Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
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Steve MacLaughlin: Emerging Tech Trends
Steve MacLaughlin is director of analytics at Blackbaud. He sees trends in full mobile friendliness; diversification; smarter big data; sustaining donors; and a lot more. We talked at NTC, the Nonprofit Technology Conference hosted by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network.
Norman Reiss: Now Get Buy-In
Knowing what the trends are, you want to stay ahead of them. Norman Reiss reveals how to get the buy-in and acceptance you need for your new technology decisions, from your board, leadership and end users. He’s project manager for technology at the Center for Court Innovation. This is also from NTC.
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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. Welcome kyi, rs eighty eight point one in ninety two point three fm medical lake, spokane, washington we’re in there saturday morning lineup, and i am really excited to have them as our newest affiliate. Welcome, k y our s so glad you’re with us this and this is not even the new california affiliate that i said last week over week before is coming that’s not this one it’s california, this is washington. Washington is not california, so we got that one coming up. But this week k y r s medical lake, spokane, washington welcome our newest affiliate. So glad you’re with us. Thanks. I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer with lycanthropy if you howled about missing today’s show emerging tech trends steve mclaughlin is director of analytics at blackbaud he sees trends in full mobile friendliness, diversification, smarter, big data sustaining daughters and a lot more. We talked at ntcdinosaur non-profit technology conference, hosted by n ten, the non-profit technology network, and now get buy-in knowing what the trends are you want to stay? Ahead of them, norman reese reveals how to get the buy-in and acceptance you need for your new technology decisions from your board leadership and and users he’s, project manager for technology at the center for court innovation and that’s also from on tony’s take to your career and third sector today, responsive by opportunity collaboration that working, meeting on poverty reduction that will ruin you for area every other conference. Here is my interview with steve mclaughlin on emerging tech trends welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc twenty fifteen the non-profit technology conference it’s day two, we’re in austin, texas, and the austin convention center. My guest is steve mclaughlin. Steve is director of analytics at blackbaud his workshop topic at ntc is emerging tech trends where np tech is going steve mclaughlin, welcome to the show. Great to be here, tony it’s a pleasure. I’ve known you for years, just virtually mostly through twitter and bb con con times, but never had you on the show. No, just virtually and yes, on the interwebs on the webs. All right, now we’re going to spend some real time together. See the webs do work? Yeah, brought us to this. Yeah, true engagement most is lana log, but yet digital that’s true, it is both that is on dh. The multi-channel engagement has brought us to this. Yes, to this hybrid. We had a few more buzzwords in here, and we’re also hybrid experience before jargon, ok? Emerging tech trends so you’re willing tto look, ten years ahead. Yeah, so have a time machine and have seen the future and are back to report on what the world looks like in ten years. Pretty exciting. Yeah. Ah lot of drones in the future, drones. I understand. Drove. Okay, can we categorize your your forecast for the future? They fit within some category a couple of things. So one that we’ll start with the this is probably obvious mobile, but mobile and probably some different way. So let’s just do an overview first. Sure. So mobile is a good category. Amglobal okay, that the way that non-profits have diversified where giving is coming from is different in ten years in ten years, the orig chart as we know it today of a non-profit is different. So it’s, you know, diversification organization on then a little bit about big data, but specifically hyre organizations work, you know, smarter with data as opposed to throw more people at it. More resource is at it. Those types of things, i think there’s a lot of what, what we’ll see in the future. Okay, i’m not going to take them in that. Sequence is okay. Is that all right? Let’s? Go wherever you want. Okay. Thank you. I’ve been saying that the people of old conference where do you want to go next? I’m interested in the diversity diversification of funding if i’m able to say the word yeah, in ten years. Twenty, twenty five what? What what’s going to look like. So good news, bad news today we know that about seventy percent. Seventy two percent of all giving in the us comes from individuals. And seventy five percent of that seventy two percent comes some thirty percent of high net worth individuals, right? So that’s problem number one right e-giving is concentrated in a small relative group in their individual, seventy five percent in thirty. Yeah, from thirty percent. Yeah, and then when you look at who gets the giving, so if you take faith based education, human services and giving two foundations, that seventy percent e-giving so if you’re an animal rights organization, you’re into arts and cultural, you’re all fighting over thirty percent of what’s left over, but it’s not really thirty percent it’s you know it’s also back to which individuals give teo that care about it. And so i think we’re approached, you know, in ten years we will have approached this point in time where if you’ve not diversified where the giving is coming from. So a couple examples if i was a non-profit today and in ten years from now, i want to i have a lot more success. I’m all in on sustainers i am, i am betting the future on sustainers for most of my annual giving program and other types of things, and i’m willing to take the short term hit on revenue because sustainers retained better, they feed my plan giving program there’s all these great things happen about monthly donors of sustaining donors except for you take the short term hit on revenue, and i think the smart organization today who would be looking back ten years are now saying we’re so glad we did this, i would say we bet on sustainers because all the metrics about them, our great it just takes that organisational intestinal fortitude to go all in and drive it, andi, take the short term hit and take the short term an absolutely anything else on diversification, i think the other thing, you know you’re going to see and we already seen the data today is there is this myth about end of your e-giving and as more people moved to digital channels, there’s this mad rush of everyone asking at the same period of time, but the smart organizations are diversifying throughout the year, right? They’re not all in for end of you’re giving the running spring time programs they’re running peer-to-peer events throughout the rest of the year, so it organizations and ten years from now that are really successful have mohr of ah and even flow of giving happening through the entire calendar year and not these peaks and valleys. And if we don’t do really good job in december, we’re not going to hit our number. You know, there are organizations were some someone i think said today, you know, some organizations more than more than forty, thirty, thirty or forty percent of their funding comes from november in december. Yeah, so in december alone, about seventeen point four percent of all giving happens in december, but it’s different for different org’s some more, some less, but yeah, but i think what you’re saying is there’s a diversification of when that happens, interestingly enough, and i think this ties back to the sustainers piece, if you look at environmental organizations and animal welfare organizations, they have this the straightest line with the least spikes and peaks throughout the entire year. And i believe that’s because those organizations ten years ago made the bet on sustainers and they have a much more predictable flow in revenue when things were happening. So it’s sort of like, you know, predicting the future is a little bit looking at the past and seeing what was successful before doom or of that way, do we see those types of org’s those two categories have large, larger than average sustainers program much larger than average weekly? Yeah, and in some cases we’re talking hundreds of thousands of sustainers but at some point they had xero or very few, but they’ve invested in that is a way of driving, giving on dh, you know, now it’s about the future for them, i think they set a good example of look other other organizations, khun do it there’s no secret sauce, right? You’re an art museum. You could do that to your own education. You could do that. Too, there’s. Nothing in the common denominator is we’re talking about humans. Are the donors, right? That is that’s the common denominator. And they behave in very particular, predictable ways. You know, there’s a way to leverage that for sure. All right. Cool way. Beating up the divers thinking yeah. That’s a dead horse. Move away. All right. That’s prediction. One forecast. Okay, the organization. I’m interesting. The organizational structure, the charts going to look different. So one of the observations have had over the past couple of years. You know, whenever i go work with non-profit groups, usually within a few minutes, i can figure out where their problems are located. When they show me a picture of the orig charter, someone draws it on the board. So for example, boy, were really struggling in growing are our digital revenue. And then what you find out is oh, well, not surprisingly, it’s a silo in the organization who’s responsible for that revenue reports up to somebody else. Maybe it was an i t maybe was in communications. Is it in the fund-raising office? You know, so the orange chart started starts to show that historical command and control stuff. Doesn’t work in the world of the the future, and i think what you’ll start to see over the next five to ten years is that you’ll have more non-profits rethink how they’re structured the reporting lines. You know, if you think about direct mail, for example, you know, direct mail is originally intended was for acquisition, and once you acquired those donors, you would then pass those people off to another group who grows and sustains them, and they turn into mid level donors, plan gift donors and major gift donors, but the organizational silo that created them wants to keep them because they have an annual budget, right? So it’s a self fulfilling prophecy of yeah, they’re my direct male donors, you can’t have them playing, giving department go away even though i know seven, eight years in the future, they’re going to be great prospects for you. I only want to send them mail or do certain things. I think smart organizations will sort of rethink the orange chart as it exists today. You’re tuned to non-profit radio tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst. Of fund-raising insights, published once a month, tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really, all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals, the better way. Dahna what you expected to look more like, or or how will it be different looking? So i think what you’ll have in the future is more of a scenario where you’ll have either chief development officer, chief marketing officer and both the fund-raising part of the organization and the communications part of the organization both report to the same individual and it’s not going to be an i t t technical seo the technology is going to be less and less over time, but it’s going to be more of that chief development officer, chief marketing officer and both fund-raising and communications share. You know, they’re under the same umbrella, they’re not in separate silos, they’re not separate disciplines, they don’t report to different masters, and you’re seeing some work start to make that do that do that pivot. But i also i also thinking of one where those functions were just recently divided. Ah ah ah, across two different, i guess. Vice president? Yeah, it had been one, and then they separated it. I believe that was a mistake. Maybe i should be sitting in your seat. All right. Now i have one piece of one thing, but yeah. No, i absolutely agree. Those two marketing communications fund-raising in in in hyre ed argast education. Generally, i think it should be fund-raising an alumni relations. Yeah, i think they should be together. And what you saw when i read right now in the same place the alumni association that does its events in its own things in its own silo, they call himself the friend raiser. Yes. And then the fundraisers are a different part of the order, but eventually they come together. I think the other thing you’ll see in your chart and this is as more use of the cloud and distributed technology is what’s the ceo of the future. Because today, or maybe in the past ten years, it was a lot about hardware and routers and computers, and they do the software updates and, like in the world, the future like who’s updating software, i came in and last night the cloud, wherever the cloud thing is, um, did that for me. So i think the role of what’s the ceo, i think it’s it’s more about the information part is what they’re doing and less about the technical, you know, business, hardware of stuff. You know the analytics piece, okay, move away from the organization. Sure. And we okay mobile what’s it mobile mobile. So we’ve seen a huge emergence of mobile. If you think ten years ago we didn’t have the iphone and now how do you live without that or android or whatever whatever yours you’re using? And we now know that almost ten percent of all online donations were made on a mobile device so it’s gone from zero to ten percent in a very short period of time. We know that on email, open on a mobile device and a person who then donates on a mobile friendly website that the conversion rate is like thirty six percent higher than if it’s not mobile friendly. So there’s very few things right now where you’re going to get a thirty six percent lift and conversion rate, right? You can play with the color of the button and the texts and you get two or three percent but like huge jump in conversion rate by being mobile optimized by being mobile optimized end to end, i send the email. It is mobile optimized which directs someone to a website that his mobile friendly and the donation form is mobile friendly because hello, i didn’t put my phone down, i’m still on the same thing. We’re at the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of that, but it’s ten percent of donations it’s going to increase dramatically, and so the non-profits have to prepare for that. I think on the flip side, ten years from now, if i’m working in a non-profit whether i’m a major gift officer, prospect, researcher out in the field, doing programs, my mobile device, whatever i have with me at that point in time, the iphone twelve or, you know, whatever samsung is bill that i am, i am using mobile technology to do my job, and it is impossible for me to be effective as a fundraiser or non-profit staffer without the things my mobile device does, if you think about, um, the emergence of agent technology so siri, you know, syria, where is the austin convention center or cortana or google or any this type of stuff, you know, in ten years there’s going to be a fund-raising agent on your mobile device that says, tony, these five plan giving prospects, you really want to make sure you reach out to them this week, you’re due to do a check in call with them or, you know, tony, we just noticed that we’re thirty five percent to our fund raising goal and we’re ahead of schedule, right? There’s no reason why that type of technology is not going to become pervasive in the non profit sector and be sort of one of those things where i don’t know what i did without my fund-raising agent that helped me do stuff because i’ve got a lot of stuff going on there’s only things i can keep track of and that little reminder of, you know, did you make that? Thank you phone call? Have you made that appointment where we have versus a goal that technology could make that stuff easier? So i think that’ll be great that’s when the drones and the robots take over and you know, so what? What is the smart organization doing to prepare for? Twenty, twenty five aside from full mobile, not engagement optimization, what else? What else they’re doing? Technology wise, i think the biggest thing. So for years, there’s been this concept of agile development in the software. World so intuitive you fail fast, you learn things, you’re constantly building software, building code and shipping it. And what is going to end up happening is organizations need to start being more agile. So rather than these, we have a five year strategic plan who knows what’s gonna happen five years in the future, like really what’s your five year strategic plan. You know, if you asked jeff bezos and amazon what the five year plan is, they don’t know, ok, but you’re here you’re here predicting ten years i am, but i’m i’m i’m saying there’s, general directional trends, i’m not saying in five years, this is you know, we’re going tow eclipse for hundred billion raise i don’t know that they’re things that could get us there, but i think what you’re going to have to have happen is non-profits gonna have to embrace agile, not from a software development perspective, but a za culture is a dna of how they think about doing things which is let’s do things experimentally let’s, find out. Does this work on a small scale and then iterating, iterating, iterating trying to it on a larger scale as opposed to we need a three year plan? I need my arli in twelve months or there’s no way this thing is making it off the powerpoint slide, i think. And you see examples of this it’s, you know, people point toe examples like a charity water or a room to read or others where they’re younger organizations, they’re agile, they have i don’t like using the phrase they have sort of fail fast because ultimately you want to succeed fast to you know, you could fail fast all the wayto failure. But you’ve got it is the idea of things or it’ll tive, you know? And there is i believe there is this sort of dna in the nonprofit sector, especially if you come from the direct marketing world you test, you tested mailings for decades, you know that you have to test this stuff. It’s, just more of applying that mindset to we want to try a new event. You know, we’ve been doing walkathon ds and marathons let’s. Try a different type of event. A mud run. What? I go out and put together, you know, an eighty thousand dollar budget for a mud run? No, i would see can we do one in the next thirty days in our backyard to find out. Does it actually work? If it does, like let’s, do more of that? Or can we get, you know, online donors to feed into r d r tv or plan giving prospect pool? You don’t need to do it for everything, just like, try it with one thing. Find out if it works that idea of experiment make a small bet here and there and i think that’s the big cultural change to get to the future is going to have to be a desire and a willingness to experiment with stuff on a small scale you know, you got you got some stuff’s going to work some stuff isn’t on and then, you know, rinse repeat, try again over and over again the analog in in the start up world is m v p minimum viable product yeah, getting out minimum bare bones, but test test and learn and iterated. Yeah. And speaking of someone who’s dealt firsthand with developing things for m v p the keyword and minimum viable product is viable. No one wants minimum products. I know if you if you know it’s it’s. Okay, if you have your goal eventually has to get to the automobile it’s okay to start out with a skateboard because at least there’s movement involved and you could get somewhere the problem a lot of times with minimum viol or product is we gave you two wheels. Well, i can’t go anywhere on two wheels because it’s not connected anything. You learn something if you give people a skateboard and i think it’s the same thing in the nonprofit sector, you pick one pick part of the problem you’re trying to solve doing on a small scale and scale from there. And the great thing from a technology perspective is, you know, you could do this stuff. You know, amazon web services is here and t c and you know, you can spin something up in the cloud fight, rent it, figure out if it works. If it works great, maybe you choose to buy it or you just need more need to rent mohr or didn’t work terrible idea let’s never talk about this again and turn it off and in a way you go and you couldn’t do that ten years ago like experimentation. Was really expensive, or you really had to make sure something was going to work, and that just leads to people taking less risks. Bond that z in general that’s not good, you know, you need be taking more risks if you wantto you want to change the world. What about big data? Your final category? The big data cites a buzzword. You know, lots of people talking about it, you know, the luxury we have, you know, blackbaud is we have a tremendous amount of data, and for a number of years we’d be able to do things like the blackbaud index and take sixteen billion dollars in giving and report out hey, which way is the wind blowing up? Is it down and what’s happening? I think, um, what you’re going to see in the nonprofit sector over the next ten years is the realization that a lot of this, these fundamental questions we asked like, is this person going to give the organization or what’s the most this person could give door organization? Or are they a better fit for annual fund gift or major gift or plan gift? Or who else do they give to you? Know those types of things, those air actually questions could be answered. It’s, not mysterious. You know how we get to that answer, maybe it’s a lot of statistics and variables, but but that’s sort of like, you know, if my car gets me from point a to point b at a sort of don’t care how the engine works anymore, i think what you’re going to see happen with big data is the the the non-profit sector realizing there’s a lot of things that could be done with predictive analytics that point you in the right direction and that it’s less about how did you get to that answer of and start asking better, smarter questions, right? You know how much how much money are we leaving on the table is an organization because we don’t really have the right askanase outs when we’re going to meet with someone or in a direct mail message, or even what you’re sending on you’re sending people to your website that that that really is the potential big data for the nonprofit sector is to be much more prescriptive and predictive, with the analytics and point people in the right directions and get better answers for the things, but they want to do. And i think that’s really exciting as opposed to guessing or, you know, the art side of what we do is fundraisers today. Then should we be collecting data, paying attention to our own our own collection of it, preservation of it. The first thing is collected. The second thing is, make sure that it’s cleans its garbage in garbage out riling data. And then from there, i think it’s it’s moving. And then the next thing people do is reporting. Write my report, my report, my report, it’s moving beyond reporting, which is just a view of what happened in the past tomb or what’s gonna happen next. And because you have that data, you know, there’s the ability to predict that thing, or at least do some modeling that would give you a sense of, you know, we have organ, you know? And if you look at your file, you have people who you’ve been able to retain his donors for multiple years and those you haven’t. What is it about those people who are multiyear retained donors? What can we do? You know who else in our file looks like that individual or if you if you trace it down the line, you say we’ve had people who’ve given to the annual fund for seven years, and now they suddenly given us a midlevel gift. Predictive analytics would allow you to look at the data and say, there’s, someone who just gave you the first gift that looks a lot like the person who just gave you a midlevel gift. This is who you should pay attention to, and also sometimes this is someone who you might not want to spend as much time and effort on is all the data says this isn’t this isn’t the winner is another good example of looking back to looking to look forward. You’re using your historical data, it’s all value to be prescriptive and addictive. You need the historical data have a perspective. I think the difference is don’t try driving down the road using the rear view mirror that’s the tendency that happens a lot of ties, the historical data, the launch toodle data is very valuable for this stuff, and the great thing is non-profits have it it’s, it’s, just under leveraged and i think just sometimes they don’t know what’s possible, like, wow, you could tell me how much money i’m leaving on the table because of incorrect ask amounts. Yes, absolutely can tell you the answer, that question, or you could tell me, is there a better segment to use? Yes, you know, that’s what that’s, what data scientists love they love, you know, answering that question of, you know, what’s possible, or at least what what’s the day to tell from all the things we could derive from the data, which is interesting, okay, we could spend another couple minutes, anything you want to wrap up with, um trying to think spent ninety minutes on this should read your session radio description to you let’s say, well, i’m not gonna read it to you, but try to think of what else we’re going to cover. I just, you know, i think, oh, it’s about some example organizations organisation’s doing it well, have any of those case studies? Yeah, i mean, i think, you know, for example on, you know, the organizational change side in a humane side of the united states is a great example of they’ve made changes over the years in terms of that balance between fund-raising and communications, and even they would say they’re not there yet, but they they’ve realized hard to get the most effective results from the staff and it’s, not from having separate, separate silos, that’s, robin dancer and jeff handy, who runs a lot of the so the donor care part, they’re really been focused on what can they do from a from a norvig perspective to change things? I think the other thing that they’ve learned as well is fund-raising, an advocacy for an advocacy type organization are highly linked together, a supposed to there’s an advocacy department, they don’t talk to the fund-raising people and you see this everywhere, like you go into a health care organization and you have a grateful patient program. But nobody talks to people who were doing other types of, you know, prospect research works like, why are you not talking to each other? Leave this stuff is linked together in in some way, and i think a lot of it just people let the orc chart get in the way and the smarter eggs in the future, i think, will be more streamlined around some of that. Okay, wrap it up. All right. Awesome. Steve mclachlan he is director blackboard. Ah, at blackbaud director of analytics. And this is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of the non-profit technology conference twenty fifteen. We have concluded our coverage with steve mclaughlin saving the best for last, although everyone before him would disagree. Thank you very, very much for being with us. Thank you very much, steve. Thanks, tony. Thank you for your for listening. Tony martignetti non-profit radio time for live listener love i can’t shout you out by city and state. I’m sorry because we’re pre recorded this week non-profit radio is on. The road this week and next week i’m traveling in, uh, i’m in arizona and colorado and california and oregon. But of course the love goes out nonetheless toe all our live listeners. Podcast pleasantries. You know who you are, those ten thousand listening wherever. Whatever. However you listen. Thank you so much for being with us. Podcast pleasantries for those listeners and of course, never forgetting our very, very valuable loved affiliate. Affiliate affections to you, k y r s our newest but throughout the country thank you for listening on your am and fm stations. Affiliate affections to you durney steak too. And now get buy-in coming up. First opportunity collaboration. I usually connect to people in conferences, but not at such a personal level. I usually go to conferences in nice places, but definitely not this nice. I usually learning conferences, but not this much, especially about myself. I usually collaborate with other people at conferences, but never with such intent. I usually have funding conferences, but never close to this that’s leonardo le tellier, founder and ceo of satara in brazil. He’s talking about opportunity collaboration that weeklong unconference i have to disagree with you. A little bit there. Leonardo, it is an unconference in x top of mexico around poverty alleviation, it’s for non-profits impact investors, social entrepreneurs grantmaker is researchers, academics and corporations. If you’re any one of those, you should be with us in october. I was there last year and i’m going to be there this year if you work in poverty alleviation, check it out. Opportunity collaboration, dot net, i’ve got a new non-profit radio knowledge base, this one is for your career. So instead of the organization, we’re going to look at the individual. Are you considering consulting and how to have a great interview? This knowledge base joins all the others, which are shows that i put together by by topic, some of the others are storytelling boardmember ation ships board fund-raising online engagement, the links and videos are at tony martignetti dot com, including this newest one on your career and on youtube, my channel israel r e a l tony martignetti some clown up in boston stole tony martignetti so i have to be really tony martignetti but i am the real tony martignetti he’s an impostor, uh, anyway, durney martignetti dot com and youtube or where? You’ll find the videos and the links for all the non-profit radio knowledge bases. Third sector today, third sector today dot com they block tips, insights, best practices for the non-profit community. They have a podcast. They have lots of contributors and i recommend them. They are a valuable, informative resource. Ah written and they curate a lot of content from other people and it’s all done by smart folks at third sector today dot com and that is tony’s take two for friday twenty ninth of may twenty second show of the year here is norman reese from ntcdinosaur getting buy-in welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of the non-profit technology conference and tc fifteen day too. We’re austin, texas in the convention center. My guest is norman reese he’s project manager technology at the center for court innovation. Norman welcome. Thank you. Thank you for having me. My pleasure. Good to have your first time. Um, your topic is winning one hundred percent buy-in from staff and board for your next non-profit technology adoption that’s a that’s, a real narrow niche, but critical if we’ve gotten, we’ve decided that we need new software and we’ve gone through. The due diligence and the process of identifying the right new software for us, whether it’s, cr, m or accounting or combined now we need everybody agree with us. Where do we start? I think sometimes when you you pick out a new system, there’s somehow this assumption that the board and the management are all behind it. And in reality, that’s not always the case. So even if it is the case, things khun change once the project is planned, or once a project that started so it really has to be something that’s a continuing effort that even even if you take the time and you get people on board at the beginning and they fully support, you know, and they’ve been with you through the process, yeah, to really check in with them while the processes going on and make sure that they haven’t been diverted by other things. Or that as new people come in two management or to the board that they don’t suddenly have a change of heart. So it’s really kind of crucial to make sure that a system actually is goingto have the result that you’re hoping for when you when you first selected. Yeah. All right. So we can have sometimes turncoats. They’ve been with us through the process, and now they’re abandoning. They get nervous or they what they feel we made the wrong decision. We made a mistake somewhere in the process. There’s. So many things that could get in a way. I mean, even people with the best intentions, something just comes in that distracts them. Or they have a friend that tells them about a different solution. Or different. So it’s really? Well intentioned friend. Yeah, i mean, it’s really a zoo? A technology. Is it’s really critical to build those relationships with management and with the board all the time, even before the project is even envisioned? And if you haven’t done that, if you’re operating and kind of a silo, then soon related that’s goingto that’s going to hurt you because you need to work. You need to partner with these people when you especially when you’re bringing in a new a new software platform on a new system. They have veto power? Absolutely. And they can do that any time. Yeah, yeah. I love that. You know, the friend my friend was just telling me about, you know, something we didn’t look at all right. So the importance of relationships, even when you don’t need their buy-in the people’s buy-in but but always working together collaboratively just day to day. Absolutely. Okay. All right, all right. But that’s ah, let’s speed ahead to the process now. Like i said it there, as i set it up, we’ve chosen something and they’ve been part of the process. We’re talking about staff heimans senior staff and bored getting did really from both it’s really about working with staff that are going to be using the system as well as management as well. It’s really across the board. Because if you get the management and the board to buy-in but the staff don’t feel like they’re included, they’re not going to cooperate. And then they may not use the system once it’s rolled out. If you get the staff but you don’t get the management and the board, then you won’t have the support. You need to have a successful implementation. Get the rolling. So you have to go both ways. Okay? All right. Good. Thank you for for straightening me out. All right. How are we? Going toe? How do we start this? Ah, well, assuming we’ve had this these good relationships all along, but now there’s some some defectors or where it was the best way to start the that the topic together, i think probably just the initial stages when your first envisioning that you need something new, whether it’s a replacement for something you already have or something entirely new that you’re imagining for your organization, you really need to being you need to be in communication with everyone about why you’re doing this, because what’s obvious to you is probably not obvious to other people, even though it may seem logical and a natural evolution, it really needs to be talked through, and different people have different ways of absorbing information. You can’t just send out an email to the staff and say, this is what we’re doing. You have to really take the time to to seek out people, sometimes one on one, and explain why not only is this good for the organization, but how is how is this new system going to make their lives easier? Why should they bother? I mean nobody. I mean, i shouldn’t say nobody. But most people have problems with change, and everybody kind of gets used even bad systems because they know, you know, they know what it’s like, they know the howto work around things that don’t work, and even though you’re introducing something that is, seems to be a clear win for the organization, not everybody has that why to focus some people are just focused on their own responsibilities and their own position, and some people may see this as a threat because a new system may mean that some people’s jobs changed their what they need to do during the day, their routine, their routines air going, teo and and some people would see that as an opportunity. Other people will see that it’s a threat, and you will have people that will will try to take it down. And if you don’t try to deal with that, earl, as early as you can, it’s just going to a back fire down the road, okay? All right, so we’re explaining why and certainly including them in the process, right? Should they should should? Should people from all levels? I mean, maybe this is obvious, but be part of the the committee that is making the decision and hearing the hearing the different, getting the different presentations from all the different potential vendors for their b stakeholders from although, i mean, i mean, the reality is that it’s, hard to invite have everyone at every meeting because people don’t have time, large meetings can get a little unruly, but you have to give people the opportunity to be involved, all right? And some people will take it, and some people will say they’re too busy or they’ll send a representative, but you have to find a way to make people feel like they’re part of the process if they feel like this system is being imposed upon them, well, that it’s being chosen by someone else who doesn’t fully understand their needs, then they’re not going to be supportive. So it’s really it’s kind of a fine balance between not having too many, but, you know, really seeking out beyond the obvious people that are going to be directly using the application. But anyone who might want to get data from the application who might want to get a report from it, it’s, usually and as a project manager, i still don’t know you have to really seek out stakeholders foreign beyond what you initially think, because people outside the organization they’re going to be affected by this too, and they need to have a say in this as well. Ok, so at a minimum, you’re keeping all the stakeholders apprised of maybe milestones in the process, okay, okay. And, you know, especially reliance on email on lee, which seems to be what a lot of people do now, i mean, that’s kind of shallow, you have tio, especially people who are different locations, you may have to go out there and actually sit down with them. We just invite him out for lunch and talk about what’s going on because the humane, i mean, i’ve seen the email reliance in my office, where people said one hundred feet away from each other and they hardly ever talk to each other and that’s, you know, that’s not a good practice when you’re trying to win people’s support for a new project, yes on dh needing them to feel a part of the process and, you know, it was kind of shallow and you’re not getting any of you know, you don’t see the facial expression. You don’t hear the tone of voice, you know? You don’t really know. I mean, they may be saying one thing and actually feeling something entirely different. All right? What else? What other advice do you have strategies do you have for forgetting this? This critical buy-in anything specific to the board that might not apply for staff? Anything special there? Well, every non-profit is a little different as far as how the board works, some sometimes the board will work only with only with the d and sometimes the board has more relations with staff, but i think you just need to be aware that the board is operating in, you know, in azaz an age of management, and sometimes they will want to be actively involved. Sometimes they will have a more surface involvement. But it’s just, i guess, just a kn awareness that that they do have a role in this and that if you ignore them suddenly, at one point a boardmember will come in and maybe drive the project in another direction because you haven’t taken the time to apprise them of what’s going on, so i think just just an awareness that they may not be in your field of vision because you don’t work with them at your office or you don’t work with them on the day to day basis, but they have to be part of part of the team. Yeah, it could be easy derailment from from a boardmember the way it happens all the time. Yeah, you know, you have some bad stories about that personal experiences. Well, i mean, i’ve worked in organizations where the board dealt mainly with the and the staff really weren’t even aware of, you know, things that were happening, and it didn’t seem to make sense, and until we actually found out what was going on with the board and with the and sometimes you win an organization that’s more transparent than others, where you know you’re edie will will communicate well about what’s actually happening in other cases, things will be happening that you just have no awareness of, and suddenly things are going in a new direction, and you have no idea what so it’s, just a matter of just taking the time especially, you know, in a technology role, which is what i do in my organization, you really need tto go beyond the tech group and make sure that you’re talking with other organisations. The other thing, i also just as a precaution, is that something that happened to me in the last year. You have to be really aware of your boss’s position in this whole scheme of things, because you can’t be viewed as somebody who’s going around your boys. Or you’re trying to have a relationship with a boardmember and he’s. Not all. She is not aware of it, so you have to be respectful of who you’re working for. But on the other hand, you also have to make sure that you have relationships with people other than your boss, because your boys could leave tomorrow. And then your future with the organization will depend on those other relationships you’ve built or not. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger, do something that worked, and levine from new york universities heimans center on philantech tony tweets to, he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. Lively conversation. Top trends and sound advice. That’s. Tony martignetti non-profit radio. And i’m lawrence paige, no knee author off the non-profit fund-raising solution. Oppcoll you’re doing another ah workshop at ntc on getting people to actually use the technology that that is adopted. Yes, that’s it flows perfectly from this. So let’s let’s spend the next well the rest of it we’re about ten minutes or so together. It’s about half our time. It’s perfect talking about getting people to use it once it so now we’re past the decision stage and it’s implemented. Is that where we are now? And yeah, i know and this i’m really going by my own experience. I’ve been in my car enroll for almost four years now, and i’ve had a couple of situations where we rolled out systems that we thought rolled, you know, when everything went, you know, as expected, and we checked in with the users later on, and we found out that they had gone back to their old system, that they were going back to excel and that’s really it’s really it’s a point it’s really? I mean, i found that you can have the best technical solution which you know, which seems to make perfect sense, and it’s a good future path for the organisation, but because people don’t feel like it’s there’s nothing in it for them that they just and the other thing is that if you don’t take the time to actually beyond sight with people and again, this goes back to what i was saying before about over reliance on email if you if you have different sites that are going to use the system, as most organizations do now, you have to actually go over there and talk to people, and sometimes people will say different things in one on one than what they’ll say in the group, so you just can’t, you know, just hold a meeting and just invite everybody and say, ok, what do you think you’re gonna have to go over and actually sit with people and watch and talk to them at their deaths? You may need to get them out of the office where they feel safer to talk without people overhearing a conversation saying, well, what’s really going on here because it’s really a shame to go through the process of vendor selection and months of milton latto organization, money and time has been devoted a and then cross and then three, six months, three to six months later. In the same position again, you’re back using the old system. So if again, i mean, this sort of goes back to what we were talking about before if people haven’t bought into the whole idea of why they doing this and not only that is that people need you need to get training on our ongoing basis, you can’t just go in the day after you roll out of systems, okay? We’re going to train you for the next week and then disappear. You need to be on site on a regular basis because people move around, they leave new people come in or people forget and you could say, oh, i gave them documentation, but, you know, we know nobody’s going to really read that stuff, so you need to really probably plan a good chunk of time after the rollout to be on site, working through problems, because no matter how much you plan, always things come up that need to be need to be work, work through and if you take the time to plan for that and you don’t just immediately say, okay, i’m wolf on another project now and good luck to you and you need to take some responsibility for that. I mean, it doesn’t happen by itself. All right, all right. What? We still have plenty of time together. What else in the in the use of the technology, other other strategy’s tips you have for ensuring it’s going to be used? What else can we say about that? Ah, well, just in the conversations i’ve had with some other people since i got here this week here in austin, you need to take the time to really go through the business processes that you’re trying to deal with in this system early earlier in the in the in the selection and understanding back-up back-up that at the time that you’re really thinking about let’s, say you, you be the picked the system or you’re you’re at the final stages, you need to really understand what you’re trying to achieve and what the workflow looks like in the organization and it’s very hard to know that and the other tips that does that mean? Well, before we get to another table that you got your brimming with tips, but wait, let’s dive into this one because that means spending time with them. Watching them in their process is, well, sitting side by side, maybe you made you probably want to do that because what i found is that some situations where i would talk to the manager of a group on dh, she or he would tell me that, you know, they need certain things, you know? And then i find out later that the actual people who were sitting at the computer is doing the data entry. They really don’t do things the way that the manager things they so then i get involved in in between the staff and the manager, and that can be a tricky situation as well. But it’s better work to find that out early and to get the trying to get your staff on the same page, then to roll out a system based on what a manager tells you only to find out that the staff that work for that manager actually have a whole different view of what they’d like to really have it in a system. Yeah, so the end user the actual yeah, hands on keyboards. Those are the people you want to be talking to and and maybe even observing. Yeah, i mean, ideally, if you could spend some time just shattering them as they do as they go through their day, then i don’t kind of really tell you what’s really happening because it’s one thing to talk through it, it’s another thing to actually spend a week or spend a couple of days out of sight and see what people are dealing with and see how one of the other things that i found out is that ah, there’s sometimes other systems in the mix that people are dealing with. I ruled out a system about a year ago that people weren’t using, and i found out later that there was a hole of the system that they were required to use because of a grant that we had. The grant required them to put data in this other place, and you have no idea i had no idea, i mean, that nobody nobody mentioned it, and it didn’t occur to me to ask that question. But now i, you know, when i’m doing a new project, i was make sure to ask, what other systems do you maintain and sometimes those other systems, maybe paper to mean? Surprisingly enough, not, you know, there are a lot of people who don’t want to give up the traditional tools and sometimes that’s what work’s fun with a small system will not work fine as it grows, and that’s just a growing pain, sometimes of an organization that wants toe really centralized data. And, again, what’s obvious too to, ah, tech team that, you know, that’s looking at all the sexy things that are available now, a lot of people don’t feel that way back on the ground, the ground, so you really need to respect their where they are. You have another tip that you were goingto you’re going to throw out, and i made us dive into the the one about the end users probing the end users more what else we’re going to say with this one? I actually think i included in my block i have a blogged that i thought for several years now what non-profit bridge, where i talk about technology and communications and fund-raising and something i blogged about recently was that we were working with a vendor that wasn’t quite getting what we needed, so we literally just took we took screens. And we annotated them and we we showed them, is that this is exactly what we want, and sometimes you actually need to use graphics and visuals to to show on. It also helps you kind of work through the process of how the workflow is so really giving that kind of documentation to a consultant or a vendor or anybody who’s helping you implement a new system can really help them understand, because you can’t expect someone who comes into and works with you for two or three months on ana implementation to fully get what your organization is about. So it’s, really your responsibility to educate them on this is what we need, and this is how we need to do it. And, you know, some of the same way that you need to over communicate with staff to make sure that you deal with people who like to absorb information in different ways. You need to you need to make sure that your vendor or consultant really understands your business needs and how your business works and and whatever that method is, whether it’s, extensive conversation or you need a diagram it but it’s really not the vendors responsibility to get it. It’s it’s your responsibility to know your business well enough that you can explain it to someone and have them really, really understand it. Okay? We have just like a minute or so men and a half left anything. Well, i’m sure there is so throughout some or whether it’s ah it’s getting the buy-in or getting the users to use the new technology sheriff there’s a more. Well, one thing i would definitely advise people if you’re not already part of this and ten community, this is the place to be, because very often, when you get wrapped up in a project and you only see things and the vision of your own organization, you need to talk to other people from other places that it doing similar things that you are and just being here for three days and just having conversations with people on how are they dealing with similar situations approaches that you may not have thought of on your own? You need to really being in the community. And the great thing about being here at ntc is that you actually can see people and have the conversation i mean you can’t do everything on social media and on email, and you need to sometimes just pick up the phone and talk to someone, and this is a great environment, and if anyone who’s out there who’s not taking advantage of this community, especially small on non-profit they don’t have a lot of resource is important to know it’s, not only for technologists and absolutely no intent is not only in fact, one of the reasons i like and ten is that it’s, not it and it’s sort of like the way my block covers communications and fund-raising if you look at the session is that we haven’t, they cover a wide gamut for people who do different. Roseanna non-profit so there’s something here for everyone, and i would really recommend that if even if if you’re not here at ntcdinosaur year there’s, a lot of other ways to be involved in the in ten were very active and it’s very rare, and i’ve been a member for years. It’s very rewarding. Excellent, good shot latto anton, our hosts and ten and they’re at inten dot org’s, auntie em and yeah, as well as the online, they have a lot. Of there, there are meet ups throughout the country. Small, small groups meeting lots of places. Absolutely. School. Thanks, norm. We’re gonna leave it there. All right. Okay. Thank you very much. My pleasure. Good to have you. Norman riese, project manager in technology for the center for court innovation. And this is tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of intends and tc the non-profit technology conference. Twenty fifteen. Thank you so much for being with us next week. Your video strategy and how to get found. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com opportunity. Collaboration with world convenes for poverty reduction it’s, an outstanding unconference that will ruin you for every other conference opportunity collaboration dot net, i’ll be there. Our creative producer is clear. Meyerhoff sam liebowitz is the line producer shows social media is by susan chavez, susan chavez, dot com and our music is by scott stein duitz thank you, scotty. You’re with me next week for non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent go out and be great. Buy-in what’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark insights orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine am or eight pm so that’s when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing so you gotta make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones me dar is the founder of idealised took two or three years for foundation staff to sort of dane toe, add an email address their card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is fired-up that’s why should i give it away? 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