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Cindy Gibson: I Heart Institutional Funders
Cindy Gibson, principal of Cynthesis Consulting, has over 26 years working in and supporting nonprofits. How do you show the love to private, public and corporate foundations? What’s the role of your board and technology in building relationships with funders? What’s the right mindset to have going in?
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent i’m your aptly named host it’s valentine’s day happy valentine’s day. I hope that you have lots of special valentine’s that’s a special people in your life and you’re and you’re sending them some, uh, some love and some special wishes today. Reach out to a valentine that you haven’t talked to for a while and i’m very glad you’re with me today i’d be forced to endure geo trick oh, cece, if i came to learn that you had missed our valentine’s day show, i heart institutional funders cindy gibson principle of synthesis consulting has more than twenty six years working in and supporting non-profits how do you show the love to private public and corporate foundations? What’s the role of your board and technology in building relationships with funders what’s the right mindset tohave going into this relationship on tony’s take two my professional development survey we are brought to you by rally bound peer-to-peer fund-raising and by telephone bill reduction consulting trc i’m very pleased that cindy gibson is with me today. She is a practiced emmick. She has a phd and over twenty six years of experience with non-profits she has had leadership roles for several national foundations and non-profits she was a non-profit times top fifty power and influence sir she’s a principal of synthesis consulting you’ll find her on twitter as at caen gib cindy gibson welcome to the show thanks for having me tony it’s a pleasure you sound loud and clear there you sound like you’re next door but i know you’re not you’re in the yurt in massachusetts in the boston area is that right i am getting out of a lot of snow appear ok and we had a lot down here which what kept you from moving yeah that that that’s okay next time maybe where where in massachusetts are you i’m in boston okay um what come non-profits be doing better around relationship building with with funders cindy oh my gosh that’s such a huge question way haven’t our toe floor pardon me we haven’t our to explore it well let me say a couple things about it generally one of the things that we have all heard if we worked in a non-profit ing on any kind of fund-raising training which we probably all have, is that ninety nine percent of fund-raising is about people that people give people give to people again. We’ve all heard that ad nauseum, but what has really struck me is that a lot of non-profits while they get that about individual fund-raising, you know, for individual donors, they don’t necessarily get it about institutional thunders, you know, there’s more than seventy thousand foundations right now in the united states, all of which are unique and all of which have lots of people in them that have their own biases and quirks and personalities. So it’s important to get to know those folks on dh when i find is this is generally speaking, of course, some non-profits don’t operate that with that in mind, and so they they have, they tend to do some things that are probably not the best practices on i can’t talk about those if you want, we’ll get to them, okay? Oh, okay. Um, so that you’ve been on both sides of this relationship. You have worked for funders and also grantees is that? And you have your doctoral degree. Is this put all this together? That’s. What makes you a practiced emmick sort of i mean, i i was a, um i actually started out in video production for a very big non-profit that was run by norman lear, the television producer, so i really started i really learned about marketing and communications way back when before they, you know, before they became really recognized as an important part of non-profit work on dh, then i went into more foundation work, and i actually i should back-up say, was that development director for several years as well, um then worked and got into consulting and now work with mostly thunders but still it’s non-profits on program development in strategic planning, so i worked in a very large foundation full time as a program officers. So yes, i’ve worked on both sides of the death, and this makes you the practical academic record exactly like yes, because then i was getting my phd and did a lot of work with non-profit advocacy groups as a phd during a lot of research on that, so i’m able to straddle both of those worlds can talk in the thunder speak and which, you know, sometimes devolved into academic speak, but i can also work with practitioners because i have been a practitioner, i’ve been on the ground now in our discussion, we’re not talking about government funding, is that right? We’re just why? Why is government funding different than the corporate or the private or public foundation funding? I think it’s a little bit more formal it’s, certainly much more codified in terms of their ten government, tends to have a lot of, um, templates for their funding applications. You need a lot of data, you need to be really prepared for those application processes. I think there are some personal aspects of that relationship in terms of government funding, but i don’t think it’s, as um, is quirky as it is with foundations, every foundation, as you know, it’s very different, okay? And i guess sounding like tougher to build a relationship with a program officer at a government agency that it would be at the funders that we’re going to be talking about. I just my personal experiences that i think it’s a little bit harder government does tend to be more of a faceless bureaucratic institution, then i think some sounds so nineteen, eighty four bleak and certainly it’s. Not government fund-raising has certainly not been something that i have been immersed, nor joy necessarily want to be that’s the way it sounds. Okay. All right, well, we’re not holding you. Yeah, we’ll just i want to make that distinction to everyone stands what we are, what we aren’t talking about. We’re talking about all the other institutional funders. All right, so you said you have some some ideas around. Did you see a phrase it as good practices or bad practices way could start there? Well, let me just let me just say going back to what i was talking about at the opening, that you know what non-profits do sometimes even though they say they understand the importance of developing relationships with, i’m going to say foundations, meaning generally, you know, corporate institutional foundations, family foundations, all kinds of foundations, they tend to operating campaign mowed a lot of times, and they jump in and say, you know, we need to raise a million dollars from ah foundations by the end of next year, andi so they start jumping in about you know which foundations to re approach with the stuff we’re doing or they look at their calendar and guidelines, you know, of these foundations, and they start dreaming up something that seems to be a match and then tried to sell it through a proposal or a letter. Ah, that usually doesn’t work because, again, there’s no connection between the organizations and who they’re trying to reach out tio perfect examples, they just had coffee with somebody the other day who runs a medium sized non-profit that’s been around for a while, and they used to get most of their income from their conference fees. But as the years have gone by, the conference has sort of not been attracting as much and earned revenue, so they need to branch out and do other kinds of fund-raising in the first thing she said to me is, well, we need to raise six million dollars by the end of next year, and my question to her was, well, okay, so who are you looking at? And do you have any kinds of relationships with them? And, you know, she stared at me blankly and said, well, no, you know, we’re just we just think that they’ll get it basically, and and then i asked her, have you ever invited him to your conference before? Have they come? You know, no, they never have so it’s a great example of how they sometimes non-profits don’t think about these kinds of things. Another thing they don’t think about right away is whether they should even be targeting institutional thunders for their funding in the first place. You know, in a lot of meetings, i’m sure a lot of your listeners have where non-profits will sit down, the staff will sit down and they’ll say, well, we want to get money from the gates foundation, you know, we’re in education non-profit why shouldn’t we get money from the gates foundation and failing to think again about that? Five million other people would like to get money from the gates foundation, and even particularly small and midsized organizations are probably gonna have a really hard time, even if they know somebody at the gates foundation getting money from them. So that’s that’s sort of another thing that that i see a lot a lot happened, okay, we’re goingto take our first break, and when we come back, cindy and i, cindy, you and i will will explore some of these. In detail and start going into whether you should. I mean that’s, a very good threshold. Question. Whether even, should be approaching institutional funders hang in there. You didn’t even think that shooting. Good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternative network to get thank you. Think xero good. Do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth seven and seven will help bring the changes you need. Wear small business consultants and we pay attention to the details. You may miss. Our culture and consultant services are guaranteed to lead toe right groat for your business, call us at nine one seven eight three three four eight six zero foreign, no obligation free consultation. Check out our website of ww dot covenant seven dot com. 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. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent got to send some valentine’s live listener love new york, new york mountain view, california and westchester p a live listener love out to you we also got south haven michigan valentine’s live listener love let’s go abroad lugano, spain somewhere in el salvador’s, little mast we can’t tell what city el salvador live listener loved to you let’s say hello to japan konnichi wa tio witco, kush agha and tokyo i know you don’t celebrate valentine’s day, but we do here and you could be a valentine even if you aren’t in the confines of the united states. You certainly get valentine’s live listener love from non-profit radio from me from the heart. Okay, sin. Give cindy gibson. Um, how do we know whether we should be going to institutions for the money that we need in this? In your case, that great hypotheticals. Six million dollar gap within the next year? Uh, well, i think first of all, you have to do your research again. This is something that everybody says, but it’s amazing how many non-profits don’t take the time to dig down and really look at the institution they’re approaching, another examples i had a friend who works in a higher education organization in the development office and, you know, this is an office that’s got amazing numbers of staff to do this kind of research, and she said they hardly ever do it. They have again start where they’re doing stuff about possible foundations without thinking about, you know, whether they’ve even look to see if there’s a match in terms of the foundation’s interests and what they’re doing now can’t. The foundation center is a good resource for that, right? Correct on guide star and in my opinion, one of the best ways to see what foundations air funding our toe. Look at your quote, competitors, people, other organizations in your field to see who they’re getting money from. How would you how would you go about that? It’s? Very easy. You can go look at guidestar again. You can look at their web sites. A lot of times organizations will have ah, ah, a link to our donors or our supporters. Um, you sometimes can see them in the nineteen nineties or in the foundation center. Annual reports. You know, there’s. All kinds of ways to find out another way you can do that as another friend of mine, who’s, a great fundraiser, says that he actually will call up some of his colleagues and other organizations and ask them to make an introduction for him. Granted, that doesn’t always work because sometimes organizations are competitive and they get a little proprietary. But he said he found that it works for him and and in return, he will then introduce some of his colleague organizations to funders when they asked that’s very interesting, very collegial. Okay, so even if it works just a quarter of the time still, you’re getting you’re getting warm introduction vs cold introductory letter or letter of inquiry? Correct again, you know, i would say that cold introductory cold calls and cold proposals and e mails probably only work about one out of a thousand attempts. Oh, my goodness, i will say, is the former development director i have had not happened. One but that’s very rare. Okay, so so we need to be developing the relationship before we ask for money. So this is is that what you’re that’s? What you’re proposing, it is and i think that goes back to getting back to digging around for research is the second part of that is once you figure out if there is a match with what you’re selling, and i do want to say one thing about again trying to decide whether you’re right for institutional thunders is just because, again, you just because you may have somethingto sell them, which, again, sometimes a lot non-profits don’t i really have something to sell institutional thunders they think they do because they get very wrapped up in what they’re doing in its great work, and we all, i think it’s, great work, but there’s a tendency for all of us to get steeped into our own narrative. I might run a terrific after school arts program that’s great in my community, but taking that to ah, larger funder not not a local thunder, for example, who might be interested that somebody like, you know, a bigger national or even state funder may not be the best approach. So really, really thinking about, you know, whether there’s a match if you do decide there’s a match and if you think there is a good match and you do have something to sell. Then the next step, of course, is finding out who’s behind jews, institutional walls and how you can get to those people. How can you develop those relationships? Okay. And i only know the, um the foundation center as a source for who’s who’s on the board of a non-profit of a foundation is that is looking at the board members the good wayto ah, good way to see whether there’s a relationship that might exist between your organization and there’s. Well, so the first step is yes. I mean, go the foundation center. Ask around to your colleagues, as i mentioned. Look at their lists and who’s funding them again. This is not a linear process. I mean, it’s. Clearly, you know, something that you have to sort of work at all different angles. You scour lists and lists and lists and look at who are who are their trustees, who are the program’s staff members and sometimes who are who are the staff members that aren’t necessarily in the program that you’re interested in, but that are related to that program area and the institution that you never you never you be surprised you. Might know, or you might know someone who knows again look into their funding, contact them, there’s lots of ways to get it. Who’s, the president of the of the institution, you know all kinds of ways to look at an institution, and you really should look at it thoroughly. And then the next step is the personal, um, aspects of this, which all comes down to networking. Andi, let me let me bring in the role of your own board as you’re trying to determine where the relationships may exist, hoping that there is one all those lists that you talked about, those should be shared with your own board as well. Right? So starting with the basic premise is that all non-profits i don’t care how small they are, um, or helping they are they have networks, um, that they need to work and they have power in those networks. And i think getting non-profits toe understand that sometimes it is difficult there’s always six degrees of separation among all parties involved in these kinds of relationships, building exercises and that’s what you have to look at clearly the board can’t stress this enough is your number one? Resource for developing personal relationships? Um, if you don’t have a board that’s going to help you make those connections, you need thio either get one on dh. You do that by developing a relationship with your board chair so that you can identify potential board members that do have connections that you need to work and that i should say, isn’t aside that’s not just people with money putting them on you more, but people who may have lots of different networks within your community, like, you know, they know the real estate developer or they know the head of the local bank get some on your board or, you know, people who can help you just reach out to different places that you may not be able to reach out to. Um so what do you do with the board? You get into the habit of asking your board every single board meeting to look at who you’re looking at in terms of approaching, um and their names on a list of the names of the people in associating with that institution and one of the things i’ve actually been the chair of? Ah, couple development committee’s on a board, um, one of the hazards of knowing howto fund-raising when you get on board, you always end up being the chairs are well, they’re using you for your expertise the way you’re suggesting listeners do with the person who knows the developed the local real estate developer. Right? Well, see you. So what? What i try, i will speak from my own personal experience, and it seems to have worked well is that i’ve usually as the board a person who works on development, um, and p s it’s really good to have a development, share your board, who really focuses on this and who works directly with the director of development of that organization to prepare those lists for every board meeting. And so what we tried to do in the boards i sat on is that we integrate every board, meaning we not only build in on a permanent agenda item fund-raising you know, we make that a priority for a board meeting and takes an intentional you need to be intentional about that, but we also i would allocate ten or fifteen minutes every board meeting to pass those lists around during the board meaning and ask the board members to check off whom they knew at these various institutions if they knew anyone what their connections might be and give them five or ten minutes to do that, and then you can collect those that information before the board meeting ends because we all know if you don’t do that and you say i’ll follow up with you on, i’ll send you this email and ask if any of the lifts it’s really hard to get those responses back. So this way, you really make a point of getting boardmember every meeting to think about who they know, another thing you should put on that list at the very end is the question who isn’t on this list that i’m giving you that should be on dh that, you know, i might be able to help us get into another constitutional thunder that you might know of. All right, so you yes. You want to see this as a regular part of board meetings? Yep. D’oh, i will say that i’m not naive. I mean, i know that this is not something that a lot of non-profits and board feel comfortable if you know i know a lot of remembers hate fund-raising they have a negative perception of it, you really have to work to change the culture of those boards and speaking from personal experience, i have to say that it that takes time, you know, you have tio, um, integrate this notion that it’s everyone’s job fund-raising, um, talking about, you know, a giver get policy where every boardman member makes a contribution but also commits in writing, preferably on that can talk about that, but to joe, nate, um, other things, and that includes connections, you know, saying i will give you a personal contribution, but then i will also help you get access, teo, at least five other people, including people who work in institutions that, you know, might be able to give you money. So getting bored, you know, to do that, sometimes you can train them sometimes i bring in people who are really great at this and do trainings with board members, um, and the other thing you have to do is you have to make it pleasant for them, you know, if you’re asking them if you’re following up on a boardmember who says i know? Joe blow at this foundation and following up, by the way, is really important people don’t do that, but if following up with boardmember and saying, ok, so, you know, this person work with us just to develop a strategy to getting in front of this person and if, you know, take them with you on the visit before you take them two on the visit, make sure that you give them the research on the back-up they need to speak comfortably a lot of board members, even though they might know somebody and a foundation doesn’t mean that they know what to say once they get there. Okay, so, you know, making it easy for them to work with you gives them it’s just more pleasant for them, and they start to understand the process more. Okay on. So we’re starting now we’re moving from you found where the relationships are. Two howto start to make introduction to the to the institution, to the people that are known in the institution. Um and so you okay? I understand. You’re suggesting the boardmember is going to make that introduction? How best, teo, how best to structure that meeting should should. You invite the the program officer or whoever it is that’s known at the at the funder to come to your office to see maybe to your facility. To see the work that you’re doing is that is that kind of introduction. Every meeting. I think there’s some other things to say yeah, i mean, there are other things to do. I mean, there are ways to get noticed it’s not just, you know, it’s, not just your board, it’s also, you know, who does the executive director? Not director might already know that person. And so it really depends on what kind of relationship you have ahead of time. You know, what kind of meeting structure? Okay, you have to be so set up a strategy for each from actual fundez tronvig approach is going to be different every meeting you’re going to have to it that’s what? I mean, this is this is time consuming work, and it really takes constant attention to making sure that somebody is paying attention to, you know, which means can we get which people are going to that meeting who’s? What are we going to say? Are we even going to ask for money at this meeting? You know, all of those things have to be taken into considering okay, we’re developing a strategy just as t follow the parallel that you mentioned early on which same thing we would do with individuals weii, we know. Someone or we want to know someone how do we get to them? Who could make the introduction and what’s our strategy for that individual it’s identical on the on the institutional side, i would say yes in terms of of that relation. And then of course, then there are differences in terms of, um, you know, institutions, individuals are goingto a general statement, but individuals generally are going to be a little bit more interested in the personal relationship that they may have with either your organization or the issue that you are focused on. And that is actually the case for a lot of family foundations as well, and foundations that are located in the local errors, they’re really interested in local funding. National or bigger foundations are not going to be attuned to, you know, the personal interests. You know, for example, i am a a family foundation, and a lot of times, you know, that’s a small foundation but it’s run by or involved individuals who are, you know, may have a personal connection to the free health clinic in their community. Their relative went there and got great service, so they really wantto support that. Organization so you’re going toe have a little different? Um, angle, when you going to talk with, um, could be much more personal to them, then you would going into a new institutional thunder that doesn’t have that that’s a little bit more formal, they’re not going to care as much. I don’t think about the fact that their brother went there to get service, although of course that helps, but they’re going to be much more interested in, you know, what is this organization you’re talking about? What are you doing? What’s the evidence that you have that you’re better than any other organization i should fund, you know, what’s your value at it, and i will say it’s an aside, that is one one thing that non-profits overlook a lot when they go to meet with institutional thunders is toe understand that these people see hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who were doing very similar things that you might be doing. And if you can’t tell them where you fit in your quote market, what makes you valuable? What makes you distinct of? And then what? How your work compliments what other people are doing in your field? I would say nine times out of ten it’s not going to be a strong cell for them. Okay, way really important. Remembers a lot more to say about that. Okay? Yep. Thank you. Because we have to go out for a break. And when we come back tony’s take two and then cindy and i are going to keep talking, but we’re going to move along to social media. And what is true networking? How do you get yourself out there to be known within the work that you do so stay with us. Oh, that’s, right? We don’t have a break. I just ah, i’m thinking on the old model i just transition two talking about the amazing sponsors that we have that helped me to bring the amazing guests that we have, like cindy gibson rally bound, for instance, they do peer-to-peer fund-raising you’ve heard me say this a couple times in the past, they are a rally bound dot com they create help you to create campaigns that are friends asking friends to give to your cause. You get a discount as a non-profit radio listener, as people have done, i’m very glad that people are talking to joe magee at rally bound. It doesn’t have to be a run walk, ride or race could be, but does not have to be event based. Um, joe was telling me about grades of green in los angeles. They used rally bound to raise twenty three thousand dollars through their youth corps. This is a group of advisors who are in grades three to twelve, and each of them in the youth corps set up personal e-giving pages ask their friends to give, and they raised twenty two thousand dollars grades three through twelve that’s, i think, is pretty cool. You can speak to joe magee that rally bound he’ll answer your questions there’s no pressure that they just don’t work like that. He is at triple eight seven, six, seven nine o seven six or rally bound dot com also tea brc cost recovery is a sponsor yourself rabinowitz besides saving money on phone bills, he can save you money on credit card fees. When donors make a credit card gift, you don’t change companies, yussef talks to your existing credit card processor to get them to lower the fee that you pay on each. Transaction those feeds add up. I’m sure you’ve seen if you if you haven’t take a look at your last bill, those credit card fees are taking money out of your pocket and sometimes cos ray’s their rates. Ah, and sometimes more than once a year. Even so, yussef will get you a lower rate and then actually monitor your bills for three years to make sure that the fees don’t rise and if he doesn’t lower your rate, you don’t pay him. I’ve known yourself close to ten years he’s also no pressure. I just don’t work with people like that. You can talk to yourself at two one, two, six, double four, nine triple xero which would also be to one, two, six, six four, nine thousand or he’s at tbe rc dot com. I have a professional development survey on my block. I’m interested in what you do to keep current and fresh in your work clearly non-profit radio is an integral part of that there’s, no question about that, but what else are you doing? Webinars conferences, blog’s books, whatever it is you’re doing, i’m interested doesn’t matter whether you’re in a non-profit or your consulting. I’m interested in how you keep up with what’s new around non-profits the survey is on my block at tony martignetti dot com and that is tony’s take two for friday, fourteenth of february valentine’s day and this is the seventh show of the year coming back from the break. That really wasn’t a break, but because we used to take a break. But that was my mistake. Cindy gives him still with us, right? I am here’s, your paper shuffling. I hope you’re not reading from papers. Hope not. Okay, um, so let’s, talk about getting out there a bit. You have some ideas that are beyond what i think people typically think of is as networking in getting your you and your organization known you have a lot of ideas, but i think the first one clearly is can’t stress this enough. As the executive director has to be out in the world, they have to be visible on. And they have to be seen as an influential in the field. They have to be at the table when there are meetings of their peers. Um, they are it’s great for them to be to put them make. Sure, they’re on panels at conferences where institutional thunders are going to be over there. Staff i i think it’s important to ask the executive director, too, right or blogged, you know, funders notice that stuff a perfect example is a an organization that i pulled in to write an article with about something for you pretty well known magazine in the field. Um, that article caught the attention of a very, very large funder, um, in on the west coast to now wants tohave an entire conference with fifty or so other funders based on that article on dh, this is a an executive director who absolutely refused to even consider writing anything because she didn’t have time to do it, and i feel like that’s missing a huge opportunity, going to make the time to do that stuff i think you need to be as you touched on tony about social media think you it would be good, teo, you know, get a twitter account like tony and i have on by, you know, constantly tweet what you’re doing or get your staff to tweet what you’re doing. Ah, funders air getting on twitter a lot of the staff of foundations are on twitter andi even the presidents are starting to get there much more slowly, but they are, um, ask other people who you know that are influential teo and on social media to tweet and talk about the stuff your organization is doing as well and funded that their network and then also, um, aside aside from your own twitter stream, would be the importance of who you start following you want you want to be following all the all the funders that you’re interested in that’s, right? And because you’ll learn from that you want to be listening as well as talking on twitter? Absolutely. And when you see, for example, that a donor or a program staff member has perhaps tweeted something about, you know, their latest publication or whatever, you can either retweet that or you, then you can follow up with them and send them a direct message and say, hey, you know, i just saw your tweet, we have ah project going on like this, just in case you’re interested, you know it. And if a donor does recognize you, if the fun a thunder does tweet something about you or put it on, lengthen or on facebook always respond to that, you know, even if even if that thunder doesn’t say, well, we just funded this organization, even if they’re just talking about you or your issue, try teo, monitor that stuff and make sure you follow-up and say thank you, and, uh, they love to talk to you about this sometime if you have a chance. That’s ah, that’s just good good engagement online practice is correct and as we know more and more, fund-raising becomes more more moving toe online, you cannot separate engagement anymore from from fundrasing and it’s a critical thing for non-profits to think about it, they move forward. What about over on linked in if you if you find groups that are around the cause or causes that you’re involved with participating in groups, i think that’s a great suggestion example is, you know, just the other day i was scrolling around linked in, and i saw that robert wood johnson foundation, for example, had a group that they were had a group, that they have a group on there for professionals who are working in the health arena, and so i clicked on it and i said, you know, send us your name and we’ll we’ll see whether you qualify and and turns out they did, and so now i’m on that that group, so i never would have thought of that, had i not been, you know, just sort of looking around on lengthen so it’s a great suggestion, i think i want to say again, this amazes me how you forget this is that when you’re having, when you’re non-profits having a special event or an open house or a conference or some kind of public event invite thunders, they’re invite prospect thunder’s not just your current owners invite people that you’ve always wanted teo get in front of to those events, it’s just a really easy way to get in front of these people and let them know that you’re around, and you’d be surprised sometimes they show up and that gets this is a really important point, i wantto emphasize, is that it? I don’t think it’s the best strategy for even when you do have a contact in a relationship with this person, say on twitter or is to just go right in and start thinking about ok? How much they got money from them now that i have this connection, one of them a strategy that i used as a development director and i’ll pass this along because it worked well for us and this organization was that every time our organization would do a new publication or we were mentioned in the new york times or we had, like, some sort of shout out from on influential i would pull together that information, and i would look att i would send it to two types of thunders the people who already funded us as well as i had a list of prospect fundez foundations that i’d wanted to get in contact for a long time, and i would send them a different kind of note, and the note would basically say, we know you’re interested in this issue. We just happened to have done this new publication or hears this article that mentions us, and i didn’t ask him for money. It was basically just saying thought you’d want to know about this, and we would do that for about six months or so just to let those thunders know that we were around and to get it in front of them. And so by the time that we were ready to try to make a strategy to get in front of them, tow, have a conversation. Um, they were already somewhat familiar with us. They knew our names at least and just a p s. If you can get your board or your executive director to write personal notes at the bottom of those kinds of notes or an email, so much the better. Okay, the and that’s, another parallel with individual fund-raising were that’s, right? Were routinely inviting potential donors to events not only existing, not only donors potential donors as well. Another parallel. Um um ok, um, let’s see? So you’re something you’re concerned is that too much of the thinking is around. It is being a transaction and not a genuine relationship. I think that’s a great point on dh it’s something that i talked to people about it cause i get asked a lot about networking because i, um known for that i love connecting people. I have lots of different networks on one of the first things i say that people is. Is that if you go in too? Ah. Networking and i’m going to a meeting quote to network if you go into that meeting with the attitude that i need to reach this person because i can get something from them or i want to get money from them, so i really need to go network with them. I don’t think that’s gonna serve you well in a long time. It’s not even genuine it’s it’s not genuine is not a relationship. It’s ah, i’ll give you a perfect example of that transaction. I had a, um coffee with a person who runs a nonprofit in new york. You drink a lot called me a lot of coffee meetings you have well, networking e i don’t drink coffee and i hardly even drink tea, so no whoa, no e-giving teo can’t invite somebody over sabat skim milk and no, because i really do believe in people who know me know this. I meet with everybody who just about everybody who asks me to me or talk to them or to make a connection or help them make a connection because they think it’s important, and it does come back to you over the long term, even when you’re not looking for something in return, it does help in a long term, and again, this example is this is a man who runs a really great non-profit and he was in trouble, he was having trouble financially, and he wanted me to help him broker some relationships with some foundations, and i suggested a person who was fairly high up in the food chain and a very large foundation that he should meet with and his first response wass why would i want to talk to this thunder she’s not interested in what we do she’s never going to find us? They’re never going to find us, and, you know, it had to gently remind him that every opportunity that you have to get in to these places, whether or not they’re going to give you money or not, it doesn’t matter. It’s all good. You never know when that contact is going to lead to something else thunders talk to each other program officers talk to each other all the time about organizations, and they are really good about saying, oh, we can’t fund this organization, but maybe you can it just so happens that this person and i was trying to connect him with is known in the foundation world for being a huge connector, and that if she can’t fund you, she will remember your organization and recommend it to other funders and other foundations. And he actually sent me an e mail a couple days later and said, i’m so glad you said that to me. I just i really needed to be reminded of that. We have to take a break. When we come back, i’m going to ask cindy whether program officers are nice people. Nick, stay with us. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com way. Look forward to serving you. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Hi, i’m kate piela, executive director of dance, new amsterdam. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. We got more live listener love, let’s. Go abroad, teo teo to asia and without soul and five other people whose locations are masked in in south korea, but certainly wishing you valentine’s and on your haserot, also in japan, shirakawa joined us and beverly, massachusetts not which is not in asia it’s far but it tze not far from cindy gibson. Ah, it’s ah, but is not in asia you, despite what most new yorkers think, live listener love and valentine’s day wishes to beverly massachusetts r program officers. Nice people, cindy it’s. A great question, but it’s like asking, you know, are all radio announcers. Nice people are are all chefs nice? Of course. But in ah, seriousness. I think you would get different answers to that. Depending on who you asked, i actually have a friend who’s written a hilarious article about the various types of program officers that he’s given them all names and everything. Which is quite funny. Where can we find? Where can we find his article? Well, i’m actually trying to get him to publish because he’s, of course, like a lot of people are scared. It’s, hard to be, you know, honest. It’ll block out what goes on in foundation on and raise money at the same time. Um, but but for the most part, my experiences that program officers are are nice people in terms of their there tio advocate for you on and i think that’s important to keep in mind, yeah, let’s, let’s explore that they’re they’re advocating for you to their organization and they’re bored, right? And you need to help. How do you how do you how do you help them do that? Well, first of all, you a couple things you listen, i can’t say this enough a lot of good fund-raising is learning when to shut up and when to talk and when to listen to what they’re saying to you on dh because they are there to help you. Now that doesn’t mean that you you have to be a sink offense to program office there’s a lot of grumbling goes on legitimately from non-profit people saying that, you know, program officers are pain in the butt, they can be gay keepers, they can throw obstacles in your way, they can make a completely unreasonable demands, and that is a whole other show that you could explore about the tension that that happens between program officers and program staff and non-profits lots to say about that. But you, you know, you do want to go in with a sort of attitude that my work deserves your support. This is a really great thing that you should be supporting, and then how can we work together to make that happen? You know, ah, great story about another story is that when i was at carnegie foundation that i used to work at, i had a very entrepreneurial woman come to see me, whose whose organization you would know your listeners would now on, and she came with a friend who who actually happens to be a friend of mine as well, just for moral support. And she proceeded to tell me all about organization and how great it wass and i didn’t get a word in edgewise, and so when i finally got to talk to her, i said, you know, i love your organization personally, but this is never going to pass muster with our decision makers because it just doesn’t fit and it’s their job to basically throw a wrench in everything we we advocate for because that’s their job, they only have a limited amount of funds and they have to decide. So i gave her a bunch of advice about here’s what i think you could help you get through. You should change this, try to look at this. I didn’t want to change her program, i didn’t want to give her, you know, i didn’t want to make her completely jump through hoops, which i have to say, a lot of program office or sometimes d’oh all i was saying is, if you literally just massage the language a little bit and changed the angle that might help, what happened was i got a request that completely ignored everything i said to her on dh i had to write or a turn down and say, you know, it’s nice about it, but they said i’m sorry, but this isn’t gonna work and she was furious with me, you know? So from that side of the desk, i have to say it’s, it’s, it’s frustrating when you want to help and you can’t wait can’t move on yet. Do you still have that friend, the friend who came with the fan? The fan you’re still friends are ok, right? You didn’t lose a friendship over this. Did you permit? You did lose a friendship over there. I know. He actually agreed with me and he was he was embarrassed, but the woman was still talks about it. He still talks about it. The woman wasn’t listening. Didn’t listen to you, didn’t yeah, stand aside. She then went around me to the president and, you know, that’s always no that’s, usually not a good idea. And most presidents will kick down, kick them back to you. Of course. Yeah. And so, you know, anyway, so the other thing i wanted to say, a couple things is you have another thing i would recommend with your prada monsters is that you be honest all the time. I know it’s hard, to be honest. They know it’s not rewarded a lot of times. But, you know, you have to make a choice. You know, you can lie to them on dh. That that’s a risk you could take, and it might work for you. But if they find out that you’re lying and they usually dio through other program officers again or their colleagues you don’t win at all. I mean, i’ve you know, i’ve had i’ve heard of grand cheese and i’ve experienced snusz of, you know, the executive director’s air leaving or they aren’t making their budget, and i had to hear about it through a third person, and it really isn’t a great way way have we have just about a minute or so left. So on, um, on the note of be honest, which i always advise clients to do, i want to leave with this. I want you, teo, tell us what you love about the work that you do, cindy um, i love the variety of it. I love that i get to work on different kinds of issues with all different kinds of of organizations, and mostly i love that i get to work in a sphere that reflects the values that i feel personally committed to. Cindy gibson is a practiced emmick. You’ll find her at synthesis, consulting and synthesis spelled with a c because her name is cynthia synthesis consulting dot com and also on twitter at caen gib si n g i b cindy, thank you so much for being a guest in sharing. So it is my pleasure. Thanks for having me. My pleasure next week. You do not want to miss this, its face off atlas of giving and giving yusa for the first time they will be face to face rather than talking at each other in the media. I should say in other media, other media forbes dot com dubbed it the philanthropy food fight. And i wish i had thought of that. Each of these companies that does broad analysis of fund-raising results has problems with the way the other measures and forecasts they’ll talk through their issues. We will take your questions and i will moderate that’s next week. Remember rally bound and telephone bill reduction consulting joe magee and yourself rabinowitz they support non-profit radio. They’re good people. Please check them out. Rally bound dot com and t brc dot com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is our line producer shows social media is by deborah askanase of community organizer two point oh, and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. Our music is by scott stein. Be with me next week for non-profit radio big. Non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. They didn’t think that shooting the good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. You waiting to get in? Cubine 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. Hi, i’m lost in a role, and i’m sloan wainwright, where the host of the new thursday morning show the music power hour. Eleven a m. We’re gonna have fun. Shine the light on all aspects of music and its limitless healing possibilities. We’re gonna invite artists to share their songs and play live will be listening and talking about great music from yesterday to today, so you’re invited to share in our musical conversation. Your ears will be delighted with the sound of music and our voices. Join austin and sloan live thursdays at eleven a. M on talking alternative dot com. You’re listening to talking alternative network at www dot talking alternative dot com, now broadcasting twenty four hours a day. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com way. Look forward to serving you. Talking. Geever