Nonprofit Radio for April 3, 2020: Build Your Grantmaker Relationships

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My Guests:

Amy Berman, Caitlin Mitchell, Daniel Werner,  Anthony Sanchez & Christine Kang: Build Your Grantmaker Relationships
Our panel of grantmakers and a grantee reveal savvy strategies for building and maintaining relationships with your institutional funders. Foundations are made of people. How do you get close to them? This is a panel I moderated at The Foundation Center in New York City. Back when there was a The Foundation Center. It’s now Candid.org. (Originally aired February 16, 2018)

 

 

 

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[00:00:06.34] spk_0:
Okay.

[00:00:58.72] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of follicular assis if you made me go lymph with the idea that you missed today’s show. Build your grantmaking relationships. Our panel of grantmakers and a grantee reveals strategies for building and maintaining relationships with your institutional funders. Foundations are made of people. How do you get close to them? This is a panel I moderated at the foundation center in New York City back when the foundation center existed. Uh, so, uh, going back couple of years? Um, that’s it. That’s all I got to say about that On Tony’s take to 20 ntc thank you’s were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn, to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Here is the start of build your grantmakers relationships.

[00:05:40.86] spk_2:
We’re here to talk about collaboration and impact collaborate an impact. And our panel today is gonna focus in the collaboration. We’re gonna be talking about the relationship building of collaboration, that aspect of collaboration between non profits and the funders. All right, Most of you are in non profits potential grantees and most of our panel are the funders. So I have vidi admonished is too strong a word. But I have urged them to keep their advice, you know, relevant for potential grantees. How can each of you, in your non profits collaborate, build relationships with potential funders and even even when even when you get a no from a funder, what can you do after that? Our concern is that this is seen is proceeding to transactional. It shouldn’t be transactional. Your relationship with potential grant oars potential funders can be parallel to the work that you do in individual fundraising in each of your individual program. Because funders air made up institutions are made up of people and we know people fund what they believe in. So how can you build the relationship, keep the relationship strong even in the face of a rejection, and thereby collaborate with your potential funders which hopefully will become your funders. It’s my real pleasure to introduce our winning panel. Beginning with your on your left is Caitlin Mitchell. Caitlyn is a program and evaluation officer with Empower the Emerging Markets Foundation. Their work is around at risk youth in emerging markets in Colombia, Mexico and South Africa. Next, moving to your right. Dan Werner Dan is Social Justice program associate with the darkest foundation. Their priority is LGBT social justice, and we have Amy Berman. She’s senior program officer at the John John A Hartford Foundation, and their work is around improving, improving the health of older adults. Christine Kang, associate program manager at Project Sunshine. She is our sole Panelists who is among you apart part of the non profit 501 C three community, and their work at Project Sunshine is direct support to pediatric patients and their families. And Anthony Sanchez welcome. Anthony is corporate social responsibility manager at American Express. They’re three priorities around CSR or preserving historic places, developing new leaders and encouraging community service. Each of their fuller bios is outside. Please give a warm welcome Thio tunnel, please. Now, um important to know about about Christine and Anthony, they’re actually they could be holding hands. American Express that Americans press is funding project sunshine. So we brought we brought to the panel one team that is actively collaborating. All right, so keeping with you know what I I, uh I said is our purpose. Today, we’re gonna talk about relationship building, so I’m gonna I’m gonna start with The most basic basic question means we’ll start with Caitlin, creating strong relationships with funders again for our our audience of small and midsize non profits. How convey what’s one or two ideas that come to mind about creating that strong relationship at the outset at the beginning of a potential relationship?

[00:06:05.45] spk_3:
One unique thing about power is that we strive to and have the opportunity to fund an organization for up to 10 years. And I say that because when we enter a collaboration with new organization, there is not the idea that the organization is going to do everything perfectly, but there are a few characteristics that are really important to us. Um, the first I would say is just honest communication. I’ve had a number of grantees over. It’s inevitable that you will have adversity that something won’t go while ago won’t go as planned. And as a program officer in charge of managing our relationship, the most helpful thing to me in the kind of like star grantees versus ones that are a bit more difficult,

[00:06:33.49] spk_2:
we want to be star granted. Yes, we are just

[00:08:03.54] spk_3:
goes who communicate. Um, explain that. You know, there are delays in the project often most of the time for very legitimate reasons. And in addition to that, not only say, you know, unfortunately, Caitlyn, there’s been a delay or we weren’t able to do this activity but also have already problem solved around how to either overcome that challenge and or a different activity. So one grantee in Oaxaca, Mexico the end of their year long program, which was a leadership training for a group of 20 young people, was to take them to Mexico City. These are young people who had never really been out of the municipality in which they lived in right before. A few weeks before they were supposed to go to Mexico City, there was extreme violence in their community, and a lot of parents rescinded the permission for their young people or their their Children to go. So six of 18 that were planned to go were able to go to Mexico City. And that would be a big sort of like, uh, what’s going on. Um, but when they approached me, they said, Listen, only six of 18 could make it. We still went on the trip. They still did all the activities and we did a camping weekend closer to the community in which they live. They live where 16 of 18 were able to participate. We still went through the leadership training. We had hoped for the themes, the bonding that took place. Um, and they still had that sort of new and broadening horizons experience.

[00:08:25.48] spk_2:
And then we’re gonna have a chance to talk about some examples of impact. We’ll definitely get to that. So, yeah, basically, it sounds like you’re suggesting honesty. If there’s if there’s tribulations. If there’s trouble, let your funder. No. Yes, I have a non profit radio. I host this podcast. We gotta keep it to an hour. So we got a concise.

[00:08:56.14] spk_1:
It’s time for a break wegner-C.P.As so that your 9 90 gets filed on time so that your order is finished on time so that you get the advice of an experienced partner. Uhh doom and Affirm that has a nationwide non profit practice with thousands of non profit audits under its belt. Wegner-C.P.As dot com Now more of build your grantmakers relationships.

[00:09:03.21] spk_2:
Then what? Aside from being honest about potential problems, adversity, What else? Where else could we do again? Looking to try and look at the outset way? We don’t even have a relationship yet. It’s up to you. But early on, at least

[00:09:14.04] spk_4:
No, that’s great. And I wish echo

[00:10:58.04] spk_6:
exactly what was just said. I would also say, um, from the outset, you’re a new grand T and speaking from From Position the foundation, right work and some of the other foundations that we partner with speak raving. But a new grantee is ah is a new, amazing relationship that your program officers excited about and the foundation is excited about. Um, another dynamic within foundations is to not overbear helicopter in and try toe add too much burden onto the grantee because we know that your work is paramount and we don’t wanna sit there and constantly be asking you for updates, because we know that you’ll probably be sending that in a report. So I’d say Take the onus and agency, too. Um, reach out to us and share updates in the interim. We love when we get interim updates. If you’re, um and I’ll keep it quick with this story. We have a grand t out in the rural area of California, and the rural areas of California have more of, ah, um, kind of economic climate of the US South. It’s not all L a and, um, the Bay Area. We get updates about winds that they get at the local school board level and within the local court systems. And we love hearing those stories, and we share them throughout our foundation on and it goes all the way to the board level. So I would just say, Be open and honest with us and feel free to reach out. And don’t think there, that they’re the big foundation black box and we will send them a report later.

[00:11:36.38] spk_2:
Yeah, awesome. Open honesty and even reporting when it’s not required. Correct? Right. You’re welcome. You’re welcome. Those okay? By the way, let me also remind each of you if you don’t have the mike. You can still speak. You’ll be hurt by this. This fancy omni directional. So you’re welcome. You should have it yet. But if you If you make some quick or something, you’ll be hurt. Okay? So keep it clean. It’s gonna be it’s gonna be heard. It’s gonna be preserved. Please let me burn. What? Advice for the starting that relationship real strong.

[00:13:27.24] spk_7:
So I’m gonna go to before you’re even a grantee. Andi, I agree with everything that I’ve heard so far. But before you’re a grantee, this is your opportunity to really understand who it is you’re gonna be meeting with. And you should be meeting with the foundation that you want to get to know or go to an event where you know that they’re going to be. And you should know enough about number one, their mission, the kind of grants that they do. Because when you talk about the work that you want to dio, it has to fit within the strategy of that foundation. But I’ll tell you, even more than that, you need to look at the language on that website. So you know, you’ve heard some hints here you’ve heard you know, words like workforce or words like social justice. Use those words in describing what you do. If your work relates to that area, convey what you d’oh and what your interests are within that kind of language and context that will make it easier for you and the person that you’re meeting with sometimes for the first time, to see where the fit ISS. Now maybe the person is going to get where the fit is without you having done your homework. But it’s your job to really make that fit apparent. So doing your homework in advance is really helpful. And one thing that I would suggest the first time that you meet with the foundation don’t hitch an idea because that one idea may be the thing that is not within what they can. D’oh. Let them get to know you and the range of things that you d’oh that will be the best entry. And one of the biggest mistakes that people make is they come in with a very specific pitch and their other things that we then didn’t get to talk about. And that’s the thing that would have been the right fit.

[00:14:11.20] spk_2:
Are you starting to hear the parallel between your individual giving and your potential institutional funding? Who goes into a meeting first, meeting with a potential donor and solicit? It doesn’t happen. You get You have to get to know them. Amy’s Amy’s advising. Not only do your research, but very well your first meeting not be the pitch and again parallel with your similar to the work you’re doing in the individual fundraising. It’s

[00:14:11.68] spk_7:
kind of like asking

[00:14:12.62] spk_3:
something you’d marry you

[00:14:23.94] spk_2:
wear. That really is talking. That’s what I’m doing wrong. I realized 55 years to hear that. All right, Christine, please.

[00:15:49.84] spk_5:
So I’m for our relationship with American Express and then other relationships. What we’ve learned is to is, and I think why we’ve been so successful is that as a non profit we take, we tried really hard to understand the funder. So and previously I actually was at a foundation, so I kind of have both lenses too. But it’s so it’s exciting to have the two perspectives, but I think it’s sometimes he deceived. Think of funders that oh, they have all this money and power, So I’m just going to go in and they must be able to do X, y and Z. I think there’s a lot of assumptions and and expectations that come with that relationship. But to think about the relationship from the point of view of how can I be helpful? What is tthe e funder going through? How can I How can we make their lives easier while also maximizing our impact? So it’s not just about I need this from younger. I want to get X. I get why. But okay. What? How can we create a conversation around? So for us at Project Sunshine, we focus on pediatric health care. So we always start with the child in mind. But we can’t do the work we’re doing without are amazing partners, our funders, our corporate partners. And so, while making sure that they understand our mission and the work we’re doing to ask them, okay, So that how can we make your life easier? So I think starting from that.

[00:16:34.20] spk_2:
And doesn’t that sound like something you would ask? Maybe not in those exact words, but parallel again in your individual fundraising. What is it about your work? What is it? I’m sorry What is it about our work that interest you that motivates you? That moves you? Um, and what’s in terms of suggestion? How can we make your life easier? Are there different methods of giving that we could talk about? Maybe a plan to give to makes more sense for you. Maybe it’s structured over a period of years. Maybe it’s a one time outright gift. Maybe it’s a gift of something other than cash gift in kind someone some other kind of asset. So you know, again the suggestion. How could we make your life easier? You’re always thinking about how you can help your donors to make gifts to, you know, see these parallels Anthony, please.

[00:17:35.63] spk_4:
So just to add what toe What Christine said, I think it’s important to set expectations, right? So on the corporate side, I mean most CSR teams in a corporation, it’s probably a group of 6 to 8 people at American Express. It’s a it’s a team of 10 and we’re basically responsible for engaging over 50,000 employees. So it’s hard to do that right. So we look for partners who can help us. We can help them with their objectives and to, you know, help with their mission. But on the other hand, we also expect them to engage our volunteers, right. So setting that expectation is important because it’s a win win situation. So we’re helping the non profit achieve their goals. But we’re also engaging our volunteers. So I think setting an expectation upfront, it’s super helpful,

[00:17:47.98] spk_2:
and your collaboration involves a lot of volunteer work, a lot of service work by American Express employees. We’re gonna get to that that grants aren’t only in the form of money by any means. Let’s open it up now we’re gonna come back, come to questions periodically through time together. How about questions on this initial round of

[00:18:10.23] spk_3:
Hi, Um, I was wondering how open funders are, too, like meeting new people like cold calls, your email or phone call like how approachable would you say you

[00:18:10.85] spk_2:
are? How open to new relationships. This is perfect. It’s exactly We’re talking about what you know, with the beginning phases of the relationship, how open are you to increase? Sounds like everybody has something. Say, uh, Amy, Good Michael. So pick them. I can’t.

[00:19:03.12] spk_7:
It’s it’s really important. That’s a big part of my job. Yeah, I’m constantly meeting people, you know, My area is around aging. It’s around care of older adults. So I am on the road as a national thunder. I’m on the road, probably almost every week. I am going and meeting with people. They have very easy access to May. If people are committing their life toward doing this work, I’m committing my life toward them because my foundation’s mission is to do this as well. So I’m completely accessible.

[00:20:26.94] spk_6:
Damn. Um, yeah, I would I would say that in our experience, we are one of the largest LGBT funders. So we get a lot of requests from us based for global Funders Well, from US based organizations and we Similarly, when we have a team of of six or so so we just don’t have the band with. And one of the one of the things I hate about my job is knowing that me and my team really don’t have the bandwidth, even though our way have open on initial funding concept submission so anyone can send them in. We all do look at them, but we don’t have the bandwidth to have that special touch and tell people. Oh, but this local foundation in Seattle area is doing X y Z, so I would say, Just keep at people. Find out where those funders in those spaces go. When we attend conferences and other things, you catch people in a different mindset. They’re not running the meetings. They’re not doing their grant right up. So I would say catching people in different spaces, as opposed to the cold call is one avenue you could you could employ. Okay?

[00:20:59.46] spk_3:
And I would just say as a both of do in a don’t is because in power, we are open to hearing from from perspective organizations. But do your homework ahead of time and make sure so empower supports work in 15 emerging market countries. We say that on our website, we list the country’s make sure it’s a country that you work in is one that we support. We support work with at risk youth ages 10 to 24. If you’re working with the elderly or with Children, we’re not the right organization. So in general, Aziz was saying, we tried to respect our grantees time, and hopefully the idea would be that then sitting organizations or are granted partners will also do their part, too. Respect our time

[00:21:20.74] spk_2:
if I tell you that initial

[00:21:52.69] spk_4:
really agree with that? Obviously, like I mentioned before, it’s very hard to, you know, answer every email, answer every inquiry. So doing research. I think our website is really good at providing. As tony mentioned, we support three different pillars, but it it’s a good place to start because it provides a list off sample projects that we’ve supported. There’s also an eligibility quiz. So going back to what hates that, um, it helps you figure out whether it would be a good match or not, because through that eligibility quiz, you know, if you were to select, you know you’re in a place like Arkansas where we don’t have a large employer employee base. That probably wouldn’t be a match because we like to support organizations and specific regions, especially, you know, where we have a large employees head cow and and, you know, our biggest market. So doing research is it’s super important.

[00:23:26.56] spk_2:
Yeah, So you’ve heard this a couple of times now. So what do we do on the individual side called prospect Research? You got to do it on the institutional side to you don’t want to embarrass yourself by, uh, it’s a failing to send a letter of inquiry. If that’s part of the That’s the first step that a funder once so don’t miss step by not doing your research. Let’s move the relationship on a little bit now. We’re not We’re not at the inquiry stage. We’re not at the opening stage now. We’re funding your, uh you’ve selected grantee. How can we keep the relationship strong now? We already heard Report when it’s not necessary to keep us involved. Some steel. You can’t repeat your idea. You gotta come with multiple ideas. That’s why you’re here. Way also hurt. Share adversity, tribulations, difficulties along the way. What other advice? Again? Keeping the relationship strong. Now that we are funded, who wants toe? Anybody could start. Okay,

[00:24:25.24] spk_3:
11 thing that could be a challenge. But I think is also easy to find. A potential volunteer for that really makes a difference. For us is around honestly high quality pictures of the work that you’re doing if you have a really active social media page and the reason is that we are not in and down foundation. So we report our donors about the work that we’re supporting, and it’s really helpful. And unfortunately, some of the grand teeth like it featured the most are those that have really great documentation of their own work. So not every organization can hire it’s owned photographer, that’s for sure, but I think that’s a good news. That may be a volunteer who wants to come learn more about your program. If they have, you know, photography skills could be a really great way. Just just yeah, raise awareness about the work that you’re doing. And, yeah,

[00:25:14.34] spk_2:
can I suggest that maybe it doesn’t always. It doesn’t have to be high production value to be moving and show impact. I’ve seen cases where, uh, people who are benefiting from the organization’s work do you sell do selfie videos and, you know, with some really simple editing tools that could be really compelling so they might go on for 12 minutes or so. That’s too long, but I guess the point is it doesn’t have to be high production value necessarily to convey impact, use your social media. Obviously, we all know how important video is how compelling that could be. Storytelling through pictures as well. Uh, you know, let them let them know what the work is that they’re paying for. Please, Dad.

[00:25:50.29] spk_6:
No, no, Andi, keep it quick. Might sound very simple, but I know when I was in very early in my career non profit that didn’t have much of a development office capacity. But now I know being on the other end how important. Make sure your funders are on your email list. So when you send out everything about programmatic aspects or big announcements that, you know, all of your funders are getting those updates. That way you could focus on your work. And that way, funders are also updated.

[00:26:21.95] spk_2:
Follow them on Twitter. Follow your funders on Twitter. I mean, it sounds basic, but it might get overlooked. Facebook, you know, fan their facebook page, etcetera, etcetera connect in ways other than what? Uh, what? They’re what they’re requirements are for, you know, quarterly or semi annual reporting or something, you know, connect beyond that again. Relationship building. Right. You’re doing it on the individual side. Do it on the institutional side as well. You got something in my wife’s name is Amy. So you suffer. I don’t feel like I’m sorry. I

[00:27:09.51] spk_7:
Okay, so the other thing is about your expectation for us. And you know, it’s important that you have an expectation for us. There are people. There are foundations that, you know, everything kind of goes into a black box. When, when I’m developing a proposal, I actually work with the grantee on the development of that proposal. So I’ll edit it. It’s not a black box, it’s an intentional act. So once we’ve decided we’re going forward, it is a very intentional act. But once you have the grant, the other thing is to consider me as a part of the team. So include us in convening Sze, invite us. We may or may not be able to go, but we also have the ability to write and speak. I’ve given congressional testimony on behalf of grantees. You know, we are We can provide you with more than just grants support. We can actually provide you with elbow grease. We can be helpful to you. We can even bring other funders to the table. So the more you engage with us as a grantee, the more helpful I can be for you.

[00:27:37.28] spk_2:
Excellent examples. Excellent. Thank you, kid. You wanna you wanna add?

[00:28:10.43] spk_5:
So I know we’ve been talking about social media and videos and high tech stuff. So what I think, though, that that’s very helpful, I think. And I don’t know, old fashioned is just a meet in person. So for Anthony and I had breakfast today before we came here and we try to make it a point to remember that for organizations, companies that there’s a person there that you’re talking thio cool. Maybe just got married or so to to also build a relationship around the person, not just the institution. It’s a thing.

[00:28:46.14] spk_2:
Yeah, said earlier. Institutions are made up of people. I mean, how how plainer can we make the comparisons t your individual fundraising program? It’s the same. It’s the same strategy keeping, keeping, informed, inviting. You invite your major donors to things invite your institutional. Your funders, like Annie said they may or may not come, but the invitations should always be out there. They should be getting all your press. All your tweets, et cetera. You know I can’t drive home way

[00:30:43.69] spk_1:
need to take a break. Cougar Mountain software. Their accounting product Denali, is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that understands you. They have a free 60 day trial. It’s on the listener landing page at now. Time for tony Steak, too. The 20 NTC. The non profit technology conference was terrific. I hope I’m pre recording this a month before NTC. Thanks so much to Cougar Mountain for sponsoring non profit radio at the conference. I do hope that the booth we shared did not get torn down because you forgot to pay the bill. I doubt that that happened. Um, I’m sure I reminded you that the payment was due, and I’m sure you hadn’t paid it. At least I hope, Assuming that you did, I I do. Thank you so much. So let’s assume that you did so thank you to Cougar Mountain and the guests, all the many guests that I will have captured, uh, last year it was 70 knows more than seventies like 80 85 in 36 different panels or something so comparable numbers. Thank you. Thank you to the guests who took time at 20 ntc to come by and be interviewed for non profit radio. And of course, you listening. We’ll get the benefit of that for months to come. I’m gonna have 20 NTC panels. Thio play. Thanks so much to the intense staff. They’re always accommodating. And this year, I’m sure well, have been It was that the police Kwame Perfecto will of a future perfect will have been perfect. We’ll have been very, very accommodating as they always are. So thank you to any sample, Ward CEO and all the staff at n 10 that is. Tony. Take ju. Now let’s go back to build your grantmakers relationships.

[00:31:46.89] spk_4:
So on the corporate side, it’s about being, you know, you guys being flexible, right? Because, yeah, I can support you through grantmaking and providing volunteers. But there’s also other opportunities, so I always make it. Um, I always make the effort of engaging non profits where our affinity groups at American Express, because that if your woman empowerment organization, um, there’s always a way to connect with employees and other ways, right? So will offer volunteers, but We can also bring awareness to our employees. And they could make individual donations through our employees giving campaign or through our dollars for doors program. Or maybe it’s an opportunity for you to come in and speak to a group of women and just bring more awareness. So the relationship doesn’t just have toe. And at grantmaking were always big, expanding that relationship and helping you as much as we can.

[00:32:11.25] spk_2:
All right, this is a time we’re gonna turn thio storytelling I want I want to turn to some examples of how these strong relationships have impacted work on the ground. You used any example? You like one of your one of your grand T organizations? Let’s start with Anthony and Project Sunshine and And why don’t you talk about the work that goes beyond as you were just saying, Perfect intro Don’t be on money.

[00:34:07.81] spk_4:
So, um, we started our partnership with projects ensuring back in 2010 and our biggest challenge at that moment was engaging those. I mean, we’re American Express. We have several call centers throughout the U. S. And it’s harder to engage those employees who are, you know, their job is basically being on the phone, being in a call center. So we were looking for ways to engage these volunteers because, let’s be honest. Most employees want to go out and volunteer, but the challenge is finding the time, right. So not every employee has the luxury of going on park and planting a tree for four or five hours. So we thought, Why not start this partnership with ah, Project Sunshine? Who? Christine can talk more about what they dio create these care kids that are prepared in house. Esso employees don’t necessarily have to leave the office to volunteer. Um, it only takes one hour. We started our partnership back in 2010. Immediately. We got a huge response because again people felt like they were able to give back without having to invest so much time. Um, fast forward. I think two or three years later, the success of the program helped us build a case to go back to our leaders and say, Hey, this is a great partnership. Were engaging more volunteers. We expanded then to other locations. Um, and we’ve been partners now for seven years, and we’ve engaged over 7000 employees in the last couple of years, and we’re now internationally. Last year we started a partnership with Project Sunshine. So it’s finding ways of thinking of all your employees population, right? So those who don’t have the flexibility and I think that’s what works well that projects on China heard the challenge that we were having. And they did a great job at finding a solution for us,

[00:35:04.40] spk_2:
especially if you’re talking to corporations. Think broadly again, of course, because we said your first meeting is not gonna be the solicitation. You’re gonna make some enquiries. So after you’ve done your research on the Web site, maybe talk to some other organizations that you know they’re funding. However, however you go about your research, especially talking to corporations, you want to think about volunteerism because Anthony’s point is, and please do want a volunteer, and that often is a part of what companies want to give. So it’s more than the money, especially not only limited to companies, certainly, but especially companies don’t think just about, you know, dollars. Okay, so So how are your work? Is pediatric patients supporting them and their families? And how are these sick kids and their families benefiting from

[00:37:57.10] spk_5:
that great question. So we the healthcare landscape is constantly changing, and oftentimes the child, the patient, they’re stressed and terrified parents. They’re siblings kind of get missed. And so what we do is mobilize volunteers to really provide and come around the child that the parents, the family and to treat them the way that if we were the child, the parents or the sibling, we will wanna be treated. And so we do a number of different programs we provide in hospital based parties, bringing the joy of childhood into the into the hospital setting, letting kids be kids what we do. That’s one part, the part that we work with American Express and a lot of our corporate volunteers with its Are Sending sunshine program. So the Sending Sunshine program really what’s designed kind of with, I mean American Express was a big part of that. It’s office based volunteering, so volunteer corporate volunteers in their own offices get to Assam. Assemble these craft kids, so that’s a standalone craft that we sent to over 300 hospitals and medical facilities so that if you mean you can imagine if you’re a child and you just broken leg, You’re in emergency room. You’re gonna be there for four hours and you have a lot of stressed out doctors, child life specialists. They able to grab these and give give them to a child to decrease their anxiety, to decrease their even boredom to the end. To the the sibling who may be with them and and the care giver is a moment to breathe. So that’s one of the the activities. We also create these things called Sergi Dolls, which are medical play dolls. And we’ve make there’s research behind them about using these dolls to help empower Children to understand the treatment that they will be going through. And when I first joined projects on China’s sick does, this is really make a difference. And the overwhelming answer from our partners is yes, we have a wait list then. So clearly there’s a need there and the and that the need for on the hospital side for these Children, families that it’ll line so well with our corporate partners. I think it’s it’s kind of it’s amazing this win win that Anthony was talking about so over, I think with the last time we checked over 45,000 Children. Families received these craft kids or Sergio dolls that American Express employees put together, and one recently was around the hurricanes. So the we had sent American Express has a South Florida region regional area and Soviet made a bunch of craft kits sent them to a hospital suspected by the hurricane. We received this amazing quote phone call for my child life specialists who said You saved our lives. So basically, American Express volunteers saved our lives because we received, I think, something like 100 and influence of 150 Children, families who were clearly distraught and stressed. And the first thing they did was grab as many of these yellow projects on Shane bags that our volunteers put together as they could and went from chaos to calm. These were her words. Chaos to come immediately.

[00:38:24.14] spk_2:
Christine, how do you convey that message to American Express that they would feel the impact of their work?

[00:38:37.72] spk_5:
So we did have a phone call with Anthony, and we do try to. So we have a great development team that does a lot of social media and we’re trying to try to provide photos, reporting all the things that we had talked about on this panel so that we could make sure that our corporate incorporate partners feel that yes. So we did for that specific one. We were on the phone

[00:38:53.30] spk_2:
and then Anthony, you fed it back to the actual employees. Actually,

[00:39:45.87] spk_4:
it’s such a satisfaction, right on our employees and those who volunteer because you see the immediate impact, right? So it’s not like going on like a community center and painting a wall blew right. There’s really not much impact that you see there. Yeah, you paint the wall. But with these care kids, you know, if 100 volunteers create 1000 kids, you know that they’re going to get to 1000 kids who need them. So every time I post the Projects on Shine Project on our Internet site, it sells out in a matter of like five minutes like out get flooded with e mails because again, it’s a good way for employees. Thio just donate a now our of their time and see the immediate impact that these attacks

[00:39:53.44] spk_2:
I could tell Caitlin is burning toe and something will come back.

[00:40:51.11] spk_3:
I just wanted Thio say this is an example of where that sounds like a phenomenal volunteer opportunity, where it’s both beneficial, and it’s a meaningful volunteer opportunity that’s beneficial not just for the volunteer but also for the organization. I just want to say this is one of those moments or feel free to push back against your donor, where if they’re really excited and want to send volunteers your way, and it’s actually going to create more of a headache than be helpful or if you work in a context where it’s not appropriate. Tohave Caitlyn as, ah White, 32 year hold American Coming in, I’m thinking internationally, but with at risk youth are more sensitive populations. Feel free to say no because all too often I think organizations, especially if it’s a donor asking feel required to take on those volunteers. And sometimes it’s it’s more trouble than it’s worth there,

[00:42:41.06] spk_6:
Um, a shining of ah story that wouldn’t repeat that some of the themes that we’ve already heard and I, um, I’m reminded of a grand T partner of ours, that it was actually same grantee that I mentioned working in the rural areas of California. Uh, They’ve been a grantee of ours for 33 years. So not, you know, like a historic one for us, but not a baby. And we have had an amazing relationship. They send us that the updates we’ve met curated this relationship. We took a tour of the Central Valley of California. Seeing all the work they’ve done. We bought our CEO of our vice president. We met Dolores Huerta, and we really got to see their work after that site visit. You can tell that the relationship kind of tipped a little bit. Uh, you could tell that we had a shorthand. We had a common connection and fast forward to two weeks ago. The head of the project is doing great work and they’re trying to scale their program. We shopped this pro, this program director to the Ford Foundation to the Open Society Foundation and to an anonymous donor that works in this space. We introduced them thio like mine and thunders that we know here in New York City because we know that their work is so amazing. You know, in the rural areas of California, kind of far away from big foundation institutions, except for the California Endowment. So that’s that’s a story that I that I love, that I don’t think that maybe a lot of grantees would think to say, Please introduce us to your other funders. You might think that is a no overreach or going past, but I think you can get a read on that relationship once it reaches that tipping

[00:42:55.05] spk_2:
point. That’s something I’m sure a lot of organizations you wouldn’t even think to do. Introduce us to your other funders.

[00:43:32.35] spk_1:
It’s time for our last break turn to communications their former journalists so that you get help building relationships with journalists so that your call gets answered. They pick up the phone for you when there’s news that you need to comment on because they got the relationship with you so that you stay relevant in your work. Including they are former journalists at the Chronicle of Philanthropy. They understand the community. There are turn hyphen to DOT CEO. We’ve got butt loads more time for build your grantmakers relationships.

[00:43:37.53] spk_2:
You got a back story.

[00:46:35.53] spk_7:
I do have an impact story. So, um, in the foundation world, the most popular areas to fund our the arts, education and Children, and my foundation does not fund that. In fact, out of 105 1000 foundations in this country, only six air primarily focused on older adults. So very, very small group of funders that do work nationally in this space. And we really care about creating a JJ friendly health systems. You know, how are they gonna be responsive to older adults caring about serious illness and end of life and also about family caregivers? So one of the grants is here in New York City. It’s the center toe to advance palliative care. It trains people to provide care and make sure that they haven’t the obscure planning so that their, you know, their goals are what the care is that they get at the end that they relieve suffering. They make sure that people have the care that they need when they go through very serious illness, even when they’re gonna get better from serious illness to help them get through that serious illness. And so the kinds of impact this work has had, um, today palliative care is in roughly 90% of hospitals nationally. That’s huge. It only came to this country in the 19 eighties. We have been a long and sustained funder in this space, and we may be slowed a warm, but we tend to be a longer and sustained thunder around impact. Theo. Other thing was there were very few funders that were interested in this space. Does anybody remember the death panel conversations? Okay, well, thankfully, we’re not having a lot of those today. But there were very few funders that we’re doing focused work in this area. So I decided I was going to start having calls. This was not with the grantee. This was on behalf of the grantee. I wanted to create a safe learning space for foundations that might be thinking about this. They wanted to learn. And so what’s happened with that? We now have a very large collaborative. People are more strategic. They know people that they want to fund. We fund together some things we fund next to each other and other things. Things past year, about $80 million in new funding was in this space. And this is on behalf of the grantee, the grant. He could not have had those calls, but it was necessary to begin Thio bring people into the space. And now they’re coming out of the woodwork. We actually did a grant to give somebody money to help coordinate this group. You know, coordinate the calls and everything else. So Thean pact is huge. The thing only other thing about this was about seven years ago. I was diagnosed with stage four cancer, and I had been doing this work long before. My, you know, this is my my area. But then I made a decision. How could I make use of the situation to further healthy grantee? So I’ve been writing speaking. We’ve put on congressional briefings together. Eso any other way that I could be helpful. I am definitely shoulder to shoulder with the grantee.

[00:47:00.14] spk_2:
Thank you for sharing that. Thank you. Back story. And then we’re gonna come back to the come back to you. It’ll be peppermint lifesavers. Time very shortly after Caitlin’s Kitten’s got an example.

[00:49:33.10] spk_3:
Yes, and I would just go back to some power can fund your question around. Um, like what to do once you’re already a grantee and kind of in the medium term and how it can be really helpful for the relationship. So just to say one of the key criteria we look for when determining whether or not we’re going to fund an organization for a 2nd 1/3 a fourth year. Is this idea around? Are they a learning organization? And by that we mean a couple of things on one. Um, really, The most important is like I said, we don’t expect programs to go perfectly. There’s challenges that come up. Youth are dynamic and changing issue areas arise but really impactful. Grantees that we have in great relationships and the really impactful programming are constantly learning and adapting and analyzing what went well, what it’s our strange what’s an area for improvement and even again, the same grand T in Oaxaca, Mexico. So in the course of their programming found that the middle school population that they were working with were engaging in self harm and cutting, and they recognized we as an organization don’t have expertise on this. But they themselves reached out, identified an organization in Canada that focuses on this and then came to us and said, Listen and our next grant, we would love to include a line item to have training on this to better serve our young people, Um, and with a learning organization, I would just say also openness to feedback. We think, you know, we support programs across the globe and sometimes see similar challenges in best practices. So it’s not a donor driven by any means. But being open to feedback is really important, even if you don’t necessarily take it on. And then also, with this learning organization comes which some silly but playing well with others. So we often ask grantee organizations what other organizations are doing great work in their field. And it’s a red flag for us if they if they come back and say no one else is doing it as well as we are, which has happened. And, uh, yeah, so I would say, being a learning organization playing while collaborating with other service providers. It’s something that we look for, provides

[00:50:07.53] spk_2:
Question occurs to me based on what you and Amy and we’re saying, especially if you’re being funded. What about? So if none of your funders ask, can we meet your other funders? If you’re If you’re a grantee? What about staying? We’d like you to meet our other funders. What about the grantee putting that those that possibility together. Is there a downside we’re talking about? Could there be okay? So So the grantee could think of it. If none of the funders do, there’s no Doesn’t seem to be a downside to that. And just just a couple of sentences. Don’t do this. Stop your top. Don’t do this.

[00:50:27.51] spk_7:
Yeah. The worst thing that you could do is when you have an opportunity to get funding to listen to the thunder about what it is you should be funding. In other words, don’t move from your mission. If it’s not helpful to your mission and strategy, it’s a disaster.

[00:50:52.71] spk_5:
Okay, I’m gonna just I’ll answer this from my previous foundation experience. One thing was don’t get angry when you get like when you get defunded. So there was one of the things that was very difficult was when I was for a funder is to not fund again. That’s very hard, I think from I’m sure everyone here knows and to have to send out a declination is also hard to have that he met with anger and accusation. Not great.

[00:51:24.79] spk_4:
I would say. Don’t go into your automatic pitch right? Because we have objectives. You have objectives. So it goes just back to what we’ve been saying doing research and not just assuming all American Express is a company with so much money that we would necessarily support. I’m sure your mission is important, but it might be something that we’re not. Um it’s not within our government that we would support. So not just going into your pitch and assuming

[00:52:03.76] spk_6:
that. Okay, Miss Deadlines, this deadlock don’t miss deadlines. You can ask for an extension. Don’t do it. 11. 59 the day of, um, but my in my over four years in the land to be I know exactly those organizations that I think you’re gonna fall through the cracks unless our team reminds them. And I feel like that’s a perception issue happens with individuals. You won’t know that one person that made a bad impression in your family or at work and that perception than permeates it and then stays. So just have a schedule. Have reminders, have your assistance, remind you whatever but yeah, don’t.

[00:52:30.84] spk_2:
Please. There’s so many technical tools that can help you do everything from wake up to know when to go to sleep Everything in between. So use the use, the app to use tools. We have,

[00:53:01.58] spk_3:
um, to one I would say is don’t fall off the place. The face of the earth. So we’ve had some grantees just disappear. Yeah, and and not communicating, I would say, Even if it’s a one line, you know, again in Mexico, right after the earthquake, we reached out to guarantees. How are you doing? You know, we’re in the trenches, but thank you for thinking of us. Boom. Or, you know, where is your report? I’m sorry. There’s been delays. Just keep the communication open.

[00:53:12.25] spk_2:
So please, let’s join me in thanking

[00:53:31.56] spk_0:
way. Christine Damn Warner. And I hope you see

[00:53:37.69] spk_2:
all the connections between your individual fundraising and your newly invigorated institutional fund raising program

[00:54:36.35] spk_1:
next week. Now that you’ve got great grantmakers relationships, it’s terrible. Charge your grants. Fundraising with John Hicks. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by cooking meth and software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits? Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn, to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Ah, creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. Sam Liebowitz is the lying producer. Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is that Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Believe me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great

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