Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
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Tony’s Guests:Aaron Schmid: Automated Accounting
Aaron Schmid is chief product officer at Bill Highway and he thinks a lot about accounting, so you don’t have to. He has ways to increase visibility; improve reporting; standardize if you have more than one office; automate; and integrate with your bank.
Jay Frost: From Online Engagement To Action
From Fund Raising Day 2012, Jay Frost, CEO of FundraisingInfo.com talks with me about moving people from engagement online to giving online. How to convert your social media friends into donors.
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I interview the best in the business on every topic from board relations, fundraising, social media and compliance, to technology, accounting, volunteer management, finance, marketing and beyond. Always with you in mind.
When and where: Talking Alternative Radio, Fridays, 1-2PM Eastern
Here is a link to the audio podcast: 099: Automated Accounting & Online Engagement To Action.
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Hello and welcome to the show, it’s tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. I very much hope that you were with me last week. It would cause me pain if i learned that you had missed your more effective board. Gail gifford is the author of how to make your board dramatically more effective. Starting today, she helped you make sure your charities mission is relevant. Your ceo is supported and your board is strong. Also, a conversation with paul clolery he’s, the editor in chief of non-profit times he and i talked about a trend that he sees happening in events that they’re ramping up and what he’s concerned about in the future for charities this week. Automated accounting. Aaron schmidt is chief product officer at billhighway and he thinks a lot about accounting, so you don’t have to we’ll talk about increasing visibility, improving, reporting, standardizing if you have more than one office automate and increasing sorry and integrating with your bank and automate that’s re automating the gerund form that should be automating. I need i need an intern, so i have somebody to blame. For these mistakes, automating will be part of our discussion. Also, online engagement toe action from fund-raising day two thousand twelve. Jake frost, ceo of fund-raising info dot com, talks with me about moving people from engagement online to giving online how to convert your social media friends into donors. On tony’s, take two between the guests non-profit radios. One hundredth show it’s next week. Use non-profit radio that’s, our hashtag on twitter, use that hashtag to join the conversation there. Right now, we take a break and when we return, it’s automated accounting with aaron schmid, stay with me duitz thing getting dink, dink, dink dink. You’re listening to the talking alternative network waiting to get in. Don’t. You could. Hi, i’m carol ward from the body mind wellness program. Listen to my show for ideas and information to help you live a healthier life in body, mind and spirit. You hear from terrific guests who are experts in the areas of health, wellness and creativity. So join me every thursday at eleven a, m eastern standard time on talking alternative dot com professionals serving community. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Buy-in dafs you’re listening to the talking alternative network. Welcome back to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent arika schmidt is with me now. He’s, the chief product officer for billhighway and he leads the product and technical development of that financial technology platform. He’s a c p a. Aaron was previously a management consultant for deloitte consulting. Where’s clients included american express, bear stearns and borgwarner and i’m very pleased to have his expertise on the show. Aaron schmid welcome. Good morning. Thanks, tony. What’s wrong in accounting in small and midsize charities, you know, there there’s quite a bit of a few come to mind, you know immediately. And you know, one is just the lack of standardization across organisations and it really doesn’t matter if if your organization consists of one entity o r one hundred fifty different ways of doing the same thing. It’s just really not a healthy way to run a business, and it caused several problems related to, you know, operational inefficiencies. It could be very hard to educate and enforce again when you have fifty different ways of doing things, and it becomes even harder to get any type of consistent or meaningful reporting. So, organizations, you really need to focus on creating consistency. You know, both with prophecies and tools. You need one financial system of record one process to find. Oh, and that’s going to increase the level of visibility and accountability across the organization. Okay, these processes were talking about this is all around your money, money coming in money coming out. Absolutely no money coming in and out specifically around reporting, you know, i see. Ah, latto inconsistency. You know, just recently, way had a simple example where volunteers were running. Ah, client organization of ours. And those volunteers were were using different versions of the organization chart of account. And when you looked at it, i’m sorry. Different versions of the organization’s what chart of accounts? Chart of accounts. Okay, but it’s really what? What? To find your financial statements. It was really obvious when you look across the reports that were produced in the organization that the counter being misused and they were being duplicated and again, it was just really, really made it difficult to accurately report from a budget standpoint and then tracking actually to that. And we really just went in and did a very simple review of that chart of accounts and ended up finding one version of the truth. I did a little education, you know, on the volunteers, you know how to use that and just that simple change. You really just changed the meaningfulness of the reported that the report there were being generated. Tony martignetti non-profit radio has drug in jail. You you’re really been talking for less than two minutes, you’re already skirting very close. Of course, i’m the warden of jargon jail, so the probation early probation is a possibility a chart of accounts is that something that every charity is supposed to have? What, first of all, what are these accounts? What is on this chart? Absolutely every organization non-profit for-profit goingto have a chart of accounts and it’s really a very simple concept, nothing more than a list of reporting buckets of how you’re going to track your information, you know, over the course of the year, and that information is going to allow you to make better, better business decisions and really, in the end, that’s all a financial statement is kind of a running total to find on that list of reporting bucket that you’ve defined is meaningful to your organization again to be able teo, accumulate that information at the end of the year and make again better business. What are some examples of these reporting buckets that we on this chart of reports that sort of accounts, revenues and expensive? So you would think of you your piano again? However, your cash is coming into your organization, you’re gonna break that down to whatever’s meaningful. So you know, one example would be to break down reports they don product lines. You know, if you know that one hundred thousand dollars came in over the course of the year that’s important, but if you know that that hundred thousand dollars was ninety thousand dollars came from product number one and ten thousand came from product number two, that lower level granularity again is good, it is meaningful and it’s going to allow you to make decisions based on it, as opposed to just having that one lump sum amount of one hundred thousand dollars. So defining those reporting buckets, that chart of accounts is critical to understanding the health of your organization, okay, those are examples of revenues that may be coming in. So one might be fund-raising and one might be fees for services, and maybe one is you have a little thrift shop or something like that or a little sale of product or something. What are some examples? Okay, what are some examples of money going out these reporting buckets? That would be in this chart of accounts, you need to think of your expense structure and how your money is flowing out of the organization. So, again, whatever it is meaningful to you could be a simple, as, you know, the rent in the space that that that you’re releasing it could be a symbol of the utilities or again, anything that makes sense to your organization, and we need to be accounting for these items all separately. This is the point, right? That’s the point exactly that that lower level of granularity is so critical and you got it achieve a balance because there’s effort into creating that, you know, amount of detail and you don’t want to get excessive where it’s taking too much time to, you know, separate all those things out, but you definitely want to spend enough time, tio, where you’re getting enough meaningful. Information tio r mu to be able to make make those good business decisions. All right? And now, in just a minute, we have left before a break. What is the the value of tracking these this’s this flow of money in and out in the same way each time for small and midsize charities that that probably don’t even have a cfo? Yeah, that that consistent is so critical because without it, you know, it’s really hard to enforce accountability across the organization, because if things are track inconsistently, you just you don’t know what’s going on and if you don’t know what’s going on again, it’s hard to hold people accountable throughout your organization latto finding that that one version of truth and then using it in a very assistant manner is going to be critical free to be able to execute you’re on your wayto financial health. I’m thinking of a small organization that may get one hundred, checks a year or so or something like that, and maybe different people are accounting for those checks each time they come in, not out and about a hundred different people, but maybe two or three different people are doing it two or three different ways. That’s, your point right, that’s, my point, that’s all it takes again that you don’t need to be a thousand entity organization like you mentioned one. Any organization with no more than two people can do things in consistently, and that can create all kinds of wasted time, time and energy where you can get that consistent, whether you’re two people or one hundred again, what’s coming out on the back end in the financial statements are gonna be so much more meaningful. If that khun assistance, he was fine from the beginning and then executed well throughout the process, we have to take a break. You’ll stay with me, of course, and we’ll continue talking about automated accounting. Everybody else stays with us, too. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. How’s your game. Want to improve your performance, focus and motivation? Then you need a spire athletic consulting stop second guessing yourself. Move your game to the next level. Bring back the fun of the sport, help your child build confidence and self esteem through sports. Contact dale it aspire athletic consulting for a free fifteen minute power session to get unstuck today, your greatest athletic performance is just a phone call away at eight a one six zero four zero two nine four or visit aspire consulting. Dot vp web motivational coaching for athletic excellence aspire to greatness. Are you fed up with talking points? Rhetoric everywhere you turn left or right? Spin ideology no reality. In fact, its ideology over intellect no more it’s time for action. Join me. Larry shot a neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven easter for isaac tower radio burghdoff in the ivory tower will discuss what’s important to you society, politics, business and family. It’s provocative talk for the realist and the skeptic who want to go what’s really going on? What does it mean? What can be done about it? So gain special access to the ivory tower. Listen to me. Very. Sharp your neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven new york time go to ivory tower radio dot com for details. That’s ivory tower radio dot com every tower is a great place to visit for both entertainment and education. Listening. Tuesday nights nine to eleven it will make you smarter money time, happiness, success, where’s, your breakthrough. Join me, nora simpson, as i bring you real world tools for combining financial smarts with spiritual purpose. As a consultant to ceos, i’ve helped produce clear, measurable financial results while expanding integrity, passion and joy share my journey as we apply the science of achievement and the art of fulfillment to create breakthroughs for people across the world. The people of creation nation listened to norah simpson’s creation nation fridays at twelve noon eastern on talking alternative dot com. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business, why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com hello and welcome back. Aaron let’s, talk about the value of this reporting. What now? Our report is going to be more specific when we know that we’re having consistent processes each time check comes in or some money goes out. But what we’re going to do with these now maur clear reports. Well, now we can use them, right? And before, when things are not consistent. You spent so much time in the accident knows of finance that it’s very hard to work in any proactive manner, and now that you have this consistency, you can start using it to become better and use financial statements, you know, again for what they’re there for teo again, increase the financial health of your organization aboard would certainly be interested in clearer, more precise reporting, right? Your your board, your finance committee or the office or the school board and it’s a huge problem right now and a lot of organization. That’s one of the core purpose is generating these financial statements for the different types of groups, and you can lose sight of and why you exist is an organization and again that’s for your constituents and that’s for your mission and you don’t exist is an organization. Teo, keep up and keep your head above water from a finance back-up okay, so we can automate thes tasks. Is that right? That’s that’s a key part of this key part of it? I mean, key part of it really centers around, you know, trying to work smarter and not harder on dh a great way to to work smarter, not harder, harder is to use technology as in the neighbor enabler and, you know, you want to reduce manual task, you want to get rid of duplicates. Dafs and as i just mentioned, you want try to free up resources from those accident o’s of financial management every day and get back to focusing on your constituent, thinking about recruitment, thinking about retention and obviously, you know, ultimately your mission, yeah, i think the you call him the x’s and o’s mean thiss numerical accounting and and just everything around the numbers is pretty daunting to a lot of small and midsize shops. They’re not really sure how to do it. They’re passionate about their work, obviously, because they wouldn’t be there, but then the business side, the financial management side is kind of, you know, burdensome and scary. Absolutely. All right, organizations really get caught up a lot. Just how things have always been done. And regardless of how painful it is, you can get caught keeping your head down and not not thinking about taking a step back and thinking, you know, how can we do this better? How can we do this? Smarter on dh that’s where, you know, technology could come in to get rid of a lot of that waste of time and energy and get you back focused on what makes? All right, we’ve talked on this show a few times about software as a service which is synonymous with cloud computing. That’s where a lot of the help exists right in the cloud? Absolutely, absolutely. And they make a lot of sense, you know, in today’s, day and age, especially for smaller groups. The leverage of the cloud. You know, in my opinion, it’s just it’s very difficult today to be good at everything and technology. It’s just it’s changing at an ever increasing pace and, you know, to be great at it, you need to focus on it. And you need to focus really exclusively on it? Um, not not profit organizations, they’re not technology companies again. They exist for their missions for their purpose. Um, and again, in my opinion, you think you need to let the experts focused on technology. Um, security security of your constituent data, it’s just it’s, paramount, and you really need to make sure that you do your homework and select a provider that understands that on that protects that again so you can leverage the power of the club duitz you talk about the pace of change, of technology and how hard it is for for people to keep up, so if they’re using a cloud computing solution, then they don’t have to keep up right? The company that manages that software, they’re the ones who are upgrading their product all the time, exactly and that’s, the real benefit is you have companies that are focused exclusively on it, that they do it very well, you know, they’re they’re constantly thinking about, you know, back-up systems, disaster recovery plans, you know, they’re building their facilities and earthquake proof fireproof, you know, places they’re they’re constantly focussed on data encryption. These are skills that they’re not. Simple on and they’re only getting harder and, you know, there’s so many times where, you know, i’ll go into a client and you see the server that sitting in a closet on air conditioned, right cem cem closet where there may be water bottles over it or something like that? Absolutely, you know, and all it takes is a simple air conditioning malfunction and, you know, you could be out of business because there’s pipes and risers in there, a pipe bomb accident literally walked into, you know, a server rooms where there’s water dripping and, you know, they put the makeshift things up, directing water. We are men and that’s just the risk is just too high and there’s really help. Ten years ago, fifteen years ago, you didn’t have that choice. He kind of had to live with that risk, but in today’s, day and age, you don’t have to live with that risk again. You can leverage software, the service cloud computing for what? It’s good at on dh. Just vastly different than just a few years ago. Those those closets, server rooms, that’s when people get creative with plastic sheets and duct tape. Yeah, have seen it all year and you’re hyping, maybe like a hose or rubber number. A garden hose cut from somebody’s home and that’s it. You got it. You got it. And that’s the problem with one simple thing. And you can have ah, catastrophes. So you can sleep a lot easier at night, knowing that organizations are going to the level they are to protect what’s so important to your organization again, back to that constituent data and the related financial data. Right. Okay, so all this important data now you. You you mentioned security, but let’s spend a couple of minutes with it. How do we know that the off site storage of our precious data, the stuff you just mentioned is is safer than being on our computers that we can see that i can control and have physical, physical security over the great question. And that’s where i mentioned early really need toe do your homework when when you’re looking at organizations you want to look for under organizations that really, truly understand, you know what they’re doing, you know, some of the industry standards out there that you want to look at you? Have they done? Enough the sixteen hold on jargon jail twice in ten minutes, six homes for seventy and it’s just really about, you know, i mean, auditing. Obviously, most folks are familiar with financial audit on dh these audits were created for the purpose of systems and making sure that the day to day operation of those systems are in line with best practices. All right, so now, what is what is seventeen at the end of a sixteen again? Just that it’s a set of rules, basically that organizations need to follow and you have it have an independent auditor come in and look at the controls are are in place and actually test those controls to make sure that again, you’re back-up there are happening regularly that you have a disaster recovery plan that you’ve actually executed that disaster recovery plan. They’re going to spend a lot of time in your databases and make sure that your data’s encrypted and make sure there’s no sensitive credit card information or different things, you know that that are in there that regular folks within your organization should not have access to. All right, so these are a set of audit standards. You got it? I got it. Okay, look at that. If they’re dealing again with any payment related information, you want to make sure i’m gonna get in trouble with the jargon police here, but that their pc i compliant and again that’s the exact same concept. It’s just centers around credit card information. What argast that of standards that the different networks out there, like visa and mastercard have outlined to make sure that anybody that is processing credit card payments are following the standards and make sure that everyone’s data is protected. Okay, this is all critical. Mean credit card processing. So your executive director has a credit card for the for the organization. You may very well get credit card gift either online or by paper when people fill out replied devices. This is all part of that level of that needed security, right? And now what’s pc i what is pc? I stand for payments, compliance industry. And i forget the actually what the acronym it means, but again, it’s all about that that set of standards that you need to comply by ifyou’re goingto all be involved in credit card transactions. Okay, which are pretty common. I think absolutely all right, so if we’re going to move to ah cloud solution, how do we then make the transfer that from or the conversion from our manual system or whatever we’re using to something that’s off site in cloud based sure, you want to focus on that during implementation, and you want to talk about that plan that you know, with your new private provider front from the beginning? Um, most things today can be automated and, you know, just with the web itself just integration of systems there’s just so much easier than it is today. So in most instances, you’ll look to some sort of programmatic way to get your key data from your legacy systems into your new systems, you know, having toe rechy that information, you know it most times you don’t need teo, but again, if the data set a small enough, you know, sometimes that doesn’t make sense. And because it’s just a one time transfer of information, there are times where from a budget standpoint where that makes the most sense you mean manual manual king makes the most sense, exactly, exactly for the kids to think about it from the beginning of the process, you don’t want to get too far down the path and then start bringing up the topic and then realize that there is going to be some investment in terms of some programmatic interchange. So, you know, having those discussions upfront, understanding the implications and then being able to make the best decision based on what makes sense for your organization is aaron schmidt is chief product officer at billhighway, which you’ll find it billhighway dot com, how are these services typically paid for what? How are the fees work? That’s one of the great things about cloudy as well as, you know, in the past, he typically installing, you know, large systems on your different client server based systems ten again, twenty years ago with a significant capital investment upfront and then ongoing maintenance and licensing xero and the cloud, you know, move to a much more subscription based, you know, pricing model, and you really don’t have to make those significant capital investments up front and it’s more of ah, pay as you go model, which can be very attractive to smaller organizations that, you know, just historically haven’t had the funding the ability to make those up from capital investments for the large systems there? What do you really just kind of changes the playing field and allows any organization tio have the power of ah, very what do you paying for as you go? Is it per transaction or it’s a monthly retainer based female? How does pay as you go work it’s all different? You know, some organizations will charge you more of ah, per user fee. Some organizations, we’ll charge you more of a transactional based model, especially if they’re involved at all in the processing of online payments or donations. So it’s really gonna depend on on the provider and what the specific functionality is, you know, that they’re providing, but the beauty is that pay as you go model, getting rid of that that up front investment what’s interesting about cloudgood puting is it’s it’s, analogous to where we were thirty years ago twenty five, thirty years, roughly in computing, where it was mainframes and people had, you know, dumb terminals and you had to go to a terminal room, of course, because he asked, and it wasn’t just tom it’s exactly how to think of it. Is all you need is that dumb, you know, internet browser and another one of the beauties you could be anywhere in the world longs you have that intercut internet connection, you know, tying back to again that that mainframe like environment you got, everything you need is a great difference is being, of course, now it’s all desktop, you don’t go to terminal room, and your organization doesn’t maintain that mainframe. You’re just paying for access to it up in the cloud exactly. And in the sharing of that, that cost across all the organizations customers is what’s so critical where before an organization had to absorb that completely by themselves, you know, again in an industry that they’re not experts in and spreading that cost out across all of ah, cloud providers, clients, you know, just really benefits everybody way have just a couple of minutes before we have to wrap up. Erin, we’ve been talking about your internal processes accounting, but this can be these processes can be integrated with the external your bank. How does that work? Absolutely. And today again, we talk about the differences the back in the client server days, you know, into the true, you know, web based world and it isn’t general systems have been they’ve gotten better and better at integration, and you need to look for solutions that embrace integration, you know, as part of our culture, a lot of systems today that kind of claim to be good at everything and that’s just not the case, you know billhighway for example, a great financial management tool, but we’re not a great cms toole were not a great here, and you’ll see a memory with hold on hold on crn when i was customer relationship management, what cms concept management comes and think about your front end if a lot of your revenue comes in from from donations, you think about the the website that your donors are used to going teo make those donations, we have just like forty five seconds before i have to wrap up, so my charity has a relationship with td bank can you’re saying that i can integrate my accounting system using cloud computing and be integrated with my account or accounts at td bank after the limit? The counting systems are get embracing this integration and you see examples really across the board where payment processing and online banking are becoming more and more fully integrated with your accounting system and that’s really kind of were billhighway hang a hat is we’ve actually built in accounting system that sits on top of banking platforms from the beginning of tiny that your bank over here and you’re counting system over here. And and it was it was a batch process to put the two of them together every night or something batch process, and yet people involved reconcile ing those things, and really one of the reasons accounting systems in-kind departments exist is making sure that those two things they’re in synch and you’re expending a lot of time and money making sure that that’s happening and organizations like billhighway have asked the question you do, these things need to be separate, and we believe, you know, very strongly that they don’t, and we believe in, you know, five, ten years, you’re not gonna have ah system doing payment processing and in online bank to log into and then in accounting system, log into your have one user interface to log into that is allowing you to execute all three of those and then be able to leverage the operational efficiency that that that could create. All right, erin, we have to leave it there. Chief product officer at billhighway, which you’ll find a billhighway dot com arika schmidt, thank you very much for being on the show. Great. Thank you. Doing my pleasure. Right now, we take a break, and when we returned to tony’s, take two bonem talking alternative radio, twenty four hours a day. Hi, this is nancy taito from speaks. Been radio speaks. Been. Radio is an exploration of the world of communication, how it happens in how to make it better, because the quality of your communication has a direct impact on the quality of your life. Tune in monday’s at two pm on talking alternative dot com, where i’ll be interviewing experts from business, academia, the arts and new thought. Join me mondays at two p m and get all your communications questions answered on speaks been radio. Hi, i’m carol ward from the body mind wellness program. Listen to my show for ideas and information to help you live a healthier life in body, mind and spirit. You hear from terrific guests who are experts in the areas of health, wellness and creativity. So join me every thursday at eleven a, m eastern standard time on talking alternative dot com professionals serving community. Money, time, happiness, success, where’s, your breakthrough. Join me, nora simpson, as i bring you real world tools for combining financial smarts with spiritual purpose. As a consultant to ceos, i’ve helped produce clear, measurable financial results while expanding integrity, passion and joy. Share my journey as we apply the science of achievement and the art of fulfillment. To create breakthroughs for people across the world. The people of creation nation listened to norah simpson’s creation nation. Fridays, twelve noon eastern on talking alternative dot com buy-in. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com lively conversation. Top trends, sound advice, that’s, tony martignetti non-profit radio and i’m samantha cohen from the american civil liberties union. Time now for tony’s, take two my one hundredth show is next week, friday, july thirteenth. Amy sample ward is going to be my guest she’s, a blogger for stanford social innovation review, and she’s, an officer at men and ten the non-profit technology network. I’m opening this one hundred show up to you because i’m so grateful that you listen and support the show, the question’s going to be yours she’s ready to take on your social media questions? You can send them to us to me. Use the linked in group comment on my blog’s use facebook used twitter. Send your questions in advance for amy sample ward anything around social media any of those platforms i just mentioned or any of the other social networks if you’re struggling or if you’re not struggling, but you just have ah, little question to try to get you to the next level, send it and amy sample ward will take it on next friday on the one hundred show, we also have some and ten books and swag teo giveaway for both live and archive listeners were not forgetting the archive listeners in the contests ah, plus all the regular contributors is going to be there, maria and scott and jean and emily all four talking about social media is social networking, and you’ll find all this my blogged at tony martignetti dot com that is tony’s take two for friday, july sixth, twenty seventh show of the year and my ninety ninth show. Right now, i have for you a pre recorded interview with j frost from fund-raising day two thousand twelve, he and i talked about moving people from online engagement to online donor on here is that interview. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand twelve were hosted by the association of fund-raising professionals, the greater new york city chapter, and we’re in midtown manhattan at the marriott marquis. My guest right now is jay frost. He is ceo of fund-raising info dot com, and his seminar topic is a little provocative, not too provocative, curious, popping the question moving from engagement to action online. J frost welcome, thank you very much. Nice to be here, it’s a pleasure to have you on and to meet. Finally, we’ve we’ve been connected through social social networks through for quite some time, a long time a couple of years, i think, but now meeting face to face. And i’m really not too impressed. So you look better than i imagine. He’s gracious, and i’m obnoxious. Um, let’s. See? Okay, so we wanna engage. People are already engaged with our non-profit but with our charity. But we want to move them into giving online. Oh, yeah, we’re gonna have some time, but generally, what is our process for doing that? Asking, asking them to give go to the next level and okay, so when we talk about engagement, what level are they engaged? Hypothetical? Well, that does really range, right? Okay, organizations are our messaging all the time. They’re out there talking to people about the good that they do, and they do that in different ways. According to this scope and scale and their marketing plan, sometimes it’s is really a nice, rigorous plan. And sometimes it’s haphazard, but fundamentally were engaging with organizations because we we find something that they do appealing here’s, thie even stronger than appealing. I mean, they they move it, they move us. We love their work for some reason. Well, yes, i mean, hopefully radio and and we’re right, especially in social media. Be talking about that kind of passion all the time, so i’m all for passion. But at some point we’ve got to be like the session title implies at some point we got to be willing to say okay, well, i love you too. But now it’s time to get together and compare notes and work on something together. So it’s about asking people to make a commitment. Okay, how do we begin? Teo asked, how do we approach them? Well, i think it’s not dissimilar from all the other things we do in fund-raising it’s just that a lot of social has been about marketing rather than sales. And so it’s a matter of merging those two pieces instead of building a wall between them that i work with the number of organizations where they will build very large followings of people, and talk about a lot of really important things that work, that they do every day, or they share scriptural quotes. Or they will go in and look at a specific program in detail, share images from it all these things are great. They really engage people. Then they failed to just take that one additional step and say, come on over to thiss page here’s a link, and then you can support this next year, next month tomorrow, so what’s the reluctance why aren’t we doing it more? Well, i think part of it is because we’ve been given ah the wrong message for the last couple years about what social media’s should be and how far it can go, right? And in fact, there have been a lot of people that i like to call the gurus and ninjas because they often refer to themselves as good, wasn’t it? Who will say you really have to build that passion? First, we have to build the passion first, and i understand the emotion behind that here’s here’s, the fundamental challenge if we began every organization like that, none with survive every every organization needs to have today’s equivalent of the sustaining gift of the major grant of the the money given at the door of some kind of purchase. If we failed to do that, we lose the ability to sustain our mission, and social is really no different from anything else in that regard, except that the audience is far larger and the acquisition cost is far lower, right? Right. Okay, so we say thie advices asked, but we’re accustomed to doing very different work related but leading up to but were afraid to make the ask right to convert someone into a donor that’s who we’re talking about, right, even and even a modest donor, maybe a fifty dollars, a year donor. What’s what’s your advice? I mean, well, let me ask you this way, does your advice vary based on whether we’re asking through facebook or we’re asking our twitter followers? Well, i don’t know that would vary that much by the channel. Specifically, it might be by the kind of content we’re sharing or the event itself or the ask itself. I guess what i’m saying is that we need to be willing to marry the different parts of the program so instead of them operating in silos, we gotta find a way to, for example, have the e mail campaign fed by social. So a part of this is organizational structure. It’s absolutely, or you don’t want marketing communications not to not be talking to development and institutional advance, right? Absolutely. And in fact, i think a lot of times we we’ve given the social aspect to people in it because we saw two somehow alien and complicated, or we’ve given it to the marketing department because we saw it as a channel for broadcasting. And while those the people in those in those skill areas are terrific, they have terrific skillsets great contributions, they make two organizations, we need to have somebody who’s willing to actually say, okay, glad you love us now would you be willing to support this activity? They need to be involved in all the messaging, all those components, okay, so who should be saying it? Well, in that case, what we really need to do is have a social media department, which is made up of people were fund-raising including fund-raising all right, so we need to break down the organizational silos and also the conceptual silos about what social networks are for and how far we can go with them. And and i’ve seen this pretty consistently. I went to a conference last year where it was a room full of people going to a session on social media that i was conducting, and we did it kind of. A show of hands afterwards, how many people had a fundraiser in the team that was responsible for a social media messaging and it was less than ten percent? And i saw something happened just recently it another conference in very similar result. So i think that we we have to we have to find a way to marry these concepts very early in the program, and then we will use that technologies as the bridges between them so that if, for example, we won’t go to facebook and to say, will you give today? We would say there there’s here’s, the program that we’ve been talking about? It’s really important, we need your support for it where you click this link and come over here and do so so that’s it. Then we’re going to use another platform to collect the information, to collect the donation in the same way that we do now through email or our website. So it’s a process of moving from one place to another using the correct messaging within that context of that channel. Okay, so let’s talk a little more, even in more detail, so that people can start to activate themselves. Two break down their own pre conceptions. Misconceptions about this limitation around around social media. What? What is what is a preferred method of doing that let’s say on with your with twitter followers? How might we start to get them? We’re putting out bursts, they’re very engaged. We’ve got a good number, let’s say we’ve got a couple of thousand followers, but that’s as far as we’ve gone and we don’t really know much about them other than that they’re following us on twitter way don’t know, we don’t know who they are beyond that, right? How do we start to message while they’re there? There are a whole bunch of elements there there, really interesting. Okay, one is the task, interesting questions all the time i had to, but they’re running on you to get in there. Open ended. So interesting answers. Where do i start? Which apple do i pick first? Well, one part is about knowing who the donors are. Okay, let’s, focus on how do we get more information about who are two thousand? Twitter followers aren’t right exactly. Well, there were a couple ends to that one is, of course, when we go in, we when we have an existing following, we could start researching those people by simply looking their profiles and then connecting that to other kinds of profiles for example, their web pages there, they’re linked in pages and that we’re gonna learn quite a good deal about them. A bigger challenge right now is finding information on people already in our file who are on these social channels, but we don’t know that they are there, and there are some tools now to do that there. Is there a couple of companies unfortunate don’t think they’re in the hall here today, but they’re a couple of company named them it’s. Ok, well, i know one is small act, for example, small act small act, which what they do is they will take a file of email addresses, and they will then upend the social handles so instead of wonderful. So instead of just trying to figure out who might be on facebook and then say, well, you post something for us, you find out the people who had the greatest influence and then you reach out to them directly. Now can we give listeners another another company that does that just to give them a choice? Don’t i want? Or i would, but i’m forgetting. The name right now and there are only two. But if i’m happy to tell anybody if they contact me after, ok, if it occurs to you in the next fifteen minutes so shattered i mean, i shout out random phones right time i’ll do that. So you’re invited to do that as well. Listeners know that it’s mostly randomized. Okay. What? What other advice? I mean, you see now, it’s? Not really channel specific. But you said i might question opened up a whole bunch of interesting topics are now we know more about who the people are, right? What else? What else was interesting? Well, another piece of that is how our people actually raising money. I mean, are they raising money by direct if they are raising money at all? Are they doing it by direct, ask or by empowering people to ask on their behalf? Clearly, the answer is number two. Eso an example. That’s very easy now is charity water charity water has been very successful in having people donate their birthdays where a person will say i would like tio instead giving me birthday presents this year will you go to my form, make a gift for charity water to bring potable water to people who don’t have any. And that’s that’s been very successful, they’ve raised. I understand over forty five million dollars to date there are now embarking a one billion dollar campaign. So i think fundamentally, what they’re doing right, and it’s been done by other organizations, is by empowering their donors to use some tools off line and use the social environment to go out and spread that message with those links to their pages. Charity water also happens to be very good about showing impact. Yes, absolutely. I think that’s a big that’s. A big piece, obviously on the programmatic side, they’re showing that your dollars could make a direct impact. Its but even when it’s not quite as tangible, i think organizations have done very well in these ways. Another example that i used today is something like humane society, the humane society, united states. What are they doing? That’s right in this context, they again have causes page, you know, so people can make a donation that way. They have their own contribution pages, etcetera. So they’re driving traffic to these places so people could make a donation. But really, what they’re doing is they’re fostering that relationship and empowering the donor. And one really basic level is to go and react and respond and engage with every single person who posts something. So if you were to go right now and send a tweet to somebody, the commission society, you’re going to get a response, you know? And i don’t know of any other charity in america that does that. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Are you feeling overwhelmed in the current chaos of our changing times? A deeper understanding of authentic astrology can uncover solutions in every area of life. After all, metaphysics is just quantum physics politically expressed. I am montgomery taylor, and i offer lectures, seminars and private consultations. For more information, contact me at monte m o nt y at r l j media. Dot com are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? 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And for small and midsize shops, that could be very challenging, but i just don’t have the do they. Well, let me push back on that we’ve had that conversation for a long time in fund-raising about the thank you call and ah lot of us know jerry panis, who talks about this stuff, and i’ve done some sessions with him at the institute for charitable giving this last year, a lot of fun because he has so much history and so much experience with different organizations, and he often tells the story listeners who don’t know his last name is spelled p a n a s yes, and you’ll see it either is jerry are usually jerrold with a j that’s, right? Yeah. Okay, please. Lots of books to his to his credit center, etcetera. But he talks about these organizations that that decide to thank their donors by phone. And this is a long before social media. So just one levels you pick up the phone and just say thank you. And so he was talking with a few organizations about this and the importance of making i think he said ah, thank you. Phone call to everybody who gives that leased a thousand dollars and one person said while we do it for everybody who gives one hundred, and he thought that was great, of course, s o he said, well, how how do you do it? And that’s that’s terrific. And and they said, well, actually, we do. And i think they said about fifty six thousand like this a year fifty six thousand phone calling organization it’s a big organization, but here’s the question, why are they big? I would argue that the reason why they’re large is because they built that level of engagement because they thank everyone because there because the most important thing is the person had told jerry and the rest of group, what is there that’s more important than saying thank you? And but and the reason i mention this in social media context is because in social media that’s, exactly the currency if you say something great, i retweet it, and that means that i think it has value and i care and you probably care that i that i’ve done that, but institutionally, we have failed at that we will often broadcast really good content that we think it’s in the interest of our of our constituents, but we haven’t been very good about saying, wow, thank you for sharing this content or that was a really great thing that you said we really appreciate your carrying our baton it’s very easy to dio i’ve been mystery shopping at non-profits on twitter, okay, couple years, yes, we’re all going all post content about them, oftentimes with their handle to see what they’ll say, and this is various things they have a job opening at a gift that’s been made to them there posted some terrific content, and then i’ll wait to see what they say. Now i’ve done this organizations i know nothing about. I don’t know anyone there, i’ve done it with organizations i know but haven’t given teo and i’ve done it with organizations where i give including a couple, whether in my will and they know it, and i would have to say that at least ninety nine percent that time there is xero response to anything that i posted about them and and really that’s just like the thank you. What? Why? Why not decide to make a mental shift and simply say that while we don’t have all day to subic, sit around, say thank you, we can take ten percent of our day on social to say we’re going to talk with people in a way that tells them that we care and that’s that’s actually an outstanding example, including especially, i think, the ones that you have in your will and they know it, but there isn’t a closer relationship, and they’re not monitoring their social networks. Two see that you’re you’re commenting on the relationship, and they should be commenting back. And part of that, of course, is is roger that the person who’s working on that social account is now pushing housing and pushing and and not looking and you know it’s not their fault. It’s their job to create content, but not to monitor what what’s coming back or to monitor the relationships with donors because their job is all about the content. It’s not about the dahna relationships, but no donors, you know, no bucks, no buck rogers, yeah, that’s my philosophy on fund-raising all right, ah, look, i’m just going to open up the sort of generally mean other advice the charity’s khun can execute. For me, that’s a that’s a pretty simple one monitor your channel, monitor your name across all the networks that you’re on that’s right and respond when the name is someone that’s should be recognizable to me, so cross check what other simple advice like that? Well, you can use the same philosophy to try and gather new donors knew or at least knew constituents, knew interested parties, so it goes beyond the kind of follow the followers or follow the followers followers thing to looking for people. We’re talking about the things that matter to you. So in the case of the kind things that way, there is our currency, maybe it’s philanthropy or if i’m in a cancer organization to look att at, people were mentioning cancer, and then to reach up into the to them directly and talk about what is of interest to them. Tio applaud the kinds of things they’re posting and that’s going to drive traffic back to you. I mean, i think it has a direct economic effect, but it also has a has a way of showing them that were really authentic and what we’re doing, we’re not just selling something, which i think should be appealing to the people right now who are monitoring our channels, that the folks who are largely managing our social media right now have their heart in the right place, which is to say they care that that we’re having an honest and authentic conversation. The problem is that there aren’t necessarily in a position to have it with the people who are the most invested with our causes, so if we can improve that, that and then e-giving some incentive direction, encouragement to go out and try to find more people who care about the same things, we could really broaden our audience. Another piece that’s of great interest to me is about global amglobal fund-raising organizations, the united states have been largely focused on domestic fund-raising forever and that’s been in for very practical reasons. If you live in new york, there’s a lot of opportunity in new york, so maybe you’d go outside to the tri state area. If you live in california, you have a national charity. Maybe you’ll reach out to new york and perhaps texas in chicago and d c in a couple places florida, but you’re going to stop. In the places that, you know, we have a critical mass of donors, and a lot of that is driven by where you can travel and who you have addresses for here’s. The thing about global social media is that if i post something now, not a person in beirut could read is easily a za person in boston or tokyo as well as texas. So if we start trying to send messages out in a way that says, we’re welcoming not just the people here who care about this stuff, but we’re really welcoming everyone. We have the opportunity to completely expand our audience for our work and because that we aren’t inhibited by those addresses because the mail weii there’s really nothing, nothing inhibiting us from continuing to stuart these donors once we activate them, empower them and that’s again. Why we need to have stewardship and solicitation is always a piece of this fabric because otherwise we’ll never have the opportunity to say great glad you liked us. Can you come over here and support us? And the same thing is true. Domestically, we for a long time been focused on donors who kind of looked like our boards, the past and that’s been a pretty homogeneous place. But today, because the nature of social media and its audience it’s so widely diverse, especially the audiences that are going to become more mohr, the biggest part of the american fabric in the next few years that we have an opportunity to talk to them right now in a way that we never could’ve with our list. Ten years ago, you wouldn’t have had the access right right here, we have to leave it there. Great j frost, a pleasure. He is ceo of fund-raising info dot com pleasure to have you as a guest. It’s, great speaker. Thanks, tony. Martignetti oh, my pleasure. Thank you, tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of the fund-raising day conference two thousand twelve in new york city. Our host is the association of fund-raising professionals create a new york city chapter that interview from fund-raising day just a few weeks ago. My thanks to aaron schmid and also, of course, to j frost and the organizer’s of fund-raising day twenty twelve. Next week, as i said, the one hundred show. Get your social media questions in for amy sample ward. Use any of the networks that that i’m on linked in the blogged facebook twitter plus scott koegler maria simple jean takagi and emily chan will also be with us all talking about social media all next week. We’re all over social media. You can’t make a click without smacking your head into tony martignetti non-profit radio you know all the places we are, you know you can listen live or archive on itunes itunes that non-profit radio dot net on twitter you can follow me, use the show’s hashtag which is non-profit radio i’m also on four square if you want, if you’re there let’s connect on foursquare, our creative producer is claire miree off sam liebowitz is our line producer shows social media is by regina walton of organic social media, who doesn’t have standing job and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. 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