Nonprofit Radio video interviews for your content strategy and storytelling. More smart guests from the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network.
This set of Nonprofit Radio videos from the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference is focused on NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network’s, primary work: tech for nonprofits.
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Tracy Kronzak, Robert Weiner, Marc Baizman & Dahna Goldstein: Stop Pointing Fingers At Tech
Are you blaming technology when the problems are people and processes? Organizational introspection takes leadership. You’ll get encouragement from Tracy Kronzak at BrightStep, Robert Weiner, consultant, Marc Baizman with Salesforce, and Dahna Goldstein from Altum. We talked at NTC, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN).
Amy Sample Ward: Hiring Geeks
Amy Sample Ward shares strategies for hiring technologists if you’re not technical: job descriptions; interviewing; testing; and onboarding. She’s our social media contributor and CEO of NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network. (Originally aired August 15, 2014).
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent, i’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into imperil polices if you tried to sell me the idea that you missed today’s show, stop pointing fingers at tech are you blaming technology when the problems are people and processes? Organisational introspection takes leadership and you’ll get encouragement from tracy kronzak at brightstep robert winer, consultant mark baizman with sales force and dahna goldstein from altum we talked at ntcdinosaur non-profit technology conference hosted by and ten non-profit technology network and hiring geeks. Amy sample ward, ceo of inten, shares strategies for hiring technologists if you’re not technical job descriptions, interviewing, testing and onboarding she’s, also our social media contributor that originally aired on august fifteenth twenty fourteen on tony’s take to your chance to win an ipad air we’re sponsored by pursuing they’re the ones giving away the ipad full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com here is stop pointing fingers at tech from welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of ntc twenty fifteen it’s day two of the non-profit technology conference in austin, texas, where at the convention center i’m highlighting swag one one item each each interview and today is right now this interviews the hat from from that is from neon neon c r m thank you for your swag donation goes in the pile. My guests are dahna goldstein, tracy kronzak, mark baizman and robert winer. And the topic is what to do when technology isn’t your problem, and i’m gonna introduce a little different because this is there for them. I want to start with who’s sitting right next to me is tracy kronzak and she is co founder of brightstep partners, then robert winer, president of robert l weinger consulting, and we have mark baizman customers success director for sales force foundation. But a lot of talk about sales force today how generous they are. Ten free non-profit licenses and then and then maybe like a puppy free like a puppy and then deeply discounted beyond ten very generous and dahna goldstein, director of philanthropy solutions for altum and i want dahna tracy, welcome back. Thank you, robert and mark. Welcome. Thank you. Pleasure to have you on non-profit radio and Mark is taking 14 the team by by being the stand e we want you in. We only have three mikes on non-profit radio it’s fine. I need to work off those breakfast tacos that we are standing. This is your this is your exercise. I’m you need to have a corporate exercise program. It’s not a fun russian. I’m just saying that no. Okay, what to do in technology isn’t your problem. Treyz kronzak what is the problem here? What? Why is technology getting blamed? Technology gets blamed because when an organization picks up a new tools such a sales force ah ah lot of times it doesn’t necessarily consider the full range of the people, the processes and the adoption techniques required to put it into place. So, you know, you get this great new shiny tool and what happens either very quickly or overtime, that it doesn’t meet your needs. You don’t know why, and ultimately people are just is angry with the new thing as they were the old thing, and we haven’t had a larger organizational discussion around. Why it’s important to understand yourself? Understand the context of what you’re working in and understanding your own limitations and capacity to really adopt technology, and that includes change. Change yourself, change how you operate and change your future. Planning to account for the technology that you’ve adopted. Okay, but what do we do with the sort of overviews stage robert you wantto want to contribute? So i think in addition to everything, tracy just talked about a vision of what success means and how to reach success. What are the ingredients for actually getting there? It’s not just like buying a new car. And you sit in it and you turn the key. And if it’s got gas in it, it should move forward. It’s not that simple. There are a lot of moving parts of that that either the non-profit or the vendor or a consultant needs to configure in order for the system to work and that’s so easy to neglect mark overviewing time. Ultimately it comes down to people and as we know, people are fuzzy and hard to work with and fun and wonderful, good and and and are great. But throwing technology at things like people, problems and process problems is goingto not fix the problem and you’re going to end. Up, you know, unhappier and maybe spending a lot of money and a lot of time dahna sounds like we need some organizational introspection. We do need some organizational introspection, which is a challenging thing for a lot of organizations to dio, you know, when we’ve all had experiences where it’s so easy to point at the technology as the problem and say this database just doesn’t work for the web site isn’t working, it isn’t doing what we needed to do. The organizational introspection aspect of that is to say, you know what? We made the wrong decisions, we don’t have the right process is in place, sometimes we don’t have the right people in place, those air difficult conversations to have it’s challenging to stephen carr about the timeto have those conversations, but there is sometimes a necessary recognition the way that we’re doing things has not been the right way, so we need to change the way that we’re doing things so that we don’t get ourselves into this type of situation again. And as we as we were talking, i want to encourage you to just jump in don’t wait for me to, you know, call. On let’s have a conversation we’ll get robert yeah, one of the alternate titles for the session was management problems to skies this technology problems ah ah there’s a good subtitle so a new piece of technology is not going to fix a broken management system, a broken culture or the lack of communication between people or departments. It in fact, will often magnify those problems and make them worse. When we identified mark, you want ta, i’d just be remiss if i didn’t say by the way, this is not unique to non-profits right, this is endemic to any organization, and i’ve spent some time in the for-profit sector and if anything, it’s just a cz eft up there is it isn’t a nano constructor that’s as far as we can go when the expletives because now noted thank you. Wait, we had trouble last year, but non-profit radio was not terrestrial then, but now it is we have am and fm affiliates, so i don’t want you don’t want the way we have to keep it clean that’s, right? Also teo thing that i would point out is sometimes the best managerial decision that your organization can make. When it comes to adopting new technology is actually to say no say, no, we’re not going to do this right now because we have these other things to solve, we have to solve how are people work together, our common understanding of what these things mean that we’re putting into the technology and, you know, we have to put the right sponsorship in place in our organization, it’s not enough for a managerial team to say go ahead and make these things happen, you know? Non-profit leaders today must be fluent in technology, and if they’re not there is remis is if they’re not fluent in finances, hr or other, you know, key functions of an organization, this introspection is going to be very, very hard, though, tracy, what you’re suggesting is out ah, yeah, incredibly, very much needed essential, but that doesn’t sound likely that an organization is going to say, well, that a ceo is going to say, you know, we’ve got these organizational issues we need to deal with these before we try to apply a technology solution. Well, it’s certainly not gonna happen overnight. This has to be an ongoing problem. Awareness is helping this. Awareness is the necessary first for step in having conversations with with colleagues and sometimes colleagues outside your your organization. One of the things that we think both challenging and an opportunity is that it khun frequently be the person who’s in the techie rule who has an opportunity to really push those conversations forward, that if the management or the leadership of the organization, it doesn’t have the level of awareness of the problem or is sort of trying, teo put technology solutions in place where it’s not really a technology problem, the technology person, whether it’s next-gen all techie or staff for director, has an opportunity to help frame that conversation. And one of the things that we’ve talked about before that is could be a really interesting exercise. You know, one of the things it needs to happen if you’re being pushed in the wrong direction or if you think that you’re being pushed in the wrong direction, if leadership is taking things in a technology direction without having an understanding of the risks, the problems, the process issues that maybe underlying you may as the tech you want to say no, this is a really bad idea and there’s ah, sort of easy technique that one can try that actually comes from the improv world of rather than saying no, these people don’t respond well to know particularly d’s or ceos or whoever may be, you know, sort of up the organizational food chain. So if you’re in the rule where you’re being asked to do something and you see that there’s a problem rather than saying now that’s a terrible idea frame the know as yes, and so yes, i hear what you’re saying, and you can then move the direction in the conversation that you want to move it. This is more of a tactical kind of thing to do than a strategic kind of thing to do, but in terms of starting to shift the conversation, starting to shift that change in the or organisational dynamics that’s one concrete thing that people who may not be in a position of objective authority khun due to start moving the conversation in the right direction. One of the other things i think that’s really helpful is having leadership kind of paint the picture of what success actually looks like and then getting under the hood. And saying, ok, so how are we going to measure that? So talking about the theory and the strategy of okay, this is, you know, the desired and state of, you know what the technology implementation is designed to achieve? And then how are we going to measure that end state and perhaps the progress along the way so that, you know, we know that at the end of this, we’ll be spending, you know, one hour poor grant proposal instead of three days or something to that effect that’s a metrics to it that air unreviewable that’s, right? Yeah. Okay, okay, you’re tuned to non-profit radio. Tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for 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. Robert, but at the big picture level, if this were easy, we wouldn’t be bothering with this session for the purpose of this session is to say this is hard, you’re not alone, you’re not the only non-profit techie or accidental techie who has ever faced this kind of situation before. And here are some tips and techniques that you can take home and use when you’re faced with this kind of situation, which you certainly will be okay before we get koegler treyz oh, i was because they just remember to technology doesn’t have feelings, you know, technology doesn’t have quirks, it doesn’t have feelings, it doesn’t have exceptional people dio, but people do and, you know, the trick of every technologist is to take an organization that is driven by a heart and match it to a tool that has no heart, you know, technology has a lot of other things working for it, but one thing it doesn’t do is express feelings, so, you know, when you’re a non-profit it’s really hard sometimes when you have a bunch of feelings about tools that you don’t necessarily understand latto have these conversations around well before we get to something that’s going to force us to standardize? You know, we need teo understand what we’re even standardizing around. Some people don’t use the same terminology for things like what’s a donor what’s the household what’s the household, the basic definitions where well, caitlin’s been doing it this way forever. But, you know, jim does it this other way so let’s actually get together and talk about that stuff and that hashing out in those conversations, maybe the technology person is the one who has to facilitate those conversations, which let’s face it. Technology people maybe aren’t the best folks to be doing that. Yeah. All right. Can we identify some symptoms of organisational malays or where we want to call them that way that exists, but technologies being blamed, we have some symptoms around this way. We do have some red flag phrases is what we call them in our in our session, and i’ll let i’ve been talking a lot. So let’s, let me turn it over to my other co presenters. I mean, we could just toss some of them out, but one of them is, you know, my my va boardmember who used this solution in his for-profit company and thinks it’s going to be perfect for us. Another one is. This tool is free. I used it at my last non-profit, which is utterly unlike my current non-profit, but it was great there, okay, another one is, can you make it looked just like the thing we’re leaving, or can you make it happen in three weeks? Can you make it match the are broken business processes, okay, you got one more because you were doing through one that’s. Good, ok, ok. That was quicker than i thought i was going to be all right for the symptoms part. What about after the technology’s already been adopted? We’ve already we’ve spent the time and the money to go through the due diligence process we’ve brought in all the important stakeholders from end users, toe board members who get quarterly reports, the technologies we paid for it, it’s it’s in our office and it’s being blamed. Now, now, where do we stand? So my response to that is what is your ongoing investment in the technology and that’s dollars? That’s also people and time, right, which are all essentially the same thing if you think that by flipping the switch on day one and, you know, sending people to a training class or getting a bunch of folks you know, around ah presentation screen, you’re fooling yourself that that is all you need to dio you really need to have a comprehensive plan of post launch adoption, you’ll need to have things like open lunch and learns you’ll really need to invest in the success of the technology. When you have a car, you don’t just expect that the thing is gonna work. Forever you got to take it in and get its oil changed and, you know, get the air filters and all that nonsense. Why should it be any different with this type of technology? Okay, more? Yeah, the problem is to is that, you know, we’ve entered an era where, you know, consumer technology and what we call enterprise technology are kind of becoming merge together and, you know, the expectations of a lot of folks have been reduced in terms of the complexity of adopting technology. So, you know, i have an iphone and i press a button and things happen a million won, i cannot exactly, and the thing is, is that when you’re working from that framework, you don’t realize that, you know, pulling together a sales force database or adopting any kind of cr, um or, you know, even just turning on a social media kind of community for your organization. It’s, not a button click it’s a very long tail operation, it requires ongoing maintenance, and if your expectation is is you’re going to open it up and have it just the same way that i opened up a word and have a word document. Or, you know, press a button on my iphone and get the weather, then you’re not really considering, you know, the full capability of your technology and where a lot of organizations stomach and all its implication exactly, and where they stumble sometimes is there, like, we have eighteen thousand dollars to do this, we’re going to spend all eighteen thousand dollars getting it done and never consider that next year they might need to spend another four thousand dollars just to keep the darn thing running, you know, or we have zero dollars to do this whole thing and, oh, my gosh, it doesn’t work the free thing that we got stinks. Yeah, and of course, right, what have you invested in it in from, you know, do you have somebody who’s actually trained on how to use the free thing? No. Okay, well, of course it sucks and you asked about what do you do when you’ve got the technology and you hate it, but where we’re re budding that in saying before you turn the technology on, you need to take these steps? You need to go first, you need to go through a needs assessment to make sure it’s really the right technology. Second, you need to manage expectations that this is not a magic wand, that you’re going to turn it on, and life is going to be perfect and third, that you need to go through a change management adoption process so that people are on board with what the decision wass why you bought this technology, how you’re going to use it, how it’s going to change your life in the organization and that there’s ongoing support and training so that you’re successful, not just on day one, but into the future. Yeah, and i’ve had a couple of, i guess talk about and panels talk about the importance of having all the stakeholders involved from ah, when you’re at the stage of just questioning whether the existing technology needs to be replaced, the answer that maybe no and that’s that’s what you’re all talking about, it subsumed in that in that possible, no, absolutely, and i would take that even a step further that the question to ask isn’t necessarily whether the technology needs to be replaced, but what is the business need that’s being met or unmet by the technology and then, is there a better way that that business needs mission driven business? Need khun b met through a different technological solution through a process change, but i think a lot of where organizations end up going wrong is finding a solution, and then sort of looking for the problem to have it fit that work’s never four, they’re in so much pain that anything new looks viable on dh that’s also a very dangerous position from which to operate on. And in fact, this very expo hall that we sit in is full of solutions and glossy brochures to problems that you may or may not have, and i mean there’s a hyre forcing her for what down is describing to and that’s called business process reengineering. But the very simple explanation for that term is that when you adopt a new tool, you know that tool has a certain way of operating, and it has parameters under which you can change, customize and adopted to how your organization behaves, but at the end of the day, those parameters are not infinite. You have to adopt to the tool that you are purchasing or requiring or building just a cz much as the tool itself can be adopted to how you do business and meeting in the middle like that, organizations don’t consider the real time and energy and effort and money that it requires to do that, so they turn the lights on with a new tool and the tool doesn’t meet their needs because they haven’t ever thought about like how their needs are going to match what this new tools providing for them? And we’re not saying that technology is never the problem. Sometimes your technology truly does stink, but that’s that’s a fraction of the problems that i’ve seen in twenty plus years of consulting with non-profits ah lot of the time, the technology may be perfectly fine, and but you can’t possibly make it work with your current business processes or your current staffing skillsets another possibility is the existing technology could be modified without having to bring in something wholesale, new and different or or amended. You can add some new piece of technology on top of your current systems in order to get through some period until you can afford to make a change or afford to hire new staff or upgrade. Their skillsets and that that continues teo back to what we sort of refer to as three legs of a triangle that when you’re looking at any technology problem, it may present as something that is the actual technology of the database is the wrong database it’s not gonna work for our organization, but the three elements that we encourage people to think about our and this couldn’t happen before you’re adopting a new technology you can happen after you’ve adopted the new technology and it’s not working for you toe look at whether there are people issues and your organisation that air getting in the way to look at whether their process issues that are getting in the way, and to look at whether there are adoption issues that are getting in the way so all of these processes could happen before, during and should happen before, during and after the technology adoption. So if you’ve gone down, if an organization has gone down the wrong path or, you know the technology has been in place for a long time and the needs have changed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to jettison the technology. But tracy was talking about business process, re engineering, it’s a matter of understanding what the business needs are where the current tool is falling short, but looking at it again from those business needs perspective rather than what can we massage and the technology to sort of take advantage of the latest and greatest features? What do we actually need? Is this technology solution goingto meet those needs? How are we making the decisions? Have we budget at her appropriately for this? Do we have the right support in place for our users? Is this helping us further our mission? Are we doing this because it looks fancy or because of boardmember told us to, so there are a lot of problems, and they’re a lot of things that can get in the way of making the right decisions, but we really want to emphasize the importance of looking at people processes. Adoption is lord let’s, talk about some some process in this introspection uh, endeavour exercise that we talked about earlier, how does this way we’re already talking about, really how the conversation should get started coming from different levels, but how are we going to actually do this evaluation of what’s our what’s, our what! R r really problems and needs. Nobody so robert so and this conference and our world, our non-profit world has a lot of consultant’s speaking as one, but a lot of vendors as well who are really smart about these things, and you frequently don’t have the experience within your organization because at least the kinds of big projects we’re talking about, you don’t go through every day. You might go through them once every five years, once every ten years, once every twenty years, so you don’t have the on the ground day to day experience of going through this kind of needs assessment selection, adoption implementation changed management process so you may need outside help in order to get through this, you may need outside fresh blood in the organization, on staff who have experience with these kinds of issues, but we’re not saying that if you’ve made these mistakes and hit a wall that you know, your life is over and you might as well just turn off the lights, there are people who are smart enough to bail you out. I will also, i’d be remiss if i didn’t direct folks to the idealware dot org’s website, which is really a fantastic resource, i like to think of it as the consumer reports. Yeah, very much so. And it’s, where i direct a lot of folks who are just getting started, obviously, because as i work for the sales for its foundation, a lot of folks come to me and ask me about sales force and it’s sort of like, hey, do i need, you know, do i need this lexus? And, you know, maybe i don’t know what? Where you going? Yeah, maybe you need a bike and you need a scooter. I don’t know. So i direct folks to idealware to do a little bit of a deeper dive into their into their actual needs and idealware has done a great job of there’s a selecting a donor management system workbook, which is, you know, sort of telling you i didn’t know about the workbook. I just know about the objective evaluation, so the evaluation stuff is great, but there’s a work book, which really, it steps you through. I think maybe not as advanced a level is what robert would dio but the same type of thing where you could kind of take that internally to your organization and you know, ask some of those questions to folks. Okay, excellent resource. Thanks, mark, i also want to point out to you that, you know, in the five years or so that i’ve been doing sales force consulting and working with organizations to implement sales horse is a real tool. You know, i’ve heard so many times, yes, we understand that’s how the real world does it, but we are very special, and our our process is very different, and we’re very special snowflake way, our very special snowflake. And are you? Are you frozen water? Yeah, let it go and and that’s the problem with saying that it’s because, like, you know, to pick on a very easy, easy process like fund-raising there are many national organizations, you know, that are designed around helping non-profits understand standard fund-raising behaviour and how that should be treated in an organization. So, you know, when i go in and i hear something really exceptional, i’m like, why are you so exceptional when the best practice for fund-raising is this this and this? And sometimes it’s azizi is asking that question internally? Like, why do we think we’re so exceptional? And sometimes there are really exceptional things like we distribute, you know, books to homeless folks and and that’s a very small a special thing, but that’s got nothing to do with how an organization, specifically a non-profit should operate and the best practices around that operation. So if your organization is divergent from how the industry operates, that’s a really good place to start in realigning yourself to how you actually literally conduct business, because all of these tools that mark mentioned are designed around the best practice of non-profit operations and start your own work start there is, too just be sure that you understand how your organization does things, you know, from a diagnostic perspective frequently, i don’t know things just sort of happened. I make this decision, and then i send it to this other department, and somebody approved something and, you know, then it’s done something that organizations can do internally is take a representative sample from across the organization and just document how things actually happen, whether you’re bringing in a consultant, whether you’re working with within idealware resource, whether you have the capacity on staff to be able to do the kind of documents generation and then maybe in our p if that’s where you end up heading that simple process of just documenting where things are now could be really, really enlightening. And robert robert gets the last word and just have a couple seconds left. In addition to the resource that mark talked about, we have a discussion lists on and ten there discussion lists on tech soup. There’s, the progressive exchange. There are lists where you can ask other people. This is how we do it at my organization. Does this make sense? Has your commendation power of us hub, salesforce, foundation and power of us hub. That that’s part of the sales force foundation. Okay. All right. Excellent. Thank you very, very much. I love it. Thank you so much, my player. Thank you. My pleasure. All ofyou. They are. Tracy kronzak cofounder brightstep partners. Robert winer ah, president of robert ell weinger consulting mark baizman consumers success director for sales force foundation and dahna goldstein, director of philanthropy solutions for altum ale to you, m thank you again very much. Twenty martignetti non-profit radio courage of ntcdinosaur profit technology conference. Thank you for being with us. Tony’s take two and hiring. Geeks coming up first. Pursuant, you need to raise more money. It’s. I understand a constant daily challenge. Your fundraisers have goals to keep fund-raising on track from pursuant there is velocity, one of their tools. This one keeps fund-raising your fundraisers productive. They they actually develop this as an internal tool for pursuing fund-raising consultant, which i love, that it started with their own people. And they found it so valuable for their work with clients that they’re rolling it out to non-profits to use for themselves to manage fund-raising goals so you don’t need a campaign consultant to use a campaign consultants tool. That’s velocity keeps fund-raising on track. You’re getting the productivity tool that pursuing consultants use at pursuant dot com my video this week is your chance to win an ipad air, and by the way, i’m in mexico in that video it’s a survey from pursuant to improve velocity, they want to make it even better, and i’m asking you to help them out by taking their survey and you get a chance to win the ipad air. The link is under the video at tony martignetti dot com that’s tony’s take two for friday sixteenth of october forty first show of the year, and here is hiring geeks with amy sample ward amy sample ward you know her she’s, the ceo of non-profit technology network and her most recent co authored book is social change anytime everywhere her blog’s, amy sample ward dot org’s and she’s at amy rs ward on twitter kayman sample word hi, how are you? I’m doing terrific, lee well, how are you? Good, good. I don’t know how it’s august but i’m fine other than the incredibly swift passing of time. Yes, i know thirty second show of the year already. Holy cow and argast yes and mid august already. I know, but are you enjoying your summer? Yeah, i it feels like a vacation because i haven’t had to travel since the middle of june. So many people travel during summer and it is their vacation. But for me, it’s been a wonderful vacation of staying at home and having plans locally. Excellent way. Enjoy our summers, each of us, the way the way we like that’s. Very good. Portland summer in portland is the place to be so it’s hard it’s. Hard to leave when it’s the most perfect time of year here. Excellent. Excellent. Yeah, i got a visit. You out there sometime. I got to come to our oregon. I’ve never been to oregon. Um, i know, i know, but i want to go. I really do want to go pacific northwest. Absolutely. I want to wash. I’ll believe it when i see it. Okay. All right. What do you think this is what you think of this panel of three ladies from it’s? Great. You know, it’s really interesting. Something that we were reflecting on a staff after the conference to was, you know, it’s. Not a brand new conversation, talking about supporting different groups. Different communities either in within the inten community, at larger or in the tech sector in the nonprofit sector. But what we’re reflecting on really is the way those conversations have taken shape and changed over the years, and this last year really felt like this was the ntc where there were multiple formal sessions opportunities like you presented, where you folks could come talk, talk to you and have their their stories and their ideas shared more broadly, but also a lot of kind of ad hoc meetings at lunch where they would say, everybody come to the table if you want to have this conversation or let’s meet, you know it at the reception tonight and so many conversations about how do we how do we do more to get more people like us or more people like you or more people that know how to do acts? You know, how do we get more people into this community? And i think that’s really exciting and really interesting that that it’s at a place where it doesn’t have to feel like, oh, this is kind of a controversial topic, you know? We’re gonna have to go over here. In secret and have this conversation, but that it such an open, you know, we really want to create a space in this community that is inclusive and is welcoming, and part of that is creating a great community. But the other part is saying, we have to go out there and make those invitations, you know, you can’t just say, i want to have the best dinner party and make all the food if you haven’t invited anyone to come over, so so i’m excited that the community is kind of at that space where it’s ready to go out there, think about how we’re creating community in inside this space, but also go out and make introductions and invitations and welcome new people in cool. I’m glad so this feels like a watershed year for you on dh yeah, it’s exciting, and i think it really inspired a lot of staff to feel like they’re not the only ones, you know, getting to see that there’s opportunity to bring more people in because, you know, staff when when we know that there’s so many community members out there, but we don’t see them because we’re just in the office? I think the ntc really inspired them and reminded them, you know, there are all of these people out there and we can invite more people evil in its going to be great instead of thinking that it’s kind of just us, you know, tucked away in the office that’s outstanding. And i’m glad i was a part of it. You feel like it was your baby. You’ll have me back next year. Yeah, well, we’ll see. Yes. All right. I’ll see you when i e i’ll believe it when i see it. I believe that recently. So over there at ntc, you get a lot of enquiries about bringing people literally into your organization. Hiring who are technologists? Yes. Oh, so you have some advice around let’s? Start with the the job description. Yeah, i think you know, this is especially the question we get asked the most. You know, we know that we need someone to do manage all of our attacker to help us with our website. But that’s what? That’s? What? All that we know. You know, we just know that we need somebody that knows more than we dio. So how do we write? A job description or where do we even promote the job? Andi so obviously kind of depends on what kind of job it is it’s a website versus maybe on it, director, managing all kinds of systems, et cetera. But there’s still some some basic steps that everybody can take, no matter what technical job they’re trying to fail. And first is to remember that you don’t necessarily need to know all of the jargon and the acronyms and the web two point oh, everything. What you do need to know very clearly is what your organization needs on dh what your goals are, who your audience is, you know, if you kind of try to make up for not knowing by filling, you know, job description with a bunch of technical terms, but you’ve never put in there. You know what we really need our systems that can talk to each other, someone who doesn’t have that integrate asian expertise is not going to apply. They’re not going to know that’s what you’re looking for. So knowing what your goals are that kinds of tools that may be necessary to meet your mission, knowing that and being very clear. About that is going to serve you more than, you know, trying to do an internet search for a bunch of jargon. Ok, so so that that’s that’s the first caveat reminder on dh then also, before you start putting that job description together, there’s a great opportunity to talk to everyone inside the organization pull in from from what they know in their own job, you know, what do they need? What what tools are they using that they think need to be updated or and this is not like, oh, there’s, you know, so and so, who just personally doesn’t like this one tool we use not a preference kind of, uh, list, but here’s something that’s really stopping me in my work, you know, here’s something that isn’t serving me to do my job and created a bit of an internal needs versus wants assessment because when you look at that and you can say, will hear things that may be a bunch staff want, but they’re not the priority items of this, you know, kind of three or four things on our really critical needs list that’ll help you decide howto prioritize things both on the job description and when you’re looking at applicants, so if you see someone has, you know, a really great experience but saying their most experienced in isn’t on that needs list, you know, it’s it’s like, wow, that’s, great it’s really cool project you did once, but it’s not what we’re looking for. It’ll help you feel like you’re not just getting kind of dazzled by all of the shiny things on their resume, but you know what to look for, at least what? To prioritize a zafar their experience or specific skills. All right, so a lot of the information that you need you already have. You just start a conversation inside. Exactly. Okay, okay. What? Anything else for the for putting together the job description? Well, another thing that i would suggest and it’s not going to be perfect. Of course you’re still going to want to edit it and make sure it’s, you know, meets your needs is an organization, but i’ve seen very few jobs that have never been, you know, hired for before there’s very few times where someone has posted a job and i thought, wow, i’ve never seen a job like that you know, i never in my life so so knowing that you probably could go to, you know, idealist dot org’s look where there are millions of job postings for nonprofit organizations and look for a job, title or job description similar to what you’re looking for and just see how other organizations have explained that or how they’ve kind of structured some of the, you know, needs and an experience pieces there’s probably many examples out there just to get you started, especially with, you know, that fear of had i don’t want to say this the wrong way, etcetera. You know, it occurs to me this could all apply if you were hiring ah, consultant as well, yes, i was only thinking of, you know, i was only thinking of the employees, but certainly it all applies on the in that respect to consulting. Yeah, and i would even say it applies when you’re bringing in, uh, like, i contract id, you know, someone on an r f way wantto, you know, designer to dio this project or we want to bring in, you know, on organization and agency to kind of help us with this campaign, like, even those kind of larger than one individual consultant, but still outsourced project still using a process like this because if you can tell them nothing but what you want to dio teo to meet your goals, then you will have at least serve yourself well, instead of trying to anticipate all the things that they might be thinking, you know, you’re hiring either the staff person or this contractor, this consultant because they know more than you on those topics, so let them no more than you on those topics and really be clear about why you want to do those project’s, why you need them to do this work anything else around the job description or i think we should move to starting to interview people. Yeah, let’s, start interviewing people. Well, let’s go, all right, so we’ve got these resumes, and of course, we’re now scanning them based on what our needs are making sure that we’re not we’re not getting attracted by shiny things on resumes that have no relevance to what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to achieve, okay? We were bringing people in, and they’re a lot smarter than us about about the things that we’re trying to hire them for, yes, we’re gonna do so i’ve seen a few different, uh, tactics work well for organizations that really depends on your comfort level, i think, but remembering, of course, that most often or organizations are kind of small enough that the person they’re hiring, whether it’s, a web person or a night person, etcetera isn’t reporting to another technical person, you know, they’re still going to report to maybe the executive director so not feeling that that person has to kind of opt out of the interview process because they don’t know the language again, they do know what all this work is going towards s o they still should be a part of this interview process, especially the the manager, whoever that will be. But i would also encourage people to participate in that interview that are are probably not technical, but will rely on this person, you know, ensuring their systems their great, the development or fund-raising manager is often a great person because they maybe our technical, maybe not, but in many organizations they’re the one’s touching the database the most. And if you’re hiring a technical person who that, you know, maintaining that data basically part of their job again, they might not be the most technical person on staff, but they probably have a deep investment in this tool, working well for them so that they could do their job. So bringing those people in that really care that the tools work well will help in the interview process because, again, even if they don’t know the language, they will be able to test out what it’s like to talk to this person they would be working with you. And if they feel like, you know, they can talk to each other, even if in different languages and still get their points across it’s much better to figure that out and kind of have a feel for what? Talking and working with each other would be like in the interview process than it would be, you know, on day one when they’ve hired, and they’re just getting to meet and realize they can’t talk to each other right versus the she’s kind of condescending to me or, you know, right doesn’t really get me and yes, because you are going to be talking day to day. Once the hyre is made. So how does the person translate what they know the brilliance that they have in there in their niche of technology to the rest of us who were going to be using this technology and hoping it’s all going toe it’s all gonna come together and talk to each other? Exactly. And i like that you use the word translate because i was also going to make a suggestion kind of the other side that i’ve seen folks take in the interviewing process is to find someone that’s kind of a translator or ah ah liaison. So reaching out either to a local non-technical group well, look, look on meet up, there’s. Probably a ton of groups in your city, whether it’s a non-profit tech related group or just, you know, maybe if it’s ah, web person you’re hiring for and you know that you use droop a ll contacting the local drew per droop a ll user group on dh just saying, hey, we’re hiring someone we would love it if we could spend ten minutes on the phone, you know abila volunteer from the group just to help us make sure we have the best questions for this interview, and that way, you kind of bounce the questions that you want to ask, you know, shared the intention of the question and had someone who isn’t. They have no, you, no stake in the game. They’re not applying for the job. They are not part of your organization, that they can say, you know, that’s, probably not the best way to ask it. Or, you know, if i was doing this, i would say it this way so that you feel confident going in your questions, meet your needs, and we’ll speak to this kind of technical component. We gotta go out for a way to go out for a break. And, amy, when we come back, we’ll keep talking about maybe testing and and some onboarding we’ll get that in just a couple of minutes. 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 neo-sage 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 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 guest directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. All right, amy, where? Ah, we’re past the interview stage and ah, we want to well, yeah, we’ve we’ve decided that we want to move forward with a couple of candidates and, uh, test their skills. How are we going to do this? Well, there are a few different options i’ve seen organizations who, when they’ve kind of brought on that translator to discuss, you know, what air the best interview questions that we could craft for our specific job and organization that they’ve also said, are there some tests that could go with some of these questions or, you know, ways that you would suggest we do this and they get it? It really depends on kind of the suite of skills you’re looking for, but i’ve also seen organizations really successfully say cash, we have this board of directors and a couple of them, you know, workin in larger organizations that haven’t hr department could we ask you to tap your hr department and see if they have a standard set of questions or a standard? You know, couples sets of tests that they used in hiring on dh we can modify those and that way, you know? It’s been used towards success before on dh most, you know, most boardmember zehr happy to say, sure, my h r department will share some of that. Are these are these written tests are online tests. Have you seen i’ve? I’ve seen things where it’s online. It would be usually directly following the interview. So we’ve had the interview. You know, we’ve all been at the table talking, and now, you know, way have ah, laptop set up with this page and can you, you know, walk us through how you would? Okay, as part of, you know, okay, it’s, part of an interview. Yeah, okay. And and that so i would say, even if you don’t have a kind of technical components test, you know, tio assess that side of the skills one of the most i would i would say important test to include in that interview process is to have identified from your staff what staff considered to be, like emergency all hands on deck with a technical issue. So for many organizations, that means, you know, it’s, our end of year fund-raising campaign and the donation page is not working, you know, donate now, button isn’t working, we just sent out an e mail to ten thousand people and donate now doesn’t work that’s like critical all hands on deck. This is an emergency. And so in the interview, actually sharing, you know, this would be an emergency tow us on dh staff would would be communicating in-kind of a crisis mode style walk us through if you came into the office that morning, you know, you walked in the door and a bunch of staff were right there and said, oh, my gosh, the donation pages down the donate now button isn’t working. You have to get this six right away. What would you dio? And if you have a candidate for your job, you know, start coming back with very technical language, even in the interview, you can anticipate that’s how they’re going to, you know, talk in that moment and if staff immediately feel like, well, i’m not getting information, i need him. I’m still frustrated, i’m still in crisis mode. I don’t know what’s happening, you know, it’s probably a good measure of what it would be like if instead they’re saying, great, this is exactly what we’re going to dio this is how long it’s going to take you know, this is when we’re going to be able to know if it’s fixed and people feel like, okay, i know what’s happening even if i can’t fix it, someone is fixing it and it’s going to be okay, you know, it’s it’s an easier way to deal in that actual crisis and maybe a better way to talk through kind of a test quote unquote, in an interview without having to set up non-technical, you know, actual demonstration, okay? You said there were a couple of ways of going about this any any others? Is that it? Is that it? Okay, so let’s say those were probably the most frequent that i see they’re, you know, talking through a situation or including something technical, you know, actually showing them some systems and seeing if they i would say looking that the systems is i’ve at least seen it happen more often when organizations have a little bit more of a custom set up, you know, they’ve done a lot, teo modify their database or they’ve got a website kind of cms that custom to them, and they want to see you. Know, hey, you probably not seen this before because it’s kind of our set up, why don’t you poke around and let’s see how it goes? We just have about a minute and a half left for for onboarding you have some advice about bringing somebody in? Yeah, i think that there’s this, um, sometimes organizations have this feeling that they’ve hired this little person because they’re totally different than everyone else, and they’re just going to go sit at their desk and be technical and somehow do everything all by themselves. But ultimately what that means is they’ve never been oriented toe what everyone does and why they do it and why they need to be maintaining these systems the way they are. So i would say onboarding needs to really focus on including this new technical hyre buy-in all kinds of team meetings, campaign meetings, anywhere where they can really be exposed to the way folks, we’re talking about the tools they used, and they’re able tto learn oh, that people don’t know that we could really set up, you know, the database to do that report for them i can i can help here so they feel. Like they’re a contributing part of the team and not just someone kind of keeping everything running in the background, we’re going to leave it there. Amy, thank you very, very much awesome, thanks so much for my pleasure, amy sample, ward, dot or ge is her sight. And on twitter at amy r s ward live listener love i’m doing it later, but you didn’t think i forgot, did you? You could not have thought that i would forget live listener love were pre recorded, so i can’t send it out by city and state, but love goes out to everybody who is live listening and, of course, affiliate affections. If you’re among those am and fm station listeners across the country affections out to you and all our affiliate stations podcast pleasantries, those left listening in the time shift pleasantries out to you on whatever device at whatever time during whatever activity you are listening next week. Diversity in your office and the new dot ngo domain. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com where in the world else would you go pursuant? Full service fund-raising you’ll raise helicopters more money. I’m not talking about those tiny mosquitoes that you don’t even need a pilot’s license to fly. I’m talking military troop movement models like the chinook ch forty seven filled with money pursuant dot com. Our creative producers, claire buy-in dafs sam liebowitz on the board is the line producer. The show’s social media is by susan chavez, susan chavez, dot com and our music is by scott stein. Thank you, scotty. Be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and i agree. 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 p m 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 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 to sort of dane toe add an email address their 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 and and no 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. 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More interviews from the 2015 Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network. These are on social media, including video strategy, emerging channels and getting your emails delivered.
The second set of Nonprofit Radio video interviews from #15NTC, the Nonprofit Technology Conference, hosted by NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network. Including distance collaboration, the cloud, Beth Kanter and Ritu Sharma.