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Jason Lewis: The War For Fundraising Talent
Rapid staff turnover and high donor attrition are merely symptoms of a larger problem: You’re not treating your fundraisers right. So says Jason Lewis. He’s author of the book, “The War for Fundraising Talent.”
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Hello and welcome to Tony Martignetti non-profit radio Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on the aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with Locke Socialism If you bit me with the idea that you missed today’s show. The war for fund-raising talent, rapid staff turnover and high donor attrition are merely symptoms of a larger problem. You’re not treating your fundraisers right? So says Jason Lewis. He’s author of the book The War for Fund-raising Talent on Tony’s Take two nineteen and TC. We’re sponsored by pursuant Full Service fund-raising Data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash Pursuing by Wagner. CPS Guiding you Beyond the numbers. Wagner’s cps dot com By Tell us turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash Tony Tell us, and by text to give mobile donations made easy text. NPR to four four, four nine nine nine I can welcome Jason Lewis to the show. It’s a pleasure to do that. He’s the author of the book The War for Fund-raising Talent and How Small Shops Can Win. He’s an A F P master trainer and contrary invoice on effective fund-raising practices, hiring decisions and donor behavior. He’s at the generous life and at louis fund-raising dot com. Welcome to the show. Jason Lewis. Hi, Tony. They’re glad to be here and looking forward to our conversation this evening. Absolutely cool. Where you calling from? I am in. Ah, Salisbury, Maryland. I’ve got a client out here on the eastern Shore, and so I’m sitting in the hotel lobby of of the of the hotel. Um, yeah, they got They have happy hour there, free drinks in the lobby. While you’re mean, you know, this is Can you imbibe while you converse? No. It’s pretty quiet here this evening. I think there’s a could only be one one other gentlemen in here and he doesn’t know happy are going on here. Okay, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, because I have a strict. I have a straight up vodka in front of me, so Yeah. Yeah, I was Yeah, there’s No, I don’t I don’t even know there’s a bar over there, but I don’t think part. Okay, okay. You need to get clients in bigger. Used to get clients in bigger cities with fancier hotels. Yeah, right exactly. Way. Take the clients that are right for us. Where are you based? Um, Tony. I live in York, Pennsylvania, which is about sixty five miles north of Baltimore. And, um, I travel in and out of Baltimore for most of my client work. We’ve lived in York for almost ten years. We moved up there after I was a major gifts officer in Washington. And we want to buy our first home and suburban Maryland right outside of the district’s not not terribly, but not not not terribly good for, ah, buying your first home. So we moved to York, and we’ve been there ten years. We’re all happy there. All right, all right. And you’ve got, like, twenty years in and fund-raising, right? Yeah, I am. Okay. I’m like I’m like a lot of people that have I sort of consider myself one of maybe one of the last, um of this generation that have sort of come in through the back door. You know, my wife and I were after college. We were looking for something to do together. And we went to work for a non profit organization. And I happened upon fund-raising in the process. But yes, I’m sort of one of those typical fundraisers who came through the back door. Not very deliberately, right? Like me, I came through law, hated practising our way, engineered myself too much happier existence. What’s this? What’s this war that we’re waging for fund-raising talent? Give it. Give it. Give a given intro to this idea of war. It’s pretty inside of the incendiary little provocative. Yeah, I was. I was. I was pretty deliberate with that title. I, um some people have said that some people have said that I was Teo combative with that title, but it certainly got the attention that I was looking for. Um, you know, tell Tony to say that the the the war that I’m actually talking about in the book is not a, uh It’s not the typical talent war in the sense of who gets the hyre Tony or who gets the hyre. Jason, um, I’m actually talking about more of an ideological war, essentially two competing mindset, Um, that I think are one of them. Sort of overwhelmingly president in the nonprofit sector. And then the other being the one that I think is the, um I certainly have found to be the one that wins, um, these two competing mind sets the one is, is the organization that assumes that there fund-raising challenges. Ey’re always resolved by this constant accumulation of new donors. And presumably the new donor comes with lesser expectation on the Delaware that they are already have. Yes, and then? And then the, uh, then I think you know is you look at the organizations that are winning it’s it’s organizations that get to get beyond the point of constant accumulation of of new donors. And they realize that the donors that they already have or are the way that the way all this works and being able to balance their expectations of the donor. But what expectations they have with the expectations that you would have of them so allows, allowing those expectations toe oppcoll sort of grow over time. Eyes actually, how that works stand. You say the war for fund-raising talent will be won by those who can combine a highest standard of professionalism with an organizational culture that thrives on meaningful engagement and meaningful engagement. Talking about engagement with the professional fundraiser, right? Yeah. I mean, you’ve got it. You’ve got it? Yeah, I mean, you’ve got to create a culture where that Aye, that development officer can thrive where they want to show up for work on Monday morning and enjoy their work. Yes. And then you’ve got to create a you’ve got to create a culture where that development officer can can be expected. Not that where that development officer can be expected to, you know, call on your existing donors and occasionally knock on their doors or meet them for coffee or what have you. And so instead of, instead of avoiding that meaningful engagement, they they’ve actually got to see that as an essential part of it. Yeah, on DH, we’ll have time to work our way into this, of course, because we have the hour together. But, you know, I pick something from the middle, the book. You know, I felt like there was a central thesis Who’s going toe? Who’s going to win this? It’s not really a culture war, but it was going to win. This war of ah, of ideas is really what we’re talking about. Um, you’ve got you. So as we back away from a little bit, you’ve got some concern about drifting away from our mission and the impact that that can have on fundraisers. A CZ. They’re pursuing major donors. And you call it Mission Drift. I think I would even call it Mission Hijack. What’s your What’s your concern there? Well, So, Tony, when you say that mention mission, let me clarify what you mean when you say mission hijack the meaning, the donor that wealthy that concentration of attention to wealthy donors can can, if in organizations not careful, allow it to embark on programs that aren’t court to its mission Because those where the wealthy donors interests lie. And in fact, I got it. I got to take our first break, Jason. So is that that makes him you know, where you know where headed now? Yeah. Yeah. I don’t want to make sure that when I responded to the question that I answered it, OK? I mean, I’m going with that, Okay? Exactly. I’m calling it Mission Hijack. You don’t You’re not that extreme. Surprisingly, because you’re the you’re the incendiary guy, but you backed off a little bit. Okay? All right. Allow me to take take this first break. Pursuing their newest free book is the Art of First Impressions. It’s all about Donorsearch acquisition. To attract new donors, you need to make a smashing first impression. Now, Jason and I are talking about some things that will hopefully help you not have to acquire new donors year after year after year. But to the extent you do have to be involved in donorsearch precision, uh, this e book will help you guiding principles for acquisition. Howto identify your unique value. It’s got some creative tips, and you will find it on the listener landing page. Tony Dahna. I’m a slash pursuant. Remember that capital P for, please. All right, let’s go back to the war for fund-raising talent. Okay, Jason s o What’s your concern around this? What you call Drift, I call hijack? Yeah, I think I think in the nonprofit sector there there is a lot of fear. There is a lot of fear that if we build relationships with major donors, wealthy people, that they will, you know, cause us or persuade us or require of us, hijack our mission, and they’ll expect us to, um, you know, go in the direction that we don’t want to go. But, um, what the argument that I’m making is that any relationship that is imbalanced, any any relationship? You know, Tony, you and I, you know, we develop a friendship and say, for example, you know, I’m on your podcast. You’re on mine and if one of us, uh, if one of us takes that relationship in a direction where the X where my where my expectations of you and your expectations of me or out of balance one of us is going to use words like drift or Ah, hi, Judge. I know he hijacked the relationship, and he took in the direction I didn’t want to go. And I think that’s actually what’s happening more often than not in the non-profit spaces. We don’t know how to. I don’t think it’s the donors that are out there hijacking our missions. I think it’s the organizations that our, uh, have have, quite frankly not learned how to have a balanced peer-to-peer relationship with their major donors. Um the fear the fear of mission drift or mission hijack actually can be very quickly resolved by simply having a appear relationship with a donor where the donor ask you to do something you don’t want to do. You have to have the confidence to tell him or no. And we haven’t gotten not enough of us who are out there trying to raise significant funds, especially in the smaller shops. Um, haven’t developed that confident Yeah, yeah. And I You know, I think that feeds back to the scarcity, the scarcity mindset, which, in this case, you know, I always called him scarcity Mindset. You go, You take the more incendiary and you call the scarcity lie. You know, it’s the I think what you’re describing feeds from that’s scarcity lie that we don’t have enough donors, so we can’t upset any of them. Oh, yeah. I mean, we we, um non-profit organizations are so shoot, we’re so you know, those of us who choose to start a prop up a non profit organization and we want to change the world were very oriented towards the people that we serve not poor, not towards the people that enable us to do the serving. And so we’re very comfortable, you know, spending time with children or patients or whomever, you know, homeless people that need to be bed or whatever does organizations doing. But we haven’t developed a confident sitting across the table from somebody who in many cases, has, you know, more wealth. And a lot of us will ever know if our monetary well, thousands and thousands of times over. Yeah, yeah, but But until you develop that that confidence to sit across the table from that individual and not allow his his or her monetary wealth, and similarly not allow your you know your mission in vision of the organization, neither one of them to sort of overpower, overwhelmed the relationship and say, Okay, we’re going to meet here. We’ll have a mutually satisfying relationship. Um, you know the same words I mean, I think I think it’s terrible that some of the language that we use nowadays to describe what we think donors air out there capable or willing or desirous of doing it’s the same language that it It’s just it’s just the language that we would attribute to any dysfunctional relationship. Um, but dysfunctional relationships generally here to a street. Yeah, we oftentimes get into a pattern of behavior where we’re enabling and allowing that person to behave that way. And we’ve got to change that. But But But my point is that that that fear of making that change that you’re now describing comes from the scarcity lie that we haven’t got enough donors, so we can’t piss any of them off. I’m well, yeah, absolutely. Well, Tony. So what, They’re Yeah, they’re there. If you never If you got one hundred names on a mail, you know we’ve got these databases. We love our databases. So if you’ve got a hundred names in your database, um, most of us have been a multiple upon multiples. Mohr. And you never sit across the table from them. You never learned that. They are that they’re not broke. You never learned that they’re not that the three sources aren’t scared, right? Well, that you have you. Yeah, Yeah, that’s on. That goes that goes to your concern about too much arm’s length fund-raising which we’re goingto get, we’ll get to, uh, yeah. Okay. I just s Oh, yeah. Yes, of course. You want the keys? There was a lot of wasted syllables. Uh, What? Yes, of course you want it. You do want a balanced relationship, and you want to relieve yourself, Shed yourself of the the scarcity lie that there isn’t enough to go around. You don’t have enough to survive so that everyone needs to. Every donor needs to be placated and never ruffled or troubled or or disagreed with that. Because Because then you’ll always then you then you are at risk for the the mission hijack or the mission drift that that that we’re talking about. And and that’ll be particularly unsatisfying. Going back to your thesis about fund-raising. That’ll be unsatisfying to your front. Your professional fundraisers. Because they’re always coming at this from an obsequious position. Hoo! That’s a big word. Explain that we’re that I don’t know. I don’t know what the hell it means I saw it. It was word of the day a couple days ago. No, it’s Ah, it’s that you’re It’s a fawning, ah, forming attentiveness, your falling over yourself to be kind and and, you know, attentive and complimentary of the person that’s an obsequious itt’s pajarito. It’s bad. I know. You know what? I’m sorry. I’m just good to finding everywhere. Yeah, it’s a majority on You don’t want your fundraisers thinking that way. I don’t think I tend to think, and I didn’t I didn’t hammer this message too heavy in the book, but I think you’ve got a lot of non-profit organizations out there that are being run by people that, quite frankly, have control issues. Um, and you know, if I’m in a room with these folks, often times I’m I’m I’m pretty forward about saying, you know, we’ve got a lot of non profit organizations that are being run by control freaks, and they don’t know how to relinquish that sense of control. That oftentimes is not unreasonable. You know, if the donor wants to paint the wall pink and you want to paint it purple, you know, we need to ask ourselves if if we were, If if our mission statement really was all about whether or not we painted the wall pink or purple or if it had, you know, if what we’re aiming for was much more significant than that. And, um so I don’t think we’re I think you’ve got more organizations out there that are being run by people who want control, not by people who want to change the world. And And that’s what you know. I don’t know, impact control a whole lot in the book, but that’s essentially what I think it comes down to is you’ve got a lot of control freaks out there that Yeah, you know, and the possibility that a donor will come in and say, Hey, let’s do it this way Really freaks out a person who wants to maintain control. Well, don’t hold out hope. Don’t hold back on non-profit radio Listeners weaken. They can take straight talk. So you can if you if you didn’t want to go into it in the book. Maybe that’s your second book. I’m sure that’ll be your your follow-up book about control and maybe even sometimes founder. You know that Founder, founder misery. But any case now, probably radio listeners could take you straight. In fact, you devote a whole you’ve got a whole chapter. We don’t have a lot of you don’t. I don’t feel like we’re going to have time to go into this, but because people just have to buy the book. I mean, the book is the war for fund-raising talent. It’s on Amazon. You’ve just got to get it. But you have a whole You have a hole. You agree with that? Are you agree with that premise? You gotta buy the book. You know, You know, you have no trouble with that, do you? Okay. Yeah. Chapter hounded by charities. You know, where you talk about cheap and low risk and shallow, you know that? That type of fund-raising and I think it. I think it’s fed by the scarcity mindset. You know, we got to go after every nickel. So So with that sort of, with that chapter in mind, but that hounded, you know, and that sort of transactional, you know that transactional fund-raising? Well, yeah, yeah. So if I was rewriting the book and I was and you were coaching the tony on how to write this thing. And I was talking to an audience you’re doing Now forget about it. Forget about it. You may as well do a comic book. Sorry to the comic book collectors who think there’s a graphic novels and they’re not graphic novels. If it’s got pictures, it’s a comic book. I don’t care if it’s hard covered with four hundred pages. That’s a comic book. Okay, get that graphic novel nonsense out of your head. Okay, I’m sorry. Like minor digression. In any case, your book is doomed if you got me coaching you. But if you want to follow that hypothetical go ahead. Yeah, I mean, if if you if I was looking at that particular chapter, I tell the Olive cooked the story of olive cook in the United Kingdom who jumped off of a bridge and jump stur during tragic death. And she was probably more than likely she was depressed and had other mental illness. Uh uh, that that precipitated that. But the press decided that it was it was direct mail to blame. And and and I don’t and I don’t think that for a minute that the direct mail is necessarily what what caused this woman Tio to commit suicide. But what I do think is that I don’t think that direct mail. I don’t think that the charities that were, um, overwhelming her mailbox contributed to a meaningful life for this woman. Um, I think they could have been. I think they and you know, the I think the charitable organizations that were hounding her as the as the press said, I could have recognize that this woman was reaching out to charitable organizations and contributing to them and trying to enhance our quality of life. But instead we have turned it into we have turned a lot of fund-raising practice into a machine, and all it cook just becomes sort of the ultimate miserable example of sort of what happens when the machine just goes, You know, out of control. I wantto way I want it back a little bit for listeners. So Olive Cook story, I think. Twenty, fourteen. Jason twenty, twenty, fifteen. The woman was getting lots of emails. All stations. Fifty seven fifty, sixty a day or something or forty fifty letters a day. And she was a middle income woman, and she was overwhelmed and she killed herself. She jumped off a cliff into a gorge. She lived in the UK and like like Jason just said, the press decided that that was because she was overwhelmed by charitable solicitations. And, you know, that’s certainly open to a lot of AA AA lot of argument. But in case I just want to backfill the story, so But it’s so Okay, so with that now we understand that I want to get to My question is, um, do we need to do what? What? What would it look like if if a non-profit that was doing a lot of this transactional, as you say, You know, shallow fund-raising. Andi. Just about all non-profits do. But suppose they recognize that their they, like they can never convert, or they hardly ever convert these transactional ten, fifteen, twenty, maybe even fifty hundred dollar gift. They never convert them to more to major gif ts or to what you call, you know, significant gifts. But even just getting two major gifts. What if they abandoned that transactional practice? Suppose they just stopped and devoted, though that time and money two major gift fund-raising. What do you think that what you think that would fly in an organization? What do you think that would look like? I mean, is it feasible to just abandon the transactional and put those resources toward Major E-giving? Hyre? I don’t I don’t know if that’s the question, whether or not it’s feasible. There’s plenty of organizations that have done the analysis, Tony, that says that if they removed thirty percent of their file, it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t change the outcome if if if they just I’ve got a friend of mine who’s in direct response and he’s done. He’s done the analysis on these huge databases, and there’s there’s a segment, you know? What portion of what segment of your database are you mailing to that if you just stopped feeling? Um and I think it’s a very valid question, But any enterprise in a non-profit or for-profit enterprise, fellows to them now. Jason, Jake, Jason, we need you to call back. I’m going to take a break. Jason, I hope you can hear me. Jason, give you give a call back, please call the studio back. Okay? Okay. Okay. Thank you. Lost him. But we’ll get him right back. It happens this is, uh, you know, it’s live, although it’s it’s not live were pre recorded, but we don’t have it. That’s what you know that you What you know is that we don’t edit, so we’ll take a break break cracking like I’m fourteen. Ah, and we’ll take that break for Wagner. CPS, so enough. Yeah, I’ve done the archive Webinar. Okay, we’re done with that now. Well, you see, Piela they’re accountants, right? Do you need help with your nine ninety this year? You’re looking for a new audit firm. Patronise a non-profit radio sponsors. How about that? Look at them. Check out Wagner’s site and then call them up. Talk to that partner. Yeah, Huge tomb. Alright. See if they can help you out. I’d be grateful they’d be grateful. Weinger cps dot com Now let’s go into Tony’s. Take two. And we’ll just do this a little bit early because we had that little glitch on DH Tony Tony steak too. So now this time and I’m at non-profit rate, I am non-profit radio are ah non-profit radio is our show. I’m not the non-profit technology conference and T C nineteen ninety sea right now. Not it’s not now for me, it’s going to be then for me. I’ll be there then. But it’s now for you. When that comes, then, Because when I’m there, then you’ll be here. Now, here with me. But not here with me. There. You’ll be here with me. Then you might be here then. But you wouldn’t be with me unless you happen to be in booths five o eight and five. Ten at the convention center in Portland, Oregon. So if you’re not there, then there. Then you wouldn’t be with me then. But you can be with me now. Here, when I’m here with you. Right here. I’ll be here then for you now, like I always am. Right? And I want to thank ActBlue for sponsoring Non-profit radio at NTC. They’re doing it now and then here and there. And you know them for their three billion dollars in small donations, get to know them for small dollar donations for your organization. And you could check out our non-profit, your sponsor at tony dot M a slash actblue. And that is Tony’s. Take two. Now let’s get back to Jason Lewis. The war for Fund-raising talent. Jason, you back with us. I am sorry we lost. Okay? Yeah, Yeah, it happens. I don’t know that the hotel lobby have some commotion like that Happy hour start or something? I don’t know, but I’m made sure to turn on something. Snapped some part of my phone to make sure that maybe that doesn’t happen again. Okay. Okay. Well, you would know if you would know if Happy hour started around you, wouldn’t you? Oh, yeah. That has guarded. It is still the same. Lonely. I don’t know how many of your listeners have ever been to Salisbury, Maryland, but it’s a quiet little town that’s about fifty miles from the promotion city, Maryland, and not a lot happening. And OK, down. I can tell you that the tourism from Ocean City has not bled over, but it also does not. But I do know people make money here. There are people here who make money over there. So, uh, there might be a few fundraisers who come through here on occasion. Here. There. When? When you’re there with them here, then? Yeah. If you’re in real estate. Not now. If you live in Salisbury, Maryland, chances are you’re in real estate. You know, oceanfront, real estate, condos, rental units, that sort of stuff. So yeah, okay, But we were talking about that. That transactional fund-raising what that would look like if you abandon that, and what you were starting to get to is a CZ. You said, You know, if you took a third of your file perhaps and stopped soliciting them by by these transactional methods, there wouldn’t be much loss or any loss. And it might actually be a gain if you move those resources into the more high dollar major e-giving. And I’ve seen something like that from a guest ahead on recently. Curtis Bingham. When I saw him live, there was there was a segment of small dollar transactions that that that’s a very large company. Hundreds of thousands of customers. So they had a large data file. Was it was able to purge and and actually profited by reallocating resources away from. So I’m just wondering, you know what? That what that would look like. I mean, it would be It would be radical, I think, for a lot of organizations. Well, if you get if you get if you sort of loop back to what I’m talking about about their sense of control. You know, arm’s length fund-raising cheap, shallow, arms linked fund-raising is not about raising significant dollars. It’s about maintaining a sense of control. And it is avoiding that fear that you started with, you know, in a few minutes ago, The idea that if we let the stone or come into we let too many donors get too close to the mission, they might tell us to do something we don’t want to do. So, um, I think there’s I think, if we really got, I think if we really wrestled with, some of us would find out that the reason that we maintain these cheap, shallow relationships with our donors has less to do with whether or not they can actually give us more money or not. But because it maintains that sense of control. If we took a third, it’s just hypothetically, just just sort of cat. You know, put your put your put any organizations donors in the three categories. There’s the third that they’re not going to make any money on, and they’re better off not mailing to them at all. There’s the third that on the other end of the spectrum that there they don’t have to mail, too, and they get very significant gifts from and and the margins on what they invest in. Those donors are huge. I think there’s plenty of opportunity and enough of our organization’s today with this metal category of donors that says if we’ll invest, if if will invest in more meaningful relationships with these people, weaken. Therefore, raise our expectation of these individuals and expect them to give Mohr more meaningful contributions. Yeah, that’s where I think it’s that middle category of donor um, that, I think is both the opportunity. But it is also the the change agent, if you will, that would revolutionise the way a lot of organizations raised funds, because if all of a sudden I’ve got a middle, if I’ve got what we would tip, typically call sort of a mid level donor if all of a sudden I’m engaging them in more meaningful ways, they’re not writing these extraordinary gifts. You know, they’re not writing huge six and seven figure gifts, but they’re writing checks that, you know when you bunch them together with, You know, twenty five other people. It’s a pretty big deal. But tow have those people now engaged in the organization in a way that’s more meaningful is a different type of organization. Let’s eso let’s talk about how to treat some of those that middle third that you describe. You say you say we gonna learn a lot from e harmony. Yeah. Okay. Tell us so and you know it. Right? And, Tony, I’m really grateful that you read the book because, well, what the hell? Oh, my God. I do. Most people not what? How would I have a conversation with an author if I don’t read it? But I know I totally You know what, Tony? I think I’ve done. I don’t know, probably a dozen of these interviews. And nobody’s mentioned the harmony. So a man? Yeah. I mean, it’s it caught my eye because my wife and I are having trouble. So I I’ve been checking out myself, so I have some personal interest in it as well. So, yes, that all its not all altruistic. Non-profit hyre fine. Well, were not. I’m not in the harmony. Let’s just leave it at that. Let’s not overstate the brilliant Tony, the brilliant behind our harmony. What about them? A Harmony is has has has an algorithm, has a model. They got a business model that says we don’t want people using our system that want cheap, shallow, one night stand relationships with the people that they’re dating that we want to, so that they’re using the same platform that any other you know, Essentially, they’re providing the same dating platform that any other organisms in the other dating service would. But but they were using such an algorithm that requires that the person they raised, the expectation they have a high bar. They have a high bar to have my heart hyre Barda entry. Yeah. Yeah. So the point of entry in getting into the system is much higher than then. You know, the average Joe guy who’s going in and looking for you because I mean, the application I filled out. I mean, the application that you have to fill out is long, and it’s intended to prove that you are looking for a serious relationship, not just dating and sleeping around, which is why I abandoned. But, I mean, I would abandon if I if I if you ever ever had, because, uh, you know, coming out of a marriage. Well, all right, let’s let’s just drop that. Um Okay. So what’s the analog to fund-raising? Well, so both both the both the harmonies of the world and all the other dating websites are using technology to essentially draw in and engage with their customers with their perspective customers, in our case, with perspective donors. And there’s no reason why we have to, as a nonprofit organization, assume that there’s not ways too raised the bar and set the expectation hyre rather than just make it, um, brother than lower the bar. Okay, So what does that? What does that look like? Give us some examples of raising the bar as you’re dealing with this, this middle tier of donors and you’re trying to upgrade them. Most of my clients. Most of my clients are hearing from me that the donor, the donor who makes the initial gift, needs to be receptive to a to a thank you call and a first time needing so any time, um to ah, to ah, an in person meeting. And and And so if Tony, if you sent one hundred dollars on giving Tuesday back in November to my charity one of my clients, you’re going to receive a thank you call from that charitable organization and they’re going to allocate somebody’s time to sit down with you. Um, acknowledged that gift and begin to set the expectation that if if you’re going to be one of our donors, we’re going to expect more than that hundred dollars of you every year. But in return, we’re going toe. You know, we’re going to do things like we’re going to sit down and occasionally have a cup of coffee with you, Okay? And and if you say in the book, you quote Jerry Panis in the book, saying, eighty percent of the, uh, the work of non-profit fundraisers is getting that first meeting. So So you also like that? Are you telling your class, then? For the for the ones who won’t sit down after the hundred dollar gift? We’re not goingto you know where we won’t be spending personal time with them anymore, right? That’s exactly right. I disagreeing. I’m just I’m just trying to flush you out at that. That’s an example of how you would begin to discern. So all of my clients use what I referred Teo three lanes. And if you’re if you’re a donor who’s going Teo, be duitz. If if If you’re a donor, who’s going to be expected of, um you know, five times, five times what? That initial gift wass you, Khun, you, Khun, therefore expect us to similarly invest in that relationship. And Gerald Panis is, you know that he he told that to. He pointed that out to a lot of us, and I don’t know why we have not sort of taken that same logic and used it as a way to sort of test who these people are that we’re interacting with. Uh, you know, after that, initial gifted, the person will not sit down with you for a cup of coffee and talk about why your organization is of interest to them. Um, where that relationships going to go long term is seems very sceptical to may. Okay, so then, in that case, we will just continue to accept the person’s hundred dollar gift per year. I guess. Obviously, we’ll send thank you notes, but we’re not going to get well, send standard. Thank you’s your your advice would be, um, I getting this right, But but we wouldn’t. Wouldn’t be calling the person to say thank you. You after year, we’re going to move on to find people who will sit down with us after they’re They’re one hundred dollar gift. Is that Do I have that right? Yeah. Yeah, I got into a conversation with someone the other day. That was sort of along this line. Of what? So what do you do with that individual who sends you a hundred dollars on giving Tuesday? Refuses tto have that cup of coffee. Do you, you know, is that if that person completely ignored from there, you know, what do they do? They do. They now occupy a spot on your database or don’t pay, and and you continue to mail to them. I I tend to be more extreme in my in my encouragements. And I say, Look, you know, if if if if a subsequent that person’s names on your database within six months if you’re not getting a subsequent gift from that person, I think you need to allow the science of fund-raising to sort of work in your favor. And you need to sort of say, this person’s really probably not going anywhere with us. And they’re occupying a spot on our database in such a way that’s going to constantly convince us that there’s opportunity there when it’s not there. Um, and so what do you do? As a result? What? Let’s get drill down to the nitty gritty of this. What do you do with the person you’re staying? You stop inhaling. Yeah. I’m not selling to that person any more than okay, like a custom cannot nailing to that person anymore. Not even to Mom. Not even to maintain their hundred dollars. Well, the thing about that hundred dollars is that hundred dollars. It is the same that is in and of itself what I’m talking about with new act with arms linked fund-raising. The organization is convincing itself that that that’s the way that fund-raising works, and so I’m not only trying to raise more money, but I’m also trying to combat these assumptions as to how this works, if used. If you continue to spend money, be it a little or being a lot of money every year to renew that hundred dollars, That’s one hundred dollars that I can’t spend to pay somebody to go and have that cup of coffee with somebody. Um, and find out that someone else who did give on giving Tuesday and will sit down for a cup of coffee will agree to give five times as much money. Okay, wait, we gotta look confused. We’re not. We’re not spending a hundred dollars to get a hundred, but whatever we are spending, you wantto allocate that elsewhere. I do. Right? I’m trying to get people to to do best. You know you’re going to reduce their investment in new acquisition and anything that looks like new acquisition and reinvest it in. And because a lot of people will say to me when I’m making this case, they’re going to say to me, Jason, we can’t afford to send people out to have cups of coffee for five hundred dollars gifts. And in my pushback on, that is Well, of course, you can’t not on the model that you have now that is dependent on, you know, extort, maintaining extraordinary volumes with relationships that don’t yield types of support you want to get. But when you changed the economics, it becomes much less. Because it becomes a much less scary, uh, proposal. When you when you start, when you start to see donors, you can see this. You see this play out when when organizations start taking donors out the lunch when they start having coffee conversations in these donorsearch art, giving five and ten times as much they gave that first time the light goes on in their head and they realised, OK, this how this works. Okay, hold hold there. I got to take another break. Sure, tell us. This is the long stream of passive revenue. You get half the fee when tell those processes. Credit card transactions for companies that you refer. It’s perfect for small organizations that need more revenue. Revenue. Diversity Red. This is revenue you don’t have to work for each month each year like Jason hyre talking about. It’s passive. Watch the video, then send companies to watch and make your ask. Go to Tony dahna slash Tony Tello’s I Want to do the live Listener Love. As I had said, We’re not live here. I’m at NTC. Let’s not Let’s not rehash that that morass again. But the live love goes out for the people who are listening live. Thank you. I’m glad you’re with us on the podcast. Pleasantries to the over thirteen thousand listeners in the time shift pleasantries to you. I’m grateful that you are with us. Now. Let’s go back to Jason Lewis. Okay. Anything more? You wanted Teo say about the shifting economics? The reallocation of resource is, um the abandonment of of donors that look tantalizing, but they’re never really going to come. They’re never going to come around. So, yeah, the only thing the only thing I would point out again, I just something that I don’t unpack in great detail in the book. But I want us to pay it. I want any anyone who’s reading my book, but I do want them. Tio, keep in mind that that hundred dollar gift that we’re talking about. So you’re you’re begging the question. Okay, What do we do about that hundred dollars gift that will not convert to a lunch table conversation into a larger gift? The reality is that more and more non-profit organizations are going to be enlisting the help of outside. You know, vendors outsource sort of solutions that they can largely be executed via technology, and they’re not gonna be employing full time fundraisers to just to maintain that hundred dollars gift. And so part of what I’m pushing back on in the book is the definition of what fund-raising talent is. And I’m saying that if the donor when you get the one hundred dollars on giving Tuesday, um, your ability is a fundraiser to pick up the phone and ask for that gift, that’s where the job start, not where it wraps up and we’re not. I don’t think you’re going to see non-profit organizations in the same numbers that we historically have be paying fund-raising professionals to acquire these first gifts. There’s no, there’s no necessity for that. We can outsource that. We can rely on technology to do that. And anything that technology and in an outsourcing solution can’t do, Um, can be accomplished with volunteers. Wait. Don’t need to pay fundraisers to secure initial gifts. Volunteers or technology. Okay. Interesting. Yeah. I wanna make I wanna make one thing clear. I don’t beg II. Just ask. I’m not begging. Okay. Um, you talk about you wanna spend some time on deliberate practice for fundraisers and, uh, by my count. You got four different for maybe five include the include the list, right? Include the last five deliberate the river practices that you want to see fundraisers engaging because you feel again You know, I’m summarizing I’m not giving you a chance to flesh out everything because you tend to be allover boast So I I can’t I can’t spend time everything that you have. But you’re the author too, so I don’t blame you. You know, I’ve never written a book, so I just talk, You know, it’s just it’s just, uh a different medium, but yeah. So, you know, you you, uh you don’t feel that experience in it is experience in and of itself creates good fund-raising, which which, I mean, I think that’s got some intellectual or some some some some appeal that’s intuitive as well. Just because you’ve been doing something for thirty years doesn’t mean you do it. Well, you could be very mediocre and lackluster for thirty years. Maybe you got better. But that still doesn’t mean you’re you know, you’re at the peak of your game or he thinks, Oh, so you like to see instead of just experience, Uh, you like you like fundraisers to engage in these deliberate practices. You, uh, you want to kick off with What? A deliberate practice. That’s your favorite? Yeah. The one of the deliberate practices that I use. I’ve scored the most points with when I’m trying to train up development officers with my clients. Is this concept of two weeks out? And and what that means is that when you pick up the phone so this same scenario that I was talking about, what with the coffee after giving Tuesday, um, you schedule all your meetings two weeks out. So if I called you up, Tony and said, um, you know, thank you for the contribution you made on giving Tuesday. Can we get together for a cup of coffee? I don’t allow my clients to schedule that needing any sooner than two weeks out on their schedule. Yeah. Yeah. And the reason I’m doing that is because I’m trying to get the donor to signal to the organization that they are, in fact, a priority for the organization. And therefore we will put I will put you on my calendar, and I will. I will give you that spot on my calendar two weeks out. Kind of like you and I. We scheduled this, uh, this interview here, you signaled to me that I was important to you. And so you put me on your schedule, and that signals a heightened level of, you know, equality in the relationship that had we not scheduled it. Um, you know, if you would have just sort of reached out yesterday and said, Hey, can you get together? Six O’Clock. That would have signalled something very different. And I think that’s what’s happening with a lot of the way that development officers interact with their donors, is there not? They’re not raising the bar. They’re not raising the expectation of saying, hey, make me a priority in your schedule. Um, and consequently if if that happens, you’re going to also become a quality. You know, you’re going to become a priority, and they’re giving. Okay, So So you say even even if even if the sounds like somebody’s checking in checking in xero noisy group chaillou busload just come in to check in for the night or something. Maybe they’re there. Maybe they’re on their way to Ocean City. All right. Okay. Um, but you. You make the point. Even if s o, I call someone’s made a hundred dollars gift I call and the donor the donor says, Yeah, yeah, I’ve got I’ve got space on my calendar. We could we could do it on, uh, we could do with this Friday. Yeah. Yeah. You want to turn that? You want me to turn that down? I do. I want you to turn that down because I’m trying to train up your patterns and habits, and I’m trying to get a read. I’m trying to get a signal from the donor as to whether or not you’re truly a priority for them. Um, and so I want you to stay to them. No, I can’t do that. Um, one of things. A new development. A new development officer who’s just starting out. He or she will generally answer that question. And if you say I could get together this Friday, once you come on over, you know, development offices, that development officer that’s not all that busy would say. Sure, I can do that. Yeah, but our ability to maintain most of my development officers are hearing for me that I want fifteen to twenty meetings a month. You’re not going to get into the habit of successfully scheduling fifteen to twenty meetings a month if you’re not scheduling them two weeks out. And so you have to start setting yourself up now for what? You anticipate your schedule look like? Um okay, I don’t Okay? I don’t understand that. I don’t understand your premise. How come? Are you all right? We gotta take a break. So I’m going there on here. Can you hear me? Yeah. Okay. Uh, we take a break, but I’m goingto I’m challenging something. I don’t understand your premise. You just said you’re not gonna be able to schedule fifteen to twenty meetings a month if you’re if you’re not scheduling them two more. Two more weeks out. Okay? I don’t understand. I don’t understand that premise, but we’re gonna take a break, and then I’ll let you go. You respond? Yep. Our last break text to give diversify your revenue by adding mobile. Giving another another revenue. Diverse afire. Mobile giving. Not only for disasters. You can build relationships by text. Where was Jason? Just talking about using technology. You see how this fits together to not happen. Stance As much a cz Many times I tell you, I feel like a taste. My mother still doesn’t believe it. Um, I should use my my dad is the example. So I’m like, my dad still doesn’t believe it. You can’t build relationships by technology and by text. You’re doing it all the time with family and friends. Do it with donors. You can learn how, by the five party male, many course. It dispels misconceptions and explains how to get started. Build relationships through technology, see how it fits together. Text NPR to four, four, four nine nine, nine. We’ve got several more minutes left for the war for fund-raising talent. Okay. Jason Lewis. So, um, yeah, I don’t understand your premise. What? Well, how come I can’t schedule fifteen to twenty if I if I do use the intervening two weeks from from when I’m making calls. Yeah. So I want the development officer to get into a habit of scheduling all of his or her meetings two weeks out so that he or she can maximize his or her time. Um, and, you know, have the advantage of time to do that. Scheduling it’s what I’m trying to get you to avoid is a tear. Any of the urgent? So a lot of develop a lot of non-profit two years of any sort are running around putting fires out all the time, Um, because they’re allowing the tyranny of the urgent to sort of overwhelmed them. And I don’t want that, too to factor into your fund-raising practices anymore than I want that to factor in anywhere else. Um, so I’m both trying tio to coach the development officer in his or her management of their time, And I’m also trying to ensure that the donor is signaling back to you that you’re a priority for them. And that’s what this particular deliberate practice does is that it signals, um it also signals to the development. I mean, it’s signals to the donor. Yes. I called you up here with the donor. If you’re the donor and I call you up. And I said, Can we get together? And you say, Come on over tomorrow and I say, No, I can’t do that. I’m busy. That also signals to you that I’m a busy guy and that my time is important. Um, and okay, okay. I get your Yeah. All right. All right. So there’s some, uh, little bit of scarcity. You know, my time is important. Uh, it’s and it’s already booked, so Okay. All right. And he’s not your only you understand. That’s not your only you know that. That’s not loose back all the way back to where we started at the beginning of the conversation. I mean, if we’re constantly in this sort of this here inferior spot, Um, you know, we’re always in this sort of begging posture allowing the donor to sort of do whatever they say we’re going to do, um, whether it be on the schedule or what we do with their money? Um, yeah. Okay. Let’s talk about another deliberate practice we got. We got five of them. Yes. Go ahead. You name one. Then I’ll pick one after you go ahead or the last one. The last one, I think, is the one that tends to push my development officers the most. And that is that you always ask in person, and you follow-up on paper. And what that means is so Earlier this week, I was in Texas with one of my clients and I’m coaching the gentleman on on how to solicit gifts. And And I’m insisting that first you asked the donor for this gift in person, and then you be prepared when you return to the office. If you haven’t already drafted this letter, you re articulate exactly what was, uh, what what was requested. And you put it back and you put it in the mail so that the donor receives that essentially the same request in written form. What that does it does. It does a couple of things, um, the first thing that it does that ensures that the person who’s, uh, making the solicitation in person, it ensures that they’re speaking very explicitly that they’re not sort of beating around the bush with whatever they’re asking for because they know that there’s a letter back it back at the office. It’s going to get written that’s going to state everything explicitly, um, and written out as well. The other thing that it does that create sort of AA closing of the, uh uh, the the oversight loop, if you will. The way in which development officers air over the way in which there e-giving oversight from their supervisors this letter, this letter that goes out to Mr Mrs Smith, it says thank you for meeting with me. I hope you’ll you know, if you give consideration to the gift of ex, whatever I asked you for, close that loop with the supervisor cubine carbon copy the supervisor on this loop and it essentially signals to the developer to the boss to the managing to the over the manager is that you’re essentially doing your job. Um, one of the things I critique development officers all the time for doing is we think that they’re paid. We the non-profits think that these people are paid to raise money. They’re not actually paid to raise money. They’re paid to ask for money, but we don’t give any way. For our supervisors are boards and bosses to ever see that they’re raised that they’re asking for money. So this is just one of those ways that we can demonstrate that we’re going, you know, full circle that from the point at which we, you know, acknowledged the first gift to the point at which we asked for a very significant gift. That’s what you’re getting paid for. You’re not getting paid for. Ah, guaranteeing that that person turns around, writes a check that’s not within your control. Okay, Jason. Unbelievably, we have to leave it there. We did not get to the full five delivered practices which are assigned list. You should have one hundred fifty. No more than fifty and meaningful conversations are. That’s a good one. Meaningful conversations you’ve got. You’ve got to get the book. You know, you don’t want to have these shallow conversations on DH. Subsequent meetings should be in teams. Those of the three that we didn’t get to the book is the war for fund-raising talent. You’ll find that Amazon, you’ll find Jason Lewis. He’s all around, Let’s see. But specifically, you’ll find him at the generous life and that louis fund-raising dot com. Jason, thank you so much. Thank you. Tony has been great for my pleasure. Thank you. And thank you for putting me at the top of the other ten or twelve podcasts that did not ask about harmony. No slackers. Slackers like lost a lackluster, lackluster podcasters. Okay, next week, talk about lackluster. I don’t know. I don’t know what next week’s show is going to be. If you missed any part of today’s show. I beseech you, Find it on tony martignetti dot com were sponsored by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash Pursuant Capital P by Wagner CPAs. Guiding you Beyond the numbers records cps dot com By Tello’s Credit card and Payment Processing You’re passive revenue stream Tony dahna slash Tony Tell us and by text to give mobile donations made easy text. NPR to four four four nine nine nine are creative producers Claire Meyerhoff, Sam Liebert, says the line producer. There is no music. How can I say the music is by Scott Stein? There it is. That’s a family with the line producer. It’s his job to put the music up. Show Social Media’s by Susan Chavez. He’s ninety nine out of one hundred, so, you know, give him a break. 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