Jimmy Lustig is an active philanthropist. He and his wife created the Lustig Family Foundation.

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Why a Budget Is Important in Your Nonprofit

Why a Budget Is Important in Your Nonprofit

Nonprofit organizations are lauded for their philanthropic missions, but their success is intricately linked to sound financial management. At the helm of this management sits the budget—a tool that, while seemingly mundane, plays a critical role in the organization’s ability to make a difference. Beyond merely tracking income and expenses, a budget in a nonprofit setting becomes a roadmap, a predictor, and a measure of effectiveness. 

Historically, nonprofits operated based on goodwill, often with fluid financial structures. As the sector evolved, the importance of strategic financial planning rose to prominence. Today’s dynamic nonprofit landscape, marked by intense competition for donor dollars and increased regulatory scrutiny, necessitates stringent budgeting. Donors demand transparency. Regulatory bodies seek compliance. Moreover, the very communities and causes these organizations serve require effectiveness. Enter the budget—a transparent ledger that projects future needs, allocates resources, and ensures mission alignment.

In the modern nonprofit environment, transparency isn’t just a buzzword; it’s an imperative. Stakeholders, donors, and the general public want to know how funds are utilized. A well-detailed budget clearly shows where the money comes from and where it’s going. It establishes trust. When supporters witness judicious fund allocation—for community projects or overhead—they’re more likely to continue their backing.

Moreover, this transparency ensures accountability within the organization. Departments operate with a clear financial framework, making strategic decisions to maximize impact without overstepping economic bounds. The budget is a shield, safeguarding the organization’s reputation, and a beacon, shining light on its operational efficacy.

Beyond transparency, a budget is a nonprofit’s strategic compass. Organizations often grapple with limited resources, and prioritizing becomes paramount. A comprehensive budget, grounded in the organization’s mission and objectives, ensures that funds flow into the most impactful areas. Whether it’s launching a new community initiative, expanding outreach, or investing in infrastructure, the budget provides clarity. It identifies potential financial challenges, enabling preemptive solutions.

Furthermore, by setting clear financial parameters, it fosters innovation. Teams are encouraged to think creatively, devising solutions that achieve objectives while staying within economic confines. Consequently, the budget isn’t a constraint; it’s a catalyst, driving mission-aligned growth.

In nonprofits, where passion meets purpose, the importance of a robust budget cannot be understated. It serves as the organization’s financial lighthouse, guiding it towards its mission while ensuring stability. From establishing trust with stakeholders to fostering internal innovation, the budget is more than numbers on paper—it’s the nonprofit’s heartbeat. In today’s complex landscape, where every decision impacts lives, the allotment is a testament to an organization’s commitment to its cause, ensuring that every dollar is accounted for and makes a difference.



Making More Space for Young Nonprofit Leaders

Making More Space for Young Nonprofit Leaders

In the ever-changing landscape of the nonprofit sector, the rise of young leaders brings fresh perspectives, innovative ideas, and a passion for creating positive change. As young professionals step into leadership roles within nonprofit organizations, it is crucial for the sector to make more space to empower and support these emerging leaders.


Recognizing the Value of Youthful Vision:


Young nonprofit leaders offer a unique blend of enthusiasm, creativity, and adaptability that can invigorate organizations and drive meaningful impact. Their fresh perspective can challenge the status quo and spark innovation. By embracing diverse leadership styles and viewpoints, the nonprofit sector can foster a more inclusive and dynamic environment that better addresses the complex challenges faced by society.


1. Promoting Mentorship and Professional Development:


Mentorship and professional development opportunities are instrumental in nurturing young nonprofit leaders. Experienced leaders within the organization can play a vital role in guiding and supporting young talent. Creating formal mentorship programs and encouraging informal mentorship relationships can provide young leaders with valuable insights, career guidance, and a sense of belonging within the organization.


Investing in professional development programs, workshops, and leadership training can equip young leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles. These initiatives demonstrate a commitment to the growth and advancement of young professionals within the nonprofit sector.


2. Building Inclusive Governance Structures:


Inclusive governance structures are essential for making space for young nonprofit leaders at the decision-making level. Including young leaders on boards of directors and advisory committees allows them to contribute their perspectives, expertise, and experiences to shape the organization’s direction.


Organizations should actively seek out young leaders from diverse backgrounds and experiences to ensure that the governance body reflects the communities they serve. Encouraging leadership pipelines that identify and nurture young talent within the organization can also promote a more inclusive and representative leadership team.


3. Cultivating a Supportive Organizational Culture:


A supportive organizational culture is vital for attracting and retaining young nonprofit leaders. Creating a culture of open communication, feedback, and collaboration enables young leaders to share their ideas and feel valued within the organization. Transparency in decision-making and a commitment to embracing new approaches foster an environment that encourages creative thinking and risk-taking.


Organizations should also prioritize work-life balance and employee well-being, recognizing the importance of supporting the holistic needs of young leaders. Flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and a commitment to mental health support demonstrate an organization’s dedication to the overall well-being of its team.


4. Emphasizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:


Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just buzzwords; they are critical components of a successful nonprofit organization. Emphasizing DEI efforts ensures that young nonprofit leaders from different backgrounds and identities feel welcomed and empowered to lead.


Organizations should actively work towards creating a culture of belonging, where individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to contribute their perspectives and ideas. Incorporating DEI principles into every aspect of the organization, from hiring practices to program design, will help create a more equitable and representative nonprofit sector.


5. Amplifying Youth Voice and Advocacy:


Young nonprofit leaders often have a deep understanding of the issues that affect their communities. By amplifying youth voices and advocacy efforts, organizations can help these leaders advocate for the causes they are passionate about.


Creating platforms for young leaders to share their stories, expertise, and experiences can elevate their voices and drive meaningful change. Collaborating with youth-led organizations and networks can also provide opportunities for cross-generational learning and collaboration.


The nonprofit sector has much to gain from making more space for young leaders. By recognizing the value of youthful vision, promoting mentorship and professional development, building inclusive governance structures, cultivating a supportive organizational culture, emphasizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and amplifying youth voice and advocacy, nonprofits can harness the potential of young leaders to drive positive social impact.


Empowering young nonprofit leaders is not just about creating opportunities for individuals; it is about building a stronger, more resilient, and innovative nonprofit sector that is better equipped to address the challenges of today and tomorrow. As organizations embrace and uplift the voices of young leaders, they will not only enrich their own teams but also contribute to a more just and equitable society for all.

Volunteer Management Trends

Volunteering plays a vital role in society, as individuals dedicate their time and skills to make a positive impact on various causes and organizations. Effective volunteer management is critical to ensuring a successful and fulfilling volunteer experience.  

Volunteer Recruitment and Onboarding

In the past, organizations often relied on traditional methods such as word-of-mouth, flyers, or local events to recruit volunteers. However, there has been a shift towards strategic and targeted recruitment efforts. Organizations are now leveraging digital platforms and social media to reach a wider audience and attract volunteers who align with their mission and values.

Additionally, volunteer onboarding has gained attention as a crucial step in the volunteer management process. Providing comprehensive orientation sessions and training programs ensures that volunteers clearly understand the organization’s expectations, goals, and procedures. It sets the stage for meaningful volunteer experiences from the beginning.

Skills-Based Volunteering

Skills-based volunteering is a growing trend that matches volunteers’ expertise and professional skills with specific organizational needs. Instead of assigning volunteers to general tasks, organizations are tapping into the diverse skill sets of their volunteers to maximize their impact. This trend recognizes that volunteers have valuable knowledge and experience to contribute beyond their willingness to help.

By engaging volunteers in tasks that align with their skills, organizations can benefit from specialized expertise and a higher quality of work. It gives volunteers a sense of purpose and fulfillment, as they can make a tangible difference through their professional abilities.

Remote and Virtual Volunteering

The rise of remote work and digital tools has opened up new opportunities for volunteer engagement. Remote and virtual volunteering allows individuals to contribute their time and skills from anywhere in the world without being restricted by geographical boundaries. This trend has gained significant traction, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it provides flexibility and accessibility for both volunteers and organizations.

Virtual volunteering can take various forms, including online mentoring, remote project assistance, or digital advocacy. Organizations are adapting their volunteer management strategies to incorporate remote opportunities, allowing volunteers to contribute on their terms while making a meaningful impact.

Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation

Recognizing and appreciating volunteers is essential for fostering a positive and sustainable volunteer culture. Organizations are increasingly focusing on acknowledging the contributions of their volunteers and creating a sense of belonging and appreciation. Traditional approaches, such as volunteer appreciation events or certificates, are complemented by more personalized and meaningful recognition initiatives.

Personalized thank-you notes, public acknowledgment through social media platforms, or highlighting volunteer success stories are becoming standard practices. Moreover, organizations seek volunteer feedback to understand their needs and preferences better, allowing for a more tailored and practical volunteer recognition approach.

Data-Driven Volunteer Management

Technology and data analytics advancements have transformed how organizations manage and optimize their volunteer programs. Data-driven volunteer management involves collecting and analyzing relevant data to make informed decisions and improve volunteer engagement and retention. This includes metrics such as volunteer hours, skills, preferences, and feedback.

By harnessing the power of data, organizations identify trends, assess program effectiveness, and make strategic adjustments to enhance the overall volunteer experience. It enables them to allocate resources efficiently, target recruitment efforts effectively, and create personalized volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer management is evolving to meet the needs and expectations of volunteers and organizations. By embracing these trends, organizations can cultivate a culture of engagement, maximize the impact of their volunteers, and build lasting relationships with those who share their mission. Effective volunteer management is the foundation for creating meaningful experiences and ensuring volunteer programs’ continued growth and success.


Fundraising Event Ideas

Fundraising events are a great way to raise money for a good cause. Whether you are organizing a fundraiser for a charity, school, or community organization, there are many different types of fundraising events you can consider. 


Auctions are a popular fundraising event idea that can generate significant money for your cause. Depending on your preferences and resources, you can hold a silent or live auction. The key to a successful auction is to have a wide variety of items available for bidding, including unique experiences, gift certificates, and one-of-a-kind items.

Charity Walks/Runs

Charity walks or runs are a fun and healthy way to raise money for a cause. Participants can collect pledges from family and friends, and the money raised supports the cause. Depending on your target audience and resources, you can organize a 5K or 10K run or a walkathon.

Galas and Dinners

Galas and dinners are formal events that can be used to raise significant money for your cause. These events often include a silent auction or raffle and entertainment, such as live music or a keynote speaker. You can charge a ticket fee for attendance and offer local businesses sponsorship opportunities.

Bake Sales

Bake sales are a classic fundraising event idea that schools, churches, and community organizations can organize. You can sell homemade baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, and cakes; the proceeds support your cause. You can also add a fun twist by organizing a baking competition or a themed bake sale.

Online Fundraising

Online fundraising is a convenient and effective way to raise money for your cause. You can use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or GoFundMe to collect donations from people worldwide. You can also set up a donation page on your website or social media and encourage people to donate online.

Sports Tournaments

Sports tournaments are a great way to bring people together and raise money for a good cause. You can organize a basketball, soccer, or volleyball tournament and charge an entry fee for teams. You can also sell snacks and drinks at the event and offer prizes for the winning teams.

Talent Shows

Talent shows are a fun and creative way to raise money for your cause. You can organize a singing, dancing, or comedy competition and charge a ticket fee for attendance. You can also offer prizes for the winners and sell refreshments at the event.

Car Washes

Car washes are a simple and effective way to raise money for your cause. You can organize a car wash in a local parking lot or on a busy street and charge a fee for each car wash. To boost your earnings, you can also sell refreshments and snacks, such as lemonade and cookies.

Art Auctions

Art auctions are a unique fundraising event idea that can generate significant money for your cause. You can collect artwork from local artists or students and hold a silent or live auction to sell the pieces. You can also have a reception or cocktail party before the auction to showcase the artwork and attract potential buyers.

Charity Concerts

Charity concerts are a popular fundraising event idea that can unite music lovers and supporters of your cause. You can organize a benefit concert featuring local bands or musicians and charge a ticket fee for attendance. To raise additional funds, you can also sell merchandise, such as t-shirts and posters.

You can consider many fundraising events depending on your target audience, resources, and cause. Whether you organize a charity walk, gala, bake sale, or online fundraiser, the key to a successful event is to have a clear goal, a well-defined plan, and a passionate team of volunteers. By choosing the right fundraising event idea and putting in the effort to make it successful, you can raise money and awareness for your cause and positively impact your community.


How to Find Volunteers

Finding volunteers to support your organization or cause can be challenging, especially if you’re working with a limited budget. But with the right strategies and tactics, it’s possible to attract volunteers passionate about your mission and willing to dedicate their time and energy to your cause.  

Define your needs

Before you start looking for volunteers, defining your needs is essential. What specific tasks or roles do you need volunteers for? What skills or experience would be helpful? Understanding your needs will help you target your recruitment efforts and attract volunteers who fit your organization well.

Tap into your network

One of the best ways to find volunteers is to tap into your existing network. Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues who may be interested in volunteering or who can help spread the word to their networks. You can also leverage social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to reach a wider audience.

Partner with other organizations

Partnering with other organizations can be a great way to expand your reach and attract volunteers who are passionate about your cause. Look for organizations that share your mission or values and contact them about potential partnership opportunities. You can also attend networking events and conferences to meet other organizations and potential volunteers in person.

Utilize volunteer databases

Many volunteer databases and websites can help you connect with potential volunteers. Websites like VolunteerMatch and Idealist allow you to post volunteer opportunities and search for volunteers based on their interests and skills. Include detailed information about your organization and the volunteer opportunity to attract exemplary volunteers.

Engage with your community

Engaging with your community can be a powerful way to attract volunteers who are passionate about your cause. Attend local events and community meetings to connect with potential volunteers and share information about your organization. You can also partner with local businesses and organizations to host volunteer events or fundraisers.

Offer incentives

Incentives attract volunteers and encourage them to stay engaged with your organization. Consider offering free merchandise, event tickets, or volunteer recognition events. These incentives show your appreciation for your volunteers and encourage them to continue volunteering with your organization.

Make it easy to volunteer

Finally, it’s crucial to make it as easy as possible. Provide clear instructions on signing up to volunteer, and communicate regularly with your volunteers to keep them engaged and informed. Consider providing training or resources to help volunteers feel more comfortable.

Finding volunteers to support your organization or cause can be challenging. Still, with the right strategies and tactics, attracting volunteers passionate about your mission and willing to dedicate their time and energy to your cause is possible. By defining your needs, tapping into your network, partnering with other organizations, utilizing volunteer databases, engaging with your community, offering incentives, and making volunteering easy, you can find the volunteers you need to make a difference.

What Encourages People to Give to Charity

What Encourages People to Give to Charity?

Charitable giving is a vital part of society, enabling individuals to support causes they believe in and positively impact the world. Charitable organizations rely on donations from individuals to fund their programs and services. However, only some give to charity and those who do often do so for different reasons. So, what encourages people to give to charity?

One of the most common motivations for giving to charity is a personal experience. People who a cause or organization has personally impacted are often more likely to donate to that cause. For example, if someone has a family member affected by a particular disease, they may choose to contribute to a charity that funds research to find a cure. Similarly, someone who has experienced homelessness may donate to a charity that provides housing and support services for the homeless.

Another motivator for charitable giving is social influence. Friends, family members, and social networks often encourage people to donate to charities. Seeing others participate in charitable giving can create a sense of social pressure to give. This is why many charities encourage people to share their donations on social media platforms.

Incentives can also encourage people to give to charity. Many organizations offer motivation for charitable donations, such as exclusive access to events or merchandise. For example, some charities offer T-shirts or other items to donors who contribute a certain amount. Additionally, some companies offer donation matching programs, matching employee donations up to a certain amount. These incentives can make charitable giving feel more rewarding and motivate people to donate.

A sense of altruism is another motivator for charitable giving. People with a strong sense of social responsibility and a desire to positively impact the world are often more likely to give to charity. This motivation is often associated with people with higher levels of empathy and a greater understanding of the needs of others.

Finally, tax benefits can also be a motivator for charitable giving. Individuals who donate to registered charities in many countries are eligible for tax deductions. This can make charitable giving more financially appealing and motivate people to contribute.

Overall, many factors encourage people to give to charity. Personal experience, social influence, incentives, altruism, and tax benefits can all motivate people to donate. Charitable organizations can use these motivators to encourage more donations, whether by sharing personal stories, offering incentives, or making it easy for people to donate. By understanding what motivates people to give, charities can increase their impact and continue to make a positive difference in the world.

Best Movies About Philanthropy

Why not spend quality time with your family and watch a good movie? This list features films about giving back and being grateful. The movies selected are uplifting and inspirational, teaching valuable lessons about gratitude and appreciation.

The Revolutionary Optimists

This uplifting movie is about a group of kids living in a slum in Calcutta who work together to improve their community. The Gates Foundation funded the film.

It’s A Wonderful Life

A frustrated businessman meets an angel, played by Jimmy Stewart, who shows him what life in his town would be like if he were not alive. It shows how each person makes a difference to those around them.

Forrest Gump

Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Gary Sinise, and Robin Wright star in this film about living life to the fullest. It encourages people to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way.

Mr. Holland’s Opus

Richard Dreyfuss stars as a composer who is finally satisfied after working as a high school teacher. The lesson he learns from this experience is gratitude and sacrifice.

It Could Happen to You

Nicholas Cage plays a police officer who gives a waitress a part of his lottery ticket instead of a tip. When they win, he honors his promise, and they give the money away while finding love. 

The Blind Side

The film is based on the true story of a homeless boy named Michael Oher, who became an All-American football player after a woman and her family opened their home and hearts to him. It shows how one person can make a difference. 

The Pursuit of Happiness

In this film, Will Smith stars as a struggling salesman who decides to make a major career change. Despite his hardships, he still manages to achieve greatness.

Freedom Writers

Hilary Swank stars as a young teacher who motivates her students to develop their tolerance and pursue higher education.

Hidden Figures

The film focuses on the contributions of African-American women who worked at NASA. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were instrumental in John Glenn’s historic flight, bringing back the nation’s confidence.

Patch Adams

Based on the real-life story of a medical student, this film shows how unconventional therapy can help patients.

Hopefully, some of these will inspire you and your family to give a little more and have an open mind. 

The Most Common Challenges Philanthropies Face

While non-profits work incredibly hard to achieve a world of good, running one can be very challenging. Aside from the usual issues that companies face, such as adapting to new technology, nonprofits face additional challenges specific to their sector.

Challenges for Nonprofits

Many nonprofits rely on government assistance. This aid may be in the form of matching funds or grants, and it can serve as a safety net to cover the gap when the funds are low. The reduction in government funding at the national, state, and municipal levels hurts the operations of nonprofits. Many of them end up with less money than they need.

Income and Budgeting

Getting a steady income from various sources can be challenging for many non-profits. In addition, unpredictable income throughout the year can make budgeting complicated. This is why securing enough money to cover administrative expenses is vital.


The emphasis was on how programs were being used and how those receiving support were accessing them. Due to the lack of funds, the pressure has shifted to measure the programs’ success.

The Bottom Line

A project’s cost and social impact must align to deliver actual results. To ensure your mission and goals are recovered, you should equip your people with the necessary tools. These tools will allow them to be more agile and adaptable, allowing you to keep track of your organization’s performance.

Finding and Keeping Talent

When competing against other organizations for talent, many nonprofits need help to attract and retain the right individuals. This is why analyzing the factors influencing the selection process is essential.

Most people interested in working for a non-profit organization are passionate about their work and are committed to the causes they serve. However, the lack of resources can prevent many organizations from attracting and retaining top talent.

The first step in addressing this issue is to fight the fear. Nonprofits must convince themselves that they should be bold and invest in their people and mission.

If you can’t attract and retain the best talent, you must believe in the people already working for you. They will only be able to flourish if they have an engaged work environment that allows them to focus on their passion.

Increasing Need

The increasing number of people who are experiencing economic hardships has led to an increase in the need for services by various non-profit organizations. In addition, the reduction in arts programs in schools has put a strain on the operations of many organizations.

Most people who work for non-profit organizations tend to wear many hats. Since being a generalist can mean that no one in the organization has the necessary knowledge about finance and business analysis, you must find the right tools that will allow everyone to make informed decisions.

While there are many obvious challenges that a non-profit organization must face, there are also many hidden threats that can affect its operations. Knowing these issues can help you avoid potential problems and achieve your mission.

Corporate Giving Over the Holidays

Corporate Giving Over the Holidays

Employee engagement is crucial. Businesses that are dedicated to enhancing staff satisfaction have a direct influence on consumer satisfaction, which eventually results in better profitability. When your company assists nonprofits or your community, it establishes a solid bond among your team members. The beneficiaries of your organization’s charitable efforts will benefit from these donations, and your organization will also gain goodwill and a positive reputation.

Giving back to the community over the holiday season is one of the finest ways to raise employee engagement. Encourage and motivate your staff to have a connection to their place of employment and become more involved and productive by enabling them to volunteer at a charity of their choosing, giving of their own time or doing so.

One of the numerous ways Americans can assist people in less fortunate situations is through charitable contributions. Donors should give with their hearts and minds. Find a charity that shares your passion. Make sure the nonprofit you choose is an authorized organization that is IRS-registered. Check the validity of the organization through a service like Charity Navigator. The health and accountability of every charity are researched and given a score. GuideStar is another tool that may be utilized to examine non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The group offers impartial information to aid donors in making informed judgments about which charities to support. GuideStar gives fundamental details on the organization’s finances, legal standing, strategy, and indicators of its success in advancing its goals.

Crowdfunding became a lifeline for many people during the epidemic. Within the first five months of the Covid outbreak, campaigns on GoFundMe alone collected nearly half a billion dollars for frontline workers, small companies, support groups, and more. GoFundMe retains a processing charge of 2.9% + $0.30 for each contribution made by individuals or companies that launch a campaign on the website. Charities that create campaigns on the site for donations are charged 2.2% + $0.30. A calculator on GoFundMe’s website shows that if a person collected $500 from five contributors, they would earn $484 after fees. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support crowdfunding efforts. Some individuals depended on these initiatives to augment their income or help them pay their rent, as the Wall Street Journal noted in the first year of the epidemic.

Small companies are still recuperating from the epidemic and can be another possible recipient of your financial help over Christmas. Supporting these small companies by making your Christmas purchases local is essential. Instead of spending money on major companies, show your support by buying Christmas presents from a small company or dining at a nearby restaurant.

How to Care for the Elders in Your Community Over the Holidays

How to Care for the Elders in Your Community Over the Holidays

Many people feel isolated and unhappy around the holiday season. Even before the coronavirus pandemic took hold, many older adults already had to cope with change, such as neighborhoods change over time, decreased social interactions, decreased mobility and energy levels, and feelings of loss and isolation. Being attentive and supportive of our loved ones is essential, especially this time of year.

If you believe loved ones are suffering from depression or loneliness, there are various steps that you can take to help them feel better. Although you may be planning on celebrating the holidays with your immediate family, it’s important to remember that the season is about all the people in your life. By simplifying some of your activities, you can include the people most important to you, including those that may have difficulty getting around.

When you are together, help your loved one feel better by listening to them actively. Having an honest and open conversation can help them feel better, and it can also help them come to terms with their current situation. When speaking with them, remind your loved ones that they are still vital to you. They may feel frustrated if they can’t participate in the festivities they used to enjoy. Encourage them to do what they can, and make sure that nothing is an imposition to you. Ask friends and family members to send positive cards and notes, which always lift people’s spirits. For someone with a lot of free time on their hands, getting mail is a fun distraction.

If a senior is in a facility, you can check with the activities director to see if they can let children perform or visit with the residents. New interactions and activities with younger people can be uplifting for older adults suffering from emotional or physical pain. Pets can also be a source of socialization and entertainment. You can help your loved one decorate their home or room. Bring nostalgic items with you to decorate. Seniors enjoy looking through their old holiday decorations and discussing their favorite pieces. 

If you can’t visit in person, you can still send a video or call them while they’re decking the halls. If they’re in a nursing home or assisted living facility, ensure they have something they can look forward to eating. Prepare traditional holiday treats or bake them something special. You can also decorate their dining room table with festive decorations and seasonal flavors.

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