Get help from the best in academic writing.

Alumni tracking system college admission essay help i

Alpha Delta Phi Alumni Association Handbook August 1st, 2006 Revision History All changes or revisions to this document should be noted and tracked below. Revision Number Date of Revision Description of Revision Author 1. 0 August 4, 2006 First Draft Brian Davis, VIR’99 2. 0 August 8, 2006 Revisions of first two sections Jon Vick, HAM’64 3. 0 August 20, 2006 Example By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation added Ken Growney, COR ‘82 4. 0 August 20, 2006 1832 Club fundraising vehicle added and minor revisions Brian Davis, VIR ‘99 5. 0 August 23, 2006

Websites as part of communications program information added Brian Davis, VIR ‘99 Table of Contents INTRODUCTION4 BUILDING THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES6 ORGANIZING THE BOARD8 Alumni Communications Program10 FUNDRAISING15 Mailings to the Alumni for Fund Solicitation17 Annual Report17 Mailings from the Undergraduate Chapter17 Alumni Activities18 Class Agent Organization18 The 1832 Club18 Other Programs19 Conclusion19 Managing the Relationship with the Chapter20 Establishing Continuity21 Goals22 Responsibility22 Positive Counseling Feedback23 Why Bylaws are Important25

Tips25 Sample Chapter Bylaws26 Overview30 Suggested Judicial Procedure31 Hazing32 Sexual Abuse and Harassment32 Fire, Health and Safety33 Education33 Abusive Behavior33 High Risk Events33 Property Management33 Transportation33 Relationships with Other Organizations41 Officer and Chapter Retreats48 Additional Support for the Alumni Association Chairman56 Appendix A: Effective Goal Setting57 Appendix B: Important Dates from the International Office59 Appendix C: Contact Information60 Appendix D: Example Articles of Incorporation61 Appendix E: Example By-Laws63

INTRODUCTION The heart of a strong alumni organization is a small group of dedicated men who make the organization work by their leadership, energy, and effort. This group usually serves as a board of trustees of the chapter’s alumni organization. If this group works effectively, the entire alumni organization will be effective and the chapter will be a strong one. This handbook is concerned with the organization, direction, and programs of this core alumni group. Participating on your alumni association board should be an enjoyable experience.

The program recommended here is designed to involve a number of volunteers for a variety of reasons: camaraderie through numbers, greater number of ideas as a product of a group effort, and a division of responsibilities to minimize the burnout factor. What are the criteria for an efficient alumni group? One measure is the standing of the chapter on its own campus. Occasionally, one finds a strong chapter with a weak alumni organization, but usually a strong chapter results from a strong alumni organization.

A second criterion for a good alumni organization is the level of support provided in an annual fund drive. An alumni organization should aim to have a minimum of 20% of its alumni contributing each year in order to give the chapter a firm base of support and interest. A third measure of a strong alumni organization is the amount of money raised each year. Even if the chapter does not need funds right now, it is sensible to maintain the interest and to promote the habit of giving. Extra funds can always be used as scholarships or in support of literary programs.

Or, they can be added to the endowment as a cushion against major capital emergencies or difficult times on campus. The scope of an alumni association’s role makes it difficult to define beyond the most general terms. It is important that we attempt, however, to provide a practical definition that fraternity alumni organizations may use in setting their goals, planning their approach, and measuring their effectiveness. The successful alumni organization has an understanding of the broad parameters of its job, as well as clearly defined goals.

Among college fraternities, there are wide variations in both size and mode of operation. Usually the best Alpha Delta Phi chapters have the best alumni organizations. There is nothing magic or mandatory about the structure provided in these materials. These are guidelines and idea sources. There are a variety of situations which can impact the design of your Alumni Association such as geographic distribution of alumni, size and age of the chapter, and other factors. Those factors may require modifications of this Alumni Association Handbook for your chapter. Some positions might be consolidated.

The important aspects are getting more people involved in working with and advising the various aspects of chapter life and performance, defining areas of responsibility, and tailoring the program so it is workable for your chapter and the alumni members who will be involved. BUILDING THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES We recommend a board of 9 to 15 active trustees. They should be elected to 3-year terms, with one-third elected each year. Three to four persons will be inactive each year due to illness, family problems, business pressures, etc. , but you will still have a large enough group to conduct business efficiently.

The group will not be too large because the board will be subdivided into committees as outlined below. If necessary, the executive committee will handle the day-to-day decisions. The keys to a successful board are strong officers, particularly a chief executive officer or officers. The president and/or the chairman must be prepared to devote 4 to 6 hours per week to the organization, particularly during the initial reorganization phases. The Board should plan to have a minimum of 2 meetings per year at the Chapter, and should involve Chapter officers at each meeting. A monthly meeting is desirable if practical.

Identifying Potential Board Members Good board members can be found among the following groups: regular contributors; brothers who return regularly to chapter functions; past chapter officers; brothers who have children in college or about to enter; brothers with a major reunion upcoming. In general, it is relatively easy to obtain trustees under 30 years of age (they are not yet deeply involved in their careers), or trustees of retirement age (they have the time). It is extremely difficult to obtain quality persons in the 30 to 60 age range who have career and family pressures. Yet, these persons are vital to the health of the board.

Aim for several trustees from each decade. This will give you a broad range of experience on the board, and (assuming board meetings coincide with larger alumni functions) it will provide “someone I know” for brothers of all generations. Several board members should live near the chapter. Recruiting Board Members How do you attract quality persons to the board? Most persons will respond to either an honor or a challenge. If the chapter is in good shape, then the trustee position should be presented as an honor and emphasis placed on the importance of continuing the tradition of excellence.

If the chapter is in bad shape, then the challenge of rebuilding the chapter should be emphasized. We recommend a personal solicitation letter which does the following things at a minimum: 1. Clearly defines the extent of the job (time, meetings, etc. ); 2. Stresses that it is a working board; 3. Defines any implicit or explicit financial obligations. The membership of the board should be “weeded” regularly, particularly during the early years of the organization. You often find good trustees by trial and error, and you cannot carry your “errors” too long without hurting the organization.

If a person is not fulfilling his obligations, discrete inquiry should be made into the causes. If temporary, he can be continued. If the poor performance continues, then he should be eased off the board as tactfully as possible. In some cases, inactive trustees may be “promoted” to trustee emeriti or honorary trustees. A sample letter providing an inactive trustee with a graceful way out is included in the Appendix. “Dead wood” must be pruned promptly but gracefully so you don’t lose a contributor. (If you do the job correctly, he should increase his contribution because of a slightly guilty conscience.

) Remember, you are looking for real value to the board, and different brothers’ contributions will differ in kind. The following could also be considered: 1/3rd from older alumni (graduated 20+ years) 1/3rd from younger alumni (graduated 1-19 years) 1/3rd from current chapter officers ORGANIZING THE BOARD Overview Once selected, the board should adopt rules governing its procedures, including: the number of meeting per year, attendance requirements, etcetera. These rules should be sent to all board members and reviewed at the beginning of each year.

The board should plan to meet once a month or once every two months if the alumni organization and/or the chapter has problems. This also helps develop momentum and a sense of urgency. Once the board is functioning smoothly, meetings are probably needed only two or three times a year. The board should be divided into at least six permanents committees: Alumni Relations, Chapter Relations, Finance and Membership, Nominations, House and Property, and Scholarship and Literary Activities. Other permanent or temporary committees may be created to suit the particular character of the chapter.

The responsibilities of each committee should be clearly defined in writing. Each brother should be given the opportunity to select the committee on which he will serve and to which he feels he can contribute the most. Undergraduate Involvement The chapter’s committee system should parallel the board’s committees. The chapter may well have some additional committees (Social, Initiation, Rushing, etc. ), which the board does not have, but these “extra” Chapter committees should report to one of the board committees (likely a Chapter Relations Committee). Every chapter member should belong to one or more chapter committees.

A full list of the membership of the chapter committees should be given to the board at the beginning of each academic year. The chapter committees, of course, will meet regularly during the year and meet jointly with board committees on retreat weekends. We recommend that the undergraduates participate actively with the Alumni Board, particularly at the committee level. The Alumni Committee should meet jointly before the full Alumni Board meets. At the full board meeting, the chapter officers and committee chairs attend with the rights to speak, but not to vote.

Other chapter members are free to sit in if they choose. The alumni and the chapter should have a written agreement between them expressing the mutual rights and responsibilities of both sides. If the alumni own the house, it can take the form of a lease. Otherwise, it can be a mutual covenant or statement of intent. This agreement should be read to and acted upon by the entire chapter each year before the officers sign it. It should be reviewed by the board each year, and its officers authorized to sign it by a formal vote. It should be signed in a formal ceremony giving the document as much significance as possible.

The written agreement lists everything that the alumni will do for the chapter each year. It also lists everything the chapter is supposed to do for the alumni and is supposed to do in order to maintain (or improve) the chapter’s quality. The lease has a blank space at the end of each designating which officer or committee chairman is responsible for seeing that this particular item is accomplished. The agreement also requires the chapter to provide several attachments: a complete list of chapter members and their contact information, a list of all chapter committees and members, and annual budget (approved in advance by the board), etc.

Other items may be added as necessary. In time, this agreement becomes the storehouse of the collected wisdom acquired through the years of running a fraternity house. Each time a new problem arises, an adjustment can be made in the agreement and it remains in force for future years. Traditionally, one problem with the undergraduate chapter is that its leadership changes every few years, and one must constantly reeducate the new group. The same often applies to alumni organizations. The hard-won lessons learned during a financial or other crisis tend to be forgotten as these brothers leave the board and new persons join.

Consequently, ten years down the line, the same mistakes recur. An agreement helps limit the mistakes both by the chapter and the board. Formal Recognition from Alpha Delta Phi International In order to become a formally recognized Alumni Association of the Alpha Delta Phi, several criteria must be completed. These criteria include: 1) A formally organized association with a mission statement, by laws, and a constitution. 2) A slate of verifiable officers including, but not limited to, President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer. 3) A bank account.

4) Details of how often meetings are held, where, and how. 5) Copies of the minutes from the most recent two meetings. 6) A formal request letter addressed to the International detailing the above and requesting a Charter as a recognized Alumni Association. As agreed to at the 173rd International Convention in 2005, all Alumni Association annual fees payable to the International will be waived for 3 years from the date of charter. Once recognized, the Alumni Association is granted a vote at the annual International Convention. Alumni Communications Program Overview

Maintaining regular contact with alumni is a must for any fraternity chapter. Alumni provide regular financial support, institutional memory, and mentoring of the undergraduates. They provide support in difficult times, and they often serve as a liaison to entities outside the chapter — such as the college or university, local government officials, and the headquarters office. Communicating regularly with alumni also helps ensure that there is a base of committed, connected alumni when an organization reaches the point when it needs to raise significant funds, such as for a capital campaign.

Finding lost brothers is critical. Most of our chapters have a significant (more than 10 percent) number of brothers whose current mailing and email addresses are unknown, so that these brothers are lost to your efforts to communicate with them. The first step in implementing an effective alumni communications program is to begin the process of finding these lost brothers. You can do this by contacting Alpha Delta Phi International headquarters and asking for a list of lost brothers for your chapter. Then, with the help of a few undergraduates, take this list to the

college’s/university’s communications and development office (or website) to look up the correct mailing and email addresses, and send the information you gather to Terrie to update our database for you. An effective chapter alumni communications program should: 1. Be regular and consistent. 2. Generate more gifts than it costs to produce. This gift over cost ratio should be calculated on an annual basis, not on a piece by piece basis. 3. Have paper and electronic components. 4. Include a solicitation return envelope in all regular mailings.

This gives brothers the opportunity to contribute more than once during the year, as many will. 5. Be managed and overseen by both a responsible undergraduate and alumni officer. The best practices for an annual program – a regular communications program that cycles yearly and that usually corresponds with the school year – typically comprises the following elements. First Solicitation Letter. This is usually a one-page, simple solicitation asking brothers to make a gift to the annual program. The term gift is used instead of dues because participation is voluntary and is not required to be a member in good standing.

An honor roll of the previous year’s donors is included in the mailing, along with a gift remittance card. Fall Newsletter. In addition to having articles by the undergraduates, there should be ample alumni content, including an update from the alumni board and news about alumni members at large. This newsletter may promote or report on Homecoming (as long as Homecoming is in the fall, as it is on most campuses). Spring Newsletter. This is similar in content and purpose to the fall newsletter, except that this issue usually promotes annual campus reunions. Personalized Lapsed Donor Mailing.

This is a personalized letter to donors who have given sometime in the past but who have yet given during the current year. This is typically sent about three-quarters of the way through the giving year, targeting donors from the previous five years. Thank You Program. Thanking your donors isn’t only the right thing to do, it is also a critically important part of the process of nurturing donors who give every year. eDistributions (e-mail blasts). E-mail is an attractive way to communicate inexpensively with alumni members. If done incorrectly, though, you can alienate members, gut your annual giving program, and end up on spam

blacklists. It is prudent to observe the following general rules of thumb. Use eDistributions as a way to promote individual events or deliver topical news on a specific subject. Don’t inundate your members with e-mail. Don’t use eDistributions as a replacement for paper solicitations, at least not yet. As stated above, electronic solicitation results in the fraternity world do not yet match the results of paper mailings. You need to be careful to not throttle your gift income flow. Use a professional provider that monitors and follows the anti-spam rules of the major email providers (including the option to opt-out).

Alumni Newsletters A good chapter newsletter is one of the best ways to solidify alumni support for your chapter. It can have great short term, immediate, as well as long term, impact. Unfortunately, the opposite holds true for a poor newsletter. Why Newsletters Are Important A newsletter is the fastest, most efficient way to communicate with a sizable, dispersed group of alumni and to promote your undergraduates (and/or Housing Corporation’s) point of view. Secondarily, a good newsletter can be a factor in chapter morale, membership recruitment, and scholarship.

Obviously it has usefulness as a historical record of events of significance within your chapter. Considerations Be sure your newsletter serves as a credit to your chapter and to your fraternity. A newsletter that is arrogant in tone, hostile to other groups or individuals on campus, or that is executed in poor taste, will come back to haunt. The chapter’s newsletter may be forwarded to persons or groups you did not intend. Tips 1. Select an English or Journalism major to be your newsletter editor 2. Publish a Fall and Spring issue on a regular basis 3. Include good photographs of undergrads doing intelligent things 4.

Include articles written by both undergrads and alumni 5. Include names and phone numbers of undergraduate and alumni officers 6. Print the masthead and the Alpha Delta Phi logo in green 7. Include invitation and instructions on how to submit newsletter articles & donations 8. Should be part of a regular, integrated communications program 9. Send a copy to Alpha Delta Phi International Headquarters 10. Reserve enough copies to distribute to next year’s pledge class, so they will feel more a part of the chapter. 11. There is no substitute for reporting the activities of an already successful chapter.

These articles will write themselves. 12. Noting the exception above, there is no substitute for good writing. If absolutely necessary, use an outsider to do re-writes, but not to write the original material. 13. Good layout (the way an article is typeset and then arranged on a page) can make even poor writing seem good. Look through national magazines like TIME or NEWSWEEK, and notice how they fit articles on a page, what style of type they use, how they place photos. Even ads in those periodicals can provide useful ideas for the layout. 14. Good photographs can overcome poor layout and writing.

Remember that no one cares what kind of shoes a person is wearing. Move close to the subject so details can be seen. Again, look at the difference in a group shot in TIME, and that of a snapshot taken of a group of undergraduates. The professional shot is always closer to the subject. Look for the unique angle or unique activity. 15. Write from the prospective of what interests alumni: new associates/members/officers, reunion information, campus developments, chapter athletics and scholarship. A feature article on an alumnus in each issue often helps spark interest. 16.

Don’t worry about repeating article topics from issue to issue. Many chapters regularly include the academic trends on campus or of their own top scholars. 17. Remember articles that begin: “This past fall was the greatest in the history of this chapter” or “Our annual (you name it) Ball was the best ever held . . . ” have limited appeal. 18. Learn from each issue how to make the next one better. 19. Get photocopies of other chapters’ newsletters from Alpha Delta Phi International. You’ll see quickly what looks good and what doesn’t. 20. Proofread! Proofread! Proofread! The Chapter Newsletter Award

The Newsletter Award is presented annually to the Chapter with the most outstanding newsletter sent to Alumni to generate Alumni involvement. Every Chapter should send out Fall and Spring newsletters to alumni to provide Chapter news, interesting information on alumni, and to raise funds. A copy of each newsletter should be sent to the Alpha Delta Phi International office. Each year at the annual Convention, an award will be presented to the most outstanding newsletter sent out during the preceding year. While newsletters will vary in style and appearance, certain areas of quality can be judged in competition: A.

Content and Balance: There should be a reasonable balance between undergraduate and alumni news. The alumnus reading the newsletter looks for the answers to these questions: “What are the undergraduates doing? ”; “What are the alumni doing? ”; “What is the condition of the Chapter House? ”; “What is the state of the Chapter? ”; “What are my contemporaries doing? ”; “How can I provide support? ” If an alumnus finds answers to these questions, the newsletter has served its purpose. B. Writing and Editing: Any publication must be well written. Styles vary from writer to writer but “readability” is essential to any effective publication. C.

Makeup, Layout, and General Appearance: Does the printed material look well prepared? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Is it printed on good quality paper? Is the printing good? Does the masthead contain the Alpha Delta Phi logo? Is there some green on the front page? D. Frequency and Extent of Program: Consistency is vital to the success of any communications program. A well-planned newsletter published regularly (Fall and Spring) demonstrates a serious effort to fulfill the communications needs of the Chapter. E. Overall Quality and Impression: Is the alumni relations program as evidenced by the Chapter newsletter a worthwhile endeavor?

Is it something alumni can be proud of? Does it generate alumni response? Does it project a well-written, attractive appearance? Chapter Websites and Alumni Relations A chapter website is becoming an increasingly important component of an effective alumni relations program. While online giving in the fraternity world has not yet matched the results of direct mail solicitation — nor shown an increase — the website is a critical tool for keeping alumni informed and connected. A good site should have fresh content, plenty of alumni news, a secure online member directory, and a photo archive.

Secure online giving functionality is also important so that the member group as a whole begins to get more comfortable with the practice of donating to the chapter electronically. The Alpha Delta Phi International Board of Governors recommends that chapters host their websites on the International domain server. All domain registration, hosting, and site building assistance are provided free of charge by the International. The International has contracted an outside company to produce modular functionality that can be easily added to chapter sites hosted on the International’s architecture.

The architecture provides an easy to use interface that allows even the novice website owner to add sophisticated site functionality, including: Discussion Forums, Membership Directory and Address Update Services, Document Repositories, and many more. In utilizing the International’s domain, you can also easily host a version of the International’s membership directory that is limited to your own chapter’s members within your chapter site, which eliminates the duplication of efforts associated with both organizations maintaining separate databases.

FUNDRAISING Fundraising Strategy A key to the success of any fraternity or alumni organization is its ability to raise funds when needed. If the alumni contribute significantly to the chapter, the chapter tends to be more responsive to alumni suggestions. If they can see a tangible benefit, the chapter is often willing to help alumni at alumni functions, or with correspondence telethons, etcetera. It is hard to ask for undergraduate cooperation when the alumni organization gives little and is perpetually crying poverty.

Even if no financial need exists, we recommend that a full-scale annual loyalty drive be conducted each year so that the contact with the alumni is maintained and the habit of contributing is sustained. Otherwise, when funds are really needed, one finds that you begin cultivating on barren ground. If the funds are not needed for the Chapter House, they can be used for scholarship and literary programs, such as lectures, concerts, publications, etcetera. These events will attract favorable publicity for the fraternity system in general, and the chapter in particular.

In some cases, the chapter and the alumni organization can build up a small endowment as protection against lean years. The traditional reasons given for a poor fund drive are twofold: (1) that the chapter has no tradition of annual contributions; or (2) that its alumni are poor. In general, these are usually excuses for a poorly organized fund drive (although there are certain exceptions). Let us discuss each point in turn. As undergraduates, very few of us really knew how much the alumni contributed to the chapter’s finances.

Usually, they gave some kind of help at some point in time in order to buy or construct the house. Consequently it is usually possible to refer to a general tradition of alumni support, even if annual contributions have not been solicited for some time. As for the “poor” alumni argument, most of our chapters have enough alumni that there are some with resources. In any case, almost any alumnus can afford to give $25 to $50 per year to support his chapter, and few chapters need more than this amount per year to prosper. Perhaps the most important point about a fund-raising campaign is credibility.

The reasons for needing the money must be believable; the amount needed must be reasonable; and the management and use of the funds must be clearly reported. Every alumni organization has had a “new broom” take charge and write a letter saying the chapter is going down the drain unless prompt financial help is sent. All kinds of promises are made. Some money comes in, and that is the last heard from any alumni organization until the next crisis occurs. A successful fund-raising program must have initial energy and long-term credibility. It cannot cry “wolf” every few years and expect to receive support.

Build for the long term. Credibility is vital in three important areas: people, program and procedures. The person controlling funds, particularly the treasurer, must be of unquestionable integrity. (The qualities that make a good Treasurer and a good fund-raiser are not the same, so do not necessarily assign both positions to the same person. Co-chairmen of the finance committee – one Treasurer type and one fund-drive chairman – is recommended. ) There must be a clearly defined program – either a short-term annual goal (clearly related to a budget or project), or a longer-term project (house renovation).

Finally, the procedures – correct addresses, acknowledging contributions, regular (and intelligible) financial statements, fiscal controls, etc. – must give the contributor confidence in the ability of the organization. No one likes to give money to a group that spells his name wrong. The board will require three to five years to establish an effective Annual Loyalty Drive. Then, it should require only routine maintenance to continue producing funds thereafter. There is a major question of fund-raising strategy: is it best to solicit fixed (and relatively low) annual dues, or to ask for general contributions?

In reviewing the results reported by chapters in recent years, it would appear that if your chapter does not really need funds, it would be best to take the dues approach in order to maintain some annual cash flow and keep the alumni in the habit of contributing. On the other hand, if your chapter genuinely needs funds, then it would be best to ask for general contributions. It is important to note that a man who will take the time to write a check for $25 to $50 for annual dues would also be prepared to write a check for $100 or more, if he can afford it and if the chapter genuinely needs it.

However, if you only ask him for $25, that is probably all you will get. Finally, and most important, the success of your fund-raising will depend on your overall alumni relations program. This program will consist of many various elements, such as mailings, events, phone calls, etcetera. Some of these activities will be conducted by different committees of your Board of Trustees and others will be handled by the undergraduates. All aspects of the program, however, must be coordinated or “orchestrated.

” Otherwise, one aspect of the program might undermine another. For example, the Alumni Relations Committee might spend considerable time and effort sending invitations to alumni to return to the chapter for an activity such as initiation. But, if the Chapter Relations Committee has not insured that the undergraduates are ready to run a top-quality initiation, you can end up losing more friends than you win. In the same way, facts put out in one publication such as an alumni letter must correspond with the facts put out in another.

For example, I recall one instance where one chapter’s alumni letter listed chapter membership as 46, and the chapter newsletter (written a month earlier but included in the same mailing) listed the membership at 31. In fact, there had been an initiation of 15 members in the interim, but to the casual reader, it looks as if the board did not know the size of its own chapter or, worse, it was exaggerating the achievements to date. Such apparent inconsistencies undermine the credibility of the alumni organization, and credibility is what must be established.

The fund-raising tactics outlined in the next section must be used with care. First, you must select those tactics that will work most effectively with your particular group. Second, you must select those tactics that suit your board and its personnel best. For example, some people write good letters. Others will work best on the phone in personal contact. Third, all the tactics must be combined into a year-long program that is coordinated by one central hand. Fundraising Tactics There are an infinite number of fund-raising tactics, but some of the different programs that have worked at other chapters are discussed below.

Mailings to the Alumni for Fund Solicitation We recommend that alumni receive two or three mailings a year that are direct or indirect appeals for funds. We suggest mixing the hard-sell and soft-sell appeals, depending upon the urgency of the chapter’s needs, be recall that no one wants to read three hard-sells a year. Several of the letters should focus on the news of the chapter and the campus with a pitch at the end for funds. We recommend that an addressed return envelope be included with each mailing. The mailings should be timed to coincide with the

BUS 350 Introduction to Sales Management

Write a 3-5-page, APA-formatted paper addressing the following questions:
Explain the key components of motivation: intensity, persistence, and direction as it relates to sales force.
Explain the difference between compensation rewards and no compensation rewards.
Discuss issues related to coaching salespeople, conducting sales meetings, and promoting ethical behavior.
Explain the importance of sales training and the sales manager’s role in training.
Name some typical objectives of sales training programs, and explain how setting objectives for training is beneficial to sales managers.
You will need a minimum of 3 peer-reviewed outside resources to support your thoughts to begin with.