Schubert: where to start with his music | Music – The Guardian

He composed more than 600 songs – taking the art of writing German Lieder to a new plane – as well as seven completed symphonies, chamber music and piano sonatas. Yet there’s a sense that Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was still just beginning to exploit his immense gifts and to develop further the musical language he had inherited from Beethoven, which he combined with an astonishing gift for melodic and harmonic invention. Schubert was never a great performer, and he was always a freelance composer, relying on what he could earn from commissions and fees. Only a fraction of his music was published in his lifetime, and it was only after his death that the greatness of his achievement was recognised internationally.

The music you might recognise

Anyone who first encountered classical music through Disney’s imperishable Fantasia, will have heard a rather glutinous arrangement of Schubert’s Ave Maria, which ends the film; it’s also quoted in Beyoncé’s song, Ave Maria. You can hear the slow movement of his piano sonata in A in Tori Amos’s Star Whisperer, or the theme from the second movement of his piano trio in E flat threaded throughout Busta Flex’s Hip Hop Forever. His huge output is regularly raided for movie scores – one of the most recent was Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (2019), which features a number of his pieces. On television, his music has been heard in series from Sherlock Holmes to Foyle’s War, and in both Inspector Morse (the C major String Quintet) and its prequel Endeavour, while the 90s comedy series Waiting for God used the finale of the Trout Quintet as its theme music.

His life …

A slice of Viennese life … a 19th century illustration of Schubert at the piano.
A slice of Viennese life … a 19th century illustration of Schubert at the piano. Photograph: Getty Images

Few composers led such uneventful lives as Schubert apparently did. He rarely travelled far outside the city of Vienna, where he was born the 12th child of a schoolmaster in the Lichtental district. He began learning the violin aged eight, played the viola in his family’s string quartet, and began composing pieces for the group; at the age of 11 he won a choral scholarship to the Imperial College. Among his teachers there was Antonio Salieri, the éminence grise of Viennese music at the beginning of the 19th century who gave the boy private composition lessons. As well as composing string quartets, his first piano pieces and songs, Schubert also wrote for the college orchestra. His First Symphony was completed in 1813.

At the end of 1813, he returned to his family home – his mother had died the previous year – to begin work at his father’s school as well as giving private lessons, while still studying with Salieri. He met a young singer, Therese Grob, for whom he composed a number of works, but he was prevented from marrying her by a law that required prospective husbands to prove they had the financial means to support a wife. He found the drudgery of teaching hard, yet he was composing at an incredible rate. Before he was 20 he had written five symphonies, four masses, six operas (mostly unfinished), three string quartets, three piano sonatas and about 300 songs.

… and times

One of the triggers to Schubert’s explosion of songwriting had been his discovery of Goethe in 1814: his setting of Gretchen am Spinnrade, from Faust, was perhaps his first great song. It was quickly followed by others to Goethe texts, such as Erlkönig and Heidenröslein. At that time the writer was the standard bearer for German romanticism, and Schubert, like Beethoven before him, would play a major part in the musical transition between the classical era and romanticism.

He was making friends in Viennese literary and musical circles, and in 1816 he left his family home to share lodgings with a poet friend, Franz von Schober, in the centre of the city. His reputation was beginning to grow, and he continued to compose feverishly – orchestral and choral works, as well as more songs, including some of his most famous, such as An die Musik and Die Forelle (The Trout), which both date from 1817. In the Trout Quintet, written two years later, the song became the theme of a set of variations, and in 1824 Schubert would use another song of 1817, Das Tod und die Mädchen (Death and the Maiden), in the best known of his string quartets, in D minor.

That period also saw the beginning of the Schubertiades, informal evenings in private houses, sponsored by wealthy patrons, in which Schubert and his friends met to read poetry and to hear performances of his music. The composer, who – barely 5ft tall – was nicknamed Schwammerl (Little Mushroom”), was the pianist. These gatherings also attracted the attention of the Viennese police, on the lookout for revolutionary activity in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, and Schubert and four of his friends were arrested. He was reprimanded and released.

Though the two composers would not meet until 1822, Beethoven’s influence is clear in the piano sonatas of that period and especially in the Sixth Symphony, which replaces the lightness and Mozartian grace of the earlier symphonies with much more dramatic intent.

The single-movement Quartettsatz, all that Schubert completed in 1820 of a planned string quartet in C minor, promised to take his instrumental music to a totally different level, but Schubert still craved wider recognition and devoted much of his energies in the early 1820s to writing operas. Two of them, Die Zwillingsbrüder and Die Zauberharfe, were performed in 1820 without much success, while the more ambitious Alfonso und Estrella and Fierrabras were rejected – Rossini’s operas were all the rage in Vienna, and German opera was distinctly unfashionable. In 1823, Schubert was asked to write the incidental music for the “grand romantic drama” Rosamunde. The play itself quickly vanished, but his score remains one of his most popular concert works. The Unfinished Symphony, the two completed movements of his eighth symphony, was also written that year, shortly before the Wanderer Fantasy, his most virtuosic piano work. Like the Quartettsatz, the symphony seems to open up new musical worlds that – at that time – Schubert was unable (or unwilling) to explore further.

It was probably around 1823 that Schubert contracted syphilis, though whether that was the cause of his death five years later is unclear, just as his sexuality remains a subject of fierce debate. He suffered from depression through most of his life, and he was certainly very ill that year, at a time when his reputation was growing and some of his songs had finally been published. But his income, from commissions and some teaching, remained meagre.

Schubert’s last major orchestral work, and his last grand “public” statement as a composer, was the “Great” C major Symphony, unperformed in his lifetime. The two song cycles Die schöne Müllerin (The Fair Miller-Maid), and Winterreise (Winter Journey), both to poems by Wilhelm Müller, belong to this period, too, and took to new expressive heights a form that Beethoven had invented less than a decade earlier.

But perhaps the essence of Schubert is contained in the intensely personal instrumental music from the final years of his life, music that stands comparison with the late works of Beethoven (at whose funeral Schubert was a pallbearer in 1827, just 20 months before his own death). Those final masterpieces include the two piano trios, the G major String Quartet, the C major Fantasy for violin and piano, F minor Fantasy for piano duet and C major String Quintet, piano pieces (the two sets of Impromptus) and the series of expansive piano sonatas that culminates in the great trilogy of the C minor, A major and B flat works.

Why does he still matter?

Appreciation of Schubert grew steadily through the 19th century, as his music was increasingly published and performed. In 1838, Robert Schumann was shown the score of the Ninth Symphony in Vienna and took a copy back to Leipzig, where Mendelssohn conducted the first public performance. Liszt described Schubert as “the most poetic musician who ever lived”, while Berlioz, Dvořák and Bruckner were among those influenced by his orchestral writing. And the Lieder writing tradition, which Schubert did more than anyone to establish, was a persistent thread through German music into the 20th century.

New expressive heights … Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida perform Winterreise at the Wigmore Hall, London, in June.
New expressive heights … Mark Padmore and Mitsuko Uchida perform Winterreise at the Wigmore Hall, London, in June. Photograph: Wigmore Hall

Great performers

Schubert’s symphonies have been part of the repertoire of almost every great conductor of the 20th century, from Furtwängler to Abbado, just as his string quartets have been played by all the leading groups, from the Busch Quartet, through the Quartetto Italiano to the Takács, while among the many outstanding performances of the String Quintet on disc the most famous features Isaac Stern, Paul Tortelier and Pablo Casals. Great Schubert pianists include Artur Schnabel, Rudiolf Serkin, Alfred Brendel, Radu Lupu, Mitsuko Uchida and András Schiff, who has also performed the sonatas on a piano of Schubert’s time. Male interpreters of the songs and song cycles are led by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Fritz Wunderlich with Matthias Goerne, Christian Gerhaher, Ian Bostridge and Christoph Prégardien following their example. The song cycles are not a strictly male preserve; Brigitte Fassbaender made a superb recording of Winterreise. Another great mezzo, Christa Ludwig, made treasurable recital discs of many of the songs, as have sopranos such as Elly Ameling and Barbara Bonney. And anyone wanting to work their way through all of the songs need look no further than Hyperion’s monumental complete edition.



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Ferrari set to bring further F1 car updates for Nurburgring – Autosport

Ferrari is set to bring further updates for its SF1000 Formula 1 car to the Eifel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring next weekend.

Ferrari ran with a number of new parts on its car throughout the Russian Grand Prix weekend in Sochi as Charles Leclerc recorded the team’s best result in five races, finishing sixth.

The updates included new rear wing endplates, a new nose cape and turning vanes as the team looked to remedy the issues with the underperforming car.

“Driving-wise, it’s not like we felt a big difference,” said Leclerc when asked by Autosport how much progress he felt with the updates.

“But the data says that it’s a small gain, which is what we expected, so this is already positive.

“Now I’m looking forward to the next race where normally we’ll have something a bit bigger.”

Team principal Mattia Binotto expanded on Leclerc’s comments by confirming some updates would be brought to the Nurburgring, and said attention would thereafter shift to improving the diffuser on the SF1000.

“As Charles said, we have a few more upgrades in Nurburgring, but again not major,” Binotto said.

“Still for us, I think [they are] important considering the level of competitiveness.

“Then we’ll focus mainly on the diffuser for the remaining part of the season, but by when, it’s not yet defined.”

Binotto did not feel Leclerc’s result in Russia could be put down to the updates, instead feeling the layout of the Sochi Autodrom had better suited the car.

“I don’t think it’s down to the upgrades,” Binotto said.

“Certainly they helped, but that’s not the reason. As Charles said, I think we’ve got a better balance here, and with [the] track characteristics.

“Let’s hope that we found some competitiveness again that gives the opportunity to the drivers to at least compete for a better position in the future.”

Ferrari has slumped to sixth place in the constructors’ championship this year after a difficult start to the season that has seen its form dip dramatically from last year.

Leclerc’s team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, is yet to finish a race any higher than sixth so far this year, and endured a difficult weekend in Russia in which he crashed in qualifying before crossing the line 13th.

While Vettel said it was hard to judge how the updates had fared for him given his struggles in Russia, he took confidence from his running in practice.

“On Friday, I think the parts were doing what we expected,” Vettel said.

“It’s a very small step, not a huge one in performance, but we knew that going in.

“For sure it doesn’t hurt, and hopefully we can confirm in the next races that the pace is a bit better due to that.”


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3 Free Ways to Learn Digital Skills for Remote Jobs – Money Talks News

Woman in video meeting from home
Photo by Chaay_Tee /

This post comes from partner site FlexJobs.

Welcome to our “Work From Home Q&A” series. You ask a question about remote work, and a guest expert answers it. You can learn how to ask a question of your own below.

This week’s question comes from Suzy:

“It seems like everyone is on the Zoom video calls these days. The embarrassing thing is that I’m not super tech-savvy, which makes me nervous in starting to look for remote work. Do companies with remote work available provide skills training?”

Free remote-job skills training

For better or worse, most companies hiring for remote jobs will require each professional to come with a basic understanding of remote communication and collaboration. The good news is that many free training options are available online.

Also, doing training online will help you get more comfortable working with technology in an independent and private way, where the stakes are much lower as you go through trial and error with new programs.

Here are a few of the online training programs — all free — that the FlexJobs Career Coaching team often refers clients to:

  1. LinkedIn’s opportunity resource for job seekers and new remote workers: LinkedIn and Microsoft are partnering to provide a free e-learning platform to guide people into careers in top fields, with completely free training.
  2. Grow with Google: Remote skills training for job seekers
  3. Tutorials on commonly used remote collaboration tools:

About me

I am a career development manager and coach at FlexJobs, where I help people find flexible work, including remote, part-time and freelance jobs. Before joining FlexJobs in 2010, I was a career adviser for college students and alumni. I have a master of science in human resources management and am a certified advanced resume writer.

Got a question you’d like answered?

You can submit a question for the “Work From Home Q&A” series for free. Just hit “reply” to the Money Talks News newsletter and email your question. (If you don’t already receive the newsletter, you can sign up for free, too: Click here, and the sign-up box will pop up.)

You also can find all past answers from this series on the “Work From Home Q&A” webpage.

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Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.


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5 ways to make money using social media – Loop News St. Lucia

The average person spends around two hours a day on social media – but if you’re a social media addict, you’ll likely spend much more time trawling through the ‘gram!

How about using that addiction to make some money? Social media can be quite profitable if you know what you’re doing and put in the hard work. So if you want to turn your social media obsession into a side hustle, here are five ways to do so.

  1. Become a freelance social media manager – If you love social media and spend all your free time on the platforms, you might as well use your knowledge to make you some money. Social media is constantly evolving. Due to this, the average business owner finds it time-consuming and challenging to stay updated with the best practices that can boost their digital presence. You can offer to manage their social pages and boost their presence online for a monthly fee which can evolve into a full-time career. As of recently, social media managers are in high demand as all businesses are going digital.
  1. Become an influencer – Do you have a huge social media following or get hundreds of shares when you post on your profile? If so, then you can consider becoming an influencer and partner with companies to do sponsored posts that can help spread the word about their products. You can promote all kinds of products from various brands and get paid for it. Top influencers make thousands of dollars per sponsored post. Keep in mind that it takes a long time and a lot of hard work and talent to get to this point. It’s attainable for sure, but make sure you manage your expectations if you choose this route.
  1. Run an online store – If you have items that would be attractive to social media users, it’s relatively pain-free to set up a shop by connecting your account to Shopify and running an online store.
  1.  Do affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is a form of passive income that’s similar to promoting a brand, except you need your followers to click on a link and make a purchase in order to earn you some commission. For example, if you’re promoting a hotel, you need your followers to click your link and make a booking at the hotel – then you’ll earn a share of the profit. Amazon has an affiliate program available that you can explore.
  1. Monetize your YouTube channel – If you have a YouTube channel with 1,000 subscribers and at least 4,000 hours of watch time, then you’re in to make some money while doing what you love. Check out YouTube to find out how you can get your channel monitized.

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5 ways to earn money from home – Entrepreneur

In Mexico, the pandemic has left a balance of 1,113,677 formal jobs lost in the first half of 2020. We tell you how to support your finances.

September 30, 2020 4 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the presence of COVID-19 throughout the world , and the need to carry out drastic measures such as quarantine, the lifestyle that most of us Mexicans had, was affected overnight. One of the aspects that was hit the most was the work, therefore, the financial issue.

A large number of companies had the need to cut their staff, and many others do not know how long they will be able to survive this situation. This makes many people wonder what will happen if they lose their job.

In Mexico, the pandemic has left a balance of 1,113,677 formal jobs lost in the first half of 2020, as a result of the effects derived from the health emergency, social distancing measures and the stoppage of economic activities.

If you find yourself (or think you could find yourself) in a similar situation, or simply want to generate more income, I share 5 ways to earn money from home:

1. Affiliate Marketing

There are digital platforms that offer you a commission for recommending and selling courses or books that you have taken. That is, you took a course on that platform, you recommend it to your acquaintances and friends, and if someone of them signs up for that course, the platform generates a commission per enrollee. You can try Click Bank, I recommend it.

2. Ebooks

Writing an ebook can also earn you royalties, and you don’t have to make it 1,000 pages. If you are an expert on a topic and can share that knowledge, surely this option can work for you. Similarly, in the Amazon Kindle store, you can give yourself ideas for ebooks and sell them right there, Amazon even gives you up to 70% of sales in royalties.

3. Services on demand

It may sound a bit strange to you, but due to the quarantine, many people no longer want to go out to the supermarket or to the market, and they are ordering everything at home. And I have noticed that there are people or even neighbors who are offering super service or homemade food at home. Of course, these are people who are less vulnerable to COVID-19 (that is, if you suffer from a chronic disease or if you are someone in the elderly, please do not expose yourself). But you could run small errands among your neighbors or people in your community.

4. Advertising

If you are a more technological person and involved with social networks, if you have a website or networks that have good visitor traffic, you can choose to promote brands on your website, your blog or on YouTube, and charge for advertising them.

5. Membership site

Although this is a more elaborate option, I would like to share it with you, as it has worked wonderfully for me.

Currently, the physical world is migrating to the online world, and with the COVID-19 issue, the online trend is at its best. For this reason it is the best time for you to have your own membership site. That is, you will have a platform with content that charges month after month for access. On your membership site, you can offer services and products, and it will generate recurring income.

Not all options are for everyone, take what works best for you and explore how you can execute and plan it so that you can generate income from home.

Remember that this is not the zombie apocalypse, it is simply a change in the economic cycle that was accompanied by a pandemic.

This will pass, just focus on staying positive and finding solutions.


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Pandemic Fuels A Freelancing Boom – Forbes

With more Americans taking freelance careers full-time and Gen-Z workers turning to independent work because it’s hard to find jobs, freelancing is becoming a far more important contributor to the U.S. economy than in the past, according to new research. And with the pandemic keeping the majority of freelancers fully occupied, the growth shows no signs of slowing.

The 59 million Americans who freelanced in the past year now generate a collective $1.2 trillion in annual earnings, an increase of 22% since last year, according to Upwork’s Freelance Forward Survey. These freelancers make up 36% of the U.S. workforce.

“The flexibility and remote-focused nature of freelancing are really on display right now,” says Adam Ozimek, chief economist of Upwork. “That flexibility is really valuable to workers and clients.”

Edelman Intelligence surveyed more than 6,000 U.S. respondents from June 15-July 7 on behalf of Upwork. 

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Among the key findings:

More freelancers are going full-time: The share of independent workers who earn a living through full-time freelancing is now 36%, up 8 percentage points since 2019. And 47% of freelancers view independent work as a long-term career choice.

Freelancers are making more money: 75% of those who quit a traditional job to freelance say they earn the same or more than they did. Among freelancers surveyed 61% said they have the amount of work they want or more. And many are freelancing more frequently and serving more clients than last year. 

Younger workers are flocking to freelancing: Half of the Gen-Z workforce—those ages 18 to 22—has freelanced in the past year, and among them, more than one third (36%) started since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a really tough time to get your first job,” says Ozimek. “A lot of our freelancers are young, educated and looking for something to do. The new freelancers are younger, more educated and doing skilled work.”

The pandemic has created opportunities for some freelancers: According to the survey, 12% of the U.S. workforce started freelancing in the wake of COVID-19. Many of these new freelancers are skilled professionals, and they tend to be part of industries such as technology. For some, freelancing is a job-replacement. 

“We are seeing a lot of new freelancers who started doing it after being laid off or losing a job,” says Ozimek. 

Many freelancers saw little impact to their lifestyle: Freelancers reported a lower rate of disruption to their overall lifestyle, wellbeing, mental health, and financial wellbeing from the pandemic than other workers. Some have advised their clients on how to work remotely. 

Some freelancers are hurting: The research found that 10% of the U.S. workforce “paused” freelancing, as opportunities dried up in the pandemic. Many were in industries affected most by social distancing, working in non-remote situations.

“The freelancers who can work remotely and were working remotely before the pandemic are doing better than freelancers who were working non-remotely,” says Ozimek. “Going forward, we’re going to see a lot more freelancers working remotely.” 

However, even though some freelancers could not work remotely, many landed on their feet, with 51% of these “paused” freelancers relying on other sources of work. Among such “paused” freelancers, 88% said they are likely to try freelancing again in the future. 

Many view freelancing as the perfect pre-retirement career. Freelancers ages 55 and up make up 25% of all freelancers, the research found. They are concentrated in skilled and project-based work. Among these freelancers, 65% see it as a good way to transition to retirement.  

Freelancing is attracting a variety of workers who want flexibility: 48% of freelancers said they are caregivers, and 33% have a disability in their household. “The flexibility it provides allows them to fit work into days that work for them,” says Ozimek. “If you don’t know exactly when you can work, freelancing provides flexibility.”


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PRESENTING: The highest-paying remote jobs you can do from anywhere in world, and they’re all hiring right now – Business Insider

The COVID-19 pandemic has left offices empty, and the global economic crisis has left many people without jobs. Those who have kept their jobs are mostly working remotely, and some companies are now hiring for remote roles.

One website dedicated to finding remote jobs, FlexJobs, has released data showing the highest-paying vacant remote positions, based on the 5,904 companies in its database.

Nearly all remote jobs require you to be in a certain city, state, or country because of tax, legal, and licensing issues, according to FlexJobs. We’ve listed the ones with location restrictions. We also looked at the truly remote jobs — they can be done from anywhere in the world — so you can decide.

The full list is below — we’ve ranked them by salaries and sector. Graphic design, interactive design, and web design are the fields with the most noticeable number of vacancies. Below, you’ll find details on the role and company, the job description, and the salary.

Jobs that require you to be based in a certain state, working from home

Six-figure remote jobs: These 19 remote jobs with six-figure salaries are all hiring right now.

Jobs you can do from anywhere

Best-paying fully remote jobs in graphic design, interactive design, and web design: These are the highest-paying remote jobs in graphic, interactive, and web design that you can do from anywhere in the world, and they’re all hiring right now.

Best-paying fully remote jobs in computing: These are the highest-paying remote jobs in computing that you can do anywhere in the world, and they’re all hiring right now.

Best-paying fully remote jobs in advertising, PR, and marketing: The 7 highest-paying fully-remote jobs in advertising, PR, and marketing that are hiring right now.

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6 Best Ways To Make Money Online – Def Pen


Money is something that we all cannot stay without. Everyone finds ways to make this so that they can live a comfortable life. It is possible to earn cash whilst sitting at home through the internet. Read on to find out some ways you can do this.

Check out surveys

Different online surveys pay people for completing them. You need to fill them out. Research brands are often finding individuals across the globe who can answer the questions and test out their products. Research and see which ones are not fake so that you do not waste time.

Get paid for browsing the internet

You probably sit searching the internet. Did you know that you can get money for this?
The company may reward you when searching for various search platforms like Google, Bing, etc. You may have to install some simple add-on to the browser and at the time that you pursue a search, you may get some sponsored results by the normal search.
You will click on it and receive the reward.

Market trading

You need to know that this is not a simple method to earn cash, but investing in some stock markets may be beneficial if you know how to do it safely and carefully. It is possible to experience huge losses when not done properly. There are online market trading features that you can check out. You have to be careful about what you select.


There are various jobs available for freelancers to do whilst sitting at home.
It includes those where software can be developed. These are rather technical and better for those with a solid degree.

You can also do content writing work that is writing blogs, articles, content for different websites. Your English writing skills have to be good here. Companies that do not want to waste money on office space but need content, hire freelancers to do it from home.

No-risk betting

This is a way to earn money, but do it without breaking any laws. Find a legal platform that is risk-free and tax-free as well. You can use free bets often provided by betting websites via matching these at the betting exchange.

Certain games

Some games can be played online that give people cash and rewards for winning. It may be bingo, online slots, etc. Once again you need to be careful in what you invest so that it is not fake and is legal. You can for instance check out promo code for gala bingo whereby one can take advantage of promo codes.

The above are only some ways to make money by sitting at home and using the internet. Whatever one you choose; you should be very careful. Some many fake websites and methods will make you waste your money. Research the site carefully before investing and using your time. Even with freelancing, you need to find a platform whereby the clients will pay you for your hard work.


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Indian charities battle for survival after government crackdown – Financial Times

The Population Foundation of India has promoted family planning and female empowerment in villages and urban slums for 50 years. It is part of a band of Indian charities that together receive more than $2bn a year in foreign donations to fight malnutrition, maternal mortality and illiteracy.

But Narendra Modi’s government regards most foreign-funded charities as irritating or even subversive. Last week, the prime minister’s administration pushed though a law tightening restrictions on non-profit organisations, who warned that the changes jeopardised their ability to operate.

“This is going to greatly weaken the NGO sector,” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of PFI, which received $3.8m in foreign donations last year. “We are going to lose our voice, our freedom and our ability to speak up and shout out.”

New Delhi is deeply suspicious of foreign-funded charities’ activities in India. In 2014, an Intelligence Bureau report accused groups such as Oxfam, ActionAid and Save the Children of “negatively impacting economic development”.

Some non-profit organisations are suspected of supporting terrorism while Christian charities are also viewed with distrust by Mr Modi’s nationalist support base, which believes their sole aim is to convert Hindus.

The new law was driven through a truncated parliamentary session without warning or public debate, catching non-profit groups off-guard. “It was done with enormous secrecy, stealth and lack of transparency,” Ms Muttreja said.

Nityanand Rai, minister of state for home affairs, told parliament that the restrictions were needed to make charities’ operations more transparent, prevent the misuse of foreign money and ensure that “foreign funds don’t affect the national interest”.

The legislation was passed just weeks after authorities froze the local bank accounts of Amnesty International, forcing the human rights watchdog to suspend its operations.

“Like the Chinese government, this government has this notion of good NGOs and bad NGOs,” said Ingrid Srinath, director of Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy outside New Delhi, which promotes strategic philanthropy.

“Good NGOs provide low-cost, last-mile service delivery . . . and don’t ask any questions about why the government isn’t doing it. As soon as you ask questions like that, you become a bad NGO,” she said.

The regulatory changes appear tedious and bureaucratic, and entail a 20 per cent cap on administrative expenses, including staff salaries and a ban on foreign-funded charities granting money to smaller organisations.

Foreign charitable contributions into India

But Amitabh Behar, chief executive of Oxfam India, told the Financial Times that the conditions struck at the heart of how non-profit groups work. “It’s going to be such a massive disruption,” he said. “You have made it so difficult you will eventually break the backbone of the sector.”

Mr Behar said New Delhi appeared keen to limit non-profits to providing material relief. “The fig leaf is that ‘if you go and provide services, we are happy with you’,” said Mr Behar. “The hungry need to be fed, the sick need to be taken to hospital, and that is OK.” But, he said, the government’s conditions would constrain activities intended to effect long-term social and behavioural change.

More than 20,000 civil society groups, including charities and think-tanks, in India received about $2.3bn from overseas philanthropic organisations in 2018-19, the last year for which data are available.

Typically, larger, more sophisticated city-based charities receive the money before disbursing some of the funds to smaller groups that work with the poorest and most marginalised Indians in remote areas.

Voluntary Action Network India, a civil society coalition, said the ban on charities passing on funds sounded the “death knell” for grassroots organisations.

The new restrictions are the latest salvo in a long campaign. Law enforcement agencies have repeatedly frozen the local bank accounts of environmental group Greenpeace as well as Amnesty. In 2017, New Delhi barred the Public Health Foundation of India from receiving foreign donations after its anti-tobacco campaign drew industry ire.

Even as it restricts charities operating with foreign support, India has created a pool of domestic philanthropic funds. Large companies have to donate 2 per cent of their average net profits to social causes, amounting to about $2.4bn in 2018-19.

But much of this corporate philanthropy has been funnelled to Mr Modi’s pet projects, including a national toilet-building campaign and a massive statue of an independence leader. This year, money has poured into PM Cares, his special coronavirus relief fund.

Ms Srinath said independent charities and civil society groups were needed to help India develop innovative social programmes. “What philanthropy should be doing is experimenting, which neither government nor businesses are good at,” she said.

Activists warn that foreign philanthropic funds could taper off. The PFI’s Ms Muttreja predicts that “small NGOs will shrink and large NGOs that give out information that is inconvenient for the government will be closed down”.


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8 Ways to Save for Retirement as a Freelancer – Entrepreneur

September 28, 2020 6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Freelance life unquestionably brings freedom and flexibility. You can work full-time or part-time for who you want, when you want. Depending on your work choices, this type of career can be lucrative and satisfying.

For freelancers, both payment and tax withholding processes are different from a traditional job. These tend to get their income in a non-taxed way. That means that what they bill a client is what they get paid. 

Because no state or federal gets taken out from your payment, you might take a financial hit when it comes time to do your taxes. However, there are some ways to save for retirement and invest in ways that reduce your on a quarterly and annual basis.

Related: 5 Top Financial Tips for Entrepreneurs

Open and contribute to a SEP-IRA

The SEP (Simplified Employee Pension) Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is surpassing other retirement accounts in popularity. Part of the reason for that growth has to do with increased flexibility for your retirement plan. You can deposit more into a SEP-IRA than you could with a , which has a stricter contribution limit.

Another advantage of opening a SEP-IRA is the amount you can contribute. You can contribute up to 25 percent of business profits after you subtract business deductions and half of your total self-employment taxes. Most brokerages offer a calculator to help you determine this figure when you sign up for the account. 

If you incorporated your as an S-Corp and pay yourself a salary, then the calculations are different. 

Try a solo 401(k)

Another option is to open a solo 401(k), which often allows for a larger contribution than even the SEP-IRA. You’ll also have opportunities to make post-tax “Roth” contributions that aren’t available with a SEP-IRA.

Although that won’t benefit your tax obligation today, it will help your long-term savings plan. Someday you’ll want to retire and start tapping into that money. The only downsides are that the paperwork is more complex and there may be more fees involved.

Related: New Stimulus Bill Unlocks IRA and 401(k) Dollars for Financially Affected

Have multiple retirement accounts — if it makes financial sense

You might be able to maximize the benefits of various account types by opening a few and adding to each over the course of your freelance career. How you decide which ones to open should be based in part on your tax bracket and marital status. 

Check with your tax professional on whether to add a Roth IRA or traditional IRA to your retirement account portfolio.

Make catch-up contributions

Although this tax tip might not apply to everyone, it does help those freelancers who are 50 and older. Freelancers in this demographic can make what’s known as a catch-up contribution to their 401(k) plans.

The extra contributions can help to reduce taxable income and generate considerable tax savings. Because the amount continues to change each year and is also tied to your tax bracket, the best approach is to read the guidelines. 

Related: 13 Reasons Why Your 401(k) Is Your Riskiest Investment

Pay your family to work for your business 

Relying on family assistance can yield more benefits than ready access to trusted help. By paying family members to work for your business, you can also help reduce your tax burden. While there are some varied rules in place for doing so, self-employed people can gain the most benefit. If you have a corporation, this option has different requirements. 

The IRS provides specific guidance on this approach. made to children are not subject to social security and taxes if your business is a sole proprietorship.

However, while payments to a child under the age of 21 are not subject to Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax, they are subject to income tax withholding, regardless of age. If you employ your spouse or parents, those payments are subject to income tax withholding as well as social security and Medicare taxes. 

Add retirement and taxes into your rate for clients

While freelancing, it’s important that you create a process for regular rate increases so your clients get accustomed to it. In addition to factoring in your increased value to your clients as you gain experience, it will help fund your retirement and cover the cost of your taxes. 

Calculate your estimated tax payments using different income rates while also determining how much you can put into retirement accounts to offset taxes and help build that nest egg. Divide the number you need by your number of clients. This way, you can spread the cost across your client base rather than hitting one or two clients up for the full amount. 

Related: 8 Lame Ways to Fritter Away Your First Million Dollars

Invest more in marketing to grow your business while writing off this expense

If you don’t have many clients, then pursue a strategic marketing plan to generate more income. While you might spend some money now, you can write off those marketing expenses in many cases as part of your deductions.

That doesn’t mean you should spend without thought. It’s important to set a financially prudent marketing budget. A tax deduction is only a small percentage of your total marketing spend, so focus on maintaining cash flow while attracting new clients.

Consider incorporating your business

Incorporating can be such a complex process that freelancers often opt for the straightforward sole proprietorship structure instead. However, despite its complexity, incorporation can yield significant benefits and perks like liability protection, tax breaks and health insurance discounts that you can’t achieve as a sole proprietorship. 

Because every business is different, it’s important to do your research first and consult with a tax professional and a financial advisor. This will pay dividends not only for your ongoing freelance income, but also any attempt you make at home ownership, or for your retirement savings as well.

Related: New Study: Health Care Is Freelancers’ Biggest Concern



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