Tag Archives: asking matters

Nonprofit Radio for November 2, 2020: Boards And Asking Styles

My Guest:

Brian Saber: Boards And Asking Styles

Brian Saber returns with his new book, “Boards And Asking Styles.” Your board’s Rainmakers, Go-Getters, Kindred Spirits and Mission Controllers all need to work with each other, your CEO and your staff. Brian shepherds you through how to make that happen. He’s president of Asking Matters.

 

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[00:02:12.84] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host is non profit radio your favorite abdominal podcast? I certainly hope so. You know there are seven days in a head, Ahmad, Of course, that’s the noun form. I’m so proud of myself. When I discover a new word that I have to open with this on. I want to thank Miriam Webster for sending it to me that I can discover it and be so proud. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. Id Bear the pain of leishmaniasis If you bit me with the idea that you missed today’s show boards and asking styles, Ryan Saber returns with his new book, That’s It. That’s the title boards and asking styles. Very straightforward. No fluff in the title reserved all the fluff for the book. We explore how the asking matters work that he pioneered will help strengthen your board responsive by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o and by dot drives, raise more money changed more lives. Tony dot m a slash dot for a free demo and a free month non tony steak to a November webinar. I’m very pleased to welcome Brian Saber back to non profit radio. He’s president of asking matters home to the asking styles which help people understand and embrace their unique strengths. As fundraisers, he’s spent his entire career asking for money for nonprofits. I’m gonna telethon, Caller. I made your gift officer and executive director and now as a consultant. His first book was asking Styles Revolutionize your fundraising. His latest book We’re Here to Talk About Today is boards and asking styles. A roadmap to success. Asking matters is that asking matters calm and he’s at Brian Saber. Brian. Welcome back to the show. Congratulations on the new book.

[00:02:21.54] spk_0:
Thank you, tony. Thanks for having me back. I’m glad to see that Cove. It has indulged your wit at all.

[00:02:28.16] spk_1:
Thank you for recognizing that I haven’t undoubtable wit. I’m, uh I’m floored by that s oh, what a way to launch. Tony is wit. Uh, it’s not dull. It’s definitely not dull. No,

[00:02:40.64] spk_0:
it is not. We can use all of it that we could get these days.

[00:03:24.74] spk_1:
Yeah, we could use even even my just barely a Ndlela wit. Thank you. Uh, no, you gotta have fun. It’s my show, you know, whatever the hell I want to do, I mean, I just, you know, we’re gonna We’re gonna learn. But if we’re not gonna have fun, I’m not gonna bother personally personal. So lets you Mm. Let’s start out with the asking styles. We gotta lay the groundwork for the for. The handful of listeners don’t know aren’t well acquainted with the asking styles. Let’s lay that framework for folks. Then we’ll see how it helps your board. What’s his asking styles thing? Great.

[00:04:30.64] spk_0:
So the asking styles were developed a decade ago. Now by my co founder, Andre kills dead and myself. We develop them because everywhere we looked in the field, we saw people who said I’m not a fundraiser. I’m not this. I’m not that in particular. We saw it with the boards. Most board members have come onto boards. Will say I’ll do anything but fundraise. I’m not a fundraiser. I hate fundraising. I can’t ask my friends for money and so forth. And we knew how critical boards were to fundraising and that the type of fundraising. We were talking about the more significant gifts that come from developing relationships one on one, that that fundraising was all based on personality and relationship. It was much more art than science, and we had to help people understand where they fit in it so they could be comfortable. So we went about figuring out what makes someone’s asking style. We felt two characteristics. How one interacts and how one thinks were most important, how one acts on the extrovert introvert spectrum, how one thinks on the analytic, intuitive spectrum, and based on that there would be four basic styles and that you fall into one quadrant or another, but with a little bit of another style that no one felt cleanly in one box. There were some people who were uber this or uber that so such analytic introverts, the type of people who sit behind a computer writing code all day and such intuitive extroverts that, you know, creative just floating all over the place. You could never pin him down with massive ideas, but that most of us were somewhere in between had a little bit of this and that and we wanted people understand that. So we created this rubric for the field for the field of non profit to help everyone feel more comfortable and understand how to fundraise more successfully. How to tell their story in their own way from their own strengths. Not to worry about an elevator pitch, not to worry about reciting lots of outcomes measurements if they want to speak from the heart and a different, passionate, visionary way not to worry about that piece of what really sold them was outcomes and goals and plans that they had to speak in the language that was authentic to them. And that would be compelling, uh, to the donor, Teoh, a prospect or a current donor. So that’s that’s what we developed and meeting

[00:06:25.34] spk_1:
meeting board members. I realize this is not only for board members, but that’s our conversation today, and that’s you’re saying that’s where you found it. Most relevant, and then where they where they are, what worked with what you are type of person that you are in the quadrant will identify the quadrants and versus trying to make you something that you’re not, makes you uncomfortable

[00:06:29.20] spk_0:
right, and we started with boards than spent a number of years, much more focused on staff, developing a lot of materials in depth courses in a membership in such a brother. I bought Andreae now seven years ago, which is hard to believe. So I

[00:06:44.65] spk_1:
was going to say Now this started with you and Andrea Kill Stead, who’s been on the show. And then what? You pushed her out. You took her expertise on, then pushed her out for a nominal buyout.

[00:09:47.96] spk_0:
I broke her kneecaps and said, That’s it. Off you go. Um, you know, Andre is a She is a huge go get her. She’s a big ideas person and she has brought a tremendous amount of the field. But it was at her instigation because she said, You know what, Brian? I like really building these things. I have these big ideas. They’re running. It’s not really me, and I can see where you because my secondaries mission controller and I could do this plan full stuff where you would be better at running it and and and Andrea is significantly older than I am. I don’t think she would be bothered by my saying that. So she within a different point in her life and she said, Let’s let’s do this So I took it over. And as you may know, she went on to then build capital campaign, uh, toolkit with Amy Eisenstein. That’s been another great thing in the field. Yeah, so I took it over in, uh, 2013 and have spent the last seven years really developing the styles. Everything from the iconography you see now Thio the application of the styles in many ways, and I’ve got done trainings across the country and lots of conferences that are mostly for staff. And interestingly, I’m now circling back to board. And I’m doing a lot of board work, a lot of board trainings. And out of that came this idea that my second book should really be focused on board. When I started, it was pre now with this and and the the additional complications of being the board member and of running a non profit in many ways, they asking styles or even more important, because boards have to be at their best. In order for the organizations to survive, everyone has to be at the table. Helping to build resource is and everyone has to work together in a collegial way that create some synergy and makes everyone feel like they’re part of a team. And it’s hard to get to know board members anyway, when all you do is meet every two months for two hours and maybe you’re in a committee or two and that those meet once in a while. Now it’s all by zoom. Everyone’s overwhelmed zoomed out, and yet it’s more important than ever for people who feel their team and you have new board members I’ve seen. I’ve been delighted to see a number of announcements lately of organizations that have brought on new board members during this time, which is, you can imagine is challenging. You think of a board member coming thio their first board meeting, sitting in a room and getting to meet and experience other people and see how things really work. And now it’s all by zoom, which is much harder in a very different dynamic. So so, understanding the styles and how everyone interacts is even more important for on boarding a new board member. Look, you work, you get

[00:09:50.28] spk_1:
to recruit when we talk about recruitment to exactly but so Let Tze identify the styles. So you have things to spectrum. You got the analytic, intuitive spectrum, and you have the extrovert introvert spectrum. So if you know, put the extrovert introvert on the vertical and the analytic intuitive on the horizontal, you get four quadrants. So what are those? What are those for?

[00:10:14.26] spk_0:
Eso top left. You get the analytic extroverts. The rainmaker always goal oriented. Uh, driven, competitive. Keep their eye on the prize. Knows they’re succeeding based on the numbers, right? Did I reach this goal? Did I bring this money? Gets to to raise as much money. Then you have the intuitive extrovert top, right? The go getter, big vision thinker. Lots of energy brings people along with their enthusiasm on always sees the opportunities. So is bringing that big passion and excitement about the future. Anything’s possible. Then you have your intuitive introvert, your kindred spirit. Feelings oriented. I am primarily kindred spirit were our hearts on our sleeves. Everything is personal for us. No matter how hard we try to make it otherwise. And because we have that, uh, sense of sensitivity, we are sensitive to others. We tend to be very accommodating. We want other people to be heard and feel good and such. Also good skills for fundraising, different from the core rainmaker skills. And not to say a kindred spirit can’t be goal oriented. And a rainmaker can’t be compassionate and attentive on then mission controller. The analytic introvert bottom left. The Eagle Scout who always gets the job done. Very methodical, systematic plan ful and best at sitting back and listening and absorbing what’s happening. Great listener and observer, which, as we know, is so key to fundraising. So those the styles and they all complement each other and work well together can sometimes frustrate each other. But, um, but those are the styles,

[00:12:01.78] spk_1:
okay? And we each way each most likely have ah, primary and a secondary correct. So you’re you are kindred spirit and mission controller.

[00:12:13.21] spk_0:
Yeah, I am pure introvert. They which surprises people since I do so much public speaking and training. So people who know about the acting profession of lots of actors actually are shy or introverted, and you get in front of an audience and you do your thing.

[00:13:37.94] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They help you build relationships with journalists because of a relationship built by turn to the New York community. Trust got to features in The Wall Street Journal. That’s what happens when you have the existing relationship. And then when you want to be heard, the newspapers, the outlets, they take your calls. But you gotta have the relationship set up ahead of time. That’s what turn to is gonna help you do build those relationships. They specialize in working with nonprofits. One of the partners, Peter Pan A. Pento, was an editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The right turn hyphen two dot c o. Now back to boards and asking styles. Perfect example of that. Aside from Brian Saber, uh, I’m seeing a lot of interviews with Sasha Baron Cohen because he has a Borat sequel out, and he has said, I’ve read it in online and I saw an interview with him. Eso he said a couple times. He’s primarily a shy, shy guy, but you know, he has characters who are obviously grandstanding. No, it alls, you know, it’s off, but s Oh, absolutely, And I and you people can go to asking matters dot com and you could find out which one of these you are right. You right. You could just do three minute little three minute quiz or so right?

[00:14:03.18] spk_0:
Exactly. Thank you. Yeah. You want it to be true. False questions. True. False? Yes. No, you know.

[00:14:10.12] spk_1:
And you The site admonishes us. Don’t spend a lot of time e I already did it. I didn’t just do it last night knowing we’re gonna prepare. I already know that. I’m, uh I’m primarily a kindred spirit as well. By birth. I’m a kindred spirit by birth but a go getter by practice and

[00:14:28.55] spk_0:
teach your primarily kindred spirits secondarily. Go getter.

[00:14:31.79] spk_1:
Yeah, secondary. Go get e No. Yeah, yeah.

[00:14:34.64] spk_0:
Pure, pure. Intuitive is what it’s saying. Massive, intuitive. Yeah, a lot of gut on the idea. Not a lot of planning percent. That’s a problem. A problem you got a plan ful person to about right? Yeah,

[00:14:49.44] spk_1:
I know. Now we need all four. But that’s why that’s why I’m not on any boards. Just do it. We’ll look back in six months.

[00:14:57.59] spk_0:
I’m not on any boards either. As a matter of fact, it seems it feels like a busman’s holiday to me. And I’m going when they’re gonna want me to fundraise. Andi. I’m not a big process person. Like go getters are much more into process. So Andre and I, over the years had to figure this out because she was pure process. Idi ated out loud, you know, lots of ideas. She could sit for hours and my eyes would plays over like I can be very cut to the chase. The Mission Control. Okay, let’s just do it. Let’s just lay it out. Let’s just get to the details and do it. And we finally realized that our meetings could only be a certain length of time. And I say all that because that been a challenge for me, with boards and any groups at all where I’m sitting there and I’m a little impatient, like Okay, let’s I just want to move to the next thing. I don’t want everyone talking and processing. I’m happy to go with someone else’s idea. Let’s just move it along. Three.

[00:15:52.31] spk_1:
Our brainstorm session is such a three hour brainstorm session is such a bore?

[00:15:57.24] spk_0:
E identified something in the 1st 10 minutes way Had something in the 1st 10 minutes. What? What did you say? Say it again the idea seemed pretty good to me exactly three

[00:16:11.09] spk_1:
hours ago. We could’ve had lunch and dinner by now.

[00:16:13.21] spk_0:
Exactly. Caught a good movie and come back just for the conclusion. First

[00:16:27.74] spk_1:
it sounded pretty good to me. Oh, right. Exactly. Contrary. Thio Brainstorming ideation session. All right, so, um all right, so let’s apply this to the board. So, as you had said, it helps if we know who is what. What is who on the board. What do we have? Do we have a imbalance of rainmakers and no process people to back them up, you know? Right. So we need tohave way. Need to have a balance,

[00:19:11.44] spk_0:
right? I mean, think of any planning session. Let’s let’s say you’ve got right now. There’s so many issues nonprofits, air facing. So let’s say it’s an issue of Well, what programming do we go forward with knowing that the current conditions are going to probably last into next summer? Okay, let’s make that assumption is aboard. Here we are. What are we going to do? Is an organization so the rainmaker is going to say Okay, well, what’s the goal? Right? What’s the goal of all of this? What outcomes. Do we want what we want to? Um, you know, we want to maintain We want Thio, serve our clients as well as we can. We want to stay fiscally responsible that then you have the go getter. Who’s saying the visionary who saying, Well, this could be the opportunity to pivot right opportunities, not problems, solutions, not problems. Let’s think out of the box. This could be the chance. We were looking for the kindred spirit. The very heart oriented person is saying, Well, we can’t forget the clients. We can’t forget the staff, you know, we need to you know, it’s really important that we come through for everyone, whether it makes the most financial sense or long term sense or not. And the Mission Control is saying Okay, great. I agree that we have that goal. I agree. You know, we could be something different. I agree. We have to care about people. But how are we going to get it done? It has to be realistic. And you can see where If you have an entire board of one or the other, you’re you can’t get the work done, right? Right. You need someone to check what you’re doing. We all need checks and balances and we need different voices. So once you look at the style so that you can see where if you’re going to do strategic planning, you need to have the four styles around the table to come out with a strong plan. Otherwise, you’re gonna have a plan that’s missing either the goal and outcomes or the big picture or the heart or the structure. And then and then you’ve got to fund. Then you’ve gotta work your way back into it Too late. Okay, way made a plan. But now Wow. Turns out we don’t know how toe executed because we didn’t have any mission controllers in the group or, you know, we didn’t think big enough. We went right into the weeds because we didn’t have our visionary in the group and so forth. So

[00:19:39.34] spk_1:
let’s talk about recruitment. If we’re, uh we’re gonna bring folks onto the board. Uh, you want this to be one of the factors I mean, there, there, obviously, you know, we need accountants. Maybe, you know, whatever. Whatever skill sets, you have gaps. And of course, those those really are predominant in your board selection. But you’d love for folks to find out what these potential board members asking styles are. Yes. So send them toe asking matters dot com as your recruiting them.

[00:19:44.29] spk_0:
Yeah, right. Wait three

[00:19:46.87] spk_1:
minutes. They print the report. Okay,

[00:20:13.04] spk_0:
Sorry. We don’t want you any go getters by you know, the reality for almost every night fucking is. We don’t get to pick and choose that much when we’re looking for board members. So some organizations really can. Others, at the very least, though, can say, Okay, we’re looking at our board, and we really seem to be missing kindred spirits. That’s bad. So lets

[00:20:15.89] spk_1:
you gotta have your You gotta have your kindred spirits. That’s

[00:20:18.26] spk_0:
bad. Absolutely. Eso eso when we go out, let’s keep that in mind, right, Because we might have more candidates and way might have more candidates, and we could put on in any one point. We might be bringing people on in classes, and we might want this first class to include another kindred spirit or two, and we might put off other people for a year. So it’s another factor. It’s not just a factor in who to choose, but how to understand who you’re choose, right? How to understand maybe what they’re saying and where they’re coming from. And to be ableto envision how that person would interact on the board, given that person style and the style of the board to get a sense of whether the person fits in or how the person would fit in. So it it not only helps you choose but helps you understand what you’re

[00:21:20.83] spk_1:
and you may not have. As you said, you may not have the luxury of selecting from half a dozen, you know, potential board members. So at least the one person that is before you know what his or her style is. And, as you said, how they’ll how they’ll work with the rest of the board. Right? Okay, okay. And and this applies for the for the CEO to write mean CEO board chair relationship. Don’t we want to know where those were? Those two folks stand

[00:21:40.34] spk_0:
right? I mean, you’re not going to choose one based on their style, but based on their style that they’re going to have different strengths and challenges and in their in their roles as the two leaders and in terms of how they work together. Because you, if you’ve gotto generally, the CEO is reporting to the board share most regularly. If the relationships going well, they’re meeting regularly. The chair is, in a way, guiding the CEO. The CEO is guiding the chair, Um, and so if you’ve got a chair, who’s a go getter and you have a CEO who’s a mission controller, especially when you have people who are diagonal to each other on the grid? Okay, who are you might call them polar opposites. There could be a challenge working together. One wants all this detail, the others flying by the seat of their pants. Ones, you know, very sensitive to criticism. The others just throwing it out there, vice.

[00:22:50.24] spk_1:
Because because if there if there, uh, diagonal diagonal to each other, then you’ve got You’ve got an intuitive extrovert. Uh, no. An intuitive introvert working with an analytical extrovert,

[00:23:15.24] spk_0:
right? I know. As a kindred spirit, intuitive introvert, that rainmakers, thes analytic extroverts can challenge me. I can get a little anxious because they’re very assertive. And for may I read assertive sometimes to personally, they’re not doing anything wrong, right? They’re just they’re being themselves. They’re bringing certain traits to the table, and I’m reading them a certain ways of kindred spirits. So now if I know, uh, this is why we might be having that challenge. We could talk it through and and at least understand each other better, like in any relationship. Um, in any personal friend relationship, any relationship, understanding the other person helps you depersonalize what’s happening.

[00:25:34.41] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Tony is take two. I’ve got a webinar coming up It is. Start your plan. Giving in 2021. It’s a quick shot is gonna be just 50 minutes in and out. We’re gonna talk about what plan giving is how to identify your best prospects, where to start your plan giving program, how to market and promote your new program. And then I’m gonna leave plenty of time to answer your questions, which actually is my favorite and arguably the most important thing. Getting your questions answered. So there’s plenty of time for that. That’s it. Join me. It’s Thursday, November 19th, three o’clock Eastern time, which means two o’clock central, which means one o’clock mountain, which means noontime Pacific. No discrimination here by time zone. I do not discriminate against time zones. Everybody’s everybody’s. Everybody’s got a time. That’s the way it is. So, uh, quick shot. How to start your plan? Giving or start your plan giving start your plan to giving in 2021. You sign up for the webinar at planned giving accelerator dot com slash webinar. I hope you’ll be with me. That is, tony is take two. We’ve got plenty of more time for boards and asking styles You have, ah, formula. I don’t want to scare. People were math, math phobic, but very simple formula. You say teamwork plus camaraderie equals synergy. Yes, what’s behind that involved? There’s no there’s no regression analysis. You don’t have to know absolutely sine or cosine or tangent or or anything

[00:25:34.89] spk_0:
like that. Absolutely nothing. I was thinking. I was trying to think through as I was developing this book, what I wanted to say and why. And I came up with that, that that having the best board a board that really is on fire, if you will to me involved, uh, involves two things or is dependent on two things one teamwork, the ability teamwork is respecting everyone being able to hear other voices, uh, respecting decisions that come out of committee and so forth, respecting everyone sitting around the table and having an equal voice and things like that. That’s teamwork. And, um uh, Michael Davidson who? I do a lot of work with his quote in the book. He’s

[00:26:25.70] spk_1:
He’s been on the show

[00:26:26.81] spk_0:
e adore Michael and I’ve learned so much about governance from him over the last two decades. I’ve known him actually about almost 20 years because we met at Hudson Guilt. He was doing work for them, and I was working for them. Uh, and he talks about teamwork a lot because he’s a rower, as you know, and you have to be a strong team, you’re not gonna get anywhere.

[00:26:52.84] spk_1:
His company logo is is a right right,

[00:27:25.04] spk_0:
the board coach and it’s rowing and he talks about so he talks about teamwork. He talks about how you can do your job. If you don’t know what it is, you won’t do it. If you don’t think everyone else is doing it right, you have to be a team. It’s one of the reasons why I think everyone has to fundraise on the board because that’s what makes the strongest fundraising team. Not having a fundraising committee and saying over those five people are responsible for all the fundraising board is going to dio, so teamwork is very important and camaraderie. You also have to like each other not to be friends, but to you need to find it worth being in someone else’s company. And even if someone is very different from U. S. O. U. And that comes from getting to know people, not Onley sitting around the board table. But in a more familial way, it’s That’s the reason why some of these social engagements just before, after a board meeting, having board members go out to dinner together. All of that is really important. That’s why they do it in the corporate world, right? That’s why there are all these team building events. They build camaraderie, not just on the camaraderie helps the team work. But

[00:28:08.93] spk_1:
I don’t have Thio build the comrade. I don’t have to walk across hot coals barefoot

[00:29:29.74] spk_0:
E No, I wouldn’t do that either way. Okay? Yeah, No way could just have dinner together. We can have dinner together at one organization. I I had. I had board members in rotating groups of 4 to 6 go to dinner after a board meeting. So there were six board meetings during the year and twice a year each board member went out with a different group of people. So everyone got to have dinner with everyone during the year and such. It helped, Um, so when so looking at the asking styles, you can understand better how to work as a team. And you can also understand what, what types of activities would help build camaraderie? Because we’re all not going to like the same things. I, as a kindred spirit, don’t want to go to a big party with the whole board. I’d much rather go to a small dinner or just have a one on one coffee, right? If I could do that with a few board members, over time, I’m golden. I build that relationship if you send me Thio. The board president’s house to schmooze with all the other board members doesn’t work as well for me. Given my style, it doesn’t mean you don’t do it, but just a ZX with training and other things, you have to have a variety of activities to appeal to everyone. Just like you have to let people have a variety of stories to tell their own stories because everyone’s gonna go to tell the different ones. So eso building camaraderie, um, you do have to proactively work it. It part of that it overlaps both is making sure everyone has a voice right that everyone feels they are part of this group, that they’re integral to it, that people hear them see them. And so it goes back and forth, the teamwork and the Senate and the camaraderie. And that’s what gives you the synergy. So that’s how I came up with that concept. Okay? Yes. Okay.

[00:30:38.54] spk_1:
You you talk about Well, actually, before we talk about some process for meetings like making sure voices get heard, you have some concrete ideas. How about a story? Can you, uh, can you share something? In the 20 years of asking styles where you’ve seen a team, whether board or not, I mean, board would be ideal improve their outcomes because they became asking styles aware they became they were red pilled and finally e saw the saw the wisdom of asking styles.

[00:32:40.04] spk_0:
Wow, we’re going there. You? Mm. Well, I constantly hear stories. There’s someone on the website I often hear from from executive director slash CEOs who have these ah ha moments about their board chairs for sure who have these Ah ha moment about their boards, Whose then see the challenge, why their board is so challenged in some way and can address that. Who? Who realized g. I’m providing staff often say I’ve given the board all this information. I don’t know what why they why they keep asking the truth of matter is have they read it all? And if they’ve read it, have they interpreted it all and stuff? And the truth that matter is that we’re not necessarily giving every board member the information they need. So I constantly hear these ah ha moments from staff who say, Now I know what this board member needs. If I’m going to engage this board member effectively in fundraising, this is what I have to give this board member. I’m giving them the wrong information. So I hear that a lot that that has really helped. I did some work with Esperanza Academy, which is a private 100% tuition free and privately funded girl school north of Boston. Um, it might be in Lowell. I’m trying to remember where they are now. On. I worked with their head of development and then did a training herself and said it was extraordinary how how the asking styles moved her board ahead. There was a fundraising in terms of working with each other. It just took it, took them to, Ah, a whole new level. And I think I’ve always felt the beauty of the styles is that she point before you don’t have to know any big logarithms. There’s no jargon or anything. It’s very simply put, e don’t use fund these words and and all of this stuff e talk very plainly about it in the styles are very plain. I don’t try to make this scene like, uh, you know, like the you know, what is it? The theory of relativity, The theory of relativity.

[00:33:20.95] spk_1:
That’s where you get into cosign on C can’t

[00:33:23.16] spk_0:
exactly or pie or whatever Very straight

[00:33:27.13] spk_1:
first, unjust non jargon.

[00:33:29.54] spk_0:
Yeah. And so yes, so tons of ah ha moments. Um uh, respecting people to work with each other differently, working harder to make sure all voices are heard. Um uh,

[00:33:43.66] spk_1:
let’s pick up on that. Voices are heard. You have some. As I was saying, you have some concrete ideas about board meetings, making sure some folks you gotta check with them in advance, etcetera. So what? Her voices get heard at board meetings,

[00:34:04.24] spk_0:
Right? Well, I, for one, virtually never talk in a large group as a kindred spirit of mission controllers Air similar. I don’t often give my opinion in front of a large group. I don’t often ask a question. I don’t take up a lot of time in a group like that. Um, so I might have a very valid and important point that the group needs to hear that the chair wants everyone to hear. And I’m simply not going to express it in the group. And you see the people I trigger. I train all the time. You have guests all the time. You know which guests you have thio work harder, thio, or give the or wait longer to allow them to pull their thoughts together. That’s happening around the board table. And it’s happening even more so now with the video that with Zoom because everyone does tend to talk over each other. It’s hard to know when to stop. It’s harder than it was in person. Looking around the room where you feel it, you feel who’s going to talk next, Right here. You’re not sure. And then two or three people blurt out at the same time. So someone like me is going to be even less likely to participate because that blurting out and talking over someone is more awkward for me. Yeah, so

[00:35:20.44] spk_1:
you get into that rhythm where everybody stops on, then you beats and everybody talks. Everybody stops to more beats everybody, you go ahead. So then they all go ahead to beats later, right? Yeah.

[00:35:31.89] spk_0:
Dance, right. It’s a and I’m not going to do that dance. Necessarily. A lot of people won’t. So So if

[00:35:42.34] spk_1:
I promise that I won’t be, uh, talking over you, I’m just being a smart ass.

[00:35:46.35] spk_0:
Me to s o a chair. A smart chair who really wants everyone’s voice heard and taken into account needs to either reach out to those board members in advance and solicit their opinion or specifically call on them, make time for them right When I train, I look around that room and we’ll actually in advance of training. I will ask the CEO or whoever engaged me. Who should I be watching out for in one way or another who’s going to talk too much? And I’ve got to make sure that person doesn’t monopolize, are training who’s not going to talk because And regardless of what I’m told in advance, I see who’s not participating and I make sure everyone’s participating. It’s not that they don’t want to, or that they don’t have anything to say. It’s just that this is a tough venue for them. Be in a room with 25 other people and all the noise and people talking over each other. So you either have to solicited in advance or solicited in the room or solicited afterwards or send out a questionnaire, asked people by email to tell you in advance, you have to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard,

[00:37:12.83] spk_1:
and that’s a part of teamwork and camaraderie to ZX respect. Yes, yeah, that you’ve become aware. Now you’re red pilled. You know, some people are not gonna speak at the meeting or being very. It’s gonna be uncomfortable for them to do it. You have to make allowance for that. And that s so that builds up your That builds up teamwork and camaraderie. People feel respected there, literally being heard

[00:37:51.73] spk_0:
right now. Some people just, you know, talk a lot and don’t mean to cut anyone else off and want to hear the voice. And then there’s some people who just want to hear their own voice. And actually, one of the pieces of board membership is it’s not for everyone. You have to believe in teamwork. You have to believe that the team comes first. I’m not saying that the styles in any way can identify who would want to be on a team or not, because it’s much more complicated than that. But but there are challenges to group work, and those challenges impact certain styles more than others,

[00:38:12.92] spk_1:
Right? So yeah. All right, let’s talk about fundraising. How does this out of the styles impact board? Fundraising? Yes.

[00:40:53.41] spk_0:
So that we’re working on the whole decade, obviously. Uh, yes. Since they asking style started from a fundraising bend. It’s a very critical ways. The first one which we talked about earlier which is the number one way, is in terms of the story that each board member is going to tell. What is a board member going to stay in the in the most? In the simplest format, you run into someone, and the person said, Well, tell me about X y Z organization. What is it? You is a board member going to say to try to excite that person? What’s your story that is going to be impacted by your style? Whether, as we talked about it, whether it’s very goal on, strategy oriented, visionary oriented, hard oriented plan oriented? Okay, then you have Well, how is each of you going to go about this process of identifying and cultivating and maybe asking for money? And I say, maybe asking because the most important roles Board member, the most important role of board member can have in fundraising in my mind is the identifying, cultivating, thanking, recognizing piece everything but the ask. When it comes to the ask, some board members will ask on their own or with other board members. But in most organizations, you could bring the executive director and head of fundraising or someone else, to sit there in the room with you and actually say, tony, would you consider a gift of $10,000 for X y Z? Um, it’s all the other work that’s so important Thio for board members to help with. And that’s where style really matters. How are you going about going to go about cultivating as a board member? What’s comfortable for you? You have to take into account to some extent what what works for the donor? We don’t know. We usually don’t know the donor style, but if we don’t ask board members to do things they’re comfortable with, they’re going to be reticent about doing them. And they may not do them well, right? Well, I don’t want I don’t want to send my board members out out to slaughter, basically, by sending them out to do things they won’t do well and it doesn’t serve the organization well, so eso I will would think through if I have ah, big special event. My extroverted board members ago ended be better ambassadors of those events than the introverts who don’t tend to go up to people they don’t know and engage them in such. They’re going to be better at one on one effort. Uhh. Some people are going to be better at communication written communication, writing lovely emails with lots of great information in them. Some are going to be better at picking up the phone and having a quick chat on dhe. People will partner in different ways based on their styles.

[00:41:41.91] spk_1:
Time for our last break dot drives that drives engagement dot drives relationships. Dot drives is the simplest donor pipeline fundraising tool. It’s customizable, collaborative, intuitive. If you want to move the needle on your prospect and donor relationships, get the free demo for listeners is also a three month. You know that you go to the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. We’ve got but loads more time for boards and asking styles.

[00:43:06.10] spk_0:
So if I would like, um uh, I have a donor in mind and I bring something. The table is the CEO or the chief fundraiser, a za kindred spirit. I may look around to see who compliments me on the board, right? Or if I’m let’s say I someone has a relationship, OK, Soo is a go getter, and Sue has a relationship to this donor, so I want to go with Sue? Well, I’m a kindred spirit and Susan go getter and whoa! It turns out that our donor is a mission controller. So now how am I going to engage? So what is the best role for Sue? Is the go getter to play? And what might we have to watch out for? Right? How would we wanna make sure Sue doesn’t trip over herself? A za go getter going with me to see a mission controller? So it gives me a road map as the staff member, or certainly is the board members to how I could be effective, what my challenges might be. Even in the initial contact, we talked about this all the time of asking matters that from kindred spirits and mission controllers are much less likely to just pick up the phone and call someone out of the blue, even if it’s just calling to make an appointment. I don’t I never liked the phone, and I feel lucky that most of my career has been in the age of email. I will almost always email first if I know. I don’t know. Well, and I know the donor just wants me to call It is different, but most of the time we don’t know who. Uh, we don’t We don’t know people that well and I’m going to I’m going to write first by email. And if I know a board members that way, I’m not gonna push my board member to pick up the phone. I’m going to say, Do what’s comfortable for you If it’s comfortable to send an email, Do that. If you know the person well enough to send a text and the text. If calling and trying to catch that person is what works for you do that, so I help the asking styles help bring fundraising to the board member in a way that’s palatable.

[00:44:01.99] spk_1:
Got some ideas about you. Caption it. Under keeping board members committed, exposing board members to program Share your ideas there.

[00:44:57.99] spk_0:
Most board members do not experience or or view programming often enough. Board members come to organization excited by what you’re doing. They have a lot of passion. Yeah, I’m on the board now. I’m so committed. I love what you do and then end up spending almost all their time in board meetings that are mostly about procedure and budget and can be very dry the most organizations today or bringing program staff for program participants to board meetings on a regular basis. I hope everyone listening today is doing that, and so board members get some exposure the 10 or 15 minutes every two months. But that’s minimal. Board members have to C programming ideally, in person right now. That’s really hard. Maybe through zoom through video, maybe through a Q and A with various program directors and such. And again, the asking styles will impact what type of interaction will keep board members committed. So if I want to keep my mission controller board member committed, I need to keep focusing on the plans and making sure the board that board member feels good that we’re going about our work in a very methodical, systematic, well thought out way. That’s what and to share all the information about plans because the Michigan that that is the material that the Mission controller board member can absorb and appreciate. I’m not gonna do that for the go getter. The go getter isn’t gonna look at those plans, right? The go getter is gonna wanna have a telephone call with the program director with a or Or meet lots of participants and engage those participants and maybe participate in programs, whereas some people might feel it a little awkward to do that, the go getter will jump right in. So for my go get a board member, I might do that for my rainmaker. You know, a ZX. You can see the same themes keep coming up with this idea of strategy, vision, heart and plan strategy, vision hardened plan. So you got it. You have to bring that to each board member and then bring that into the It’s the meeting.

[00:46:43.30] spk_1:
I would rather you say the heart first. Uh, that’s the kindred spirits. I’ll fix it in post production. I’ll move.

[00:46:55.26] spk_0:
You do that. You do that. The only way I can always keep everything straight is to always go go clockwise. Yeah, no matter what I do, I’m always saying Rainmaker, go Gator. Kindred spirit, Mission Control and using my hands to remind me now that everything is vision is Elektronik. I’ve actually the vision. The image is reversed on the screen. And now that ever you could see my hands, I’ve had to learn like yoga, teachers and others. Yes, you gotta be. Oh, right. Yeah, exactly. So it’s a new skill I’ve learned the last seven months

[00:47:23.99] spk_1:
you’ve got. You’ve got the benefit of no video here. Yeah,

[00:47:26.58] spk_0:
exactly. Like my hands doing anything.

[00:47:34.08] spk_1:
Audio podcast. Yes. Mm. Alright, What else? What else do you wanna? You wanna talk about that? We haven’t talked about around asking styles in the board

[00:47:39.82] spk_0:
asking styles. And

[00:47:41.33] spk_1:
you wrote a whole book, for God’s sake.

[00:47:42.97] spk_0:
Yeah, I can imagine

[00:47:43.91] spk_1:
more. There’s more than what I asked you what

[00:47:48.45] spk_0:
it is, though, you know, though, I don’t want to scare people off either. And as you know, tony, it’s not a big book, and it’s purposely not a big look. It’s actually only 16,000 words. If people know anything about books, it’s only 100 pages because there are lots of beautiful full color photos and graphs and things like that. It’s a book you can read in a two sitting,

[00:48:06.04] spk_1:
which I appreciate. I like all the photos, something the pictures I sometimes have authors on. I’ll say, you know, there’s no pictures or there’s not enough

[00:48:13.77] spk_0:
well in my books. The only book in full color. I want to say that cause I’m really proud of it. It costs a lot more to make it, but, uh, but the styles Aaron color right? The graphics are so so. It’s actually very pleasurable book. And the reason for that It’s really important for every board member to read it right.

[00:48:29.73] spk_1:
Easy read. Do it over a weekend easily. You could do it in a day if you had to, but yes, so we hope

[00:48:52.16] spk_0:
to say, you know, today we covered a lot of the major points in it, about about recruiting, camaraderie, teamwork, telling her story, leadership and such. Those are the major piece in the book. The one thing I’ll say is that you’re pushing the book, I guess, is that it has a bunch of exercises and questions to ask yourself is Well, and the important thing is not is not to believe that G if I if I’m going to address the challenges on my board, it’s got to be some big project I need to bring in a consultant or boy, this is gonna be a lot of hard work. There are lots of small steps you can take.

[00:49:15.92] spk_1:
Yes, you finished the book with the next steps?

[00:50:03.86] spk_0:
Yes and yes. And all along the way there are some exercises the next time you have zoomed called do a breakout room and just ask. People spend five minutes saying, Okay, my style is this. What does that mean for how I work with you or something? You’re going to build teamwork and camaraderie. And so I want people to take away that that make improvements toe how your board operates, which is so vital to how your organization gets through this and thrives in the future. Uh, does not have to be a big, overwhelming project through the asking styles and lots of other means. You can take small steps and get there. The

[00:50:08.46] spk_1:
book is a pleasure. It’s a pleasurable pleasure to read. It’s an easy read. You want to know your style. You goto asking matters dot com. Do the three minute survey. Send your board members as a little fun exercise chat about it. That’s you know, that could be a next step, but

[00:50:18.71] spk_0:
absolutely that

[00:50:24.46] spk_1:
a whole chapter of next steps and, like you said questions throughout. Okay, Brian Saber, Thank you very much. Uh, have you. Actually, Absolutely. So the book. Get the book. There is more depth. There is more depth in those 16,000 words than than a lackluster host can cover with, even with an exemplary guest. Eso. The book is boards and asking styles. A roadmap to success matters that asking matters dot com and Brian is at Brian Saber and Brian. Thank you again. Real pleasure. Thank

[00:50:52.97] spk_0:
you. Don’t have a great day. Good luck to everyone.

[00:51:31.56] spk_1:
Thank you Next week next week. I got it here right next week is Oh yes, next week is low cost fundraising software and what’s really happening with non profit revenue. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com. Responsive by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o and by dot drives, raise more money, changed more lives tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for a free demo and a free month for listeners. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, you with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. Remember, it’s your favorite abdominal podcast. Go out and be great.

Ask For What You Want

Bilie (Mac) McBain Dec 16 blog post

Two customer service reps recently reminded me of the value of straightforwardly asking for what you want. Asking politely, confidently and firmly, which is how fundraisers should solicit potential donors and prospects.

Billie (Mac) McBain at Best Buy in Aberdeen, NC asked me in all the right ways to fill out an online survey, rate the store a 10 and explain how he helped me buy the right charging cable for my wife’s MacBook Pro. I obliged, but only after sharing my impression with the store manager and Mac together. I also tweeted my admiration.

 


Just last week, Port Authority of NY & NJ customer service rep Mohammed Alam helped me save a buck when I bought an AirTrain ticket on my way home from JFK airport. As he explained the procedure, he wrote his name on a business card and handed it to me. OK, he didn’t explicitly ask for my help, but the implication was clear and confident. I happily dashed off an email to HQ. (Which sent back a lackluster form reply ignoring my enthusiasm. Boo!)

Port Authority Customer Care rep badge Dec 16 blog post

Both were terrific, fun, sure-footed solicitations that got me to give what was asked. Bravi, gentlemen, bravi!

Let’s bring this back to what I know something about. It’s painful when I see a weak fundraising solicitation.
— An email or letter where the ask is buried in the middle of the fifth paragraph
— One that never comes around to make an ask
— A solicitor who apologizes
— A solicitor who just isn’t comfortable asking for money, or other support
— I had a client where the executive director insisted his letter should “humbly ask”

Gutless solicitations demean your work and discourage support. They’re embarrassing for everyone and suggest you don’t believe in the cause.

You believe in the cause, right? Or else you wouldn’t be there.

Here are a few tips:
— Rehearse: many Nonprofit Radio guests have suggested this. You role play the solicitation meeting. Lots of pros use this.
— Prepare in advance: last minute preparation is inadequate; this is an important meeting!
— Not so many pages or screens: lots of notes suggest you don’t know your subject; that’s why you prepare.
— You host: when meetings are in your office, you control the flow and prevent interruptions.

For serious help with strong asks, check out Asking Matters. You can find your asking style (rainmaker; go-getter; mission controller; or kindred spirit), which will help you approach others, and show you how to support volunteer solicitors. (Follow president Brian Saber.)

When she was with Asking Matters, I had Andrea Kihlstedt on Nonprofit Radio. The link to listen to our convo is at the bottom of this post.

Ask for what you want with firmness and confidence. Ask from a position of strength.