South Africa’s tax bonanza

first_img4 April 2008Finance Minister Trevor Manuel praised the growing strength of the partnership between the South African Revenue Service (Sars), businesses, and individual taxpayers, following the announcement of the state’s preliminary revenue results.“It gives me great pleasure to announce that Sars collected a preliminary R571.8-billion during the fiscal year 2007/08,” he said this week, speaking via satellite linkup from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.“I am extremely appreciative of the tremendous cooperation by many businesses, larger corporations and smaller enterprises, and individuals.”Manuel was in Ethiopia attending the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.The preliminary result, he said, was R0.8-billion above the revised budget estimate made in February 2008, and R15.2-billion above February last years estimate of R556.6-billion.Taking into account additional departmental revenue of R1.4-billion and deducting transfers to South African Customs Union partners, the preliminary main budget revenue estimate is R560.1-billion.“Our preliminary estimate of national expenditure is R541.6-billion, bringing the main budget surplus to R18.5-billion or 0.9% of gross domestic product (GDP), which is 0.1% higher than the February 2008 estimate,” he said.Manuel said the results confirmed the continuing expansion of South Africa’s economy and growing strength of the partnership between Sars and taxpayers.The revised corporate income tax (CIT) target of R142.6-billion was exceeded by R448-million, with all sectors posting a positive tax growth.This was led by manufacturing, with 22% year-on-year growth, followed by mining with 12%, financial services with 11%, and the wholesale and retail sector with 10%, banks with 8% and the insurance industry with 7%.Personal income tax (PIT) was marginally higher despite higher interest rates and rising fuel food and fuel costs as a result of considerably higher wage settlements, singling out the public sector wage settlement in particular.“The growth in employee compensation from 10.6% in 2006 to 11.7% in 2007 and the increase in the number of jobs resulted in the strong growth of PIT,” said Manuel.Despite a slowdown in household spending the revised Value Added Tax (VAT) target of R147-billion was also exceeded by R2.6-billion, being benefited by inflation and a change in consumers’ spending patterns.“Our preliminary figures indicate that there has been a shift in the composition of VAT receipts,” Manuel said. “In the year under review, import VAT, including tax on equipment and producer goods contributed R1.1-billion more to VAT collection whereas domestic VAT contributed R2.7-billion less than estimated.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Have a great fundraising idea? Prototype it.

first_imgJono Smith at Event360 asked me to share the following contest with you. Since I imagine the readership of this blog has thousands of big fundraising ideas, I’m inviting you to participate!By Jono SmithIt’s been said that “prototyping is the language of innovation.”A video of the human experience of your proposed new event concept is a prototype. Used correctly, an Excel spreadsheet is a prototyping tool. Google’s Gmail started out as a prototype. A temporary pop-up shop is a prototype. So how do you prototype fundraising ideas?Last week, The Jimmy Fund launched its “Big Ideas Contest,” a competition that encourages community involvement in the prototyping of new fundraising ideas on a large scale. Not only does this initiative “engage the public in creating the Jimmy Fund’s next great fundraising initiative to help conquer cancer,” it also inspired a judging panel filled with CEOs from such prominent companies and organizations as Legal Sea Foods, Stop & Shop, The Kraft Group, the Boston Red Sox, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and others. What a great idea to engage both the business community and the public in a collective effort to help conquer cancer.The contest is open to anyone with creative fundraising ideas and people are encouraged to think big. Nothing is off limits — events, apps, products, promotions — anything that is a feasible and viable fundraising idea will be considered. And, as if helping advance the Jimmy Fund’s mission isn’t enough incentive, there are prizes, including Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots tickets (a great tie-in for this iconic New England-based charity). For more on how to enter, visit the Big Ideas Contest site. The campaign’s tagline is “YOUR IDEA can change the course of cancer.” So what’s keeping you from making your next big fundraising idea real?Jono Smith is vice president of marketing at Event 360.last_img read more

What Is Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Anyway?

first_imgPeer-to-peer fundraising is empowering your supporter base to fundraise on your behalf. Peer-to-peer fundraising is also known as social fundraising, P2P, or personal fundraising.Think beyond the walkathonWhen you think of social fundraising, you probably think of a walkathon, dance marathon, or another event that social fundraisers will attend. Although this is the best-known type of social fundraising, you don’t have to have an event to justify launching a social fundraising campaign.Project-focused vs. mission-focused fundraisingThe most successful social fundraising campaigns are project-based campaigns. Project-based campaigns drive support and excitement about a specific initiative. It’s much easier to encourage social fundraisers to reach out to potential donors with a project-based ask than with a broad appeal.More often than not, when you send an appeal to donors, you are asking them to support your mission. You might feature a story about a client or a recent success, but the story is usually directly related to your day-to-day programming and not a specific need. I like to call this mission-focused fundraising. You are asking donors to support what you do every day. Donors’ dollars help you accomplish your mission.Project-focused fundraising asks donors to fund something specific. There’s a fundraising goal in mind and (usually) a deadline. Here’s an example: A food bank needs to upgrade its freezer by the end of the summer. The board has been recruited as social fundraisers to hit a $15,000 goal.How do you recruit social fundraisers?In a traditional fundraising model, you (the nonprofit) send appeals to acquire donors or ask existing donors to give again. In a peer-to-peer fundraising model, you must recruit and motivate supporters to step into the role of fundraiser. Then, you empower these fundraisers to ask their social circle for donations.Your peer fundraising campaign will be the most successful when you find advocates who are excited to serve as fundraisers. Start by reaching out to five to 10 loyal supporters. They could be board members or longtime volunteers. Begin recruiting with people you know and those who know your organization’s mission. Equip these social fundraisers with the tools they need to recruit donors: email templates, a peer fundraising donation page, FAQs, and confidence.When to host a peer fundraising campaignSocial fundraising campaigns see the most success when the campaign has a firm deadline. Without a date for an event (like a walkathon) on the calendar, how do you set a deadline and put pressure on your fundraisers to bring in donations during a defined time period? It’s not that hard, but you need to get creative.Think about the timing of holidays and celebrations throughout the year and how you could easily piggyback on these dates. If your cause has an awareness month, use those 30 days as your social campaign timeline. If your cause works with single mothers, a campaign ending on Mother’s Day would be a good fit.Or think about the nature of your work and any natural timelines that arise. Do you host a summer camp? Organize a social fundraising campaign a month before campers arrive, and announce the total dollars raised during the first meal the campers share together. Does your food bank host a big Thanksgiving meal? Craft a campaign in November that ends on Thanksgiving.Are you ready?Although this is not a new model of fundraising, it is evolving thanks to technology and the new ways we share stories and communicate. Peer-to-peer fundraising might be something your supporters have been waiting for. Are you ready for it? Do you have the right peer-to-peer software to help you succeed?last_img read more

Economic Consequences at the Household Level of Maternal Complications in Bangladesh

first_imgPosted on May 30, 2012June 21, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Colleagues at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) recently published a paper, Costs of Maternal Health-related Complications in Bangladesh, in the Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition that explores the economic repercussions on households of maternal complications in a rural setting in Bangladesh.Abstract:This paper assesses both out-of-pocket payments for healthcare and losses of productivity over six months postpartum among women who gave birth in Matlab, Bangladesh. The hypothesis of the study objective is that obstetric morbidity leads women to seek care at which time out-of-pocket expenditure is incurred. Second, a woman may also take time out from employment or from doing her household chores. This loss of resources places a financial burden on the household that may lead to reduced consumption of usual but less important goods and use of other services depending on the extent to which a household copes up by using savings, taking loans, and selling assets. Women were divided into three groups based on their morbidity patterns: (a) women with a severe obstetric complication (n=92); (b) women with a less-severe obstetric complication (n=127); and (c) women with a normal delivery (n=483). Data were collected from households of these women at two time-points—at six weeks and six months after delivery. The results showed that maternal morbidity led to a considerable loss of resources up to six weeks postpartum, with the greatest financial burden of cost of healthcare among the poorest households. However, families coped up with loss of resources by taking loans and selling assets, and by the end of six months postpartum, the households had paid back more than 40% of the loans.Read the full paper here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Addressing Knowledge Gaps: Plasmodium Vivax Infection in Pregnancy

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 6, 2012June 16, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is part of a blog series on Malaria in Pregnancy. To view the entire series, click here. A couple of months ago, I had the chance to meet again with the members of the Plasmodium Vivax Infection in Pregnancy (PregVax) Consortium in Dehli, India– a country that contributes to nearly 80% of the malaria cases in Southeast Asia. P.vivax is the most common of human malaria species and causes up to 80 million cases annually with the majority occurring in Asia and the Western Pacific, Central and South America and the Middle East.The PregVax Consortium started back in 2008 to address the knowledge gaps in P. vivax infection in pregnancy. Approximately 25 million pregnant women exposed yearly to malaria live in areas where P. vivax is endemic. While the effects of P. falciparum malaria in pregnancy have been well characterised and are responsible for considerable maternal and infant morbidity and mortality, surprisingly little is known about the impact of P. vivax infection during gestation.The PregVax project is a cohort observational study of pregnant women from five P. vivax endemic countries (Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, India and Papua New Guinea) that represent most of the world’s P. vivax infections. It aims to describe the epidemiological and clinical features of P.vivax malaria in pregnancy. Compiling this information in a methodologically standardized way is essential to describe the impact of P. vivax malaria in pregnancy. In addition, the project has been working to determine whether there are pregnancy specific P. vivax immune responses and characterize genotypically and phenotypically the parasites of the placenta. In an unprecedented effort, almost 10,000 pregnant women have been enrolled at the different project sites during their routine antenatal care visits and followed-up at the health facility until delivery or end of pregnancy.More accurate data of vivax malaria during gestation are essential to improve its clinical management and to guide control policies. Furthermore, elucidating the mechanisms involved in the pathology of P. vivax in pregnancy will help to develop specific control tools such as more effective drugs and vaccines.Although P. falciparum is the most deadly species and the subject of most malaria-related research and literature, more attention should be given to P. vivax. Furthermore, understanding the mechanism involved in P. vivax malaria may also help to elucidate important gaps in the knowledge of P. facilparum infection in pregnancy.Coordinating the PregVax project  is challenging because of the ambitious objectives and the large cohort size. In fact, this is the first study of this kind in this area. As we are reaching the final stages of the PregVax project, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the European Commission whose research program, 7th Framework Program, made Malaria in Pregnancy one of its priorities and our consortium partners together with our collaborators from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University of Melbourne. I left Dehli with the sense that we are making progress as we gain insight on critical aspects of this issue. Results will soon be shared with the scientific community.P. vivax was usually considered to be the benign malaria. However, its infection often leads to severe disease–and quality of life and productivity are negatively affected. Absenteeism from work and school and the anaemia that this disease leads to hampers the development of endemic areas. The economic impact of P. vivax malaria mandates that more resources be allocated specifically to research on this parasite.I think I can speak for everyone at the PregVax Consortium when I say that we look forward to assisting in any way that we can to achieve this vision.Prof. Clara Menéndez leads the Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health Initiative at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and is the PregVax Consortium Co-ordinator.Share this:last_img read more

Global Health Corps Now Accepting Applications for 2014-2015 Fellowships

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on November 6, 2013August 15, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Global Health Corps is now accepting the first part of applications for its 2014-2015 fellowships, and will be accepted through January 24, 2014. The fellowships draw young people with diverse backgrounds and interests, and are open to anyone who is proficient in English, will have an undergraduate university degree by July 2014, and is under the age of 30. While job descriptions for next year’s fellowships will be posted in December, details on last year’s fellowships offer some great background on the sort of positions and organizations that host fellows.Share this:last_img read more

Year-End Countdown, Week 7: Rally Your Team of Fundraisers

first_imgHave you heard? Facebook is unveiling a new tool to help nonprofits raise more this year-end–and we’re having a special live joint presentation to show you how it works. Click here to learn more. And the countdown continues.This week, we’re focused on getting your board, volunteers, and staff engaged and ready to fundraise. A peer-to-peer campaign is one of the best ways to get these key supporters excited, boost your total dollars raised, and expand your reach to new donors.It’s important to remember that peer-to-peer campaigns aren’t meant to be cure-all, stand-alone efforts. Rather, they a strategic component of a complete and well-rounded fundraising plan.So, how exactly do you encourage these key supporters to hit the ground running?Step 1: Make It EasyAny time you want to turn donors into fundraisers (or get anyone to do anything, really), you’ll see more success when you make your desired action as easy as possible. This especially applies to your board members. They want to help, but they’re busy and may not know where to begin. This is where a little planning goes a long way. Some things to consider:Offer clarity. First things first, you’ve got to be crystal clear about what you want your key participants to do, how they need to do it, and what you expect from each of them. This means you’ll need to zero in on your fundraising goals, which projects or programs you want to the campaign to fund, and how many donors you think you’ll need to get there.Give them scripted messages. Get your participants started with pre-written emails, fundraising appeals, phone scripts, and social media posts. They may want to customize these messages to underscore their own stories or connection to their networks, but offering a starting point will give them the head start they need to feel like a personal fundraising campaign is something they can do.Set a timeline and send reminders, particularly for board members. In a recent conversation with local nonprofits about board fundraising, I heard a common refrain, “My board members want to get involved, but they sometimes work on their own time frame, instead of ours.”Ok, you may not be able to totally get around this, but being upfront about your campaign timing and deadlines can minimize this concern. Have a timeline just for your board, and send reminders to keep them motivated and on track. Encourage them to set an example for your other donors and fundraisers by kicking off their campaign with a donation that can serve as a matching gift.Equip them with the right tools.Having the right technology in place will make the entire process of setting up a campaign, organizing your fundraisers, and collecting donations much easier. You’ll want a peer fundraising platform that allows you to customize your messages quickly and launch your campaign, as well as built-in best practices and optimized pages, so you’re getting the most out of your participants’ outreach. The easier it is, the more they can do themselves. That will take more of the burden off of you. (Pretty sweet, right? Want to see a platform that can help you make it easy? Schedule a personal tour of our peer-to-peer fundraising software to learn more.)Step 2: Make Your Participants Look GoodWe all want to look good, don’t we? Help your board, staff, and other key fundraisers look good through a social fundraising campaign that underscores their passion for your work.Let them personalize their outreach. People are more likely to give when asked by someone they know. When your participants’ campaigns reflect their unique stories and includes their photos, their networks will be more likely to join in and give to your cause.At the end of the day, giving is most often driven by personal ties and experiences, so encourage your fundraisers to use their connection to your work to fuel their outreach. It will make them feel great and will ensure their outreach is more effective than a generic ask.Offer a great giving experience. A powerful and personal fundraising ask is one thing, but the giving experience must back that up. Beyond the personalization, make sure that your giving pages are intuitive beautiful, and make completing a donation easy, fast, and fun. Don’t forget to include elements that keep the giving going, like recurring donation options, social sharing tools, and donation tickers to highlight generous campaign donors .These features help you raise more and make it more likely that others will share your fundraisers’ pages.Step 3: Let Them See the PotentialTo get your board, staff, and volunteers excited about your campaign, help them visualize the results of the campaign as well as their individual contributions. Give them a clear vision of your target that clearly shows the impact on your mission.Leverage the network effect. Work with your board members and staff to identify how many people they can reach, and then think of the potential size of their network’s network. Show them how quickly their messages could spread far beyond your existing donor base.Help them see the return. A peer-driven fundraising campaign can be an affordable way to grow your list, recruit new donors, and raise money through just one campaign. By using your existing base as a megaphone, social media and word of mouth can power your outreach. With just a little support from email, paid advertising, and the right technology, you can raise exponentially more than your fundraising costs.Underscore the impact: Each fundraiser and donor has a specific impact on your goal and mission. Outline how each fundraising page and donation gets you closer to the goal. Then, for your board in particular, show how this campaign fits into your larger fundraising vision. Once your stakeholders see their potential impact on your work, they’ll be motivated to jump in and do their part.last_img read more

The Importance of the Thank You: Creating an Attitude of Gratitude

first_imgFrom early childhood, we are taught the magic words: thank you.  I don’t have to tell you that these two simple words can make or break the relationship between an organization and its donors.Most nonprofits know how important it is to send acknowledgment letters after receiving gifts. We dutifully thank our donors for the recorded gift date and amount and tell the donor about the many great works we perform because of the gifts we receive. Some of us even add the executive director’s signature as a personal touch. We thank our donors and move on to the next task.But, to truly engage and retain donors, we need to do so much more!We need to foster an attitude of gratitude and create a culture of “thanks-4-giving!” Developing a donor-centric gift acknowledgment policy is key to ensuring our donors feel appreciated and our board members are excited about fundraising – which is a win-win for any organization!To create an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE, consider the good ole’ fashion 5Ws and an H:Who is involved in each step of the thank you process?Invite board members into the thank you process. Thank them first and recognize their gifts and role as huge supporters of your organization.Print a weekly gift report that’s given to every staff and board member involved in thanking donors. Brainstorm ways to make sure EVERY donor knows their gift matters.Prepare thank you note cards at board meetings with notes about the donor. Also, ask board members to write, or at least sign, several notes OR better yet, make phone calls, thanking the donors before the meeting officially begins.What is your gift acknowledgment policy?Is it part of a larger, more encompassing thank you policy?What happens from the moment the gift arrives?Do you have this policy in writing so that it is an organizational process, not person dependent?Does the gift amount determine the speed of acknowledgment, who the ‘thanker’ is, or the method of thanking?When is each donor thanked?How often are acknowledgment letters sent? Is it a daily, weekly, or monthly task?Are larger donors thanked more quickly than smaller donors? Is a $10,000 gift acknowledged the same way as a $10 gift?Is a donor thanked at any time besides in the gift acknowledgment letter or the next ask?Where are donors thanked?EVERYWHERE! Every time we see them. Every chance we get.Expose staff members to donors’ names. Post a donor sign/wall in the office. Acknowledge them in a weekly employee briefing or at a staff meeting.Mention donors on the website, in newsletters, and on social media. Get the word out: you have FANTASTIC donors!Why do we always need to thank donors? Isn’t once enough?Because without them, nothing happens!Your organization is the facilitator of the relationship between the donor and the recipient. Try not to get in the way. Focus on how the donor makes a difference. How are donors thanked?Develop quirky, unexpected, and fun ways to surprise donors:Decide 3-4 extra “thanks-4-giving” times per year. From Valentine’s Day to your organization’s anniversary to the donor’s birthday, there’s lots of opportunities to show your gratitude.Produce a quick-and-easy thanks video that highlights program participants and send it out via email.Hold an annual “thanks-4-giving” breakfast, picnic, or other event.Post a daily/weekly/monthly (depending on the volume of donors) social media “shout-out” that highlights specific donors.John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” As nonprofits, we must follow this advice and live our gratitude for the donors who make our work possible. From social media posts to regular phone calls and appreciation events, taking a “thanks-4-giving” approach will help our organizations not just survive, but thrive, in the future.last_img read more

3 Quick Steps for #GivingTuesday Procrastinators

first_imgEditor’s note: I always find that it’s easier to get through something a big as #GivingTuesday when you have a post-event reward to look forward to. Give yourself a little motivation boost and sign up for this post-#GivingTuesday webinar: The Procrastinator’s Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising with Pursuant’s Rachel Muir.Year-End CountdownWhether you’ve been planning for months, or you’ve waited until the last minute, #GivingTuesday is a huge opportunity for your nonprofit to build  awareness for your mission, expand your reach through new donors, and raise money for your cause.Haven’t started yet?  You can still make the most of this day to boost funds for your nonprofit. Here are three things you can do to get ready for the big day:1.Write your appeal and make sure the message is consistent across all channels.Decide on your campaign’s focus and then use your theme and strongest stories to write a standout appeal. Use the appeal as a reference for updating the rest of your communications, social media profiles, and online assets, like your website and donation page.Feature your #GivingTuesday campaign and its main focus on your nonprofit’s home page, “Why Give” page, and donation page. All of your channels should reinforce your core message and also include your campaign branding (such as any special logos or taglines) and story. It helps to pre-write follow-up emails, posts, and tweets to make it easier on the actual day itself.Need help writing your fundraising appeal? We have a step-by-step guide just for you.2. Get your donation page ready and be your donor if you haven’t yet.On #Givingtuesday, you’re going to be sending a lot of people to your donation page. You want to make sure it’s clear, consistent with your campaign, and user friendly. Visit your nonprofit’s website to see how easy (or difficult) it is to make a donation. See if there’s any part of the process that may be confusing or difficult for your donors.Next, have a colleague or a friend visit the page. A second set of eyes is vital, as sometimes we get used to seeing things on our own website and don’t realize how a visitor may experience them. With all of the people you’re hoping to drive to your donation page, it’s important to make sure there’s a seamless donation experience in place.3. Plan your social media blitz.Yes, you should definitely send email appeals to your donors on #GivingTuesday—but don’t stop there. On a day like #GivingTuesday, your social media channels are vital. Facebook and other channels you’re already using will help you communicate updates quickly, create a sense of urgency, and spread your campaign beyond your traditional network.Take some points from your appeal and plan to post then throughout the day, along with fundraising goal updates and stories from the community you’ve served. Ask your most loyal social media fans to help spread the message and share your campaign. If you can, send them pre-made tweets and Facebook posts so they can simply copy, paste, and post.Finally, don’t forget about graphics. Free tools like Canva or PicMonkey are great for creating your own images. Just be sure to use consistent branding throughout your images so it’s obvious that these visuals are supporting the same #GivingTuesday campaign.last_img read more

Canada Post declares its operations back to normal just days before Christmas

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada Post says its operations are back to normal across the country, less than four weeks after its striking employees were forced back to work by federal legislation.The Crown corporation says it is restoring its delivery service guarantees across the country, now that its Vancouver operations have caught up on a backlog of parcels that it said had built up at its main western sorting plant.On Tuesday, the national mail carrier announced that service guarantees were being put back in place everywhere except Vancouver for the first time since Nov. 13, when rotating strikes caused parcel logjams at most of its distribution centres.The rotating walkouts started Oct. 22 to pressure Canada Post into accepting contract demands from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and ended once a back-to-work bill was passed in Ottawa on Nov. 27.Efforts to mediate an end to the labour dispute under that legislation failed on Tuesday with arbitrator Elizabeth MacPherson declaring Canada Post and CUPW too far apart to continue negotiating.Both sides are to begin an arbitration process next month that’s expected to result in a contract being imposed on the corporation and its 50,000 unionized employees.CUPW has said it will challenge the Trudeau government’s back-to-work legislation in court.Meanwhile, the union announced Thursday that rural and suburban mail carriers, or RSMCs, will see pay raises of up to 25 per cent and other benefit improvements in late January, thanks to a separate arbitrator’s ruling on a pay-equity dispute issued earlier this year.The ruling, which affects up to 8,000 Canada Post workers, imposed pay hikes that will see hourly wage rates for some full-time employees increased from $20.03 per hour up to $26.60 per hour. Base salaries for permanent relief employees are being bumped from $60 to $90 per day when they are not covering delivery routes.The Canadian Presslast_img read more