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Nonprofit Radio for April 15, 2024: The Generational Divide

 

Miriam P. Dicks: The Generational Divide

Across the generations, people think about work differently. They all have different needs. They all bring different skills. They work for different reasons. They communicate in different ways. But they have one thing in common: Every generation wants to be heard and respected. Miriam Dicks helps you manage across the generations. She’s CEO of 180 Management Group.

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Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I am your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer with dys chromatopsia if I saw that you missed this week’s show. Our associate producer, Kate is still out sick and I’m left wondering for the second week. Do we need an associate producer this week? The generational divide. Finally, it is here. I swore it was coming across the generations. People think about work differently. They all have different needs. They all bring different skills, they work for different reasons. They communicate in different ways, but they have one thing in common. Every generation wants to be heard and respected. Miriam Dix helps you manage across the generations. She’s from 180 management group on Tony’s take two. Thank you, Nado. We’re sponsored by virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising volunteer and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Here is the generational divide. I’m with Miriam P Dix. She is CEO and chief strategist at 180 Management group. She’s a management consultant with proven experience, transforming organizations to achieve optimal operational performance. She has over 20 years experience in operations management and management consulting and she has taught operations management on both graduate and undergraduate levels. Her company is at 180 Management group.com and Miriam is on Linkedin. Miriam. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Well, thank you so much for having me. Glad to be here. My pleasure. Let’s talk about intergenerational workplaces, different ways that the generations think about work communicate, perhaps work together ideally. Uh or some may maybe, well, they have to, they’re working together in, in one form or another. The, the, the, the togetherness might be uh in some cases, could be a stretch, but just give us an overview. What, what are you seeing around the intergenerational workplaces that, that we could be doing better? Well, I will say that what I’m seeing is this major pull and tug going on between generations and it really is more of the Z millennial. Um and the boomer generation, I am in the X generation. So I’m sort of in the middle, I tend to be a bridge. So I understand the generation, the millennials right under, you know, under me. And then I understand the, the boomers that are ahead of me. Um And I’m able to like translate and I feel like that’s where the vast majority of us who are in this generation born, I guess in the, you know, seventies and into the early and late seventies, we find ourselves having to translate because we remember a time when there wasn’t, you know, a cell phone and, you know, there wasn’t uh internet, but we were young enough to adapt. So we can, we can have those conversations and really understand where a boomer or silent generation person is coming from. But yet still have uh an understanding and empathy for um the other generations behind us. And so we find ourselves in that, that space of translating. So when I’m out there in the field, that’s what I feel like I’m doing because boomers want one thing on in the workplace and millennials and, and this new Z generation is coming up, want something totally different. And where do you meet in the middle? And that’s where our discussion is. All right. Sounds good. II I feel kind of bad for Gen X. You, you, you get, I think you get the least amount of media attention. Uh It seems like more of the attention goes to millennials and Gen Z and, and baby boomers, of course, because they’re dominating and they’re not willing to give up power and things like that. But I don’t know, Gen X seems kind of screwed in the middle there. Yeah, we do feel that way. Yeah, you do. All right. Speaking for the entire, speaking for the tens of millions, uh I just wanna, I just wanna, you know, say that for us. OK. Um No, but I have noticed you don’t, you don’t seem to get a lot of attention. So let’s talk about, let’s, let’s start with what you just kind of teed up. What, what, what, what are boomers expecting? And uh what is, what is Gen Z expecting? Boomers tend not to want to give up, as you said, their shine, which, you know, I am a fan of the boomer generation because, you know, so much has been done to forge a path for us, you know, coming up behind them. However, sometimes just the reluctance to move forward and do something different is, is, is stressful. Whereas, you know, the, this, you know, millennial generation or Aziz, they are really, you know, biting at the top, you know, at the bit, chomping at the bit. I said that’s so bad but chomping at the bit to really do something uh different and new and because it’s all they know. And so what that looks like in the workplace is, let’s say you have a new system that you want to implement and it reduces some manual work. It automates processes. Well, you might have someone on the Boomer generation who says, well, I do better with my notebook and my pen. I don’t need to have, you know, all of my information in a system and I have to log into it like I just want to write it down because I know where it is and that’s my system, that’s my process. And then you have, you know, someone in another generation that says, well, I don’t have access to your notebook every day and I can’t see what you have written down. And how does that help me get my work done if I have to call you and I have to come to your office when I need information. Right? And so you see that play out in, in the workplace and it is, it is very interesting. So what do we do to start to uh start to overcome these obstacles? Well, I think we have to recognize that each generation brings value to the table and it’s not about one being better than the other. It’s about understanding what the value is so that we can pull from that and, and have, you know, um synergy and make decisions and move forward in a way that works for everyone and working for everyone doesn’t mean everyone gets their way, right? It means that we understand what parts of our knowledge, what parts of our technical abilities we bring to the table to become one part of a whole. And to me that looks like understanding the difference between wisdom and technical skill, right? So I was listening to a webinar and it was a webinar on A I and the facilitator and I wish I could recall her name. Maybe I can give that to you later if you want to post that but the facilitator basically said that when it comes to A I and I’m going to paraphrase probably horribly here. But when it comes to A I, we can’t have a generation that’s reluctant, especially leaders, right? So if your boomer generation is leading in very high levels, we can’t have a generation that’s reluctant to embrace it because even though a younger generation has the technical skill to use it, they may not have the wisdom to know how. And so the boomer generation has wisdom, you’ve been on the earth, right? You’ve been here longer than the other generations, obviously, not as long as the silent generation, but you’ve been here long enough to see people to see behaviors, to see patterns, to see political cycles, to really have wisdom as to how we might use some of this technology in the way that is beneficial because technology is a tool and, and the tool in the wrong hands, it can create damage, but a tool in the right hands and with the right perspective can be very useful. So when we think about these different generations, we can think about what the, what wisdom we have from older generations and marry that with the technical expertise from younger generations. And that’s one way to, to sort of bridge that gap and sort of think about the perspectives that need to come to the table. It sounds like something that leadership is gonna be important to, you know, drawing the the best from all the generations. But as you identified, the problem is a lot of the leadership is in one of the generations, boomers. And so if they have this reluctance and it’s, it’s, yeah, I understand you were just using artificial intelligence as one example of lots of areas where we could see this, this conflict play out. But so if all the leadership or, you know, a lot of the leaders, the vast majority of leadership is in the, the baby boomer generation. How are we gonna draw the best of the other generations if the leadership is the, the the curmudgeonly reluctant group? Well, and I think that’s why diversity is important and not just diversity in age but diversity and thought, right? So a psychographic, you know, when we think about diversity, we always think about oh demographic diversity. But what about psychographic diversity? And so you could have leaders who are in another generation that have some um uh affinity toward change and they would be great change champions for others within the same generation. And so if we could think about, you know, and identify who those change champions could be, they could really pave the way for others to start thinking more broadly about what diversity and leadership should look like so that we can have more diversity of thought at the table and be able to have those conversations. All right, it sounds like a part of this is Uh OK. Boomer, you, you’ve had your shot, you had, you had your decades. Uh It’s time to uh it’s, it’s time to, if not step aside, at least begin sharing. Well, and I agree with you, but then a boomer probably would hear that better from other boomer than they would. Well, one just said it. I’m, I’m, I hasten to add that. I’m among the youngest of the, of the baby boomer generation, among the youngest in case, I didn’t mention that before. Um I, I may remind you again in five minutes. But uh all right. So Boomer just said it and we’ve, we actually did a show called OK, Boomer uh move over something like that. I think it was OK. Boomer move over say, all right. So you know, my uh my older colleagues in the in the generation, you know, it’s uh it’s time, it’s time to start sharing, recognizing the value that folks younger than us bring and start bringing that to the table, you know, and not, not just in appearance but in, in uh but in uh not just value, but uh the word that I’m looking for is this is why you know that I’m a member of the Baby Boomer generation substance. Substance is the word that I was looking for, not just in appearance but in substance, say a little more about psychographic diversity. I never heard that phrase. Wow. So and I heard it in passing. So I’m not the foremost expert in it, but we often think about psychographics when we think about marketing because we’re thinking about a specific person and how they would either buy something or be able to um relate to a particular campaign. And so that’s more of a psychographic, right? So I am as a female, I might be more likely to shop, you know, and at certain times of the day, um that’s more psychographic right than demographic, demographic is more about, you know, what, what area you live in. Of course, race is demographic, uh income is demographic, but behaviors are more psychographic. So what are the behaviors that we’re looking at versus, you know, um having demographic diversity, which is very much, do we have all the colors of the rainbow represented? Do we have all the genders represented? Do we have all of the area codes and zip codes and income levels are presented? Well, psychographic diversity might be, do we have people who have certain political persuasions because that’s a behavior attachment too, right? Or it might be that you have uh certain outlooks on, you know, education or whatever the case may be. So they are just different psychographics and behaviors that we could be thinking about when we, when it comes to diversity. So thinking about folks who are very prone to, you know, change and wanting technology, folks who are prone to, uh you might actually be thinking about personality typing, right? So I know we aren’t supposed to hire based on personality profiles but to have diverse personality profiles is psychographic too. Right. So if you were to take a Myers Briggs assessment or if you were to take an enneagram or a disc assessment, there’s a certain personality type associated with that. And do you have sort of diversity in those personality types? Those are things that we also should be thinking about when we think about diversity. And, and so I’m thinking that’s a good bit of psychographics. But again, I was hearing it in passing and it resonated with me, didn’t do my full research, but that’s what I gained from it. No, no, no, it’s fuller understanding than I had a couple of minutes ago. Thank you. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world. And in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers. Responsive. Fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of the individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org. Now back to the generational divide. This is getting a little exhausting the the disc assessment. Well, I had a guest who said that her company uh requires folks to do a disc assessment after they’re hired, not, not as part of hiring, but after and then I is, is that the one that gives you your, your, your areas of strength and your and your areas where you can use help. And so the company uh tries to leverage the strengths and get folks uh and get and get folks to not have great responsibility in the areas where they’re weakest or maybe try to build those areas up. Do you, do you use these assessment tools in your, in your consulting? We do one of our consultants on staff is certified dis a disk trainer, um and consultant and we do because what we like about dis and, and again, there are lots of different, you know, assessment tools that you can use but dis in the workplace gives you tools as to how it is that you can provide feedback and plans really to help develop your staff. Uh And so we really like that one because it’s not just, oh, let’s talk about who you, you know what you like to do and what you don’t like to do and how you communicate and how you don’t communicate. But what does this mean in the workplace? And how can we you know, build some sort of leadership development from that. Um And so we do use disc for that reason, but it, I think it’s very helpful uh to understand your communication styles at work. And uh because that’s, I think that’s half the battle. We just don’t communicate well, especially between uh generations. So, uh knowing that it really is helpful, let’s identify the values that the, the different generations bring since we uh since we uh kind of bashed or I bashed the uh the baby boomer generation, let’s, let’s, let’s start with them. So maybe try to rehabilitate their reputation. Uh What, what’s the, we’ll get to the others. We do the others too. I try to, you know, um what, what should we recognize as the value that the, the older folks, the baby boomer generation bring? You know, I, I could, there’s nothing I can’t identify anything. I can’t identify a single thing. OK. OK. OK. OK. So I would say when I think about the boomer generation, I think about consistency, hard work. I think about practicality. I think about a resolve, right? Those that comes to mind for me and, and in direct contrast really to other generations. OK. Uh And I value those things and then also, of course, the experience you mentioned earlier, you know that if you’ve got, if you’ve got 20 years with the organization, that’s enormous value. Not, not that we should be doing, not that we should be doing things the same way we did 20 years ago. But yeah, that institutional knowledge, there’s value there. OK. How about the millennials? What, what, what, what are they contributing? Well, I, I think the one is flexibility when I looked at, if I were to go and look for, let’s say I’m gonna hire someone and I’m looking at resumes if I look at a, a boomer resume, which we probably won’t see very many because that, you know, they’re, they’re pretty much staying with one job for a long time. A millennial resume may look like every 2 to 3 years, they’ve changed companies and that is not a bad thing. It used, it used, it used to be upon. But if you have one, if you want to grow in an organization, sometimes there isn’t a space for you to grow, you have to move. And so the growth of millennials I think has increased because of that movement. So you can go one place, learn something, you go somewhere else and learn something new. And that flexibility I think is great too. So they’re not so structured that when, you know, we live in a very volatile time, you know, this, we don’t know what’s going to happen from week to week these days when it comes to our political climate, when it comes to even our environmental climate. And so having a versatile nature and valuing that versatility and flexibility, I think is absolutely necessary just because of how, how business works these days. It’s not the same business atmosphere and climate that it was 3040 years ago. And so having that flexibility I think is wonderful and anything we can talk about any of these values being used to the excess and it makes it bad. Right. So, so we had to kind of think through that um so flexible that you’re changing jobs every six months, every two years or that no one can hold, you can’t commit to anything, right? No one can hold you accountable for the work that needs to be done because you’re already on something different. Right? So that’s, but that’s, I think an outlier and I think we don’t want to harp on that being an issue as much as, as much as the flexibility and the adaptability and versatility of that generation. Um I will say that I don’t think they knew if I’m, if I’m thinking correctly, millennials don’t know of a time without the internet. Yeah, they wouldn’t, they wouldn’t remember, remember it. They were born but they wouldn’t remember it. I think it’s so, it’s so immersed and ingrained into their life. The technology is that it’s like second nature. Whereas in other generations we have to actually think about it like, oh, how do I integrate this? Oh, how do I do this? And, and what’s, you know, how do I automate something? Well, that, that’s not something that they even think about my Children are in the Z generation. And uh I know that for a fact they look at me and like, why don’t you know how to do this and why is it so hard for you? Now, let’s not skip over Gen X. Just skip over your Z. Even. You’re doing it. You went right. You did it to yourself. You went through, we were talking about millennials. You went to your Children in Gen Z. You’re cheating your own generation. I am well, but I’m talking about my generation where we still have challenges even though we are, you know, I’d say we tech technologically proficient, doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges with the newer technology coming out. So I think it’s a, it’s an uh an issue of degrees, right? But, but uh but definitely, I do see the millennials as you know, having more of a uh a plan for what they believe their lives should look like. The millennial generations were getting married later, having Children later because they were more, I believe, more driven about having career paths and goals. And so that’s part of their value system. I will say this one of the values I believe that the millennial generation has that even Gen Xers struggle with is making sure that we’re being paid for our worth. They have a totally different value system about that, which I think is part of leaving jobs going two years, three years here saying no, I think I’m worth this and I need to get paid this um and standing their ground on that. And I really do um uh uh appreciate them for that because I, I do think that that’s necessary. You see that more among millennials you’re saying than, than gen X because II, I remember, you know, as a Gen Xer, my parents saying you go to school, you get a job, that’s what we grew up with. Go to school, get a job and when you get a job, just get a good stable job. And if it’s stable, stay there, right? Um Millennials like, yeah, I don’t want just any job. I want the right job and I want a job that’s gonna, that’s gonna pay me for it. I went to school and I did this thing. I did this thing I studied this, I’m certified this, I want the job that’s gonna pay me for that. Um And we’re in, we’re in that bridge again like, yeah, mom and dad, I know you stayed somewhere 30 years. I don’t think I’m gonna do that. Maybe I’ll stay seven or eight years at a time. And, you know, and I, I want to be stable and I want to have, you know, a decent income, but I’d rather have a job than not. And I know that, you know, millennials they will hold out if they don’t have the right job. Like I’ve seen that in the past. Um, and it’s even more so with Z, they’re not even, you know, looking for one job. They want to find, um, a way to express all of their gifts, whether that’s four part time jobs versus having one part time job that doesn’t suit them. Uh, and what they believe they have to offer the world. All right. All right. Interesting. That’s very interesting. LE let’s, let’s be explicit about, uh, gen X you, the value, the value that uh your generation brings. Um Well, one, I think I’ve already said, which is that we are translators. Um You know, we can, we can understand those before us and those after us. So we’re just that bridge generation. Um As you said, we, we sometimes don’t get the shine, but that doesn’t mean we won’t do the work. Yeah. If the work needs to be done, we’re gonna do the work regardless of the shine. Um And so we’re, we’re very compatible with different generations, but we’re also very supportive and I think we’re very um uh uh there’s, now, look at me, see, I’m trying to figure out the word uh reliable. There’s one word that I can say off the top of my head. But, but we’re there, we’re gonna do the work, we’re not gonna let things fall through the cracks. We’re just kind of get in where we fit in. And I think, and I do think that that’s, that’s valuable. Right. So if you’re in an organization and you find that, you know, your, your um uh baby boomer generation, um maybe retiring, but they’re not necessarily ready to, but they’re ready to like, you know, not do as much work. That work is gonna go somewhere and it probably isn’t gonna go to Millennial because they want the title and the work. So, um that’s, that’s my perspective. I know I have a very specific perspective. Uh But that is, that is mine. All right. Fair. And uh and Gen Z OK. So Jz um I, I am just amazed by them because they are so uh determined to understand and expose those are the two things that I, I think that they really value, which is transparency. They want to know like why are we doing this with this money? Why are we doing this with this in this way? I don’t understand why this is so important. Help me understand. Um They are very big on transparency and they’re very big on um wanting to feel as though what they say and what they think matters. They will not be a generation that’s just going to sit back and just, you know, like this next generation say, well, someone else got the shine. So we’ll just kind of do what we gotta do, they won’t have it. Um And when you bring that to the workplace, it looks like making sure, you know, we didn’t really talk about this. But I think about this generational divide, think about how if you’re in the workplace and you needed to have some practicality to this conversation. What does this look like to be able to do work together? It looks like um understanding tasks versus outcomes, right. So A I is doing a lot of that transitioning of jobs because now we need to be focused on the task and not the role because A I is taking some of the task out which may change the roles and some of the roles may go away. And so if you’re thinking about how is it that we’re going to bridge the gap? Well, the boomer generation might be, might be best suited for thinking about outcomes, right? Because wisdom help us with understanding outcomes versus, you know, a younger generation may be better at the task because they have that technical skill set, not that they can’t, you know, obviously um do any kind of like projections or anything like that, but they have that technical skill set to be able to help make sure those outcomes come to pass with some very technical tools. And so when we think about this, this uh Z generation or yeah, Z generation, they’re more likely to work in roles that they can actually use their skills and bring their own talents to the table that may not be traditional roles, right? So for example, and, and I will use my Children um I’m sure they won’t mind. But um I have a son who is um an econ major. Uh He’ll, he’ll more than likely, you know, go into some sort of business graduate program. Um But he also loves production, producing um video content, uh videography. Uh He’s a creative but it’s like he does that on the side and it’s almost, and it’s almost like I have my foot in the business world, finance traditional, you know, management. But I also have a skill to produce video content and, and do creation um and video crea content creation. And it’s weird to me, but he would rather have an internship. He might have an accounting internship. But then he also has a small side business where he’s, you know, creating logos for other people. Right. So it, it’s not, it’s not a mix that I would put together what job is gonna let you do both of those things. Right. Well, that’s what you said. They may take four jobs so that all their, all their talents uh get, get used. They’re not, they’re not, he’s not gonna be happy just doing video on, on nights and weekends or something like as a ho that’s not gonna be sufficient. But he also knows that he needs a job that’s going to give him some stability to be able to do those things he likes to do. So for him, it is, you know, and I believe many in that generation it’s, I know I can do this and I can do that and I can do this. How do I make all of them work for me? Um And that might not look like a traditional full time role at any organization. So, organizationally, if you’re a leader of an organization, you might be thinking, do I have, do I need to have full time roles for every task or every group of tasks? Maybe there are some roles that I can outsource. Um Just certain groups of tasks, maybe there are some roles that need to be changed so that, you know, it makes more sense and I have more of a pool to hire from, for certain uh responsibilities that need to be uh uh accounted for. So, so the changing landscape of even how roles and jobs are designed is really based on the, the coming generations and we need to be thinking about that so that we can have the ability to have a pool of applicants that makes sense for our organization’s work. It’s time for Tony’s take two. My thanks to NATO, the North American Y MC A Development Officers conference and I made a mistake last week. I called it National Y MC A. No, it’s the North American Y MC A development officers, NATO and I was at their conference in Denver, Colorado and I wanna thank them, thank them for inviting me to come. I’m already looking forward to 2025. I hope they will have me, I, I wanna present again because why, because it’s, as I said, last week, such a supportive community, all the w just wanna help each other. They don’t see themselves in competition at all. They, they see themselves as collegial and supportive. So I, I, you know, they’re supportive of each other. I want to support them. You know, I see them helping each other. I want to help them. So I hope that NATO will have me back to the 2025 conference. I’ve already got an idea about what to present, looking forward to it already. My thanks to NATO, that is Tony’s take two ordinarily. Now, I would say Kate and she would tell us uh what’s coming up the rest of the show, but she’s uh she’s still not with us. I mean, she didn’t die, she just still sick. We’ve got just about a butt load more time. So let’s return to the generational divide with Miriam Dick. That’s outstanding. Uh The, the, the, the, the, the, the idea of reimagining uh work that, you know, everybody doesn’t need to be a full time employee for all of our work to get done. I gotta say as a baby, uh the youngest among the youngest uh baby boomers. The first thing is the first thing that strikes me. All right. Did I mention that? Uh I did, did I mention OK. OK. Um The, the first thing I think of when I think of somebody with three or four jobs is how are they going to pay for their medical insurance? So, uh, you know, there’s the practicality of, you know, somebody who’s 62. Um, but it’s, it’s, it’s an issue, you know, but, but they will figure it out because they are the, they are the practicality of folks. So, you know, um, now I don’t, I don’t want to distill what you just said down into, you know, for each of the generation into one word. But so, but if you look at some of the features of them, because it, because any generation obviously is more than a single word. But if you look at some of these features like like practicality, transparency, reliability, flexibility, consistency, I mean, these are all very, very valuable attributes that, that uh we can, we can, we can use to our advantage across the generations. I mean, these are great things. These are, these are terrific skills, they’re values that they’re, they’re more than just skills, they’re, they’re uh their, their attributes, their contributions that all the generations can make. So maybe we can spend a little more time thinking about talking about how because if we just think about it, it’s gonna be a kind of a quiet podcast. We should, we should actually probably should actually let’s actually discuss it um ways of drawing out the talents and, and recognizing the talents of, of folks regardless of what generation or just some, some other generation than your own. You know, how do we, how do we get, get the most out of folks? I think a lot of that comes with one intentionality. Right. So we need to be intentional about having conversations and, and creating a context where that’s possible. Um I was, uh recently I took a course, it was a leadership course and I’m trying to remember the exercise. I think the exercise was based on personality types and they put us into separate groups and these groups were sort of the opposite personality type from yourself. I think there were like four groups. And so two groups had very similar, um maybe uh social skills but very different work work flows or something like that. So it was just different opposite type groups. And we were asked to talk about, you know, what we think of the other group. Uh so that we can kind of get an idea of how people perceive us who are not like us, right? And so in this one group, I’m in the group and I am an extrovert, like I’m 99.99% extrovert. And I know this about myself. I’m outgoing, I’m, you know, if someone wants to have a conversation, I’m like, let’s do it. I’m not going to shy away from, you know, from a conversation. I’ve never met a stranger that’s me in the workplace, you know, that means I’m probably talking at every meeting. I am maybe having conversations throughout the office on my way to my desk. Right. That’s just me. Well, someone in the other group said I am the opposite, which is I wait until there’s space for me to talk. Like you’ve got to give me some runaway here if you want me to talk. Because if you’re always talking, I’m just gonna let you, I’m not gonna, I’m not going to interject. And so knowing that was like, oh, I need to give space and, and, and she said this in meetings as well, like I’m not going to speak up in a meeting. If I don’t feel that I have been given a path or given an opportunity or an extended, an opportunity to speak. I’m not just gonna jump in there because that’s just not my personality type. And so that got me to thinking about, oh, so when I run a meeting, I probably need to just take time and say, hey, do you have anything to contribute instead of waiting for someone to jump in? Because that’s what I would do. And I think about it the same way when we’re talking about, you know, should we um how do we sort of bridge that gap or bring out the best in everyone is being intentional about making sure there’s a space and a room for everyone to contribute and it doesn’t look like them always volunteering to contribute. It looks like you’re pulling it out sometimes and when you have those types of opportunities and spaces, I think that’s when you start to see the changes being made. Yeah. Yeah, I’m thinking about, I’m, I’m trying to beyond meetings, you know, just, uh you know, opportunities for people to, to express um yeah, just open, open opportunities and just keep opening the opportunity until, until no one else talks, right? Rather than calling on people, you know, it’s your turn or something like that, you know, but uh just opening, opening space, interesting having that space and I loved how she said it providing a runway like, you know, I need to, I need time to gear up to be able to speak even. And I also don’t like to be caught off guard. So having time to even think about what it is we could be discussing. So not just bringing things on people so that they, if you are wanting to be intentional about having discussions about bringing things out, how is it that you provide the necessary prep time for people to think through that and come to the table thoughtfully? Um And, and having a space to do that. So there are ways to do that. I’m sure we can think of some very practical ways whether it’s in the workplace, whether it’s in your community to do those things, but at least start thinking in that direction. How is it that we make space for others to be able to come to the table with meaningful information and bring them their full selves to the table. A little bit of a caution there too embedded in what you said that, you know, that we not spring things on people. So, you know, now I’m going back to a meeting, you know, oh, let, let’s, let’s talk about this because everybody’s here that, that, uh, th this came from a conversation, uh, that I had last week with somebody at the nonprofit technology conference. Uh, all the people that are involved in this other topic that we didn’t put on the agenda, it turns out everybody’s here. All right, let’s talk about that. We can, and then we can avoid having another meeting. Well, now that’s springing. You know, that, that’s not fair. I haven’t had a chance to think through it. I, my role, my questions about it. Do I understand the topic fully? You know, I haven’t had time to prepare the way I did for the items that were, that were on the agenda. That’s not fair to everybody but it’s especially harsh on the introverts. Exactly. Exactly. And so, you know, thinking about that, you know, even from a generational perspective, uh, let’s say if you are more seasoned, you are in leadership roles, you’re gonna feel more comfortable having certain, um, uh, speaking up in meetings, having, uh, you know, expressing your thoughts because you’ve been in those positions long enough to know how things go and how to, you know, even negotiate some of those conversations where someone who in another generation is younger, um may still need time to kind of work through. How do I present myself in this situation? How do I best speak up? How do I, and, and it’s just, it’s not um second nature to them yet. Uh And so those things happen too. Uh And so being very cognizant of, of those different dynamics, I think is very, very helpful when trying to bridge that divide. What have I not asked you about yet? That, that we should talk about. Oh, wow. Um I feel like we really talked about a lot. I can’t think of anything um that we did not talk about. One thing I will reiterate is that we all need to have some introspection uh about, you know, recognizing that our value system is tied to generational culture, you know, generational culture. And what does it look for me to extend the olive branch outside of my value system to another generation that values something different because we all have a responsibility to bring um to help others come to the table. All right. And to be able to express themselves and understand their values. Knowing that the end goal is not for any of us to have everything we want. The end goal is for us to do work well together, Miriam P dix CEO and chief strategist at 180 Management Group. You’ll find her company at 180 Management group.com. You’ll find Miriam on linkedin. Miriam. Thanks so much for sharing. Enjoyed it. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Great time. My pleasure, my pleasure. Next week, we’ll return to our coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I do beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Do we need that associate producer? Really? I would save money without her without one that uh we’ll see. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff still for this week. Our associate producer is Kate Martin. The 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 us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for April 8, 2024: Email Deliverability & Email Welcome Journeys

 

Jamie McClelland, Natalie Brenner & Alice AguilarEmail Deliverability

In our age of rampant spam and artificial intelligence, you need to know how to give your emails the best chance of getting delivered. What are DMARC, DKIM and SPF, and how do they help with deliverability? This 2024 Nonprofit Technology Conference panel is Jamie McClelland, Natalie Brenner and Alice Aguilar, all from Progressive Technology Project.

 

Patty Breech & Elizabeth Sellers:  Email Welcome Journeys\

What happens after your emails are delivered and folks want to support your cause? How do you bring them into your family so they’re engaged and stay with you. Also from 24NTC, this panel is Patty Breech at The Purpose Collective and Elizabeth Sellers with Humanity & Inclusion.

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be stricken with Eisenmenger syndrome if you broke my heart because you missed this week’s show. Our associate producer, Kate is sick and lost her voice. Of course, I wish her a speedy recovery to good health. But then a question comes to mind. Do we need an associate producer? Let’s see how it goes this week, email deliverability in our age of rampant spam and artificial intelligence. You need to know how to give your emails the best chance of getting delivered. What are D mark D Kim and SPF? And how do they help with deliverability? This 2024 nonprofit technology conference panel is Jamie mcclelland, Natalie Brenner and Alice Aguilar, all from progressive technology project and email. Welcome journeys. What happens after your emails are delivered and folks want to support your cause? How do you bring them into your family? So they’re engaged and stay with you. Also from 24 NTC. This panel is Patty Breach at the purpose collective and Elizabeth Sellers with Humanity and Inclusion. I’m Tony take too. I love the wise. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. This is getting exhausting here is email deliverability. Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC. It’s the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. Of course, we’re in Portland, Oregon. You know that you’ve heard this already. Our continuing coverage is sponsored by Heller consulting here at 24 NTC. Heller does technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits with me now is Jamie mcclelland Technology Systems Director at Progressive Technology Project, also Natalie Brenner, Director of Resource mobilization at Progressive Technology Project, and Alice Aguilar, the leader, the executive director at Progressive Technology Project. Jamie Natalie Alice. Welcome. Thank you. Thanks for having us, Tony. Thank you all. Uh Your session topic is email deliverability in the era of spam and artificial intelligence. Um Alice, let’s start with you. What could you just kick us off? We have plenty of time together but general strokes. What, what could we be doing better? What are we ignoring? Why do we need this session on email ability? This session is really, really important for nonprofits and, and grassroots organizing groups, you know, um in PTPS 25 years, we know that email has been really critical to organizations and, and organizing. Um It’s a critical communication vehicle, um, to get the word out quickly to groups so that they can, and their community so that they can take action. Right. There’s no stamps. Right. It’s pretty instant. As long as somebody on the other side is watching. Right. And, and you know, the thing about email, it’s also the place where we control our own messages. Uh, we control our own lists, you know. So it’s, it’s democracy at work. we control the timing, the timing of it, right? Um So there’s nobody there, you know, like, you know, to like to look at our content. At least that’s how it has been, you know, email is Federated. You know, anybody could be an email service provider and send out your email. But now here’s the thing that we’re seeing, right? There’s this concentration of ownership around technology and you’re seeing this in email. So when organizations are sending out email, about half are going to gmail Yahoo or Outlook Microsoft, right? So, um if you think about that, it’s like now with this most recent changes, if you had seen there’s changes in, in uh Google and Yahoo had changed the rules about what emails are gonna be sent. So there’s a concentration and the rules are changing by the, the companies that control 50% of and so they’re controlling the deliverability, correct, you know, and, and like email is supposed to be different than platforms like Facebook or, you know, X you know where they’re monitoring your contact and the algorithms. Email is your, that’s your words, your story being told. And so, you know, it’s, it’s really critical for our groups to get their messages out. Right. And so now because of these rules and these changes and, and eventually they could just totally, they’re gonna make all sorts of decisions about what email is gonna go. Um We have to, we as organizations have to jump some hoops and take responsibility now to make sure that our emails are delivered and it’s really hard for folks to keep up with this. And that’s why our session is, you know, PTP is gonna help uh groups figure out how do we at least get our messages through these corporate gatekeepers, right? To be able to get that out. So that’s the, that’s the purpose of the session, Natalie. Um Who uh can you expose us to some of these rules or, or one of the rules that’s changed? We have plenty of time together, but Alice mentioned all these rules changing. What, what, what the hell is going on? Thanks, Tony. I knew you were going to ask me the technical question. Are you the person? I’m the accidental techie of the. However. Yeah, absolutely. Does that mean Jamie is the technician is I should say he surely is. Yeah, absolutely. So as Alice was saying, you know, email is kind of kind of the dinosaur of the technology world at the moment, but it’s also so critical still like Alice was saying, even after our 25 years, we’re seeing groups still relying and counting on it. And now they have all these acronyms to work through D Mark D Kim SPF. And what in the hell do those mean? Most of the groups we work with don’t know, I don’t know what the hell they mean. And so our session is going to expose that for folks and tell them how to work through all that Mark Net non profit radio. We have jargon jail. You just transgressed terribly like you are in it to bail you out. Obviously. D Mark D Kim and I am in jargon jail and I totally accept that will get you out. Pf to me is some protection factor because I live on and I probably even said the wrong jargon. We don’t even know, but I live on a beach in North Carolina. So to me, that’s my 50 at least help us just before we get into the technical details. Just what are these rules about, right? The, the main goal of the rules is to stop fraud. Um You’ve probably received an email that was sent from Tony Martignetti and it wasn’t you? Yeah. Yes, I have. It’s another guy out there and there are other folks I think I might have just called you Mark. By the way, it’s Jamie because we have another, it’s not D Jamie. It’s D mark is the acronym and Jamie is the, that’s where it came from. Thank you. That’s very gracious of you to bail me out. It was my fault. It’s mine. I made the right Jamie. So the main idea is fraud because Google and Yahoo, in this case, at least they’re trying to impose new limits for a noble cause which is they want to stop people from being able to send messages that claim to be from your domain name, but they aren’t. And your domain name is the part after the at sign in your email address. And you don’t want, I don’t want to get a message from Alice at progressive tech.org that says, hey, Jamie, your payroll didn’t go through click here in order to make sure it’s proper, that’s what we’re trying to stop. Have there been problems with Mark’s payroll payroll? No, I get it from Natalie asking me to like, hey, I forgot the login for our bank account. I need to get these checks. Can you please just click here and just give me you hover over the email address and it’s like that’s not Alex dot ru when you hover over. So they’re doing it for a noble cause they’re doing it for a noble cause. And you might, you know, 10 years ago you got these also, but they were full of typos and they were so obviously not from Natalie or not from Alice, but now with artificial intelligence. It’s possible for anyone you don’t even like, you can be anywhere with any kind of language skills and you can have a perfectly written email that’s very convincing. And, and they’ve also cut down on the, uh, the estates, you know, a $45 million estate greetings of the day, you know, from one of the African countries, you cannot, they are smarter, they are smarter and they’re closer to the real thing, close to the real thing. And so, you know, if you hover over and it says.ru it’s easy. But what if you hover over? And it says Alice at Progressive tech.org which it can you just to make clear.ru is a domain, a Russia, it’s a country level domain name. It’s owned by Russia and it could be anything. Tony dot Ma Ma is Morocco, it’s country of America. So every year I think I pay 75 or 100 and $75 or something to the, to the to the my domain provider. Of course, but they’re paying the country of Morocco for my dot Ma U so.ru is Russia, which means it’s very likely spam. I’m sorry, Jamie. That’s great. So the deep dark secret is that from the beginning of the internet, you could send an email that was from progressive tech.org and you still can send an email, you can put whatever from address you want in the email protocol. It allows it, you can put whatever you want in the from address and it really will be whatever domain name you want it to be. So these new rules and regulations are intended to stop that. And there’s two main rules that are used to test and the test, one of them is called SPF for Sender policy framework, policy framework. And that one says I can, I love the energy between the three of you, Natalie and Alice are giggling while, while Jamie is talking, I love the energy we’ve been working. Plus there’s this guy Mark who’s presence is hovering over us. We’re channeling Mark even though he’s 3000 miles away. Are you, are you based in New York or a Texas, Texas? Paul Minnesota. I’m in New York is somewhere. We’ve worked together for over a decade and he’s only five 100 miles but his presence is felt we’re channeling. So SPF again, SPF is center policy framework and this allows us as progressive tech.org to publish to the internet to say if you get an email that claims to be from progressive tech.org, it has to be sent from one of these 10 servers. And if it wasn’t sent from one of these 10 servers, you should consider it fraudulent because there’s only 10 servers that legitimately send our email. Those are the email servers of our internet service provider. So that center policy framework, if Google or Yahoo or proton mail or may 1st mail, whatever, that’s an email that claims to be from progressive tech.org. That email provider can look up our SPF record check to see if it was sent from the right server and if it wasn’t sent from the right server, it fails the SPF test. D mark. Let me do D mark last DKIM. Let’s work on Kim. There’s no, no job description. Your name must be Kim. We’ll accept middle name, first name preferred. We’ll keep an open mind. Kim is a signature. It’s a digital signature. When we tell us what the acronym stands for, can I on the domain key identified? Male? Yes, there’s math involved. There’s math involved. There’s some very cool math involved. So he said cool math what I was saying? I thought it was redundant. So dkim, when a message is sent by us, we insert a digital signature into the header part of the email, the header is usually hidden from most people. So you can’t see it, but a digital signature is sent with the email message. So when the receiving server gets the message, the receiving server sees the signature and then it has to look up your DKIM record to see if it’s a valid signature and if it is a valid signature, then you pass the DKIM test. So two tests every does every email have to pass all three of these tests that we’re talking? Right? So that’s where Mark comes in. This is the rule. Oh jeez, don’t ask me what that one stands for the D mark is when you make those two tests and then the receiving service says, well, what do I do if it fails? And a dar policy can be, none says, don’t do anything. It’s OK. You can be fraudulent and two is reject and three is quarantine, which are in practice mostly the same. So in other words, you can set your SPF and your DKIM so that the receiving server can tell whether it’s valid. And then you can say this is what you should do if it fails either one of those two. So if the rule is you only have to pass one, so you can fail SPF. But if you pass DKIM, you pass, you can fail DKIM. But if you pass the SPF and the reason is because there’s actual legitimate reasons why you might fail one or the other, it’s still valid and you could fail one or the other. So you just need one. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers responsive. Fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org. Now, back to email deliverability. This really is getting exhausting now. All right. So we’re acquainted with what the rules are rules, these are new rules. So this is, this is, I mean, if you consider relative to the internet, this is ancient history. These rules have been around for over 10 years, but the way rules become adopted is very slow. So what Yahoo and Gmail have done is they’re trying to speed adoption of these rules by saying we’re going to reject your email if you don’t have these three things in place. And it’s kind of interesting because D Mark is supposed to say no, you’re supposed to accept it if the policy is none, but Gmail is breaking that protocol and say no, we’re going to reject it. If you don’t, if you don’t have one of SPF or Din, we’re going to reject it regardless of D Mark. If you send more than 5000 messages a day, we’re really going to make sure you have at least one of these two and you have to have ad mark policy, even if the D MARK policy says none, you still have to have that D Mark policy if you’re a bulk sender and we’re gonna stop you. We’re gonna, we’re gonna break away from the technology part of it. I wanna talk. No, no, we’re not abandoning. I mean, it’s important, but we’re gonna move to leadership Alice. What, what is a nonprofit leader’s role in ensuring email deliverability? Well, you’re the executive director. What, what do you feel you take on in, in, you know, in your role obviously as your role as executive director, what do you think is your responsibility around email deliverability? Our responsibilities are responsible to our help our groups because that’s what we do. We support community organizing groups, that’s our niche. Um really think about like, you know, because we care about their work and we care that they get the communications out. It’s our responsibility as our team to understand these rules to be on top of this stuff, which is really hard. I mean, we’re a team of three plus mark out there. Don’t forget I can’t, you know, and so we have to like sift through and keep up with these rules because our groups don’t have time for that. We work with small to medium sized organizations that don’t have a tech arm. They don’t have a techie, they have accidental techies like Natalie, um which we make Natalie do a lot of things, right? They make me do a lot of, you know, so, so that’s our responsibility to move. We were there to really help groups navigate this world and also help them understand the role of technology in their organizing work and the impacts um that technology has in society and for social change. And this email stuff is critical because there’s so much dependence, we call it dependence on the master’s tools. You know, Audrey Lord, uh the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. You know. So for us, it’s like having we, we throw in a lot of political education around the role of technology. Email is like the one that everybody understands, but they don’t realize that as organizations that their emails are not getting sent. And they’re wondering like, why can’t we move our folks just because they’re not receiving an email. And so our responsibility is to help them get that word out. And so we deconstruct this stuff, figure it out. Jamie memorizes these acronyms and we hold trainings, we actually hold trainings, we help them navigate, help them get things set up. That’s our, that’s our role. My role is to work to move our team to make sure that this is we’re doing the best we can. We work with almost 100 and 50 organizations, nonprofit, uh grassroots organizations. It’s, it’s our job to make sure that we’re on it and in a timely way and we keep up with it and also translate, right? We got to translate this stuff for the groups that don’t have a technologist. They don’t have the benefit of a Jamie, right. And also the, the understanding is not, it’s, it’s again, understanding that role because we sort of like use whatever is easy. But to do this stuff is actually takes a little bit of, you have to dig in a little bit and that’s our job to help dig in and we’re gonna get to what to do very, very, very shortly. But this is why this is perfect for our listeners because most of our listeners small and mid-sized nonprofits, they don’t have the benefit of a full time or even maybe even an outsource technologist, like you’ve got Jamie. Alright, Natalie, how do you, how do you fit into this? So, um I have been with progressive technology project for 11 years and I started in an administrative role um and in a small organization that doesn’t take a whole lot of time. Um And so I started to learn how to do technical support and started working on the programming aspect of things. Um started training alongside my colleagues. Um We provide several trainings a year online and we’re going to do our first in person since COVID this year, probably this fall. Um And so I do a little bit of everything and it’s wonderful. Can you so can you help us start to get into the topic of how to design your own emails so that they, so that they meet, meet the criteria? Don’t suffer the uh the consequences of, of D mark. I got these acronyms down. Now, you got to do one of the two SPF or D Kim and D Mark will evaluate, will instruct the internet. Well, the email provider, what to do if, if one of those two tests is not passed, I’m, you’re like your name. I didn’t say hirable. You don’t want me as an employee. I’d be a terrible employee. You wouldn’t want me as an employee. But yeah, there’s a lot of things you can do to help before you get to the acronyms. There’s a lot of things that you can do on the front end to help your emails get delivered. And that has to do with setting up your template, not including weird characters or you know, animated GS like the word free can sometimes be, don’t use the word invoice or free in your subject line in your subject line. Don’t send an email to 20,000 people and include an attachment, things like that. And so we do train on things like that as well. And then on the technical end of things, you’ve got all the acronyms to work through and there’s lots of ways that you can get help addressing those if you don’t have a technologist at your organization or if you’re not with a social justice partner, like progressive technology project, um where we provide uh really awesome support to help you through that. So I want to go into a little more detail about the structure of emails, the planning of emails. So that uh Jamie, you want, I mean, I don’t know, Natalie, should we stay with you? I, I’m just, I’m still concerned about the subject line. Leave out free, leave out invoice free at if you’re sending to thousands of people that don’t do attachment. What else just about? Yeah. So, you know, there’s a lot going around these days from different consulting firms or organizations talking about how to craft a subject line that will gain attention. And that’s really important. But you also have to just be careful about the buzzwords that you’re using to avoid the pitfalls. And it’s not that hard if you’re talking about a subject line. Do you guys have anything to add? I think everything Natalie said is straight on some of it. It is common sense. You receive lots of spam messages and you don’t want your email to sound like that and look like that. And some of it can be obvious the no free act. Now there’s a lot of exclamation points, things like that sometimes get picked up. But I think that’s important. It’s becoming less important as these new rules and regulations are happening because it’s getting bigger, the data’s getting much bigger. And I feel like the big providers are really getting a little bit better at differentiating between the spam and the non spam. So I think that really important is following these rules and getting your domain names properly set up. Um, the only other things I would add are just, there might be personal preferences. Like a lot of people have the subject line newsletter number three, number 12. And it’s like, no, it’s the same thing I find too. I think most personally and this is very, like, there’s a matter of taste. I’m not a big fan of the newsletter that has 12 different stories in it because I see a subject line and I decide whether I’m going to open that message based on what’s in the subject line. You can’t put 12 things in a subject line. Yeah, but then whatever is not in the subject line is buried and it’s difficult. I’m a bigger fan of sending out more frequent emails with um that are shorter that like you, you see in the subject line, what it is and then you’re going to open it and you’re going to read it as opposed to a long newsletter. Now, do things like frequency. Does that impact your deliverability? Frequency? So too many, too much. No. In fact, it’s the opposite quantity and volume help you because a lot of these are percentile rankings where the providers are going to say, oh, wow, we received 1000 messages that were successfully sent and not complained about and you got two complaints. That’s a, you know, very tiny percentage. If you send 10 messages and you get two complaints, it’s, you know, it’s like a complaint can sink you more. So they’re tracking, there are, aren’t, aren’t the providers also able to track what people do with your message, whether they, whether they, whether they, whether they put it, whether they market junk, do, are they able to track that you’re doing in your inbox? They’re 100% able to track it. And it’s a black box as to what the algorithm is as to what they’re doing. And this is one of the, when you’re talking about, I think what leadership as a nonprofit sector, a lot of that has to do with paying attention to the power we’re giving these corporations. You’re familiar as a media person in the nineties, we were really fighting hard against the concentration of media ownership. It was a huge threat and it’s still a massive, massive threat. The same thing is happening with email, there’s a concentration in owner within the internet in general and with email in particular with Google Yahoo and Outlook. And we think, you know, Google is free and it’s not, it is like it comes with a price cash. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Surrender, privacy, surrender. Yes. What did you say? Free as kittens? Ac RM kind of thing. Free. Yes, exactly. So, but that’s where this black box comes in is that we’re giving the power to a very small number of corporations to decide based on our actions and based on who knows what, whether the message should arrive in the inbox. Now, these new regulations, I think they are in the public interest. I’m very glad that Google and Yahoo have decided that they’re going to cut down on fraudulent email. I applaud that, I think that’s good, but they’re doing it for their own reasons. And that means next time they might have other changes that they want. And I’m not at all comfortable with us as a sector saying sure, we’ll give three corporations the ability to dictate what messages land in the inbox, especially during these really crazy political times, it’s un predictable what could happen. And I prefer for us as a movement for us as a nonprofit sector to diversify. I really encourage people to look at other providers. Don’t just go to Outlook or Google because your a technologist says, oh, this is a simple thing that everyone’s doing. It’s really important to diversify to go to other providers. And I just want to say like, you know, we can make a choice, we make a choice to voluntarily give up our, you know, work, go to gmail because it’s oh, it’s so easy and, and it does all these things, but we can make changes now, right? I mean, I think that’s what PTP, what we stand for is we believe in people controlled technology for social change because then we can control, right, our data, our messages, how we wanna get things delivered. And so and, and also design it the way we need it right? To design it, the way organizations and organizing, really need to do the work and in our language, right? So this is where we can make choices. But it’s, um, it’s usually most folks get directed, right? Because of whether it’s consulting or sometimes it’s foundations. I hate to say it. But, you know, because you’ll get free money if you just like, everybody get on 365 Microsoft. right? It’s like without thinking and it’s like, but meanwhile, here they are doing work, you know, and that’s anti corporate work or something, you know, and so be conscious about your choices, especially how it may, may uh coincide with your own cause you were going to say something. I am in total agreement with all of that. And I just wanted to go back to a little bit about email deliverability on the recipient’s end. A shout out to all email recipients out there. I know the spam button looks very inviting for every single email that you don’t want to see in your inbox. However, if it’s not real spam, if it’s from an organization where you went to their gala maybe and you decide you don’t want their email, try to click unsubscribe because when you click spam, you know that goes in to mark against that organization and maybe that’s not what you intended. The user actions that do get collected aggregated. I was gonna ask you too, Natalie about Alright. So as a recipient, be thoughtful. Not real spam and we get it. You don’t want our stuff. That’s totally cool. You get to make that choice but just like unsubscribe instead of a spam. What about cleaning up your list? I mean, isn’t there in, in having a smaller list that’s not gonna mark your spam that’s more engaged with your emails and having a bigger list and, and lower quality receipt actions. That’s such a good point. And uh with power base, the database for community organizers through our support, we do a ton of work with um the groups we work with on duping, making sure you have valid and correct email addresses, you know, having a sign up sheet at your gala or your event is great. Um However, if those people are clicking unsubscribe, make sure they’re actually getting unsubscribed in your database. Um You can even go so far as to if you want to keep them in your database, remove their email address, just you brought up such a good point. Make sure you’re not sending it’s, you know, quality over quantity. Definitely you don’t need to send to the world, you know, do some searches in your database for who is the most engaged and send them a particular email segmenting your list can be very helpful for that. Yeah. Did you have more to add? No, I was just saying it’s like, it’s sort of interesting because the idea of unsubscribing, people should know that they’re only unsubscribing from that one list. And organizations are great at like, creating multiple lists for multiple different things and just like, I have 1625 30 different communications lists and like, people are wondering why am I getting all these emails? Because, well, you only subscribe from the one list, you know, so what that email list was on and sometimes you may not know what list you’re on so organizations can do that too. I mean, if you think it’s good to have 25 communication lists, maybe you should pair it down to 10, maybe like limit. I have another technical question. Mark Jamie. I want to ask you to myself. Don’t be so harsh if I was a DJ DJ. Got it. Alright. Um You mentioned setting your domain name up properly. What did you mean by that, please? So with Dkim Dar and SPF these all are referred to stop laughing at the, stop laughing at the acronyms are bona fide. He got you out of jargon jail. Some gratitude. I would, I would charge you interest on the bail payment. I just made quite an acronym. Yeah. Jeez. So how do you do? How do you put up with this? This is a virtual organization. I was glad you’re not all based on the laugh at your technology. So your domain name, she’s I know she’s going to apologize for that. I know she feels bad already. I can say she’s blushing. I’m putting, I’m putting her on the spot. Does she feel she feel bad? I do. I sorry, deeply sorry, apology accepted. I know they really care about setting up your domain name. So if you own your own domain name, then you have a company that’s called the Registrar, which is where you pay an annual fee. Usually about $20 a year for the right to have this domain name. Domain 10 one is a big one. Hover name.com, gandhi.net registrar.com. There’s a number of different ones. The company you’re paying for your annual registration exactly. Now, that often is different than the company you’re paying to host your domain name. Now, these are really subtle and nuanced differences but they are important differences. The company that you pay to host your domain name is usually the same company you pay to host your website or your email or something like that that’s usually packaged together. Now, the company that’s hosting your domain name is where you can set what your domain name records point to. So that’s what you say DNR S domain name records. Yeah. Well, DNR, I don’t know if I haven’t heard that accurate. That makes me think of testing Department of Natural Resources. We can name them. All right. Look, I have the board here. I can shut your mic down. Not supposed to make fun of the host that consolidation of power. You’re damn right. This is not progressive technology project. Nonprofit Radio. This is Tony Martignetti, Nonprofit Radio. You’re damn right. The middle aged white guy is taking over explicitly. At least I do it explicitly. I acknowledge the power so I’ll shut you down. All right. So no domain name record if we spell it, DNR do. So that’s what you’d say. This domain name points to this IP address. If you want to send an email to this domain name, it should go to this mail server. Those are the historic ways that domain names have been used and they’re being added to and order to support the SPF, DKIM and D Mark records. So SPF is a kind of a domain name record called the text record. And DKIM is also used as the text record. So you say for progressive tech.org, show me the text record and it will say SPF policy is this or you say, OK, and you look it up just the same way you’d say for this domain name. That’s the IP address. How do we make sure we’re set up correctly? You know, I would love technical help with this. I would love to explain to you how to do that. That would take a diagram in 45 minutes. It’s painful. I’m embarrassed as a technologist, how complicated it is to do this. The best I can say is first ask your consultant, staff or volunteer if you’re lucky enough to have one, if you’re not then ask your web host and if your web host can’t do it and you have a database, maybe you have power base or maybe you have um sales force or maybe you have networks nation or any of the other corporate places. Ask them because they’re the place you’re sending your bulk email, they have a responsibility to help you and they should be able to help you solve this problem. That’s valuable. Natalie, I’m going to choose you to bookend us. So the Accidental Techie, which a lot of a lot of people find themselves in that position. Uh You know, just take us out with uh with final thoughts. Yeah. Um Well, we really appreciate this opportunity this time. It’s been a while since we’ve done a radio show and progressive technology project is growing. Um We’re a social justice nonprofit organization that believes in transparent and democratic technology. Um like Jamie said to get help with this stuff, your database provider should be helping you, your technology providers should be helping you with this, so seek their support. Um And then, yeah, we’d love to hear from anyone out there who’s interested in learning more progressive. Tech.org is our website. Ok. Thank you. And just to set the record straight, it’s a podcast. It’s, it’s called Tony Martin TI Nonprofit Radio, but we’re, we’re a podcast, weekly, weekly podcast. Alright. So they are Jamie mcclelland, uh at Progressive Technology Project, Natalie Brenner with progressive technology project. And Alice Aguilar, the leader, the executive director, progressive technology project, Jamie Natalie Ellis. Thank you very much Tony and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC, the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are graciously sponsored by Heller consulting our booth partners, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. It’s time for Tony take two. I’m at the National Association of Y MC A Development Officers Conference, the National Association of all the Y MC A s in uh Mexico, Canada and the US. We’re in Denver, Colorado and I have to admire the w for just all their camaraderie, you know, their support for each other. Um I saw it today at uh two round table conversations that I hosted the desire to help each other. Um These were all small and mid size wise and the sharing of ideas, you know, the, just the, the getting along the collegiality. Uh It’s really delightful to see. Uh There are about 1800 people at this uh North American Y MC, a conference and I’m delivering uh a session on planned giving, not surprising, planned giving 101. I haven’t done that session yet, but from everything I’ve seen the two days I’ve been here, the WS really do support each other throughout North America and it’s uh it’s, it’s inspiring, it’s really, it’s, it’s uplifting to, to see everyone just desiring to help each other so much. Uh sharing ideas, you know, and just laughing and understanding. Yes, understanding, empathizing, even if there isn’t a solution or a suggestion, but, you know, just the empathy. So my, my hats off to the Y MC A s of North America. It’s a real pleasure and a privilege to be at their conference. And that is Tony’s take two ordinarily I would say Kate, but she’s not with us. Uh uh III I think she’ll be back. Uh I think we’ve got Buku but loads more time here is email. Welcome journeys. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are in Portland, Oregon at the Convention Center and where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits with me. Now are Patty Breach and Elizabeth Sellers. Patty is founder and CEO of the purpose collective. Elizabeth is us, Director of Communications and Development at Humanity and Inclusion. Patty Elizabeth. Welcome. Thanks for having us. Good to be here. Pleasure, Patty for you. Welcome back. I think this is your third spot on nonprofit radio at NTC. You’re a perennial. It’s great to be back. I’m glad, glad. Thank you and Elizabeth. Welcome. Welcome. First time we’re talking about the secret to loyal donors. Email, welcome journeys. Um Elizabeth, why don’t you start us off with how important because we’ve heard from Patty on this subject in the past. Uh I believe it was two years ago, but it, that was two years ago. Uh start us off motivation. Why is the email? Welcome journey so important? Sure. So we’re all nonprofits. We all rely on donors to do our work and have impact. So we’re welcoming donors into our organizations every day. Um But so often we’re not nurturing them in a way to share the impact they’re having and share other opportunities for them to get involved. So welcome journeys, really provide an opportunity for us to introduce people to the organization, to our work and to ways that they can take part in our work with us. Um And of course, whenever you’re able to automate a welcome journey, it helps small teams like ours at Humanity and inclusion to welcome those donors out as much capacity or or resource of a manual welcome series. So for us, the initial need for a welcome journey that kind of pushed us over the edge was two years ago when the Ukraine conflict started, we work in situations of conflict and disaster mostly with people with disabilities. And we saw an influx of thousands of new donors who really didn’t know much about our work. And we’ve caught ourselves with the problem of how do we tell them who we are, why we’re managing this emergency situation. And the answer to that was the email welcome journey. And we’ve now added more of those to our repertoire to bring new donors into our space. And and Patty, we can do this with, with uh automation, but also, as Elizabeth said, also nurturing we can, we can automate and nurture together. Yeah, absolutely. Um I think the primary goal of any welcome journey is gratitude. Um We want to thank the supporter for whatever their most recent action was, whether it was a gift or joining an email list or signing a petition. We really want to validate that decision and say um you know, we really appreciate you and we’re so glad you’re here. Um Patty, I gotta ask you a question from previous years. Are, are you the person who told me that you, you, you go on dates and they google your name and they find your nonprofit radio appearances was that you, it wasn’t you? I thought it was, you know, well somebody did tell me I thought it was you. Uh no, you’re not, you’re not seeing that. Ok? No, you would remember all. I’m just sorry I I remembered the wrong person but uh it is happening. I I can’t say that there are any uh marriages have spawned from nonprofit radio appearances. Not yet, but I’ve only been at it 14 years. So I’m still working to get to reach that marriage threshold. Somebody did tell me that their dates were, were mentioning their appearances. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. So it could happen in your future, you know, I don’t know if you’re dating or not but let’s talk about uh is this, I mean, there’s a series, you have a, you have a kind of a, this is a series of like four or five emails properly timed. Ok. Now, let me ask, uh Elizabeth, are you working with the purpose collective in your email? Welcome journeys. We presume we’re here, we’re here together. Ok. Um So Patty, you’re the expert here. Uh How do we, how do we get our plan started? We got to think about the timing, the messaging, right? Like isn’t the first one supposed to be within, within 24 hours, 20 four hours? Ok. Describe what that first message should look like. Yeah, so that one is just a simple. Thank you. Um We usually recommend that it comes from someone recognizable within the organization. So like the executive director or anyone who has name recognition with your supporters. Um and the email can be really simple. It can even be plain text. And the goal is just to say I saw your donation come in and I wanted to tell you how much we appreciate your gift. Ok. So really simple. It doesn’t have to be formatted. Like plain text is great. It’s like like the digital equivalent of a quick handwrit note. I saw this come and it moved me and I want to thank you. Of course, you’ll hear from us, you know, you’ll get something more formal maybe or something. Yeah, that’s a great way to describe it. OK? Ok. And that within 24 hours, I mean, with automation, I mean, should we do this within 15 minutes or 30 seconds? Yeah, it depends on the system you’re using. Sometimes there’s like an overnight sink that it happens between like your, your database, your donation platform and your email program. I’m also thinking timing wise, if you want it to look authentic, if it comes within 15 seconds, it’s unlikely that your CEO could have, would have typed that and now you’re giving away the authenticity of it, the authenticity. Yeah, so that’s, that’s actually why wait until the next day, we usually wait at least a couple of hours if it’s a more automatic sync. But if you have an overnight sync that can, that can work in your favor because it looks like the executive director saw your donation come in first thing the next morning and wanted to send you a note. Ok. Alright, Elizabeth, what kind of responses have you seen? You? You’re getting emails back. Like people believe that the executive director really did take the time. Yeah, we do sometimes get emails back. Um just thanking us for the work that we’re doing asking if there are other ways that they can get involved. Um So yeah, we do see some people who reach out on those um on those emails and, and the best thing about those emails is they’re when someone is super warm to your organization. So our open rates are are much, much higher. So we’re automatically seeing more engagement from those folks. After that first email. Are you adhering to the patty breach purpose collective best practice of doing it within 24 hours that first? So yeah, so our donors, they actually do get an immediate thank you receipt if they’re donating online. Um So they get that immediately and then that first email from our executive director lands within 24 hours. And what’s what’s the next step in the in the journey? The next step is story of impact. Um So for us to her validation, for nonverbal validation, story of impact, gratitude and validation happening with our glances at each other. So yeah, have you done your session yet or no? It’s coming up. Oh, good. Let’s have some fun prep. Ok. Alright. So next uh story of validation. No, no validation is of impact is what you get from your consultant of impact. What does this one look like? What’s the timing, story of impact? Um We’re letting the donor know the difference that they’re making with the gift that they’ve sent. Um So for us, we typically will feature someone who’s directly impacted by our services. So our most, I guess most used donor welcome journey features the story of a little boy who was injured by a landmine and actually lost his leg to that explosion and went through our rehabilitation services and was fitted with a brand new artificial leg. So he’s, there’s a photo of him happily running through the streets and just the story of his recovery and, and the life that he’s living now thanks to our donors and I’ll let Patty answer the exact timing of that timing. Well, what is the format? What does it look like it? Now, this is, this woman has pictures and or maybe video or something. This is not the not akin to the first one, right? This is not plain text. We want people to actually be able to visualize the impact that they’re having. So um your typical kind of designed email with, with photos with text, maybe bolding certain um certain pieces that you want to stand out. Um That’s what it’s gonna look like. And what’s our timing? Timing is 2 to 3 days after the first email, we have data behind these uh these timing the flow. I mean, like if it comes too soon or if it, if it’s a week, it it it diminishes the uh the engagement with it. Yeah, exactly. We found that if you wait too long to send these emails, um people kind of forget about the donation that they just gave you and the email feels like it’s coming out of the blue and they’re like, why are you, what is this? So we definitely have clients who are nervous about. They’re like you want to send two emails within the first week that feels like a lot. Um How do you reassure them? We reassure them with the data behind it so we can show them that the open rates, the click rates are really high, usually double or triple their usual email newsletters. So that shows that people want to get these messages and they’re happy to receive it. And we really are striking while the iron is hot and we’re not annoying people with too many messages. And Elizabeth, you haven’t seen push back that, you know why? Two messages after I made my first gift or something. I mean, it seems it’s, it doesn’t seem likely. I mean, II I just made you a gift. I mean, I actually appreciate the attention and knowing now from the second one, what, what my gift is doing but, and just validate, you’re not, you’re not seeing no push back on that. People are opening them, people are engaging with them. I think the important thing on that second email is that we’re not making any sort of ask. We’re just providing them information on the impact they’re having no follow up. You know, if you want to do more for you, it’s too soon. Let’s talk 2 to 3 days much, too soon. Patty, what’s uh what’s our third? How many, how many are there in the The Journey Series? How many emails? Yeah, for a donor welcome series, we recommend five. Ok. Um and we’re about to do number three. And what are the other types of series you folks might have um you could have one for new subscribers. So whenever anyone joins your list, you could send them a welcome series. Um You could also get more specific about your donor welcome series. Like you could have one series for people who give a one time gift and a different series for people who sign up to give monthly. And then depending on your organization, um like Elizabeth’s organization has petitions that people can sign. And so we have journeys tied to those. So if you add your name to a certain cause we can send you a personalized series of emails about that, that cause. Um but yeah, if you also, if you’re recruiting volunteers, that’s a great time to send a welcome series. If someone signs up to volunteer or maybe after they do their first volunteer experience, they spent their first half a day or whatever. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Alright. So bring us back to number three, the third one in our journey. What’s our? So the first one was 2 to 3 days after the first email, which was within 24 hours. When should this third email be timed? This is one week after email number two and this is an invitation to become more involved. And so the key here is that this is also not a donation ask, but we’re asking them to take some sort of action with the organization. Um That could be anything from, you know, will you, will you become a volunteer with us? Will you follow us on social media? Um In the case of humanity inclusion, it’s, will you take a survey because we want to get to know you better? Um And the goal is basically saying like, we appreciate you so much. We want, we want to invite you into our inner circle. We want to get to know you. We wanna, we wanna have more interaction with you, Elizabeth. What does that survey look like in this third email? Sure. So we really wanna get to know our donors, so who they are, what motivates them um and what it is about our work that matters most to them, which then of course, helps us tailor our communications to them in the future to really make sure that we’re nurturing them and nurturing their interest moving forward. It takes like two minutes. It’s three questions um very, very easy to complete. So at this point, you’re not asking how, how do you like to hear from us or how often or anything like that? You’re saying it’s only three questions we’re not asking much on um on preferences of that nature, but really just what, what areas of our work they want to know more and and why so you can segment your future communications. OK? Anything else on email? Number three? Either of you that it is important for us to know we wanna do this journey correctly. Now, we don’t wanna, we don’t wanna uh we don’t want to uh walk off the path to follow the path correctly. All right. So we’re OK. Don’t message number three. Yeah. The only other thing I would add is that you can test this out for your organization, you can try a survey and if you’re not getting a lot of responses, you can try something else. OK. How about number four, kick us off with that one. Number four is another story of impact. So we as human beings interpret the world through story, we love stories. So I don’t think that there’s such a thing as too much storytelling. Um And this is just another opportunity to say um Here’s how you’re changing the world, here’s the impact that you’re having and again, that gratitude message, we really appreciate that you’re helping with this work. And again, no, no, no. And what’s the timing for number 41 week after the previous email? Ok. So we’re about two weeks after the right? Aren’t we about two weeks and 2.5 weeks or so after the action that began the journey another week? OK, Elizabeth, what are you doing? And number four? Sure. So number four clients. So we actually, we do have a story of impact, but it’s a little bit interesting because this email actually comes from one of our staff members on the ground in Columbia who works as a Dinor. So, clearing weapons contamination from communities and she’s actually clearing contamination from community, the community that she grew up in where she actually herself as a child stepped on a land mine that fortunately did not explode. Um And she opted to become a de miner and later went back and cleared that same area where she had had that interaction as a, as a kid. So, yeah, so it’s a really, it’s a really nice like behind the scenes stories getting to know both the impact of our work. But it’s another opportunity for us to showcase the boots on the ground that we have as an international organization. And that um you know, the staff that we’re working with are local and are working to improve their communities and they’re doing that. Thanks to our donors, anything you wanna add about? Uh your email number four feedback. Are you still? Uh So it’s through the journey, we’re doing five messages. Are you getting feedback? Uh like through you said when you get the first one from the executive director, you do get some messages there. Do you find much response to 23 and four? Yeah. So sometimes we, yeah, sometimes we get responses. Sometimes we don’t, I think the important thing on these journeys is to recognize that it’s really about keeping your audience warm and informed and familiar with who you are. Um So that whenever it it it’s right for them to take the next action, they know what they can do and why it’s important that they do it. Um So we do sometimes hear back from people. Um But for us, I think the most important thing is just knowing that people are reading those emails and they’re seeing about our work and the impact that they’re having. Um, so that we know that they’re gonna continue to engage with us and that goes to Patty’s point that some folks will forget that they even made the gift of you said, if Patty, if the second email comes too late, folks will wonder why you’re writing to me. You know, they don’t even remember. So you’re trying to keep them warm and engaged as you’re saying, Elizabeth. OK. And how about your, your fifth email, Elizabeth? What is that the the fifth email is the ask? So we’re looking for validation in that one. Yes, we’re asking. So um in that fifth email, um we are typically asking and encouraging those one time donors to now take another step forward and become a monthly donor and join our monthly giving community. Um What if they, what if they were monthly donors to begin with, if they are monthly donors to begin with? So we do have a separate, we have a separate journey for monthly donors. And so in that one, we’re asking them to upgrade their monthly gift so they can give extra and that’s actually a really good point. There’s a filter before this email. So in case anyone signed up to give monthly in the meantime, um they’ll be excluded from this message. The last thing we want to do is ask someone to give monthly who is already giving monthly. It makes it seem like we’re not paying attention a little bit, just a little. Ok. Ok. And what’s the timing patty for this fifth male? We want ideally be a month after the gift. So it should be about two weeks after email number, right? Ok. And so, and you feel comfortable Elizabeth that asking for do more within a month after about a month, right? Yeah, I think, I think that can initially be scary to folks. How is this, you know, are we going to offend anyone? And if we’ve offended anyone, they haven’t told us that we’ve offended them. Um So you got that right? No, we haven’t gotten that feedback. And in fact, we’ve seen people who have either made a second one time gift or people who have decided to start um that monthly gift or maybe they don’t take an action immediately after that email, but two months from now when we continue nurturing them and showing the impact that they’re having, maybe they make that gift, you know, two or three or six months down the road. Um But yeah, we haven’t had any, any negative feedback. I think the important thing is that, you know, donors choose their philanthropy and they choose when to give and how to give and where to give. And so for us, you know, I think Patty and I were talking about this earlier, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. And so, you know, we’re just asking, we don’t expect anyone to do anything that they can or don’t want to do, but we’re giving them that opportunity to make another gift and broaden their impact. If that’s, you know, if that’s on the table for them. And at this point, they’ve learned how important that gift can be and the, the life changing um actions that it can, can fund Elizabeth if it, if it was a petition, that was the first action that began the embarkation on the journey. But I love this journey. So I’m sticking with this journey metaphor. You have the path and it’s a cruise, maybe it’s a cruise ship or um if, if so, if they were uh they signed, they signed a petition, then I assume your ask in email five is for a gift. And how do you decide how much to ask for? Um We actually don’t, we don’t include amounts. Um So, you know, that’s something really up to the donor. We actually um I will give a plug to fundraise up, which is our donation platform and we actually use their machine learning um which A I is, I’m sure gonna be a focus of some of your other interviews. Um but we use their machine learning and they actually will suggest gift amounts. That makes sense to the person who is, you know, coming to our site and opening that donation form. Um But yeah, if they, if they sign a petition that last ask is just to make any gift, whatever the amount um to fund our work. Ok. Ok. Patty gift number, email number five. You haven’t said anything about this one yet? What do you want to add? Um Yeah, I would just add that. I really recommend acknowledging the donor’s previous gift um explicitly in this email. So saying like we remember that you donated to us a month ago, we’re still thinking about how great you are over here. Um We’re still really grateful for that and we wanted to invite you to become a part of this monthly giving program because we think it would be a good fit for you because we know that you’re passionate about this cause it’s because you gave us a donation a month ago that we’re now asking you to do this. So again, we want, we want to make it seem like we’re paying attention. We remember you, we see you um and we’re not just blindly sending out donation requests. I appreciate that. It’s because of your first action that we’re we’re asking this. Alright, we still have some time together. Is there more that you’re gonna share with NTC attendees? That you have not yet shared with nonprofit radio listeners. I mean, I don’t, I don’t appreciate you holding back on uh on our listeners. Is there, is there more that uh we haven’t talked about yet? Um Yeah, I mean, one thing that we’re going to mention in our presentation is that if creating a five part welcome series, feels daunting to you, you can always start smaller, you could start with 123 emails in the series. And as time allows, you could add more emails to them or not like the petition series at Humanity Inclusion. It’s a three part series and that’s it just three emails. Um So we believe having something is better than having nothing even if the something isn’t like the full recommended journey link. But you can set these up as automations in probably any decent email provider, right? I would think contact mailchimp sales force. All the big ones have automated series features. And Elizabeth, is that just a capacity issue for now? I thought you said, I thought you have four and five on the donor Impact Journey. We do have on the on the donor welcome journey. We have five, the subscriber series. We have five, our petitions, we only have the three. So we have two petitions that we ask people to sign. So um so on that one, the j it’s a thank you for adding your name. And then the second one is again that story of impact. And then the third one is that one time ask. Um So I think it depends on to the action that someone is taking. What makes the most sense and what kind of that final ask how it compares to the one before. So if someone’s already given you money, I think nurturing them a little bit more before you ask them for more money is important where if someone is, has taken an action like adding their name to a petition, then for me, it feels a little bit more comfortable to more quickly ask them to, to make a gift. So they get the shorter journey. The three messages makes intuitive sense and you’re seeing good results. Yeah. Another thing I want to mention is that we really recommend segmenting anybody who’s on a journey, segmenting them out of your general newsletter list until they finish the journey. So, ok, your regular list. So like we don’t want someone to get email number two in this journey and then six hours later get your monthly newsletter that might feel like email overload for someone. And um we also feel like it’s the point of this is to nurture someone to the point where now they’re ready after the five emails, now they’re ready to be added to the general list. But for that first month, let’s really make sure we’re just talking to them about their donation and their donation only. Ok. Yeah, it seems disruptive to the, to the, to the whole cause of the whole purpose of the journey to, to have other communications in there. There might, there might be an asking that you might be asking that a newsletter, right? I mean, there probably is and now it seems incongruous like what? But I, I thought you were. Yeah, II I thought I just gave especially if it comes too close to the gift to the initial gift that started the journey, I could see. All right. That makes sense. It’s confusion. It’s disruptive. Ok. Ok. Ok. This is exclusive for the first month. They are exclusive communications. Ok. Is there anything else I I would just say for nonprofits, especially smaller teams, it can feel daunting to set these up at the start, but it’s really worth the time and investment to do that because you, you are now having these personal tailored touches to every donor that’s coming through or every subscriber that’s coming through and there’s a little bit of work on the front end. But really these journeys, once they’re, once they’re set, you can kind of set and forget, you know, maybe do a refresh every 6 to 12 months to make sure that the is still relevant to make sure that, you know, maybe you have a new story of impact that’s more recent that you wanna change out. Um But once you get these going, um they make your job as a fundraiser as a communicator as a marketer, a lot easier um to, to meet these donors where they are. That’s a perfect place to end. Thank you. That’s Elizabeth Sellers, us, Director of Communications and Development at Humanity and Inclusion. And with her is Patty Breach founder and CEO of the purpose collective, Patty Elizabeth. Thank you. Thanks very much. Thank you. Thank you and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Next week, the generational divide. That’s not a joke. You’ll see, you’ll see it’s coming. It’s next week. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. I think this went pretty well. Uh It’s, it is exhausting. Uh um And I’m a little tired of hearing my voice. Uh But you know, I’m the 1st 600 40 shows were all me and I didn’t get tired of hearing myself for those 13 years. So we’ll see, we’ll see the, the jury is out still about uh whether we need an associate producer on nonprofit radio. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The show’s associate producer for now is Kate Martignetti. Our social media is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that information, Scotty. You with us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for April 1, 2024: Avoid Technical Debt & Your Technical Roadmap

 

Jagan Narayanan & Karen Graham: Avoid Technical Debt

 

Our 24NTC coverage continues, to help you avoid crushing tech debt that would bust your budget and cause you a big headache. Our panel encourages you to manage and maintain your IT infrastructure and software so that costs are managed. They’re Jagan Narayanan, from Fourth Dimension Technologies, and the tech speaker, writer and consultant, Karen Graham.

 

 

 

 

Kestryl Lowery:  Your Technical Roadmap

Another way to steer clear of a technology budget crisis is to prioritize and plan your investments. Kestryl Lowrey shares the best practices for creating your tech roadmap. He’s with Cloud for Good.

 

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Hello listeners. It’s Tony. Every week for the past 14 years. I’ve produced a show this week. I’m sorry, I just II I could not pull it together. Uh personal problems, technology problems. Its just, it was just overwhelming. I, I could not, I’m sorry. It’s April Fools. It’s our April Fools show. Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your Aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite Hebdomadal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer the embarrassment of. So, Mathenia, if you weakened me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s going on this week? Hey, Tony, it’s a technology management show. First. Avoid technical debt. Our 24 NTC coverage continues to help you avoid crushing tech debt that would bust your budget and cause you a big headache. Our panel encourages you to manage and maintain your it infrastructure and software so that costs are managed. They are Jin Narayanan from fourth dimension technologies and the tech speaker, writer and consultant Karen Graham. Then your technical road map another way to steer clear of a technology budget crisis is to prioritize and plan your investments. Castro Lowry shares the best practices for creating your tech roadmap. He’s with Cloud for good. Antonius. Take two, I’ve been dreaming were sponsored by virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving, virtuous.org here is avoid technical debt. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. We’re in Portland, Oregon and we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. With me. Now are Jin Narayanan. And Karen Graham Jin is CEO at fourth dimension technologies and Karen is speaker, writer, consultant and coach. Welcome back to both of you. You’ve both been on the show before. It’s good to have both of you back. Jug and Karen. Welcome back. Thanks. Thank you. Pleasure. So you’ve uh you’ve done your session and your topic is avoid technical debt from killing your nonprofit, not, not just not just damaging or injuring, killing, killing, jugging. Why is this uh an important topic? Why do we need this session? Uh It’s basically it’s a more to do with being able to keep up with uh technology and trying to address issues as and when they come up and not let them pile up. Once you let the issue spile up, then it kind of grows to such an extent that it becomes a very difficult task to manage at that point in time. And that’s why we’re talking about being able to kill them because suddenly you find yourself in a situation where you have a huge technology challenge and you probably don’t have the resources both financial, as well as technical to be able to address that. Ok. And it could have been avoided with better management through the, through the years. Absolutely better management in terms of planning and probably spreading it out over a period of time. Ok, Karen, do you want to add something to, to our introduction to the topic? I think, I mean, you asked why, why this topic here, why this conference? I think it’s especially important for nonprofits to think about this because they have so many pressures that, that send them in the direction of accumulating more technical debt, of putting off purchases of under investing in technology because of the way that they’re funded because of the um just all of the different ways that they operate. I think nonprofits are perhaps more susceptible to technical debt than any other kind of organization. Um So some of the things we want, let’s stick with you, Karen. Just reading from your session description, learn, learn the negative impacts of technical debt, I mean, jug and sort of alluded to them. Do you want to go into more detail or maybe tell a story of, of the, the uh the implications of putting off proper investment and management of technology. I’ll use a release. Simple example. And this is, this is kind of an embarrassing example because it’s a way that I am accumulating technical debt myself by keeping a laptop for longer than I would ever advise a client to do. I would usually tell people to plan to replace their computers every 3 to 5 years. I’ve got a laptop that’s six years old and I’m just crossing my fingers that it’s not going to die in the middle of this conference. And then I would be forced to go out and sort of panic, purchase a new machine without shopping for sales without really thoroughly looking at what my options are. And so in that way, I’m probably not making a very smart decision and could end up the impact of that, could be that I would spend more. I wouldn’t get the right kind of computer for, for the next, the next one that I buy. And that’s just like kind of a microcosm of what happens on a much larger scale with a lot of kinds of enterprise technology systems and organizations. Well, I admire you sharing your own personal, uh, I don’t know, shortcoming or oversight. Uh, hypocrite is the word that comes to mind, but at least you’re honest, you’re an honest hypocrite. You’re not, you’re not a concealed. You know, I love Karen. Karen’s been on the show many times. We’ve talked a lot, we email. So I know she doesn’t object to. I feel the same kinds of pressures that a lot of people working in nonprofits do where, you know, I want to make the best use of my funds. I don’t want to overspend. And so sometimes I can be kind of a cheap skate, double, double hypocrite, not, you’re under investing and you’re not, you’re not turning over the technology as it ought to be as it ought to be upgraded. Alright. Um Jin, uh is there a story maybe that you wanna share or, or uh about, you know, proper, let’s let’s go to the other end of the spectrum from Karen now to the to the proper the proper management and, and investment in, in uh technology. Yeah, actually we, we manage it for a lot of organizations and uh as a part of our job, it’s, it’s a part of the job to let them know how they are accumulating debt and what are the risks they carry and what we see sometimes is uh actually quite surprising. Uh we have clients who still use versions of operating system like Windows 2000 just because it works, they use it, they want to use it. They’re not changing it because the change will cost them no longer supported. It’s no longer supported, it’s risky some of the people attending this event. Absolutely. So that’s the risk that they carry risk is whether if they’re using uh uh let’s say unsupported versions of either operating systems or some of the systems that they have, they risk the possibility of security process. So that’s the biggest risk. And uh again, security is like an insurance and the general perception is if it’s not happened to me, I’m safe. So it’s, it’s, it’s a kind of a situation where it hits until it does happen to you. Absolutely. So I think this is where the challenge is. Uh we need to take, that’s why people need to take proactive measures. So when I talk about my own experiences with organizations, this is what we see in a lot of organizations and even then they would want to probably extend it as much as possible because at the end of the day, upgrades also cost money. I think that’s the challenge. But Karen, we, we should look at this as an investment, right? I don’t know why you’re asking me questions because I’ve now completely undermined my own credibility. Well, let me, let me take a moment to rehabilitate because Karen I’ve known Karen for years. She is a very smart, very savvy tech uh tech reviewer, tech consultant, tech person, professional. Uh she used to produce reports about technology. Um and I had her on the show talking about them. So this is all that was uh that was all in fun. Karen. Karen is a very, very savvy and very smart consultant. Karen Graham consulting. I don’t know, her little bio doesn’t say doesn’t say Karen Graham consulting. It just says, speaker, writer, consultant, coach, I’ve made my best after myself consulting. And as I Tony Martignetti, Tony Martignetti nonprofit Radio Martignetti Planned Giving Advisors II, I think that’s, I think that’s the right way to go. You’re because you’re a well known name in technology. So Karen Graham consulting has gravitas and that’s not just a gratuitous rehabilitation, it’s all deserved. So he’s made such terrible fun of you. II I wanna make sure that I go uh make sure I rehabilitate and set the record straight again. That was not a gratuitous rehabilitation. It’s all true. So as a savvy smart tech consultant at Karen Graham consulting, uh we should be viewing this as an investment, right? Not expenditure, not spending, but we’re investing in tech just like we should invest in our people. Yeah, we should. Um and but in order to make a proper investment, you need to, you need to save for that, you need to budget for it and you need to understand how to evaluate return on investment. And I actually think that’s sometimes how these things start to fall apart is that people don’t understand how to really evaluate the ro I they don’t understand how to swayed someone of that. That’s something we talked about in the session a bit. There were a lot of people in the room that were it and operations, people that do understand this already and yet they’re sort of inhibited from implementing really smart technology investments in their organization because their leaders don’t understand the importance of it. Their boards don’t understand the importance of it, their don’t understand the importance of it. And so I think it’s our responsibility as technology leaders to acquire the skills, to be able to really make a strong case for those investments and to do it in the language, to use the kinds of arguments that are relevant to the people that are making those decisions. Well, let’s stay with you. How do we start to budget for this? Let’s take uh websites, for example, almost everyone, almost every nonprofit organization does some kind of website refresh or maybe even a complete overhaul, redesign every 3 to 5 years. And yet few organizations budget for that in the years that they’re not doing it. And so to smooth out that um that cash flow and to be prepared for a major website redesign, a few organizations have a practice of setting aside a little bit of money in a fund that’s dedicated for that as they’re building up to it. Um But many of them just wait until it’s kind of past due and then they’ll maybe go to a funder and say, oh, we need, you know, many tens of thousands of dollars to be able to do this redesign and they just cross their fingers that somebody’s gonna say, yes. What, what about for the jug? And what about for the kinds of technology that we’re, that’s, that’s palpable. Um Kron was talking about her laptop. Uh you know, I’m thinking of servers. I mean, I’m not a tech person but you are uh you know, how do we, how do we budget for what those expenses are going to be? The the laptop upgrades, the server up grades, things like that. How do we know how much to plan for? See? Actually, uh if you are a technology person, normally the road map for technology is laid out by the vendors. You take the large vendors, be it the network vendors like Cisco and Junipers or you take the server vendors like Dell or HP, I mean, all of them have set a road map and I think that road map is available for us as technology. So we know where technology is headed in terms of what so very clearly uh that road, once that road map is available, there is a possibility that you can therefore start seeing that this is when I need a refresh, this is when I need an upgrade and stuff like that. Well, you may not know the exact amounts which are required for these exacts. But Karen said if we put together a plan and start setting aside some money straight away, so at least it doesn’t hit you when in a big time when it actually happens, you start setting aside funds for it over a period of time and then start rolling it out on an annual basis rather than doing it at one shot every, every year, you set aside a certain amount of money for upgrades for, uh let’s say you now you’re using the technical debt for, let’s say, uh managing technical debt and you set aside some money and then you know what comes in at that point in time and start using it for that purpose. And the large providers have a road map, road maps for us that most of them have, most of them, we have some visibility into what’s in store. It’s not that they just throw something at us. I mean, there is obviously an available in terms of, if you go to Microsoft, I’m sure Microsoft will tell you when is the next release planned for their operating system? And they will also tell you when is the support stopping for the earlier version of the operating system? So you certainly have a time plan for you to plan that out and hardware, hardware as well and HP etcetera, and there might be a lot of people listening that are not with an organization that has an it professional on their staff. And so maybe they don’t have somebody that really has the knowledge to keep track of these kinds of things. In that case, they should find somebody like Jan or you know, someone who can advise them, maybe outsource that um who can help them make those plans. Actually, it’s a good idea to have a periodic audit, let’s say, do you do an annual audit to see where you are? And what is it that you need to address that? That’s probably a good way to address it in that sense. Auditing software, hardware. Absolutely. That’s right. Ok. Vendor relationships, backup plans, all of it together do infrastructure. I audit to see where you are and what are the gaps that you have to fill and then plan for it. At least you can plan for it the next year. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers. Responsive fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows, giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtues gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org now back to avoid technical debt. Something I’m curious about, I know both of you, but I, I know I’m not the person who introduced you. How did the two of you come together to do this session together. That’s interesting. That’s interesting. Actually, I’m going to locate in only the last few weeks. Ok. Uh We have another gentleman in our organization who’s been talking to her for a long time. Ga ga. That’s right. So Ronga has been driving this and uh that’s how he got set up and we’ve been in this nonprofit technology thing for the last couple of years. So we’ve been working with multiple people and reaching out to a lot of people and Karen was certainly one of the, on our list. She was on top of our list. Outstanding fourth dimension. Of course, you were a sponsor of nonprofit radio and uh you were on our 650th or 6/100 show, 6/100 show. I interviewed you in uh Moynihan Station in New York City, Moynihan Hall. Pardon me, Moynihan Hall in New York City. And then we had a very nice dinner together. So I know I know the both of you. Well, I just regrettably, I’m not the person brought you together, but Ron found Ronga found Karen top of her list, top of his list. Um Let’s talk a little about Ro I let’s stay with you, Juan. Uh and then we’ll Karen, I’ll turn to you to fill in some too about how do we start to estimate RO I because this is something that if, if, if everything is going along fine, then the C suite may just say, well, everything’s going along fine. I don’t, I don’t see any downside to continuing with uh with uh Windows 2000 for instance. Wh wh why, why should, why should we bother, how do, how do we quantify the, the, the value of upgrading to a, to the current uh operating system, for instance? OK. There are multiple ways of doing this. There are multiple ways, one is uh uh very simply is, is there a productivity impact because of the fact that you’re running older systems? I mean, that’s, that’s one way to look at it. And uh when you look at productivity impact, that’s something we can straight away uh add money value to it and do it. The other is a potential risk that you carry. Like when you say security risk, it’s a risk. But to be putting a money value on it, we need to put a model by which you can say, hey, in case we have a security incident, what is the impact that is having on the organization? OK. So these are the two things that, that comes to my mind straight away security wise, we can look at some of the headlines, a ransomware attacks uh on, I mean, sometimes even on nonprofits, we don’t even have to just look at the commercial, the corporate side of hacks, uh like Yahoo is the one that comes to mind, but there have been others since then. But some nonprofits have been attacked. In fact, I’ll send you a very good example of technical debt, which actually had an impact on general users. Uh Some time back, we had an issue at Southwest where I think the systems came down. I think this is about the air this happened, I think about 34 years back. And I think the one of the reasons was that some of the systems were not upgraded in time. Ok. So having said that, I mean, I’m saying even for large organizations, it happens because we tend to ignore it in a lot of ways, right? So having said that from an ro I look at the impact and uh so if you look at it as an impact, somebody has to put together and say in case this happens, what are the costs and therefore it’s better to invest now and prevent an incident happening sometime down the line. And then also, as you mentioned, productivity, productivity is a very simple, simple model. Yeah, we’re working, right mccarron, we’re, you know, suppose let’s take this windows 2000 example. I mean, we’re, you know, aside from the security risks of using an operating system that still hasn’t been supported for, I don’t know how many years or decades or a decade or so, but just, you know, like the work arounds, like if you wanna integrate calendly, let’s say, or something, you know, to your email or you know, to, to to use something modern with something that’s 24 years old. Um, that’s enormously unproductive. Right. Well, and just to put some numbers to this and I hope I’m not the technical side to it. I hope I’m not doing the math rather spontaneously here. But I was just thinking, like, let’s say you have 10 minutes a day that your old computer, your old operating system, your workarounds are slowing you down by 10 minutes a day. And then if you multiply that out, say by like 40 40 hours a week and 50 days or 50 weeks a year with some vacation, things like that, say, you have somebody that’s being paid $50 an hour. If you take the value of their time, I think that’s $2000 a year, right? One employee. Right. So, I mean, for $2000 would you want to upgrade their operating system? It seems like that would be a pretty clear two $1000 of ongoing costs each year. And then on top of that, the risk of the security risk, we haven’t quantified that right now by, by making the investment of time and money into upgrading the operating system, you’re not really gonna save $2000 you’re still gonna be paying that employee, right? You’re not going to be paying them for 10 fewer minutes every day, but they 10 more minutes that they could be using to do something that is advancing your mission that is raising more money for your organization that is increasing your reach. You know, there’s, there’s all kinds of things they could be doing. So it’s really more of an opportunity cost in reality. But if we wanna put numbers to it and be able to use that to compare ro i of different options, then that’s a, that’s a way that you can do it. Ok? Um uh I’m just reading from your session description um best practices for managing and maintaining it, infrastructure and software systems. Have we, have we covered that? Have we covered that? We talk about it? We did talk about managing and maintaining. That’s right. One of the things that came across during our session itself was uh one was the periodic audit itself which kind of gives you an idea of where you are and where you want to be. Uh The other was I think one of the participants that brought this out was to put together a plan. I mean, while he spoke about a five year plan, I mean, my personal view was in technology, five years is a long time. It’s a very long time. I think about where we were five years ago and how many things didn’t even exist yet. So, but to put together at least a plan saying, hey, this is my technology plan over the next few years and then start implementing it in phases so that you spread out your cost over a period of time. So these are primarily this one is an audit to see where you are because we are so much into the issue that you become part of the problem and not a part of the solution, right? So it’s one way is to step back and get somebody to do an audit and look at it and give you a feedback. The other is to spread out, put together a plan for the, for the next few years. I would, I would rather say three years and spread out your cost over a period of time rather than have them stuck. I mean, thrown at you at one time, these are the two things which came across at that point, I would say with technology planning because things change so much and it’s nearly impossible for that reason to make anything more than even a one year plan, I would say in the environment that we’re in right now, it’s equally important to have a technology strategy. And to me that means priorities, for example, in security, there is often a trade off or friction between higher security and higher convenience for the end users. And so to have sort of a philosophy like when those two things are in conflict, we’re going to lean in one direction or the other or if it’s a matter of investing more money versus um I, I’m trying to think of what the tradeoffs might be here. There’s, there’s all kinds of dichotomies where you can say our philosophy, our approach is going to be that we’re going to lean in this direction and those kinds of things can guide the decisions that you don’t even anticipate. You’re going to have to make a year from now when some new technology arises or when something changes in your environment or your organization and talking about security, there is no limit to the level of paranoia that you can have. It’s clear which side you would, you would. Karen said one way or the other, it’s clear which way you would. It’s a question is where do you want to draw the line and say, hey, I’m willing to live with a certain set of risks and you need to be sure that you’re not taking the one, you can’t be one extreme or the other. If you’re pursuing perfect security, I mean, you’re just going to drive yourself crazy. It’s impossible. You have quadruple factor authentication because they spend half their day logging on. So you have to decide what’s good enough and it’s probably not what you’re doing right now, but there is something that’s probably good enough. Another thing that I was thinking about when you were talking about return on investment is user adoption and training. And, um, and I often see really great technology investment sort of go to waste because people don’t take advantage of them. It’s like the treadmill that I have in the basement right now, which is collecting dust. You know, that’s not gonna help me get more fit. You don’t have to tell your own personal story about the treadmill now too. But, but, but, um, it sounds like there’s, you’ve seen some evidence of that or you’ve seen cases. I most often see that in CRM, um, databases and, you know, other kinds of software applications, but mostly CRM buying something much more robust than needed or even buying the exact thing that’s needed. But then if staff don’t fully utilize it, if they’re not well trained on it, then you’re just leaving a lot on the table. We had a session yesterday. I spoke to some folks actually from Heller consulting about leaning more on your existing tech stack before you go to an outside shiny object that does just one discrete thing. It may be very well buried in your Microsoft 360 subscription or your Google subscription like and they, they were using uh calendar, calendaring as an example, like polling calendar polls that exist in Microsoft 360 also in Google um beyond oh white boards, white boards that’s buried in Microsoft 360. A lot of people don’t know that. So using that also to your point, Karen, knowing what you’re paying for and utilizing it fully. I always tell people don’t be so scared to click on things. You’re not going to break anything, you know, just like go through the whole menu and just click on every single thing and see what it does and you’ll probably find all sorts of things that can improve your productivity and avoid extra expenses because you have already something that will solve the problem. Video video conferencing was another um and, and and transcribing video conferencing. So this stuff is all buried in Google and Microsoft. You may very well be paying for it. Alright, that was another that was a session yesterday uh utilizing your existing tech stack before you go outside. Um Alright, well, so you spoke to folks for an hour yesterday and uh we’ve only been talking a little over 20 minutes, so don’t hold back on nonprofit radio listeners or otherwise I I can’t have either of you back. So if I know you’re giving short shrift to our listeners, so don’t do that. So what else did you talk about yesterday? That uh we haven’t, we haven’t talked about today or, or go deeper in something maybe that we’ve covered but not sufficiently. Actually, we had a lot of uh participation from the audience and a lot of them are willing to share what they had done in their organizations. And uh if you look at some of the um uh what should I say, takeaways that happened? Uh It is more, more from uh participants sharing their views as much as what we were talking about. And this five year plan, in fact, one of them came up and said, hey, we do a five year plan which I think was very impressive uh when everybody heard about it, but maybe, uh maybe not, maybe ill advised. It sounds like like 1 to 2 years is more, having a rigid five year plan is probably ill advised, but having a flexible five year plan. That sounds fantastic. More importantly, having a plan. Ok. What else, what else from the audience? Questions or things folks said privately, what else came from the audience? Anything that you remember that you can? It’s funny being in the moment I was just listening to everybody and now I’m trying to remember exactly what was the most juicy stuff that came out of that. But I will say that it felt a bit cathartic for people to just have a grape session together and compare notes. You know how that is when you experience things and in isolation, maybe you are the only it person in your organization. But I think that was true for a lot of those people. They’re not part of a big department, they’re in a relatively small organization. And so they, they might not even be an it professional, maybe they’re the operations person. And that’s one of five different areas of responsibility that they have and the chance to connect with other people and understand that like other people also experience this and, and they have figured out ways to overcome technical debt or, or at least to move in that direction that seem to feel good for people and a few individuals commented to me about that afterward. Another thing comes to my mind, Karen is uh I think there was some thought in terms of how do we present all of them are mostly it professionals and if they need to present it to their boards or to their uh CXO how do we present technology challenges in a manner which the senior management understands? I think there was a, there was a need, there was a need to see, I mean, we are aware that this is something we need to be presenting it differently from what we probably do because normally we tend to talk technology language. So we probably need to talk the business language for the senior management to understand the impacts of what we do. And therefore, Karen, you alluded to that earlier talking about using the right language. Do you have advice about converting tech language to language? Yeah. Um Think about the audience and what they care about, right? So you’re going to present probably a different message to your CEO or executive director than you would to your CFO or to your board. Um Boards care about risk management. They care about big picture strategy and how is this going to help our organization be successful in the long term? I think CEO S and executive directors care about the same kinds of things, but they’re also more operationally oriented than a board of directors would be. And um but they also above all, probably care about the mission. And so that’s something we talked about is as soon as you can connect a technology investment to serving people better um providing better quality of service or better reach or quicker response times or things like that to, you know, whoever your constituents are, then that starts to get people’s attention more than talking about. You know, this license is going to expire. This product is no longer going to be supported and there’s security patches that won’t be happening anymore. La la la people kind of tune out when you start talking like that. But if they can translate to what this means is that our food shelf might not be able to continue providing services, we might have a disruption, then it becomes very real. All right, perfect. How about we leave it there? That sounds like good motivation and, and advice. All right, she’s Karen Graham, speaker, writer, consultant, coach at I’m gonna add at Karen Graham consulting and uh with her is Jin Narayanan Ceo at fourth dimension technologies. All about avoiding technical debt from killing your nonprofit, Jin Karen. Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you, Johnny. Good to see both of you. Thank you. Thank you and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks for being with us. Its time for Tonys take to thanks Kate. I had a dream recently. Uh it was a fundraising dream. Um I was hosting a Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. Now, if, if you’re not 50 or older, you may not know what that even means. But the actor Jerry Lewis used to hold, used to host Labor Day Telethons over the Labor Day weekend to raise money for the muscular dystrophy association. MD A. So uh but in the dream, I was the host. So Jerry Lewis that hack. He’s out. Second rate comic. He’s out, I’m the host and we are raising money, not for muscular dystrophy, but we’re raising money for a philharmonic in the dream. And I ask the executive director of the Philharmonic, what is the all in cost of a production night? So all the rehearsal, backstage, front of house performers, everything. What, what’s, what’s the total cost? And he says $300,000 and right away, a donor comes to us and I don’t remember whether it was online or actually phones were ringing. That’s the way it used to be done in the, in the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Days, the phones would be ringing, but whatever a donor comes to us and he pledges $3 million which is enough for 10 performances. So we acknowledge that transformative gift and we shut down the shut down the fundraiser. It’s over. We’re done because this is, it’s an amazing gift. But the funny thing is that the donor had the voice of the actor Paul Benedict. Now he’s not a very well known actor but in, in a movie that I love, remember this is my dream. So I, I’m entitled to put anybody in who I want. Um in the movie I love, which is Waiting for Guffman. It’s a Christopher guest film, Paul Benedict plays kind of a savior character in that movie waiting for Guffman. So it makes sense that, that he would be the sort of savior for the, for the fundraising telethon that we were doing. All right. Uh So then, so then after the dream, then I got up and I went to the bathroom. But so what’s the takeaway? Uh you know, after the bathroom you gotta think about, well, why am I having this dream? All right. So the takeaway I think is there’s the bona fide for fundraising, share your real need with your donors, don’t, you know, don’t pretend that you can get away with less than you really need. I asked the executive director, what’s the full cost of a performance? And, and he shared it. So I think you should share your full needs and then when you’re budgeting and planning plan for full needs, not sort of get by type deeds, I think if you share your full need with your donors, they’re gonna be very much more likely to step up and fund you just like Paul Benedict did in my dream. That is Tony’s take two. OK. That was such a vivid dream. I feel like when most people remember their dreams, they’re like, oh, I was just falling in the middle of nowhere. You had like faces and voices. Well, I have those too but I, I made some notes uh right after this dream. So I was able to help that helped me remember it. Well, we’ve got Buku but loads more time. Here is your technical roadmap. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC, the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. We are still in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center and this conversation kicks off our day three coverage of the conference. Maybe you can hear that in my voice. Uh Just a little bit were sponsored at 24 NTC by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for non profits. I am now with Castrol Lowry. He is managing director for technical services at Cloud for good Krol. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Thanks for having me here. Absolutely pleasure. Thanks for being with us early in the morning. Uh your session, you’ve done your session already. I assume it’s this afternoon. 115, you’re one of the last ones. Ok, this afternoon. So a little preparation for you. It’s oh, the places we’ll go building a technical road map. Alright. So I’m gonna start with the, you know, just the basic uh why did, why did you feel we need this session? What are nonprofits? Uh what uh not quite, not quite getting right about uh their technical planning. Um I think that a lot of nonprofits end up in a very reactive place when it comes to their technology that instead of being able to really think ahead, you know, where are we going to be in three years and five years? And what tools do we need to support that? It becomes a, oh, we’ve been prioritizing, you know, our outcomes and our mission driven delivery and technology becomes kind of an afterthought. And I think that there can be a lot of impact by thinking ahead and saying what tools are out there. What could we be doing differently? How could that increase our impact instead of having it come from a reactive place um and maybe even avoiding a crisis. So I’m just drawing from your, your session description, uh how to prioritize tech investments based on the growth and maturity of your organization. Um How do we like, you know, how do we forecast what our needs are gonna be? And you even talk about our growth and maturity, help us to look ahead, how do we do that? So a big part of it first is to both, look at, look at where you are and what you’re using. Um and think realistically about what you have the capacity to absorb there. I think one thing that a lot of nonprofits end up doing is, you know, there, there can be some great free tools out there, both of enterprise level tools that will give free licensing for nonprofits or also things that are deeply discounted. And so someone might adopt a tool that is frankly bigger than what they need. You know, I say with the free license, sometimes it’s free like puppies, like somebody two days ago said free like kittens, same thing just because you have the tool doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s the right fit for your use case or that you have the team to support it. So then you can end up with some pretty tremendous technical debt. You’ve got all your data into this thing or you’ve built all this automation and you’re not able to manage it well. So some of that technical road mapping is thinking through like what’s the right fit size for your organization and not just what do you need to implement it, but what do you need to be successful with it? Long term? But how do you figure that out? What factors, what variables are we looking at to determine that what’s right for us? So things to look at for figuring that out. Of course, first of all, looking to your peers, you know, looking to other organizations with a similar size or that do um comparable work in other industries, even essentially for what you’re doing. Um conferences like NTC can be a great place to kind of start seeing what’s out there and what your options are. Um looking at what the, what the tool is best at, which is hard sometimes when you’re talking to sales people, you know, because every sales person is going to tell you it’s the best thing for anything you would want to do. But trying to actually get some references from them of how are other people using this tool and then really taking a step back and not, not saying, oh well, gee this this thing, you know, this marketing tool looks awesome. It can do all of this stuff. Look at how you’re doing marketing right now. If you’re sending a scheduled email on a weekly basis, that’s a newsletter and you don’t have um journeys or drip automation. If you don’t have responsive campaigns, then those might be things to look at bringing in, but you probably don’t need the broadest feature set just to start with. So think about whether or not you’re going to be able to support that. Um and something like that like an email journey that may even be in your existing stack already, your email provider may already have that for you. Exactly. Like when you’re building your road map, it doesn’t necessarily mean tool change. It can mean staying on the same thing that you’re using and using it better um I think the first with any technical change really, you start from features and capabilities that you need, like you start from, what does your organization actually need to do? And that’s what should be driving any of the conversations that you’re having and decisions that you’re making for the technology. What you need to do might be about your marketing, might be about your fundraising, might be about security and compliance, but you should start with what do we actually need it to do and then find the tools to suit that instead of starting with? This looks like a really cool tool. Let’s find a way to use it. Ok. Yeah, very smart. Um And you know, it seems common sense but very worth saying because a lot of times I think the shiny, right, the shiny object gets our attention. Plus other people, my friends are using it, I just saw and the interface is so simple. It was so easy for me. I was able to just turn it on and now I have this thing and I can send out text messages. Ok. Well, have you thought about how you’re going to use text messages for your organization? Are they actually going to move you forward? Have you thought about compliance for that? Can people opt out? Like anytime you bring in the new shiny object, you’re actually opening a whole can of worms of other things to think about that. Who should we be getting input from uh who should be at the table, making these decisions. Well, not, not tech implementation decisions but thinking through, you know, what do we need, what are our needs? Who, who should we be getting this uh input from? So I think that any of these changes really, it’s, it’s a whole organization conversation. Like you want to get input from staff that are going to be using the tool you want to, you don’t want it to just be coming, you know, from it. You don’t want it to just be your executive. That said, look, I went to a conference and saw this cool thing, we’re implementing it like you need, you need to actually think about what, what is our organization doing? What supports our processes better? What is our vision for how we’re going, where we’re going to be and what we’re going to be delivering in two or three years. Um I can speak from my own experience, one nonprofit that I used to work directly at um where we were a legal advocacy organization. Um And we were expecting a specific Supreme Court decision to come, you know, within the next year and it was going to be a tremendous spike in our case volume. And so what we were looking at was what tooling do we need to be able to scale up to? You know, I think in the days after the decision that we were concerned about we went from typically having about 10 to 30 inquiries a day to over 1000 inquiries in one day. It was tremendous. And so part of my role as the it director there as we were planning for that was to look at what do we need to accelerate response times for our paralegals? What can we set up for knowledge management so that more people can help faster? Um What did our existing database have that could do that? And what did we need to bring in to support that? So to get to that decision, I was then taking and talking both to our paralegals to our lawyers that would be taking the kind of the equivalent to tier two or tier three cases to do it, talking to our different legal compliance people of OK, if we have this high volume and what do we have to then retain later for it to make sure that we’re doing everything to cover our requirements there? Um What sort of scalability considerations am I not thinking about talking to other it partners with that? So I could really get the full picture on it. It turned out in that case that the system we had and we were working on sales force at that point, was able to scale to what we need. But we did end up implementing a few other pieces of the platform in order to support that fast responsiveness. So in some ways, it’s really, you’ve got to both look at what’s coming, talk to the people who are actually going to be using the tools that are implemented. Look at what you have whether or not you can expand what you have, if that works in the time frame you do or if that’s not going to work, then what other tools are out there that you can bring in and support what you need to be doing? That’s incredible scale. Sounds like overnight when the, when the decision was released, you know, and there was a Supreme Court decision, Supreme court decision related to gay marriage. So that was a significant one. Um And we had not just, you know, the like technical planning there, but there was additional planning even of like document access for our uh our C suite because they were often traveling all over. And so what was the planning to make sure that, you know, our director of Legal could read the decision as soon as it came out when we knew she might be on an airplane. So how do we make sure that that document availability was going to be there? Um So which I suppose points to that your, your technical road map and your technical planning should factor in not just the day to day tools, but what do you have for handling specific moments of surprise or crisis communication? Yeah, that’s a good story. Thank you. Incredible scale. Um You’ve got some Uh Well, I guess we’re starting to get into them best practices for creating this tech road map. So I’m gonna let you take over through some in preparation for your session this afternoon. Thank you. Yeah. So best practice. First of all, is that your technical roadmap approach? It like a project like approach, working on that road map, not as something that you’re doing just off the side of your desk, but that you devote resources and time to actually making it happen. Um I’ve seen too many organizations that kind of say, you know, what things are on fire. We need to start changing things now. And if you jump in too quickly, then you might end up not really having any direction of where you’re going, you know, and so you can spend a significant budget and significant time and not have the progress you’d want to show for it because you might end up working against yourself. You might implement one thing and then realize a year later. Oh, wait, this doesn’t really go where we needed to and change course. So first best practice actually take it as a project. It is a good phase zero to start about. Um Next thing I would say is make sure that you have a good diversity of people in the room. It shouldn’t just be, it, it shouldn’t just be executives, it shouldn’t just be line staff, you should have a variety of voices across the organization, you should probably bring in another point of view outside your organization to talk to you. Whether that’s through, you know, other nonprofits that you partner with that might have done similar things before. Whether that’s bringing in a consulting partner to work with you other people to help, push a little on your ideas and think through like, is this where you want to be here are the things that you’re not thinking about. Here’s what I’ve seen at other organizations. That’s some of what I end up doing a lot as a technical architect is help, help people think about the bigger picture. The outside perspective is valuable, help benchmark. You’ve seen other cases. Yeah. Um I’d say the next one is really avoiding a lift and shift mentality. So a lot of times I’ll see nonprofits that mostly will say like, OK, well, we’ve been using this database for 10 years, maybe it’s time for us to move to something more modern and then they roadmap out essentially rebuilding the same system that they had on whatever the new tool is. Um Without anyone stopping to think about like, oh gee is that process, is that way that we do things the way we do it because the tool made us do it that way or because it’s the most efficient way to work. Um One story I like to tell for this actually that uh so when I, when I was a kid, I would always watch and help out when my mom was making a roast and I noticed that she would always cut off the ends of the roast on either end of it and make the roast. Um, and so that was then how I learned to make a roast leg and I assumed it must have been that there’s something wrong with the meat on either end of a roast or something, you know, it’ll better something. Yeah, that’s what I figured. Um, and then, then a couple of years ago I was cooking with a friend and she noticed me doing this and she said that that’s perfectly good meat. Why are you cutting that off? And I said, oh, well, this is, this is how my mom taught me. It’s just, it’s what I always saw growing up. She was like, hm, that’s weird. You should ask about that. Um, and so I asked my mom and her response was, oh, well, when you were a kid, we had a really small oven and the pan that I had, wouldn’t fit something larger. So I had to cut the ends off so things would fit in. And so, you know, it’s the same thing there of just that lift and shift of, I took the process that I saw and moved it forward without understanding the context of it. And we see that sometimes with nonprofits also of that because, because processes get adapted to fit whatever your current situation is because sometimes you have a level of turnover. That means the people who are doing the process now don’t understand why it came to be that way and just know like, oh, well, I have to tick these three boxes in the system and then fill in this field here and enter this data and I don’t really know why we do it that way, but it’s what we do. And so this next system needs to support ticking those three boxes and filling in that piece of information. So I think you can’t do your technical roadmap without also really doing kind of your business capabilities, roadmap and your business processes. And they go hand in hand to make sure that you’re actually helping your organization mature and move forward instead of just maintain current state. That’s a touching little story about your mom and the roasts you be watching as a child. Um Plus I know baking you have baking in your uh bio that you love to bake. So did your mom influence your baking too? Um I mean, probably a lot of the things I know how to cook came from her, you know, but uh at least with that there aren’t anywhere. It was like, oh well, you don’t put in the baking soda or something. It’s a sweet story. Um I mean, other best practices, um other best practices I’d say is to not be, not be trying to make your technical roadmap, an indefinite plan, I’d say always work towards deciding what your time horizon is that you’re trying to plan within, I think 3 to 5 years is normally a pretty good range. Um, because if you’re trying to make something that’s going to last forever, first of all, it’s going to be really intimidating. Second of all, you’re going to close yourself off to what innovation might come in a few years and say, well, we have this plan that has us extended 10 years out. We need to stick to that and then you miss out on innovations, like what we’re seeing with A I, for instance, three years ago, five years ago, we didn’t probably expect to be where we are now. Um Plus your forecast just becomes less reliable beyond five years. Exactly. And also like it can, it can help then be a good frame of reference for what investment makes sense for your organization. Um When you think about the total cost of ownership of things that you’re going to bring in and also how viable are things that are maybe the solution that you’re choosing because it’s, it’s good enough for right now. You know, like, yes, I know it’s not the best to have double entry into the finance system and the donor database and it would be a lot more efficient for people. It would be less annoying for our team members to have an automated integration. But gee this is what the automated integration is going to cost and we only expect this system to be in play for the next two years. Is it worth it then? So that sort of thing can help you really think through where to put your investment based on how long you expect a tool to stick around. There was a panel yesterday that said uh two folks, you know, beyond year three, you need to build a lot of flexibility into your tech plan because we don’t know to your point what the technology is gonna be artificial intelligence as an example. And we’re not even, you know, we’re not even certain what direction the organization, I mean, not that you surrender your mission or your core values. But, but you know, there might be programs in four years that we’re not anticipating today. So, so beyond like from the 3 to 5 year point, you need to have a good degree of flexibility exactly. Like probably one of the last things in like your road map is going to be your next road map project to then start planning where you’re going next. You know, because both like and with that, like once you make a road map, it should not be locked in stone, you should maintain some plan for flexibility and innovation. There, you have to be able to be responsive. Um But also it’s really good to be able to finish a road map and say, OK, we did what we planned to, we got where we were planning to here. Now, let’s go on to the next one. I think that some organizations get to a point of change, fatigue if they essentially are just constantly updating the same plan instead of being able to step back and say, yeah, we got something done. Now, where are we going next? Do you have any other best practices to share? I know your session is just 30 minutes, right? I I’m not trying to embarrass you or anything but, but if you have more best practices, uh we’d love to hear them. I think the other, the other best practice is to um how to phrase this, not be afraid of picking up what’s happening in other industries that are not nonprofits and using those technical benefits frankly towards nonprofit use cases. There’s a lot of powerful tools out there that don’t necessarily frame themselves as being for nonprofit and there can be a lot of advantage in looking at, you know, something you’re experiencing with. I don’t know your say your supermarket loyalty program or something and figuring out like, how are they doing that? What could we do to better engage our donors with it? Um How could we for our museum membership? What about this would actually be more engaging, like being open to looking more broadly because that’s where some of the really transformative change can come in for your technical road map is not narrowing your scope to just what’s been done before. Ok. What else, what else are you going to talk about? Um, so you can share with our listeners. Yeah. So other than that, what I’ll be talking a bit about is making sure that you do in that road map, use it as an opportunity to improve things like your security and compliance posture. So that’s something that we’re seeing more and more of, um with, for instance, data regulations coming up. You know, California has their data rules that in, in the presentation, I have a list of something like 20 different states and localities that are bringing in new data regulations in 2024. Increasingly, you’re going to see a lot more that you have to be doing from a compliance perspective. If you’re managing anything that could be considered, excuse me, personally, personally, identifiable information. And so any technical road map, you’d rather be looking at that head on instead of having to kind of retroactively look at your systems and say, oh, wait, what do we need to do to actually align with being able to let someone manage their preferences, being able to delete someone’s data when they ask for it, being able to send it all over to them. Um I think that also during these road mapping times is a really great time to think about how you’re handling identity and authentication, making sure that your user management is secure. Um because that’s part of then what you can either if you don’t have it in place yet, it’s a great first place for organizations to start and then it’s something that should just be table stakes for any new tool that you’re bringing into the system. Like, can you bring in single sign on? Does it have multi factor authentication? How is it going to be managing your data? Um, so, yeah, compliance and security. Right. Right. So these are things that, you know, um, especially if you’re dealing with the personally, personally, personally identifiable individual information, is that personally identifiable information? Only two, I’s not three. Ok. Personally identify identifiable information, but that one hasn’t caught on keep trying. Don’t give up, don’t give up on your, on your, uh, on your key word. Um, so if you’re, you know, if you’re dealing with those, something like that, that, that’s just something that you’re looking to be a part of whatever, whatever system app you, you’re looking to bring in. Yeah, definitely. Um, and then I guess the other, the other thing I would highlight is when you’re, you’re planning out your road map to not just be thinking about tools but also to be thinking about staffing for it. So it’s great to bring in a new tool, but you also got to think about the care and feeding of it who in your organization already could handle it. Um, but also, you know, every nonprofit people are wearing seven different hats. Um, I think that particularly at a conference like NTC, at every other conversation you have, are people saying, oh, I didn’t start in technology. I ended up here because we got this tool for marketing and I really liked it. We got this new CRM. And so the accidental techie. Exactly. You know, and so either figuring out like, do you have that person in your organization already that wants to take up whatever the next steps of this road map are or specific pieces of it, or is that something that you need to hire in? Do you need to build that into head count for your organization? Is it something where sure you have someone who can administer it but you need to bring a partner in and to implement it, you know, and figuring out actually what the human side is going to be of that technical road map. Ok. Yeah, that’s all valuable. Yeah, I’m not sure if people think about the staffing, you know, they’re thinking, as you’ve said, they’re thinking about the, how, how, how, uh, wonderful this, this new app is gonna be but is there somebody who can support it? Maintain it? The care and feeding, as you said, as you said, anything else that, uh, we want to talk about? I don’t want, I don’t want to hold out on, uh, nonprofit radio listeners. Ok. All right. Good luck in your session. Half hour. Why don’t you leave us with a little motivation for the uh for the technical road map, motivation for the technical road on a high point with your technical roadmap. But it’s really an opportunity to take a good look at where you are and where you want to be and then plot out the steps that it’s going to be to get there. It can be a really exciting journey and can also mean that you are much better prepared to weather any of the bumps along the way. Outstanding. Thank you, Castro Lowy managing director for technical services at Cloud for good. I think Cloud for good is lucky to have you. Thank you for having me on the radio. My pleasure. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for sharing with our listeners and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 24 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Next week, the generational divide. No, that’s another April fool’s joke. Next week will be email, deliverability and email. Welcome journeys. If you missed any part of this weeks show, I do beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com. We’re sponsored by Virtuous. Virtuous, gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show, 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 us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great. Ok. I wanna try something. I wanna try a second take on, uh, the generational divide next week.

Nonprofit Radio for March 25, 2024: Living Our Values & Healing Over Everything

 

Amy Sample Ward: Living Our Values

The first of our 24NTC conversations is with our technology contributor and the CEO of NTEN, Amy Sample Ward. They give us the numbers around the conference, and remind us to walk the walk on our nonprofit’s values, including centering equity.

 

 

Beth Leigh: Healing Over Everything

Wellness in your workplace. Is that a value your nonprofit holds? Then take in this conversation packed with suggestions for mental health, creativity and unity in your office. Beth Leigh from Village of Wisdom, shares hers.

 

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Welcome to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d suffer the effects of Schwan mitosis if you unnerved me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s on our menu? Hey, Tony, I hope our listeners are hungry for the nonprofit technology conference coverage. We’re kicking off our coverage with these living our values. The first of our 24 NTC conversations is with our technology contributor and the CEO of N 10 Amy Sample ward. They give us the numbers around the conference and remind us to walk the walk on our nonprofits values including centering equity and healing over everything. Wellness in your workplace is that of value your nonprofit holds. Then take this conversation packed with suggestions for mental health, creativity and unity in your office. Beth Lee from Village of Wisdom shares hers on Tony’s take two. The NTC conversations were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking support generosity, donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and by virtuous virtues gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow. Giving. Virtuous.org here is living our values. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC. You know what that is. You know, it’s the 2024 nonprofit technology conference, you know that it’s hosted by N 10. You know that we’re at the Oregon Convention Center. What you don’t know. Oh, you also know that we’re sponsored here by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Now, the reveal, what you don’t know is that I’m now with the N 10 CEO, the grand high exalted mystic ruler of NTC and our technology contributor at nonprofit Radio, Amy Sample Ward. Thanks for having me. It’s fun to get to do the interviews in person a year. We get to see each other while we do it. You know, in years past, your husband Max has been affiliated like stage managing. Is he with us this year? I didn’t, he hasn’t done it. And well, I guess we had a few years where the NTC wasn’t, wasn’t in person, but he hasn’t been helping with the main stage since maybe, maybe 2019 was the last year. Yeah, but um, he and Oren are gonna be here at the reception, so I’ll make sure you get to see them and say hi. Yeah, in the arcade staff or local, wherever the NTC is. Um we have staff in eight different states and you know, everybody has friends and family everywhere, so we’ll pick a reception and have that be where staff can bring their friends or their families so that it’s so it’s so rare to get to see what we do at N 10 since most of it is online. Right? And so it’s a fun way for friends and family of staff to get to see us in our element. The reception is this afternoon. That’s right. Ok. Awesome, awesome. Alright. Um So just acquaint us with some of the basics of uh 24 NTC. How many folks are here? How many folks are with us virtually? Yeah, we’ve got about 2000 attendees. Um Almost 400 of them are joining virtually. So they’re joining into the general sessions, the hybrid sessions and the virtual only sessions. Um and we have over 100 exhibitors here in the arcade. And I think it’s really interesting folks. We I heard some attendees talking about this yesterday, how diverse this group of exhibitors are? You know, I think sometimes folks think it’s, you know, 100 different Cr MS or, or, or 100 different payment processors or, you know, there’s so many different types of technology projects or service providers, even if they don’t have a technology product, you know, that they’ve made or that they sell so many different folks that are really invested in nonprofits being successful, you know, and um walking around here you go from agencies to communications firms, you know, to technology providers. There are Cr MS, there are payment processors, but there’s also like a safari fundraising team and like platforms that, you know, help you keep your board engaged. Like there’s just so there’s a video production booth, Bubu TV, they’re helping us with our live streaming and they’re recording. Yes. So there are, there is, there is a big diversity. You’re right. You’re right. Well, and the, the N the N 10 community is a diverse population and you, you are always very good about that. Um There’s a, there’s a, there’s a racial affinity room. There’s a quiet space for folks who might be neuro diverse and maybe just need quiet time alone. There’s like, I don’t know if it’s a silent room, but it’s a devoted quiet room. You’re always very intentional about that at N 10. Yeah. Thank you for saying that. Yeah. And I think folks that haven’t been um, had the opportunity to be at the conference in person, don’t necessarily know all of those other pieces. You know, we want the conference. Yes. To have this big arcade, this place where you could connect with service providers, vendors, et cetera, connect with other community members, but also educational sessions where you can learn and then third places where you can just find other people like you a feather along with, along with the quiet room and the racial birds of a feather. There’s dozens of those folks just say I’m coming from Chicago. Anybody else from Chi Town want to get together? That’s it. That’s a birds of a feather. That’s all. I think. This is one of the first years in easily like 15 years of, of the conference that I’ve been at where there hasn’t been a West Wing birds of a feather table. I don’t know if West Wing fans now have something new that they’re holding on to. But for many years, there was a stronghold, there was always a West Wing Table. Um In addition to, you know, Chicago or Canada, whatever or the other, we need some more entertainment related. I’m Binging Blair said she’s gonna do Love is Blind Table. So there you go. That’s all it takes. Yeah, I’m doing this, come join. You want to join. We’re now birds of a Feather. And ultimately, the bigger lesson here is you’re never alone in this community. There are, there are other folks who want to talk about the same things or have experienced similar challenges or issues or favorite TV shows, whatever it might be. You’re not alone when you’re in this community. Uh Portland is an enormously, uh and justifiably proud uh food, food city, very justifiably so many rounds tonight. Oh my gosh, we have to keep expanding the Google. We’re now going out to like a 30 minute drive out across the river and then, maybe, and then you gotta go into that other suburb. And, yeah, they’re, they’re going out. I know there’s, there’s one that’s, I was invited to, it’s like a 30 minute drive. Um Yeah, we’ve taken over the immediate uh convention center, downtown Portland, downtown. Uh, but, you know, at the NT CS you’re always very good about the food. I mean, today’s breakfast, there was, it was a European breakfast, there was salmon, there was Brie, there was blue cheese, there was a quinoa, a quinoa like breakfast, parfait with fruit and nuts, um cheeses. Uh There’s an oatmeal station, steel cut oatmeal station. You’re all, you’re very sure want to have folks feel taken care of because we know that the vast majority of folks who attend our conference are allowed one conference per year or maybe one conference every other year and that only includes their registration sometimes includes part of their travel. We don’t, we know we know we get it. We’re a nonprofit too. You know, we really want folks to feel like while they’re here, we are not expecting you to go try and find some expensive breakfast next to the Convention Center, right? That if you’re here, if you’re at the conference, we are feeding you, you are taken care of, you are supported. Um because that’s what we all deserve. And also humans don’t learn when they’re hungry. We don’t have fun at the birds of a feather if we’re hungry. Right. So we really want folks to feel taken care of here. I believe lunch today is Indian. Ok. Um, coffee, there seems to have been an adequate supply of coffee. Coffee is always like, I don’t know, 8000 gallons or something. There’s a $8000 per gallon. We talked about this, a couple. You’re paying like $80.90 dollars a gallon or something. It was 200 for cold brew. Damn, for a gallon. Jeez. You know, if you’re looking for a money making business, go into convention coffee. Um Not to mention convention furnishings, which you and I have talked about offline. We we’ll leave that there. Can I can I make some sort of bridge or paint some picture from this into something bigger? We actually were talking about this as staff and as an illustration, I think of how, how there are challenges even when we have these, you know, empowering messages from the keynotes of we, we can do it, right? Like we can have our values and we can build what we want. And we say that, you know, I say that, oh my gosh, I say that all the time and yet we’re not saying that because it means everything is now easy, right? We can say we want you to be fed, we want you to be taken care of. We want um accessibility is huge for us. That’s is a dedicated line item in our budget, accessibility is so important to us, but we are not the entire system, right? We’ve said we, we know that there’s a lot of reasons you might not be able to travel, you can join the conference remotely, you also have scholarships, but then we are not the internet providers. And so when the internet providers don’t deliver the internet and so the live stream goes down, it looks like we are not invested in that accessibility, right? So N 10 can say we will spend the money, we will focus on it. We will plan with the community, we will do all these things, but we are still only our part of that process or that system. And I just wanted to name that because I think it’s, it’s helpful to remember that it’s not just, oh, say the right things and like you’re good, we can say we’re invested in these things. We talk to these vendors for months and months and months. We’ve set the expectations, we even have staff in the room. But when the internet is down, it’s down, it’s, you know, we can’t magically make it come back on our own or even necessarily with the vendor sitting there saying I’m also pressing the big green button, you know, I also who want the internet to work. So I, I think it’s important to know. It still takes us saying those things, making those commitments, putting the, the values into our budgets and accepting how much can we influence in the process in that whole system? Where can we say? Well, we couldn’t change that. The internet went down in the moment. But we can say for the next conference that comes along or maybe a smaller conference or a conference that isn’t as invested in accessibility. We can meet with the convention center and the vendors here after the conference and say this can’t happen again to somebody else. And here’s how we think you can mitigate it, right? We can still pass along those knowledge and expectation kind of lessons. Even if our part is over, you know, it’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations anywhere, any time, picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data entry or errors, make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more now back to living our values. That’s an enormous commitment because you want to convey your values even for the next convention. And, and I our conference and I I heard that uh from, you know, the, the uh, the, the, the exhibitors talk. We, I heard some exhibitors scuttle but that somebody had been told by, by someone who works here that, oh, this was an issue a couple of weeks ago, you know, so they know that there’s a dead zone here and, and, you know, it’s been weeks. So, you know, maybe those prior conferences hadn’t passed it on or maybe it’s the Convention Center not living up to values even though you had meetings with them. And they still, you know, they didn’t say, well, you know, in this area, we’re gonna be, I’m sure they didn’t relay to you, there’s gonna be a dead zone and for these uh eight or 10 booths. So, you know, because if they had, you would have told them to remediate it before the 12th of April 12th of March. Um So, yeah, but, but we each still have to be committed to our own values and we are, we’re, of course, we’re all players in a much bigger system. We just have to try to bring the others along. Right. And Sabrina’s message this morning of, you know, we do all have power and it’s not to say, ok, well, we really tried, we said that we’d have hybrid and virtual sessions and the stream went down like, you know, sad Trombone. So sorry, we can say, right. But so what is still in my sphere of influence? What is still in my power to do? It’s still in my power to say, hey, we did pay for this. We did expect this. We did talk about this. It didn’t work. So let’s document it. Let’s make it as public as need to be, you know, what, what else can we do here? Because I think that’s the piece where especially a nonprofit organizations where the list of things to do, the list of community members asking for support. It just feels long that we don’t always do the second part of it. We say, OK, well, we did try there, let’s move on to the next thing and, and spending a little bit of time just to do that final. OK. But what was the, what, what’s the last piece of influence I have here in instead of saying, OK, well, we did, we did do it, it’s resolved, it it isn’t resolved. Some of these things are never resolved. Um And feeling like we can take up the space inside our teams or, you know, with vendors in this case or with community members, whatever it might be with funders, whomever take up that little bit of extra space to say, actually, II, I have a little more influence I wanna put here. You know, this is why you’re a multiple book author, you see these, you, you make these connections and you see this bigger picture and it makes perfect sense. Uh Once you explain it when I have 250 pages to explain it. No, you did it in 13 minutes. Come on. All right. Um, no living your values and, and carrying them forward and even for the benefit of others, like you said, you know, for the next conference it’s admirable. It’s, and I know, I know N 10 lives its values. I see it in the conference. II, I see it in our, I hear it in our conversations. You know, you’re always, um you’re always putting, putting mission forward equity forwards, like centering equity. You know, it’s not a, it’s not an office on the side. You and I, you and I and Tristan and Justin Spell Haug from Microsoft just had a conversation about centering equity uh in uh in tech and artificial intelligence specifically. Um You know, so no, I admire it. I mean, I, I admire you the work you do and the organization you lead and the uh the pervasiveness of the, you know, just walking the, what did you say? Is it walking the talk or is it walking the walk? Like you talk the talk, don’t you walk the talk? I, I’m getting confused about this. I always used to say walk the talk, but I think you’re supposed to walk the walk because if you choose to talk, well, no talk to talk is in is insufficient. You know that. But walking the talk, you don’t want to walk the talk, you wanna walk the walk or is it or is it just, it’s it’s walk the walk, walk the walk, you don’t walk your talk to upgrade from talking your talk. No, you walk the walk. All right. I admire that intent is always walking. Always walking the walk. Alright. Thank you, Jason for your help. Jason is running our video and live stream as well. Hopefully, you know, uh communications guide correspondent colloquialism colloquialism king. Um Well, can I make another bridge to what you just said there? Something else that I think is coming up in conversations here? Um So many, so many sessions, not that they have to put equity in the title, right? But equity is the foundation from which they’re talking about technology in their session, regardless of the topic or, or whatever. And I can’t help but feel frustrated that we’ve been having these conversations, we’ve been successful in putting resources out like the equity guide that have helped folks create or find language around this for themselves and for their organizations and yet it’s 2024 and I look out at the tech sector and I’m like, yeah, OK. Yeah. Have we, what are we doing here? You know? Um And I’m really hopeful that other folks, you know, just as Sabrina said in the keynote, like part of solidarity is just saying, I also see that, you know, you, you’re, no, no, no, you didn’t lose it. I also see this and now we can be together. I see you, you know, we’re in this together, but I hope that we can not just find this language for ourselves or our organizations, but we can better use this language together to say more loudly because our voices are more united. Yeah, we see you tech sector, we really do have clear and different expectations than what you’re delivering. Um I’m hopeful that that 2024 especially with this continued just proliferation of A I tools marketed at us that we can be stronger in our voices around that I was encouraged by our conversation, you meet Tristan and Justin be Haug from Microsoft uh technology TSG technology for good for social impact T si, right. Thank you. Um I mean, he um you know, I like to think he’s not just um being condescending and the team and gratuitous when he was basically, you know, speaking truth to power because he does run he’s the global head and global Vice president or corporate vice president of uh of technology for social impact at Microsoft. So, you know, I think that was a valuable conversation and I think he said the right things, but you’re seeing evidence of it as well. Yes. And I think, you know, there’s there a piece of this, you know, we often talk about, we’ve talked about on the show accountability, but a part of that is helping make real and helping make visible incentives to be accountable to us, helping more technology companies that are not Microsoft, that do not have an entire tech for social impact division, right? Um these smaller tech developing or service related, developing uh entities to realize it isn’t to build whatever you want and then come market it to us as a vertical later, it is to build it with us from the beginning because there is real incentive to doing that with us in this community. There are users, there are clients, there are customers, there’s, there’s money to be made and also like impact to be made by, by doing that work in this sector and not just selling it to us later. Is this the, is this the proposal for your next book? Sounds like it. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I haven’t thought about another book but I feel like I hear the frustration, you know, but we have achieved but we, we’re but not to not to where we need to be, not to where we need to be. Because I think for me and I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think you, I think, I think this whole community, it isn’t just like a this hope, this optimism that maybe one day it will get better. I know it can be fucking better now, it can be better. So let’s do it. You know, it’s not about like, oh my gosh, we’ll build to one day like today is now and by the way, don’t blush because you said, fuck, you’re not the first one. Somebody said, fuck you. And somebody said as today, grab your ass with both hands or something. I never heard that before. So well, he said, but, but I encouraged him to say yes so that I can say whatever. But I think my point is like it doesn’t have to be a kind of grindstone where we say, OK, well, you know, it’s just worth it to have, have known in our hearts, we were doing the right thing, we actually can make it better. So what have been the obstacles then? Why aren’t we much closer? I mean, we, we, we both acknowledge the community acknowledges this is a journey. It was never gonna check it off and say, oh, we, we have a completely equitable tech community. I mean, I think some of the big, why aren’t we further in 20 24? I think some of the biggest challenges, at least specifically to this community to, to nonprofit organizations, especially as they think about technology and their work is access and uh kind of segmentation or separation. I think a lot of folks in organizations don’t consistently have access to technology knowledge, technology, leadership, technology decisions. And so those decisions become inequitable, they become not very strategic honestly, they, you know, so within our organizations, we are creating access issues to, to knowledge and power. And then as organizations, we are limited in our access to the service providers and the technology providers where it’s not clear. Oh, maybe three special clients that paid the most in our giant enterprise organizations got to be on their nonprofit advisory. Right. But as a sector, as, as everyday organizations, as you know, most organizations are under a million dollars, like these kind of regular organizations don’t feel that access to inform or influence the tools that they then adopt. So that’s, that’s an access piece at both levels within organizations and then between nonprofits and the service providers or vendors that they’re working with and the smaller or they just don’t, they don’t feel they have the agency and who would they would they would they ask for? Right? Like there, there it is uh systemic issue. The vendors are often set up in a way where there is no manager to ask for, right? And so they’re not creating an access point in um to allow for that influence. And then the segmentation issue I see this perpetuated so strongly by funders and technology providers, you know, this is a tool for arts organizations. We fund arts organizations. What is art in 2024? Like I think my definition is a little more broad than to consider myself an artist, any content creator, creating audio art, right? Um And what do we gain by pretending that we are fundamentally different because you work in the arts and I work in the environment, guess what? In an equitable world? We have to have the arts and we have to have an environment, right? We all of our missions are important and necessary. So pretending that we are so different that we aren’t sharing knowledge with each other. We’re not building that power together. We’re not both saying, hey, we both use this vendor. Let’s go together and ask for access and influence, right? So this segmentation and I think often it isn’t the nonprofit saying, oh no, we’re not like you, we don’t want to collaborate. It’s funders saying we only fund this city or this region or this topic or these three portfolio goals, you know, um and and technology providers who are also saying, oh, this is just for higher ed, really like really? So it isn’t, I I want to give people space that it’s not just your own making, you know, that that, that the segmentation exists, but it isn’t serving us and we need to do more to say, yeah, I have something to learn from this human rights organization and this housing organization and this environmental organization, right? That all of those groups, we are all trying to make this world better. So let’s do that learning and, and power building together. Let’s go. If it’s not a book, it’s a keynote. At least I’ll give you that. That’s just 45 minutes or so, you know, just listen back to this recording and you’ll have, you’ll have your keynote. Alright. Lots of good wishes for the rest of NTC. Let me ask about 25 NTC. Uh It’s on the website, but I, I in April of 2025 and we will be in Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland at the Convention Center at the Convention Center. Not the, not the gaylord. No, that’s, that’s something different. That’s in Maryland. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Baltimore Convention Center, right. So we’re going east coast, we’re going west coast to east coast. Um Do we know the dates? I don’t, I did not. That’s, it’s on the website because the 25 NTC is already like, it’ll be in the notes below the stream. You know, like one of those, I’ll try, I’ll try. It’s on the website. That’s reliable. N ten.org N ten.org. All right. Good wishes for the rest of the conference. Thanks so much and thanks for being part of the conference for another year. It’s really magic and it’s such a gift to put more speakers who don’t have access to microphones on a literal microphone. So, thank you. It’s my pleasure. And this is our 10th. Wow, congrats. Yeah. Amazing. They’re Amy Sample Ward. They’re the CEO of N 10, the grand high exalted mystic ruler of uh event 24 NTC. And they are, of course our technology contributor here at nonprofit radio. Thanks so much to the pod father. Oh, thank you. You did like that. You’re giving me this wild title. I’m gonna remember Pod Pod. And thank you. For being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Thanks so much for being with us. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thanks very much, Kate. Great conversations from the 2024 nonprofit technology conference. I was there all last week in Portland, Oregon. We were in our booth sharing with the sponsors Heller consulting. Let me add my thanks to Heller. Very grateful to them for second year in a row, sponsoring nonprofit radio at the NTC. So these conversations that I got 24 captured 24 interviews, conversations. I like to call them conversations. The two today living your values healing over everything. I mean, you wouldn’t think of healing and, and wellness in the workplace as belonging in a tech conference. But that’s because this is not a, you know, you know, that this is not a tech conference for techies. It’s a conference for everybody who uses technology and wellness is essential for everybody using technology. So just starting with today’s. But then we uh uh we, we, we’ve got conversations coming up on artificial intelligence. There are a couple of those matching gifts, email deliverability, uh which is a big issue. The uh the email providers are tracking your recipient’s actions and they’re penalizing your emails when folks that you email to uh put you in the junk mail or mark you as spam or don’t interact with you. So, email deliverability, very topical, timely. Um redefining generosity. That’s a very good one, avoiding tech debt, designing good surveys. Switching to a four day work week. That’s an interesting provocative 14 day work week, 32 hours, not, not four day work week, 40 hours, four day work week work week, 32 hours, no reduction in pay. Very interesting conversation. And um, the last one I just, um just hitting a couple of highlights leaving your job. So another very interesting one, lots of good conversations coming up over the next several weeks from the nonprofit technology conference uh and happy to taking off our NTC coverage this very week. That’s Tony Stick too. Ok. Well, I hope you had fun in Oregon. But also I must say I’m excited to hear all these new conversations and stories and hearing about the people that you talk to. If you met anyone new, I want to hear about that too. Oh, lots of, lots of new folks. Yeah. Lots of folks who have not been on before. That’s awesome. Plus plus uh plus some repeats. Yes. Love them too. Well, we’ve got Buku but loads more time here is healing over everything. Welcome back to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of 24 NTC, the 2024 nonprofit technology conference in Portland, Oregon. Our coverage is sponsored by Heller consulting technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. With me. Now is Beth Lee, director of development and stewardship at Village of Wisdom. Beth. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Thanks for having me, Tony, pleasure. And you are talking about a very interesting subject. We are gonna talk about you, your expert in it and I’m just learning your session topic is healing over everything. I’m just going to say, explain, explain the session, explain your title. Healing over everything is a mantra for me that I often say and it’s healing over everything, meaning any and everything that comes up, right? Because often if we center ourselves on healing and positivity, distractions come up, right? If you want to focus on being more financially stable, that’s often when an emergency shows up and takes all your money, right? And you’re like, oh, this is not what I should be doing, but in the world of nonprofits healing over everything, it’s more about healing over what your supervisors say or what the environment is telling you which is work 90 hours a week or pour all of yourself out despite feeling yourself back up. And so this is why the topic is important. There’s a couple of levels to it. Players healing over everything. I see. I was thinking of healing coming first over being supreme over everything else that’s going on in your life. But, but so that’s got different levels. That was, that was my, my take, which is a great take. You’ve been thinking about this for years, overcoming, overcoming everything over all. Love it Um So you, you thinking of this in three different, I don’t know, three different realms, three different ways, mental health, creativity and unity. How do these work together? How do these work together? Where’s this energy? So, for me, this all comes from research that I did for a small bit of people, 100 and 75 people from 2018 to 2020. For obvious reasons. The research stopped in 2020. right? And it was finding out what happens to people once they leave the nonprofit space, how do they feel what’s going on? 100% of the people mentioned having some sort of battle with PTSD. And so 100% 100% of the 175 people. And so that was to me pretty baffling that everyone felt in some way that they had been damaged by this space and they were damaged, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, they mentioned different areas of that damage. So this is why I focus on the different creativity, healing and unity. And so in giving that research and talking about it this week, it’s really like diving into the environment of nonprofits. Why are they toxic? And why don’t we talk about it? And also in that we found in the research that and these are all ages, ages 22 to 60 eight, I was going to ask you about your sample sample, what part of the country or geographically diverse? So we were geographically diverse. I’m going to pull out just some of the stats. It’s 100 and 75 people. 100% of nonprofit employees that had left. They’re all former. Their time in the nonprofits range from one year to 33 years. Um Gender 128 women, 35 men, four, non binary, eight prefer not to identify their gender race. 40% identified as black indigenous or person of color. 30% Caucasian, 10% 2 or more races, 12% Asian and 8% prefer not to answer. And then ages ranged from 22 years to 68 years and I can tell you just off the bat we had probably more than 50% are from the east coast. Um And then 20% about the Midwest and the rest are coming from the west coast. Ok? I mean, I I presume you, you were you were trying to trying to achieve a representative sample of nonprofit employees, ok. Trust that you’ve done that. I mean you’re the expert, but thank you for the details. Um Alright, so mental health, mental health, you’re talking about mindfulness, but there’s so much more to it, help us. I’ll help you all through it. Yeah. So given that data and talking to everyone and then aggregating the data and talking to people about what they wanted out of this. If you could redo your journey again, what would you do? And each person, you know, in their positions were management to entry level positions were saying I wanted someone to tell me it was ok to take a break. And so when we talk about nonprofit spaces and mental health, where’s the mindfulness? Where are we saying? Ok, mental health has a place here on our day to day, 9 to 5 work. Right? And often I don’t see it even when I’m consulting or working with other nonprofits, we say it a lot. We want our employees to be healthy. But what are we doing? Where’s the walk? Exactly? Where’s the walk? And so we’re not seeing it. So, where do we put that in? For me? It’s a very simple 12 to 1 that’s a lunch break. But I also ensure that I also make it my mindfulness break. So I break it up for myself. But when I do these consultations, Tony, no one is going, oh, and maybe I can put that in my calendar. Yes, you can put lunch in your calendar. Yeah. So people are just like, oh, this is mind boggling. I’m not quite sure I could take a break. You can time for me. CEO S do it. Executive time. The president of the United States has executive time that nobody knows it’s some black box. But CEO S CEO s too trickle down closed door time or whatever they call it. It’s time that they don’t want to be interrupted. I have my time that I don’t need to be, I don’t want to be interrupted as well. So be conscious, conscious about time for yourself. There’s gotta be more to it conscious about time for yourself. And in that time, what am I doing? Right. So, is that, and I’m, is it breathing exercises? Is it journaling? Is it that you’re taking time for your spirituality? What is it that you need to do for you? So this is where we talk about emotional assessments and assessing that. What do you need to be your best self as you do this work in the nonprofit field? Right? Often in the nonprofit field, we’re seeing people at their worst because whatever our mission and vision is, it’s to help someone get out of something, I mean, very, very, very curt way of saying that, right? And if that’s the case, then you’re expelling a lot of energy you’re pouring from your cup often. So now I’m telling you take a break, maybe an hour a day in this hour, a day after assessing what you need to do to make yourself and keep yourself whole as you’re doing your work. That’s how you program your one hour, right? So for me, I’m going to program my hour to have breath work because that works for me. And that’s just taking time to, you know, do some deep breathing. But there’s also probably going to be movement yoga, walking just outside, being with nature or that’s going to be journaling. And that journaling is normally for me where I pull in my spirituality. So it might be writing prayers or it might be reading the Bible, anything like that, whatever feels good to you and your spirit and whatever you’re practicing. But that comes after you have assessed what you need in your environment. I’m going to presume that we’re going to discourage, you know, I want to be on Facebook for half of my one hour. This is not social media, it’s not social media, catch up time, it’s not social media, catch up time or text, catch up time, right? You know, and this is barring the normal checking in with your family type of stuff, obviously, right? But yeah, this is the time for you. Ok? I I’ve said for years that you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others and we’re all taking care of. Well, if we’re not, if we’re not explicitly others, you know, humans or animals, we’re taking care of the environment, we’re taking care of forests, we’re taking care of uh churches, whatever it is, you know, we’re expanding. You said it, I’m just I’m reinforcing and I believed it for years, whatever it is, whatever you’re engaged in, it takes energy, it, it takes some of you, it takes some of your heart and you have to take care of yourself before you can do this other work. For other agencies, people, entities, whatever, however you define your work. Because so that, that’s what caught me about this, you know, because people are not, you know, we’re not, we’re just not taking care of ourselves and we’re seeing it in rates of, I think depression, obesity, high blood pressure, suicide, right. These, these bad behaviors that we’re only increasing inflicting on ourselves are showing up in very bad ways. I mean, fatal ways sometimes. Absolutely just take care of yourself. And that’s why we’re talking about how, how to do it be purposeful, purposeful. I’m your cheerleader. I’m here for this, Tony. I’m here cheering you on. I appreciate this. This is work that I want to cheer on. Alright. Suppose, I suppose we have uh some leadership objections like, well, you know, yeah, you do get an hour but uh or you don’t even get a full hour or well, but we still need you to be on email during, during your lunch break. Uh You know, this, this your time is, it’s, it’s not working for me or us. How do we, how do we push back? We get some allies. I mean, how do we, how do we make the case for our own healing time? I’m glad you asked during the work in the workday hours. Yeah. So my biggest supporter has been hr right? And I know that sometimes hr isn’t always the best supporter because they’re there for the company. They work they work for the company. And I say that in the sense of using research to work for them and what I’ll do is say, well, I’m more productive when I have this hour, I’m less productive when you don’t give me the hour and then I actually back it up. You know, like when I don’t have this one hour, you can see that my work starts to dwindle, you can see the excitement in the work that I’m doing or the ability for me to do this work or now I’m frazzled and I’m not even bringing my best self to the office any longer. That has always worked for me with working with other supervisors who may not say I don’t want you to take this hour. I need you to still be on call. I also have learned to push back just personally. Are you adverse to me being my best self? Is that what you’re saying you’re opposed to that? Are you opposed to this? You don’t want my best self at work, work and often that stumps them and you’re like, take the hour, just take the hour. Ok. Those are very good. Anything else? Those are the two that have worked really well for me. And even though I’ve helped other people, those have worked really well. So those are two. I lean on now. You do consulting on an individual basis as well as the organizational level. Anything else you want to say about mental health before we move to creativity. So one thing I’ll say here on mental health too is leaning on allies, as you mentioned earlier and outside resources. I have a great therapist and I just, that’s my personal therapy. Yeah, I love my therapist and she’s a huge cheerleader and proponent of writing up breaks for me. If I need them at work to say, you know, Beth, if you need a week or you need a couple of days, let’s make sure we actually write that out and I’m just going to write you out. Your therapist writes to your employer to give you a break, a mental break, like a surgeon would say she needs two weeks for, you know, whatever surgery, mental health, mental health, she needs this. How do you fight with that? That’s medical back understanding. She’s got to go and there is no justification of, well, she’s out and she could still check email, she’s out and she can still do text message. No, she’s out and it’s a mental break and it’s medically recorded and given to hr and there’s no more questions about it. And I think we need to lean on our therapy resources more often for things like that because we don’t, I think we also, as we were talking about all these bad behaviors, we have an understanding and if someone were shot that they’re bleeding, they need immediate assistance. And we talk about those bad behaviors or negative behaviors, I should say of, you know, bad eating habits or mental health decline. That’s often because we don’t understand how emergent it is for us to get help. Someone says I’m exhausted at work. Those words, I’m exhausted are often not, I’m just tired. It’s, it’s everything, it’s work, it’s home life, everything is compounding. And they’re telling you I really need a break. So when they need that break, let’s give it to them. And if we can’t give it to them, let’s lean on outside resources to make sure you get it. So, tapping into your therapy network will help you with that as well. I think that’s brilliant. I mean, any, any hr department or CEO is gonna take a doctor’s note, an MD note. So this is the therapist note. This is mental health instead of physical health practitioner that brilliant. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity, virtuous beliefs that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers responsive fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys. The response to the needs of each individual virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow, impact, virtuous.org now back to healing over everything you want to move to creativity. Yeah, we can go to creativity. Let’s do it. Yeah. Creative spaces, creating creative spaces in the workplace that used to come up like 1020 years ago about, oh, we have a creative workspace. And what that meant was that your office looked like Google’s office and that you all had couches somewhere pong table. Exactly. Were you productive? No, you weren’t really that productive. You just had moments to play, which there is research that suggests that play is necessary for your brain to have a break, right? So I’m not doubting that. But what I am saying is let’s be intentional about creative spaces. And for me, when I’m working with individuals, I love to take pauses whenever we’re meeting or we begin meeting to do something creative together. And that may be, we’re going to just literally have a paint session, paint parties or, you know, we’re all building something together here. There’s a painting kiosks painting here. There is, there’s painting here and I love to see that type of stuff because what that shows you is that there’s an understanding for health, our abilities to tap into our creativity are so important. It’s important to just our daily lives. It helps us move forward, it helps us think of things that we’ve never thought of before. And again, we’re more productive when I’m tapping into my creativity, I’m thinking I go back to that problem and now I see it in a different lens because I’ve spent so much time on it. So, you know, introducing that in the workspace is really brilliant as well. And I think that the way we do that, at least that’s worked for me. The way that has worked for me is, you know, back to the arts, really bringing in the arts. I’ve worked at a place where we had an art table and it was really the old school kindergarten table which is paint and paper you squeeze and it’s just like a good jump in, just go for it, just go for it. And even if you were stressed out, just go for it and have a good time on those tables. And that was an environment that felt really good. It was an environment that when we had conflict, we took it to the table, like I’m still upset with you, but I’m going to go to this table for a little bit and then we’re going to come back and have a conversation. Those conversations were a lot more pleasant than if we just sat there and tried to bicker with one another and get to some kind of plausible solution that really didn’t work in the end because someone felt like they weren’t heard. And So introducing creativity truly in that way, there are rooms and spaces here that have little fidget spinners and things on them, right? Small creativity. But it’s for the introvert that wants to be alone, but still have an opportunity to color things like that. And then they can come back to the space when they need to. And so introducing that creativity in the workspace and your work flow in your scope of work even with at Village of Wisdom, one of the things that one of my colleagues is always saying, you always champion rest. They’ll give us these huge scopes of work which are amazing scopes of research and understanding. And then I’m like, well, where’s the rest built in? Did you build in the rest? Did you do that? Did you build in the creativity? No. OK. Well, let’s go back and do that, you know, and I think that’s just an amazing thing to do. But I love the environment of Village of Wisdom because they accept it because it’s one of those, you know, I can say let’s rest and we rest, we collectively rest. And I think that’s the thing is that you need an environment and space that will offer you the opportunity to rest. There’s something about the tactile, we’re talking about creativity, finger painting. I’m thinking of Legos clay, clay. I used to love clay. Uh I, there’s something about the, yeah, the tactile, you know, now all we touch is our phones and hopefully our families in loving ways. But aside from that, I mean, in the creativity side there’s, there’s nothing we don’t unless we’re, unless we’re devoted to the arts, you know, or it’s a big part of our life. Maybe as a hobby, maybe not a profession. But aside from that and that’s not, that’s not very many folks. We don’t have the touch. Right. And it’s so important, Tony coming out of the pandemic when you were shut off from touch, stay 6 ft away. I couldn’t touch a person for a while. We thought we couldn’t touch our groceries. We were wiping our groceries down for a while until we realized we’ve learned through science that it’s not on your grocery. The device is not on your groceries. But, uh, doorknobs, we installed the, uh, those things on the bottom of the door, open your shoes. You couldn’t even touch a doorknob. So we lost, yeah, the pandemic was enormous for isolation and loss of tech time. The sensation. So what else, what other kind of creative space you talking about? Painting? You talked about the clay, which is great, silly putty. And even I found that making those things together, you can make clay, you can make silly putty. You know, I have the benefit of living in North Carolina. So we actually sit on clay in Durham. I live in Emerald Isle on the beach and then I have a place in Pinehurst too. Even closer to down there in Pamlico. Yeah, you’re right there. You do in Durham. Durham is close to Pinehurst is, it’s right there next time I’m in Pinehurst. That’s not the one I don’t live there. But you go visit that one. Yeah. No, Durham is a very nice town. Great college town. Great food. That’s another good food town. Durham culture, universities. That’s a great place to live. I didn’t know that. So creative spaces in the workplace, what else can we do? What works for you? I say get involved in your community that way. What’s creative happening around you? Right? There’s some great exhibitions. There are great little opportunities to go visit different shows. I know that seems like a strange thing to do. Me and my group are going to go visit a show. We are and we’re going to talk about it afterwards. How did that make you feel? It’s really bringing field trips back into the workspace. You know, that’s one way to do that. The other way is, you know, like you mentioned Lego, Lego is great because it has so many different things. Now I introduce my best friend to it. I do it. I build cars. That’s my secret. I build cars. She got into the plants, they now have plants and so her home has all these little plants all around it, plant, decorate it that way. And so bringing that in where each person can maybe bring in a little tiny box. These are small boxes and build something together and talk about it. But you learn about each other video games. Another thing, right? Card games, old school uno we did that and that brought out some things but fun is another one. Yeah. And I mean, it’s just a matter of bringing play and creativity. And I say creativity because in the workspace, anything that’s counter to just sitting at a computer oftentimes is creative. At this point, journal prompts writing time, you know, working with your colleagues. OK. Well, together, we’re going to set aside an hour and that’s our meeting time. But in this meeting time we’re going to write, you know, I’ve seen that multiple times that’s been introduced into village of Wisdom as well, not by me, by another colleague. And so I think it’s great. You have something you haven’t mentioned that. I think it would be counterproductive. But I want your opinion. Uh We, we’re all gonna play for an hour together between 11 and 12. We’re gonna do it all together, we’re gonna do the same thing is that, is there value in that or is that counterproductive? There’s value in that like it’s mandated, we’re all going, we’re all going to do something. So if we’re all going to, there’s value in that the word mandate often is what takes the value off of it, right? Because I’m a big proponent of choosing, you know, just for that person during the day, you might not have the energy for it. If we’re talking about healing, it’s acknowledging your cup that day. So that day you might not really want to do it, but do it for those who want to, for those who don’t, you can take your personal hours and use it as you like those who want to. We’re going to, I don’t know, go to an escape room or Durham has something I love called a rage room. A room filled with things you can break and lots of different weapons. So there’s a baseball bat, sledge hammers and then there’s a whole bunch of glass plates and cups and you can just throw them against the wall. They suit you up and put on all the protective gear. So you don’t get injured and you just have an hour in there to smash things. They turn the music up and you just have a good time throwing beer bottles, all that Rage room. They also have a paint room where you can throw paint on each other in the same room. So it’s getting messy. It’s reactivating the piece of your brain that people tell you you’re too old to activate. Are you, are you too young to know Tinker toys? You know, Tinker toy. That was another Lincoln Logs were good too. I can remember the package that the Lincoln Logs came in. There was like a round thing. Lincoln Log. Blocks. Yeah. Those are the big ones that the toddlers have. They’re LEGO, but they’re real big. Ok. Again, there’s our sense of touch. It’s all on a smooth screen now. It’s important. And, yeah, I mean, even for your own health of feeling different things, right. You know, sometimes you can correlate touch to an emotion. Something smooth, reminds you of Xy and Z something crunchy. Feels like this and just reigniting those emotions helps you with just getting through your day. Should we move to unity? Creativity. We’ve given that adequate. I think. So, hopefully for whoever’s listening, you know, they can go, I can do this, you know, healing spaces, unity. You talk about fertile soil for all people. That’s what’s engaged here. Yeah. What’s engaged here? That becomes the um the evaluation of the space. That’s the part that people don’t often like and it’s the evaluation of self. And so in these spaces, we’re asking you to evaluate yourself and say, OK, do I have emotionally what I need to go through this? And so some of those questions are, you know, where am I today? Is my home life? OK. Is my work life? OK? Is my spiritual life. OK? And if everything is in balance is my physical life, OK? Can I move forward and expelling some more energy? Right? Only you know the answer to that. But then I flip this back onto the organization and the environment and say now do this for the environment. Does the environment have enough soil, fertile soil? That if this person says I’m not OK as an employee that you can hold them and if the answer is no, then what resources do you have for that person? And you say none, now we need to go find those resources because I don’t believe that everyone’s job should do everything for them. But I do believe that they should have the opportunity to provide resources. And that’s why there’s unity in that. Because I think in order to do that, you are looking at people as humans and you’re seeing their humanity, you’re not looking at them and saying, well, I don’t want to do this because I don’t like you or I don’t want to go down this path of helping you because you may be mad a little weird too. You know, it’s esoteric getting a little personal. I don’t really want to know you should deal with that on your own day. Exactly. But what I’m saying is that especially in the nonprofit space when we’ve had, like I said, the small sample size who told you 100% of them felt that they were damaged. Then we need to probably look at where we can actually provide you some fertile soil. What kinds of resources? What should we do even internally without external resources internally? So that’s where the other two, right? We talked about giving you that hour, things like that, but it is check ins and what I mean by check in, it’s meeting with your team to say, how are you feeling in the culture? And then based on that conversation, you need to have a plan for this person. Um And, you know, in my session, I’ll be talking about different ways that people can have these plans because they’re pretty extensive. We have a lot of time here but the planning is, is looking at this person and saying, all right, you don’t like the following things, recurring meetings. You know, you don’t feel like you’re heard, you don’t feel as though your work is being showcased in a way that other people’s work is being showcased. You don’t feel like you’re getting the credit, whatever it is that’s wearing on you, like diving deep into this, like why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling and then we’re gonna create a plan. What is this plan? And it’s not the same as a work plan. It’s more of what’s your feel good plan. So you can actually feel good in this space. And in that, if we need to increase some flexibility in your hours, you’re starting at 10 o’clock instead of nine o’clock and ending at six instead of five, you know, is it that you’re doing a four day week? Because some people are more productive with four days than five. Is it that these meetings, you only need to show up to every other week instead of every week, you know, what is the plan for you? Um And that’s why I was saying it creates unity because each person feels seen and held and as long as each person feels seen and held, then everyone is OK. What I’ve found is that if one person is getting more attention than the other, it’s not going to work. This is applied inequitably disparately, then this is just going to be breed resentment. Exactly. Some of the folks will be very content and feel better and heard and the rest will be pissed off. Ok? So it’s got to be done equitably. And then all the thing too for me has been Tony talking to management to have them learn different management styles. And what I mean by that is we’ve gone through a pandemic and people have changed. We all change coming out of the pandemic. My work style going into the 2020 is not the same. Now, the way I communicate is not the same, how I interact with people is not the same. And so understanding that we need to be able to say, ok, what do we need to come back? I don’t want to say come back to self to just nurture this new person that’s come out. Um You know, I talked to the executive director at V once before and we laughed about it because I said, listen, your executive director. Yeah, right now and I said, hey, you built a team in the dark because the organization grew in 2020 from 4 to 15 people in the pandemic year. And I was like, over the pandemic over the course of two years. And I said so in doing that, I was like, people don’t know each other. We know each other on screens, we don’t know each other and we don’t even know ourselves. And so now we’re doing amazing work. I call it root work in the sense of bringing in people to talk to us about the environment and the workspace because it’s not negative, but just learning to learn each other, learn each other’s work styles and things like that. And so that intention behind it has been great and I’m always excited from him and the rest of the leadership team of just diving in, it wasn’t a, oh, we’re going to just let this thing just be infertile. We’re going to actually dive in. So they brought in people strategic planners to actually focus on doing strategic planning in a holistic way. They brought in, you know, a therapist who’s doing, you know, culture planning in a holistic way and it’s done in a way that everyone has a voice and it allows us to move as a team saying, OK, this works for me, but this might not work for you. But how can we work together and show up in our whole selves? Yeah. So why don’t you bring this all three together again? The mental health and creativity and unity, uh, you know, leave us. Uh, well, I think we’re already inspired but, you know, just, just pull it all back together. Pull it all together. Yeah. Club, the benediction and the sermon. Right. For me, if I were to put a bow on it, it’s the understanding that every last one of us working in the nonprofit space is fostering humanity in some form, shape or fashion, right? And we need to take the time to love on ourselves in a way that not only replenishes ourselves but honors our own humanity so we can give our best selves in the workspace. And we do that by honoring our mental health. We do that by honoring our creativity and we do that by knowing that in a unified approach, we will always be our best selves. I bet you’re very good at the stewardship, part of, of Director of Development and stewardship because you, you hear people, actually, I think I would recommend you for promotion to like Chief Humanity Officer Cho Cho. I I I’ll speak to your uh now you’re a better advocate than I will be. She’s Beth Lee, Director of Development. My pleasure, Director of Development and stewardship at Village of Wisdom. Thank you again, Beth. Thank you Tony and thank you for being with Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio coverage of the 2024 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by Heller consulting, technology strategy and implementation for nonprofits. Next week, the generational divide, Tony, am I fired? Maybe so, as I said last week, if the generational divide didn’t come this week, there was gonna be a shake up. Uh but I’m taking responsibility uh for this. There, there could be other issues. So that’s why, you know, that’s why it’s a maybe uh around you. The generational divide. I have it, I have it, it’s recorded. It’s in the can, the digital can, but I wanted to really wanted to kick off our 24 NTC coverage this week the week after NTC. So the generational divide will come. Uh I, we’re not gonna keep promising it well, the next time you hear it, uh it’ll be for sure the next week. Uh And in terms of Kate, we’ll see about week to week. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. Let me say a quick thank you very much to Donor Box. They are ending their sponsorship with this show. It’s been a terrific year. I’ve just been uh grateful to have you as sponsors. So we thank you very much Donor Box and by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer for now, Kate Martignetti. The show 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 us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 18, 2024: Artificial Intelligence For Nonprofits, Redux

 

Justin Spelhaug, Amy Sample Ward, & Tristan Penn: Artificial Intelligence For Nonprofits, Redux

A second savvy panel takes on the impact, leadership demands, promises, responsibilities, and future of AI across the nonprofit community. We convened a panel in June last year. But this is an enormous shift in nonprofit workplaces that deserves another look. This panel is Justin Spelhaug, from Technology for Social Impact at Microsoft, and Amy Sample Ward and Tristan Penn from NTEN.

 

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And welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be forced to endure the pain of chronic inflammatory demyelinating, poly reticular neuropathy. If you attacked me with the idea that you missed this week’s show, that one is so good. It deserves two weeks and plus I spent a week practicing it. So it lives on for one more week. Here’s our associate producer to introduce this week’s show. Hey, Tony, I’m on it. It’s Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits. Redux, a second savvy panel takes on the impact, leadership demands, promises responsibilities and future of A I across the nonprofit community. We convened a panel in June last year, but this is an enormous shift in nonprofit workplaces that deserves another look. This panel is Justin Spell Haug from technology for social impact at Microsoft and Amy Sample Ward and Tristan Penn from N 10 on Tony’s take two. Thank you. We’re sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your support of generosity. Donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow. Giving. Virtuous.org. Here is Artificial Intelligence for nonprofits redux. We’re talking this week about artificial intelligence. Again, it’s an important topic. Uh We did this with a panel in June last year today, a different distinguished panel shares their thoughts on this transformative technology. It’s timely, It’s got a lot of promise and a lot of risks. It’s moving fast. Those are the reasons why nonprofit radio is devoting multiple episodes to it. What are the promises and the responsibilities? What’s the role of nonprofit leadership about government? What are the equity concerns? The biases? What about access to this intelligence? What are the preconditions for successful integration at your nonprofit? What’s the future of artificial intelligence? Who to share their thinking? Are Justin Spell Hog recently promoted Justin Spell Haug. He is corporate vice president and global head of technology for Social Impact at Microsoft. You’ll find Justin on linkedin. Justin. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Congratulations on your promotion from vice president to corporate vice president at the uh enormous company Microsoft. It’s great to be here with the pod father. It’s a new name. So I’m proud to, proud to be here and look forward to the conversation. All right. Well, I’m glad it’s the first time you’ve heard the pod father. It’s, there’s on, there can be only one really there, there ought to be only one. So I’m glad it’s the first time. Um And I see, you know, global head. I’m sorry, you’re a little bit limited. You’re not working in the stratosphere, the ionosphere, the troposphere, you’re strictly limited to the globe. I’m sorry, we all have our constraints. We are working on Mars and the moon uh soon, but we gotta get a broader population of nonprofits there. All right. So we, we’re limited to the globe. I’m sorry for you, Amy Stample Ward. We know them. They are nonprofit radio’s technology contributor and the CEO of N 10. They’re at Amy Sample ward.org and at Amy RS Ward, Amy, it’s great to see you. Welcome back. Of course. Thanks. I know there have been a number of different conversations about A I that you’ve had on nonprofit radio. Um I’ve listened to them, I haven’t been in all of them. They’ve been great and, you know, we talked a little bit about a IJ and I, you know, when we started off with some of what’s gonna be big topics in the sector for 2024. So excited to be in a conversation kind of dedicated to that. I’m glad you are and Tristan Penn, welcoming back Tristan, he is equity and accountability director at N 10 as a Black and NAVAJO professional. He’s served on previous organizations, equity teams and been a facilitator for de I rooted in racial equity. Tristan is on linkedin, Tristan. Welcome back. Awesome. So happy to be here. Um Thank you for having me, excited to have this conversation with um Amy, who I work very closely with and um it’s really good to see you too and um also excited to have this conversation with Justin to see um you know what we can unearth. Yes, we’re, we’re representing the big tech perspective. Um Amy, since you are our tech contributor, uh we’re gonna start off, you know, just big picture. What are your, what are your thinking? What is your thinking? What are your concerns? Big picture stuff. Yeah. Well, I’m glad that we’ve scheduled five hours for this interview. I will be taking the first four. Thank you so much. I have many thoughts. Uh many concerns, many, uh you know, I think there’s so there’s just a lot to get into, I think some top level, you know, bites to put at the beginning here are, there’s a lot of hype and as with anything that falls into the hype machine, I think nonprofits do not need to fall, you know, victim to like, oh my gosh, I read this one article so I have to do the thing, right? Um There’s, there’s time A I is not done, the world is now now, not already over and everything’s predetermined, right? So, um you, you’ve seen the article that was like a I will end humanity? Ok. Ok. Here we are let’s calm down and talk about things. So I, I know I’ve talked to nonprofits whose boards are, like, I read that article and A I is good. You know, it’s ending all of us like we can take our time. That’s one piece. Uh, I also think it’s important for organizations to think about where they are already working, what communities they already work with, what data they already have. Like this isn’t start a new project when we’re talking about A I. Um And so I think we’ll get into that more in our, in our conversations here. Um And of course, that A I isn’t new. Well, I mean, artificial intelligence is a phrase is the, is the broadest umbrella term we could use for these types of technologies. And so to, to have these sentences that say like A I is new and it’s here and it’s going so fast. Like what is that? That’s like encompassing so many different components of technology. Uh And so what do, what do we really mean when we’re talking about A I? Are you talking about a model that you set up inside of your organization? You know, to help identify program participants that need extra support? That could, that can be A A I. But that’s very different than saying, oh yeah, we’re just using chat GP T to help, you know, start some of our drafts. OK. Those are so they are wildly different things. And so to talk about them in the same breath as it’s all a I it sets folks up to already have kind of a disconnected conversation even from the start. All right. Thank you and hold our feet to the fire. Uh Especially me because the three of you think about this all the time and I don’t. So, you know, if I, if I lose that context that you just revealed, shared with us, please, uh call me out. All right, Justin big picture, please. What do you go on Amy? You know, the hype cycle of it’s gonna save us, it’s gonna destroy us. And now just kind of how do we make use of it? We’ve been going through this, this process as a, as a community. I, I think one of the things when I zoom out, I, I just see um some tectonic shifts that are impacting the sector from some big demographic shifts in European countries in the United States where we force is getting older, that’s putting tons of pressure on aged care and front line community workers, some big shifts in uh continents like Africa where education, skilling and jobs are all critical and the nonprofits facing off on these issues aren’t getting any additional funding. GDP is stabilized in many countries, but we’ve hit a new set point for inflation that’s impacting pocketbooks. It’s impacting people’s ability to raise money. And so really, you know, the question that we have to ask is how do we use A I in, in missions to help organizations raise more money, help them deliver more effective program, help them rise to these challenges that are continuing to create pressure in the sector. And how do we do all of that in a way that’s responsible in a way that’s safe in a way that’s inclusive. And that’s actually a pretty complex topic that I hope we spend some time on. Indeed. And thank you for the uh global perspective. Tristan, big picture of thoughts, please. I have lots of thoughts similar to, to Amy. And I, I think where I start off with is kind of like in a very, uh, I worked for 20 years and I still am working in, in nonprofit and I see how, um over those years nonprofits and, you know, small organizations have seen something that’s bright and glittery and then like, so amazed by it and been like, yes, we want it, we’re going to take it in and we have no process for building it into our, our operations. We have no forethought for it. We have no contingency to, um, to live by when we’re folding this in this ideal state. We, we’ve already jumped like multiple steps to um us envisioning how we’re going to operate with this bright shiny tool that we have. And that’s never been the case in my years, um, that I’ve, I’ve been a nonprofit and it’s, if anything, it’s always been uh folded in, in a way that doesn’t have a lot of forethought too. So I think the things that come to mind for me that make me curious and also a little bit, um, reticence um about just the blanket, the umbrella term A I is um folding it in where it makes sense and not where you want to add a little, you know, uh icing on your cake where it does where it needs none. And so, um that’s where II I intersect with it. There’s another piece of it um where I, I am a little um critical of it and concerned about it. Um because I think that this can, you know, we, to Amy’s point, we think about A I and a lot of people go in different directions. I think the, the baseline for a lot of people is they go to like a I generated pictures or chat GP T um to do those things and it’s much more than that, but I do think about a time anecdotally where um I was at a conference and I was um passing by a booth and there was like a very lovely, you know, picture of an older um couple and I was like, oh, that reminds me of my grandparents. It was an older black couple and I was like, oh, that’s so cute. It reminds me a lot of my grandparents. It’s like very, you know, and then I I went in closer and this is a, a booth that’s, you know, managed by a bunch of white folks. And, um, and then they were like, oh, did you know that this is an A I generated picture? And that didn’t feel good to me as a black person that didn’t feel good. It felt incredibly like I had been misled in a really scary way. Um I feel like I have a really good detector of like what’s real, what’s not my BS detector is like always up and on and that scared me because I was duped hard and that scares me in a way um less about nonprofits, but just the overall overall globalization and usage of it and implementation that it could go in to hand to the hands of people and create false narratives about marginalized groups um just based on what they, what product they wanna sell. And that is scary. Um And that, that’s something that I think um has just stuck with me for um for a while. Thank you for raising the the risks and, and potential, you know, misuse abuse. We, we need to go to artificial intelligence to create a uh a picture of an elderly black couple that was, it was necessary to do. And also thank you for the valuable parallel, you know, you, you make me think of uh social media adoption when Facebook was new, you know, we, we assigned it to an intern and we put it like the cherry on top where we didn’t need a cherry, but the intern had used it in college. So, you know, she may as well do it for us full time. Uh It very valuable, interesting parallel. Um Amy start us off with just a common I definition, you know, um artificial intelligence, generative, I mean, a generative artificial intelligence. That’s, that’s what we’re largely going to be talking about. Uh if not exclusively. I, I think so, what is, what is, there’s a lot of that? I think we’re, we’ll start with taking one at one at a time, right? Sure. No, I was just gonna say, I think um we already are exposed when we’re thinking about technology in our nonprofit organizations to lots of different terms, lots of different companies putting things out there with the uh not necessarily cloaked, you know, it’s not, it’s not a hidden desire to reinforce that they’re specialists, they know what they’re doing. And like us lowly nonprofits don’t know, we couldn’t understand those fancy terms, right? And so I always, I mean, I teach a course and I always remind folks like you absolutely can know what these words mean, you know. Um And I appreciate that there are so many places even actually, like I, I, I’m never somebody that promotes um these things. So folks know this, but like Microsoft has actually offered, you know, community learning spaces to say these are what these words mean. Um So artificial intelligence is like I said, the biggest umbrella term for all different types, generative A I uh machine learning, all of these components that people might talk about as if they are one different thing. They’re all like within that same A I umbrella. And I just want to say two words because they’ll probably come up in our conversation. I know you want to go one word at a time. But the words I hear from folks the most where they’re not, they feel like they should know what this word means and they don’t and they feel like silly that they don’t understand our algorithm and model those words are used all the time in talking about generative A I, which means the tool is, is set up to generate something back for you. Tristan used an image, uh you know, visual image uh example, but that could be text, that could be video, that could be audio, you know, it’s, it’s asking the the tool to generate something for you. Um But an algorithm we’ve heard this word like, you know, oh Facebook’s algorithm is like choosing what I see, right? The algorithm means the set of rules. So in Facebook’s newsfeed, that set of rules says if something already has a bunch of likes prioritize it, right? If it has uh you know, two friends that you’re connected to already commenting, prioritize, so it’s whatever that set of rules is that says this is how to generate a older black couple image, what whatever those rules were, that’s what algorithm means. And model essentially means like you can think of the same, the the word is used in the same way as uh when you say model about cars like it is the whole set put together, right? It’s got the data, it has the algorithm, the rules that say how, how to do it, it has the input, whatever you’re gonna ask it to do that kind of when people say what’s the model? They’re really saying. OK. What, what’s the package uh of how this tool is working? Thank you for all that. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with Donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations. Anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data entry or errors make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit Donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to artificial intelligence for nonprofits. Redux, Justin, I see you taking lots of notes. What’s uh what’s going on? What’s going on in your head? What what? No, I think um what just as Amy highlighted. One of the things that’s important to highlight is um we, we’ve been using A I for a really, really long time and there are really important use cases that have nothing to do with, with generative A I, things like machine learning, right? That allows us to do things like predict donation, things like machine language that allows us to translate from one language to another. Things like machine vision that allows us to identify and classify objects. All of those are important um tools as we look to solve different problems. Um In in the sector, generative A I is as Amy was highlighting is a new class of artificial intelligence that allows that’s capable of creating effectively novel content because it’s reasoning across, you know, all of the information in the internet and using as a news highlighting algorithms to identify patterns that allows it to um you know, produce answers in a really uh in, in many times intelligent ways. However, uh as Tristan was highlighting, you know, ensuring that um these models are inclusive, are representative, are safe, are understood, are all things that were continuing to work uh to put frameworks around and tools around uh so that they uh produce positive impact, not negative impact. And Justin how can we ensure that that actually happens? You know, there, there’s a lot of talk about biases, you know, uh the the the large language models are trained on predominantly white uh uh language sources. So you’re gonna, there’s so there’s bias uh the, the so that, you know, there are equity issues. But uh what uh what is the big tech doing to actually uh keep these, keep equity centered in and, and keep lack of biases centered as these models are adopted using the algorithms that, that Amy just defined for us. Yeah, it’s a really multifaceted answer. I’ll only hit two points and we can go much deeper if we want, we release. Uh just in fact, in the last week, this the Microsoft A I access principles trying to get at this very problem which has 11 core components. I’ll speak to two to give you a flavor of the kinds of things that we need to do as we think about the A I economy globally to ensure it’s fair, representative uh and safe. The one of the principles is making sure that A I models and development tools are broadly available to software developers everywhere in the world, everywhere in the world and every culture in the world training on the language and on the history uh and on the societies all around the world uh to create much, much more representation. As you probably know, many of the models have been developed in North America and therefore reflect some of those cultural biases. So, federating these tools that is critical uh in the in the A I economy. Secondly, you know, um companies and organizations that produce A I need to have rules uh for how they um check and balance the A I to ensure that it’s responsible, it’s fair, it’s safe, it respects privacy, it respects uh security, it’s inclusive, it’s transparent and we call those rules that Microsoft are responsible A I framework and it’s not just a set of principles, it’s actually an engineering standard. And when applying that engineering standard, we were looking at uh fairness in speech to text. So taking speech and transforming it into text and we found it was a couple of years ago, we produced this article that our, our speech to text algorithms were not as accurate Black and African American communities in the United States as they were for Caucasian communities. Um And that was largely a function of the training data that was used. And so we had to take a step back using our framework that caught this issue to say, how do we work with the communities more effectively? How do we bring socio linguists in to help us understand how to capture all of the rich diverse city of language to make sure that our speech to text capability is representative of every citizen that we’re, we’re rolling this out to. And that’s an exam and we did that and, and today it performs much better and there’s more work to do. But it’s those kinds of frameworks and guard rails that are really important in helping uh people design this stuff in a way that benefits everyone. Tristan. What’s your reaction? You, you’re thinking about equity all the time. Um What’s my reaction? What isn’t my reaction? And I would say, um I, I love that and I love what Justin was saying about um how, you know, making it a Federated model as opposed to it. I mean, yeah, everything, I only say everything but a good amount of things are being generated created curated in North America and baked into those models and algorithms are like biases that skewed towards white men. And um and that’s not OK. I think that excludes me in particular, but also like, you know, I, I think um having um a plan for that as opposed to being reactionary to being like, well, gosh, we didn’t know what was going on and being um uh a little more, less reactionary and more um forward thinking in that way. Yeah, proactive um is, is always a good place to start. I think a few other things that do come to mind too in terms of um making sure that communities of color marginalized communities are um not um constantly shouldering even outside of A I but constantly shouldering um the mess ups of like the brand new tool that came out on the market and that seems to always be the case and there’s always like a headline months later where it’s like, so and so we found out, this tool wasn’t geared towards her facial recognition wasn’t geared towards like, you know, black folks. Um, and it was like, historically wrong. And so I, I think about those things, but I also think about um, it through a nonprofit lens because we’re on a nonprofit call. Um, and I, um, I bring up the, another anecdotal story of um having, uh, being on a call and having an A I note taker bot um hop into the zoom call too. I think we’ve within like the last half year we’ve been on calls where it’s like, oh, I don’t know about some actual person or a thing or like, you know, it, it’s very ambiguously named sometimes where it’s like Otter, one of them is Otter, right? And this Otter is all of a sudden it’s in our meeting. This Otter is, yeah. And I think, you know, there is a lot of benefit, there’s a lot of benefit in having um you know, uh note taking tools and um also captioning tools that are, are, are for folks in terms of accessibility. There are folks that have completely different learning styles. There are folks that take in information at different levels and different wavelengths of things. And I say that all to say that like, you know, I would like to see a world where um it was scarier um with, to keep with the Otter Box or not Otter Box. Sorry, that’s not Otter Box is not a sponsor of this. Um But the Otter A I um uh gene Note taking tool was that after I got an email randomly from the, the note taker to all the people also to all the people that were in that call with a um a narrative recap of everything that we, we talked over. It wasn’t a transcript, it was a narrative recap, which is fine enough. OK. Um There were, there was a screenshot of just a random person that was on the call that was also there. And also um what’s most scary for me, I think or just very concerning um is um at the bottom, it was like here’s the productivity score of the call, 84% here’s the engagement of the call, 72%. And it’s like where it, where is at least, at the very least, where’s the asterisk at the bottom that says this is how we calculated this whatever. And I, I immediately go, I’m not a pessimist, but in that moment, I was like, this is going to be used by people in higher positions, people in power to wield over folks, middle management and direct service to say, hey man, you didn’t have a um 84% or higher engagement score on our last zoom call, you are now on a personal improvement plan and that is a scary place to be. And so I think less about like these tools are what they are. But I think about the people and the systems and the toxic systems at times that sometimes wield these brand new shiny tools in a way that doesn’t feel good and also is working against their mission and against their employees. Its time for Tonys take two. Thank you, Kate and thank you for supporting nonprofit radio. Uh I like to say thanks every once in a while because I don’t want you to think that we’re taking you for granted. I’m grateful, grateful for your listening. And if you get the insider alerts each week, I’m grateful that you get those letting us into your inbox. Um This week, I’m in Portland, Oregon recording a whole bunch of good savvy smart interviewers for upcoming episodes. Hopefully, that helps like show our gratitude because we’re out here collecting good interviews for you to listen to if you can’t make the nonprofit technology conference yourself. So thank you. I’m grateful that you listen, grateful that you’re with us week after week. That’s Tonys take two Kate. Thank you guys so much for listening to us every week. We appreciate you. Well, we’ve got Buku but loads more time. Let’s return to artificial intelligence for nonprofits redux with Justin Spell Haug Amy Sample Ward and Tristan Penn Ki. I love that you brought that up. Um Don’t love that it happened that you brought it up as an example here for folks because I think it’s uh a easy entryway into a conversation on one of the points Tony mentioned at the start of the call, like, what are some of these preconditions? Um And you were like, oh people are like, oh bright shiny, right? That’s what we do. Oh bright shiny, like I’m going to use this tool that like took the notes in here and a place where we’ve seen for many people, many years in in ten’s research is that nonprofits struggle. This isn’t to say that for profit companies don’t also struggle with this, but nonprofit organizations struggle with consent, they struggle with privacy and security. And so here’s a well meaning well intentioned, right? I’m going to use this tool except it’s emailing you, you didn’t consent to that. It emailed all the participants in the call. There was no opt in, right? Let alone a very clear opt out like why did I even get this? Um That’s not even to say opting into sentiment analysis of whatever is a community zoom call, right? Um And so when we peel that back and say, OK, well, we just wouldn’t use that note taking, right? Sure. But when we’re thinking about preconditions for this effective work as an organization do, what are your data policies in general? The number of organizations that we work with that still don’t have a data policy because they think, well, isn’t there like some law about data? So like we, why would we have our own policy? OK, there is some law related to data, right? Different types of data have different laws, but that’s not the same as an organization saying, what data do we collect? Why do we collect it? How long do we retain it? What if somebody wants us to remove it? How do we do that in our systems? Right. So this level of uh fidelity to your own data, to your own community members, to the policies that you’ve set up to manage those relationships. Um And trust for so many organizations are already not in place or, or like I said, there’s just not a fidelity to them that that makes them trusted. So then to say, oh yeah, we’re ready to, we’re ready to add this note taking app to our community calls or our client calls. It just that that’s the place where I have the most fear is actually not the tools having bias. I know they have bias and that is a place of concern and, and a place we can, can address it. But my mo the most fear I have is people still operating within that without any of the structures or policies or, or training to deal with both maybe bias and a tool they use and their own bias or their own issues, right? And it it accelerates the harm that that can be created in that. I mean, I want to use some of that to, to go to Justin and uh that’s something very closely related. Uh the, the uh the nonprofit leadership role, the responsibility of, of nonprofit leaders. I think it gets to a lot of what Amy was just talking about. But what, what do you, what do you see as the, the responsibility of nonprofit leadership in, in formulating these policies? But also in just, you know, making sure that the preconditions are there so that we, we can be successful in integrating artificial intelligence, whether we’re bringing an exterior, an outside tool or, or or building our own. Even that, that may be a, that may be a big lift for a lot of listeners. But, but generally the, the, the nonprofit leadership’s role. Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of the nonprofit leadership play today and I think we have to meet uh leaders where, where they’re at and, and I think the very first step and Amy mentioned this in the very beginning of the call is raising the the capacity of their knowledge and of their staff’s knowledge of how these tools work and uh what are the edges of the tools and how to apply them effectively in the flow of work. And um there is training available as, as an example, we have a four hour course on linkedin. You don’t need to do it all at once, but it’s actually pretty good. It’s for, it’s not for developers, it’s not for techies, it’s for front line program, staff, fundraising staff finance staff, the, the, the ed uh to really learn about how to think about these tools with that knowledge. Then you can take the next step, which is starting to engage, I think, simple ways to apply these tools to get on the uh on the ground experience of what they’re good at and what they’re not good at. Um you know, using things like uh from Microsoft. So I’ll mention, you know, BB or, or, or Microsoft Copilot to look at writing donor appeal letters or whatever the process may be, they can just start learning about these fundamental language models and what they’re good at. Um I think it’s important as an organization thinks about getting deeper into A I and really thinking about how do they apply it to their processes, whether that be fundraising, whether that be engagement with beneficiaries that they think really deeply about data uh and data classification and that, that, that gets a little sophisticated, but just ensuring that we’ve, we’ve got a strategy to use A I for the data that we want to use A I for and that we segment data that we do not want A I to reason on away. So start with, start with getting the basic skill skills built out. Um A lot of uh organizations I met I meet with are just at the very beginning stage of that, use the simplest tools to accommodate uh the job to get some experience and then start to think longer range around data, data, classification and more advanced scenarios that can be applied. Tony. Can I just, what’s that four hour course on uh Tristan? Let me just let me drill down on a free resource. I love free resources for our listeners. Tristan answers. It’s a linkedin course uh nonprofit uh A I fundamentals. But let me get that for you here. Ok, Tristan, go ahead. Yeah. Um Can I um I really like how Justin um initial uh said, you know, there’s a lot of nonprofit leaders plates already too in terms of responsibility. And I want to gently push um and answer your invite to, to call you in Tony um in, in the premise of the question which, which was what’s, what is the responsibility of, of nonprofit leaders now? And I would say yes, there, obviously, there’s a responsibility as Justin has illustrated that like we need to be better in terms of strategy um in terms of tech, in terms of A I um in general on how we fold these, these crucial tools in. But I would also say that there’s an equal and almost um larger responsibility on those who fund nonprofits. Um I think a lot of times in the nonprofits that I’ve worked with, interacted with and worked within um their operational and financial model has been very ham handedly built in a very um doctor Susan way, which doesn’t really make sense at times and it’s because a year after year, there are different grants, different fundings that require different things um at different times based on whatever the the hot new term is. Uh 1015 years ago, it was mentoring. So a lot of times everything was geared towards mentors. And I say that because this implies that um a lot of these nonprofits are already built on a structure that is very shaky. And so there’s a lot of other things that need to be done. But I do think um a big responsibility sits with folks who fund um nonprofits foundations. Um and also local governments, federal, the federal government in making sure that when they are pushing a grant or um putting out an RFP for a grant that says you need to fold in tech and you need to fold in A I in this way to get kids to learn or get kids in seats um in the classroom that you’re doing. So in a way that creates um longevity and solid um solid nonprofit organi operational work. Um And just doesn’t like slap an ipad in front of a kid. Um And I think that’s really, I used to work with boys and girls club. So that’s where I always default. Um But III I think that um I’ve based on my experience, it’s always been um a really weird way um of, of having um o going into a financial model um of an organization year after year because it’s like, oh, well, that we started doing that because last year’s grant asked for it and now we just do it into perpetuity. And so again, you have that little weird Dr Seuss style way of thinking. And I think um funders and um grant, um grant folks can do a lot by being very clear and very um forward thinking and how they are offering up these monies. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world. And in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers, responsive fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys. The response to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow impact virtuous.org. Now back to artificial intelligence for nonprofits redux, you know, that’s not only the mindset like this, this, it, it feels like they’re being strategic by saying, oh, yeah. Well, we were able to come, we were able to pitch that in a way that we got the fund, but then that’s changing their strategies all the time. It also back to the point before is meaning the data you have to work with inside your organization is OK. Well, two years, we structured it this way for two years, we structured it this way. Do we even have like a unique idea to connect these people and say, oh, they were in both of those programs, like our own data sets are messy and influenced by funders saying, oh, now we need you to collect these demographic markers, you know, and it’s, it’s we we as organizations are often pressured by those funders to do it the way they want because it’s easier for them. Um and tells the story, they want to tell, but that’s really, really messing up the data sets and the program kind of uh processes or, or business processes that we have in place. And I I just wanted to connect that to broader things that intens worked on and advocated for for many years from the equity guide specific to funders. And that is that funding technology projects takes time and it takes a lot more money than like $30,000 for whatever the licenses are for something, right? Like it’s not uncommon that an organization building a model, an internal use model. This isn’t some big flashy commercial thing. This is just for them to, you know, like I said before, identify program participants that maybe, you know, could use intervention it’s not uncommon that would take two dozen tries to get the right model in place right? To really make sure the algorithm is, is fine tuned that the outputs are appropriate. Well, you can’t go through two dozen models in, in three months, right? And then have something there. A nonprofit would need a couple of years. And our, our funders, there’s already plenty of funders saying like, oh, now we have this A I grant, you know, opportunity or is that grant gonna be comprehensive of the work to get their data in a good place to get their program, staff ready and trained to Justin’s Point. Every staff person really trained adequately on, on not just what are these tools but what’s a good prompt? What’s a good use case for this, right? All of those pieces so that they can adequately and materially contribute to, then what is this project we want to do? What is the best fit for us and how do we, how do we build it and, and just to add on and we’ll wrap up to Amy’s Point and Tristan’s Point A I hasn’t changed the fundamental physics of what makes a good technology project. I mean, it’s people, it’s process, it’s tools, it’s capacity building, it’s a long term strategy, all that is the same. Um And if your listeners are wondering, where do I even get started in understanding the language of this stuff? Uh Because you asked the question. It’s called Career Essentials in Generative A I it’s on linkedin, it’s free. Uh And I take it it’s, it’s pretty good. So I think it’s worth worthwhile for your listeners. Thank you, Justin. How about uh in 10 Amy, what resources for folks? I mean, hopefully they’re already going to the nonprofit technology conference where there are gonna be a lot of, uh there are a lot of sessions on artificial intelligence. I know because I’m gonna be interviewing a bunch of those folks. So this is, this is probably the second of, I don’t know, six or seven A I episodes uh in, in, in different uh around different subjects. But N 10, N as N 10 as a resource for learning A, we have lots of them. There’s um you know, work uh not workbook but like a guide. There’s of course, the equity guide, there’s some materials on the website. We have an A I course and other courses that talk about A I, there’s community groups where you can ask questions and of course the conference. But uh thanks to Microsoft and Octa gave us some um supporting funding and 10 along with Institute for the future and project evident are at the tail end of a community design process where we’ve worked with over 40 organizations um in this process to create an A I framework for organizations, whether you’re a nonprofit or not, who are trying to make decisions around A I and our framing for this is the framework for an equitable world. So it isn’t just that you are a 501 C three registered in the US, right? Or that you’re a grassroots organization in whatever country like if you want to live in that equitable world, then this is the framework that we can all share and work in together. Um We’re going to do a little preview at the end TC and have whoever comes to the session is gonna get to road test it with us and then we’ll publish it publicly after the NTC. Um So lots more and obviously, I’ll, I’ll share that with you when it comes out. But um what’s really, I think important from this is that it is a framework that uh is built on the idea that all of us are part of these decisions that all of us have responsibility in these decisions. Um And that all of us are accountable to building, right? This isn’t um you know, the quote unquote, responsible tech or this isn’t like this isn’t just for those projects where you’re, where you’re gonna do something good over here. This is whatever we’re doing, it’s gotta be good. It’s gotta be building us into an equitable world because what else are we doing here? Right. If it’s not for that. Um And so I’m excited for folks to get to use it. It’ll be published for free everywhere anybody use it. Please go, you know. Um, so lots more on that too. Amy. You are perfectly consistent with the framed quote that you have behind you. All of us are in this life together. You’re living your, you’re living your framed art. Uh, uh, I admire it. Uh, Justin, we have, we’ve got maybe 10 minutes left. What, what would you like to talk about? We haven’t, we haven’t touched on yet or go further on something we have. Well, no, maybe, maybe I’ll just um build a little bit on what Amy was the question you asked, what are, what are the resources available? So I think that’s pretty useful to the, to the organization. So, so one is, one is the training that I mentioned too is uh we just recently ran a nonprofit Leaders Summit where we, where we had 5600 people together. Uh uh about 4500 online, about 1000 in a room talking about how do we grapple with A I? How do, what are the use cases that make this make sense? How do we think about data security and privacy? And we’re going to continue to invest in in that? We’re going to be rolling that out more globally as well with uh events in Australia and others. But that convening and that dial and just getting the community and dialogue I think is so important. I I learned a ton from that. We’re also going to continue to push on affordability and making sure that uh we’ve got affordable access to our technology so that every organization can use things like Microsoft Copilot uh for, for free um providing, you know that they, they’ve got access to our nonprofit offers and then finally, innovation. And I, I’m, I’m interested looking at scenarios that span the sector where if we invest, once we can create a multiplier effect. And one of the areas that we’re, we’re partnering on is with Save The Children Oxfam and many other organizations on the humanitarian data exchange, which is a large data set used to help organizations coordinate humanitarian and disaster relief domestically and internationally in a more effective manner. Uh So our mission don’t overlap uh but that data set hasn’t been super useful to date, applying things like language models training on that and creating a tool set that is cross sector for many organizations, you’ll see us um continuing to invest in that way. And I look forward to ideas from our intent partners here on the phone as well as you know, the community at large on on where we can make bets that will really help the sector together. Uh move, move forward Tristan. What would you like to touch on or, or go deeper in? We’ve got uh we got the, it’s 78 minutes or so. Um You know, I, I think I just wanna underscore what, what Amy was talking about and that we’ve, we’ve all been working on. Um, which is the, uh, I’m a little tired of you underscoring Amy, Amy and you, we force each other. You know, I agree with you should have seen us, we work together. It’s getting a little dull. It’s a little dull. Now. You should have seen us when we were in office. Our desks were 20 ft away from each other and there was a constant, there was a worn line in between our desks and nobody wants to be in between in that 20 ft in that 20 ft space. Um I will say um being a part of the community group, what Amy was saying about working with 40 other organizations um to figure out what um a healthy and um robust and equitable processes for any organization to um interact with and um field A I is crucial and I’m, I’m so glad that we are able to be a part of it and we’re, we’re going to be um debut it at NTC. It’s something that I’ve learned a lot from just based on someone who again, like I said before, I came from youth development. My degree is in child psych. Um So, but I’ve learned a lot over the years um working with N 10, working at N 10. Um But I think um one thing that’s, that’s been uh really, really beneficial is learning from all those folks in the group and um a couple of things that did come up in when we were creating that framework, which uh was um that organizations are making all kinds of decisions every day today. Um And I, I will say that it kind of highlights that I, we are talking about A I and how it like will look sound and feel and how it looks. This is all kind of uh we’re not meaning it to be, but it’s all within a vacuum. Um And we can’t think like that. We can’t think of all of us who have now, we are four years out from 2020 our lives were forever changed and every nonprofit will have their own sad story to tell about how the um the pandemic impacted them. And I say that to say is that like none, no one was prepared for that. And so if we um keep on talking about or um playing around with this idea of A I is like, it’s going to solve problems or it’s going to sit in this world um in this vacuum, we’re not doing ourselves justice and we’re being very forgetful about the past that we just went through. And so if we’re able to instead consider how A I will interact with the dynamic world that we all live within, um That’s going to better behoove us um both individually, but also organizationally when we’re planning strategically. Um If that’s year after year for you, if that’s every five years, I don’t know what that is. Um So having that strong tech um baseline for folks. And then I think also the other thing is people in all roles are considering A I and aren’t sure how it applies to them. Um I think uh staff, we’ve read stories um that A I will replace workers but have no idea what to do with, you know, where, where that fear sits with them too. Um It should just add to their work and not replace them. And I think a lot of we’re seeing uh you know, I’m, I um am on tiktok and so, you know, that’s a whole other like bag of algorithms and like, you know, things that we can dissect and pull apart. But I do, there are a lot of stories of, you know, there are folks getting laid off left and right. And um I, I would have to, you know, that begs the question why generally, but also like, what is the role of A I in all of this too? Um I think it’s really interesting when layoffs happen at a time when A I is accelerating um in a lot of our worlds, whether it’s in tech and whether it’s in other sectors across the world. And I think that there is a lot to be done by organizations who don’t fall prey to like the siren song of like A I and are going into a clear minded and not saying, oh, well, we can cut out this department and put it in, put, um, you know, this learning module in or this, you know, I think that’s, that’s really where, um, you’re going to see a lot of organizations and commu, um, organizations and companies thrive as opposed to just, um, laying folks off a lot there. No, we’re, yeah, we’re, we’re taking it in. Yeah. No. And, and the reality is that I admire the, the consistency between you and Amy. Uh, and, and, and, and, and generally, I mean, I made fun of you, but what it shows is you’re all thinking the same way. You know, you’ve all got the, uh, the same concern for the nonprofit Human first, human first. You know, like we’re all humans and we’re all prioritizing um us as humans and if we start prioritizing other things and it’s not going to, um, go well, well, but at end to end, you’re, you’re walking the walking the talk. So, and consistently Amy, you want to check us out with, uh, all of us are in this life together. Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest thing I, I want folks to leave with is that, that future is not predetermined. We, we are not sitting down and saying, well, ok, like I’ll wait for my assigned robot to come tell me what to do, right? It, it is still up for all of us to write that every day. And the people who most need to have their sentence at the start of the article or whatever, you know, at the start of the book are the folks who are being told in a lot of different systemic media type ways that they do not get to have their sentence in the article, you know. And so I, I hope that nonprofits know this is both an opportunity to shape and influence as A I tools are being developed to shape and influence the tools that we build within our sector for ourselves with our communities. But it’s also a responsibility for nonprofits who are the ones often closest to and most trusted by those systemically marginalized communities who are experiencing the most real time harm to be the supporter that brings them into that work. They are not necessarily going to get tapped by uh a company to learn this or do whatever. Even though I hear Justin saying these, these, you know, opportunities are, are free and accessible. You as a nonprofit can say, we think we might build something. Can you be in our design committee? Can you work with us? We’ll make sure that we all learn together, right? As an organization, they’re already in relationship with they, they’ve, you know, maybe benefited from programs or services. You have the responsibility and incredible opportunity to be the conduit for so many communities to enter this, this quote unquote A I world. And that’s a really important I think gift uh you know that we have as a sector to, to be the ones helping make sure so much, so much more of the world is part of developing these tools and designing them to be accountable to us as people, their Amy Sample ward. Our technology contributor here at nonprofit radio and the CEO of N 10. Also Tristan Penn Equity and Accountability director at N 10 and Justin Spell Haug, new corporate vice president and Global head at uh Technology for Social Impact at Microsoft. My thanks to each of you. Thank you very much. Real pleasure. Thanks so much, Tony. Thanks Justin. I’ll see you in 20 ft. Thanks so much, Tony. Next week, the generational divide now, this is interesting uh because uh we’ve been promising this for a couple of weeks now and it hasn’t materialized. It’s very relieving to have someone, an associate producer who I can blame for this show having been promised the generational divide, having been promised for weeks on end and not coming through even though it doesn’t matter that the associate producer, Kate has nothing to do with booking the guests that the host takes care of that himself. That that’s irrelevant. I blame the associate producer and this, this show, the generational divide had better come through next week or there’s gonna be a shake up. I’m the one who just reads the script to either. Oh, yeah. Minimize the uh OK. Your title is not script reader it’s associate producer. Well, if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you look, I was slow on my cue. There I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your support, generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. And by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow. Giving, virtuous.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martinetti. 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 information, Scotty. You’re with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.