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Nonprofit Radio for December 6, 2021: Purpose Driven Marketing

My Guest:

Stu Swineford: Purpose Driven Marketing

Stu Swineford reveals the principles and pillars of purpose driven marketing that will keep your donors engaged and wanting to support your mission. He’s co-author of the ebook, “Mission Uncomfortable.”

 

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[00:01:45.54] spk_1:
Yeah. Hello and 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. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with scabs if you invested me with the idea that you missed this week’s show purpose driven marketing stew. Swinford reveals the principles and pillars of purpose driven marketing that will keep your donors engaged and wanting to support your mission. He’s co author of the book, Mission uncomfortable On Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator were sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o here is purpose driven marketing. Yeah, it’s my pleasure to welcome for his first time on nonprofit radio stew Swinford. He is a mountain fellow, cinephile and co founder of Relish Studio, a digital marketing firm that creates conversion focused marketing solutions for nonprofits with Aaron Rixon, he’s co author of the book mission uncomfortable how nonprofits can embrace purpose driven marketing to survive and thrive. He and the company are at relish studio and relish studio dot com. Welcome to nonprofit radios

[00:01:46.65] spk_0:
to well thank you so much for having me on today. tony

[00:02:00.34] spk_1:
pleasure pleasure. Uh we got to take care of the most obvious things first before we get to your book and purpose driven marketing. You’re a mountain fella. So I mean you live in the mountains.

[00:02:17.74] spk_0:
I do. We live up here at about 9000 ft up kind of west of Denver Netherland is kind of the closest biggest town. Um, but live in a little cabin that was built in the 40s here in the woods with my wife and our are slew of pets, which hopefully will not interrupt us today.

[00:02:22.78] spk_1:
That’s okay. We’re very family friendly on a

[00:02:25.12] spk_0:
nice family embracing,

[00:02:28.94] spk_1:
not just family friendly family embracing. So 9000 ft. So you’re so you’re one of those people who follows the uh the high altitude directions on baking?

[00:02:38.34] spk_0:
Absolutely, yeah. Okay. And those are actually mostly geared for Denver, which is about 50 400 ft. So we have to make even more adjustments usually when we’re doing things up here.

[00:02:50.44] spk_1:
And do you need special cars or special equipment on your cars to drive at that altitude?

[00:03:11.34] spk_0:
No, not really. Not really. Everything’s electronically controlled at this point, so you don’t, you don’t have to make too many adjustments. I think an older car or older motorcycles for sure you have to reach it um in order to perform well at higher altitudes, but older ones. Okay. Yeah. Are you

[00:03:17.25] spk_1:
skiing there in the mountain?

[00:03:31.84] spk_0:
Well, not currently. Uh we we don’t have, we got a little bit of snow last week, but it’s mostly gone. Um I believe a basin actually opened last week. So they are skiing up a little higher than we are located. Um And El Dora, which is the local ski area is threatening to open here toward the end of the month, but we’ll we’ll see what happens. It’s been a little bit warm.

[00:03:42.24] spk_1:
Okay, this is uh we’re recording in mid october

[00:03:46.52] spk_0:
Yes, yes. Okay. Okay.

[00:03:48.66] spk_1:
Are you a cross country skier?

[00:04:06.64] spk_0:
I do I know a Nordic ski and backcountry ski. I don’t go to the resorts all that much anymore. I used to be a big resort guy and um I used to ski about 80 days a year. Um and I I would say last year I probably got 20 or 25 days a but it was mostly back country skiing.

[00:04:09.84] spk_1:
Okay. And cinephile. Yeah, I have a favorite director genre.

[00:04:30.54] spk_0:
Well I love the Coen Brothers, they’re probably my favorite directors. Um And I used to write for film threat and I was I was a critic for a short period of time. Um And I just love watching movies and uh that’s something that I enjoy.

[00:04:32.24] spk_1:
Yeah, wonderful. You have a favorite Coen Brothers movie? That’s hard. That’s hard. It’s tough. Maybe asking you a question that I couldn’t answer

[00:05:06.74] spk_0:
myself many of their films um have something to be enjoyed. I would say my go to favorite when people ask is Miller’s Crossing, which was one of their earlier films um starring Gabriel Byrne. And uh it’s just a you know, it’s it’s a it’s a fun little movie but you know, I’ve watched the Big Lebowski. I don’t know how many times and um you know they have a great uh collection and selection of movies for people

[00:05:46.94] spk_1:
o Brother where art thou Burn after reading these are some these are something but Miller’s Crossing that with Gabriel Byrne. I’ve I’ve seen that a few times that I think I might have that one in my collection. I’m pretty discerning about which movies actually purchase physical copies of so that I can watch them when I want to, streaming services decide that they want to have them bond for six months. And I think Miller’s Crossing is in there because that that’s uh it’s an early one but he’s uh he’s a he’s a it’s an interesting gangster um gangster profile

[00:05:48.37] spk_0:
I suppose. Yeah, it’s kind of a gangster movie set in the prohibition era. Um It just has great, great dialogue and uh and it’s you know, it’s not for the whole family for sure, but but it’s definitely a good one if people haven’t checked that one out,

[00:06:03.74] spk_1:
Hudsucker proxy

[00:06:04.70] spk_0:
to great name

[00:06:08.24] spk_1:
that often. But paul newman

[00:06:10.64] spk_0:
uh tim Robbins, tim Robbins. Exactly.

[00:06:29.14] spk_1:
Yeah. The circle, it’s a circle for kids. It’s for kids, you know, circle, you know kids so alright, so coen brothers fans, you will get that, you’ll get that reference if not you can watch the Hudsucker proxy and uh and you’ll get it all right. Um So purpose driven marketing, why don’t we just define this thing. What is this first?

[00:08:35.64] spk_0:
Well purpose driven marketing in our minds is here it relishes um is really marketing that has a goal in mind. And then also we really try to work with purpose focused leaders who have something bigger than just making money in mind for their organization. So whether they’re a 1% for the planet partner or a nonprofit or a B corp um, those are the kinds of people that we really like to work with and, and uh, you know, I sort of, I guess I grew into this over the years, uh, At relish. We started in 2008 and in about 2013, my business partner and I started thinking, Wow, you know, we’re, we have this opportunity as entrepreneurs and business owners to, to really create something different than just uh, an organization or a business that that is here to make money. We can actually kind of mold this in, in our own fashion. And so we started looking for ways to create some giving back here at relish and that was when we joined 1% of the Planet Colorado Outdoor business alliance organizations like that, that colorado non profit association that enabled us to, to start to kind of codify or, or formalize are giving back as well as, you know, really meet and um, and be able to serve those people who are doing a lot more in the world than just, you know, funding, uh, the owners next vacation home or yacht or something like that. Um, in terms of, of conversion focus. However, you know, that’s another piece of the purpose component um, is really making sure that people’s marketing is aligned with a goal and that we’re helping them achieve that goal. So it’s, it’s just a thoughtful way of approaching the whole marketing space um where it becomes, you know, something that you’re investing in. Um it’s not just an expense, it’s something that’s actually creating a return on that investment. Mhm.

[00:08:41.24] spk_1:
And you, you focus a lot on building relationships through purpose driven marketing. How, just as an overview, we’re going to get to that, we’re gonna get to your four pillars, but how do you see purpose driven marketing contributing to relationship building?

[00:10:11.74] spk_0:
Well, we look at marketing is really, that’s all marketing is, is building relationships and really, instead of attempting to sell all the time, um, we see marketing that works as as an opportunity to create a relationship, to build a connection as opposed to just trying to sell something. Um You know, usually in in any kind of transactional relationship, um you have to get to know the person trust like them. Um and then move on to kind of being able to try and, and by and then hopefully people move into the kind of this repeat and refer proportion of their, of their life cycle. Um But ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s all about creating this atmosphere where people, um not only know who you are, but but really get to like you and to trust you in order to uh take that next step, which is to try and to buy your services or your, you know, your organization’s um, uh, benefits that they’re bringing, that you’re bringing to the, to the marketplace and to the nonprofit space in particular. Um, and so that’s that’s kind of how we see marketing is is just really creating opportunities to build upon um interactions and create a really strong, solid relationship with people.

[00:10:27.84] spk_1:
And you take time to, hey, make sure people are not thinking of marketing as a pejorative, you know, that it’s that it’s I don’t know that you use the way, I don’t think you use the word sales. E but you know, you uh you’re you’re making sure people are, are looking at marketing the way you and Aaron are, and not the way, you know, an amazon looks at looks at marketing.

[00:10:44.44] spk_0:
Well, it’s interesting even in the amazon space, but the short answer is yes. But even in the amazon space, they’re trying to create opportunities for um for relationship building. So there is there are some

[00:10:56.86] spk_1:
lessons to be learned from

[00:12:06.84] spk_0:
the Yeah. And that’s how we just kind of see marketing. So whether that’s selling a widget where you have to convince somebody that this is a durable, um, you know, tool that will solve whatever problem it is that they’re trying to solve. Um, you’re you’re always trying to build a relationship there. You’re always trying to create an opportunity for somebody to get to, to know that company, um, understand why they’re doing things and uh, I believe that that this transaction is going to result in a positive, um, outcome. And, and whether that’s a long term kind of approach where you are trying to convince a donor to give, you know, thousands and thousands of dollars to your organization or a very short term relationship where you’re just trying to convince somebody to, I don’t know, buy a soda because they’re thirsty. Um, you know, it is all about creating that, uh, ability and opportunity to, um, for, for people to start to know like, and trust you in that in that connect and um, and convert face of the, of the scenario.

[00:12:33.14] spk_1:
Yeah. Know like, and trust Trust is when you can build trust with folks and uh, then, uh, there are so much more likely to open your, open your messages, uh, follow your calls to action, you know, when there’s trust with the brand and the work, that’s uh, that’s a pinnacle in a relationship.

[00:13:00.84] spk_0:
Yeah. And ultimately relationships are built through interactions over some period of time. And so whether those interactions are, you know, commercials that are aired, um, or emails that are sent and uh, questions that are answered. Um, or even, you know, social media outreach and uh, back and forth when you can create when you can create that interaction, when you can create that, that back and forth, that then solidifies and builds and strengthens strengthens that relationship. And so those are the kinds of things that we help our clients and partners facilitate through marketing.

[00:13:21.94] spk_1:
It’s interesting the back and forth, not just the one way, you know, messages going from us to those, we’re trying to build trust with

[00:13:27.91] spk_0:
a little more

[00:13:29.10] spk_1:
about how it’s how it’s two way communication, not not one way.

[00:15:02.54] spk_0:
Yeah, so that’s actually one of the things we see people, one of the bigger mistakes people make in the social media space is that they use social media as kind of a soap box where they get on and they present their, you know, whatever whatever it is of the day, whether it’s a sales pitch or even a an item of value, but they fail to try to build those relationships. Um and you know, social media is at its core a social component which requires back and forth, which requires um you know, companies and their, you know, they’re the people who are working with them to go out and and create opportunities to start those conversations on social media. So instead of simply going to your particular platform and posting something, um you know, really one needs to be out there um interacting and and commenting and posting on other people’s materials as well as posting on on your own materials and answering questions. Um google reviews is actually a great, another great example of a place where people have an opportunity to create a back and forth, whether that’s a positive review or a negative review that someone is left about your organization. Um, you know, making sure that you answer that and even try to create, you know, opportunities for back and forth. So ask open ended questions. Um, you know, comment on how beautiful that photo was on instagram and then ask them a question about what inspired them to take that or what camera settings they used or you know, whatever the whatever the the thing is that inspires those conversations and and gets people going back and forth, that tends to create those opportunities to build a relationship.

[00:17:41.34] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications, content creation, content is king. The medium is the message birds of a feather, flock together. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So well the first two of those apply, we don’t, we don’t need the birds and the apples, but content content if you need content in the coming year, for for what? For digital, for print for an annual report for some other report to the board content. If you need content for your social channels, they can do all this turn to, they’ll help you hone your messaging. And as far as press, get your messages out in the channels that you’ve heard me talk about like Chronicle of philanthropy new york times, Washington post Detroit, free press etcetera cbs market watch. So content. If you need content for whatever purpose, think about turn to you need help get this off your plate there. The pros they write it, they’ll, they’ll get it off your shoulders because your story, is there mission turn hyphen two dot C. O. Now, back to purpose driven marketing. Okay. In that spirit, the reason I was attracted to you reached out to you to be a guest is you posted something interesting on linkedin. So I looked a little further in linkedin and you had a phone number that folks could pick up and say, you know, if you want to chat, reach, reach me here, uh, let me chat with the guy, I’m gonna pick up. Sorry, uh, like five minutes after I had read your post and did a little research, I said, I’m gonna talk to the guy. So you created an opportunity for people to reach you. Uh, uh, you know, and I grabbed it and I thought, first of all, it’s very unusual for someone to put a phone number and it didn’t go to google mail. It was your voicemail or google voice. I should say. It was your it was your it was your voicemail. And uh, you know, you called me back and we chatted. So you’re you’re you’re walking, you’re walking your

[00:17:51.84] spk_0:
walk. Well, I hope so. You’re walking your talk, I guess. I hope so. That’s one of the challenges of, of running uh running a marketing agency as we have the cobbler’s kids challenge a lot of the time where we we can do a really good job for our clients. But we tend to uh neglect our own outreach in our own websites and those types of things. I’m happy that that that that actually worked. Um we’ll do this. So yeah, it was great. I’m curious. Which do you remember which post it was that that you found compelling?

[00:18:24.54] spk_1:
No, it was too long ago. Okay. No, it was over a month ago that we first connected. I don’t know if it was about your book, but was it could have been the release. Had your book just come out recently or No,

[00:18:32.95] spk_0:
the book dropped in uh february last. All right

[00:18:48.74] spk_1:
then. I knew you had when I well, I knew you had written a book when I called you because I left you a message saying I’d like to have you on the show and talk about the book. Um I don’t remember. I don’t know. It’s

[00:18:50.19] spk_0:
okay. I was just curious to know if you if you remember what what thing I said that that made you want to pick up the phone. There was you know,

[00:19:14.64] spk_1:
you you know, I think you might have commented on something that I commented on to. Uh and so obviously I appreciated your comment. I think I think it was that I think it was a comment not a post of yours because you weren’t weren’t connected. So I wouldn’t have seen your. Yeah, I think it was I think you commented on something that I commented on.

[00:19:54.94] spk_0:
So so there’s a really great example of of how that relationship building peace can actually function to create another relationship opportunity. Um where you know, if if I were just using my, you know, linkedin platform to to espouse information and hopefully give some value driven stuff you and I never would have actually or it would have been less likely for us to have connected because uh what it took was me going out to someone else’s post and commenting about giving them some more information or saying nice post or whatever it was that I said um that they gave you got me in front of you. So um that’s a really good example of how one can can leverage that power of social media to to expand their network.

[00:20:07.37] spk_1:
It works so be social

[00:20:15.94] spk_0:
exact conversation. It is socially, it’s all about creating conversations. Yes. Let’s

[00:20:16.73] spk_1:
talk about your four pillars of of purpose driven marketing. Why don’t you just give us an overview and then uh and then let’s go in and I, you know, I got some things I want to talk about for each one but

[00:20:28.29] spk_0:
acquaintance

[00:20:29.42] spk_1:
with them first.

[00:23:23.94] spk_0:
Sure. So the four pillars as we see them in in terms of kind of this this client or customer lifecycle um is really starts with attraction. And that’s how do you get people to come to your properties, whether those are your social properties or your website or your storefront, How do you get out there in the marketplace and uh, and enable people to find you? And then we move to the bond phase, which is really the, the next step of that conversation where you’re not only have you brought people in. So you’ve, you’ve created an opportunity for them to find out about you, but now you’re creating this opportunity for them to actually get into the fold to, um, to kind of be part of your inner network. And um, and the connection phase a lot of times requires um, either a value exchange of some, some sort of information. Um, you know, what we’re really trying to do is help build those relationships and help not only, you know, take these people who have now found you and enable them to uh, to have an ongoing relationship, an ongoing conversation created. Um, so that’s kind of that bond phase and then the next phase is kind of this convert phase. And that would be the sails easiest part of this uh kind of system where essentially this is where we get people to either try or buy from you and in the nonprofit space, this would be, you know, getting someone to either, um, you know, really take advantage of something that you’re offering. So if you think about the nonprofit stakeholders, typically there are donors, there are volunteers, There are actual um, recipients of the of the nonprofits benefits. And then, um, you know, there could be kind of sponsors and and people in that frame as well. So how do we get those people to actually take some sort of an action either make a donation, volunteer, some of their time, etcetera. And then in the final phase, which is kind of this inspire phase, um, that’s where we’re trying to get people to either escalate their engagement. So you take a one time donor and get them to become a, you know, a monthly donor. You get someone who perhaps is a monthly donor or maybe as a one time donor and get them to bring their their business in as a corporate sponsor. Um, you get someone to escalate um, and repeat. And then also evangelize for your organization and get out there and really refer you, uh tell people that they should be a part of this organization as well, um or um, or even just shouting it out on social media about, you know, some great volunteer experience that you had. So those are kind of the main four pillars. And again, kind of heard me talk about them in a different framework earlier where, you know, we’re really trying to get people to um, to know like trust tribe. I repeat and refer those are kind of the seven components of those four pillars. Okay,

[00:23:49.64] spk_1:
so before we dive into each of these, these four, but let’s let folks know how they can get your, your ebook mission uncomfortable.

[00:23:52.67] spk_0:
Sure they can, they can download it online. It’s, I decided to not publish it in a printed format at least this current time trying to save some trees. Um, but it is available at mission uncomfortable book dot com.

[00:24:19.54] spk_1:
Okay. And we’ll make sure we, I say that again at the end. So so attract connect bond, inspire when, when we’re, when we’re doing attraction, we’re attracting folks. You talk a lot you and Aaron talk a lot about personas, you’d like to rely on those, explain the value of how they work, what their value

[00:25:50.84] spk_0:
is. Yeah. So persona is, it can also be called an avatar. It’s essentially an ideal audience. So when you start to think about who you’re trying to attract to your organization. Um one of the first things we recommend doing is really doing some exploration in terms of personas and and really getting an understanding of the motivations for your target audience groups, um, what their demographics might look like. Um, you know, what, what makes them tick and why would they want to come. Uh, and, and uh, you know, connect with and participate with your organization. And so when you think of all, there’s usually more than one persona. Um, you know, a volunteer might be a completely different person than a donor for example. Um and and then a recipient of your of your benefits, would you know, potentially be even even different persona. Um So build what you can do is build out as many of these as you think you need to in order to get a feel for who it is that you’re kind of trying to reach a lot of times when we build out personas for our clients and partners, we really create a visual um you know, person that people can wrap their arms around. We name them, we find a stock photo that’s representative of representative of that person. You

[00:25:59.33] spk_1:
go to photos even I’ve heard of naming, giving, giving them names, but you go to photos.

[00:27:58.94] spk_0:
Yeah. Picture somebody. Okay. Yeah. Trying to create as much of uh of something that you can wrap your arms around when you’re talking about this audience group. Um and you know, I would say don’t go overboard, don’t try to overthink it to start because you know, you can get kind of in the weeds with persona development where All of a sudden you have 15 different personas that you’re trying to to reach and it just becomes confusing. So one of the things that we would recommend is just starting simple and just think about, who you know, if you were thinking of an ideal volunteer, just one of them and we know that there are many who would that person be um you know, would they be uh woman between the ages of 35 42 who has um, had a career and now has, you know, maybe has a little bit more free time in that career or perhaps even works for a company that offers uh, you know, matching for volunteer opportunities. Um, does she have Children? Is she married? Does, what does she, what does she look like? Who is this person? And you know, maybe her name is Jill and you can just really start to talk about and think about who Jill is when you are planning your marketing outreach. So does she play and find information and spend a lot of time on facebook or is she more on instagram? Is she out? Um, you know, in certain places in the local community where you can can reach her farmers markets for example, or um, you know, or perhaps other types of, of events where where would you need to go to run into and connect with uh, with Jill and get her to understand who you are and a tractor to your organization. And so it really that persona development really helps you map out your marketing strategy so that you’re not spending a bunch of time trying to attract, you know, boomers by posting on Tiktok.

[00:28:30.34] spk_1:
And when you’ve so identified the the folks that you want to connect with, that, that’s what the purpose of the personas is your identifying different different categories of people you’re trying to to connect with and you, you want to focus on delivering some content for them to connect with. And you have lots of examples of blogs and social networks and podcasts and white papers, etcetera. Talk about, you know, matching the content I guess with with with for your personas.

[00:29:48.04] spk_0:
Yeah. So when we talk about content, we really start with trying to create value exchange here. So this is actually the first transactional piece of the transactional relationship that you’re that you’re attempting to build. Um, the end goal may be to get uh, you know, a donation or get somebody to exchange their time to volunteer with you, which is something of value. But at the onset, um, it’s really about getting into this kind of try um, trust and try phase um, there’s a little bit of the like phase in there as well, but at this point they know who you are now. You’re really trying to get them to like trust and try your organization. So in this phase of the relationship, um, you know, coming up with things that might be beneficial to this person. So for example, um, Leave No Trace is a, is a nonprofit organization that is trying to get people to have a better understanding of how they can interact with our open spaces and natural places more effectively. One of the things that I’ve seen from them in the past are are these great cards that have the leave no trace principles. And and so they’re right there handy. You can have them attached to your pack or in your pocket um that that really give people

[00:30:16.38] spk_1:
presumably you don’t you don’t leave these cards behind at your

[00:30:18.88] spk_0:
campsite. Yes, exactly. These come with you uh the

[00:30:21.61] spk_1:
letter with the card.

[00:31:32.24] spk_0:
Yeah, Yeah, but but a, you know, a convert phase, you know, kind of opportunity here might be um either an online version of that card. So people could give, you know, give them their email in order to get this card, get access to this information or even uh, you know, provide your address and they might send you on. I don’t know exactly what leave no trace is doing with these these types of informational items. But that might be uh, you know, a tactic that they could use to get people to feel like there had been a value exchange and just to continue building that relationship and and essentially convert them from a stranger to. Now there’s somebody that you kind of know, um you have some information about them. Uh Now you can actually ask them questions through email. You can ask them to donate. You can ask them, you can, you can escalate that relationship by giving them other items of value. Um that’s where that connect phase comes into play. That then you kind of escalate that uh, into the, into the bond face.

[00:31:39.84] spk_1:
Yeah. All right. so let’s let’s spend a little time with with connecting, you talk

[00:31:40.60] spk_0:
about the I’m sorry, Bond Bond comes first and then the connect

[00:31:44.98] spk_1:
so, you know, in the book, you have a track and then

[00:31:48.57] spk_0:
yes, you’re right, I apologize. Yeah, I got it, I got it all confused. My own,

[00:31:55.75] spk_1:
you are a co author of the

[00:31:56.91] spk_0:
book, right? I am Aaron,

[00:32:03.64] spk_1:
you’re not a ghost writer to the I mean he’s not your ghostwriter? No, you actually did contribute. Okay, so, we can wrap it up right now, if you’re not bona fide, you know, then that’s the end. No,

[00:32:10.31] spk_0:
your bona fide. Okay, so

[00:32:17.14] spk_1:
yeah, so connect um you talked about the consistency principle uh that people like to as you’re connecting to get people to say yes or taken action, say a little about that, I like that consistency principle. Can you define that for me?

[00:34:50.14] spk_0:
Yeah, so the consistency principle is really getting opportunities to to make sure that you’re being um intentional and consistent in your outreach. Um one of the things that we find people do is they tend to go in sprints and they’ll get really excited about about building a relationship or or creating opportunities for outreach and then they’ll do it for a little while and then they’ll drop off for for months at a time and um you know, essentially creating an intention and creating a commitment to uh to outreach and to these activities and then sticking with that is something that we we talk a lot about one of the things that people tend to do is they set their goals too high and they say, okay, I’m gonna, I’m getting all excited about this, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do a blog post a day and uh and then they look at that that goal that they’ve set and they say, I can’t do this and we have this tendency, people have this tendency to think that That missing a goal is a total failure as opposed to, you know, you got part of the way there. Um and so what tends to happen is if we set a great big goal and then we start missing that goal, we think, okay, well, I might as well do nothing because, you know, zero is as big a failure as 75%. So one of the things in terms of goal setting that we really recommend is starting slow, creating an opportunity to create a smart goal, something that you can actually achieve. Um and uh and and start to feel what a wind looks like and then, you know, as you’ve built that consistency, go ahead and elevate that goal a little bit as you as as you get better at it. So I’d much rather see uh one of our clients, um, you know, set a goal of of one blog post a month, if they’re not doing any, let’s do one a month, get good at that until that feels easy. And then then we can talk about doing two a month or, or one a week or even, you know, a couple, a couple of week. Um, but what tends to happen is people get really excited about things and say, I’m gonna, I’m gonna knock this out of the park and then they don’t, they haven’t built those consistency, um, habits and so things kind of fall by the wayside and then they end up doing nothing. But

[00:36:48.53] spk_1:
It’s time for Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator. I’m recruiting for the january class right now. If you’d like to join me, like to learn together step by step how to launch planned giving at your non profit planned giving accelerator dot com has all the information that you need. Of course, you could be in touch with me through the site, ask any questions you might have. The course is six months, you’ll spend an hour a week learning how to launch your planned giving program and not only learning from me, learning from your classmates, the other members who are in your class with you. The peer to peer support is phenomenal. The way folks open up, they ask questions about challenges. They’ve got, you know, I haven’t tried everything. So we, it’s open to the, to the class to help each other. I mean, I’ve got my ideas, but everybody’s got theirs too. And you get that peer support, One member says she calls it her safety net playing giving accelerator. So if you’re not doing planned giving or if you have like a more abundant plant giving program, which is really no program, you know, deep down, if you admit that there’s really just not a program. If you want to take a look at plan giving accelerator, I’ll get you going launch your program and grow it between me and your peers. It’s all at planned giving accelerator dot com. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for purpose driven marketing and what’s happening in our relationship as we’re, we’ve moved from a trac to connect what’s happening there.

[00:38:28.22] spk_0:
Yeah. So in that in that attract phase, you’re essentially hanging your, your sign out and saying, hey, we exist, come check this out. And, and then in the connect phase you’re really trying to provide valuable information that enables people to, um, to take an action that gets them kind of deeper into the fold. So that’s one thing about email. People think for example, and particularly the nonprofit space email is an amazing tool. Um, yes, we all get a ton of junk email on a daily basis. And we also get a lot of non junk email but depending upon who your audience is and for non profits a lot of times that audience, particularly in the donor seat are kind of these people in the boomer, um age range, that demographic really still does rely very heavily on email. It’s kind of one of their chief modes of communication. Um They email is one of these places that feels like you have some control over it, you can kind of choose to read it or not read it, you can unsubscribe if you if you would like. So there’s a little bit more of a feeling of control with email and then also um this is a place where people have actually raised their hand. So it’s not just social media where you know maybe you got into somebody’s feed through some algorithm or or magically or got referred in, there’s a sense of people have actually taken an action. So that’s why we find list building and trying to create that connection and trying to get people into your um your your email list is a really valuable um component of this kind of four pillar system.

[00:38:45.72] spk_1:
And then bonding

[00:40:07.11] spk_0:
is next. Yeah bonding is really where your solidifying that relationship and you’re providing ongoing. Again, consistency is key here, ongoing opportunities for value driven uh exchange uh systems within the within the bond phase. So um we talked a little bit about this earlier in terms of creating opportunities to um to share information to share physical items to uh you know to provide people with solutions to their problems and in the nonprofit space this gets a little um a little I guess nebulous, it’s a little hard to figure out how uh to create these types of value exchange opportunities, but this is where mhm there are a few things that go into come into play here. One is if you can create an opportunity to position your nonprofit as kind of the guide in this story where your constituent your donor, your volunteer, even even the people that the beneficiaries are the heroes of the story and you’re just facilitating this opportunity for somebody for a donor to be the hero in this beneficiaries story that then creates this kind of experience in our minds where we we start to see ourselves as the as that hero and um and really feel compelled to continue uh kind of serving that role in that in that kind of relationship.

[00:40:57.51] spk_1:
You have a tip in the book. I think it’s mostly related. Well, no, not not necessarily to websites, but I’ll use the website example you say if some if you pre ask someone, if they want something, you get them to sit and they say yes, then at the next step they’ll be more likely to do the thing that you actually want them to do because they said you sort of you got them in the habit even though it was only one step, one step removed. You got them in the habit of saying yes, so they’re more likely to do the real thing that you want. Can you flesh that out a little bit? It was an interesting yeah strategy.

[00:41:10.11] spk_0:
It seems counterintuitive. I think that most people who have studied marketing have heard they reduce the number of clicks to purchase for example,

[00:41:13.22] spk_1:
don’t yeah, it’s possible.

[00:43:20.10] spk_0:
Yeah. And and this is where I would encourage nonprofits to try different things. But um the example that we believe I used in the book um was essentially instead of giving people a form to fill out immediately, give them a yet an actual action to take. So if you say would you like more information instead of just having, you know, this is an example instead of just having a form there where I put in my name and my email address and click, click yes, go ahead and say would you like more information? Yes, no and when people click yes, then it takes them to a page with the form on it and again it’s a little counterintuitive but the conversion rate on that form if you, if you put it behind that yes, no kind of gate yeah, it can actually be higher than the conversion if you just put the form out in front. Um there’s a interesting psychological thing that happens and one of my coaches, his name is Townsend Wardlaw. He’s a really great guy. Um he always asks per michigan before providing any sort of information. So for example tony if I had just sent you my book out of the blue without you asking for it. The likelihood that you would have done anything with that would be a much lower than if if I said, hey, would you like my book and you say yes and then I say okay and I’ll send it to you. Um, similarly Townsend always says ask permission, you know, would you like, would you like my help with that? Would you like me to share that with you? Um, you know, I have a story that I can tell about this, would you like to hear it? And, and that’s priming the pump for you to say no, I’m not interested. Which saves us both a bunch of time because now you don’t have to listen to me ramble on about a story that you weren’t interested in. And it also primes that pump for, for you to be even more receptive to the story once it’s once it’s delivered. So it works in, you know, not only in just marketing, but even in just conversational um, interactions.

[00:43:43.80] spk_1:
I’ve had folks talking about permission based soliciting for, for gifts, you know, in a couple of days, could I be in touch with you about investing in whatever you know, the work or the program that’s there of interest to them could be in touch, you know, in a few days on that. Yeah. Ask their permission. Exactly exactly in line with what you’re saying, you know? Yeah, that’s their permission and then be in touch in a couple of

[00:44:42.89] spk_0:
days assuming they said yes. Yeah. That’s, and actually a really great kind of cold call, um, tactic where instead of, you know, cold calls are very disruptive. So in the sales in the sale space. So for any executive directors out there, who are, who are, you know, soliciting donations from, from either, you know, big big corporations or, or, you know, seeking to get larger donors into the fold. One of the things that is more effective is to acknowledge that this call has been disruptive and try and get something on the calendar as opposed to trying to pitch them in that moment. And so similar, similar thing. You know, can I, can we, can we talk on Tuesday at, at three? Um, instead of saying, well, I’ll just jump right into the, to this thing that you didn’t actually ask me to pitch.

[00:44:47.87] spk_1:
Yeah. And you didn’t know what’s coming. Yeah, permission based I guess. I think Seth Godin has been talking about permission based marketing for years and it’s pervaded other areas. Yeah,

[00:45:00.35] spk_0:
absolutely.

[00:45:06.79] spk_1:
Yeah. Well, you know, why not? And you’re right. If the person says no, then you’re saving both of you the anguish of going through a, going through an exercise that neither one of you, it’s gonna be fruitless for one of you and the other person isn’t the least bit interested. So yeah. You want to do something that’s an interesting and fruitless.

[00:45:34.89] spk_0:
Yeah. And you’ve also created, you’ve created an exchange. Um, in terms of a back and forth. And so that’s, you know, that works as a um, you know, there’s a conversation that’s happened there. You listened. So you, you know, it positions you just a lot differently.

[00:45:37.12] spk_1:
You listened and you honored the person’s choice. So I I called you here. I am calling Tuesday at at four o’clock. Yeah. Alright. We’re inspiring. Next to

[00:48:12.27] spk_0:
separation inspiring. So yeah, after after this bond phase where you’ve actually gotten somebody to become a volunteer or make a donation or um, yeah, get get on your list of corporate sponsors or something like that from, from a non profit standpoint. Um The inspire phase is really where we’re attempting to get people to take another action. So um, there’s an old again kind of sales adage that it’s much easier to sell to someone who’s already purchased from you than it is to sell to somebody new. Um We tend to get really excited about new relationships and new sales tend to be the thing that get people excited. How many new donors did you bring in um, last year? You know, those, those types of things get get pretty exciting. However, it’s a lot easier lift to get somebody to donate again than it is to get to somebody to donate for the first time. So in the inspire phase, uh, you know, let’s just use donors again as an example. Um We’re really trying to get people to repeat and refer. Um, so get people to become a regular donor. Um, get people to donate again. Um, you know, thinking about escalation here and and again, if you think about your, um, you’re different kind of audience types and I do some volunteer work with volunteers for outdoor colorado and they’re a great organization here in state that does a lot of trail building and advocacy, uh, for kind of outdoor spaces. And I believe the first interaction that I had with their organization was as a volunteer. And so I decided I wanted to volunteer on a project and then I became a donor. Um, so essentially they gave me opportunities to, they inspired me. Um, you know, through not only all of the fun things that we were able to do during our, our, uh, our day of digging in the dirt. Um, but also, uh, you know, just just through all of the great things that they’re doing around the state, um, inspired me to become a donor and then inspired me to take an additional volunteer step to become a crew leader. And so essentially they’re doing a really good job of kind of escalating that engagement um, through this inspire phase. They also, um, you know, encourage all of their volunteers and all of their donors to share, uh, share their stories to, uh, spread the word about their organization. So that’s that kind of refer phase. So, you know, really

[00:48:30.47] spk_1:
like you’re doing right this moment.

[00:49:22.77] spk_0:
Exactly, yep, yep. Using them as an example of, of a great organization. Um, so that’s what, that, uh, you know, that’s where that kind of inspire phase comes into play. You know, getting people to evangelize about your organization, Getting people to, to, you know, share stories to come back to move from, you know, just giving you $10 at some events to giving you, you know, $10 per month. Um, so, you know, just getting really creative and staying in touch with people. That’s the thing that tends to happen is, um, you know, people fall off on the, on those activities because they’re, they are a little less, um, exciting than bringing a new donor into the fold. Um, but you know, really making sure that you have a referral program, you have something to get people to leave reviews, you get something, um, for people to share their stories and have a campaign associated with that, that keeps people keeps you at top of mind and then keeps people kind of coming back for more.

[00:49:54.57] spk_1:
You make the point of thinking about this as investment, not expense, not to look at the cost of a new cost of a donor acquired or cost of sale or something like that, but as an investment in the organization. And, and, and these relationships,

[00:51:17.76] spk_0:
we hear a lot in the nonprofit space would, particularly when it bumps up against marketing that any dollar that I spend that isn’t spent directly toward the core mission is a dollar taken away from that core mission. And we’d like for people to approach marketing for non profits a little differently where they see non they see their marketing uh, as an as an investment in that core message and an opportunity to expand and um amplify that message so that it becomes, it enables them to reach even more people. Um, and so that slight mindset shift can be really important when one starts to undertake marketing endeavors because, you know, it is money being, um, you know, coming out of the out of the program, but really making sure that you have to have a plan, you have goals, that they are reasonable, that you’re measuring that you’re tracking that you’re actually looking at this expense, um or this investment as uh, as something that’s going to grow your mission and and just keeping tabs on that and and making sure that you have those systems in place so that, you know that the, you know, whatever money you invested in marketing um, is creating a return on that investment.

[00:51:49.96] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah. Please get past this insidious myth. That myth of overhead, you know that marketing is overhead and technology is overhead needless, you know, these are investments in your future. You and I are talking about investments in relationships, relationships are only going to grow and as as folks refer, you talked about repeat giving and referring as folks refer you, the relationships are going to expand beyond what you can imagine, but it takes investment. So

[00:52:11.65] spk_0:
yeah, that’s why why having a system in place is so important and and that’s what, that’s one of the reasons I wrote Mission uncomfortable was to enable people to have some kind of understanding of a system in place for their marketing so that they could feel more empowered with that investment and and more comfortable with that investment that they’re making in in their outreach.

[00:52:19.05] spk_1:
That’s the perfect place to leave. It’s too

[00:52:21.05] spk_0:
well, thank you so much for having me on the show. Absolutely my pleasure.

[00:52:43.05] spk_1:
The book is mission uncomfortable. How nonprofits can embrace purpose driven marketing to survive and thrive. You get it at mission uncomfortable Book dot com stew Schweinfurt. The studio is the practices relish studio and he and the company are at relish studio and relish studio dot com. So all right now, I’ve just said the word relish 35 times in the past two sentences. Why is it relish Studio

[00:53:01.75] spk_0:
Relish Studio came about as a kind of a play on words where this is something that is that little extra spice on top that makes things extra good as well as something that we love to do. So you know, one of the things that really inspires me to work with nonprofit leaders is um just, it’s really easy to get out of bed in the morning and and work with these types of clients because we know that everybody’s out there trying to make the world a better place.

[00:53:28.45] spk_1:
That’s cool. It’s a great double play. Relish the condiment Condiment studio. Alright. Relish studio dot com stew. Thank you again. Thanks very much.

[00:53:36.77] spk_0:
Thanks for having me on

[00:54:20.45] spk_1:
my pleasure. Next week is a social enterprise for you. 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 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 other 95 go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for November 29, 2021: How Much To Spend On Ads In 2022

My Guest:

George Weiner: How Much To Spend On Ads In 2022

“The Nonprofit Advertising Benchmark Study” will help you decide what’s the right amount for you to spend on advertising if you want to be comparable to your peers. At the very least, it’s a place to start your research on ad spending. George Weiner explains the study. He’s chief whaler at Whole Whale. Does that make him the Captain Ahab of nonprofit tech? Listen to find out.

 

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View Full Transcript

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[00:02:18.04] spk_1:
Hello and 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. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer with odo toxicity if I heard that you missed this week’s show How much to spend on ads. In 2022, the nonprofit advertising benchmark study, we’ll help you decide what’s the right amount for you to spend on advertising if you want to be comparable to your peers at the very least, it’s a place to start your research on ad spending George winner explains the study. He’s chief whaler at whole whale. Does that make him the captain ahab of nonprofit tech. Let’s find out on tony state too. It’s the holidays and fourth quarter 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 welcome George winner to nonprofit radio He is the chief whaler of whole whale, a digital agency that leverages data and tech to increase the impact of nonprofits and for benefit companies. He’s also a co founder of power poetry, the largest teen poetry platform in the US A safe creative free home to over 500,000 poets. George was chief technology officer of do something dot org. He managed the site overhaul twice. Winning a webby award and helped build a community of over a million and a half young people taking action. He’s an evangelist for democratized data and measuring success. The company is at whole whale dot com and at whole whale. Welcome chief whaler. How are you George

[00:02:21.24] spk_0:
wow, incredible intro. Thank you so much. tony Thanks for having having me on

[00:02:26.63] spk_1:
my pleasure, my pleasure. What’s what’s behind the company name? Whole whale which which leads you to be whole whaler. What’s that about?

[00:03:23.44] spk_0:
Yeah, we found it a decade ago and at the time the thought that struck me was ultimately the way that the nan, you know the Nantucket whalers in the massachusetts whalers in the 18 fifties would look at a whale and they would basically bring back lamp oil and throw the rest away in times of abundance. We tend to be a touch wasteful instead of using everything from the bluebird of the bone. And I took that lens and said, I felt like many social impact organizations weren’t looking at the opportunity to leverage data and technology and the rising web in that way. And they simply said, hey, hey, here’s the internet and the most powerful tool we’ve ever been given. Let’s put a donate button on it and call it a day. And so I kind of gave rise to how we view this time of abundance with an eye toward the best ways of leveraging data intact to increase the impact.

[00:03:57.64] spk_1:
Very interesting, very interesting. Uh you uh you drew that analogy between the two interesting. All right. Um, so are you the captain? Ahab, do you have a deep revenge? I’m trusting you know the story of Moby dick. Do you have anything deeply uh hurting you that you need revenge for? That’s going to drive the the ship of what was it the uh um The pick, watch the pick what it’s going to drive your whole whale peak watt into the ground.

[00:04:11.14] spk_0:
I’ve got a few white whales. Maybe I chase, you know, I got a few white whales maybe that I chase. Yeah. The other reason I found it all whales. Because of the nautical puns. I mean, you’re virtually swimming in them anywhere you turn and with regard to the things that chase, you know, the nonprofit ad study is one, but we like we go after interesting projects along the way. In addition to our our day to day work as consultants. We also develop products and try to put things out there in the ecosystem that help others do their jobs better. Or learn more about whatever field they’re wandering and so I can get distracted by a white whale or two.

[00:04:48.64] spk_1:
Okay, I see the navigate your helping folks navigate. Yes. The of course, the nautical you’re right. The uh nautical puns are are abundant.

[00:04:52.84] spk_0:
Yeah, they have to be they have to be

[00:05:05.44] spk_1:
navigate navigate the waters. All right. All right. So, we’ll see if your captain Ahab flush that out. See if you’ve hopefully you’re not going to do to uh to hold whale. What what the captain did too

[00:05:07.82] spk_0:
Made it 10 years so far. But I think that’s mainly because of an amazing team that basically just puts me in the right direction. Okay. It’s

[00:05:18.64] spk_1:
very gracious of you. All right. What is this this uh, nonprofit advertising benchmark study? What’s this thing all about?

[00:06:18.54] spk_0:
We wanted to answer a simple question and you know, never underestimate the power of a simple question because it can lead to, you know, a lot of, you know, threads essentially how much should a nonprofit spend on ads? This idea of advertising and promotion, it’s available technically informed nine nineties and with the help of cause I. Q. Which is a, you know, been a great partner in this. We analyzed seven over 7000 organizations to get that answer. And we chose organizations with a number of filters because clearly, you know, there’s 1.8 million nonprofits out there depending on how you’re sort of measuring the five oh one C threes and they’re like, oh that’s too many. And also, uh, you know, a third of them are not necessarily even over the threshold for reporting to the I. R. S. So we wanted to find 1 to 10 million in revenue organizations between one Million and 10 million and also met other certain criteria. And then we just sort of just, we dove in headfirst to to answer that question, how much should non profit spend on paid ads.

[00:06:36.34] spk_1:
Okay, so among your sample size of 7100 or so you you were you looked to see there’s I guess there’s a, there’s a line on the 9 90 that where folks where organizations report advertising expenses and that’s what, that’s what you were looking for,

[00:07:08.64] spk_0:
correct. It’s, you know, publicly disclosed because that’s, you know, the game and we look at that. So, you know, there are certain assumptions there that, you know, we note in the study of what that line is and what it isn’t. So it isn’t necessarily saying All right, this is the amount that people spent just on facebook ads or google ads. It’s advertising and promotion of the organization. So, you know, that could extend to people Paying for print ads. It could even in some cases, but we filtered it out for the most part include the cost paid to advertising firms to run ads. Uh, though many according to, I think the analysis, we didn’t hear only about like five or 10% in that range actually incorporated in there. And those are the outliers.

[00:07:43.14] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. And this specifically, thank you. Cause I was going to ask you about, you know, how, how we define advertising or how you define advertising this study and it specifically doesn’t include google ad grant money. Right? That’s, that’s different.

[00:07:58.84] spk_0:
Super important. Thanks for bringing that up. And it’s one of those sort of, you know, expert pieces there that it’s an in kind amount that doesn’t get reported on that line. Right? The google ad grants and you 10-K per month in money spent is something that would show up on your in kind value, not actual dollars out the door.

[00:09:03.04] spk_1:
Okay. Right. So it’s captured elsewhere. So it’s not part of the study here. Okay. Um, and so I was struck, you know, I’ve I’ve known that these that the vast majority of nonprofits are are smaller, you know, smaller revenue amounts. But I guess just reading it again, reminding me refreshing my recollection that uh, 93 a half percent of nonprofits are under $1 million dollars in revenue and and only 1.5% are over $10 million dollars in revenue. So that this this, you know, our universe of nonprofits, that this is not related to advertising, although, I mean, it is in terms of big words spend more on advertising, but that’s not my point. My point is just it just drives home that so many of our of our colleagues in nonprofits are organizations that are under $1 million dollars in revenue, 93 93 a half percent are under a million dollars, vast majority. Again.

[00:10:11.74] spk_0:
Yeah. And it’s important to note that, you know, because I think maybe in our minds or because of the narratives, we see large organizations and assume that they’re all like multimillion dollar, but like, this is the truth of it and that’s Yeah, that 1.44, exact five oh one c three nonprofit organizations and, you know, there’s a very, very small fraction of them that kind of live above that line, You know, like roughly speaking the same is kind of true in business ecosystems as well. You know, it’s hard to get to a million dollars. You realize that. But also when you look at the market how, how much of a long tail there really is. And we wanted to sort of remove that and say like once an organization has kind of, I mean not saying you’ve made it, but you were in rarer air, certainly after crossing $1 million you were running something that certainly has enough residents to to reach that level. And then we also filtered by age to be like, well, wait a minute. Maybe they’re like one night, you know, overnight successes or pieces like that. So we looked at organizations over under this century funded founded in uh, and and took a look at that as well. But it is, it is a curious point. We wanted to start with that context because I don’t think it’s given enough in the sense of nonprofit industry and you like immediately sort of have this availability heuristic meaning like I remember the last thing I saw and either it’s the red cross or you know, you know, pets down the corner saving one pet at a time.

[00:10:41.44] spk_1:
The availability heuristic. Thank you dropping that tech guy. You know, you have to, uh, well you, I’ll keep you out of jargon jail because you you explained it immediately

[00:10:47.03] spk_0:
go to

[00:10:51.64] spk_1:
The availability heuristic now it’s a good one. I love it. Uh huh. And you uh you flushed it out so folks understand what you’re talking about.

[00:10:56.23] spk_0:
I still will probably end up in jail though, won’t you

[00:11:10.64] spk_1:
didn’t do it? Well that could be we’ll see how we’ll see how the conversation goes. But you didn’t do it pretentious li like you know the all you would have available, all you, all you would have within your within your thinking at that point would be subject to the availability heuristic.

[00:11:13.34] spk_0:
Yeah. And then just leave it. Didn’t just leave it

[00:11:47.74] spk_1:
there and then make me ask and then make you flush it out. Which would have put you in jargon jail. So all right now because your availability heuristic. Thank you. This is a technology guy. Data data data guy, expect those things. I have a book like that. What’s that way out of this cool book from college. Alternative interpretations of data based conclusions. I think availability is in there. You know, uh confusing correlation and cause and effect. That’s a very common one. This is cool book. Can you show it to you

[00:11:50.24] spk_0:
what’s strong? I like that

[00:12:07.34] spk_1:
rival hypotheses. That’s what it is, rival hypothesis. Alternative interpretations of data basically. Okay, so enough pretense for now let’s talk about the study a little more. Yes. What stood out for you uh findings. What what what was most informative to you that and you think our listeners need to know?

[00:13:12.84] spk_0:
Yeah. The top line, I feel like we have that that cliffhanger is like how much should number I would spend. It’s like how much should we spend already? What’s the number? So I felt like we owed it to the audience to give them a number with a lot of asterisks and the number which is the median spend for our sample was basically $12,070. Which roughly equated to 5% of the median revenue as a as a ratio. So you know, knowing nothing else turning off the podcast right now you’re like, all right, we should be like at least considering that. and 60% of This sample, 60% were actually spending on ads or spending on advertising and promotion. I’m going to use that interchange of advertising and promotion and add but advertising activities 60% did and 40% did. Not. That actually surprised me. I actually really believe that there would be a lot more organizations spending. So you know that that was a bit of a surprise to me.

[00:13:16.87] spk_1:
Okay. Right. Not even not even 2/3

[00:13:20.04] spk_0:
are spot on your Yeah, exactly. Exactly on

[00:13:22.59] spk_1:
Advertising. Okay. And the median spend is 12,000 between friends. We can around the 70 away.

[00:13:29.35] spk_0:
So 12 spot me 70 12,000

[00:13:31.94] spk_1:
dollars. There you go. That’s that’s your

[00:13:34.30] spk_0:
feet for being option.

[00:13:48.14] spk_1:
Um uh And the average was, you know, it was interesting. The average was quite the average of like 4.2 million wasn’t the average was very highly skewed. Do you remember that? Right? It was it was something very huge.

[00:14:37.04] spk_0:
Oh yeah. I mean you had to throw out the average because of these outliers. There’s like these massive positive outliers and there’s some nonprofits out there that are spending quite significantly. And you know, you sort of begin to touch on lobbying. There’s like um, you know, there was a pro life America group up there and the millions of dollars and you know, that’s that’s not data that necessarily is going to help you, right. If Bill Gates suddenly walked into your boardroom, you’d all be average billionaires. Not helpful. Right. That that kind of insight is not helpful. So that’s why we chose the median. I’m sure it’s in your book of trying to avoid those mistakes. And you know, we we went through and tried to explain why we chose the numbers we did and also give access to the full data dashboard if people are interested in it.

[00:14:51.34] spk_1:
Alright, so, well, since you mentioned access to this, how do how do folks get the summary and I’ll be sure to say at the end, you can remind me if I don’t, how do you get the, get the, get the summary of the study.

[00:14:55.14] spk_0:
So it’s at a whole whale dot com slash advertising tried to make it pretty simple. We have a nice infographic there and the ability to download the entire report.

[00:15:05.74] spk_1:
Okay. And there’s a little fee there’s a $5 fee if you want if you want

[00:15:08.89] spk_0:
All this. So yeah the full data and dashboard if you want to go digging into it. Um and getting access to that. Yeah that’s the $5 fee. But you get the whole study which is you know 21, pages of awesome. That’s you know that’s available

[00:17:05.14] spk_1:
right? That’s free. That’s absolutely free. Okay. Hold well dot com slash advertising it’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Are you making your plans for 2022 for fundraising? Marketing communications. Do you need help Look at turn two? If you’re like if you’re thinking about fundraising you need to raise more money in 2022 marketing and communications. Your content, the stuff that goes out all that that you’re creating for your donors for general awareness. If you need help with it, think about turn to because that’s what they do. They have a background in non profits. They understand the nonprofit community so you’re not you’re not hiring an agency that only works with you know cos they understand the nonprofit space. They can help you develop your content, help you hone those messages, Get those messages out like you’ve been hearing me talk about, right? So if you need to raise more money or if you need to go to the next level in marketing communications In 2022, think about turn to because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o Now back to how much to spend on ads in 2022. uh, the, the 80 20 rule applies here is one of your, One of your takeaways that uh, the top 20% spend about 80% of the ad revenue. Yeah.

[00:17:06.54] spk_0:
It always seems to happen and I always seem surprised when I find that power law, right? The 80 20 shows up on like

[00:17:21.64] spk_1:
how again does it keep happening time after time after time for in a wide variety of applications, 80 20 applies. How is our world,

[00:17:57.74] spk_0:
especially in actually, especially in financial distribution. But I was actually, I did the analysis. I was like, it probably won’t in this case show and I was like, you gotta be kidding me. So it wasn’t exactly 80 20 it was 24 76. So that’s about 24% spent 80% of that ad spend coming back to your point on average is being like much higher than in a potential bit misleading. So you do have that handful of organization spending quite a bit and the top 13 organizations in our study spent over a million dollars. So you kind of see that heavy, heavy waiting. And if it’s like, all right, you know, the purpose of our organization is the public awareness of this particular issue. And the way we do it is just turned donations into advertising and they’re nonprofits that just do that And they skirt the line awful close to lobbying, but they stay this side of fair.

[00:19:23.04] spk_1:
Okay. All right. Um, and you know, it occurs to me to this is, um, you know, you’re stuck with a lackluster host who is, whose thinking is not, uh, completely linear at all times, uh, if ever on that. But, uh, this is not, this is not a survey. So we’re not, we don’t have biases across people giving what they think is a good answer. You know, we don’t have those. So that just goes back to my book, the rival hypotheses, you know, self reports, not self reported data. Um, you do have the problem, like you said, you had to correct for whether people use agencies to produce their ads, but you were able to sort that out. So there’s, there’s some potential differentiation in, in the way people report organizations report advertising on their 9 90. But overall this is more reliable than survey data.

[00:20:13.84] spk_0:
Yeah. And I’m glad you brought that up. This is, you know, reported. So, I mean if you get back down to it, Yes, there is a human somewhere in the financial department of this non profit making that decision, but they’re doing that at a very macro stage and we’re pulling raw data were not wandering in and saying, Hey, how much do you spend on ads and you know, looking at, You know, 250 random nonprofits that decided to randomly fill out a survey with limiting information or you know, not being wanted to be fully transparent for whatever reasons. This is you know, this is source data from the organization according to the I. R. S aggregated by cause I. Q. And then we analyzed it to really find those answers and it’s something that we just felt was lacking. We felt like there was a lot of uh, we’ll call it a qualitative As opposed to quantitative type of research out there being like, Oh, here’s the official number. And then you look at the fine print and realize it was the opinion of 60 people not problems. And I’m like, I don’t know

[00:20:33.14] spk_1:
a lot of the answer. A lot of times people say, well it depends, it depends. So you’ve drilled down more than it depends.

[00:20:58.94] spk_0:
We’ve drilled down more and also been able to look at individual cause areas. So not just lumping one of my, one of my watchwords is being careful of lumping together the entire industry into one tidy bucket and assuming they all behave the same way. And if you know one nonprofit, you know one non profit and so we actually have, you know, in one of our findings divided up The type and cause focus of the organization to kind of get a better idea in that distribution, which tells, you know, another different story, which is all the more to say. I, I hesitated but knew we dessert we we owed the audience an answer of $12,000. But even that can be misleading depending on the industry and sub industry weren’t

[00:21:34.94] spk_1:
well, like arts organizations for instance, spend the most right. That’s what you’re, you’re, you’re teasing us a little bit. But I don’t do that to nonprofit radio listeners. You can, you can attempt it, but I won’t allow it. So, uh, let’s, uh, so arts organizations spend the most on advertising, right?

[00:22:15.54] spk_0:
Organizations were the highest spender. Again, surprising to me because I actually thought it would be health, I thought would be the health industry spending, you know, more to research awareness and pieces like that. But you know, frankly at the end of the day, you need to get people to attend to show up to, you know, go to these, you know, one time events to museums on location and so these, these were the highest highest spenders for sure. And promoters of performing arts sports and similar events were at the top and then the lowest, you know, because you look at the high and low, we’re less surprisingly the grantmakers and giving services like if you’re giving grants, guess what people find Jack, If you’re writing checks, people, people

[00:22:42.04] spk_1:
find you events, you, you you, you teased out what ad spending does too event income and I’ll let you, I’ll let you reveal what was found.

[00:22:46.44] spk_0:
Yeah, this is a bit of a nothing burger on the face of it because I had, here’s a case where I went in with maybe a touch of an agenda. I had an agenda. I’m going to admit it that I thought if a nonprofit was spending research, going

[00:23:03.00] spk_1:
back to my book, researcher bias.

[00:23:38.74] spk_0:
Yeah, this was researcher bias. But I left it in because I was so surprised that the ad spend of a nonprofit did not correlate. Uh, mind you even causation that didn’t even correlate in any meaningful way to hire event income. So event income is another thing technically reported by non profits in the 990 that you can pull aggregate and analyze. I’ll put an asterisk there, there are problems with that reporting which may be impacted this. But ultimately there was no correlation at all with this idea that or eggs without ads and with ads had any meaningful difference in the amount raised with event fundraising.

[00:23:56.54] spk_1:
Okay, Alright. Clearly you had, you had a hypothesis because that’s why you pulled the event income Data off the 1990s.

[00:25:03.44] spk_0:
Yeah. I mean, my hope was to show like I had, I had to hope that we would show that guess what if you’re spending to promote your event, your event does better And therefore an aggregate. They should be the folks that are making more money, you know, when in fact, you know, the of our, I can give some context with the data size. Uh, about 68% of our group had listed event fundraising expenses and 58% of that group reporting event fundraising revenue from their form nine nineties. So right in there, you’re like, wait a minute. They didn’t all make money, nope, just events that happened. Right? So I think it’s important. Not all events have maybe the purpose of fundraising, but that’s where they get listed. There’s also the question of in the accounting department, did that gift of $100,000 that came in five days after the event? Did that go to the capital campaign or did that go to the fundraising event? There’s a lot of mushiness there. So, you know, I’ll blame it on the data, but I wanted to report it because it was something that sort of keep us honest moment.

[00:25:09.32] spk_1:
Yeah. Okay. But it’s valid. You reported as a finding. So

[00:25:13.12] spk_0:
like we. Did you believe it? Believe it. Ok.

[00:27:30.84] spk_1:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. It’s the holidays and it’s the fourth quarter. The holidays. I hope you enjoyed your thanksgiving time with family, friends. Time for yourself. These things are important. You’ve got to take time to rejuvenate yourself to relax however you you know what’s best for you, however you do that for yourself. However you relax. It might be some people, some people relax by, you know, adrenaline rushes and uh, you know, zip cordon however you relax. I hope you did it over thanksgiving and I hope you will continue it throughout the holiday season. We’re in the midst of Hanukkah right now christmas coming up whatever your holiday is. I hope that you will be good to yourself as well as of course your family, loved ones and friends that you’re getting together with and it is the fourth quarter. So there’s a lot of pressure. I know vast amounts of, of fundraising revenue come in, not only the fourth quarter, but even in just in december. I know. So I know you’ve got those pressures. What am I talking about? Balance, balance, take care of yourself so you can take care of your non profit Please do both please for the holiday season this year. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for How much to spend on ads in 2022, the older organizations, older organizations spend more then then I’m sorry older organizations spend, uh, less likely to spend. I was thinking of larger. I was thinking of size, not age, older organizations spend less. That that seems to make sense. There are, when we presume that older organizations have have greater, uh market awareness because they’ve been around longer.

[00:27:59.74] spk_0:
I guess the, I love this take away, this was actually, I have to give credit to Kobe on our team who ran the ranch and manage this analysis. He just, he was like, I would love to look at the date funded because the underlying hypothesis here is that older organizations that were incubated and created in a time frankly pre web 12. Oh, would see less value in their operating less value in paying to play in creating ads and creating advertising. Oh, that’s

[00:28:14.34] spk_1:
the hypo that you think that’s the car. They haven’t adapted to our digital ad environment.

[00:28:15.80] spk_0:
I mean it’s, we call the rising generation digital natives. Right? How much time do you spend on Tiktok? Like there’s, I think there’s a fundamental reality.

[00:28:24.88] spk_1:
I’ve never, I’ve never been there. But they can hire people, I don’t need, I can hire somebody to do Tiktok for me to watch you George. That’s so cynical about older organizations. But let’s all right.

[00:28:40.44] spk_0:
You’re right. Let’s, can we, we can tell them the numbers though. It wasn’t that massively off. I will always say that. Um, the,

[00:28:41.84] spk_1:
alright, let’s start with, what’s an older organization. How did you, how did you group or cluster or how did you define age?

[00:28:48.66] spk_0:
How did I unfairly categorize this poor lined group of nickel. They

[00:29:03.74] spk_1:
Are capable of even hiring people to do something post 1950. I mean these these folks are still watching black and white television and some of them are still listening to silent movies in your mind.

[00:29:07.04] spk_0:
Uh, that side, the set with this century. So it’s over under year 2000, which I thought was an interesting inflection point and also it’s nice and round. So

[00:29:17.86] spk_1:
There’s a whole bunch of before 2000. Okay.

[00:30:20.54] spk_0:
Oh yeah, no, no, I think That, I mean it’s a long swath of time to look at and you know, the difference is really that this uh in last century 41% had no ads versus in this century 37%. So you know, 4% points total difference in just the binary decision. Should we have that ads, advertising and promotion? Um and then the median spend of this century was not that much higher, but it’s about 400 ISH, $400 higher uh simply by nothing else controlling for everything else, right? Like nothing else. You just, you’re just going to spend a little bit more if you are going to spend and you’re more likely to be spending on that. So it wasn’t mine, I kind of wish there was a bigger differential. So it’s actually much tighter than, and I have to, I have to say the counter narrative here is that do something dot org, one of my alma mater’s uh what Founded in 1993 and still had a well well above average as fund. So they are like the outlier that I didn’t even have to take that long to find.

[00:30:38.34] spk_1:
It’s impressive that you were the chief technology officer and do something that’s uh that’s a, that’s quite a renowned organization for What, what’s their sweet spot, 14-17 or 14-18 or 14-20 year olds taking, taking action and all the data that you gathered from them. That’s uh that’s quite a, that’s quite a job to have had. It’s impressive.

[00:31:17.44] spk_0:
It was an interesting time to have that role. I’ll say that for sure because there was a lot of, you know, a lot of tech being just sort of introduced web to, oh, just becoming of age, you know, you look at facebook pages and that existing for the first time in that period of time being like, what do we do with this now? I don’t know, what do we do? Like there was a lot of like, have you used this thing, you’re like, oh God, what is this thing now that I have to go figure out and then building our own platform as well and then sort of, you know, data privacy and protection and jumping in? I’d say the biggest piece we figured out was SMS in that period of time, the power of text messaging, which is still, you know, widely under appreciated, I’d say in the social impact sector. I do take, you know, huge nod of the hat to twilio dot org and what they’re doing out there, but it’s a, you know, it was an interesting time to be the cto

[00:31:49.34] spk_1:
and what was the the prime age group for? Do something? I was trying to guess, I was like 14 to 18 or something. Yeah, it’s

[00:32:15.14] spk_0:
extended, you know, I think they would extend it to through college age, but there’s like different sort of calls to action along the way. While I was there, we were predominantly focused on teens and tweens and that sort of intro level to volunteerism and engagement to foster a lifetime of social engagement. And and since then they’ve really evolved because guess what? You know, if you know, if you have half a million people that are of this age, it’s silly to say like, all right, goodbye, Good luck. I’m like, yeah, we can still provide services. We can still provide ways for them to engage. So it’s kind of an interesting quandary. I think for a lot of youth focused organizations to be like, where do you draw that line?

[00:32:53.54] spk_1:
Well, and because eventually those folks are gonna turn over 45 and then they’re just gonna be dinosaurs. Like like you hypothesized about the older organizations so you better get all the data you can now or you know, do something better because once, they once they turned 45, I mean they’re practically dead and they can’t adapt. Their their minds

[00:32:55.86] spk_0:
are impossible.

[00:32:57.15] spk_1:
Yeah. Their brains are neck roast it.

[00:32:59.63] spk_0:
Well actually, no, not completely, but maybe 4% more of them. Like 4% points. four

[00:33:04.59] spk_1:
percent. Alright. Yeah. Good. Thank you for bringing us back to the survey study. So we’re not a servant to the study, definitely

[00:33:11.63] spk_0:
stepped in it. I’m sorry.

[00:33:22.84] spk_1:
So uh let’s talk about what I what I had confused with that larger larger organizations. What did you find out about that? That’s that’s it.

[00:34:56.04] spk_0:
Well, I think the interesting thing is not that hey, surprise larger people with more money, spend more money. This just in from things you probably already knew uh is that it’s the same ratio. So that sort of golden ratio of 5% of revenue just paired out for small and large organizations. My assumption there that I went in there with a sort of hypothesis was that The smaller organizations would probably disproportionately spend at a higher ratio, but it didn’t turn out to be true. So in fact, that sort of 5% of revenue held across large and small organizations, albeit yeah, large organizations spent more. So if you do like if you just take away a quick thing, you could accidentally assume that oh, large organizations got big by spending more. You’re like, well no, they’re larger and they still spend at that ratio, which is in and of itself interesting because it is a much bigger number. And between those two groups where we divided it between large and small, which was over under I should note small organizations being 125 million. So small and 5 to 10 million. So we just basically through the line down the middle and it just equated to the large organizations had a median those three X. In terms of revenue three X. The amount that the 1 to 5 did and that was the same ratio three X more in ad spend. So you know, if you were doing lazy reporting, you say like large organizations spend three times the amount you’re like, Yeah, but that’s just a symptom of numbers. Okay, okay.

[00:35:04.24] spk_1:
And employees, you also, you also tracked the number of full time employees at, at organizations.

[00:35:06.54] spk_0:
Yeah, this was a bear. Would

[00:35:08.42] spk_1:
you find related to? Why is it a bear?

[00:35:17.44] spk_0:
It was a bear. It was just really difficult to do to like segment based on, you know how many employees and they’re simple.

[00:35:18.71] spk_1:
Isn’t there a simple question on the 9 90 I’m not an accountant. So I don’t

[00:36:07.13] spk_0:
know the total number of employees is technically available. So we were able to grab that number and then parse it out. It’s just parsing it between under 55 to 9, 10 to 14 employees, 15 to 19 employees. Uh and sort of scaling that up. The biggest jump happens really from, you know, organizations with less than five employees just aren’t really spending on ads. And the hot take there is that, you know, surprise, it takes people to run the ads running ads and promotions takes dedicated, you know, person or part of a person to truly run. And then as you sort of scale up, you have like random ebbs and flows, but the biggest jump really is that like if you have an organization with under five people, um, they’re really, they’re nowhere near that median ad spend because they come in at like uh 500 bucks versus immediately get to $2000. Um, once you get 5 to 9 and then the next biggest jump, you know, happens once you’re over 24 people, just larger organizations

[00:36:42.33] spk_1:
acquaintance with what goes into this, what why it takes you just said it takes a person or at least a part of a person for organizations that aren’t doing this for the, for the, Well for the 60% that that aren’t spending, what what did they have to devote time to?

[00:36:47.93] spk_0:
It is the most valuable asset of nonprofit has its not the revenue, it’s the time of the people working and to run an ad on facebook to place an ad in the paper. Let’s say if you’re running to place an ad on this very podcast, it takes time for someone to email setup, established the price, manage and test the R. O. I.

[00:37:34.53] spk_1:
It’s not create uh an obstacle where it doesn’t exist. All you have to do is email tony at tony-martignetti dot com. If you want to be a sponsor of nonprofit radio it’s quite a fluid process. George’s referring to George is referring to a university is not that well acquainted with right. This study is not on podcasting advertising When, when he does that one. I hope I will be a part of it. But uh, the, the, I don’t know about the podcasting universe, but if you want to be a sponsor of nonprofit radio it’s a very fluid, easy process. You’re talking directly to the host of the ceo. Just

[00:37:44.47] spk_0:
email you, do it right now. We can do it right now.

[00:38:00.62] spk_1:
Yes, you can do it right now. Whole whale. If whole whale was a sponsor, you would know how fluid and simple it is. But you haven’t taken, you haven’t taken that leap. So all right, let’s not go outside the bounds of the study as we’re, as we’re trying to draw conclusions. So

[00:38:16.22] spk_0:
We take, you know, we sort of take it as sort of maybe a core number that, Oh, you know, we can spend $12,000. A median number, but it doesn’t happen by itself. I mean, nothing simply does. So that that type of ad management was in the back of our mind saying like, you know, you have to track the R. O. Y. You have to create the report for the boss. You have to set up the landing page or whatever it may be that you’re running ads for. It’s not just as simple as saying like, oh cool, no problem. You know, through your credit card over there and you know, let it run. So that’s the thought that it takes labor to implement ads

[00:38:39.72] spk_1:
and your study makes the point that even if you’re hiring someone to do the ads for you. You need someone to oversee the work of the consultant or the firm.

[00:39:07.32] spk_0:
Yeah, I mean the numbers bear out that, you know, it definitely tracks as you go up in a number of employees, um that you’re, you’re able to see a higher spend. Now. That’s also corollary to the amount of revenue. But we also show that along the way, which, you know, incrementally increases but doesn’t necessarily follow along with the differences that you see. So, you know, I don’t purport that this study will show you how to set up your advertising department. But it will tell you that you can’t assume this thing happens in a vacuum and without labor.

[00:40:03.11] spk_1:
Yes. Okay. Well, and you’re a digital uh, advertising agency in at least in part, how much of a full time employee would you do you estimate it would take for? Well, it doesn’t really well for a smaller organization, let’s say they let’s say someone has just 10 employees or fewer like what, how many, what percentage of a full time employees time would that size organization Spending on ads if they were gonna move themselves from the 60% that don’t advertise at all to the 40% that do

[00:40:20.81] spk_0:
an interesting framing there. If you had 10 employees according to a study, you’d have an average revenue of roughly call it 2.3 million your median ad spend for that cluster would be $2100 and You know, oh, that doesn’t require a full time employee. But it’s gonna take about, you know, 2100

[00:40:28.61] spk_1:
That’s in a year. That’s 2100 a year. Yeah. So you’re just spending a little under $200 a month.

[00:40:40.21] spk_0:
I mean, Yeah, I mean and and and 2000. Yeah,

[00:40:42.12] spk_1:
22,000, exactly. 200 a month will be 2400 a year. So you’re saying 2100. So

[00:41:49.21] spk_0:
Yeah. So for that number that’s, that’s easily managed in 10% of somebody’s time depending on the type of Advertising activity that you’re doing. The hope is that that allows you enough to test where there’s value and increase that number, ads can be spent for a number of different reasons. And this is getting back to maybe why my assumption on fundraising was so flawed is ads may be spent to spread awareness of a topic a theme to increase public awareness. I don’t know for vaccines for health research, it’s not necessarily direct 1-1 ratio with fundraising. However, and if you are able and you are trying to turn one ad dollar into two donated dollars and you figure out a way to do that. It’s the hope that spending that and having somebody paying attention to it may figure out a way to get a bit of a little bit of a money engine going for you, spending adds to increase donations to the organization. And that Is a hope of this study. It is a hope that you’re saying, you know what it is worth, frankly 20% of someone’s time to play around with some amount of money that would let us learn and then do more of what works.

[00:42:29.30] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. That’s a pretty good wrap up actually. But I’ll give you a chance to to make it official because we’ve, you’ve covered all your explicit findings in the, in the study which folks can get at whole whale dot com slash advertising very appropriately named simple. Uh, simple U. R. L. Whole whale dot com slash advertising. What would you like to leave folks with George?

[00:42:33.10] spk_0:
I think that point lands hopefully. Well, and I haven’t offended any older organizations out there from which only only older,

[00:42:41.44] spk_1:
only older people. You haven’t offended any organization, not just the older people

[00:42:45.18] spk_0:
For 4% of them. Right.

[00:42:48.60] spk_1:
Well, that was, that was a differential, but it seemed

[00:42:51.50] spk_0:
Like it was 100% of those people were offended before.

[00:42:56.31] spk_1:
No, no, no, no. The way you did it, it was, it was wider.

[00:42:59.55] spk_0:
It was

[00:43:00.19] spk_1:
good

[00:43:00.78] spk_0:
differential. I

[00:43:07.30] spk_1:
understand the differential was 4%. You didn’t offend only 4% of People over 45. Now you offended most of us.

[00:44:35.79] spk_0:
That’s, that’s pretty good. Well, I’ll be joining you shortly so I can, I can join in the offending club. I uh, I will say that there is a lot to, to dig into here, but it is really meant to be an asset for anyone making the case in an organization to say, Hey, why don’t we try this? Why don’t we try to spend? It seems like our counterparts that are in this field are doing so in learning and so if you’re not spending, you’re not learning. And when I look at platforms, social platforms, that purport to be, you know, ways for you to get this organic traffic that will magically come to your site. So if you are posting, for example, on facebook, on instagram, frankly on most social platforms, you are losing money because the platform truly for for non profits for companies. Social media platforms are advertising platforms first and social platforms. Second, one more time. If you are a company, if you are a non profit Social Media is an advertising platform 1st And in an organic social network. 2nd, possibly distant second. Depending on which one we’re talking about. And so it’s like sending somebody in your communications remarketing department to work without a computer by not saying, hey, here’s a bit add money to play with and learn what might be possible for us. So that’s, that’s the thought I want to leave you with. I think.

[00:45:10.89] spk_1:
All right and not just me. All our listeners. Thank you. He’s George wegner He’s the chief. Well, at whole whale, whole whale dot com hotmail dot com slash advertising for the nonprofit advertising benchmark study. If you’re on twitter there at whole whale, thank you, George. Terrific. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being a good sport captain. Ahab. Mhm.

[00:45:11.69] spk_0:
Thanks Tony. Thanks for having us

[00:45:42.49] spk_1:
next week purpose driven marketing. 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. And let me remind you how simple it is to be a nonprofit radio sponsor. Just email, tony up, tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff

[00:45:57.79] spk_2:
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

[00:46:15.59] spk_1:
ideas for the However, go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for November 15, 2021: Bitcoin & The Future Of Fundraising

My Guests:

Anne Connelly & Jason Shim: Bitcoin & The Future Of Fundraising

 

That’s the new book by Anne Connelly and Jason Shim. They share the potential in cryptocurrency donations and explain simply, how to get started. Private keys; public keys; wallets; and exchanges. It’s time to learn what’s inevitably in your nonprofit’s future.

 

 

 

 

 

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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
View Full Transcript

Transcript for 567_tony_martignetti_nonprofit_radio_20211115.mp3

[00:00:02.84] spk_1:
Hello

[00:00:10.84] spk_2:
and welcome to

[00:03:09.04] spk_1:
tony-martignetti non profit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the embarrassment of hydrogen itis security Eva if you rubbed me the wrong way with the idea that you missed this week’s show, Bitcoin and the future of fundraising. That’s the new book by ANn Connolly and Jason shim They share the potential in Cryptocurrency donations and explain simply how to get started private keys, public keys, wallets and exchanges. It’s time to learn what’s inevitably in your nonprofit’s future. I’m tony state too, Veterans Day, We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o here is Bitcoin and the future of fundraising. It’s my pleasure to welcome co authors to nonprofit radio and Connolly is faculty at singularity University. She’s worked at Doctors without Borders and been a member of their board. As director of fundraising at Dignitas International. She set up one of the world’s first Bitcoin donation programs and is certified in strategic disruption from Harvard business school, Which sounds like a degree in anarchy. We’ll talk a little about what that what that’s about. She was named one of Canadian broadcasting corporations. 12 young leaders in changing. Canada and one of the 50 most inspirational women in technology in Canada. She’s at an underscore Connolly and welcoming back Jason shim he’s director of digital strategy and transformation at pathways to education. Canada his experience spans the nonprofit and academic sectors helping organizations stay ahead of the technology curve In 2013, he led pathways to become the first charity to issue tax receipts for Bitcoin donations. He’s an editor at ledger, a peer reviewed scholarly journal at the University of Pittsburgh Pit, publishing original research on Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology. Jason is on the board of intend where amY sample ward, our listeners know her is Ceo and Jason is at Jason shim together they wrote the book Bitcoin and the future of fundraising. A beginner’s guide to crypto, crypto currency donations and welcome to non private radio Jason. Welcome back.

[00:03:12.14] spk_0:
Thank you so much.

[00:03:13.50] spk_2:
Thanks for having us.

[00:03:52.24] spk_1:
It’s a pleasure pleasure to have both of you. Uh and let’s start with you, the the Cryptocurrency is like a new technology like at one time the telephone and talking movies, right? Talkies and the T. V. And internet and cell phones. Uh these technologies all had their their naysayers and those who thought it was just a fad, you know, talking movies, those will never last. So what do we what do we say to folks who are naysayers. Uh thinking that Cryptocurrency maybe it’s just a fad or it’s too dangerous. How do we allay those concerns about this new technology,

[00:04:43.64] spk_0:
It’s very reasonable for people to be nervous about new technology. I mean I can remember my parents talking about the Internet back in, you know the early to late 90s and saying, you know anyone will be able to look up the recipe for a bomb like we need to stop this, this is dangerous. And you know, that’s true in today’s world, anyone probably could look up the recipe for a bomb, but no one would ever consider saying we should stop the Internet. It’s a bad thing for society. Um And I think that’s where we’re at with cryptocurrencies as people are still in that phase where they’re learning about maybe some of the scarier elements. Uh and they haven’t quite gotten to realizing just how powerful and incredible this technology is, both for themselves, but also for society and people around the world who might not have access to the same financial services that some of us do.

[00:04:53.64] spk_1:
Yeah, that’s a very interesting point. Uh let’s say a little more about how this can be liberalizing for a lot of folks, a lot of parts of the world where banking infrastructure is not something they take for common or, or financial infrastructure broader than just banking is not, is not something that they take for granted the way those of us in the, in the west do.

[00:05:43.04] spk_0:
Yeah, I think there’s two sides that really is for many of us in North America, we have easy access to banking services and um but even in the states, more than 25% of people are unbanked, they don’t have access to that. And when you look around the world, those rates are even worse and so many people just operate in a cash economy, it means they’re locked out of any sort of loan systems or being able to better themselves through more formal financial services and then there’s a whole set of countries where people can’t even trust their national currencies. So if you look at places like Argentina, Iraq Venezuela, sorry Iran where inflation is astronomical Even right now in Canada, inflation is more than 4.5%. But if you look at Venezuela in 2018, their inflation rate was hundreds of millions of

[00:06:08.39] spk_1:
was not more hundreds of millions or billions of percent. Yeah,

[00:06:53.04] spk_0:
it was wild. And so you know if you can imagine your life savings disappearing overnight simply because the government is printing too much money or isn’t a good custodian of the national financial system. That’s the reality for a lot of people. And so I think when I think about Bitcoin more than anything, it’s not. Its goal is not to replace national currencies. Its goal is to provide people with choice so that you know, if they’re really happy with the currency their government is providing, they can certainly use that. But if they don’t have access to it, they don’t have access to banks or they don’t trust their government to do a good job of managing their money. They have another option. And that’s what for me is so exciting is it’s this global permission list system where anybody can take part um and use it to fundamentally change their lives.

[00:07:10.44] spk_1:
So Jason is it is it as simple as just needing an internet connection for anyone in the world to to participate in in cryptocurrencies?

[00:07:12.44] spk_2:
Yeah, I mean that’s pretty much the foundational building block that you know, if you have access to an internet connection and you can download, you know, the uh you know, there’s a few different approaches of accepting Cryptocurrency. But yeah, it starts with an internet connection in terms of getting getting access to that that wider network for sure.

[00:08:05.44] spk_1:
Okay. Um uh the uh I did a quick search of just comparing the us and Canada and adoption rates are much higher in uh in Canada than than in the us. I found like 13% of Americans Have bought or traded Cryptocurrency but it’s it’s like 30% of Canadians. So much much wider adoption for our well for your country, for our neighbors here, for me, for our neighbors in the north, for for your country, for the two of you, any any explanation as to why it might be 30% in Canada vs just 13 in the us.

[00:08:09.94] spk_0:
I think what might be Oh sorry, go ahead.

[00:08:12.24] spk_2:
Go ahead. And

[00:08:12.63] spk_1:
I

[00:08:48.84] spk_0:
think what’s even more exciting really than comparing the United States and Canada is looking where it’s growing globally. You know, some of the greatest adoption rates are in places like Nigeria or South east Asia. Um and that’s really demonstrative of, you know, when you have locations that maybe aren’t providing the financial services that we have in north America, the rates are exploding um from a Canadian perspective, I know people are really keen to explore new technologies and we also have a massive immigrant population that wants to send money back home. Um so trying to find mechanisms that enabled them to do that without paying fees of 8-12% through Western Union. The coin is a really great option for a lot of those people.

[00:09:28.14] spk_1:
Mm hmm. Alright. Uh now and I was, I chose you but you didn’t answer. You didn’t answer the question. So I’m gonna try Jason although it was anarchist. Uh that is that the degree in anarchy. I knew it. Um what is what we call it? A strategic disruption. Alright. The anarchy degree or certification. So uh, Jason any, any, do you have any insight into why so much more widely adopted in Canada than the U. S. Not that what I said was not valuable. I, I appreciate what’s happening in *** et cetera. But I just wanted to bring it, I don’t want to try to bring back to to the north America here.

[00:12:01.94] spk_2:
Yeah. In terms of adoption rates like what I found over the years is that, you know, when, when tech companies in the past have been looking for like pilot areas that I, I know that Canada has stood out as being, you know, the place where, you know, um, initial kind of rollouts or pilots that have happened. So, you know, when I know that when, you know, folks are testing out like new apps, you know, for their organizations, it’s a multinational organization, it’ll tend like what I’ve observed is that it has tended to be uh tested in Canada first and I, I imagine, you know, that may reflect, you know, that it’s a fairly, you know, uh text avenue connected, you know, uh population, but also uh there were some hotspots for Cryptocurrency, you know, in its early days, I mean, ethereum was born out of Toronto battalion, peter in is, you know, Canadian the founder of ethereum and uh there there are several clusters in Canada that, you know, a lot of the initial developments encoding around, you know, Bitcoin and ethereum and subsequent projects uh I think really grew out of that. So I think what we’re seeing in terms of the increased adoption rates is an extension of that where uh you know, not unlike, you know, early silicon Valley where, you know, a lot of, you know, tech development happened there that, you know, for, I think the early 20 tens, um uh Toronto really served as kind of, that, that initial hub in those communities that really got engaged, so no surprise that, you know, subsequent, you know, companies emerged and uh, you know, adoption uh may have been a bit quicker here. Um, but you know, I think that we are seeing that definite dispersion where there are multiple uh you know, crypto hubs that have emerged in the last 10 years for sure. But yeah, I mean Canada is also a wide place of you know being able to send uh send payments um easily and by a practical example and this isn’t particular to Canada, you know specifically, but you know when when working in international context, you know, hearing from, you know developer contacts in the local community that when you’re considering paying developers overseas and all the options that available like Bitcoin is emerging as you know uh when uh when when speaking to folks about you know how they’re managing payments, you know, Bitcoin is often an easier way to pay um developers in other parts of the world than it is going through traditional payment mechanisms um because of that the lesson administration and at times even just the availability where you know trying to pay someone, we’re banking systems are limited, you know, as I mentioned earlier. Uh so I think all these things combined have contributed to higher um you know, Canadian adoption as you pointed out.

[00:12:39.04] spk_1:
Yeah, interesting. All right, thank you. Um so you mentioned ethereum or ether being the the second most popular Cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, Jason was was Bitcoin originated in in the States or was that was that also in Canada? That’s uh interesting somewhere else. Well no, I’m sorry, it was another country, wasn’t it? Uh, Bitcoin,

[00:12:47.04] spk_2:
I location wise, I think it’d be best described as um kind of Bitcoin emerged online that, you know, to this day, the, the, the founder, founder or founders of Bitcoin. Um, you know, uh, so in terms of like a specific location, videos created, uh, you know, Bitcoin would have been online and then, you know, Ethiopia, many of the major players who are known were based out of Toronto.

[00:13:34.64] spk_1:
Right, okay, okay, that’s right. You say in the book that the founders of Bitcoin are still unknown to us. Right, okay. All right. Um, and with some trepidation go back to you. Uh, so since I made fun of this, tell me about what a certificate and strategic disruption is. What is that? I

[00:14:48.64] spk_0:
think the key element about it is it helps you develop a mindset about how to think about moving forward with your organization or your company, where you try to essentially disrupt yourself. And that’s why companies like Apple were so successful is, you know, they had a product and a product that worked, they could have just, you know, kept producing that same product for many years until some other company came by and beat them out and the company would go under, but instead of waiting for someone else to come out with a better product, like she said, hey, we’re going to actually cannibalize our own offering. We’re going to make a better product. So you know, we’re not going to just make the ipod, We’re now gonna make the iphone, Um, and our customers are gonna buy that instead. And so they were constantly creating new and imaginative things and changing the lives of their customers and so strategic destruction is really that. And you can apply the same type of mentality in the nonprofit sector and say, listen, you know, we’ve got a pretty good fundraising program. We’ve got major gifts that come in. We’ve got direct mail that goes out and um, we can sit here for 20 more years and raise money this way. But the nonprofits that are going to do the best in the long run are the ones that really look at their program and say, hey, let’s, let’s actually shake up the way that we’re doing things. Let’s try some really new and innovative stuff. Some of it will fail. Some of it will succeed spectacularly. And that’s actually gonna help us future proof the organization, um, and help us be, you know, essentially a stronger longer lasting organization moving forward.

[00:17:06.64] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Communications. It’s in their name. So they don’t only do the public relations and the media work that I’ve talked a lot about communications is so much more vast than that. So think about documents, documents you used to communicate case studies, your annual report, white papers turn to, can create these documents for you. They’ve got a journalism background, a writing background. They know how to understand your, your tone, your core messages and how to bring those out in your written documents. So you got this content that needs to be created and it’s not getting done. You need help think about turn to because your story is their mission there at turn hyphen two dot C. O. Now back to Bitcoin and the future of fundraising. Let’s uh, let’s, let’s bring it back to Cryptocurrency and north America. Give us give folks some motivation uh, in terms of raw numbers and potential growth. Uh, so we can help allay fears because you know, aside from it being a new technology, you know, lots of folks get the, uh, pay me $2500 in the US in Bitcoin or else I’ll release these bad things about you on the internet, you know, and I’ll share your contacts with their, you know, etcetera. So there’s some that contributes to some of the fears, these, uh, these um, uh, you know, email scams. So help help allay some fear with some hard numbers about where crypto is and where Bitcoin is maybe specifically and about the future.

[00:19:00.64] spk_0:
Yeah, I think the best numbers I can help relay are really numbers around donations that have already happened. And so you know, last year, the talent veteran who is the founder of ethereum, He gave a billion dollars to Covid relief, a billion with a b. So tell me about any other billion dollar donations that you heard about last year, you know, in any country around the world. And so, and that’s just, that’s, you know, it’s not the only one we had. The Pineapple Fund gave away $55 million borders Australia just got a $35 million dollar gift last week. Um, so the numbers that I really want to convey our, that, you know, there’s a community of crypto donors that are waiting to make these gifts that have just enormous amounts of money and a real passion for changing the world. That’s why they got into crypto because they want to make a difference. And so now they’ve got all this money and they’re trying to find organizations that they can actually give this money to. And right now that’s, that’s a challenge. Like right now there’s some incredible organizations accepting. But in order to find charities that are accepting crypto, most donors will google, they say which charities accept Cryptocurrency and then they pick one off the list. And so there’s this amazing opportunity for charities that are out there are nonprofits to actually uh, connect with this donor group that’s really being ignored by most of the community and really make deep relationships with them because they’re very different from traditional donor groups, how they like to give, what interests them, that type of thing. But the potential for their giving is just astronomical and the potential to create change together. Um, is what really gets me excited

[00:19:02.91] spk_1:
about cryptocurrencies

[00:19:04.01] spk_0:
in the space.

[00:19:30.44] spk_1:
Yeah. At the end of every chapter, you have a little call out box about a donation, a big number donation that was made in Cryptocurrency. Um, but yet the penetration rate, I think in the States, there’s only three or 4% of charities only are accepting, uh, Cryptocurrency donations. Uh, and some of them big ones that you name our United Way Red Cross. Do you want to, do you want to shout out a couple in, uh, in Canada that are accepting.

[00:20:58.14] spk_0:
Yeah, absolutely. I mean pathways to education of course, which is Jason’s organization was one of the first war child has been accepting for a long time. We have organizations like the Mississauga Food Bank, which is a, you know, a major site pita United Way up north as well as accepting. So it’s not the case that there aren’t, you know, well recognized organizations with good brands and, and that are well trusted. There are many names. Um, I think what sort of holding some organizations back is just, is education, You know, we’re at the stage where Bitcoin can be a little bit scary. Um, people don’t necessarily feel comfortable, They’re not sure whether it’s gonna be worth it. Um, and, and that’s really just a small hump to get over, you know, you can watch a lot of great videos online to learn about it. You can, you know, get the book that Jace and I put together, which is specifically written for fundraisers who don’t know anything about crypto and want to get started. Um, but more than anything, the best way to kind of get excited and start learning about cryptocurrencies and is just to buy some And you don’t have to go out and buy, you know, a $10,000 worth or anything just by a dollar’s worth of Bitcoin. Um, think of it as, you know, investing in evening of your time and learning something new and fun. Um, and that will really help you understand, you know, how it works, what it’s like, what you could do with it. Um, and uh, it’s a great way to get your foot in the door.

[00:21:29.44] spk_1:
Yeah, and Jason you in the book, you to recommend that as also establishing credibility with the crypto donor community is buying some, buying some on your own even before your organization has a, has a mechanism has set it up so that you’re not, you’re not just testing your, your own organizations, uh, infrastructure for accepting these gifts, we’ll get to that, but just buying and buying some on your own sounds like gives credibility to you, gives you credibility among the donor community

[00:23:52.64] spk_2:
for sure, and I think that many who are involved in the Cryptocurrency community, You know, I think it goes to really, how do you build that deeper relationship and have a conversation with folks that it’s it’s not just, you know, solely talking about, you know, the, you know, yes, there’s a donation part, but it’s also, you know, I think, you know, being able to speak knowledgeably about it, um, and, you know, as as people are involved in it and interested, you know, it, um, showing up in the communities as well. And I mean, that that that’s another kind of tactic that, you know, we do mentioned, you know, in the book and, you know, have seen used to to get the fact that, you know, if if you’re going to engage, you know, communities of donors that are very interested in, you know, something that they have self identified that, you know, before folks get into it. You know, folks typically, you know, do a lot of research and um, and you know, form, you know, uh, in person communities are online communities around it and just showing up in those spaces and being like, yeah, you know, I’m often, what I found over the years is that, you know, when participating in, you know, those Cryptocurrency spaces and everyone’s doing introductions, it was a few years before I was, you know, for a long time, you know, was the only charity in the space of reasons like, hi, you know, I work for a charity. So what brings you here and immediately there’s a way to connect over that and focus get really interesting. It was a few years before a second charity arrived. And you know, that was an indication to me that, you know that this was growing in awareness and such. But you know, I think that having that background of even having purchased a small amount, you know, gives that it gives that experience and credibility around, you know, it’s not just you know, saying, hey, you know, uh can you make a donation? Okay thanks, bye. It’s you know, how do you cultivate that longer term relationship where we’re part of something bigger here? Like there there’s um Cryptocurrency, you know, emerging as uh as a new asset class as a way to facilitate transactions that, you know, uh bigger, bigger possibilities. And in terms of, you know what we’re seeing with um uh with the ways that people are transacting, interacting, you know, uh, N. F. T. S around the corner. We haven’t touched on that yet, but it’s uh it gives more surface area for to connect with people on and you know, I think that, you know that one building a relationship, you know, having having more of those commonalities is also important.

[00:24:41.14] spk_1:
So, and mentioned the the fact that a lot of lot of crypto donors now are just Googling, you know, where can I make a crypto donation, but we wouldn’t expect that to continue as the penetration rate becomes higher among charities. Mean, so it is going to be building relationships and, and eventually it’ll become just another way of making a gift from folks that know, you, you know, like, like writing a check or transferring stock, eventually they’ll be the world will be just, you know, it won’t be, where do I make a donation by, through crypto?

[00:25:03.94] spk_0:
It’s no different really than, you know, when charity started adopting online donation platforms and, you know, website donation forms in the early days, there weren’t that many that had them and people wanted to use their credit card to donate online would have to figure out which charities made that possibility. But today, no charity would ever think of not having an online form. And so really it’s just, it’s just a timing thing, we’re just still in the early days and very exciting days. And because of that, there’s an incredible opportunity for the organizations that do get on on board early

[00:26:20.14] spk_2:
and, and, and to that point, like, I I think that, you know, when, when we think about, you know, early days when there were opportunities to donate online that, you know, I think there was a period in which organizations would have, you know, um competed on, you know, features that even just having the ability to accept credit cards online would have set you apart and, you know, as more people, you know, adopt online credit card payments, then you have to, um, you know, compete on a different kind of, uh, on like service provision. So, you know, the, the ease for which someone can make it right. And you know, I think we’re seeing that similar transition where, you know, right now, it’s still that, that phase where it’s like, okay, you know, does someone accept it? Yes or no? And that, you know, as that, um, as that number increases, then it’s going to be a different proposition where it’s like, alright, who, who does it with the most ease or who provides that additional added experience? That is, you know, absolutely fantastic. Um, and you know, as we look into, you know, how, um, how folks are engaging. Like, you know, it is there a future in which, you know, folks, you know, have some sort of representation on, you know, the Blockchain that’s like, you know, this certifies that, you know, you have donated to this organization or you know, you, you can unlock, you know, uh, different online, you know, possibilities, you know, through your donation that’s embedded on the Blockchain or opportunities like that. So, you know, I think that that’s kind of a possible feature that, you know, things can move in that direction as well.

[00:27:27.44] spk_1:
Jason, let’s make sure everybody understands the Blockchain. Uh, it took me a good amount of reading and many guests before you or well give myself a break a few guests before you. Maybe not many, uh, you understand what Blockchain is but it’s really it’s really something very simple once I once I once I understood it was simple but it took a little I’m trainable I guess I’m trainable. That that that’s the good news but uh you know so every every Cryptocurrency is on a Blockchain and you the book is a very good primer about all the, about the whole world of Cryptocurrency not just about Blockchain but I found your book to be a good primer use good analogies, I mean simple analogies that are easy to understand. So well let’s make sure everybody understands what a Blockchain is and and why each Cryptocurrency has its own Blockchain. Can you explain that Jason since you just mentioned Blockchain?

[00:29:06.64] spk_2:
Yeah yeah so so when we’re making a transaction you know there there is a record that has kept it and traditionally you know there may be like you know 11 record that is kept but what’s different about a Blockchain is that as a transaction happens on the network uh everyone who is participating in the network keeps a record of um of all the transactions that are happening. So you know the three of us right now that um you know uh tony Jason and that you know if I were to transfer Uh you know $5 you know worth of Bitcoin over to end That the record that has kept. You know imagine all three of us scribbling that because we we witnessed that happening. And so, you know, it’s between, you know, uh someone could claim it’s like, oh you didn’t actually give and you know $5 you gave her three and be like, no, no, wait a minute. Like you had seen that transaction, you had written it down. And so that is kind of a really basic explanation of, you know, what, how the Blockchain operates except instead of three people, imagine that with 30,000 people or more like, you know, just every single person who’s participating, the network keeps their own, you know, extremely detailed ledger of everything that is happening within the network and that that’s, you know, in part what keeps it secure that instead of trusting, you know, one single party that, you know, could, you know, alter, you know, those those records. It’s like you you have the collective that, you know, everyone sees everything that’s happening simultaneously in electronic format.

[00:29:45.94] spk_1:
And you to explain in the book why that’s enormously secure, secure from, from hacking from financial fraud and theft, uh, secure from mistakes. So, you know, listeners, you gotta get the book to get to go into the depth of the security of of the Blockchain. Um All right, so let’s let’s let’s start getting into the nitty gritty of of how to and can you start us off with, I think it’s important to explain what the keys are, the private key and a public key and then we’re going to get into how folks get their own are going to buy and maybe sell their own Cryptocurrency but you started off with the keys and.

[00:31:25.64] spk_0:
Yeah no problem. So if you think about your wallet um that you have in your purse or your back pocket and you store your cash in their Bitcoin uses something called the wallet as well. Um And it’s where you store your Bitcoin but it’s digital. Now if you think about your house, every house has a public address so 123 any street and you can give that address to anybody in the world they can send you a letter. They can you know show up and look in the windows but they can’t actually open the door to your house and take any of your stuff. And so your Bitcoin wallet also has a public address. And what you can do with that public address is give it to anyone that you know wants to send you money and they can send you money and it gets deposited into your wallet. But your wallet also has something called a private key and it’s kind of like the key to the front door of your house. And so if you give that key to anybody um they can open the front door of your house. They can come in and take all your furniture and all your electronics and whether they’re legally allowed to or not they can do it And the same sort of thing applies to your wallet’s private key if you give them that private key, anybody can then open up your wallet, take your Bitcoin and there’s really no recourse. And so, um, essentially what that means is you want to always keep your private key safe, always keep your private key backed up in a number of secure locations. Um, and what’s really nice about that is if you ever have any issues with your wallet, like let’s say you lose your phone or you know, something happens where the company making the wall, it goes under and you’re suddenly like, where’s my money? As long as you have your private key, you will always have access to your money. And so that’s what’s really amazing about it versus say if your bank went under, you might not have access to your money ever again. If Paypal froze your account, you wouldn’t be able to access your money with Bitcoin. As long as you have your private key, you always have access to your money.

[00:33:39.24] spk_1:
Okay. And again, as I said, the book, such simple analogies that the public key is like your address and the private key is like your house key very very, very comprehensible. It’s time for Tony’s take two veterans Day was last week and I was remiss in my show planning for last week’s show. So I don’t want to let it go. Unmentioned. I’m grateful. I’m thankful. I thank the many millions of people who have served our country in the military and also my gratitude to families who have lost folks because of their military service families that made that sacrifice and the military members themselves, that made those sacrifices. I’m thankful to those people as well. And if there’s someone in your family who died in the military, died supporting and defending our nation, I thank you. I had my own service. I was in the Air Force uh Military services is a calling and I I admire those who continue to answer that call. That call to to service duty to our country. Thank you. Thank you. Mhm. That is tony stick to Veterans Day. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for Bitcoin and the future of fundraising and you know, you want to continue. It seems to me like the next step is, or the way you lay it out is the next step is getting a wallet.

[00:34:00.54] spk_0:
Yeah, so there’s lots of different ways to get a wallet. Um There’s most, the most easiest ways just get download a mobile wallet on your phone. Um There’s ones on the web as well and there’s a number of different companies out there now. Um

[00:34:01.66] spk_1:
and just explain what the wallet is for.

[00:35:27.24] spk_0:
Oh yeah, the wall is just restoring your Cryptocurrency, that’s it. So it’s kind of like the wallet you’ve got in your purse or in your back pocket. Um it’s just where you keep your crypto and it enables you to send it to other people. So if you have like Venmo or something like that, it feels a bit like Venmo um you just open it up and you can send your Bitcoin to someone else. The difference is there’s just no centralized company behind it, the way there is with Venmo or Paypal, um so you know, there’s a number of different wallet companies out there, some of them will enable you to hold on to your private key. Like Blockchain dot com is one example of a wallet that I use, that enables you to hold on to your private key. Many of you probably heard of coin base coin base is a little bit different because they actually hold on to your private keys. So it’s probably less secure from that perspective because it’s always good to have your key, but if you’re afraid of losing your key, coin base is probably a good option for you. Um So once you pick the wallet, you download it onto your phone um and then you can use an exchange to actually buy Cryptocurrency. So typically you would either connect your bank account or use a credit card um and just trade some of your usd or eur Canadian dollars for us northern folks and they’ll give you something corny return kind of the same way, like if you were going on vacation to Mexico, you would take your usd to an exchange booth at the airport and they would just trade you some usd for mexican pesos here. You’re going to get usd and get some Bitcoin back.

[00:35:34.14] spk_1:
So and if it’s a, if it’s a wallet like coin base, you said they hold your private key, you can also hold your private key. I mean like they can’t have it and you have it.

[00:36:17.53] spk_0:
No, because at the end of the day it’s like your house key. You know, if two people have a copy of the house key and all of a sudden the contents of the house are gone. Who stole them? You don’t know, you fundamentally need to have, you know, one person that, that’s responsible for the contents of the wallet and that’s either gonna be you as an individual or the company will take on that responsibility for you. Which has its pros and cons. Um, and so yeah, for a lot of people that’s, that’s a huge plus having someone else manage that responsibility for um, others in the crypto space. It’s really important for them to manage and own their own money.

[00:36:22.73] spk_1:
Can you name any other of the more popular wallets you mentioned Bitcoin dot com coin base

[00:36:29.96] spk_0:
coin bays bread wallet. Um, there’s electra. Um, there’s Jason. What other ones can you throw in there?

[00:36:37.93] spk_2:
I think that that, that covered off all the big ones, the

[00:36:47.23] spk_0:
metal pay exodus. Yeah, there’s, there’s a number a number of different options out there for folks to choose from these days, which is great.

[00:36:52.57] spk_1:
Okay. And it’s just a matter of googling right. What what are the top 10 wallets or what what’s a wallet for my, is it is it country specific? Do you need a wallet that works in your country, Jason?

[00:37:21.43] spk_2:
No, it’s uh it’s pretty cross border. So you know the song is that you can download it from uh you know, your respective app store and it works, you know, just uh you know, making sure that you’re finding a reputable wallet that you know has solid reviews and but you know, there’s uh no country specificity aside from, you know, uh if it is attached to a certain provider, a company that accepts a certain currency. So I know that there are some wallets um on the international side that are particular for um deposits, that you know, if uh if you want to deposit in a certain currency, then that may be the only kind of particular about it. But otherwise, you know, it’s pretty uh pretty universal.

[00:38:08.22] spk_1:
Okay? You make the security point in the book about not keeping your private key on your phone. But you both have mentioned the phone and using a phone app, but you’re supposed to just write your private key down and keep it somewhere secure. Like uh I get like a safe deposit box or something.

[00:38:44.82] spk_0:
Yeah, safe deposit box is a great spot safe in your house somewhere where you’re keeping really important documents. The way to think about it is you know that key will fundamentally open access to all the money in your wallet. So if you had $500 in cash where would you store that? Would you store it in your desk drawer? Would you store it in your bedside table? Probably not. You probably store it somewhere a little more secure. So based on how much money you have in your wallet, that’s sort of where you want to think about storing your private key if it’s 20 bucks, yeah, maybe put it in your desk if it’s $100,000 you definitely don’t want to leave that lying around.

[00:38:48.12] spk_1:
Um And Jason can you say a little more about exchanges?

[00:40:30.41] spk_2:
Yeah. So in terms of exchanges um you know we talked earlier about, you know while it’s exchanges are where the many of the transactions are around the world, you know take place. And really that it functions you know similar to regular kind of currency exchange or a stock market exchange where you know there’s it establishes a market where there you know those buyers and sellers and so you know um uh as I mentioned earlier, you know if you’re looking to exchange something like us dollars for you know. Bitcoin that um you know you’re you’re usually gonna be working with an exchange in order to uh to do that and on exchanges, you know, depending on on the exchange. You know, they may list a whole bunch of um different currencies, cryptocurrencies, you know, uh So you know, they may list in U. S. Dollars, you know, Canadian dollars, you know, Bitcoin ethereum, you know, if folks are looking at things like, you know, dodge coin um uh and it’s going quite quite extensive. I mean, you know, some of the larger ones are definitely, you know, listing uh many many different cryptocurrencies. Um but you know, if those who are looking for like, you know, the major ones that you don’t have emerged, you know, primarily, you know, Bitcoin in theory. I mean those are pretty standard almost across all exchanges these days. And uh they they the exchanges are really the mechanisms for which um you know, as a release back to two nonprofits that uh you know, after someone does make a donation of of Cryptocurrency um you know, having that exchange, you know, connection or um and some providers, you know, have that baked into their uh their services. That’s how you convert the Cryptocurrency back into, you know, a currency that the uh charity can use, you know, so if you s you know, how do you get that big pointed us dollars, you know, you’ll you’ll be working through an exchange in order to convert that so you can deposit into your bank account as well,

[00:41:05.61] spk_1:
Jason, let’s make something explicit because you know, when we’re recording Bitcoin a single Bitcoin is around $55,000 roughly a single ether is around $3500. Let’s make explicit that you don’t have to spend $55,000 if you want to participate in the in in buying some Bitcoin.

[00:41:08.31] spk_2:
No, absolutely not. So you know the uh it goes up to eight decimal places and I think that that’s something that is uh that’s helpful to to be aware of. So you know it is possible to buy like you know 0.00000 won worth of Bitcoin or ethereum. So um you know they’re uh definitely do not have to participate entire Bitcoin or entire. Either in order to participate in the in the ecosystem.

[00:42:15.20] spk_1:
Okay. And so you have in the title of your book you you you you you say Bitcoin but non profits could be accepting any of the any of the coins that you mentioned. But does it become so when you when you stray from Bitcoin and ether which are the two most popular, are you are you taking a greater risk if you get into like stellar and you mentioned dodge coin and by finance does it become riskier for for you personally if you’re doing your your experimental purchase and your credibility building purchases or or for your non profit if you’re accepting those other less popular like all the old coins.

[00:44:43.99] spk_2:
Mm it’s similar to I would say like you know in kind donations or stock donations that charities would ordinarily receive. And so you know, I think that when considering Cryptocurrency donations, like the vast majority of them are being transacted in Bitcoin followed by either in that order. However, when looking at all the coins, you know, what’s worth kind of thinking about is you know, imagine a prospective donor who you know may have, you know, picked up Dodge coin when it was valued at 0.0001, you know, sense and held onto it. And you know, now I think the last I checked it was like 26/27. And so you know what with regards to risk, I think it’s more helpful to assess like, you know what what’s the conversation that’s being had. You know, is someone approaching your organization with, you know, uh a donation was like, hey I like to contribute, you know, 100 $100,000 worth of dodge coin. You know, generally speaking, I would hope that, you know, a charity that is approached with that kind of um offer. You know, it’s okay, let’s, you know, let’s find an exchange that that will, you know, help us convert, you know that that amount of dodge coin, you know, into uh into U. S. Dollars to allow us to to accept it. And and so um, you know, I think it really depends on the audience. Um and so you know I think that’s what drove some of the early adoption where, you know, as Bitcoin started, you know, rising in price, you know, more offers of donations were emerging and you know, I think that you will see, um, you know, similarly with the old coins that are out there that, you know, definitely for folks who have gotten in early on some of the old coins and you know, um, it, I think it still remains to be seen which ones will, will take off. You know, we’ve already seen, you know, the emergency, you know, Bitcoin and ether. But you know, five years from now. You know, who, who knows, you know what, maybe up there. And so, um, what I have observed is that many of the exchanges are responding accordingly as well. So as as a, uh, all coins or other cryptocurrencies are taking off. You know, they get added to exchanges, which does make it easier and simpler for, um, for organizations to uh, to exchange and transact in that. So, um, you know, there, there have, there have been instances actually of folks donating, uh, you know, all queens, I think dodge coin, you know, definitely has a lot of fun stories about how, uh, how supporters have, uh, have donated their, um, their, their rapidly rising uh, currency.

[00:45:49.99] spk_1:
Yeah. Because you know, like you’re saying dodge coin, someone could have bought it for uh, tens of thousands of a penny. And at one point, I think it went up to like 60 cents or 65 cents in value. So if someone had spent like $100 or even a foul, all the more of 200 or 500 or $1000 buying millions of shares and then the price went up to 60 cents. You know, they’ve got, they’ve got a lot of money in dodge coin all of a sudden and if they then converted it to dollars Canadian or us, uh, they’ve got a lot of money potentially to give. And, and the, the book points out a lot of folks who are very, very generous with their, with their Cryptocurrency windfalls,

[00:46:34.98] spk_0:
Jason correct me if I’m getting the numbers wrong, but if something approximately where if you had, you know, invested $100 in ether at its launch, you’d have over a million dollars today for $2 million dollars today. Like it didn’t take a lot at the beginning. If you were really passionate about this project, you put a little bit of money in um, to suddenly have this astronomical wealth that would be almost impossible to generate in any other way in our society. And so it’s, it’s really what you end up getting is fairly ordinary people, you know, that came from ordinary means that that now have this wealth that, you know, they’re not interested in buying gold plated sneakers, you know, they want to create change and that’s where the nonprofit sector can really help them do that.

[00:47:23.18] spk_1:
And let’s stay with you and move to the organizational level Now. Let’s talk something about getting, getting buy in uh, in the book. You make the point that you’re not even sure the board should be approving this, they shouldn’t be involved. It’s more like, should we start accepting credit cards? You know? Uh, so it’s more um, asking for support rather than permission. But let’s talk about, you know, Ceo by in or maybe vice president of development by in uh, what are some of the reasons you might you as a crypto advocate in your organization? Might might start putting forward for why your organization should get into this. So

[00:49:16.07] spk_0:
the reason that I used when I was convincing my Ceo back in 2014 was I said, look, you know, it’s really what we can do is accept it, we can sell it immediately. There’s no fluctuation, there’s no currency risk, anything like that. And fundamentally that’s no different than accepting a stock. Like we already accept stocks and other securities. So if we do exactly the same treatment as we do with stocks, there’s really no risk to the organization and I think this day and age, there’s no brand risk, there’s, there’s no another stigma that used to exist around Bitcoin is really not there anymore. We’re seeing it adopted by not only charities, but major organizations and companies Microsoft, IBM, all kinds of different companies are heavily involved in cryptocurrencies. So I think that’s, that’s the key one is saying, okay, we already do this with another volatile asset on the stock market. Here’s another opportunity where we can essentially bring in A whole new set of young donors. And I think that’s probably my favorite argument for Cryptocurrency is most of the donors and most of that community are between the ages of 24 and 40. Um, and so if you’re really looking to bring on a whole new set of the younger generation of donors, this is a great way to do it. And you won’t be cannibalizing any of your other activities. You’ll have this whole new set of donors with no risk. Um, and for any organization that fundamentally says, hey, we want to be innovative. We want to be new here is a great way that you can do that. That is not only exciting and innovative, but it’s also a revenue driver. And so it’s pretty hard to say no to something where you say, okay, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna give this a try. It’s going to cost us essentially nothing to set up. We can set it up over the course of the week. There’s no risk and it might make us some money and bring in new donors to me. That’s an absolute hell, yes.

[00:49:56.87] spk_1:
Okay. There was like four or 5 very good reasons why, you know innovate, prepare for the future, expose yourself to do constituents. Uh, it’s becoming mainstream. There’s no stigma. Um, and and help you raise more money just in a different format. Um, let’s just make explicit. And is it is it your your recommendation that non profits would sell their their Cryptocurrency right away as you would with stock or what, what is your recommendation for? What to do with a crypto currency gift once you have received it,

[00:51:17.86] spk_0:
I wouldn’t recommend it. But that’s my risk tolerance. And so what’s really most important is to look at, like, what is the risk tolerance of your organization? You know, And I think, um, every organization should really sit down and say, okay, how much cash do we have on the balance sheet? You know, how much money do we have every year to play with? And what percentage of that Are we willing to put in a high risk investment? So maybe we decide that as an organization, we want 99% of our money that we raised to be there at the end of the year, and that’s totally fine. Um, but take that 1% and hold it in a Cryptocurrency and see what happens. Um, and say, look, this is a microscopic risk that we’re going to take for the potential upside of making a lot of money. Um, or maybe your organization might be a little more risk friendly. You say, look, we’re gonna we’re gonna have safe, secure investments or just keep our money in cash for 75% of what we bring in 10% we’re going to put in, you know, uh index funds with the stock market and the rest, we’re going to put in Cryptocurrency something a little bit higher risk, like I think really at the end of the day it’s not so much, you know, should you sell it or not, it’s how much of your portfolio are you putting in high risk versus low risk assets? And I think the thing to keep in mind this day and age is with inflation, where it is putting your money in cash is not safe, You’re losing money every year by holding that money in cash. So if you’re trying to maintain the amount of money that you have by the end of the year, you need to be doing something with it. So is that something high risk, low risk, what percentage is it? Um That’s up to the organization to decide. But I would really recommend that every organization actually take a critical look at what they’re doing with their money um and reserve at least a tiny portion of that to take a look at holding cryptocurrencies for the longer term.

[00:51:49.66] spk_1:
And the reason you say you’re losing money if you’re holding cash is because of inflation.

[00:51:53.89] spk_0:
Absolutely, yeah,

[00:51:55.76] spk_1:
Jason anything you want to add to the organizational policy.

[00:52:00.85] spk_2:
Yeah, I think from just looking over a trend lines, you know to the point that that and made about risk, it’s you know really aligning overall organizational strategy with what organizations looking to achieve and how you know their asset holdings maybe um may reflect that and that their risk tolerance and I think when looking at trends like it was as early as I believe it was 2014 at the time that Canada was looking at digital currency programs and you know, although that program at the time that it was called the mentorship program, you know didn’t proceed, you know uh

[00:52:32.83] spk_1:
I’m sorry Jason who would you say was looking

[00:53:11.45] spk_2:
at? I’m sorry the Canadian government or the Bank of Canada was looking at a program called the uh the mint chip program and that was really a Canadian digital currency that was being explored. But now there’s been a resurgence I think just in the past week, you know the G seven group of nations you know agreed upon, you know a set of standards to examine, you know digital currency. So I think when looking at, you know overall trends, you know digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are not if but it’s a when and you know for organizations are preparing for the future, strategically it’s it’s really you know do are by by participating in the ecosystems. Now you’re especially future proofing organization for that future which is going to come of, you know as governments are seriously looking at digital currencies that the same principles that govern you know, how do you treat you know, cryptocurrencies that this is all going in the digital direction and you know that much is evident. And so, um, it’s more of a timing consideration now. It’s, you know, would you like to do it now or later? It’s

[00:54:24.84] spk_1:
coming right. It’s it’s not, it’s not if, but when I think that’s a terrific place to wrap up. You know, there’s, there’s a lot more in the book. There are checklists for how you set this up at your organization. But I wanted to focus on the basics a person venturing into this because with the statistics that that I mentioned, so there’s still 87% of Americans are not involved in crypto and still 70% of Canadians are not involved in crypto. So I want to, I want to overcome that and then move to the organization level. And as I said, the book is a very good primer, lots of easy to understand analogies. The book is Bitcoin and the future of fundraising. A beginner’s guide to Cryptocurrency donations. The co authors are an Connolly at an underscore Connolly and Jason shim at Jason Shim and Jason, thank you very, very much.

[00:54:32.94] spk_0:
Thank you so much, appreciate it.

[00:54:34.68] spk_2:
Thanks tony

[00:55:08.54] spk_1:
pleasure thank you for sharing and and doing it in a simple way next week. Mission uncomfortable. That’s a working title with stew Swinford, that’s not a working name. He’ll he’ll stick 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 Claire Meyerhoff

[00:55:10.73] spk_2:
shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman

[00:55:14.50] spk_1:
is our web guy

[00:55:15.65] spk_2:
and this music is by scott. Stein.

[00:55:30.94] spk_1:
Thank you for that. Affirmation. Scotty You with me next week for nonprofit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for November 8, 2021: Strategic Plan. Done. Now Pay For It.

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Sherry Quam Taylor: Strategic Plan. Done. Now Pay For It.

It’s a common challenge. The strategic plan is ambitious, but there’s not enough revenue to fund all the future excitement. Sherry Quam Taylor returns to get to the root problems that are holding your nonprofit back from full revenue potential. She’s CEO of Quam Taylor, LLC.

 

 

 

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[00:00:02.84] spk_2:
Hello

[00:01:43.74] spk_1:
and 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. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of tinnitus if I had to hear that you missed this week’s show. Strategic plan done now pay for it. It’s a common challenge. The strategic plan is ambitious, but there’s not enough revenue to fund all the future excitement. Sherry, Kwame Taylor returns to get to the root problems that are holding your nonprofit back from full revenue potential. She’s Ceo of KWAme Taylor LLC. I’m Tony’s take to holiday time off. We’re sponsored by turn to communications. Pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o What a pleasure to welcome Sherri Kwame Taylor back to nonprofit radio She’s Ceo of KWAme Taylor LLC. She works with nonprofit ceos and boards are struggling to secure the unrestricted revenue needed to fulfill the dreams in their strategic plans. Sure. He helps them reimagine their entire approach to revenue generation and reveals how they can break free from the limitations of traditional fundraising. Our consulting practice is at KWAme taylor dot com Sherry. Welcome back to nonprofit radio

[00:01:46.14] spk_0:
tony How are you? I’m well, good. Thanks for having Yeah, Thanks for having me. I was excited to see this pop up on my calendar today.

[00:01:54.80] spk_1:
You weren’t planning for

[00:01:56.77] spk_0:
it for a week. I mean, yeah. As I worked all weekend long for my, for my content. Yes.

[00:02:01.75] spk_1:
You’ve been struggling at it, not struggling but you’ve been working on for weeks. Right?

[00:02:05.64] spk_0:
Yes, I’m so nervous.

[00:02:21.44] spk_1:
All right. So, so I outlined the problem in the introduction. But before we get to those root problems shouldn’t funding be a part of the strategic plan? So that the plan and its financing are considered together and not separately, ideally.

[00:03:27.14] spk_0:
You’re speaking my language already tony Yeah, it really should. But the problem is so many organizations come to me with a strategic plan that has all these amazing ideas, amazing next steps, you know, growing their programs and mission. But the strategic initiative kind of says we need more money or more major gifts or we should do more of these things. And so it actually, I find that it’s addressing more of the symptoms of an organization’s, who’s funding has maybe plateaus or maybe they just kind of raised the same amount of money every year. But oftentimes the funding problem and more times than not, it’s actually fixed at the root. And so yes, it should be included in there. And yes, it always is. But so often, uh, you know, I have a client now who, who’s brought me their strategic plan, it’s like we had this big growth, uh, initiative and like we just aren’t hitting it. And so the how do we do that is usually missing in the strategic plan.

[00:03:59.54] spk_1:
Okay, so all right. So if it’s addressed, it’s addressed little superficially. We’re not, we’re not we’re not getting to the root cause it’s kind of glossed over, we’ll increase our fundraising. Well, maybe maybe they identify a couple of initiatives, but you’re saying right, they’re not getting to the root problem. And so they’ve got this wonderful plan and a lot of excitement around it for the next 3-5 years but they’re not hitting their revenue targets, that they need to realize the true excitement of the, of the, of the outcomes.

[00:05:43.14] spk_0:
Absolutely. And so it’s a lot of, you know, more and more corporate sponsorships, more grants, more events, more appeals. Some of those are good things like don’t hear me say they aren’t, but we have to remember also, typically the board or leadership whose having a great amount of input in the strategic plan. They’re usually expert to something else. You know, they aren’t strategic fundraisers. Um, so, so they’re doing their absolute best. So sometimes we have to get the voice of outsiders. I know you would agree with me to come in and say, actually that’s not how that problem gets fixed. And so I so it’s a this is really, you know, the strategic plan, which is what we’re talking about today is is one part of it. And the kind of the cousin comment I would say coming to me and it’s really ties to this is um, you know, we have this budget, we want to grow the budget, but we’re always in the red were never raising enough. And so there’s this disconnect that, you know, frankly, I study and watched so closely in my practice and I’ve just really been able to see quickly, you know, what is the sticking point? Why is your funding platt Toad? Why is it another year in the red? And so we’re going to talk about these, these symptoms versus root cause because, uh, you know, my strongest clients these last few years have been the ones who said We’re kind of not going back to doing what we were doing pre 2020. We’re actually going to push ahead and, and, and do things differently. Run our businesses differently, solve the problem at the root so that we actually can have greater impact, which, gosh, I’m so thankful they’re doing that because there’s never been a time we’ve needed them more.

[00:06:20.94] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s always right. It’s always, it’s always the truth. I mean, it’s always the case. You know, always the case, especially with the pandemic, but beyond the pandemic, nonprofits take on causes and missions and goals that, that individuals can’t do that. Government isn’t suited for that. The corporate sector isn’t going to take on. In fact, a lot of times the corporate sector is antithetical to the, to the goals. Um, but non profits, you know, our, our, that sector is ideally suited for work of all different types and, and raising money to do it, but they’re not raising sufficient money. Um, so essentially, you know, you’re saying, you know, you can’t keep doing the same things and expect different outcomes.

[00:06:37.16] spk_0:
Yeah, I guess that’s

[00:06:40.04] spk_1:
it. I can get real problems.

[00:08:22.14] spk_0:
Yeah, I think that’s a great way to phrase that it’s, you know, in some of these symptoms of, of perhaps we’ve been kind of trying to do the same thing or, or trying to do more unless, right. Um, you know, a lot of these symptoms are our cash flows too tight because maybe our strategy is, yeah, we need more money, but it’s too restricted. Or maybe then if we’re not bringing in enough restrictive cash, were unable to grow the reserve, were unable to grand grow our endowment. Um, you know, the other thing we’re gonna talk a little bit about today is that never being able to justify overhead spend, Right? Like if I hear that, it’s like, I know fundraising situation that we need to fix so I want here, here’s what I’ll tell you. I asked on a weapon or I think it was last mid last week, I started with a question and frankly it probably sounded like a bit of a silly question on the webinar and what I asked was, do you need more money, does your nonprofit need more money now? I knew the answer to that, right? But typically it’s like, yeah, we need more money. That’s what our strategic plan says, but rarely does an organization just need more money. They need flexible money. They need unrestricted money to accomplish the things the initiatives that growth in their strategic plan. You’ve got to have money for overhead. And I find that that’s why a lot of times we can never fund the strategic plan is stated because we aren’t fundraising for unrestricted cash from a single source says you’re makers, meaning I can pick up the phone and talk to chris he crested sherry from, you know, and and those gifts are not from people who truly understand the need and actually want to give to every year. And that’s a very specific types of type of fundraising. We’ll unpack that today. But, but so often I’m finding that we’re not doing the fundraising things that are actually attracting those donors.

[00:09:02.04] spk_1:
All right. So let’s get to some of these root root problems. What, what, what, what can we talk about? What you just mentioned? We’re not attracting the right donors. You know, you’re concerned about attracting the right people. Talking to them about the right things about the true needs for overhead for endowment for growth. I should ask you where do you want to start with these root causes?

[00:10:15.84] spk_0:
Let’s start here. I’m going to address that once. Third, because here’s the thing. We always start with the fundraising issues, right? But that’s that’s actually like step three or four over here. So the biggest thing I want to talk about one of the most fun things, I guess I should say that I love talking about is this concept and frankly tony I wish I coined the phrase, but I didn’t, but it’s irrational frugality. I love that phrase, you know, I suffer from it rational frugality. And, and what I mean by that is, um, we have to start being comfortable if we’re gonna solve frankly some of the world’s and nations and states and communities most pressing issues we have to really ask ourselves, are we making $1,000 decisions and expecting giant results? Or are we making $10,000 decisions? $100,000 decisions? And so it costs money to raise money. We need to be spending more on overhead so that we can put more gasoline in the engine to raise more money for programs. And so often I see the handcuffs on organizations when we’re trying to make these big growth initiatives, but we haven’t taken the time to actually look at what does the spend need to be for us to actually reach those initiatives.

[00:10:29.84] spk_1:
Well, let’s let’s let’s let’s dispel the myth that overhead is bad because you’re talking about overhead, like investing in people you want to do more. Absolutely want to do more fundraising. You might very well need more fundraisers. Absolutely. That’s salary and benefits and other forms of compensation. So let’s get rid of this concern that overhead is bad,

[00:12:16.74] spk_0:
right? And so I hear you, you know, I kind of sometimes make these statements like, I’m not talking about scarcity anymore. We’re beyond that, you know, are sectors beyond that. But I gotta tell you it’s, it’s kind of playing out. I think in a different version or a greater version and this is what, you know, all size organizations. Uh, I think we’re seeing part of that in this great resignation. I know we could have a whole whole discussion today about that. But um, the, if you saw my actually, if you saw my screen right now on my computer, you know, it’s a, it’s a, it’s an ORC chart looking five years out and it’s saying what is the spend we have to make, you know, parole to actually be raising the money. That’s in your strategic plan. What is the true math? And so it’s so often you’re so right comes in the, in the package of I’m expecting my one development director to be all, all of revenue, all of marketing, all of communications. Oh, and because you also do, you know, social media and so so often, I mean, I’m gonna be really frank here. So often the reason our strategic plans are not being funded or not, we’re not able to fund them is because that person is wearing, you know, the hats of four staff people. And so I know it feels like an investment. I know that spend feels scary, but when you run the numbers and then you have the right person on the bus. You make so much more money if you have to be comfortable with spending and investing in your organization to actually make those leaps and bounds that you want to.

[00:12:25.24] spk_1:
Alright, right person on the bus. You’re talking about the ceo are you talking about donors?

[00:13:44.04] spk_0:
Uh, in that context, I was talking about staff members, I was talking about, um, you know, oftentimes what we find and this is also why I love, you know, the sector that we work in. Maybe it’s a program person who, you know, was really great with the foundations when they were coming in. So now they found themselves over on the fundraising side and they’re awesome. It foundation grant request proposals, reporting maybe they’re good at planning an event, you know, good at telling the story of those that are impacted. But oftentimes they don’t have matric gift experience. They don’t know how to sit across the table with an investment level donor and lead them to an ASC secure their best gift. And so it’s the spend on the staff tony But I’d also say this great resignation, you know, buzz, we’re all talking about is also that, um, it’s the skills to equip the staff to do the things that actually attract the overhead monies that attract the flexible funding that attract unrestricted gifts that allow you to put gas in the engine. So there’s a disconnect on the skill set so often of who’s on the bus and, the types of fundraising an organization needs to be doing.

[00:15:29.04] spk_1:
All right. So, you know, we need to be honest with ourselves. Our boards are donors about what, what are true need is fund this ambitious strategic plan. And we’re deceiving ourselves if we’re thinking that the person that’s doing the, the marketing communications can now take on fundraising when we have, when we have an increased revenue plan because of the strategic plan. It’s just not, it’s not fair to the person. It’s not fair to the organization. It’s not fair to the cause that you’re, that you’re working toward your just not being honest with any of those things or any of those, any of those entities, people or, or the, or the cause itself, it’s time for a break. Turned to communications content creation. Do you need something written for you? Have you been thinking about a project that is gonna take hours? You just haven’t gotten to it. But it’s going to be valuable when it gets done. Turn to can help you. Like, I’m thinking white papers, research, case studies, They can write that stuff for you. They can learn about what it is you want to say, get to understand your work, your mission, even your values and incorporate that into the piece or the series that they do for you. So if you’ve got this big backburner project has been on your to do list and it involves writing turn to, can help you turn to communications because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o

[00:16:01.54] spk_0:
the second underlying root cause which you’ve so so nicely led me right into um, frankly would be this budget element, right? Like, uh, like you said, we have to be honest with ourselves of what the true need is and and not, well, let’s, let’s just budget and squeak by neck If we make more money, it’s gonna be great. But we actually need to have a plan of how would you fully finance your organization?

[00:16:02.67] spk_1:
Right. What does full financing look

[00:16:04.27] spk_0:
like? What it actually

[00:16:27.64] spk_1:
doesn’t look like? You know, a five or 8% increase in fundraising from, from the previous year that you could reasonably expect that one person to get. You know, it probably looks like something much much larger than that, which that one person just isn’t capable of doing so take off the shackles. Stop being, stop deceiving yourself and all those other entities that I named and the cause itself and and right. All

[00:16:32.03] spk_0:
right. Look, I love that you’re up on on my soapbox with you Tony to the funding. Well, because

[00:16:37.81] spk_1:
it’s deception. You know, you’re you’re you’re lying to yourself and and everybody else was important around you and to the cause that you’re that you’re working time self

[00:18:53.14] spk_0:
can I say something about this budgeting thing. I can’t because I love talking budgeting, which always surprises people when it’s like wait, I thought she was the fundraising person Like I am, but we gotta, that’s over here until you’re honest with yourself and you’ve actually created a true need space budget Not this week by right where you can sit down with someone and say, can I share with you? What are $3.6 million dollars need? Looks like this year. Honestly, even though maybe the board approved is a 3.4, but you know, you need a little bit more in reserve and you know, cash flow is tight. And you know, you know, you, you have some growth initiatives coming down the pipeline until you can honestly sit and say and explain to them. I’m talking top of the pyramid, right? The top, top level donors until you can explain to them what the true need is then and only then can your team, your fundraising team actually put a plan in place to hit that 3.6 in my, in my example. So so often people come to me, I mean I’d say more than not with their budgets. I always ask for the profit loss statement and it will say, well, yeah, we have a $5 million need In the income on that same budget will say 4.2. I don’t, I don’t know how we’re going to do it. Right. So you we have to have the plan to fully finance to fully balance The expense and the revenue. And I find that we spend 90% of our time and I’m going to talk on board a little bit here too. We’re spending 90% of our time approving the expenses and nit picking all the stamps and that we couldn’t ever do that. You know, our percentages scary, scary, scary. We’re not spending enough time on literally understanding what we need to be doing month by month. That actually reaches that number and then all of us leadership staff board aligning every hour. We do spend fundraising on those activities that gets you off the spin cycle that gets you onto the things that you need to start doing. So you can start securing more unrestricted cash and invest as flexibly as you need to into your strategic plan.

[00:19:06.44] spk_1:
Investment level. Yeah.

[00:19:08.32] spk_0:
Investment level.

[00:19:19.54] spk_1:
Let’s talk about another root issue, which is you, you, you just started to scratch at it not having investment level conversations with donors. Yeah, let’s let’s let’s let’s let’s just shout out what is one of those conversations look like? Who are we talking to?

[00:22:59.44] spk_0:
Sure, sure. So, you know, this is all about, I suppose the easiest way to say this is, this is about donor segmentation, right? And, and we’re busy. You know, we just said, we’re wearing, you know, 62 hats when we shouldn’t be. But so often I find that we are still approaching donors as a one size fits all. You know, the, my, my methodology, you’ve heard me say this many times tony when you had me on a number of different opportunities to to chat with you, I want everybody giving their best gift to the organization and I want them giving that gift every year. And so if $25 is that person’s best gift, that is remarkable and amazing and I want to serve them as such. But if someone’s giving you $25 and you see their name, you know, on an annual report or you’ve done some sleuth Google searching, it’s like, Oh my gosh, they’re giving $25,000 down the road. Well, we have some work to do. And so, so much of my work is helping teams understand what that investment level conversation looks like. And so I find so many people avoiding it because they’re so worried are we going to do it wrong? Um, you know, I don’t want to be that pushy salesperson, right? I don’t want to be begging or B B that used car salesman. But here’s the thing, you have to be able to sit down and share your plans, your strategic plan. You have to be able to share how you’re going to achieve those initiatives. And most of all you have to be able to articulate the financial need the organization has and way too often the development staff, maybe they don’t have access to it. Or perhaps they don’t understand it. They are not privy to All the numbers, we just walked through. And so I want my fundraisers if somebody has the ability to write 25 500K. I want them sitting down. Of course we’re telling stories. Of course we’re doing all the traditional, you know, helping them understand the crisis, all those things. But the one thing that major donors are dying to hear is about that, what I asked earlier, do you need the money? So I want you sitting down saying, can I share with you our our $3.6 million dollars need this year. Can you share with you? How we’re growing? But I share with you how we’re funded. Uh you know, I can share with you what your gift has done in the last few years and to sit at that table and know the answers to the financial questions that we really, really, really hope that they don’t ask in that meeting. What am I asking? Because those questions are actually indicators of what’s going to keep them from giving their best gift to your mission. And so when I see investment level conversation, I want one on one. You know, that looks like a lot like zoom still these days. Right? I want exclusive information. I want stakeholder language because why? These are people who have also probably business owners and entrepreneurs in the community. These are people who have also had to sit down and ask for investments. They had to sit down and answer the tough questions. So sit down and have that businessperson to businessperson conversation with them so that they really understand what a gift to your mission can do. And so often we default to, well let’s just send them the appeal. Let’s have the event. And I gotta tell you they’re not giving their best gift in those reaction, all types of ways.

[00:23:02.64] spk_1:
Let’s talk a little about a little bit of a tangent or something you just

[00:23:05.68] spk_0:
mentioned. Love a tangent.

[00:23:15.74] spk_1:
Uh, peer to peer soliciting. So maybe this doesn’t, this may not. This is a tangent from the root issues. We’ll get back to the root issues, but you want fundraisers to be talking to the, to their donors as peers say, say, say more about what we shouldn’t be doing and what we

[00:25:14.94] spk_0:
should. Yeah. This, this concept was taught to me by, by my coach and she, she had heard it from a Deborah Tannin who’s a researcher. And so it’s really this concept of um, knowing that the best version of yourself showing up in that donor meeting, it’s just you, you know what I mean by that is not some version of you who thinks they need to show up slick and I’m the fundraising sherry, not that person. It’s just, it’s just you. So when I say peer to peer mindset, I’m doing this on, on equal playing grounds here. Um, it’s really staying in that like, you know, tony Like when we have a conversation like, hey Tony, how’s it going? How’s your weekend really staying in that zone? Um, of course you’re being professional about it, but not turning into the, like I’ve got to get through all my stuff and I’ve got to get them to understand why they should give us the money. And you know, kind of, it almost turns into that, that pushy feeling, right? And that comes out of our mouth. The flip side of that is that, oh gosh, I don’t want to, I don’t know. I think it’s been too soon. I don’t want to appear like I’m begging. And so then our tone turns to, well, I don’t know if you could do it or I don’t know if you would do it. But I wondered if none of those tones that you heard give that donor confidence, you know exactly what you’re gonna do with that gift. And you can’t wait to come back and tell them how their gift has impacted lives and you are offering an amazing opportunity to them today. And so when we stay in this more neutral zone, uh, and I try to do with my own business too, right? Um, that’s when we build the best relationships and that’s when we have trusted relationships and we actually deeply know our donors, We haven’t forced it. That’s when you’re going to secure the best gifts for your organization’s because there’s a deep, deep relationship that’s been built. But too often tony we get in the way of that in our mindset and our, you know, all these, all these crazy things that come to play and in sales and fundraising often get get in the way. So there’s tons of mindset work.

[00:26:05.04] spk_1:
Alright, good. Thank you for that. I wanted I want to focus to understand what you’re thinking is there because there is there’s too much humility and uh huh um, confidence. So all right, let’s go. All right. So let’s go back to our, our root issues. So like we talked about, you know, being honest in investment level, growth planning, being invested. Being honest about what that looks like having these investment level conversations with your, your major donors. What’s another root issue to our failure to be able to fund our strategic

[00:27:03.84] spk_0:
plan, Good time. Right onto that. So then it’s that financing plan and I’ve alluded to this. But what I really mean by that is is everybody on the team aligning their hours with dollars. Right? And so I don’t, I don’t want to miss that because that is a huge part of what I do, helping organizations see what they need to stop doing So they can start doing more strategic fundraising. So in that, what do I mean by that? Well, um, in my, in my world, uh, I want your top 30 donors yielding between 50 and 75% of your overall revenue. And I want those gifts to be unrestricted, that’s where we’re pointing the compass compass. And so our time and our budget must be aligned with that on there, on the expense side, on the revenue side. Okay. And so therefore when,

[00:27:12.74] spk_1:
but I love even when you define what our goal is. Okay, so top 30 donors Funding 50-70% of annual revenue on an unrestricted basis,

[00:27:18.10] spk_0:
50-75%. And I,

[00:27:20.35] spk_1:
Oh yeah, you’re good, you’re good 70%. So now we’ve got something to focus on. So now you’re gonna help us align our time with that goal,

[00:27:52.94] spk_0:
right? And that number feels really scary for some people. You know, it’s like, wait, we don’t we don’t have those people, we don’t have major donors. But it’s equally, it’s equally a math equation as opposed to a random mindset I should say because then we say, well we need to be then spending our time on attracting those donors tony A lot of people come to me and say, how do I find major donors? How do I find people who would, who would give us larger

[00:27:59.73] spk_1:
gifts?

[00:30:26.14] spk_0:
I’m of the school of Are you doing the things that attract them? Are you having strategic level conversations with others who are among those donors? And saying this is what I’m looking for. We’re looking for people who are interested in this who have a passion for this and really are wanting to invest to changing X, Y and Z. Are you attracting donors? This shift from like finding to attract as it has been a game changer for a lot of my clients who, um, you know, there’s a lot of times that donors don’t understand you need the money. This is crazy because you’re like, well, we’re nonprofit. Who doesn’t understand we don’t need the money. But so often how we’re talking keeps donors from understanding we need the money. Right? And it might be, um, you know, it might be, oh gosh, I saw you. Uh, you know, wow, I’m on the Today Show or I saw that you got this giant, uh, you know, gift, I saw the press release or, or, um, it looks like you’re killing it over there, right? Because because maybe they’re seeing the results of maybe a government contract or, um, you know, all sorts of different things, but that’s why we have to be sitting and presenting the true need, um, and kind of making up that difference. But what I bring up the pyramid in the top 30 concept because so often when we, when we say, okay, Well this is our year strategic plans in place. We’re ready to grow. We default to a lot of the activities there in the bottom part of that pyramid, that bottom 25 percent. And again, I’ve been accused of saying like, you don’t like events and appeals and grant proposals. That’s not the truth. I love those things. But I don’t want them taking 100% of your team’s time? And I also don’t want them taking the board’s time. If your board member, if anyone is hearing this and has written a thing down, this is your thing to write down your, if your board member can give you one hour a month outside of the meetings on something, fashion it better be activities that are attracting the donors and the top part of the pyramid versus the bottom part. Right? Because we’ve got one hour of their time that’s extremely valuable information or it’s an asset to the organization. So we have to make sure we’re doing the things, um, that are leading our investment level donors to a deep understanding of our need. Then we got to ask him for the money. Sit and ask him for the money.

[00:31:13.84] spk_1:
I like this distinction finding versus attracting donors because finding sounds like you’re gonna walk up, you’re gonna stumble on them. Like I might find a beautiful shell on the, on the beach. I’ll find one. Uh, but, but what, what are you doing to attract these folks so that you don’t just stumble on them a couple of year, but you’re, you’re bringing them to the, to the organization. What more a little more about what the board can be doing in finding versus attracting or having these investment level conversations. Maybe some of the board members are the folks you’re having the conversations with aside from, aside from The board members who might be among your top 30 donors? What more can the board be doing to help with finding versus attracting and having these conversations with the right folks

[00:34:08.04] spk_0:
tony I kind of dialed up this conversation of, of roots and symptoms when I was preparing for a board training actually because who better on the team can have an influence on the organization’s comfort level with investing with spending with, with budgeting, uh, with fiduciary responsibility, who better than the board. Right? And so we have to, we have to make sure that they understand what the path is to the money and what the spend is to the money. And so so often I say, you know, I’ll ask the client or if we start working together, I’ll say, what’s the board’s involvement in budgeting as well. They, you kind of get it and approve it. And you know, I, I do reports every month, but that really means they’re looking at the expense and they actually don’t know how they will fully finance the organization, you know, hit a balanced budget or plus plus your reserve. You know, I always want to be cushioned with the reserve. They don’t know how we would fully finance organization and be, do not know what the team should be doing. And if they don’t know if the team should be doing, They don’t know what they should be doing. And so I want the board to deeply deeply understand that you just don’t need more money, but you need flexible money and then what are the things the board members should be doing that actually attracts those donors. And so often, I mean, you know, as you can imagine every, every board training I head into, it’s like don’t make me ask for money. So don’t make me, don’t make me sit and ask for money. I gotta tell you, I rarely have board members asked for money rarely for me. Board members. It’s introducing its networking. It’s educating, it’s connecting. It’s being open to saying, hey, I have been serving on the board of this amazing organization. They’re doing these, you know, before school literacy programs in our community. Are you ever interested in hearing about that? I mean, I’ve been astounded what that looks like. The bds. A rockstar. Could, could we set up a 15 minute coffee one of these mornings? You see, I stayed peer to peer right there. Do you see how it was? It’s not a script. Um, I would rather have all my board members doing that and then letting the equipped team lead that donor and serve that donor create a great donor experience for them. You know, of course the board member is going to be popping in maybe in thanking or popping in when, um, you know, there’s an opportunity to, to really cultivate, but, but we have to make sure that the board members are not spending all of our time on transactional fundraising events, appeals send me the name. Can you post this on facebook? I don’t want my board touching facebook like they can if they want, but I want them doing strategic activities that align their hours with dollars.

[00:37:07.93] spk_1:
It’s time for Tony’s take two holiday time off. Colin Powell died on October 18 and I saw on twitter someone I follow Glenn Kirshner, I was telling a story about what Colin Powell said to his employees at the state department when he was newly inaugurated because Glenn Kirshner used to repeat this to his team. So the story is that general Powell said If I come to your office at 6:30 PM and you are not at your desk I will consider you to be a wise person. Indeed. So thank you Glenn Kirshner, what’s Colin Powell saying he’s talking about work life balance. He doesn’t want folks in the office late all the more so holidays are coming up, take time, take time. I’m sure you’re gonna be with with folks right? But take time for yourself. Also take that holiday time to be with others and for yourself. Please don’t, don’t feel like I got to work that friday after. Thanksgiving how much is not going to get done if I don’t, if I don’t work that day, nobody’s gonna know two weeks later, it’s not going to matter. So please take take adequate time off. We’ve been under a lot of stress challenges For the past 18, 20 months, take time, please take time and, and nonprofit radio I’m going to do my part. No podcasts. You know, I don’t do shows between christmas and New Year’s. So plenty of time for holiday time off. Don’t even listen to podcasts. If they’re related to work at least you won’t have to listen to nonprofit radio I’m doing that much. I feel like I’m walking the walk however you do it. Please do it. Take sufficient time off around these holidays. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for strategic plan done now pay for it. When you say this, this alignment, does that mean? So if if we want 50-75% of our revenue to come from those top 30 donors, does that mean we should be spending 50 to 75% of the ceo Time on cultivating and soliciting these top 30 donors. Is that, is that the alignment you’re talking

[00:38:22.42] spk_0:
about? Somebody has to Tony. And I find that because the grant application, the event, the holiday appeal, those all have deadlines. We got to get the newsletter at the first month. Those all have deadlines. So I find that those way more than not take precedence over. You know, I really should be making, you know, doing some moves, management management on my top 30, top 50, top 100 donors. So if you’re not staffed accordingly, that time always gets pushed down. Right? Well, I’ll get to that tomorrow. I’ll get to it. And so it’s, it’s a discipline. I, you know, I always say if I, if I sold t shirts that say fundraising is discipline, it’s who is waking up in the morning and saying, what, what donors am I touching today? How am I serving them? Not in a slimy way. How are we getting? How we, how we educating them? How are we connecting them to the heart of our mission? How am I answering their questions for your men and major level donors? That is not accomplished through newsletter blasts through appeals through an annual report. They get in the mail through events.

[00:38:26.02] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s the one on 1.

[00:38:27.22] spk_0:
It’s the one on one. Yeah. And we’re avoiding that.

[00:39:06.62] spk_1:
I see that. I see that short shrift so often in planned giving because all those things you mentioned have they either have deadlines. If, if it’s, if it’s anything related to grants, uh, not only in terms of applying, but then reporting back when grants are successfully received and then, but, but everything else has a shorter, a shorter time span. You know, we gotta get the annual gifts in the fourth quarter. All right. So that we got, we got to get these, the major giving has to be, we gotta get these major gift conversations done. Everything is a is a quicker, a quicker, more, more imminent, more urgent need or deadline than planned giving you always get short

[00:39:14.59] spk_0:
shrift here. That to

[00:39:46.32] spk_1:
analogous to what you’re saying about having these donors, the strategic donor conversations. It’s easy to put them off because they’re not deadline oriented. Oh, I got, I got, you know, if you, if you want to be, if you wanna be a little cynical about it, I’ve got the excuse of this grant, this, this grant report to do by thursday. Well, alright, today’s monday. There’s my next four days putting that report together and then next, next Tuesday I’ve got, uh, an event. So we got to do the last minute planning for that Tuesday event, you know, and it’s that constant, you call it the spin cycle. I’m using your own,

[00:39:48.82] spk_0:
you can use it, take it

[00:40:05.91] spk_1:
around that constant spin cycle. It was like, uh, deadline oriented activities and you’re not doing the strategic longer term. But that’s where you want 53 quarters of percent after three quarters of a percent of, uh, half to three quarters of your revenue to come from.

[00:42:31.20] spk_0:
Yeah. And that, that totally, and that’s the stuff that takes time. It takes way longer than I wanted to. I’m the first to admit that. But when we’re looking out and going, why don’t I ever have the money? Well, we did it, we did another three year strategic plan. We’ll see if we have the money for this one too, that you have to make that fundamental shift in your model and your, in your mindset and your approach to revenue generation. Um this, I will tell you when I was on your radio show, Gosh, time is so weird right now. I couldn’t even tell you when it was last time. Um, but uh, you know, he wasn’t a client at the time, but when my, my, you know, one of my favorite clients, Jonathan heard me on your show and contacted me and, and I remember him saying, you know, I really am concerned our donors are not giving their best gifts. Like I said that on your show and what it really came down to was, you know, he had a great team who was great at what we talked about. Like these transactional approach is that they were, you know, most of their giving was coming from events from appeals from corporate sponsorships, from event from grant proposals, but their individual giving was really stagnant and you know, we all know that’s where the unrestricted investment level gifts are going to come from. And so could he have, you know, ramped up the events and appeals I suppose he could have, but he didn’t, he fixed the underlying root cause he’s fixed the financing, he’s aligned his whole team to the money. They are their high performing revenue generators And they’ve grown by seven figures here in the last 18 months because they shifted, you know, I talked about that single source decision maker. They shifted individuals from the, we’re having an event to actually segmenting and figuring out who do we need to sit with? Who doesn’t understand how we’re funded, Who doesn’t understand our need family foundations. Um, corporate sponsors, Oh my gosh. Uh, you know, his corporate sponsors who used to come and be $50,000 gala sponsors. He shifted those into $100,000, unrestricted gifts because he started having investment level conversations with them. He took the transaction out of it. He had the financing plan. He could, he could very clearly articulate the organization’s plan to spend money to make more money. So he’s become, yeah,

[00:42:39.20] spk_1:
we’ll see what he’s become and then,

[00:42:52.80] spk_0:
yeah, he’s become a master at these investment level conversations and you know what donors say, wow, nobody else ever talks like this to me. Thank you. I never, I never understand this.

[00:43:59.80] spk_1:
You give a terrific example of converting something transactional, a $50,000 corporate sponsorship to, uh, to a gala or something into a gift twice that that becomes unrestricted. We don’t have to put it toward the audiovisual budget at the gala. Now it’s unrestricted and it’s, and it’s double because he’s having different kinds of, he’s not having a transactional conversation with the ceo of that company anymore. Having an investment level conversation. How do we overcome the fear of having these honest conversations. It’s a lot easier to say our annual gala is coming up? You did $50,000 last year because you know, even I’ll even make it a little more ambitious. Could you do $65,000 this year? That’s a lot easier conversation to have than here’s what our plan is. Here’s what our need is over the next three years. How do you see yourself fitting in or maybe even more strategic? You know, I see you fitting in here. How do you overcome the fear of having these more, more down to earth, more honest investment level conversations that the transactional that everybody is very comfortable with?

[00:46:02.18] spk_0:
I hear you, I think it’s kind of a simple answer though. You gotta know your numbers because we’re going to think you’re going to be fearful of that conversation if you don’t know what you’re selling. Okay, right? Like you’ve got to know, you know, this is why my hands are in spreadsheets all day long and looking at what that looks like. You got to be able to sit down and tell a donor what their investment is going to do over the next few years. You’ve got to move into knowing your numbers in a greater way what that impact makes. And again, I’m not saying don’t share stories and the crisis and the problem in your model. I’m not saying don’t show that, but too often I’m seeing people avoid that and yes, I agree with you, Tony. It’s a lot easier even if I was a board member, it’s like, oh, when’s the event coming back? Because like that’s way easier for me to fill a table. I’m gonna be a little friend care. You’re letting your board off the hook. Their job is a balanced budget and helping you co pilot that to a balanced budget. And so we have to just be starting at the top of the pyramid. Starting in the mindset of, it looks different to attract those donors. And so we must be giving different presentations I guess. I’ll say we must be having different conversations. And so whatever they value, it’s very different from your $25 a month. You know, with that donor values. So you need to be serving what they value. And so that means you need to be able to fundraiser ceo board member, Sit down with them and answer the tough questions. Answing Why your program%ages, 90%. And so why you’ve invested, you know, 20% and fundraising in the last three years. Why did you do it? And so why your revenue maybe went down for a year, answer the tough questions. Be honest, be transparent. They will value you and that they will be attracted to that because I’m telling you nobody else does it.

[00:46:28.68] spk_1:
You mentioned a couple of times the benefit of having a a strategic fund or an endowment. Um, let’s let’s just shut out. I mean I, you know, I, you know how I feel about it because I do plan to giving fundraising. But let’s let’s flush out the value of that long term sort of investment fund that lets you take some risks from time to time.

[00:46:51.48] spk_0:
Yeah. So I think we’re probably talking about two things, but I think we can we can weave them together. You know, when I say reserve off the cuff, I really mean, um, you know, unrestricted cash in the bank that you have full access to,

[00:46:55.68] spk_1:
you know, operating

[00:47:18.38] spk_0:
Reserve, totally. And so I can’t, you know, I have multiple $10 million dollar organizations come to me who struggled doing payroll because there’s not enough unrestricted cash and reserve. And so I want to make sure that we are, we know it, that needs to be too. And and if you have that much, if you have, you know, a year’s worth of money in the bank, sit and tell the donor why you do own it, don’t be afraid. You know, that sort of thing, you know,

[00:47:22.42] spk_1:
be ashamed

[00:47:23.29] spk_0:
of. That’s something right.

[00:47:25.09] spk_1:
Because when the next pandemic comes, or the next economic crisis comes, or the next bad year in fundraising comes or the next whatever comes. You know, we’re prepared. And and mr mr or MS donor, you probably do the exact same thing for your business

[00:47:38.98] spk_0:
totally. You

[00:47:39.18] spk_1:
don’t have trouble making payroll for your business each week. Do

[00:47:41.80] spk_0:
you have to have just have that conversation

[00:47:44.57] spk_1:
problem here either.

[00:49:48.57] spk_0:
Yeah, totally. So, so that’s that’s part of that. Half the businessperson to businessperson conversation, you know, and if you’re afraid, if you go into that meeting and you’re afraid they’re going to bring that up, well then you bring it up, put that elephant out on the table because because I’m always listening for what, what questions are in their mind is going to keep them from giving their best gift, you know. Now on the, on the plan giving sight tony you know, you’re my go to expert on this. But you know, I reach out when I have questions and everything. Um, but what a wonderful opportunity for you to present or to offer your longtime donors your, you know, talk to your donors to be able to be making a lifelong legacy in the community, in the state, in the, you know, what, wherever people are serving. And so you’ve taught me this, you’ve taught me that when people have given gifts by will or when they have committed to that, um, that their affinity to the organization is strengthened when they see themselves as a greater stakeholder and partner with you and actually their annual fund giving increases. And so what a wonderful opportunity to show somebody that their impact can have even greater results on the mission through your organization than a plan giving scenario. And so I totally agree with you. I told you recently, you know, I’ve never had more people ask me about planned giving, which is really interesting. That’s not my expertise. That’s yours. But I think people are thinking you no longer term. But I’m also seeing the desire to be in deeper relationship with our donors. And it’s not an uncomfortable conversation when we do know our donors so intimately. And we’re in that period of a relationship where it’s very easy to bring up that topic. And so I just see all the annual fund, You’re, you’re kind of your general ops reserve and your plan giving all of those working together in such strength. Um, but you’ve got to lead the donor to the understanding on all three of those

[00:49:57.57] spk_1:
and having those investment level conversations with, Right? Uh, including with your plan giving potential donors. Right? So I didn’t mean for you to repeat back stuff that you and I have talked about.

[00:50:09.59] spk_0:
You know, I love it. But

[00:50:16.36] spk_1:
what I want you to, uh, I want to make explicit that planned giving is a part of the types of investment level conversations you want folks to have

[00:50:44.66] spk_0:
absolutely their daughters. Absolutely. I would just say like if you’re wondering like, should I be sharing that with donors? I mean, I’m not saying open up the back back into the kitchen and sort of the grease pants, but usually the answer is yes, right? Like everything is on your 9 90. Like at a minimum, you should be able to articulate the route Elements of that in a donor facing away, not, not, not by just emailing the 990, but you know, at, at a minimum, that should be those. That should be the conversations that we’re having.

[00:51:24.96] spk_1:
Yeah. Okay. Okay. All right. You wanna, I hope you will share a story, share a story of uh, I guess a client story that, you know, maybe Jonathan’s or someone else’s. But you know, they, you saw the symptoms, they weren’t addressing root problems. They had a strategic plan with terrific excitement and ambition. They didn’t have the money to fund it. And then with, with some coaching, they were able to realize what, what they, what they really needed.

[00:51:47.06] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah. So I have a client who um have been working with them actually for for quite a few years and they’re on a great revenue trajectory. Um, but you know, it was kind of one of those things where they did continue to struggle to always get ahead. Um, you know, and the other kind of whammy, Uh, what would that be called double we I mean, I should say um, was that they had actually lost a large funder. Um they had lost somebody who was contributing almost 20% of their budget. And I actually actually was no fault of their own. It was kind of a weird silly deal. And it was actually an international funder.

[00:52:26.15] spk_1:
Just just let me let me make a parenthetical. That’s another reason to have that strategic or that reserve fund because donors may depart, large donors may, you may do something to upset them, they may die. They may find other interests. They, you know, so that’s yet another reason that can happen institutionally. It can also happen to individual donors. Another have that reserve fund. We talked about a few minutes

[00:55:46.44] spk_0:
ago, reserve Fund and you know, back to my little pyramid. I’ve been talking about, you know, in that top 30 you know, I don’t want those top 10 donors to be more than, you know, 25 40% of your revenue. So in their case, yikes right. That that was so, you know, yes, you can imagine for a couple of years that that stung and, and and it really came, you know, and so they came to me and we’re really struggling to make that up right in small gifts or in mid level gifts, major gifts. Uh, and I remember the lead fundraiser saying to me, um, you know, this is not like I didn’t go to school for this. I kind of, I know enough to be dangerous, but I, I kind of don’t know what, I don’t know. And so he really did feel, which a lot of people come to me feeling that we have great relationships. We have an amazing mission. Um we know our mission is worthy of being supported, but like, I think I’m leaving money on the table because I simply don’t know how to lead that donor to their best gift. And so like we’ve talked about today, you know, instead of saying, well, you know, let’s let’s make our golf outing this or let’s make our, let’s add the appeals, let’s, you know, do all the things that are important, but they’re not going to get, you know, for example, this organization on that stronger trajectory. And um, and really to the point where they are doing what they had outlined in their strategic plan. So long story short, that’s what we did. We put a realistic budget in place that they can articulate the true financial need. And it wasn’t, well, we’d love to, you know, make that money back because we still want to serve those Children in this case. Um, you know, it was like, here’s our plan to do it. Here’s how you fit into this plan. Um, and then we put their, their financing plan in place. What do they need to stop doing? What do they need to start to me? How would we truly balance back to that, that number we were hitting and how would we grow beyond that. Um, and then how do we actually start leading donors who maybe we’re giving, you know, a monthly gift or a one off gift or a, you know, very generously at a golf outing, but we knew those weren’t their best gifts. How do we start leading them through these conversations. And so the specific client I’m speaking to tray. He’s an amazing relational guy. He’s a great relationship builder. And so, but donors literally responded so immediately of, oh my gosh, we, we didn’t know you needed this. We had no idea this was the need of the organization. Um, and sure does he have solicitation tools now and you know, some prompts that really lead him through that conversation. Yeah, that’s part of it. Um, but he’s got multi six figure gifts as a result, organization is out of the red back in the black because now he doesn’t have to guess anymore. He actually knows the exact steps to fund the organization annually and then to lead those donors to give their best gift annually. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a dual combo. Um, but I see people make the shift all the time, But it starts with investing in change and being open to it.

[00:55:56.44] spk_1:
That’s awesome. Sherry. We’re gonna leave it right there investing in change. Having these investment level conversations planning be ambitious. You know, don’t be, uh, I don’t want to wrap up. I want you to wrap up, but don’t be humble because

[00:56:02.20] spk_0:
I like, I like the ambitious that, that’s my, my motto. Let’s let’s do this.

[00:56:49.03] spk_1:
That’s where we’ll leave it right there. Thank you very much want Taylor Ceo of KWAme. Taylor LLC at Kwame Taylor dot com again, Sherry. Thanks so much for sharing. To appreciate it. My pleasure Next week. Bitcoin and the future of fundraising with the co authors of that book and Connolly and Jason shim 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 Claire Meyerhoff

[00:57:06.33] spk_2:
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. You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95

[00:57:22.43] spk_1:
1%. Go out and be great. Mm hmm. Yeah.

Nonprofit Radio for November 1, 2021: Risk Management II

My Guest:

Gene Takagi: Risk Management II

Gene Takagi

Gene Takagi returns to complete our coverage of the risks lurking in your employee relations; facilities; events; and vehicles. Also, what to do to keep those risks at a minimum, so incidents don’t hurt your nonprofit. Gene is our legal contributor and principal at NEO, the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations Law Group. (Part I was on October 4th.)

 

 

 

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