Sharjah Test: West Indies thump Pakistan to end winless streak

first_imgKraigg Brathwaite and Shane Dowrich guided West Indies to a five-wicket win over Pakistan in the third and final Test on Thursday, completing a rare Test victory away from home for the tourists. (Scorecard)Needing a further 39 runs on the last day to deny Pakistan a clean sweep in the series, Brathwaite and Dowrich calmly steered the tourists to 154/5 with both batsmen finishing with identical scores of 60 not out.LONG WAITThe pair shared an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 87 after coming together on Wednesday with the West Indies in trouble at 67 for five.”This has been a long time coming,” said Jason Holder said after notching his first victory in his 12th Test as West Indies captain.”I’ve had tough Test matches over the last year or so (but) we’re a young side in transition… the longer we stay together as group, the better it is for West Indies cricket.”Pakistan won the opening Test, played as a day-nighter, then the second by 133 runs but the third Test defeat cost them a rare triple clean sweep after they won the Twenty20 and ODI series’ 3-0.West Indies’ last Test victory against a major Test opposition away from home came way back in 2007 when they defeated South Africa at Port Elizabeth.Brathwaite laid the foundations for the victory by hitting an unbeaten century and carrying his bat in West Indies first innings of 337 and a 56-run lead.Wicketkeeper-batsman Dowrich also showed lots of aggression and patience, sealing the win with a sliced boundary over slips off Mohammad Amir.advertisement”I’ve been playing with Shane since secondary school and the plan was to just keep rotating strike and bring the target down,” Brathwaite said.Brathwaite, 44 overnight, took some of the pressure off when he drove Wahab Riaz through the covers for four off the first ball. He then raised his half century by guiding the left-arm seamer to third man for two runs.Dowrich was also fluent, reaching his fourth Test fifty with a boundary off Riaz before sealing the match with another four.MISBAH LAMENTS MISTAKES”We made a hell lot of mistakes,” Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said.”We were well below our standards, especially in the batting department there was no discipline. Everyone’s hurt from this defeat. This was a batting paradise and we just collapsed in both innings,” he added.Pakistan will now travel to New Zealand for the two-Test series, starting at Christchurch from November 17.last_img read more

Luiz: Sarri’s been angrier when we’ve won

first_imgMaurizio Sarri has displayed more anger after Chelsea have won games than he did in the wake of Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against Tottenham, according to David Luiz.Chelsea produced their poorest performance of the season at Wembley, finding themselves trailing 2-0 after just 16 minutes thanks to goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane.Sarri labelled Chelsea’s performance a “disaster”, acknowledging he saw little way back after Kane’s goal despite having 74 minutes left of the game. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! However, David Luiz has revealed Sarri’s unexpected post-match reaction, with the Italian apparently calmer than after some of Chelsea’s wins this term.”He has been, many times, angrier when we’ve won,” the defender told reporters. “It’s true. Nobody is happy, of course, the coach is not happy.We fall to our first league defeat of the season… #TOTCHE — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 24, 2018 “He always tries to do his best for us, and we try to do our best for him. Of course, he’s not happy like every single player is not happy.”But I think it’s good for us to understand – to remind us – that the Premier League is never easy. It’s not easy to win any game.”Like I said, we didn’t play well. We played really badly, we didn’t have the same intensity as in the other games.The Brazilian defender produced a well-below par performance against Spurs, but he is already looking ahead to a Europa League clash with PAOK Salonika on Thursday.The Blues are back in Premier League action three days later in a London derby against Fulham and Luiz hopes they can secure three points to close the gap on their title rivals.”The good thing is that we have another game next week, so an opportunity to recover and gain some points,” he added. “Then, soon, we have [Manchester] City, a tough team, the top club in the table, so we can try and make the gap a bit smaller then.”It was our first loss, but even if you win you have to analyse and improve. That’s the only way to success.”We will analyse as soon as possible what we did badly, to improve it in the week, and to try to do better in the next game.”last_img read more

Unpredictability the beauty of Liga MX final

first_imgWe know what to do in rivalry games. We throw record books out the window.When it is a rivalry match in the second leg of a final after a scoreless draw, we might as well light them on fire (don’t – we might need those later).Heading into Sunday’s deciding match between Cruz Azul and Club America, there have been so many attempts to make sense of what is going to happen. Reporters, doing our jobs, have dug up trends. Analysts are pointing out the potential battle areas. Doctors have been cagey about who might be fit and who won’t be. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! We have been reminded about what Cruzazulear means. We know that neither team has left in the Azteca all season. We hear about America’s attacking record and how they have done without Mateus Uribe in the lineup.We have watched Moises Munoz’s diving header over and over, the America goalkeeper frozen in time turning around the 2013 Clausura final with America winning a title over Cruz Azul in the most unlikely of circumstances.We have seen Record publish covers for fans of each team to pick up Sunday morning, each proclaiming victory for the preferred side so you can be the first on your block to have the cover that says you are the champion.Yet we have no idea what’s going to happen. That is the beauty of the final, and the reward for fans after suffering through a first leg that honestly wasn not all that exciting.Pedro Caixinha Cruz Azul“Before the start of the game, I spoke with the players about the statistics and I asked them to focus on the preparation for the match, that they avoid distractions,” Cruz Azul manager Pedro Caixinha said. “I think our biggest area of work has been being humble. We’re only interested in one thing: Winning.”The Liguilla is brutal, and achieving that goal of winning . Managers have only three days to make adjustments between legs. Players have three days to recover. There can only be so many wrinkles or tweaks put into a game plan – and while the clubs do have some depth only so many modifications to a lineup to be made.That is why the coaches are looking to have their team prepared and worrying about that far more than the streaks and stats or even what the opposition game plan is going to be Sunday night.”They’re really disputed matches. If you stay still for a moment, you might be picking the ball out of your net,” Club America manager Miguel Herrera said. “I’m not interested in how they might play. We’ve got the skill to beat them. They defended well, the score stayed 0-0 but I see myself happy Sunday, winning the match.”Herrera does have success in finals, but he knows as well as anyone that we can’t predict what will happen over the final 90 minutes, try as we might. Liga MX’s reputation as a league in which anything can happen is well-earned. That iss why the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, these two giants who each took steps this offseason to make sure they could get to this point, actually arriving to the final is an achievement in itself. Now, it is up to the players on the field to make something happen. With a goal required, it will be more exciting than the first leg. And if previous meetings are anything to go off, it will be something we’re talking about for a long time.last_img read more

Klopp: Man City are not cracking

first_imgJurgen Klopp does not believe Manchester City are cracking under the pressure of Liverpool’s ferocious pace at the top of the Premier League.The Reds will celebrate Christmas with a four-point lead over the reigning champions following recent defeats for Pep Guardiola’s side against Chelsea and Crystal Palace.Both of those reverses came when Liverpool had played earlier that weekend and won against Bournemouth and Wolves respectively. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! But Klopp baulked at the idea that City are struggling to respond to his still unbeaten side – pointing to the overall quality of their performances in what he felt were ill-deserved results.”You saw the two games they played? It didn’t look like they felt a lot of pressure. They were outstanding in these games,” he told a news conference to preview the Boxing Day clash with Newcastle United at Anfield.”If you don’t finish off your chances against Chelsea you can lose. They were the better team this game”Crystal Place did an outstanding job and scored outstanding goals. That always makes life uncomfortable.”It [means] absolutely nothing. It’s difficult to win football games, sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”They were just a bit unlucky in these two games and this happens from time to time.”City host Liverpool on January 3 and the gap between Guardiola’s men in second and Tottenham in third is narrower than the one between themselves and Liverpool after Spurs’ resounding 6-2 win at Everton on Sunday.TottenhamKlopp thinks Mauricio Pochettino’s team are very much part of the title picture – having never sought to rule them out in the first place.”You make these stories about who is in, who is out,” he said.”I saw the game yesterday against Everton and the first goal of Tottenham was obviously a situation Tottenham needed. Everton played more than okay in the first couple of minutes.”Then they hit everything, it was really impressive how Tottenham did. The same can happen with Chelsea, Arsenal and all those teams. Nobody can feel safe, nobody can feel out of the race or whatever. It’s not a time to think about it.”It’s just a fantastic football team and I said a few times that Tottenham had the most difficult summer period, and I don’t mean [because of them] not signing players. Eight or nine players played the full World Cup and playing how they have so far this season is more than impressive.”A lot of teams are in whatever you call the title race and that’s the only difference to last season, when no-one was in at this time [due to City’s dominance]. That’s good for all supporters.”Instead of looking too far ahead, Klopp wants his players fully focused for the expected challenge of breaking down a well-manned Newcastle defence under the charge of ex-Reds boss Rafael Benitez.”The Wolverhampton game was a big challenge for us after winning against Napoli and Man United,” he added, having confirmed defender Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in full training following a foot injury.”In players’ minds they could drop focus a bit. I was really happy when I saw the attitude for that game as well.”That’s what we need – stay angry, stay greedy.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Shah Rukh Khan invites everyone to be his guest in Dubai Tourism’s new video

first_imgBe it through the latest Bollywood theme parks or the recent visit by Ranveer ‘Befikre’ Singh, the kinship between Bollywood and Dubai is not unknown.Our movies have returned to the destination time and again, and have always delighted audiences with its glamorous glimpses.And now, the Dubai’s tourism department has partnered with the Badshah of Bollywood to attract tourists to Dubai, through a series of short films, which will be filmed over the next one year.Dubai Tourism recently released a new video campaign under the hashtag #BeMyGuest, which features Shah Rukh Khan, who extends a personal invitation to tourists to “Discover all that’s possible”.Also Read: New Raees poster: Shah Rukh Khan looks like a boss as gangster Raees AlamThrough this three-minute video, the Raees star takes us through the the chief attractions of the country, thus giving us an all-encompassing feel of this land of dreams and fantasies. From adventure sports to beaches, restaurants, shopping complexes and delicious cuisine, the actor is seen surprising tourists on several occasions while showcasing each of these fascinating aspects of the destination. “This is my Dubai. Be my guest”, signs off the actor, leaving us in awe.Watch the video here:Dubai has been “home away from home” for King Khan. The superstar’s Farah Khan directed film, Happy New Year, was shot entirely in Dubai. The actor reportedly might also shoot the remaining parts of his upcoming film, Raees, with Pakistani actor Mahira Khan, in the emirate.last_img read more

DMK protests against Jallikattu ban, Stalin slams PM

first_imgChennai, Jan 13 (PTI) In a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Jallikattu issue, DMK today charged that he had time to meet actors and others but not the AIADMK MPs who wanted to discuss about holding the banned bulltaming sport in Tamil Nadu during Pongal.DMK working president and Opposition Leader MK Stalin, who pressed the Centre to immediately promulgate an ordinance to hold the sport and that AIADMK should also press Centre for it, said that “Tamils will not forgive” the two if such an urgent step was not taken.Referring to the AIADMK MPs from the state petitioning Prime Minister on the issue on Wednesday, Stalin asked if they could meet Modi.”Whom does Modi meet. Those known to him, including those from the cinema world, and immediately gives appointment to them. He has met actors including Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Rajinikanth and Gautami. I am not criticising them, for they have their own pride. But, for Modi who allots time for these actors, cant he give time to AIADMK MPs to discuss an issue of heritage importance of Tamils,” he said.Stalin, who led DMKs state-wide protests from here demanding Jallikattu be held this year, also questioned why Modi could not meet the MPs a different date if he unable to meet them earlier.Hitting out at the ruling AIADMK, he said Chief Minister O Panneerslevam should have left to Delhi from Hyderabad yesterday, where he had gone for talks over the Krishna water-sharing with his Andhra counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu, after the Supreme Court declined to pass an order on Jallikattu.advertisementThe chief minister should have immediately met Modi and discussed Jallikattu, Stalin said.Reiterating his demand for an ordinance on the matter, he said it was not new for the Centre to do so, as the present ruling dispensation at the Centre itself had brought 22 such ones, including for the NDAs controversial Land Acquisition Act.”It is not too late, still a day is left for Pongal. Centre can promulgate an ordinance for the conduct of jallikattu… I humbly and rightfully ask on behalf of Tamils, bring and ordinance, else the people will not forgive Centre and state government,” he said.Since the first government post independence, Centre has so far promulgated over 600 ordinances on various issues, he added.Stalin urged that the Centre should “dismiss” Animal Welfare Board of India for its strident stand against Jallikattu and said it should be replaced by a committee including a member from Tamil Nadu.Such a task would not be difficult for the Modi government since it had even done away with the erstwhile Planning Commission, he said in an apparent reference to the formation NITI Aayog. PTI SA RC ASVlast_img read more

Jallikattu ordinance imminent as Law, Environment give nod

first_imgNew Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) Decks were cleared tonight for promulgation of an ordinance by the Tamil Nadu government for conducting Jallikattu with the Union Ministries of Environment and Law giving their nod for it.Sources said the proposal of the Tamil Nadu government was cleared without recommending any changes.In the state governments draft ordinance, bulls will be denotified from the list of performing animals in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had opined that by taking this route, the state can bring out an ordinance which is tenable legally.Earlier in the day, the Environment Ministry had given its observations to the proposal sent by the Tamil Nadu government for lifting of the ban on bull-taming sport jallikatu and returned it to the Home Ministry for final decision. PTI ACB TDS NAB VSClast_img read more

Zlatan Ibrahimovic hungry for more goals at Manchester United

first_imgManchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is refusing to rest on his laurels after becoming the oldest player to net 15 goals in a Premier League season when he scored in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Leicester City.The 35-year-old has shrugged off suggestions he may struggle to adapt to the pace and intensity of the English game, scoring 20 goals in all competitions since moving to Old Trafford on a free transfer in July.”I have a target in my head but I will not say it, and we are not there yet,” Ibrahimovic, who is also the first United player to reach the 20-goal mark since Robin van Persie did in the 2012-13 season, told British media.United are unbeaten in their last 15 league games and sit sixth in the table, just two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who hold the final Champions League qualification spot, after 24 games.When asked if his side were back in the hunt for the Champions League places, Ibrahimovic said: “I think so. It was a big gap a few months ago but it is smaller now. I think we are our own enemy.”If we had won our games and got the points we should have got then the situation would be totally different but okay, we look at the other teams and hopefully they lose points.”United host 10th-placed Watford on Saturday.last_img read more


first_imgReplying to a query, Lyon said he did not change anything Replying to a query, Lyon said he did not change anything in his bowling and was happy the way he bowled in Pune in the first Test and it was a privilege to work with Steve OKeefe. “We are different bowlers and we are good mates. We want to see each other doing well. I am pretty lucky to be part of a strong bowling attack which include Mitch Starc and Mitch Marsh,” he said. Asked whether todays spell tops Adelaide Oval win, Lyon said, “No, it does not top it. Obviously that Test match was pretty special for other reasons, but we dont need to go into that right now. This is very special, dont get me wrong. I dont think it has hit me because for the last hour I was padded up as nightwatchman. “This is actually the first time Ive smiled. Im very lucky to be able to take eight wickets thats for sure but theres still another 10 wickets out there that we need to take as a team,” he said. “Its all about Australias success. I dont care who takes wickets. As long as were taking wickets as a bowling unit, and hopefully were winning games of cricket.” On Australias 2013 tour of India, Lyon said he learnt a lot on and off the field. “I learnt a lot on and off the field. Its about learning to play cricket in tough conditions; its the toughest place to play cricket, we know that. Youre outside your comfort zone. If we can stay in a tight bubble, and keep doing the basics really well and compete hard, we know its going to be a tough series,” he said. PTI BDN PDS AHadvertisementlast_img read more

Mitchell Starc’s absence cost off-spinners wickets, feels Sourav Ganguly

first_imgFormer India skipper Sourav Ganguly reckoned that injured left-arm quick Mitchell Starc’s absence in the third Test against Australia which ended in a draw at Ranchi on Monday, resulted in the off-spinners from either side — Ravichandran Ashwin and Nathan Lyon — failing to find much purchase from the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium track. (SCORECARD)Ganguly felt that both the off-spinners failed to find the rough outside the off-stump which is often created by the left-arm bowlers.Also watch: Cheteshwar Pujara is definitely India’s wall: Michael Clarke to India TodayIndia’s Ashwin in his two innings returned figures of 2/185 bowling a combined 64 overs, while Australia’ Lyon — wrecker-in-chief in the first Test in Pune where he claimed career-best figures of 8/50 — got just the wicket of a tired Cheteshwar Pujara in the first innings after the latter played the innings of his life, a classical 202 off 525 deliveries. (Australia hold on for draw, series-decider in Dharamsala) “Off-spinners did not get wickets here. This is because Mitchell Starc was not there, so the rough outside off-stump was not created,” Ganguly told reporters.Starc — Australia’s prime bowler — was ruled out of the tour after playing the first two Tests due to a stress fracture in his right foot. (Ranchi Test, Day 5: Key Highlights)The third Test ended in a draw after the Australian pair of Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb stitched together a match-saving 124-run stand for the fifth wicket in their second innings.Replying to their first essay total of 451, India rode the brilliance of Pujara and stumper Wriddhiman Saha (117) to a mammoth 603/9 declared after taking a lead of 152. (Virat Kohli on shoulder injury: Watching Australia score big was difficult)advertisement”They (Marsh and Handscomb) played really well,” Ganguly said.Ganguly did not want to read too much into Ashwin’s low returns in this tie. (Cheteshwar Pujara on monumental innings: Never thought I would play 525 balls)”He got wickets in the last match only.”Ashwin returned with a match haul of 8/125 in the second Test played in Bengaluru. The fourth and final rubber will be played in Dharamsala from Saturday with the series evenly poised at 1-1.last_img read more

Ravindra Jadeja ahead of R Ashwin this series, he can get even better: Sourav Ganguly to India Today

first_imgLeft-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja on Tuesday became only the third Indian in history to climb to the top of the ICC rankings for Test bowlers but his rise to the top comes as no surprise to former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. (WATCH: Team India lands in Dharamsala for series finale)Speaking to India Today, Ganguly had himself rated Jadeja ahead of Ashwin in the current series, even before his form was reflected in the ICC rankings.”If you look at this series and the series against England he has just started to come out of the shadow of Ravi Ashwin. Ashwin has 250 Test wickets, ahead of everyone, and is the fastest to the mark, but Jadeja in this series has taken the responsibility. In this series he has gone ahead of Ashwin as far as taking responsibility is concerned,” Ganguly told India Today.ICC RANKING FOR TEST BOWLERS: Rank Bowler Rating 1 Ravindra Jadeja 899 2 Ravichandran Ashwin 862 3 Rangana Herath 854 4 Josh Hazlewood 842 5 James Anderson 810Jadeja claimed nine wickets in Ranchi to take his tally to 21 in the series, four more than Ashwin while the left arm spinner also has a better strike rate and average. His efforts drew high praise from Indian captain Virat Kohli after the drawn third Test.”Jadeja’s bowling was outstanding in this match. Every bowler bowled well but according to me Jadeja stands out. For this pitch he bowled exceptionally well and showed why he has joined Ashwin as the world’s best bowler”, said the India captain, who posted a picture of himself with the ‘bowling machine’ on route to the series decider.advertisementNo doubt Kohli will depend on the deadly duo of Jadeja and Ashwin to seal a record extending seventh straight series win.Off to Dharamshala for the last one. With the bowling machine ?????? @imjadeja Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 21 March 2017Ganguly believes that Jadeja is in the form of his life but can get even better.”The last 6 months have been the best for Jadeja as a spinner over the last 4-5 years, hopefully he can carry on, and he is getting the experience. He has played a lot of Test cricket now and hopefully he can use that experience to get better. It is bound to happen when you have been around for 4-5 years and you know you are going to play Test matches. Jadeja has been backed by MS Dhoni, he has been backed by selectors and has been backed by Virat Kohli so he has everything going for him and he has bowled well,” Ganguly said. (Australian media compares Kohli to Trump)BEST AVG AT HOME IN TESTS (100+ WKTS): Bowler Wickets Average Jim Laker 135 18.08 Imran Khan 163 19.20 G Lock 104 19.51 Muttiah Muralitharan 493 19.56 Ravindra Jadeja 117 19.87Former Aussie skipper Michael Clarke too hailed Jadeja for his heroics in the Ranchi Test that ended in a draw.”I think the footmarks really helped Jadeja in this Test but he has been exceptional. I think the combination of Ashwin and Jadeja is why India win a lot of matches. I think he would have liked to take a few more wickets and would have liked to spun India to victory but then again credit needs to go to the Australian batsmen that they found a way to combat him. He is always a threat as is Ashwin. I think they are as good as each other and rankings don’t lie, they are the top ranked bowlers in the world,” Clarke told India Today.The battle now resumes in Dharamsala in the series decider from March 25.ALSO WATCHlast_img read more

Recurring Donation Log In

first_imgDo you need to edit or update your recurring donation?  If so, you need to log in to your profile. We have two ways donors can set up a recurring donation: 1) through the Network for Good website or 2) through a nonprofit website that has a custom donation page. Please follow the instructions below to find the appropriate log in site. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us!If you set up a recurring donation through the Network for Good website, please log in here to update your recurring donation.If you set up a recuring donation through a nonprofit website (like the one below), you need to return to that website and click on “Log in to edit a recurring donation” (in upper right corner) to log in. When you click on “Log in to edit a recurring donation”, you will prompted to enter your email address and password so you can log in and update your settings:last_img read more

6 Tips to Ensure Your Emails Are Read (and Enjoyed)

first_imgCustomize the “From” fieldThere’s nothing special or memorable about receiving an email from “office” or But when you personalize the “From” address to send your campaign from an actual person, such as your executive director or a beneficiary of your work, you’ve taken the first step in creating a relationship with your supporters.Limit your subject line lengthThe perfect subject line length is up for debate. The rule of thumb is a 40 character limit, but some email clients display only the first 25. When in doubt, test across as many email clients as you can, and take a look at your open rates as you test.Perfect subject line copy You’ve got only one chance to make a good first impression. Your email subject lines can show how much you respect your constituents’ busy schedules by telling them exactly what they’ll find inside. Always avoid using ALL CAPS, dollar signs, and exclamation points, all of which will raise flags for spam filters. You should also avoid using words such as “free,” “help,” or “invite.” Try “complimentary,” “assistance,” and “confirm” instead. To increase your email delivery rates further, always use a spam filter test (Constant Contact has a great spam checker!) to scour your email header, subject line, body, and footer.Make it personal Formal salutations like “Dear Sir or Madam” can be appropriate when writing long form letters by hand, but with email, the expectations are less formal. Feel free to address your recipients with a familiar “Hi,” followed by their first name—provided of course that you have followed the email list building best practice of asking for first and last names.Bring it to a closeThe same advice to keep your content personal applies when signing off. Feel free to thank your supporters and be sincere, but remember to sign off with your own name to personalize the email further. Some organizations like to include a small photo of the sender to create an even more personal touch. The email’s closing also provides you with the chance to add one more reminder using a post script (P.S.) to prompt reader action. Be sure to take advantage of this, as it has proven to be one of the most read elements in emails.Test and refineWhen it comes to email marketing to any audience, there is no single proven path to guaranteed success. However, testing and refining your emails will help you better understand your audience and craft messages that raise more money while creating lasting connections.Ready to dive in to professional email marketing? Find out more about Constant Contact and start raising more money for your mission with email marketing. Email is one of the most effective ways to communicate with supporters. But if your emails aren’t reaching inboxes, aren’t sparking interest with a thoughtful subject line, or are too generic, there’s a chance your supporters won’t read them at all. Below are a few tips to help you personalize messages and refine your delivery strategy so that your emails are read (and enjoyed). MedSend has raised over half a million online by combiningeffective email marketing with their online fundraising strategy.last_img read more

Create a Fundraising Plan: Defining Fundraising Metrics

first_imgThe great management theory guru Peter Drucker once said, “What gets measured gets improved.” In my last couple of blog posts, I talked about how to blend realism with an aspiration to grow your fundraising efforts. You can read the previous blog posts here. The final stage of putting together your annual fundraising plan involves identifying how to evaluate how you’re doing against the goals you’ve set for yourself.Fundraising success isn’t just defined by how much money you raise. Don’t get me wrong—this is the most important metric you need to keep before you because it directly affects the financial health of your organization. If you can’t raise enough to meet your organization’s core operating expenses, you’ve got a big problem. We all know that fundraising is the sum total of many different moving parts and levels of involvement by different people. If we are only measuring our success by how much we bring in, then we are missing an important opportunity to grow and evolve.How well do you really know your organization’s fundraising health and all the factors that influence whether you are actually raising sustainable money? Metrics on any level are important because they give you the data to make informed decisions about where you can build off your successes and identify opportunities for improvement. I’m not suggesting a whole system of complicated (and time-consuming to calculate) benchmarks for the sake of having them. If your development team is small and/or your database isn’t especially adept at helping you track key indicators, you’ll end up wasting precious time that you should be using to fundraise.To help you make your fundraising efforts as effective as possible, I suggest that you keep track of three key areas critical to effective fundraising: donors’ behavior and giving patterns, return of your fundraising costs, and the level of your leadership engagement. Depending on your internal capacity, you may choose one or two from each of the following categories to start. Compare a few fiscal years to offer the best picture of trends in your performance so you can determine where you need to build on your wins and make course corrections.Donor behaviorGeneral inventory of your donors: How many do you have? How many are new, LYBUNTS (gave last year but not yet this year), and SYBUNTS (have given in the past but not last year or this year)?Percentage of retention: How many of your donors are renewing their gifts every year?Snapshot of donor giving levels: Are your donors’ giving levels increasing, decreasing, or staying the same? If you can track donors by various gift ranges ($1 to $249, $250 to $499, $500 to $999, and so on), you can see where to focus attention on upgrading, maybe through increased donor communications or staff/board outreach. You can also drill deeper into identifying donors who could become major gifts prospects.Breakdown by revenue source: How are your donors supporting you? Through direct mail, online donations, monthly giving, events? How have your fundraising activities performed over the past few years?Donor acquisition: You likely have a multichannel fundraising approach that includes social media and more, shall I say, “traditional” fundraising methods (direct mail, online giving, etc.). How many new “friends” are signing up for your electronic communications or are promoting you through their social media outlets? How many are becoming donors? This helps you understand how prospective donors are finding you and what may or may not be influencing their decision to convert their interest into a gift.FinancialsCost to raise a dollar (CTRD): How much are you spending versus how much you are raising? If you have a small staff and limited budget, focus on those activities that have the best ROI. For example, events have notably higher CTRD than major gifts fundraising, and as you saw in an earlier blog post, fundraising from existing donors has a lower CTRD than from nondonors.Average gift: Hopefully this average gift size is increasing to show deeper investment by your donors. If it isn’t, what ways can you build better relationships and communicate more effectively across multiple channels?BoardPercentage of board giving: How many of your board members are making their own gift? It should be 100%. If not, evaluate why and how to get full participation.Amount of board giving: On average, board giving (not including soft credit for gifts they facilitate) tends to be less than 10% of an organization’s overall fundraising total. How does your board giving compare?Percentage of the board involved in fundraising: It’s important for your board to be involved in some aspect of fundraising. Remember, they don’t all have to be asking, but there is a role for each board member to play!If you have frontline fundraisers, a relatively good (or at least decent) database, and an established or planned major gifts program (or any combination of these three), consider these metrics:Donor BehaviorMidlevel donors: How you define “midlevel” will depend on what you consider a “major gift.” If we use $1,000 to $9,999 as an example of midlevel donors, look at how these donors’ gifts are tracking. Who can you add to your major gifts pipeline for further qualification through research and staff visits?The number of meaningful donor touchpoints: Fundraising is about building relationships to lead you to successful solicitations. Frontline major gifts officers (MGOs) should be making 10 to 15 face-to-face meetings each month and actively working about one-third of their portfolio toward a solicitation. That equates to two to three solicitations per month (basing it on a donor portfolio of about 150). Are they on track? If not, what support or other staff/board involvement do your MGOs need?The number of gifts closed to ask: This is helpful for tracking your frontline fundraisers’ success in measuring how many asks (whether annual or major gift) they are making and how many are successful.Think of metrics as the vital signs of your organization’s financial health. They provide you with different ways to keep an eye on all the factors that determine whether the plans you’ve put in place will lead to a successful fundraising year.last_img read more

Southampton vs Man Utd: Martial benched for Saints trip

first_imgHaving left it late to secure victory – and progression to the last 16 – in their midweek Champions League tie against Young Boys, Manchester United now refocus on domestic concerns with a trip to Southampton.Jose Mourinho’s side are looking for their first league win in three on the South Coast but will be buoyed by the fact that the Saints haven’t won at home since April, with no victories in six games.Former United favourite Mark Hughes looks like he might be fighting for his job at St Mary’s, after he steered the club to Premier League safety last season and a win over the Red Devils may buy him some time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Defeat however is likely to further entrench them in another relegation battle – and could spell an exit before Christmas for the Welshman. Game Southampton vs Manchester United Date Saturday, December 1 Time 5:30pm GMT / 12:30pm ET Stream (US) fubo TV (7-day free trial) TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream Telemundo Deportes En Vivo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will be broadcast on BT Sport 1 and livestreamed on the BT Sport Live app. UK TV channel Online stream BT Sport 1 BT Sport Live Squads & Team News Position Southampton squad Goalkeepers McCarthy, Gunn, Forster, Lewis Defenders Soares, Yoshida, Hoedt, Targett, Valery, Bednarek, Stephens, Vestergaard Midfielders Lemina, Hojbjerg, Elyounoussi, Armstrong, Redmond, Ward-Prowse, Davis, Romeu Forwards Gabbiadini, Gallagher, Austin With the pressure weighing on them, Saints are also forced to contend without lead goalscorer Danny Ings, who misses the clash with a hamstring issue.Matt Targett was also a doubt with a head knock and does not make the bench.Southampton XI:  McCarthy; Valery, Yoshida, Vestergaard, Stephens, Cédric; Lemina, Hojbjerg; Obafemi, Armstrong, Redmond. Position Manchester United players Goalkeepers De Gea, Grant, Romero Defenders Dalot, Smalling, Jones, Young, Pereira, Rojo, Bailly, Valencia Midfielders Lingard, Matic, Pogba, Darmian, McTominay, Fred, Herrera Forwards Lukaku, Mata, Martial, Rashford, Fellaini With Alexis Sanchez out for the foreseeable future due to a hamstring tear, Mourinho will once again rest his goalscoring hopes on Romelu Lukaku up front.The Belgium international hasn’t scored in 12 games but has scored six in nine games against Southampton.Man Utd XI:  De Gea; Young, Jones, Matic, Shaw; McTominay, Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Pogba; Rashford, Lukaku.Betting & Match Odds United are 19/20 favourites to win the clash at St Mary’s Stadium at bet365. Southampton can be backed at 10/3 while a draw is 5/2.Click here to see all of bet 365’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more. Match Preview Jose Mourinho Manchester UnitedIt took a late bit of magic from Marouane Fellaini once more, but Manchester United secured passage to the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Young Boys at Old Trafford in midweek.Now however, Jose Mourinho must jolt the Red Devils back into contention for the top six following a disappointing scoreless draw with Crystal Palace last time out in the Premier League.His side travel to a rather happy hunting ground; Southampton, themselves embroiled in another relegation battle having survived by the skin of their teeth last season.Saints last got the better of United at home in 2003, 15 years ago, and Mark Hughes knows that history will be against his side – as well as the form book.Without leading goalscorer Danny Ings too, the Welshman knows that his team will be up against it to produce a result.Speculation has mounted that another loss could spell the end of his tenure – but Hughes played down such rumours earlier this week.United have been handed a blow with the news that Alexis Sanchez will be out for a stint following an injury sustained in training.It clears the way however from Romelu Lukaku to finally find form this season and net his first goal in 13 games.United’s habit of making life hard for themselves this season could set this up as a tense encounter, though. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Alisson, Sanchez & footballers with musical talents

first_imgWhile certain footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo have a penchant for playing darts and Joe Allen is particularly fond of raising chickens, others possess secret musical talents.Whether it’s lending your rapping skills for two of the most iconic anthems of our generation or rocking out with a heavy metal band during your off-duty time as a coach, footballers are more musically-inclined than you might realise.Goal has rounded up some of most noteworthy of footballers who dabble in music when they’re not on the pitch. Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Footballers with musical talentsIn addition to being one of Europe’s top-rated shot-stoppers, Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson is also a talented singer and guitarist.A rock music fan, the Brazil international performed a cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger” during his initiation to the Liverpool team the summer he joined, and also collaborated with Scouse musician Jamie Webster (who wrote “Allez, Allez, Allez”) on guitar.Having good reflexes with your arms and legs is integral to goalkeeping… so it’s no wonder that Petr Cech is also a natural drummer. The Gunners shot-stopper is a skilled percussionist and drums as a side hobby. He has his own YouTube channel where he has covered the likes of Stereophonics and Rihanna, and contributed kit duties for an Arsenal charity fundraising video featuring Alexis Sanchez on keys and Nacho Monreal on shaker duty.Memories of Sanchez playing “Glory Glory Man United” on the piano when he first joined the Red Devils may come screaming back to you – but at least the Chile international wasn’t faking his playing! Despite critics doubting he was really playing the piano in the video, the striker is an accomplished musician.Leighton Baines’ status as a guitarist and ‘indie kid’ is well-documented. The Everton full-back is mates with the Last Shadow Puppets duo Alex Turner and fellow Scouser Miles Kane (who is a Liverpool fan), and even brought a guitar as a carry-on with the England team to the 2014 World Cup. He also enjoys record-shopping in New York City’s Greenwich Village and used to run a weekly music blog for Everton, where he rounded up his favourite indie tunes that included tracks by Tame Impala and The XX.”He’s been to a few of our gigs and even gone on tour with us, and we’ve become best friends,” said Kane in 2013 to the Independent . “Lately, I’ve been sending him a few new tunes of mine as soon as I’ve mixed them. I sent him my new single before anyone else, as I trust him and I know how excited he is to hear it.”Baines turns to music to unwind from the football, adding: “Football is big in this country and as a player, you can become so immersed that it can take over your life. So I like to shut the door on football, to escape, and that’s where music comes in for me.”Leighton Baines Miles Kane Alex Turner 2013He continued: “There’s a playlist mix that the lads at Everton listen to in the changing room before and after a game.”The lads mostly chose hip-hop and R&B, but I’ve tried to open their eyes and introduce some other stuff, which doesn’t always go down well. But since I’ve been playing Miles’ stuff to them, someone has taken it upon themselves to add some of his singles – ‘Come Closer’ and ‘Inhaler’ – to the mix. It’s only one in every 15, but it’s nice to hear it pop up.”When he’s not coaching, former West Ham and Croatia boss Slaven Bilic plays rhythm guitar with hard rock band Rawbau. Bilic’s preferred guitar of choice is his red Gibson Explorer, and in 2008 his band recorded a song for Croatia’s performance at Euro 2008 titled “Vatreno Iudilo” (“Fiery Madness”). Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris, who is a massive Hammers fan, met Bilic during his playing days at Upton Park and even extended an offer of a guest appearance onstage.”Bilic is really a great guy,” said Harris. “With regards to being a guest at the concert, I am not sure if he will be in Split, but if he can make it we will see.”Former Real Madrid starlet Jese Rodriguez formed a Spanish Reggaeton band with his friend DJ Nuno in 2014. He also released the song “Yo Sabia” the following year under the moniker ‘Jey M’, and its music video has since racked up 30 million views on YouTube.Of course, how could we forget the brilliance of the iconic “The Anfield Rap” which was co-written, recorded and performed by former Liverpool striker John Barnes in 1988? Barnes is a talented rapper and also contributed vocals for New Order’s “World In Motion” , written as the official England song for the 1990 World Cup (and potentially the greatest song of all-time).With his unruly beard and long, untamed ginger mane, Alexis Lalas looked more at home at a dingy metal concert than at the 1994 World Cup. Sure enough, the former U.S. national team defender is a skilled guitar player and an avid fan of hard rock music – his college band The Gypsies even opened for Hootie & the Blowfish! Additionally, he has released six solo albums and also dabbles in music production and sound engineering.Ex-Netherlands forward Ruud Gullit teamed up with Dutch reggae group Revelation Time and released anti-apartheid hit song ” South Africa” in 1988 , in which he contributed bass and backing vocals.His first musical breakthrough came four years earlier, however, while he was still at Feyenoord. Single “Not the Dancing Kind” ended up charted in the Holland top 10.Former Newcastle player Nolberto Solano is a talented trumpet player in addition to being a prolific free-kick taker. In fact, the Peruvian was so passionate about his trumpet-playing that he would call former coach Bobby Robson and play him a few bars over the phone and serenade his team-mates during training.”I don’t think Bobby Robson was so keen on me playing my trumpet,” Solano told FourFourTwo in 2005 .”He didn’t know about it when he first took over as manager, but he soon found out when I rang him up one night and played down the phone to him. I’m not sure he was too amused.”Sometimes I’d take it [the trumpet] into training and play it for the lads in the dressing room – though it wasn’t always too successful. One time I played a duet with Gary Speed on guitar, but he likes rock music and I like salsa. I now realise the two styles should probably never be mixed.”Slaven BilicDaniel Sturridge is a passionate hip-hop and R&B fan who is known for his love of Drake and Future, in particular. In 2016, the Liverpool forward announced his plans to try his hand at producing and makes beats in his spare time.Having been pictured frequently alongside the likes of Drake and Dizzee Rascal, the striker has been given the moniker of a ‘hipster footballer’. In response, Sturridge said: “They probably have given me that title because I have decent taste in music, and I dress quite well. But I’m not trying to be that person.”Not content with just winning the treble with Manchester United in 1999, Andy Cole also released the single “Outstanding” the same year. Contrary to the track’s title, it was not outstanding at all, though it peaked at #68 in the UK charts. The physical 7-inch vinyl, however, is being sold on Discogs for a measly $0.67 (£0.50).There was a time during Paul Gascoigne’s career where he would have gotten away with singing about sausage rolls, which is precisely what he did in 1990. In “Fog On the Tyne”, Gazza waxes lyrical about the Greggs delicacy, while in “Geordie Boys” , he pays tribute to his hometown’s most famous alcoholic beverage: “Newcastle town, there’s Geordie Brown/ cheers to the lads who sup it down”.Retired footballer Dion Dublin is already a multi-talented individual, a presenter on BBC One daytime show Homes Under the Hammer in addition to spells playing for Norwich, England and Leicester. On top of all that, Dublin also plays the saxophone and drums, and once accompanied indie band Ocean Colour Scene on stage.The best have been left for last. Glenn Hoddle and Chris Waddle (who unforgivingly went with the alias ‘Glenn & Chris’ instead of ‘Hoddle & Waddle’) were team-mates at England and Spurs and so, naturally, decided to collaborate on a pop song together. Synth-pop track “Diamond Lights” was released in 1987 alongside an atrocious – yet rather brilliant – performance on Top of the Pops.You’d imagine that the duo were aiming for a tune in the style of Hall & Oates, but they were sadly miles off-target.last_img read more

Lukaku: I know Solskjaer will stay at Man Utd

first_imgRomelu Lukaku says there is “no doubt” that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will remain on as Manchester United manager going forward.The Norwegian boss was brought in by the club following the dismissal of Jose Mourinho in December, but was only handed the interim tag as he moved over from Molde. But the Red Devils have been on a stunning run of form under the former forward, winning 14 of 17 games while drawing two others since he took charge. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The one loss came against Paris Saint-Germain, a 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford, but Manchester United miraculously overcame that defeat with a 3-1 win at Parc des Princes on Wednesday to seal a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.With that achievement, Solskajer has all but solidified his status going forward, with Lukaku saying he’s completely confident the boss will stay on. “I know he’s going to stay. There’s no doubt about that,” Lukaku told Viasport.”He wants to stay. The players want him to stay. We’re doing really well. We’re playing like Manchester United should play and he’s a young coach with young players as well.”This is a perfect environment to develop and hopefully win trophies in the near future. “I think they’ve already discussed that. I’m just happy he’s here and hope he’s going to stay for many years.”Man Utd have surged under Solskjaer, sealing their quarter-final spot while also performing well in the league to salvage a chance of finishing in the top four.And Lukaku says Solskjaer’s management style has clicked with the squad, inspiring players to push on for more.”It’s always about confidence and belief. When you look at our team, there are a lot of players with a lot of self-confidence, but he gives us the right words at the right time,” he said.Romelu Lukaku Manchester United 2018-19“That’s what you need. Sometimes as a young player, you need somebody to wake you up but also sometimes to give you his arm so you can lean on him.”That’s what he does really well. He finds that perfect balance. “A former forward himself, Solskjaer initially opted to leave Lukaku on the bench in the early weeks of his tenure, but the Belgium international has jumped into top form in recent weeks.Lukaku has scored two goals in each of his last three matches, and he credits Solskjaer with helping him get there.”A lot of hard work, especially with the coach. Like I said, I’m really glad to work with him and he understands me and he knows what I can do,” the Belgian striker said.”He gave me a good platform to perform, and as a team, because football is a team sport, as a team he keeps us really hungry.”We want more. Even though we won today, we have another important game at the weekend. Let’s enjoy this today, and then on Friday when we come back to training, we’ll prepare for the next game.”last_img read more

Take the Members’ Survey and be entered to win a $250 gift card

first_imgAt Freelancers Union, the union is you. We evolve and change to support your needs as an independent worker – and we can only do that when we hear from you. Let us know: How are present member perks stacking up? What events or services would you like to see more of? Let us know your recommendations for the future! Click below to complete the Freelancers Union Members’ Survey – one lucky participant will win a $250 gift card!Take the SurveyThank you for being an active Freelancers Union member – let’s make the future of freelancing better, together.last_img read more

4 reasons why you should communicate more visually

first_imgWe’ve all passed these around a meeting table: Long reports and internal documents stuffed with stock phrases, numbers, percentages, lines of reasoning and disclaimers. Even thinking about it is enough to make your eyes glaze over – written information is just less intuitive for us to interpret!Studies show that we remember about 20% of what we read. However, take the same information and transform it into an image, the level of information retention takes a huge leap to 80%.Visual communication – the act of making your point through images – is one of the most important skills that you as an individual and as an organization can embrace, and from which you will experience tremendous results. Four examples of how visual communication can improve your business:1. Visual communication improves understandingIf you are anything like me, you’ve embraced the fact that we live in a knowledge society and that information is thrown at you faster than you can digest it (I covered this in my recent article). Embracing this means deliberately being what journalists call a “serial skimmer” – a reader who look at documents for quotes, headings, media and conclusions prior to determining whether to dig deeper into the content or not. Providing fact-based visual aids better engages “serial skimmers”, grabs our attention and gets your message across to us faster.2. Visual communication ensures efficiencyThe combination of words and images conveys the message to your audience more efficiently than text on its own. This is because your brain is wired to make sense of an image in milliseconds. Compare this to the rate of a person talking or your reading speed and this neuroscientific fact speaks for itself.Making use of visuals isn’t just for marketing purposes – creating visuals during the product development process can provide a map that conveys your business model far more succinctly than a written document. For instance, try visualizing your business model on a Business Model Canvas (BMC). In my experience, a BMC is a great tool for displaying new business ideas in the early product development stages and is great for fine-tuning and adjusting throughout the development process as well.3. Visual communication facilitates collaborationI use visual communication tools every day working with different clients. When facilitating workshops on i.e. user journey maps, stakeholder needs, or ideation, maintaining a visual focus really facilities collaboration and engages participants in the process.Simple drawings and mood-setting images is a great starting point for discussions and iterations, as every participant is on the same page from the beginning. The same goes for simple mock-ups and prototypes, which can inspire new ideas in a way that verbal explanation cannot.For instance, try verbally explaining to your colleague, in detail, how to use a stapler. Now show your colleague how to do it. Which was fastest and which was least confusing?4. Visual communication sets the directionThroughout any development process, knowledge can easily get lost. That is why visualizing key user inputs, decisions and conclusions is paramount to successfully setting the overall direction of the project.To do this you can use visual aids such as:Emotion-awakening images; to set the mood of the user experience in certain scenarios.Quotes; a relevant statement that embodies your message or sets a scene.Mood boards: intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.Personas; an embodiment of users who exhibit similar behavioral patterns in their purchasing decisions, use of technology or products, customer service preferences, lifestyle choices, or the like.Journey maps; a visual or graphic interpretation of the overall story from an individual’s perspective of their relationship with the organization, service, product or brand, over time and across channels.Beware of distractionsAlthough visual aids can be an invaluable tool for conveying messages, they can also be distractions that lead to breakdown in communication and loss of focus. This might happen if the visual aid is not properly tailored to its intended use and audience.For example, a manager incorporating a joke in the presentation of the quarterly budget to the board, might be an inappropriate use of an element that would work fine in a more intimate, low-key, inspiring workshop during the creative phases.Everyone can do itYou do not need to be a budding Da Vinci or David Choe to make images and graphics that are both appealing and meaningful. Arranging your presentation slides with as little text as possible and a simple image will get you far. Look for inspiration on sites like and find free relevant images on time you prepare an internal report or the like, carefully consider your choice of images, apply some meaningful graphic elements and combine these with some simple but powerful text. This will get your message across to your audience, faster, more clearly and it will save you a lot of writing time and your audience a lot of reading time.Need more inspiration? Look to the book Show and Tell by Dan Roam. It is the embodiment of visual communication and set ups great guidelines for making extraordinary presentations.Wait! Before you go…I would love to know of more resources that can spark creativity and inspire great presentations. Do you know of any great resources? Please comment below.To get more advice on innovation, product development and design follow me on LinkedIn.This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.last_img read more

How the recession built a freelance revolution (and my career)

first_imgIn 2007 I graduated with my BFA ready to take on the world with my avant-garde mixed media paintings, no one could stop me – except oh yeah, all of sudden I had a lot of debt and needed to pay bills. With my experience in design, I decided to suck it up and apply to jobs. That was the responsible thing to do right?I remember I filled a single lined notebook noting jobs I had applied four or five pages deep before I realized I had to rethink my approach. This is where I have the recession to thank for flinging me into the flexible world of freelance.My story is common: With job opportunities at their worst and companies needing creative work without having the ability to hire full time, I found my place in providing graphic and web design services by the hour.Today, thankfully, the job market is doing better, but many creative professionals are choosing to keep their flexibility. With the opportunity for creating and learning from online courses, content marketing, and finding gigs remotely without relying on craigslist – the environment is prime for the entrepreneur’s spirit.I am fortunate that I found a flexible way to continue pursuing my passion of creating art and paying bills. That is why I created a universe for other creative professionals to find the resources, advice and confidence to forge their own path called Creative Living Works.The most important component to embracing the freelancer’s lifestyle is to not be afraid to learn something new. I’ve gone from traditionally being trained as an artist and graphic designer, to developing complex user based websites because I wasn’t afraid to push my boundaries.No, I don’t have my degree in computer science, but I didn’t let it stop me from learning online and practicing on my own until I was able to do it for myself and for clients. Self-doubting is the enemy of your potential to grow. How will you know that you cannot do something until you try?So here we are in the age of the entrepreneur, creatives forging their own way and challenging the 9-5 norm. Freelancing isn’t for everyone of course, fill out this checklist to figure out if you should be your own boss. For those who meet the criteria to manage multiple avenues, there are so many ways to bring in flexible income while pursuing your dreams.Even if your passion isn’t the money-maker, there are some great options to support yourself in the meantime. Start off by offering a deal to friends and family to gain experience and ask in return that they spread the word about your new gig.Another key reason freelancing is possible for more people today is healthcare availability like Obamacare and the Freelancers Union benefit options. I was fortunate enough to be living in Massachusetts where Commonwealth Care was available for me to be protected without company health benefits. (Thanks Mitt Romney even though you didn’t want it to be brought up on your presidential campaign!) It has been long enough and considering his speaking out against Trump; he might not mind the shout out now…Working on your own or collaborating with a team, the freedom of working flexible is rewarding. It takes some practice of course. We all know that failing is a part of growing -easier said than done, but getting back on the saddle and building a base of reliable clients is the key to a successful freelance career.Not sure where to start? Join as a free member on and also check out the great resources on Freelancers Union like the contract template and benefits options to protect your future!This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.last_img read more