Nonprofit Tools & Technology - April

This month we’re featuring tools for developing Facebook pages and performance tracking.  As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations.  Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all are selected based on their usefulness, ease of use and cost (most, if not all, will have a free version...).

Shortstack

 
 
 
 
ShortStack – Add functionality to Facebook page tabs

Overview: ShortStack is a tool for creating custom Facebook apps on fan pages.  The tool makes the design/development process significantly easier using templates and widgets, many of which integrate directly with a wide variety of other web services (e.g., YouTube, Twitter, MailChimp, FourSquare).  Many nonprofits are using Facebook pages as their primary website because of the ease of updating/managing, as well as the high traffic levels.  ShortStack lets nonprofits take full advantage of this web presence to engage fans, advocates, volunteers and donors.  While most of the service is fairly intuitive, it will likely still require some development experience to create/customize each Facebook application.  Even if your organization lacks these skills, it is still good to know of this tool as projects can be easily sourced to any web developer.   ShortStack also has a tremendous amount of support resources, including videos that will walk you through every step (e.g., Create a Refer-A-Friend app).  The best way to understand the potential of this tool is to check out the Example page and/or simply sign up for a free account to get first-hand experience using it.

Cost: Basic plan (allowing up to 2,000 Facebook fans) is free, and advanced plans begin at $30 per month.

Potential Uses: Facebook contests, sweepstakes, e-mail sign up, online voting, online “friendraisers”

iRunRun

 
 
 
IRUNURUN – Help individuals and organizations achieve real goals

Overview: IRUNURUN is a performance tracking app (web and iPhone) designed to help individuals/organizations achieve their goals through simple effective actions. It’s a VERY cool tool with MANY applications, including several very interesting uses in the nonprofit sector.  It is essential that an organization’s goals or mission be broken down into simple actions that an individual can do.  The IRUNURUN app lets users define these weekly actions, assign weights and frequencies, and then easily update his or her progress along the way.  Individuals can then track their weekly score (out of 100 points) on a simple dashboard as well as follow the progress of other individuals.   When an organization asks for support, they want people to do something very specific. That action might be to call a politician, e-mail friends or family, eat one more serving of vegetables every day, or share an announcement on Facebook.  Organizations must equip supporters with tools (like IRUNURUN) to empower them to actually make a difference.

Cost: Basic (though fairly robust) plan is free, and advanced plans start at $4.99 per month.

Potential Uses:  Supporter/staff challenges, advocacy weeks/months, grassroots mobilization

- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
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Spring Cleaning for Your Career

Spring has sprung and while the recent snow flurries are showing otherwise, the seasons are changing in Atlanta. With it comes “spring cleaning,” which is the perfect time to spruce up where you live and really get back to being organized. Why not do the same with your professional development? We all get busy working within our organizations and departments during the week and can lose sight of continuing to build on our personal growth.
Here are some ways you can start spring cleaning for your career:
  • Elevator Pitch – With the upcoming YNPN Atlanta Speed Networking event on April 16th, it’ll be a good time to brush up on your elevator pitch. You’ll want to be able to convey who you are, what you do, and why it’s important in about 30 seconds. Be concise and get to the point of your work. The same applies when you’re first introducing your nonprofit and the work that it does. You’ll want to have an elevator speech that will be direct and help start those connections with potential partners and donors.
  • Professional Goals – Time to start spring cleaning your 2013 goals and resolutions. Check to see if you’re still on track with meeting your goals, if they need to be modified, or if you have new goals you’d like to accomplish in the next months. Set benchmarks for yourself to see what you’ll need to get where you want to be. These free goal organizer posters from The Nectar Collective are also helpful for you to visually see yourself meeting your goals (just like when you’re growing up!).
  • Business Cards – Remember that big stack of cards you collected at the last YNPN networking event? Have you followed up with those contacts that you made? No? Well, going forward, try to make it a habit of replying back to your contacts within 48 hrs of meeting. The info on their business cards is essential, and you don’t want to miss out on making a connection because you forgot!
  • Resume – Updating your resume can be difficult and tedious when you’re doing it on the job hunt. Why not keep it up to date with your most recent accomplishments as you make them? This will help you remember the key projects you worked on and the successes that you gained throughout your career.
  • LinkedIn Profile – Similar to your resume, have you updated your LinkedIn profile with your most recent and relevant accomplishments? Have you written a recommendation for a colleague? If not, you could be missing out on making some valuable connections. YNPN Atlanta is active on LinkedIn as it is the largest social network devoted to professionals, and recruiters are always looking through profiles for new recruits. Also, it is a great place to seek potential donors and partners for your organization.
What other items in your career could use some spring cleaning? Share with us in the comments section.
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How to Ace Your Annual Review

Performance-Review.jpgNo matter what time of year you have your annual performance review, it’s never too early to start preparing. Being properly prepared will help ensure that you have a successful, productive meeting with your supervisor that will help you thrive in your current position and develop as a professional.


Follow these tips to make the most of your next review meeting!


Review your job description and make note of any discrepancies: Read through your job description with a critical eye. Does it properly describe your role within the organization? Make note of any duties you’ve taken on or any projects for which you’ve gone above and beyond your assigned role. Be sure to discuss these with your supervisor as examples of why you are deserving of either more responsibility, a raise, or even a promotion. This is also a good time to look for areas for growth. If there are particular aspects of your job that you really enjoy or in which you would like to take on extra responsibility, you should bring them up during the conversation to help ensure job satisfaction.

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Resume Critique Follow-up - Why Should I Hire You?

According to the UI Center for Non-profits, the non-profit sector has grown steadily over the past decade in both size and financial impact, surpassing the rate of both private business and government sectors. There is a need for development directors, volunteer managers, program coordinators, executive directors and innovative leaders to successfully sustain this growing and impactful sector. With an influx of “professional do-gooders” entering the job market, where do you fit in? Or rather how will you stand out? Two words: your professional biography, or, simply put, your resume.
On Feb. 19 we held a panel discussion with non-profit sector hiring professionals—Dr. Maggie Tolan, Cyndee Dubrof and Eloise Luke— who brought perspectives from the various worlds of academia, HR management and executive level hiring. The discussion helped to shed light on questions most entry-level, sector-switchers and experienced professionals share when applying for their dream jobs.
Below are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your resume.  Also, be sure to join us on Wednesday, March 6 for our Perfect Your Elevator Pitch event.  With a revamped resume and a perfectly polished elevator pitch, you'll be doubly prepared for your next job search.
1. Be Honest: The panelists couldn’t express this enough. Most people assume that a lengthy and verbose resume appeals to most hiring managers, but it does not. Take the time to detail the successes you have had, however small they may be, and make sure they accurately portray your skill set.
2. Kill the buzz words unless you can back it up: Don’t just state that you are a “team player.” Demonstrate it by showing the results in your work history.
3. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple and straightforward): There’s no need to list every job and/or volunteer position you have had. List the most relevant experiences you’ve had that date no more than five years ago. This is especially true if you’ve held positions were you served as a leader, but even if you had positions where you played a supportive role, don’t forget to emphasize your accomplishments.
4. The professional summary helps; the archaic objective statement does not: Research the organization before you write your summary. In this short paragraph explain how your skill set, character and/or experience will add to their organizational goals.
5. Do your research: Ask yourself: Does your skill set match the job description? If not, what other areas have you had successful experiences in? Once you have these answers, highlight those accomplishments.
6. Cross-check, revise and tailor: Have family and friends review your resume for any errors or inconsistencies. Develop more than one resume, and tailor your resume to the organization to which you are applying.
7. Don’t forget the cover letter: The cover letter and resume go hand in hand.
Here are a few links to some resources to check out if you’re still stuck in a resume rut:
New to non-profit? Here are some great resources for sector-switchers: BridgespanCareerealismIdealist
Recent graduate or budding professional ready to enter the job market?
"Recruiters and Employers Offer Tips for Creating the Ideal Nonprofit Resume" - Philathrophy.com article Some tips - http://www.resume-help.org/resume_writing_tips.htm 20 free resume writing resources online - http://education-portal.com/articles/25_Free_Resume_Writing_Resources_Online.html
A few articles to consider:
http://www.cgcareers.org/articles/detail/ten-resume-tips-for-nonprofit-jobseekers/ http://www.serviceleader.org/volunteers/resume http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/02/giving/volunteer-work-gains-stature-on-a-resume.html
- Jewel N. Thompson, YNPN Atlanta Board Member
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Nonprofit Tools & Technology - February

Published February 21, 2013

This month we’re featuring tools for project/task management and mobile communication.
As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all are selected based on their usefulness, ease of use and cost (most, if not all, will have a free version...).
Asana
 
 
Asana – Improve the way teams communicate and collaborate.
Overview: Staff members’ e-mail inboxes and weekly status meetings are not the only places where project management should occur. Asana is a web application designed to organize tasks and then assign them to projects and people. Nonprofits often think of “capacity building” in terms of expanding or scaling, rather than greater project management efficiency. Not only can this free up critical staff bandwidth, but it also helps institutionalize all of the plans, processes and tasks. Asana addresses the problem that many nonprofits have with being unable to deconstruct projects or new initiatives into manageable tasks. While I am a big fan of many other project management tools (e.g., Basecamp, Trello), Asana seems to be the most intuitive option, and it does not include any distracting bells and whistles.
Cost: Asana is free for up to 30 users, after which plans start at $100 per month.
Potential Uses: Project management, staff training, intern management, process documentation.
Gather
 
 
 
Gather – Communicate via text message with your MailChimp subscribers.
Overview: Gather is a simple tool for communicating with your MailChimp subscribers via text message at an event. Once you create a simple web/mobile form, individuals can sign up and choose to be added to your MailChimp contact list if they are not already. Subscribers' numbers cannot be seen by the account administrator and are deleted after the event ends. And don’t worry – MailChimp provides the administrator with a phone number to use so your personal one is kept private. Once individuals have subscribed, you can communicate both with the entire group and with individual contacts. There are plenty of tools available for organizations to communicate with attendees before and after an event (e.g., Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey). Few, however, make it easy to communicate via text message during an event (let alone sync with your MailChimp account!).
Cost: $8.99 for 175 messages, $18.99 for 500 messages, and 2,000 for $48.99.
Potential Uses: Important announcements (e.g., venue change, race delay), volunteer management, fun interactive events (e.g., scavenger hunts, Improv Everywhere’s MP3 Experiments)
- Jeffrey Ader, YNPN Atlanta Marketing Committee Member
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How to Get HR to Fall in LOVE with Your Resume

Looking to re-vamp your resume? You can register for our upcoming Resume Workshop on February 19, where you can hear from our panel of experts on how to make sure your resume stands out to hiring managers. Register today!
But before you go, here are a few tips to get you started:
Resumes are an important part of any professional's career. It’s the one page where you can showcase our previous experiences, accomplishments, skills, etc. However, with most human resource and hiring managers having a small window of time to actually review your resume, how are you able to really make your accomplishments stand out?
Standard formatting Resumes should be clean in presentation, so don’t get too crazy trying to bold, italicize, underline and adjust the font size and type of every line in your one page. Have one standard font throughout the resume (Arial or Times New Roman are good ones to use) and have at most two varying font sizes (10 pt or 12 pt is standard). Also, limit your bold texts to headlines. Your document margins should be either .5” or 1” around.
Keywords Review the job description and make sure you highlight the keywords that are present throughout the responsibilities and required previous experience sections. Hiring managers will be looking for specific skill sets and prior work experiences related to the open position.
Highlight Accomplishments Don’t be shy about what you’ve done since your resume is where you can showcase why you’re the best candidate for the job. Applicants tend to list what their organization has done and not what they themselves did in their current position. Highlight YOUR work first and foremost!
Relevant Volunteer Experiences With nonprofits, highlighting your relevant volunteer experiences and causes you support will stand out to hiring managers. They want to see that you are engaged with the nonprofit sector and are active in causes outside of your work and school experiences. Also, with the job market down, showcasing that you stayed active in learning and training through volunteering and interning can make you stand out among the other applicants.
What other resume tips would you add to the list? Share with us in the comments below, and join us tomorrow at our Resume Workshop!
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“I can’t lobby, I’m a Nonprofit!” Myths dispelled!

Published February 8, 2013

Advocacy_or_Lobbying.gifMany seasoned nonprofit professionals are not well-informed about the legalities of lobbying and advocacy. There is a general fear of losing one’s 501(c)(3) status and therefore an unwillingness to engage in any type of political activity whatsoever. This misguided reluctance is causing our sector as a whole to waste opportunities to sit at the policy-making table.
Firstly, there is a large and important difference between advocacy and lobbying. Advocacy is educating people about an issue or topic. Direct lobbying, as defined by the IRS, is communicating with a legislator about a specific piece of legislation. Grassroots lobbying is defined as communicating with the general public and encouraging them to contact legislators and lobby them about a specific piece of legislation.


Let’s be clear:

  • Inviting your representatives to attend your nonprofit’s functions: NOT lobbying
  • Sending information to your elected officials about the positive impact your nonprofit makes in their community: NOT lobbying
  • Scheduling an in-person meeting with a legislator to talk about the general state of your sector: NOT lobbying
  • Asking your legislator to vote Yes/No on a bill: Lobbying
  • Taking a stand on an issue in your e-mail newsletter: NOT lobbying.
  • Encouraging those reading a newsletter to contact a legislator and urge them to vote Yes/No on a bill: Lobbying

As you can see, nonprofits can engage in a wide range of political activity without even venturing into lobbying territory. But to dispel another myth – nonprofits are ALLOWED BY LAW to engage in lobbying. Without doing anything, a nonprofit can expend up to 5% of its resources on direct or grassroots lobbying and be in NO DANGER of losing 501(c)(3) status.

Even better, if a nonprofit files a very simple Form 5678, taking the 501(h) election, with the IRS, the allowable amounts for lobbying expenditures are much higher and more well-defined. Highly regarded, national law firm Venable, LLP has made a wonderful document freely available that explains the issue more fully and tells you what exactly is allowable and how to file the form. (It’s a one-time filing, meaning you do not have to fill out a new one every year. It is also the simplest IRS form I have ever seen.)


One thing that 501(c)(3) nonprofits cannot do, ever, is engage in campaigning for candidates. You are never allowed, as an organization, to endorse one candidate or group of candidates over another during a campaign. A nonprofit is allowed to host a debate featuring the candidates, but all candidates for the office need to be invited. A nonprofit IS allowed to take a public stand on an issue in an election (such as a proposed amendment or resolution), just not on a person or a political party.


As a Board Member of the Georgia Arts Network, I created a handout with advocacy/lobbying tips for the recent Georgia Arts Advocacy Day, held at the State Capitol on January 29. The tips are relevant for anyone engaged in advocacy, so I am sharing that document here.


I hope this post has been useful. Please comment with your thoughts, other good advocacy resources, or your questions!

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2013 Nonprofit Conferences in the South

A new year means new conferences to attend in 2013. Here’s our shortlist of ones happening in Atlanta and neighboring states in the South, taken from SocialBrite’s Calendar of 2013 nonprofit and social change conferences. For young professionals in the nonprofit sector, attending these conferences could be of great benefit to both your organization and your own personal professional development.
Check out the list below and let us know on Facebook or Twitter which ones you plan on attending.
 
The Shift
 
Name: Annual Conference on Corporate Contributions Host Organization: Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals Dates: March 10-13, 2013 Location: New Orleans, LA About: The Annual Conference on Corporate Contributions is the premier conference in the U.S. for professionals in corporate citizenship, corporate social responsibility, community relations and volunteerism and assembles renowned speakers, authors, practitioners and educators. Website: http://www.accprof.org/events/conference/
 
Sustainatopia
 
Name: Sustainatopia Conference & Festival Host Organization: Sustainatopia Dates: April 16-22, 2013 Location: Miami, FL About: Sustainatopia is one of the world's leading events in celebration of social, financial and environmental sustainability. Website: http://www.sustainatopia.com/
 
NMC Conference
 
 
 
Name: 2013 NMC Summer Conference Host Organization: New Media Consortium Dates: June 4-7, 2013 Location: Hilton Head, SC About: Every year, hundreds of educators, technologists and learning enthusiasts gather at the NMC Summer Conference to explore and discuss the integration of emerging technologies in teaching, learning and creative inquiry. Website: http://www.nmc.org/events/2013-summer-conference
 
NC Tech
 
 
Name: 4th Annual NCTech4Good Conference Host Organization: NCTech4Good Dates: June 6-7, 2013 Location: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill About: This conference is designed to serve nonprofit professionals, volunteers and consultants, as well as small business owners. The conference focuses on technologies in areas such as fundraising, social media, and communication and advocacy tools, offering both pre-selected presentations and workshops and spontaneous sessions created by participants. Website: http://nctech4good.org/
 
ASAE Conference
 
 
 
 
Name: 2013 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition Host Organization: The Center for Association Leadership Dates: August 3-6, 2013 Location: Atlanta, GA About: Learn and grow. Challenge and inspire. Lead and succeed. The possibilities are endless. At the 2013 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition, you'll engage with thought-provoking speakers, experience innovative session formats, enjoy world-class networking events, and much more. Website: http://www.asaeannualmeeting.org/
 
Idea Festival
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Name: IdeaFestival Host Organization: ICI, Inc. Dates: September 24-27, 2013 Location: Louisville, KY About: Founded in 2000, IdeaFestival is a celebration for the intellectually curious. It’s an eclectic network of global thinkers and one-of-a-kind innovators bound together by an intense curiosity about what is impacting and shaping the future of the arts, business, technology, design, science, philosophy and education. Website: http://www.ideafestival.com/
Is your organization putting together a conference in the South, or did we miss one coming up in 2013? Let us know in the comments below!
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Looking Back on 2012 . . . and Towards 2013!

When I think about all we accomplished in 2012 at YNPN Atlanta, it's a little mind boggling.  For such a young organization, we have seen huge growth in our membership and programs!  As we move forward into 2013, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the awesome work our Board of Directors, committee participants and members have accomplished.
We launched our paid membership structure at the end of 2011, and since then we've had tremendous growth.  Many YNPN chapters feel confident in launching paid memberships until the day they start their first renewal cycle and have a very hard time retaining members.  Not only did you renew your memberships, but we saw an increase!  We are currently at 56 paid members, and we're growing monthly.  We took our mailing list from about 100 people to more than 375.  Not too shabby!
The number one thing that our members requested we add to our offerings was the opportunity to work with a mentor in the nonprofit sector.  Ask and ye shall receive!  In October we launched our Mentorship Program, which has paired 16 YNPN Atlanta members with mid- to executive-level professionals in our field.  We kicked off the program with our Value of Mentorship event and heard from a fantastic keynote speaker, Patricia M. Falotico (Vice President, Global Sales Center Transformation, IBM) on some of the highlights and pitfalls of her mentoring relationships from the perspective of mentor AND mentee.
Holiday Happy Hour Some of our members celebrating 2012 at our Holiday Happy Hour!
This year we held monthly Networking Hours that gave our members the opportunity to meet each other while discussing topics such as how to stay informed about the latest nonprofit trends and learning new skills through committee membership.  We held fantastic professional development events like our Strategic Volunteering Workshop with Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta CEO Heather Rocker (@hsrocker).  We look forward to expanding our programming even more in 2013 with your feedback!The next big step for YNPN Atlanta is solidifying our presence in the metro Atlanta nonprofit community as the go-to resource for young nonprofit professionals.  In November we filed for our 501(c)(3) status, which will allow us to raise funds to provide you with more professional development, interesting speakers and fun networking opportunities.  To ring in the new year we've brought on six (yowza!) new members to our Board of Directors to launch YNPN Atlanta into the next phase:
2013 Officers of the Board Lindsey Hardegree, Chair/Governance Chair Molly Friesenborg, Chair-Elect/Member Relations Chair Renee Dubois, Secretary Tayo Adeyefa, Treasurer/Finance & Fundraising Chair
2013 Board Members Christine Brasile Rachel Ciprotti Austin Dickson Anissa Floyd, Events & Programs Chair Marci Tate, Marketing Chair Jewel Thompson
YNPN Atlanta sees an effective, viable and inclusive nonprofit sector in metro Atlanta that engages young professionals as an integral part of the nonprofit community, supporting those individuals in their growth and future leadership.  We need YOU to succeed in our mission!  We need you to attend our events, join our committees, and spread the word that YNPN Atlanta is a valuable resource to the nonprofits in our community.  We are the next generation of leaders in Atlanta, and through the relationships and training offered by YNPN Atlanta you will be prepared to take your seat at the executive table!
On behalf of the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors, thank you for your commitment to our chapter.  We look forward to more exciting opportunities in 2013!
Sincerely, Lindsey Hardegree Chair, Board of Directors
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Nonprofit Tools & Technology - January

A New Years resolution for all nonprofits should be to more effectively use online tools and technology. As always, our featured tools will cover a broad range of uses - from managing social media campaigns to collecting online donations. Many were not developed exclusively for nonprofits, but all will be selected based on their usefulness, ease of use and cost (most, if not all, will have a free version...). This month we’re featuring tools for video presentations, fundraising and mobile site/app development....
 
Present.me_logo
 
 
Present.me - Share online presentations with video content
Overview: Present.me is an online communication tool that lets you pair video/audio content alongside your presentation. Many different types of documents can be uploaded to create a Present.me, including Power Points, PDFs and Word documents. Once a document is uploaded, the user records (webcam required) the presentation and can easily trim/re-record segments. Once finalized, it can be downloaded, shared online and embedded in other webpages. Cost: The basic plan is free. Advanced plans that include unlimited presentations and privacy options range up to $49 per month. Potential Uses: Board presentations, volunteer orientation, staff training.
 
Double the Donation_logo
 
 
Double the Donation - Increase corporate matching gifts and volunteer grants
Overview: Double the Donation is an online service that makes capitalizing on corporate matching gift programs much more convenient for organizations. Many in the nonprofit sector, even those in development, fail to realize how many potential donors work at companies that offer matching gift programs. Additionally, many employees at these companies are either unaware of their company’s matching program or cannot easily access the pertinent information and forms to participate. Double the Donation aims to address both challenges by providing organizations with customizable web pages that feature its searchable matching program database which it actively manages and updates. Cost: Pricing begins at $240 per year and increases based on the organization’s number of donors/volunteers. Potential Uses: Set up a matching gift landing page for your site and highlight participating companies' specific cities.
 
Mobile Roadie_logo
 
Mobile Roadie - Create and manage your own mobile apps
Overview: Mobile Roadie makes it easy to establish a mobile presence without any knowledge of web design or development (i.e., no coding is required!). Organizations that may not have the resources or expertise to create a mobile site or app now have a powerful tool to do so. Users can create custom mobile sites as well as iPhone/Droid/iPad apps using Mobile Roadie’s expansive suite of style options (icon sets included!) and features including push notifications, user badges, pop-up videos and e-commerce, among many others. Mobile Roadie’s platform can also be integrated with other online sources where your content may already exist, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Eventbrite, Flickr and Foursquare. Once your app is complete, Mobile Roadie will also help guide you through app submission process. Cost: Pricing is based on platform: mobile site is free, iPhone app is $99 per month, and iPad app is $299 per month. Potential Uses: Permanent mobile presence (San Diego Zoo case study), targeted advocacy/marketing/fundraising campaigns, self-guided tours, conferences and events (Midem case study).
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