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Tulani Elisa, Amanda Heidtke & Dottie Hodges: Your Online Approach Plan
If you want to reach and engage effectively online, you have to plan. What’s the leadership role? How do you get buy-in? What about those who stray from your agreed goals? Tulani Elisa is with Threespot. Dottie Hodges and Amanda Heidtke are from Hodges Consulting. We talked at the 2014 Nonprofit Technology Conference. (Originally aired September 12, 2014)
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on your aptly named host we have a new affiliate station w m n b one oh, seven point one north adams, massachusetts hello northwest mass the call letters stand for western mass northern berkshire. You don’t see that very much with koehler’s actually stand for something, and they these call that it belonged to the original am station in north adams going back to nineteen forty seven what the world was like then non-profit airs tuesdays at nine a m w m n b welcome to the non-profit radio community. So glad to have you with us so glad, in fact, that i’d suffer the embarrassment of knocked old human yuria. If you let me down with the idea that you missed today’s show you’re online approach plan. If you want to reach and engage effectively online, you have to plan what’s the leadership role. How do you get buy-in? What about those who stray from your agreed goals? Tulani elisa is with threespot daddy hodges and amanda heidtke e r from hodges consulting. We talked at the twenty fourteen non-profit technology. Conference and this originally aired september twelfth, twenty fourteen and crowdfunding law, if you’re raising money on one of these sites, do you need to register under state solicitation laws? Is it okay to give a gift in exchange for the donations? Can you raise money for an individual? Lots of issues for you, explained by our crack legal contributor, jean takagi principle of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group i told you, take two sincerity and my hair. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers we b e spelling dot com here’s a panel of three smart ladies on your online approach plan. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntcdinosaur non-profit technology conference two thousand fourteen we’re at the marriott hotel, the marriott wardman hotel in washington, d c and with me now are tulani elisa, daddy hodges and amanda heidtke e tulani is social media manager for threespot daddy hodges is president of hodges consulting and amanda high key is director of digital strategy at hodges consulting. Welcome, ladies have all three of you your your workshop topic. His strategy is not a four letter word how setting a plan for your online approach reaps rewards tulani let’s still you’re closest to me let’s start what what do you, uh, at threespot? What do you think? Some of the shortcomings are that not necessarily at threespot, but that that non-profits generally are not strategic enough about what should they be doing? A lot better? You think so at threespot we design websites and make social media strategies analytic strategies in digital strategies for non-profits for ngos, for government organizations. So that’s what we deal with all the time. Ah, a lot of the time, what happens is non-profits think we need to do social and then they don’t think we should happen approach. We should make sure to go about it the right way. We should do some pre planning, they just kind of want to get into the space because it’s so fast moving fast paced on, always changing. So a lot of what kind of we are going to be talking about her panel is really you know how a digital strategy could play out things like social media? Eah, or website design or any kind of approach that you have online. So a lot of times, it’s the kind of leap without really knowing what snacks in. So we want to talk about what you do before you leave. Daddy. I imagine you see much the same thing at hodges consulting. We do. And you know, i think tulani is reference to what we call shiny object syndrome is one of the biggest players. Also kind of the collective sense of, you know, we’re looking at things from a organizations perspective. You know, our program work our mission. How were structured as an organization, the content we produce. But we find increasingly organizations need a little help and seeing it from sort of an outside perspective in terms of who are we trying to reach you? Our target audience is what are they looking for? And then what do we want them to do? What’s what? The engagement components that we want them to accomplish. And so having that sort of step back first really helped productive strategy gain results in the end, that shiny object syndrome you mentioned. What are some of those shiny objects that you see, clients? Reaching for you name a twitter blogger, we would read it. I mean, just last twenty sites. Yeah, we want this amazing he website that does everything from soup to nuts and really what they want to do is find out what that target audiences that will reach their mission will reach and do that thing, not try to be everybody’s everything not trying to be the website that gets thie program directors needs met the executive director’s needs met the needs of the membership services department, but rather figure out what the organization’s mission is and how they can leverage that website or that social media project and used it to get that message out, which is what the audience wants, not necessarily with the organization thinks s so we should be thinking about what our constituents are on doll in all their different varieties what their needs are everybody everybody’s nodding? Yeah, definitely really important for organizations to stop thinking like organizations and more like their constituents and and thinking about what they want to hear and the people that are looking at there. So so the media pages or their blogger, their website and what really connect. With them. And you can do that easily through doing audience research through, you know, going through and seeing you know what posts and what content is really working, resonating with people. What are they engaging with and and what’s not working? And how do we change that? And you can also really look at the landscape and look at your peers and say, okay, what are they doing that we’re not doing that’s working, you know, and it’s? So much of it is really, you know, taking what you see with your own stuff, taking what you see from people that have the, you know, the best in class work and saying, ok, this is working for them. How can we, you know, do that for our own selves? Actually could even go so far as to be sharing their content that you see doing well. Let’s, let’s give a shout out to our our colleagues over at whatever the other organization is that for? For sharing this mean, or, you know, whatever exactly it could be sharing content on dh using, you know, third party content is always a good way. Teo, you know, get people to show. That you’re a thought leader, and to show that you’re someone that really, you know, knows what’s going on because you’re observing other people in the space and it’s also a good way, you know, most people that are in design and articulation, you know, you’re stealing from everywhere, you know, and and then you’re you’re making that into something that works for you and that’s, okay? Because what you’re doing is is kind of making, showing that you understand what’s happening because you’re actually going back, creating your strategy and saying, oh, they did this, how can we work that into our goal of, you know, fund-raising how can we work that to our goal of awareness? So really, you know, yes, very party content, but also really using those things up for your own and making that your own as well to fit into your strategy? Okay, daddy, how are we going to get started in being more strategic and invoking the bomb? I’ll tell you what, it’s, not for start there. Uh, it’s, not panic. It’s, not panic central and i think a lot of organizations look at the different challenges or the different needs or perceived needs of the organization and and have a little bit of that panic moment. How do we start? How do we begin to know what to do? First, what tactic to pursue and so are you approach essentially is to say, we’re going to take a step back and look across the organization collectively, this is the key word right and agree upon what our goals and objectives are as an organization are our priorities to dr membership, which is okay, you know, let’s agree that that’s call it what it is and agree that that’s the case, is it advocacy, direct actions or some combination and getting everyone collectively to head nod in the same direction about those goals and objectives to then say, okay for that objective, let’s look at our audiences and do the research tulani is talking about to then roll out, and we could talk a little bit more the later stages, but i want to actually have a man to talk a little bit about, you know, sort of getting those heads nodding in the right direction and how that happened. Well, now, that’s the critical piece, okay, i know you’re president of hodges. Consulting, but i’m the host of tony martignetti you do what you like way are going to get that because actually i want to deal with the how twos we don’t want only be at the theoretical devil, right? But i do want to ask you a question about leadership if we’re going to get all these people seated around the table and ultimately, which could be a bit of a process like, but ultimately agreeing, we’re gonna have to have leadership heimans buy-in to this to this process, absolutely leadership engagement is critical, and that might be at the executive director level. It might even be the board involvement in some cases, depending on how the organization works but making sure that there’s a team assembled. We call it a core team that is generally a smaller group that has the authority and autonomy to drive the process because we want leadership engage, but we also don’t want leadership to get so involved in the granular pieces, let’s say we move forward with a website redesign, and we’re talking about those very particular components. We want that core team that have the authority to move the project forward and then engage others in the organization as appropriate, you know, external audience research, whatever it is, but that engagement of the leadership, the organization is critical to move the project forward and what’s also important with leadership. A lot of times you’ll see it’s that non-profit is really getting them to buy into that strategy like you were saying, so having them understand, you know, this strategy is going to help us reach this goal or this is, you know, this is what the r o is going to be. This is the return on investment that we’re going to get out of doing this out of, you know, making our website better or having a blogger doing that kind of thing and then showing them those results afterwards. So a really important part is to set metrics and to have analytics and to say, you know, we want to do this. We don’t want to put out this picture just hits a pretty picture of something we want to do this because we know this picture is going to get a decent amount of shares that’s goingto connect to more people, that’s going to get us more donations, so so really, like daddy was saying not being too granular, but showing them the bigger picture of, you know, here’s what we can get out of this, you know? And i would add it’s not even just getting their buy-in but it’s getting them to stay focused on what the goal of the project is, whether it’s a website redesign or a social media campaign, having served for eight years as the director of online operations, that trout unlimited, which is a large, large non-profit that has chapters and councils all across the country as well as the national office, and they all want to work in concert together and leverage digital media, getting everyone in the room together to pick a few key goals and then too, pursue a project with that premise so that every decision that you make along the way happens with the vision of these are the goals were trying to meet. And when you’re making a decision along the way, it has to meet that metric and that goal because it’s, very easy for non-profits internally, too have shiny object syndrome, but past that, too also change their mind midstream mid project about what? The goal of it is about it’s, horrible and it’s rampant. I find that having worked on the other side of the table worked for a nonprofit for so long, it was very hard to keep everybody who needed to be have that by and focused along the way as to what the end goal really is. You’re tuned to non-profit radio. Tony martignetti also hosts a podcast after the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals the better way so before we even get to what? What? What daddy was urging. I turned you to turn to you for and we will. We’ll suggesting it was it was an admonition. It was actually morning on admonishing me. I i that’s how i took it. He’s always talking about i am a leo. Ok, i see. I see my perception was not unbiased. On based what? Okay, so before we get to that, but what? What do you do when the cats start to stray and different different or teams within the organization start? Tio dahna convert the goal. Onda work. You know, i think converting the goal in the work actually is okay. As long as everyone is going to agree at the same time that the kitten, the herd of kittens, is moving in a show and it’s all justifiable on organizational basis across all departments, not just from our perspective in our department. Absolute. What do you do when somebody starts to stray? Well, well, i love having the key mission, and i love having the metric decision. So one of my favorite components of any strategic task is to have the metrics by which you’re going to gauge if it’s being successful and that does help keep the organization on task, because if you’re all looking to get the same piece of data and the same result, what the result is from it, you can kind of keep people focused on heading down that path. The trick comes in when your goals aren’t clear enoughto have a metric to follow it up by, and so making sure that your goals are very your tactics have very specific goals and that the actions you’re going to take to reach those goals are very well defined and that’s the strategy that a lot of non-profits don’t they? Don’ts don’t put their heads around what those tasks and components look like and understanding what those are before you dive down into a any project is critical to the success of that project. Give me an example of what you just said take it from from your own background or ah hodges, consulting client, whichever you like. Sure so from my own background, trying limited recently did a very large website redesign and by large, i mean, they scrapped the old site and started afresh on dh, perhaps the best. Example i have of that is the decision that was the website school going to be specific to growing the membership? Or was the websites gold going to be specific to growing? Engagement? Peer-to-peer engagement and the gold changed throughout the life of the project. So as a website redesign was commencing, the goals went from, are we going to simply grow our membership uses to drive increased donations through a membership drive to you know, really, what we actually want to do is create this peer-to-peer network of of people across the country who are engaged in our mission and offer them a place to do that electronically, digitally, through a website. And so it was a subtle shift in focus. Now, ultimately, i believe the organization was it was right, because the by creating that peer-to-peer network, you will in fact grow the membership it’s a different timeline, the tactics that you would take to grow the membership if that was simply your sole goal, are much different than the tactics we would take if your goal is to create a social network on buildup. Peer-to-peer right? And, you know, you kind of also asked a kind of not give credit, but understand that things in the digital, especially social media but all digital space are changing so much and so quickly, and people are doing so many different things that situations where people lose track of what their goal was or what they were going towards can happen so quickly, you know, you see a competitor, you see someone that, you know, your organs, they should admires, and they’re doing something that wasn’t in your strategy and you’re like, well, maybe we should be doing that, or maybe, you know, and everyone gets that not just the pang of envy, but that paying of, like, we’re missing out, we should be doing this, we’re behind where this and that’s, what the digital space kind of makes you feel like and so, as amanda was saying, you know, when you’re able to say, ok, we see this we’re taking account, how do we put that into our strategy? And also, how are we willing to hurt these cats in this direction? So that it saying, okay, we have to acknowledge that maybe this is it isn’t something that we thought about from the beginning, but it’s something that we can do we can work with because we still have that base, that strategy, you know, that the key words, the ideas that were following being being flexible, working within your, especially when non-profits work within the different programs of the organization to find ways to be tactical through a digital media it’s okay, too get off track a little bit if it meets a specific need in purpose along the way. And i think to you found that a lot of times as we went through this eighteen month provoc project that that subtly shifting it when you work with a program staff who has a very unique need, but it would fit in the metrics of the project or working with the development team so that their their goals were met even though fund-raising wasn’t perhaps the ultimate be all and all but that they still had a very hyre viable program, and they needed digital focus. It was fine one more. One more thing on the goals, too. When we talk about getting an organization to decide on priorities, the first thing we say is it’s okay? We’re not saying we’re not going to do these. Other things, but when we have to make decisions about, you know, the user experience or prioritizing even projects against one another, you know that we will let those overriding goals lead, that we will still be doing these other things, they’re not going to be scrapped entirely in the same with reaching different audiences when they do the prioritization. All right, so now, in my own good time, i’m going, and i’m going to turn now to a man i’m just giving you shit that you don’t. Nobody listens to this show anyway, so don’t that’s not true, it’s not thank you, but, uh, okay, amanda now maybe maybe it’s similar to what happens when people stray but let’s go to how we’re gonna create this process way have the leadership that daddy made clear is essential. How are we going to get all the different program fund-raising finance and business all the interests to agree? What is that process, doctor? What’s. The start of that process at the start of that process is, without a doubt having your technology lead on staff talk, teo the equivalent lead in every program area whether its development, major gifts, administrative, human. Resource is program, every person needs a voice at the table and i found the most effective way to do that is get everyone in a room for a full day workshop and you spend the day going through it’s it’s really and airing of the grievances i really, truly is what it boils down to. Everyone needs a minute to talk about what the websites not doing for them and what it is doing for them and to talk about what they wanted to do. And when you start to do the airing of the grievances, i always imagined what would happen is it would just be horrifying day, and it actually wasn’t it really put a spotlight on what some very specific areas of problem, where digital for the organization and with dottie’s focus around how that day was constructed, we ended up with some very clear problem areas that allowed us to turn around and come back and say, ok, these are the areas that seemed to be the problem now let’s talk about how we can effectively fix them and what everyone did was when they got their chance to air their grievances, they felt heard. And then the next step was buy-in getting all of your primary decision makers to share what was wrong, then turns around in your benefit and allows them to feel buy-in in the process, they now think their needs are going to get met because they are. Ultimately what you want to do is meet those needs through your digital strategy. You hear what’s not working for every one you say here’s ways that we can meet them well, let’s, prioritize those and then once you do that, you have your vision. Now you have your strategic vision. Now our organization says here’s what our web site didn’t do here’s what wasn’t working for you, here’s where we wanted to go now we have a vision, we’re all now working together, everyone now has that collective head nod. We’re all looking the same way we all have the same focus and then it’s just working through a series of tactics to get to the end result and that’s really? What? Dotty’s what daddy’s company brought to tryto limited was this very clear process that we would go through. Everyone was going to agree everyone’s heads were not in the same way. And then we move on from the strategic the strategic vision to tactical that efforts. So so, trout unlimited was a was a hodges consulting clients. And then you must have been such an evangelist. Yes, right. Yeah. Immediate buy-in. Well, eva, what daddy was doing that she hired you away. If i had been the director of online operations for eight years, so my time had come, i had run my course that try to limit it. It was it was a great organization, it’s a great organization were doing with us and we still have the man’s a client. So it’s all very good. Okay, excellent. All right, now i had mentioned on office that i’m having a hard time seeing how the website impacts then so help me out. I had mentioned bringing to this table finance finance? Yes. And the c f o in the business. What does the money? What? How does the website or even relate to them? I think it’s a little bit of how it relates to them in the overall of how the website relates them and also how the process relates them. So a lot of especially a man who is talking about is also the process of how do we get everyone on the same page? So what we do is threespot is that we do stakeholder interviews and see, you know what people are looking for, what they’re not getting, what they want, that kind of thing and the way something like finance please in is that if you’re hiring from outside or even if you’re doing it internally, there’s a lot of money and time and energy that goes into a digital strategy, a website, hiring people, that kind of stuff, having they’re having their perspective and having, you know, is it worth it? Is not that kind of thing? Also, in the thought of what if one of your goals is raising money or doing something like that and working with, you know, the finance team to say, okay, how much money is going to be worth it? You know, how much is is it gonna matter if we do this? And we raised, you know, five thousand dollars like, is that still impactful? Like what? You know, what really matters? So i mean, everyone really has a rule and it’s important to kind of as a man who said not ignore that because you don’t want to come back, as were talking about before you’re coming to the leadership in your coming to people on the board or something like that, and they’re like, well, this is not what we expected but it’s not what we wanted or just not answering any of our questions or, you know, it’s a great website, but why do we have this? You know, you should know better evangelize er for your mission than your staff, and if every staff doesn’t feel bought into your end product, then you’ve not done your homework. And so making sure that the director of human resources, which needs to post job openings on the website, has a clear and free way to do so is critical for that end product and on lee, you know, let’s, just say your primary goal is to drive membership or to build community that doesn’t mean that you’re going to do that to the detriment of process or efficiency for other staff in the organization that program director who’s still trying to do a very small, focused niche of your mission needs as much buy-in and as much voice in the process as the executive director, everyone needs a voice on the tape. Yeah, go and that’s, just the way you mentioned the power of the process really is part of it as well, not just the outcome. Amanda, you were talking about that earlier where, you know, people collectively begin to see, you know, if i’m a director of development, obviously i have a pretty clear priorities for the site, right? But if i’m suddenly at a table where maybe i haven’t really been converse in our, you know, had the opportunity to work alongside directly finance, hr, whatever, whatever we’re collectively, we start to have the conversation about the good of the whole, it really changes the perspective. Everyone still got what they need to get done right at the end of the day, but it really helps that perspective so that everyone’s kind of starting to look in the same direction. One of the examples i had it that for that try to limit it was to really sit and listen to membership services. The people are are on the frontlines answering the phone calls from people who are giving online or doing any number of tasks to the website and really hearing from their perspective what their feedback is specifically from the members where the sticky points are what they have to put up with when the fund-raising team puts out, you know, one hundred thousand emails or what or the the advocacy team puts out an action alert on an issue what the reciprocal event is for that person and it’s very, i think it’s very common for non-profits for programs and teams to work very siloed you have your task, you have what you do. You sit down and do it there’s not a lot of opportunity for the hole, for the whole organization to come together around a single project except for digital media thes tend to be the kinds of projects where the entire group the entire non-profit as a whole has a stake in the outcome. That really is where elektronik transcends a lot of what any non-profit does, daddy, i’d like to talk a little about the details of this this strategic day. Are there boardmember is there? Is the board represented in that or no really? Just just senior leadership? No that’s, a good question and can be historically, we have not seen that not by my design. Typically you get, you know, unengaged executive director seo, whatever the role, maybe you get, you know, the sea level in director level heads of departments in that sort of workshop environment, often times at key points with clients, for example. And amanda mentioned the strategic vision deliver herbal. It could go by other names. I think threespot uses a different name, but basically that’s, that touchstone document that says here’s, what we’re gonna accomplish together that’s the kind of document that often gets elevated to the board level. So oftentimes when we create a project timeline, one of the first questions with the core committee is okay. Who are decision makers who needs to be involved at certain touchpoint what are those timelines? We have a quarterly board meeting coming up, whatever it may be so that we can structure the project around that and get that buy-in you, like teo, do these offsite typically it’s on side of the client? Sometimes virtual were a fairly virtual company, actually. So it tends to be a real blend. And it really we look to the client. To dictate what their preferred, you know, method is okay. And, uh and you are the facilitator for the day. Yes, martin. Okay, what? We have just another couple of minutes or so. Let’s. See, uh, once you must leave cem cem parting thoughts let’s see two money? Let me ask you for money. It sounds like it sounds like threespot does more than just build websites. I mean, you’re sounds like you’re deeply engaged in the analytics that are going toe contribute to to the design of the website. Yes, threespot way started off mostly doing websites, but we also do social media consulting strategy sometimes requires in housework. I’ve gone to work for clients for a while, we do analytics, we do content creation and content strategy, user experience. And so it really kind of just range is everything which is again goes back. Teo, you know, you’re not just building a website, you’re creating experience, you’re creating a strategy, and so, you know, if we just build a website and we didn’t have conversations about how social plays into it, how we’re going to launch it on social media once it goes up, you know what? The you know, the analytics that we’re going to put behind it, you know how those going play and we’re going to google analytics? Are we tracking out all the links? You know, that kind of stuff, then you’re kind of just doing part of your digital strategy on dso threespot is an interactive agency, it’s, not just a web design agency, and we really, you know, make sure to touch on all of those things, and so it could be, you know, going through and going through every ounce of content and saying, ok, how do we have to change this? How do we migrate this over that kind of stuff? And it also could be coming up with a robust way to show analytics to the board, you know? So it really there’s there’s a lot of different things that we do all right on daddy wanted to leave us with some parting thoughts about the importance of the s bomb, sure, so the importance of yes, bomb i think in the context we’ve been talking a lot about in the context of web development, which is certainly applicable, we think of it a little more broadly and just echo what tulani saying about looking at the big picture that, you know, the bomb is in a four letter word? It’s not a dirty word, it’s not something. Where, you know, you hear someone say we need a strategy and people go, oh, you know, and they just think of many, many months and many, many stacks of papers that may or may never get examined, digitally or otherwise, and we want to create something for the organization that’s very viable, you know, creates and produces a road map, you know, creates buy-in ultimately gets to better product that’s gonna have a better r a y for the organization and and the truth is, we kind of cheat because we like the framework so much we use it for lots of stuff, whether it’s, a website, project or an organization says we need to look across the enterprise at what we’re doing with our digital program or we kind of just need any communications plan of attack, we’ll apply the same framework, so we think it works across the board, which to me means it must be at least relatively solid, and it also just helps to always say that it’s a working document. So understanding the digital space is changing all the time, you know, making sure that, you know, you create these documents in this strategy, but, you know, really bite-sized people, this is a working document. You know, another platform might come up for another way to approach fund-raising might happen. And really, you know, having people be open. Teo yes. So strategy, but it could develop. They can change and being willing to evaluate whether that new platform belongs in in our suite or or not exam avoiding that shiny object syndrome. All right, we have to leave it there. Thank you very much, ladies. Thank you for having us. My pleasure, tulani elisa is social media manager at threespot. Daddy hodges, president of hodges consulting. And, uh, the newest. It sounds like the newest employee of hodges consulting. Is that correct? Is amanda heidtke. She is a director of digital strategy there. Thank you again very much. Thank you. Thank you. This’s. Tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc two thousand fourteen the non-profit technology conference. Thank you very much for being with us. Crowd funding law with jean takagi is coming up first. Pursuant, have you checked out there giving outlook report? They bring in data from several industry reports, and they put it together with their own informed perspective as consultants to give you precautions, opportunities and questions for discussion in your office or with your board, you’ll find the e-giving outlook report at pursuing dot com click resource is and then content papers. I like the idea that these could be discussion points for your board. Valuable. We’ll be spelling spelling bees for fund-raising have you checked out their latest video? Lots of checking, checking to do this week all valuable you’ll see live music, dancing, standup comedy, spelling, of course, and raising money from millennials who are having a great time at this party. It’s at we be e spelling dot com now for tony steak, too. Videos of this week is sincerity are your thank you sincere. Last thanksgiving, i got two messages that we’re trying to thank me and wanted to thank me, but they failed because they added in promotions and solicitations that really made them suspect and it’s pretty phony sounding actually plus, in this video, my hair makes a final cameo appearance a stranger kicks it literally kicks my hair down the beach. You believe that? Um, is not attached to my head anymore, but still, i think it deserves some modicum of respect for my hair, but it didn’t get it. You’ll see it. You see it with sincerity. The video is at tony martignetti dot com. And that is tony’s. Take two for today. Let’s. Do the live listener love, et cetera, et cetera. There’s. So many live listeners. It’s, it’s. Remarkable was starting domestic new york, new york multiple love that unless you’re all neighbors written the same apartment on the sixteenth floor and just three of you making me try to make me feel good but about not live listen love to new york, new york. Where else? Tampa, florida monroe, new york, upstate. Cool. Monroe. I think i got it. I think i got a traffic ticket once in monroe or monroe township. If that’s you well, you’re still welcome. Ah, send love to you, but not to the officer. Ah, would ridge, new jersey love my home? State checking in woodbridge. Thank you. And seattle, washington. Way up. Pacific northwest. Love the seattle a for that. What was that? Look at that airport lately. I don’t know, but they’re seattle live! Listen, i’d love to you, let’s goto we’ve got we’ve got someone in american a territory i believe these were called territories and this is in in puerto rico. Come, we cmu y i’m probably not pronouncing right, but puerto rico is with us live listener love to you first time listeners, puerto rico as far as i can tell, live love too puerto rico, japan, konnichi wa multiple japan multiple u k of course we don’t know which country could be well whales or ireland or scotland or england. We don’t know. I’m not getting myself in hot water like i did last week before over welchlin his english so live with their love to the listeners in the uk. Also germany. We’ve got multiple germany, gooden dog! We’ve got rods! Grodd, bulgaria. Remarkable bulgaria welcome and also in the caribbean santa domingo, dominican republic welcome and what else we’ve got? We’ve got bucharest and protest e in romani, romania. I love it. And brussels, belgium is with us. Ah, and sao paulo, brazil i know it’s, not san paulo. Les americans called san paolo. No it’s. Sao sao paulo, brazil welcome for us. Welcome live listen love to you as well. Probono gado, we got to do the you know, jean hang on there, gene. So many people to thank. I got to send the love if i could live listen, love i’ve got to the podcast pleasantries how could i go do one without the other to the r twelve thousand podcast listeners twelve thousand plus, of course, but it’ll plus sign after that third xero twelve thousand plus podcast listeners pleasantries to you. I am very, very grateful that you are with us and the affiliate affections, of course. Got to say again. Welcome to our newest affiliate, w m n b in western mass northern books here, but all the affiliate listeners throughout the country on our am and fm station family. So glad that you are with us now we bring in. Jean takagi has been waiting very patiently, but i have to send the thanks. Gene he’s, the managing attorney of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco, california. He edits the popular non-profit law blogged dot com and is the american bar association’s twenty sixteen outstanding. Non-profit lawyer, i’ll avoid the joke about now being twenty seventeen and moral resting. I think i did that already. He’s at g tack on twitter. Jeanne, i love you. You know i do. Welcome back. Thanks so much, honey. How are you doing? Wonderfully it’s. Terrific. It’s a good day today. I went to the beach. I went to the peach. I went to the gym before the show. Always get that, like there’s. Endorphins flowing. I love it. Um, how are you doing out there in california? It’s a beautiful day have been getting a lot of rain out here lately, which i guess we needed. But it’s a beautiful day today. Yeah, not as much as you’ve been getting, like, four inches an hour or something. Yeah, way. All no floods and mudslides and things, but okay, i’m glad you have a beautiful day today. I hope you’re not impacted badly by the flooding and stuff. All good here. Okay. Okay. So we’re talking about crowdfunding law today. Um, now, let’s, just make sure that ah, we, uh we know some of the biggest sites i think for non-profits. Check me. Check me on these donors. Choose where actually, charles best. The ceo. There has been a guest on non-profit radio. Go, fund me, andy. Go, go. Crowdrise and i want to give a shout out to someone else had been a guest on the show, the ceo of deposit, a gift, then ostomel do those ring true to you for non-profits? Yeah, absolutely. Although i think indy go goes now, rebranded itself for charity and generosity, but yeah, those are all major site. I did. You know, you’re right. I didn’t update. Yeah, indiegogo slash generosity. Is that them? Is that right? Yeah. Ok. Ok. Thank you. Check me on that. You wrote a very informative article, which were were touching pieces off for ah non-profit quarterly. And by the way, i got the executive editor of non-profit quarterly is going to coming on the show very soon. Roof roof, right? Yes. Your article is, uh, understanding crowdfunding after a tragedy, and you’ll find it. Uh, listeners will find it at non-profit quarterly dot or ge understanding crowdfunding after tragedy. Okay, you point out in that article that this is becoming crab and funny is becoming huge, like it’s it’s approaching or by twenty twenty five. Is going to surpass what global venture capital is today? Yeah. It’s amazing. I think it was productive to reach in two thousand fifteen, which already past thirty four billion and looks like the world bank is projecting nineteen. Ninety six billion dollars. Buy twenty twenty five. Yeah. That’s remarkable on that’s. The number that i think is your article says is twice what? The, um twice what the i want to take this correctly with the global venture capital industry is today that’s correct? Yeah. Remarkable. I mean, well, people are generous, you know, what can we say? People throughout the world wanna help causes now, sometimes you have to be careful where that money is going, what the cause is or what the person is. We’re going to get to that. So, um, you like to differentiate between businesses and charities doing crowdfunding? Yeah, and that’s actually a really important point. So, you know, not all of that, you know, thirty four billion in two thousand fifteen or the projected ninety billion plus in two thousand twenty five is going to be for charity. A lot of that, um, is going to businesses that are looking for funding. To build there cos it’s a new way for startups not just to seek venture capital money from very wealthy individuals or institutions, but now to go out to the crowd just to go out to regular people, uh and and asking them to invest a small amount of money or a modest amount of money, but which might be actually a kind of a big deal. Teo somebody you know who doesn’t have a lot of wealth t back back ideas that they love, and they might love it for pure business sake. Or they might love it in some cases because the charities involved. Yeah. Now that’s you ah, this is called investment fund-raising investment crowdfunding, where there may be an equity stake available to you as a as an early participant in this startup idea, right? Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Okay, cool. Now we want to focus on donation, crowdfunding and and a little on reward. Crowdfunding. Why don’t you explain those chris? Sure. So donation crowdfunding usually involves asking the crowds. I’m just going to go call the internet audience that that goes on to the site and looks it you’re solicitations as the crowd. You just go on to the site and have a page that’s asking for a gift of donation. It might be for a particular project that you have, or it might be more generally just to support the charity on dh. So that’s that’s sort of broadly donation crowdfunding rewards crowdfunding is kind of a little bit of, you know, within the realm of donation crowdfunding so it’s kind of a subtype of donation crowdfunding in one way in that you’re usually soliciting some sort of gift, but you’re goingto also promise back to anybody who gives you a gift, some sort of reward, and sometimes that reward is a negligible value, just like you might get a sticker. Oh, our coffee mug for, you know, a major donation that you make or, you know, the pbs type of gifts that you get for becoming a member of pbs and donating to them and sometimes it’s actually a more substantial gift where you’re going to get, you know, a new product that’s coming out from the charity ahead of the real market that’s out there, that’s going to purchase it when it when it’s fully launched our concern around these crowdfunding solicitations. Is something that’s, you know? And you’ve said to his near and dear to my heart and you’re well acquainted with it also the requirement whether to register in each state under their charity solicitation laws, because once this website becomes active and live, then you’re soliciting in all fifty states because it’s visible in all fifty? Yeah, i mean that’s a really good point. Let me just, um, looking face about whether, you know, simply having a site, i’ll take it back a few years and say, if you just had a fight with a donate button, are you really soliciting in states if you get no contributions from the states, so it gets a little bit, um, questionable whether having krauz pending sight, even though visible to residents of every state, is actually soliciting in that state, let alone you actually do attract, um, somebody that contributes to your campaign um then i would say, yeah, you’ve now triggered it you’ve now solicited in that state, and particularly because you’re going to have some communications going back and forth with with a resident of the state. So technically speaking, yeah, even even once, once you’ve launched that crowdfunding. Site. And then you receive ah contribution from resident in that state. Technically, you may fall within that jurisdiction, although, you know, for the legal geeks out there. There’s still minimum contact. Saand, whether state can actually regulate you if it’s just a really tiny, like donation. If you got five dollars from wyoming, does that mean you have to register there? Probably nobody’s worried about that. But we got something. You create some issues. You got something against wyoming. Is that what you’re saying? That’s fly over territory way may have live. Listen, we don’t have not in wyoming. Wait. No, i not incorporated or formed and which is not already registered. If it’s soliciting out side and gets a contribution from outside that state. So i didn’t mean to pick on why at wyoming other and has a great example of generous people. And you are more precise than i am. Which is why you are our crack legal contributor and i am not. What i should have said is you are potentially soliciting in lots of states, all the states when your when your web page goes live, that really depends on the definition of a solicitation. And in some states, as you said, gene it’s, how much you actually get back, whether it’s, big and dollars, or biggin proportion to your overall fund-raising. So there’s, there’s nuances there, and you are good at pointing them out. That’s, why i have you on to keep me clean, so i really should have said, you’re potentially soliciting. Ok, we got it. We got to go out for the break. When we come back, you and i’ll keep talking about crowdfunding law. Stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked and a a me levine from new york universities heimans center on philanthropy tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end, he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard, you can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guess directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. Lively conversation, tap trends, sound advice, that’s, tony martignetti non-profit radio. I’m melanie schnoll begun managing director morgan stanley philantech management. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I am the imprecise and inarticulate host. Gee, takagi, thankfully is with me, jean one understands want to wrap up this state’s solicitation registration issue with this comes up a lot for me when i speak on the subject. The question is, what if the site where we’re crowdfunding says they take care of charity solicitation laws? I always encourage charities to go a step further and investigate what they actually mean by by that have they actually registered in all fifty states? Um, what’s your what’s your feeling on that if the if the site the platform says, oh, we took care of that for you, it definitely got investigate that way further. So there are special registration requirements from professional or commercial fundraisers, andi, if they’re if they’re serving in that role, they’ve got to figure out if they’re properly registered and that may not exempt the charity from also registering there. Just because you’ve got a professional working in that state. The other way that it might be done is if the is the party that you’ve contacted is a charity itself and running a donor advised funds. Ah, and network for good is an example of a donor advised fundchat pretty that attracts a lot of charities. Teo, use their platforms or widgets. T raise funds on behalf of them. But it’s not technically on behalf of them, they’re actually raising money for themselves and then re granting that money to your charity. But they have the legal discretion of whether do that or not. Now they almost always do that. So long this year, compliant with laws and still ah, domestic five a one c three entity but it’s definitely worth more investigation. All right, let’s, move to the reward. Crowdfunding. And what the implications? Maybe if a charity gives a ah a reward, give something in exchange, let’s, start with the insubstantial, the mug, the sticker, et cetera. If we were doing something in substantial, what? What are our potential? Pitfalls? Liabilities? Well, you know, i guess one thing is to define what insubstantial is. So you kind of think if you were giving just a very small sticker that was really worth nothing, then you’re probably not worried about it at all. I used to mug is an example. Maybe that was a bad one, because i guess it depends upon what you’re giving to get that. So if you made a five dollar contribution and you got mugged, they got back a mug that was worth five dollars and that’s probably a sale that’s probably not a donation that made and getting a gift back in return. And every state may view this in a different way, and it gets really, really interesting from a lawyer’s perspective, but complicated from ah charities perspective when they do, when you know, e-giving example in washington state, i believe, you know, if you made a five hundred dollar contribution and you’ve got a shirt in return for that, um, on the shirt was worth let’s, say, twenty dollars, um, under washington law, i think what it says right now is that if the minimum contribution is five hundred dollars to get that shirt that we think you should pay sales tax on five hundred dollars for that shirt because five hundred dollars, really a portion of that is a donation, i think there’s a bill in process in washington to correct that. Okay, good. So the laws are behind all of these just like new mechanisms for fund-raising and giving back rewards even though they’re there quid pro contributions on under the irs. So the irs and federal tax law has sort of recognise this for some time, but for sales tax purposes and sellers permit purposes, the states aren’t completely onboard, and crowdfunding is just exploding the way these things were used on dh the states air catching up. We’ve got a live listener in seattle, washington. What do you people doing up there? My god, you’re out of control, all right? But it sounds like they’re trying to remedy it. So that’s that’s okay, um, there’s a bunch of stuff i want to talk about. So what? I’m going to suggest we all do if you have questions about the quid pro quo thing related to fundraise related to crowdfunding at irs dot gov just searched the phrase quid pro quo contributions and there’s a page that comes up and tells you what your substantiation requirements are. If the gift is two hundred fifty dollars or more for the written acknowledgement and what the acknowledgement is to say, search that phrase that irs dot gov quid pro quo contributions jean will you permit us to leave that leave that topic there? Yeah, actually, maybe if i just throwing one last thing the irs considers a low cost article an artist, something that that’s of a token amount on dh certain items if they don’t exceed ten dollars and seventy cents, and that that amount is that adjusted every year. But for two thousand seventeen, if it doesn’t exceed ten thousand ten dollars and seventy cents in the contribution was at least fifty three dollars and fifty cents. I might be going into jargon jail there, but those are the two thousand seventeen figures, then it’s it’s sort of not counted as a sail for unrelated business income tax purposes, and so that’s something to think about, and also for deductibility of donation purposes. So something to think about, if this states would use that as guidance in terms of determining whether that’s a sail for their purposes as well. Okay, now that’s not jogging, joe that’s detailed that we don’t have detailed jail because details where the sale’s important toe fifty three dollars and fifty cents for twenty seventeen. Okay, all right. You didn’t hear me because we have this digital. Systems so when you’re talking, you can hear me. You don’t hear me call you an anarchist, but i wanted you want i don’t want to be dishonest and do it behind your back. So sort of because i know you didn’t hear me say it. Okay? Let’s, go to the individuals. Can. This is interesting. Can a charity? Oh, we just have a couple minutes left. Holy cow. All right, kenna charity raised money for an individual and we only have, like, two minutes left. Jean e charity conspiracy money on individuals who may be distressed or, you know, who fall into a charitable class, right? But they can’t actually tell their donors that the donors khun direct their donations towards a single individual. If the donor wants the deduction on their gift, if they want a deduction, it’s got to be a gift to the charity and it’s up to the charity to determine which individuals that it wants to help. Ok, you can certainly use an individual as an example of a class of people that you’re going to be benefiting. Of course. Right. Exactly. Okay, okay. So that’s cool. So yeah, i mean, it makes sense. We we have charitable deductibility is for charitable purposes, and individuals are not charities. Is that is that the basics of it? Yeah, that that is on dso. Crowdfunding is where? There’s a lot of abuse of this in terms of a lot of charity. Say, you know, you can raise money, you know, for this individual donate and we’ll send it to this individual. Just click on which individual you want us to send it to not technically done properly, but you might find a disclaimer in there somewhere that says, we don’t really mean that, and you’re really going to give to the charity. Okay? We don’t really mean that. All right. Um okay. So what we have seen we have in the man. We have a minute left with gene. Okay, what are you saying? Me? Three minutes or one minute? We have. We have thirty seconds. All right, then, jean. We’re gonna leave it there. How about that? Have a great talking with you. Okay? I thank you for holding my feet to the fire and being the precise attorney that you are and counter acting the loose lipped host. Thank you for that. He’s. A. Managing attorney of neo non-profit exempt organizations law group read the read the site, go to the block non-profit law block dot com and find him on twitter at g attack next week. The giving code what you can learn from this report on silicon valley philanthropy i mentioned mentioned that the gene one if he’s if he’s familiar with this, but anyway report on silicon valley philanthropy there are lessons for you from this. We got the two co authors on next week live. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com responsive by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers we b e spelling dot com welcome again, you have men be one oh seven point one fm in north adams, massachusetts. So glad to have you with us. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. I got an announcement coming next week about our am and fm affiliate outreach director. Hang on show social media is by susan chavez on our music is by scott stein, you’re with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. Hey! What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark yeah insights, orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a m or eight pm so that’s, when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing. So you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones. Me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff, sort of dane toe add an email address card it was like it was phone. This email thing is fired-up that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dno, two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony talked to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze, you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expected to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sacristan. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.