facebook posts.Do include both a link and an image to garner lots of likes, comments, shares, and click-throughs. (Check out the example on this page from Charity Water’s Facebook wall.) Avoid using stock images. Photos don’t need to be super high quality; they just need to be interesting. Gather snapshots from events or in the field, for instance, and develop a good backlog of images you can use with various types of content.Don’t post the same type of content over and over again.Do post a variety of content on all channels: blog posts, photo galleries, videos. People consume media in different ways. Mix up your media and content—tell a story, ask for donations, announce an event, etc.Don’t ignore comments and tweets.Do engage with your followers. Answer questions. Respond to feedback. Wish donors a happy birthday or even happy anniversary for, say, their fifth year as a supporter. Thank volunteers by name after a work party. We all love to be acknowledged, and we often respond by sharing those posts and telling our friends.Don’t try to manage eight different platforms.Do focus on just one to three platforms—and test everything. Keep it simple. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great places to start. Post different types of content to see what gets the most likes, shares, retweets, and comments. Learn where your audiences are, optimize your content for each platform, and make every post shareable, engaging, and unique.The Ultimate Do: Above all, make sure every post is shareable, engaging, and unique. If it isn’t all three of these things, don’t post it until it is.Adapted from Network for Good’s Nonprofit 911 webinar “How to Use Content to Boost Donations” with Taylor Corrado from HubSpot. Download the full webinar herelast_img read more

Special UN Session on Maternal and Child Health Featured on UN Web TV

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 26, 2013February 2, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A special panel discussion on women’s and children’s health was held yesterday at the UN General Assembly. A full video of the event is now available for viewing via UN Web TV.As the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health noted: “The event, hosted by the Government of Canada, Tanzania and Norway, with the support of the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sought to place at the heart of its discussions, the need to sustain momentum and focus on women’s and children’s health; ensure interventions integral to this group are implemented and reiterate the importance of championing key measures needed to strengthen accountability.”Among the highlights were remarks by Prime Minister of Stephen Harper, who announced that funds pledged as part of the G8’s Muskoka Initiative will go to nine projects meant to accelerate progress toward the maternal and child health goals. Throughout the event, speakers not only emphasized the need to “stay on course” to accelerate progress toward improvements in maternal and child health. Speakers, including President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, spoke of the need to not only expand investments in essential areas, such as increasing the number and improving the skills of health workers,  but also in the area of vital statistics and record keeping systems – which are essential to tracking progress and setting priorities for investment.The panel was followed by a second discussion, moderated by Richard Horton, Chief Editor of The Lancet and co-chair of the independent Expert Review Group. That discussion focused on critical opportunities and challenges for coordinating efforts to accelerate progress toward improving maternal and child health at global and national levels. For instance, panelists discussed the opportunities, challenges and risks that have come with the rapid expansion of global health initiatives for actually achieving improvements in health and well-being.Share this:last_img read more

HIV Health Services Associated With Better Prenatal and Postnatal Care for All Women

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on February 19, 2015October 28, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Investment in HIV services may improve quality of prenatal and postnatal care. At the facility level, the mere presence of HIV treatment services was associated with higher quality prenatal and postnatal care, shows a new study in the American Journal of Public Health.Researchers from Columbia University, the CDC and Kenyan public health institutions, analyzed data from 560 hospitals and clinics in Kenya, a country with a high maternal mortality ratio, to compare the quality of prenatal, postnatal, and delivery services in facilities that had HIV treatment services and those that did not. The researchers found that the existence of PMTCT and ART treatment programs was associated with significantly increased quality in prenatal and postnatal care, irrespective of HIV status. However, quality of delivery care was similar across the two settings.Driving this association is the fact that “the introduction of PMTCT and ART programs may have brought with it better tools, resources, and infrastructure for outpatient maternal health, services,” shared Dr. Margaret Kruk, lead author on the paper, now at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.What does this mean for the Kenyan woman? “HIV monies that have poured into Kenya from the U.S., and from a number of other partners, including the Kenyan government, are making a difference to some aspects of her [health care] experience, even if she’s HIV-negative,” shared Kruk.Limitations to the research include the inability to show a relationship between HIV services and maternal health outcomes and the inability to show causality since the research was cross-sectional and not prospective.Moving forward, this research shows that donors can stretch the effects of their investments. Kruk shares, “I think the big takeaway is, if we had planned for these collateral benefits, we could have done more with the investment to benefit the entire facility, to benefit more services.” As the world gears up for the Sustainable Development Goals and new funding mechanisms such as the Global Financing Facility, these lessons can be leveraged to create synergies between health sectors in order to strengthen the entire system.Share this:last_img read more

What Do Funders and Foundations Need to Know About Grant Writing?

first_imgGrant writing is hard.You know it, and so do we: effective grant writing takes up valuable time and needs extreme attention to detail. It requires nonprofit staff to get out of the mindset of day-to-day programming and instead focus on making a case for their mission and the impact they want to bring to the communities they serve.It’s not just about the words.In addition to creating a just-the-facts narrative that makes the case for why and how your programs or generally, your organization, will leverage potential grant funding, you must demonstrate the ‘logic’ of your needs. This means making sure your budget numbers add up and articulating how you will financially sustain the program after the funding ends.You need help—and an advocate.Network for Good is committed to helping small and emerging nonprofits succeed. We know that you must apply valuable resources to move fundraising from an administrative function to a year-long, leadership priority to stabilize—and grow—your mission.We need your input and candor.We know how hard you work to create and submit grant requests to foundations in your communities and we want to advocate and share your collective needs and grant writing challenges.To arm our efforts with data and determination, we’re asking you to anonymously share how your organization works with foundations and how you sustain the programs they fund.  Please complete our survey.In March we will publish the findings to more than 5,000 private, community, and corporate foundations to help get the conversation started around “What Funders & Foundations Need to Know.”The survey is just ten straightforward, multiple choice questions and will take you less than four minutes to complete. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!last_img read more

How I Started My First Monthly Giving Program

first_imgNote from the editor: Because our subscribers don’t always have the opportunity to read every post we have published on this blog (over 2,650!), we’ll be sharing some top posts to give you plenty of fundraising and marketing ideas to implement over the next few months.In this post about monthly giving, guest blogger Sandy Rees tells you how she created her first monthly giving program, lessons learned, and tips you can put into action right now.—————–I didn’t know much about monthly giving until she called in late December that year.She was one of my newest donors, and told me her family had just moved here from another state. She had given monthly to the food bank there, and now would like to give monthly to the food bank here. (That would be us).Oooookay.I didn’t have a monthly giving program and didn’t know how they worked, but I knew I had to think quickly—I could send her 12 reply envelopes so she could send in a gift each month. It would be simple for her and easy for me. So that’s what I did, and my first-ever monthly giving program was born.I remember counting out the envelopes, and writing the month on each one. I thought that would help us both keep up with what she had given.It was a simple beginning.Looking back at it, I have to laugh. I had no idea what I was doing. I simply had a request from a donor, and was trying to honor it. Little did I know it would turn out to be a great thing for my organization.I sort of knew how monthly giving worked, and I decided that if I was going to do this, I was going to do it as well as I could. I wondered if there were people already making monthly gifts to us, and I just hadn’t noticed it yet. I pulled a report from my trusty software, and I was thrilled to find six regular givers! How had I never seen that?I pulled together a letter and sent it to those six, telling them that we were officially starting a monthly giving program, and inviting them to join, especially since they were already doing it. I heard back from all six—a resounding YES!That Spring, I attended the AFP Conference and heard Harvey McKinnon speak about monthly giving. It turned on so many light bulbs in my head, that I’m surprised I wasn’t blinded from the light! I picked up his book Hidden Gold and read it before my plane landed back home.I did a little research to see what other nonprofits in my area were doing with monthly giving, and I got a few more ideas for my program. I named it Hunger’s Hope and created a brochure to give to prospects to help them understand what their monthly gift would do, and to help them see how little it took to feed a hungry person. I was lucky – just $0.81 would cover a day’s worth of food, and $24.30 covered a month. So, I asked for $24.30 to feed one person for a month, $48.60 for two people, and $72.90 for three.Next, I started to market the program. I put a piece in my next print newsletter about the program, and made it look like an article and a coupon that people would cut out, fill in, and mail to us. (Email wasn’t commonly used back then or I would have made that an option, too). I pulled a list of donors who had given three or more times in the previous 12 months, and sent them a special letter, telling them about Hunger’s Hope and inviting them to join.Slowly, people signed up.My finance guy laughed at me when I first started the program. He thought it was a crazy idea and a waste of time. But when the monthly gifts started to add up, I had the last laugh.In about 18 months, I had signed up 110 people in Hunger’s Hope, with people giving anywhere from $10 to $100 a month. Even though I offered them specific amounts, I also gave them the option to choose the amount they wanted to give, which turned out to be a smart move because many gave more than I asked. The total annual value of the program was over $50,000, which was a revenue stream that made a difference for us.Here’s what I learned from that experience of going from zero to $50K:Start somewhere. It doesn’t have to be perfect to get started. The most important thing is to start. You can always tweak and improve later.Work on it consistently. I never stopped looking for donors for my monthly giving program. I was always on the lookout for a way to let folks know how they could join and why it mattered.The reason is important. Be clear about why people should make a monthly gift. Few people want to give monthly just to support your nonprofit. But many people will give to help you make a difference. When I shared that their $24.30 would help feed a person for a month, it was tangible and understandable, and it resonated with my donors. And they signed up.Be ready to manage the back end. I realized quickly that I had to keep up with the details of who had joined, how much they pledged monthly, and who hadn’t given recently. I got into the habit of checking at the beginning of each month to see who hadn’t given in the past two months, and calling those folks. I had some of the most amazing conversations with those donors. They’d tell me how they’d lost their job and needed to stop giving for a while, but as soon as they were able, they’d start again. Or they’d tell me about a family member with an illness. I’d thank them for their past support, show true concern for their circumstances, and offer any help I could. Most of them came around and re-joined later in the year.Be creative in thanking them. My monthly donors didn’t want a monthly thank you letter. They’d tell me “please save the postage.” So, I got creative. One month, I’d send a hand-written note. The next month, I’d call them. The next month, I’d have a volunteer call them. And so forth. It kept things fresh, and they seemed to enjoy it.Offer multiple ways to give. One of the things I learned from Harvey is that people who put a monthly gift on their credit card give longer and more consistently than folks who pay by check. And those who give by electronic bank draft are best, because they don’t usually stop or change the gift unless they change banks, which is uncommon. At that point, we had the ability to take credit cards, but I had no idea how to do automatic bank drafts. I called our bank and told them what I was trying to do, and they agreed to set it up for me with no fees as part of their support of our work. It was nice to offer a payment choice to donors so they could pay by check, credit card, or automatic bank draft.Since then, I’ve helped start numerous monthly giving programs. They’re a great way to create a predictable revenue stream for the nonprofit and make giving easy for the donor.And I won’t ever forget those humble beginnings.Do you need software to help you set up and run your monthly giving program? Talk to us!Sandy shows passionate nonprofit leaders how to fully fund their big vision, so they can spend their time changing lives instead of worrying about money. She has helped dozens of small nonprofits go from “nickel-and-dime fundraising” to adding 6 or 7 figures to their bottom line. As a trainer, she shows her students how to find ideal donors, connect with them through authentic messaging, and build relationships that stand the test of time, so that fundraising becomes easy and predictable. Sandy is based in Loudon, TN. Find out more about her fundraising system at www.GetFullyFunded.com.last_img read more