Nonprofit Radio for March 20, 2023: #23NTC & Is A Social Enterprise For You?


Amy Sample Ward: #23NTC

The 2023 Nonprofit Technology Conference is in April, hosted by NTEN. Come in-person or join virtually. Nonprofit Radio will be there. Amy Sample Ward, NTEN’s CEO and our technology contributor, tells us what’s in store.



Tamra Ryan: Is A Social Enterprise For You?

What are these and how do you decide whether to take one on—or even consider it—at your nonprofit? What kinds of businesses lend themselves to social enterprise and how do you structure the relationship? Tamra Ryan makes sense of it all. She’s CEO of Women’s Bean Project. (Originally aired December 13, 2021)


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[00:01:57.78] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your Aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with Orrico my Adonia if you paint me with the idea that you missed this week’s show 23 NTC. The 2023 nonprofit technology conference is in April hosted by N 10, come in person or join virtually non profit radio will be there, Amy Sample Ward N Ten’s CEO and our technology contributor tells us what’s in store And is a social enterprise for you. What are these? And how do you decide whether to take one on or even consider it at your nonprofit? What kinds of businesses lend themselves to social enterprise and how do you structure the relationship? Tamara Ryan makes sense of it all. She’s ceo of women’s being project. This originally aired 13 December 2021 on tony state to get in people’s faces again. Again, Here is 23 NTC. What a pleasure to welcome back, Amy Sample Ward as it always is, you know who she is. But she deserves a proper introduction. CEO of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor. Their most recent co authored book is the tech that comes next about equity and inclusiveness in technology development. They’re at Amy sample ward dot org and at Amy R S ward. So good to welcome you back. Good

[00:02:04.79] spk_1:
to have you. Thanks for having me. I’m excited that in a few short weeks, we will not be over Zoom.

[00:02:13.64] spk_0:
That’s indeed true. We will, we will, we will be hugging. So let’s talk about what’s coming up, this little thing. 23 NTC, the nonprofit technology conference in Denver.

[00:02:26.74] spk_1:
Yes. This little thing

[00:02:27.68] spk_0:
that you’ve been uh just occupying a couple, a couple hours a week, I suppose,

[00:03:14.81] spk_1:
Right? Couple of concurrent hours in my mind at all time. Yeah. Yeah, I’m excited. This is, this is the first nonprofit technology conference that’s happening back in person since 2019. However, it is also our first hybrid NTC. So people are going to be participating in Denver. People are going to be participating, you know, from their homes or offices virtually and a number of sessions where both of those people are in the same session at the same time. So we’re really trying to push, you know, push the limits of our own planning to push the A V team’s abilities, all of those pieces, see what Zoom can do all of that and make a conference that feels really great and dynamic and has different options for different people, regardless of how you’re joining or where you are or what comfort level or care needs you might have right now.

[00:03:37.84] spk_0:
So the in person people will be eligible for hybrid or for, for virtual presentations. And the virtual audience is is welcome to join in person presentations, work, working,

[00:04:45.58] spk_1:
not all of them but so at any given session block, there are sessions that are only happening in Denver. You have to physically be in the room presentation or the presenters are all in the room. Then there are sessions that are only happening online if you’re in Denver and you really want to see that session, you can also go online and, and watch it. Um And, and there will be spaces where you could do that as a group to um and there are hybrid sessions which mean there’s a room in Denver, there will likely be presenters in Denver, but there’s also maybe a co presenter online and an online audience. And so we have session hosts and facilitators in both places to make sure that the speakers are confident and comfortable managing all of that and they’re not trying to, you know, watch the chat or see what’s going on in the room. So, yeah, I think it’ll be an experience. I’m sure we will learn a lot. We are open to learning a lot but like, you know, true intent fashion, we will learn out loud with everyone else along with us, you know,

[00:05:07.68] spk_0:
you’re making all the permutations available across, across in person and hybrid. Alright. Wonderful, wonderful. Yeah, like how many sessions are we looking forward

[00:06:19.31] spk_1:
to? Oh, my gosh. 100 and 50 some, I forget the, The, the single digit number there, but over 150 and really incredible keynotes which of course, you know, will be in both places that will be a hybrid. Um and I’m not sure if you’ve never been to the NDC what your uh experience with conferences or sessions are, but we also have different types of sessions. So we have 30 minute sessions which we try to plan during the day for when folks are in the you know, you couldn’t take more than 25 minutes of talking before your brain shuts down. So there’s short kind of tactical sessions. That’s where we see a lot of great um content, like do these five things to your website tomorrow, right? Like really clear to the point and then we have longer 60 minute sessions and workshops um and lots of diverse options in the longer session. Um It’s not just, you know, some conferences are very panel heavy. We do have co presenters so that there’s multiple perspectives and opinions that are being shared, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a session with two or three presenters is going to be a panel in its presentation, right? It might just be three people facilitating it together.

[00:06:41.88] spk_0:
Uh, the dates, let’s make sure everybody knows when we’re talking

[00:07:06.77] spk_1:
About. Yeah, April 12 through 14th, which is a Wednesday through Friday. Um, we totally know and can just say up front, we know that it conflicts with passover and Ramadan and we welcome the millions in legal fees that we would have had to pay to get out of it. Yeah. Well, it was a product of the pandemic rescheduling where we did have a contract before it felt like people could really come back. And so it got pushed to 2023 and, and we didn’t really have a choice of what that was. So

[00:07:26.09] spk_0:
When was Denver supposed to have been, was it supposed to be 2020?

[00:08:51.96] spk_1:
It was supposed to be 20, early, 2022. Yeah. But we pulled the community and folks just weren’t ready for a big conference yet, you know, which is totally understandable. Lots of folks still aren’t, which is why we have the hybrid and the virtual options. But um at least moving it to 23 meant all communities could have access to vaccines. You know, we have people coming from lots of different countries to the conference traditionally. So I really wanted to make sure that it felt like folks were at a place where they could be ready if they wanted to be to come to the conference. Um, and we have various options in place for folks who may either be feeling like this is their first conference. Um And the pandemic is still happening and it feels really stressful or overwhelming there. You know, we’re asking folks to wear masks, we will have masks available. I have already ordered them to the advanced warehouse, you know, but we also have um more lounges than we’ve ever had so that people can go to a smaller space um and relax or we’ve talked to the Convention Center about having different ways that people can eat, even smaller areas, eat outside, take their food wherever they want to go. So we really are trying to think both of impacts for folks who maybe are trying to um you know, they have observances for whether Ramadan Passover etcetera and we can support how they engage through that or COVID concerns and how we can help them, you know, navigate a big conference with those as well.

[00:09:07.74] spk_0:
I intend never afraid of filling up their

[00:09:09.65] spk_1:
plate. I know technology

[00:09:12.71] spk_0:
wise, accommodation, wise, equity, etcetera. It’s all you take it all on. Yeah, I always admired, I admire it, not admired passively like somebody admires it, I admire it. I

[00:09:57.83] spk_1:
appreciate you saying that. I think, you know, it feels to us like we want to do the work to honor all the wholeness of the community so that everyone in the community feels like they are welcome. It also is the kind of thing where you don’t even realize like how much work it is to make thoughtful accommodations until you really open that door, step through it. You’re like, oh, this is a whole room. This is not like a closet, right? I wasn’t just grabbing a coat. I just went into a whole walk in clause opposite of, of options. So I really just shout out to the accessibility committee which is all community members and they work year round with staff to think about ways that we can make the conference even more accessible and support more community members.

[00:10:47.18] spk_0:
All these are the reasons why I always bring non profit radio to the two N T C. This, this is my eighth or ninth or something like that. Um And so we’ll be on the exhibit floor sharing a booth with our sponsors Heller Consulting. So come see us at 4 20 for 4 20 for a, I’m the A non profit But yeah, so come see team Heller. Very grateful, grateful for their sponsorship of us at NTC. And I’ll be capturing Oh a dozen or 15, roughly interviews that will be on non profit radio in the coming months after April 12-14 and Amy, of course, we’ll get you, we’ll get you in the schedule.

[00:11:00.46] spk_1:
I’ll stop by the booth. Well, yes, I gotta get, I

[00:11:06.95] spk_0:
gotta get you on the schedule because you’re the, you know, you’re all over. So I gotta get, you gotta get you nailed down for for an interview. Yes. Um Why don’t you share with folks? Awesome, awesome keynotes.

[00:11:17.81] spk_2:

[00:12:16.22] spk_1:
Yeah. So on the first day we have Sophia Noble who just launched a new race and gender and technology program, which is so awesome. She’s at U C L A and on day two, we have Messiah Burciaga Hamid who has been a staff and is now the board chair of native land, a tool that folks have hopefully and likely already used when you are looking up whose land you are on. Um And then on day three on Friday, we’ll have what I can only imagine is going to be the most high energy exciting keynote at nine in the morning from Evan Greer. Um She’s the director at Fight For the Future. Um an organization and 10 has partnered with on some of our um advocacy on save dot org, et cetera. So action packed keynotes, lots of great ideas. It’s going to be really good action

[00:12:43.56] spk_0:
packed centering diversity, admire it, admire it. I want to remind folks that N 10 is also known for wonderful food. They spend a lot of time thinking about what the menus are gonna be. The food is always excellent. So if you’re a foodie, you might say, you know, it’s a conference. All right, we’ll get some, we’ll get some rubber chicken, you know, but we’ll tolerate it. No, it’s not. It’s not gonna be the case. That’s not gonna be if there’s chicken. There will be chicken cordon bleu also be vegan options. There will be vegetarian options. There will be

[00:13:29.63] spk_1:
only have 11 day or at least one full lunch menu that is all plant based. Um, and then we have, you know, lots of options. Everything is labeled the full menu in every ingredient is in the conference app. So you can see whatever dietary needs you might have how those are or are not met. Um, and we actually just met yesterday with the catering rep. Um, and slowly watched his eyes kind of glaze over as we were saying, you know, not just, oh, could we have a sandwich instead of this salad? We were saying inside the menu, we see that you’re using this ingredient and we’re changing this specific ingredient and we would like, you know, we don’t need brisket at nine in the morning for our attendees. What’s a plant based option? And every time he said Tofu and 10 staff were like, we’re going to challenge the chef to come up with something better.

[00:13:53.71] spk_0:
Yes, you pay attention to the food. It’s

[00:14:40.73] spk_1:
exactly. And if you’re spending your time in a session, feeling kind of anarchy because you didn’t like what you ate or feeling hungry because there wasn’t food for you. It takes away from your opportunity to learn. So we want folks to really feel taken care of so that however whatever big needs they have and sometimes they’re not learning needs. We know, sometimes come to the conference just to like, find those two other people who have done the thing that they’ve done and feel like they could hear somebody say to them like, yeah, it’s really horrible, you know, but you can get through this project or you can find a new vendor or, you know, whatever it might be. Like, you also have the, the emotional capacity to go take on finding those conversations because again, you’re not spending all your time worrying about. Are you gonna have food or where is a bathroom in this giant convention center or whatever else? You know,

[00:14:54.99] spk_0:
you take care of the, you take care of the whole person, you do the whole people. There’s more than one person attending. Yes,

[00:15:22.68] spk_1:
There is more than one person, which is part of why it feels a little overwhelming because we’ve spent, you know, of course, in 2020, there was no conference and then in 21 and 22, it was a virtual conference, and and there were lots of people registered, which was great, but you never had to necessarily feel the Kind of um feel the size of that many people registered right? The way you do when you see everybody from the stage and you look out at a big room. But we’re, I mean, we’re on track to have close to 2000 registrants. Of course, some of those are virtual. But um that’s a really big number, you know, so we probably have 1500 in Denver um and 500 online.

[00:15:50.85] spk_0:
A lot of people. Yeah, but you’re, you’re, you’re curating us, you’re taking care of

[00:15:54.82] spk_1:
your, we’re gonna take care of.

[00:16:20.92] spk_0:
And finally, I want to remind listeners that this is called the nonprofit technology conference hashtag 23 T C. But it is not a conference that is exclusively for technology folks that, that are, you know, C T O s and technology majors and computer science. It is not, it’s for anyone who uses technology in their social change work. And isn’t that all of us? I mean, unless you’re still on index cards and legal pad and

[00:16:38.18] spk_1:
we welcome you. If you’re still on index cards, don’t be overwhelmed. Come to the NTC. Someone will sit down with you and they will get all those cards into a database for you probably for, for free with like the first month of the CRM for free. Like we just need to get you off those cards.

[00:16:43.23] spk_0:
Alright, hopefully not. But yeah, it’s, it’s not only for technologists for anybody who uses technology. That’s why I love to capture a ton of tons of interviews to share, to share with listeners. All right,

[00:16:56.01] spk_1:
thanks so much, tony I can’t wait to see you in Denver. It’s gonna be so fun.

[00:16:59.82] spk_0:
Absolutely. My pleasure. I’m looking forward to seeing you. Good luck with the conference planning and we’ll see you in about a month

[00:17:08.64] spk_1:
so soon. Thank you,

[00:22:19.99] spk_0:
Amy. Folks. You’re suffering a lackluster host. 15 minutes talking to the CEO of N 10 about the conference that they’re hosting. And I forgot to ask, where’s all the information? Where do folks go to register? You go to N 10 dot org, N 10 dot org gives you all the information. Of course, it’s very prominent on their site. Sheesh. Now it’s time for Tony’s take two last week. I was listening back and I talked about being in person with people again and, you know, I gave you a bunch of superficialities and generalizations. But why I think where’s the detail? Why, why is it joyful and pleasurable and so much better and authentic and real? You know. So I’m listening, I was like, Okay. Yeah, but why, but why I’m asking myself as I’m listening. It’s a good thing I have guests because otherwise the show would, would crash guests who provide substance and detail. Uh otherwise you’d have 45 minutes or an hour of superficiality. Okay. So why this is why a bunch of reasons as a, as a the guy, you know, um the presenter at a webinar, I don’t have to scroll. If it’s a big, big audience, you have to scroll and zoom to see everyone. Not so they’re all there. They’re all right there in front of you. It’s a beautiful watch, the generality that beautiful, watch the generalities trying to give detail and also when I’m sharing my screen, you know, Power point, everybody gets reduced into a little like a 1.5 by 1.5 box. And you can see even fewer people then when I’m not screen sharing. So no tiny boxes, everybody’s visible. I can, I can see the screen, my slide up on the screen, the nice big screen and I can see the people there you are. It’s wonderful. Watch the generalities, conversations, of course, conversations so much easier. Not once. Did anybody have to say? Okay. Well, you go first uh to parse out the delegate out the conversation we’re face to face. It’s just, it’s natural, the natural ness of it. Natural. Nous, the word, the hands, you see the hands immediately, you don’t have to scan the, scan the screen to see a little uh one dimensional hand going up real hands right there in your face. It’s fantastic. We’re generalities. Watch that, watch that the laughter, the groans. You can hear them. People aren’t muted feedback, live live and in person so much easier for the audience to cross talk. It’s, it’s doesn’t work in, in zoom, especially if it’s particularly large. People can’t talk at all. Everybody’s the questions are in chat. There’s another, there’s another reason you can the questions dynamic back and forth. Well, I don’t quite understand, you know, this chat, chat typing and, and audience members were talking to each other. This was I’m going back to uh conference. I did in a Long Island. Yeah, people could talk to each other and, and help each other. I, I don’t pretend to have all the answers. So those are all my reasons. That’s the detail. That’s what you, that’s what you listen to. Non profit radio for detail, not superficiality and generalizations. So if you can, if you get the opportunity and then of course, the lunches, I didn’t even mention just two face to face lunches and of course, natural conversation, not, not delayed. You know, it’s, it’s not no problem if you interrupt somebody’s talking. Well, you know, somebody jumps in, it’s not an issue, everybody can be heard natural, natural. So if you get the opportunity face to face, please take it. Don’t make virtual your default. Don’t go there. That’s Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for the uninterrupted is a social enterprise for you. Sit back and get comfy. It’s a pleasure to welcome Tamra Ryan to non profit radio She is CEO of women’s bean project, a social enterprise that provides transitional employment to women attempting to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty while operating a food manufacturing business. She’s a former partner and board member for social venture partners, Denver and currently serves as part time interim CEO for the Social Enterprise Alliance. She’s at Tamara Ryan and the enterprise is at women’s bean project dot com. Tamara, welcome to non profit radio

[00:22:29.12] spk_2:
It’s great to be here.

[00:22:33.07] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure, pleasure to have you. Why don’t you first explain what women’s being project is all about? Because it’s an example of what you and I are going to talk about for a while.

[00:23:32.84] spk_2:
We are a food manufacturing business. We started with Bean Soup in 1989 and that’s where our name comes from. But today we have 50 different food products that we sell all across the country. What makes us Different is that we employ women who are chronically unemployed. So a typical woman we hire hasn’t had a job longer than a year in her lifetime. Though the average age is 38, they come and work for us as for a full time job for 6-9 months. And during the time they’re with us, we teach basic job readiness skills. And then we also, in 30% of her paid time, we teach her life skills, we teach problem solving and goal setting and budgeting and planning and organizing. And so this whole thing is her job for these 6-9 months. At the end, she graduates our program and moves on to mainstream employment in the community. So we’re kind of two businesses were running a food manufacturing business and a human services business,

[00:23:50.43] spk_0:
which is exactly what, what the type of model will, will, will be talking about what I admire about that I found very interesting is that you said it. Um, Well, you’re used to saying it but I want to call it out for 30% of their paid time. The women’s paid time is not spent working. It’s spent learning the soft skills of employment.

[00:24:02.42] spk_2:
Yeah, we call it the you job, the Y ou job. So, she has the bean job and she has the U job and she’s paid for all of it.

[00:24:13.14] spk_0:
Uh, yeah. So I see the value and you’ve had, uh, you’ve had a lot of success with folks, women having jobs longer than a year after they’ve, they’ve, I’m gonna say graduated. But

[00:25:04.10] spk_2:
the project, yes. So we track them at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months and we track them. What makes it easier to track them is that we pay them for those check ins. So we pay them $50 to check in at six and 12 months, $75 at 18 months and 100 bucks at two years to check in with us. And what we found that is that at a year, uh, 95 plus percent of the women are still employed. And I think what makes, what’s significant about that is that again, the women we hire haven’t had a job longer than a year in their lifetime before they come to us. So, what we really want to know is, are we setting them helping them on a path for long term employment? You know, being able to sustain that employment.

[00:25:20.79] spk_0:
So what kinds of nonprofits are? Our listeners are all in small and mid sized nonprofits. So I, I think there’s an ideal subject for listeners, what, what types of nonprofits could consider having a social enterprise as part of their part of their work?

[00:26:38.22] spk_2:
I think organizations that are serving people who are on use, you know, by necessity on public benefits and really who for a variety of reasons, whether it’s because of a felony background or it’s because of uh low education levels or because of the history of addiction, you know, a variety of things that get in the way of, of getting and keeping employment. And so if you’re serving those people anyway, one way to help them in addition to helping them with build their foundation of, of soft skills is to employ them in a social enterprise. So that’s just one way that a social enterprises run. But it’s, you know, it as adults, we learn by doing so it’s a really great way to work with the people that you’re working with anyway, to create a business where you’re helping those same people in the long run. Be able to be successful.

[00:26:41.55] spk_0:
You were a partner of social venture partners in Denver. What, what did you look for when you were investing in these types of organizations?

[00:27:20.17] spk_2:
Well, we specifically in S V P, Denver, we’re looking for small organizations that both needed some funding, but also needed some technical assistance. And the reality is that we don’t, if you’re, if you’re running a human services organization, you don’t necessarily have somebody on staff that has the skills to launch a business. For instance, you know, even to do that market research, to figure out what kind of business that might be um have the operational skills. You’re, you’re running a business, human services business, but you’re not necessarily running say in our case of food manufacturing business. And so S V P really looked for organizations that needed the skill set of our partners and also could benefit from the funding that we were providing that. And then svp’s model, the funding and the, and the technical assistance go hand in hand.

[00:28:14.48] spk_0:
So what, what about organizations that, that uh don’t have the expertise that they need? Uh Let’s, let’s assume most of our listeners are not in Denver. So they don’t have access to S V P. Denver. What, how can they, how can they fill that void? And even just start, like you’re saying, like initial market research, how do they know where to get, how to get started?

[00:30:19.38] spk_2:
Well, every nonprofit has a board and I would venture to say that most nonprofits have business people on their board. So there are a lot of resources either through board members or through people that board members know the one great thing that I’ve observed and I didn’t come from the nonprofit world for my entire career. I was in the private sector before. And what I love about being in the nonprofit world is that there are lots of people who want to help and, and just need to be need, they need help knowing what you need. And so I’ve been, I’ve seen lots of ways we’ve been able to engage uh professionals in, for us in, in food manufacturing, um who have expertise that we need to sit on, say a business development committee and help us look at uh new product ideas. And I think that same concept could easily be applied to any organization that’s trying to figure out what kind of business they might run because that’s the key, you could decide to start a business, but it still has to be a viable business. The just, just starting a business, you’re not gonna get the halo effect of, you know, you’re doing it as, as a non profit and therefore it’s going to succeed all the same market. Um factors come into play that do for any business. And so you, you really do have to still find a viable business that makes sense that is needed that you can price appropriately. Um One of the things about the research for social enterprises or whether or not consumers are going to buy from a social enterprise, whether it’s a product or service. One of the statistics is that all other things being equal. So in other words, quality price, etcetera people more and more have a tendency to purchase products and services from a mission based organization or mission based company. But the most important part of that statement is all other things, other things equal, all other things

[00:30:26.35] spk_0:
being equal. Right? Yes, you have to, you have to be able to compete with your private, enter strictly private enterprise, market driven, profit driven competitors.

[00:31:37.05] spk_2:
Yeah, you have to be able to compete and yet at the same time, you also need to figure out what your Um competitive advantages yourself. So for instance, in our case, we are able to um we’re right now in the holiday season, you know, September to December for women’s Bean project, 70% of our sales are, are made. So, you know, we really peaked during this time of year. One of our competitive advantages is we can bring in volunteers to help us say pack boxes or help us, you know, get shipments out the door or, you know, help with, with prep of product. And um that’s something that is a bit of a competitive advantage because if we were just, you know, in the, in the private sector running a regular food manufacturing operation, we really, I don’t think we could, you know, look somebody in the eye and get and get that kind of assistance. But for us, yes, it’s a way to engage donors to get people really invested, get new customers. You know, there are so many ways that, that bringing people from the community in to help us is advantageous, not just to get the work done, but to get additional support for our organization.

[00:32:13.43] spk_0:
So you’ve opened yourself up to a whole new set of metrics as, as having a social enterprise and we’re gonna get to what, what the relationship is between the company and, and a nonprofit or, you know how that could be set up by different, by different organizations. But, but you’ve, you’ve got to measure, you’ve got to measure the company’s profit and the company’s output and productivity, productivity per employee hour or, you know, whatever, you know, the, the, the key metrics for the business are as well as the social outcomes of, of your graduates and your employee members and your, your,

[00:33:00.64] spk_2:
it’s, you know, I joke sometimes it’s a horrible way to run a business, right? Because we intentionally everyday hire women. We don’t know if they’re gonna come to work every day. I mean, that’s part of their barriers to employment and we work with them and they help, we help them become great employees and as soon as they become great employees, we let them go off and become somebody else’s great employee and we start all over again. Uh and it’s so it’s super inefficient and we also over higher. So if we were a for profit company and we were trying to be as efficient as possible and, you know, squeeze every penny out of our margin. We absolutely would not hire as many women as we do, but that’s not the point. The point for us is to use our business to advance our mission. So we hire as many women as possible as we can justify based on what our sales are going to be.

[00:33:33.96] spk_0:
So, what are some of the things that nonprofits need to think about beyond? Alright. What’s, what’s a viable business? What other, what other factors are important?

[00:33:47.78] spk_2:
Well, maybe the biggest thing is it’s hard. I joke sometimes with our, our team, like if this were easy, everybody do it

[00:33:53.59] spk_0:
do. We really want to do. It is an important threshold.

[00:36:14.38] spk_2:
Yeah, absolutely. And it’s hard because you have to have the ability to entertain two opposing ideas at the same time, right? We need to run an efficient manufacturing business and we also need to deliver on our mission and those two things actually often don’t go together very well. And so being able to both entertain those ideas and acknowledge that perhaps today the business wins, maybe we um the women instead of um spending 30% of today’s time in a class, say financial literacy there on the production for, for the whole day because we have a lot of work to do. But tomorrow, maybe it’s the, it’s reversed and they’re spending the whole day in some sort of training and not making any product at all. And so our job is every day to, to balance that out. Uh And so that’s, I think one of the hardest things is uh is having that ability to understand that if not for the mission, your business doesn’t really exist, but yet your, your business has to be profitable in order for it to make sense and contribute to the mission and, and that, you know, balancing act, you know, is a constant. So that’s part of what makes it hard. I would say another thing is that you, you still have to find all the other. I mentioned this before, all the other market forces still prevail. So if you have a product that nobody wants to buy, you’re not going to have a successful business and there’s no amount of mission that’s gonna forgive that, at least not in the long term. And, you know, at this point, women’s bean project is 32 years old. And I think in a lot of ways, we’ve just been lucky. There was no initial market research that said, you know, being, I think that’s the key to success. No, nobody, nobody did any kind of research at the beginning. Our founder just noticed she was in her late 50s, she’d gone back to school to get her master’s degree in social work. And she noticed a lot of her friends who were around her age were eating bean soup for health reasons. And so she invested $500 of her own money. And bought beans and put two women to work making 10 bean soup. The crazy thing is that still 32 years later our best outing product. Alright.

[00:36:32.19] spk_0:
That’s a terrific story but it’s it’s it’s it’s more or less in what not to do in in determining what, what, what businesses gonna survive because you know you said it, I’m just gonna amplify it. No amount of mission is gonna forgive bad, bad marketing or a bad, bad entry choice or, or any of the, any of the market forces.

[00:36:39.48] spk_2:
Yeah. And I think you also have to have either a product or service that has a decent enough margin margin to sort of forgive the inefficiency. And I also wouldn’t choose food for that reason. Ships sailed for us, but, you know, that’s not the highest margin, um, you know, product category for sure. Right

[00:37:09.12] spk_0:
now food is notoriously low margin. Um, but, you know, you said you gave an example of hiring many more women than you need, then you would, well, maybe then you do need, then you would if you were strictly market driven.

[00:37:15.63] spk_2:

[00:37:23.01] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah. All right. Um, before, before we move on any other advice about the, the opening questions to talk about with your board, with your leadership.

[00:38:57.18] spk_2:
Well, another aspect of balance I think is, um, it is balancing being opportunistic and, and, um, and not being um, so bullish on an idea that you ignore, um, other signs. So as an example, uh years ago, we were approached by somebody who had a whole bunch of equipment for canning and they were willing to give us all the equipment. Let us have access to the facility a whole bunch of things. But what we really had to analyze and I think this happens actually a fair amount to organizations that are thinking of starting businesses. Somebody thinks I’ve got a great idea. I’ll just give this to them. But the thing was we weren’t in the canning business. We are a dry food manufacturer and what it would have meant for us to start, you know, pivot and, and create another business, you know, really wasn’t worth that. What seemed like a super generous donation. Um It was forgive the pun, but it was a whole can of worms that we didn’t necessarily need, need to open. But that’s an example because when you start talking about this, all manner of people are gonna surface who are interested and willing to help. And one of the most important things you might need to do is say no thank you because, you know, sometimes gifts are not always gifts in the, you know, when it really comes down to it, it’s maybe not the best strategy and it’s sometimes hard not to get all, you know, um starry eyed about something that seems like a fantastic gift. And the next thing, you know, you’re in the canning business and you never intended to be in right now. You’re

[00:40:34.02] spk_0:
doing wetsuits instead of, instead of dry suit. That’s a, that’s a huge pivot. Um And yeah, I mean, that’s, and that’s in the nonprofit, the straight uh nonprofit sector as well. You know, there, there are gifts that come sometimes with strings. You know, if you’ll, if you’ll adopt this, create this program or women’s school, but if you start admitting boys, I’ll give you the seven figure gift. You know, that’s, those are the gift size can be transformational, but that doesn’t mean you, you sacrifice your mission and transform your mission to accept a, you know, a million dollar gift. Um So, all right, but you know, interesting, you know, you, you, you evaluated from the nonprofit perspective, but also from the market force perspective, you know, now we’re entering a whole new business. Now we’re going to be competing with uh Campbell’s, you know, Campbell’s and Hunts and Hormel, you know, whoever, wherever the big, whatever the soup manufacturers are. Um Alright, so value, right? Uh Important lessons sometimes the better answer is. No, no, thank a gracious. No. Alright. Alright. Um Advice on types of businesses that that could lend themselves to this.

[00:41:51.05] spk_2:
I’ll start with um service businesses because sometimes those can actually be really great support for um really great social enterprises and supports for human services organizations. Um The nice thing about service businesses is our very localized so you could serve one community and then an example of a service business might be a uh landscaping business or there are several social enterprises around the country that do uh go to business districts and clean up trash and snow removal and leaf removal and those kinds of things. Again, those are very localized. And what’s nice about that is that you could do it in this city and then maybe you pick it up and you do the same thing in another city. Those are really cool ways to be able to employ a lot of people and engage in, in multiple communities. Uh And there are, you know, other businesses um like uh has control is another one where, you know, that’s a pretty expandable business, um cleaning services, especially in offices and things like that. Um So those are some examples of businesses that actually could be really great businesses for people. And, you know, when you’re selling a service, that’s a really different dynamic than say, you know, consumer packaged goods where, you know, you’re competing with marketing dollars from companies, it’s just much more challenging um area to be in. You

[00:42:21.11] spk_0:
also, you also have the advantage of being able to, as you said, start local. So you can say initially the impact of our work is local. And so there’s a, there’s an appeal to an appeal to the mission with your caveat that uh lots of mission is not going to overcome bad, you know, uh not being competitive market, market wise. But you can say that you have that you have that local impact, at least as you’re, you know, as you’re getting started. And then as you’re suggesting, you know, you can expand.

[00:43:31.94] spk_2:
And I think, you know, if you’re making a product, one of the potential challenges is that if you make a product that in our case, our products consumable, so we can have repeat customers, you know, of course, it has to be a, you know, good quality and taste good and all of those things. But we have customers we’ve had for 30 years and who keep coming back over and over again. If you end up making a product that’s not consumable, the challenges that, you know, say you’re making um uh cutting board, there’s only so many cutting boards, somebody needs or only so many gifts you can give, you know, to other people. And so you always have to be finding new customers to be able to grow your business. And that said, there’s, you know, when you start out, your customer base is so small that the, the world really is, you know, is pretty large of possible customers. But there’s a point at which um without spending a lot of marketing dollars or advertising dollars to get noticed that you really sort of tap out the people you can access. And that’s, you know, so that’s an interesting challenge of making a, a product where you could teach some really amazing skills. But at the same time, you know, you might have a limited customer base.

[00:44:07.91] spk_0:
Can I get these, can I get these meals and just add water? Are they, are they that, that simple from women’s bean project

[00:45:06.25] spk_2:
pretty straight forward like that? So, a soup mix, you would add water, you put it in a safe crock pot and let it cook for the day. And at the end, you are 10 bean soup. You just add a can of tomatoes or you could add, you know, vegetables and a whole bunch of other things if that’s what you wanted. But just to finish off the recipe, it would just be adding a can of tomatoes. We also have baking mixes. And so in that case, it’s everything that you need. You, you would add an egg and some oil or butter and you’ve got brownies or cornbread or stones. Um, so it’s a, the nice thing about like a baking mix, for instance is you don’t have to buy a bag of flour and buy a bag of sugar and all of those things and then have them left over. You can use our mix and use the eggs that you have and the butter that you have. And next thing you know, you made these yummy brownies and you look like a total baker And No 1’s The Wiser, Right?

[00:45:08.39] spk_0:
You don’t have, you don’t have four and three quarter pounds of flour

[00:45:11.61] spk_2:
leftover. Yeah.

[00:45:13.14] spk_0:
Okay. A little digression. But I was interested in and how simple the meals are. Okay.

[00:45:26.97] spk_2:
And they do have an instant. We have, yeah, we have instant beans and rice cups also which literally are adding water. Um And then, and we also have some ready to eat snacks. So you know, just keep them in your desk and you know, nosh on them whenever you feel like it. Okay. So we have a pretty wide variety of different products.

[00:45:39.62] spk_0:
Okay. Well, I’m gonna check. Yeah, women’s bean project dot com. Um So yeah, so service businesses, you’re suggesting service businesses, what else, what else could folks consider?

[00:47:21.99] spk_2:
Well, there’s some great social enterprises. Again, these are pretty localized that do screen printing. So, you know, you think about your inner city and you have your screen printing business, you’re able to employ people and, and you’re able to serve all the companies locally for, you know, their employee T shirts or, you know, races or things like that again, very localized but also scalable as well. Um There’s a really awesome social enterprise out of Boston called More than Words and more than words serves youth 16 to 24 who are either aging out of the foster system or justice involved. And they sell books, they sell books have been donated from the community and the the youth learn the skill of, you know, scanning the I S B N number to make sure it’s marketable and they recycle the books that don’t have uh aftermarket value and then they sell the books that do and they sell both online. They have a couple of bookstores. The cool thing is all these youth, um, are, you know, they’re helping them find homes, they’re helping them with their academic goals, helping them sort of adult, you know, into the community. Yet, at the same time, they’re also learning these skills of running a book business. So they have measurable um uh um outcomes that they have to achieve. They have certain sales goals that they have to meet for their various channels. It’s a really amazing business that um that they’re operating and the youth stay with them for a couple of years. It’s called more than words

[00:47:40.07] spk_0:
back on the service side. I’ve seen copy, copy services, copy and print and print shops.

[00:48:45.73] spk_2:
Yeah, a bank of America actually has their own social enterprise that they operate in the house and they serve people with developmental disabilities or they employ people with developmental disabilities, but they do all the printing for their own needs. Um there’s also electronics recycling. Uh you know, the statistic is that people who are on the autism spectrum have an unemployment rate of about 85%. And, and yet they are uniquely talented to disassemble electronics. So there uh there are electronics recycling organizations that employ people on the autism spectrum to just disassemble and um and then they part of, so they’re providing the employment, they’re getting the donations of the electronics. Um, and in some instances they’re being paid by the companies to take the electronics and then they also, they sell the commodities of all the things that out of those electronics, metals, plastics. Yeah. So, you know, when you think about that as a, you know, we use the term triple bottom line, it’s helping society, it’s helping the environment and it’s um you know, it’s, it’s making money. That is a really awesome example of, of a business that hits at every level. Yeah,

[00:49:07.97] spk_0:
excellent, excellent. Another, these are good, another example or category,

[00:49:39.32] spk_2:
well, there are some social enterprises that instead of employing people provide employment services. So there is a social enterprise that here in Denver that specifically helps people who are bilingual, English, Spanish, get jobs in the community with employers who need people who are bilingual, but that could apply to kind of any language or not even be bilingual, you know. So they, and so companies come to them when they need people who, maybe it’s customer service, people who can speak another language other than English. Um And so again, a service business, but not where they are employing people.

[00:49:58.16] spk_0:
Right. Right. And, and so companies pay for the, for the referral for the screening. Yep, the placement, basically they’re paying a placement fee.

[00:50:51.24] spk_2:
Yep. Exactly. But there’s, you know, there’s just so many different kinds there are cafes that’s a fairly popular kind of social enterprise. Um Here in Denver, we have a cafe called um same cafe and same stands for. So all may eat and they, it is a pay what you want model. So you walk in and the menu is listed for the day and you decide how much you’re going to pay. Yes. And, and so you might be sitting down and having, you know, decide that you want to pay $10 for your lunch. But you also might be sitting next to somebody who is, um, experiencing homelessness and didn’t pay anything. And if you decide if you don’t have any money to pay for your lunch, then you work in the kitchen or you clean or, you know, do dishes and, and so again, it’s a really cool concept that serves people all, you know, it’s beneficial to the community at multiple levels.

[00:51:24.99] spk_0:
Um So, all right. So we talked about services, some, some product. I love the recycling example too. Any anything else before we, before we move on to organizing these, these entities?

[00:52:56.39] spk_2:
Um, well, the last one I’ll mention is one that’s been around for a long, long time, like women’s bean project. It’s called Grace and Bakery there out of Yonkers, New York. And they make the brownies for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. So a big, the bulk of their business is brownies for Ben and Jerry’s. They also have now gotten into doing some retail sales and corporate sales. So you might see your, your listeners might have seen them in some, for instance, Whole Foods at sort of a point of sale or point of purchase with a little brownie. And it says these brownies changed lives, but Grayson is a for profit company. So this is a nice segue into the next part of our conversation. They are actually a B Corp, a benefit corporation and they, they have an open hiring model. So instead of specifically going out and trying to recruit people experiencing chronic unemployment, like we do, they are always accepting applications and when they have an opening, they just hire the next person on the list. So they hire, they don’t, you know, interview or, you know, look at qualifications, they just hire the next person and, uh and you know, so they will have more turnover than a normal company would, but they’re also within that community in Yonkers. They’re, they’re really changing people’s lives give by giving them an opportunity for employment that they might not otherwise have had.

[00:53:42.47] spk_0:
Okay. That’s interesting. Now, first that’s Grayson Bakery. These brownies save lives. Okay. So listeners, we might, we might see those at, at checkout sounds like point of sale places. Okay. Um But then, you know, there’s the issue of, you know, giving a job versus teaching job skills in addition, like, like, like women’s being project is doing, it seems to me that the, the uh the training beyond the skills for the job is more empowering than then giving a job and, and just giving a job.

[00:54:13.22] spk_2:
Well, I think that’s consistent with our philosophy at women’s being project that there are because we acknowledge that there are lots of things that get in the way of somebody being able to um get and keep the, and keep, I think is the important part, right? Like, you know, we prior to the pandemic and I think we’re back to a um there’s a lot of jobs but um and so you could go from job to job to job in an environment where there are lots of jobs. But the important thing is, are you going to a job where you are a contributor where there’s opportunity for advancement and benefits and all the things that make it more of a career than just a job? That’s what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to change the are the women we serve, that’s the trajectory we want them to be on when they finish.

[00:54:41.79] spk_0:
All right. So, you know, of course, different missions just like nonprofits that Grayson has uh has a different model but, but their, their generously hiring, they just hire the next person on the

[00:54:49.63] spk_2:

[00:54:53.20] spk_0:
So, alright, so yeah, as you suggested, and I want to talk about the, how to organize and structure these, we know what’s the relationship listeners already are in non profits? Most of our listeners are, uh you know, how would, what would that relationship look like if they did start a social enterprise? Well,

[00:55:11.40] spk_2:
I know as, um as the interviewer here, you, you will hate to hear this answer but it depends.

[00:55:18.35] spk_0:
Listen. Now, don’t hold back on, don’t, don’t, don’t tell listeners of nonprofit radio What you think they want to hear? It’s an educated self selected group. So, yes. So it’s nuanced answers are, are very

[00:58:28.78] spk_2:
welcome. Well, it, it does depend and it depends on what you want to do and how you might want to structure it and, and honestly tolerance, risk, tolerance of your board and you know, of your team. So, um women’s Bean project is a 501 c three. A big reason for that is because we were founded in 1989. And if you wanted to do good, that was the choice, right? That’s all you had. Um Today, there are lots of different structures you could or opportunities, you could be a for profit company. Um and, and become a benefit corporation B Corp, you could be a subsidiary of a nonprofit. Um You could be an LLC, you know, there are just so many different ways. And so generally what I tell people is first figure out what you wanna do, then figure out what the corporate structure makes the most sense. What I will tell you is that I wouldn’t necessarily change our corporate structure because we’ve made it work for ourselves. Our, the way we have structured ourselves by having sort of everything under one roof. The huge job and the being job is that we’ve, what that’s done is that it has allowed us to have a mixed revenue, uh pie, so to speak. So, about 60% 60% of our operating budget comes from our product sales. What that does is it supports the business, it supports women’s time while they’re working in the business. And it’s, you know, gives us the ability by the beans and the flour and all those things and makes a small contribution to our program operations. And then we fundraise to SAPO program operations because again, when a woman is in a financial literacy class or working on a resume or even in job search looking for the next job we’re paying her still. So we fundraise to both support those classes but also to be able to pay her and, and because we’re 501 C three, we have the ability to do that. It also probably gives us a little bit of wiggle room in terms of our inefficiency. You know, I would, if we were, if, if all of our revenue had to come from our product sales, we would probably have to compromise the mission a little bit and hire fewer women because we have to run, you know, a business with much better margin than we currently do. Yeah, but I will also say that there are plenty of situations where the a board of a nonprofit, they might be interested in this idea of having revenue, that’s basically unrestricted revenue. But they don’t want to risk the larger organization or they do or they wanna just sort of run it on the side as sort of a separate entity and maybe not have it be a distraction within their main business, so to speak. There, there are risks in that as well though. I’ve seen lots of uh non profit big human services organizations that run social enterprises and they sort of treat them like the red headed step child and, and look at them like, what have you done for me lately? Little, you know, business. Why are you not contributing more when the reality is they’re kind of stifling the growth of that, that business? Um And, and perhaps, um you know, causing it to, you know, not prosper um

[00:58:55.69] spk_0:
like a mistaken, well, not only organization but just in, in culture, you think that the way board members and I guess the organization collectively thinks about its, its social enterprise as, you know, as, as uh the ugly step

[00:59:22.60] spk_2:
child. Yeah. And that’s the risk, right? If of creating a structure where you sort of set it off to the side, I mean, I understand that sometimes that’s done to avoid risk, but sometimes it creates more risk for the survival of the business one of the things I worry about having been in this field for a long time is that, you know, uh, we’ve now come to a point where social enterprise is kind of cool. It’s kind of come into its own. I joke that it’s like women’s bean project has been wearing a velour tracksuit for 30 years and now suddenly velour track suits are in. But, you know, so, yeah, exactly.

[00:59:49.52] spk_0:
Long enough they’ll come, they’ll come, my dozen bell bottom suit will come back.

[01:00:16.43] spk_2:
It turns out that’s happening for social enterprise. But what I worry is that organizations will start a business and do that and sort of cut it off at its knees and not even maybe recognize that and it won’t survive and then they’ll look back later and say, yeah, we tried that. It didn’t work. But I, I can tell you that if it’s not always because it’s a bad idea that it doesn’t, it could be because you just didn’t give it the opportunity to flourish. We in the nonprofit world are notoriously risk averse. That’s not a news flash to anybody. I know. And, and so the challenge is to be willing to take some risk and balance that risk. You know, it’s a risk reward ratio in the business and balance that risk a little bit. Um With um with what the benefit could be long term,

[01:00:44.61] spk_0:
You started to transition again. I love it the way you segue easily uh, lessons, you know, lessons learned things to look out, for things to be sure. You, you’ve considered, you’ve been doing this for 30, what, 32 years? 32

[01:03:17.35] spk_2:
years. Well, I, I often say we have 32 years worth of mistakes. We could totally help somebody else avoid and leave them free to make all their own mistakes. Um, you know, it’s, it’s, I would say the lessons learned are consistent with what I’ve been saying, which is you really do. Um If you want a social enterprise to survive, you really do have to embrace it as, as being a means through which you’re going to deliver on your mission and not set it on the side and say, well, you know, someday you’re gonna make me some money and I’ll be able to use that money to advance my mission. They have to be interwoven. Um So, you know, we don’t exist to make bean soup yet we can’t exist without it. And that idea that the two are inextricable um is the probably the most important thing. And the most important, honestly, lesson that I’ve seen, I, I watched a social enterprise um be formed out of an organism um that was providing initially providing the same service for free. And then they formed the social enterprise to monetize the service, but yet they kept offering the service. So they had this business and they kept offering the service for free. So yes, and um and then eventually decided that the social enterprise wasn’t working and the, the problem I thought, you know, it’s, it’s easy. Monday morning quarterback, admittedly, but um you know, was that they set it up to be, you know, be its own competition. So of course, it was, there was always going to be that tension and that conflict. You’ve got enough tension and conflict just trying to advance your mission and advance your business without setting yourself up for failure. So um you know, that’s another lesson which is be prepared for there to be tension between the business and the mission, but be okay with that because that’s part of what you’re doing is you’re, you’re trying to change the world by using market forces. Uh And you know, we are, we’re a country of consumers. So let’s take advantage of the fact that we are a country of consumers. Everybody needs to buy products and services. So what a great opportunity to um to to for lack of a better word, exploit that

[01:03:32.91] spk_0:
I love the way you say you’re working to change the world by using market forces. Um Alright. Any anything else you wanna, you wanna leave folks with anything that we didn’t talk about that you feel is is important. Anything I didn’t ask about,

[01:04:43.97] spk_2:
you know, I would say that the last thing would be that if you are thinking about um starting a social enterprise, start looking at other models and seeing what other groups are doing and especially if they’re localized, there’s, you know, there’s no reason to that, that you wouldn’t be able to learn from their mistakes. Um So, you know, we have, I’ve been asked often whether or not we would expand women’s bean project out of Denver across the country. What we have chosen instead is to be more open source where we look forward to sharing the things that we’ve learned. Because I think ultimately, if we want to lift up the whole field, not just, you know, a grand eyes, women’s bean project, that’s not our goal. Our goal really is to help other organizations create or prosper with their social enterprises, not just, you know, have us get bigger and bigger. There’s enough need to go around. What

[01:04:46.67] spk_0:
about social enterprise Alliance? Is that a resource for

[01:05:01.69] spk_2:
folks? It absolutely is. And that might be a great place to start to figure out what is out there. They have um Social enterprise Alliance has uh you know, members all over the country who are involved at various levels of social enterprise. So they might be running social enterprises that they might be consultants. So social enterprise, um if you need an attorney to talk with, for instance, about what your corporate structure might be, there are resources there. Um But the nice thing about that is if you’re in the initial stages of just doing research is a great place to start.

[01:05:31.38] spk_0:
Okay. Good value. You can have conversations with folks. You can, you can, it’s a good place to start your research and, and, and grow. If you decide to mean, you might start your research and decide it’s not really, you know, you can’t tolerate the risk or the tension. Uh It’s just something you don’t want to take on, but at least you do it, make that decision informed.

[01:06:43.52] spk_2:
Yeah, I always think that fear is not a reason not to do something, right? Like you can acknowledge the fear and sort of do the things that, that you need to do to um to try to overcome or, you know, address the fear. But um staying noticed something just because you’re afraid, it’s maybe not the best reason. Um And I think also, you know, we have a tendency to sit at the, at the starting line and try to anticipate all the problems we’re gonna have and, and I guarantee, first of all, we’ll be wrong about what problems we think we’re gonna have and, and whatever solution we decide is gonna not be appropriate for whatever problem you end up having. And so ultimately, you just gotta start and, and have faith that you have gathered the resources and the expertise enough that you can address the problems as they come up. But I think that that tends to be and in my experience just going to lots of, you know, speaking on lots of panels and talking with lots of organizations that are thinking about starting social enterprises is they, they often get stuck at that starting line and have a hard time pulling the trigger. Um The reality is it might not work. But think about, I, I think you learn more from failure than you do successful. A lot of times.

[01:08:06.92] spk_0:
Yeah. Too much ready aim, aim, aim and, and, and no firing. All right. Outstanding. Thank you, Tamara. Thank you very much. Thank you. My pleasure. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing the women’s bean project story and and beyond. Uh Tomorrow Ryan Ceo women’s bean project. It’s at women’s bean project dot com. You want to look at their dried foods and other products, especially now around the holidays. And Tamara is at Tamara Ryan. Thanks so much Tamara. Next week, Rio Wang with Money Mindset. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 13, 2023: Beat Back Cyberattack


Michael EnosBeat Back Cyberattack

Cyberattacks against nonprofits are on the rise. While you cannot avoid them, you can make them a lot less likely to cost you big money, your data, your reputation, your donors, and your employees. Michael Enos from TechSoup helps us out.



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[00:01:26.42] spk_0:
And welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big, non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your Aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the embarrassment of a phone. Yah. If I had to speak the words you missed this week’s show, beat back, cyber attack, cyberattacks against non profits are on the rise while you cannot avoid them, you can make them a lot less likely to cost you big money, your data, your reputation, your donors and your employees, Michael Enos from Techsoup Global helps us out on tony steak too. Get in people’s faces again. It’s a pleasure to welcome Michael Enos to non profit radio He is senior director of community and platform for Techsoup Global. He began his professional career in technology in 1996 and has since led team, tech teams at the national and individual office levels in increasing responsibilities on Mastodon. He’s at Michael underscore Enos at public good dot social and tech soup is where you’d expect them to be at techsoup dot org. Michael, welcome to non profit radio

[00:01:42.03] spk_1:
It’s great to be here. Tony Thank you for having me.

[00:01:46.69] spk_0:
My pleasure. My pleasure. Let’s please explain the work of tech soup. I think it’s so valuable, so many billions of dollars of software and hardware transferred to nonprofits. Make sure, let’s make sure everybody knows what techsoup is doing,

[00:02:52.57] spk_1:
you know? Absolutely. I mean, essentially our, our mission is to help civil society, organizations worldwide um better leverage technology to create impact in the missions um that they serve and to build communities. Um You know, that, that then can then foster that, that, that, that impact globally. Um We do that through a number of different ways. We do that by facilitating philanthropy from large tech donors. Um And you know, most of which are the ones that are just, you know, household names. Um We also do it through uh courses, services, consultations, um and through connecting organizations with each other and through also through engagements like this where we try to really uh to blogs, webinars and other facets where we help organizations understand how they could use tech um and protect their tech to uh enable uh and further have impact for their, their communities. They serve,

[00:03:17.12] spk_0:
I saw on tech soups website today, Microsoft Office or Microsoft 3 65 for a dollar. So

[00:03:18.55] spk_1:
that’s an example, right? And if you were to go to uh you know, Microsoft for nonprofits or Google for nonprofits, for example, um you know, the data validation platform that validates organizations worldwide is managed by Texas So, ultimately, we, we, we do many things but we’re also sort of a, I guess, data leading partner for, for a lot of these organizations that want to understand and make sure that their philanthropy is going into the right hands.

[00:03:48.25] spk_0:
You have, you have local uh connect groups to techsoup, connects groups.

[00:03:54.10] spk_1:
That’s great. That’s right.

[00:03:56.21] spk_0:
Yeah. You know, I know, I know you’re, well, you’re director of community and platform. So is that, is that part of your work

[00:04:42.76] spk_1:
director? I mean, you know, you know, I support that, that organization that we um we have, we have lots of different um areas and, you know, and, and in my role, I support them all um platform is a lot of the, you know, I oversee our enterprise, infrastructure and security as one of my fundamental sort of roles. I mean, obviously with the, with their expansive amount of technology that we have, that runs our platforms that, that consumes a lot of my time, but also the community side because of my background working in the tech for good space, you know, since, you know, for the length of my vocation, um you know, I have, I’ve accessed as a resource for a lot of other groups, including the connect group for when they need, you know, to understand, you know, how to, you know, for, for things like this and for, for other things um to help our communities um better leverage to the tech that they use. I mean, it’s one thing to, to uh provide the technology. It’s another thing to actually help people, you know, provide them the enablement to be able to use it and optimize it.

[00:05:08.91] spk_0:
Are there local meetups are the group’s going back

[00:05:50.06] spk_1:
to? Exactly. There are, there, there are, you know, communities within the regional and our, and that’s part of our connect program. Um And eli, the guy who runs that and, and the group that runs that are very, very energetic and it’s very community driven, which, which is fantastic and we’re sort of an enabler and facilitator in that work, which is wonderful. And that stems from the early days of us being part of the early groups that were involved with the, you know, tech for good space way back when technology was first getting launched, you know, and the internet was first launching different

[00:05:51.33] spk_0:
types of work. I mean, you know, n 10 doesn’t do consulting, which I wanted to ask you about very shortly. But, you know, they don’t do tech grants necessarily, but all, all very parallel with, with N 10.

[00:06:26.73] spk_1:
Yeah. Correct. And, and we, we have a close partner to put 10, 10 and, and we attend the events and such and we’ve long been sort of affiliated with that demand and other and other groups like like 10, 10. Um and we have partnerships that sort of expand throughout the different communities. Um And, and we try to be involved globally as well. You know, so there’s this sort of, you know, there’s the U S side of it, but then there’s also the everything that we’re doing outside of the U S and abroad because, you know, it’s um civil society is international and so, and tech soup is really involved with, with things not just within our own borders but, but outside of them um globally.

[00:06:50.58] spk_0:
Are you going to 23 NTCC the conference?

[00:06:51.42] spk_1:
Um myself. No, I’m not the, I know we have some, some other representatives that are there. I’ve been to many of those uh this year. I’m not specifically going, but we will have some representative from Texas there. I’m

[00:07:03.64] spk_0:
sure. Yeah. And non profit radio will be there as well. We’ll be on the exhibit floor.

[00:07:07.67] spk_1:
Excellent. That’s fantastic. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m sorry, I’m not going to be there to be in person to meet

[00:07:12.61] spk_0:
you. That’s all right. There. There are others every, every spring and

[00:07:17.31] spk_1:
virtually, by the way,

[00:07:18.97] spk_0:
that’s true. There is hybrid this year. That’s right. Um And, and texture is also consultants to consultants to nonprofits. Let’s make sure folks understand that too.

[00:08:46.84] spk_1:
Yeah, I mean, we, we provide, essentially, we help organizations connect with other organizations that then provide consultant services. We do some ourselves, but it’s very specific to some of the um because we, we provide a lot of, you know, what we’re doing to, to skills. So to speak what we, what we have is we’ve partnered with other organizations through our platforms to, to align organizations depending on exactly what type of consultation they need to inappropriate sort of resource for them. Um And that’s more uh our, our model in terms of we’re sort of a connector. So for example, if somebody needs, you know, specific sort of technology assessment uh for implementing uh Microsoft, we may do some, but then if it’s more advanced, we may work for them to, to impact or an organization that we partner with and then they provide that as a service to that organization. So, and we have other partners like that, who provide those similar sorts of services that are more hands on and direct than what tech soup can provide at this moment. And we may may expand that more and do some of that um more, more stuff ourselves and, and we are developing that and some of our customers success programs. Um and we do run a lot of sort of in the office programs where people could have webinars. And I’ve spoken in a few of those where we do it in in depth dive of a particular technology so that organizations can learn how to use them.

[00:09:00.19] spk_0:
I’ve always considered the big three to be Tech Soup N 10 and tech impact in terms of technology for nonprofits and, and all three of those of course, are nonprofits themselves. Right.

[00:09:12.87] spk_1:
Exactly. Yeah. All right,

[00:09:15.44] spk_0:
let’s talk about cyber attacks. Uh They are on the rise against nonprofits. What, what, what are you, what are you seeing? We’re going to get into the details, of course, but overall general, you know, kick us off. What are you seeing on this front?

[00:11:31.28] spk_1:
What, what we’re seeing is a lot more, um, targeted attacks, which, which is, which is unique because there’s, you know, speaking broadly about cyber activity, you know, there’s a lot of noise on the internet. There’s, you know, just all these robotic sort of in these bots that are flying around trying to find targets, right? And they’re sort of just, you know, you know, I guess, you know, they’re, they’re doing drive by sort of evaluations to see of anything, you know, just to see if there’s anything that they could get a finger in or, you know, just to explore and see if there’s sort of a, you know, something that they could find in there. What we’re seeing now is more targeted attacks, meaning there’s a specific purpose to it. Like somebody’s like, well, you know what we think that, you know, this is a, you know, a specific type of organization, they’re involved with a particular type of activity and we’re interested in knowing who’s donating to that activity and whether or not we could possibly have access to that information because that might be valuable or perhaps to the constituents that they’re serving because maybe that information is valuable as well, maybe for either financial reasons or, or, or or political reasons. And so we’re seeing a little bit more of that or, or perhaps because we really want to cause disruption in critical infrastructure. And one thing that um this is sort of a broader trend in cyber security around targets towards critical infrastructure and myself and and others in this space believe that civil society, organization data is part of critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure. So I mean, people are targeting things like, you know, we’ve we’ve heard about the target on power grids and uh gas pipelines and such. And you know, if you think about data that’s relative to communities that are specifically vulnerable in certain context or, or have access to information about others, then that’s critical infrastructure because we need these organizations to function in society. And so, you know, there could be other actors who say we want to disrupt that particular critical infrastructure for some reason and that reason could be varied just like it is for why people would disrupt any sort of critical infrastructure.

[00:12:55.08] spk_0:
I have an example that is pretty close to home. I I I own two homes in North Carolina. One of them was affected by that shooting at uh at the electrical substation in that was, that was in Moore County, North Carolina. Um And there’s a, there’s a possible correlation that, that that attack was to prevent a drag queen show from going on in the little town of Southern Pines, North Carolina, which is served by that substation that got shot at. Um So, I mean, it sounds like you’re saying, it’s not that far a leap like, you know, 11 cadre of bad actors uses guns. Another cadre of miscreants could be hackers that are looking for data at that maybe at that theater or, uh you know, among a nonprofit that may have been involved with

[00:13:45.30] spk_1:
maybe maybe the intent at the attendance list or the people who are donating to that event. And so, you know, this is the type of data and like I said, there’s, there’s different reasons why somebody might be targeting certain data. But this, these are the, this is, you know, this is like bingo on the nose, this is the kind of stuff that, that we’re seeing more and more and we’re very concerned about and why we’re really like soup is really sort of launching this um effort to help educate organizations on how to improve uh and understand what cyber security means in this space and how to prioritize it, but also how to um sort of get through the sort of complexity of it and, and, and find simple ways to knock off low hanging fruit to make it sort of actually, you know, doable for them with given their budgets and given their constraints that we a lot of smaller organizations in the, in the space you know, have, generally,

[00:14:39.67] spk_0:
it feels like in our polarized culture that there isn’t a nonprofit mission category that would be exempt from, from possible attack. I mean, you know, even feeding, feeding the hungry, you know, I could conceive of that being objectionable to some group of people that feels like why do those folks get food and, and I don’t get food or why are they entitled? And I’m not, or, you know, something that seems innocuous and purely beneficial. I, I can imagine, uh, another cadre of bad actors deciding that it’s, it’s, it’s worthless or worth worse than worthless. It’s detrimental to our culture for some reason and wanting to attack it. It doesn’t, it doesn’t feel like any particular mission would be more vulnerable or less than, than any other.

[00:15:59.15] spk_1:
Um, you’re correct. And one of the other things that is, has changed in, in this, in this sort of, you know, over time that I’ve seen is the availability of the tools to be able to perform exploits before you would actually have to be, you know, pretty well versed in hacking to be able to do any harm right now. It’s, you can, you can buy the service. I mean, you could just go to the market on the dark web and just say, hey, you know, I want to buy this, you know, uh, this hacking kit, you know, and, and, and, and there’s youtube tutorials on how to do it. I mean, it’s becoming, and, and these are, the tools are free and readily available. So what we’re seeing more of is not only just this trend of people wanting to and, you know, and maybe that hasn’t changed, it’s just that it’s more accessible, right? But, you know, people wanting to, you know, target communities and, and, and, and also try to find valuable data within these communities, but also their ability to do so it’s become easier and there, you know, and, and so you combine those things together and that’s why we’re seeing the trends we’re seeing. That’s one of the reasons

[00:16:21.11] spk_0:
you no longer have to be a sophisticated computer user. It doesn’t take a lot of study, you’re saying these things are available for cost or free to cause harm. All

[00:16:29.81] spk_1:

[00:16:39.80] spk_0:
Alright. So how do we, how do we break this down for folks in small and mid sized nonprofits, you know, that, that they can sort of prioritize? I mean, is it as simple as let’s start having universal two factor authentication for everybody on your teams or maybe that’s passe maybe, maybe we’re past that now. I don’t know, how should

[00:19:30.66] spk_1:
we, you know, you, you make a good point. So for example, like the first thing I think people should do is, you know, or, or what you know, uh would be recommended and to think about it is to do the basics. Okay. What things like what you mentioned is like like multifactor authentication, um you know, anti malware on their clients, keeping things up to date and, and making sure you have backups of your data, these are sort of the basics, right? And so apart from the basics, though, you know, the next step above that is to then start looking at what we call privileged access management or role based security, not everybody needs to have access to everything, right? So, so, so let’s say, for example, a system was compromised with somebody’s permissions or credentials, depending on what they have access to, they could only do so much. And so there’s a, there’s a, there’s an important concept in cybersecurity that we call the privilege, the principle of least privilege. So, and that sort of dictates that a person really only needs access to the information that they need to do the role that they’re trained to do in their specific function. So if, if, if somebody is, you know, in I T, somebody who’s familiar with I T systems, uh they understand sort of the complexity involved and they may have access to privileged systems where they can perform things and have access to that sensitive data, but not the entire organization, right? And so we call that privileged access management. And sometimes, especially with today’s as we’ve moved into the cloud more when things get fired up and somebody spins up an app in the cloud, the cloud as well, generally have some basic role based permissions like the admin, you know, maybe a super user and then maybe some groups and then, and then just the regular users, right? You don’t want to give everybody admin rights. And so because then if somebody, if that just, that just provides more exposure and so these are small things that don’t take a lot of time or effort really to just sort of that, that’s a little bit beyond the basics though because um you know, and you know, for, you know, tech soup, for example, provides, you know, office 65 or 65 go for, for, for work space organizations. And once we, they provision, the next step is to really go in there and sort of harden them a little bit and lock them down and to go through that steps and understand what that looks like. So that um as people start doing things like maybe downloading spreadsheets that contain donor data or customer data that it’s not, somebody can’t accidentally just share that with somebody, you know, outside the organization or, or that becomes available on the general public internet.

[00:20:02.06] spk_0:
So how do we execute some of these things that are, that are more advanced, you know, beyond the backing up the multi factor authentication. Alright. So if you move into privileged access management, we need a, we, we either have a C T O which most listeners probably don’t or we need some outside help.

[00:21:13.19] spk_1:
No, actually, I think that a lot of these, you know, cloud based applications will provide guidance. The good news is is that they have an interest in protecting and wanting you as a, as a customer as well as, you know, the fact that it’s a shared data model. And so the the better that they do in terms of providing information about how this works, the better, you know, the, the the, you know, the people who use that product is going to benefit from it. And so generally in these, you know, you know, and these things aren’t if you have somebody who is at least responsible for the deployment of the technology and they don’t have to be an advanced, you know, computer scientists to do the work of the cloud app then. But somebody should be sort of designated within the organization to ensure some of the basics about the way data is handled. And, you know, getting to one of the export points, I wanted to bring up one of the most important things to understand for an organization is what data do they have? Where does it live and what is the value of it? And what is the value of Michael before we, before

[00:21:22.02] spk_0:
before we move to what, what’s our data inventory? I want to emphasize this, I wanna emphasize the value of being in the cloud. So there is there is value to using uh CRM databases that are cloud based versus server based at, in your office anymore.

[00:22:47.49] spk_1:
Correct. And for so many reasons and, you know, uh, and, and moving to that topic because a lot of the ways that systems are oftentimes breached is because what things we mentioned earlier, such as they’re not patched, there’s, um, not, not very good perimeter security on them. These things are taken care of for you, um, and they’re not backed up regularly. Um, those things, these things are taken care of for you in a sassy application. Um If it’s, if it’s a robust SAS application, like the kind that takes provides. And so when we, when we go to, you know, vet an offer that’s going to be in our marketplace, we we, we go through the list to ensure that this is gonna be a product that will serve the pole, the test of time and actually will, will be robust in, in the requirements necessary for our organization to protect their data. And so, and, and so that leads to, you know, also that making it more but maybe a little bit easier for organizations to then lock down their cybersecurity because they don’t have to have experts come into their closet or their data center and, and do this configuration and do all these updates are very technical on their firewalls and all the hardware and everything all the time in their own infrastructure, it can be managed within the cloud by people who are not necessarily have that sort of, you know, the Cisco CCN a sort of certification? Alright,

[00:23:07.85] spk_0:
thank you. I just, I wanted to drill down absolutely. Very

[00:23:11.75] spk_1:
good point.

[00:23:15.98] spk_0:
The value of from a security perspective, the value of the cloud. Alright, so let’s go to what you were, you were headed to what your data inventory, what what do you have? What what do we need to be? What do you want us to think about their?

[00:23:32.71] spk_1:
Yeah, so no data is not all data is not created equal, so to speak, right? So we have, we have data that it’s just things like, you know, my notes when I’m, you know, talking in a meeting or something like that. Okay. There’s nothing valuable with that. It’s, you know, generally not containing anything that’s sensitive. It’s sort of my notes from a meeting. Okay. Now, if that is something that, you know, maybe I don’t want to share, but it’s not something that, you know, if a hacker birds look at that so I can’t sell this and it doesn’t contain anything that’s gonna, I can do any harm with. Right.

[00:24:09.30] spk_0:
Well, it might depend, it might depend who’s leading the meeting. You might have different, you might have different sets of notes depending on who’s leading your meeting. You know, you might be commenting on the commenting on their uh I don’t know their, their capacity. I mean, not to suggest

[00:24:16.36] spk_1:
that people

[00:24:30.71] spk_0:
know, I’m actually, I’m actually having fun with you like, if somebody at tech soup was not a very good, not a very good speaker or supervisor, you know, then those notes you might not want in the public domain. But if the person is carrying their weight and they’re generally a good, good employee, you know, you have a brighter set of notes that you wouldn’t feel bad about getting exposed. That was my, my point. I guess I wasn’t, I wasn’t coming, I was coming across so dry. It was, it was desert, it was desert dry.

[00:27:18.46] spk_1:
No, I’m glad you brought into it. The, the, yeah, the types of data that you know, we think about when we think about the difference between data privacy and data protection to me, they’re very linked, right? So we, we have a responsibility to protect people’s data and the privacy of their data, but also to protect the security of that data. And so, you know, fundamentally speaking, generally in organizations in the sector, there’s gonna be some, you know, information that’s sensitive or may have some value and if we identify that and identify where that lives and then focus our energy on securing that, making sure that that data is backed up. Um and, and testing access to it, that’s, that’s, you know, if you have limited resources, that’s the place to really focus your attention. And then the other stuff is great. I mean, and use using robust tools like we provide um in our marketplace such as box for document repositories or even sharepoint, those can all be really configured for. So any type of theater, like even my notes from, you know that, you know, or my supervisor notes about me or your notes about me can be secured, you know, um you know, in a very robust way or shared. And one of the things we’re seeing, for example, especially the document collaboration software, it’s very easy to share things. They make it very easy to share with anybody, right? Just click and it always says like share with anybody with link, you know, you know, and so if you, if it’s something like, oh, you know, um uh oh somebody just sent me, you know, or they told me to put in my, you know, take a picture of my passport or something and, and stick it in here, right? And, and I, and the somebody has in the human resources once said, oh, I’m just gonna share this link and make it copied everybody. Now everybody has access to your past potential, everybody has access to your passport photo and I D so, you know, these are the things that we just have to sort of like start thinking twice, which brings me up to my next point. Um Security awareness within organizations, cybersecurity awareness, I cannot stress enough how important it is for organizations to have a cyber security awareness program within the organization. This these programs don’t cost a lot of money. They don’t take a lot of time and they go a long ways to prevent Uh an internal mistake that could lead to something 80% of cyber attacks happen from the inside.

[00:27:27.33] spk_0:
What does this cyber security awareness program look like?

[00:28:34.34] spk_1:
So essentially, so for example, um they’re usually conducted on point of like orientation for an employee that comes into an organization and they go through a video, you know, provided by a platform like no before which is in our marketplace. And, and what they do is they sort of go through this, this methodical sort of, you know, force to teach somebody about fishing about sensitive data about ways that people try to get access to information, either through cell phone, fishing through text fishing through um email phishing or through other means to or even on Slack to say, to try to fool you into providing some information um that they, that they can use a huge trend in this arena is what we call impersonation fishing. It’s a specifically targeted phishing email that looks like it’s coming from somebody within your organization such as your CEO, your CFO or uh the human resources director asking you to provide or update your banking information. And it’s very carefully crafted, crafted, it looks just like that and you really have to do a lot of due diligence to really go through there and say, oh, did this really come from our CEO having

[00:29:03.26] spk_0:
Haven’t there been cases where like a spoof email like this says, you know, wire $50,000 to this vendor account. You know, we’re, the payment is overdue. We need to wire this payment ASAP. And of course, it goes to the Bad Actors account. Isn’t there? Stuff like that? It looks like it’s like the treasurer saying, send a wire or the CEO saying, send, make a payment.

[00:29:40.35] spk_1:
That’s right. Exactly. And, and, and we’ve, um, and if you have an organization and people haven’t been trained to recognize that, you know, if somebody’s asking you for something and it’s something of value, double check it, you know, and, and to contact that individual in a different channel and say, did you really need me to send $50,000 in this wire transfer? I just want to check is this actually came from you? There’s other ways that they teach you in these orientation platforms or in these um security awareness platforms to check the email headers and, and the simple things, but essentially that’s the gist of it. And that’s why security awareness training is so important. So, so people are on their toes when they’re actually doing their work,

[00:30:03.43] spk_0:
do you recommend then ongoing training? You talked about orientation,

[00:30:51.51] spk_1:
there’s, there’s an orientation training and then, you know, most organizations will have it mandatory that they do an annual training and, and this just as a refresher course and also things change. So, you know, the space changes. Sometimes people are doing it now because of the trends more often like every six months. And then specifically for people who are in jobs where they’re doing data handling for, let’s say they’re doing data processing, they work in the donor uh services program or something where they’re managing sensitive data all day long. They’ll be specialized courses for people who are, are actually dealing with data on a day to day basis. So that’s a little bit more involved in terms of actually how to understand and, and that goes into things like, don’t download, you know, a C S V file on your computer and stick it onto a, you know, um, a thumb drive on your computer or transported or, you know, don’t, you know, send out, you know, via email to, to a coworker and, and these sorts of things that are specific to handling sensitive data.

[00:31:04.59] spk_0:
Okay. Interesting. Yeah. So even, even just emailing internally from employee to employee can be risky,

[00:31:37.20] spk_1:
yes, it can be stiff. It’s, and, and there’s because, for example, if, because that’s actually it’s going to stay within that email store wherever that is located. And it’s, um, if it’s unencrypted, it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be encrypted during transit, for example. Um, and, and encrypted at rest. But if somebody else had access to that access to your email server or a privileged access in your system, they could potentially go in and, you know, take over that account, log in as the CEO and have access to the deed and actually browse emails for, you know, and actually do queries and look for credit card information or, or look for email addresses and then they could potentially find information about donors or, or, or, or constituents that sensitive.

[00:35:08.08] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. It’s time to get back in people’s faces. Again. Last month, I did a in person live face to face in person training on Long Island. I was in New York City for several days. What a joy. What a pleasure. What a difference, an improvement, you know, over virtual trainings. I mean, look zoom is, I’m all flustered. Zoom is, is necessary and I’m not saying necessary evil. It’s, it’s, it’s a part of the culture, whether it’s zoom or teams or Google meet, you know, whatever virtual meetings, they’re just a part of our lives now. No question about it. But don’t make those the default if you have the option to get back in front of people in person, I urge you choose that option. Uh You know, I could have passed on the opportunity to do the in person training, but I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to donor meetings to while I was in the city face to face meetings again, coffee lunches. It’s just so much better, so much more real than anything virtual can offer. Um I had a meeting, lunch meeting just about 10 days ago or so with someone from Heller consulting, which is gonna be Team Heller. They’re going to be our 23 NTC sponsors at the nonprofit technology conference coming up in Denver And the woman who works for Heller happens to live within 45 minutes of where I live in North Carolina. So we got together for a, a real lunch. We had lunch together over the same table. Remarkable. You know, it’s yeah, more real authentic. I urge you if you can meet someone in person instead of virtual, do it, do it. It makes the world of difference. It’s time to get back in people’s faces again. Don’t make virtual your your default. If there’s another way first, I urge you to do it. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got Boo Koo but loads more time for beat back cyber attack with Michael Enos. Talk about not preserving data that you don’t need to preserve. Like credit card numbers, full numbers for instance, or dates of birth or other things that aren’t necessary for you to preserve. Isn’t there, isn’t there value in trimming down sensitive data that you don’t really need?

[00:35:40.17] spk_1:
Yes. And and one of the principal aspects of data handling is an optimization of data. So you know, there’s there’s transactional data that happens. And oftentimes, for example, with credit card things are processed nowadays, you’ll usually use a payment processor. So, you know, hopefully you’re not actually you know that server that actually storing that information is not on your box anymore because there’s, you know, you know, you can use an API and a web site and then it happened somewhere else and they take care of all that stuff for you. So, if your systems were hacked, they wouldn’t have access to the credit card data

[00:35:55.19] spk_0:

[00:39:00.73] spk_1:
or Braintree or one of these sorts of services, you know? Exactly. And, and, and so those go to those payment processors and they manage all that, um, which is great because then you, it reduces the amount of exposure on your e commerce site or fundraising donor donation site. And if you’re using a donation software program, like, you know, donor perfect or one of these sites, that’s what they’re doing as well. You know. So they, you know, because, because they, they want to use because that you really have to have the best of breed technology to be able to make sure that that stuff gets that, that’s really super secure and they have higher standards and compliance standards by which they attest to the. Um, and so however though, let’s say you’re, you’re doing an email list to your constituents, right? Um You know, you’re gonna need some marketing data, you’re gonna, you know who to send this, this information to, but you don’t need everything about that individual. You don’t need things like that really. I mean, you may need the basics but you should be using a marketing provider that is secure and you should, you should transfer, get that information to them in a secure way and you should ensure that if that individual wants to opt out. Um and they, all these things should be an organization’s privacy policy so that people understand how their data is being used if they sign up for a newsletter or things of that nature. However, you know, I think your point specifically um oftentimes reports about, you know, activities, engagement, you know, that go into reports for executive or for things that are put into a PDF or in another format, the data should be anonymized. So the only thing that’s there is, you know, aggregated information about, you know, the engagement and not all they shouldn’t be able to drill down and see, oh who is this exact individual? Now if they need to know if it, if they want a donor report about, you know, I want to know exactly to see who um are the top donors and, and such, you know, there should only be limited people within the organization who have access to that data, to be able to see that information that goes back to my other point about um privileged access management. There are gonna be some, there’s gonna be some reason why people aren’t gonna wanna know specifically about, you know, who’s engaging with the community. And also oftentimes on the client level, we need to know that the people who are providing services to communities need to know exactly who these individuals are and more sense of information. And that’s why I was talking about earlier about, you know, understanding where that data lives and, and only having as much as you need to fulfill the function of that, you know, whatever you’re doing. Um and, and having that, you know, and making sure that’s really locked down when I worked in the food down. When I worked in the food and security sector, we had people going out in the communities and helping sign them up for, you know, um cal fresh, you know, essentially benefits, you know, for people to get, you know, you know, government assistance and they had to collect really sensitive information. But what they did is they had ways to you securely transmit that information to the local human resources agencies so that it was all encrypted, it was protected and then once we transmitted that we didn’t have access to it,

[00:39:44.68] spk_0:
what about vetting vendors? You know, if, if you’re offices using a male house, uh you know, some of the data that you just talked about for, for mailing? Um I can’t, I can’t think of other examples of vendors that could be. Well, events, events could have, could event management might have some sensitive data. What, how do you vet your vendors to make sure that they’re taking appropriate actions to prevent theft, fishing, you know, to, to defeat defeat, or at least you can’t defeat them, but at least minimize the threats. How do you, how do you check these third parties that you’re working

[00:41:16.80] spk_1:
with? Well, you know, that’s a big part of my roller tech soup. So whenever we, whenever we work with, with, whenever we’re going to be using a new product or app or something like that, it’s my job to go in and actually check and organizations, these, you know, these application providers will provide um on their site or they should and if they don’t, you shouldn’t use them, but most of them will provide on their site access to their information security program and what they do where their data is located, what they do to protect it, their compliance levels, their certification levels, um whether they do audits, whether or not they do penetration tests And what type of and, and, and everything to that order and that should be vetted by, by somebody before they onboard an aunt. And we do this all the time. We use a lot of different apps to Texas north of 100. And so we, every time we were on board one for some utility within the organization, we make sure that they meet this standard. There’s, and we actually, since we’re a third party vendor for other people, they have the same for us so that a lot of the work I do as well as to, you know, report out periodically to all the people who are using our, our platform to facilitate their data to organizations and you know, what sex, what tech soups information security program like. So this is, you know, because creates transparency, but it also helps people understand what the risks are, which helps when you’re in a situation where I needed to go and advocate for resources to institute a cybersecurity program.

[00:41:47.96] spk_0:
I want to ask you about the board’s role in all this. But, but is there anything more that you want before we get to the board? Anything more you want to talk about threat minimization policies? Anything we haven’t covered that you want folks to know about?

[00:44:14.11] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that one of the things that is, you know, that we haven’t mentioned yet is preparedness for an incident, essentially a security incident, incident response plan. This, you know, is another thing in that sort of list of five that an organization should understand. Um if you have a situation where your data’s been um breached. And, and one thing I do want to do is to describe quickly, even this kind of a dry topic is there is a difference between a security incident and a security data breach. A security incident is could be something as innocuous as somebody just knocking off your website and taking it down with a DDOS attack. Now that sounds in Oculus because it’s just, it doesn’t sound innocuous because it’s disruptive because nobody can get your website, but nobody’s taking the data. And as soon as that denial of service attack is stopped, your website maybe still functioning. Um But that’s an incident and a data breach is different because now you’ve got to do a couple different things. You’ve got to number one, find out how the breach occurred, which you should also do in case of the DDOS attack. Um But above that, you also need to then understand how to respond to, you know, what data was breached. What’s the scope of that data and who are the individuals and, and what’s our plan to reach out to those individuals and notify them about the breach? And was our policy around that? And who do we have to include in terms of communications internally and legally and, and to provide that transparency because for a number of different reasons, number one, it’s the right thing to do. Um and number two, because it actually helps build trust within, within communities because if people understand that, you know, these things happen and they happen to some very, very large organizations, right? We, we know about these, these really large breaches, but the more transparent they are the more the consumers or the constituents who used those products. Think gosh, they really responded well to this and they acted immediately, they communicated appropriately and they remediated, you know what happened and, and that was the responsible thing to do and you don’t wanna be doing that in the middle of a breach. So, having a plan up front helps during that process because otherwise it’s just too much at one time, everything and

[00:44:21.00] spk_0:
the plan is gonna lay out who’s in charge, who makes, what kinds of decisions, um,

[00:44:27.43] spk_1:
notify. Right. And what’s the playbook essentially? Yeah.

[00:44:52.19] spk_0:
Like, I mean, it could even, it could even break down to needing a remote place to work. I mean, go go that far or because we’re because we’re hopefully in the cloud we don’t like like if our physical infrastructure gets um compromised, do we need to go off site? And, and what’s the technology, the technology capabilities in our, in our off site work location?

[00:45:17.93] spk_1:
Well, that’s actually a little different. Um so we usually talk about that in terms of business continuity plan. So and, and that would be the same sort of plan you would enact case of a natural disaster or something like that. I mean, is a business continuity and, and that’s far exceeding the scope of what we can discussed today, although I’d be happy to discuss that. Let’s not let’s not

[00:45:22.65] spk_0:
I don’t want to panic folks. Okay. Alright.

[00:45:25.60] spk_1:
Alright. Alright,

[00:45:27.20] spk_0:
you got me focused on, you got me focused on like I don’t know, natural disasters and terrorism. All right, let’s

[00:48:44.52] spk_1:
go to the board. Okay. Alright. So, so one of the things that boards were all right. So organizations nowadays are let’s put cybersecurity is becoming and, and is becoming as important as sort of financial security with an organization. The two are becoming linked together An organization. And so for many years, as we all know, uh 501 C3 organizations in the us are generally bound to having a financial audit annually. Right. And then they report to the board and the board will make sure that, you know, there’s a financial audit to ensure that the funds are used judiciously. Um there’s oversight and governance over these matters. Cyber security is becoming as important as financial security because the two are linked together. If there’s a because it could affect it. If you have a ransomware attack, it could affect the viability and the business sustainability of an organization. So it’s a very serious matter. It’s becoming a very, very serious matter for organizations to then think about cybersecurity as a compliance issue, not just nice to have. And so helping the board’s understand that this has shifted from a situation where, oh, well, you know, there’s nobody’s going to attack a nonprofit and uh you know, and if they do, you know, it’s, our data isn’t very important. Um It’s things have shifted, right. So I think recently there was a community, um it’s one of these cities, for example, was an entire city was, has been locked down for days because our grants were attacked and so nothing can function within the city because, you know, um that’s going to affect everything within the city, not just their continuity and safety of people, but also um it’s gonna have a financial impact. So cyber security is becoming more like a compliance issue and a governance issue. And so I think if boards understood that, then they would understand the need to prioritize and to provide funding and resources for those within the organization. Whether that if a small organization that the CFO or the C 00 or even the CEO to then say, look, we need to carve out some resources to be able to understand our risk and the best way to do that would be to do a third party risk assessment and with, with somebody to come in and actually do an evaluation and say, because they’ll come in and do, you know and come in and say, hey, look, these are the, you know, we come in and, and these people are vetted, their, this is their job and you know, they’re safe to work with and go in and say this is where you really need to. These are the critical things, these are, you know, not important things and these are the nice to have and they’ll, they’ll lay it out for you and then you can develop as part of your strategic plan as an organization just like it should be part of your business plan and should be linked to the business plan because the strategic plan for the organization and then the funding, the budget resources, the resource planning and all these things should be baked into the operational strategic plan for an organization. That’s where we’re going in the sector.

[00:49:03.09] spk_0:
Okay. It belongs as part of your strategic plan, your business plan. Alright.

[00:49:50.46] spk_1:
Yeah, and, and that’s where I think that it’s um uh it’s just like I said, I think where a board comes in is to helps understand that so that they could then authorize and, and oversee and ensure that an organization is doing this work and it’s hard work because, you know, you may have limited resources where we’re gonna carve where we’re gonna carve this out. And however, the good news is that there are people who want to fund this, there are grantmakers who are super would be super happy to be able to say, look, I’m gonna help, I’m gonna capacity impact um grant to this organization to help improve their cybersecurity because of these trends that we’re seeing. And so, and then you can use that as a mechanism to possibly help fundraise to offset some of the funny. So it doesn’t have to come out necessarily of your operational costs.

[00:50:23.28] spk_0:
Okay. There are foundations that will fund fund this. Yeah. Alright. All right, we’re gonna leave it there, Michael. Thank you, Michael from Montana, Michael Eno’s Senior Director of Community.

[00:50:26.28] spk_1:
And it’s

[00:51:30.65] spk_0:
my pleasure to thank you, senior director of Community and platform for Techsoup Global he’s on Mastodon at Michael underscore Eno’s at public Good dot Social and Tech soup where you’d expect them to be techsoup dot org. Next week, I’m working on it. Uh, and I assure you that there will be a show next week because this is show number 630. And I’ve been producing a show every week for 13 years close to. So I assure you there will be a show next week. I just don’t know what it’ll be about, but don’t bet against me because there is gonna be a show. You know, you’re gonna lose if you bet against there being a show next week. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez, Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 6, 2023: Meet The FreeWill Founders


Jenny Xia Spradling & Patrick Schmitt: Meet The FreeWill Founders

Jenny Xia Spradling and Patrick Schmitt are the co-founders and co-CEOs of FreeWill. Let’s talk about FreeWill’s founding beliefs; the value and simplicity of wills as planned gifts; the enormous wealth transfer underway; pay equity; women and moms in tech; my personal experiment; and more.


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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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[00:01:29.00] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your Aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. And oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of Corio retinitis if I saw that you missed this week’s show, Meet the Free Will founders, Jenny Shaw Spradling and Patrick Schmidt are the co founders and co CEO of Free Will. Let’s talk about free wills, founding beliefs, the value and simplicity of wills as planned gifts, the enormous wealth transfer underway. Hey, equity women and moms in tech, my personal experiment and more On Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator. And thank you. It’s my pleasure to welcome Jenny and Patrick to non profit radio Before co founding Free Will, Jenny Shaw Spradling, worked at mckinsey and Bain Capital where she helped launch the firm’s first impact investment fund. She was also a co founder of Parabolas later acquired by capital one before joining Jenny to co found Free Will Patrick Schmidt founded to nonprofits and served as head of innovation at change dot org where he helped the organization to grow to 100 million users in four years. Free Will is at free will dot com. Jenny Patrick, welcome to non profit radio

[00:01:51.67] spk_1:
Thanks for having us

[00:01:57.58] spk_0:
here. Pleasure, pleasure to have both of you. Let’s talk about the founding of Free Will at, at Stanford. You were both graduate students in business, Jenny. Can you share that story?

[00:03:17.03] spk_1:
Yeah. Uh Patrick and I both went to business school thinking we would do something and social entrepreneurship, both very passionate philanthropy. Hey, this might take six months to find someone who I’m interested in working with. And right off the bat week two, we were very fortunate to meet each other at a social innovation meet up that Patrick had planned and we after the meet up had gone on a walk and I remember beautiful Stanford campus, sunny day, Patrick and I are meeting for the first time and about 10 to 15 minutes in. We’re clicking like we walked quickly, we talk quickly. We had both, you know, done our professional careers on the east coast and very excitable energetic people. And so the vibes are just there and Patrick turns to me and goes, you know, I’ve been thinking about this idea and he basically pushes me free will uh and having previously done impact investing and heard a lot of social entrepreneurs with great ideas. I knew that this was something special. Um I loved that it related to the great Well transfer, which is this demographic transition that is going to happen no matter what. And we both had this passion to help nonprofits take advantage to the best degree that they could.

[00:03:32.97] spk_0:
Patrick you feel like you’re adding any uh any color to, to the color commentary to the explanation.

[00:04:25.87] spk_2:
Sure. I mean, two different things. One is the original idea came because I had spent a lot of time in nonprofit fundraising, like many of you all and actually helped run email fundraising for President Obama after he was first elected. And in that world, we just ran constant experiments to make it a little bit easier for you to give 10 or $15 or $25. And there was so much blood sweat and tears that went into that effort. And years later, I was actually doing my own estate planning and found the whole process of trying to leave some money to charity to be surprisingly difficult. And it set off this light bulb and alarm bells that why have we spent so much time trying to make it easy for people to give $20? But it’s hard to give 20,000 or 200,000 because Tony as you know, planned gifts are enormous. And so I was excited about this idea, was a little bit nervous about my own ability to start a startup. And met Jenny quickly realized that she was the smartest person I’ve ever encountered and said, please come do this with me. I think I’m much more confident in us. Doing it together than I am about doing it alone. And so that’s a bit more of the story,

[00:04:44.61] spk_0:
Patrick, could you flush out the, the intergenerational wealth transfer that, that we’re in the midst of?

[00:05:40.85] spk_2:
Yes. So it is so large that most people have difficult, a difficult time getting their minds around it. Over the next 20-30 years, there will be about $70 trillion dollars passed on by some estimates as baby boomers age. Now people forget that baby boomers are the wealthiest generation in the history of America. They’re one of the largest generations. They’re much more educated than their predecessors. They lived through enormous growth in housing wealth, in investment, wealth and productivity. Many more women in that generation where the workforce had a lot of two-income households as opposed to previous generations. And so plan giving over the next 10 years, 15 years is going to dwarf plan giving in the entirety of charitable history. Before this people, people think oh a 10% increase in 20% increase. No, it could double or even triple over the next 10 years or so. I mean, we are sitting on potentially the most important moment for philanthropy in the history of American philanthropy potentially in the history of the world

[00:06:21.46] spk_0:
70 trillion U two U two co authored in 2017, sort of what I wish I had written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It read like a manifesto that I would like to have written but you beat me to it. You in 2017 in Stanford Social Innovation Review. I think that quotes 30 trillion And and 30 trillion, like 30 to 40 trillion is kind of a number I’ve heard for many years. But you’re saying now the estimate is 70 like double, more than double.

[00:06:31.10] spk_1:
Yes, there have been updated studies that have come out over the past couple of years. Actually, the number we thought that was 30 trillion is 70 trillion. At least

[00:08:41.83] spk_0:
Jenny. My synesthesia just kicked in. I got, I literally, I got chills. I literally just got chills on my arms and legs. As you were saying this, it’s so this is quantitatively demonstrated 70 trillion. Now we’re estimating, correct. All right. And over 2020 to 30 years. Is that, is that about right? Because Okay, because I’m the youngest, I’m six at 61. I’m among the youngest boomers and you know, in planned giving fundraising, I work with a woman who’s 99 and has an organization in her will. Um so she’s, she’s among the among the oldest. Okay. Um Okay, I didn’t know about 70 trillion. Um jenny, let’s stick with this. So wills wills as a method of Gaining, not gaining what nonprofits can certainly use. And I don’t know, maybe it’s not say, maybe it’s too strong to say entitled to that. That’s an overstatement but certainly need desperately when we look at the missions, the goals, the things that we’re trying to achieve in the social impact sector. Um I’ve been doing planned giving fundraising for 26 years and over the past probably five or six years, I just just became so clear to me that wills are just are the place to, to launch planned giving their, their value, their simplicity, the simplicity for donors, the simplicity for the nonprofits that don’t have to educate their teams about complicated gifts. Uh That was a long lead into a question. But all to say like I’m so simpatico, that’s why you wrote my manifesto. I should be grateful, wrote the manifesto for me that I would like to have written Jenny talk about free will and the simplicity value of wills, how nonprofits can gain their rightful share, put it that way of this wealth transfer.

[00:11:47.66] spk_1:
So we learned a lot during that first year of starting the company and we did almost 200, interviews with various people who had written, wills not written wills added a request to a charity, not even realized it was an option. And there are a couple of things that we took away from that research. The first thing is the main thing stopping folks from making estate plans here in the US is the same three words. We think it’s scary. We think it’s complicated. Um We think it’s expensive. This is not for me, this is not the right time. I know that I should do it And it’s been on my to do list for 10 years, but it’s just too scary, complicated and expensive for me to do this year. So I’m gonna hang out with my kids over this weekend rather than think about writing a will and maybe next year. And so the thing that we heard was, it’s not that people don’t want to make an estate plan, they actually realize they should. And it’s not that they don’t want to leave money to charity is that it’s just too hard for them to do right now. So that was the first thing. The second thing we learned is that the vast majority of folks who are going to make an estate plan, say they actually got there mentally like it’s time for me now. Um if they went to go see an attorney or even if they went to an online site, like Legalzoom charitable giving is not prompted in those conversations. And so again, it wasn’t that folks didn’t have intent. It was that there was no one telling them this was an option. And this is the first time they’re doing estate planning. Of course, they’re not going to remember the flyer that they, that they received five years ago from a charity that they love realizing that this is an option for them. So we put those kind of insights together and we created free will. So instead of scary, complicated and expensive, it is free, it’s warm, it’s intuitive, you can do it in 30 minutes from the comfort of your own home with your loved ones, you can start and stop when you need to. And all of those things We discovered through doing this research really gets people to actually do those estate plans. So at this point now where the world’s biggest estate planning platform, over 700,000 families have done their estate planning on free will. And we love that we can provide this access to this really, really important thing for them and their family, not to mention the causes they care about. So that was part one and part two is we just made charitable giving default. It is part of everyone’s blow and process when they think about estate planning and if they don’t want to do it where they can’t do it for whatever reason, totally fine many folks don’t, but the giving rate on our site is six times the national average giving rate To charities through wills and the insight to just put it there, make it easy. Is not that revolutionary, but it turns out that that has generated over $7 billion dollars in the quest over just the past five or six years.

[00:14:53.91] spk_0:
Raise the raise, the option, give the option. It’s, it’s simple. There’s enormous value. Yeah, I’ve been saying this for, for a long, long time. Uh simple for donors, you know, you don’t have to teach donors about the value of a charitable remainder unit trust with net income makeup provision. And you don’t have to teach your team about charitable remainder trust with net income makeup provisions so that they feel comfortable having a discussion because everybody knows what a will is and everybody knows they need one and everybody knows how they work. And so it’s simple for donors. It’s simple for your teams. Um Can I share my, I got the two Co C E O s I woke up early this morning. I did my will on, I did my will on free will. Here’s my, here’s my page, here’s my, my first page show you. I’m bona fide. Alright. I did it, I did this morning now it took me longer because because I I was taking notes because I’m gonna have a conversation with the two co CEO and co founder. So it took me about 45 minutes, but I was taking notes and I read a lot of the, I read almost all the little info boxes, you know, so I’d say it took me, it took me longer than, than the average, but I love the uh you know, like a simple explanation like Children, should I include my adopted fostered Children or not? You know, it’s like you said, Jenny, it’s intuitive, it’s simple. Um I loved, this is a quote. The final value of your assets is determined when your will comes into effect. I thought that’s much nicer than saying when you die, I, I tend to use just when you die, you know, at your death, but when your will comes into effect, um good explanations for like for what should I have a no contest clause? Should I have a self proving affidavit? You know, valuable explanations, multiple paragraphs to read and explain. This is why you might not. This is why you would, this is what it’ll mean if you like, if you do the self proving affidavit or if you have a, if you have a third witness, the cost is gonna be now you got to get a bunch of people together with a notary and so very, you know, just very intuitive um for the nonprofits, another quote, will you consider leaving a gift in support of a cause that’s important to you? It’s optional, of course. And then you and then free will offers, you know, this is for listeners as well. I know you and Patrick Jenny are acquainted with the free Will site. You’ve probably been around free will dot com a few times. But for listeners so that, so they give the option and then there are a bunch of categories and the first one is local and then goes into like health, humanitarian, military and veterans, environment, culture, etcetera. So that’s where you, that’s where you’re gonna, your, your, your folks are getting the option. And, um, Jenny, you said six times, six times more likely that someone who doesn’t will at free will will include a charity than then then a non free will will

[00:15:20.18] spk_1:
correct six times as much giving. So both people do it more and they give more when you make it really, really easy for

[00:15:50.48] spk_0:
them and you and you present the option just opening, opening the door of the conversation. Alright. That was my lengthy, you know, but I wanted to, I wanted to share my experience with free will. Um Let’s turn to you, Patrick explain how this can be done free. What what the nonprofit role is in making this free for, for uh for everybody short,

[00:17:57.11] spk_2:
tony So about 1100 nonprofits use free will to help with their plan giving. And as you mentioned, it really simplifies the process, not just for the donor but for the non profit as well. So you have all of these organizations who may be getting into plan giving for the first time and having pretty wild success pretty quickly. So for instance, you know, the Boys and Girls Club of Newark got started a little while ago. In the first eight months, they saw a million dollars in new request commitments and how do they do that? Well, they get custom versions of the free will tool that when you get to the charitable giving segment says, hey, do you want to give to our organization? Oh, by the way you can enter in your church, your synagogue. You’re on the modern local nature Conservancy. What have you. But, but it’s really front and center. So Jenny talks about how it’s six times more likely that you’ll give to any charity, but to give to your charity, which is what you, the organization really care about. It’s even more likely. And so you see, you know, relatively, uh, smaller organizations who may not have existing plan giving programs in the first six months suddenly go from 0 to 60. Um We’ve seen relatively small organizations do millions, tens of millions of dollars in request commitments. And this is pretty revolutionary because historically, plan giving has been complicated for everybody. And so if you don’t feel like you’ve got a three person team of experts ready to go, then you’re, you’re not really gonna dip your toes in the water. But as we talked about this great wealth transfer, it’s really important, not just because it’s all this upside, but the baby boomers are also, you know, the biggest donors at the moment. And so as some of them pass away, The organizations that are not doing plan giving are gonna start to slide backwards because many of their biggest donors are either retiring right or passing away, but even retiring and not having as much income. It’s a really big thing, Gen X is not going to replace baby boomer donors because there’s like 10 million fewer of them. It’s not that they’re not philanthropic, it’s not that they’re not well to do. There’s just fewer people. And so, um, this is really a huge step for folks and there is a,

[00:18:01.69] spk_0:
I’m sorry, I was, I was busy interrupting you, say your last

[00:18:12.79] spk_2:
sentence again. I was just gonna say that, you know, however, whatever route you choose to do it, you know, if you’re not on the plan giving bandwagon, you really need to be, if you’re interested in the future of your

[00:18:18.24] spk_0:
organization. Yeah, your competitors are And, and will be in increasing numbers when they hear about the $70 trillion dollar wealth transfer. Um So Patrick, there is a fee for non profits to, to participate. Right.

[00:18:29.22] spk_2:
That’s correct. But its range is based on size of organization. And so, um you know, it will be more for Princeton than it is for the local animal shelter. And that way we try to do our best to make it accessible to organizations with, with a meaningful donor base.

[00:19:26.35] spk_0:
Um I do want to point out something for, for, for listeners to that you, uh you do give the option to inform the charity that they, that you’ve made a commitment. If, if you’ve, if you’ve chosen again, the charitable option is the charitable gift is an option. If you’ve decided to do that, there is a spot where the, the, the app prompts, will you make the work of a nonprofit easier by letting them know who you are? And so there’s an encouragement to let the nonprofit know that this commitment exists. And of course, it’s, it’s yes or no. All right. Um, let’s go from Will’s, but Patrick, let’s stay with you. You have, you have some donor advised fund research. That’s, uh breaking. That’s right. Yes. This very, this very

[00:21:33.76] spk_2:
week. Yes, we are releasing a new 2023 donor advised fund report. And what we’re doing is we’re building on a lot of the great research done by the nonprofit philanthropic trust And a bunch of other folks to really look at two things. One, what does it look like from the nonprofit angle? And to let’s get the first data out there on what happened in 2022. And I’ll give you a couple of highlights that that really struck us. One is giving continues to go way up. So in large part, the story of the next five years in philanthropy is gonna be the story of donor advised funds. Daft gifts went up 31% in terms of number of gifts from people. We surveyed it went up 69% in terms of total money granted from people. We surveyed An average gift size went up by 37%. So huge growth across the board. But one thing that’s really important for listeners is that those who actively solicited donor advised fund gifts got 2.5 times more money than those that did. And so remember, donor advised funds are so new to us as a nonprofit fundraising industry, they’re also super new to donors. And so the way that we’re shaping donor behavior is happening right now. And so it’s really interesting to see how that that plays out. A couple other fun, interesting things, more than half of respondents thought soliciting donor advised funds is going to be much more important during an economic downturn or economic uncertainty because all that money is already set aside. And, you know, 53% said actually, 0% said it’s gonna be less important. A bunch of people said, I don’t really know. Um and then, you know, happy to share some more things. But one of the biggest challenges is that people really struggle to figure out. How do I get these in front of people, how do I make sure I’m asking for them? What’s my plan around it? Um and we’re working with a lot of organizations to solve those challenges now, but it’s really interesting to see you really experience fundraisers who have to relearn a ton of things because donor advised funds are so much more important than they were 56 years ago, certainly 10 years ago,

[00:22:38.11] spk_0:
there is frustration among, among nonprofits. Uh A lot of times I, I am on the front line of that frustration when they don’t know who the gift has come from. That’s a source of a lot of frustration. Of course, the donor advised fund administrator Schwab Fidelity, local community trust. A lot of, lot of, lot of community foundations have donor advised funds. Uh you know, they won’t share that if the donor doesn’t want that information shared. You know, that’s a source of frustration. I mean, look, the gift still comes. It’s just that the frustration is, you know, how do we thank the person, how do we recognize the person? Um And, you know, they get a lot of attention in Congress to, because there is a lot of money in donor advised funds that that isn’t getting to charities. The donors have enjoyed the charitable deduction, but the money isn’t getting to the social impact sector. So I understand there, you know, I know the frustrations but there’s still valuable gifts with notwithstanding, you know, those frustrations, the potential is enormous.

[00:23:47.56] spk_2:
It’s so important and, you know, There’s more than $230 billion dollars sitting in these funds and this is just an astounding amount. And what you said is right, there’s a really, there’s a big information problem. And oftentimes what happens is the donor doesn’t know that their information wasn’t shared. So Jenny might have just given the biggest gift of her life and then she hears crickets from your organization and she’s, you know, she’s very patient, but she’s frustrated and angry and maybe not giving that again. And it’s so important that we know who has a donor advised fund because that is someone who has proven that they have wealth and intent, that money is never coming back to them. And so hard times hit, you want to go to that person, right? Big capital campaign, you wanna go to that person really important, critical moment for your organization. You go to that person. A lot of people say when I find out someone is a donor advised fund, they get assigned a major gift officer that day. And so we need to do a better job of making sure we’re understanding who has won capturing that information. Um And every time we’re asking for any donation, making sure that daft giving is an option, not just because those gifts will be way bigger and they will be, but because it, it really uncovers a potential major donor in your

[00:24:52.49] spk_0:
midst just because you, you mentioned that the phrase, you know, major gift officer makes me want to chat a bit about breaking down silos between major giving, planned giving, annual giving, sustainer giving online events. You know, the we all need to be collaborating because all these Small donors and you in in the manifesto that you wrote that I wish I had written, but you wrote it before me, you say small dollar donors that it never occurred to me. I always say, I always say small donors, then I say, but I’m not commenting on their character, they’re not small people, they just make small, small gifts. But you used the phrase small dollar donors. Very smart. I just don’t know, never occurred to me over 26 years. Um, so the just, you know, the breaking down of the, the institutionalized barriers around, around giving officers, around giving relationships, you know, it’s a, it’s a spectrum that shouldn’t be segmented.

[00:26:18.91] spk_1:
Absolutely. Um, one of the most interesting things that we found with working with free will over the past five or six years is, um, the number of Planned Giving bequests that end up uncovering that someone is not only a very loyal high affinity donor, but actu actually has way more higher capacity to give than the nonprofit knew before. And traditionally, what we’ve seen in nonprofit fundraising models are if a donor has proven themselves to be a major donor to be giving a lot of money, well, then that lead is passed over to Planned Giving. And so plan giving might as that person for to your point, tony earlier, a really complicated Klatt or CRT or pulled income fund and it turns out the opposite can happen too. So planned gifts are perhaps an indicator that someone was in a period of life where they were only able to make these small dollar donations, but that doesn’t hold true forever. Right? Focuses financial journeys, change in their ability to give change. And so we’ve loved to see nonprofits who have been on the edge of innovation in terms of not just moving the leads to plan giving but actually using planned giving as a way to uncover. Wow, these are donors who we should be really taken care of and stewarding and, and potentially asking more from in this next phase of life.

[00:27:07.23] spk_0:
You make the point, Jenny in that uh Stanford Social Innovation review article from 2017, that people who are these small dollar donors that could indicate that they’re just their lifetime savers. So, so their estates are are are going to be larger than they’re giving during lifetime would indicate just because of their propensity to, to be savers during life to be frugal in lifetime. And that’s, it’s very, very intuitive. That’s right.

[00:28:24.93] spk_2:
It’s easy to picture Tony I mean, you have someone who is 75 years old, lives in a home that has paid off in the suburbs of any one of our American major cities called Fairfax, Virginia, right? And maybe she, her Children are self sustaining right there, 30, 40, whatever. Um, she’s got a house, she has a bunch of savings, but she doesn’t know how long she’s gonna live. And so the idea that she’s gonna start throwing, you know, $10,000 checks annually and it doesn’t really make sense, but that whole state might be worth $2 million. And so giving a quarter of that half a million dollars to a cause that’s deeply important to her in her life is very possible and often likely. And yet she’s not gonna show up on the radar. And that’s why it’s really important for, for planting outreach to be much more broad based. And it’s been historically, literally, everyone needs a will, right? Everyone is mortal. Everyone has the capacity to do this. And for virtually everybody, those gifts are gonna be so much larger than anything they’ve ever given before. And so we’re really seeing this, what you’re talking about this breakdown in silos in a really positive way as people start using email, online outreach to talk about plan giving away that hadn’t happened previously. And those that are doing it are seeing just unbelievably stronger results than those who are only saying, well, we’re just gonna have coffee with our major donors and try to bring it up

[00:28:58.77] spk_0:
the percentage of us adults who have wills very low. I mean, I, I see, I see various numbers. I, I think you’re s I ar article I think said 30% of Americans I’ve seen it quoted lower than that. Is that, is it 30%? Is that, is that where you’re comfortable? Like saying 30% of U S adults have wills. Yes,

[00:29:01.03] spk_1:

[00:31:19.81] spk_0:
when it should be 100% right? So that there’s enormous potential, but all the reasons Jenny that you outlined those three words keeping people away from it. Um But still, you know, I mean, we got to keep the drum beating. I mean, it’s like, it’s like fundraising, it’s like planned, giving, fundraising, specifically planting seeds, constant, constant promotion of promoting the idea that it’s important to have your state planned. And when you do it, would you consider including us? I feel like I’m gushing over free will. But, you know, it’s, it’s very, we’re very simpatico. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you. Over the past several weeks, I’ve done lots of promotion for the Planned Giving Accelerator and I’m grateful to you for accepting all those promotional messages in Tony’s take two. Thank you. We haven’t actually started. So I if I told you how it’s going, I’d be lying, but the class will have started by the time you’re listening and I think it is a lovely class and I think it’s going to go swimmingly, but I just want to say all that aside. Thank you very much for accepting all the Planned Giving accelerator promotions over the past several weeks. And that is all just my thanks. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, gotta love the boo koo. But loads more time for Meet The Free Will founders with Jenny Shaw Spradling and Patrick Schmidt. Alright. So Patrick, I’m gonna put you on like figurative mute for a few minutes because I want to talk to Jenny about pay equity for a couple of things starting with, let’s start with pay equity and no salary negotiations. You’ve got some, you’ve got some articles about this. You’ve got policies in free will talk about how those how one, the no salary negotiations supports equity. What’s behind that, those decisions that free will has made?

[00:33:29.33] spk_1:
Um Well, we’re very fortunate. I’m very fortunate in that. Um Equity has been a conversation that we’ve had with free will from day one. Patrick has always been so supportive of me and my career. And between the two of us, it turns out to very passionate feminists and in general folks who really care about D I from the beginning, you end up with some different policies, then many other startups and many other corporations. So one that you’re alluding to tony is from day one. We’ve done no salary negotiations where we tell candidates right up front. This is the pay range for the role and there’s no negotiation and we will give you a few different options, trading off salary and equity, for example, so that you might be able to fit this into what you need in this moment. Um Whether it’s taking that more long term risk and potentially return and reward or just that day to day cash. Um But we’re not going to negotiate it. And the reason why we did this is because there is plenty of research to show that one. negotiating your salary has nothing to do with your actual performance in your job. It is a totally separate skill set, but some people are great at and some people are not good at and it didn’t make sense to us to reward people with higher salary or better benefits because there are better negotiators, not better or worse at their job. And the second thing is that same research says it turns out pretty consistently women and other minorities are worse and negotiating for more at that very first day, you know, of work. Um then folks who are not in that position. And so we end up introducing on accident, not intentionally, no one’s doing this intentionally, this systemic bias into how we would do pay. So we decided from day zero, why negotiate at all? And let’s just be very transparent with our candidates. So they know whether or not this could be a good fit for their lives. Um So that’s one thing that we did early and it’s, and

[00:33:40.37] spk_0:
it’s, it’s not only skill in negotiation, but it’s even just willingness to negotiate. Absolutely, women, women and folks of color are less likely to even enter a negotiation, even raise the negotiation than, than, than white men.

[00:33:57.10] spk_1:
Absolutely. And what we’ve heard time and time again is I don’t want to start off on a foot where I’m not humble where I’m not proving myself first before I’m asking for more. And uh that’s a noble intent, but what it turns into is systemically lower pay. Um And so we wanted to figure out a way to change that system even just a little bit here, every

[00:34:37.24] spk_0:
will. And what about, uh you know, concerns, you know, that I’m fomo fear of missing out that somebody else is doing the same work and they’re getting more than me, you know, they’re not gonna hear those, they’re not gonna have those fears.

[00:35:00.74] spk_1:
Totally. It creates an environment that’s much more team oriented, you know, exactly what your peers being paid, who started the same day as you, because it’s the same as what you’re being paid. And so, um, not having to think about things like um critical feedback or 3 60 reviews from the perspective of, oh, how do I then and interpret um whether or not my pay was fair or equitable. Um They can just be open to getting that feedback, whether positive or negative and take that and actually grow in their development, which is what we want them focused on, right? We want them focused on their development, helping out their team, all those sorts of things. So this shouldn’t be, you know, the nagging thing in the back of their mind,

[00:35:24.96] spk_0:
you mentioned it’s a salary range. So, so then how do, how is a salary fit within a specific number fit within the range?

[00:36:18.76] spk_1:
So, um we give a few different options, meaning um let’s say that the salary was 70 K starters up to 80 K. So if you’re going to take the 70,000 salary, there’s a little bit less equity associated with or more equity associated with that. If you’re going to take the 80,000 option. There’s a little bit less equity associated with that. And what that helps with is we find that a lot of negotiations, actually, folks trying to tailor their needs to this existing structure of the company. And so we are trying to proactively offer options that allow them to say, you know, I’m at a time in my life where I have have kids. I am a solo parent. I need this cash today in order to take care of what I need to get done. Or there are other folks who are saying, well, you know, I have saved up a lot of money. This is the time when I want to take a big bet on the future of free will and myself and my contributions to building this social enterprise. So I’m going to take a little bit more equity.

[00:37:57.02] spk_0:
Let’s move to uh being a mom, an Asian woman, tech execs tech founder, multi multiple tech founder. Uh you know, you’ve, you’ve been writing about this. I, I, I read some pieces. Um one, the one that really struck me was when you talk about right time for a child. But maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should, you know, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe I shouldn’t focus you on the right time for a child conversation. Not yet. Just give, give, give folks hope, you know, empowerment for, you know, women. I went to Carnegie Mellon University, a huge tech university. I was a I was a social scientist, not a tech tech student, but I used to see women, you know, like made fun of and I wasn’t even in a tech again. I wasn’t even a technical major, but there were so few women to begin with and hear stories about professors, discounting women’s contributions in class, you know, guiding them in, in development projects one way. But being more broad with men just, yeah, just encourage, encourage women in tech, please.

[00:38:02.80] spk_1:
I love this topic so we could not go wrong in the number of things we could talk about.

[00:38:09.43] spk_0:
I’m all over the crime, all over the board. But, but you know, but yeah, thank you. Thank you for

[00:38:54.12] spk_1:
saying that it’s exciting. Um I guess the first thing I’d say is just, you know, some context for um folks listening in. I am an Asian American woman, I’m child of immigrants. So my parents came over right after the Cultural Revolution. You know that story two bags like less than $100 trying to figure out how they were going to make a life here. Um And I am fortunate enough during the course of free will to um this is my second company now. Um I have had my first child who is adorable and wonderful but very stubborn two year old and I’m pregnant again. So I’m

[00:39:03.48] spk_0:

[00:39:04.78] spk_1:
Congratulations you. Um Wonderful.

[00:39:08.46] spk_0:
When, when, when you do

[00:42:04.81] spk_1:
in July. Yeah. Yeah. Very, very excited for that. And these are topics, as I said, I’m super passionate about. But I would say the first thing if you are a woman in tech founding, whatever in your career, surround yourself with people who are going to be supportive. The only reason why this is working for me being a mom and a founder, being a woman and a founder is because I found Patrick. And um there is a difference between someone who gives lip service to caring about equity and someone who actively thinks about it. And I remember the first time Patrick and I were talking about things like equity splits and titles and things like that. I actually had this moment where I was like, I think Patrick is more feminist than I am and it was like almost an identity um like problem. I was, I was nervous about it and I was like, wow, maybe I should be reading more books on this, you know, but of course, I had to reset myself and go, yeah, I have a lot of experience, you know, trying to navigate these things and learning these things. But I was just so excited to find a partner in Patrick. And this is also true of my life partner repeat, who’s my husband um that they really, really care about this topic. So that makes us all work. And on top of that, there are many things that have changed over the past couple of decades that enable my lifestyle, picking up kids making dinners, like coordinating logistical home management with this career. And that includes things like um my investors were very supportive when they found out that I was having a child that might not have been the case a decade or two ago. You know, the typical story there for a corporate woman in general, not to mention a founder is um you know, you have the baby two days later, you’re back and seat, you have to be, you know, and um you’re probably going to have an argument with your doctor because they want you in bed rest because you had a C section and you’re going back to work because you want to make sure you don’t lose your job. And um I don’t have fears around that. And I think we want to establish also at free will that folks don’t have to be afraid about stuff like that. We know practically that it takes a lot of work and throwing up and sleep in order to create a child and also post delivery to recover from that experience. Um And so, for example, having equal maternity and paternity leave here at free will is really, really important to us because we know that it’s not just about the physical burden of carrying a child, but on top of that, establishing that partnership from day one, that the fathers um and secondary, you know, caregivers at free will can be equal caretakers to those who are actually the birding parents. So um I would just say a lot of gratitude to the folks around us and things are changing for the better. So there is hope. I think um it’s at every level whether it’s the employees, folks, running companies and organizations and our investors are understanding practically what it takes to have mothers in the workforce. And it makes sense, they’re so talented. You don’t want to lose them, you don’t want to lose us. Um So yeah, that’s worked out quite well.

[00:42:33.80] spk_0:
What other support would you recommend? So, you know, you talk about having a uh an empathic co founder, uh partner, life, life partner. What other support do you suggest?

[00:44:08.20] spk_1:
Um free will is really fortunate to be a remote company. And um some of the practical policies that come with that really enable motherhood and working as well. So, um for example, um we have working hours that are across from the east coast to the west coast just smack dab in the middle of the day, right? It’s five or six hours in the middle of the day where we have meetings. What that means is you can have flexibility in your day if you need to drop your kids off at daycare and then cook them dinner. But then you want to log on later, you can do that. And it used to be the case with in person that, you know, folks didn’t have that flexibility, right? Everyone was in office in their seat eight hours, nine hours a day. And if you weren’t there for those hours or you left early or you came late, that would he looked down upon. And so I think being in a remote culture, one takes away a little bit of that facetime culture, that stigma but also to really clear boundaries around our meetings, makes that flexibility so that folks can build the life that they need as long as they get the work done, right. We’re still evaluating everyone’s performance the same on the same scale. Well, um but just giving them that little bit of added flexibility has been really helpful to folks and I’ll say for myself being able to move back to Seattle where I have my parents here and I can take care of them, but they can also be a meaningful part of my son’s life. That’s huge for me. Um That makes this experience so much more sustainable. So um all

[00:44:33.65] spk_0:
the free well offices in Brooklyn, New York, right? Or is it? No, it’s in Manhattan, sorry, offices in Manhattan in New York City, right? In Manhattan. Yeah.

[00:44:39.48] spk_1:
Right. But at this point, you know, we’re about 200 employees and only about 10 are still going into that office. So the vast majority of the center of work is completely distributed and

[00:44:54.22] spk_0:
remote. What about mentors, you know, seeking out professionals in the in your career? Was that, was that part of your experience? Too huge

[00:47:32.74] spk_1:
for me. Um I think there were two kind of big mental blockers for me um to be an entrepreneur. Um And in fact, for my first startup, which ended up being successful, it was a fintech startup that exited to capital one. I actually left early because of imposter syndrome. I just thought I couldn’t do it. And I, yeah, I thought I couldn’t do it. I thought that, you know, this would never work. My friends aren’t smart enough, you know. Um I have this image of what it meant to be a founder and an entrepreneur. And that image looked mainly like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, you know, it’s like white straight men who are having a certain background and experience in life. And um that wasn’t me. So um I think a big part of it was gaining the confidence that I could do this, that people like me could do this. And so one piece is just around um finding folks, I could look up to finding models and I didn’t have to know them personally, but reading their stories is really helpful. So, um for me, that meant going back to books, hearing stories from other folks. Um And the second thing was, as you mentioned, tony around finding specific mentors and supporters. And it turns out that um I do think it’s harder for women to find um mentors. I think like it or not. We as a human species, we like people who are like us and we spend time with people who are like us. You know, like finding um folks who are women founders who have the time to mentor is really hard. But um I’ve had tons of really amazing male mentors that have helped me in the founding journey. I specifically remember one who um about four years in this was after the first startup, which I left and I was um in private equity at the time, told me, like, look, Jenny, you’re never going to starve. I didn’t know if you knew this, you know, being a kid of immigrants, but you’re actually always going to be able to have a job that pays you enough money so that you can support your family. You know that right? And I actually just needed someone to tell me that because I didn’t in the back of my mind like that was the type of fear holding you back from founding. And so, um I would say, you know, look far and wide for the types of mentors. Um They don’t necessarily have to look like you, but they do have to share your values. Um And if you can find people who you think, you know what I would like to be like them one day. Um I like their life. Um Keep those people close,

[00:47:57.74] spk_0:
please do share your advice about the right time. To have a child. You have, you have an article on this, maybe it’s in Fast Company or Forbes. Um What’s your advice around there around that?

[00:49:04.01] spk_1:
Specifically, this was to founding moms. And also with the context of most people don’t have a choice in their timing, right? So it’s, when did I find a partner? What is my biological clock say? Um I’ve been trying for two years and I can’t have a baby. So first, I want to acknowledge that experience, which is most people don’t have the luxury of choice. But if you have some flexibility in that and you’re thinking about it, um The main advice that I would have to founder is, is there are phases in the founder of life. I think it’s really easy to think about entrepreneurship is it’s always a slog, you’re always sprinting, you never have time for anything. But I think that’s not quite true. I think they’re ebbs and flows and um pick a time when you have found product market fit when you have build some trust with your investors, when you have established a track record of um really solid financial numbers of beating your numbers. Um And many, many things will be easier at that point. Um And so I certainly applaud all the women that I know who are amazing who are doing right out of the box. I have a baby and a brand new startup. Um But if you can wait a couple of years, it’s really helpful

[00:50:38.43] spk_0:
and the reason I wanted you to share this with listeners because I think your advice could easily convey to a nonprofit C CEO or, or anyone, any woman in any of the C SUITE positions. Uh So, you know, like substitute founding partner or co founder or founder with nonprofit CEO. And I think your advice certainly conveys there. Um Thank you. Thanks for sharing, especially, you know, you’re explaining your, your own impostor syndrome fear. And thank you. Thanks for sharing all that Patrick. Uh I can, I can figuratively a mute. You, you’ve muted yourself, you didn’t have to do that, but it’s very gracious. Um You want to share your, your part of this, the, the explanation, the color commentary to, to your, your feeling around the gender and racial equity.

[00:52:34.09] spk_2:
Sure. You know, I think, um you know, when I, when I met Jenny, when I was sort of blown away by how smart she was too, it was very fortunate find that we’re good at very different things. Um And part of that, although not entirely is that we have very different backgrounds, right? We’re obviously we’re sort of culturally and gender difference. Um Different professional backgrounds, grew up on opposite coasts, etcetera. And one of the big benefits of having to navigate that early is that it creates a really welcoming space for everybody else. We’re used to people not thinking identically to us, right? We’re used to people having different skills, that’s different backgrounds, different interpretations of different values because of lived experience of parents, lived experience of grandparents, lived experience and how it all winds down. And so it’s really created a much more welcoming space, not just for people who look like me or look like Jenny, but of all ages of professional backgrounds and geographic locations, things like that. And so that’s been really, really valuable. I wanna come back to one other thing that, that Jenny mentioned on how do you create a sort of welcoming and supportive environment? And oftentimes, I think this is seen as at odds with being a high performance culture and we actually think it is one and the same and just to double down on something Jenny said, when you give people super clear goals and you’re super clear on what success looks like and what success doesn’t look like, then it allows them to succeed and map their day and their energy around that. And when you don’t have that, then suddenly it’s who’s the last leave the office or who shows up first or things like that, that are not really moving the needle for your organization. And so what we found is that um creating super clear goals has led people to have outstanding results and feel a lot more freedom and comfort. So um it’s, it’s an we’re an ambitious place, right? And we have work life balance, but also really want to do big things in the world. And it turns out you don’t actually have to trade those off in many ways. They’re complementary.

[00:53:07.83] spk_0:
That’s beautiful. You know, we opened with Jenny. We’re gonna close with Patrick. She’s Jenny Shaw Spradling, co founder, co CEO of free Will. He’s Patrick Schmidt. No, founder, co ceo of free will. It’s at free will dot com. I want to thank you both Jenny Patrick. Really? Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed it. I hope you did. Thank you very much. Thanks

[00:53:14.98] spk_2:
Tony. Thanks for having

[00:53:56.19] spk_0:
us next week. Well, I’m not quite certain what next week is gonna be, but I do know that Rio Wang and her money mindset are coming later this month. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for February 27, 2023: Resilience & Lean Risk Management


Ted BilichResilience & Lean Risk Management

Ted Bilich wants you to develop a risk management cycle and incorporate lean principles, so you confront negative risks and exploit positive risks. He’s the author of the book, “Managing Your Nonprofit for Resilience.”



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[00:00:03.62] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure to welcome back Ted village. Wait, do I am I saying your name? Wait, wait, we gotta stop here, I forgot to ask, am I saying your name correctly? That’s

[00:00:08.62] spk_1:
right. It’s it’s village village. Thank you very much

[00:02:27.29] spk_0:
And welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. We have a listener of the week Gina Grove at ANne Arundel County Public Library Foundation that’s in Maryland. She loved last week’s show talent development. It was very timely for her and Gina took the time to write and tell me, thank you very much Gina, I’m glad that the show struck a chord with you. I appreciate your message very much. Congratulations on being our listener of the week. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of necrotizing ulcerative ginger vos dermatitis. I think that one deserves two weeks. If you inflamed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show resilience and lean risk management. Ted billets wants you to develop a risk management cycle and incorporate lean principles so you confront negative risks and exploit positive risks. He’s the author of the book managing your nonprofit for resilience On Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator here is resilience and lean risk management. It’s a pleasure to welcome back to non profit radio Ted Village. He is the author of the 2023 book managing your nonprofit for resilience Use lean risk management to improve performance and increase employee engagement. He’s also ceo of risk alternatives providing non profit training, highlighting challenges in evaluating risk and providing unique nonprofit resources. Ted is at T village his book and his company are at risk Alz R I S K A L T S dot com. Ted welcome back and congratulations on the book,

[00:02:41.34] spk_1:
tony Thanks so much for having me back. I’m excited to talk about this. Always excited to talk to you.

[00:03:13.05] spk_0:
Ah that’s very thoughtful. Thank you very much. All right. It’s a pleasure to have you. Let’s start. I’m gonna get to parse through the title Managing your nonprofit for resilience. Okay. Managing your nonprofit for I can I can handle that listeners got that. I’m sure resilience help us. What’s your definition of this resilience which you pointed out of the book is a process. What talk to us about resilience

[00:03:34.06] spk_1:
exactly uh resilience in my view, tony is the idea of being able to not just bounce back in the face of conflict and unusual circumstances, but to actually welcome the idea of uncertainty and take advantage of the positive aspects of uncertainty over time. You know, it’s not a matter of just sort of cowering behind the wall and hoping to absorb a blow. It’s being willing to look out over the wall and see the uncertainty and then make the next reasonable choices, in light of your evaluation of that uncertainty

[00:03:58.93] spk_0:
and when you were on the show roughly five years ago we talked about positive and negative risks. were you, were you formulating this book as long as five years ago because we’ll get to positive risk. But did you have the genesis of the book in mind all those years ago?

[00:04:28.37] spk_1:
That’s exactly right. I think from the get go, I’ve been slowly building uh, this theory of the way you create an organization that isn’t just uh risk, uh, risk able, but in fact is risk agile. And uh yes, from the get go, I’ve been thinking that risk is not just about bad things. Okay.

[00:04:40.59] spk_0:
And we’re gonna talk about the positive risks. Um, let’s a little more on motivation. Perhaps why should non profits be paying more attention to risk management?

[00:05:26.98] spk_1:
Well, you know, every nonprofit has a strategic plan. No, not everyone, but 89%. I think according to the data I’ve seen. Um, but if you if you have a strategic plan without an awareness of what your current capacities are, then really you just have an aspiration. What you want to have is an early warning system. Something that allows you to orient ear along the way toward those mountains that you’re trying to conquer. And that’s true any time. But especially it’s true now, you know, when you think about all of the challenges, not just of the business model but all of the political unrest and social unrest and you just go down the line, nonprofits need to have a way to avoid being reactive and instead be proactive.

[00:06:11.18] spk_0:
All right, so let’s get into negative risk and positive risk. I think most people are acquainted. I mean on a, on a general level you certainly drill down about potential negative risks. But um, you know, so, so what’s the word that I’m looking for differentiate? That’ll work. It’s not exactly the word I was thinking of, trying to get to, but differentiate will work differentiate between negative risk and positive risk.

[00:06:36.74] spk_1:
You know, the the idea would be, um, a negative risk is, um, we call them threats, you know, we it’s it’s something where there is something looming out there that if it happens, is going to either impact your performance negatively or it’s going to reduce your funding or it’s sometimes somehow going to undermine your business model. Um, by contrast contrast, that

[00:06:43.77] spk_0:
was, that’s what I was

[00:06:44.62] spk_1:
trying there. It is okay.

[00:06:49.86] spk_0:
And I was looking for, would you please contrast negative and positive

[00:08:20.57] spk_1:
and you know, by contrast, think about the number of things that a nonprofit faces that could actually be good. It could either be a a new initiative, tony you know, something where where someone says, boy, you could partner with us and we could do great things for your mission by doing this new thing. So it could be that kind of positive risk or it could be simply right now we do our device development process this way. If we tweaked it a little bit, we would unlock so much more value for us and therefore be able to achieve our mission more effectively. So it could either be something entirely new or something that is simply a different way of doing what you were already doing and and tony The weird thing is, yeah, I’ve asked leader after leader after leader about this, what device do you have in your organization to identify opportunities and make sure that you follow through on them. Even those organizations that have a risk management process and they think of it as a threat management process very rarely do they have what private industry has, which is a, you know an R. And D. Development and R and D program and an op X program to do operational excellence and identify ways to change for the better And so nonprofits don’t have that tool to build that muscle. That’s why I like to think of risk management, lean risk management as thinking, you know, how do we serve the customer better by reducing threats and increasing opportunities.

[00:09:46.63] spk_0:
Okay. The increasing opportunity part is not widely recognized as you’re saying, you know, we’re focused on the threat side and as you know, the book is important because we’re not focused enough on the, on the threat on the threat side, we really don’t, I think people think of insurance and um putting their head in the sand. Those are the two ways of avoiding risk, which is not what ted billets would recommend. Risk insurance. Okay, that’s bona fide. But it’s not the only thing to do. It’s it’s not the first thing to do. Putting your head in the sand. That’s that’s a that’s a big mistake. Alright. Um I got one more thing before we get into what what does lean contribute to risk management? You you pledge that we can do more or we can have less worry not more. If we start we start paying attention to risk. If we create our risk register which we’ll get to and and you get into a cycle we can have less worry not more because we’re surfacing a whole bunch of risks here and only a few of them are positive. I think you’d agree that imbalance there’s more negative risk than positive risk. I I don’t

[00:09:47.38] spk_1:
know about that one. But let me let me let me let me address the basic question that you asked, which is you know, we’ll hold off

[00:09:56.62] spk_0:
the proportion the proportionality. But but you’re you’re assuring us that we can have less worry not

[00:11:09.90] spk_1:
more without question. And and the reason for that is and there’s sound research saying that uh people carry a certain amount of cognitive load and that cognitive load is not only about what they are consciously focusing on, but also what they are subconsciously ka agitating about that never gets up to the conscious level. And that car agitation creates this low level anxiety that’s gonna be there. And I tell you every one of your listeners who honestly looks at themselves in the mirror is gonna say, oh yeah, I know what he’s talking about, I don’t want to lift up those rocks because they might have bad things, so I’m still thinking about bad things, but I don’t know what they are by getting it out in the open. There’s always this incredible cathartic effect. I was working with a client yesterday and and, you know, 25 people on a conference call and they were just saying, oh my gosh, it’s so great to get it down on paper. First of all, we see that most of us are in agreement about what the important things are. But secondly, now, as a, as the leader of this organization, I’ve had so many people who have been able to bring things to my attention and I don’t feel like I’m worried about what balls are out there that I don’t know about. So it’s a really enormous uh, clarity that comes from using a risk management process.

[00:12:03.15] spk_0:
Narcisse is what I was thinking of when you you said it, I was thinking this sounds cathartic for the organization. Alright. That word I could think of contrast eluded me until you said you’re you’re you’re saying all the words that I’m thinking of, so you’re, I don’t know if you knew that you were, you’re a mind reader as well. Um Savant, Alright, um Acquaint us with one more thing before we get into lead. What liber this process of risk management. Like give us, give us a high level overview of what you’re encouraging folks to, to jump into.

[00:13:32.16] spk_1:
I’ll again use the analogy of of, you know what mountains you want to conquer and imagine that you drop, you drop your, you are parachuted or you crash land in a jungle and you want to get to a mountain. The first thing you do is you want to figure out what your capabilities are. You want to take inventory of what you got. And so the first step of a risk management processes to perform a risk inventory where you look at the various functional areas of your nonprofit plus your external environment to say. What do I currently have in my toolbox? And what are my current worries about those tools that I’ve got? So that’s the first thing. After you do an inventory, you’d probably get 150 items. If you’re really looking at the average nonprofit, you can’t focus on all of them. So what are the most important critical items? So you prioritize and you put together a list that’s sort of like, you know, creating the map and creating a a rubric of what you’ve got wear in your backpack. The things that you most need to worry about in order to get from point a to point B. And then the third thing is this is not an event, it’s a process you want to make sure that you don’t just set off towards the mountain and never pay attention to orienteering again periodically stop. You assess how am I doing in terms of hunger and breathing and everything else? In other words, what are my current threats? Are there any new ones? Are there any new opportunities? And of course correct as necessary along the path. That’s why I think of, you know, risk management. Strategic planning is hand in glove. Strategic planning tells you what mountains to conquer and how you’re gonna judge when you’ve done it. Risk management helps you orient your along the way,

[00:13:58.67] spk_0:
Ted Bill. It is going to take us to the mountaintop. Alright, So now what does lean contribute to risk management?

[00:16:38.55] spk_1:
Sure. Lien is, you know, it’s it’s it’s not new, but it’s really important. Lean is a methodology that says that you start with what does your customer want and then you try to give the customer what he or she wants with a minimum of waste things that the customer doesn’t want to deal with. The reason why we adopt a lean methodology in in our risk management process is that um you want to make sure you are always focused on customer needs when you’re thinking about your current capabilities and your potential future capabilities. So lean emphasizes. First of all get the voice of the customer. If you’re a nonprofit, you should be finding out how you’re doing. Programmatically not by sort of sitting back and watching the program, but instead by talking to the actual participants. And if you’re talking to, if you’re looking at your other set of customers, the your donors who are after all their customers, they’re giving you money in order to achieve some sort of social change. You want to find out why those donors are doing it and and what they value in what of what your mission is. And so you want to focus on customers. The second reason why lean is so important is that lean emphasizes that you want to make incremental positive change over time. You want to look at problems, challenges as opportunities to become better. You know, a lean one of the lean uh aphorisms would be, you can never be perfect, You can always be better. And so by emphasizing that that you can begin a lean management lean risk management journey and take steps over time to make yourself more and more agile. It allows an organization to say we can test the process of risk management and course correct. Rather than saying we’re going to spend 100 grand and hire a risk manager and create a risk management process. So that’s the second reason why a lean methodology isn’t so important. And then the third one that I think is so consistent with the nonprofit sector is that lean management says your number one asset is your people, you want to empower your people to be able to perform better every day? And if you go back to what I was talking about, when you think about that risk inventory and the risk prioritization and the risk cycle. That’s what it is. It’s a way of an executive director or ceo being able to get his or her team to identify and prioritize and act incrementally to be better every day. So those are the basic concepts behind a lean risk management process.

[00:17:07.55] spk_0:
I thought lean originated with software development, But it goes back to Toyota Motor Company in, I think it was the early 1970s, I think you said.

[00:17:14.14] spk_1:
Absolutely, no, it it came out of the fact that that Toyota after World War Two was trying to compete with bigger organizations that have greater efficiencies

[00:17:27.34] spk_0:
after post World War Two. Okay. Yeah.

[00:17:29.65] spk_1:
And and but you’re right, Tony that it wasn’t until the early 80s that that that it became popularized as a methodology, in the in the United States,

[00:18:19.11] spk_0:
in the United States. Um, yeah, it’s got a it’s got a rich history and I know there are a lot of books about lean for folks are interested in a lot of books about lean management principles. Um Okay, sorry. So now as I understand how it’s how it applies to risk management, let’s let’s dive into what we’ve been, we’ve been sort of talking about the edges of the risk inventory? The prioritization. Um, what is this and then the cycle, what is the, what is the risk inventory? You know, How often do we need to be inventorying? Acquaint us with this?

[00:21:08.57] spk_1:
Sure. Usually what will happen? tony is an organization beginning the risk management process or exploring whether to begin one. They’ll, they’ll do an inventory with a small group of people because you don’t want to over promise that that your day definitely going to adopt risk management. You want to first test how your culture responds to identifying threats and opportunities. So you bring together a small group. They look at the various functional areas of the nonprofit. Each of them identifies threats and opportunities in all of the functional areas. In other words, you ask someone who’s in the development function. No, don’t just focus on development also identify other things that that has been on your mind in other functional areas because the development person might have seen something in the finance function that that is really cockamamie, but they’ve never been asked. So you you have everyone identify threats and opportunities. You put them together in a central document and then you look at them and you talk about what that tells you as an organization. You know, for instance, again, with the organization I was talking about yesterday. You know, they were able to look at their initial risk inventory and they were able to see that a lot of people were identifying the same issues under various functional areas of of their organization. But there was some diversity of opinion as to, you know, as to the threats and opportunities as well. Both of those were really insightful, you know, kind of wow moments for for that organization. Um that’s the first thing the next thing you would do is if you’re going to do an inventory, if you’re gonna stick with this process is after you initially test the idea of a risk cycle with the small group, then what you might do is take it down a level to the people who are boots on the ground and have them do the same sort of exercise because they may see things that senior leadership doesn’t see. You might even at sometime down the road go up A level and engage your board in a risk inventory exercise. Now that would probably be more focused on external things than internal things. But your board might be able to identify big external issues that the staff because they are narrowly focused don’t see. So that’s the way that you could do an inventory and then once you get into adoption of risk management process organization wide, maybe you do a full inventory with a select group of people, you know, twice a year, once a year, depends on the nature of the organization, you know, Sophistication, it’s regular environment, things like that. But but initially what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to slowly widen the number of people who have been asked to identify threats and opportunities in your organization.

[00:21:30.25] spk_0:
Ok. And it starts with senior leadership. It sounds like he usually does. When you were saying the development person, that would be the chief development, the

[00:21:52.14] spk_1:
chief development officer. You know, you want your, your head of programs, your CEO or E. D. Um, you might, in that initial group have one more junior person who might be, you know, an up and comer. Just so that you, even at the beginning, you, you get a little bit more insight than just the C suite would be able to provide. Um, one thing I would urge anyone who’s trying this process is unless you are a one or two person nonprofit so that you don’t have anyone else to bring in, don’t involve your board in an initial risk inventory because that’s just an invitation for them to get into the weeds

[00:24:19.55] spk_0:
enough. Said leave it there with leave it there with the board at that at that stage. Or if your, if your organization is that small. It’s time for Tony’s take two time is running short for planned giving accelerator. The next course is going to start in the first week of March, that will be our fifth class. I’ve had four classes before I already have a Y, we got the first Y this one is a Y M. C. A. In small. It’s a small Y M. C. A. Because all the members of playing giving accelerator are in small and midsize shops. Uh, this is a small Y in north Carolina. We don’t have yet any humane societies. The last few classes have had humane societies again, small but and the very first class had a humane society. But no humane societies. Yet, if you are interested in plan giving accelerator, of course you can get 50% off using the coupon. Non profit Radio 50. The class is all about teaching you to launch planned giving at your small or midsize nonprofit. I went into more detail last week, lots of peer support, all the templates and resources that you’re gonna need to get started holding your hand, guiding you step by step, we’ll spend three months together, March april and May an hour each week. All the other info is at planned giving accelerator dot com. You can always send me an email, tony at tony-martignetti dot com. If you would like to talk about whether planned giving accelerator works for your non profit That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got just about a butt load more time for resilience and lean risk management with ted village, you have a methodology for prioritizing because now we’ve got this bunch of risks and uh, you know, how do we know obviously which comes first and which one can can wait. You have a methodology for prioritizing.

[00:25:53.31] spk_1:
Yeah. And and I think that some risk managers at major financial firms would just slap me if they had the chance to, to look at me because they would probably say I oversimplify the process. My response is no, no, no, no, no. You know what, what most risk management professionals do is they try to make precision and it is false precision, you know, they’re why broadly, when you look at a risk, you think about what’s the likelihood of it happening? What’s the impact if it happens and how much of a lead time am I going to get between when I first see it’s definitely coming on and when I feel the full impact, but tony I guarantee If you and I were looking at the same risk and we were using those criteria, we would have different backgrounds that would lead us to have different views of those three factors. So we take it down to an absolute simple level, we say give each participant 50 points And they use those points like chips that they would put on the table and and they can put 50 on one, they can put one on 50 different risks. And what they’re saying is my assessment of likelihood impact and speed of onset means that I want to say this one’s more important and when you bring that all together, you get a very good first estimate of the emotional content of risk in terms of likelihood and impact and so on. You know, that’s a great way to begin to get the process rolling without applying a false level of precision to it.

[00:26:32.79] spk_0:
Well, well, well dismiss the naysayers in the, in the professional risk management pool. The simplification can be very, very valuable. So now, so now prioritize so we create our risk register. Yes, we can get to the risk register. This is a this is a moment of peak excitement around risk management.

[00:26:39.00] spk_1:
Oh, it’s something that gives you tingles.

[00:26:41.61] spk_0:
My synesthesia is kicking in. I’ve got chills. Yeah, chills and I’m almost moved to tears. I’m not quite there. But

[00:27:26.55] spk_1:
but but but think about it this way, tony Imagine you’re a nonprofit chief executive and you have a single document that allows you to know what are the most important issues facing our organization right now. Who is watching over that issue for me because because it can’t be me watching over every issue. What is our current best description of what the issue is? What’s our current expectation of what we’re gonna do next about that issue. And when am I gonna hear back about? Imagine if you had that document, it’s better than a strategic plan. It’s better than an annual operating plan. It’s a Boots on the ground. This is a situation, you know, a a situation report about where we are on the most important things. That’s why it is, it’s kind of a really great tool. It

[00:27:44.43] spk_0:
sounds, it sounds reassuring and comforting.

[00:27:47.92] spk_1:
No going back to

[00:27:50.92] spk_0:
less worry, not more, you know, it’s, it sounds like something that, you know, you gotta, you gotta slog through to get to, but it’s very gratifying and reassuring to have it.

[00:28:37.91] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. tony And, and those who do have it report that, you know, they have, uh, greater engagement from their team because team, team members know who is the champion of a particular risk. Uh, they have greater engagement in terms of people feeling like they belong because they realize that that the, the organization has, is really looking out for them and wants to be around for the long haul. They’re just this host of things that come out of having a risk register and using it, that, that really impact performance in extremely positive ways to

[00:28:43.76] spk_0:
tell another story. Uh, the different different organization, not the one you just talked to yesterday, uh, that just had good, had good outcomes or just felt reassurance at reaching a milestone in risk management tell tell a good story.

[00:32:01.77] spk_1:
Yeah. Well, okay, a couple of years ago, um, we did work down in Jacksonville and we did work through the non profit center for Northeast florida that brought together a number of organizations to do this deep dive to go through doing an inventory and doing a prioritization and creating a register, uh, in parallel so that they were all doing it together and first of all, that’s a great way to do it because you create a common language among the number of different nonprofits and so, you know, you get this informal coordination and discussion and being willing to show a little bit of vulnerability and so and so on. But one of those organizations was the area agency on aging for Northeast florida wonderful organization. They looked at their uh, situation and they realized, well, a lot of the risk that we have really resides in the fact that we aren’t put boots on the ground. We distribute money to meals on wheels and legal counsel for the elderly and pick your number, you know, that all of the Jacksonville area organizations that interact with with the elderly, but they realized we don’t control those organizations and we don’t know what risks they face. So this organization went and was able to persuade a funder in florida to allow them to do the same sort of thing with their provider network. So we had the provider network also do a risk inventory and discuss it and also do prioritization and discuss it. And so you had things tony like, you know, you had organizations, all of whom were saying, boy, it’s really hard to have capable talent. We can’t hire people and keep them. What they realized though was that most of the people who they hired, who left, we’re going to another organization within that general group. And so discussions started to come about of saying, you know, should we be recruiting in some ways for the ecosystem? Should we be thinking that we’re hiring people who will be with us for 2.5 years and then we’ll become ambassadors either good or bad to some other organization who is working with us. And then the, the area agency on aging accomplished the result of getting these people who were boots on the ground to be talking to each other more and also to be willing to be more vulnerable in their conversations with the area agency on aging. And because they knew that the triple A. Had done the same sort of inquiry. It’s phenomenal what you can do with with that. And so in various communities we’ve had situations where organ where cohorts have gone through because the funder wants to have uh, people who might be interested in collaboration do this work so that they start identifying areas of collaboration. We have some that have done it because they realize that there are certain backbone organizations that they want to make sure have a common vocabulary in case something goes awry. It’s a really powerful tool, not just from a single nonprofit perspective, but from a nonprofit ecosystem perspective.

[00:32:29.53] spk_0:
The risk management cycle. Yes, let’s let’s flush that out.

[00:33:52.02] spk_1:
Yeah, well, it it captures that idea that risk management is not a one and done thing. Risk management involves, you know, identifying and prioritizing and responding as we, as we’ve talked about already. And then it includes assessing how you’ve done so far with those risks you’ve addressed and what else needs to be done on those risks. But then it emphasizes as well that the next time you look out into the community or even the next time you bring an all staff or a senior staff meeting together, there may be new issues that have percolated up. So it emphasizes that it’s cyclical. You don’t stop after assessing and improving based on your first go round, you identify more, you fold those into your list of existing risks and put them in the risk register where they depend where they need to go. And then you respond to your various risks and assess and improve and identify and so on and so forth. That’s the, that’s the reason why, you know, and it’s the hardest thing tony is to get an organization to adopt a risk cycle. They get tremendous value out of a risk inventory. They say, oh my God, this is great. They do their prioritization, they get the register and they say, oh my God, this is great. And they, they hit their top 10 risks and hit them hard and then they decide, well we’re doing really good. So let’s look at that shiny object over there and they set it aside and so getting that emphasis on making sure that you continue to bring up that register periodically and update it and hold yourselves accountable is the most critical aspect of this. It’s the it’s the one that allows you to really feel like you are facing uncertainty with agility

[00:34:17.16] spk_0:
and reach like risk management. Well, you may not achieve it, but asa methodically approach risk management maximization.

[00:34:28.53] spk_1:
Nirvana yes, may

[00:34:31.12] spk_0:
never reach it. But the the journey, the journey is the end.

[00:34:35.36] spk_1:
That’s exactly right. Going back to that lean principle that you can never be perfect. You can always be better. Alright.

[00:35:30.70] spk_0:
Uh there’s a lot more detail in the book. You know, you just you wanna you wanna achieve the risk management Nirvana. You want to reach that mountaintop with Ted Bill it. You’re just gonna have to get the book because there’s only so much that we can, we can uh we can talk about and the book is managing your nonprofit for resilience. Use lean risk management to improve performance and increase employee engagement. And I believe we’ve we’ve hit on each of the main topics in the title. So the book is at risk Alz dot com. R I S K A L T S dot com. You’ll find ted at t Bilic uh and you’ll find ted’s company also at risk Alz dot com. Ted thank you so much, enjoyed

[00:35:32.62] spk_1:
it. This has always been a blast to talk to you. This has been a great discussion. I can’t wait to talk to you again soon.

[00:36:24.37] spk_0:
Thank you so much Ted next week. The co ceo of free will jenny xia Spradling and Patrick Schmidt. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you. I really do. Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. I’m not light about the beseeching. I mean it’s it’s a serious beseech Mint. This is no, this is no off the cuff. Beseech Mint, our korean producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein. Thank you for that. Affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for February 20, 2023: Talent Development


Preeta Nayak & Lindsey WaldronTalent Development

With a few practices, you can turn your talent development process into an employee retention tool, a leadership pipeline and a step toward greater inclusivity. Preeta Nayak and Lindsey Waldron, both from The Bridgespan Group, talk through their article, “How Nonprofit Leadership Development Sustains Organizations and Their Teams.”





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[00:02:28.03] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure to welcome Preta Nyack and Lindsay waldron to nonprofit radio Pretty Nyack is a partner in the bridge span. We’re gonna do that again. No, I can’t have that, I can’t watch the first three words, it’s terrible. All right, let’s do it again. Bridge span group. Do people have trouble with that bridge span group? No, I don’t know why, I don’t know why people would, I did Okay bridge span group, the bridge span group, the bridge span group and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of necrotizing ulcerative ginger vos dermatitis. If you inflamed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show talent development with a few practices, you can turn your talent development process into an employee retention tool, leadership pipeline and a step toward greater inclusivity. Preta Nyack and Lindsay waldron, both from the bridge span group. Talk through their article On Tony’s take two. Non profit radio 50 redox here is talent development. It’s a pleasure to welcome to nonprofit radio free to Nyack and Lindsay waldron. Preta Nyack is a partner in the bridge span groups SAN Francisco office and head of bridge spans leadership and community services, she’s co author of the book nonprofit leadership development what’s your plan a for growing future leaders Lindsay waldron is manager in the bridge span groups boston office. She worked on the development and facilitation of leading for impact bridge spans, two year consulting and capacity building program for nonprofit executive teams. Bridge span is at bridge span dot org to lindsey. Welcome to the show.

[00:02:35.58] spk_1:
Thank you. tony It’s great to be here.

[00:03:18.23] spk_0:
I don’t know who’s the expert in which subjects. So you know, if I call on somebody and then, you know, if you want to pass it off and say no, peter knows that better lindsey or vice versa. Of course, you know, feel free to do that. It’s not, I won’t consider it anarchic. If you, if the person I asked doesn’t, doesn’t fulfill the, you know, fulfill the question. So let’s see overview. I’ll just throw it out and one of you can take it and then maybe the other wants to contribute something more. What is not going well for nonprofits generally in, uh, in talent development? Well, why don’t you start us off? There we go. Yeah. You

[00:04:36.92] spk_1:
jump in. I’ll jump in and, and, and name some some challenges. Um, and then, and then Lindsay definitely invite you. I invite you to jump in as well. I mean, I think let’s, let’s be clear everyone in this moment. Every organization across all sectors is, uh, facing a set of talent challenges that, um, you know, that have been precipitated by sort of layers of crisis. Right? So we, we had, we experienced covid. Um, and what that meant in terms of the workplace. We’ve experienced the racial reckoning and the questions that has led us to ask, We are, we’ve, we’re facing is it inflation recession is in both our people quiet quitting or are they getting laid off? Like there’s just a, there’s just a set of things that is also affecting the nonprofit sector now in particular, I think I would say that for the nonprofit sector, if you’re a nonprofit leader, you know, you have historically and probably even today not had the resources at your disposal to really invest in your leaders. We, we invest first in, you know, in our constituents and our clients and the people were serving and we put ourselves last often times and that means we don’t have some of the habits we should have. And it means all of these pressures than can hit us harder. So I know I’m talking about at a high level there, but I do think it’s a very real challenge.

[00:05:25.18] spk_0:
We put our own selves last. It’s like the, it’s like the founder who doesn’t pay themselves for the first three years of the, of the nonprofits existence. You know, we, we, we put our, we set up maybe perpetuate that and we put our teams are, I don’t know, arguably our most important resource, our, our staff, our teams. Um, you know, last, right?

[00:05:28.28] spk_1:
Yeah. And then, and that might, you can maybe do a sprint that way. Right. But what is social change? Not a sprint. Right? More than America cannot

[00:05:39.08] spk_0:
right lindsey, please.

[00:06:42.36] spk_2:
Well, just to just to build on that, you know, I think what, so what that leads to then that lack of investment is the turnover and increased rates of turnover that we’ve, that we’ve seen. So bridge fan has done some research. We cite a lot of other research in the, in our article as well. Um, you know, estimate, we estimate that one in four senior leaders leaves their role every two years. Right? So eight years you’re kind of looking at a whole new, a whole new team, which is, which is just difficult. And we also know that a huge reason for so much of voluntary turnover among nonprofits is for lack of career development and opportunities. Right? So that, that turn over that turnover treadmill that has a real cost associated with it. Both a financial cost for organization, The cost of recruiting hires, the cost of training new people and it has a cost on the impact side as well trying to fill new positions kind of, you know, constrains the amount of impact we’re able to have through the programs and services that nonprofits run. So I think that really kind of puts a pin in the problem itself.

[00:07:00.28] spk_0:
It takes a new employee three months just to know for sure. You know where the bathrooms are. I mean it takes, there’s a lot of, there’s a learning curve and so right. That impacts the services. Um, very interesting what you said about the volunteer 40% of voluntary Tony over is not feeling like there’s opportunity. So basically like I’m in a dead end job, I don’t see any advancement here for me. So I’ll go somewhere else. Is that, is that it essentially putting it crassly dead end job.

[00:07:48.21] spk_2:
Yeah. Or you know, not feeling an opportunity for professional development, right? Like not every organization is structured like a professional services firm, like a law firm for example, that has a clear ladder up. But regardless of whether or not there’s, you know, a clear, a clear up the task at a given organization. I think the point that we try to make, um, in this in this piece is that there are many ways to grow professionally. Um, whether or not, you know, there’s a new role or a specific new job on the, on the horizon.

[00:09:16.58] spk_0:
Funny you mentioned law firm, you know, a normal progression like associate partner maybe name partners. You know, I practiced law for two. Well in some respects they were two short years, but for me, there were two of the longest years of my life and I, I couldn’t stand it because in large measure I was dreading the partnership path because I was looking at the partners, they were all gray eyed, miserable divorced from their spouses or estranged from their Children. Like that was the last thing I wanted to do was follow their path, but I know that’s, that’s not the, that’s not the example you were giving. But your example conjured, uh, some hysteria in me as I recalled Not wanting to be like, I don’t want to be like those people, I don’t want, I don’t want to advance in this career. If I have to look like those people 15 years from now, I’ll be miserable. So I bailed out after two. Okay. But on to more, more, uh, more encouraging talent development progressions and scenarios. They’re not all, they’re not all bad in law firms, but a lot of them are outside. So, uh, so like we’re looking for, you know, like transparency, right? We want to transfer you, you cite the arctic in your article, which we’ll, we’ll give folks a link to shortly, you know, transparency and consistency. We’re looking for some, we’re looking for something, some bedrock that we can rely on so that we, uh, we know there’s a future for us in this, in this organization.

[00:11:13.49] spk_1:
I think, I think that, yeah, I think that’s right. And I, I think that one of the things that, um, because we don’t have, you know, the habit of investing in ourselves investing in our people or that, you know, it’s when it does happen, it tends to be a little bit at hot, right? You’re sort of a little bit making it up as you go along and the real, there’s, there’s sort of two challenges there, right, at least, right. One is that you’re right Tony you don’t get, you’re not providing anyone with visibility of like, how is this gonna happen, right? How how will will somebody invest in me? Right? You just don’t know. It’s not, it’s not predictable. The second is, and this is a really important point that we try to make repeatedly throughout the article, is that when you do things in that ad hoc way, inevitably it leads to inequity in the results, right? Inevitably. It’s the people who are the least connected, often the most different from people who are in the most senior thoughts, who aren’t going to get what they deserve right, because it’s going to be through some informal relationship or oh, Lindsay, you’re just like me in this way we connect and then like I give you an opportunity and if we don’t stop to actually ask ourselves, oh, is everyone, are all the lindsey’s getting opportunities and what kind of opportunities are they getting? And are we systematically having that conversation with everybody? That’s the only way you’re gonna get to some of the equity goals that I know many of our, many of our nonprofit leaders have rightfully kind of established now for themselves. They said we want to have a more inclusive culture, we want a leadership team that looks different from the team today, but the only way you’re gonna get that is by creating some systems and habits

[00:12:00.32] spk_0:
you say that, um, nonprofits fill the top leadership positions internally at only half the rate that for profit employers do. So it feels like we’re, we’re abandoning the people that we know the best, the ones that have worked for us. We’re, we’re not, we’re not promoting them. We’re doing it only half the rate that, that companies do it. So we’re not like we’re not investing and we’re abandoning the folks who seemed like the best shot because we know them, they have a history with us rather than bringing somebody from the outside

[00:12:37.68] spk_1:
well. And the other, the other piece there is that those people from the outside there, there are moments to be clear, you should have a mix of hires in your organization. People, you’re growing internal leadership. But the, the success rate on external hires is for all the reasons you would imagine not as not as high, right? Because those are people who are to some extent unknown and who don’t know you. And so it’s not just that you’re not giving people internally a chance. You, you may also then be like, it may take a lot longer to get to a two to a higher that really works

[00:12:45.70] spk_0:
Lindsay, was there something you wanted

[00:13:06.41] spk_2:
to add there? No, just the point that, you know, as as pre dimension, external hires are kind of less likely to be successful and they’re, they’re also more expensive to attract, right? It’s like this, the cost of turnover and kind of relying over indexing on external hire to fill leadership gaps in your organization is, you know, there’s a real cost to that, which again, it just like all builds the case for a thoughtful approach to leadership and talent development that that we outline and are excited to talk about

[00:13:23.14] spk_1:
today. Okay,

[00:13:43.57] spk_0:
so let’s, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna make improvements in D. E. I were going to make improvements in retention, we’re gonna reduce turnover. Your first idea is craft competencies who wants to wants to introduce us to crafting competencies? Just pointed to Lindsay Lindsay. I guess that means you do, if you had pointed first, peter would, but she did you go,

[00:15:36.99] spk_2:
No, I got it. Well. So I think you know, the first, the first question is what’s a competency was kind of a big, big words are just to break it down. We talk about competencies at the end of the day. They are kind of a unique set of skills and capabilities that people need to perform, you know, and develop in their work today and and to develop in order to be successful in an organization going forward. Um so a competency could be something like strategic thinking or communication or you know, data analysis analytics, mission orientation, there’s, there’s a whole number and we kind of outline some of the more popular competencies that we’ve seen in our work with nonprofits over the years. But the idea is, you know, there’s such, there can be such value in, you know, as a nonprofit leadership team, Distilling the set of competencies. It shouldn’t be an endless list. But say, you know, what are the top five or the top 10 that matter most for the people in your organization, Right. It’s really critical that, you know, folks in our organization are able to bring an equity mindset to this work. So what does that actually mean? Let’s spell it out right and name that as a competency. We want people to invest in developing or, you know, ability to communicate with our clients with people. We serve with funders with policymakers. That is a critical competency. So what is good look like on that dimension for people in our organization? So the process of kind of naming the, the skills and capabilities that are critical for people in our, our organization to develop in order to promote our mission, advance our our work um, that in and of itself, you know, we found both with our clients in a bridge band right to be a really a really valuable exercise that kind of lays the foundation for this approach to talent development

[00:16:04.63] spk_0:
pre to you. You distinguish between core competencies and leadership competencies. Why did you flush those out for

[00:17:12.09] spk_1:
us? Yeah, I think one of the things that um, you know, Lindsay mentioned that it’s, it’s valuable to to name together as an organization, A relatively small set of competencies that you’re trying to build in all your your employees right. Um at the same time we recognize that there are going to be a set of folks who may be taking on broader leadership or more complex challenges for the organization and they may need to have an additional and slightly different set of competencies that they have to grow into as well. And so we encourage teams again to just think still try and keep lists short. You’ll see in the article we name some of the most popular but but also recognize that yeah, there are some things as you take on more that that you may need to build um additionally to what beyond the core competencies and those are the leadership, we call them leadership competencies, you could call them all sorts of things but but we distinguish between core, which is something that you know, everyone in the organization you would hope would grow on and leadership which would be for a subset of folks taking on more complex tasks.

[00:17:50.26] spk_0:
And it’s important, let’s just stay with you preta it’s important to recognize that the competencies today may be very different than the competencies that we need both. Core and leadership in the future. Although I would think especially leadership would would change but if we’re gonna look ahead, I think it was, well it was one of you who said earlier, you know what what what got us here basically what got us here is not what’s gonna get us ahead, you didn’t, you said it more elegant ever said, it said it more eloquently than I just did but but what what got us here is not gonna work for the future so we gotta, we gotta be looking ahead to competencies as well.

[00:20:10.22] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. And this is where I’ll just name, you know lindsey and I have both had the opportunity to be in, I don’t know, hundreds of leadership team conversations where the, where where folks are sitting together and actually trying to wrestle with this question of like oh yeah what are, what is it we mean by leadership or talent in our organization, what are the competencies we want to name? And those are really energizing conversations right? Because to your pump point tony you realize like you’re not trying to, you know, just name what you do now, you’re trying to think ahead like what what is the organization we may be in the future and what does that mean? We’re gonna need in our staff and in our leaders and you know some of that’s gonna be the same, there’s some things that you want to continue but some of it’s gonna be different and that that can be a really exciting conversation, I think the other thing is that um what’s what’s often fun about those conversations is you can just have, you know, I think Lindsay you use use the, you think, you said strategic thinking or strategic mindset like you could actually just like even sitting together with others and being like well when I mean when I say that when I say someone’s being strategic, this is what I mean and then like you’ll realize that like you’re not always even speaking the same language and actually one of the most important things about competencies is is actually then going one layer more to describe them and describe them in like observable ways because that means then like tony when you join my team and I say look I want you to be more strategic a lot of times people will walk away and be like I don’t even know what you meant, what what is she talking about but instead I have to say like so here actually is what I mean tony like I mean when when a problem comes your way, I want you to I want you to show me that you can break it into pieces and and tackle that piece, piece by piece with with your staff right? That’s what strategic means and that’s the kind of language you need in these competency definitions so that everybody can kind of say like oh that’s what I need to do, that’s what this organization needs, it was really powerful,

[00:20:30.11] spk_0:
peter trust me you would not want me working on your team, I would be a terrible employee of any company, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t even get, I wouldn’t even get hired. I would just I would probably just not even show up for the interview. I would I would book it and then just to prove that I’m independent, I wouldn’t show up. I wouldn’t

[00:20:31.15] spk_1:
even then you’re right. There are some core competencies that were they missing out

[00:20:36.22] spk_0:
on. I have core arrogance. I think that’s that’s my arrogance is arrogance. One of the core skill sets. One of the core competencies.

[00:20:43.16] spk_1:
We it has not been frequently named. It has not been frequently. Not

[00:20:51.04] spk_0:
frequently. It’s very diplomatic of you. Thank you. Um Alright let’s so lindsey, let’s go. Was there anything else about crafting the competencies from anybody that that we didn’t talk about? You think folks should know?

[00:21:44.34] spk_1:
Oh I will say I will, I’ll name one more thing which is just that a mantra we have in the in the competency sort of list processes. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. So do not be the organization that spends 6 to 12 months trying to identify your competencies. That’s 6 to 12 months that have not been developing those competencies in your people, right? Because you’ve been worrying about the words that you’re using. I’m not saying words don’t matter at all. But like you know get most of the way there and try it and then you can always come back and adapt your list if you need to. So yeah, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good Lindsay

[00:21:48.27] spk_0:
you wanna introduce us to uh, co creating professional development plans.

[00:22:13.76] spk_2:
Yeah, sure. This is a fun one. you know the, the way that we introduce the concept of an effective um, professional development plan um, is through kind of a really fun example, um, which is by asking, you know, nonprofit leaders that we work with. Let’s reflect on how you learned how to ride a bike for the first time, right. Um, and tony if I asked you that question, right, assuming you know how to ride a bike. Um, what, what did that, what did that look like?

[00:23:00.03] spk_0:
Well, my, my mom and dad would take me out and I had a bike with, well started with a tricycle, right? We start with a tricycle and then we, we got, I graduated to a bike and they would put training wheels on it, of course it had training wheels and they would kind of hold the handlebars one of them with me as I rode even with, even with the training wheels in the beginning I think and then eventually the training wheels come off and mom and dad are left behind and I bike away.

[00:26:08.07] spk_2:
Yeah, and now here you are a bike rider. Um, no, it’s a helpful, like what you just described is a very kind of active and involved process of you kind of learning while doing right with people kind of by your side, you know, making sure you don’t like fall too hard and and coaching you along the way. Um and I think that’s a really helpful kind of picture to keep in mind as we think through well, how do people learn, how do we expect people to kind of grow and develop some of the competencies that we just developed. Um and it’s not by just reading about it, it’s not by attending a training on how to ride a bike or by watching a video. And I think I elevate that contrast because what we, what we often, what we often see like many nonprofits are, are guilty of this is, you know, an expense budget that’s kind of tied to training and development and more often and then not like that, you know, that the default is well, attend this training online or go to go to a seminar or kind of like learn about it, read about it, which is fine and which is necessary to a certain extent, but that’s not gonna help you develop the skill. Um and so there’s a, there’s a body of research that has kind of resulted in a framework called the 70 2010 around how how people learn, which is that 70 per percent of learning happens on the job that happens while doing it happens while you’re kind of pursuing that stretch assignment, right? 20% of learning really is kind of anchored in thoughtful coaching mentoring and development, right? So pre to for example giving me pointers along the way the work that your parents were doing right, kind of coaching you along the side, holding the handlebars, making sure that you knew what you were doing, Giving you tips, you know, and then there is a role for kind of learning through reading through more formal training, but that’s really you know closer to 10% and so it’s you know that that mindset, that allocation of how I think through how I want to develop myself, how I’m going to kind of become better on some of these dimensions that we that we name as organizations, those competencies that matter. I think we we encourage and we even include a template in our set of resources around like a development plan that kind of brings to life the 70 2010 approach and the great news is this right I mentioned before a lot of, a lot of organizations out there, they have a training and expense budget, Right? But that’s really at the end of the day, that’s kind of like the 10%, so much of learning happens on the job. So if if we could invest more in thoughtfully developing those stretch opportunities that preda alluded to kind of at the beginning of this conversation, um that’s great, that’s the most effective way people learn and it’s also one of the least expensive way to kind of teach our people to, to mentor them through more of an apprenticeship model.

[00:26:53.88] spk_0:
So how do we develop and we’re supposed to co create these right between the manager and the person who reports to the manager co co create the plan. But how do we Make the plan when we don’t know what the, what the opportunities are gonna be for the 70% part of the 70 2010 rule, how are we going to craft up? I mean, we don’t just create opportunities to see the person succeed or not. I mean, how do we how do we develop a plan around something that’s uncertain for the future? The the 70% part, the on the job part, we don’t we’re not really sure what’s coming.

[00:28:00.88] spk_1:
Well, i if I can jump in Lindsay, I’ll just say, I mean, no, you’re not sure of everything that’s coming, but you know, a good amount of what’s coming. Right? So if you’re, you know, you know, um in particular, I mean, obviously will vary by um by competency. Right, let’s remember that, right? You’re picking your your decided in advance together, there are these two or three competencies maybe that you’re going to really focus on? Well, let’s say it is about communications, it was one that that Lindsay mentioned earlier. Well, you might not know all the big presentations that are, that are gonna come up in the next year, but you know that there’s, you know, there’s the annual staff gathering. There’s the there’s um, you know, there’ll be at least a couple of updates to the board, you know, that, you know, you have a sense of what’s coming right and so you can, you and then you can together look for those opportunities. So the other thing to know is that if we agree, you’re gonna work on communications tony we might pick out a couple of things that we think are gonna be opportunities in the next couple of months. But then we should also revisit this plan at least once a quarter and say like, okay, what, what opportunities came up and what might be coming up in the next quarter so that you can continuously be updating it right? You can’t plan out a year and can’t plan out a year,

[00:29:11.81] spk_0:
especially for the, the arrogance building skill set. No, we didn’t, those are gonna be particularly particularly hard to come by, but, but I’ll fight for them anyway, let’s flush out the coaching and mentoring part a little bit the 20 and the 70 2010 that I think maybe, I don’t know, it feels like sometimes it’s left to sort of, you know, people kind of find a mentor on their own might be in the company, maybe, maybe you’re saying ideally it should be in the, in the organization or, but it’s, it’s left too much informality and it’s left up to the mentee to go find somebody who will mentor and coach them. I think you want it to be much more formalized in the organization, don’t you Lindsay? Go ahead lindsey.

[00:31:16.80] spk_2:
Yeah, yeah, well I was, I was just kind of observing, observing Preta’s like head nodding and I think, you know, I think that is ultimately the goal and then I think that that it speaks to kind of like the third piece of this puzzle that really makes it all work, is making sure that your, your supervisors, your managers throughout your organization are kind of taking ownership over their team’s development are kind of stepping into that role of coach so that my team of, to my team of five, my team of however many I’m aware of what they’re working on, right? I’m thinking about what opportunities I can help create for them and with them and I’m and I’m actively kind of coaching them through providing providing constructive feedback on what they’re doing well on what they need to to improve. And so often it’s the case that me in a supervisor role, I could be that coat, I should be approached to my, to my teams, those I’m supervising and at the same time it may be that, you know, there’s a, there’s a certain competency that I’m really focused on developing and my current supervisor isn’t the right person to support me on that. Right? So they’re, there are certainly opportunities where I might seek outside counsel, um, an expert on a certain topic to help coach me on something like public speaking, for example on on data analysis or or something like that. Or I may I may, I may seek out coaches from folks within my organization that don’t directly supervise me. So it’s not kind of a one size fits all situation, there are kind of different avenues and at the same time I think it’s our, our perspective that that talent development often hinges on an organization’s ability to kind of equip and hold their their management, their their supervisors accountable for developing their teams. Does that make sense? Yeah, yeah. Oh,

[00:31:43.22] spk_1:
I you know, honestly, I just keep imagining tony like learning to ride this bike and his parents at his side. And as you were describing, I was thinking to myself, I guess we should all whatever that competency is that we’re trying to develop whatever that skill is. We should be asking ourselves who’s gonna be like those parents who trusted tony enough to get him a bike right to put him on the bike, but then who he trusted enough that if he was going to fall, they would be there to help him right? Like it’s like you’re gonna kind of asking that question of yourself as you’re building the skills is who are the people and it’s probably not just one person, right? It’s probably a set of people you go to under different circumstances, but it’s that environment of management support that I think the best kind of like talent rich organizations have created, they’ve created that environment.

[00:35:38.89] spk_0:
You, you all are making me picture my little block on uh orient way in Rutherford New Jersey where I learned to ride a bike and there were too many, there were too many trees, you know, because the trees upend the sidewalk slabs so it’s all bumpy and it wasn’t, it wasn’t, it wasn’t a good environment, but you know, that’s where I grew up orient way Rutherford New Jersey, I hope they’ve repaired the sidewalks in the past 55 years or so. It’s time for Tony’s take two nonprofit radio 50 for the planned giving accelerator, it’s the re ducks, it’s a reminder that you can get 50% off planned giving accelerator tuition by using the code non profit radio 50 the accelerator, the class begins in early March and you’ll be done with it with me. We all together will be done by memorial Day, so no impact on your summer March april and May will spend an hour a week together, you’ll meet with me and all your peers in the class and I will step you through launching planned giving at your non profit there’s no homework from week to week, there’s incredible peer support. We share challenges as well as successes together. The outcomes are incredible like $4 million from a small humane society in Georgia and $2 million from community development organization in Oregon and five new board gifts from another small organization in also in Georgia, a child development agency. So lots of lots of good outcomes. Your outcomes can be just as good. It’s all, it’s all available to you. It’s at planned giving accelerator dot com, You’ll see how to proceed and you’ll get the 50% off with non profit radio 50. Any questions about the accelerator naturally you ask me tony at tony-martignetti dot com. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got the book. Ooh, we’ve got boo koo but loads more time for talent development with pre to Nyack and Lindsay waldron. What about the idea of not leaving this to the mentees? Like the organization should be assigning or how do we, but it might the leadership might not know who the best mentor is for somebody. How do we, are we leaving it to the mentees to go find their own or what, how we, how do we formalize this but not make it overburden over overbearing. I’m very interested in this mentor mentor relationship. Maybe I never had a mentor as an attorney that maybe that’s why I dreaded. Uh I dreaded from promotion. I didn’t want to be like those people. Maybe I didn’t have a good mentor in in the law firm. How do we, how do we help Pope folks not have the same crushing defeat in their career that I had.

[00:35:42.41] spk_1:
I don’t, I don’t know, I don’t know whether we’re going to be able to manage that tony but

[00:35:49.27] spk_0:
I’m unmanageable. I told you I don’t want, you don’t want me to work for you. Trust me. Exactly. You just said it, I’m unmanageable. But for the other folks who are, who are manageable, how do we help them get the right mentor?

[00:36:51.79] spk_1:
I would actually one question I would suggest even before that is like, is actually trying to just get a sense of who has, who has someone that they’re relying on that they’re able to turn to. And again, these development plans are an opportunity to ask that question. Who’s got me and you know, who doesn’t because I think that like you may not, it may not be that big a stretch. It may be, you know, a small set of people who don’t already have the connections they need that. You can then focus your energy on. Um, and, and so I think just the other thing I’ll just name is, I think generally when organizations for profit, nonprofit ask this question, they do find that the folks who are often left out are those who aren’t, haven’t traditionally been in that employment space, You see women who don’t, who often are lacking a mentor, people of color. And so you know, again, some areas where you can kind of double down and focus if other folks are, are seem like they’re doing okay

[00:37:41.56] spk_0:
alright. I see. So we can use these at least quarterly check ins to which we’re gonna get to the check in. All right. So then the remaining we got 70 2010, the remaining 10% is formal Lindsay like you said, go to a webinar seminar, go to attend a conference, that’s the 10%. That’s I mean we need to budget for that because there is a role I would think especially in in developing like a new competency that may be an early stage of developing a lacking competency skill set, you know, hearing, hearing listening to a webinar or going to a conference on it might be very valuable. So we need to budget that also.

[00:38:16.15] spk_2:
Yeah, for sure. Like a concrete example we use in at our organization at at bridge band which is focused on strategy, right? And operating effectiveness. But a lot of, you know folks that come in to our organization like need a pretty solid like quantitative background because a lot of our, you know, we use a data driven approach right? But if I’ve never opened Excel Microsoft Excel for example, It’s gonna be hard to just start doing immediately. And so there are so many tutorials kind of online and person around like what are the basics, right? How can I invest again? Not 100%, but like 10% of my capacity to just kind of familiarize myself with this thing, understand the basics, get my bearings and then start to apply that learning um on the job.

[00:39:04.71] spk_0:
Uh I should have asked you earlier. So it’s your suffering under a lackluster host who’s unmanageable, lackluster, arrogant. See these are all the traits you don’t know all the reasons you don’t want me working for you rita, you don’t want, you don’t want me in the bridge band organization. Um, you know, what’s the, what’s the basis for the, the conclusions that you drew? What? This is all based on Lindsay. You referenced hundreds of conversations but was this a survey or was this intentional research or it’s just organically grown, gained over time. What who wants to talk to why you have the credibility in this space to help

[00:40:27.68] spk_1:
us? I can talk a little bit about the path. Um, because tony you actually mentioned at the top, top of our time together the, the book I’ve written with a colleague plan a right on developing developing future leaders and that was over a decade ago we wrote that and we did that was research that was talking with um, uh, folks in the field who are leadership and talent development experts to understand what are the best for profits and nonprofits doing to create leadership pipelines. We then have like a set of general practice is to anchor our work in and building on that. We have then worked with. I think we are now probably at over 200 teams we’ve worked with in cohorts to apply these principles and that’s where we get the reps and refined it and where like some of these stories that you see even in the article come from. So, so it’s been a, we’ve tried to take our own medicine, so to speak, like we did the 10% desk research and then we wanted to apply it in the field and like actually just understand what’s going on and what’s hard, you know, what, what’s easy on paper, hard to do in practice, what kinds of tools might help that sort of thing. Anything else you’d add Lindsay?

[00:41:51.97] spk_2:
Um, I think we’ve also like in addition to coaching those nonprofits right around the country around the world at this point we also are learning within our organization, right? So, so a lot of like the structures that we, that we discussed were kind of trying to like eat and breathe ourselves. So I I have a development plan, right, 70 2010, I revisit it um, twice a year actually with my mentor, we talk about it, I talk about my strengths, my weaknesses, you know, where I need to, where I need to develop what that could look like to kind of reach the, the next level within my career at the organization, whether or not really that means a new role, so to speak, I know that I’m kind of growing regardless. Um, and, and so that, you know, it kind of motivates me to, to stay at this organization because I know I’m constantly learning, I know there are people who are investing in me and I have clear insight into what it takes to be successful in our organization because we’ve kind of spelled out those competencies, we’ve we’ve made what is often implicit explicit for everyone in our organization, right? Not just the folks that kind of our proactive in seeking it out.

[00:42:13.74] spk_0:
Are you supposed to be revisiting your plan at least quarterly? I thought you said you said you’re only doing it twice a year.

[00:42:20.92] spk_2:
I’m Oh I I will say I I have development conversations and we’ll get to this next right? I have development conversations with my supervisors and with those, I supervise, you know, every every couple of weeks or so. Right. So regularly we’re talking about like what am I doing? Well where do I need to improve? And we kind of have this framework of the competencies we care about to kind of reference.

[00:42:47.66] spk_0:
Okay. I just wanna make sure you’re not violating

[00:42:49.63] spk_1:
your I

[00:42:51.89] spk_0:
mean, I can’t lessons from a bunch of hypocrites, but Okay, you’re not you’re not you’re not hypocrites. Okay, Okay, what are you saying? I’m sorry, I was just talking

[00:43:02.95] spk_1:

[00:43:04.33] spk_0:
I talk over my manager, it’s terrible. He’s unmanageable. I get him out, get him out. He’s unmanageable.

[00:43:11.36] spk_1:
Sorry, I was gonna say it’s a feedback rich environment and and tony maybe that’s another reason why you would not you would not you would not want to be with us because we would be telling you regularly what we love and what you can do better. How’s that?

[00:43:51.36] spk_0:
Yes, what I can do better. It’s again very, very tactfully put. Thank you. Uh there are there are there are expletives that could substitute but you use the tactful way. Um let’s tell a story peter you mentioned. Yeah, you have you have three examples for each of the three, you know, we have craft competencies, co create professional development plans and and then we’re gonna get to consistent development conversations those check ins um tell a story. Somebody, somebody this is worth talking about the professional development plans. Your your your example was shocked to see if I said it right shocked the Sustainable Energy Foundation, which I love Shaq Shaq T and Energy going together. I don’t know if they intended that when they created their Foundation, but I like it. Who wants to tell the story about shocked and their professional development plans?

[00:45:09.01] spk_2:
Yeah, I’m happy too. I’m happy to kick us off. Yeah, shocked is an as an organization based in India um that we supported through through a version of this process, through this kind of offering that we um that we deliver for cohorts of nonprofits and our main point of contact was actually an HR professional who had been doing this work for, you know, over a decade, but was was still new to this framework of of 70 2010. Um and so, you know worked with his leadership team with his ceo um to develop a set of competencies as we discussed right? They went through that process with with some bridge span support, we’re able to articulate what matters and then focus first on developing you know that what we often see with the organizations we work with is they don’t roll it all out at once. That would be really hard. But often first you know the it’s the work typically of the executive team of the leadership team to align on what competencies matter most in their future leaders

[00:45:27.93] spk_0:
you make that point that leadership has to set the example

[00:47:35.76] spk_2:
exactly, leadership has to set the example. So once they’ve done that then they kind of you know they start to walk the walk and this hR professional who was in a leadership position um He provides the example which we highlight in the article around a competency that he was working on which was improved communication right in public speaking. And so he named that as something that he needed to develop. It went on, his development plan, you know? And in this case he actually sought out somebody who was not his kind of like direct supervisor, direct boss, I’m forgetting exactly who it was but say it was a board member right who he admired who had a very strong concise and effective communication style and he he sought out that individual as a mentor and what they I would do is check in again like every quarter um to kind of review and assess how am I doing, How am I progressing against this really important skill that will help me grow in this role. That will help me be successful as a leader within this organization. And so that’s just one example and I think you know you point to a piece that we name like you leader you have to lead by example right? Because this is the type of thing as Preda mentioned up front, like it’s easy not to invest in talent, right? It’s easy to focus all of our attention on the programs we’re running on the services we’re offering on the clients that we are serving because those needs never never stop. Right? It’s and so the grind of just our day to day is it’s real but taking the time and discipline to pull up and reflect on our own learning our own development, our own professional growth um is critical and so if a Ceo or director of HR can find the time to do that can be candid and transparent about their growth areas, right? Everyone has growth there areas right? Even the C. E. O. S of the top companies out there, nobody’s perfect. We’re all growing right? That in turn kind of helps make visible um to others throughout the organization that like oh if the Ceo or the director of whatever department has time to do this and is taking charge of their professional development, then I can do that too. And that helps create this kind of culture of learning development of feedback

[00:48:30.51] spk_0:
completely contrary to the Jack Welch at general electric style of management to I know everything I am perfect. I have all the answers. Just just come to me. Uh, but he’s he’s long been his theories anyway. I think I’ve been debunked. All right, thank you. Good story about shock. T Yeah, it’s interesting that he chose a board member to, to uh, to help. I mean, he went to a volunteer leader, you’re saying,

[00:49:20.64] spk_2:
Yeah, and it can’t, I mean that’s, that’s the point. I think it’s, you know, I think an organization can play a role in kind of making those connections like the mentor match, so to speak. But I think it, you know, it also requires there’s a role for kind of your supervisor or manager to play and there’s also a role for each individual to play and taking ownership over their professional development and growth, right? So I might say, oh wow. Like creed is so awesome at the way that she engages clients, right? And I really, I really want to learn from from her. So, you know, I to have the agency to kind of reach out and seek, seek out mentors that spike on some of the skills and dimensions I care about. Um you know, is very much like that’s totally possible. There’s nothing preventing me from from doing that. And if you kind of like create the culture within your organization that, that is, you know, that that happens. So that is the norm that people are receptive to that. Um, I think that that can enable great things.

[00:49:39.92] spk_0:
So preta let’s talk about what we’ve, we’ve alluded to a couple of times. The the 3rd 3rd recommendation, consistent development conversations, these check

[00:51:58.23] spk_1:
ins. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I was just, um, I was just thinking as for, you know, for folks who are listening to this. You know, there, there there’s value in the whole system, there’s value in putting in place these competencies and, and development plans and, and all of that. And you know, there’s also a question of like, well, what could I do as an individual tomorrow, Right? What could I start doing? And I, and, and I think actually the important there’s a lot because at the heart of all of this is regular conversation between a manager and a direct report or someone in their sort of network about where is it you’re headed? What are the skills you’re trying to build and how do we make sure you’re actually getting effective opportunities to build it right. And those effective opportunities are probably going to be on the job. And so that and it’s the regular conversation, right? So I had a, had a conversation Um, just yesterday with for 30 minutes with a mentee relatively new mentee someone when I’ve just been chatting with regularly for a couple of months and you know we we spent most of the time just kind of kind of getting to know each other and then talked about one particular problem that was on his mind and it was 30 minutes and we’ll do it again in a month. you know, and it’s a it’s just a little bit of a muscle you start to build and then in six months I will we will know a lot about each other and there will be a lot of space for that hard moment for him to pick up the phone or send the chat or whatever he needs to do because because those moments you can’t really schedule, can you write those are those are those are unscripted. Right, So so I just think it’s that muscle that gets everybody comfortable with like sharing feedback, sharing ideas, celebrating the winds, you know, sometimes like having a good cry, whatever it is that it’s that pattern that I think um really sustains that the relationship. But then actually if you have a web of those in an organization, it really sustains the organization

[00:52:20.38] spk_0:
and and to your point earlier was that the the formal check ins with with with the the supervisor, those should be at least quarterly, but but but mentors you’re saying, you know mentors mentees, I mean that can be on the fly as as ad hoc as needed or you know, maybe could could also be scheduled to?

[00:52:31.42] spk_1:
Yeah, I mean I like I’m a huge fan both in my professional and personal life of the recurring, the recurring appointment, you know, set the recurring appointment, have it for the half an hour monthly, you may end up canceling it or not using it, but like put it in there and and I I just really encourage everyone to be doing that with with the advisors in their life, whether they’re formal managers or or mentors or something else.

[00:53:21.30] spk_0:
Do you have any other action steps or for either of you? I love stuff that people listen on a Tuesday and they can think about it Wednesday and then they implement on thursday. What anything else for from either of you that we can act on immediately start taking action steps. No, this is all 100% theoretical, there’s no value

[00:53:58.99] spk_1:
in. Yeah, no, I think that I mean that the This the simple sort of thought exercise I would encourage people to do is like if you download there’s a 70 2010 template, we’ll share the materials but you can probably make this yourself. It’s not rocket science, right? It’s a couple of what are the couple of skills or competency areas, you can use our list or you can come up with your own or Google, there’s plenty of banks online available and then what do you think the 70, is going to be for you in the next few months on that thing. What’s the activity you’re going to do? What’s the coach, you’ll have do it for yourself as the first step and then share it with your manager or maybe or actually even better share it with the person you manage, right? Let them know how you’re thinking about this and maybe those, their wheels will start turning too. So I know that would be uh, just an easy way to get started lindsey. Any other suggestions?

[00:56:03.01] spk_2:
Well, I think just, you know, I feel like most of the people, I imagine a lot of folks listening like they may not have a set, a very like clear, explicit set of like what are the qualities, characteristics and skills I need to develop to be, to be great at my role in my organization over the long term and if that doesn’t exist, that’s, that’s okay. I think I think just kind of carving out some time for some self reflection um, on, you know, what, what are the assets that I bring to my role to my organization? How can I build on those, what are some things that I’m that I’m working on, right? That I need to continue to develop and then, you know, that becomes, you know, the, that becomes in large part the focus of my development plan, but again, it shouldn’t be like, we want this to be an asset based approach, right? So like building on strength. This is all I think one of the, one of the lines going through my head that I’ve I’ve, you know, started to appreciate um you know, at this point in my career is just this notion that feedback is a gift, right? It can be easy to get defensive, it can be easy to think like, oh, what am I not good enough at what am I doing wrong? But at the end of the day, like creating this culture of feedback is so critical because it it helps us grow as individuals. How am I going to get better if I don’t know, kind of where I need to to grow. Um So I just keep kind of thinking about that like self self reflection. Um I think is is really a critical piece of this

[00:56:04.79] spk_0:
process. Self reflection, introspection. I like I like I like introspection. It doesn’t do me any good, but I like I think it’s an admirable thing to spend time on where can we get the article? So because there are a lot of links to other to other research, other articles, there’s two other stories where where can we read the article?

[00:56:54.44] spk_2:
Yeah, well it’s available on our website, right www dot and dot org. Um and you know, we’re really excited actually because it’s we’re we’re kind of in the process of developing a new a new space on our website, um, that houses all like, not just this article, but all of the nonprofit knowledge we’ve, we’ve collected over the years on areas such as talents, on financial sustainability, on strategy, on organizational effectiveness and so our goal at bridge fans to kind of disseminate these tools, these resources which are all free as far and as wide as possible so that, you know, nonprofit leaders across the country around the world can can pick them up and apply for them like what, what is most useful? So go to our website.

[00:57:38.63] spk_0:
So Okay, so is there a spot at bridge span dot org that uh, someone just politely put it in the chat I guess was preta while while lindsey was talking. So bridge band bridge span dot org slash insights and then slash library. Alright, we’ll put it in the show notes.

[00:57:44.25] spk_1:
It’s unfortunately a bit of a mouthful of a U. R. L. So,

[00:58:05.82] spk_0:
okay, we’ll include it. I feel like craft competencies, co create professional development plans, consistent development conversations. Those are the three, three Tenets of the article. I know you three CS if you had, if you could tease out four more sees, you could do like the seven seas of talent development. Wouldn’t that be clever? The seven seas of talent development and there’s a bridge band group so that the bridges spanning the seven seas of talent development. If you could tease out four more sees, you know, I would, I would recommend it.

[00:58:26.15] spk_1:

[00:58:28.82] spk_0:
There are three, Pardon

[00:58:30.70] spk_1:
Me, we can come back with the next 4Cs.

[00:59:00.78] spk_0:
Yeah, so we’ll do a follow on with the with the remaining forces. Now these are very three very valuable sees and they are free to Nyack and Lindsay waldron. Preta is a partner in the bridge band groups san Francisco office, Lindsay, waldron manager in the bridge bands, bridge span groups, boston office and the company, the organization pardon me, is at bridge span dot org. So Preta Lindsay, thank you very much. Thanks for sharing all this.

[00:59:05.07] spk_1:
Thank you.

[00:59:06.37] spk_2:
Thanks tony

[00:59:46.52] spk_0:
next week managing your nonprofit for resilience with ted village. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Go out and be great