Category Archives: Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio

Nonprofit Radio for April 12, 2021: Build Lasting Supporter Relationships & Love Your Donors Using Data

My Guests:

Craig Grella & Wendy Levine: Build Lasting Supporter Relationships
Craig Grella and Wendy Levine, both from Salsa Labs, want you to build strong relationships all the time, not only when you’re fundraising. Their savvy strategies come from their own work building relationships for Salsa. This is part of our 21NTC coverage.

 

 

 

 

Shoni Field & Jen Shang: Love Your Donors Using Data
Nonprofit Radio coverage of 21NTC continues. When you are fundraising, data that tells us restoring your donors’ sense of well-being and identity will increase their giving and engagement. There’s a lot of fascinating research to unpack and apply, so join Jen Shang, the world’s only philanthropic psychologist, from the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy, and Shoni Field from the British Columbia SPCA.

 

 

 

 

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[00:02:18.94] spk_0:
Oh hi Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit 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 forced to endure the pain of benign prostatic hyperplasia. If you leaked the idea that you missed this week’s show, build lasting supporter relationships, craig, Grella and Wendy Levin, both from salsa labs. Want you to build strong relationships all the time. Not only when your fundraising, they’re savvy strategies come from their own work building relationships for salsa. This is part of our 21 NTC coverage and love your donors using data. Non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC continues when you are fundraising data that tells us restoring your donors sense of well being and identity will increase their giving and engagement. There’s a lot of fascinating research to unpack and apply. So joined gen XIANg, the world’s only philanthropic psychologist from the Institute for sustainable philanthropy and Shoni field from the british Columbia, s p C A and tony state too 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 build lasting supporter relationships. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc. The 2021 nonprofit technology conference were sponsored at 21 ntc by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c O. My guests now are Craig, Grella and Wendy. Levine. Craig is content marketer at salsa Labs and Wendy is marketing director at salsa Labs. Craig, Gorilla Wendy. Levine, Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio

[00:02:22.94] spk_3:
Thank you. Happy to be here.

[00:02:24.50] spk_2:
Thank you. Thanks for having us

[00:02:38.24] spk_0:
on My pleasure to have you both. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us, your expertise on beyond fundraising, building lasting relationships with your supporters. Wendy. Let’s start with you what as an overview, what could nonprofits be doing better relationship wise do you to feel?

[00:04:29.14] spk_3:
So we work with lots of nonprofits and I’ll just start by saying, you know, as a marketing team. It’s also, we’re kind of in a unique position because we are responsible for marketing. It’s also doing all the normal things that, you know, our marketing team does, but because our software helps nonprofits market their mission and engage with donors, we often work with those nonprofit clients to help them in their marketing efforts. So that was the genesis of this workshop for the intent conference because when we work with nonprofits we see so many of them doing so many amazing things on. And yet there are everyone has their, excuse me there. Their holes are their blind spots in their in their process. So our workshop dealt with um formalizing a content development process and content calendar. Um, craig does this for salsa. So he does a great job of you know, making sure that we are talking to the right people at the right time, that we have the right content in terms of blog posts and you guys and social posts and that’s a lot of work. So when a nonprofit who may not have a whole marketing team, um like we do tries to do those things, um sometimes things get missed. So our workshop was all about providing people content, calendar templates and talking to them about things that they can do to make the whole process of building new content easier. We talked about reusing old content, um repurposing content that you have developed before, how to improve message targeting and how to do all of those things in uh simple ways that can be done with smaller teams.

[00:04:45.64] spk_0:
Well. And we’re going to talk about those things here. You know, you’re not gonna just tease.

[00:04:48.79] spk_3:
Uh,

[00:05:11.44] spk_0:
listen, I’m not gonna let you just tease non propagated. Listen and say this is what we talked about, but we’re not talking about here. So we’re gonna talk about those things to, uh, so craig so you are, you are, it sounds like you are the writer, the content marketer for salsa, and we can all benefit from the wisdom of the corporate marketing team at salsa. Yes,

[00:05:28.94] spk_2:
yes, definitely. I think to kind of piggyback on, on what Wendy was saying, the impetus for this. Uh, this presentation was, I think nonprofits can learn from the more corporate marketing. I think even if you look at advocacy, I think nonprofits can learn from uh, political advocacy, which is kind of, you know, they use their email lists like a. T. M. Machines sometimes. That’s the way it feels like. Uh,

[00:05:42.71] spk_0:
and then I think you have a background in the Democratic Party in pennsylvania. Right? That’s right, yeah. Yeah.

[00:06:09.94] spk_2:
And and I think really it happens on both sides of the aisle. I think when you look at a lot of advocacy campaigns, a lot of political campaigns, I think they tend to look at their lists in that way they go to their list more often with fundraising than other messages. Or they wrap their message in a fundraising appeal. I think nonprofits can kind of get stuck in that rut as well where, uh, they’re using their list more often as appeals. So this presentation was a way for us to say, how do you develop those deeper relationships? How do you go beyond just the fundraising appeal? How do you engage all year long? How do you, uh, take that relationship to the next level or maybe change relationships wherever your supporters are with you in their relationship now, maybe there’s a way to move them to a different relationship that involves other type of work or a different relationship with your work. So that was kind of the idea behind the presentation and how we put together the different steps and tips and things like that.

[00:07:41.04] spk_0:
Now, I suspect, you know, most dogs are doing some of this, like, you know, uh, let’s, let’s assume that an organization has a newsletter, whether digital or print, you know, and they may or may not include an appeal. But, you know, I’d like to think that there are messages going out that aren’t all that aren’t all fundraising related, I mean, but you’re, you’re sounds like you and Wendy would like us to put this into a coordinated calendar, so we’re not just thinking of it at the beginning of the month. What are we gonna do this month or, you know, even the beginning of the quarter, but we haven’t laid out for like a year or something. Uh, so be more sophisticated about it. But then also it sounds like you’re encouraging a good amount of messaging that’s not fundraising related, has no appeal affiliated with it. It’s just purely informative. Is that okay? Is that are we are we wasting? You don’t feel like we’re wasting opportunities to communicate, wasting opportunities to fundraise if we, if we send something out that doesn’t have an appeal in it.

[00:09:18.34] spk_3:
No, absolutely. I think, um, and this became, I think this came more into focus when the pandemic hit as well. Um, Some organizations, I actually had an easier time fundraising, but many had a more difficult time, fundraising really depended on where they were and what their mission was. But, um, it’s, we always talk about engaging with your supporters outside of fundraising and the importance of connecting with your supporters, making sure they are, are connected with your organization in a way that makes them, um, use the term sticky. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re connected to you and, and they’re not gonna just, you know, I’m going to give you money this month. I’m gonna give somebody else money next month. I know who you are, I know who your people are. I really think that what you’re doing is great. I I understand, you know, your mission and and how you work with people. I know the names of some of your staff members, The more that you can connect with those supporters, the more they’re going to stay with you, the more they’re going to give when they can, they’re going to volunteer when they can. And that became even more important during the pandemic because some people weren’t able to give, some organizations, needed people to give more and you know, appealing to, um, people’s connection with the organization that you’ve built up over time is just so important and not just now, but even more so now I think.

[00:11:47.84] spk_2:
And I think for me it’s, it’s kind of human nature. Right? The first time you meet someone, you’re not going to ask him to marry you right there on the spot. I think there’s got to be that relationship development. Uh, there are different steps along the line, obviously that you need to take to get to know each other better. And I think the same is true for any kind of communication, whether you’re at A for profit company, a Fortune 500 company or a mom and pop type of nonprofit, uh, obviously you have a little bit of a head start because that person has found you. Maybe they joined your list or maybe they came to an event, whether it’s in person or virtual. So you have a little bit of interest there. But with so much noise out there these days, whether you’re trying to connect on social media or even through a podcast, there’s, you know, there’s a lot of noise out there and, and you have to rise above that and you rise above that by maintaining that constant relationship. And you can’t only ask for money. It can only be volunteer appeals. I can’t only be, you know me, me, me, me. I need, I need, I need you have to find a little bit of the reasons why those people connected with you and and speak to that and you have to offer a little bit of yourself too. And there are lots of ways that, that nonprofits can do that. And um, we like to it like you said at the beginning, I think this question was, uh, we do like to be organized with that. Uh, it’s a matter of sometimes nonprofits just looking at what they have, you know, oftentimes when I’ve taught courses, courses on how to create content. One of the things I hear most often is, I don’t know what to write or I don’t know what kind of content to put out there. What will resonate with people. And uh, so that holds them back and then they do nothing. And that’s obviously not a solution. So where we start with with this presentation and where we like to start in general, is to just go through the content you’ve created through the years, we tell nonprofits you’ve probably got hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces of content out there. Look at your old blog posts. Look at some of the presentations you’ve done. If you’ve gone to conferences or presented, look at your social media posts, look at documents you’ve put together. If if you have programs, you probably have program information, put some of that together and turn it into something written that you can offer people, uh, and, and start there. And then once you’ve gathered all that information, put it together in a content calendar and be really deliberate about how you’re exposing that material to your audience in order so that it makes sense. And it drives a little bit of

[00:12:06.04] spk_0:
engagement, which is, which is much easier to lay out when you see it in a calendar rather than just you just kind of thinking, well I will do this in May and then this will be in june and you know, but you can be more, you’re more deliberate about it more, I think more sophisticated about it. If you if you when you commit something to writing it makes it makes you think about it more. That’s exactly right. I have a written and

[00:12:29.94] spk_2:
not only that, but you can also add responsibility and whether you have a big team or a small team, you can put names to the tasks that people need to do. You know, tony is going to do this article by this date and get it up on social by this date and there’s a little bit of responsibility there for the work that you’re doing, which I think makes people complete those tasks uh a better way.

[00:12:49.14] spk_3:
Yeah. And frankly, I think it makes it almost easier and simpler so that, you know, it doesn’t seem like quite as big of a mountain to climb. You know, I’ve got all this content to create from this quarter or this year, um, when it’s on a piece of paper or in a spreadsheet. And it’s something that just seems more manageable frankly

[00:13:09.94] spk_0:
when anything you want to add about the content calendar before we move on to segmenting your, your

[00:13:15.67] spk_3:
supporters.

[00:13:18.04] spk_0:
Okay, Well I’m willing it’s okay. I feel like we’ve covered the content calendar enough. I’m not trying to, you know, I think so. I think it’s, it’s something

[00:13:50.34] spk_3:
that a lot of nonprofits, um, do. Um, but we also see a lot of nonprofits that don’t do a content calendar and it’s, it’s not difficult. It’s just taking that first step. So we provided people templates, but just just getting it down and finding a way to formalize the process of putting a content together. It’s not that difficult. And it makes a huge difference

[00:14:00.44] spk_0:
helps you organize too. So you can see blog post, you know, maybe some other section on the website newsletter, email, social, social, facebook, social instagram, social twitter, but etcetera. And

[00:14:51.74] spk_3:
it also helps you identify holes in your content. So, for example, um, just as an example, we have some clients who, um, whose mission is focused on raising funds for medical research for a certain condition or, or issue. And they have content that they create for patients and their families, but they also have content that they create for, um, you know, medical experts and they’ll run medical conferences for doctors. Uh, so, um, understanding that they’ve created enough content for each of those groups is also important in having it in a calendar. Um, so you’re, you know, another organization might have volunteer, uh, content aimed at volunteers and content aimed at, at supporters or donors or community members. So just seeing that now, think about what your goals are.

[00:15:12.24] spk_0:
However you’re gonna segment, right? It’s all very orderly. Now. You mentioned templates. I don’t like to tease nonprofit radio listeners without without providing the substance. So can we get this template? Is this somewhere on salsa site or somewhere else? Where? Where?

[00:16:10.04] spk_2:
Yeah, So we we put up a landing page that’s completely in gated as part of the NtC presentation. Uh, it’s salsa Labs dot com forward slash 21 N. T. C. And there’s a little bit of a workbook that goes with the presentation and then of course the presentation slides, PowerPoint and pdf, I think, uh, and the workbook falls along the different sections of the presentation. So the first section is what we just talked about, which is to uh, figure out what you have. You know, go through, take stock of your content, your library, that kind of thing. The second part talks about putting together your calendar and segmenting. And then the third part jumps into really getting organized and then engaging or further engaging, going a little bit further than what you’ve done in the past. And to kind of tag onto the last part you said about or what Wendy said about the content calendar. Oftentimes we see nonprofits look for these templates. Uh, and they’re really just hashtags, you know, if the only communication you’re doing on social media is to put up a post about ST patty’s day or easter or things like that, you need to go a little bit further

[00:16:34.84] spk_0:
in your engagement. That’s not that’s not educating folks. That’s right. On your, on your mission, your work and your values. That’s not going to make them sticky because they can get easter messages anywhere.

[00:16:37.11] spk_2:
That’s right. And they likely are

[00:16:39.75] spk_0:
and they are.

[00:16:40.39] spk_3:
And we’ll tell you though, that the most engagement we get on our social posts are when we post pictures of our dog, there is some value that All

[00:16:49.42] spk_0:
right. Well, I don’t know what that says about the salsa Labs content, you know, talking to the content team. So I’m not gonna All right. Believe that their salsa labs dot com forward slash 21 ntc for the template that craig just talked us through. Let’s go to, uh, a little on segmentation. Who wants to want to kick us off the value of and the depth you should go to. Who wants to

[00:19:35.74] spk_2:
be sure. I’ll take it when it comes to segmentation. The idea is to be able to understand which audience member wants to receive, which message at what time and by what medium there are a lot of different mediums. We can deliver messages through these days and everyone’s busy and like I said before, there’s a lot of noise. So you need to find your way through that noise and the way we believe you do it is through personalization. If you can understand who wants to receive the message when they want to receive it and where they want to receive it, you will have a higher engagement with that person. And this is kind of goes back to the idea of just shooting out a ST Patty’s day message, right? I mean you might get 50 or 60 likes, but if those people never volunteer or they never donate or they never come to an event, what’s the point? Um, you know, it may be, hey, let’s put out a nice message and that’s fine. But at some point you need to generate people to support your mission, whatever that means. So we like to segment in a couple different ways. One of course is looking at what you have in your own crm or your own list and trying to understand demographics about that person and to be able to split them into some sort of discernible category. You know, hey, we’ve got donors here, We have volunteers or we have people who just engage with us on social media. And then if you are doing a lot of sharing on social, which many groups are really trying to match your organization’s message to the right social network and you’ve got people out there who, you know, maybe they have a very intelligent audience, or maybe they have a very specific demographic in their audience and they completely lining up to the wrong network and sharing a message at the wrong time. Maybe they’re sharing it once, instead of sharing it four times over a month or two months. So that different people see that message. So uh part of the workbook that we put together is going a few different places through your analytics and really understanding what your audience looks like and taking some critical uh peaks at your audience and the demographics of your audience, looking through your Crm, and uh figuring out what’s important to your organization. And how do you label those people so that you understand the message that they want, where they’re going to be and then where you can get that message to them.

[00:19:43.64] spk_0:
Mhm. When you want to add to segmentation.

[00:21:01.04] spk_3:
Yeah, I mean there’s it’s a little bit science and a little bit art, frankly, I think. So, there’s a balance between having too many segments and too many groups and having too few segments or groups. So um if you’ve got groups of supporters, there are so many groups of supporters that you’re sending very similar messages to some of the groups that you probably have too many. Um it may be difficult to handle all the messaging. Uh if you have too few groups, the messages aren’t targeted enough aren’t interesting enough to each of those groups. So as you know, Craig was talking about measuring engagement on social media and and looking at analytics for your emails and things like that. And that’s very important. And that’s all the science part. And then there’s a little bit of art uh in terms of, you know, where the messaging can be split, where the different messages make the most difference on how you engage with these folks, what words you use, what you test. Um, so, you know, I think it’s, I think it’s a little bit of both. And it just takes, you know, not nonprofits know their supporters, Right? So it’s really just a matter of sitting down and looking at, um, where they’re engaging, what they’re saying on social media and you know, what they’re reacting to when, when you send them emails or messages.

[00:21:47.24] spk_0:
Well, let’s probe that a little further windy in terms of knowing knowing your people suppose, you know, you know, something, you know, some people prefer email over phone calls or written mail over email, etcetera. But, and you can gauge some depth of interest by giving history, right. If if Humane society gets donations, when cat appeals from certain people and dog appeals are making this very simple. But you know, so then you know who your dog people and cat people are, but I suppose you wanna go a little further. Like uh, you know, who wants to engage on instagram or which of our programs appeal to you, You know? Uh, So I’m envisioning a survey is one possibility. What else? How else we still have a few minutes left.

[00:21:50.50] spk_3:
Okay. So that’s

[00:21:51.29] spk_0:
what you glean. How does, how does segment?

[00:22:08.74] spk_3:
That’s a really good question. It’s actually something we addressed in the presentation uh, in 10. Um, you’re right. A survey is one way and we made some recommendations. You no longer surveys where you, where you ask more than say three or four questions. Um, are something you shouldn’t do a lot of. And when you do, you should probably combine it with some sort of incentive and it doesn’t have to be, you know, you don’t pay people to take the survey, but you know, hey we’ll send you a button or bumper sticker. You know, if you fill out a survey or this is why it’s really important, you know, um at least, you know, appealing to their uh

[00:22:34.47] spk_0:
their interest in your

[00:24:16.64] spk_3:
cause. Um But we also like the kind of one question asks in emails is another way to do it. So if you’re sending emails to people, you can ask a question in the email depending on the tool that you’re using, you can put a link or button in the email and say, hey um do you have a cat or a dog or both? You know at home? Are you, are you a cat parent? Dog parent? Um have them click on that button and then now they’re in a group and the next time you send an email out, they either get a cat picture or dog picture at the top of the email. Um, and it makes a huge difference in engagement. Um, We talk a little bit also about, um, polls on social media. So that’s not going to give you on the, that’s not going to put a particular person in a group, but it can give you information on what people are interested in. So if you’re going to focus on, um, uh, one, you know, if you’re putting together advocacy petition and uh, you know, you need to understand where people are focused on what they’re most interested in. That can help also. Um, but putting a process in place so that your staff understands what kind of data you’re collecting so that when they bring up a donor record because they’re talking to the donor or they’re about to meet the donor at an event, hopefully we’re all doing that soon. Um they can look and say, oh hey, you know, we’re missing this one piece of information or these two pieces of information. So I’m gonna make a note and I’m going to ask them that when I meet with them and I’m going to put it in there and everyone needs to know to collect that information. Um and it, it just makes it easier and, and there’s a whole process we won’t go into now, but there’s a whole process of right figuring out what information is important on and which ones, which pieces of information should affect the message that you’re sending.

[00:24:32.24] spk_2:
A couple years ago, I think last week feels like a couple of years ago, Sometimes for a couple years ago you tony you did a podcast on integrating Crm with your email marketing and other digital.

[00:24:36.70] spk_0:
That was another, that was another NTC, uh 2017 18, something like that.

[00:24:42.40] spk_2:
Yeah, I think it was a while ago, but you know, it’s funny

[00:24:45.29] spk_0:
that nonprofit radio listener thank you for saying that

[00:26:25.94] spk_2:
it’s a great episode and I think it’s important here because obviously salsa is a product that tries to put together all these different marketing mediums and they work well with each other and, and there are other um products out on the market, but we also find that a lot of nonprofits have these disparate solutions and it makes things harder. It makes collecting data harder, it makes engaging harder. And when you have that uh system that pulls it all together, it makes this process easier because when you send an email and someone clicks on it, you get that information in your crm. So these one question surveys that Wendy is talking about. You can do a survey with a cat picture and someone clicks on it. You capture that data. Uh you don’t necessarily have to go to a full blown male pole or social media poll. You can do these things when you’re systems are integrated and pull that information between those systems. And then when you’ve got the information in your crm, you can then pull that information automatically into your email without having to upload or download or move data around. So It works on two ways. One it helps you understand and track the data but it also helps you personalize the emails that you do send. I think if if nothing else uh non profit should know. Just act just just do it. If you’re not sure where to start, just you know, get a message out there and just do it and then measure and track and along the lines of what Wendy said. If you are missing some information, just ask, just ask for it, create a message and send a note and remember when you do get that data to plug it back into your system so that you can use it uh in in many ways in the future. So that’s the important part

[00:26:32.44] spk_0:
two. We’re going to leave it there. Alright, alright, very much Greg gorilla, my pleasure Kraig gorilla content marketer salsa Labs, Wendy. Levin, marketing Director at salsa Labs. Thanks to each of you. Thanks very

[00:26:44.64] spk_2:
much. Thank

[00:30:41.24] spk_0:
you. My pleasure to have you and thank you for being with non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc the 2021 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by 20 we are sponsored by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for a break. Turned to communications relationships. We just talked about lasting relationships. The importance of building them. Turn to has them, they’ve got the relationships with journalists. So when there’s something fundraising related or philanthropic related or even more broadly, non profit related, those journalists are going to be picking up the phone when turn to calls them with you your name as a potential source, source of quotes, source of background, source of help. They pick up the phone because they’ve got a relationship with turn to, it’s the relationships that get leveraged for your benefit. Their turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for Tony’s take two. I started the second class of planned giving accelerator this week through the accelerator. I’m helping nonprofits launch kickoff, inaugurate their planned giving programs. I’m teaching members who join with me for a year, teaching them step by step how to start and grow their plan giving programs. The classes are fun. I look forward to them every week that we get together because there’s, there’s live trainings and then there’s Ask Me Anythings and I also do a podcast for them. Yes, there’s a, there’s a, there is a podcast that you can’t hear. You got to be a member of plan Giving accelerator to hear the plan Giving accelerator podcast. You see the symmetry there. So yes, I do a podcast for them too. But these trainings and of course, so we’re getting together for the training and they ask me anythings. I look forward to them. And rumors are that the members look forward to it too. I’ve heard rumors to that effect. So it’s, it’s all, it’s really very, it’s very gratifying, rewarding. Um, it’s fun and folks are starting their plan giving programs and in the first class that started in january, they’re already getting gifts. There’s already a couple of nonprofits that each have a couple of gift commitments already, just three months into the 12-month program. So that makes it enormously gratifying. I’m getting um, my synesthesia is kicking in. I’m getting goose bumps thinking about these groups that, that already have commitments only three months into the thing. So that’s playing giving accelerator. If you think you might be interested in joining the next class, it starts July one and all the info is that planned giving accelerator dot com. Check it out for Pete’s sake. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for nonprofit radio here is love your donors using data. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc, you know what that is? It’s the 2021 nonprofit technology conference were sponsored at 21 ntc by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot C o. With me now are Shoni field and jen Shang Shoni is chief development officer at the british Columbia Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. S P C A. And jen chang is a professor and philanthropic psychologist at the Institute for sustainable philanthropy. Shoni. Welcome to the show, jen, Welcome back.

[00:30:47.44] spk_4:
Thanks for having us.

[00:30:48.55] spk_3:
Thank you.

[00:31:06.24] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure uh, in talking before we started recording, uh, came to my attention that jen chang now has a british accent, which she did not have when she was on nonprofit radio many years ago when she was at indiana University. So we’ll get to enjoy that. And you’ve been how many years in the U. K. Now jen

[00:31:11.04] spk_1:
Eight years.

[00:31:13.14] spk_0:
Eight years with Adrian Sergeant. I assume he’s still at the institute.

[00:31:16.44] spk_1:
Oh yeah still living in the house to

[00:31:19.69] spk_3:
lose your

[00:31:20.19] spk_0:
house. Oh

[00:31:21.57] spk_1:
you don’t know we’re married sorry.

[00:31:23.17] spk_0:
Oh you’re more than uh philanthropic partners. Oh really? Okay. Were you married? When were you married to Adrian when you were on the show last? Uh huh.

[00:31:32.74] spk_1:
No

[00:31:34.14] spk_0:
your philanthropic psychology brought you together

[00:31:38.64] spk_1:
Absolutely really amazing

[00:31:40.94] spk_0:
mm fundraising fundraising brought you together. That’s wild. Well it’s a it’s a relationship business. So I look at you

[00:31:46.23] spk_1:
you’ve

[00:32:19.74] spk_0:
taken you’ve taken your own science to to heart and to deeper depth than than most people do. Well we’ll give give Adrian my regards, tell him. Absolutely tell him I say hello and hello from nonprofit radio he’s been a guest also. Well look at that interesting. And for those now we’re shooting with video jen has the uh suitable professorial background. There’s papers and thick books everywhere. It’s, it’s really, really quite bad. Oh yeah, there’s, there’s ghost faces up on top um and a crucifix also. So the place is blessed. You

[00:32:25.14] spk_4:
can make up anything about what we’ve got in the background. tony

[00:32:42.44] spk_0:
best mess. Yes, we’ll show me yours is uh yours is, I don’t want to say austere. It’s just uh its proper, you know, you’ve got a couple of framed items and you got a nice uh um um what we call those windows, uh,

[00:32:45.33] spk_4:
skylight,

[00:32:46.08] spk_0:
Skylight of course. Thank you at 59

[00:32:48.14] spk_4:
terrible for when there’s video because it makes the light really horrible. But radio it’s just fine. Yeah,

[00:33:20.84] spk_0:
I know yours is, yours is a like a sort of a gallery background. That’s what I would say. And shen’s is definitely Shen’s jen’s is definitely a professorial background. Okay. We’re talking about loving your donors. Your NTc topic is love your donors using data. So let’s start with Professor shang our philanthropic psychologist. One of, are you the only philanthropic psychologist in the world or just the first?

[00:33:25.74] spk_1:
I haven’t heard anybody else calling themselves philanthropic psychologists.

[00:33:38.14] spk_0:
Okay. So you’re both the first and, uh, and the only, first and only philanthropic psychologist. Okay. I love that you’re married to Adrian Sergeant. Well, that’s, you really took fundraising to new Heights.

[00:33:39.95] spk_4:
Small world fundraising. We all know each other.

[00:33:51.24] spk_0:
Rights, new depths. Yes, But they know each other quite well. Um, All right. So jenn, um, what, what can we learn from here? What, what, what, what, what are we not doing well enough with data that you want non profits to do better.

[00:34:45.14] spk_1:
Um, the first thing that we do that we don’t think nonprofits have spent a lot of time understanding is how people describe their own identities. And when I say when people describe their own identities, I don’t mean just how people describe themselves when they give as a supporter or as a donor, but how people describe themselves as a person outside of giving. Because research after research after research after research, what we found is that the descriptors that people use to describe themselves as a person are not always the same as the descriptors that they used to describe themselves when they think about themselves as a supporter. So not understanding who is the person behind the giving, I personally think is a huge missing opportunity for nonprofits to develop deeper relationship with their supporters.

[00:35:08.24] spk_0:
And what are some of these, uh, mm dis associations or in congruence sees between the way people identify themselves generally and the way they identify themselves as as donors.

[00:36:23.43] spk_1:
So one of the most consistent findings that we saw pretty much in all the data sets we have is that when people describe themselves as a person, they like to describe the morality of themselves. And usually there are nine highest frequency words that people use to describe their own morality and they are kind and caring and compassionate, generous, fair and so forth. And for most charities, you would see quite a large collection of these moral words in people’s self descriptors. But usually you see a smaller collection of these moral words appearing when people describe themselves as a supporter. So what that says to me is that when nonprofits communicate with supporters are about giving, they haven’t connected the giving to their sense of being a kind and caring and compassionate person as well as they could be. Usually you see the word generous, show up and you see the word helpful, show us show up in the descriptor of the supporters, but not the rest of the moral words.

[00:36:44.03] spk_0:
And there’s evidence that using more of the moral descriptors that the individuals would use will increase their giving.

[00:36:57.03] spk_1:
Not only it increased their giving, it also increases their psychological well being, and that is the real missing opportunity here. So when people give out of their kindness and out of their compassion, they feel better. Even when they give the same amount of money.

[00:37:39.73] spk_0:
You studied this really. You can you can gauge and Shawnee we’re gonna come to you. Of course. I I know there’s a practical application at british Columbia. I understand. I just want to flush out, want to flush out the like the limits of the, of the science and then we’ll get to the practical application. Absolutely. Um, All right. So so we can make people feel better about themselves through our non through nonprofit communications, through our communications to them. And they will then, uh, as as a result of feeling better or is it because they feel better than they will give more to our cause or we we just know those two things are correlated, but not necessarily cause and effect.

[00:37:52.63] spk_1:
We first communicate with supporters about there being a kind person and then we see giving increase and then we measure their psychological well being and we see their psychological well being increases.

[00:38:22.72] spk_0:
Okay, So we know that the giving has come first and then then from those for whom the giving has increased. Your then you’re studying their psychological well being. Yes, wow. Through our, through our communications, through our uh, is this what method of communication do we use phone letter?

[00:38:39.42] spk_1:
We have we have a few experiments in emails. We have survey evidence from donors. And we have laboratory experiments from the general population. Okay

[00:38:47.72] spk_0:
let’s turn to show me for the for the application of this uh at the british Columbia. S. P. C. A. What did you do their show me what how did you take this research and use it?

[00:41:16.41] spk_4:
So the and it feels like I’m jumping into the story halfway because I didn’t know how we got there but how we used it was um we worked with jen and her team to do um surveys and research into our donor base because you know, not every donor base is going to have the same characteristics. And so what do animal lovers in british Columbia? Um what are their characteristics of how they identify themselves as a moral person or in that sort of aspirational sense of self? Of where they’d like to? Well, I’d like to get to and supporting the S. P. C. A. As a way of getting there for them. So we we looked at our donors and came back with Jensen, looked at our donors and came and through surveys and research and came back with some some levers that resonated stronger than others with our donors. And so then we could go out and test those with, you know, our controls and then testing these levers and see where we see if we did. In fact, um originally c boosting giving over the long term, then we’ll be able to measure retention because I think with psychological well being would become an increased likelihood of wanting to stick with that relationship that makes you feel great. And so we’re able to measure um with within that field research what then when we put it into into play, what did get higher responses. And then we’ve gone back with jen and her team to study our three tests further and identify how we can build on that. Some of those tests worked better than the others. And so we that gave us some further insight into what we needed to to dig in on. And I think our our first error had probably been, we had all this learning and we wanted to use it all all at once, all in all the same time. Uh, the second sort of round of analysis really helped us be more focused and, and jen refers to allowing donors to breathe into the moment and just really be in that. And so it allow it, it allowed us to identify, yes, there’s a ton of good things we can do, but here we’re going to do three of them and we’re going to do them really well and really focused.

[00:41:18.91] spk_0:
What were some of the descriptors that you found were the levers for your, for your folks?

[00:42:43.90] spk_4:
Well, I mean, there’s so there’s the sort of descriptors of self that jen talked about in the, you know, the generous and loving and kind. Um, and then there’s one of those in particular, uh, dig into more, But there’s also these sort of, um, oh, you know, we call like victorious hope, this sense that there can be, um, that there will be success, that people have had past success in helping rescue animals and they will have future success. And, you know, this comes out of their love for animals. And so we use this victorious hope theme. Um, we we see, uh, personal sacrifice come through and we’re familiar with that from, um, you know, male direct mail that said, you know, just for the price of a cup of coffee a day, you could, you know, you could do this or you could do that, that sense of someone giving something up to get this, this outcome that they want. So we, we’ve used those a lot and we also saw the word loyal come up a lot more, um, than we had, than we had recognized was important. And it makes sense because people’s relationships with their animals are a lot about loyalty. Um, so it makes sense that they’d also value it as in a personal trait, but we’ve, uh, we had already been doing a lot of work around generous and loving and kind and we also increased that, that sense of loyalty.

[00:43:14.90] spk_0:
And now I don’t want any frustrated guests on nonprofit radio So you said, I asked you a question that came in the middle and you you uh, you thoughtfully answered answered the question, so thank you, thank you for that. But but I’ll give you the opportunity to go back if you want to take a minute and explain how you got into the jeans jeans research.

[00:43:19.10] spk_4:
I mean, this is like goes back to weigh like my beginnings as a fundraiser

[00:43:23.10] spk_0:
where a fundraiser

[00:44:01.69] spk_4:
where I got really frustrated with people’s perception of fundraisers as sort of snake oil salesman, you know, in the nonprofit world, there was the program, people who were doing the virtuous work and then there was the fundraiser, people that were, so it was sort of a little like unclean that you were trying to make people. And to me it always felt more like I was helping someone do the work that they couldn’t do themselves because their career had taken them in a different path. Like they wanted to save the environment, they wanted to help someone with the disease. They want they loved animals and wanted to help animals, but they trained as an accountant or they trained as you know, they have run their own business and so

[00:44:17.29] spk_0:
it’s very it’s empathic and magnanimous in the same that they wish they could be doing this good work. But they chose a different path. You have your like your empathetic to them.

[00:44:50.09] spk_4:
So this when I saw gems research of this sort of aspirational sense of self, this really struck a chord with me of like this is the work people wish they could be doing and we all know how we feel when we get to do something that’s really close and really important to us. It feels really great. So that just clicked with me. The sense of if we can help people do the work that they really want to do, but they haven’t been doing because something else does their pay brings their paycheck in and paying the bills is also important. Then we’re all going to be much stronger for it.

[00:44:59.69] spk_0:
And just quickly, how did you find jen’s research?

[00:45:03.89] spk_4:
I mean, this is, you know, I, I followed it around at conferences for quite a while before reaching out and saying, hey, I love this stuff. How can I, how can I do more?

[00:46:09.08] spk_0:
There’s value in conferences. Like, like ntc, there’s value in completely. Yeah, this reminds me of the work that you and I talked about when you were back in indiana before you were married to Adrian Sergeant. And we were talking about a phone research that you had done with public radio. I think it was in bloomington indiana. And you would describe women. I think it was Well, maybe you saw more of an effect that was it. You describe you saw more of an effect with women when the caller from the public radio station would use words to say. You’ve always descriptive words. You’ve always been so loyal to us. Or you’ve you’ve been such a generous supporter of us. Would you would you make a gift again? And you you saw greater giving when the right descriptors were used for those bloomington indiana Public Radio, uh, supporters. So this seems like a continuation. Uh, you know, where your again, it’s the way you describe the donors.

[00:46:16.18] spk_1:
Yes. And it’s not just the way that we describe the donors is the way that donors describe

[00:46:29.48] spk_0:
themselves themselves. Right. And then this increases their feeling of well being, more about that. How did you, how do you measure their sense of well being?

[00:46:32.08] spk_3:
So we, um,

[00:48:00.47] spk_1:
when we started measuring psychological well being, we explored a range of different scales. Um, at the moment, the the several scales that we use most often with nonprofits who haven’t started our kind of communication with supporters, our competence, autonomy and connectedness. Those are the three fundamental human needs that psychologists have studied now for decades. They in in the giving situation, they refer to, um, competence, my ability to make a difference for others autonomy. I have a voice of my own. I’m not giving out of any social pressure and connectedness. I give to make me feel connected with the things the animals, the nature and the people that I want to connect with. Those three needs. If we lack any one of them, we wouldn’t be able to experience well being. So it’s most ideal if any given giving act can simultaneously help people fulfill all three psychological well being. And those are the ones that we have now used most frequently in giving at the range. Um Lower than $500 a year.

[00:48:16.97] spk_0:
Shoni mentioned the next step being written, measuring retention. Have have you seen in your research whether there there is greater retention among the donors who whose well being we’ve we’ve enhanced.

[00:48:41.27] spk_1:
Um, so what we have seen is that um, yeah, the factors that drives giving are not always the factors that drive psychological well being, but if you can communicate with people on only the factors that drives both than that giving is more sustainable.

[00:48:51.47] spk_0:
Okay. Wait, all right. Say that one more time. You’ve been studying this for decades and I’m hearing it for only the second time in like eight years. So okay,

[00:49:35.27] spk_1:
so say, um you have five most important factors that drives giving and you have eight most important factors that drives people psychological well being. You’re five and you’re eight are not always the same, but sometimes they are three that are common between these two sets. If you only use those three to communicate with your supporters and increase giving an increase well being, then you can expect to see repeated increase in giving over time because the same three factors both increased giving and increase people’s psychological well being.

[00:50:29.66] spk_0:
Okay. I see it’s the intersection of the two little circles in the Venn diagram. Okay, You gotta explain this to a layperson, Right? All right. Thank you. Um So, were you So it’s fascinating, fascinating. Um Plus, you’re married to Adrian. I just can’t get over this how this this career has brought you together. I’m just I’m taken by all this. Um, Were you wondering about this back when you did the public radio research? Were you wondering how the description by the by the callers from the public radio station made the donors feel you knew you knew at that point? No, you weren’t thinking She’s shaking her head. You knew at that point that that describing them in certain ways could increase giving. Were you curious then, about how it made them feel? Um,

[00:50:44.26] spk_1:
I think when I first got into fundraising, it was very important to me to find some psychological motivations that can help nonprofits to raise more money. But once I realized that actually, that is not very hard, you can pretty much

[00:50:50.98] spk_0:
like, look, we’re not doing a great job in a lot of ways. Yeah,

[00:50:55.11] spk_1:
I mean, raise money by about 10 really is not hard when, you know, a little bit of psychology,

[00:51:00.15] spk_0:
you’re being more gracious, alright. A

[00:51:48.46] spk_1:
few supporters. Um But to make the giving experience meaningful for people to make the giving experience a part of people’s lives that they treasure. And to make that giving experience and experience that can allow people to experience the kind of life that they would not otherwise have. Those are the things that are hard because those are the things that do not have the the focus that they need and those are the things that I pretty much spent the last 10 years after I graduated from Indiana doing. Because those are the things that gives me meaning in doing what I do.

[00:51:59.06] spk_0:
Sure, let’s go back to you. Uh How much increased giving are you seeing you? I’m sure you’ve quantified this. What differences are you? Are you experiencing?

[00:53:05.55] spk_4:
Well, I mean, we’ve we’ve now tested it in a number of different areas. We, you know, we test it in, uh, we we use it in thank you scripts to our donors. So we don’t, you know, that’s a long term test of if we’re using this, this language consistently and everything, we we play around with the different levers on web forms, um, where we see, you know, we can extrapolate over the year if like, okay, if we use this, you know, we have a form and the form on the donor form, what difference are we going to see? Um, so it’s, you know, it’s hard once it becomes infused in everything you do, you no longer have a test in a control. You have, you have just the way you’re doing it now because you roll it out in all these different ways. I will say. I mean within that first batch of three, we paid for our research. So, you know, we got we we made an investment. We we we learned a ton. We paid for it right away. And then everything after that is, um, is bonus or, you know, is the real game. But it’s, it would be hard to measure at this point because we’re not, we haven’t infused in and everything, but we no longer have, uh, you know, we’re getting there, but we no longer have a sort of test and control where we can say this is the difference

[00:53:24.85] spk_0:
jen where can folks find your research? Is it is it somewhere that we can easily uh,

[00:53:32.90] spk_1:
most of our research is at the Institute for Sustainable philanthropy’s web site. There are freely downloadable.

[00:53:44.55] spk_0:
Okay. At the Institute for Sustainable philanthropy, um, what do you think? Should we leave it there where we explain this adequately that we picked people’s interest? I

[00:54:50.84] spk_4:
don’t I have if you have time, I have one more thing that I really think this work is sort of um a really important bridge between the sort of donor centric, the donor is always right. We’re stroking the ego of the donor and the community centric fundraising models because jen said, you know, this is I give to connect people, give to connect to to other people to the animals. And that I think in that sense of connection and love comes a more sustainable way forward because we don’t have to have this um artificial barrier between the donor and the beneficiary. And we don’t have to talk about, well if we privilege the donor, then it’s at the expense of the beneficiary or vice versa. We can talk about it’s about making connections as humans and and and together working for change and I I see it as a really healthy way forward in that conversation.

[00:55:20.04] spk_0:
That’s a great place to stop. We’re international for this segment from british Columbia and the UK from B C. Is Shoni Field chief development officer at the S P. C. A. Society for prevention of cruelty to animals, the british Columbia and from the UK, jen, chang professor and philanthropic psychologist at the Institute for sustainable philanthropy where you will find all this valuable, valuable research Shoni jen, Thank you very much.

[00:55:24.64] spk_4:
Thanks tony

[00:56:05.34] spk_0:
What a pleasure. Thank you Next week. Susan comfort returns with team wellness as 21 NTC coverage continues. 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. They’ve got the relationships for pete’s sake. Turn hyphen two dot c o r. Creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein. Mhm. Thank you for that. Affirmation scotty

[00:56:07.05] spk_5:
Be with me next

[00:56:25.74] spk_0:
Week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Uh huh.

Nonprofit Radio for April 5, 2021: Gender Inclusivity 101 & Ethical Representation In Your Communications

My Guests:

Jude Shimer: Gender Inclusivity 101
Our 21NTC coverage continues with a convo that started out talking about gender-inclusive data, and includes a lot of best practices around that. But it broadened into a primer on inclusivity generally. It’s 2021! It’s time to address your constituents as they’d like to be addressed. My guest is Jude Shimer from The Center for Popular Democracy.

 

Caliopy Glaros: Ethical Representation In Your Communications
Caliopy Glaros urges you to authentically represent your issues as well as preserve the dignity of those affected by them. She shares 5 actions to help you tell more ethical and equitable stories. She’s principal of Philanthropy Without Borders and this is also part of our 21NTC coverage.

 

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[00:02:21.54] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit 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 hit with Andrea Strand, Dallas Canton Insys If you infected me with the idea that you missed this week’s show you that cutting in the background. By the way, I’m having a little work done outside gender inclusivity. One. Oh one. Our 21 NTC coverage continues with a convo that started out talking about gender inclusive data and includes a lot of best practices around that. But it broadened to a primer on inclusivity. Generally, it’s 2021. It’s time to address your constituents as they like to be addressed. My guest is Jude Shimmer from the Center for Popular Democracy and Ethical Representation. In your communications Calliope Glaros urges you to authentically represent your issues as well as preserve the dignity of those affected by them. She shares five actions to help you tell more ethical and equitable stories. She’s principle of philanthropy without Borders, and this is also part of our 21 NTC coverage on tony. Stick to how are you doing? Plus podcast pleasantries. 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 gender inclusivity one Oh one. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC. The 2021 nonprofit Technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. My guest right now is Jude Shimmer. They are CRM manager at the Center for Popular Democracy. Jude, welcome to nonprofit radio.

[00:02:23.37] spk_2:
Hello. Thank you for having me.

[00:02:51.34] spk_0:
Absolutely. My pleasure. Your session is respect your donors with gender inclusive data and you’re claim I’m not sounding. I don’t, uh I don’t mean to sound skeptical of it. No, you say that we can improve relationships and and grow our base by being more cautious or using gender inclusive data practices better? Yes. So just as an overview, what are we not getting right?

[00:03:48.24] spk_2:
Sure. So this is a particular interest of mine because I’m trans and non binary, and, uh, I have a lot of experiences, especially filling in forms filling in donation forms for nonprofits where I started my session at NTC was an anecdote where I was trying to donate to an organization that I cared a lot about. And they had a salutation field on their donation form that was required, and it didn’t have any gender neutral option. Except for Dr um and I I never understand why any donation form would require that, Like, why it just It makes no sense to me. Uh, and I actually reached out to this organization and asked if they could update their form. Um, and at the time, I already was working for a company. Um, that, among other things, was a donation and online donation platform for nonprofits. And so I built a lot of donation forms. Um, and I

[00:03:58.30] spk_0:
knew what was possible. Yeah,

[00:04:17.34] spk_2:
exactly. You do not have to have a required salutation field. Yeah, it didn’t work. They they the person who who I emailed with actually was really sympathetic and seemed really eager to do it and then said that they tried and it broke their form and that therefore they couldn’t do it. And so I didn’t donate to the Oregon. They didn’t get my donation.

[00:04:22.32] spk_0:
Yeah, You could have offered a technical assistance Probably helped to fix their broken form. Alright,

[00:04:28.96] spk_2:
Yeah. Then it becomes a question of free labor.

[00:05:07.44] spk_0:
Yeah. No, you shouldn’t have to do that. Just by the way, you may hear a little banging in the background. I’m having some floor work done, so Oh, well, congrats or cutting, right? Thank you. And replacing carpet with, uh, L V P. This planking vinyl planking that looks doesn’t look like 19 sixties vinyl, so it’s a little noisy, but that’s that’s you might hear that in the background. Um, yeah. All right. So I mean, let’s start with the most basic, you know, Why would they need to require a salutation? I mean, I have a rationale for that. Or do you see a rationale that you don’t agree with? Probably. But yeah. Yeah.

[00:07:05.84] spk_2:
I’ve talked to a lot of nonprofits who either do require a salutation on their forms or wanted to require salutation on your forms again. The the clients that I was working out with the time and the platform that I was supporting, um, did not require salutation, and, uh and we had a policy against it. Um, and you didn’t even have to have salutation on the form, but we had clients who would request that it be required. And I talked to several about it, and it really came down to this myth that donors want to be addressed by their salutation all the time. Like universally, That’s just the thing that donors want. And therefore we need to ask for it, because if we don’t know their salutation, we’re not going to be able to to write it on their acknowledgement letter and they’re going to be upset and they’re going to feel disrespected and they won’t want to donate anymore. And I have never actually like. No one was able to actually give me some kind of evidence that this is true. Like no one told me a story of like, Oh, we had a donor and we forgot to use their salutation and they were really upset, and they wouldn’t donate any more like that. Does that ever actually happen? And if it does, mhm. That sounds like the donors problem. Like you know, there you can find other donors you have. You know, one odd one who insists on being referred to it not only insists on having their salutation used, but having it asked up up front and the idea that it should be required, like at least just making it optional gives people the opportunity to put it in if they want to be addressed by it. And then no one else has to, but required. Makes no sense to me.

[00:07:10.84] spk_0:
All right, so let’s broaden this and go. Go to what? You know, what is what What else is out there that we should be sensitive to besides salutation? You know what? Sure. What is gender data?

[00:09:01.54] spk_2:
Sure. So, um, there’s the actual gender field. Um, so, you know, male, female, Any other options, which there are actually many more. Um, And there also is, uh, pronoun, which and I also want to be clear, like salutation is not analogous to gender. And pronoun is not analogous to gender. So someone may identify as male, but use they them pronouns. Um, because pronoun usage is very personal. Um, but, uh, but all of these things relate to the concept of gender. So when I talk about gender data, I’m talking about all of the various fields that people associate with gender. So, um so yeah, there’s salutation, There’s pronoun, there’s the actual gender field. And then there’s also sex, which I address in my, um in my presentation as being totally irrelevant to this conversation. When we’re talking about donors donor data, there is no justification whatsoever to ask for or know the sex of your donor, meaning the sex they were assigned at birth. It’s a complete non issue, so you can just drop it off the list. Um, with gender itself, the gender field this one is this one is very interesting. So multiple times that I’ve seen forms that ask for gender because they want to, like put a T shirt in someone’s membership package and want to know whether to include a men’s or woman’s T shirt. But there is no explanation of that. They don’t ask for, like, T shirt style. They just ask for gender, male or female and

[00:09:15.74] spk_0:
but no size, right? So yeah, okay, so that that justification seems kind of thin. Yeah, exactly. Kind. That that’s a thin Yeah, yeah.

[00:10:08.34] spk_2:
Um, so that’s an example. And that’s one that I’ve seen on on donation, or at least membership forms. And then also, though there are other reasons why a nonprofit might want to ask for gender less. So because of, um, like, just a donation situation. But maybe because they’re accepting some kind of application or submission, maybe around their programming, Um, maybe they’re going to have an event, Uh, and they want to have performers or Panelists. And that actually is a really good justification for asking for gender to ensure equity. Um, to make sure that you don’t end up with, you know, an all male or all CIS gender panel. Or, you know, artists in your new works programming things like that. Um, And in that case, there are best practices for how to ask for gender. Um,

[00:10:51.74] spk_0:
okay, we’re gonna we’ll get to that. Yeah. Okay. Cool. Everyone to get ahead of it. You know, we’ve got to get the best practice. Yeah, I’m just trying to set the set the field For what? We’re what it is we’re talking about. Can I, uh This is maybe a little part. Well, that’s not so, but I want you to explain your your feelings around something when when someone doesn’t refer to you as they are them, but says he or she how does that feel? I’m not asking you to speak for the entire, you know, the entire community. Uh, but how does it feel to you when someone miss Miss Miss identifies you?

[00:11:05.74] spk_2:
That’s a great question for me. Personally, Um, it feels confusing. And it it feels like being called the wrong name repeatedly. Um, your

[00:11:07.16] spk_0:
analogy, because yeah, that feels Yeah, exactly. I thought you said Tom. You know, I’ve heard a few. Yeah,

[00:11:52.34] spk_2:
um, and so for me, I don’t have a particularly strong emotional reaction. It’s just incorrect. It’s just like, Oh, no, that’s that’s wrong. That doesn’t fit. Uh, that is my unique experience for other trans people. It can be really, really unpleasant and traumatic. Um, it also depends on how it’s done, because if someone does it by accident, you know, they slip up or they like I haven’t had an opportunity to tell them my pronoun, and they just assume that feels different from when someone has been told repeatedly. And they are persistently using the wrong pronoun. Um and, well,

[00:12:06.34] spk_0:
old repeatedly and consistently doing it wrong. Is that almost like harassment? Yeah. It is a legal definition of harassment harassing to you, Maybe in a non legal way. Whatever. Yeah, all right, All right. Thank you. All right. Thanks. Thanks for sure.

[00:13:15.94] spk_2:
And actually, there’s something I do want to add to that, which is that there are. There’s sort of a scale of, of disrespect or lack of respect for trans people as far as impact. And it’s different for different people. So for me, things like being called the wrong pronoun by someone who’s only just met me or being called ma’am by a server or or, you know, having to confront, like, a restrictive gender field on a form. These things really annoy me. But I also have significantly more traumatic experiences, like being yelled at to leave my gym locker room or having really unpleasant experiences at the O B G y n. And these may seem different, but for me, they are all part of the same kind of miasma, like like they all come together to create an experience. And so when when someone can help mitigate those things that seem smaller, like a form, form field, or like or like a brief Miss Jen during briefly using the wrong pronoun, it makes such a big difference. It really does. Um, and I think that’s important to talk about.

[00:13:54.74] spk_0:
Yeah. And I’m sorry that you you need to have the the small, like, sort of corrections because the the fronts, you know, shouldn’t be there. It sounds like you know, So it sounds like the small the the small incidents where it’s done properly mean a lot to you because there’s so many. There’s so many mis mis identifications out there. Yeah, exactly. But I’m sorry you have to suffer the fronts to

[00:13:56.42] spk_2:
Yeah, what it’s like here right now.

[00:15:07.24] spk_0:
Look, um, you know, so I’m 59 So I’m speaking to folks who are, you know, if if you’re not in your twenties or like early thirties, you know, you didn’t grow up with the pleasure of pronouns that we have now, uh, so, you know, at 59 I grew up, you know, obviously more traditional. Um, but it’s 2021. So, you know, if you want to be online, your forms have to adapt if you want to. You want to interact in society, you know? I mean, if you want to just talk to your family, then you don’t have to, I guess you don’t have to adapt. But if you’d like to go outside your family, assuming you don’t have any trans folks in your family, you know you might. But let’s assume you don’t you know, if you want to stay in solar for the rest of your life, then then you could live your little in your little bubble. But if you want to be part of functioning society in 2021 you know, at 59 years old, I’m here to tell you that you have to adapt. Things are different, you know, just like they were different from the forties to the sixties. Things are different from the knots to the 2022 20 twenties, so get on board. All right, all right, that’s all. So for my my, uh, age peers jump on, all right, it’s not so bad. It’s not. That’s not bad at all. You know, it’s just it’s

[00:15:11.13] spk_2:
good change,

[00:15:21.24] spk_0:
part of a national worldwide community. So be part of it, or stay in your little home and stay in your little zip code if you like. You know? All right, Um, and there’s probably trans folks in your zip code anyway. So you know you’re not there

[00:15:25.22] spk_2:
definitely are little zip code. Little bubble is not as safe

[00:15:37.64] spk_0:
as you might think. All right there, huh? My, uh, imploring my my my peers to come aboard. So All right. Um, well, since you mentioned best practices, you know, we’re gonna talk about when to collect and not to collect. We still got plenty of time. So but let’s let’s talk about some of the best practices about, you know, if you are going to collect it and I guess you could bleed into, you know, whether to collect or not, you know, what’s your advice?

[00:16:11.34] spk_2:
Sure. So if you are going to collect it again, I see two main justifications for collecting gender. Specifically one. You’re accepting submissions, and you want to ensure equity to you want to do some kind of survey. So maybe your survey, your surveying your donors or potential donors about all kinds of things. Maybe you’re surveying them about your programming and whatever else,

[00:16:15.20] spk_1:
and you also want to

[00:17:03.64] spk_2:
know about them demographically. That’s really, really fair. Um, and especially in certain nonprofit industries, um, in industries that are that are centered around uh, progressive movement or equity? Um, in the former case with with submissions. Um, uh, a pretty standard practice is to use, uh, values for female male, non binary Prefer not to say and not listed or prefer to self identify. Um, and, uh, that last one is really important because, um, people can identify all kinds of ways. It’s also becoming more and more of a recognized best practice not to use the term other there, Um, because it literally others people. But to say, you know, right, you know, self identified or not listed,

[00:17:14.54] spk_0:
Should you should you give folks if they’re choosing, uh um, not listed should you give them a chance to feel positive or

[00:17:43.34] spk_2:
absolutely, Yeah, that should always come with a right and sealed. Um, every every gender field should come with a right in field. And in fact, the absolute best practice for as far as I’m concerned for for ensuring equity and submission is to just make it right in field, like forget about the pick list values, but let people right and what they want where they where organizations will sometimes run into issues perceived or real with that is, if They have lots and lots and lots of submissions, and they want to be able to sort and filter things. Um, so that’s where the justification for for a pick list, um,

[00:18:06.74] spk_0:
can come in. Otherwise, it has to be some manual intervention, because somebody might do m R period, which is going to be different than m r, which is gonna be different than and And folks might spell something out that the the the the organization wants to abbreviate standard Lee. So all right,

[00:18:10.54] spk_2:
things like that. So that’s for submissions, for surveying,

[00:19:03.14] spk_0:
for really trying, okay, for, you know, in the pick list versus straight narrative. You know, uh, where where the pick list might be appropriate, like people, organizations getting thousands of submissions a month or something. You know, huge organizations where it’s gonna be burdensome to look at each one and put something in specific to that field for each one. But if you’re getting, you know, like 10, 10 or 15, or maybe even 100 donations a month or or submissions of whatever type nations donations, submissions, you know you can you can do that. You can You can do it right in the field. You know, in an hour somebody can go through 100 of them. I mean, it’s all right. So, you know, we’re not, uh, the Cleveland Clinic where we’re getting 10,000 relations or something. All right, so let’s, you know, the the, uh, be open minded there in terms of what you how you can accept the data. Okay. I’m sorry. Yeah, sure.

[00:21:36.34] spk_2:
So? So we’ve talked about submissions, and then they’re surveying. So in surveying, it’s really useful to get as comprehensive as you can Data on gender. And so there are a lot of gender fields that you can include on a survey field. And another reason why I point this out is that, um, people in general, if they’re trying to just get the thing done like they just want to donate, they just want to do their submission. Um, then, uh, then you don’t want to make your form. Actually, you know what? I’m going to modify that with donation forms. It’s definitely a best practice to make them as short as possible and to ask for and certainly to require as few fields as possible for submission forms. You can be a lot more flexible with that because the person really wants to submit their thing right. They’re probably going to be willing to go through a few pages of questions in order to get their thing Surveys. Also, people enter into a survey. You know they’ve opted into taking a survey you can reasonably take, you know, a few minutes of their time and give them some pretty comprehensive questions and give them some comprehensive options for for answers. So for gender fields there, um, it’s It’s an increasingly recommended practice to have a lot of different gender, uh, gender. Identify as gender terms that people can multi, multi select and then, as always, because you know why not? It’s really important to to and to include a right in field. Um, because you cannot always be certain that you are covering every term and also because language evolves. So, um, in addition to a write in field, there are a lot of terms that people use for their gender. So male female are sometimes associated with sex identification. But some people also may say that my gender is male or my gender is female. Man and woman certainly. Um, sis man. CIS woman The term cysts, which, for people who are unfamiliar, means not trans somebody who identifies as the same gender as as they were assigned at birth. Um, And, uh, so it’s CIS trans, uh, trans masculine transfeminine. There are a lot of terms that you can find with a really easy google. Um, and for all that, I don’t know how much I want to plug Facebook. Um, but so you know what I want, But, um, but there are a lot of organizations and a lot of companies that have gotten on board with offering a lot of different gender options, and you can pretty easily find comprehensive lists of gender, uh, terms and gender identities.

[00:21:56.54] spk_0:
And again, can’t you just simplify this by having it? Strictly narrative.

[00:22:00.34] spk_2:
You can. Um but then again, the analysis part comes in. All right, so

[00:22:06.82] spk_0:
yeah, manually. Yeah,

[00:22:08.21] spk_2:
exactly. So if

[00:22:09.41] spk_0:
you know how many I mean, are you getting it? Well, all right. If you’re getting 1000 1000 I could see Burdensome. Yeah.

[00:22:59.24] spk_2:
Yeah, exactly. So if you want, for example, to see, like within certain zip codes, what is the gender breakdown of our audience? or our base. Right? So, you know, in these areas where we’re doing certain kinds of work, we actually have a pretty significant trans population. Who is Who is paying attention? Who we have contact with, You know, over in this area, Um, there’s a significant population of CIS gender women who are really interested in our work. Um and so if you want to be able to kind of, um, do analyses like that, it is helpful to have predefined terms, But you do want to make sure that you have a lot of comprehensive ones. Okay.

[00:22:59.87] spk_0:
Okay. Anything else? Best practice wise,

[00:23:12.34] spk_2:
Um, pronoun fields. Or is this the place where we can get into pronoun films? Sure. Okay, great. So one kind of under, uh, well, in certain places under discussed, we’re

[00:23:18.59] spk_0:
seeing that structure that, like, I’m not going to allow a program discussion at this point. But we wait 2.5 minutes, Then we can talk about pronouns in in into the six minutes, but yeah, I hope I don’t come across that

[00:25:12.14] spk_2:
way. Um, but yeah, pronouns are really important. There are more important in a lot of situations than any of this other stuff. Um, because pronouns is how people are addressed. It’s as important as people’s names. So anywhere where you would want to know, you know you’re going to be addressing somebody by their name. You also want to know their pronoun. Um, and there are a variety of ways that you can create opportunities to learn people’s pronouns. So if it’s, uh, it’s having to do with an event, um, you can ask for pronouns on the on the event registration form if you’re going to have the ability to say, like in a world where we have in real life events again, if you’re if you’re going to make people badges or things like that, you can also ask it, like when people arrive at an event when they log on to a virtual event, Um, in platforms like Zoom and other video video conferencing platforms, people can add their pronouns in their name. You can request that they do it. You can model it by doing it yourself and, uh, and you also in live events settings can again offer things like badges. Um, it’s also really it’s also very possible, and sometimes people feel uncomfortable about this or don’t know how to do it, but to ask for people’s pronouns in real life just in a conversation. And I think that the easiest way to do that is to offer yours first. So to approach someone and say, Oh, hi. By the way, my pronouncer, they Then what are your pronounce? Um, And it models the behavior it makes it into, You know, this is the thing that we’re doing together rather than sort of like, um, what pronouns do you use, right. You know, these are my pronouns. What are your pronouns? Um and, uh, yeah. There are a lot of opportunities to do that in a group setting, doing a go around at the beginning and asking people to introduce themselves with their names and their pronouns. Um, these are all things that people can do.

[00:25:24.94] spk_0:
Okay? And it becomes no harder to remember than people’s names. So exactly just slip up on, you know, you might slip up on the names 20 people in a group. You’re not gonna remember all 20 names if there’s no badges. So how to pronounce you say Oh, sorry. I think, actually, I’m sorry. I thought it was her, you know, you know, whatever.

[00:25:41.34] spk_2:
And you and there are millions of names, there are millions of names and only a handful of, of of commonly is pronouns in each language. So you know what? You really can do it.

[00:25:53.21] spk_0:
Okay? Yes, yes, But if you make a mistake, right? I mean, it’s not Yeah, Don’t crucify yourself. Just Yeah, exactly.

[00:26:25.24] spk_2:
I actually recommend really short script for if people make a mistake. So if you make a mistake in front of the person you’re talking about, you can say, Oh, I’m sorry. Thank you for reminding me. And then you use their their correct pronoun going forward if it’s in. You know, if they’re not there and someone informs you, owe that person actually uses he him pronouns, you can say, Oh, thank you for letting me know. And you use he him pronouns going forward. Right? Um, you thank the person for letting you know they’ve gone out of their way to do it. They might be kind of sticking their neck out to point that out. It can be uncomfortable. So you thank them for doing it. If the person who you mis gendered is right there. You say I’m sorry. And then you move on. You don’t have to grovel. You don’t have to, you know, suddenly make them the center of attention. You don’t have to make yourself the center of attention. Just apologize. Thank them and move on.

[00:27:01.04] spk_0:
Very practical. This is becoming sort of a 10101 on. Uh, correct. Excuse me. Correct. Not only pronoun usage, but, you know, addressing the trans community. Yeah. Um, all right, we have we have a couple of minutes. What do you want to leave folks with wrap us up? Um,

[00:27:06.19] spk_2:
sure. Well, I have a I have an anecdote where I had, like, a uniquely pleasant experience. Um, you

[00:27:15.81] spk_0:
ended with a crummy. You started with a crummy experience, so and yeah, and upbeat. Excellent. Yeah,

[00:28:13.94] spk_2:
exactly. So I was I was talking to a canvasser who was helping me fill out a donation form on a tablet, and that person was actually filling out the form and asking me the questions. And they said, Oh, by the way, we have an optional salutation field and we have mix available MX, which is the gender neutral salutation. Would you would you like to enter a salutation? And no one had said anything like that to me before. Just, like asked, Would you like to and said, We have a gender neutral one available and it just it made my day. It was no effort whatsoever that organizations part. It took two seconds, and I transfer like transforming an experience from a negative one where they’re not going to get my donation into a positive one where they get my donation and I feel really, positively about that organization is no effort. There’s no reason not to do it.

[00:31:33.24] spk_0:
That’s perfect. Let’s let’s let’s leave it there. Great charmer CRM manager at the Center for Popular Democracy. Thank you very much, Jude. Thanks. Sure, Thank you. My pleasure. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC. The 2021 nonprofit Technology conference were sponsored by Turn to Communications. Turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for a break turn to communications relationships turned to has them with places like the Chronicle of Philanthropy, CBS Market Watch, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Turn to his clients get placements because of their relationships. So when there’s a reason for you to be in the news or you need to be in the news for your own reason, turn to can leverage these relationships on your behalf. You’re more likely to get coverage that way than you are, calling them up cold on your own. So use the relationships that turn to has to your benefit. Turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for Tony. Take two. How are you doing? A few folks got back to me, but I’m curious to see if there’s more. And I did hear from some insiders as well again the those, uh, those folks who get the weekly insider alerts telling who the guests are each week. So how are you Anything you want to share about your experience through the pandemic vaccines? You got one. Your family. Was there any sickness in your family? How’s it looking? Planning to go back to the office? Are you planning that yet? Is your office planning it? Are they planning without you? Do you know, maybe maybe they’re planning it without you and you don’t know. In that case, you won’t be able to bring that up to me. But if they’re planning, then you do know and you’re included. How’s the feeling? So I’m interested in how you are as we, uh, begin to see the end of this although fourth surge seems likely. Yeah, plus the pleasantries gotta go out. Right? The podcast. Pleasantries. I’m still enjoying sending these out to you. So I am grateful that you are with nonprofit radio, and I’m gratified that non profit radio is helping you in your work. That’s why I do the show. So pleasantries to you, all of our podcast listeners, each of you individually and then collectively as well. Pleasantries to you. That is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for nonprofit radio. Here is ethical representation in your communications. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC. The 2021 nonprofit Technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications Turn hyphen two dot c o. With me now is calliope Glaros.

[00:31:35.94] spk_1:
She is principal

[00:31:39.94] spk_0:
at Philanthropy without Borders. Helio P Welcome.

[00:31:41.44] spk_1:
Thank you, Tony. I’m so excited to be here.

[00:32:07.94] spk_0:
It’s a pleasure. Pleasure to have you. I’m glad you’re part of 21 NTC and our coverage, your topic is from exploitation to empathy, ethical representation in fundraising, communications. This is a concern. What? What do you feel? Nonprofits are not getting quite right around authentically representing people and issues.

[00:32:50.84] spk_1:
Yeah, well, you know, this is a big topic right now, Tony, and there’s a lot of people who are talking about it, but I think my approach is a little bit different for me. It’s not about making cosmetic changes to the images, you know, just showing happy faces instead of sad faces. And it’s also not about sort of superficial changes to language like replacing some words over others. I really approach this topic from the lens that what happens behind the scenes in your storytelling process is just as important as what the audience sees. And so this isn’t about making tweaks to the final narrative. It’s really about working in collaboration with your story contributors to truly understand how they want their stories told. So it’s very much about process, not product

[00:33:00.34] spk_0:
process. Okay, so we could have better processes back end to alleviate appearance problems and and messaging problems that are that are going, going public,

[00:33:41.14] spk_1:
right? I think it’s a fundamental mindset shift. And so, you know, we know that our industry has this issue with representation. We know that a lot of people who work in fundraising and marketing departments have never personally experienced hunger or housing instability or displacement or war. But they’re telling stories about people who have. And so, you know, some of the sort of, I guess, like common sense out there is to think about How would I want my story told, Um, but I don’t really represent some of the people that I’m necessarily writing about. And so it’s this fundamental shift from, you know, not really centering ourselves and our own lived experience, uh, in the stories that we’re telling and really turning towards towards our contributors and looking for guidance from them in how we tell their stories.

[00:33:54.31] spk_0:
Okay, and by contributors you’re thinking of of who?

[00:34:30.44] spk_1:
The actual people that are interviewed by the nonprofit whose stories you’re sharing. If you’re writing about specific people or also the people who are just in your programs, maybe you don’t tell stories about a particular individual or you use like a non identifying case example, Um, but who are the people who are being impacted by your work, who are actually, um, you know, impacted by your mission, going to them and working in collaboration with them and really using their insight to guide how you make decisions, what kinds of stories you’re telling, how you’re talking about the issue, because they’re the ones who are actually experiencing it.

[00:34:33.94] spk_0:
So is it about the questions that you ask them to elicit their story?

[00:34:40.44] spk_1:
That’s a big part. That’s a big part of

[00:34:42.25] spk_0:
it. The communication with the folks that are contributing,

[00:35:01.04] spk_1:
right? So I think the very first thing that an organization has to do is to get feedback about their communications from the people in their programs. And so it’s not just not just interviewing them to get their stories, but actually going back and showing some of the communications that you’ve released and saying, What do you think about this? How satisfied are you with your portrayal? What would you like to see? Right. So even more open ended questions? Not just about, you know. Did you like this? You know. How did you feel it? You know it represented you, but What else would you like to see from us? Right, So get it. So they get feedback is the first step. But also, you know, if you really want to make an impact on your storytelling process, you have to almost create, like I call it a feedback channel. It’s not just about going in once and getting some feedback and, you know, putting it in a little report, and then it sits there. But but having a continuous process of working in collaboration with your contributors. So every time you’re getting stories, you’re also getting feedback, and you can continue to refine your stories in an ongoing way. That’s really the first step.

[00:36:21.33] spk_0:
Okay, Okay. So getting feedback from about the portrayals from the folks who are being portrayed Yes. Okay, interesting. So So that means including those folks on your in your communications. If you’re If you want to make this a regular process, you’re saying not just going one time, but regular have a regular feedback mechanism. So start bringing, adding folks who are the beneficiaries of your work to your e newsletter, for instance.

[00:38:05.42] spk_1:
I think that ultimately, you know, every organization should look at increasing you know, in long term increasing the representation of staff that they have who are responsible for communications. Those folks should, you know, be from those communities and should share some lived experiences and identities with the people who are impacted by that program. I think that’s the long term strategy. I know that you know it’s not going to change overnight. And so I think in the interim, it’s really about both the mindset shift and also creating some different processes. So I’ll give you some more concrete examples, tony. So get feedback. But also, um, a big mistake that a lot of non profits make is they view this concept of consent, right? You know, and we have this in journalism to write, you know, getting consent to tell someone’s story. They view this concept as a form, you know, it’s a one page form that somebody signs that says, I give permission for you to, you know, share my stories and my images, you know, in all of your platforms. And then and then it’s done and you know, that’s that’s not really I think, the most effective process that we could have. We need to view consent a bit more holistically. So for instance, um, you know, I do. How how are we getting people? How are we getting the stories to come to us? Right. And so instead of necessarily going up to someone you know in the program and saying, Hey, can we interview you or, you know, hey, can we have you speak at our next event? You know, how are we allowing people to opt in, if that’s possible, depending on the structure of your organization and your work? So are we allowing our story contributors to sort of self select into the process to sort of raise their hands, so to speak and say, Hey, I would like to be interviewed actually instead of us, um, asking them because you know, there’s power dynamics and sometimes people might feel like saying yes, when they really when you know, when they really don’t want to do something. But because you asked, they feel you know that they have to

[00:38:09.80] spk_0:
say Okay, so make it You’re suggesting Make it more an open question to to the group at large.

[00:38:16.45] spk_1:
Yeah, if it’s possible

[00:38:22.62] spk_0:
and let them and ask. You’re saying you know and then asking for volunteers to instead of going individually to a family or or or a person and saying, Can we tell your story?

[00:39:07.62] spk_1:
Right? Right. Let them volunteer. Let themselves select the option available. Another way consent can show up is even in. So the way stories work is you have an acquisition process where you go out and get the story. You’re actually interviewing people. You’re taking their photos and then on the back end inside a nonprofit, the stories go through this kind of interpretation process, right? You have, you know, the recorded interview or the notes you’ve taken. You’ve got all of these photos, and now you have to put that content into a newsletter or put it into a campaign, right? How are we involving our story contributors in that process? Are we letting them look at their story once we’ve edited it and put it into the campaign or the newsletter? Are we showing it to them and letting them make edits before we send it out before it goes live? Are we going back to them and saying Hey, here’s what. Here’s what we ended up writing. Here’s what we’re going to post What do you think? Are there any changes you’d like to make? How does this look to you? So are we involving them in that editing process?

[00:39:24.52] spk_0:
Is that is that not common? You think it’s not common, You know it. I would have thought the same process that folks used with their donors when they’re doing a donor. So I do fundraising. So I’m more on the donor side that I’m not on the beneficiary side, but with donor. When when fundraisers are doing donor testimonials, there’s lots of back and forth. You know, the same, you know.

[00:41:04.41] spk_1:
No, it isn’t. And you know you really hit on. I think a fundamental issue in this industry is that the way I define exploitation of my talk is that it means that we’re treating some groups better than others. And in the nonprofit space, we definitely treat our donors better than we treat our story contributors or a program participants. And so even if we think about this notion of consent, the way consent looks with donors is totally different than story contributors. So as I was saying, you know, many organizations have this kind of one page media consent form, and there are There are forms that actually say your consent is irrevocable. Once you sign this, we can use your image and story however we’d like and you can’t do anything about it. But that’s not how we treat our donors, right? You know, if our donors sign up for a newsletter and then they decide to opt out later, they can opt out at any time. You know, if they decide, you know, maybe they don’t mark. Their gift is anonymous. And so, you know, we we kind of release things. And then they say, Oh, actually, I don’t want that kind of recognition. Please, you know, um, don’t don’t add me to your annual report. Please make an anonymous. You know, we let our donors kind of opt in and opt out, and and we give them all kinds of controls and consent. But with our story contributors Nope. Your consent is irrevocable. You know, that’s what I really want to change, right? And I think that’s the last part of thinking about consent as a process. There’s opting in, you know, if possible in the story acquisition process, there’s involving them in the interpretation, like you said, with donors having back and forth and then at the end, you know, if years go by and we’re still using their face, you know, on the on the as the hero image on our website. And they say, you know, I don’t want to be on your website anymore. Why on earth can’t we take that image down, right? Why does someone’s consent have to be irrevocable? So you’ve really nailed it, tony. The way that we engage our donors and the control that we give our donors has not been the way that we’ve treated our program participants in our story. Contributors.

[00:42:06.70] spk_0:
Yeah. All right. Interesting. Uh, as I said, I’m only aware of the way it works on the donor side, and I would have thought that it was equivalent on the beneficiary providing side. All right. All right. Um, what else? What else you want to talk about? Not that we’re not. We’re not near the end, but I feel like, you know, you’ve been studying this and thinking about it for years, and I’m coming to it after just I mean, I’ve had another conversation with Amy Sample worried about specifically about poverty porn and avoiding avoiding that. Um, but that was more about images and your, You know, of course. You know, we’re talking more about process. So you think about this more than I do. Basically, what I’m trying to say. So what? What what more? What do you want us to know,

[00:45:01.09] spk_1:
Right, So there’s, I think, a couple a couple main points, Um, in the title of my talk, it goes from from exploitation to empathy. And so I view empathy as being on the other end of the spectrum of exploitation. But I think that this word is misunderstood in our industry. We hear it all the time. And, um, I think it’s misunderstood. And so I spend a little time talking about what empathy actually is. I think a lot of people think that when you have empathy with another person, it means that you are feeling exactly what they’re feeling. But then my question is, how do you know what someone else is feeling right? And what if you have very different lived experiences? I’m sure, um, you and many of our listeners you can think of a time where you’re sharing an experience with someone and they responded with like, Oh, I know exactly how you feel, You know, when this happened to me and then they describe something that was not at all what you experienced and you’re going like No, no, that’s that’s not it at all. Um, you know, or they blow it out of proportion and think like, Oh, that’s happening to you. Oh, I’m so sorry. Oh, you must be devastated and you’re going. No, no, I’m not right people, you know. Are they projecting how they would feel if they experience what you experience? It’s not what you would feel. And so the way that I approach empathy, you know, in this topic and how it’s related to storytelling actually comes from the work of sociologist Milton Bennett, who distinguished between a sympathy and empathy by saying that sympathy assumes similarity when we’re embodying sympathy were practicing the golden rule. We’re treating other people the way we want to be treated, because we assume that they are similar to us, and in empathy. We treat other people the way they want to be treated because we assume they’re different from us. And as I was saying earlier, we really need to be assuming difference instead of similarity, because the lived experiences and the identities of the people who are responsible for telling the stories, fundraising and marketing staff in the nonprofit, um, are oftentimes very different from the lived experiences of the people that they’re telling stories about. Um And so you know, there’s advice out there that I refute, which is, you know, thinking about how would I want my story told, How would I feel if this story was about me and, um moving that that’s really more embodying sympathy and so moving from sympathy to empathy requires that we ask better questions? Um, those questions could look like, you know, how would I feel if I was telling the story and the person that it’s about was sitting right next to me? Or, you know, if I was talking to a donor about this story, and, you know, one of our clients walked into the room suddenly, is there anything about the story that I would change right? Do I tell, Do I tell stories differently to donors? Then then you know, when a client is present versus when they’re not, um, in those hypothetical situations were still. We’re still us. We’re not projecting our experience on to someone else. And so those are the better questions that we could ask. And that’s, you know, there are so many ways that I think in the nonprofit sector and in storytelling, we embody these sympathetic responses and we assume similarity. And we assume that our experience is universal and we’re some kind of a baseline. And really, um, it’s not the case. So I think that’s one main point

[00:45:22.39] spk_0:
that’s almost from like we could say, from from narcissism to empathy,

[00:45:24.88] spk_1:
right, Right

[00:45:41.19] spk_0:
way I experienced something. Must be the way you experienced it or or the way I feel about what you’re describing, because I’ve never experienced it personally the way I feel about what your what Your what your situation is, must be the way you are feeling about it exactly, because because I’m the center of the universe. So naturally, my feelings are the same as your yours would be the same as mine, you know?

[00:46:25.18] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s projection, and I think it’s at the pitfall. It’s you know, we all have, like, interpersonal examples of conversations we’ve had, and the reason I bring it up and that I go to the trouble of defining it is because I think that that basic perception, um, is what is it the pitfall of all of the mistakes that we make, um, in mass communications and in the way that we represent other people. Um, you know, it’s kind of using ourselves as a baseline and not really thinking about sort of the differences in our lived experience. Um, so that’s so that’s one

[00:46:30.88] spk_0:
thing. Uh, yeah. Distinguishing between exploitation and sympathy and

[00:46:33.01] spk_1:
empathy, Empathy,

[00:46:41.68] spk_0:
um and, well, your point know about gauging asking feedback. I mean, just how does this story look to you?

[00:48:25.37] spk_1:
Right. You know, we don’t know how other people want to be treated unless they tell us. And that’s the thing. If we’re just guessing, just guessing it’s still a projection. Um, you know, and I think the other thing that was really important in my session is I think the way that people think about ethical storytelling and moving beyond this kind of narrow scope. And so I think originally our concept of ethical storytelling was informed by journalism, which is really looking at a policy of do no harm so it’s make sure you get consent. Make sure that you’re not traumatizing the story contributor. Respect people’s privacy and boundaries, you know when you’re interviewing them. But in nonprofit fundraising, storytelling, this kind of do no harm is really our baseline. You know, that’s the least we could be doing an ethical storytelling. I think, to go up another level, we need to be adding value. We need to be providing value to the story contributor. And that doesn’t necessarily just mean, um, you know, paying them a monetary stipend. That is a good process for some organizations. It works for some, but not all. Um, but how are we making this an enriching experience? How are we making? Giving them a platform to to share their story and experience in a way that, um, that feels positive and makes them want to do it again? That it was a good experience for them. Right. So how are we providing value? Um, and then, really, the layer above that I think what we ultimately need to be aiming for an ethical storytelling is changing the beliefs and behaviors of our audience. And so we know that there are massive inequities in the world. And those inequities are influencing our work there, influencing our program participants. And you know, these are large, systemic issues, but they’re maintained and held into place by certain beliefs and behaviors. And how are our story’s changing those beliefs and behaviors? How are we pushing back against unhelpful narratives that say it’s okay to treat some people better than others? That’s what we really need to be aiming for.

[00:48:56.87] spk_0:
What’s your opinion of giving folks the option to just tell their own story? Maybe, you know, turn the camera on themselves and just tell their story as they as as they want to. Yeah, I think it’s in their own words.

[00:49:00.14] spk_1:
I would think that would be

[00:49:01.16] spk_0:
valuable.

[00:49:34.97] spk_1:
I think that the closer that we can get to honoring that sort of authenticity, um, and the autonomy of our story contributors. So yeah, letting, letting them speak in their in their own words, tell their story in their own manner. The closer we can get to that the better. Um, I also know that you can’t fit everything into a tweet, and you can’t fit everything onto a one or two page campaign letter and so I know, uh, forms and opportunities that are are great just for really authentic sharing. And then there’s some that we do have to, um, you know, interpret for our audience. So,

[00:50:10.86] spk_0:
yeah, I mean, it could be the It could be the person’s personal narrative with, you know, with context, right? Exactly. Exactly. Right. I mean, there is a purpose behind these two. We are trying to We we are using these stories to raise money. So I mean, they have you know, we’re not just trying to create an archive. Uh, we’re not creating writing a documentary where this is market driven, market driven content, but the person could use their own words. And then and we fill in with lots of context.

[00:50:36.36] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that was some advice that I gave in my talk as well is really trying to stay. Give the story contributor autonomy as much as you can, and let them use their own words and let them, you know, tell the story the way that they want. And of course, you know, there are shifts that we you know, there are different things that we could do in our interview process. is there are shifts that we can make into the kinds of questions that we ask. Um, but it really should be about giving more autonomy, uh, to the story contributor and honoring their authenticity.

[00:50:44.56] spk_0:
Your session description mentions five actions to tell more ethical and equitable stories. Are those things we can talk about in five minutes?

[00:55:08.44] spk_1:
They sure can. And so I think one of them we already touched on, which was to create or fix your feedback channel right to make sure you’re getting feedback. And if you’re already getting feedback, make sure that it’s done in a consistent way. Um, and that in specific. And I would also say to the listeners, You know, consider having kind of like a control and a test group. And so you know there’s power dynamics at play, right? And when we go to some of the people in our programs and ask for feedback because they’re receiving services from our organizations, those people may be inclined to tell us what we want to hear. Um, and so I get a lot of questions about addressing power dynamics, and there’s there’s not necessarily a lot we can do about about those dynamics. But I would also not just ask people who are, you know, in your programs who are receiving services from your organization, but also ask people either within the community or people who embody some of the identities or lived experiences of those people. But they’re not getting services and and see what they think about your communications. Um, if everyone in your programs are saying, Oh, these look great, you know, great job. And then other members of the community are going No, these are so stereotypical, you know, these are you know, there’s a really this isn’t representative, right? That’s some interesting data. And so don’t just ask people in your programs. But as people outside of your programs, Um, I think, yeah, feedback. And you know, 0.2 is view consent as a process, not just a form. Right. First, take a look at your form and make sure you’re not saying you know that that their consent is irrevocable because it really isn’t. Um, you know, look at ways that you can incorporate consent into your entire process from the moment you’re getting the story, the editing and interpreting it’s going through, and then even long after it’s used. You know, can someone ask for things to be taken down? Um, I think you know, Number three gets at that last point that I made around ethical storytelling, you know, sort of beyond the baseline, Really changing beliefs and behaviors. Um, I really encourage everyone to push back against harmful or unhelpful narratives. And so what are the assumptions that exist about the people in our programs? Um, about their situations. Are those assumptions really? Are they helping us move our work forward or not? And if they’re not, then how are we pushing back? Um, think about the stories that we’re not telling, right. We’ve got all the stories we’re telling, but what are what are the stories we’re not telling? Um, you know, how are our stories shaping the expectations for both our donors in terms of what is required for change? Um, you know what does what does impact look like? What does change look like often our work. You know, change doesn’t happen overnight, But if we’re saying that to our donors, you know you’re going to transform someone’s life, you know, in a day, you know, that’s not really That’s not really reasonable expectation. Um, you know, and also, you know, our clients and story contributors see themselves in these stories were not hiding them from them. And so what kind of expectation are we setting for them? Right. So pushing back against a harmful, unhelpful narratives, harmful and unhelpful narratives and then really like looking at every communication and saying, Is this message reinforcing those narratives or is it challenging them? The fourth piece of advice they gave, um, was being the microphone and not the voice. It’s kind of a proverbial It’s a metaphor. And so you know, you you see these communications, tony. Like where the voice for the Children were, the voice for the poor, you know, and all of these people have voices. They have. They have a way of expressing themselves, and so you’re not really speaking on their behalf, but you are providing them a platform and amplifying their message. And so being a platform being a microphone and not a voice means that you have to as a as a storyteller, as someone in your organization, um, tasked with that, you have to analyze your own perspective. You have to be thinking about what’s influencing my perspective on this. Right? Um, you have to be. You know, when you start making generalizations about a group you have to be looking at, like, how do I know that? How do I know? You know, what I’m saying is real. Where’s my evidence? What am I basing this off of, Right. So understanding. You know what kind of a microphone you are? Right? And, you know, then your final one, we have the final one. That’s right. You know, we need to stay committed to changing beliefs and behaviors because it’s not going to happen overnight. But we’re playing the long game, and that’s really what we ultimately need to be striving. Oh, okay.

[00:55:12.84] spk_0:
Okay. You cut out a little bit there, but changing changing behaviors.

[00:55:16.72] spk_1:
We need to stay committed to changing beliefs and behaviors,

[00:55:25.14] spk_0:
beliefs and behaviors. Thank you. All right, All right. That’s a lot. But that was good. Calliope. Terrific. Thank

[00:55:25.76] spk_1:
you. Thank you so much. Tony,

[00:56:39.54] spk_0:
Your opening eyes. You’re raising consciousness about potential exploitation and helping us avoid it in our in our processes. Thank you. Kelly O P. Glaros principal at Philanthropy Without Borders. Yeah. Thank you very much again. Thank you. And thanks to you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC where were sponsored by turn to communications, turn hyphen two dot c o Next week Fund volunteer activities as 21 NTC coverage continues. 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. The show’s social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark 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 non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for March 29, 2021: Cure Communications Gaffes & Talking Mental Health In Your Workplace

My Guests:

Julie Ziff Sint, Claire Thomas & Shafali Rao: Cure Communications Gaffes
Our 21NTC coverage begins by explaining what to do after you put the wrong gala date in an email, or send a letter to the wrong segment. Might an intentional mistake improve open your open rate? Our panel is Julie Ziff Sint, Claire Thomas and Shefali Rao, all from Sanky Communications.

 

 

 

Dan Berstein: Talking Mental Health In Your Workplace
Also from 21NTC, Dan Berstein helps you avoid a different gaffe: Saying the wrong things when faced with challenging behaviors or mental health disclosures. He’s got easy-to-follow strategies. Dan is founder of MH Mediate.

 

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[00:02:22.04] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into zero Estonia if I had to mouth the words you missed this week’s show Cure Communications Gaffes. Our 21 NTC coverage begins by explaining what to do after you put the wrong gala date in your email or send a letter to the wrong segment. Might an intentional mistake improve your open rate? Our panel is Julie’s. If ST Claire Thomas and Shefali Row, all from Sancti Communications and talking Mental Health in your workplace, also from 21 NTC, Dan Burstein helps you avoid a different gaffe, saying the wrong things when faced with challenging behaviors or mental health disclosures, he’s got easy to follow strategies. Dan is founder of M H. Mediate on tony State, too. How are you doing? 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 a cure. Communications gaffes. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC That’s the 2021 nonprofit technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. My guests at this session are Julie’s. If ST Claire Thomas and Shefali Row. They’re all with Sancti Communications. Julie is vice president of account and Strategic Services. Claire is copy director, and Shefali is senior copywriter. Welcome, Julie.

[00:02:22.57] spk_2:
Thanks for having us.

[00:02:23.81] spk_3:
Welcome to be here.

[00:02:32.24] spk_1:
So, uh, let’s see. So does everybody work for Julie? And then then And then Claire reports The Shefali is It doesn’t work like that. I’m sure it’s a very collegial place. Thank you. Community were totally lateral. Totally flat. Everybody gets the same pay. Everybody is exactly the same

[00:02:54.44] spk_2:
way. We’re really collaborative agency, but I work more on our strategic side of things. And Claire and Shefali are two of our genius copywriters who manage our clients messaging.

[00:03:37.34] spk_1:
Okay, I think it’s important to flush this out. So give folks a feel for swanky communications because they might be working with you someday. Your workshop topic is my bad to all. Good. How to repair a mistake in donor communications. So, like if you dropped an email with a mistake in it, or you sent out an email about the gala, and it has the wrong date or the wrong time. That’s that’s That’s a particularly egregious one. We would think we would catch that in copyrighting. So, um, Shefali, let’s start with you. How does these things happen? First of all, like suppose that example? Wrong time in the gala invitation. How could that How could that possibly happen when we have multiple eyes on projects on communications?

[00:04:14.34] spk_4:
Yeah, you would think that it wouldn’t, but sometimes it just misses all sets of five. I actually gave this example, even in the conference, but I used to be a journalist, and I used to be at the news desk copy editing and one day on the front page in a headline. The word public was missing an L. And that just went out the next day. And, um, the good news is that we have a system we have, like, strategies in place where we kind of make those mistakes work for us. Which is really what our workshop was about.

[00:04:18.19] spk_1:
Yeah. I mean, you could have some fun. I don’t know. Pubic might be tough. to have fun you can have fun

[00:04:22.29] spk_4:
with

[00:04:36.74] spk_1:
without getting carried away. I mean, I think making light of a mistake, a gaffe. I use that all the time. I mean, you’re suffering with a lackluster host, so don’t be surprised if this comes up three or four times in a half an hour. Um, like the banging? I don’t know. You know, I have you here that banging

[00:04:42.14] spk_3:
a

[00:05:03.04] spk_1:
little. Okay, it’s It’s a hammer. There’s guys working on my stairs. You might hear vacuuming because they’re very fastidious about cleaning up. You might hear some, uh, sawing drill drill. Uh, circular saw type work. Um, not that that’s a gaffe, but, you know, it’s background noise. We got to call it out. If I can’t hide it, I’m gonna flaunt it, so well. Shit. I gotta ask, What did the paper do with, uh, public to

[00:05:20.94] spk_4:
pubic? And then we printed into the collection the next day. That’s all you can really do. That’s not the fun way. I mean, it’s not a fun where it was pretty upset about it, but we have actually had fun with some of our mistakes in the bus. Right?

[00:05:24.44] spk_1:
Okay. Who wants to share a mistake that, uh, so

[00:05:27.40] spk_3:
one of them One of them was in the footer. You know of an email and, you know, these things go out all the time, and and everybody is real careful about the

[00:05:36.00] spk_4:
content of the email, and And

[00:05:46.34] spk_3:
was the subject line perfect? And you kind of forget to be as careful about the footer and in the footer to the donors. It said eight cents of every dollar goes to programs services.

[00:05:51.34] spk_1:
Okay. Yeah.

[00:05:52.64] spk_3:
Now, most people already wouldn’t even see

[00:05:55.27] spk_1:
that Most people are going to look at the footer,

[00:07:01.34] spk_3:
right? This and this is an animal shelter. So? So when when it was caught, we were like, Okay, so we’re So what we did was we said, Okay, let’s let’s send it up. But let’s stay in character for how the donors know us. And we we have with this with this, um, animal shelter. We have a really fun, friendly voice. And so we sent out a correction email, and we used it to educate donors on what the truth is. And what we said was forgive us if you are, forgive us for our mistake. Um and we try. We’re pause P a w positively horrified. We made this mistake because the truth is it’s 82 cents of your dollar that goes to programs services, and we’re really proud of that. And then we talked about how we care for donor services. But we kept the really used pictures of cute puppies and kittens and, you know, it was all friendly and fun, and it was a good chance to educate the donors on what the actual You know how the organization uses donor resources. And,

[00:07:25.04] spk_2:
of course, the silver lining on that example and everything else is that when you do have an effective apology like that, um, you can have extraordinary engagement with your donors. So for that example that Claire just shared, we had over 50% open rate and almost a 5% click through rate, which is more than three times as high on both metrics as as you might hope to see.

[00:07:39.04] spk_1:
Yeah, Julie, I was going to go to you. Uh, so it sounds like the first thing you should do when you discover one of these gaffes is don’t panic,

[00:07:40.84] spk_2:
never panic. Panicking definitely does not help

[00:07:43.58] spk_1:
you accomplish your compound, right, you’ll send the wrong thing. You won’t think it through. You’ll blow the one chance you have to really fix it well, so keep your head on.

[00:08:35.44] spk_2:
Panicking definitely doesn’t help in any environment, I will say before, you know before you get there. It’s definitely worthwhile to have a comprehensive QA process. Um, and quality assurance process. Make sure that you’re going through steps to try to avoid the mistakes in the first place. But then, yeah, once the mistake happens, because no matter how good your quality assurance process is, mistakes will happen. Um, so when something does happen to be able to, like you said, don’t panic, figure out what was the mistake? What was what type of mistake was it? Is there an opportunity there? There might be a silver lining. There might be an opportunity. And how can you? How can you apologize in the most effective way? Or turn the mistake into make some lemonade from that lemon and really find a good silver lining there?

[00:08:58.34] spk_1:
What if someone is screaming at you? Maybe it’s a board member who just got the email. Maybe it’s the CEO. Whoever someone senior to you is furious about the mistake. Yeah, about them. Yeah, not about Not about what you’re wearing that day. But yeah,

[00:09:03.86] spk_3:
I’m just because the other problem is when the donor picks up the phone and starts to screen with you, right?

[00:09:20.34] spk_1:
Okay. It could be a donor, but I was trying to manage in the office first, but that’s a good one. Clear. We’ll get to. We’ll do that later. The secondary. The secondary market. Yeah, the other constituents. But how about right in your office? Uh, you know, a CEO or board member? Well, we’ll consider board members insiders for purposes of our conversation. What do you do there? Furious.

[00:09:49.54] spk_3:
Yeah. Yeah. And the first thing to do is to say, this is this isn’t all bad. There’s There’s probably an opportunity here. And we had a whole section on opportunities. Every every one of the case studies that we presented and the our speed round where people were talking about all these are the mistakes they made, you know, we talk about Well, there’s an opportunity there, like shuffle. You had some great ideas about opportunities.

[00:10:22.94] spk_4:
Yeah, and I mean, the first question you asked that the step was How does this happen? You know what I mean? Like, how do these mistakes happen? And they happen because there are human people at the other end of that happens like we all make mistakes. And sometimes the donor wants nothing more than to know that a person is at the other end of these communications. And that’s your opportunity right there to say sorry. Build a connection to make, like, some sort of personal, heartfelt apology. Um, and then you have a lasting connection with the donor.

[00:10:51.04] spk_1:
Claire, let me continue with you where we’ve got a furious supervisor here. Doesn’t it help to just also say, I’m sorry? I mean, I know, I know. I know. I made a mistake without trying to deflect or, you know, just even if it’s not 100% your mistake. Like if two other people read the copy also, but but the CEO is in your office in the moment. Oh, yeah. You just say I know, I know. We messed it up or I’m sorry. You know, I mean, just right, well,

[00:10:56.17] spk_3:
and and it is, you’re you’re absolutely right. But then there’s the other. The other mistake that you just alluded to when it was completely out of your control. Julie, talk about what happened with the USPS this year.

[00:11:30.54] spk_2:
Oh, my goodness. And so this is, you know, there are definitely issues that are outside of our control, right? So, you know there was for people who use Blackboard Online Express there was one year that it stopped taking donations on giving Tuesday. There was the black pod data breach last spring and summer. Gmail started hard bouncing in the middle of December this past year. And then, of course, in direct mail, USPS had delays and we had some of our clients were sending out holiday fundraising appeals at the very beginning of December. But then the seeds weren’t even received until the beginning of January. So if you’re mailing that,

[00:11:54.84] spk_3:
you think Yeah, I mean, there’s There’s a pissed off CEO pissed off client pissed off everybody that people didn’t The donors didn’t get the asks.

[00:11:58.54] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s

[00:13:06.94] spk_2:
outside. It’s outside of your control. But there are ways to make that into an opportunity. We had one client. They had sent out a mailing that talked about a December 31st, matching gift deadline, but people didn’t receive the mailings. Um, it bombed. And so we have brainstormed with them. What can we do to figure out a way around this? And we ended up doing an email campaign in early January that effectively said, We understand there were delays with the post service. We know that you may not have received our appeal letter. We would like to tell you that even though it said that the matching gift deadline was on December 31st we talked to the matching gift donor, and we’ve been able to extend it. Please make your contribution now, and so you know it’s not going to necessarily completely counter active. You know that’s not our mistake, but it’s not going to completely counteract that problem. But you can still look for a silver lining. You can still try to connect with the donors, show them that you are a human, show them that you’re all partners together for the mission, um, and then bring them back on board for for the mission.

[00:13:26.44] spk_1:
Claire, you you seem to be the one who raises the good hypotheticals. Alright, let’s let’s go outside now. I suppose it is a donor on the phone, so it’s not. It’s not a supervisor, but now it’s a donor. You know, maybe it’s maybe they’re the ones who maybe they’re the challenge donors who December 31st, you know, in January 3rd, they got the they got the challenging male or whatever it is, you have an upset donor or a very upset volunteer. How do you manage that?

[00:15:20.44] spk_3:
Well, first of all, remember that the fact that someone has picked up the phone and called you you have a dedicated donor on the other end of the line. This is a person who cared enough, cared enough about the work that you’re doing and is invested enough in the mission to pick up the phone and complain. So you’ve got someone on the phone who really cares, and then you kind of follow some basic steps. Remember feelings before solutions? Let them vent. Let them say whatever it is that made them angry and listen to it and be sympathetic and listen for opportunities to connect and then solve the problem. Sometimes it’s that it’s that the donor says, Well, I only wanted to be mailed once a year, and this is the third appeal I’ve gotten this year, and so you know you have a chance to draw them into a conversation and get them talking about why they care about the organization’s work, why this mission matters to them. Once they start talking about why they care, they usually talk themselves into wanting to give. I’ve been in the situation where I’ve been the person talking to the donor that was angry and letting them talk and then finding a way to, like, say, Well, that’s a really good point and I think we can We can address that mistake and then upgrading the donor getting them. That’s actually how I started in fundraising. I was. I was asked to call donors who were angry, find out what the problem was and and then just these were people who had pledged money, and we’re going to pay it off. I raised all the money they had pledged just by listening to them just by solving little problems that they had really small. Um and then they ended up being very dedicated, the organization, because again it’s what you’ve always said is that human human, you know, these are people on both sides of the equation. Philanthropy is, of course, the most human of acts.

[00:15:40.74] spk_1:
You all know the service recovery paradox.

[00:15:44.84] spk_3:
No,

[00:15:46.44] spk_1:
really, I haven’t. We

[00:15:49.33] spk_3:
do that. Pardon me? My suspicion that we actually do that.

[00:16:07.54] spk_1:
Well, yeah, you’re you. You could very well be a part of it, but, um, it’s bona fide. There’s research. The service recovery paradox is that someone for whom a mistake occurs and and has that mistake satisfactorily corrected will be more connected to the brand. I think I’ve seen it more on the commercial side will be more connected to the brand than someone for whom a mistake never occurred.

[00:16:20.14] spk_3:
Yeah,

[00:16:21.62] spk_1:
actually, you’re describing Claire like your clarity talking about upgrading people who were upset.

[00:16:28.24] spk_2:
There are a lot of psyche communications. We were founded by sinking pursuant. Um, back in the late seventies. And there are a lot of myths around Spanky Pearlington. Um, and many of them are not verified.

[00:16:42.65] spk_1:
Uh, thank you, man or a woman or

[00:16:44.76] spk_3:
she is a woman.

[00:16:49.84] spk_2:
Um, I think he was a nickname for Selma. Um, apparently, maybe that’s the new thing that we can learn for today. Um,

[00:16:54.61] spk_1:
I think

[00:16:55.60] spk_3:
I

[00:17:24.44] spk_2:
know so So There are a lot of a lot of myths around her in the industry, but one, and I have no idea if this is true. But I have been told that she used to plant mistakes and direct mail letters because there was an increased increased responses or an increased response rate or an increased giving. If there was a mistake in the letter, people would actually right back, correct it and send in their check while they were at it.

[00:17:26.56] spk_1:
That’s brilliant.

[00:17:27.84] spk_3:
It’s brilliant,

[00:17:43.84] spk_1:
right? They love you enough to point out like Claire was saying, they love you enough to point out your mistake. But then they might feel bad about not including a check. So you’re you’re you’re helping them get over the hurdle of, uh, whether to reply, you’re giving them a giving them an even better reason to reply. And by the way, they feel bad. If they if they only complain so they’ll give you money too well.

[00:18:05.94] spk_3:
And we writers like to believe that once somebody has noticed some kind of little mistake, they start reading for other mistakes, and then they actually get hooked into the message. Those of us who spend all our time crafting those messages. It’s our chance to hook them.

[00:18:13.44] spk_1:
Shefali, do you do you deliberately? Have you ever deliberately honest Now have you any deliberate mistake in?

[00:18:18.61] spk_4:
I have to say I’m having this conversation. I’m already thinking of, like subject lines that maybe you have a mistake, but not super obvious. But it would get people to just open the email.

[00:18:30.64] spk_1:
Wait, wait, I want to flush this out. We’re getting good advice. This is the stuff I love. A nonprofit radio. Actionable, actionable advice. What way?

[00:18:53.54] spk_4:
What’s an example? For example, I’m just thinking, What if the subject line just had somebody else’s name and you click on it? Because you think OK, this person made a mistake? That’s not my name. And then you open it and says, Just getting Of course we know you’re tell me because you are one of our most dedicated supporters,

[00:19:06.84] spk_1:
Okay, but they think they’re being voyeuristic by opening it up. It’s made for somebody else. I definitely want to check that out more so than I would read my own. The problem with

[00:19:09.64] spk_2:
tony that that that will be great with the donors. It may not be so great with that CEO that comes into your office yelling.

[00:19:24.34] spk_1:
Well, I should get approval in advance and say, Look, I want to want to test it. I want to test it exactly like we’re going to send 1000 that are that are misnamed than 1000 that are correctly named And, uh, let’s see. Let’s see which one pulls better. Which one clicks through better. You want to

[00:19:34.69] spk_3:
share one more?

[00:19:36.33] spk_1:
I have these copywriter minds think it’s amazing. Anything else occur to you while we’re talking?

[00:19:42.54] spk_4:
No, that’s it. I mean, new campaign idea in two minutes. I’m pretty happy with

[00:20:13.64] spk_1:
that. Yeah, right. Okay, well, we’re 17 minutes in, so try to try to up your game a little bit. Were already. You’re only one idea in 17 minutes. We’ve got to do a little better than that. Um all right, what else should we talk about? The crisis communications management is this This is this is no, I mean, that’s a crisis, but we’re now we’re moving to organizational crisis. Where the where the local paper headline and it’s not good. Who? Julie, you got You got a first bit of advice for that.

[00:22:10.54] spk_2:
Um so I think we we go back to where you started with before, which is always start with. Don’t panic. Um, for many of the organizations that we that we work with, one of the first things that we do is we talk to them about what is the rapid response plan? Um, it applies to if there’s a hurricane that impacts your services or if there’s a political situation that impacts your services or if there’s something in terms of internal politics where there’s something that is going to impact your reputation and you have that that rapid response plan. And it’s a question of, you know, we’ve given whole other talks about this and that it’s a whole other topic of conversation, but it is. It is really important, right? If you have the plan going in that you can deal with whatever the issues are, so you say Okay, who are the decision makers at the organization? What is the chain of command? Who are the people who we need to gather at the organization to figure out whether or not we respond? If we respond, what channels do we respond in what is the messaging of that response, right? And so you know that that really does have to depend on what is the situation. And in some some issues you don’t some problems, whether it’s a mistake internally, a mistaken communication or a one of these kind of rapid response publicity, something some situations will not require a response, and others do. And so it’s a question of what is the message? Is it something where, you know, if you actually do something really offensive, who is the right person to say something? Is it the executive director? Is it the chair of the board? Um, so so is it somebody who is a trusted individual who is the right signer for it? What is the right message? You know, we do. We do often. I will say, use humor when we are crafting an apology. Claire Claire talked about that example of Please forgive us from an animal shelter. You’re not going to do that if it’s something really offensive, you

[00:22:22.60] spk_1:
don’t want to. Yeah,

[00:22:24.30] spk_4:
I

[00:22:30.54] spk_2:
mean, you never know, but you want to be very human. Talk about it. Ideally, you want to be real explain. Here’s the situation and and have a very real genuine apology. What?

[00:22:56.84] spk_1:
Okay, what if at the outset, you don’t You don’t have enough facts. I mean, can you Can you come out and say we can’t comment right now? You know, we’re still looking into whatever the situation is, and we don’t want to say anything inappropriate. So give us 24 hours or something like that. Well,

[00:23:34.54] spk_3:
and committing to transparency in that process, I think is going to go a long way to saying we’re still figuring this out. We want you to know we’re on it. Were These are the steps we’ve already taken. Here’s a step. There is the next step we’re taking, and we’re going to tell you what’s going on. You know, you’re going to hear about this. Um, and just just to reassure them anytime you’re you’re dealing with somebody you’re dealing with donor group, they’ve given you their money. This is this is an act of trust. You have to you have to work to keep that trust, um, to make sure it’s, you know, earned. So you don’t want to lose that,

[00:23:49.04] spk_2:
and transparency is important. But you’re also then messaging them and saying to them as a donor. You are. You are our partner in executing our mission. You are part of the organization. We owe you an explanation. And we need you to help us get through this. We need you to continue to support, um, you know, shelter, animals, homeless youth, whatever the population is that you are providing services to you, our our partner in supporting this mission. And we need you to stand with us.

[00:24:11.94] spk_4:
Yeah, and the more authentic and personal it is, it’s also it’s more of its transparency. But it’s also assurance that not just like it’s not just we have your best interest isn’t just that hot, but it’s also you’re in the know about what’s happening in the organization. Like Julie said, you’re a partner

[00:25:33.54] spk_1:
building on that trust that Claire was talking about. Yeah. Yeah, right. You have that trust in the bank you don’t wanna you don’t wanna exploit it, uh, and squander it, which, you know, conflicting messaging will do. I think too much delay. Depending on the situation, you know, too much delay. Then the story gets ahead of you, and I’m envisioning something really bad, you know, and then somebody else controls the narrative, and you’ve You’ve lost your opportunity. You know, those those things are bad. And that’s that’s a squandering of good faith, squandering of trust. All right, well, that’s that. That’s the trust to that Claire you talked about when we were talking about the gaffes. You know, people love you so much that they’re going to let you know that you made a mistake. Those are those are the most concerned, Like most invested people, the ones who don’t care, we’re gonna write off like, uh, another. Another problem with these people, you know, something like that. But the ones who really care, we’re gonna say, How could they let this happen? Do they know? You know? So, yeah, they’re invested their invested. All right. Um, what else are we talking about? We got a couple more minutes. We don’t have to wrap up whatever we covered yet.

[00:25:38.94] spk_3:
Well, one of the fun things we talked about not fun at all. It was how to apologize appropriately.

[00:25:45.24] spk_1:
Okay, well, you gave a good example of the animal shelter. Were,

[00:26:02.84] spk_3:
But if it’s offensive, what we’ve all noticed in, you know, in our media consumption in the last couple of years. Is all of these people, uh, providing apologies? You know, apologies.

[00:26:25.34] spk_1:
Backhanded apologies, if backhanded apology. If anyone was offended. Exactly, I didn’t intend it. And I regret that they’re offended. So it’s like it’s like their fault. It’s your fault for being offended, right? I regret that you’re offended, you know? All right, talking about her one. Horrible. Yeah,

[00:26:36.14] spk_3:
it’s horrible. And we actually said, Be sure if someone if someone said something offensive, be sure they say I offended. And I apologize.

[00:26:37.31] spk_1:
We should follow, you know, making human. There’s a human behind this apology. Not it wasn’t written by a

[00:26:43.58] spk_4:
robot. You know, it’s not like a template apology. Yeah, 100. An apology

[00:26:50.44] spk_1:
if anyone was offended. I’m sorry that they are regret that they are people who won’t even say step. Probably won’t even say sorry. I regret that. It’s unfortunate that you are

[00:27:01.19] spk_3:
all

[00:27:16.04] spk_1:
right. All right. What else you want to, um Let’s see. Anybody who wants to take us out with, uh, parting parting advice for the Let’s stick with the Gaff. I like that. That was the most animated part. The somebody take us out with good gaffe advice.

[00:27:19.24] spk_3:
Well, I’ll tell you one of the things we had fun coming up with Shefali and I, um, included. We gave a little bit of conference swag in some some checklists and things that people

[00:27:31.03] spk_1:
can take.

[00:28:21.14] spk_3:
And we also provided a little freebie five subject lines to try if you made a mistake. So this is how this is how to get somebody to open your email apology. And so we came up with we came up with. Well, this is awkward. Um, let’s see if we can get our apology right. You deserve our best. You didn’t get it. Can you forgive us? Name of donor and then my favorite. I think this is shit follies. Um, the email you were actually supposed to get name. Okay, So just kind of helping people out. We have. We have unfortunate reasons. Were knowing that all of those emails are successful. Um, so a

[00:28:35.84] spk_1:
lot of communications is gonna be a lot of mistakes. I mean, it’s going to happen. It’s humans. You don’t you don’t strive for them. Obviously you strive not to like Julie was saying, but but with QA. But it’s going to happen now. What about this? I don’t like I don’t like teasing nonprofit radio listeners, and then they don’t get anything. What about this checklist you mentioned? So

[00:29:03.24] spk_2:
those five subject lines along with a variety of other things, including some of the most common QA mistakes to watch for, um, at sinking dot com slash ntc 21 you can download a pdf that has whole bunch of good checklist for both avoiding mistakes. And then what to do if you made a mistake.

[00:29:07.44] spk_1:
Okay,

[00:29:13.54] spk_2:
so that was Thank you. Slash And so sink e ink dot com slash ntc 21.

[00:29:20.54] spk_1:
Got it and sank is s a N k y. Thank you dot com slash ntc 21. All

[00:29:24.33] spk_3:
right.

[00:29:43.34] spk_1:
Thank you. Think as opposed to what I said, which was Thank you. Thank you, Link. All right, Nobody talked. Now nobody talked. Thank e ink dot com slash ntc 21 You betcha. Thank you. All right. I don’t like cold, madam. Non profit your listeners. Alright, Good. So they can get the resource there. We’re gonna leave it there. Julie’s if sent Vice President of Accounts and Strategic Services. Claire Thomas, Copy Director Shefali Rao, senior copywriter all at Sancti Communications. Thank you very much. Wonderful.

[00:30:01.56] spk_3:
Thank you so much Fun.

[00:32:49.14] spk_1:
Real pleasure. I enjoyed it. And thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC 2021 Nonprofit Technology Conference where we are sponsored by We should be sponsored by sank Communication with all these shout outs I’m giving, but we’re not. We’re sponsored by turn to communications sank e ink dot No, not spanking dot com Turn to communication. Turn hyphen two dot c o responsible. I turn to communications Turn hyphen two dot c o thanks to each of you. Thank you very much. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications relationships turn to has the relationships with media outlets, journalists, even bloggers podcasters like me they have the outlets to get you placed When there’s a reason for you to be in the news. There’s some news hook that they can grab and they can talk to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, CBS Market Watch, et cetera. They’ve got the existing relationships and they’ll leverage them to your advantage because you’re their client. You get in the media, turn to communications. Turn hyphen two dot c o It’s time for Tony. Take two. How are you? How are you doing? Have you had a vaccine? How’s your family doing? Your family been vaccinated? I’m interested. I’m interested in how listeners are doing. I sent this out asking folks who get the insider alert our weekly insider alert. And I got a bunch of responses back. People. People told me how they’re doing. Tell me what’s going on, How they’ve been what? What It’s like, uh, planning to go back to work, etcetera. So I turned it to listeners. That’s you. How are you doing? How’s your family? Let me know. You can use my email. Here it is. It’s not gonna be able to use it and give it to you tony at tony-martignetti dot com. Tony at tony-martignetti dot com Let me know how you are That is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for nonprofit radio. Here is talking mental health in your workplace. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC, The 2021 nonprofit Technology Conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. My guest now is Dan Burstein. He is founder at M H. Mediate. Dan. Welcome to our coverage of 21 NTC.

[00:32:59.94] spk_0:
Thank you very much for having me.

[00:33:15.94] spk_1:
Pleasure. Absolute pleasure. We’re talking about something that’s important. That’s not talked about enough. Your session is talking mental health in a virtual workplace. There’s there’s stigma around mental health. Is it? Is it Is it worse now in a

[00:35:38.34] spk_0:
virtual world? Um, I would say that, and I’ll just say, I’ll just say that, you know, my background is I’m a mediator and I do work to help people talk about mental health. But I also personally live openly with bipolar disorder. And I would say that stigma is a funny thing, because when we think about stigma, we think about well, do people have a negative attitude towards someone having a mental illness? And as time has gone on the general climate of negative attitudes to someone having a mental illness, I believe is shifted so people are more accepting of the idea that someone might have a mental health problem and we need to work with the fact that everybody in the workplace has mental health needs of some kind and people might need take a personal day or something. The interesting thing is, what kinds of ideas do people have about what do you do when you see that somebody may or may not have a mental health problem? And that’s where so much talk has happened during the pandemic, where, UM, people are saying, Well, what do we do? How do we pay attention to our co workers? How do we notice if there’s a mental health problem and help them? Their statistics out that about half of people have some kind of mental health symptoms now during the pandemic. And so there’s a lot of people have these good intentions that they want to find a way to support someone who has a mental health problem. But the way that they offer that support might actually be stigmatizing. And, um, one way of doing that is if you assume someone needs help. So if someone hears I have bipolar disorder, or even if someone notices, I’m having personal issues at work, if they approach me with the assumption that I need their help, that that’s paternalism and that’s one kind of stigma, another type of stigma and I’ll end it right there is, um, another type of stigma is, if you believe, for instance, Oh, well, Dan has bipolar disorder, but if he goes to the doctor and he takes his medicine, Dan will be fine. Where you that’s That’s an accepting idea. But that’s not how it works for everyone, because I have a choice about how to take care of my mental health. And plenty of people don’t get better even when they take medicine, because they have side effects or treatment resistance. And it’s a difficult journey for them. And so sometimes there’s an oversimplification of we have all the answers for someone’s mental health. Now you just need to come tell HR tell somebody, and we’ll be able to get you the help you need. Use the employee assistance plan. You’ll get your help, and we have it all figured out. And that creates a lot of stigma as well, because it puts that pressure on people to have their mental problems figured out or solved.

[00:35:59.64] spk_1:
Okay, so we want to. We want to be able to say the right things and avoid these Gaffs around dealing with folks who may need help and you said during the pandemic, What’s the statistic? Like as many as 50% of people have have some mental health needs. Intervention needs. Doing what

[00:36:56.43] spk_0:
I would say is 100% of people have mental health needs. So that means, you know, everybody has stressful days. They get to have worried, overwhelming, take care of ourselves like we’re all in a spectrum. In a normal year, one in five people will have a diagnosable mental health problem. So that’s what a normal year looks like. It’s about 20% of people will have a diagnosable problem now with the pandemic, it’s been. About half of people have been reporting mental health symptoms of some kind, and that’s for a number of reasons. That’s partly because of the social isolation, the fear of the illness, getting sick from the pandemic. Um, you know, losing your job. I mean, so many things are happening that are possible stressors that can trigger someone to have a mental health problem. So putting it all together, the data has shown that about half of people are having some kind of mental health symptoms that they’re reporting.

[00:37:09.23] spk_1:
Okay. All right. So yeah, 2.5 times as much as a as a as a normal year.

[00:37:10.53] spk_0:
All right? Exactly. So it’s more relevant now than ever. Accept that we all always have mental health stuff going on in some degrees. So I like to say it’s always relevant all the time for us to do.

[00:38:08.32] spk_1:
Yeah, fair point that. Everybody. You’re right. 100% of people have mental health needs. That could be as easy as I need. I need an hour away. Uh, I need I need quiet. I I gotta be with people. I’m too. I feel like I’m twice later, I got to get outdoors. I mean, those are all us, uh, responding to what we’re feeling in the moment and trying to take care of ourselves. Exactly. You’re right. Of course. 100. You’re right. Not that I thought you would be wrong, but yeah, you give voice to it. 100% of us have mental health needs. Absolutely. All right. Um right. So can we Can we flush these two things out? You know, assuming that people need help or that is assuming that the answers are simple. Is there Is there more like is there. Are there more ways we can help people avoid saying the wrong

[00:41:26.41] spk_0:
thing? Yeah, So what I usually do and what I taught in the workshop at the conference is, um, I try to focus on people remembering that when we’re in the workplace, we have to know what our role is. So are are you this person’s, um, you know, support system. Are you this person mental health treatment professional? Or are you there co worker or boss? If your co worker or boss you should start thinking what’s appropriate for me as a vantage point to engage in the topic of mental health and what what really is appropriate is talking about the behaviors in the workplace and how they affect the workplace. So you may see somebody who let’s say their absence a lot, and that’s not like them. And it’s not really appropriate work, even if it were like them. And so you’re thinking, Gee, from the way they look, they remind me of my friend from college who suffered from depression, and I might go over to them. And I might say, You know, Dan, uh, you’re absent a lot. I’d like to refer you to the employee Assistance Plan, which offers free counseling benefits. Or I’d like to suggest a way to help you with your mental health. I’m concerned that might be an issue that is wrong, because done now is you’ve added the backstory of your idea of what their mental health might be from your personal experiences instead of just focusing on what you’ve seen in the workplace, which is the absence is. So the better conversation is to sit down and say, Um, you know, Dan, I’ve noticed that you’ve been absent and I’d like to talk to you about how that affects the workplace and what we can do to manage that going forward and follow that conversation forward about the behavior. And then there’s ways that you can integrate mental health, you know into that conversation. And the typical way is to say, you know, whenever anybody is absent three times or whenever anybody misses this many deadlines or whenever anybody turns in lower quality work, we always let them know that there’s resources here to help them. And here’s a handout that includes all the resources we have that includes the employee assistance plan, etcetera. But what we’ve done here is we’ve taken the behavior indicator and we said, Okay, my role is really about the behavior I’d like to offer mental health support. You don’t have to. I’d like to offer mental health support. So what I do is I find a way to do it without singling anybody out. And I regularly promote these resources, um, and link it to clear behavior based criteria when I do it, as opposed to my hunch that I’ve seen something and I’m guessing, if you may are made out of a mental hunch about you, right, So that’s 11 way to look at it and that covers most situations. The the other thing that happens, Um, so that covers if you if you if you see you know performance problems at work or if you see inappropriate conduct, you can do the approach, I just said, But the other thing that can happen is someone can come and disclose to you, and they can disclose to you either just in passing like I did on this program and say, I have bipolar disorder and that’s it. Or they can disclose to you by saying, you know, I have bipolar disorder, I have depression and I’d like to change something here in the workplace. And at that point, most workplaces of a certain size have a responsibility legally to consider what’s called a reasonable accommodation for disability. And so there is a process for talking about that, and the American

[00:41:29.53] spk_1:
is that’s under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

[00:42:56.00] spk_0:
Yes, this is under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation. Most Most organizations do not talk about this very well in the sense that they have a policy. If somebody asked for a reasonable accommodation, but they don’t educate the managers and the staff of when someone says something that could be a request for an accommodation. Um and so the example that I give is You know, a lot of people hear me say, I have bipolar disorder and they go, Whoa, that’s serious. Do you need help, Dan, Um, you know, But if I said, Oh, I’m feeling depressed right now and I need some time off I might not realize that that person is suffering from major depression and they’re actually asking for a disability accommodation. So it’s very dangerous to use your own judgment of whether or not a situation is serious enough to refer to H R or to refer to the disability accommodation on policy. And so what you really need to do is, um, when someone shares anything that includes two elements, which is possible health condition and that requests for a change in the workplace you should have, you should offer to process it like a disability accommodation. Um, and you should not, as a manager, informally offer the health, because even though you think you’re doing that person a favor, you’re making that person feel insecure that there’s not a real system to take care of them and instead that they’re relying on the goodwill of their manager. And that’s not a comfortable thing. In addition to the fact that if you’re letting the manager do these ad hoc favors, um, you’re opening up the possibility that there might be discrimination where whoever the manager notices, some people get, some people don’t etcetera, and and that becomes a problem. So that’s basically the whole gamut of interactions. You can have that work related mental health.

[00:43:21.80] spk_1:
So what is so what is the best way? By the way, I don’t know if you can hear There’s vacuuming because I have a contractor preparing my stairs, and

[00:43:22.84] spk_0:
I can’t hear the vacuuming, but I I feel for you.

[00:43:44.10] spk_1:
Okay. Thank you. I was feeling for you because I thought it might be distracting. Uh, well, if you hear vacuuming or pounding, it’s on my end. Okay? There’s no one trying to break into your home. What? So what is the appropriate thing to say? Then tell us, You know, like, if you can script it, what should What should the supervisors say when the person presents with these two? You know, these

[00:46:51.98] spk_0:
two criteria? I think they should just ask, you know. Oh, I I hear you’re saying that, um I hear you saying this and that. Would you? You know, would you like us to, um, Steve, there’s a way to adjust the workplace as part of an accommodation. This is what we say to anybody who presents with a possible health issue and, um, request for help. And most people will say No, I don’t I don’t want to do it as an accommodation. Um, and I’m saying this also with the caveat that you should go to your own HR department and find out how they want you to do this, but because they have their own practices and they have their own attorneys that have decided how to do it at your organization. But the key thing is, a lot of people at the organization don’t understand that regularly. People are saying things that could be a request for accommodation. And the fact that you would take it more seriously if I say I have bipolar disorder than depression is on its face. Discriminatory because you know you don’t realize it because you’re just thinking you’re being nice. You’re being supportive. Um, you know, But, um, but it’s just it’s just it’s better to have a uniform approach where anytime anybody shares any kind of health need while asking for for some kind of change at work, you refer someone, and if somebody just shares it like I said, I have bipolar disorder. Um, don’t assume they need help. So that’s the other piece. You need both elements before you offer the accommodation for all. Otherwise, there’s some lessons about generally how to talk about mental health. Um, and people can get resources that I promoted on the conference. I guess we could add a link to go with this podcast. But I could say that you are l, um, Dispute resolution and Mental Health Initiative is where you can get the free resources. So it’s D r M h initiative dot org. There’s a lot of resources there to help you figure out ways to talk about mental health and empowering ways. Um, one example is person first language. So you wouldn’t say Dan is bipolar because that’s defining me by my condition. You would say Dan has bipolar disorder, or Dan, um, you know, has a diagnosis of bipolar, you know, or whatever it may be, Um, the other thing is, you should really never make any assumptions. So when someone says something to you, the easiest thing to say is, Oh, what What do you want me to know from that? What do you want me to know from that? Instead of jumping in and saying, Oh, I have a friend who also has, um, you know, depression, right? Or I’m depression myself. I’m anxiety. You know, someone says to you, Hey, I’m mentioning, um that I have, uh, I’ll use me again as an example. Bipolar disorder, you can say. Oh, Dan, I hear you. You know what? What do you want me to know from that? And I said, Oh, you know what? I’m fine. I don’t need anything. I’m just open with everyone so that, you know, I just was saying it because it’s just what I do to feel more comfortable or it’s just part of what I do for my work. Um, but but But most people, when they hear something like that, they go into their hole on their whole inner wheel in their head. Um oh, what do I do to help this person?

[00:46:53.73] spk_1:
What I read about that. Yeah, I

[00:47:03.18] spk_0:
read about that. And it’s the actual advice to take care of. This is it’s actually quite simple. Don’t listen to yourself. Listen to the person who’s talking and make sure you hear what their ideas are and what their desires are. Um, to guide the conversations and there’s a lot more to it than that. You can get those resources again at D. R. M. H initiative dot org.

[00:47:19.48] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Um, since we’re talking so much about bipolar, why don’t you acquaint folks with what it means to have a diagnosis of bipolar.

[00:49:52.37] spk_0:
Sure, well, but well, every mental health diagnosis because of the nature of what a mental health problem is, where it affects your thoughts and feelings and behaviors is unique to each individual. So I don’t want anyone to generalize from my story to other people. But I have bipolar disorder. It’s a mood disorder, which means I have trouble regulating my moods to some degree. And because it’s bipolar, there’s two different types of ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, there’s the low mood, which is depression. Um, what differentiates me from someone who has a diagnosis of depression is there’s also periods of high moods, which can be mania or hypomania. Traditionally, people think of that as you get very euphoric. Um, but you can also, which means very happy. But you can also have a very upsetting or dysphoric mania. And there’s a lot. There’s a lot of complexity, so I don’t want people to walk away thinking they know what it means that someone has bipolar for me. I was 19, um, in college, and I didn’t sleep for four straight days until I was then hospitalized and they checked my brain and, um, saw that I didn’t have drugs in my system. I didn’t have a brain abnormality physically on the scan and diagnosed me with bipolar disorder. Because if you have one of these big up episodes where you don’t sleep and you talk faster than I’m talking right now and you engage in erratic behaviors, um, that is definitive for a diagnosis of bipolar. Basically. So, um, if you just have depression, you don’t know if someone’s going to have depression or not, because you need to see that up episode to know that somebody has bipolar disorder. So for me, I was 19. I had that episode in college. I missed a semester of school, you know, got hospitalized and I’ll stop the story there. But it’s obviously a long story of life with a mental illness. Um, and it’s complicated, and it’s just one of many people’s different stories. Some people go to the hospital. Some people don’t. Some people take medications some people don’t, and that’s why what’s important is to let people tell their story and tell you what they want you to know. Instead of asking your own questions and pro and probing. Um, what? Your question was totally appropriate, Um, for this podcast. But in general, if you’re at work, you know, you keep your head down, and when someone brings it up to you, you listen to them and you ask them what they want to talk about. And you follow some of the other skills that you can learn to be empowering and talking about mental health.

[00:49:54.57] spk_1:
So a better way to ask. What would you like me to know

[00:49:57.77] spk_0:
about? What Would you like me to know and or just Yeah, or just I mean, you can say diagnosed. You can say anything, but yeah. I mean,

[00:50:05.84] spk_1:
what would you like me to know

[00:51:19.56] spk_0:
about what you’re saying, what you know or what are you? What are you trying to convey to me? You know, the idea is less about specifically what you say and more about showing the person a few things. So number one is I’m listening to you. I want to hear your ideas and your story. You’re you’re empowered in this conversation. So that’s one thing you’re trying to do. The other thing that I mentioned earlier, it’s really important is I’m not judging you and singling you out to treat you differently than other people. So those are the themes that you want to show with. Everything you’re trying to do is to say we we we check in on everybody who is absent, we check in and everybody who misses deadlines, you know, we have the same conversation. It’s better to give a written handout because with the written handout, um, people can see Oh, yeah, You didn’t just make this up just because you’re freaked out by me. You you give this out to everybody. So those are the key principles that are the most important. And if you say the wrong thing along the way, um, you know that’s not always pleasant for someone. But if they can see that you’re really trying to be fair and treat them like somebody else and if they can see that you’re really trying to listen to them, then you’re going to have a good outcome. And and that’s not just when there’s a mental health problem involved, that’s actually all communication. Um, you know, in all interactions, it’s good to do those

[00:51:22.44] spk_1:
things listening,

[00:51:23.50] spk_0:
listening, listening

[00:51:24.73] spk_1:
just as I just cut you off as you’re talking. But I’m saying, but I’m emphasizing, Yeah, listening appropriately. Careful

[00:52:24.25] spk_0:
listening. Um, and what happens with mental health is a lot of times people see mental health niche and they start panicking about what do I do? What do I do? And it’s like, actually, you should really just focus on treating everyone great all the time, and then you won’t have any problems. And and And that’s where I come in as a trainer or, um, you know, to help different organizations is, you know, basically what happens is they have They have some missteps and how they’re dealing with mental health. And so we address those. But it’s actually addressing the culture for everyone because as we started, um, this podcast 100% of people are having mental health needs 100% people, um, you know, might need to communicate about feeling sad or worried or overwhelmed or having a rough day and and and these skills will benefit in all those situations. Um, you know, as long as you get to that mindset of the empowerment and treating everybody the same, all

[00:52:50.55] spk_1:
right, that’s excellent. And I’d like to leave it there if you make you make your points very, very clear. Very succinct. I do want to leave folks with DRM H initiative dot org for Dispute resolution and Mental Health Initiative. DRM h initiative dot org For all the valuable resources you were talking about, Dan Dan Burstein, founder M. H. Mediate Dan, Thank you very much.

[00:52:51.89] spk_0:
Thank you for having me.

[00:53:56.85] spk_1:
Awesome. Valuable Thank you and thank you for being with tony-martignetti. Non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC were sponsored at the conference by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o Next week. More 21 NTC panels 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. Mark 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 non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 22, 2021: Build Your Best Better Board

My Guest:

Gene Takagi

Gene Takagi: Build Your Best Better Board
Gene Takagi returns! He’s got strategies to help you build the diverse, effective, thoughtful, appropriately-sized, well-trained board you deserve. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney of NEO, the Nonprofit and Exempt Organizations law group.

 

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[00:01:39.64] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast, and I’m glad you’re with me. I’d come down with dyskinesia if you gave me a taste of the idea that you missed this week’s show. Build your best Better board. Jeanne Takagi returns. He’s got strategies to help you build the diverse, effective, thoughtful, appropriately sized, well trained board you deserve. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and exempt organizations law group tony State, too. Podcast pleasantries and planned giving accelerator. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s my pleasure to welcome back, as it always is. Jeanne Takagi. These are legal contributor, managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and Exempt Organizations Law Group in San Francisco. He edits the enormously popular nonprofit law blog dot com and is a part time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is that neo law group dot com, and he’s at G Attack Gene, welcome back to the show.

[00:01:41.84] spk_1:
Thanks, Tony. It’s great to be back. How are you?

[00:01:59.94] spk_0:
I’m doing well. Thank you. It’s always a pleasure. Many, many years. It’s a pleasure. Each time you’re you are teaching us what’s important, what we need to keep centered. What’s, uh where are ships Should all be facing in the same direction. So what direction is that? You keep us. Keep us on the straight path. I appreciate it. I know our listeners due to thank you.

[00:02:06.34] spk_1:
Thank you, Tony.

[00:02:23.84] spk_0:
Let’s get started with your building. Your best. Better board. We’re not We’re not gonna We’re not going to settle on nonprofit radio for your lackluster better board. We want your best, Better board. And I think the place to start is with board roles. So what are we expecting our board members to do?

[00:02:52.74] spk_1:
Yeah, I love this conversation, tony. It’s actually one of my favorites. And yeah, it was probably Gosh, it was early on, I think when we first talked a little bit about boards getting sort of distracted from doing the financial oversight and forgetting to do some of the other things that boards are supposed to do. Um, and, you know, part of what we talked about could have been, like 78 years ago was like, Hey, somebody should be over overseeing. You know, whether the program’s doing Are they having an impact or not? Are they really furthering your mission in the way that you want them to?

[00:03:11.94] spk_0:
You know, I have to remind you you and I did a mock board meeting one time, and either you threw me off the border. I walked out. I forget

[00:03:15.22] spk_1:
which

[00:03:30.04] spk_0:
back in the old studio was many years ago. I don’t know what we’re talking about. Something board related, obviously. But, uh, yeah, either I got booted off or I walked out and quit. I forget, uh, we’re trying to avoid that. We’re trying to avoid that in our best better board,

[00:03:32.54] spk_1:
but we’re definitely going to try to approach any of these things with extreme tact

[00:03:37.84] spk_0:
I lack, which I often lack. I probably walked out. I probably quit or something.

[00:06:01.14] spk_1:
Yeah, just just overall, the same financial diligence is great. So take a look at the financials, make sure you understand them and make sure that the organization is able to pay off its debts that they become do that you’re not sort of bleeding money and just managing your financial assets. But non profits exist more than to produce a financial bottom line, of course. So you know in the for profit world boards and probably got a different duty, maybe a little bit more. I mean, everybody has to act in the best interests of the corporation, right? That’s a fiduciary duty. But what is the best interests of the corporation for for profit? Oftentimes it’s associated, at least in large part the benefit of its owners or shareholders. But in the non profit, there are no shareholders or owners, right? It’s for the benefit of advancing the mission. And that’s what the board has got to remember, that it’s got to be purpose driven. It’s got to be, um, acting in furtherance of the mission ahead of everything else. Um, and the one caveat I’ll add to that which we may have talked a little bit about before, as well is you’ve got to add values to that statement, so their values probably baked into your mission statement but also baked into the organizational culture. So if our mission is to feed people who are experiencing homelessness or a lack of income, resources or we’re not just going to throw food out in a trough, right? You know that might be the best way or the most effective way to get as many people fed as possible. But that would be completely inconsistent with anybody’s values. Or so values and mission sort of go hand in hand, and focusing on that is really important. So not just financial oversight, the programmatic oversight the role of the board has got to look forward to. You’ve got to set the path with those values and mission for the organization’s future, not just looking behind you, but looking ahead, um, and so guiding the organization with those thoughts, acting as ambassadors, getting the feedback from the environment about what challenges and what opportunities may be out there. Those are all things the board can bring back to the executive and to the staff, sort of to help them do their best.

[00:06:44.34] spk_0:
And these are all very, uh, lofty. And and, um, I don’t want to say pedagogical, because that makes it sound like they’re not grounded, but But these are these are very we haven’t even talked about. You know how many board meetings you have to attend in a year. And how many subcommittees you have to serve on? You know, we haven’t gotten to that yet. You know, we’re talking about the the ambition, but it has to be centered. It’s It’s like you said. It’s the mission and values of the organization. I mean, if someone doesn’t respect those, then you’re not gonna get your best better board. You’re going to get a crappy person. Maybe it gives a lot of money, but ultimately, the ships are not sailing in the same direction with all the board members on each one.

[00:06:50.14] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s right. And I loved your introduction about having the best Better board. Not this lackluster,

[00:07:13.34] spk_0:
lackluster better. But yeah, that’s for other podcasts, not on the radio. We don’t tolerate lackluster mediocrity, mediocre better boards that we want to. We want the best Better board. All right, so So it really it really does start with loft and ambition around around Mission and values.

[00:07:15.74] spk_1:
I definitely think so.

[00:07:29.44] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. Okay. So now let’s drill down. I mean, in terms of what we’re expecting the board to do, you have to be up front with what these expectations are and that that happens in recruitment, right? Not not in their first board meeting. You should be explaining the expectations while you’re talking to somebody about joining the board. Not after they have joined.

[00:07:41.54] spk_1:
Absolutely. And too often. I see tony and I don’t know if you’ve experienced this as well, but somebody tries to recruit you onto the board and they go, It’s really not that much work, you know. It’s easy. Um, well, that’s going to get you a lackluster and maybe not even a better board. So,

[00:07:59.57] spk_0:
um,

[00:08:45.54] spk_1:
yeah, so it really is about setting expectations of Hey, you really believe in this mission and you have the same values that we’re trying to move forward with. Let’s do something great with this organization. Let’s make a great impact here. This is These are the kind of things that we expect of our board. This is how often we meet. You know, this is, um, what we expected each board member in terms of attendance and in terms of maybe making a meaningful contribution. I don’t like set amounts because that can hurt diversity and inclusive inclusion. But a meaningful donation to to the organization it could be in time if not in money or in other ways. But the expectations, I think, need to be spelled out in front before you actually invite somebody onto the board.

[00:09:00.24] spk_0:
And when you’re spelling them out, I mean, do you Do you like to see a writing a document with, you know, Please take this home with you and consider consider, as we’re having our conversations about about you being on the board, consider all these things like you give them a document to read or just a conversation.

[00:09:24.64] spk_1:
I think both tony. So I I you know, it may depend upon the organization how formal they get, but if you do actually have a recruiting sort of policy or procedure or recruiting committee in place, I like to put some things down in writing just to make sure that we’re all on the same page and letting people know what the organization’s expectations are and how often boards meet. And if there is a meaningful contribution, expectations all of those things up front. So if somebody is not interested, they can right away say, you know, this isn’t for me, you know, I like what you do. But it’s not for me and another person who might say I’m really interested in doing all of those things. You know? I’d love to be a part of your board,

[00:10:11.94] spk_0:
All right? So be upfront about expectations. There’s no point in in concealing the work and the requirements, only to have the person blindsided when it comes time around, when it comes time for each board member to make their annual contribution. And and And they didn’t know that it was supposed to be a meaningful gift or they didn’t know there was a board giving requirement of any sort. You know, when it comes time to assign committee. So I didn’t know I was gonna be on a committee. I thought I just came to board member board meetings four times a year. Now we have committee meetings to I didn’t know about that, and then you set yourself up for a disaster.

[00:10:46.54] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s right. And if you if you start to um, the danger of it is is you don’t want to just sort of create this list of these are the things you have to do for the organization to run. You’ve got to always again relate it back to the mission and values. This is why we love to contribute as board members to the organization. Because this is what impact we can have. And this is the direction we see ourselves going to be able to have even greater impact. So you just keep reinforcing that message to get your best board members.

[00:10:55.74] spk_0:
You let me ask you a question. Are you Are you, uh Are you by any chance, playing with a pen or or anything?

[00:11:02.14] spk_1:
I am not rocking back and forth on my chair.

[00:11:06.44] spk_0:
And I know there’s, like, a little clicking, and I’m not. I know you’re not. I know you’re not typing like you’re not writing a document while we’re talking

[00:11:13.94] spk_1:
about you’re

[00:11:14.15] spk_0:
writing a client agreement or something.

[00:11:16.51] spk_1:
Typical things you expect from a lawyer, right?

[00:11:32.14] spk_0:
Yeah. You double bill your time, right. You get $800 an hour billed to clients at $400 an hour. You’re sitting in one’s office. You’re doing the work for the other. No. Okay. No, you’re not. Your hands are free, okay? I don’t know. There’s, like, little the mice are clicking or

[00:11:33.26] spk_1:
something. Maybe I’m rocking in my chair. I will try to hold back my enthusiasm.

[00:12:18.04] spk_0:
Okay, Alright. It doesn’t It doesn’t sound like that. Okay, Well, listeners, I can’t identify the sound of the but I’ll call it out because I’m not going to keep it quiet because we all hear it, so we’ll talk about it. Well, I don’t know what it is. This little tapping, clicking my mouse sound. Let’s talk about diversity. This should be a value. You and I have talked about this. We’ve had heartfelt conversations a couple of times about white male power and using that power and sharing power. And so let’s talk about diversity as a value for your board. How does that play into what we’re talking about? Your your best. Better board?

[00:14:50.74] spk_1:
Sure. You know, for the organizations who have responded to sort of this increasing understanding and awareness that diversity is an issue in various aspects, not just on board composition, but in the way our infrastructure as a country and even as the world is designed where, um, people who are in positions of power, no matter what race or gender or whatever, whatever they are tend to create systems that keep themselves in power. And so diversity has this great benefit of saying, Let’s take other lenses and look at what we’re doing. And look at the world that we’re in, um, for nonprofits, especially the world that’s directly impacting what we’re trying to do out there for. The people were trying to do it for what is impacting it, who is being affected the most, Um, and if that’s important to to organizations and their leaders, then I think they’ve really got to embrace diversity, not just by saying it, but by actually putting action steps into what they’re doing, Whether that’s going to be building it into true board diversity with inclusion. So not making people feel, you know, like they’re they’re just a simple tokens of taking a better picture but really being able to contribute to the power of the organization to address things that other people may not have seen. So, you know, I may identify with people who I relate to, but I may have very little understanding your perspective of people who are different from me who congregate in different circles who have different ideas. Um, and we have to think about all of those things, especially for serving a classic. Beneficiaries that are board members may be far away from. So if we have a board that’s more privileged, and we are helping a lot of people who don’t have some of the privileges that the board may have in terms of representation, how will we ever see the world through their lens? How will they understand? How will we understand where services are doing from their eyes? So trying to to get that diversity in an inclusive matter for purposes of increasing equity, I think, is a value that non profit should strive for.

[00:16:11.94] spk_0:
It’s time for a break turn to communications relationships. They’ve got the relationships with the media outlets so that when you need to be in the news, when there’s a news item that you need to comment on, your voice needs to be heard. Turn to has the relationships to get you heard. It’s not cold calling. They have the existing relationships. They give it like gifts. You get a lot of gifts from cold calls. Do you get any gifts from cold calls? You get your best gifts from cold calls. If you’re doing cold call fundraising. No, you don’t. Of course, it’s the same with media. The relationships are in place. So when you want to be heard, turn to picks up the phones and leverages those relationships That way you’re gonna get heard. Turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. Now back to build your best. Better board. Diversity has to be centered. Um, but And you wanted to go deeper than just like the board should reflect the community or the board should reflect those we serve. You mean you’re looking for something deeper than just reflecting an environment?

[00:18:17.04] spk_1:
I think so. So it is reflecting different perspectives as well. So I think traditionally, we thought of it as a skills based diversity. Like we need a lawyer. We need an accountant. We need a financial manager, a fundraiser on our board. And then we became all a little bit more woke and we said, Hey, we need racial diversity in our organizations. Um, but we didn’t say why that was or many of us didn’t say, why do we need racial diversity in our organizations? Is it simply to make it look like we embrace diversity and we take the better picture? Or is it because we want a true understanding from somebody else with a different lens and perspective? Who could tell us if there are gaps in our services for their communities? If there are gaps in the laws that are creating inequities that affect our mission as well? So the more we get these other perspectives, whether it be from a racial diversity angle from a disability angle, which I think is increasingly a really important thing to look at as we are facing an older population where disabilities are highly, you know, they make up a great percentage of our organizations and they’re kind of sort of the the unseen Group in many ways, um, we’re just getting started on addressing some of those concerns. But, um, the way we serve people can really miss many of those that are impacted, that that would be true beneficiaries of our service if they could access our services. But if we don’t make it accessible to them, then we just missed them, and that may be completely unintentional. But if we don’t have people who can identify and spot those things because they live it, um that would be, you know, short a shortfall in leadership. And that’s where we have to sort of address, Um, taking a look with a much broader lens and not just in our boards, but in our programming, in our staffing and just getting more awareness and bringing more lenses to what we’re doing.

[00:18:55.54] spk_0:
Let’s talk about bringing someone new to the board because we’re gonna be recruiting our new board members that are going to be part of our best better board. So now if we’ve recruited the right people, we need to socialize them to the organization. It’s more than I think. It’s more than just formal training. You know, the the organization has a culture. The board has a culture. Hopefully, they’re healthy. Let’s assume, but let’s take that. Let’s assume that these are healthy. Culture is not. Not. Cultures were trying to reverse, uh, you know, like intolerance or something. But healthy cultures. There’s a formal training and an informal training.

[00:20:26.74] spk_1:
I absolutely agree with you, so you know orientations can start even at recruitment. But once you decide that you want to elect somebody onto the board and they want to be part of the board and you elect them. I think it really is important now for them to be ingrained in what the organizations and the board culture is, what the priorities are getting a better sense of what the programs are. I’ll confess. I’ve been part of boards where I may not have a very good understanding of some of the programs. I get lost in some of, you know, again, the financial reports and maybe one program officer. You know, a year shows up and describes their program well, that that’s not really giving me a full sense of what the organization is doing. So more of that, um, is really going to be beneficial. Um, it will also help in sort of preventing there from being this wall between who the board is and who the staff and who are. The people that are actually implementing the program are other than the executive director, so boards often just meet with the executive director. But in an orientation or training, I think more deeply getting ingrained and that’s a board staff retreat. Joint retreats are good things. Board buddies and maybe a board staff buddy system could also

[00:20:31.34] spk_0:
is that like is that a mentoring board board buddy?

[00:20:53.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I think it could be partly mentoring, but I think the relationship really extends both ways, right? We can get more information from an outsider’s perspective to help the organization, and when they have fresh eyes, they may see different things. So instead of just saying, I know more than you, I’m going to mentor you. We can be buddies and learn from each other.

[00:20:56.64] spk_0:
And then you mentioned staff buddies, too.

[00:21:21.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I I don’t think it’s a bad idea for boards again to get more involved with their staff. We don’t want to micromanage. So there is this fine line there. But just getting an understanding from the staff about what they see in the organization, I think is important other than the executive director who may be the one who attends every board meeting. But if we just see one other staff member once a year, that really isn’t giving a sense of what is going on and what the organizational culture is. We might know what the board culture is, but do we really know what the organizational culture is?

[00:22:10.34] spk_0:
If it’s a staff buddy, it’s not only micromanagement, from the board member down. But then you also have to be conscious of the staff member trying to leverage a relationship with a board member like trying to do something or avoid doing something that the CEO may want or their vice president that they report to may want or something. You know, uh, that just it has to be managed. That’s all. Just You have to be conscious of the possibility of somebody exploiting and a relationship with the board members saying things that are inappropriate. The board members.

[00:22:52.14] spk_1:
I think this has to be designed with a consultant who really understands the area because you’re absolutely right. Tony. Yeah, if you if you aren’t careful, what you’re doing is you’re creating people going behind the executives back to make complaints to board members. And that’s not what the purpose is. So it might be controlled by saying, Hey, the board staff buddy thing is a meeting of the board and staff person in a joint group in a group where we’re all meeting in different corners of the room and just talking about certain specific topics so it can be regulated a little bit more carefully with rules of the game spelled out in advance. This is not a place to complain about employment issues. This is Yeah.

[00:23:04.34] spk_0:
Um, what do you like for board terms? What do you have? Advice? Two years? Three years? Should How many? How many years or how many terms should board members be allowed to continue on?

[00:24:00.64] spk_1:
Um, there’s there’s not, you know, one specific answer. I hate the lawyers. Answer. It depends. It does. But let me just say in a large number of cases, I like the 2 to 3 year term, both balancing a little bit of need for continuity and giving a fair expectation to a new board member of that. This is not just going to be a one year thing and you’re out. Um uh, and I like to have board terms to make sure that the board doesn’t become very insular and its thinking and in its diversity by keeping board members on perpetually until they’re ready to resign. It also makes it hard to ever remove a board member if people think that they have a right to serve on the board forever. So I kind of like board members not to be on board for, like maybe five or six years. Um, having said that, there are times

[00:24:02.67] spk_0:
when to not be on for five or six years

[00:24:04.99] spk_1:
to beyond that

[00:24:08.44] spk_0:
beyond. For five, like maybe two, 23 year terms, two year terms or 23 year terms of the most

[00:24:41.64] spk_1:
something. Something like that. Now, a lot of exceptions to that, if you have, if you had trouble building aboard and you have some great champions on the board. But those have been kind of the long term people who really know and really invested, and everybody else has been sort of lackluster. Um, I don’t think you should kick off your strongest board members, so you have to really think about that before you implement it. It is sort of an idealistic goal to have those term limits and, um, 2 to 3 year terms. But in other situations, I would say one size doesn’t fit. Also, take a look at your own board composition first before you make those type of decisions.

[00:25:19.94] spk_0:
What about in terms of socializing to the board, having social events for the board? Occasionally, Maybe it’s a dinner after a meeting. Um, I wouldn’t have cocktails before a meeting. But you could have cocktails after a meeting, you know, trying to get the board to get to know the members, to know each other outside the board. What else do you do? You go skiing, you go snowmobiling. You know, you’re a Fisher fisherman. You know things like that.

[00:25:26.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I love that idea. I’ve even had cocktails before boarding. So,

[00:25:31.63] spk_0:
uh, all right,

[00:26:10.84] spk_1:
but yes, um, for board members to trust each other and to be open to each other’s ideas and respect each other, the more you know each other, the more likelihood that that’s all going to happen and that you’re going to actually build the board culture rather than have people who don’t know each other who are trying to get out of the meeting, to watch a basketball game or be home with their family and sort of sit and say, This is my duty. For the next hour, I’m going to sit here, take notes and listen and try to do my job. But think of it just as a job. It’s going to be less productive. I think that if you come in and say I love these people that are kind of get to work with. And we’re trying to build something great so we can make change in the world or in our community. And so I really like coming to these events and getting a sense of it. Sometimes there’s, you know, those ice breaker things you know, for five or 10 minutes in front of a meeting that can be hit or miss and oftentimes a

[00:26:33.10] spk_0:
miss. How many people can you talk to in 10 minutes?

[00:26:35.46] spk_1:
Yeah, and that’s another reason why you shouldn’t have too big a board as well. If you have 50 people at a to our board meeting, how many people are going to get to

[00:26:51.84] spk_0:
talk, right? That’s yeah, So I know that I know your answer is there’s no hard and fast answer for this one. But since you just let into it, share your advice on on board size,

[00:28:13.54] spk_1:
Yes. So my maybe not so helpful advice is not too few and not too many, um, that if we dive down a little deeper, you need, um or you’d like to have as many board members as you can utilize to help you govern the organization and help the organization and the board do its best job. So if that number is eight, or if that number is 15, that’s, you know that may be your ideal board size. It’s more important to me to get the right people on the board, um, rather than the right number. But if you can, if you have less than five and you’re a mature organization, I start to worry that you’re gonna lack that diversity in many different perspectives. Um, and if you’ve got more than 20 I have a feeling that a lot of board members feel like their contributions are not being heard because they don’t have an opportunity to sort of verbally contribute, especially if there are few dominant board members at meetings and in a two hour meeting, even 20 people are going to have a chance to say how much about how many issues it will be very few. So to really think about that, and you want to encourage board members to attend every board meeting, not just sort of half of the board meetings or think that they can take a free ride because you’ve got enough people to do that job. I’ll just help on a committee. You don’t want them to feel that way. You want them to feel very invested.

[00:28:31.24] spk_0:
So you feel like an expectation is you attend every board meeting either physically or virtually.

[00:28:33.84] spk_1:
I think that’s the expectation. And if people are missing, you know, one out of 41 out of five meetings, one out of 10 meetings, you know that might be acceptable for special circumstances. But you don’t want it to be a habit. I think you want to aspire to have everybody attend all of them.

[00:28:58.64] spk_0:
Okay, Um, what do you What do you feel like talking about board wise that we haven’t talked about yet? Let’s not go to how to get rid of a board member yet that’s that’s toward the end. What’s your what’s on your mind around your best? Better board?

[00:30:44.94] spk_1:
Well, we talked about kind of the expectations of what the board should do, but they think each director’s gotta ask that question of themselves as well. And maybe that’s part of the board. Recruitment and orientation package is kind of a list of however many 10 things that board members should aspire to do themselves, uh, to be part of this board and attend all meetings. We talked about that, but what else should they do? They should review financials regularly, so if they’re getting a financial before each meeting, they should review them. They should know that they are expected to ask questions that might be at the board meeting or that might be before the board meeting. But if they’re getting information aboard package in advance, which they should get, um, about the matters that are going to be up for discussion at the board, they should know that they should review it first. And if they have any questions, they should share it with the group. Um, and that doesn’t happen enough, in my opinion, that there are these questions and everybody saves it for the board meeting, and then they run out of time to discuss all the issues that they want to. So just having it kind of on an email sort of mass email, the board package comes out on email, and people can ask questions about it so that everybody gets an advanced preview of what some of the issues are before you go into that board meeting and then start to discuss things a little bit more detail. Some of those things might need a little research to be answered to. The executive might have to talk to an accountant or a lawyer or someone else and say, Let’s find out what the answer is and you know that does away with that issue even before the meeting, if you can share that information. So that’s another thing to just think about.

[00:31:35.04] spk_0:
What about managing the board? Uh, some. Some larger organizations have a board liaison where that’s probably not most of our listeners with someone who’s devoted to the board. I think that’s more like university style, big university style. But there doesn’t have to be a lot of staff support for the board. I mean, not only the you mentioned getting the board packages to them at least a week. I’d say in advance, maybe a week or 10 days in advance, something like that. But it goes beyond that. Board members have questions. Have these questions that you’re suggesting they ask in advance of meetings? Um, committee work has to be supported. How do we How do we make sure that we’re giving the board members the support that they need.

[00:33:00.24] spk_1:
Yeah, and it’s a great balance. Is it? Well, it’s a great question, but it is a tough one to answer because of the balance that you have to think of. You want the board to be informed so that they can be of help to the organization. But you don’t want the board to put on so many demands upon the staff that they’re really hurting the staff’s ability to do the work of the organization, the programmatic work that’s needed. So there is a little bit of balance there. I know many staff members and executives hate kind of preparing the board for the board meeting because it may take so much work. Sometimes it’s because they’re trying to justify what they are doing to the board, because the board may come in with a little bit of a negative skew about, you know, prove to us that you’re doing good work of some kind. That may be the perception that the staff is getting. I don’t think any boards are overtly saying that, but I feel that staff can come into it a little bit defensively in preparation of board materials rather than this is an ally of ours. This should be the strongest ally that we have this board group. Let’s give them information and questions for them so that they can help us do our job better. Um, and that takes time. But how many staff are involved with the executive? Certainly is meeting with them. That probably goes without saying if there is a financial person there other than the executive, that person should probably have frequent contact.

[00:35:45.54] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take to the podcast. Pleasantries. They gotta go out. That’s what we start with. Plan giving accelerator that’s coming. The podcast. Pleasantries. Uh, I’m enjoying the nostalgia of sending these again. I’ve missed it. I guess I I ignored it for a while. My my mistake. I’m sorry about that. Pleasantries to you, our podcast listener. Well, you individually. But there’s more than just one of you out there. There’s over 13,000 of you out there. So, to the podcast, listeners pleasantries. You know, I’m grateful. I am. I’m glad you’re with us. I’m glad you’re learning that non profit radio helps you helps your organization open conversations, take action steps, open discussions with the board. Your CEO, your vice president, Whoever it is, you bring stuff too. I’m glad it helps you do all that. And I hope there’s the action steps to I’m sure there are. There is. I’m sure there are the action steps. I’m sure there are. Thanks for being with us. Thanks for being with me. Pleasantries to our podcast listeners. Each of you plan giving accelerator that is the online membership community that I created to help you get your plan giving program started and growing. It’s a membership that you join for a year, and I teach you month by month lesson by lesson, Step by step. Everything you need to get your planned giving program started and growing. If you’re not doing planned giving and you would like to be, is it on your to do list? Have you, like so many folks? Say to me, Had this on your mind for a couple of years. You can get it done. You can get it started to get the initial thing started, and that’s done and then the program continues. I mean, the program doesn’t finish after a year. You continue your playing giving program indefinitely, of course, but you’ll get plan giving off your to do list. You get the going done. Your started 2021. The next class starts April 1st, all the info on how to pick my brain and have me teach you planned giving starting up step by step. Is that planned? Giving accelerator dot com. Okay, that is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for build your best better board with Jean Takagi.

[00:36:41.93] spk_1:
I didn’t mean to downplay the role of somebody from programming coming in speaking to the board once in a while, I think I wanted to say that that was insufficient for the board to know what’s going on programmatically. But having people come in a little bit more regularly, or at least providing materials to the board more regularly about the program’s impact, you know, and that could be through stories as well. I’m kind of like in fundraising make the board engaged with what the organization is doing programmatically and invested in doing more to help the organization do better with its programs, either serve more people are doing in a better way. You want to create that connection so that the board rallies around you and actually helps you rather than just again just providing oversight and saying We want to make sure everything is lawful. Give us all this information to make, you know, make sure that we can do that. You want to do get more from your board.

[00:37:26.53] spk_0:
I like the idea of regular presentations at board meetings from from program staff. Maybe the 1st 15 minutes of a board meeting every time is from some different employee. Maybe maybe it’s not a unique pro, maybe not different programs every time. But I like the idea of devoting some board time each each meeting to to programs to what our work is, but but not being acquainted by the CEO. But having someone who’s on the ground doing the work answering, I think that would be a real fertile ground for questions to from the board and provides ongoing training.

[00:37:28.53] spk_1:
I think so, too, and maybe even somebody who is a beneficiary of the services

[00:37:32.89] spk_0:
beneficiary to yes

[00:37:51.23] spk_1:
to say Hey, you know you get a chance to speak to the board to because we want to know what you feel about our programs and our organization and how you’ve been treated. So, um, I think those things are good, and I I again think, tony, that will just energize aboard to want to do more if they feel more connected to what the organization is actually doing and not just reading about it and listening to the executive tell them about it.

[00:38:15.32] spk_0:
What about that important CEO board chair relationship that should be very collegial? It should be supportive. What what’s your advice around for? The CEO is probably mostly CEOs listening, although we do have board members listening. But probably we have more CEOs than we do board chairs. So what’s your advice there for them? Although

[00:39:07.82] spk_1:
I’ll say that probably a fair number of CEOs have actually acted in the capacity of a board chair as well and other organizations, so they may understand some of the roles from both sides. I think my advice is what you have just said, as well as to have this collegial relationship and develop one where there’s one of trust where the CEO is not afraid to go to the board and say, I’ve got some bad news. Um, I’m looking for some guidance on this. If the CEO is always about, um, my pay or my job security can be affected by telling bad news to the board chair. So I’m going to try to, uh,

[00:39:09.52] spk_0:
show hide it, make it sound, not as bad as it is not. Be completely honest, etcetera.

[00:39:26.32] spk_1:
Yeah, I think of what you know. For profit, boards of directors may say to their shareholders in public companies, Right, like you want to pose the best view of that organization as possible. I don’t think that’s a healthy relationship for nonprofit board to have its executive,

[00:39:37.42] spk_0:
and and that should be frequent communication to I mean, shouldn’t shouldn’t the CEO feel comfortable picking up the phone and seeking the advice of the board chair?

[00:40:20.31] spk_1:
I think so. And if it’s not the board chair, I I think it’s okay at times. So your board culture is going to have to allow for this, but for them to pick up the phone and talk to another board member, So I’m when I serve on the board. I’m sometimes the only lawyer on the board. I want the CEO to be able to talk to me. I’m not going to be their legal counsel, But I might have a point of view. Or I might spot an issue if they feel like, Hey, is this something we need to talk to our lawyer about? Maybe our board chair wouldn’t be able to answer that question. But maybe I would as a board member. So, yeah, I like the CEO of being able to reach out to multiple board members for for different issues. Yeah,

[00:40:48.21] spk_0:
all right. Should we should we talk about terminating board members the topic before before their time is, Do so Let’s say, you know, a three year term and they’ve been on for a year, and they’re obstreperous, lackluster, unkind. They don’t belong. Let’s just for whatever reason, they don’t belong.

[00:43:09.10] spk_1:
Sure. What do we do? Yeah, it’s a real tough one, right. So, um, sometimes you have to look at it holistically. So oftentimes I get a call and that situation will arise. But it will turn out that that board members also the biggest donor to the organization right now you’ve got to think a little more diplomatically and strategically about how to do this. Um um So again, not one size fits all But one method that some organizations have used has been to say, Let’s talk with this board member and try to find the best role for them in the organization and see if we can move them off the board but into this other role, whether it be advisory, um, or whether it be in an, uh in an honorary position for being, you know, uh, something emeritus. So give them a fancy title. Ask them to show up at fundraising events, um uh, or to to speak to two foundations when you go out with them to do a pitch, maybe that’s where their strength is. And maybe there’s enough there of their passion for the mission and for the organization and what it does. While they don’t have passion for doing the work of a director in a strategic and diplomatic way, they may still have passion for the mission of the organization. And let’s try to take advantage of that, um, and use it in a way where nobody will use sort of the Asian mentality of nobody loses face right, like so everybody gets to keep their dignity and look good. But let’s try to take advantage of not having that person be disruptive on the board anymore. And if that person isn’t giving you much of a contribution in any way, then once in a while removal is an unpleasant but sometimes necessary option. And boards may have to decide that again. Uh, they’re going to ask somebody where they’re actually going to vote to tell somebody, um, that their services as a director are no longer needed, Um, but that has to also be done diplomatically. You have to be careful of alleging reasons for doing that because that could get you involved in a defamation lawsuit from that person if they’re upset with it and litigious so carefully.

[00:43:20.20] spk_0:
So this should be something that’s in the bylaws, then removal of a board member. Yeah, you need to have a documented process.

[00:44:17.09] spk_1:
I think that’s right, tony. A lot of, um, boards have eliminated that from the bylaws because you see that as a negative. But then they would default to the code, right, and they’re not going to usually look up what the code says about removal. It has to be done in a certain way, and in some cases it can get a little bit complicated. If you have a voting membership structure like for certain charities, they might have members who actually elect their board members. It’s more common in trade associations and homeowners associations things like that. But some charities have voting members, and removal, then becomes a lot more complicated. But having it having the procedure in your bylaws at least gives you kind of like the encyclopedia. Look at how to do this properly without feeling like it’s going to be too hard. We can’t do it and just live with it.

[00:44:26.89] spk_0:
I’m not familiar with this model you just described because you and you said it’s some five oh one C threes have elected board members. So

[00:44:28.78] spk_1:
yeah,

[00:44:29.71] spk_0:
so it has. The board has voted members on and can only remove them,

[00:45:22.59] spk_1:
actually the opposite way. So members elect the board members, so the members are responsible for electing and potentially removing board members. So you might think of that more in terms of like a union or a professional association or homeowners association, where all the homeowners elect the board. If they don’t like the board, they’ll remove them and put somebody else on to that board. So some charities are also structured that way. And that was to sort of been seen as a more democratic process of ensuring that the board stays responsive to what the members think. The mission is supposed to be, um, for smaller organizations. I generally don’t recommend it because it’s more costly. It’s much more difficult to manage and administer. Um, but nevertheless, I would say about 5 to 10% of the charities that we run into small charities we run into are structured that way.

[00:45:32.49] spk_0:
Not ideal, though, but they’re trying to be democratic. And

[00:45:36.99] spk_1:
that’s right.

[00:46:19.48] spk_0:
Okay, I see. All right. Well, that Yeah, that conversation to to hope that opening that conversation with the director to be removed is is hard. Maybe maybe the maybe the board member themselves themselves, uh, maybe the person. Maybe they can’t find the right pronoun. Maybe that person isn’t happy in the role either. That’s a possibility. It could be. You know, you could sort of open the conversation with it. Seems like, you know, this isn’t as you were suggesting, and I’m kind of putting a few things together. It seems like this isn’t quite the right role for you. You don’t seem happy as a board member. Uh, you know, you could open the conversation that way in trying to find something else to offer

[00:46:43.88] spk_1:
them. I think that’s a great way often to frame that that situation. I actually wrote an article for the nonprofit Quarterly. I think called something like 10 Reasons Why a director made gracefully want to resign from their organization, um, board. And so, yeah, framing it from their perspective and what they’re not getting is probably a good way to start it.

[00:46:59.58] spk_0:
I thought of something else before we wrap up. What do you think about junior boards, you know, maybe have an advisory role? There’s sort of a training improving ground for future board members, whatever you call it, might. It might just be the advisory board or something. But what do you think of that? That having, uh, that in your organization,

[00:47:26.78] spk_1:
I think you’ve done well. It works. Um, really Well, it raises potential future board members and gives you an introduction to the organization. Rather than bringing somebody straight into the board. They have a chance to be part of whatever you want to call it an advisory committee or, uh, the junior board. I would be careful with the name, depending upon who you’re planning to put on it.

[00:47:30.99] spk_0:
So junior board is not so good. All right.

[00:47:33.37] spk_1:
Unless it’s for, you know, unless you’re putting minors on it for advisory positions. Okay. Okay.

[00:47:44.08] spk_0:
But advisory, an advisory board advisory committee. And and it gets to be seen as a stepping stone for some folks to the board membership.

[00:48:04.17] spk_1:
Yeah, and to offer thought leadership from different perspectives. Um, so I think that’s good. But if you’re trying to increase diversity through an advisory border, Junior. But I would say Be very careful to make it not look like it is of less importance. And that’s why these people were put on that.

[00:48:54.37] spk_0:
Oh, yeah, right. Right. So all your yes, all your all the folks of color and other underrepresented groups are on the advisory board. Yeah, that’s well, that’s a sham. Alright, That’s right. Exactly. That’s inhumane. Alright. Yeah, I’m surprised you thought of that, Gene. You’re well. You see the good and the bad. All right, you’ve It’s not that you thought of it. You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. I guess it’s It’s out there somewhere. All right. Thank you, Jeanne. Outstanding. Outstanding advice. Jeanne Takagi, our legal contributor. You’ll find them at nonprofit law blog dot com. You can find him at Columbia University if you’re a member of their student body in, uh, what is it? The nonprofit nonprofit management program at Columbia?

[00:49:01.07] spk_1:
Yep.

[00:49:07.17] spk_0:
Okay, so you’ll find him there. You also find him at neo law group dot com and you’ll find him at G T A K at G Tech. Thank you very much, Gene.

[00:49:12.87] spk_1:
Thanks, tony. Been a pleasure.

[00:50:05.17] spk_0:
My pleasure. As always. Thanks. Next week, I’m asking you to trust me. 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. Creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark 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 non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great. Mhm

Nonprofit Radio for March 15, 2021: Relationships With Funders

My Guest:

Shavonn Richardson: Relationships With Funders
There’s too much transactionalism and not enough relationship building between nonprofits and their institutional funders. Are you a transactionalist? Do you want to walk toward the light of relationship fundraising with foundations and corporations? Shavonn Richardson can show you the path. She’s CEO of Think and Ink Grant Consulting.

 

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Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

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.
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[00:00:13.94] spk_3:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big

[00:01:56.24] spk_1:
non profit 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 get slapped with a diagnosis of African trypanosomiasis if you bit me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Relationships with Funders. There’s too Much Transactional is, um, and not enough relationship building between nonprofits and their institutional funders. Are you a transactional ist? Do you want to walk toward the light of relationship fundraising with foundations and corporations? She, even Richardson, can help you. She’s CEO of Think and Ink Grant Consulting, tony State, too. Podcast pleasantries, reduction. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. I’m very pleased to welcome shaven Richardson to the show. She is founder and CEO of Think and Ink Grant Consulting. She worked as a program manager for a corporate funder, deploying over a million dollars in grants and sponsorships to Atlanta nonprofits. Now she gets grants for her clients and has successfully leveraged over $25 million in funding. She’s a Forbes thought leader and serves on the board of directors for the Grant Professionals Association. She’s at Shavon Richardson and her company is at Think and Inc grants dot com. Welcome to nonprofit radio Shabaan.

[00:01:57.78] spk_0:
Thank you, Tony. Thanks for having me.

[00:02:02.04] spk_1:
Absolutely. It’s a pleasure. Do you know the shaven Richardson who stole your name from Twitter before you before? I

[00:02:08.81] spk_0:
wish I could hunt her down and get her her Twitter tag. Yeah, that would be more convenient for sure. You

[00:02:17.04] spk_1:
haven’t. You have not threatened

[00:02:18.09] spk_0:
her? Not yet. Not yet. But if you find her, let me know.

[00:02:21.14] spk_1:
Okay, well, we know how to find her on Twitter. She’s Ron Rich. Uh, we don’t like her Shiban Richeson

[00:02:28.70] spk_0:
on

[00:02:36.64] spk_1:
Twitter. So you have the, uh, background of being a program manager. You are concerned that and I obviously you saw this as a program manager that folks are are to transactional, right? They submit these blind applications they don’t have relationships with with program managers like you. You wanna like you used to be. You want to turn that around?

[00:03:20.44] spk_0:
Yes. Yes, yes. I was a program manager at Bank of America Foundation. Oversaw a lot of the, um, grants that came in and sponsorships that would come in. Reviewed applications, build relationships with non profits. And I think my biggest pet peeve was, um, someone committee what we call a cold application without any outreach to our office or any connection or we knew anything about.

[00:03:25.44] spk_1:
So even with Bank of America, we can we can have we can. We can establish a relationship with a person at Bank of America

[00:03:32.19] spk_0:
Foundation that it is doable.

[00:03:36.64] spk_1:
Okay, all right. And I presume the folks with the relationships have a better shot of getting funded, right?

[00:04:11.94] spk_0:
Why are they overall, just in general? We’re talking about any funder, right, whether it’s a corporate funder or a family foundation or any sort of private foundation, the more they know about you and more about your nonprofit organization and more about the really valuable work that you’re doing. Um, they’re more. They’re in a position to make a determination whether they want to invest in support, that the work you do. So it’s all a part of getting to know you. You’re getting to know them and making sure that there’s an appropriate match,

[00:04:40.84] spk_1:
because the program manager is basically an advocate for your grant application, right? If they believe in it, then they have to bring it up. Obviously, it’s certainly a Bank of America, you know, to bring things up to folks, folks above to to get approved funding. So, like, aren’t you? Isn’t the program manager basically the advocate for the grants that that, uh, he or she believes in?

[00:05:25.34] spk_0:
Yeah, well, you know, they can be an advocate, right? It just really depends, because every fund is different, right? So, you know, some funders will have the program managers make the decision as a group as to who gets funding. Sometimes the program managers are in a position to kind of gather all the applicants, maybe writing a summary, uh, what the program is, and then maybe boarding it to a board of directors or a committee or a group of non profit leaders that are responsible for actually making the decision. But either way, a program manager is involved in the process. Um, and the more they know about you, the more that you know, there might be some opportunities for them to be an advocate if it’s appropriate.

[00:05:41.74] spk_1:
Okay, So if we’re thinking about, uh, let’s start with the corporate since you were on the corporate side and then we’ll talk. We’ll talk about foundations to, um, But let’s start with the corporate side. How do you? Well, I guess it starts with research. You’ve got to make sure you’re talking to a corporation that funds the type of work that you do in the area where you are, right. So it starts with good research,

[00:06:58.04] spk_0:
especially research, you know, especially large funders, large corporate funders to get a lot of emails and calls from everyone right about different things. But if you just start with going to their website and learning more about, they’re giving priorities. Every corporate funder has given priorities or their focus areas on their website. You want to make sure that the work that you’re doing is in line with one of those focus areas so that you’re not reaching out to a funny to say, Hey, do you support this really cool thing that I’m doing when it’s already very clear on their website that they do or they don’t all the times they’ll have, like a little survey of yes or no questions to see if you’ll be eligible to apply, so that’s that’s the first step. The next step would be kind of, um, the outreach, right? Some will say, Hey, we don’t have the capacity entertained phone calls. If you want to engage with us, please send in a l O I, which in our industry is considered a letter of intent or a lot of interest. So that’s just a quick summary of your program for them to get to know you. Others have just a general inbox, um, email that you’ll find on their website. If you have questions, you know, here is a way to contact us. So those are kind of like the first ways to start connecting with a potential corporate funder and build a relationship.

[00:07:11.57] spk_1:
If there one that’s willing to take calls, you, uh, you pick up the phone and what do you say?

[00:07:18.84] spk_0:
Well, I say they were at least I can say, at least for our clients that it’s a very strategic conversation we actually plan. Yeah, just don’t pick up the phone calls. They take calls school. I mean,

[00:07:33.94] spk_1:
let me chat them up about my work. Okay, So what do you think What are you planning before you before you do pick up the phone?

[00:09:00.44] spk_0:
Yeah. So if everybody gets on the phone, it’s always good to have at least one or two people that you’ve connected with, um, as far as their contact information. Right? Because folks leave, folks come and go all the time. So the one person that you’ve connected with, if they leave, then you’re you’re kind of out of luck. So it’s good to have, you know, to contact, right? Um, if you reach out via telephone to arrange some time on someone’s calendar or via email, I would always say limited to 15 minutes, right? They’re busy people. And in that 15 minutes, you have a clear understanding of what you’re talking about. Oftentimes with our clients, these unscripted conversations that we plan, we’re not scripted word for word. But we do have a strategy as far as what we want our clients to share during those conversations and really stick to it. Um, in the end, leave a few minutes for any questions. Um, always end with a like a follow up like, Hey, you know, how can we stay connected? Is it okay if I, you know, seeing you a letter from a person we just recently helped, or how can we stay connected and and And that’s a start, right? And to keep it a warm connection, right? Figure out ways to keep them engaged, to always keep my breast of the work that you’re doing. And I think the key point is to do this regardless. If there is a pending grant deadline, do this when there’s no grant deadline, right?

[00:09:28.64] spk_1:
I was gonna ask about that. Okay, So there’s no, there’s no even grant deadline yet. You’re just opening the channel before so that you’ve you’ve made the point in a couple of your blog posts or videos that, you know, don’t wait until two weeks before a deadline. You try to open a conversation, you’ve you set yourself up like maybe not definitely for failure, but you’ve You’ve made it a lot harder on everybody. So So this is before there isn’t even a day before There’s even a deadline posted.

[00:09:48.24] spk_0:
Exactly. And you know, sometimes if you do this work without a deadline, sometimes when a grant does come down the pipeline, don’t reach out to you and they’ll say, Hey, you know, we’ve been talking for the last six months. I think this is a good opportunity for you. Check it out and they’ll just forge you an opportunity. And that’s that’s even better, right? Because that means that your top of mind for them,

[00:11:03.44] spk_1:
it’s time for a break. Turn to communications. You know, the relationships that turn to has. These are examples. Examples. The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, CBS Market Watch, The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Those are the biggest. They have others, and they’ll make others others where you belong, where they can help place you so that when there’s a news hook that you belong in, they know who to call. They’ve got the relationships relationships. That’s how you get yourself positioned in the media that you want when you want it there at turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to relationships with funders. You see the symmetry here you see, you see how it’s all connected with the relationship theme transcending. It’s resplendent with relationships. Unbelievable. So in that phone call or in these series of calls, as you’re keeping in touch with them, you’re trying to show them how your work aligns with their funding priorities. I mean, especially in that first. Like you said, a 15 minute phone call. You’re trying to hook them into what you do and how it overlaps with what they fund, right?

[00:11:19.94] spk_0:
Exactly. And I think when people go wrong is that they just they’re just so excited just to share all the work that they’re doing and they make it about them. But you know, these social, corporate friends, this is not altruistic. Giving is like it’s a reason why they’re investing in you is because you’re aligning with what they need to do. So always to keep the funder in mind and making sure that you are aligning to what they are looking for.

[00:11:46.94] spk_1:
And then over time, as you’re keeping in touch, is it okay to email them when you maybe have a big success? Or I don’t know, uh, email them announcements. Maybe about a couple of new board members. I mean, is that kind of stuff appropriate? Is that is that a good way to be keeping in touch with them?

[00:12:00.54] spk_0:
Exactly. Right. Exactly right. Press releases, uh, update new things that are happening. That’s always good to kind of keep them in loop. I discourage people from including them on your mass newsletter distribution list. Um, that’s a big no, no, definitely any personalized communication. If you want to extract information from your newsletter, that’s fine. But let it be personal. Let it be from the executive director. Uh, I know I personally have small when I’ve received stuff in the mail. Like I’ve received pictures of those that we’ve helped with a little handwritten letter in crayon. Hi. Thank you so much for the grant. That’s a tear jerker. And a lot of times I would put them up in my office. I was just going to say

[00:12:43.05] spk_1:
that. I bet you put them up

[00:12:44.01] spk_0:
in your office. I put my office

[00:12:45.78] spk_1:
crayon letters from, like, a seven or eight year old.

[00:12:50.24] spk_0:
Yeah, put them up in my office and, you know, there you go There on my mind. 3 65. So, um, getting something in the mail, you know who gets stuff in the mail anymore, right? So it would stand out. I’d say, Wow, it’s a package on my desk. What is that? And it really made a difference. So anyway, that you can engage them, whether mailing something or be email not too often, but when you really feel like there’s something significant that you’d like to share,

[00:13:50.94] spk_1:
so it’s not really that uncommon. I mean, it’s not really that different than keeping in touch with individual donors, you know? All right, So you’re saying you know, you wouldn’t include them on your in your e newsletter mail list? Okay, that’s that’s an exception. But you know, your major donors, like you’re inside individual donors, you keep in touch with them. You build relationships with them for when the time comes that you are going to be asking them. I mean, these are all strategic relationships. They’re not like you said. They’re not altruistic. Uh, you know, there’s a purpose behind these, but it sounds parallel to individual relationship building.

[00:13:54.74] spk_0:
It is okay. It is very parallel, and it’s so odd. I know I know a lot of fun reasons that are like, really good at engaging with individual donors, and I tell them like that that’s just not my jam. And then I think about it like, but there’s really a lot of like you could really apply to say, strategy. So that doesn’t mean that, uh, you know, it’s it’s necessarily a difficult thing. It’s just you just have to do it right? Like how it with a strategy and apply it

[00:15:11.54] spk_1:
because even Bank of America is made of people. Yeah, right. I mean, you’re you’re a person. You have feelings you like to be kept in touch with. You know, you like to get warm, soft, fuzzy, You know, things in the mail, like you’re saying so. You know, even Bank of America is made of people, so connect, connect on a personal level. All right. All right. So then let’s just follow that that relationship through a little bit. So now let’s suppose there is a grant application deadline Now it’s I don’t know how. How far in advance do we find out about these things? Like, three months or six months? Random varies. Okay. All right. So you find out now there’s an application. Three months, three months. You’ve got three months, but you’ve got a relationship with the with the company. Um, what do you do? You pick up the phone and say, Well, you know, can I apply or do you You just apply or you can leverage. How do you leverage your relationship?

[00:15:14.20] spk_0:
You pick up the phone, you send an email. Hi, Sally. We just saw that you guys have in our p available or a great opportunity available. And it’s due in June. Whatever. Whatever. We’re definitely interested in applying. This is the program that we’re looking for funding for. What do you think? Do you think this would be a good fit? Thank you so much for your time. I know your time is super, super precious, and you’re super busy. But thank you for your time. And any insight that you can provide will be very helpful.

[00:16:06.54] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Um and then you go ahead. I mean, you got to follow. You gotta follow all the details. You make the point somewhere that if it says font size 12 and you do font size 11.5, you’re putting yourself at risk. Exactly. Okay. And then your work, of course, is preparing. You know, you gotta get budgets and referrals, and you gotta You gotta follow the follow all the guidelines.

[00:16:28.04] spk_0:
Yeah, well, a lot of our work, we’re unique at thinking and great consulting because we cover all aspects of great seeking from beginning to end. Uh, we do the nonprofit consulting to strengthen your organization, so you submit a strong proposal. We do, the research will go and find a good opportunities Will do the actual writing what you’re referring to. And we actually do the evaluation support. So we’ll evaluate the program. Um, at the end of the program, a lot of nonprofit leaders have to form four different relationships just to get all of that done. Um, but our team actually has people on staff to do all of those things, So we make it really easy for nonprofit leaders.

[00:16:52.04] spk_1:
We were talking about grants, grant application, But how do how does it vary if it’s if it’s sponsorship,

[00:18:04.34] spk_0:
uh, sponsorships? It’s And it’s weird because it’s changing with sponsorships. Before, It used to be just a marketing spin, right? It was awareness, and I’m talking about corporate funders. It was just bringing awareness to a brand, right, Um and it was tied to kind of like, you know how many people are going to see us and you know, the quality of the target market that we’re engaging and all that and I find that, like, sponsorships are getting more like grants now, like they want impact. They want, um, outcomes and objectives and all of that. So they’re kind of like a hybrid, so to say. But grants are definitely just, um, very structured. Just the classic K. You know, what is your mission? What is your program? What is your budget? What you’re hoping to achieve? How are you going to measure success? The application for a sponsorship, I would say, would most likely and again these lines are blurring, not be as intensive, although they do vary by thunder. Um, but, um, yeah, so I would say that they, for the most part not as intensive. But I find them getting a little more intense as far as asking very similar related questions.

[00:18:17.34] spk_1:
Are you seeing a lot of companies that want employee engagement as a part of sponsorship agreements?

[00:19:12.94] spk_0:
Absolutely. So the employee engagement pieces key and what that looks like is having employees opportunities for employees to come out and volunteer with a non profit organization. Or sometimes it’s the exact opposite. There’s some corporate funders that won’t even give to your nonprofit if it isn’t recommended by an employee or former employee is not, you know, um, active on the board or volunteering, or that they will see kind of employee recommendations before they give or give a preference. Or sometimes they’ll even be a question. They’re like, Do you have some of our employees that are engaging with your nonprofit like, What is their role? And a lot of those questions are optional, but some, um, won’t even give unless it’s like referred to employees. So employing instrument is key. And I think a lot of nonprofits overlooked at because that is something that corporate funders value. But sometimes nonprofits don’t always have the capacity to engage

[00:19:46.34] spk_1:
right, You know, if it’s a sizable company, I mean, they want maybe hundreds of employees engaging in a volunteer capacity or like I’ve heard of, you know, maybe stuffing backpacks or, uh, if it’s, uh, it’s a soup kitchen or something, you know, then then there’s ability for cooking and serving and an administrative work as well. But it could be like you’re saying. I mean, it could be a capacity thing like you just you may not have the capacity to manage the number of employees that they want to have volunteering.

[00:19:56.84] spk_0:
Exactly, because, I mean, you need a volunteer manager. You need to you know, it has to be a good experience for the corporate sponsor.

[00:20:28.84] spk_1:
All right, So you you got to manage capacity to think about what’s appropriate. But on the other hand, you know, it could be a small It might be a small local company where, you know, maybe they just have, like, 20 employees, and they want to send half of them, you know, once a month to spend five hours or something. So maybe you can Maybe you can accommodate 10 employees for five hours twice a month. Okay. Think about. All right. Um, what do you What do you say you mentioned the l. A y. The letter of inquiry or interest? What do you What are you saying in an l O I

[00:21:37.64] spk_0:
so L o I, um some some funders will give specific instructions on how to respond. It’s almost like a mini grant, right? Um, others are just kind of open ended. Like, hey, just send us an l o I. And so for the open ended alloys, usually it’s just a brief summary of your organization when I say brief, I mean brief. It is not. A whole historical layout of your organization is very brief just to give them some contacts for you to start talking about your actual program. So once you give a brief overview of your organization, give a brief overview of the project very succinctly and talk about how your project can potentially in line with a lot of the great work that, um, the funder is doing. Depending on who the front er is. You know, you may want to end it with, you know something to to make you stand out or really aligned with what the fund is looking for. But in essence, that is what l. Y looks like.

[00:23:39.04] spk_1:
It’s time for Tony’s Take two podcast pleasantries. I’m enjoying sending the podcast pleasantries, which at times have been podcast pleasantries. But they’re not today. These are the ones that have survived the pleasantries because, you know, it makes me nostalgic for the studio days when there were live listener love, affiliate affections and podcast pleasantries. Yes, the Studio days with Sam the podcast pleasantries are the only ones that survived. Uh, the other audiences, uh, Well, I cast off. It’s not that they not that they departed. I cast them off the podcast pleasantries. And I mean the affiliate affections and the live listener love in that order. So I’m I took the initiative. And what remains is our biggest audience. The podcast audience. You? Yes. You listening right this minute. I’m sending pleasantries to you. I’m grateful you’re a listener. How much plainer can I make it? And I don’t know. Yeah, I’m enjoying sending these podcasts pleasantries. They may end. I’m not sure. I’m not sure when the podcast pleasantries will end. Let’s just Let’s just go with it. See how it feels. Weak, Too weak. I think that’s the the best strategy not to make any commitments, long term or otherwise. Pleasantries to you, our podcast, listeners. Thanks for being with me. That is. Tony, take two. We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for relationships with funders with shaven Richardson. Let’s go back to where you You are submitted your grant application. Now you’re waiting. Mhm. Mm. Can you leverage your relationship that you that you have with the with the funders to ask? How was it received? How does it. Look, What am I? What are our chances Look like, What can you do after you’ve submitted the application? Hopefully by the deadline. If you didn’t make it by the deadline, you’re

[00:24:31.74] spk_0:
out, right? Yeah, exactly. They hold fast to the deadline. I would say. I mean, this is very a really difficult question to answer, because while an application is being reviewed, you don’t want the appearance that you’re trying to sway a prog program. Managers mind or influence it while it’s pending. So oftentimes, um, if you check in, they won’t respond because they’ll say we’ll get back to you after X y z deadline. And that’s it. So for some, it’s it’s sitting. Wait, Um, if you’re fortunate to have some type of in and get some insight, then that that that’s just pure fortune because you definitely want to have the appearance that you’re trying to influence or get a ahead while they’re in the process of reviewing applications.

[00:24:45.92] spk_1:
Okay, so the decision is supposed to be made based strictly on the application

[00:25:14.14] spk_0:
at that point. Yeah, because, you know, it’s it’s a competitive thing, right? So, you know, you can ask all the questions you want prior to submitting, right? Build all the relationships you want. Um, once that deadline hits, they have all the applications in, um, they’re in the process of reviewing the applications, so you almost have to allow that to go. But if you do find someone that says, Hey, I was in the room and it gave great feedback or with the face to it, like that’s just that’s just a blessing, because that that definitely doesn’t happen.

[00:25:45.74] spk_1:
Okay, Okay. So don’t don’t don’t overreach like then you’re then you’re taking advantage of the relationship, and that’s obviously a negative. Okay, um but it sounds like you would encourage folks to to definitely be in touch during the application process while you’re if you’re not sure about what, How to answer a question or, you know, as you’re preparing the application, it’s it’s fine to be in touch,

[00:26:20.74] spk_0:
of course, and I would even take it a step further. I would even say, Don’t submit an application if you have not had some type of outreach or connection with someone in the office. I mean, really like like we call it submitting a cold app, just submitting it blind you’ve never had a conversation with anyone in the office, there’s no connection. The most likely look at you and they say, Well, who is this person? All right, Well, maybe we want to prove it now because we need to get to know them better. Maybe they will reapply, and we’ll consider it then. So I would definitely say before you even think about submitting an application to have some type of connection, some type of outreach with the thunder. First,

[00:26:38.04] spk_1:
let’s switch to the the private foundation side. Is it very different relationship

[00:27:59.94] spk_0:
wise? I think it’s the same relationship wise. I think access and capacity is different. Uh, there’s some foundations that have, um, our all volunteer led. They don’t have paid staff, right, So you may not be able to get someone on the phone to talk to. They may have board meetings once a quarter, Um, and you just have to submit and wait till they meet, right? And so the capacity is limited, But then you have other foundations that are very, very friendly and very open to talking to people and encourage the outreach and have the time and the resources available so It depends on capacity. I know that covid and working from home change things a little bit as far as capacity. Uh, you know, before we might have been able to get, um, folks on the phone when they were in the office. But now that their home, it’s like, um, they have a bigger workload now because of shifts in, you know, staffing and different things that have changed. So getting someone on the phone might be harder, because now they have so many applications to manage, right? Because every nonprofit needs money, especially now in the middle of a pandemic. So, you know, maybe when they were in the office, people endemic, they might have had some time to have a conversation with you. But now that they’re working from home, they might be down a staff member. They have more applications. Their capacity may not be the same.

[00:28:20.04] spk_1:
All right, so yeah, I guess you would start with the website to try to figure out whether they accept calls, right? And inquiries by phone, like you were saying on the corporate side. But after that, just I mean, if if the website doesn’t really say, just reach out and try and see what see what happens.

[00:29:23.14] spk_0:
Yeah, and I will also say not to to make it more complicated. There’s some foundations out there that don’t have websites. No way to connect with them. Um, you might get a phone number, right? Like there’s foundations that don’t have websites. And so that’s why sometimes beyond just your normal a Google search. Um, sometimes I will say, you know, go to a great writing firm or nonprofit consulting firm. And if they’re willing to do some research for you, um, go that route because I know we have, you know, just relationships with funders and people who worked with that don’t have websites. But we have, you know, the connection there and were able to kind of, like, you know, make an introduction or do something, and we have our ways of finding out who sits on the board and you know how to make those connections. And so, you know, try to do as much as you can on your own. But I would always say, like if you need help, like, don’t be afraid to kind of reach out for help, especially if it’s one time support, right to get of insight on opportunities are available out there and the relationships that you need to build.

[00:29:54.74] spk_1:
Okay, Yeah. A foundation that doesn’t have a website. Sounds pretty closed. I mean, they’re not even They’re not even telling publicly what their funding priorities are. So you have to drill down and do research. What about the, um Well, it used to be the foundation center. Now, is it candid the the, uh, the service that they have, which is a subscription service for grants for foundation research? Yeah, F c. I forget what it used to be called FC Something

[00:29:58.78] spk_0:
etcetera online

[00:30:08.24] spk_1:
foundation center online is that? I mean, I know, I know listeners have to subscribe to it, but is that a valuable, um, research tool?

[00:30:15.94] spk_0:
Absolutely. A lot of those those foundations. Um, some are have websites, some don’t. Right. Um and so using as a resource, you can always pull up the funders they linked to nine nineties. So you’ll see an address and a phone number and a list of board directors. And there’s a lot of insightful information, so that’s definitely a good resource.

[00:30:42.34] spk_1:
What about on the federal funder side talking about a federal agency. What’s the relationship building like potential there?

[00:30:48.34] spk_0:
Yes, that’s a good question. So it’s kind of different, right? It’s not as, um personal as far as sending emails. Hey, this is what we’re doing. It’s more informational. And so every foe. And that’s the opportunity announcements for federal grants, mainly. Yeah, we

[00:31:08.73] spk_1:
have. Sorry. What the heck is a PFOA

[00:32:25.64] spk_0:
federal opportunity announcement? You’ll hear it reference that you’ll also hear RFP but this RFP saying for I don’t know. Sorry, guys. Yes. Okay, so, um, so with that, you will always see a list of everything you need for the grant. What to include? How to submit. Um, and usually will have multiple documents sometimes. Um, if you go to their website, you’ll see frequently asked questions. Always attend. The webinar always have the opportunity to ask questions during the webinar if you didn’t attend a lot of times to have replaced. So it’s good to attend that first. And I say this because they always have a contact of a person to reach out to. If you have questions, you want to be able to reach out to that person. If you have questions but asking questions in a way that you’re kind of sharing more information about what you all are doing and building a relationship that way, like having a person that you can go to to ask questions. The reason why I heavily recommend reading the RFE in its entirety and listening to the Webinar because you do not want to ask questions that have already been answered. I don’t like that they don’t like that. You’re not demonstrating that you’re listening or paying attention or doing anything right. So having that person that you can ask questions is away. I mean, I don’t want to use the relationship, but it’s a way that so that they know that you’re serious, right?

[00:32:45.14] spk_1:
It’s a more professional. It’s more. I mean, these are all professional relationship, but this one’s a little more arms length.

[00:32:46.94] spk_0:
Yeah, more arms lane.

[00:32:48.64] spk_1:
Okay.

[00:32:49.23] spk_0:
Yeah, no sending. You know, emails of the latest updates. Like, you know, none of that. Nothing in the mail like it’s a professional relationship for sure.

[00:33:26.14] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Um let’s see what happens when, uh, when you get turned down? Suppose you have the Suppose you have the relationship. I don’t care whether it’s corporate or private or federal, well, federal. You have some kind of relationship, but whatever you get turned down, But you do know somebody at the at the thunder you’re you call sobbing, you’re not sobbing, but you’re disappointed. You know what? What do you What do you recommend when you get the rejection?

[00:34:15.04] spk_0:
Yeah, well, you know being rejected is never easy. It’s often disappointing. I say that that that’s an opportunity to position yourself for your next wind, right? Um, I always ask for feedback on the application and some things that we could do better to strengthen application next time. I think that’s very invaluable to get that sort of insight and be able to resubmit. But taking consideration, the insight that was shared and also just, um, keep on applying for other grants. And I’m going to speak to the emotional piece because I think sometimes it discourages nonprofit leaders to a point where they lose their steam right, and they don’t want to keep applying. But I will say rejections do happen. Um, keep applying to the next great opportunity, see it as a learning lesson and see it’s an opportunity for the funding to get to know you better, and for you to get to know the funder better and just be more aligned with what they’re looking for.

[00:34:39.34] spk_1:
Okay, so it’s it’s good to reach out and get the feedback.

[00:35:52.54] spk_0:
I’m not. And with federal grants, I’m just going to add this. Um oftentimes, reviewer, um, well, provide comments on the proposal and know that you can always ask for those comments. Okay. And that’s feedback as well. So that’s how you get feedback for a federal grant for foundation grant. It’s Hello. We received the decline letter. Would love to get any feedback that you can provide to improve our chances for applying in the future or to be better line now. You may not always get a response because, especially with corporate funders, um, you know, they don’t ever want to put it out there like they’re giving one non profit and advantage over another. So sometimes they may just say if they do reply, they’ll say, Um, yeah, you know, you didn’t make it. You know, here’s the link if you want to apply it in the future, and so if you don’t get a response, don’t be surprised, but definitely try to get some insight. Okay?

[00:35:53.54] spk_1:
And you might have that relationship. Is it okay to pick up the phone to the person that you have the relationship with and ask them? That’s not overreaching it?

[00:36:05.03] spk_0:
Not at that point. It’s already been decisioned. Okay, Okay.

[00:36:08.33] spk_1:
What do you want to spend a little time talking about? I’ve been asking all the questions. What? What do you think? Relationship building wise. Haven’t we talked about that? You want listeners to know?

[00:37:10.43] spk_0:
I just want to emphasize the importance of doing. And I know that nonprofit leaders, executive directors, those that sits on sit on boards your time is stretched and we understand that, and we know it and there’s so many competing priorities. But I do recommend for nonprofit organizations to have a relationship building strategy. The top 20% of the folks on your list that you want to reach out to this year and focus on that 20% have a strategy in place. And it’s not only just calling and emailing, but also engaging in person when we’re able to write in the community right? That’s another way to build relationships and have those authentic connection. So I know it’s definitely sometimes not easy because there’s so many responsibilities. But it is definitely, definitely important. And it will take you much further than what you think.

[00:37:17.83] spk_1:
You practice yoga, right? Do does your Does your yoga practice inform your work? Is that impact your your work?

[00:37:48.73] spk_0:
I will say it keeps me ballots, right? Like I think everyone and I encourage nonprofit leaders and business owners alike to find something that keeps you balance. Because writing France, uh, is sometimes can be really stressful, right? It’s It’s a high pressure, deadline driven industry. Very cerebral. I’m fortunate I’m an introvert. So this this works very well for me, right? I am. I’m in the right profession for sure. Sound

[00:37:57.66] spk_1:
like an introvert?

[00:38:03.42] spk_0:
I don’t. I am. I am an extroverted introvert. That

[00:38:15.82] spk_1:
sounds a little a little oxymoronic. What is an extroverted introvert? You are one. But how do you It depends on the setting. Is that like you? If there’s a microphone in front of you, then you’re an extrovert. But if you’re at a party, you’re an introvert. What? How does that work?

[00:39:06.82] spk_0:
Well, what it is if you’re an introverted person you refuel yourself by doing introverted activities. So if it’s being by yourself or reading and writing, that’s what you reveal yourself. And then when you do extroverted activities, it drains you right. You feel like you have to kind of come back to your reading and writing to refill yourself. Extroverts are the exact opposite. They reveal themselves by interacting with people and talking and began doing things. And then if they’re doing something that’s like, quiet and reading a book, it drains them. So you really have to identify what drains you and what feels you and I know being introvert fuels me, and I do like doing extroverted things. But when I do them, I am completely a exhausted. If I’m speaking somewhere, I have to plan, uh, the next morning to just decompress and do some yoga and some introverted activities to kind of re fuel myself. Before I kind of get back in the mix of things

[00:39:20.82] spk_1:
you ride horses to.

[00:39:22.75] spk_0:
I do

[00:39:24.72] spk_1:
so that’s another. I guess that’s an introverted active right. That’s a solo. I mean, you could be just one of the person or something, but that’s pretty much a solo activity is,

[00:39:43.22] spk_0:
you know, and I look at the things that I do like to do, and they tend to be so activities. It’s just This is very strange, although I I like people. I have a great team, were really well connected. But I do know that I enjoy horseback riding and yoga and doing things like that.

[00:39:47.22] spk_1:
All right, the extroverted introvert. I understand now. It’s what you get, which you derive their energy from exactly. Okay, so now you’re exhausted talking

[00:40:06.41] spk_0:
to me for a No, I’m good. I think this was This was good. This is a nice balance for me. I think. You know, if I was doing a keynote somewhere, I’d be totally exhausted. That’s different. Yeah,

[00:40:09.13] spk_1:
non profit radio is not exhausting. No,

[00:40:11.36] spk_0:
no, it’s good.

[00:41:05.21] spk_1:
Thank you, Stephen. Thanks very much for having us. Sheldon Richardson. She’s at Shavon Richardson, and the company is at Think and Inc grants dot com Next week, Jeanne Takagi returns with Build Your best Better board, Bud. Maybe we’ll leave out the bud. That’s sexist. Keep that. Keep the butt out. It’ll just be build your best Better Board and Jeanne Takagi, always a pleasure to have him look forward to that. That’s your next week’s show. All right, 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

[00:41:08.33] spk_3:
is by Susan Chavez

[00:41:09.70] spk_0:
Mark Silverman

[00:41:17.31] spk_3:
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 non profit ideas for the other 95% Go

[00:41:38.31] spk_1:
out and be great. Mm, yeah.