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welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer with pro so PAG nausea If you made me face the idea that you missed today’s show. Mommy lied to God. That’s Carlos. My Estate’s new book. He’s a story Smith, and he’s got tips and strategies to improve your storytelling. He’s the founder of key ideas. Come, listen, come learn Antonis. Take two planned giving accelerator were sponsored by turning to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo and by dot drives. Raise more money changed more lives. Tony dot Emma slash a free demo and a free month. What a pleasure to welcome to the show. Carlos My estas. He believes storytelling is the best way organizations and people can move others to action. He’s the author of the book Mommy Lied to God. Life Lessons in Authentic Storytelling. He’s founder in chief story. Smith at key ideas, helping organizations sharpen and share their messages. He’s a stand up comedian who once opened for Saturday Night Live alumnus Dennis Miller the company is that key ideas dot Net And at Key Ideas, Inc. Carlos is at key ideas. Carlos Carlos Mast us. Welcome to the show.
Hey, tony, It’s so great T b with a veteran podcast world. I I’m honored to be with you today.
Oh, thank you. I’m gratified. Pleased. Pleased to have you were gonna regular some fun with storytelling? Absolutely. Um, I have to tell you, it’s a little sad for me to have to say Saturday, Saturday Night Live alumnus before Dennis Miller’s name. Because there was a time when being that would be like saying today. You know comedian Jim Gaffigan, right? He was so well known. He was He was fabulous.
Yeah. Did the weekend update for exactly weekend update? Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, I grew up watching SNL. Probably way before. I should have, you know, my mom. My mom was Was she? Her style was like, Yeah, you’re interested. Like, let’s stay up. And, you know, I probably fall asleep, you know, right before we started getting really bad. Yeah, you know, that was
when it was the not ready for prime time players.
Yeah, Yeah. Gilda
Radner. Dan Ackroyd John Belushi?
Yeah, Newman And then Dana Carvey, you know, later and eyes. And, you know, it was It was It was so much fun to watch. And so I would stay up late and probably was up till till probably the weekend update, and I’d fall asleep. So, you know, Dennis Miller was It was definitely a guy I watched. I probably don’t understand a lot of the jokes back then, but, you know, it was definitely one of the things that made me want to get into doing stand up eventually.
And how about opening for him? How did that come about?
Yeah, you know, opening for him was one of those Those, uh, calls you get that you’re you’re not expecting on dhe? It happened about a week before he was coming into town. And interestingly enough, it was the same day that I had a huge presentation for a group of nonprofits on and and so I had to remember what I was supposed to say in that presentation. It was called a text summit, and it was happening at Rackspace in San Antonio, and there were over 200 non profit leaders that we’re gonna be there for this event. And it was probably the biggest presentation had done for nonprofits up until that point. And then that night was the show with Dennis Miller. So I was a wreck the week before, you know, I was just trying Thio not mixed up the two presentations on dhe then and then just, you know, rehearse and try to be as prepared as I could. But I I’m one of those guys that Yeah, I am nervous until the minute I had hit the stage and I’m good on dhe Then on DSO It was just one of those calls I got and I was like, Of course, I’ll open up for Dennis Miller. And it was this beautiful, uh, really beautiful theater in San Antonio called theater. And it’s been there a really long time. Some of the biggest acts have come through and perform. There’s right on the river walk beautiful
people in the audience.
Yeah, so I think that it was It was so I gauge it by how much the tickets were not. The tickets were like $60 a ticket, and and I think it was their capacity there, probably around 1500. Maybe a little bit more and it was full. I mean, it was I don’t know that it was sold out, but it was pretty close to it. I mean, because I remember I was I you know, I opened for him and they started setting up seats in the front where there weren’t any seats. They were like adding seats to the show on DSO you had, You know, I kind of made a joke about it because you had these people that were in steerage at the time the rafters on, but they were still paying $60 a ticket. And then you have these these people It must have been the VIPs that they were putting right in the front. And, uh and I was like, thinking to myself, You know, you cannot bomb when someone’s, you know, paying $60 for it to get on dso I did. I did 20 minutes and I got to say it was it was a great radio and it was really cool to meet him. What? One thing I could tell you a short little story. You know, I didn’t get Thio actually meet him until he was coming on the stage, and I believe that the group that had booked him, you know, it was they were used to doing. They’re called Live Nation and they do a lot of concerts e they concerts. Yeah, huge on. But the comedy is something they do less frequently. And I know the person who was in charge of this. I think it was like his first comedy, big comedy show. And so he said, If you could, you know, finish your set and at the end, all you have to say is Dennis Miller will be here with you shortly and that’s it. You know, say thank you and say he’ll be with you shortly and someone else is gonna bring him up. And so I was like, Okay, I’m like, I can’t you know, I won’t mess that up. And so I’m thinking, there’s a break between and you know, I’m finishing my set. And then I see Dennis Miller to the right. He’s on stage, and I’m like, Oh, that’s cool. He’s like watching a little bit of show. Uh, and so I do exactly what the guy says, you know? Hey, thank you so much Dennis Miller will be with you shortly. And so then I start leaving the stage. And then Miller’s walking on stage like the worst intro You work thing you could do like he’s the headliner. Yeah, you
wanted If they had told you to introduce him, you know, you would have got the crowd all whipped up. Exactly what? San Antonio, Let’s bring on the Incredible. It was a Saturday night live on them. And all you got to say was he’ll be with you shortly. He’s
my I’m I’m the hometown guy. I’m supposed to get the hometown crowd. Yeah, And so then he spends the first five minutes of the set making fun of me because of the intro that he just got. And so he gets on there, and he’s like, Well, thanks for whipping them up into a frenzy. Carlos, I’m like, Oh, gosh. And you know that
you got screwed. You got screwed the stagehand or whoever gave you the bad direction
I had, you know, it was it was it was my nerves and not thinking. Well, maybe, you know, maybe he’s gonna bring him up, but yeah, the guy said, you know, just do this. And, uh And so I was thinking there’s some of the I p that was gonna bring
it right. There’s somebody else that you don’t know. Uh, we’re gonna bring him on. No, you did. You did what anybody would have done. You follow direction.
Eso Then afterwards, I got a chance that he was gracious enough, and I think he was doing probably like a red eye flight out. He didn’t even stay eso, you know, I got to watch a set from from the side of the stage and then on. And then, you know, he took a picture with me afterwards and that, you know, that was it. That was it was quick. But, you know, it was definitely one of those things that I will not forget for the rest of my life. But it’s also cool to me. It was also, you know, nice that I was connected with earlier in the day. You know what I what I really do for a living which is help support nonprofits and getting a chance toe. I think they probably got more out of it than the audience that was.
They were setting up more seats in the front row because you were selling. They were selling tickets as you were on stage. Yeah,
say, Oh, I gotta be part of this state. I gotta be part of the show. Listen to this guy, Carlos. And he’s only the opener. So they were selling additional seats, and that’s why they had to set them up in the right in front, right
up in front of space. Left you doing stand up at all? Yeah.
Yeah. Are you still doing stand up at all?
You know, I I not A lot of people are doing stand up right now, you know, unfortunately, um, and I will do stand up. You know, any opportunity that I get, what I’m what I’m doing more often than not as I work doing, stand up into the workshops that IDEO profit. And so I get it because it’s it’s really tied closely with my personal story and and so that I have an opportunity to do that. So it’s more of that than it is, you know, traveling and doing shows. But I will. You know, any time I have an opportunity to do it, I’ll Yeah,
I we’ve stand up into my presentations. Also, I have a signature opener that I use and et cetera. So
that’s great comedians. And I’m sure you went through doing stand up. I think the reason you’re such a great communicator is that you know, what comedians are brilliant at doing is taking people on a journey and a very finite amount of time. Right? And you have a short amount of time to create an emotional response out of an audience. And, you know, there’s some of the best at simplifying very complex issues. And so, you know, I think that’s that’s one of the little things that I e. My comics and just people could present. Well, they have a way of using humor that really, you know, makes a connection.
Well, it’s simplifying is one of your tips. Of course, which, which we which we will get to. Yeah, you have toe, right? You got a rare if I there, you gotta not, right? I don’t mean that. I mean, you gotta narrow it down to the basics that are the most the most interesting, funniest, punchy ist right and cut out the, uh, stuff that doesn’t really help. Your doesn’t really help your case, and you got to do it in. Well, in your case, 20 minutes when I do. When I was doing stand up, I was getting, like, six and eight minutes sets. So you know, when you’re just getting warmed up, all of a sudden the red light comes on and you’re being motion not motioned off, but signaled off that you got to wrap it up in 30 seconds or so. Um, but we’re gonna talk while we were talking about your story telling not mine
a great lesson. No tony. And for for nonprofits or any percenter, because sometimes you only have six minutes. You have six or seven minutes for presentation. And what what you learn to do is a comedian, is you. You try things, and and when they’re not working, you should cut him out. Otherwise, you know, you’re not you’re not gonna get the response you want. And it’s the same thing for anybody who is in charge of making presentations on a regular basis.
I think of boards exactly along the lines of what you’re talking about. Um, it’s rare to get the full amount of time that’s out that you’re allocated in advance at a board meeting. You know, they’ll say you get 25 minutes or a half hour or 15 20 minutes and I’ve gone down to, like, six because other topics before me went over And what we still have to finish on time or there’s a lunch deadline or, you know, whatever. It’s rare that you get the full time that your plan and you wanna fly, you know, you gotta Okay, we’re gonna cut these slides. Well, you’ll get this in print or you have this in print. We’re gonna skip these because I’m now down to, like, 1/5 of the time. But here’s the most important stuff, you know? And you got to do that with, like, 10 minutes notice sometimes depending on how the board meeting is right. And there are other instances of that, too. But I think of board meetings as being the like, the least likely to stay on time and on. They’ll stay on agenda. But on time allocation least likely I find,
Yeah, if you’re down on that, if you’re down on that agenda, you’re you’re likely gonna have to cut. You should just already Starting on.
I’m always the consultant anyway. I mean, the consultant is the the most expendable, right? You know, he’s here. We’re paying him anyway, so, you know, and and, uh, we got to squeeze him in because he he traveled here. But there’s other stuff That’s I don’t just seems always more important than the plans giving. I do plan to giving fundraising, but the message is you’re right. You gotta boil it down to the key messages. And and you’re right. Sometimes you got to do it on the fly. Mhm.
So let’s talk about you though. Um, so you’re right. You’re a reckon tour storyteller, right? And so I do want to tell her I want you to tell your stories, tell some stories and then we’ll pick out the lessons that your tips and strategies that we can learn from from different stories. But is that OK? Way. Okay, e I wanna I wanna base it around the stories not around the strategies, which will we will cover. But I feel like we got I got to give you time to talk about Fred Rogers from Mr Rogers neighborhood. You revere this man as a storyteller. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They help you build relationships with journalists because of a relationship built by turn to the New York community. Trust got to features in the Wall Street Journal. That’s what happens when you get the good relationships before you want to be heard in the media. You got the existing relationship turn to specializes In working with nonprofits, they’ll help you build those relationships. One of the partners, Peter Pan A. Pento, was an editor at the Chronicle of Philanthropy. They’re at turn hyphen two dot ceo. Now back to Mommy. Lied to God. Why is that? What can we learn from Fred Rogers?
Yeah, well, I’m probably aging myself a little bit, too. Just that that I know who he is, um, and and watched him, you know, growing up. But you know, you when you experience something as a child, you experience it and you don’t you don’t quite know what what draws you in about it. And it’s not till you you hear the stories behind what was very a very intentional approach of how Fred Rogers, you know, worked at connecting with kids and just how authentic he was as a storyteller. And And the reason I used Fred Rogers is an example is because he was a non profit, right? He worked for a nonprofit E. Yeah, exactly. Hey, had to be really scrappy on dhe. There are a lot of parallels with how he told stories that I find with nonprofits to you because, you know, he had just a small team and, hey, didn’t have the budget that, you know, folks like Walt Disney and and some of the other major studios that were producing content for kids. But he did it anyway. He was successful at it, you know? And so, you know, one of the things one of the lessons about about Fred Rogers is the lessons and consistency and how he would open the uh huh. Coming in, he would take off his suit jacket, you know, put on the cardigan on and take off his shoes. Put on. And that happened. I didn’t think about it much. It’s like, Why is this guy changing on? You know, you don’t think about it as a kid, but what? What? What he was doing is he was creating something that you know kids could anticipate and expect every single time show would start. Even though the show is different and
routine, there’s that routine is comforting.
It is comforting. It’s comforting, especially when you have kids who who knows how un inconsistent their routine might be right in their home life. And so there are little things like that that just get you comfortable with what’s about to happen and knowing that, you know, you work to build that trust with your audience. But after you have, then they, you know they look forward to that routine. And so you know, messaging when you share your story and sharing a consistent message and not, you know, changing you can change your approach and you can change. Uh, you know you can change the the the content on dhe What you used to tell that story, but your messaging should be consistent. You should be sharing a consistent message every time, and you should try to get people feeling comfortable with who you are and what you dio. And it’s a lesson that you can learn with with your donors, you know, because if you’re establishing a relationship over a period of time. They should feel, uh they should feel that they understand you in a way that others may not a tw the beginning if they’ve been with you for, you know, five or 10 years, right on Dhe. There’s other things. You know, The one of the things I appreciate about about him is that he told he was he told stories that had heavy content, but they were It was they were stories that, you know, kids were living through your heart. You know, if he was alive today, he would he would for sure be doing content on the pandemic. And, you know, like, things that were, you know, he things that were in the time, really a traumatic things that were going on in our history. Things like war, uh, the threat of nuclear. Or, you know, Martin Luther King’s assassination heavy, heavy things that you would think we would try away from that, you know, for a kids show. But he figured out a way of making it safe, Uh, and and communicating in a way that was age appropriate for the kid on dso they they left the show being better for it. because it wasn’t something that was just being swept under the rug. You know, I think about my own daughter. I’m a father, three, But I have a daughter. That’s six. And, um, you know, just because we don’t talk about it, If we were to not talk about what’s happening with the pandemic, she’s gonna she’s gonna have a ton of questions anyway. You know, shoot for the first. You know, a few months of us staying at home from school and wearing masks. You know, she was she was You could feel how heavy it was for her. On dhe. She would say things like, I don’t want anyone to get the Cyrus should say the Cyrus, it was hard to cry. Wanted to correct her. She you know, she was 12 and saying Cyrus would be different.
Miley, Miley, Cyrus
e. I don’t want anyone to get those
Wiley Wiley virus. The Miley Cyrus
e don’t wanna get to Miley Cyrus s. Oh, you know, we we what it did? Is it it? It gave us an opportunity to just have, you know, really appropriate conversations with her.
Uh, Fred Rogers, Didn’t you like you’re saying didn’t shy away from difficult subjects. He found an appropriate way to discuss them in an intimate you know, an intimate way by reducing it. Thio What kids needed to know and was was he still was he still on the air in on September 11th?
You know, I think he came back and did a special I don’t think he was. If if I remember doing the research for this, I don’t know that he was still doing the show, but he was still, you know he was. He was young enough to be able to come on and and talk about it. I think there was on PBS. There was some, like, special or interviews that he gave around that time, and but he’s still so what they did is they evolved the show into this Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood, which is it’s basically, you know, they still do kind of that the same music and same theme, but it’s a cartoon now. Ah Nde s Oh, yeah, I mean, I think that those are the kinds of things that you know when you live life. There’s there’s plenty of things to celebrate. But there are also a lot of things that are just really hard. And I think that, you know, if we don’t take the time Thio just be authentic with with our kids or with who we serve or with our teams. Um then, you know, we’re missing out on an opportunity thio grow from those experiences
and remain relevant as well. You can’t ignore what you know Everybody around you is experiencing and still expect to be relevant during and afterwards It’s if you know everybody is suffering something or celebrating something you have tow. You have to talk about it if if if you have a if you have a voice. I mean, if you have a channel Yeah, Alright, so let’s I’m gonna get to some stories now because this is the storytelling book. So, you know, usually I’m very dictatorial on non profit radio, and I I’m gonna throw it to you because I’m not really Well, you know, maybe I’m dictatorial. I don’t know. I like the guy. I’d like to guide the conversation. Let’s see, I’m a guy not a dictator, but for you. But what You know, Of course, you have your signature story, but what story you wanna open with you Tell a story.
Yeah, Well, yeah. 11 lesson that I think is really important A zit relates Thio Just powerful storytelling is to seek first to understand before being tell
us a story about that.
Yeah. So there was a politician. We’re you know, we’re in an election year. So we’re hearing a lot about politicians, is not We’re probably sick of it, but, uh but But there was a politician that was running for a seat in taxes was his first time running a zey House representative on Dhe District 123 in San Antonio. And, um, he wanted to run on on a platform that really involved making a difference in education. You know that tze not very different right is there, you know, there’s there’s, there’s a handful, there’s there’s always ah lot of politicians that they’re going to run on a platform of education, especially It’s the first time and really specifically what he wanted to do is try. Thio changed the way that schools were financed on, but it’s different all over. In Texas, schools were financed largely by property tax, which could make it very difficult in urban areas where you have a large population of students who are in homes that air either rented or their property values are are low, very low. And so the schools where there may be the most need. Ah, nde, it’s not a maybe it is where there is the most need. Get less funding. And that’s kind of that’s how it is. That’s how it goes and so on. Do you know what? What? To add insult to injury? This was by design. You know, if you’re familiar with with red lining, then you may know that, you know, we have a hit three in the country of banks drawing lines through through communities and neighborhoods and saying we’re not gonna lend in these communities because they’re more at risk. And Andi also there, um, you know, the property values were the lots were a lot smaller and because they weren’t lending in that area, people couldn’t fix their houses up. So the problems kept, you know, perpetuated. But in addition to that, you know, if you lived in affluent neighborhood, um, it was a legal, I believe, until like the seventies too deep to put restrictions in your deeds that your house could not be transferred to somebody of color on Dhe. So, you know, it was It created a huge issue in San Antonio. And so San Antonio’s, uh, been one of the most economically segregated cities in the entire country. On DSO here is ah, a man that grew up in one of these neighborhoods. That was the poorest zip code and all of the county. And he wanted to make a difference, you know? And But he understood a lot because he knew how how, on education could change a child’s life because he he went to school. He worked hard. He graduated from the University of Michigan, Got a lot agree, spent a lot of time, you know, working on some of these issues, you know, in his work as a nutter knee. Um, but he was He was the freshman, you know, House of Rep, then it for his district. And so what he did instead of going in and just leaning on his own understanding on dhe shaping policy, what he did is he went and visited every single school that was in his district. Ah, nde. It was a very diverse district there about 55 schools, and you met with the principles at each of those schools, and you wanted to hear their stories about where the biggest needs were. And so it’s a There are a lot of things that he learned, but I’ll distillate toe this one big thing on dhe. The reason. It’s kind of a personal thing because one of the schools that he visited, my wife, was a principal and it and it, and it was in the district where he grew up in which is which is 72 07 in in San Antonio its’s It is for years and years over over 50 years of the poorest of code in in the city on dhe. The thing that she wrote on the whiteboard under challenges in the biggest challenges food insecurity. And so imagine you know, your leader of a school and you’re trying to get kids, uh, on grade reading level on dhe. You know, Thio sort of have them close gaps that exist with their learning. But you get kids that are coming to school and they’re starving on eso. They’re having problems focusing. They’re having problems, you know, with behavior. All of those things were connected. And so if you’re the school leader, you can’t really control what happens at home before they get there. But it’s having happened. Your school and so across the board, he learned that this is something that you know what’s happening in every single school that he represented and and and some of the schools were in areas that were historically very impoverished. But some of it was happening in some of the more fluent schools as well. On DSO toe add insult to injury. The food that that they would get at that school would have to be thrown away. Anything that wasn’t so there were perfectly good food that wasn’t touched. I’m not talking about this stuff on people’s plates, but like apples and oranges. You know, milk that wasn’t open, you know, if it wasn’t eaten, there were. There were, oh, school district laws and roll school district rules and state laws that said anything untouched, even if it was completely fine had to be thrown away. So here you have these hungry kids and you have you have, ah, you know, help in the same school. But because of the overlapping policies you know, they weren’t able to do anything about it. So he created the fairness and in feeding act. And what it did is it allowed these schools to kind of create these little pantries within the school. And it let the food service staff put out things that were that were not, um, eating for that. If a kid had an apple in to touch it and wanted to put it on the share table that any kid at any time could go up and take that food home with them on dso you know it it got bipartisan support because it wasn’t this Democrats story in a in a you know, a red state, right? It was this Democrat story, would visited all these schools and taken the the leaders stories on dhe to committee. And so it got bipartisan support and and that was path. And, you know, at the Times Texas was the second most food insecure state in the entire kind of country. Eso you know, here here is like one person just taking the time. Thio actually ask questions before he decided Thio pitch his ideas and and it led to his second term um, being able Thio. He became a co chair on the final on the education Committee on dhe. He was able thio actually pass ah, finance reform his second term that e think it put about $30 million into the school district that he came from. And it was a reform that just was was a also passed by bipartisan support on dhe thing he wanted to do in the beginning was able to do a second term just by going in and, you know, taking the stories of the people who do the work at Thio, the people who could make a difference.
It’s time for Tony’s Take Two planned giving accelerator. This is the membership community that I have created to get your plan giving program started in 2021. You’ll join for a year, and I will teach you everything I know about how to get your plan giving program started. We’re gonna be working with charitable bequests. We’re gonna identify together your top prospects, your Tier two prospects. We’re gonna get the solicitations out. I’ll help you with the follow up to those solicitations. Whatever requests or information you get back from them, we’re gonna keep that process going. We’ll talk about exposing your board to plan to giving everything you need to get your plan giving program started in 2021. We’ll do it together. I’m gonna have live trainings, Which, of course, all record. So if you can’t make the live version, we’ll do small group. Ask me anything. Sessions. I’m gonna have a podcast exclusively for planned giving accelerator members. There will be resource is like samples, samples off letters, samples off other advertising. Copy that. You might put in your newsletter or your annual report. Samples of welcome letters toe welcome people into the recognition society. That’s another thing. We’ll talk about creating your recognition society. So you’re thanking all your new plan giving donors everything you need to get planned giving started in 2021. I’ve been doing this since 1997. I know how to launch your plan to giving program. I know how to start a program so that in 3 to 5 years and in out years beyond that, you’ve got the program that you want. I know what to do in the beginning. So then the long term, you’ve got a successful sustainable plan giving program. You know, I do webinars and there’s value in those. Of course I don’t maketh um, empty shells there. There’s value. People know it. If you’ve listened to any of the webinars I’ve done, you know that this the accelerator is a much, much deeper dive. I mean, the webinars are what, 45 minutes to an hour, rarely, even a now and a half. The accelerator is a year long program, and I’m estimating the person who is doing it with me in your non profit. And by the way, you can have up to three people in one non profit join uh, would spend about our a week. So you’re looking at, like, four hours, maybe five hours a month, max in the trainings, and then in the follow up work that you’ll be doing on your own step by step as I’m teaching, right, take a look at planned giving accelerator dot com. What I want to do with this is get 1000 or 1500 new plan giving programs launched in the United States. You know, I’m doing it to expand planned giving. I want to see so many more planned gifts and planned giving programs in the US the average charitable bequest is about $35,000. So when all those 1000 or 1500 programs scale up to 100 gif ts when they get to that point, that’s roughly at a minimum 3.5 billion New plan giving dollars for US charities That’s what we’re all about. That’s what I’m doing this for. I wanna help you get your plan giving program started. Join the accelerator. Let’s do this all together. Let’s get these new 3.5 billion new dollars for us. Non profits from planned GIF ts expand planned giving in the country started in your non profit. We’ll be doing it together, all right. It’s all at planned giving accelerator dot com. And that, my friend, is Tony’s Take two. And so the lesson is, understand? Understand what the hell you’re talking about
just on your own understanding and make sure that you’re asking questions from people who are who are doing the work every day and and it doesn’t mean you may have done the work right, but they’re they’re always, you know, people who they’re doing the work. Then and there. And we need to make sure that we’re asking the right questions so that we can get to the right solutions. You may be the expert. You may have done the work, and you may have done the job, but you you still need thio. Add voices from the people even that you serve, um, to make sure that your coming up with the best solutions.
Yeah. How about another one?
Yeah, eso another journey. I would say that that was really important. Is, you know, powerful storytelling. Um, doesn’t always have Ah, a a great beginning. Eso There was, ah, guy that I had a chance to interview That was with this, uh, non profit called chrysalis Ministries. And they dio they help reduce the recidivism rate from people who are coming out of jail and in prison. And they do this through, you know, syriza classes like a A classes and any classes financial literacy classes on dhe. They try to get help, people, you know, get back on their feet even if they’ve maybe started out making some mistakes on dhe eso. There’s this guy Jose that was an athlete in high school. Um, he got hurt on Dhe started to fall in with the wrong crowd. And he was he was getting bullied by these this group. And because he was sort of like a of preservation, he decided to join the group. And so that led to him being in a gang. Hey, started Thio sell drugs he started to use, uh, any. He landed up in jail. Um, and then he was in jail and then ended up getting in a gang in jail. But also, uh, you know, tryto thio survive. And so we fell in with the Texas Syndicate, which look Zeta Zeta cartel. We’ll use the Texas and the kit sometimes to carry out contract. Let’s just a contract work contract
killings, right? E contract beatings if if you’re not quite as bad as deserving of death. Okay. In the
prisons, right, it was, but it but it was killings. It’s just the right the right word. Uh, and and so this isn’t the group you wanna, you know, falling with if if you are trying to turn things around, but eso he ended up, you know, going in and out of prison. And the last time Hey, he was in prison for armed robbery on Dhe. He was facing 30 years and hey, had he What he did is decided he was going to turn his life around and joined this ministry in prison. That was a faith based ministry. And, um, he started to kind of share his own story. And, you know, he was getting clean, obviously, and doing the work and his his he ended up getting his sentence commuted to 12 years on dso when he got out, What he decided to do is you got hired by a non profit that was working at in Austin, in Texas, on the youth youth criminal justice reform on because he has been a lot of his youth in jail, in and out of jail. He could speak thio what it meant to be in jail. And, you know, he had never gone to the capital before. And now he was meeting with senators, um, you know, on and sharing his story and sharing why, you know, things needed to be to be changed on dso. Here’s a guy who, you know, had a hard asked and made a lot of mistakes, and you could have run from that part of his life and not shared that part of the story. But he’s now using it to do good for others. And it’s an example of, you know, some of the struggle with our own personal story and the hard parts of our story. And we don’t want to talk about it because we may even be ashamed of it. Or maybe just really painful to talk about on dso What I what I want to communicate through this story is, no matter what you’ve been through, you know you can always use that thing. Teoh be good for somebody else. And you know, I e over over 1000 people in my career. And some of them have been through some of the worst things, you know. They overcome homelessness. They’ve overcome addictions. They’ve had family members that they have lost some of them Children on dhe. The one thing that they all have in common is that they’re using that experience, uh, to to to try to make something good coming from it. Um, and so our stories have a way of, you know, if they’re they’re just in the dark, they can have a way of festering in the dark and continuing to cause a lot of pain for us. And we can get to a point in our lives where we can share then that one thing that was a hard thing can actually, you know, helps save someone’s life for help. Change someone’s life. Ah, nde eso Those stories don’t have to be wasted and so that you know, I would say the first. A step to becoming a great storyteller is just acknowledging that you have one, that there’s value in it on dhe that, you know, if you spend some time thinking about you know who you want to reach on, who you’re meeting that they are. Stories have a way of differentiating us, but also connecting us at the same time. And that’s that could be very powerful.
Yeah, I love that point. You’re making the book. It differentiates because it’s unique. It’s unique to you. Your story makes you authentic and unique. But the broader lesson connects us to others as well.
Yeah, that’s that’s right. You know, nobody has exactly your same story, but there’s there’s parts of that story that are going to connect with people in different ways. And that may make all the friends. Um and I don’t think we do it enough is leaders not not just in fundraising. I think it’s incredibly important and fundraising. You’ve, you know, made a career helping people fundraise. But also, you know, and I have to and it’s always leading with those stories that I think are there what people remember. You know, statistics are really important on dhe. You can include stats, but it’s not what people are gonna like. Hey, did you did you hear about about those statistics? That’s incredible. And right, you don’t you don’t remember? And so when
one of here one of your tips is to is to avoid the you call the curse of knowledge
now and have a again drilling down to the simple and not littering it with stuff that isn’t really needed. Thio serve the purpose. And again, the curse of knowledge your stuffing too much in
Yeah. Yeah, it goes back to what we’re talking about, you know, when making presentations is just tryingto to simplify your message on dhe. You know, when you when you talk about when you’re when you’re making your presentation, you’re or you’re doing a video. You know, really anything that sharing your story. You think about it as a trailer for the organization. You know, a trailer, a movie trailer gets you excited to go see the film. You know, it doesn’t give everything away. And I think that when you have the curse of knowledge what what you What you’re trying to do is make what you’re about to say, connect with everybody in that audience on giving them all the information that you know, toe where you think, how could they not support me after I say all this? But when you when you’re trying to be everything to everyone, you end up being nothing to everyone. And and that’s the That’s the thing is, um, you know, trying to avoid that. And so we have. Ah,
movie trailer is a great analogy.
Yeah, yeah, and And so, you know, we have a 80 20 principle. When it comes to how we share stories, we’re gonna we’re gonna 80% of it is gonna be aimed at the heart and try and create that emotional or response 20% of its going to share measurable impact and, you know, maybe dropping in a couple, you know, bullet points here and there. But, you know, if people get interested enough, they’re gonna wanna they’re gonna go seek that information out, or it won’t break the ice enough for them to ask you the questions where you can Then give them a little bit more information.
Since you talked about just mentioned the heart and and then the mind following. Why don’t you tell about the elephant and the rider?
Yeah. So this is this is pulled from a book that I recommend for any non profit leader called Switch by chipping Dan Heath. Uh,
say it again. Yeah,
sure. Switch it. Switch how to change when change is hard on it. ZB written by Chip and Dan Heath They have a consulting firm. They’re also college professors, uh, and and have written, you know, many really, really, really good books. Some of my favorites. Um, but talk about this analogy of an elephant and a writer, and the Elefant is sort of the emotional side of us. It’s the one that you know is it feels pleasure. It feels pain. It’s, you know, maybe even more intuitive. And then there’s the writer that you that is perched atop the elefant That is more the planner, the strategic, you know, person the one that likes Thio things. The container store has the answer to all of e
appreciated that in the book cause I love that I happen to love the container store e o container store l fa I wait for the January sale every every I know January. I know it’s 35% off sales coming every 30 30% off sale is coming every January, even when they do the 2025% off during the year. Don’t don’t buy the Alfa then, not for January and February. They do the 30% off Alfa every year. That one that, like, Resonate, I gotta chill. Yeah, it’s the container store. All right? There’s a much more important point than the container
store. No, I’m all about the Alfa to you actually weigh Need a little more organization.
Oh, I love Alfa
s o. You know the there’s you would think that the person person top the elephants is in control But we all know that we only have so much control atop an elephant. And if that elephant wants to move in a certain direction, it’s going to move in that direction and you’re just along for the ride. And and so you know, it’s a very simplified, uh, explanation of this elephant and writer. But you know, what they talk about in the book is what we need to do is leaders is we need thio. We need thio. Give the elephants a little bit of motivation and we need Thio inspire that elephants that it wants to go in that direction. And once it starts going in that direction, we need do everything we can to clear the path on DSO clearing the path means, you know, if you’re sharing your story, um, you know what are some misconceptions people may have about about you and what you do. Let’s clear the path by clearing up those misconceptions, but you know, more importantly, let’s let’s give there elephants a little bit of incentive to want to go with you, and that comes through the right emotion behind sharing your story and you think about the reason we’re drawn to the best novels, the best films, the best music it Tze not about the technical side of how it was produced. You know, I think we can appreciate that if we if we take the time to understand that part of it and us, you know, some of the people who have the Alfa subscription, they may geek out on that right. But the reason The reason that we continue Thio be motivated eyes because of how it makes us feel and we want it. We want to feel that whether we you know, whether we’re expecting to or not, you know it Z That’s what we remember. And it’s the way a song makes us remember our childhood or makes us remember that great love it za about how we feel and and so there are plenty of of examples of in business how that is true.
Two time for our last break dot drives dot drives Engagement dot drives Relationships that Drives is the simplest donor pipeline fundraising tool. It’s customizable, collaborative, intuitive. If you want to move the needle on your prospect and donor relationships, you want stronger, deeper relationships. Get the free demo for listeners. There’s also a free month. Just go to the listener landing page at tony dot m a slash dot We’ve got but loads more time for Mommy lied to God
when were advertised Thio by some of the largest companies in the world. You know, they’re not They’re not speaking to our head there, speaking to our heart. They want us to feel something. Just
why, Why they do what they do and less about what? What? How to describe what they do. But the why Simon Sinek talks about that, too. On dhe you you don’t reference him in the book. But I was thinking about him as I was reading. You know, he says, people, people buy why you do what you do, not what people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do what you do.
That’s right. Right. And you know, here’s the thing that nonprofits need to remember is you know, the advantage that they have over for profits is that those the why is built into what you do, and it is why you exist. It is, you know, there’s no there shouldn’t be any shortage of stories to tell if you’re doing great work. The challenge and you know, is that you know, we have to convince our boards. Uh, Thio, invest in our own story, you know, because because we don’t have the same kind of money that you know for profits do it could become a challenge and marketing and sharing our own story. It’s not invested in the way that it should be. You know, it is the one thing that will pay dividends on git is what Will will continue Thio, you know, educate an uneducated audience on your work. It’s your stories and so that that needs to be a constant investment. And I’ll say it. Share this one thing. Uh huh. Not yet. That’s my daughter. She just asked if it’s lunchtime,
She wanna come over and say hello
e Think she is that she just she left the room. She’s, uh eso eso. What I’ll say is, you know there are. There are there are boards that will approve things like marketing directors on DSO. Then they invest in a person, which is a great first step. But then they give them no budget to do that work. So if you have a marketing director and you’ve not given them a substantial budget, you know a significant enough budget to to be able to go out and do the work and create content to do the work. Then you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. And so the person can’t just sit there and, you know, create things. Um, out of thin air, you know, we it takes it takes money to do that. And
that’s that. That myth of do more with less? Yeah, I never I never understood that. And now I just rail against it. Uh, it annoys the hell out of me, for people suggest that we just do more with less. It’s not possible,
right? It takes money to do to do the work. And, you know, and it Z you know, you’re already scrappy if you’re a non profit um, leader. But, you know, the executive director can’t be all all things you know, and they’re crucial to the mission. Their fundraising, They’re they’re they’re leading the organization, you know. But many times there also running the social media page and, you know, you’re you’re doing the job of of 10 if not more. And and so, if you’re gonna make the investment and bring in somebody If you believe that stories are important, then make it a significant part of what you dio and give it some time and see it’s going to pay dividends in the long run. You know, one when another quick example of you mentioned sharing stories. Eso There is a school foundation that I’ve worked with them actually on the board of the foundation now, so I’m working with them in a different capacity. But we created, um, a syriza vignettes for them because they do these innovative grants. And so they fund you know, these mini grants to teachers A teachers will, Will will request a certain item and right, you know, right the grant application. And then the foundation goes And how the committee they select, you know what they confined and then they find them. And so there was a a story of this a teacher that requested a string instruments for his class. And so they got, you know, it got funded. There were violence and various string instruments that that were provided to the class. And we just filmed him talking about it and film the students playing Ah nde. It was a very simple He did a great job explaining what they do. And, you know, the growth he’s seen come from from having those instruments from the students. And it was a short video the executive director, Judy Gail, had with the S A s D Foundation. Um,
what’s the What’s the name of the foundation is
the San Antonio It’s s a I S D Foundation, San Antonio Independent School District Foundation on. She said that video to the person who had funded that grant it was the $10,000 grant they had funded it and provided that donation through the foundation. And she said, Hey, just wanted to say thank you for for the support and wanted you to hear the story. She didn’t say, Hey, you know, we need more money. We you know, we’re desperate here. She just she just sent it with a thank you. And within an hour she got an email back from the funder that said, This is incredible. I want to talk to you about expanding this program district wide and so that the $10,000 ended up turning into $100,000 on. But it was just a simple thank you, and it was just seeing the kids and hearing the story of the educator who was trying Thio provide an innovative experience for, you know, for the kids on DSO So just just, you know, give it a shot. Use those stories on dhe and don’t ever stop sharing those stories because they’re so important to the work that you dio.
Is there a lesson specifically that we can extract from the Independent School District Foundation? Story may be authentic or what? What else? What other of your tips fits in there?
Yeah, I would say it’s, you know, just about, uh, understanding the importance of of just keeping your investors, uh, aware of what you’re doing through thank you’s if there if you’re commuting, if you’re communicating to them 10 times through out the year, you know, eight of those times should just be thank you’s and sharing stories, and maybe two of them are, you know, asking for money. Um, on dhe, I think one lesson you know is also that, you know, we we often times when we’re thinking about creating content or thinking about creating content for a new audience that is not invested in what we’re doing. And on dhe. That’s important. You’re always gonna have a non opportunity, should always have an opportunity to bring new people into the work that you do. But don’t forget about those who have been with you, you know, for for since the beginning or the last five years. And it’s it. It’s probably more important to keep those folks educated because, as we know in non profit world, you know, we know the same thing there because we know it is in business, which is it’s way more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep.
And even some of your donors may go back 25 30 years.
That’s right, Yeah, well, and I think it’s all you know. How are you educating their airs, right? I think another huge problem that nonprofits have is that their their their funding base is aging and that the the next generation may not have the same priorities, and goals is the is the generation before them. And so what are you doing to kind of bring in some of that the new then the new leadership and maybe a balance of younger leadership and younger funders into the fold because, you know, it’s it’s important, right? Like you, you gotta you gotta constantly work at at thinking about the next, you know, 10 10 10 years.
There’s also an opportunity there for potential planned GIF ts among those folks that are aging and that’s that’s what I do. We have to leave with the last story, which has to be your signature story. The title of the book comes from this signature story, so I way can’t wrap without without having that story. So I think that’s perfect. Perfect one thio end with
Yeah, well, tony, you built it enough. You built it up enough to where I feel like I do have to share it for Mitt for other people have asked. I said, You know how the book got titled this in Chapter three and I want you to reach
trying to buy Well, people, I’m going to say by the damn book because there’s more strategies and tips and lessons than than we were ableto touch in an hour. So, um yeah, but don’t I can’t have you hold out on non profit radio listeners. It’s not gonna mean they don’t buy the book because because there’s more. There’s more that we haven’t talked about. So you
gotta get book. Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Well, so the title of the books Mommy lied to God and s 01 of the best lessons that I got when I started doing stand up was from a friend of mine who at the time used my roommate. And hey said, Look, if you’re going to start writing comedy, you need to write about yourself on DB because it won’t sound like what everybody else is trying to say. And eso it’ll always be true to you. And when you perform it, you’re gonna perform it with just a different level of energy because it comes from a place of truth, right? Absolutely. Yeah, Absolutely. Yeah. And so, you know, it made a lot of sense to me on dhe. That is one of the characteristics of authentic storytelling. And so you know, when you’re when you’re sharing your story or when you’re presenting, you know, you pulling from your own experience is really important. The hard thing for me at that time is that experience was I was going through a divorce. And so how was I going to make an audience laugh about the most painful thing that had happened to me up into that point. And I think when I had the roommate, I was I wasn’t even divorced yet. I was separated. So I’m talking about raw. I’m not talking about, like, thinking about 10. You know, even five years. It was It was I was going through it. And, uh, so, you know, I decided to do it. I’d give it a shot. And so, you know, I wrote a couple of jokes like this, and it was like I going through. Ah, divorce. I wanted to work things out, but her boyfriend wasn’t willing to compromise. You know, let me see you on Wednesdays and every other weekend, you know, give me a month or in the summer, you know, stuff like that on dhe on, then you know the money, like God was, you know, look, the hardest thing about going through a divorce is being a single dat. Any single dad will tell you that if your kid doesn’t get what they want automatically, they start crying for their mom. I said okay. He was really upset. I said, I’m just going to talk to him. I said, Son, I know you miss your mommy, but Mommy doesn’t live here anymore. It’s like, Why, Daddy? It’s like, Well, Mommy and Daddy stood up in front of a room full of all our friends and family, and Mommy vowed before God to be with Daddy till death do us part. But see, Daddy’s still alive, honey. And that’s right, Mommy Live thio. So I got I got quickly down as the you know, the bitter mommy lied to God. Comedian, right, The bitter divorce guy. And the thing about it is, you know, there’s a lot more thio the material. But, you know, the thing that differentiated me was the thing that that connected me with the audience of people who maybe had been through a divorce themselves or their parents were divorced, or at least any. But everybody knows someone who’s been divorced, right? And so those were the folks that were laughing the loudest on DDE. You know, I wanna I wanna give a disclaimer for one. I never actually said Mommy. I never told my son that, in fact, you know, he, uh, he only heard the joke recently when I was in its because I wrote this book and the book was coming out right And I could have easily entitled the book. Daddy lied to God. I could have done that, but But the reason that I was mommy lied to God was just That was a part of my experience. And I told myself up If I ever write a book, you know, it’s gonna be called Mommy lie to God on dhe. I think that you know, it Tze important to think about those things in our lives that, you know we naturally may shy away from and know that, you know, sometimes embracing them on Dhe using them to push ourselves forward is like the best thing that we can dio on dso it was, you know, comedy was cheaper than therapy for me. I probably should have been in therapy. And I don’t advise that if you should be in therapy that used to stand up instead way probably all know comedians that air like, Wow, you really need to talk to somebody. Uh, thats a professional, um but But the reason that it’s true to my story is that you know, through that experience. You know, it’s led to the work that I do now on. Did you know I truly believe in the power of sharing us your story, no matter where it came from?
Carlos. My estas? Get the book. Mommy lied to God. Life lessons in authentic storytelling He’s founder and chief story Smith at key ideas. It’s at key ideas dot net and at Key Ideas Inc. And he is at key ideas. Carlos Carlos, Thank you so much. Wonderful.
Thank you so much. Tony has been great talking with you and hopefully we can stay in touch. Real
pleasure. I’d love to. Absolutely. Thank you.
Alright, tony. Take care.
Next week. Brian Saber from asking Matters Returns with his new book were sponsored by Turn to Communications, PR and Content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot ceo Talk about storytelling. Do it, Do it for the media and by dot drives raise more money changed more lives. Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant our creative producer is clear. Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, be with me next week for non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% gloat and be great, I’m it.