Nonprofit Radio for January 31, 2022: The 40 Laws Of Nonprofit Impact

Derik Timmerman: The 40 Laws Of Nonprofit Impact

We can’t hit all of them, but that’s the title of Derik Timmerman’s book. He’s got advice like “give to gain,” “hire with ruthless selectivity,” “win while you’re sleeping,” and “eat last and get dirty.” We’ll talk about these and other ideas. Derik is the founder of Sparrow Nonprofit Solutions.

 

 

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[00:00:10.04] spk_0:
mm hmm. Hello and

[00:01:59.04] spk_1:
welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and I’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of paragon on my Asus if you infected me with the idea that you missed this week’s show The 40 laws of nonprofit impact, we can’t hit them all. But that’s the title of Derek Timmermans book. He’s got advice like give to gain higher with ruthless selectivity win while you’re sleeping and eat last and get dirty. We’ll talk about these and other ideas. His company is Sparrow nonprofit solutions On Tony’s take two 50% off planned giving accelerator ends next week. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o. It’s a pleasure to debut on nonprofit radio Derek Timmerman, he is founder of Sparrow nonprofit Solutions, a nationwide consulting firm helping nonprofits maximize their world changing impact. Before Sparrow he was a management consultant at Mckinsey and Company and the U. S. Army intelligence officer with two combat deployments to Iraq. The company is at Sparrow N. S. That’s Sparrow november. Sierra in military talk dot com. Sparrow N. S dot com. Derek Timmerman. Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:02:01.69] spk_2:
tony it’s a pleasure to be with you. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:06.84] spk_1:
It’s my pleasure to have you. Thank you and thank you for your

[00:02:08.64] spk_2:
service. Thank you for that. I appreciate it. Absolutely.

[00:02:11.03] spk_1:
You’re one of our West point alumni as well

[00:02:14.58] spk_2:
that’s right that’s right Yeah so any navy fans out there? I’m sorry about that. But uh,

[00:02:22.44] spk_1:
Um, yeah, I’ve been there. I have a nephew who graduated there. I think he was 94. Okay, 90 for the year to score something. You have a little, a little jingle that goes with every year. I think he was like

[00:02:34.97] spk_2:
we do, Yeah. And an impressive that you know that, so mine is uh, pride and all we do 2002. We were actually the bicentennial class. So the thing was founded in 18 02. So they called us the golden Children all the way through that because it was celebrated that we were the 2/100 anniversary class of, of West Point. So Pride and all we do. 02.

[00:03:05.14] spk_1:
Okay, outstanding. And you just made me realize my, my nephew is much younger than that. So it ended with a four, I would say 94. It was probably 2,004,000. So what I was wearing, he’s, he’s much younger than you and

[00:03:10.74] spk_2:
me, which, which means, which means he might have been there when I was there and I as a, as a senior or junior, I might have given him a hard time. So apologies if he’s listening and if, if I, if I made him do push ups or something, I don’t know.

[00:03:27.94] spk_1:
All right. We’ll shout him out. Jacob, Jacob Weber. Okay. Yeah. No, I, I, and I witnessed, what are the, uh, I witnessed some of the the rehearsals for a day a day is the very first day right acceptance or a day. Is that the very first day that the new cadets, the first year

[00:04:04.34] spk_2:
cadets register now? You’re really stretching my the other day reception day. That’s what it is. Yeah, blocked it out. It’s a memory that you know, honestly tony It’s a difficult thing to dredge up my friends. So yeah, but our day reception day that was a significant emotional event for sure. Okay.

[00:04:05.72] spk_1:
And so from the, from Mckinsey and the and the and the United States Army, why sparrow nonprofit services Sparrows to me seems so frail. Uh they don’t have long life spans. Why why set me straight? Why is it sparrow nonprofit

[00:05:15.04] spk_2:
service? Yeah, I think it’s a great question. I love this question. Uh, so I I’m a person of faith. My faith commitments are very, very important to me. And there is a biblical passage. Uh, that goes something like uh you are worth more than many sparrows kind of talking about the fact that um our creator sees everything every part of his creation including you know the smallest tiniest sparrow and we as people are worth more than many sparrows. So I wanted to give nonprofit leaders sort of that sense uh in all the work that I do uh that they’re seen their valued, they’re not alone and they have worth because it’s as your listeners, I’m sure know who our nonprofit leaders, it can be, it can be a lonely thing. So that’s why the name Sparrow is to bake that into the heart of everything that we are into.

[00:05:21.04] spk_1:
Alright, thanks. And they are our listeners. Derek, please our listeners. And and I cited the company were incorrectly Sparrow nonprofit solutions.

[00:05:30.39] spk_2:
It’s not

[00:05:31.41] spk_1:
mere services, services, any Schmo can provide services. Sparrow. Sparrow provides solutions. So,

[00:05:39.34] spk_2:
alright, let’s let’s talk about

[00:06:02.84] spk_1:
The book. The 40 laws of nonprofit impact. I’ve got, I’ve got a bunch that I would like to talk about, but I don’t know. I’m feeling generous. I’m feeling a little anarchic today. So I’m gonna, and listeners will know that this is outside what’s what’s typical. I’m gonna throw it to you first. You you pick a you pick a law, You have 40 laws? Yes. The 40 laws were broken down into different categories. You you pick a favorite law of yours. What’s the one you like to talk about

[00:08:54.54] spk_2:
first. Oh my goodness. You’re asking me to pick one of my favorite Children. And this is, this is difficult, but okay, then forget it. I’ll go for it. I I got, I got one. Um, so the one that I find raises the most eyebrows with nonprofit leaders that I speak with and maybe provokes the most reflection and thought on their part. So that’s fun when, when I can have that impact is law number to define the win. Um, really what that’s all about is uh, gently challenging nonprofit leaders to identify what is the fundamental unit of impact for their non profit organization. So a lot of words there, but let me, let me sort of share a simple example if, if I was on my high school football team, I’m not a big guy. So there was a time when I wanted to gain weight to be on the football team, If that was my goal to gain weight, the fundamental unit of impact would be what? £1? A single pound. Right? So that’s the number of units I’m trying to replicate and grow in my nonprofit, um, similar, you know, if, if I’m at this stage in my life and I might have one or two lbs to lose the fundamental unit of impact would be losing a pound. So that’s, that’s kind of the idea is that within your nonprofit, what is that unit? That is the thing that defines the win. So it’s, it’s incredible to me how many nonprofits go through their day to day operations not knowing that or having a vague sense of a general mission without having that unit of impact firmly in mind. But once they select it, They’re able to say a vision that they want to cast for the next 3-5 years. So let’s say that you and I Tony I’m in Denver and Love Nature trails. Let’s say that you and I together wanted to found a nonprofit to preserve public nature trails in the Denver area. The unit of impact would be one mile of nature trail that we keep clean, pristine, uh, keep it, you know, preserved. Um, from week to week we go out on the trail and that’s the mile that we, that we preserve. Um, well, let’s say we get a bunch of volunteers to help us, uh, and set a goal of five years from now. We want to have 1000 pristine clean public nature trails in the Denver area that are cleaned. Uh, that’s our pile of units of impact that we want to have. We just cast a vision for our nonprofit that we can gear the whole organization to the board, the staff, the volunteers, everybody has that vision of 1000 miles of public nature trail there, Derek, I’m a

[00:08:57.70] spk_1:
Little, I’m concerned you’re already backpedaling because the book posits 2500

[00:09:02.27] spk_2:
miles. I know

[00:09:04.03] spk_1:
this hypothetical nature nature trail preserves, preservation, nonprofit. Now you’re now you’re, you’re back down to only 1000. What happened to 2500 goal?

[00:09:13.03] spk_2:
Well, so that’s, I’m in Denver now in the book, it’s in north and south Carolina. So there’s more trails in the whole two states to work with. But yeah, I think around Denver there’s 1000. But yeah, thank you for catching me on that though. You’re, I can tell you’re a close reader. I read the book. I read that and I appreciate it. That’s all

[00:09:33.19] spk_1:
right. We’ll stick with 1000 will be modest. It’s, it’s the start of 1000 miles in the first year

[00:09:41.54] spk_2:
deal deal. Yeah, but that’s, that’s what I throw out is, is defining a win and challenging nonprofit leaders to really define that fundamental unit of impact and what’s the pile of units that they want to achieve in 3-5 years.

[00:10:25.84] spk_1:
And that leads beautifully. The one that I would like to talk about, which is the law number three, which is, who already know who you are when you’re winning. Which to me sounds, I mean it’s, it’s, uh, well, not to me, it sounds like, but it’s your, you say it, it’s, it’s, it’s the values. What do you, what does, what does your, what does your organization stand for? Uh, you know, at the core, aside from what it wants to do, what does it stand for And you know, this stuff off the top of that, you know, you don’t need to refer to your encyclopedia of the 40 laws. You know, this, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna stump you, I’m not out to stump you and uh, you wrote a book, come on.

[00:13:26.74] spk_2:
You know, I’m 100% with you. And um, what I, what I don’t say clearly in the book, but what it is worth mentioning here is these first four chapters, these first four laws or what I call the four questions and whenever I work with nonprofits kind of in a consultative basis, um, I love to kind of have this be one of the early conversations I have with them. And it’s a little bit of a different way of getting at the sort of age old in some ways tired and boring mission vision values strategy that we always hear about. I mean I came into my work with nonprofits wanting to sort of breathe some life some new life into those four things because it’s, it is, it’s easy to kind of have our sort of eyes roll back and just kind of get that glassy eyed look when the old mission vision values strategy conversation comes up. But the four questions that I throw out there are, why do you exist? What is winning? Who are you when you’re winning And how do you win? And that’s answering those. It gets to the right destination in a bit of a different way. In a way that involves people and results in an answer frankly that that’s different than just having the, the normal way that you might go about finding out what your mission vision values strategy are. The third question. Who are you when you’re winning is actually a way to get out the values of your organization and asking it in a who based way. It really unlocks some interesting thinking when I work with nonprofits. Um, one workshop that I love to do is actually Having six sticky flip charts posted around the wall of a room and asking the nonprofit to write down Name three men and three women in your organization could be volunteers, could be founders, could be staff write their name at the top of each one of the flip charts. So you’ve got these six flip charts around the room. Uh, Susan’s name goes on the top of one, jerry’s name goes to the top of the second and on around the room. And then everybody who’s participating in the workshop goes around the room with a flip chart marker and writes down everything they can name about the attributes of those people. What is it about them that makes them such an incredible embodiment of the nonprofit and by the end of the exercise, everyone’s crying. Everyone’s excited. Everyone’s thrilled about how great this organization is. But what’s what’s truly amazing is what what each of those words represents is a clue as to the values of the organization. Those words are who the organization is when it’s winning. And from those you can distill out what are the 5-7 Values of the organization? Having looked at the people of the organization 1st And then developing a check question for each, for each person to ask in a first person away for a moment to moment. AM I living out each one of these 5-7 values.

[00:13:47.34] spk_1:
I love this idea. That idea of starting with the people that embody the organization then what is it about those people? And then you find the commonalities across those. You said you do it with six. Uh, that’s, uh, that’s, that’s great insight.

[00:14:19.14] spk_2:
I like that. And it really, I mean it’s, it’s something I stumbled upon while working at a church, uh, some time ago. And what’s, what’s really neat about it is it avoids the trap of values that so many nonprofits fall into that, you know, they, they think about what’s gonna look good on a plaque or what’s gonna look good in the lobby or what’s gonna impress donors. What you’re actually doing is working from the bottom up and what you’re actually doing and who you actually are as an organization when you’re at your best and make and letting, letting the people doing the work as you say, um, speak to you about what the values really are.

[00:14:25.54] spk_1:
Now can those six people be in the room like, so can I go to my own flip chart and vote for myself and say charming, brilliant, funny. You know, can I vote for myself? My own my own flip chart

[00:14:37.84] spk_2:
only. You tony would ask a question like that. Of course. Yeah. Maybe we’d limited to three words on your own chart, but why not? Yeah, absolutely.

[00:14:48.64] spk_1:
And I can I can suggest adjectives for others to put onto my charger?

[00:14:53.09] spk_2:
Yes. Yes. Not happy about the adjectives that others use. but, but yes, it’s, it’s honesty. As long as honesty is in the room totally. Fair game.

[00:16:42.44] spk_1:
Okay. Yeah. But I’d like to lobby for my flip chart to be the longest and most effusive. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. You’re 2022 communications plan lots of projects in there. Lots of writing. Which of those writing projects can you outsource to free up staff time to devote to the work that can’t be outsourced? Is your communications team too small for all they have to produce. Do they seem overworked and under resourced pity, pity their communications team. You can get them help. Turn to communications. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to the 40 laws of nonprofit impact. You just have to get the book because we can’t talk about all 40 laws of nonprofit impacts. Not possible. We’re gonna skip around a little bit. So I’d like to talk about, you’re, you’re number six law give to gain, which reminds me of a, of a networking organization that I was in. In fact one of your, it’s either your footnote or one of your resources at the end of that law cites the is a book. I think I think it’s a resource you give by the, the founder of the organization. I was in Ivan Ivan Misner. Uh, the organization is business network international bien. I, I used to be in a B and I chapter in new york city. So, and he and the the uh, I guess so I suppose tagline of the organization was givers gain.

[00:17:19.24] spk_2:
I, I too am a B and I member. So I’m with you there and I am, I am even now, yeah, I’m a member of Gosh, it’s got to be one of the largest chapters in the U. S. Its 82 members. Can you imagine 82 members and a B and I chapter? Um, but for, for our listeners, um, I would say that that be and I is, is just incredible for nonprofits and they might have a deal these days about joining for free. So, uh, we can, that’s another topic. Another conversation. But yeah,

[00:17:54.34] spk_1:
just to just to put a little finer point on it if you have B. N. I. Business network and network, not networking. This network international if you have B and I chapters in your town. Uh, there is a uh, even though I’m not no longer remember, but I’ve been asked for by a couple of chapters who know me. Uh, each chapter is allowed one free nonprofit seat in its chapter. So you don’t have to pay the annual membership to join a B and I chapter. And it could be a very good resource. I, I found it very good for my business derek. You obviously find it good for your business, otherwise you wouldn’t be a member

[00:18:34.84] spk_2:
Of 100%. And the reason I recommend it to nonprofits is imagine 32 in my case, 80 individuals in your local area from all different professions, each with their own networks being a permanent week over week advocate for your nonprofit and your mission. Um, it’s almost like a ready made Salesforce marketing force, um, for, for your cause and for those nonprofits that I know that have been in B and I for three plus years, all of their volunteers, many of their donors, those who actually helped run their galas and events. A lot of that energy comes from from their B and I chapter so strongly recommended you

[00:18:52.24] spk_1:
Just did the purpose and overview portion of a weekly meeting at B&I was a member for 13 years in New York City. The only reason I left is because I moved to North Carolina. That’s the only reason. All right. So let’s talk about giving the game and, and, and I hope you’ll weave in vulnerability and

[00:21:23.54] spk_2:
generosity please. Absolutely. Yeah. So giving to gain is this idea that, um, if you, if you end up taking the approach with your non profit, not just to your beneficiaries, I think we all would say that with our nonprofit missions, we’re here to give to, you know, those who are the recipients of whatever our mission is. If we’re out to eradicate human trafficking. Um, you know, we’re are beneficiaries were giving to society by making sure that survivors are able to be restored. And uh, and that that those who are our victims are able to be pulled out. You know, of course, we’re giving to the beneficiaries of our organizations. It’s a little bit of a reach though, and maybe a bit of a new concept to think about giving to our board members, to our staff, to our volunteers, uh, to our prospective donors, to our existing donors. Everyone we interact with, um, in our organization. Um, we have the ability to do one of three things with them to either entertain, educate or empower. And those three things we can do with with every single person that we touch day in and day out. Whether it’s an email, a phone call, face to face interaction, giving needs to be the passion of every non profit leader. Um, and you mentioned vulnerability and generosity. Those are two of the main main components of how you can be a giver, vulnerability. Certainly in terms of, you know, approaching interactions in a way that, uh, that shows that you’re human. Um, I think authenticity is probably one of the most overblown, overused words. And, you know, there’s a dark side to authenticity in terms of, you know, just being a burden on everyone you come in contact with and and that’s not what we mean by vulnerability. What we mean really, actually is, is just showing that you have flaws, uh, that you’re someone who’s prone to mistakes, admitting those mistakes, showing your words and and letting the other person know that you’re human. Um, generosity. Uh, and really curiosity goes along with this as well. Is is training yourself to seek out ways to give, to look forward. You know, what is it that this person sitting across from me needs the most. I’m looking at you right now on zoom tony and I said I could see you could use some wall hangings. You know the walls behind you looking a little bare. So maybe I’ll send you something to hang on the wall here at some point. Just kidding. But

[00:21:42.54] spk_1:
I have my, I have my high, high hi tech art deco. Well not art deco, but uh, postmodern Hewlett Packard printer.

[00:21:49.68] spk_2:
It is, yeah, that, that is a, that is a nice printer back there. But, but hey, maybe maybe we could use a little bit more more on the wall. But you know what in every interaction. So there you go. Yeah.

[00:22:07.64] spk_1:
You recognize, I just tipped my camera, my screen up So that Derek could see, do you recognize that comic character?

[00:22:09.03] spk_2:
Uh, it’s a, what’s his sad, sad sam or sad. That’s beetle, that’s beetle bailey, beetle bailey. Okay, that’s assigned assigned original. Whoa.

[00:22:28.94] spk_1:
From, from mort walker. The uh, so well I’m, I’ve date myself all the time. I’m 60 years old. So I remember beetle Bailey in the comics, United States army

[00:23:15.54] spk_2:
was I know I noticed that beetle bailey. So here we go guys, this for our listeners. We, we can see here, I have a clue now of something that might be of value to tony in the future. Right. Just by looking at as well, taking a little interest, having a little curiosity. I, there may come a time here in the next month or two where here comes in the mail, a little cartoon for uh, for Tony to hang on his wall. Um, that can remind him of spare non profit solutions and keep him encouraged as he goes throughout his day. Just giving to gain, that’s the kind of thing we’re talking about is having just that little bit more curiosity than is common being that rare person who looks for ways to give and then the law of reciprocity pick kicks in where that person is. Uh, just naturally it’s the psychology of human nature is going to look for ways to give back

[00:24:04.04] spk_1:
somewhere in the book. You, you reckon you recommend. Uh, I think it’s two people a day, do something special for two people a day. And also try to uh think about how you can give something small to the people that you do interact with each day like you’re describing. You know, you don’t, you don’t need to send me any comics or I won’t reject it if you do. But, but uh, so you just, you, you got to get the book. You gotta get the book for the full breadth of the, the wisdom and the ideas. Um, and yeah, vulnerability. I, you know, too many people think vulnerability is a, is a sign of weakness. I think it’s a sign of confidence and strength that you’re, you’re confident and strong enough to to share your real self again without wearing your heart on your sleeves as you suggested, you know, and burdening people, but without not going that far. But vulnerability, I think is a sign of confidence and strength.

[00:24:24.84] spk_2:
It is, and it’s the, it’s, it taps into to the power of humor. I mean, I think one of the least mentioned and most underrated characteristics of leadership and impact for that matter is humor. Um, if you can make fun of yourself at the beginning of any talk that you give or fundraising conversation or uh, podcast that you joined, um, humor is uh, is one of the most disarming endearing things that you can do as a fundraiser and as a nonprofit leader. So vulnerability is a big part of that.

[00:25:16.94] spk_1:
I think I, I appreciate what you said about humor. Thank you. Um, I’ll leave it there. Said I believe. Well said, um, let’s talk about assembling if we could put these couple together assembling your dream team and running with achievers of character. You like the, the dream team to be uh productive. You talk about productive passion.

[00:26:16.04] spk_2:
Yes, absolutely. It’s from the very introduction. When I start to talk about talent. Uh and talent is one of the, He kind of red threads that kind of runs throughout all 40 laws of nonprofit impacts. Um, if I could wave a magic wand and wish anything on the nonprofit world today be different than the way it is. It’s that every nonprofit leader would become talent obsessed and I don’t use that word lightly. Uh you know, I one of the wonderful things about nonprofit leaders is what big hearts they have, not just for the causes that they serve, but but also for the people that are around them. Uh the flip side of that big hearted coin though is that we can unfortunately tolerate around us. Uh those whose talent profile may not be the best that would actually contribute to the advancement of our mission.

[00:26:22.10] spk_1:
Good enough. You know, you caution against making hires that are good enough,

[00:28:17.04] spk_2:
good enough hires. You got it. Yeah, I know it. When I, when I use the term talent obsessed, it is going uh more than 10 deep through a talent pool. When you put something out on indeed you see uh somebody on paper who looks like they’re good, they get in an interview, They answer some questions well and suddenly there in the nonprofit, well what you just did in in letting that person in the door without, you know, going deeper into the talent pool and doing your due diligence and giving that person a trial run of actually doing the work before they get the offer letter. Um, all of these things will greatly enhance not just your non profit in the near term, but they’re gonna impact the trajectory of your nonprofit organization way over the long term. So all the way back to your question about assembling your dream team is you’re always keeping an eye out for those people in your midst. Whether it’s just a volunteer who comes in to help with something, you see them approach their work of, you know, putting folding up the papers, putting them in the envelope, stamping them, sending them out. You’re watching. And there’s something that caught your eye while they were doing that work. The spirit that they brought to the work. The fact the way they’re interacting with the rest of your staff and the other volunteers. Just the vibe that they have their confidence. Um, you’re, you’re keeping an eye out for those kinds of talent, rock stars. And when you see that you actually make an effort to start to draw them into your dream team. This could be the case with prospective board members with major donors. Anything that might touch your nonprofit, you’re always trying to keep an eye out for who is going to be that inner circle that joins you to take this work into the future. Um,

[00:28:27.14] spk_1:
derek you when you were talking about and, and that may apply for volunteers as well. Maybe maybe moving someone from volunteer to volunteer leadership.

[00:28:31.84] spk_2:
It absolutely does

[00:28:36.17] spk_1:
clears the, what do you say the productive, those were productive passion

[00:28:42.14] spk_2:
mentioned

[00:28:44.16] spk_1:
10, 10 deep in an, in an interview process. What did you mean by that?

[00:29:56.84] spk_2:
So I I think we, we nonprofit leaders can have a tendency busy as they are to give up a little bit too early or to, uh, to settle, you know, for someone who is, you know, looks good on paper and you know, let’s give them a try in the role and start paying them. And the thought is, we can always go back on that decision. Well, No, it’s, it’s not easy to uh, change someone’s life to give them a job and they get into the role and then suddenly there’s an inertia into the thing where it, it is difficult to go back on that decision. Why not take an extra month or two and go 30 deep or 50 deep into the indeed pool something I I did recently with a higher inspire nonprofit solution was that was actually create a google sheet that has multiple tabs that actually gave them real work to do that they would be doing if they came into the role in my organization. That’s before the interview. Even so I haven’t even talked to this person yet. I see the indeed resume and they’re getting a link from me to a customized google sheet for them to go through and do the actual work that they would be doing within sparrow then and only then when they’ve completed the sheet and I’ve seen that they have the grit and the intelligence and the mental equipment and uh, the, the ingenuity

[00:30:07.14] spk_1:
also the commitment,

[00:30:08.87] spk_2:
the commitment

[00:30:09.72] spk_1:
you’re asking for, you’re asking for a time commitment before you’ve even interviewed them.

[00:30:36.94] spk_2:
I can’t tell you Tony how many, I can’t tell you Tony how many people I thought were rock stars that I sent this google sheets and they never even got a third of the way through the thing. And that told me good thing. I didn’t waste my time, you know, interviewing speaking with them. You wouldn’t believe how many nonprofit leaders don’t do. This is so yeah, this this easy step of just having them do the work. And yeah, this is part of being talent obsessed. And I commend it to every nonprofit leader

[00:30:50.24] spk_1:
and you’re standing by that. Even in today’s labor constrained market where a lot of people have left. Uh, it’s harder to, it’s harder to find people. You’re, you stand by the talent obsession. Even in the current labor market,

[00:31:05.14] spk_2:
I stand by it even more so I stand by it even more. So yeah, it’s no higher is better than a bad hire and whether that’s, that takes two months or six months. Um, you get the right people into your organization. This goes for board seats by the way. Um, even more so, But yes, you take the time that you need to get the right person in the role, especially in this talent constrained environment.

[00:33:03.24] spk_1:
It’s time for tony steak too. How long has planned giving been on your to do list? I can help you get it off The 50% off planned giving accelerator. It’ll never be cheaper. It’s never, never going to be less than this. 50% off. It ends next week February 7th. You can join the february class. The class runs for six months. Your commitment is an hour a week for six months and we will launch your planned giving program together. You get 50% off. There are still some slots left. A generous donor has agreed to pay half the tuition for 10 nonprofits and there are still spots left. If you’d like to get yours, you can send me an email, tony at tony-martignetti dot com. If you want info on planned giving accelerator, that’s at planned giving accelerator dot com. Let me know you want to get planned giving off your to do list. It’s never going to be easier. I’m putting it right in your lap. I hope you’ll be with me. That is tony steak too. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for the 40 laws of nonprofit impact with Derek Timmerman that that makes me think of your Law # 11, which is higher with ruthless selectivity.

[00:34:27.24] spk_2:
That’s it. Yeah. And that’s, that’s kind of the thesis of the last, you know, five ish minutes of what we’ve been discussing, um, hire your staff with ruthless selectivity. Absolutely. But that goes for, uh, for the board as well. Um, uh, it’s, it’s a regrettable feature of the nonprofit landscape these days that so many board members are brought in, um, on kind of what you’re doing us a favor type thing is please please please join our board and we desperately need, you know, people with your skills. Um, oh, you’re an accountant. Oh, we need a treasurer for our board. Please join. Um, it’s not gonna be that much of a commitment. Oh man. It drives me crazy. tony It’s got to go. The other direction is, Yeah, this is, this isn’t, this is an 18, this is a varsity team. Um, we’re not sure if you’re going to be right for the board. I like that you have an accounting background. That is something that we could use, but that means nothing to us. Uh, if if you’re not willing to put in eight hours a month of time and energy and effort and have a purple passion for, for this nonprofit’s mission. So we’ll see. Um, but, but we, we hope it works out. But, but let’s do the dance and see where this goes to see if you might be, might have what it takes to join our board. That makes all the difference.

[00:34:33.54] spk_1:
You highly value personal referrals to folks, folks that are already close to the organization recommending,

[00:35:14.24] spk_2:
Oh yeah. And I’m enthralled by these examples like Zappos who have come out and said we’re not going to do job descriptions anymore. How cool is that to say that we’re not going to go the traditional route of just putting out job descriptions. Uh, and job postings out on the internet for all to see. We know what we need and we have great people. So we’re gonna trust those people to, to spread the word about the roles that we need and, and get those people into into a situation where they can interview with us, where they can go through some scenarios to see how they do kind of in the work itself. And yeah, we’re just gonna do this by word of mouth. That’s a, it’s a cool model and it’s working for him

[00:35:40.94] spk_1:
interesting. I am not aware of that, but I could see the value. It’s um, alright, it’s groundbreaking. Good. Yeah. I like, I like people who, uh, think outside, you know, just think differently. I don’t like outside the box, but just think just think differently and, and, and try it. You know, if they don’t end up getting enough applicants to their jobs, then then they can find another way they can pivot and, and think of something else that’s, that’s not just a typical job description on, on a job board

[00:36:32.73] spk_2:
and yeah. And I know that there’s probably listeners right now thinking I’m a I’m a tiny nonprofit. It’s just me, right, It’s I’m the executive director and that’s it. So derek, I get it. But where do I even begin with this? And I would say to the, to that person, just as a way of encouragement, uh it’s gonna take a lot of effort to get those 1st 123 rock stars aligned with you. But take comfort that it gets easier, the more that you build this dream team, the easier it gets to just add that incremental next person. So put in the effort, put in the work as slow as it feels to find that one that 1st, 2nd, 3rd dream team member and you’re gonna watch it get easier as time goes on.

[00:36:51.33] spk_1:
You also have advice about firing fast, letting people go when it’s not working out, Don’t, don’t invest more, cut your losses. Move on.

[00:37:32.33] spk_2:
Yeah. This is something I learned from my Mackenzie days, honestly from my working with Fortune 500 companies. When we would do these Mackenzie surveys of C. E. O. S and C suite leaders about the biggest regret that they have in their professional life. It was moving too slowly on poor performers, uh letting that extra six months or a year or two years or more go by. Uh just hoping that things would change and feeling like, you know, putting too much stock in what professional development could achieve. I do believe strongly that that people can improve and change. But there there is a base level of capacity uh to continuously improve. And if if you don’t notice that that is their uh the best thing that you can do for your organization and your mission is to act quickly on poor hiring decisions.

[00:38:12.22] spk_1:
I think a lot of C. E. O. S. Consider that an admission and an embarrassing admission of of a mistake. If I if I fire the person too quickly then it’s obvious that I shouldn’t have hired them in the first place. And now I’m admitting that I’ve made a mistake but that goes back to vulnerability, you know checking your ego at the door uh and just being confident enough to admit that you did make a mistake.

[00:39:24.92] spk_2:
It’s the gambler’s it’s it’s it’s the age old gambler thing. I was in Vegas once. I know that surprises you Tony, I know that you don’t think of me maybe as a Vegas guy, but I’m sitting at the roulette table. There you go. Yeah I’m sitting at the roulette table and uh this guy next to me has a confident look on his face and he put some money down on on red and he loses. Uh and he puts double that amount on red and I can I can see where this story’s going, I’ve seen this movie before, I feel bad for him but he puts double on red and he loses again and with each time that he puts money on red, he doubles it and he keeps getting this worse and worse, more concerned look on his face To the point where he’s lost six times and I can tell by the look on the guy’s face, he’s about to put his kids a big chunk of his kid’s college fund on red. It’s just, yeah, it’s awful. But this is what we do when it comes to bad hires all the time and I would just say walk away from the table and, and, and, and go do something else.

[00:39:31.72] spk_1:
Do you have advice to? And uh Law # 14 About using freelancers when, when, while you’re sleeping?

[00:42:02.00] spk_2:
Yeah man, it’s, it’s so exciting to be in uh, an entrepreneurial role like spare nonprofit solutions for nonprofit leaders that are small or mid sized to be in these roles. I mean Even more so than 10 or 15 years ago, we have platforms available to us today to access uh incredibly talented, fluent English speakers in the Philippines in India, you know, any country, even in the us who are willing to do incredible work for organizations while we sleep. These are called freelancers and the the two platforms, I’ll give three actually the three platforms I use most when it comes to freelancers are fiber Up work and 99 designs And imagine in 99 designs case you need a logo, you need a a new label design for something, you need a poster or a one pager. You can go in 99 designs and start a contest and have freelancers from all over the world designers who are incredibly talented competing to win your contest. So it could be $99 it could be 1 99. But rather than go out and going out and hiring a design firm, you can have this contest where freelancers are actually competing to win, you’re giving them feedback. So they’re actually doing revisions right there. So all of these folks are working for you and then by the end of it you’ve got an incredible product that you can, that you can then take into your nonprofit work. I’ve used this in list building all the time right now as well as you and I are speaking tony I’ve got three freelancers around the world building, uh, lists with email addresses, phone numbers, prospects. Um, and, and I know that here in a day or two, I’ll be able to look at those and use those for my, my marketing efforts. That’s what I mean by b have always have something happening while you’re sleeping. Um, These freelancers could be doing great things for you for $5 an hour, maybe less. Um, and you can even pay them for the actual project itself. I do 25 cents a row for my excel spreadsheet for my google sheets that I have them fill out for, for leads. So I don’t know. I’m not sure if your listeners could, could use 25 cents a road to have a fundraising sheet to growing while you’re doing other things. But, but I found it’s, it’s incredibly helpful to my work.

[00:42:14.70] spk_1:
And what are the three sites that you use again? Five? Er, I know I’ve used that one. So Fiverr is one

[00:42:20.74] spk_2:
Driver with two Rs. So if you are are up work is the 2nd and 99 designs is the third for anything visual or involving design, 99 designs is incredible.

[00:42:50.90] spk_1:
Let’s talk about some, uh, some of your laws that are intrinsic to, to the, to the person, like unleashing your unique strengths and and avoiding that. Focus on

[00:45:07.49] spk_2:
weaknesses. Sure, yeah, this is this is so near and dear to my heart that I wasn’t Mackenzie for six years and the second three years was doing a people strategy on Mackenzie itself. So it was actually, we did it. We launched an engagement not to serve an external client, but to say we’re going to sharpen the saw within this consulting firm. So we’re gonna do a strategy on how to be the preeminent place for the world’s most incredible talent and one of the main work streams that we ended up coming up with. Um and this is all research based, is making Mackenzie a strengths based organization and I took that to heart so much that I’ve taken it everywhere. I’ve gone to work with nonprofits as well. Because the thesis is this is that all of us came up in elementary school, middle school, high school and college with this grading system and the best you can get on most assignments is what 100, right? Yeah, that’s that’s the best score you can get. And uh That was the top thing that, that we could achieve. And anything less than that was points were deducted. You lose two points here, five points. They’re 10 points there if it’s late, that’s -10 or 20 or something. But, but that’s how we learned. What success is is not making mistakes. So here we are dumped into adult life and we’ve got this paradigm of, that’s that’s what success is. So we feel like job to job, task to task our goal is to what eradicate as many mistakes from our work as we can, is get rid of the weaknesses. Well, come to find out that the research shows that you can really only take a weakness From a, you know, a negative 10 to maybe a negative four. It’s never gonna stop being a weakness when it comes to being intrinsically, you know, who you are, the essence of who you are. Um, I will never be a really great gregarious, um, the person who can work a room, you know, that you

[00:45:08.04] spk_1:
say you say in the book a few times, that you’re an

[00:46:11.48] spk_2:
introvert, introvert? Absolutely, 100%. But um so I’m only gonna do so much to mitigate that weakness. If I if I spent all my time trying to to play the extroverts game, I would never be able to leave the impact on the world that I otherwise would if I had focused on my strengths. Because the research, same research also shows that you can take a plus 10 with the same effort or much easier than you took the negative 10 to a negative four. You can take a plus 10 to a plus 40 in terms of your strengths. So what am I going to focus on as far as leaving my impact on the world? I’m a pretty good writer. So rather than focus on going into all of these networking events and working a room, I still need to show up, I still need to do that. Um and but if I have a certain amount of poker chips to put on a certain place, I’m gonna put those poker chips on my strengths and make sure that weaknesses aren’t holding me back, but focus most of my time on my strengths and bring people around me that have strengths in areas that I have weaknesses.

[00:46:21.48] spk_1:
The man claims he’s not a gambler, but now that’s the second uh that’s the second gambling metaphor. We’ve been through the roulette table, we’ve been to the poker table, I don’t know, maybe you’ll be upped the stakes, will go to baccarat, We’ll see, we’ll see where we

[00:46:33.27] spk_2:
go. Something tells me you’d be pretty dangerous in Vegas. tony may be dangerous

[00:47:08.38] spk_1:
to myself, Dangerous to my future and my retirement. Yeah, that that’s the danger. The house, the house has nothing to worry about. Yeah, that’s another one that’s individual. Um Mhm. Mhm. Eat last, eat last and get dirty. And this is a little controversial. This is talking about thinking differently. Uh This is not a not a mainstream uh Strategy Law Law number 19, but let’s talk about it, Eat last and get dirty.

[00:50:19.26] spk_2:
Yeah, something I do in the book is kind of chunk up each of these laws into sort of themed groups. And this one is in the laws of leadership. And it was I benefited although I didn’t appreciate it at the time. I benefitted while at West Point um being the recipient of an unending parade of speakers that would come before us. Uh It was Robinson Auditorium and we would go down as a class or as a whole school, only 4000 cadets in the whole of West Point. Um and we would gather in these auditoriums and once or twice a week, incredible leadership speakers from around the world would come and share their wisdom and a commonality that we’d find over and over again is this leadership attributes of selflessness of being the last to eat the last to leave the last to benefit when your soldiers. Uh in the context of West Point training, they come first soldiers first leaders last. And that finds a way of seeping into your soul after enough of those talks. Uh, and you get out and in the two combat tours, I was in Iraq. Uh that was something that you know, that I took to every unit that I lead is this idea that you know, they eat first, they get to use the phone first to call home, they get to use the computer first to send the email. And this leadership attribute is something that really endears those who serve alongside you. Uh they really come to to follow you into anything if they know that that’s the leadership um approach that you take. So in the nonprofit world, what what does that look like? Uh it really looks like, you know, being the leader who puts staff volunteers board the mission first. And it’s radical to see when you see it. It’s incredibly rare, as you say. Um, in the book, I think I used the example of from one of my favorite books by Stephen Press field of King Leonidas in Gates of Fire. Uh if if I could only recommend one leadership book and I give away cases of the thing. Um it’s it’s this book, Gates of Fire and there’s a critical moment when everyone is squabbling around what to do about this wall, there’s a debate where do we put it? How high do we make it? What materials do we use? And the old king just begins to pick up one block at a time and set it on top of the other and everyone looks on and says what what what is he doing? Well, he’s just beginning to to build the wall. He doesn’t say a word. He just leads by example and starts to do it and suddenly everyone had a shame says what what are we waiting for? Let’s go. And everyone starts to build it alongside him and there he is. Even to the end, long after others have have tired out. He’s still they’re still building. So that that to me is the image of leadership that I try to carry with me. Don’t I wouldn’t say I’m always successful but that’s the ideal.

[00:51:14.86] spk_1:
You do say people will follow a strong and sacrificial figure who leads by example will find a point on it. Um but then you know it goes far. You know, you talk about work martyrdom and that’s why I said this one is certainly I think is is controversial, controversial polemic. Um you martyrdom. Mm hmm. Not not taking vacation. You know you you open that law. I think with a description of what most people would say is someone overcommitted. Uh maybe even obsequious to their to their supervisor. Uh show it feels they have to be the first one in the office and the last one every day etcetera and then you you you encapsulated as as work martyrdom. But then you you praise that.

[00:53:43.85] spk_2:
Yeah, so this is hopefully where I don’t lose, lose you and certainly not our listeners. Absolute. Yeah, no, this is one of the more controversial parts of 40 laws. Um I’ve noticed a trend recently uh just in uh as you know, a lot of the well intentioned writings and books around mental health in the workplace um have tried, you know, for for a long, long time to get people to recognize that, you know, it’s necessary to be a whole person and a lot of that is is very useful and well meaning. But as in all things I believe the pendulum can swing too far in one or the other direction. And it’s my humble opinion that the pendulum may have swung a little bit too far in the direction of uh trying to build a padded room around the workplace of there is a little bit of a manby pamby uh vibe to a lot of what’s coming out these days when it comes to work is don’t don’t work too too hard now and you need to make sure that you have the proper balance in place. And you know, again, all well intentioned, but what it’s done is is ignore the story after story that I put in the book. Every chapter begins with a key leader, the real story of a nonprofit leader who um if they had taken that advice would not have achieved near what they did in their lives, uh with the impact that they did, um to include some of the foremost figures like dr martin Luther King, Jr who was flying around all over the place during the height of his ministry to achieve what he did. Uh did he back off? Did he take it easy? Did he embrace a work life balance? Um I would say maybe not according to, you know what we’re hearing from a lot of folks these days. So work martyrdom is the term that I give to, you know, the the extreme pendulum swing that says, you know, don’t don’t don’t work too hard, take it easy. Well, I would say that in order to achieve the, the impact on the world that many of these non profit missions would hope to achieve. Yeah, it’s gonna take, it’s gonna take a radical level of work ethic in order to achieve that. A work ethic that would look crazy uh, to maybe some of the folks who are writing these books. So again, I hope I didn’t lose you or too many folks with with that little screen, but that’s where I land

[00:55:06.94] spk_1:
invited it. Uh, I well, we’ll leave it there. Let let folks decide what what what what what the balance is, what’s appropriate. Let’s wrap up with one another one. I’m so such a generous spirit today. I don’t know why it’s uh it’s upsetting me that, uh, not at all, but let’s wrap up with one that you’d like to talk about that we haven’t talked about yet. Um, yeah, you could, you could you pick a law that we, we if if if you need a little guidance, like we didn’t talk about anything related to laws of engagement or laws of operating. Um, we didn’t talk about laws of diversity. And the only reason I left that out intentionally is because I anticipate a lot of conversations coming up Around diversity from the nonprofit technology conference where I’m gonna be interviewing 25 or 30 of their speakers that’s coming up in March. And I know we’re gonna have a lot of guests talking about diversity. So that’s why that’s why I didn’t leave. That’s why I deliberately left out your, You’re four laws on diversity, but you want to please.

[00:56:53.33] spk_2:
Well, there’s, there’s one, there’s one within the laws of diversity that that is not going to touch on the nose to what you’re going to be talking about, you know, in later podcasts and in the conference. So if if I may be so bold that the one that I think is Is a way to end on a high note as well is celebrate. And elevate law 18 celebrate and elevate. And it it’s, uh, it touches on diversity, but it’s, it’s broader than that. Um, you know, we’ve talked about lots of things that, you know, uh, nonprofits can improve on. But I’d like to end on a high note just by saying that your nonprofit, whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, uh there’s things that are happening every single day that are worth celebrating. So I would I would say that, you know, the best gift you can give your non profit is a great board of directors. The next best gift a close second is a culture of celebration within the walls of your nonprofit. There are many things that are happening all the time that are worth celebrating. If your emails are loaded with celebration, if you’re if you catch your staff or volunteers doing things well and make a huge deal of it and are lavish in your praise of them. Uh and celebrating them. If you’re starting out each of your staff meetings with a celebratory moment of something that’s that’s going great in your organization. Um that’s what I would say is if you can give your nonprofit a culture of celebration where you’re constantly catching things going well, giving voice to them, being vocal about them and recognize them recognizing those things in silly, exciting ways. Uh maybe even to the point of literally having a bell in your nonprofit workspace where you’re ringing the bell all day long. Uh that is the kind of nonprofit, I love, I’d love to be involved in, and I’m sure you would as well. So that’s what I would say is is find ways to, to develop a culture of celebration within your nonprofit

[00:57:25.53] spk_1:
Derek Timmerman, D E R I K. Founder of Sparrow Nonprofit solutions. The book is the 40 laws of nonprofit impact. Derek, thank you so much. What a

[00:57:27.15] spk_2:
pleasure. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you tony

[00:58:08.33] spk_1:
next week, influencing young America to act with Derrick Feldmann. You see how the show is planned out to all the, how all the derricks come together. This this does not just happen, this is this is takes production skill. I can’t even begin to explain that the time that goes into uh coordinating the derricks to be together. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Our creative producer is

[00:58:35.13] spk_0:
Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy. And this music is by scott stein, thank you for that. Affirmation scotty be with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the The other 95% go out and be great

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