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Rich Dietz & Dan Murphy: Fundraising and Finance Friendship
Abila has a study about the challenges between your fundraising and finance folks, and the opportunities for collaboration that will make your nonprofit a happier and more productive organization. In the ring are the study co-authors: Rich Dietz, fighting in the fundraising corner, and Dan Murphy for finance. Can these pugilists make peace? (Originally aired 5/20/16)
John Fulwider: Your CEO/Board Chair Partnership
How do you cultivate this critical relationship? What should they be asking each other? John Fulwider is a consultant and author of “Better Together.” (Originally aired 4/3/15)
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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’ve got a listener of the week robin jacobson, she tweeted, i learned about your show from liza dyer. I love what you’re doing lies. It was a show was a guest a couple weeks ago. Liza, thank you very much for sharing this show with robin. Robin, welcome to non-profit radio. So happy that you found us through liza. I love that you love what we’re doing. I thank you very much for that you can you can follow our listener the week she’s at robin ruin r o b i n r o u e n ruin, of course, the city in france. Common knowledge. Robyn. Welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being with us. Congratulations on being our listener of the week. Robin jacobson. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be hit with blefary denied us if you inflamed me with the idea that you missed today’s show fund-raising and finance friendship abila has a study about the challenges between your fund-raising and finance folks and the opportunities for collaboration that will make your non-profit a happier and more productive place to be in the ring or the study co authors rich dietz fighting in the fund-raising corner and dan murphy for finance. How can these pugilists make peace that originally aired on may twentieth this year and your ceo board chair partnership? How do you cultivate this crucial relationship? What should they be asking each other? John fulwider is a consultant and author of better together and that originally aired on april thirteenth last year on tony’s take two thank you p s that 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, wee bey e spelling dot com now chek out rich dietz and dan murphy in the ring with fund-raising and finance friendship very pleased to welcome excuse me, rich dietz and dan murphy to the show rich dietz is director of fund-raising strategy for abila he has spent the last twenty years working with and in a wide variety of non-profit political and government organizations, as well as technology companies focused on the nonprofit sector. Dan murphy is product manager for my p fundacao n’t ing at abila. He has an extensive background in financial management with degrees in finance and accounting and over ten years of non-profit accounting experience and he’s aboard treasurer of a non-profit in austin, texas. Rich, welcome back to the show. Dan. Welcome to non-profit radio. Thanks for having me here. Pleasure. I did. I mr pronounce the name of the company that when i was first introducing its abila abila abila that is correct. In case i didn’t say that in the in the opening, that is the correct pronunciation and it’s a b l a. Okay, dan, you’re on the on the finance side, rich on the fund-raising side. Rich let’s, start with you. What was this study about fund-raising and finance all about. Why did you feel it was necessary? Yes, it’s. Kind of interesting, though. You know, as a software company focused on the non profit sector, we have products for fund accountants. You know, for accountant we have products for fundraisers, and dan works mostly on that finance side. I work mostly on the fund-raising side. We we we realized we’re not collaborating amongst ourselves. Even here at the office and then dan and i started talking, and we’re like, hey, we have all this all this anecdotal evidence from our past working at non-profits of this sort of adversarial relationship, and so we thought, hey, let’s, get there, especially get to what’s going on and actually ask non-profits is this, you know, collaboration? Or is it really an adversarial relationship? So we surveyed a fourteen hundred non-profits and we really wanted to dig into what is this perception of collaboration? What’s the biggest challenge is on and maybe some ways that we could, you know, help that that that collaboration actually increase. Yes, dan, a perception of collaboration. It’s it’s, not really all that collaborative, a lot of people feel that’s, right? Yeah, it actually turns out that more than half the fundraisers that we surveyed, as well as almost half of the financial professionals about that their relationship with their respective collaborates other departments was either not collaborative or very little collaboration was happening. So we saw there’s a lot of room for opportunity, both in the actual collaboration processes, as well as the perception of whether collaboration could be a value to the organization that is very glass half full of youto recognize it as an opportunity rather than are these kids? Yuki departments are not talking to each other on and there’s also some very interesting differences across the generations, which will, which we’ll get to you very shortly. Um okay. What? What are what are some of the problems? Let’s us stay with you, daniel what’s. What? What? What’s causing some of this lack of collaboration, sir. I mean, there’s a lot of contributing factors to, you know, why these organizations may not be collaborating as much as they could. They have different reporting metrics that they’re using to evaluate their success and their their progress toward their milestones. Some of them, you know, have very distinctly goes, especially on the financial side. You know, we talked about gap. We talked about cosby and there’s. All these other acronyms that we use that our counterparts and development may not be used to using may not understand very well as well. On the fundrasing side, you know, there’s there’s also the very specific acronyms and, uh, different ways of speaking that maybe a little bit different than what? The finance side of the house. Used to and then just in the Job you know what 1 sector down now? We have joined in jail on tony martignetti non-profit radio. So already you the finance trouble guy have ah, you’ve transgressed what you have to tell us what gap and fast b stand for everybody doesn’t know, okay, yeah gases generally accepted accounting principles. So it’s kind of a principal guiding philosophy of accounting in the united states and fast because the financial accounting standards board and their governing agency responsible for regulation of accounting practices. Okay, thank you. So we’re trying to bridget tronvig? Yeah. Okay. We’re trying to bridge the gap here. Let’s not make that right. Let’s not make a warrant and you make it work. So it just in daily activities, the two different development and finance department’s had very different priorities. So, you know, one side of the house is tryingto raise money to make sure that the organization can continue to find its activities and expanded commission on dh. Then, of course, the financial side of the house is wanting to make sure that the resources of the organization are responsibly managed. The finances are adequately classified and reported. The stakeholders so just two different philosophies to see the same mission organizations tryto rich over to you, the even metrics, right? What what metrics the two different sides look at are very different. Yeah, and this is interesting. Dan and i spent a lot of time talking about it because it first, so so we asked the fundraisers and the finance folks what’s your top five challenges and all that stuff and metrics and reporting was in both of their top five, and it was different metrics and reporting at first we were like, oh, wow, that that could be a problem, but then as we dug geever without no that’s, actually, right? I think the fund-raising teams and the finance team should have different metrics and reporting, they’re actually reporting on different things. The problem is when we don’t have common goals and and overarching goals that both of those metrics and reporting feet up into and so when we get into the recommendations in the report, that’s where we really start talking about joint goal setting before you even get to figuring out what you’re going to report on figuring out what the over our goals of the organization are, and then how to both those departments feed into those over our goals. We think that’s going to help overcome a lot of those of those differences that that people are saying a greater understanding way we need to meet in the middle and there’s a lot obviously that’s in common now everybody wants to advance the mission, they wouldn’t be there otherwise, but but let’s let’s find what’s comin and understand what’s outside the common areas for exactly yeah, all right, let’s, go out for a for a quick break and when we come back, the three of us we will we’ll keep talking all have our little ah, we’re going to find out more about the differences across generations. Very interesting. Stay with us. 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. Oppcoll welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Dan, you are ah, product manager for m i p fundez counting at abila now already. This is three acronyms from the finance side. We’ve had none from the fan fund-raising side, so i’m starting to see where the problems lie. What is m i p or mip? I don’t know. It’s micro information processes it’s a name that we’ve had for a significant amount of time. That’s very well recognized in the non-profit finance sector. Okay, very well recognized. The non-profit in the finance sector. Okay. That’s, right? We’re trying to bridge gaps now. Damn, i not break down bridges all right now. Okay. Um ah, rich acquaint us with some of the the difference is this is really interesting across the generations, boomers feel that three things everything’s fine and the millennials are not as content. Yeah, this is really interesting. That’s something we’re doing a lot in our research studies now is we’re kind of breaking out a lot of the answers based on generation, you know, boomer’s, gen xers and millennials, especially because that’s who’s in the work force right now on what we ask the questions about how they felt, you know, did they feel collaborative? We saw the boomers felt pretty collaborative on both the finance and the fund-raising side, fifty seven percent to sixty percent on the finance side. Ah, but the millennials felt way less collaborative on the fund-raising side on dh then and i talked about it. Dan actually had a really interesting theory on this, and i’ll actually kick it over to him so he could talk about that i thought was really interesting and something i think we can address. Okay, let me ask first, though, am i the only baby boomer in this in this conversation born before nineteen sixty four? I believe so. I’m a gen xer. You are. So we have one of each. Okay, dan, your millennial. Is that right? No, i actually fall into genetic. You’re ok. You have a baby face. Okay? Uh, that’s. Too bad. Because i was going to beat up on you as a representative of millennials. Why? Why? The millennials are causing so much havoc in the workplace. Why? They can’t be more content. But go ahead. What is your what is your theory? Well, my theory. Is that if you look at the data, there really seems to be a tendency for the boomers too collaborate together is somewhat, but to communicate definitely directly, but there definitely seems to be a tendency on the finance side of the house for both the djinn xers and the millennials to have more communication and contact with the senior members on the fund-raising side of the house and i suspect, and we’ll probably dig into this a bit more, but it’s most likely because of the, you know, i strive for efficiency and kind of just wanting to get to the the answer is something rather than build relationships focus. So i think a lot of that is probably more driven by the finance side of the house, which is why you can see the collaborators collaboration, sentiment hyre on that side. Unfortunately, i think that means that the millennials connectors on the development side of the house might be kind of circum bennett in some of these conversations on dh left out in some cases. What about personality, too? I’m generalizing here, but i don’t think you’re average finance side person is is as outgoing, you know, the relationship oriented extroverts, aziz, you’ll find on the fund-raising side. So i mean, i think that’s definitely fair to say not to say that accountants are incredibly wake up on and find accounting. I know beating on the accounting and finance side. I know i’m trying not to, but i don’t know that it’s a stereotype, but so, you know, call it that’s what that’s, what i’m doing, but i think fundez sorry, but i think fundraisers arm or, like, extroverted and so they’re seeking mohr collaboration than the people on the finance side of the same age, even well, i think you could also just very clearly make the argument that inherent in the development role is a focus on relationships that is part of that role within the organization that doesn’t exist as much on the finance side. Okay, all right. So you yeah, and so yes, certainly job responsibilities on the way the two the two sides are organized and what their purpose is our butt. And so i think as a result of that, you get personalities that are different in the two different teams. All right? I know you don’t agree with the personality theory. That we agree that degree of that and you’re back in the report when we get into the recommendations, we actually talked about kind of breaking down some of those personality, you know, division’s, like, actually start doing some joint activities, you know? Do you know i’m a big fan of doing something outside of work, a happy hour after work at the finance and fund-raising folks together outside of the workplace, you know, maybe have a drink and start talking about other things besides work went to get to know someone as a person and of course, on the fundraiser saying this because that’s what we did, you know, you go out and you get to know people you learn about their kids, their pets, all that stuff, and it makes that next conversation you have with them at work even easier. So we have to drag the finance people to this happy hour that’s, right, and then stopped them from just talking to each other, right? We have to penetrate their circle. I’m beating up on the, uh, okay, small organizations, let’s get that damn small organizations a lot more potential. Well, depends what you want to describe. It small organizations are a lot more collaborative. That’s, right? Yeah. We found that there’s a significant difference between large organizations and small organizations in the level of collaboration that’s happening. We also theorized that a large contributing factor to this is that in the smaller organizations you have smaller staff, and so people are forced to collaborate, you know, there’s fewer people to get the job done. A lot of organizations, people may wear multiple hats or, you know, play different roles in the organization. So there’s a hot a lot higher level of interaction, there’s, more frequency of interaction on a lot of time. People are, you know, just physically located closer together. And so whether you know it’s a small organization and only has a single office or small office space many times, these finance and development individuals responsible for those roles are physically closer to each other. And so there’s a lot of a lot higher level of interaction that leads to more collaboration. That makes a lot of intuitive sense. But i think it’s important to point out, you define smaller organizations as less than ten million dollars, right? Listen, krauz million annual revenue, so we’re not talking about necessarily tiny shops where it’s two or three people and obviously there more collaborative than bigger organizations. But, you know, a ten million dollar annual revenue that could have dozens of employees that’s, right and that’s a good point there, not there not, you know, five or ten person shops, but at the strategic planning level on the less than ten million dollar organizations we saw a lot hyre interaction in the strategic planning processes and the budgeting process is and, you know, kind of the key processes for each role. And so we also saw smaller staff size, and so their just was a lot higher level of interaction required to get things done. And so, you know, there’s kind of a necessity there for these these rules to interact more and there’s more opportunity for him to do so, as opposed to above ten million. There started to be, you know, significant layers within the organization that lead to inflation. Right? Right. Rich. Anything you want to add about the small versus large organizations? No, i think it’s pretty much what diane said. Where? You know, if you have a smaller office, you’re gonna bump into people in the hallway more and then you know, you’re not you’re not divided by department as much, you know, there’s, not a finance department over on floor four and the fund-raising department on floor three when you’re not even a ten million dollar zorg, you’re probably all in the same office and you beat each other in the break room and everything in those again hi. Always go back to the human interaction. That human interaction is what really breaks down those silos. Also reporting structures. No smaller organization like that have fewer vice presidents. So teams are more cohesive because they’re clustered together. Yeah, definitely. All right. So we got some problem areas, you know, lying around like goals and priorities. Language, metrics, personalities, let’s. Move to the positive now and start identifying some opportunities for ah, making things, making the world a happier place. So this is not a boxing match between fund-raising and finance. Rich want to stay with you? What? What? What’s. Ah, let’s. Talk about the social ideas first since you already touched on that. Yeah. I mean, definitely social ideas. It’s. You know, finding ways to get more human interaction there. And you’re like you’re saying, you know, dragging the finance folks out the happy hour again. A lot of them may not want to go to that happy hour, so maybe start with a brown bag lunch, you know, has at the office, everyone gets in the same room, bring your own lunch on dh. You know, watch a movie, you know, just talk about something else. Just start to get those interactions to start anyway, that you can do it, andi and you have to keep pushing that, you know, so that that would be not mayan number one tip. Okay? Yes, i like i like the social ideas, too. That’s. Why? I was i was glad you mentioned it, but we could be more formal to some training. Right? Some basic training. Dan that’s, right? Yeah. You can really structure your onboarding process and offer training to, you know, cross training between the two different departments to facilitate the interaction too. You know, in increase that cohesion between the two teams to work toward the joint mission of the organization. And that could be, you know, it’s. Simple as modifying your onboarding processes to have, you know, an explanation and as part of those processes of what the different departments do, what their goals are, kind of what they’re key processes are, and it could even advanced something where there might be a periodic schedule training where one department will train the other one. And you know what they do, how the reporting works, other systems work, or even just a collaborative meeting that’s on the calendar every month or, you know, every other week or however frequently it might be in order to keep each each other aware of what’s going on within your respective department so that you’re kind of synchronized on on what’s going on and what the priorities are across the organization and maybe in in orientation, we can have a day or so, you know, whatever, where the fundraiser goes over to the finance department spend or is at least onboarding by someone in finance, and so from day one, we’re getting a an empathy for what’s happening on the other side, right? And making sure that you understand how your processes are, you know, feed into the processes of the other departments, so for fund-raising maybe that’s gift entry and understanding how you know, downstream that goes into the accounting system and how that kind of goes through the financial reporting process. So you understand what you’re doing, it directly impacts the finance department and the reports that they produce and on the finance department side in accounting, understanding the gift solicitation process and what it takes to get that money in the door and entered into your serum or whatever your dahna records system is on dh, then how that gets to you an accounting. So you understand that full process because it’s, nobody really operates in a vacuum, so we’re really making sure that you connect the dots between the organizational department. Dan was a part of the tension. I thought i read that finance doesn’t understand the need for spending money on relationship building. Yeah, it definitely can be a challenge to understand why you would spend resources on something as abstract as relationships that that’s definitely a story that resonates more with some than it does others for accountants and finance related in, you know oriented individuals you want to be able to show direct outcomes for resource is used for money spent and its hard to quantify. That whenever you’re saying you’re investing in relationship, but you know that, but that is required to cultivate relationships with donors that will ultimately lead revenue in the front door. And so there is a return on that it’s just very hard to quantify that through reports, you know, through the traditional financial reporting process so it can be hard for to rationalize and justify spending funds or resource is in that way. But i think that through collaboration, that story can be told jointly from the department of, you know, development narrating kind of the relationship side of that and helping them finance to quantify what the return on that is and communicate that out. Do either of you know our master’s programs in non-profit management brake, bringing these these two department’s together, and helping people with the finance background understand mohr of fund-raising and vice versa? Do you know if that’s happening at the degree level or certificate level? Okay, i don’t know if it’s happening at the degree level. I do know that there are sort of think it’s available for non-profit management and leadership, that tie kind of the executive roles finance rolls, the development rolls it’s some degree the volunteer roles together for people that are enrolled in that program to give people have a three hundred sixty degree view of the organization. I don’t know that the intention is specifically for collaboration, but it is too kind of enhance the literacy of the participants in the various areas so that they can be effective leaders. Yeah, okay, i mean, i hope that’s going on. We have meteo thie. Only degree i have is a law degree, and i don’t have a certificate on, come on, classically under credential to even host the show. I don’t know what somebody’s looking like in front of me six years ago. I don’t know what happened. All right, a dan you start of ah alluded to this talking about the budget let’s, let’s jump over to rich, we can work together on our budgeting. Yeah, most definitely eye on me. And i touch on this earlier little bit is, you know, we have these different priorities and these different metrics that were that were held accountable for in both departments on and i think instead of starting at that point, which is where most budgets get put together, the fund-raising side says, we need this in the finance side says, well, i got all these departments say that need all this stuff, taking a step back and going to that joint goal setting and budgeting as step one look at the look at the big bucket first, and then break out into your department’s and trying to figure that out. I think some of the frustration we heard a lot in the in the open ended answers of the survey was, you know, fund-raising sango finance just gave us this number to go fund-raising it doesn’t really mean anything. They just pick the number out of the sky it’s not like, and i’m sure finances saying the same thing, you know, who are these fundraisers that are just throwing these numbers at us? You mean? And so if you just take a step back and out of that silo and do that joint gold setting and budgeting, i think that everyone knows where the where the basis is. And then we break and do and figure out our, you know, our specific goals in there, and then come back together again to make sure that those makes sense for everybody. So it is it’s really a three hundred sixty degree? Ah process there and again, just another one. Another way to break us out of those silos. And i think that’s going to increase the collaboration greatly. When you understand what the other side is struggling with, then you do a much better job of making sure your data clean. Making sure your data is getting to them in a way that they need. And then everything just flows better. Have you had any feedback on the survey that it’s stimulated conversations are? We used it as a way to start well, that’s stimulate the conversation or it helped bridge this gap any feedback like that? Way, actually have our vp of marketing test that gerard has some really good friends in the industry. And he talked to one of his fundraiser guys. And he said they took the report with the his counterpart on the thunder on the finance side, and they went out to lunch and just talked about the report. And they said it was one of the best conversations that they’ve ever had in, like, ten years. So we are getting really good anecdotal evidence that it just it gives you something to talk about, something to start with and then go. Okay, so how how do we match against that? Are we doing better? We doing worse? Where can we improve? You know, it’s sometimes easier to have at least something in common that you’re talking about. And then, you know, again, break down those silos. That’s, outstanding that’s, a that’s, a that’s, a grand slam. I hope some listeners will. You know, if you hear this first and then bring it to the people that can help start to start the conversation, you know, listening to this you can get the study at abila dot com slash collaboration study and abila is a b piela abila dot com slash collaboration study? Yeah, i mean, it’s, you know, it’s, great to hear. Okay, glad you got that kind of feedback. Excellent. Um we’ll see what else we can let’s drown. Another opportunity, dan let’s, go to you some some shared terminology we can we can put together, yeah, something that could help. And it can also kind of jointly work with the train and onboarding is to create a reporting in metric, so we call it t cheat and that is just a place where, you know, both apartments can kind of see what the critical metrics for each department are, how they’re being used, that kind of how they’re derived. And then what? The important reports that are being generated for stakeholder consumption for public use, whatever the case may be, basically, what the story of the organization that’s being communicated is through reporting so you could make sure that you’re both on the same page, that you’re being consistent in what’s being reported. And really, i mean both from a practical point of view to make sure that, you know, i don’t boardmember you’re not telling two different stories. To your board and also from a community and mission point of view to make sure that you’re really making the most out of the data that you have out of the stories the organization have, that you’re effectively communicating the missions so that you can raise the most and really, you know, put your best foot forward as an organization for your mission. It sounds like a cz much as the the the outcome of that, that that that deliver herbal will have value just the collaborative process of putting it together together. We’ll have value. Absolutely. We’re gonna work together. We gotta define what are unknown terms are to each other and things like that’s going to start the conversation, right? You have to be able to communicate effectively internally before you can communicate externally. Okay? All right, rich, we’re going to wrap it up, which is just, like, a minute or so. You have some opportunities around software integration. Yeah. Yeah, integration was another one. And, you know, we definitely go deeper into the into the report on that. But we ask, you know, how important was integration, you know, to to the finance and fund-raising quotes. And we saw some interesting things there, including it seemed the younger the person was, the more they wanted integration, which, you know you would would would make sense. Millennials have had their lives integrated online forever, so they’re very much into integration. Some of the older boomers, um, tended to be a little more skeptical of of integration. So there’s definitely some stuff to teo look at their what dan and i found on the integration pieces that there might be some fear around integration about, oh, that’s, our data and i don’t know if i trust, you know, a machine to actually move the data correctly. I’d rather do it myself manually. So i think we need to do a lot of training on dh showing folks that that that software integration, you know, data going from your finance from your fund-raising software to your finance up our can actually save a lot of time can actually save a lot of double entry on and and and keep your data very clean. So i think that’s something that’s going to take a little time for people to get comfortable with it powerthru deeds, director of fund-raising strategy at abila also dann murphy, product manager for was it micro integrated processes fund accounting my p my p my p i got it wrong in other words, okay, we’ll stick with that. Might be also abila, gentlemen, thank you very much. Thank you. My pleasure. Your ceo board chair partnership with john fulwider is coming up first pursuant. Check out overcoming the major donor dilemma it’s free as all their researches, they’re so generous with the stuff it’s unbelievable. This one is a ah white paper that will help you identify new major donors, help you engage them and optimize your major donor cultivation all wrapped up in one in one paper says unbelievable, overcoming the major donor dilemma you’ll find it at pursuant dot com quick resource is, and then content papers do it for pete’s sake, we’d be spelling spelling bees for fund-raising your word is shenanigans. Watch the new video and see how the contestants do it’s from a night that raised one hundred ten thousand dollars for hfc, which has helped for children. If you want to have a fun night with stand up comedy, live music, dancing, spelling on raising a ton of money, check out the latest video, please, at we b e spelling dot com now tony’s, take two. My latest video is thank you excuse me. I’m a little scratchy today. Thank you. It didn’t crack though it just broke. It was difficult to crack and break very different. Very different. Do not confuse them. I’m grateful that you are you’re with us, you’ve been with us through twenty sixteen. Thank you so much. We’re up over twelve thousand plus listeners now very often i should i’m hasn’t. You know i’m conservative in these things always say over twelve thousand all the time but it’s very frequent trust me over twelve thousand. So the ten thousand is fading, and i’m so grateful for that whether your loving non-profit radio by listening subscribing wherever you subscriber listen whichever platform, whether its affiliate or podcast or live if you are getting my insider alerts by email every thursday so you know where the guests are each week? You with me on facebook, twitter, youtube, youtube actually, youtube, twitter much better than facebook there’s a lot more going on there. 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Fluent take my word for it affiliate affections they got to go out are am and fm listeners all over the country. Thank you so much for listening through your affiliate station and the podcast pleasantries to the very frequently over twelve thousand listeners. A week. Whatever you’re doing while you’re listening, i thank you for being with us. Thank you for having me in your ear while you’re carrying on your life. Podcast pleasantries to you here’s john fulwider from the april third twenty fifteen show your ceo board chair partnership john fulwider is with me. He helps non-profit chief executives, he combines coaching, teaching and training toe work exclusively with high achieving ceos. I want their leadership teams and boards to row in the same direction. His latest book is better together non-profits ceos and board chairs get happy and fall in love with the mission i hope the book is shorter than the title john he’s at john fulwider dot com and on twitter he’s at john m fulwider welcome john fulwider thanks so much, tony, its honor and pleasure to be here. Thank you. I’m glad and you’re you’re calling from omaha, nebraska. Is that right? Lincoln, nebraska lincoln, nebraska pardon me, i gave you live. Listen love to lincoln pardon me. That’s. Right, lincoln i hope you didn’t take me too seriously when i was admonishing you about requesting live listener love careful, they’re not at all ok, good. Don’t take nobody listens to me, it’s all in good fun. Okay, your book is ah siri’s of questions, which i love, that that ceos and board chairs should be asking each other. What? What shortcomings do you see in this relationship? That you want to be a partnership? You know, i wantto start with the possibilities that you can achieve from a really healthy and successful partnership before i get to the shortcomings. If i could. The possibilities are amazing. Too high achieving, growth oriented, talented, passionate people can really support each other and accomplishing together for themselves, for the organization and for the mission, something they wouldn’t be able to achieve a part. And so it can be a really fulfilling effort asked, spend their wanting two, maybe three years of the border chairs leadership term together, really accomplishing something that they could both feel proud of at the end of those years. Okay, um, but i’m still gonna ask my question. Don’t be an anarchist now taking over the show. What? What? What now? I got two shortcomings or what? You know what? What’s typical of the board chair ceo relationship that that you see and when? You build that strong partnership, you can avoid a number of pitfalls. One of them is just failure to develop trust and transparency in your relationship, which was really the bedrock for leading together at the start. Next up, you can sail to communicate often enough, and as a result, neither the board chair nor the chief executive gets what she or he needs in terms of information to even run an effective board meeting, much less provide some really inspiring strategic direction. Two the organization and the last thing that you can do is fail to establish clear expectations of each other. So you’re sort of casting about rudderless, not really knowing who’s. Responsible for what? And that’s not a fun or indeed the filling of productive position for either of the leaders to be. How about that trust the how do people in these positions let’s take it’s? Ah, new relationship. Either the board chair is new, or the ceo is new to the organization. How do we start to build build that trust? You know, it really just begins in conversation, tony change begins in conversation conversation with your most important partner that being your board chair if you’re the chief executive, the chief executive, if you’re the board chair, it’s just a matter of starting off the relationship, right with some open ended kind of deep questions that let you start to develop that trust and transparency from the very start in the book associate in the workbook associated with the book, i have a list of those questions that go from sort of short to medium so long, and you can kind of customize it based on the time you have, and you have them broken down into categories and then within the categories, there are lots of different topic areas, marketing and accountability, and that’s right succession planning. So i really like this question and answer that i mean, i they’re they’re all questions to stimulate conversation and conversation hopefully is going to be honest and open, and that helps us get to trusting partnership. Indeed, it is a virtuous cycle. Okay. All right. Let’s, let’s, talk about some of these questions. I like them so much. Um, you don’t mind if we start with marketing, do you? Would that be okay? No. Let’s, let’s. Go right into it. Ok, so you’re the way. It’s laid out is you give some perspectives, cem quotes for thinking for the people. Tto consider on the subject and then ask your partner and there’s lots of ask your partner questions and, uh, you know that you ask some very basic ones around marketing. What should our message be? Who needs to hear it? Where where does it need to be? Can two people, though sitting in a room together out, answer these, they can begin to answer them, tony and in a way that generates questions for other people, let me let me use one of your previous guests as an example of how this could work. So you have a guest one or two weeks ago talking about your board as brand ambassadors, and there was that there was that question, as i recall about, you know, what does our organization even do in terms of category where we capacity building organization? Or were we making social change organization? I believe your guest said, and and that’s a question that you and your board chair i’m just going to talk from the chief executive’s perspective because those of the clients i work with you can ask your board chair? Well, bored share? What the you how would you categorize our organization and then ask your board chair? How do you think your colleagues on the board would categorise the organization? And that helps the board chair decide? Well, hey, maybe i need to lead a discussion on this at the next board meeting because i’m not sure and i want to find out. So starting a conversation with your board chair starts conversations that she or he has with her or his colleagues. Okay, so these are not going to be questions that we’re going to sit down in a couple of our long meetings, and we’re going to have answers to no, we’re not going to figure it out for ourselves, but we’re going to we’re going to start the conversation. We’re going to use our knowledge at my knowledge as the chief executive of the leadership teams perspective and the board chair her knowledge of her colleagues on the board, their perspectives. We’re going to use it to narrow dance on our information, gathering our question, asking for our colleagues. Okay, by the way, that guessed that you were referring. Teo, your board is brand ambassadors two weeks ago was roger sametz, um, also with the also in one of your marketing questions, looking internally, how good a job are we doing? Getting our message to our own board and staff, you want some introspection here? Yeah, absolutely, i mean, one of the one of the challenges that that i i always here when i’m working with, not for for-profit is the staff in general are pretty dissatisfied with what they perceive as the board’s level of knowledge about and interest in the organization and then what i find when that when when we really examine it, the board tends to have more knowledge and information about the organization, then was the staff perception and so conversations about marketing and branding and the, you know, sort of internal outside perspective on the organization can be sort of a safe and comfortable way for people to get rid of negative assumptions they might have about their colleagues. I’m going to move to one that also i find interesting internal threats to the organiser from, like you ask who is a flight risk on the board who air flight risks on our staff? This is right. This is very, very good. You risked management. I would call it, too. Yeah, absolutely. And it’s it’s something not not every organization really has the time or bandwidth to consider, but it is pretty hard to attract high quality talent. You are not for-profit organizations for various reasons everyone’s familiar with so once we have a really talents and high achieving, competent person on board, we need to take special care to ensure that we retain that person by continuing to challenge her or him offering a clear way up in the organization and so on. That could be the downside of term limits. Indeed it can. On the on the board side and boy, you know, if we get into the question of term limits will get into the question of government governance structures, and this conversation will get too complicated and i will wind up in jargon jail well, but you’re well, i’ll i’ll put your there, i’ll put your but they’re easily so you may end up there anyway, but let’s not let’s, not let’s. Not underestimate the capacity of non-profit radio listeners. Very sophisticated audience. Ah lutely. So i think they’re up for ah governance. Conversation. We may. We may get there, you that’s one of the other topics that you have questions around governance and accountability. But oh, i mean, if i can, if i can address term limits for just seconds under under governance, you know, that’s one of the frustrations of building a partnership with your board chair is that it’s a short term relationship. You could be doing all this work that i recommend. And i recommend doing a lot of work on this relationship on ly to have that person term out of the board chair seat one year from now, maybe two years, probably at the most three years. So term limits are a big deal in this context. Okay, buy-in but as we’re identifying let’s say, you know ah, well, who’s, the who’s a flight risk on the board we should be. Then the next question is going to be, well, what’s our succession plan for for that well, flight risk or, you know, whether it’s term limits or whatever whatever reason president is going to in the position. So how do you how would you feel about having a neg zsystems chair and the planned successor? Whoever that is the vice chair. Whatever the the chair to be named in this conversation, could we do this is a three way. Sure, we definitely could do that. The first thing you need to do is have the two way conversation where you’re building the solid partnership with your board chair. And honestly, if that’s all the two of you have the time, space and bandwidth to do, just stop there because you’ll be ahead of many other people who are in a leadership partnership. But if you can, by all means bring device chair, they’re electing the president elect that sort of thing into your discussions and and talk about how we can keep the strong leadership goodness culture flowing. But then also talk about how we need to customize the relationship to the prospective, the incoming board chair, because the nature of building trust with that person setting expectations, clarifying rolls and the style and manner and frequency of communication. It’s all going to be different for that new person? Yes, customized not not cookie cutter. And yes, not one size fits. All right, right. That’s, that’s offensive to the incoming person. Then you know right. Alright. Loss of trust there. We just have a minute or so before a break. Um, you would also like us under internal threats, to be looking at which of our programs is below par or failing. Sure and and that’s a great conversation. Tio have with your board chair, because you’re bored. Chair isn’t in the organization twenty six hours a day. Thinking about it, like like you are, doesn’t have probably that attachments teo each of the programs, and so can offer and unbiased mohr outside you at what is working and what is not in the organization and honestly, can help you strategize about how to do the influence campaign necessary on your board, and indeed, with your staff, and maybe even your thunders, to eliminate a failing program in order to allocate resources to something that is creating social change. Let’s, take a break. When we come back, john and i are going toe. Keep covering some questions that the ceo on board chair should be asking each other. Hang in there. 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Hi, this is claire meyerhoff from the plan giving agency. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at tony martignetti non-profit radio. Got lots more live listener love tons of live listeners today serbia is with us live listener love out there. Mccarty in the philippines, mexico city, mexico. I’ll be flying there in october on my way to stop a for opportunity collaboration. Go through mexico city, reservoir, australia, bogota, colombia, seoul, south korea several in seoul not surprised. Always appreciative. Thank you very much on your haserot in japan, kawasaki and tokyo konnichi wa also spire germany, gooden dog amazing let’s, bring it back to the u s, newport news, virginia, omaha, nebraska. John omaha, eyes on and multiple in lincoln, nebraska so you’ve got some family there. I don’t know some people love you in lincoln, nebraska and pflueger ville, texas i love pflueger ville welcome live listener love to each person listening live. John, do you mind if we, since we’ve sort of headed in this direction to look what some succession planning for the for the board chair and for the ceo, we’ll do it that way, okay? Your questions for for those two are pretty similar, so i would just take him in a bunch recognizing that nobody’s going to be in the position forever. What? What skills and qualities do we need in our next chair and our next ceo? Right? The reason i include the succession planning of questions in the book is because it really gives away toe have that conversation about succession planning, which is so sort of inconvenient and awkward and about your own mortality on a regular basis. What i recommend is that people go through this list of twenty four strategic discussion topics with their board share hyre one at a time, actually go through the entire list um, twice a year, so they’re having forty eight weeks of conversations taking four weeks off, but this just brings it up automatic so that it’s not awkward now that’s a that’s. A lot of time to ask. Ah, volunteer to spend is that you have you have clients that are doing that. This is realistic. Ideo i do have clients who were doing that. Okay? And what do we say to the board chair? Who may be reluctant to spend that kind of time? We’re talking about at least an hour a week, right? Sure. I mean, it can go faster or slower than that. What we say to the person is, i value your counsel and your input. And i know you joined the board because you felt like you have something to say. You cared about the mission, and you felt like you had something to say about advancing the mission and getting mohr dunaj for the social change cause that wee boat care about. And so i simply want teo give you the opportunity to be strategic about that as often as possible. And i promise that in our conversations, we’ll try to keep it at the high strategic, interesting and compelling level and away from boring taxable day today as much as possible. Yeah, yeah, for sure. We want to encourage the board to be looking at bigger pictures and not what the office supply budget line should be. How about let’s? Look, a little external. Now, we’ve been in to do a lot of introspection. You have a section on meeting community needs, right? I mean, this, the basic. What does our community need from us on dh? How are we doing in providing it? Yeah, this is this is really a question i like to use, teo, inform strategic planning processes. And so what i what i see this conversation as tony is ah, logical and easy progression from, uh, tapping the strategic thinking capabilities of the chief executive and the board chair and then moving that discussion to the executive committee or the officers of the board and then moving it from there to further board members in, say, a strategic thinking slot on aboard agenda and then moving that all the way to the strategic planning retreat. So strategic conversation are happening constantly at all levels of the organization, but starting at the top it’s kind of like one of those chocolate fountains that you see at wedding receptions and so forth where it’s this yummy, gooey, rich chocolate and it bubbles out of the top, and it flows down to the next layer and the next layer, and then it bubbles back-up from the top strategic thinking happens in organizations the same way, okay, we don’t have to explain it to the person or maybe the people we’re going to have these conversations with as a strategic planning process, dewey, because that has a lot of baggage to it that maybe people aren’t ready to take on or you know what we have, you know, you’re completely you’re completely right, tony, i’m i’m working on a year long strategic planning process with a client right now, and as i’m doing the strategic, the preplanning interviews with the leadership team, they’re being kind enough to tell me, hey, some of us have some trepidation about that. The board says that has as well you do want it to be clear at the board chair level, though, that you have a shared responsibility to, no matter how you phrase it or how you present it. Teo, get strategic thinking happening throughout the organization consistently. It can’t be something you do just once a year, okay? Or once every three years or something, and then it ends up on the show, which would be even worse. Okay, yes, these are that’s true and seen it this way, but these are very good strategic planning questions, even if you don’t want to call it a strategic planning process there. Very good strategic questions, i guess is what i mean. You have a section on external threats. And we just have about a minute left. But so let’s. Just throw out that we should be looking at who’s doing a better job than we are at providing program. Right. And that’s a that’s. A question that your your board chair is especially well suited to help answer she or he may have the answer himself just by being virtue of being a philanthropist in the community, caring about the issue, seeing what others have to say or your board chair main not know the answer himself but can go to other, uh, you know, really connected on that particular issue. People on the board who then can offer some information that again comes from somebody who has that outside. Unbiased, not thinking about the organization, you know, more than twenty four hours a day, like twenty six hours a day, like the chief executive is all right, lots of strategic and thought provoking questions. In the book, you’ll find it at john fulwider dot com. And john is on twitter at john m fulwider. Thank you very much for sharing john there’s. An even better link, tony at better together leadership. Dot com it’s, easier to spell. All right. Thank you very much, john. Thanks, tony. Next week, there’s. No show. However, affiliates you’re covered, you know that you have my best wishes for merry christmas. Happy hanukkah. Happy new year. Lots of good wishes for your holidays and your time off. Take that time for yourself. Take some time for yourself. That’s. A good wishes for the holidays. If you missed any part of today’s show, find it on tony martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled, and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers, wee bey, e spelling, dot com, our creative producers, clam hyre off. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Gavin dollars are am and fm outreach director shows social media is by susan chavez, and this great music is by scots. Dine with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent happy new year. Go out and be great! 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 to sort of dane toe. Add an email address card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is right and 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 dh 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 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 put money on a situation expected to heal you put money in a situation and invested and expect it 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.