Justin Trudeau Wins Hearts With Pongal Celebrations in Canada

first_imgIn a gesture that won netizens, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau donned a white dhoti, called veshti in South India, and a yellow silk shirt when he celebrated Pongal with Canadian Tamils in Scarborough on Jan.17. The celebration also featured Pongal – a delicacy made of rice and lentils. Canada is currently observing the Tamil Heritage Month.The Liberal Party leader, in order to encourage a multi-cultural Canada, is known for celebrating many Indian festivals with Canadian Indians, and participated in Diwali, Eid and Baisakhi festivities in the past.The Mayor of Toronto, John Tory, was also present, and he and Trudeau interacted with members of the Tamil community during the harvest festival celebrations.Trudeau uploaded a video on his Twitter feed, in which he said: “Thai Pongal is a time to give thanks for the many gifts of the harvest. It’s a chance to come together with friends and family and celebrate peace, abundance, and happiness. Iniya Thai Pongal Nalvazhthukkal!”“Iniya Thai Pongal Nalvazhthukkal” is a celebration wish that means, “Sweet Pongal Greetings.”Iniya Thai Pongal Nalvazhthukkal! Had a great time celebrating Tamil Heritage Month and Thai Pongal in Scarborough this evening. pic.twitter.com/fjZMGclH09— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 17, 2018Happy Thai Pongal and Tamil Heritage Month to all those celebrating! Iniya Thai Pongal Nalvazhthukkal! https://t.co/aM84171IvC pic.twitter.com/QK5zvY26rV— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 14, 2018About 157,000 Tamils are estimated to be living in Canada, accoording to Census 2016 figures.Trudeau celebrated Pongal in 2016 as well. However, during his Diwali celebrations last year, he was criticized when he said “Diwali Mubarak” in one of his tweets.Diwali Mubarak! We’re celebrating in Ottawa tonight. #HappyDiwali! pic.twitter.com/HBFlQUBhWX— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 17, 2017Trudeau is known for celebrating different Indian cultures and faiths in order to celebrate togetherness in Canada. “Thank you Justin Trudeau! Bringing all the nations of the world together in thoughtful discussions. Canada is a beacon of light and hope in the world,” a user commented on Facebook.“Undoubtedly best leader of this world, as an Indian I never knew meaning of this word nor celebrate Pongal in my region. But kudos to you for celebrating Indian festival in Canada,” said another. Related ItemsCanadaJustin TrudeauPongallast_img read more

Electrification in India Better Than Govt Claims, Says World Bank

first_imgLess than a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all villages in the country have been electrified, the World Bank has said that more people in India have access to electricity than that portrayed by the Indian government.Observing that India is doing “extremely well” on electrification, the World Bank report noted that the country has been providing electricity to 30 million people each year, more than any other country between 2010 and 2016, according to PTI.Even as challenges remain to provide electricity to rest of the 15 per cent of 1.25 billion Indian population, the country will achieve universal access to electricity before the set target of 2030, Vivien Foster, Lead Energy Economist at the World Bank, told PTI.Foster, who is the lead author of the report on Energy Progress, said the figures they report are higher than that cited by the Indian government. “India is doing extremely well on electrification. We are reporting India about 85 per cent of the population has access to electricity. That might surprise you. The government is currently reporting in low 80s,” Foster was quoted as saying by the news agency.Foster pointed out that World Bank’s method of data collection is household survey while the government figures are based on official utility connection.“In absolute terms, India is doing more on electrification than any other country. Thirty million a year, is really an astounding performance and it stands out from the crowd,” she was quoted as saying.While India is entering the final stage of electrification, the country is not the fastest in the process. Bangladesh and Kenya, for example, are faster in electrification than India, Foster said.“You are already well over 80 per cent, so you’re getting into the more difficult aspects of electrification: the more remote population, the harder to reach people,” she added, pointing out reliability of service as an area of concern. “We know that in some parts of India or having the connection doesn’t necessarily guarantee the energy’s reliable supply. So, getting the connection obviously is very important, but India still has a long way to continue to work on actually making that access meaningful in terms of hours of service,” Foster said.About 250 million people in India will gain electricity access between now and the early 2020s when the country is expected to reach full access stage, the report projects. The rapid growth of electricity access in India is propelled by the country’s $2.5 billion electrification program to reach universal electrification. Related ItemsEconomyNarendra ModiWorld Banklast_img read more

Dressed For The Year

first_imgSheena Matheiken has been in the same black cotton dress for the past three months, and has another nine months to go. Matheiken has pledged to wear the same dress (she actually swaps between seven identical dresses), for a full year, reinventing it every day with accessories and accoutrements.The Uniform Project (www.theuniformproject.com), which publishes photos of Matheiken’s daily reinvention of her dress, is raising money for Akanksha Foundation, an educational non profit organization for slum children in Mumbai. In the first three months, the website had tallied nearly $7,000 in donations.Commented the DailyCandy, a newsletter for the fashion set, “If wearing the same outfit three — okay, five — days in a row is wrong, we don’t want to be right.”Matheiken explains her inspiration for the project on her blog: “I was raised and schooled in India where uniforms were a mandate in most public schools. Despite the imposed conformity, kids always found a way to bend the rules and flaunt a little personality. Boys rolled up their sleeves, wore over-sized swatches, and hiked up their pants to show off their high-tops. Girls obsessed over bangles, bindis and bad hairdos. Peaking through the sea of uniforms were the idiosyncrasies of teen style and individual flare. I now want to put the same rules to test again, only this time I’m trading in the catholic school fervor for an eBay addiction and relocating the school walls to this wonderful place called the internet.”     Related Itemslast_img read more

India Loses Husain

first_imgIndia’s best known artist Maqbool Fida Husain — who went into self-imposed exile four years ago following death threats by Hindu fundamentalists incensed by his controversial paintings of Hindu gods and goddesses — has given up his Indian citizenship and become a Qatar national.  The 94-year old artist said he did not want to be distracted from his work at this stage in his life, “At the age of 40, I would have fought them tooth and nail, but I just wanted to concentrate only on my work. I don’t want any disturbances.”Husain said he recognized that his opponents were a tiny vocal minority and abandoning Indian citizenship did not diminish his Indian identity. “Ninety-nine percent of Indian people loved me and they still love me. I’m an Indian-origin painter. I will remain so to my last breath…. What’s citizenship? It’s just a piece of paper.” Related Itemslast_img read more

Wooing the Next Generation of Indian Academics

first_imgCan campuses be cloned? That’s a question the Indian higher education community is grappling with as the government opens up additional locations of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). Supporters say the global reputation of the institutions will guarantee quality students, faculty and education. But critics argue that there aren’t enough faculty members to staff these new institutes, and contend that creating inferior schools will damage the brand equity of the successful IITs and IIMs.New research, however, suggests that the government’s approach may be the right one after all. According to a paper titled, “Will They Return? The Willingness of Potential Faculty to Return to India and the Key Factors Affecting Their Decisions,” Indians living in the U.S. are willing to come back to their home country. Indeed, the survey of nearly 1,000 Indians currently or previously engaged in studies at American graduate schools found that only 8% strongly preferred to remain in the U.S. While private sector jobs and entrepreneurship were the top choices for a career upon returning to India, teaching and research were not too far behind. Moreover, within the academic sector, 73% of respondents named the IITs and IIMs as the most attractive options.“The IITs and IIMs educate only a tiny fraction of India’s graduates,” says David Finegold, a co-author of the study and dean of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “With the huge expansion underway in Indian higher education and the increased demand from the growing number of young people, even a doubling of the number of IITs and IIMs will not reduce their selectivity.” Finegold authored the study with Rutgers doctoral student Anne-Laure Winkler and B. Venkatesh Kumar, a professor at the School of Labour and Management Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Science in Mumbai. Kumar is spending the 2010-2011 academic year at Penn State University’s College of Education as a Hubert Humphrey Fellow studying ways to rejuvenate higher education in India.Quality Is the KeyThe paper points out that India needs to recruit at least one million new faculty members for its colleges and universities if it is to meet the government’s ambitious target of offering a higher education to 20% of the country’s young people by 2020. “The most promising way to fill this [faculty] gap is to recruit back many of the over 100,000 Indians who are studying in the U.S. each year to obtain a graduate degree and the many others who are studying in other nations, or who have completed their degrees and begun academic careers abroad,” the researchers write.The men and women surveyed named high-quality teaching and cutting edge research as the top factors for pursuing graduate education in the U.S. Only 7% made the move out of desire for a job and plans to settle in the country permanently. Family concerns scored high among respondents’ reasons for wanting to return to India, as did a desire to give back. But the results also indicate that, for Indians, America may be losing its charms as an immigrant’s paradise. “It’s the poor job market in the U.S., both in academics and elsewhere, over the past few years, along with tight visa restrictions, combined with the growing attractiveness of India and recognition of the opportunities there,” Kumar notes.In India, the real issue is not the number of institutes (though that, too, is a problem given the size of the young population). India has around 21,000 higher education institutions, compared to 6,700 in the U.S. and 4,000 in China. “The key is to maintain or even increase the quality of existing and new institutions,” according to Finegold. “Our study suggests two ways to do this: recruit top Indian Ph.D.s — both newly-minted and experienced — from abroad, and increase the time and support that these faculty have for research to complement their teaching.”But there is a gap between that prescription and reality. For the returning Indians surveyed, opportunities in the corporate sector were the most attractive. Bringing up the rear was politics, with teaching and the public sector doing almost as poorly. By contrast, a job that combined teaching and research had many takers.“The respondents in our survey preferred jobs in the private sector,” Finegold states. “In all countries, the motivations of individuals for choosing different careers vary. Those primarily motivated by financial rewards are unlikely to choose an academic career. But there are many compensating advantages to being a faculty member in a research university: control over one’s time, the intrinsic rewards of the chance to work on topics of most personal interest and create new knowledge, and the opportunity to interact with bright young people and colleagues. In some top Indian universities and institutes, there may also be lifestyle advantages — free or subsidized housing on campus and no commute. The key to attracting folks back will be creating attractive higher education environments.”The older IITs and the IIMs seem to have done that already, but the newer ones have a long haul ahead. One factor in their favor is the survey indicates that the schools are competing against other institutes, rather than India’s private colleges. Only 15% of respondents interested in a higher education career named private colleges as an attractive option. “It’s not surprising,” Kumar says of the low interest in work at private colleges. “Many of these institutions have become degree mills, with no or very little focus on quality education. Many have serious problems — lack of quality faculty, no infrastructure and poor quality student intake. They often have very poor governance structures. These institutions are very often run by education barons, whose main aim is profiteering. Due to lack of an adequate regulatory framework, these institutions have come to be established, creating very poor quality degree-holders, many of whom are unemployable. Unless we strengthen regulatory mechanisms, this will continue to be an issue of concern.”Spreading the WordThere is of course a limit to the number of IITs and IIMs the government can set up. A proposal that the schools be privatized was greeted with widespread protest and has become a nonstarter. So even if the U.S. Ph.D.s return to India, will there be place for them in academics? “India has seen a huge emphasis on investment in education in recent years,” Kumar notes. “There has been both institutional expansion and also increased funding for higher education.” The environment is improving and there is now a greater focus on research, he adds. “There has also been a substantial increase in faculty salaries, though they are still low compared to the salaries that faculty receive elsewhere in the world.”But the government must also play a greater role in wooing these potential faculty members. The survey identified “removing red tape, reducing perceived corruption, and expanding research opportunities for faculty” as key factors.“If the Indian government, colleges, and universities wish to recruit Indians who have studied abroad to return for faculty posts in India, it is vital that they understand the most effective ways to communicate with this group,” the researchers write. “The good news is that most Indians based in the U.S. are fairly well informed about developments in India’s education system, with close to 75% indicating that they follow changes underway in India very closely to somewhat closely. Their two primary means of obtaining information are personal networks (50%) and newspapers (45%), with less reliance on list-servers and blogs. This suggests that, in addition to newspaper ads, using a snowball approach that leverages faculty and alumni connections through social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn may yield the best results.”The government may need to move swiftly with its marketing efforts, as many other countries have realized the faculty problem and are swinging into action. Finegold and Kumar hope to teach officials a thing or two as well. Says Kumar: “Our intention next year is to make this a comparative survey.”  Related Itemslast_img read more

India-born Malcolm Roberts Among Australian MPs Facing Citizenship Issue

first_imgThe Australian government has been facing issues related to the dual citizenships said to be held by its lawmakers. Following Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, who resigned, India-born senator Malcolm Roberts’ appointment to the post is under contention, and the matters of dual citizenship of lawmakers are under the purview of the court.The Australian government made itself clear to the court on Oct. 10: A constitutional ban on lawmakers charged with holding dual citizenships, including Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, should not be taken literally. The case could decide the fate of seven lawmakers, and presents the possibility that the ruling party could lose power, thereby calling for a by-election. A three-day court hearing, which concluded on Oct. 12, was inconclusive, and the dates of the next hearing are yet to be decided.Even if the court rules that Joyce was illegally elected in July last year with a New Zealand citizenship in possession, he would be eligible for a by-election, since he renounced his Kiwi citizenship. The popular opinion, however, has been turning against the by-election, along with a clamor of support for all the lawmakers except Roberts and Ludlam. Solicitor General Stephen Donaghue laid a case for the five lawmakers, saying they should not be disqualified for breach of the constitution because they did not voluntarily acquire or retain citizenship of another country.“A person is not aware either that they are a dual citizen or of a significant prospect that they are, in our submission by definition that person cannot have a split allegiance,” he told the court.Bret Walker, the lawyer for Joyce, and fellow Nationals Party minister Fiona Nash, told the court that as soon as they found out about their status, they took all reasonable steps required to sever their foreign ties.Donaghue, however, came down on New Zealand-born Scott Ludlam and India-born Malcolm Roberts, telling the court that they should be disqualified.While Ludlam has resigned, Roberts argued that against the disqualification, saying he had taken appropriate steps. The basis of his argument comes from the fact that he had emailed the British government to revoke the citizenship he was passed down from his Welsh father but did not pay the required fee for invalidation.Roberts, who is a member of the minor One Nation party, was born in 1955 in India to a Welsh father. His mother hailed from Queensland. He was a British citizen until he decided to move to Australia in 1974. The questions surrounding his citizenship came to light after Ludlam and Waters’ resignation. Since then, Roberts has been accused of giving contradictory statements about his knowledge of dual citizenship. Related ItemsAustraliaBarnaby Joycedual citizenshipLittle IndiaMalcolm RobertsMarissa LaterScott Ludlamlast_img read more

Indian Restaurant in UK Wants Diners to Eat With Their Hands

first_imgEat with Your Hands, a pop-up Indian restaurant in Towers Hamlets Cemetery Park, London, promises to offer an immersive dining experience — complete with spicy food, and yes, eating with your hands. The pop-up restaurant has come up for three weeks leading up to this year’s community celebration Shuffle Festival. The theme of Shuffle Festival this year is public and private spaces — something that the restaurant took inspiration from.An Alien ConceptChef Anjli Vyas, founder of Bare Kitchen, which works on raw food dishes, flew from Mumbai to cook for the occasion. “Does the way we eat change based on the environment we are in? Do we act differently, do we change?,” she ponders, Evening Standard reported. The event gets all the more interesting since it is happening in London, a city where the concept of eating with one’s hands is alien. Foreigners are often baffled on their visit to India, and sometimes even disgusted with the ‘unhygienic’ idea of eating with hands.At Eat with Your Hands, the diners are not offered cutlery so they ‘can feel their food’.  It also features a group seating set-up to encourage conversation. For Vyas, food was always about ritual. “Having grown up in a Hindu family. My childhood was filled with memories that marry the two and so it was only natural that I began to develop the same rituals for myself,” she told Verve Magazine. “I soon discovered that each person has a different relationship with what they eat. Since I was a child, I have sought to savour every taste, smell and story.”Hygiene is ImportantDiners are asked to wash their hands, and are given rose-infused water, oils and balms. Says Vyas, “There is beauty in how we cleanse ourselves. Hygiene is so important in an emerging market like India. Living in a city like London is just the same. By asking people to slow down and wash their hands, they’re taking time for themselves.”The project is a collaboration between Vyas and Hamilton, a fellow chef from India. Born and raised in London, they both work in India. While Vyas runs Bare Kitchen in Mumbai, Hamilton runs a farm fresh grocery store in Hyderabad. Related Itemsanjli vyasBare kitchenEat with Your Hands restauranteating with handsIndian events Shuffle Festival LondonIndian restaurant in UKLittle IndiaShuffle Festival Londonlast_img read more

Autistic Woman, Mother in Australia Face Deportation

first_imgFlorence Allen, an 80-year-old woman of Indian origin, got a shock when her Aged Parent Visa was rejected by the Australian Immigration Minister’s Office. The reason given to Allen was that she has a disabled dependent child. Allen and her 50-year old daughter Sheryil, who has autism, have been told that they will have to leave the country by Oct. 3.Allen moved to Melbourne with her daughter in 2012 after the demise of her husband. Some of her other family members live in Australia. However, after spending five years in the foreign country, the mother-daughter duo is now facing an uncertain future.Allen expressed her grief with the developments and told ABC News: “It’s not her fault she has a disability and she can’t suffer because of that.” Said added that she cannot take care of her daughter alone if deported to India.After Allen’s Aged Parent Visa got rejected, her family applied to the Immigration Minister’s Office for special consideration. They received a letter from the Immigration office last week, which stated that her matter was personally considered by the assistant manager who decided it best not to intervene.The letter stated: “…the provision of the health care or community services would be likely to: result in a significant cost to the Australian community,” the publication reported.Allen’s second daughter Jacqui Vanderholt, who has been living in Australia since 1991, also expressed her anguish over the issue, saying that the family has no intention to claim any welfare for her mother and sister. She added that the family has put Sheryil in a day center on their own expense and that the family would continue to look after her.Vanderholt even started an online petition to request Minister Peter Dutton to cancel the deportation. Her petition has got around 30,000 signatures so far.A spokesperson from the minister’s office told the publication that Sheryil’s case was comprehensively assessed by the department. Related ItemsAged Parent Visa Australiadisabled dependent visa AustraliaFlorence Allen visa AustraliaIndian deportation AustraliaLittle IndiaMelbourne immigrationNRI deportationlast_img read more

Should You Ditch Your Adjustable-Rate Mortgage?

first_imgHow much do you pay for heating? Depending on where you live, it’s a good chunk of money during the wintertime. Even though we live in the South (in lovely Raleigh!), we’re not immune to getting some cold weather.   With winter coming… Full Story,Tips to help turn those homebuying dreams into reality. From outstanding credit card debt to massive student loans, financial difficulties are barring more and more millennials from becoming homeowners. While the vision of buying a first home may seem hopelessly… Full Story,When most people imagine buying a house, they think about how many bedrooms they need or what kind of porch they want. When they think about homebuying costs, they decide how much to put down and what their maximum home… Full Story,One of my favorite shows is Sex and the City. Those women lived glamorous lives I could only dream about. And, Carrie, a writer, was living my dream life as a famous writer in Manhattan. One of the storylines that… Full Story,Last year, my husband and I were packing up our Denver apartment to prepare for our move back to his home state of Indiana. We’d put an offer in on a house and had only given ourselves a couple of… Full Story,A few years ago Dave Munson and his family decided to move from their 5,600-square-feet, 8-bedroom house in the city of San Antonio, Texas, to a smaller, unique living situation: tents. Well, fancy, upscale tents that total 2,000 square feet… Full Story,It’s a well-known fact that your personal environment affects your mental health. If you live in a beautifully decorated home with plenty of plants and green space nearby, your risk for anxiety and depression is lower. If you spend your… Full Story,My husband and I were so excited to buy our house. We’d been renting since college and were eager to have our own place. Finally, no one could tell us how many dogs we could have or how many posters… Full Story,Last summer, I was forced to relocate out of my cozy, bungalow-style apartment in West L.A. Living in one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the U.S., I was resigned to the fact that, to enjoy my ideal setup… Full Story,When you buy a home, you’re making an investment in yourself and your future. You’re building  financial stability, equity, and experience. You have a place to call your own and you can customize the space just how you want. As… Full Storylast_img read more

Financing Your Furry Friend [Infographic]

first_img Post navigation The science is in – owning a pet makes you happier.That may not be groundbreaking insight, but in the midst of a mental health epidemic, many Americans are looking to furry friends for help. A pet can provide companionship, stimulation and routine – all things that mental health professionals recommend to combat depression and anxiety.Still, many would-be pet owners balk at the high costs associated with caring for the most popular pets. Especially if you’re new to pet ownership, dropping hundreds on a cat or dog can seem outrageous, and for many people it’s just not a financially viable option.That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the cheapest pets – so you can get a new friend without getting a second job.Hermit CrabThey may not the cuddliest option on the list, but hermit crabs can make for great pets if you’re looking for an inexpensive, low-maintenance and laid-back companion. Costs of owning a hermit crab include a tank with a vented lid, drinking and humidity sponges, food, water and dishes to put it in, climbing wood and a humidity gauge.Consistency is key for these tiny crustaceans, so they’re not a great option for owners who won’t be around a lot. Humidity is their lifeblood, and responsible hermit crab owners will need to water and mist their little friend at least once a day to keep them happy and healthy. They also need a clean environment, which means cleaning the cage once a week and changing out the sand monthly.GoldfishThere’s a reason why these tiny freshwater fish have been a mainstay in American households since their introduction to the continent in 1850. They’re inexpensive, interesting to watch and incredibly low maintenance. If you keep them fed and regularly clean their environment, a goldfish can live as long as twenty years.While a classic goldfish bowl is the image most associated with housing these fish, most experts these days recommend a filtered tank to keep the environment clean. While the initial cost of that tank can get a little pricey, the only additional expense is food. Goldfish themselves are incredibly cheap, usually costing no more than a few bucks each. Also, the tank can be reused indefinitely if you continue to own fish.BudgerigarBudgie for short, this mini-parakeet is perfect for someone looking to really bond with their pet. They’re incredibly social animals, so prospective owners will need to hang out with them for at least an hour a day – or get them a birdie companion. Like parakeets, they’ll perch on your finger or shoulder and mimic words.Besides a birdcage, costs of owning a budgie boil down to the basics – food, water and maybe an eye patch when you dress them up as a pirate for Halloween. You can realistically walk out of the pet store with a budgie and all the necessary accoutrements for under $100.Leopard GeckoFor reptile-lovers, the best bet is the leopard gecko. Unlike many lizards, these little dinosaurs and friendly and sociable once they get to know you.Much like a fish, the most substantial cost is going to be a habitat, likely ranging from $100-200. Besides that, you’ll need some lighting, a moist shelter for shedding that can easily be constructed at home and heat pads or tape depending on the temperature of your house.Leopard geckos eat live insects and worms, which should run less than $10 a week.Guinea PigWhen it comes to classic household pets, you can’t do better than the guinea pig. They’re cuddly, entertaining and a short time commitment at a five year lifespan. While not the cheapest pet on this list, they’re much more affordable than just about every other kind of mammal.Besides an appropriately-sized cage, guinea pigs will need bedding and hay that gets changed regularly. Guinea food is relatively cheap, but they can also thrive on leftover vegetable scraps. If you can’t regularly spend time with your critter, they’ll probably need a companion to remain happy.AntsIf you’re looking for low-cost, low-maintenance companions, look no further than an ant farm. They may not provide the bonding opportunities you’d find with some of the other pets on our list, but watching an ant farm grow and develop can be incredibly stimulating for the right kind of person.Modern ant farms are often made with a clear, edible gel that allows you to watch your ants tunnel. A traditional sand or dirt farm will require regular feeding and watering, but no additional responsibilities. The ants and farms will often be sold separately, but even the more expensive setups won’t end up costing much more than $50. This article has been updated and was originally published as “The 10 Cheapest Pets to Own” on April 5, 2013.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) RelatedThe Complete Guide to Independent Work for Seniors and RetireesJuly 3, 2019In “Financial Planning”Natural Disasters: How to Prepare for the UnthinkableOctober 1, 2019In “Family Finances”How Much Does It Really Cost to Own a Boat?July 25, 2013In “Financial IQ” center_img Zina Kumok is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. A former reporter, she has covered murder trials, the Final Four and everything in between. She has been featured in Lifehacker, DailyWorth and Time. Read about how she paid off $28,000 worth of student loans in three years at Debt Free After Three.last_img read more

9 Ways You Can Use Lemons in Your Health and Beauty Routine

first_imgIf you think that lemons are only good for lemon pies and refreshing drinks, then this article will make you think again. Delicious citrus can be far more useful than you could imagine. Bright yellow fruits have a lot of health and beauty benefits, ranging from cancer defense to acne scar treatment. What’s not to like about lemons — they’re available, cheap and good for your health.We have gathered 9 different ways you can use lemons for natural skin care and beauty treatments thanks to its various health benefits.1. Lemons have a lot of anti-cancer properties.Just like many other fresh fruits, lemons have a lot of anti-cancer properties. The most recent study conducted in September 2017, highlights the importance of citrus juices and their extracts in the prevention of cancer as well as their possible use as co-adjuvants in modern oncological therapies. Packed with vitamins, lemon juice protects your cells from damage that can lead to fatal illnesses.Lemons have a lot of valuable nutrients such as vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. The D-limonene in the lemon peel has anti-cancerous properties as well. It has been shown to prevent mammary, liver, lung, and other cancers. Therefore, lemons are excellent cancer fighters that can protect your body naturally and effectively.2. Remove wrinkles naturally with lemon.You can’t reverse the process of aging, but you can use lemons to make your wrinkles less visible and dramatically change the quality of your facial skin. According to the study, lemon oil was found to reduce oxidative damage on the skin’s surface. Lemons are rich in vitamin C which encourages collagen production and restores skin elasticity. Natural enzymes in lemon juice tighten loose pores and reduce the appearance of new ones.You can rely on safe and healthy home remedies to combat wrinkles. Slice a lemon and massage it into wrinkles for a few minutes or use grated lemon peel as a face mask. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the effect of regular anti-aging skin care routines are visible after at least one month. So don’t worry if your face isn’t baby-smooth after one week.3. Drink lemon water to lose weight.Vitamin C is a nutrient that’s been proved to lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that triggers hunger and fat storage. No single food or beverage will bring about a significant amount of weight loss on its own. However, you can eat certain foods or drink beverages that might be useful for improving weight loss results when consumed as part of a healthy weight-loss program.Besides, if you drink water infused with lemon instead of a drink that is higher in calories like coffee with sugar or fruit juice, you’ll consume fewer calories. While a 330 ml can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories, and there are 46 calories in apple juice per 100 ml, lemon juice mixed with water has 0 calories. Therefore, it can help you lose weight.4. Lemon juice for liver detoxDrinking lemon water is a great way to start a simple detox of your body and improve the work of the digestive system. The pectin in the lemon helps to emulsify oils and remove waste from the bowels. The choline in the lecithin and the oils in the citrus skin help liver detoxification to work more effectively. Lecithin leads to an increase in fat splitting, fat absorption, and fat digestion.Here’s a simple yet effective drink that you can make at home:1 whole lemon;½ cup of water;1 tsp of lecithin (or a raw egg);2-3 tsp raw coconut butter or extra virgin olive oil;1 capsule of vitamin E;1 knob of fresh ginger.Mix all the ingredients and blend for one minute. Keep the drink in the fridge and make sure to drink it within the next day. For the best results, drink half of the mix before breakfast. It’s an amazing brew!5. Use lemons to treat throat infections.Lemons are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that help increase your energy levels. Lemons are also high in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant which enhances the immune system and has antibacterial properties.Honey, warm water, and lemon is a time-proven solution for treating a sore throat. Honey coats the throat while the lemon reduces mucus. You’ll need to boil water for the hot beverage, add lemons cut into pieces, and honey. Let the drink cool. To relax the throat muscles, drink the tea while it’s still warm. If you have a high fever, drink it when it’s already cool.The tasty mix will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create an acidic environment for viruses and harmful bacteria. Warm lemon water is the most effective way to get rid of viral infections and their subsequent symptoms.6. They boost brain function and reduce stress.Among other nutrients and vitamins, lemons also contain a lot of potassium, which is one of the key elements responsible for better brain function. If you consume lemons on a regular basis you’ll feel an improved mental performance and less midday brain fog. You’ll feel much happier and more energetic during the day. According to the study, potassium can activate neurons involved in positive thoughts and feelings and plays an important role in serotonin regulation.One lemon contains a whopping 187% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Add lemons to your foods and beverages if you’re feeling under the weather or when everyone around is getting sick.7. Lemon juice can ease the agony of a sunburn.Sunburns are never pretty and they feel awful. However, there’s a simple yet effective home remedy that can help you reduce redness and ease the agony of a sunburn. You’ll need to mix 1 tbs of lemon juice, rosewater, and cucumber juice. Then, soak a cloth in the mixture and place directly onto a sunburn for 30 minutes.Cucumber and lemon are natural bleaching agents that will reduce the redness of the skin. Vitamin C in lemons minimizes the damage to the skin and lightens dark spots. Make sure you won’t be exposed to direct sunlight after using the remedy mix as it can increase your sensitivity to the sun’s rays.8. Lemon juice can stop nose bleeds.The nose’s lining contains various tiny blood vessels that tend to bleed quite easily if ruptured. Don’t throw back your head when having a nosebleed, but instead, keep it in a neutral position with your chin parallel to the ground while pinching your nose. Lemon juice is another effective home remedy for such emergencies. You’ll need to pour 1-2 drops of fresh lemon juice in each nostril. Be sure to use a new dropper.The bleeding should stop almost instantly due to the high acidity of the lemon juice. Vitamin C will also strengthen the delicate blood capillaries inside your nose. Don’t blow your nose because you’ll blow the clot out and make it start bleeding again.9. Lemons are good for fading acne scars.Lemons are rich in vitamin C and citric acid, and they do a good job of treating minor acne and acne scars. Vitamin C boosts the production of collagen and keeps the skin smooth and firm — it also encourages the formation of new skin cells. Due to its properties as a natural bleaching agent, lemon juice lightens dark marks and scars. Citric acid cleanses skin cells and washes off impurities. The antibacterial effect of lemon juice kills the bacteria that causes acne flare-ups.Mix fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin coconut oil and apply it to the damaged areas using a cotton ball. After three minutes, rinse your face with warm water and apply moisturizer. Also, you can combine lemon juice with almond oil to reduce the darkness and maintain healthy skin. Don’t use lemon juice if your skin turns red and is itching.Sourcelast_img read more

4 solutions to delay premature graying of your hair

first_imgWhile most of us start to experience noticeable graying as they near middle age, some people are panic-stricken as they start seeing more white strands in the mirror as early as their 20s.But this supposedly “dreaded” sign of aging has evolved and rebranded itself, turning into a widespread trend in recent years. Younger people, including celebrities, are opting for faux gray hair while those who experience natural graying are complimented and referred to as “silver foxes.”It is understandable if some people still prefer their natural hair color. Largely decided by your genes and factors such as race and gender, graying is not something that can be avoided. But for the ones who are keen, here are a few steps that could delay the process.Make sure you’re getting enough nutrientsCertain nutritional deficiencies have been associated with speeding up the process of hair graying. Experts often note low levels of vitamin B12, copper, and zinc as possible causes.“I normally recommend Vitamin B complex as a supplement to my clients, particularly with higher amounts of vitamin B12 as a lack of this vitamin has been associated with premature graying,” explained Edward James, a celebrity hairstylist and founder of Edward James Salons and Spas.Try not to stress outIf you spend a lot of time and energy worrying, you are likely to lose hair. But are you also likely to develop early grays? Scientific research has not yet found a direct link but many experts do suspect that stress plays a role.“We’ve seen that people who are stressed [for] two to three years report that they turn gray sooner,” said Dr. Tyler Cymet, head of family medicine at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. While graying is “genetically outlined” for the most, Dr. Cymet suggests that stress and lifestyle can provide “a variation of plus or minus five to 10 years.”Quit or reduce smokingSmoking has been known to accelerate aging in various parts of the body, and this includes your hair. Research has linked a long history of smoking with the loss of hair pigmentation. A study from 2013 found an association between the onset of gray hair before the age of 30 and cigarette smoking. Here are some of the best, research-backed ways to overcome a smoking addiction or dependence.Get your thyroid testedAn untreated dysfunction of your thyroid gland may lead to an acceleration in graying as well as weakening the hair. According to a study, this is because thyroid hormones directly alter human hair follicle functions. Patients who suffer from hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) have hair shafts that “show substantially reduced tensile strength” while patients of hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) may experience “dry, brittle, and dull hair shafts.”Those who suspect that they may be experiencing premature graying should get tested and receive treatment if needed. Administration of thyroid hormone (TH) is said to help for some patients.last_img read more

7 Common Website Redesign Mistakes

first_img Topics: The following list is from my own personal experience building a website and are things I wish I knew then.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should act as a good primer.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignWebsite Redesign Mistakes to Avoid 1.  Do not use your domain name in your page title.  Instead use keyword rich text separated by |(pipes). Put your most important keywords first.  If you want to include your company name and you have characters remaining, put it at the end.  Here is an example of a solid page title that includes the company name.  Plumbing & Heating | Emergency | South End Boston | XYZ Plumbing Company 2.  Do not make your page titles and your H1 tags drastically different.   Once you’ve created your page title, make sure your URL and your H1 tags align thematically.  You don’t want them to be exactly the same, but make sure you give the search engines all the information they need to confirm what is on that page. 3. Do not make your page title and your meta description a mirror image of one another.   The page title will be seen on your actual web page.  Your page title is essentially for the search engines and your meta description is to draw a searcher in. The meta description will show up in the search engines organic search results.  Think of this as your 30-second elevator pitch.  Why should the searcher click on your link? Just make sure it is fewer than 150 characters.Below is an example of the page title and meta description you would see if you typed HubSpot in the search box. 4.  Do not include another company’s name in your blog URL.   Blogging platforms are perfectly good services, but you don’t want your hard earned SEO credit to resolve itself with anyone but you.  It can be difficult to migrate large amounts of blog content after the fact.  That’s not to say it can’t be done, but save yourself the hassle.  Make sure you either create a sub-domain or a sub-directory right out of the gate. Examples of a sub-domain and a sub-directory are blog.hubspot.com or www.hubspot.com/blog .  This way you will get all the SEO juice that goes along with creating a killer blog. 5. Do not use Flash.   Flash is great looking for sure, but search engines can’t read flash.  If you have an entire flash site, in the search engines ‘mind,’ you have a blank site.  A blank site equals zero indexed pages. Zero indexed pages equals very little traffic. We did a review of a site that used flash last week.  There were actually 234 pages, but when run through WebsiteGrader.com , there were zero pages indexed by Google. If you want to use flash in some places, use it sparingly.  6.  Do not skip over the step of implementing a 301 redirect.   If you don’t do this, you are splitting up your SEO credit in two different places.  You want www.yourcompany.com and yourcompany.com to resolve to one domain.  It only takes a matter of minutes to do and it will give you points in the eyes of the search engines. 7.  Do not insert images without telling the search engines what those images are.   Search engines can’t tell what images are and it just looks like blank space to them. As smart as they are, you need to direct them a little bit. There are three ways you can do this.  The first is to use alt text when you upload the photos to describe what the image is.  Type in a few descriptive words to let those crawlers know what the image is all about.  The second way to help the search engines is to use detailed files names.  Lastly, putting a caption around the image will help too.Hope this list of tips will get you off to a great start with your website. Originally published Oct 26, 2010 1:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Website Redesign Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Getting REAL Social Media Numbers & How to Host Successful Webinars w/ @DanZarrella [@InboundNow #21]

first_img The Social Media Marketing Book Dan Zarrella you should check out: Facebook marketing tips & tricks Create shareable takeaways. , Here are some important tips for planning, promoting, and hosting successful webinars: about Email Marketing Best Practices and Podcasting for Business w/ Chris S. Penn In this episode, we chat about: Don’t forget to share this post! feels Study what people with great presentations do. Tips for running successful webinars “If you’re a little mom and pop cupcake shop on the corner and the pizza shop across the street has a Page, you can go and comment on the pizza Page and say, ‘Hey, come over for dessert afterwards.'” The Wall Street Journal the Yelp app According to Dan, the most important metric to measure in marketing (social media or otherwise) is how much money it’s making you – not just leads, but actual customers. TweetWhen Business Blogging Best Practices & becoming a Trust Agent w/ Chris Brogan . The Facebook Marketing Book “If you’re measuring anything, that means you’re spending resources – be it time, be it money – into social media. If you’re spending money and time doing these things, , Becoming a social media scientist yourself, but talk “The most recent data that I’ve published is that 33% of all Facebook postings are done mobile.” “I think stuff like augmented reality is going to be really, really huge.” This would be things that blur the line between the web and the real world: location-based services, mobile apps, etc., like Facebook Marketing Using New Facebook Features “So as a social media scientist, I like to get beyond those unicorns and rainbows and look at the actual data about how people behave online, why they behave that way online, and how marketers can leverage those behaviors.” But if you’re using a profile right now, no worries. Facebook has an easy pathway to change from a profile to a Page. “I think one of the most key things a social media speaker HubSpot blog You can follow Dan on Twitter , which he wrote with his wife, Alison. He’s also The Boston Globe Create custom hold music. It’s no longer just desktop computers. It’s tablets, netbooks, laptops, mobile phones, etc. Brick and mortar businesses need to show up now by claiming their and Using LinkedIn for Business with Best Practices & Tips via Lewis Howes Facebook now has the ability for you to use Facebook as a Page vs. your profile. So you can ‘Like’ things as your Page, comment as your Page, etc. – instead of as your personal profile. ). “The most amazing thing about HubSpot, especially my experience here, is the support and the fuel and the push that the rest of the marketing team gives me. We have a huge email database. We have over 100,000 followers on Twitter. We have a giant blog. So to start off, we’re leveraging those things.” To “Stay away from talking that I’ve found is that self-reference is not contagious.” Guest post on other blogs. the first thing you need to measure is how much is it making you Inbound Marketing Justifying Social Media With Real Numbers About Real Money Being a Social Media Scientist “So once we get past 10,000 or 12,000 registrants, then I start tweeting about the fact that 10,000 people are signed up for this webinar. All of a sudden, if you’re not signed up, you’re like, ‘What the hell am I doing? I’m not signed up for this webinar.’ It turns into more of an event, and it becomes a thing where if you’re not there, you’re going to be missing out on what everybody’s talking about the next day or later that day.” . It looks at your last thousand or so tweets, and it finds the hours where you had the most retweets per tweet. It also finds the days where you had the most retweets per tweet. Consider paid advertising. Connecting Digital & Traditional Marketing Channels w/ Mitch Joel Dan is our internal social media scientist here. He is Write 140-characters-or-fewer snippets (with hashtags) that are easy for people to tweet and share – and ask them to share! of “Another thing that I think is huge in social media right now and is going to be more, is that the lines between online and offline are blurring.” , For the full recap and transcript head here: .” books If you’re doing marketing with Facebook, you should have a Page. If you have a Facebook profile, and you’re using it for marketing, Facebook can shut it down. If that’s not enough incentive to move to a Page, then all the analytics, ads, and insights Facebook offers for Pages should be. Topics: Tips for Successful Webinars , etc. If you’re on social media to build your reach or to market a product or service, stop talking about yourself. That type of content isn’t shareable. Connecting with your community & influencers online w/ Tamar Weinberg Google location page It used to be that what you did and who you talked to online didn’t affect your offline world. But now it does. You can go to dinner, snap a picture of your beer, tweet it, and the bartender sees it and offers you a taste of another beer. The free tool generated several thousand new email sign-ups. Celebrities tweeted about it. TweetWhen helped to create an event around the webinar. Pitch guest posts to popular blogs in a similar market as your webinar topic. Listening in on Social Media & the Concept of “The Social Telephone” w/ Jay Baer right” truths. Justifying Social Media With Real Numbers About Real Money With Dan Zarrella his blog ! , social media scientist, author, and speaker, joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s The New York Times “There are two different uses of Facebook, and you really need to understand that and go at marketing on Facebook with a Page, not a profile.” How to get more Twitter followers as How Small Companies are Evolving with New Technologies with Phil Simon Use social proof. You should be talking about your followers, fans, and readers. Talk about what you’ve done and how that can help others. How to Get More Twitter Followers While internet marketers don’t need to be programmers, they probably do need to know some HTML and CSS. You need to know what a soft bounce and a hard bounce is. Marketing is more technical than it was 10 years ago. Leveraging PPC and Remarketing for your Business with Joanna Lord is a free tool that was created to help promote Dan currently holds the HubSpot record for the most webinar attendees (in the neighborhood of 25,000 for Google Goggles Connect With Dan Online , getting active on Yelp, and being on Twitter and Facebook. the author “The Science of Timing” webinar Stop Marketing and Start Engaging your Market w/ Scott Stratten “I think social media, and the marketer in general, is getting much more technical.” , The Facebook Marketing Book and has a couple of Using new Facebook features Play around with sponsored tweets, Facebook events and ads, and blog or email list advertising. Poking the Box and Transforming your Marketing with Seth Godin and connect with him on Wired . He also writes for the Use more pictures than words. Foursquare The Future of Social Media , and Dan takes a more scientific approach to social media by basing his information on data instead of on fluffy, “what Whether it’s a big email list, lots of social media followers, or an active blog, utilize the resources you’ve already established. The Social Media Marketing Book . Past Episodes Don’t use the sleepy jazz music that automatically plays before the webinar. Create a track that will get people excited and pumped up. Facebook Marketing Best Practices with Mari Smith yourself,” says Dan. People read a blog or follow someone on Twitter because they like their unique perspective. People want to hear your take on what’s happening, but not what you’re doing. Social Media and Inbound Marketing Podcast from all of my data and has been mentioned in a variety of different media publications, such as @danzarrella TweetWhen The future of social media Justifying social media with real numbers about real money and the co-author of Originally published May 19, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013 Subscribe to Inbound Now, Click Here Leverage what you already have. this webinarlast_img read more

How to Build a Successful Native Advertising Campaign

first_imgNumber of clicks / unique views = strength of article. Same story here — if your traffic is not where it should to be, talk to the publisher about what changes you can make to strengthen your content.  Number of leads / clicks = strength of landing page. Once they get to your landing page — if they’re not converting to a lead, it’s on you! Try tweaking elements of the landing page to see if you can increase conversions. If you need some ideas on where to start, check out this post.Remember to only compare your metrics against your own company data — industry averages are influenced by many variables. Middle-of-the-Funnel OptimizationWhile these metrics can provide insight to optimize a campaign, the real goal of the campaign is lead generation. So the best metric to show success is the sales opportunities that are created from those leads.Sales opportunities rely on quality leads. Since publishers have the visibility to see quality of traffic driven to the article, they can very well be held accountable for the quality of leads delivered.Tip: In your native ad contract, you can stipulate that your publishers need to deliver leads under a certain CPL and a certain percent of marketing qualified leads.Once the campaign has wrapped up, you can then use those numbers to compare and evaluate whether you should continue to invest in that publication or test out another. We once ran a campaign with a publisher whose CPL was double our usual number. We tried everything to make it work: cute dog photos, clever headlines, etc. But sometimes, it’s just not the right fit, and we needed to move along to greener pastures.6) Evaluate, Compare, and Ask QuestionsAs native advertising becomes more mainstream and demand increases, publishers have more power and are becoming stricter with their offerings. It’s easy to be fooled by pricing, but not all the highest-priced options deliver the best results. Make sure you reach out to multiple publications, look at their media kits and ask a lot of questions — you should fully understand what they’re offering before you sign on the dotted line.At the beginning, testing out new publications and offers can be like dating. The first few times you work together, it may be difficult — you’re just getting to know them. Then as you grow and get more comfortable, you begin to trust them and know what to expect. Try different publications and different offers — each one will provide something a little different that will hopefully help you reach your ultimate goals. Topics: A marketer’s job is always changing, whether it’s keeping up with new trends and technology, or simply altering a strategy to grow with your company. Native advertising is the current “it” tactic, and as publishers are deciding the best ways monetize in an increasingly digital world, marketers like myself are figuring out how to take advantage of this great new opportunity. I’ve been experimenting with native advertising programs for some time and want to share what I’ve learned along the way. Below are six things that I’ve found to be essential in creating successful lead generation campaigns using native advertising.1) Get the Right EyeballsYour investment in native ads is only as valuable as the people who can see them. Review the publisher’s reader stats and make sure they line up with your target audience. Also, they will often include some sort of social promotion as part of the package, so find out what that is and figure out how you can amplify it with your own social media efforts. The publisher’s social promotion could make all the difference in how much your content is viewed.Questions to ask your vendors/publishers:What is the demographic breakdown of the audience? (i.e. company size, title, industry, etc.) Will the post be included in a newsletter?Will it be promoted in their social channels?What other method of distribution is included in the native ad package?2) Create Content That SellsSomething you should always check for is if the publisher allows a piece of high value content to link back to your site. This is very important because otherwise native advertising can’t be used as a lead generation tool. Once you’ve confirmed that the piece could link back to your website, check to see if your topic can help support your sales team’s needs — those are the best post topics to choose. Last, you need to decide who will write the content. Here are your two options and the benefits of each:In my experience, giving up a little bit of editorial control and having the publisher’s editorial team write the content on our behalf has worked well. Providing your publishers with the topic of your choice allows you to get the desired message out, but it’ll be from the voice of someone the readers are already familiar with. Plus, it lightens up the workload on your end so you can focus on things like building a distribution campaign around the native ad. At the end of the day, nobody knows the publication’s readers better than they do.3) Build a Good Relationship With Your PublishersAll this comes down to building a close relationship with the editor and publisher of your native ad. Having open communication with the editor ensures the content is on par with your goals and messaging. It also provides the flexibility you’ll need should you run into challenges or your campaign does not perform as expected. Establishing that relationship will allow you to work with them directly to help pinpoint what isn’t working and create a solution to turn things around. 4) Get the Most Out of Your MoneyOnce you have your content and audience lined up, it’s time to think about the most important part of this equation — revenue. The goal here is to be able to set your metrics at the start for both you and for your vendors.One of the most important metrics to watch is the CPL (Cost Per Lead), as it can provide you with a base number to evaluate each offer, set expectations for future posts, and compare results between different pieces of content. When you know your average CPL, you can use that to determine whether or not the publisher’s offering is going to be worthwhile for your business.What can you hold your publishers accountable for? Below is a quick breakdown of what metrics you can expect to watch based on who is hosting the landing page.If you are hosting your own landing page, you can’t hold your publishers accountable for metrics they have no control over. If this is the case, you have to make sure that everything at the top of the funnel is optimized to drive the biggest number of leads (see the next section for more on that).If your publisher is hosting the landing page on your behalf, then you can be a little bit more strict in terms of what is delivered to you. While they can’t have control over your sales team’s follow-up process, they can very much control the quality of traffic driven to the article based on attributes you’ve pre-defined.5) Optimize, Optimize, OptimizeAs with any marketing channel, the key to perfecting your native ad is optimization in both the top and the middle of the funnel. Top-of-the-Funnel OptimizationKnowing what your average conversion rates are for all your campaigns and breaking them down by campaign type is essential for evaluating campaign performance and optimizing it. Using the following formulas, you can pinpoint what needs to be changed if your campaign is not performing as well as you expected and work with the publisher to test out new iterations.Number of unique views / total impressions = strength of headline. Since the publisher controls the headline, work with them to change it until this number is where you want it.  Native Advertising Originally published Jun 9, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Four Strategies for Matching Gift Success for Your School or Nonprofit

first_img Originally published Mar 13, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Nonprofit Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Everyone notices that ill-advised tattoo you got in high school for your nonprofit-obsessed girlfriend. You know, the Latin quote on your left forearm, written in fancy cursive, that translates to, “She who matches gifts wins.” Or is that just me? Either way, marketing matching gifts online is just like a conspicuous tattoo: the ink only takes up a small portion of your skin, but it grabs everyone’s attention.Proper matching gift marketing requires several tattoos on many body parts, such as matching gift requests on your emails, calls-to-action on your social media profiles, and asks on your donation page. This means incorporating matching gift requests throughout your online presence. In the grand scheme of things, this marketing effort will equate to one noticeable tattoo, and not sleeves of ink that distract from your nonprofit’s primary skin.1) EmailI’ve always thought that a great punishment for undisciplined children would be to make them count, one by one, how many emails I receive in a single day. Email is not torture, but your message is one of hundreds of daily messages, so your matching gift request needs to stand out among a blur of information. We’re going to focus on acknowledgement letters and newsletters, as they demonstrate two important strategies for soliciting matching gifts through email.Acknowledgement LettersAs with a stranger holding open a door for you, all donations require a proper thank you. Along with your thanks, you have the opportunity to ask for a matching gift. However, don’t rush to the ask, because, as with thanking door holders, you have to hold the thank you long enough to earn the benefits of gratefulness.While the acknowledgement letter presents the opportunity to ask for matching gifts, the core of the message is gratefulness. Earn the call-to-action to submit a matching gift with your gratitude. You can include two links, one hyperlink and one clickable graphic, for donors to click to discover if their employer matches gifts by taking donors to their dedicated matching gift page.One might call this killing two birds with one stone, but I like to call it feeding two birds with one email. You’re plumping up your donor’s happiness with a thank you and hopefully adding necessary funds to your wallet.NewslettersYou can have a dedicated newsletter that focuses exclusively on matching gifts to increase awareness for corporate giving programs. But, your nonprofit likely has other topics to share in its newsletters, too. As you plan your nonprofit’s content strategy, make sure you’re finding ways to include requests for matching gifts.The National Kidney Foundation provides a nice newsletter template: The newsletter’s focus is split between the kidney walk and matching gifts. Not all of your newsletters need to revolve around matching gifts, even in this split capacity, but the occasional message that details what matching gifts are and how to submit them will go a long way to increasing donations. Sometimes it’s necessary to provide detailed matching gift information in the email, but, for the times when you need to discuss other topics but still want to ask for matching gifts, there’s a graphic for that.When supporters click on the links, they’re taken to the National Kidney Foundation’s dedicated matching gift page. The page includes an overview of matching gifts, key information such as a mailing address for forms and the organizations Tax-ID or EIN #, answers to frequently asked questions, and a way for donors to find details on corporate matching gift programs. That way, their bases are covered in terms of sharing information on the dedicated page and not dedicating an entire newsletter to the details of matching gifts. 2) Social MediaSometimes I compare how many friends I have on the internet to how many I have in real life and, while I wonder if it’s appropriate to ask random people in-person to be my friend, I recognize that the internet provides a prime opportunity to pitch matching gifts to everyone and their mother. There may be more social networks than characters in this article, so we’re going to focus on the channels with the greatest reach: Facebook and Twitter.FacebookWith no character limitations, Facebook provides the versatility to provide in-depth explanations of matching gifts and how to submit them, as well as the ability to include conspicuous images or relevant videos. You can get creative with your posts, and there are a ton of ways to tell your nonprofit’s story. We’re going to run through the basics as they pertain to matching gifts.Facebook post from CMTA: In a mere six lines, CMTA provides a link to discover if an employer provides matching gifts and discusses the benefits of these additional donations. To grab attention, the post uses a palatable picture. You don’t need an image in every matching gift post, but a call-to-action and a link to a dedicated matching gift page are the bare minimums. There’s nothing not to love here, unless you’re picky about your ice cream.Twitter140-characters really cramps my style when I’m trying to rant about how submitting matching gifts online requires a mere five minutes that will not throw off your schedule such that you lose time to peruse the rest of your Twitter feed for today’s most adorable cat pictures.Deep breath.Despite the lack of post versatility, as compared to Facebook, Twitter provides sufficient room for an authoritative matching gift ask: You don’t have the room to explain what matching gifts are or their specific benefits, but you have plenty of space to do what the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation does: ask the donor to click a link to double their donation (and go to a dedicated matching gift page). Twitter might not allow you to explain matching gifts up front, but the beauty of this platform is its minimalism, which lets you get donors to step through the matching gift doorway.3) Dedicated Matching Gift Page I keep mentioning dedicated matching gift pages, but what is this voodoo magic? Legend has it that dedicated matching gift pages are collections of pixels on your website that both educate your donors about matching gifts and make it simple for donors to search and discover if their employer offers such a program. Sometimes, as in this case, legends are true. On a matching gift page, you should define matching gifts, detail their benefits, and inform donors about matching gift programs. The page can be this simple, as the basic idea is to create a landing page where donors can discover if their donations can go twice as far.You can include:Matching gift statisticsLinks to relevant websitesNumbers on how much money matching gifts raised for your nonprofit last yearA list of companies who donated through matching programs last yearYou could even go a step further and add a widget to aggregate this information. Creating a dedicated matching gift page does not need to be a hassle, and it will increase your effectiveness at landing matching gifts.4) In the Donation ProcessIt doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that a prime time to ask for matching gifts is when donors are making their donations. The idea is to present information such that your website says, “Hey, look at you being awesome and donating money to a great cause. While you’re at it, why not give twice as much without shelling out additional money from your own pocket? Matching gifts only take five minutes!”Your opportunities to solicit in-the-moment donors are on the donation page and on the confirmation screen, which equates to if at first you don’t succeed (on the donation page), try, try again (on the confirmation screen). Donation PageThe simple plan is to include a link, a graphic or text, to your dedicated matching gift page. You can include a simple link on your donation form, or alternatively you can include matching gift informaiton on the credit card form, so you don’t have to leave the donation page. This is la crème de la crème of donation page options. What’s necessary is to include some reminder and a call to action about matching gifts.For nonprofits on a budget, simply including matching gift information can provide a boost in donations. Urge people to check with their HR reps to find out if their employer matches gifts. Share pertinent matching gift statistics, such as how much money you raised from doubled donations during the previous year. Provide a link to a dedicated matching gift page which features information on or a list of top matching gift companies. Your approach doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to call attention to matching gifts.Confirmation ScreenAfraid some donors might overlook that beautiful matching gift link on your donation page? That’s why the internet created confirmation screens. Everyone deserves a second chance.First and foremost, exert good manners and give thanks for the generous donation. Then, of course, since money feeds your nonprofit, ask for seconds so that you can sustain yourself a while longer. The ask for matching gifts should come across as a suggestion, as the donor just gave money and is likely in a willing state of mind to give more. Provide a matching gift search box to make the process easy, and soon you’ll be feasting on twice as much green as before. Green because you’re a healthy nonprofit who eats its vegetables!Successful matching gift marketing requires dedication to presenting the program across the breadth of your online presence. It will take time and effort, but the more you put the option of matching gifts in front of donors, the more gifts you’ll receive, and your efforts will more than pay off. Then you can get a sweet tattoo to celebrate. Topics:last_img read more