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Jonah Halper: Date Your Donors
Jonah Halper is author of the book “Date Your Donors.” He wants you to enjoy the full breadth of fundraising relationships. He’s founder and partner of Altruicity consulting. (Originally aired 3/4/16)
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Oh, hi there. Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent on your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer with logar mania if you talked to me about the idea that you missed today’s show date your donors. Jonah helper is author of the book. Get your donors. He wants you to enjoy the full breath of fund-raising relationships he’s, founder and partner of altruicity consulting and he’s with me for the hour. This originally aired on march fourth twenty sixteen on tony’s take two new relationship videos responsive by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant radio and by weinger sepa is guiding you beyond the numbers. Wagner, cps dot com tell us attorney credit card processing into your passive revenue stream durney dahna may slash tony tell us let’s get started with jonah helper and get your donors. Jonah helper is author of the new book date your donors. He wants you to enjoy the full breath of fund-raising relationships he’s, founder and partner of altruicity consulting and he’s with me for the hour. So glad to welcome jonah helper halper halper back to the studio has been a guest before. His new book is date your donor’s he’s, a non-profit marketer and fundraiser with over ten years of experience specializing in new donorsearch acquisition and engaging gen x and wires. He’s, founder and partner of altruicity consulting. They’re at altruicity dot com. The book is at gate, your donor’s dot com and he’s at jonah helper already chuckling. Yeah, welcome back to the studio. Welcome back to the show. I haven’t thrilled in here. Thank you so much. Good to see you. Good to have you here. Congratulations on the book. Thank you. How did you get to the concept of dating and donors? So i started doing ah, training fund-raising training a couple of years ago. And i just found i started using a lot of dating analogies that was very natural on daz. I started tio go down that rabbit hole of discussing, you know, how fund-raising is is akin to relationships in courtship and attraction and things along those lines. I started to think about about my career as a fundraiser, and i noticed that there were even even the people who, you know. Classically trained in fund-raising and, you know, had the experience, some fundraisers were unbelievable at the craft, you know, there’s some fundraisers who, you know, we’re okay, they’re mediocre or they were just, you know, kind of putting in the time and they’re doing the kind of, ah, the best breast practices of the business, but there was a clear line between those who were the born fundraisers or seemingly born fund-raising and those who weren’t and i started to wonder why that wass and it wasn’t something you would able to see in a resume, it wasn’t something that was just, you know, you can look and see their track record and see why that was the case. It was experiential, like i would interact with these people, and that was it was kind of like an use of cool, like, it was just like you would be around them and you would be, you know, wanting to be around that would be attracted to and as that started to take shape, i started teo kind of more put, ah, structure around it to say, what is it that those type of people have that makes people want to? Be around them as a fundraiser or as just a human being. And, you know, one of the interesting kind of correlations i found was it was very someone of my high school experience, which is you, weren’t you were you were not so cool in hyre i wish i was on the other side. But you know what it wass is i went to a boarding school, all boys, a tremendous amount of testosterone. And basically, you know, the need and the desire to be on the in crowd was the most important thing to make. Yeah, i i spent so many waking hours just trying to figure out the chess moves that would take me to be in the inner circle. And what it did is it drove me further and further away. I became like the hanger on ah, and i thought i was i thought was a cool guy. I thought i had, you know, certain skills. I thought i you know, i was in a terrible ballplayer. Like the things that were important to high school boys. I was a terrible ballplayer. I i got my my varsity letter in announcing oh, i as one step below cheerleaders, annan varsity letter ship. So, i mean, i dealt with these things with a sense of humor and a nem barris ingley a large number of times. It would more be people laughing at me then with me. Right, which only, which only further perpetuates that downward spiral. Yeah, three guys, a joker reason he’s the jester. But he’s not, you know, it’s. Not even always laughing with them. Like i said so. All right, so i dealt with it. That was my athletic outlet was announcing right there and managing rights to carry soccer balls on and off the field. Make sure nobody was on the bus on time. So you’re announcing a managing in-kind of understandably why, you kind of self selected into certain kind of career. Yeah. Now, now announcing right for myself. Exactly. I’m not shepherding a bunch of high school kids on a bus on then announcing touchdown. Thie irony. The irony is i knew any i still know nothing about sports, right? I mean, i have trouble distinguishing football from baseball. Well, so have a great fundraiser is that you can talk intelligently on any subject for about two and a half minutes, lord, help you. If they want to have a deeper dive in texas well, two and half minutes they’ll be laughing that will be actually laughing at me. But i football is the one with the field goals, i think. Yes, yes. Your baseball has the three pointers. No, basketball is through your basketball to report. Okay, so so the irony was, you know that there’s somebody whispering what? What to announce almost exact my ear. Oh, that’s got a touchdown. Touchdown number fourteen that’s? Uh oh, yeah, here he is, steve berman, who was a friend of mine. I couldn’t remembers number, but that’s how i dealt with my awkwardness and oppcoll snusz so? So where i’m going with this is is that i found there were certain kind of character traits of that of that high school kid who seem to be the center of attention. And then i found that things don’t really change from high school things like yeah, i know i don’t i hope i’m in outlier and that in your theory, i’m an aberration. We’ll know what it does is it way kind of grow into a lot of the things that we are lacking in high school, high school, you’re just naturally you’re trying to figure yourself out there’s not necessarily the confidence there, you know, there’s a discovery that’s going on there so it’s not a natural thing for you kind of say, this is who i am, these with skills i bring that confidence that’s kind of grown over the years, but that what i’m alluding to when i’m kind of referencing now is the fact that confidence and clarity whether whether it’s real or not on the high school level, right, that perceived confidence is something that people are attracted to, the fact that you say i know who i am, i know what i stand for. This is what, whether for good or for bad, this is who i am, people want to be around people who have that who have the kind of that confidence say this is what we stand for. This is what i’m excited about. This is where i’m headed, and i want you to join me and confidence and clarity or a couple of things that were going to talk about yes, because as you’re suggesting, those are traits of good fundraisers. Those those outlier fundraisers that are at the at the high end? Yeah, absolutely. Okay, cool. Uh, what’s. So why don’t we go out a little early for a break right now? It seems like natural place and we come back, we will dive into the details of date. Your donors stay with us. It’s. Time for a break pursuant. Their newest paper is demystifying the donor journey. They want you to be intentional. Deliberate about stewarding your donors so you don’t lose them. This is very much what jonah and i are talking about today. Same subject different take pursue. It will help you create and fine tune your donorsearch stewardship plan paper is that tony dahna slash pursuant radio now, back to date your donors, jonah helper. My guest. We’re talking about his new book date your donors. Um, you want to start with authenticity, and so ah, this is where i was not so authentic in high school, but i believe i’m much more authentic now, but sure, authenticity a great trait for fundraisers. Yeah, you know, it’s it’s interesting. Because when you are in the business of raising money, you’re interacting with a lot of people. Who are high net worth who travel in certain circles? Have a certain lifestyle, it’s easy to kind of pander to them and try to say, you know, i want to be on the inside so i can get money from them. That’s the kind of at the perspective especially young fundraiser has is how can i get into this this network? And what i was when i mention before and when i think applies when it comes to authenticity, is andi also packaged in the non-profit, you know, jargon of mission and vision, the idea is that you should know what your folks what you’re standing for there is a few of my jonah helper and working with a special needs charity, and this is my my job and my mandate and what i’m raising money for. I’m not jonah helper, mr country club. I’m not jonah helper, mr poker player, you know, hanging, hanging out with with these individuals, they may become friends and that’s fine, and they may become my network, but i’m coming to them not underneath the guise of being a buddy of being one of their friends just being part of their network, but rather, i’m coming through the through the lens off my mission, what i’m in the business of doing, where i’m headed with this, what i hope to accomplish with my mission and how these individuals can be a part of that experience in a way authenticity is not me trying to fit into their world, mohr them trying to fit into my world, and and that requires me not to be focused on myself, right? And i know what i am, what i stand for, but rather interact with them, and then hopefully they see what who i am or what i stand for, that authenticity, what i’m really in the business of doing, and they’ll gravitate today, and they’re hopefully attracted to it, right? Not metoo them but them to me. So let’s, break this down because you’re talking about authenticity of the person and also authenticity of the organization cracked. All right, so let’s, start with the person. This is where we get to confidence, you know, you you want yeah, yeah, you just don’t want people to be molding themselves to what they think, the donor that they’re meeting that day or that our wants them to be right. But be true to yourself. Well, they’ll see right through that in there is if you’re the type of person who’s going to be mike mission creep like, you know, you know, i may be the business of doing this well, but you’re excited about that. Well, let me chase you down there about you know, about that that i know what i’m in the business of doing this is who i am, what i stand for that person’s a hedge fund, you know? Ah, man or woman, i am a fund-raising professional for this organization. That’s what i do know this is who i am and what i do if the if the stars align and they’re interested in what i’m doing, they’ll support it. If this is not of interest to them, it is not a priority for them if it’s, you know, not meant to be it’s not meant to be, but the moment i start chasing people down this, then i’m effectively being that kind of aggressive door knocker to say, you know, give, give, give me, me, me, i i and that’s why i don’t want to be playing now, but what about when you get into situations like you’re meeting with a donor and we get into a political conversation or something religious, you know where you’re your stars are not aligned with theirs, you know, maybe you’re different political spectrum, different into the political direction, then they are how do we how do we stay authentic? So it’s? Interesting, because i’ll give a kind of ah kind of case in point, you know, there’s some people who use social media, where there’s like a clear demarcation line between the personalizing, the professionalizing we’ll have, this is my missing my business account like this is my business facebook this is my organizational facebook presence on this is my personal place facebook president and never shall the twain you know me that that is not my approach. My attitude is my my priorities, my belief system, you know, what’s important to me what i don’t think it’s important to me is as much ah factor in my relationship with these individuals than than anything else. The fact they may not agree with me politically, or the fact that may not agree with me what it is, then that’s that’s their prerogative, but at the same time, it’s nothing to do with the mission vision might cause i think mature people can make that clear separation between what is relevant, teo, the supporting whatever the good work that i’m doing other educational, humanitarian or are you know, whatever it is as and what jonah helper you know, does on his on his free time now, there’s importance of someone being trustworthy and having credibility and respect and you can ruin that by what’s going on in your personal life. So there is absolutely a certain amount of of measure that goes into what you’re doing. Discretion, yes, absolutely absolute discretion. But because people look and people see and if you want them, if you want them to give you their money and to trust you with their money to accomplish a certain good, if they think that you are not a trustworthy person because of the way you live or your reckless in some way or form, then that obviously is going to hurt you on the business side. But i think that things that are whether it’s politics or religion, you can agree, be respectful and you can agree to disagree and i don’t think that will ah, bill deepti, be a deal breaker. In fact, what i find is that when people know jonah helper father for jonah helper, you know, his religious level or his political involvement that just shapes me as a person, and i find that the people who have become fast friends within become my donors are people who become friends and in a bigger way than just, you know, thank you for your check, and i’ll keep your loophole. You’re good how the good work is, you know, playing out it’s become more friends, i think a good example that is, when i had, you know, a couple of my last children, i would get presents from some of my donors because it was clear that i wasn’t just fundraiser was jonah halper, of course, you know, help her father. Father? Yeah, yeah, so that s so there’s, of course, abounds there, okay? And i see that playing more now in our presidential election year i politics come up more in conversation that with donors, potential donors when i’m with clients, then you know, then even just six, six or eight months ago, if you’re too highly spackled like if you’re like, you know what i mean? Spite i i was like, like, mr clean jeans, there’s no power there’s no depth to you outside of your job, people are not going to find a way not going can connect with you, there’s not gonna be that human connection because your justice, you know, tom aton doing the work of your organization and you’re not a human being. So i think i think those other things that add flavor, not color and deep in the relationship, obviously again with certain amount of discretion depends on how you live your life. But but, yeah, i think that’s so important people realize who you are as a person and even not just as you’re, you know, you mentioned social media, but just in conversation, you know, you don’t have to be the raging donald trump or bernie sanders fan. You could be respectful of the other person and say, you know, you know, o r, you know, maybe you don’t even need to in a conversation say what your aspirations are and who you hope will win just oh, you know, okay, yeah. He’s cool or hillary’s lullabies finite. You know, matt, i see points in her, and most people are not going to say who do you stand? Who do you want? You know, they’re not going to challenge that way and that’s another thing also is that when there is a conversation where you want this is that you have a position or you feel strongly about something, i think that if you’re open minded person or healthy person, those those conversations can be interesting without devolving into, you know, for violence. So i think i think that you could you could have those conversations, and just by virtue of the business, you have those conversations because you could be at a country club, you could be on the golf course, and you’re not talking business for ninety percent of the time you’re talking family talking politics, you talking religion and time all the things that everyone talks about. S o yet you have to be kind of present and in that experience and be really yeah, and you want to get beyond the small talk? Yeah, you make the point that your donors, you know, we’re looking for common ground, so we start conversations often with weather right? Because everybody shares that. But, you know, if that goes on for more than like a minute and a half, i start to get antsy way got to get further than the weather, and they know why you’re there like there’s, no qualms that the reason why you’re in their offices because they talk about the mission in vision of your organisation, what you hope to do and why you need their money. So it’s it’s not like you pulled the wool over the eyes. We’re talking, you know, baseball and the next thing you know, we’re talking money. They know why you’re there so it’s just a matter of of guests making the connection, finding the connection, whether it’s through friends, your common connections, whether it’s, tio shared interests, whatever case, maybe, but they’re expecting the having a deeper conversation about what you’re doing, and they respect you for what you’re doing. You know, this is that was this is the business that you chose to be in your raising money for a worthy cause and making wonderful impact. So there’s nothing to shy away from its not fund-raising is not a dirty word here a lot. Of these traits, but all of these traits, or that you’re seeking in fundraisers, can’t be hyre ascertained from a from a resume, and you mention this in the book, too, that that, you know, it’s a personal business, you want to meet people before? I mean, obviously there’s gonna be a personal interview, but you don’t find resumes, a very valuable tool for recruitment, basically what i’m saying, right? I think i think in general you’ll find word of mouth is always the strongest, you know is whether you’re looking for new business or whether you’re looking tto find their best people. Companies around the world have wonderful policies where there’s incentives if you refer people to the company and they get a job there for existing employees. There’s a reason for that? Because if you’re willing to put your reputation on the line to bring someone in who you think would be a good fit for the company, then that then that person has a better chance of being a good person as opposed to just another resume and an inbox so there’s absolutely value ah, stronger value and sitting in front of somebody and interacting with them. In a in a real way to be able to determine if they’ve kind of got the personality and the kind of the gumption to do the work and do the fund-raising i needs to get done that you will never be able to get by just looking at a piece paper. Yeah, how poised are they right? Right? I mean, you might think, well, you know, the interview is an artificial, um, environment and there’s high stress, you know, for the interviewee, but so is fund-raising i mean, if you’re meeting a donor for the first time, that’s a bit of high stress, a potential donor for the first time, actually, if i could show a quick story that i think way don’t really care way stay in the abstract, i don’t know i love no, we love stories. All right, so it’s interesting. You say that you know, it’s high stress experience interview process. When i got my first job, i met with i want to like a job fair, for it was for the jewish federation system, which is like the united way for the jewish community and it was a national it was the national umbrella. Organization that hosted this job fair and there must have been twenty different cities represented the had their own local jewish federation, and i went to this Job fair is super green 20 year old kid, i did not even know what i was applying for. I was like, i want to help the jewish community that’s all i knew, i didn’t know fund-raising know anything on i start interviewing for all these jobs called campaign associate? I thought political campaign no, no campaign means fund-raising so i didn’t know that when i was interviewing, but i’m all the interviews that i had, there were what you’ve described grilling me, you know? What would you do in this scenario? And then you’re at an event and this happens, you know, a lot of that kind of stuff. And as someone who is new, that was jarring. I didn’t know even what to proud of process that what the right answer was this is the wrong answer. There was one organization there representing one federation there from baltimore, maryland, with me who ended up becoming my first boss kind of ruin the punch line there, but he didn’t ask me any. Questions about fund-raising or non-profit what would you do in a difficult situation? Not none of it. It was. What books do you like to read? You like wwf wrestling? Or is it calling out? It was all of this random stuff, and i sat with him for forty five minutes, and we just, like, talked and at the end of the forty five minutes there’s, like, all right, we’re done, and i was totally confused because especially in context of all the other interviews that i just had, this one was like, like, he was, like, wasting my time. Yeah, i got to call backs. He was one of them and i ultimately went to baltimore ended up starting my career in baltimore for three years there, and i finally mustered the courage to ask him. Obviously, once i have the job because i want to, you know, scare amount of hiring me, i said, you know what? Why did you hire me? He said, you have a nice smile, you carry a good conversation, the rest you’re going to learn on the job, and that was very powerful because that was him sitting across from a and saying is he a nice guy? Does even nice smile? Is he? Is he great interact with? Because that part is harder to teach the art and that’s the part that you master that from high school is a part that i like god it’s trial by fire? Exactly. I got that out of high school, but that was something that was a lesson that i’ve taken with me since then to know that you were a you hire the right person not to fill a position where a lot of the other ones were, they were looking to federals phil position, and they’re trying to determine my skills if i was good for that position, but rather he said, here’s a guy who i think has potential, i’m going to hire him and i’ll obviously augment the position to be right for him and b he was looking at me for my potential here’s, somebody on dh what i was able to present on the emotional and the human side, the science of how to go out there and raise money. I had no doubts the twenty year old kid you could learn what do you like it? Outstanding so so you had clarity, you were you were clear about who you were. You exuded confidence, no doubt and and and led to the hyre yeah, okay, all right, what are the traits? What else do you like to see in individual fundraisers before we get to that? This clarity of organization around mission and things like that? What else do you like to see in a fundraiser? So, obviously, you know, one of the one of the most important ones is, you know, and they often they they even say it on resumes on a job, but descriptions is, you know, self starter, but i want to dive labbate deeper in that idea of being that kind of entrepreneurial person to get out there and create new relationships, because when you are an entrepreneur, whether you work for a big company organization or you are on your own, a fundraiser is somebody who has to build their own network. If you’ll come into a new city or a new organization, you’re not necessarily hopefully, you’re not just picking up the dozen are one hundred donors that already giving you’re going out there and raising new money, and that requires you to be a self starter to say okay. Where are these people? Who would be interested in supporting this cause? How do i get introduced to these individuals? How doe i interacted them? How do i stay in touch with them? And all those kind of skills require you not sitting on your couch eating bon bon. Sorry. If that’s your approach, then it’s not gonna work if you want to be sitting behind a desk. It’s not going to work, you have to be somebody who enjoys the thrill of going out there and and making those contacts so that’s that’s one of them, you know, main things that i that i look for, somebody who has that kind of drive to kind of get out there and make it happen as if you’re building your business. Because you aren’t your house. You’re building your network, your own proverbial roll independent for your business, it’s, for the good of the mission. Exactly. All right. So let’s, go to the organization side being being clear and confident on the organization side because we want to be successful in our dating relationship with our donors. Come, you want a clear clear statement of mission. Somebody like you like eight word mission even right? So that’s a lot. A lot of you know, the consultants who will help the organisation shape their mission has to be concise. It has to be super concise. You know what you could share with somebody on one floor trip up in the elevator, right? It’s? Really? What? Who are you? What? What? What’s the organization. And if your job is tio and malaria deaths done, we’re in the business of ending larry desk. You’re not waxing poetic about how you’re going to do it and buy what deadline you just want to be able to say mission is what you’re in the business of doing. So you should be able to clearly say, like you said, you know, eight words or, you know, one sentence, this is what we’re in the business of doing. The only thing you might claire qualify it with maybe his location like right ending malaria deaths, west africa, right, right. That’s tied to your containers? Yes, exactly. If you if you are central africa and that’s your job and that obviously is in their mission statement. Absolutely. But again, it’s. Not going on about, you know, your values and the vision for this it’s just clearly what you’re in the business of doing much kruckel sip of water because it looks like your first thing. Andi, i will suggest that we talked about so the mission you have some examples of missions in in the book, remember? I mean, charity water is very brief form, so i’m obviously a big fan of charity water. They bring clean water to basically to the people in africa and, well, it’s interesting they limited to africa and it’s a whole nother conversation about the scope of their vision, but they do of many, many different villages in central africa, on some other areas as well, but basically they are fund-raising organization and the fund water projects on the ground, so they don’t actually drill themselves. They have organizations on the ground doing the drilling, but they are a fund-raising organization that funds those those well projects, and they’re one of the organization has a very concise mission statement. Yeah, a lot of them dio i’m trying to think it was your forjust certainly particularly well, no, just that was one example you cite. Some of the books so people have to buy the book way can give the whole book about paige, expect this only non-profit radio this’s not provoc radio should expect you should have high expected. Yes, but we can’t bring you all two hundred rich pages. Yes, of data. And i would have come with a list of the mission statements prepared. Dahna okay, after mission, we’re moving to our vision. Yes. Now we’re getting a little more detail. Yes. So so and when you talk about vision, obviously i’m doing it through the context of dating and relationships. You know, vision is where you’re headed. So when i talk about dating when you’re dating for a purpose, right, you’re looking to find somebody who can spend you know, whether it’s rest your life with our meaningful part of your life. The idea is to find somebody who wants similar things, as you, you know, using the dating analogy. Do they want to have children? Do they want to live in the city or the suburbs? Do they want to be? Yeah. Primary breadwinner. Both, you know, both working whatever the case may be. But these air important conversations you have when you’re dating someone seriously, where we headed together is unit because if you’re not on the same page of one wants children and it’s important to him, and the other one doesn’t want children that’s probably a deal breaker, so so, you know, the correlation to fund-raising is that i am and discovered that in my first marriage kayman oh, there you are, bring i could bring some case study in on the way outside our competition advice to se eso eso eso when i was so when you’re when you’re doing the fund-raising business cerini fund-raising business and you’re and you’re looking to get someone to support your cause, you’re not supporting your cause for what they are. It is now right? You’re not we’re break, we bring clean drinking water to central africa that’s not the case that’s gonna get someone open their wallet, what’s going to get them to open the wall is this is where we are now, but this is where we’re headed, and if they buy into the idea of where you’re headed, then they’re going to support you. So if they like, if they see that vision of your organization is the white picket fence with the dog and the tire swing, then they will support you. They’re not here to fill holes or to cover your gaps in your budget. They want to know that you are a viable organization and you have some great things in mind and you’re headed in their group great direction. So that’s, what i talk about vision and through the dating perspective is the idea that you’re selling somebody on where you’re headed. We need a break. Wagner cps, here’s an excerpt from their latest testimonial quote, they’re accessible, they care about their clients end quote, can you say that about your accounting and ordered firm? Go to the site weinger cps dot com, check out their credentials, check out their clients, then you know how i like to do it. Pick up the phone and talk to you. Eat huge tomb regular cps dot com now time for tony, take two. I’ve got three new videos, all on the same subject. Build your grantmaker relationships that may sound familiar to you. It was on the show a month ago that was february sixteenth. Now it’s in video repurposed you see different format and perhaps you learn better by video that’s possibility. Although then you’re probably making a mistake listening to non-profit radio audio podcast. If you learn better by video, then you’re wasting your time right now. Right now, this minute, the second that you’re spending this thing to me right now. Right now. Now, this one right now, it’s wasted it’s wasted, squandered, um, or maybe just a little interested in video, but you also like audio so let’s go on that hypothetical because otherwise you would’ve turned me off already. And then you’re not even gonna know what the videos were about because you already shut me off ten seconds ago. This is what the videos are. They are three versions of the panel that i moderated at the foundation center. We have the full version. That is roughly ninety minutes. There’s the broadcast version roughly fifty minutes. That’s. What you heard on the show back in february and there’s the executive summary, which i pared down the whole ninety minutes to about ten minutes. Chopped it. But you know, executives, you know, they never get we all know this, right? The executives never know the full story they don’t get into the weeds. So if you want the executive summary, you can have it for about in about ten minutes, but do it do so at your own peril? I would say there’s lots of good advice from this panel for the foundation center. You remember it, you know it was a couple weeks ago, but in case you want a fuller version, you know, then you got the link to the ninety minutes. If you want to hear the broadcast version again by video for some reason, maybe you learn better by video, but let’s not get into that morass. Anyway, i got videos for you, and if you wantto, if you want to refresh your recollection that’s a that’s, a term of art in the law, by the way, refresh, you’re talking to a witness and you give them a writing, a paper and that’s used to refresh their recollection. It would be admissible just for that purpose. So if you want to refresh your recollection, then maybe you want thea the broadcast version or the executive summary. Let’s see this? Those of the panel is on grantmaker relationships and we are going to continue with that. We continued with that the following week, some losing myself. So if you if you ah phew, like if you come in and out of the podcast and is only some you listen to some you don’t you want to know that grantmaker sze we talked about twice there was this there was this panel from the foundation center that i moderated, and then the week after was, um, john hicks from d l b remember dylan’s like bull picks, so if you are interested in grantmaker relationships, you feel like you’re not doing well in grantmaker relationships, you’ll want to check out the videos and also that show that was that followed with john hicks. All right, we’ve got my video with links to these three versions of the video that is at tony martignetti dot com. Now let us return to jonah helper, the wise and the wise and experienced jonah helper and date your donors. Okay, jonah helper. Thank you for your indulgence, sir. Hey, you do you freely with ntcdinosaur provoc? I think i actually attended. Not last year, the year before that, and it was amazing there was yes, it was. I had a first all they had, like, big band on stage. You’re talking about twenty fourteen. It might have been twenty. Forty, right? Yeah. I had a fantastic time. It was and it was in california. It was in san francisco that year. I loved it. I mean, they were great. The organizer’s there were we’re fantastic. Yeah. Okay. I think that was twenty. Thirteen. Twenty fourteen. Was my first one there in washington, d c okay, so they alternate east, mid and west sametz been so twenty three years ago. Yeah. It’s a it’s a lot of smart people, they had a big band on stage. It was i mean, it was heaven enchantment, and it was like, well, i wasn’t expecting that andi conference in general gave me that kind of flavor. It was with the sessions or great, the people in the hallways, you know, i always love the hallways, the hallways of the best because that when you meet, you always meet the best people in the hallways. Sessions are good because you can hear the training and they’re in their and the great sessions, but there’s nothing better than being able to just bump into somebody and find out they’re doing amazing work, and it could be a small church in virginia, and they’re doing phenomenal things that you could apply to your organisation in some, you know, specific instance, i love that, yeah, that kind of randomness on dh and the ntc, the non-profit technology conference did that for me. We were talking about your organization and and its mission and vision statements, and you also want, you know, you want organization to be clear about who their primary customers are and not two morph into something that you really don’t belong doing or being with or, you know, again being true to yourself, being say more about that. Yeah, so so, you know, make a good story that i heard from my friend nancy lublin, who is the founder of dress for success, and was then chief old person of do something dot orgryte, which is thine engagement. So the fact that she was, you know, not a team made her the old productions on crisis text long theo, of course treyz his text leinheiser heard one. She started well shouldn’t start do something, yeah, but she might as well have started because where i’m going with that story on dh, everything she touches turns to gold and that’s, not luck, i mean it’s, she is a a tour de force. I mean, she is unbelievable, but the story that she she shared with me was that when she came to do something that or go it was a centres was a brick and mortar centers around the u s where teens we could get involved, and it was founded by melrose place actor shoe, and it was andrew shoe his name was on and it was it was a floundering organization. They were having a major major problems, and they were presented when she came aboard with an opportunity for i don’t know where the dollar amount was my been two hundred fifty, three hundred thousand dollars from the company that that said build a teen center near our call center like near, you know, our operations and, you know we’d love to have a teen center over there. And nancy, as the new ceo of the organization of deuce of do something that orc sa declined the money and an organization that is starving for cash. Yeah, so it it seems to be like, you know, like, what are you doing? You know, your new new new kid on the block here on dh you’re turning down this money and when she brought her into the offices or, you know, in in our offices, she sat down with the leadership in legends like, how how badly do you want this job? You know, your seemed to be kind of walking your way out of it and she said, you know, you need to trust may because this is not the future of do something that i do something right, forget the dot org’s it’s not future of do something to have all these brick and mortar, you know, places for students to kids to come together, it needs to be online and she after that point shut down all the physical locations, took the whole thing online, rebranded to do something as do something dot or ge and and is now getting forget the corporate dollars that she turned away the two hundred thousand tens and tens of millions of dollars they get and primarily comes from from companies so arab hostile will partner with them for teens, for genes. They found that homeless teenagers the number one thing that they wanted were a pair of jeans. Why? Because i don’t have to be washed every day and its owner’s homeless, he doesn’t have access to clean clothes, a pair of jeans are cool enough, you know, generic and cool enough that you could wear and where without having to clean them every day. And that was something that homeless teenagers wanted, and they partnered with aeropostale for kids who had no better privilege to donate their genes threw in the store. It created a tremendous amount of foot traffic into air apostle, and that was vow valuable to them, the co-branding was strong, and it turned out to be a wonderful partnership, and they’ve just replicated that that kind of model of companies adopting programs, supporting their their their operations, it they have done tremendous amount, because so your point they were focused on the mission of, of serving young adults who want to volunteer, and it was not going to be a brick and mortar place. It was going to be online and because she was paying attention to that and not the dollar, she was able to take this organization which was floundering, and make it the powerhouse that it is today. And that she’s now entrusted in the hands of the other time the chief operating officer, aria finger she’s, now the ceo of do something that oregon are on ours, but on non-profit radio toy. So there you go as ceo and as ceo. And then and then they spun that off because, yes, okay, i said yes, because our online they’re able to serve millions and millions of teens like five million’s i mean, they have, and they have this big treasure trove of data. Yes, about teen engagement and know how to engage them in issues. I think they’re think their sweet spot is, like sixteen to twenty five or so. And then beyond twenty five, they used your primary money is coming from companies. Big data or data is so important. So because that’s the case then, like, you know, think that something that you mentioned earlier about how nancy level went into crisis text line that was born out of the fact that they were getting texts, emergency tests, tech of young adults who are suicidal, we’re getting abused or things along those lines and as an organization as there to help people, what do you do with that? They weren’t equipped, they were equipped. And then they found the typical the standard nine nine eleven was not going to be able to handle us, especially for the digital age where people are going on their cell phone and there more comfortable hiding in the bathroom on their cell phone and texting somebody on emergency, they needed to do something. So that kind of stuff has outgrown has grown out of do something dot or ge and that’s? Why, you know, have crisis tax line? So it is there’s so many wonderful examples that you can see where, especially in their story, where they straight stay true to their mission. And if it wasn’t if if if emergency texting was not right for do something dot or ge, they didn’t just, like, expand the mission to fit under, do something out or they made it crisis that’s now a new organization, nancy’s now the head of that, and that was a new thing. It wasn’t like mission creep and now we’re doing, you know, we’re solving another problem. They started a new organization with all focus on your primary custom. Absolutely cool. All right, after we’ve started this relationship, we need to keep it going. And you call this i don’t have a name. That chapter was somewhere you say from lust toe love s o the analogy, the relationships going off you’re so so we all know this and in our in our our own relationships, you know, your boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever it is at the early, early part of the relationship, this tremendous amount of lust, right there is the attraction it’s, new it’s, fresh it’s, exciting and that’s so important because that is going to be, you know, the chemistry needs to be there that’s vital to the success of meeting new people and starting to develop a relationship with them. But it needs to mature right in there is if the relationship is only on that’s. The part i missed in high school. Yeah, the maturity and the whole thing. And during the last night, i had a lot of lost. But you know what to do with it all i’m in the same boat, my friend. S o so yes, so so that that has to mature. So if you get somebody to become a donor of your organization shin right, they may be enamored and they might be a beautiful organization. You could be a charity water you could be, you know, do something that or go any of these clauses that are gorgeous. I mean, they they look gorgeous, their offices a gorgeous they just have got that locked down, but it needs to mature. And it was the relationship with them needs to be more than just face value and it’s not just i’m excited to be part of this, you know, sexy organization. It needs to mature to say, look, i’m a partner. I’m somebody who’s not just early part of the job. I’m a partner. I’m in this for the long haul. I want to help them grow, whether it’s capital improvements, whether it’s, you know the infrastructure, whether it’s special projects, whatever the case may be, i want to see this organization grow from where it is now and where it’s headed. And that means that the relationship needs to mature where they have a greater stake in the game. And that means lino much like in our own personal relationships, where we might do certain milestone things, like move in together, there needs to be that kind of advancement, that kind of moves management and to use, you know, fund-raising jargon to take that relationship from one that’s courtship and maybe a first gift to now increase that support over time. Part of this is a plan. So when you have, we need to be more structured maybe then are in on our dating side and our our relationship side. But we need stewardship plan, basically, what belongs in our stewardship. So i like to talk a lot about new donorsearch accusation because, you know, you mentioned if you have something as a donor and you want to keep one of the chapters is called, keep the fire alive, right? So that you want to put some good practices in place. You know, i talk about there in the in charge of keeping the fire alive and latto kind of moves that move that relationship along, that you should treat someone like an investor or treat them like family right now, or and and and and while it may sound like that’s ah, dichotomy that’s outside the investor way investors or relationships, right? Are you treating me like, like, a business transaction or so the nice thing is that it’s not mutually exclusive because what happens is in your relationships, there are absolutely expectations. If you if we decide tony, you and i decided we’re going to move in together, right? What? We have a wonderful relationship. We love each other. We have a wonderful relationship. We want. We’re going to move in now, and we’re gonna have it going to take it to that one. Quote. Next-gen metoo do this by the way, if your way, my wife, my my feelings in indianapolis. So nobody listens to this show so you don’t worry about it. Word getting out exactly right. Good. We could talk after, okay. So, so if if we want to take that to the next level, is there anything truly different about our relation with each other? Do we love each other anymore? The moment that we are now in the same apartment. No. Right. There’s? No inherent change. That happens between the way you feel about me and i. Feel about, you know, the decision that we’ve decided with it. What we have done is we’ve increased expectations on each other that there’s a certain kind of shared life now that we have that’s more than we had before because we’ve said that this is a priority cubine dark commitment deepen our commitment. So now, now that we’ve deep in our commitment, i am now have a certain level of responsibility to you, right? You have there’s a certain level of investment that i’ve now made, right? Then i know how to manage that’s, like just know if i move in with you and i lived like a single person, right? I don’t care about your feelings. I know it was anything of the week before when we weren’t living together. It was any behaving the same way. But now that we live together, i have a new set of standards that i have to abide by, and it’s me and it’s mutual, right? You have expectations toe on me. I have expectations on you and that’s. Not a bad thing. It’s a it’s a healthy thing, but what happens is i need to meet those expectations. So if i wanted if i if you’ve given me something, if you give me money a cz a fun as ah someone who’s going to give money a donor and i take that money. The relationship starts that right? It’s not thank you for your gift. I’ll speak to you next year. It’s. Now that i’ve taken your ten thousand dollars, i have a responsibility to you to make sure that you know how your money is being spent. Oh, so this gets to our city. Our stewardship plan? Yes. Oh, starts appointed stewardship plan is that when i get to give, when i when i get money from a donor it’s, not just another box to check off and say okay, i got this gift. I got to go get another fifteen or twenty other gifts. Tto meet meet mike. Now, how are we going to right this should how so, how do you really take this? And deep deep in that relationship so there’s everything from leadership roles. There’s these opportunities when it comes to getting them to open up their own home and their own network a lot times people think that if you ask somebody to do favors for you favors going, quote, like open their home for a party meeting or to give your cause that’s burning equity that deepens relation because e-giving to you. So finding ways to cement leadership positions for them to spend more time in your offices. And when i mentioned treating like investors and treat them like family, why should they only have a relationship with you? Right? You are representing an organization, there’s. Some other wonderful people in the office is it’s. Some of the best donors and leaders i know come into the organization and they say hello to everybody from the person at the front desk to the person in the mail room. They know everybody because this is their family now. So those types of opportunities that ways to kind of systemized that are important you could see in the book the whole bunch of suggestions for that. All right, we’re gonna go further. We gotta take a break. But don’t go a little more into this idea that asking people asking donors and volunteers to doom or is not burning them out. It’s deepening the relationship and not doing that could burn them out. So stay with us, you got to take a break. Tell us the credit card and payment processing company. You check out the video at tony dahna slash tony tell us and that is going to explain that long, long tail of passive revenue that you can enjoy when the companies that you refer joint tell us. And you, the non-profit earned fifty percent of everything tellers gets the video. Is that tony dot m a slash tony? Tell us now, back to jonah helper asking people to do more. Yes, whether they are donors or board members, this is not typically does not lead to burn out. What leads to burnout is give me your your annual gift. And now give me your annual gift a year later and a year later and there’s no substance beyond you’re giving, right, right. So the so let’s talk about i want to take a cold pill that back little bit. Because i think a lot of the fear of asking people to do more comes some of the fear of asking in general, especially asking for money. You know, fund-raising is not a dirty word. And i know so many professionals and leaders. In the business of consultants, talk about how it’s not a dirty word, but i kind of tied into the relationship side of things in the sense that when you’re asking for money from somebody, if it’s devoid, if it’s void of a relationship, right, if we’re just asking and you’re dialing for dollars it’s, it’s, it’s taking the relationship out of it and it’s just making us and no one enjoys all transactions for that and no one loves that no one likes to do that that’s terrible when there’s a real relationship in that leads to money it’s beautiful and obviously you can hear the correlation between like sex and relationships. If it’s just mechanical and there’s no relationship behind it, it may be fun. You may get the gift let’s not underestimate great, but but my point is this is probably not going to be a sustainable long term strategy. You’re not going to get somebody that may give you one time, but it’s not going to be a capacity gift. They could probably give you a lot more than what they’re giving you and you’re and it’s not like there’s any relationship behind it, so if you’re if you’re going to go after those easy shots like that, then you might get lucky, right? Teo? But but in the end of the day, if you if you develop a real relationship than the asking for money, is the exact opposite of a negative experience is the most powerful, empowering, beautiful next up in that relationship that makes people go? Yes, i’m i’m in this i’m in this relationship, i’m in it for the long haul. So it’s it’s kind of it’s kind of that double edge sword where fund-raising could either be a terrible, terrible experience, transaction transaction, a wallet with legs, right? Yeah, you know, it’s the sex appeal of just the fact that they have money versus somebody who’s, a partner partner in the cause and he’s excited about the vision and wants to see that succeed and right on dh wants to do more than just give exactly you’re not going to know that until you start asking, even if it’s just give it’s done in the context of i am partnering with you and the way i’m doing, doing my share is by giving you money because if you’re going to be on the ground drilling wells or curing our ending malaria deaths or, you know, providing needs for special needs children, i’m not as a donor, i may not be the expert on how to do that, but i know if i give you money and i trust the experts, it will get done and that’s fine, they built, they’ll become a partner in dollar and that’s fine, but it’s not a transaction, it’s more than that because they they are bought into the vision of the organization, all right, on a part of getting people to buy in and having them feel insiders is sharing the occasional downside failure. Yes, i’ve seen i’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly on this. I’ve seen organizations that are afraid to share information with their donors on day worrying about it. It’ll burn relationship, and those tend to be the relationships that were never strong to begin with. But the there are wonderful examples of how failure or you know where something did not work and it may not be, you know, gross of, you know, abuse or are you no mistrust think some things just don’t work and you know you put your your organization on the line, you try big things and it doesn’t pan out it’s a wonderful opportunity to deepen the relationships. Okay, i’ll give you ah, quick story example, i was in scott harrison who’s, a ceo and founder of charity water in his office, and he was telling me about early on and charity water before it was like, the very sexy, very sexy that, like what it is today hey told me early early on, he had a couple people on staff on payroll, they were doing their first projects, and they were going to go by that it belly up, they did not have the funds for payroll, they they were really desperate, and scott told me that he sent out a number of, like, blow, you know, emails to people who are in his periphery, you know, just to these donors and basically say, like, i need help, i need help, we’re in trouble, we’re doing great work, it wasn’t just like, you know, bail us out was like, we’re doing amazing work, but we’re in trouble. And one individual guy named michael birch, who was the who’s, a tech entrepreneur hey was the founder of bebo, which is a british base like social network from the nineties, like i bought by, i think, a well for eight hundred million dollars and he’s done not numerous projects that also brought in a lot of money, but here was a guy, michael birch on dh. He responded to scott and said, i’m happy to meet next time i’m in the new york area, i think he was in san francisco and he meets with with scott and scott in-kind of bears, a soul tells, tells him everything going on and, you know, they’re doing great work, but it’s just not catching on. They’re breaking their teeth and it’s just not happening, and michael birch gives him some recommendations gives him some advice, and then he says, i’ll see what i can do, you know, as faras giving you a little help, so he goes home. I don’t know how many days it was, you know, whatever was in the story that scott told me, but scott told me that he was sleeping in bed and his phone went off. I know texts or phone call, but was from michael birch and say, he said i sent you some money. I’m wiring it to your account. I hope it helps, and skye trembling opens up his bank account and there’s, a one million dollar gift that was sent from michael birch to charity water. And that was that trust that michael had, and he was really kind of like the one of the first major donors that they had that kind of went all in on them. He was somebody after hearing the troubles and tribulations, but was bought into scott harrison, who is, you know, the personality, come on, the mission that he stands behind and said, this is something i want to support, and they turn that negative in a tremendous partnership into this day michael and his wife are huge supporters of charity water. Everybody is not perfect in ceo land. You talk a little about flawed characters. Yeah, because because with this natural, you know, things don’t always go perfectly. We might even make mistakes. I mean, that that was not a mistake, that scott sure that’s got made, but but things don’t always go perfectly, and we know that from our personal relationship characters in history succeed. Yeah, i mean, so we all know this from our own personalized ships, you know, sometimes you date somebody, it doesn’t work out, and it goes down in flames, sometimes amicable, sometimes it’s definitely not their, you know, whatever it is, whether it’s dating marriage were human rights. It’s the human condition um so in the nonprofit world it’s true as well, we don’t have, you know, perfect relationships, and there are times where you butt heads with a person that you’re involved with a lay leader of volunteering your organization, and you might no longer be the right person to have that relation with them might be somebody else. It might be something that you can work with them and see through tio, but the communication and like any relationship and i talk about in the book about commune importance of communication, you can either work through it or if it’s, you’re not the right person to either find somebody else. If they are bought into the cause, if if it’s the cause they care about, they might be ableto be kind of handed off to somebody else. And if it’s destructive, which sometimes, you know, a fraction of the small fraction of the relations are and it’s not in the best interest of the organization for them to be aligned with his lay leader donor evan, if they give a lot of money and it could hurt the organization, you gotta cut your losses and pull out so there’s. Absolutely. Ah, whole spectrum on relationships and how you handle them. Depending on what’s the best interest of the organization. We’re gonna leave it there. The book is date. Your donors did your donor dot com and you’ll find jonah he’s at jonah helper. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Congratulations again on the book. Oh, thank you for having me next week. Continuing this theme with your intentional stewardship plan. If you missed any part of too today’s show i’d be seat. You find it on tony martignetti dot com were supported by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuant radio red jersey piela is guiding you beyond the numbers. Regular cps dot com and tell us credit card payment processing, your passive revenue stream. Durney dahna may slash tony tell us our creative producer is claire miree family boats in the line producer producer. The show’s social media is by susan chavez, and this music is by scott stein. You with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. 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