Lone dog: No. 11 Loyola joins list of regulars at Final Four

first_imgLoyola-Chicago guard Ben Richardson leaves with a piece of the net in his teeth after leading his team to a 78-62 victory over Kansas State in a regional final of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament Saturday, March 24, 2018, in Atlanta.(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)Three teams that need no introduction. One from out of nowhere.Though the 2018 NCAA Tournament produced the biggest upset in the history of the event along with a seemingly endless string of wild finishes and unexpected results, the Final Four will look very much like it has over the last handful of seasons.In one of next Saturday’s semifinals, it’s a barnburner of a matchup between top-seeded programs with rich histories: Villanova vs. Kansas.In what will quickly become known as the “other” semifinal, it’s an upstart vs. another school that knows this road: No. 11 Loyola-Chicago vs. No. 3 Michigan .Remarkable as Loyola’s run — and this tournament — have been, this marks the fifth time over the last six seasons that three teams seeded 1 through 4 have been joined by another seeded 7 or higher.The four previous times, the underdog has bowed out in the semifinal.“Why not us?” Ramblers coach Porter Moser said, repeating his team’s oft-used mantra this month — one he hopes can lead to yet another history making upset. “You have to have high-character guys that believe to truly do that.”The teams will have trouble topping the show Kansas and Duke put on Sunday with the last spot in San Antonio up for grabs. The Jayhawks topped the Blue Devils 85-81 in overtime to send Kansas back to the site of its last national title, in 2008.The Kansas-Villanova matchup is sure to re-ignite calls for some form of reseeding heading into the Final Four. The winner between the top seeds will almost certainly be favored in the final. This year’s most-notable underdog — outside of Maryland-Baltimore County, which beat Virginia in the tournament’s first week to pull off the first 16 vs. 1 upset — is Loyola-Chicago.Urged on by their 98-year-old nun, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, the Ramblers are the fourth 11th seed to make college basketball’s final weekend — joining LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and VCU (2011).A look at some of the history behind these Final Four teams:LOYOLA-CHICAGO: It’s not totally accurate to say the Ramblers are from nowhere. This program won the title in 1963 in one of the most significant championship runs in the sport’s history — including a game known as the “Game of Change.” The Ramblers, with a mostly Black roster, defeated an all-white team from Mississippi State, which served as prelude to the better-known title game in which Texas Western and its all-Black starting lineup defeated Kentucky. Loyola went on to beat Cincinnati in overtime for the title. After the win Saturday, Les Hunter, a member of the 1963 team, said the Ramblers are capable of bringing home another championship. “I think they’re the best right now,” Hunter said. “They work so well together. They can play with anybody — anybody — right now.”MICHIGAN: All the freshmen dominating today’s game should pay homage to the Fab Five — the group of five freshmen, including Jalen Rose and Chris Webber, who made baggy shorts the rage and took the Wolverines to the Final Four in 1992. This year’s Wolverines were a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team in early February, after a loss at Northwestern dropped them to 8-5 in the conference. They haven’t lost since, and their 13-game winning streak is second in the country only to the Ramblers, who have won 14 straight. “We don’t get caught up in the win streak that we’re on,” guard Charles Matthews said. “We didn’t even know we were on a 13-game win streak.”VILLANOVA: Juniors Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges were there for Villanova’s national title two years ago. They are the team’s leading scorers. The Wildcats haven’t been seriously pushed yet in the tournament, winning every game by double-digits and paying no mind to the upsets that have busted brackets for the past two weeks. The key to all this success? “At this point, you don’t really try to figure out why,” coach Jay Wright said. “You’re kind of saying, ‘Why us,’ you know, and just soaking it in.”KANSAS: Since winning it all in 2008, the Jayhawks had been seeded No. 1 five times and failed to make the Final Four any of those times. If Grayson Allen’s shot at the buzzer in regulation hadn’t gone in and out — twice — this might have marked No. 6. But Malik Newman scored all 13 of Kansas’ points in overtime to help the Jayhawks top Duke. “There’s a lot of players out there who deserve the best of the best,” Jayhawks coach Bill Self said. “They get to experience the very best there is. I’m happy for them.”___More AP college basketball: https://collegebasketball.ap.org ; https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 and https://www.podcastone.com/ap-sports-special-eventslast_img read more

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Hitched up for prizes

first_imgBRUCE and Margrit McIllroy of Pakenham were the big winners of the Rotary Club of Pakenham and Inner Wheel Club…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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Senior Hurling Championship Update

first_imgprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email In the Senior A relegation it will be Gort v Portumna and Kilnadeema Leitrim v Castlegar, with the two losers dropping down to Senior B next year. After the weekend’s action the knock-out stages of the Galway Senior Hurling Championship are starting to take shape. Into the Quarter Finals are Turloughmore, St Thomas, Loughrea and Sarsfields. They will be joined by the four winners of the Preliminary Quarter Finals to come from: Clarinbridge, Oranmore/Maree, Killimordaly or Athenry, Craughwell or Mullagh, Cappataggle, Tynagh Abbey Duniry, Liam Mellows and Tommie Larkinscenter_img In the Senior B relegation play-off Ahascragh Fohenagh play Abbeyknockmoy, with the loser dropping down to Intermediate for 2020.FINAL GROUP STANDINGS:last_img read more

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CAR meeting calls for return to order

first_img6 May 2013The first meeting of the International Contact Group on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR), held in Congo-Brazzaville on Friday with South African President Jacob Zuma in attendance, has called for the full and speedy restoration of constitutional order in the CAR.Zuma, who was accompanied by a delegation that included State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, was invited to the meeting by Republic of Congo President Dennis Sasso N’guesso.According to the Presidency, the meeting deliberated on the unfolding political, security and humanitarian situation in the CAR.“The meeting called on the transitional authorities in the CAR to work with urgency towards the full restoration of constitutional order in that country,” the Presidency said in a statement.“Amongst other things, the transitional authorities were urged to ensure the protection of civilians, access of humanitarian actors to the people in need, the reactivation of the public administration and the restructuring of the defence and security sector.”The Presidency said Zuma told the meeting that South Africa stood ready to assist in whatever way to contribute to the return to normalcy in the CAR.He also used the opportunity to discuss bilateral issue with Sasso N’guesso and the need to further deepen social, economic and political relations between the two countries.Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Safe Harbor Lets Real Estate Rent and Lease Income Qualify for 199A Deduction

first_imgUnder a new safe harbor, rent and lease income may qualify for the Section 199A passthrough deduction. The safe harbor in Notice 2019-7 is especially good news for relatively small rental operations.What Does the 199A Rental Real Estate Safe Harbor Do?Qualified business income (QBI) under Section 199A normally must come from a “trade or business” that is eligible to deduct business expenses under IRC §162. A Section 162 business must be:considerable, regular and continuous, andintended to make a profit.The safe harbor for rental real estate replaces the Section 162 business test. This means that a rental real estate enterprise that doesn’t rise to the level of a Section 162 business can still produce qualified business income, as long as it satisfies the other QBI requirements.However, the safe harbor applies only to the Section 199A deduction. It does not qualify the rental enterprise as a trade or business for any other purpose.Of course, the safe harbor is not the only way a rental enterprise can produce QBI. If the rental activity satisfies the usual tests for a qualified business, including the IRC §162 business test, it does not need to qualify for the safe harbor.Rental Real Estate Businesses Eligible for the 199A Safe HarborThe safe harbor applies if:separate books and records are maintained to reflect income and expenses for each rental real estate enterprise;at least 250 hours of rental services are performed per year; andthe taxpayer maintains sufficient contemporaneous records.Both individuals and pass-through entities can use the safe harbor, as long as they hold the real property interest directly or through a disregarded entity.What is a 199A Rental Real Estate Enterprise?A rental real estate enterprise is an interest in real property held for the production of rents. In other words, it is the ownership of real estate for renting or leasing. The rental enterprise may consist of an interest in multiple properties. The owner must:treat each property as a separate enterprise, ortreat all similar properties as a single enterprise.Commercial vs. Residential Real EstateHowever, commercial and residential real estate cannot be in the same enterprise. In addition, the taxpayer cannot change the treatment of an enterprise from year to year unless there is a significant change in facts and circumstances.Rental Real Estate Excluded from the Section 199A Safe HarborReal estate does not qualify for the safe harbor if an owner uses the property as a residence during the year. Owners include:individuals who own the property, andowners and beneficiaries of an entity that owns the property.The safe harbor also does not apply to property that is rented or leased under a triple net lease. A triple net lease includes a lease that requires the tenant or lessee to:pay any taxes, fees, and insurance; andbe responsible for maintenance activities for the property, including maintenance allocable to the leased portion of the property, in addition to rent and utilities.250 Hours of Annual Rental Services Required for Safe HarborTo qualify for the safe harbor, the property owner must perform at least 250 hours of rental services per year. This includes rental services performed by the owner’s employees, agents, and independent contractors.What are Safe Harbor Rental Services?Rental services include:advertising to rent or lease the real estate;negotiating and executing leases;verifying information contained in prospective tenant applications;collection of rent;daily operation, maintenance, and repair of the property;management of the real estate;purchase of materials; andsupervision of employees and independent contractors.For tax years beginning after 2022, the owner must satisfy the 250-hour rental service requirement in any three of the last five consecutive tax years.Excluded from Rental ServicesRental services do not include:financial or investment management activities, such as arranging financing;procuring property;studying and reviewing financial statements or reports on operations;planning, managing, or constructing long-term capital improvements; orhours spent traveling to and from the real estate.How to Claim the 199A Rental Real Estate Safe HarborThe taxpayer must attach the following safe harbor statement to a tax return that claims the 199A deduction for safe harbor income:Under penalties of perjury, I (we) declare that I (we) have examined the statement, and, to the best of my (our) knowledge and belief, the statement contains all the relevant facts relating to the revenue procedure, and such facts are true, correct, and complete.The signers of the statement must have personal knowledge of the facts and circumstances.IRS Seeks Comments on 199A Rental Real Estate Safe HarborThe 199A rental real estate safe harbor applies to tax years ending after 2017. However, the IRS has invited public comments before it finalizes the safe harbor rules. Comments may be mailed or hand-delivered to the IRS, or submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov (indicate IRS and NOT-133582-18).By Kelley Wolf, JD, LL.MLogin to read more on CCHAnswerConnect.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.last_img read more

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Dig Into Your Donor Database

first_imgThe Giving USA 2015 Annual Report on Philanthropy, released in July, announced that charitable giving, while growing steadily over the past five years, has reached its highest level since the Great Recession—an increase of 7.1% over 2013 totals. Donors of all kinds—individuals, foundations, and corporations—are back, baby! They have recovered from the economic setback of 2008 and are feeling more confident than ever to invest in charitable causes across the country.The future has never looked better for the nonprofit sector, right? After all, the study shows that more donors than ever are making gifts. You may be wondering how to start building your donor base to welcome these new donors to your mission. “If only more donors knew about us, just think how much more money we would be raising” may very well be crossing your mind right now. As tempting a thought as this may be, the truth is that the grass is not greener with a whole new set of donors. It’s greener exactly wherever you are watering it. Let’s drill this down a little bit further: 43%. That’s the median donor retention rate that the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) calculated from the 2012–13 fundraising results of its survey respondents. This means that, on average, many organizations are losing almost 60% of their donors each year. Why? Many reasons. Some, like changes in personal circumstances, are out of the control of any organization. On the other hand, according to the 2014 Burk Donor Survey, nearly 50% of respondents cited reasons like over solicitation, overhead costs, and the lack of demonstrated impact as influencing their decision to stop giving. These lie squarely in the hands of how organizations communicate with and to their donors. The solution to this attrition issue isn’t getting new donors. Quite the contrary. Getting new donors is:Expensive: Raising $1 costs anywhere from $.25 to $1.50.Inefficient: It has a very low ROI ($1).*A short-term solution: Only 23% of first-time donors ever give a second gift.That seems like an awful lot of work to nearly break even or incur a slight loss each year. On the other hand, it is worth looking at how to grow and retain the 64% of loyal donors who have been supporting you over multiple years. After all, fundraising costs to raise $1 from renewals are very low ($.20 to $.25), and these donors offer the highest ROI ($4).*First, identify your donors’ behaviors.What are the past giving levels of your donors’ gifts? By comparing gifts over the past few years within levels such as $1 to $499, $500 to $999, $1,000 to $2,499, and so forth, you’ll be able to see where you’ve had the greatest growth and losses. What is your own donor retention rate, both generally and for first-time donors? What is the average gift rate for each of the years you are comparing? Knowing these data points can ground how you solicit your donors in a way that will encourage growth. For example, you may want to focus on donors within a certain gift range to tailor higher asks. You might also segment a group of lapsed donors or higher-level donors and personalize outreach to them by phone, mail, and in-person communications.Second, understand who your donors are.Which donors have given for multiple years? Who previously supported you but has lapsed? Identify the top 50 to 100 of your longest donors, your largest donors over their lifetime, and newest donors (with a particular eye to those who made large first-time gifts) last year and this year. If you have the resources, it’s helpful to run capacity screening of these three groups to understand where there is greater gift potential. In starting or expanding your major gifts program, these are the donors who will comprise your major gift pipeline. They rarely bounce around from organization to organization. Your next major gift will likely come from one of these donors who has capacity and has supported you for a long time (and not giving at particularly high levels) and may also have been a volunteer. It’s important to get to know this group to understand what motivates their giving and interest in your organization.Third, consider how you communicate with your donors.These current and lapsed donors already know you and are more likely to give more generously if you ask and demonstrate your impact. If we think back to Penelope Burk’s survey results, two of the three top reasons donors stop giving are tied to an organization’s impact and effectiveness. More than ever, donors want to understand how their gift is making a difference in your work. They are giving through you to address a societal need that has meaning for them. Is their gift helping you make a difference? Bring them closer to your work by sharing a personal story of a beneficiary, a measurable accomplishment, or a plan to solve a seemingly intractable problem. As you qualify the major gift potential for those top 50 to100 donors you identified earlier, your ultimate goal is to build meaningful relationships so it naturally leads to sustained and increased support. Get to know their motivations, interests, and philanthropic goals. Use this information to lead your discussions about investments in your work. Remember, it’s not about you.Tied closely with programmatic impact is how effectively your organization operates through costs for program delivery and administration. You don’t necessarily want to skimp on administrative expenses to seem “lean and mean” when it compromises—and even hinders—your ability to scale, deepen, or improve the quality of your work. Without unrestricted operating support, which includes enough funding for your fundraising efforts and staff, you can’t deliver and grow the services of your organization. Build that message about capacity into your donor outreach. Do your donors come away with a strong understanding of what you do, your plans for the future, and why their continued support (unrestricted and restricted) is important?Finally, using the green grass analogy, after you’ve watered and fed your grass with your current donors, it’s still important to plant seeds for the next pipeline of donors. These aren’t the names you rent from mail houses. They can be, but as you saw from an earlier statistic, that’s not a cost-effective solution in the long run. The potential new donors I’m suggesting are people who self-identify in some way. Perhaps you find them through a sign-up on your website or a visitor book if prospective donors can visit your facilities. They can and should also be from the networks of your board and other volunteer leaders. Adding even 10 new names a month can yield up to 120 new donors—if you communicate with and engage them through a relationship model as described above.How can you make the grass you’re standing on greener? By grounding your fundraising approaches on a good understanding of your donors’ giving patterns and interests, creating strategic communications that invite donors into your work, and planting seeds for new supporters in the future. This will strengthen all of your fundraising—annual fund, major gifts, planned giving, and events—and create opportunities for donors to partner with you in bigger and better ways.*From the 2013 DMA’s Response Rate ReportMake this December your best year-end fundraising season ever with Network for Good’s smarter fundraising software, built just for nonprofits. Reach more donors, raise more money, and retain more supporters this year with easy-to-use tools and step-by-step coaching. We have everything you need for a bigger, better campaign, all under one roof. Find out more by speaking with one of our expert fundraising consultants.last_img read more

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How Your Nonprofit Can Stand Out in an Election Year

first_imgWith debates, caucuses, and primaries flooding the public’s attention, it can feel like it will be even more difficult to connect with donors (and raise funds!) this year. Many nonprofits might wonder if there is a magic formula for standing out during an election year.There is, but it’s more common sense than magic. Nonprofit advisor Joan Garry collected some great insight from fundraising and marketing experts on this very topic. Be sure to check out her recent roundup of advice, which includes my own take on the subject:In 2016, just like every other year, your fundraising appeals and donor communications should seek to strengthen your relationship with supporters. You can do this by speaking to them in a way that is more personal and highly relevant.Here are four ways to better connect with your supporters and stand out in a crowd:Plan consistent, compelling communication.Want to be first in line for a charitable gift? Start now and create a meaningful dialogue with your donors. Regular outreach that evokes the reasons why your supporters care about your work will help build a relationship that will pay off when it comes time to send your next appeal. (Learn how to create your own editorial calendar.)Get the right message to the right donors.Do your campaigns feel generic or custom-made for your donors? Create a basic marketing strategy for each segment of donors based on why, when, and where they give. The more tailored a message, the more it will stand out in a sea of mass communications. This is always important, but will be even more so in 2016. Yes, it’s a little more work, but with the right data and tools, your job will be easier and your results will be significantly better. (Network for Good’s easy-to-use donor management software can help!)Focus on the impact a donor’s gift has—and will have.When you tell the story of how your work gets done, keep your donors at the heart of it. Consider how many  ways you can highlight how your donors make a difference for your cause, your beneficiaries, and your community. Tell authentic stories about your work so your donors can feel their impact come to life.Help donors see themselves in your work and let them feel like part of your team.This is where political campaigns shine, so follow suit. Generate a sense of community with social proof and the leverage the pull of identity. Illustrate these powerful concepts when you ask for a gift through your nonprofit’s donation page or during peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.last_img read more

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