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Nonprofit Radio for May 31, 2021: BFD: Board Financials Dilemma

My Guests:

Andy Robinson & Nancy Wasserman: BFD: Board Financials Dilemma

What do you do for board members who can’t read your balance sheet? The authors of “The Board Member’s Easier Than You Think Guide To Nonprofit Finances” can answer that. Andy Robinson and Nancy Wasserman explain why understanding finances is critical so board members preserve your good work and protect themselves. Do their eyes glaze over when the numbers come out? We’ll help your board achieve financial literacy.

This originally aired on March 2, 2012 as show #81. This is show #540. Take a trip back in time with me. Of course, in 2021, your board members still need to understand your financials.

 

 

 

 

 

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[00:00:11.44] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and it’s March 2nd 2012.

[00:00:32.74] spk_3:
Who is that low energy uninformed imposter and that music. It’s May 31, This week’s show maybe from the deep archive, but that doesn’t mean we bring back a

[00:00:36.73] spk_0:
Host from six ft under.

[00:00:49.24] spk_5:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit

[00:02:24.44] spk_3:
Radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of Takayasu says arthritis if you inflamed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show B. F. D. Board financials dilemma. What do you do for board members who can’t read your balance sheet? The authors of the board members easier than you think. Guide to nonprofit finances can answer that. Andy Robinson and nancy Wasserman explain why understanding finances is critical. So board members preserve your good work and protect themselves. Do their eyes glaze over when the numbers come out, we’ll help your board achieve financial literacy. Yes. This originally aired on March two, That was show # 81. This is show # 540. So take a trip back with me in time. Of course, In 2021, your board members still need to understand your financials, Antonis take two planned giving accelerator. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. Here is B F D Board Financials Dilemma.

[00:03:08.34] spk_0:
Andy Robinson provides training and consulting for nonprofits in fundraising, board development marketing and earned income. He specializes in the needs of groups working for human rights, Social justice, environmental conservation, historic preservation and Community development. Nancy Wasserman has over 25 years of experience in community finance and social enterprise development. Her particular skill is working with clients on projects that must satisfy both financial and social or community goals. They worked together to co author the book, The board members easier than you think. Guide to Fund to nonprofit finances, published by Emerson in church. And I’m very glad that their collaboration brings them both to the show. Andy nancy. Welcome. Thank you.

[00:03:17.16] spk_2:
Thank you. tony

[00:03:18.37] spk_0:
Pleasure to have you both Andy. Pleasure to have you back

[00:03:22.21] spk_2:
to talk

[00:03:22.98] spk_0:
with you again. Thank you Nancy. Why is this important for board members to care about the financial condition of a charity?

[00:03:45.04] spk_1:
Because that’s really what your charges as a board member, you have the responsibility to make sure the organization is achieving its mission, and the way the best way to do that is to make sure it has the resources it needs to do it. Um And the financial statements and the finance, nonprofit finances is how you know, um pretty quickly what’s going on, especially if you’ve you’ve got that information. You also have some responsibilities to the community um to deliver non profit um uh that does achieve its mission and does it in a responsible and fiduciary fiduciary appropriate way.

[00:04:15.65] spk_0:
So board members are have a fiduciary duty to the charity, right?

[00:04:20.82] spk_1:
Absolutely to the charity and to the public at large.

[00:04:25.06] spk_0:
So why do you say the public at large?

[00:05:01.24] spk_1:
Why? Because the the uh in the U. S. The Internal Revenue Service typically gives charities a uh nonprofit designation which allows them to receive contributions and issue um tax deductible receipts. And because the US is for going that tax um on those on those dollars and giving the public a public benefit, um the IRS exercises oversight of non profit charities and make sure that they really are, um, delivering on their charitable

[00:05:03.78] spk_0:
purpose. So, there is some public money in here. It’s foregone foregone tax revenue

[00:05:10.61] spk_1:
at a bare minimum. Often there’s also, uh, direct public money from government grants or government contracts.

[00:05:19.64] spk_0:
And how about, um, financial problems that can occur within the, within the, um, within the charity? Like, um, you bring out an example in your book of, uh, people not getting their salaries paid, things like that,

[00:05:44.34] spk_1:
you know, you there is that, that oversight potential here, you’re, you are running a small business and, um, you want to make sure that your employees are well cared for, that you’re achieving your mission in, in the world at large. Um, sometimes in, in charities will see folks um, you know, giving up salary, um, and, or, um, deferring payment um, out of the goal of achieving the mission of the organization in the long term, um, that seriously hurts the organization because um, people aren’t really watching what’s happening with the money. Where is it coming in? Where is it going out?

[00:06:14.34] spk_0:
And Andy? Um, isn’t there potential personal liability for board members? When when there are problems like this, like nancy’s describing?

[00:06:21.51] spk_2:
Well, let me do the disclaimer here, which is that neither nancy nor I or attorneys and we can’t give people legal advice.

[00:06:34.24] spk_0:
Okay, Well, there’s no, yeah, I know we haven’t, nobody’s giving you a, I don’t know. The listeners have not given you a retainer fee, so not yet. No.

[00:06:54.34] spk_2:
Okay. I will say this. Um, if there is non payment of payroll taxes, for example, if a sensation goes into debt doesn’t pay the I. R. S. Or state taxing agency’s board members are individually liable for that. Most most expenses. Board members are protected from being personally liable on but there are some exceptions. So I don’t know that that’s what drives this conversation. Board members are simply looking at the balance sheet as a way of making sure that they’re not personally liable. That’s one level on this conversation but there’s a whole lot more levels having to do with the stuff that nancy was talking about. Are we being efficient meeting our mission? Are we tracking our work so that we know we’re being effective and that’s really what financial management is about.

[00:07:41.24] spk_0:
Indeed. Okay. There’s certainly a whole spectrum of reasons why board members should care. I just wanted to bring out the last one which is, there is the potential of, of personal liability. Um, let’s see. Um, we have just about a minute before a break and I’m hoping nancy, why don’t you introduce the idea of the financial dashboard and then we’ll talk a lot more about it right after this break.

[00:08:27.44] spk_1:
Sure. The financial dashboard is something we introduced that, that really gives you a one page sense of how the organization doing. What I’ve found happens with a lot of Nonprofits is that they, um, they give their boards just reams of paper and um, all of a sudden you get the budget and the performance and the balance sheet and there’s 15 pages of financial statements and most board members, even ones who do know how to read financials don’t plow their way through it. And so the dashboard is essentially a one page um, opportunity to get a sense of um, how are you operating financially? Are you being efficient and um, are you having an impact?

[00:08:36.84] spk_0:
Andy I want to throw a question to you quickly. We got a question on twitter from Mazarin. What if an executive director was found stealing one of the things nancy? And I were talking about uh, kind of fraud issues earlier. Um, would you give them a second chance?

[00:09:12.94] spk_2:
Oh boy. Um, well, I’ll be curious to hear nancy’s answer to this. My initial response No, followed by. It depends. And um, I actually was on the board of an organization where we found the opposite problem, which was the board Executive director was pouring money into the organization. He emptied out his retirement account, but he wasn’t telling anybody he did this because the grants weren’t coming through and he was too embarrassed.

[00:09:24.35] spk_0:
So that’s a, that’s a, that’s a problem of being over generous though,

[00:09:28.57] spk_2:
it was paying for himself. We ended up firing the guy and the reason was he wasn’t disclosing to the board what the board needed to do its job. And I would say the issue in that case isn’t so much as misdirection lying. So I am obviously theft is a bad thing, but the board needs full disclosure from the executive director to be able to do their job well. And that’s really where I would go on that.

[00:09:57.14] spk_0:
And how about you nancy? Uh Andy was curious to hear your answer and

[00:10:35.14] spk_1:
I know I would say um again like Andy, it depends um probably depending on the amount of severity and this situation. Um You know, if if the executive director was borrowing $20 from the petty cash um when they forgot to bring um their wallet to work one day. Um clearly that’s not, not egregious enough to to fire somebody. But if uh they’re helping themselves to the uh to the checking account and redirecting grants into their own bank account probably caused fire them

[00:10:41.92] spk_0:
even if they pay it back. Right. That really, even if they pay back with interest, that really doesn’t

[00:11:01.04] spk_1:
matter, does it? I mean, the thing about nonprofits is, you know, they’re not your own private fiefdom or your own private business, there a community, um, engagement where the reason, you know, you have a board of directors that, um, are the final legal responsibility for the organization. Um, so you really shouldn’t be operating it like your own private business.

[00:11:34.14] spk_0:
Let’s talk a little about the dashboard now nancy, the financial dashboard we introduced earlier. Um, it’s a one pager, which I think will be a relief to people is that they’re not getting a sheath of financial, uh, forms and, and, and balance sheets. But what, what, what do you think, what are key parts that should be in this financial dashboard? That to sort of streamline the overview for for board members?

[00:13:19.34] spk_1:
Um I would say that that there’s really three parts to it. There’s a financial part where you’re looking at, you know, sort of what’s our total budget? Um You know, every board member of every organization should be able to very quickly say whether the organization is a $300,000 a year organization or $5 million a year organization? That’s sort of a basic um sense of scale. Um Are we making money or not? Um Do we have net income? Um uh Do we have cash on hand? Those kinds of questions? Um Do we uh do we have a network or we, you know, if everything had to be liquidated today? Um would there be any any money left over or any value left over? Um, that that was tangible value, not just, uh, goodwill. Um, we also want to be looking at at how efficient the organization is and efficiency changes depending on what the organization does. It’s, it’s really a sense of being able to measure you against yourself or against industry standards. Um, and it’s, you know, the, the level of what it costs to deliver, um, services, for example, to severely challenged populations versus what it takes to deliver services to, um, highly educated people in, uh, an urban area where they’re all easily able to get to something. Um, the cost levels are gonna be different. And, and we’re not saying that they should be the same, but to know, um, what it costs for you to serve your clients, um, what it costs to have volunteers, um, and then the impact. And I don’t know, Andy if you want to talk a little bit about that, uh,

[00:14:00.04] spk_2:
how you measure whether you’re meeting your mission or not. And there are often new miracle measures that you can think about. You know, if you’re a land trust, how many acres are you preserving if you do mentoring with Children? How many adult Children matches do you have? I sometimes this is long term tracking, which is hard for a grassroots organizations to do. But in most fields there are ways of measuring your impact in terms of the number of clients you’re serving or the number of audience members who are involved. And hopefully there’s some measures that you can come up with that act. The quality of your work as well. Okay, So people here is, we could get this all on one page. You would have data from two years ago. You’d have data from last year, you’d have data from the current year. You could lay them out and see what the trends are. All

[00:14:22.34] spk_0:
right. That’s the financial dashboard. I love how you guys have this little dance worked out where nancy talks about the financial and efficiency parts, but then she throws it over to a co author, uh Andy for impact and you have it all worked out sort of sort of taking the show over. But it’s ok. It’s in a good way. Um which which leads me to question. All right. So I have to ask when two of when you co author a book, how do you decide whose name comes first? Did you just do alphabetical order or did you flip a coin or uh See I’m too narcissistic to co author with anybody, but but how did you guys work that out? How did you decide

[00:14:47.34] spk_1:
that? Andy Andy’s alphabetically. First on first names and last names. And um, the honest truth is is he did a lot of the writing work, um, where as I did help him with content. So it was very easy for me to go first.

[00:14:58.48] spk_0:
All right. So if I had come in, you wouldn’t have looked only at martignetti you would have also looked at Tony and then I’d have fallen maybe to the bottom, uh, which is probably where I would have had much to contribute to this. So you’re wise not to take me even though I pitched you

[00:15:13.78] spk_2:
otherwise, your name is well known in the community. We might have put your,

[00:15:18.15] spk_0:
uh, your publisher would never have approved that. Um, one of the questions

[00:15:23.80] spk_3:
that we asked before the

[00:15:46.94] spk_0:
show that relates to what we’re talking about now is, um, do you believe all your board members have at least a general understanding of your financial position and 70% said yes, 30% said no. So that’s pretty good, 70%. But the 30% they’re not really very confident a general and that was just a general understanding. Um, Okay. So the, uh, that’s the dashboard. Um, Andy should these things be devoted only to the, the authority of a, of a finance committee?

[00:16:19.64] spk_2:
No, I mean, I think a really good use of the finance committee is the oil stuff down. The rest of the board can understand it provides support to the rest of the board, serve as mentors and back up for the people on staff who were doing this. This book is not about how staff members need to do financial management more effectively. But the reality is a lot of people who are executive directors or even finance directors need help and one of the goals of Finance Committee is to give them that help when they need it. So a way to think about this is so excuse me, if the board is operating at a high altitude and the staff is down on the ground, flashing through the weed, the finance committee is sort of in the middle there providing a bridge between those two groups of people and

[00:16:51.53] spk_0:
so that means that financial dashboard is for the whole board to review. Right?

[00:16:55.99] spk_2:
Yes. How absolutely

[00:17:10.44] spk_0:
was that? A heck yes. Is that you can say hell yes. Okay, Yes. Okay. We have another question on from twitter, um, reminding listeners, you can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non profit radio board members need to look at the impact of the organization and I guess this is for you, since you talked about impact. How do you measure if you’re meeting your mission or not? I guess she’s looking for a little more detail.

[00:17:22.20] spk_2:
Okay. Well

[00:17:24.42] spk_0:
obviously depends what your mission

[00:18:14.04] spk_2:
is. There are some standard benchmarks for how you’re doing. If you work with substance abuse, there are networks that do that, that can talk about ways of tracking your impact. For example, how many people come through a program get clean and stay clean if you are a food bank and you’re delivering food to the community. There’s a number of metrics there that come out of America. America’s harvest. I forget the name of the national network, but they’ll tell you how much money you should be spending more or less based on the population that you’re serving and how much he pounds of food you can put out into the community. Pretty much every nonprofit upset has some metrics that are relevant. And the trick is to learn the ones that are relevant type of organizations who, and then try and adapt them to your particular needs.

[00:18:18.52] spk_0:
And that would be important for the executive director to be recognizing certainly. And then right. And then conveying that to the board.

[00:18:25.04] spk_2:
Yes. And in some cases, depending on the size of the organization, there is some board work to help find those numbers. I mean, I work a lot with really small organizations who has, his staff are overwhelmed and would be great to say to a finance committee on a volunteer basis. I’m trying to figure out what the relevant metrics are for part type of organization who would be willing to do some research and bring that back to us aboard. But in a larger organization. Yeah, that’s going to fall the staff.

[00:19:01.64] spk_0:
One of the other questions we asked pre show, does your board have a committee devoted to financial issues? About 80% said yes and the remainder roughly 20% said No. Um, Nancy, does there, does there have to be a finance committee?

[00:19:48.74] spk_1:
Um, there does not have to be a finance committee. I think it really depends on the size of the organization. Um, the level of support that the director might need. You know, how complex the organization is and uh, also how savvy uh, the board is. If most of the board understands financials and feels quite comfortable with it in a small organization, um, you could get away without a finance committee. I’d say you want one in any organization that’s about to undertake any kind of major financial growth or change or, um, uh, new initiative um, in a larger organization. Um, it just is a great way to assist, um, either the finance manager or the executive director and developing budgets and exercising oversight because things don’t happen is exactly as people plan them to

[00:20:17.64] spk_0:
with me today are Andy Robinson and Nancy Wasserman co authors of the board members easier than you think guide to nonprofit finances. Um, let’s, let’s talk some about diversifying income sources uh, nancy, you make a point of having that in a couple of chapters of the book. Um why is that important first?

[00:20:30.64] spk_1:
You never want to be totally reliant on just one funder. Um You don’t want to be in a situation where um, if that one funder suddenly says, we don’t like what you’re doing, um that you’re suddenly scrambling and having to find uh, other ways to support your activities and your programs and what you do for the, for folks in the community.

[00:21:01.74] spk_0:
I think we’ve seen a lot of that in, in our recession, uh, agencies that rely exclusively or too heavily on, say, government fees for services or maybe even government agency grants or, and, or foundation grants, uh, those of all sources that have been cut

[00:21:44.34] spk_1:
back. Indeed, that’s true. And that’s part of what, um, it’s both diversifying types of financial support, but also, um, the number of supporters within each type, so you’re not totally reliant on just one foundation or one charitable donor, um, and, uh, and that you have that diversity of donors and foundations and government and, uh, your own revenues, If there’s a way for you to do that.

[00:22:06.74] spk_0:
We have a comment again from twitter. Um, just gonna point out to, uh, the person who wrote that, john that we did talk earlier about individual personal liability for non profits. You may have missed that part of the show, but you can always catch it on the archive on ITunes and our itunes pages. non profit radio dot net. Um Then

[00:22:08.54] spk_3:
what are

[00:22:09.81] spk_0:
Andy some of the sources of income that a nonprofit might look to that they’re not currently exploiting.

[00:23:09.44] spk_2:
There’s three big buckets here. tony The first book, It is private giving. Private giving is foundations, corporations, individuals and of course people leave behind when they pass away the big category there as individuals and within private giving about 80% of the money. Year after year comes from people and most of the groups that I work with don’t invest enough time and energy raising money from individual donors. So that’s the first category. Second category is public funding, that’s government funding from earl state, local, regional, municipal, all the government levels. And as you already indicated, this is a shrinking resource right now. And the groups that I think are getting hammered the worst during the recession or the that are relying on government. The third bucket is earned income, which is non profits arching for the services they provide are in some cases selling goods community and of the three, that’s the biggest of all this is sort of the surprise for people is that earned income is about the same amount as private and public funding put together when you look at all the nonprofit across the country.

[00:23:24.14] spk_0:
That’s interesting. Yeah. You don’t generally see that in in fundraising reports like giving us a earned income is not part of their

[00:23:29.40] spk_2:
private philanthropy. They’re very clear the numbers a little skewed because if you’re a private college and you’re charging tuition that shows up as earned income if you’re a private hospital and you’re charging a nonprofit hospital, you’re charging for medical services that shows up as earned income. So those numbers really sort of skew the data. But I work with a number of organizations where I’m always pushing them to say, is there something you do that you can package up and sell you have some skill that people would buy from you?

[00:23:59.24] spk_0:
It’s time for a break.

[00:24:57.64] spk_3:
Turn to communications, where would you like to be heard? News outlets, conferences, podcasts, blogs, that’s all earned media and turn to, can help you get it. They’ve got the relationships. What about your media that’s owned media turn to, can help you improve that as well because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for Tony Take two planned giving accelerator is the online membership community that I have created to teach you how to launch your planned giving program. I’ll teach you step by step through trainings, live trainings, resources, podcasts, Ask me anything sessions. All of those are each month and we will get your plan giving

[00:25:00.08] spk_0:
program launched

[00:26:01.64] spk_3:
members of the first class, the one that started in january. Some of them already had gifts by three months in by March, so that three months into a 12-month class gift commitments already coming. So that can happen for you to you can be getting gift commitments in the first three months. The next class starts July one. I have priced this very reasonably, Especially when you consider, well, first of all, it’s just reasonable. But then when you consider that the average charitable bequest is $35,000. Take a look, it’s all at planned giving accelerator dot com And that is Tony’s take two. Yeah, we have boo koo but loads more time for B. F. D. Board financials dilemma. Mhm. Mhm.

[00:26:05.74] spk_0:
Andy Robinson and Nancy Wasserman with me. We’re talking about BFG board financial dilemma. Andy earned income. What can a charity possibly do? What you should be looking at to try to make some money off their activities their work?

[00:26:24.94] spk_2:
Well, the question I always ask groups that are wondering about this is what do you have, what do you do or what do you know somebody else ought to have or do or no most non profit during the service business. We deliver services. Sometimes we have expertise in that area and you know I mean there’s a structured brainstorm that people can do around this. A lot of what we do in the nonprofit world is pivot away and the really entrepreneurial organizations look at what they’re giving away and they say paying market for this and you know we can we can spend the rest of the show talking about this. I don’t know if you want to, but there’s a lot of opportunities there and I see many, many organizations could be more self sufficient financially if they got at figuring out what they know and how to package it up.

[00:27:18.01] spk_0:
Is there an example you can share with us a charity that didn’t realize what they had and and then ended up being able to exploit it and make some money from it?

[00:28:14.04] spk_2:
Well, I’m an author of a book on this subject called selling social change and what’s my favorite example of this? Um, you know, I’m for a group for years in Tucson Arizona called Native Search. Their seed banks on native american crops and you know what they do is protect beats from going extinct by planting them and growing them and distributing them and probably 30% of their of their income. It’s details, their seed bank and they sell it. What they recently started doing, which was fascinating is they opened something they called the school and these are people who want to learn about how to protect seeds, grow them, pass them on to the next generation’s really about biological and genetic. Pay money and they come to Arizona for a week and they get trained and everything you need to know to run your own seed bank. And it’s an organization that was sitting on this for probably 30 years, only recently realized that people would pay for that knowledge in a classroom setting. They

[00:28:29.49] spk_0:
have been doing that all for

[00:28:30.41] spk_2:
free. They hadn’t been training other people, they’ve been taking care of the seeds, but they hadn’t been teaching. I see, okay. And they realized there are a whole renaissance of local agriculture in our country right now and they thought we could tap into this. There’s a market here for people who want to learn how to do this. And so they started doing this and they’re doing this four or five times a year and it sells out and they’re starting to move it around to other parts of the country. So that’s one example.

[00:28:54.90] spk_0:
That’s an example of knowledge. They had a knowledge and a skill that was very marketable.

[00:29:12.54] spk_2:
That’s right. And until you have what you need for better worse is you need someone in the organization who has an entrepreneurial jean who can look around and say, you know what, somebody’s going to want to buy this. And not every nonprofit is blessed with people who think that way. And I think part of what nancy and I are trying to do in our professionalized is to get more of that thinking out into the nonprofit community way

[00:30:07.24] spk_0:
and the related to uh diversifying income. I I had a comment from linked in this, uh, woman had just had a board meeting this earlier this week regarding the need for transparency and distribution of responsibility. When it comes to the finances, bookkeeping and reporting function of their historic nonprofit theater, they’ve been doing their thing. Uh, they’ve been doing things their way a long time. And one big problem is that they have a banker on the board and he doesn’t see the problems. Um, uh, so it sounds like, and and then she says, I was able to get the check writing privileges moved to another person. This is sort of segue into a conflict of interest conversation, but sounds like maybe he was the only one writing checks. Um, I secured a nice grant from a foundation and they want a financial audit. I’m moving for a review. However fear we won’t get any more money once it’s known how ignorant the board is about accountability uh nancy. Uh And he’s laughing nancy. Let’s bring you back. What would you what would you say there?

[00:31:44.94] spk_1:
Well you know how are we defining accountability here? Is there a lack of what a financial audit might uncover? Um Is impropriety? But it sounds like that’s not the case. Um More likely it’s going to um It’s not the financial audit per se but the form 9 90 that you file with the I. R. S. Which ask you now to tell us, does does the boards look at financials um How does is the board of informed, has the board seen an audit? Um uh Did they review it and approve? Um It’s really um you know there there’s sort of two sets of questions. The very pragmatic, did did you get an audit? Did you review it? Did you look at it? Um And then the more important question in my mind, which I think is the question we’re trying to answer with the whole book, which is, does the board really understand what all these numbers are telling them? And ideally with with a financial audit and accountant has come in and um, spoken directly with the board of directors and walked through each and every page of it and talked about why the financials are the way they are and what they mean. Um And I think both Andy and I have seen numbers of organizations where um there’s a lot of people sitting around the table and they leave it to the banker, um or the investment professional to, you know, they they know about numbers and they handle it and it’s really something that everybody needs to know how to do. Um, if only to make sure that the mission of the organization is uh, fully addressed by the board and the organization.

[00:32:28.44] spk_0:
This also relates to the conversation about diversifying income. I mean, here this woman, uh, I believe she’s a fundraiser, there, a volunteer fundraiser and uh, trying to diversify income source, getting a grant but fearful that the grant may not be renewed because there isn’t transparency and accountability that the, the the grant source will probably be seeking.

[00:32:45.74] spk_2:
And this is another point that was raised, sort of came out of sideways. Is this question about separation of duties, which is, you know, in a healthy organization, people break up that work. One person opens the envelope and somebody else writes the checks and somebody else approves them and somebody else gets the bank statement and balances the checkbook. And the idea here is that you’re trying to avoid mischief and fraud and if somebody says, oh I’ll take care of all of these things, maybe they have good intentions and they’re going to be perfectly honest about it. But you really need to break that into separate pieces so people can have oversight over each other.

[00:33:15.64] spk_0:
Let’s segue into the conflict of interest, um, Andy defined for us. What a conflict of interest is here. It’s so often,

[00:33:58.74] spk_2:
Well, my sense of it, at least in terms of the context we’re having here, is that if you serve on a nonprofit board, your job is to put the needs of the organization above your own personal needs. And where this plays out sometimes is people who try and receive a benefit from serving on a board. That the personal benefit that has nothing to do with advancing the mission of the organization. Where this gets tricky is that in a lot of voluntary organizations, there are inherent conflicts of interest. But if you goes to a private school and you’re on the board, your job is to advocate for policies that are going to benefit the Children in the school, and in some case that means they’re going to benefit your kid individually and sort of sorting those things out can be challenging. But the bottom line is the decisions you make have to put the needs of the organization in front of your own personal need

[00:34:19.83] spk_0:
nancy. How can we try to avoid conflicts of

[00:35:47.04] spk_1:
interest? One of the best ways is to have a written conflict of interest policy where you’ve already addressed some of the situations that are likely to happen before they happen, um, where you sit there and say, you know, define what it is that is seen as either a real conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest, which might be a case where um, somebody was, for example, can somebody bid somebody who serves on the board of directors bid on a project while they’re still on the board of directors or not? Or do they have to resign before they even submit a bid? Or do they only resign if they’re awarded the bid, or do they have to resign? Or can they simply step out of the room for the discussion? Um Those are the kinds of questions that got kind of uh can get kind of challenging, um, particularly when any member of the board stands to benefit financially, um, from any decision of the board. Um That’s uh an outright in my mind and outright conflict of interest. Um, and, um, in most boards, you want to make sure that person doesn’t participate. And it’s, it’s always easier to have that discussion, um, when there isn’t a hot potato sitting in the room, that’s, um, somebody’s thinking that they have every right to be part of the discussion. Um, and you have to therefore bring up both the fact that somebody in the room is feeling uncomfortable that this person is present. Um, and, um, it gets a little bit more tense in those sorts of situations. Prevention is having a written policy that folks have already talked through and everybody feels responsible for making sure it’s enforced.

[00:36:11.93] spk_0:
So prevention ahead of time much better than dealing with it when it’s a, a crisis or a potential crisis.

[00:36:13.83] spk_1:
Right? And, you know, it also, um, is the transparency issue you want to make sure that your presentation to the community at large is um, is as an accountable organization, um, that that gives everybody um equal opportunity to benefit from um, the organization’s purchases.

[00:36:34.49] spk_0:
Is this the kind of policy that a board member should sign and review every year or something

[00:37:00.13] spk_1:
like that? It’s not a bad idea. Oh, you know, it depends on the nature of the organization. I you know, I’ve worked with a community loan fund and that’s absolutely required that you disclose um your conflicts of interest each and every year and that you review the conflict of interest policy every year. Um The other thing that’s incredibly important is disclosed, disclosed, disclosed.

[00:37:05.21] spk_0:
We have just a minute before a break and anything you want to add to conflict of interest discussion.

[00:37:11.17] spk_2:
I think the main thing is that if you see it, you have to name it after. If your board member and you smell something like this, you have to have the courage to bring it up. And as nancy said, it’s much easier to do this if there is an existing policy in place first,

[00:37:23.56] spk_0:
if somebody sees something like this Andy again, just a few seconds before a break, who should they bring it up to you? I’m a board member. Who do I talk to?

[00:37:39.83] spk_2:
Probably go to the chair first and say, I think there’s something fishy here, let’s talk about it and I would start there and then presumably the board, the chair will bring it to the full board. Mhm. Mhm

[00:37:50.53] spk_0:
Welcome back to big non profit ideas for the other 95% on Tony-Martignetti non profit radio nancy, let’s talk a little about financial statements. What

[00:37:53.91] spk_3:
what uh what are the basics

[00:37:55.71] spk_0:
first, what’s the

[00:38:11.62] spk_1:
overview? Um there’s really two major statements that everybody um has to deliver ones the balance sheet, which is a snapshot on any given day. Um Typically the end of the month or the end of the quarter the end of the year, um Which outlines um what the organization owns and what they owe and what they’re worth, which is the difference between everything they own. Um less everything they owe um As far as its paper value is what they would be worth on that day. Uh The other major statement is the statement of activities, also called the profit and loss or A. P. And L. Um Which is where do you get all your money, your income, your revenues from. Um And then what does it go to pay for all your expenses? And the bottom line there is your net income at the end of and of a certain time period. Uh The statement of activities is more like a movie. It covers a period of time. Uh Typically uh the beginning of the year to the end of the most previous sorry the most recent months. Um So if we were on a board uh today we probably wouldn’t see the the statement of activities through the end of february because somebody would have had to have it all cleaned up as of yesterday, but we could expect to see something through the end of january. Um And depending on what your fiscal year was um would determine the beginning period.

[00:39:45.42] spk_0:
We talked earlier about full disclosure. So I’m gonna make a disclosure. The only accounting course that I’ve ever taken I dropped out of because I was I was I was going to fail. So um so I’m perfect for this book. This it’s very informative and it is an easy read and it is helpful guide um nancy help me understand this was always seem like magic to me on a balance sheet. How is it that the assets equal to the liabilities? How does that always come out? So equal? I mean uh it’s intended that way obviously, how does that

[00:40:01.35] spk_1:
possible? It seems like um now you’re asking somebody who was not trained as a classically trained accountants,

[00:40:07.75] spk_0:
you can’t pull back. Now your name is on the book, your name is there, I’m looking right at it says nancy Wasserman,

[00:40:12.49] spk_1:
but it’s um it’s based on double entry bookkeeping which was developed by the chinese and it’s uh follows up from the abacus and um really was sort of uh uh amplified by the Italians in the renaissance essentially when you put an entry in double entry book, keeping everything that goes up, something has to go down and uh it all balances out in the end and the cash comes out. And if your balance sheet that’s like number one, if the balance sheet, if the total assets does not equal the total liabilities and equity, um it is an incorrectly prepared balance sheet and they call it a balance sheet.

[00:40:51.96] spk_0:
Right? Yes, exactly, I love that my italian forebears had something to do with confusing me now in the current day. Um Okay, what how can we help uh Board members nancy, who whose eyes kind of glaze over when they get to the balance sheet, Aside from looking to see whether the two uh the assets and liabilities equal, which they always

[00:42:08.60] spk_1:
do right. Step number one, the balance. Um Number two, um Do your total current assets, in other words, what what can be cash within a year’s time, um exceed your current liabilities? The things you have to pay off with cash in a year’s time. And so are you liquid or not? Do you have, do you have cash available to do things? Um This is the place where you’re looking for those payroll liabilities or payroll tax liabilities. If there’s a number there that’s frighteningly large, um you’ve got a big problem and if it’s payroll tax liabilities, um you as a board member may be personally liable. Um What are your long term liabilities look like? Is that that’s your debt basically. And you know, does it make sense to you? Is that number reflects the debt? You know the organization has um your net net assets. Now, you know the language of accounting is kind of like greek and um I sometimes think they made up all these names to make it even more confusing.

[00:42:17.36] spk_0:
It would be so much easier if it was, it was italian,

[00:42:19.74] spk_1:
it could be,

[00:42:21.37] spk_0:
it would be, it would, there’s lots of cognitive and it’s a romance language. I think it would be, I’m sorry.

[00:42:56.20] spk_1:
No problem. But that total net assets number, which simply means, you know what this organization more. Um, if it, if it had to liquidate today and um, if that’s a negative number, you should be concerned. Um, and, and there’s certainly many organizations where that is the case. Um, so those are the big things on the balance sheet. You know, does it, does, it sort of makes sense to you to the fixed assets and their value. Um, feel like what you have if you suddenly see something that shows that you have a fixed asset of, you know, equipment worth $100,000 and you’re scratching your head because you have no idea what you have for equipment. Um, Something’s wrong with the balance

[00:43:10.68] spk_0:
and you should and should ask that question. Absolutely. You mentioned earlier frighteningly large numbers, I mean, is part of what we should be doing, looking for anomalies.

[00:44:01.79] spk_1:
Um That’s really what you’re looking. You’re looking for things that, you know, that don’t make sense or don’t feel right or that you can’t um if you can’t, if it doesn’t feel right and you can’t really explain it, you want to ask questions. Um, and, and the numbers, you know, the thing about numbers is um, they’re pretty um, they’re very, you know, they’re either on or off and um, it’s harder to lie with numbers. Um, so you’re gonna know right away that you could have frighteningly large numbers with a, with a complex organization and that would be fine. Um, if if they’re they’re balanced out, if there’s cash in the bank, if it feels like there’s equity.

[00:44:37.09] spk_0:
Mm This is a critical subject. Another question that I asked on the, on the pre pre show survey is for those charities that do have a board committee devoted to financial issues. Are you confident that each committee member is fluent in your numbers and understand your financial position? Only 25% said yes. The remaining 75% were either no or not sure and no was pretty large. About 60%. We have to stop there. Andy Robinson and Nancy Wasserman are co authors of the board members easier than you think. Guide to nonprofit finances published by Emerson and Church Andy Nancy. Thank you very much for being guests.

[00:44:50.52] spk_1:
Thank you Tony.

[00:44:56.59] spk_0:
Thanks for having us. It’s been a real pleasure. And also thanks to your publisher, Kathleen Brennan at Emerson in church for her promotion assistance for the show.

[00:45:35.69] spk_3:
That was fun. A bit of nostalgia. I had to keep in a short burst of eye of the tiger had had to do that. Thank you for ramping back in time with me Next week. Our 2021 nonprofit technology conference coverage continues. Oh, conference coverage continues. I like that. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o.

[00:45:49.59] spk_5:
Our creative producer is Clan Meyerhoff shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein. Mhm Right, thank you for that. Affirmation scotty be with me next week for nonprofit radio Big non profit ideas for the

[00:45:56.39] spk_3:
Other 95

[00:45:58.99] spk_5:
go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for March 22, 2021: Build Your Best Better Board

My Guest:

Gene Takagi

Gene Takagi: Build Your Best Better Board
Gene Takagi returns! He’s got strategies to help you build the diverse, effective, thoughtful, appropriately-sized, well-trained board you deserve. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney of NEO, the Nonprofit and Exempt Organizations law group.

 

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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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[00:01:39.64] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast, and I’m glad you’re with me. I’d come down with dyskinesia if you gave me a taste of the idea that you missed this week’s show. Build your best Better board. Jeanne Takagi returns. He’s got strategies to help you build the diverse, effective, thoughtful, appropriately sized, well trained board you deserve. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and exempt organizations law group tony State, too. Podcast pleasantries and planned giving accelerator. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s my pleasure to welcome back, as it always is. Jeanne Takagi. These are legal contributor, managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and Exempt Organizations Law Group in San Francisco. He edits the enormously popular nonprofit law blog dot com and is a part time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is that neo law group dot com, and he’s at G Attack Gene, welcome back to the show.

[00:01:41.84] spk_1:
Thanks, Tony. It’s great to be back. How are you?

[00:01:59.94] spk_0:
I’m doing well. Thank you. It’s always a pleasure. Many, many years. It’s a pleasure. Each time you’re you are teaching us what’s important, what we need to keep centered. What’s, uh where are ships Should all be facing in the same direction. So what direction is that? You keep us. Keep us on the straight path. I appreciate it. I know our listeners due to thank you.

[00:02:06.34] spk_1:
Thank you, Tony.

[00:02:23.84] spk_0:
Let’s get started with your building. Your best. Better board. We’re not We’re not gonna We’re not going to settle on nonprofit radio for your lackluster better board. We want your best, Better board. And I think the place to start is with board roles. So what are we expecting our board members to do?

[00:02:52.74] spk_1:
Yeah, I love this conversation, tony. It’s actually one of my favorites. And yeah, it was probably Gosh, it was early on, I think when we first talked a little bit about boards getting sort of distracted from doing the financial oversight and forgetting to do some of the other things that boards are supposed to do. Um, and, you know, part of what we talked about could have been, like 78 years ago was like, Hey, somebody should be over overseeing. You know, whether the program’s doing Are they having an impact or not? Are they really furthering your mission in the way that you want them to?

[00:03:11.94] spk_0:
You know, I have to remind you you and I did a mock board meeting one time, and either you threw me off the border. I walked out. I forget

[00:03:15.22] spk_1:
which

[00:03:30.04] spk_0:
back in the old studio was many years ago. I don’t know what we’re talking about. Something board related, obviously. But, uh, yeah, either I got booted off or I walked out and quit. I forget, uh, we’re trying to avoid that. We’re trying to avoid that in our best better board,

[00:03:32.54] spk_1:
but we’re definitely going to try to approach any of these things with extreme tact

[00:03:37.84] spk_0:
I lack, which I often lack. I probably walked out. I probably quit or something.

[00:06:01.14] spk_1:
Yeah, just just overall, the same financial diligence is great. So take a look at the financials, make sure you understand them and make sure that the organization is able to pay off its debts that they become do that you’re not sort of bleeding money and just managing your financial assets. But non profits exist more than to produce a financial bottom line, of course. So you know in the for profit world boards and probably got a different duty, maybe a little bit more. I mean, everybody has to act in the best interests of the corporation, right? That’s a fiduciary duty. But what is the best interests of the corporation for for profit? Oftentimes it’s associated, at least in large part the benefit of its owners or shareholders. But in the non profit, there are no shareholders or owners, right? It’s for the benefit of advancing the mission. And that’s what the board has got to remember, that it’s got to be purpose driven. It’s got to be, um, acting in furtherance of the mission ahead of everything else. Um, and the one caveat I’ll add to that which we may have talked a little bit about before, as well is you’ve got to add values to that statement, so their values probably baked into your mission statement but also baked into the organizational culture. So if our mission is to feed people who are experiencing homelessness or a lack of income, resources or we’re not just going to throw food out in a trough, right? You know that might be the best way or the most effective way to get as many people fed as possible. But that would be completely inconsistent with anybody’s values. Or so values and mission sort of go hand in hand, and focusing on that is really important. So not just financial oversight, the programmatic oversight the role of the board has got to look forward to. You’ve got to set the path with those values and mission for the organization’s future, not just looking behind you, but looking ahead, um, and so guiding the organization with those thoughts, acting as ambassadors, getting the feedback from the environment about what challenges and what opportunities may be out there. Those are all things the board can bring back to the executive and to the staff, sort of to help them do their best.

[00:06:44.34] spk_0:
And these are all very, uh, lofty. And and, um, I don’t want to say pedagogical, because that makes it sound like they’re not grounded, but But these are these are very we haven’t even talked about. You know how many board meetings you have to attend in a year. And how many subcommittees you have to serve on? You know, we haven’t gotten to that yet. You know, we’re talking about the the ambition, but it has to be centered. It’s It’s like you said. It’s the mission and values of the organization. I mean, if someone doesn’t respect those, then you’re not gonna get your best better board. You’re going to get a crappy person. Maybe it gives a lot of money, but ultimately, the ships are not sailing in the same direction with all the board members on each one.

[00:06:50.14] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s right. And I loved your introduction about having the best Better board. Not this lackluster,

[00:07:13.34] spk_0:
lackluster better. But yeah, that’s for other podcasts, not on the radio. We don’t tolerate lackluster mediocrity, mediocre better boards that we want to. We want the best Better board. All right, so So it really it really does start with loft and ambition around around Mission and values.

[00:07:15.74] spk_1:
I definitely think so.

[00:07:29.44] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. Okay. So now let’s drill down. I mean, in terms of what we’re expecting the board to do, you have to be up front with what these expectations are and that that happens in recruitment, right? Not not in their first board meeting. You should be explaining the expectations while you’re talking to somebody about joining the board. Not after they have joined.

[00:07:41.54] spk_1:
Absolutely. And too often. I see tony and I don’t know if you’ve experienced this as well, but somebody tries to recruit you onto the board and they go, It’s really not that much work, you know. It’s easy. Um, well, that’s going to get you a lackluster and maybe not even a better board. So,

[00:07:59.57] spk_0:
um,

[00:08:45.54] spk_1:
yeah, so it really is about setting expectations of Hey, you really believe in this mission and you have the same values that we’re trying to move forward with. Let’s do something great with this organization. Let’s make a great impact here. This is These are the kind of things that we expect of our board. This is how often we meet. You know, this is, um, what we expected each board member in terms of attendance and in terms of maybe making a meaningful contribution. I don’t like set amounts because that can hurt diversity and inclusive inclusion. But a meaningful donation to to the organization it could be in time if not in money or in other ways. But the expectations, I think, need to be spelled out in front before you actually invite somebody onto the board.

[00:09:00.24] spk_0:
And when you’re spelling them out, I mean, do you Do you like to see a writing a document with, you know, Please take this home with you and consider consider, as we’re having our conversations about about you being on the board, consider all these things like you give them a document to read or just a conversation.

[00:09:24.64] spk_1:
I think both tony. So I I you know, it may depend upon the organization how formal they get, but if you do actually have a recruiting sort of policy or procedure or recruiting committee in place, I like to put some things down in writing just to make sure that we’re all on the same page and letting people know what the organization’s expectations are and how often boards meet. And if there is a meaningful contribution, expectations all of those things up front. So if somebody is not interested, they can right away say, you know, this isn’t for me, you know, I like what you do. But it’s not for me and another person who might say I’m really interested in doing all of those things. You know? I’d love to be a part of your board,

[00:10:11.94] spk_0:
All right? So be upfront about expectations. There’s no point in in concealing the work and the requirements, only to have the person blindsided when it comes time around, when it comes time for each board member to make their annual contribution. And and And they didn’t know that it was supposed to be a meaningful gift or they didn’t know there was a board giving requirement of any sort. You know, when it comes time to assign committee. So I didn’t know I was gonna be on a committee. I thought I just came to board member board meetings four times a year. Now we have committee meetings to I didn’t know about that, and then you set yourself up for a disaster.

[00:10:46.54] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s right. And if you if you start to um, the danger of it is is you don’t want to just sort of create this list of these are the things you have to do for the organization to run. You’ve got to always again relate it back to the mission and values. This is why we love to contribute as board members to the organization. Because this is what impact we can have. And this is the direction we see ourselves going to be able to have even greater impact. So you just keep reinforcing that message to get your best board members.

[00:10:55.74] spk_0:
You let me ask you a question. Are you Are you, uh Are you by any chance, playing with a pen or or anything?

[00:11:02.14] spk_1:
I am not rocking back and forth on my chair.

[00:11:06.44] spk_0:
And I know there’s, like, a little clicking, and I’m not. I know you’re not. I know you’re not typing like you’re not writing a document while we’re talking

[00:11:13.94] spk_1:
about you’re

[00:11:14.15] spk_0:
writing a client agreement or something.

[00:11:16.51] spk_1:
Typical things you expect from a lawyer, right?

[00:11:32.14] spk_0:
Yeah. You double bill your time, right. You get $800 an hour billed to clients at $400 an hour. You’re sitting in one’s office. You’re doing the work for the other. No. Okay. No, you’re not. Your hands are free, okay? I don’t know. There’s, like, little the mice are clicking or

[00:11:33.26] spk_1:
something. Maybe I’m rocking in my chair. I will try to hold back my enthusiasm.

[00:12:18.04] spk_0:
Okay, Alright. It doesn’t It doesn’t sound like that. Okay, Well, listeners, I can’t identify the sound of the but I’ll call it out because I’m not going to keep it quiet because we all hear it, so we’ll talk about it. Well, I don’t know what it is. This little tapping, clicking my mouse sound. Let’s talk about diversity. This should be a value. You and I have talked about this. We’ve had heartfelt conversations a couple of times about white male power and using that power and sharing power. And so let’s talk about diversity as a value for your board. How does that play into what we’re talking about? Your your best. Better board?

[00:14:50.74] spk_1:
Sure. You know, for the organizations who have responded to sort of this increasing understanding and awareness that diversity is an issue in various aspects, not just on board composition, but in the way our infrastructure as a country and even as the world is designed where, um, people who are in positions of power, no matter what race or gender or whatever, whatever they are tend to create systems that keep themselves in power. And so diversity has this great benefit of saying, Let’s take other lenses and look at what we’re doing. And look at the world that we’re in, um, for nonprofits, especially the world that’s directly impacting what we’re trying to do out there for. The people were trying to do it for what is impacting it, who is being affected the most, Um, and if that’s important to to organizations and their leaders, then I think they’ve really got to embrace diversity, not just by saying it, but by actually putting action steps into what they’re doing, Whether that’s going to be building it into true board diversity with inclusion. So not making people feel, you know, like they’re they’re just a simple tokens of taking a better picture but really being able to contribute to the power of the organization to address things that other people may not have seen. So, you know, I may identify with people who I relate to, but I may have very little understanding your perspective of people who are different from me who congregate in different circles who have different ideas. Um, and we have to think about all of those things, especially for serving a classic. Beneficiaries that are board members may be far away from. So if we have a board that’s more privileged, and we are helping a lot of people who don’t have some of the privileges that the board may have in terms of representation, how will we ever see the world through their lens? How will they understand? How will we understand where services are doing from their eyes? So trying to to get that diversity in an inclusive matter for purposes of increasing equity, I think, is a value that non profit should strive for.

[00:16:11.94] spk_0:
It’s time for a break turn to communications relationships. They’ve got the relationships with the media outlets so that when you need to be in the news, when there’s a news item that you need to comment on, your voice needs to be heard. Turn to has the relationships to get you heard. It’s not cold calling. They have the existing relationships. They give it like gifts. You get a lot of gifts from cold calls. Do you get any gifts from cold calls? You get your best gifts from cold calls. If you’re doing cold call fundraising. No, you don’t. Of course, it’s the same with media. The relationships are in place. So when you want to be heard, turn to picks up the phones and leverages those relationships That way you’re gonna get heard. Turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. Now back to build your best. Better board. Diversity has to be centered. Um, but And you wanted to go deeper than just like the board should reflect the community or the board should reflect those we serve. You mean you’re looking for something deeper than just reflecting an environment?

[00:18:17.04] spk_1:
I think so. So it is reflecting different perspectives as well. So I think traditionally, we thought of it as a skills based diversity. Like we need a lawyer. We need an accountant. We need a financial manager, a fundraiser on our board. And then we became all a little bit more woke and we said, Hey, we need racial diversity in our organizations. Um, but we didn’t say why that was or many of us didn’t say, why do we need racial diversity in our organizations? Is it simply to make it look like we embrace diversity and we take the better picture? Or is it because we want a true understanding from somebody else with a different lens and perspective? Who could tell us if there are gaps in our services for their communities? If there are gaps in the laws that are creating inequities that affect our mission as well? So the more we get these other perspectives, whether it be from a racial diversity angle from a disability angle, which I think is increasingly a really important thing to look at as we are facing an older population where disabilities are highly, you know, they make up a great percentage of our organizations and they’re kind of sort of the the unseen Group in many ways, um, we’re just getting started on addressing some of those concerns. But, um, the way we serve people can really miss many of those that are impacted, that that would be true beneficiaries of our service if they could access our services. But if we don’t make it accessible to them, then we just missed them, and that may be completely unintentional. But if we don’t have people who can identify and spot those things because they live it, um that would be, you know, short a shortfall in leadership. And that’s where we have to sort of address, Um, taking a look with a much broader lens and not just in our boards, but in our programming, in our staffing and just getting more awareness and bringing more lenses to what we’re doing.

[00:18:55.54] spk_0:
Let’s talk about bringing someone new to the board because we’re gonna be recruiting our new board members that are going to be part of our best better board. So now if we’ve recruited the right people, we need to socialize them to the organization. It’s more than I think. It’s more than just formal training. You know, the the organization has a culture. The board has a culture. Hopefully, they’re healthy. Let’s assume, but let’s take that. Let’s assume that these are healthy. Culture is not. Not. Cultures were trying to reverse, uh, you know, like intolerance or something. But healthy cultures. There’s a formal training and an informal training.

[00:20:26.74] spk_1:
I absolutely agree with you, so you know orientations can start even at recruitment. But once you decide that you want to elect somebody onto the board and they want to be part of the board and you elect them. I think it really is important now for them to be ingrained in what the organizations and the board culture is, what the priorities are getting a better sense of what the programs are. I’ll confess. I’ve been part of boards where I may not have a very good understanding of some of the programs. I get lost in some of, you know, again, the financial reports and maybe one program officer. You know, a year shows up and describes their program well, that that’s not really giving me a full sense of what the organization is doing. So more of that, um, is really going to be beneficial. Um, it will also help in sort of preventing there from being this wall between who the board is and who the staff and who are. The people that are actually implementing the program are other than the executive director, so boards often just meet with the executive director. But in an orientation or training, I think more deeply getting ingrained and that’s a board staff retreat. Joint retreats are good things. Board buddies and maybe a board staff buddy system could also

[00:20:31.34] spk_0:
is that like is that a mentoring board board buddy?

[00:20:53.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I think it could be partly mentoring, but I think the relationship really extends both ways, right? We can get more information from an outsider’s perspective to help the organization, and when they have fresh eyes, they may see different things. So instead of just saying, I know more than you, I’m going to mentor you. We can be buddies and learn from each other.

[00:20:56.64] spk_0:
And then you mentioned staff buddies, too.

[00:21:21.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I I don’t think it’s a bad idea for boards again to get more involved with their staff. We don’t want to micromanage. So there is this fine line there. But just getting an understanding from the staff about what they see in the organization, I think is important other than the executive director who may be the one who attends every board meeting. But if we just see one other staff member once a year, that really isn’t giving a sense of what is going on and what the organizational culture is. We might know what the board culture is, but do we really know what the organizational culture is?

[00:22:10.34] spk_0:
If it’s a staff buddy, it’s not only micromanagement, from the board member down. But then you also have to be conscious of the staff member trying to leverage a relationship with a board member like trying to do something or avoid doing something that the CEO may want or their vice president that they report to may want or something. You know, uh, that just it has to be managed. That’s all. Just You have to be conscious of the possibility of somebody exploiting and a relationship with the board members saying things that are inappropriate. The board members.

[00:22:52.14] spk_1:
I think this has to be designed with a consultant who really understands the area because you’re absolutely right. Tony. Yeah, if you if you aren’t careful, what you’re doing is you’re creating people going behind the executives back to make complaints to board members. And that’s not what the purpose is. So it might be controlled by saying, Hey, the board staff buddy thing is a meeting of the board and staff person in a joint group in a group where we’re all meeting in different corners of the room and just talking about certain specific topics so it can be regulated a little bit more carefully with rules of the game spelled out in advance. This is not a place to complain about employment issues. This is Yeah.

[00:23:04.34] spk_0:
Um, what do you like for board terms? What do you have? Advice? Two years? Three years? Should How many? How many years or how many terms should board members be allowed to continue on?

[00:24:00.64] spk_1:
Um, there’s there’s not, you know, one specific answer. I hate the lawyers. Answer. It depends. It does. But let me just say in a large number of cases, I like the 2 to 3 year term, both balancing a little bit of need for continuity and giving a fair expectation to a new board member of that. This is not just going to be a one year thing and you’re out. Um uh, and I like to have board terms to make sure that the board doesn’t become very insular and its thinking and in its diversity by keeping board members on perpetually until they’re ready to resign. It also makes it hard to ever remove a board member if people think that they have a right to serve on the board forever. So I kind of like board members not to be on board for, like maybe five or six years. Um, having said that, there are times

[00:24:02.67] spk_0:
when to not be on for five or six years

[00:24:04.99] spk_1:
to beyond that

[00:24:08.44] spk_0:
beyond. For five, like maybe two, 23 year terms, two year terms or 23 year terms of the most

[00:24:41.64] spk_1:
something. Something like that. Now, a lot of exceptions to that, if you have, if you had trouble building aboard and you have some great champions on the board. But those have been kind of the long term people who really know and really invested, and everybody else has been sort of lackluster. Um, I don’t think you should kick off your strongest board members, so you have to really think about that before you implement it. It is sort of an idealistic goal to have those term limits and, um, 2 to 3 year terms. But in other situations, I would say one size doesn’t fit. Also, take a look at your own board composition first before you make those type of decisions.

[00:25:19.94] spk_0:
What about in terms of socializing to the board, having social events for the board? Occasionally, Maybe it’s a dinner after a meeting. Um, I wouldn’t have cocktails before a meeting. But you could have cocktails after a meeting, you know, trying to get the board to get to know the members, to know each other outside the board. What else do you do? You go skiing, you go snowmobiling. You know, you’re a Fisher fisherman. You know things like that.

[00:25:26.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I love that idea. I’ve even had cocktails before boarding. So,

[00:25:31.63] spk_0:
uh, all right,

[00:26:10.84] spk_1:
but yes, um, for board members to trust each other and to be open to each other’s ideas and respect each other, the more you know each other, the more likelihood that that’s all going to happen and that you’re going to actually build the board culture rather than have people who don’t know each other who are trying to get out of the meeting, to watch a basketball game or be home with their family and sort of sit and say, This is my duty. For the next hour, I’m going to sit here, take notes and listen and try to do my job. But think of it just as a job. It’s going to be less productive. I think that if you come in and say I love these people that are kind of get to work with. And we’re trying to build something great so we can make change in the world or in our community. And so I really like coming to these events and getting a sense of it. Sometimes there’s, you know, those ice breaker things you know, for five or 10 minutes in front of a meeting that can be hit or miss and oftentimes a

[00:26:33.10] spk_0:
miss. How many people can you talk to in 10 minutes?

[00:26:35.46] spk_1:
Yeah, and that’s another reason why you shouldn’t have too big a board as well. If you have 50 people at a to our board meeting, how many people are going to get to

[00:26:51.84] spk_0:
talk, right? That’s yeah, So I know that I know your answer is there’s no hard and fast answer for this one. But since you just let into it, share your advice on on board size,

[00:28:13.54] spk_1:
Yes. So my maybe not so helpful advice is not too few and not too many, um, that if we dive down a little deeper, you need, um or you’d like to have as many board members as you can utilize to help you govern the organization and help the organization and the board do its best job. So if that number is eight, or if that number is 15, that’s, you know that may be your ideal board size. It’s more important to me to get the right people on the board, um, rather than the right number. But if you can, if you have less than five and you’re a mature organization, I start to worry that you’re gonna lack that diversity in many different perspectives. Um, and if you’ve got more than 20 I have a feeling that a lot of board members feel like their contributions are not being heard because they don’t have an opportunity to sort of verbally contribute, especially if there are few dominant board members at meetings and in a two hour meeting, even 20 people are going to have a chance to say how much about how many issues it will be very few. So to really think about that, and you want to encourage board members to attend every board meeting, not just sort of half of the board meetings or think that they can take a free ride because you’ve got enough people to do that job. I’ll just help on a committee. You don’t want them to feel that way. You want them to feel very invested.

[00:28:31.24] spk_0:
So you feel like an expectation is you attend every board meeting either physically or virtually.

[00:28:33.84] spk_1:
I think that’s the expectation. And if people are missing, you know, one out of 41 out of five meetings, one out of 10 meetings, you know that might be acceptable for special circumstances. But you don’t want it to be a habit. I think you want to aspire to have everybody attend all of them.

[00:28:58.64] spk_0:
Okay, Um, what do you What do you feel like talking about board wise that we haven’t talked about yet? Let’s not go to how to get rid of a board member yet that’s that’s toward the end. What’s your what’s on your mind around your best? Better board?

[00:30:44.94] spk_1:
Well, we talked about kind of the expectations of what the board should do, but they think each director’s gotta ask that question of themselves as well. And maybe that’s part of the board. Recruitment and orientation package is kind of a list of however many 10 things that board members should aspire to do themselves, uh, to be part of this board and attend all meetings. We talked about that, but what else should they do? They should review financials regularly, so if they’re getting a financial before each meeting, they should review them. They should know that they are expected to ask questions that might be at the board meeting or that might be before the board meeting. But if they’re getting information aboard package in advance, which they should get, um, about the matters that are going to be up for discussion at the board, they should know that they should review it first. And if they have any questions, they should share it with the group. Um, and that doesn’t happen enough, in my opinion, that there are these questions and everybody saves it for the board meeting, and then they run out of time to discuss all the issues that they want to. So just having it kind of on an email sort of mass email, the board package comes out on email, and people can ask questions about it so that everybody gets an advanced preview of what some of the issues are before you go into that board meeting and then start to discuss things a little bit more detail. Some of those things might need a little research to be answered to. The executive might have to talk to an accountant or a lawyer or someone else and say, Let’s find out what the answer is and you know that does away with that issue even before the meeting, if you can share that information. So that’s another thing to just think about.

[00:31:35.04] spk_0:
What about managing the board? Uh, some. Some larger organizations have a board liaison where that’s probably not most of our listeners with someone who’s devoted to the board. I think that’s more like university style, big university style. But there doesn’t have to be a lot of staff support for the board. I mean, not only the you mentioned getting the board packages to them at least a week. I’d say in advance, maybe a week or 10 days in advance, something like that. But it goes beyond that. Board members have questions. Have these questions that you’re suggesting they ask in advance of meetings? Um, committee work has to be supported. How do we How do we make sure that we’re giving the board members the support that they need.

[00:33:00.24] spk_1:
Yeah, and it’s a great balance. Is it? Well, it’s a great question, but it is a tough one to answer because of the balance that you have to think of. You want the board to be informed so that they can be of help to the organization. But you don’t want the board to put on so many demands upon the staff that they’re really hurting the staff’s ability to do the work of the organization, the programmatic work that’s needed. So there is a little bit of balance there. I know many staff members and executives hate kind of preparing the board for the board meeting because it may take so much work. Sometimes it’s because they’re trying to justify what they are doing to the board, because the board may come in with a little bit of a negative skew about, you know, prove to us that you’re doing good work of some kind. That may be the perception that the staff is getting. I don’t think any boards are overtly saying that, but I feel that staff can come into it a little bit defensively in preparation of board materials rather than this is an ally of ours. This should be the strongest ally that we have this board group. Let’s give them information and questions for them so that they can help us do our job better. Um, and that takes time. But how many staff are involved with the executive? Certainly is meeting with them. That probably goes without saying if there is a financial person there other than the executive, that person should probably have frequent contact.

[00:35:45.54] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take to the podcast. Pleasantries. They gotta go out. That’s what we start with. Plan giving accelerator that’s coming. The podcast. Pleasantries. Uh, I’m enjoying the nostalgia of sending these again. I’ve missed it. I guess I I ignored it for a while. My my mistake. I’m sorry about that. Pleasantries to you, our podcast listener. Well, you individually. But there’s more than just one of you out there. There’s over 13,000 of you out there. So, to the podcast, listeners pleasantries. You know, I’m grateful. I am. I’m glad you’re with us. I’m glad you’re learning that non profit radio helps you helps your organization open conversations, take action steps, open discussions with the board. Your CEO, your vice president, Whoever it is, you bring stuff too. I’m glad it helps you do all that. And I hope there’s the action steps to I’m sure there are. There is. I’m sure there are the action steps. I’m sure there are. Thanks for being with us. Thanks for being with me. Pleasantries to our podcast listeners. Each of you plan giving accelerator that is the online membership community that I created to help you get your plan giving program started and growing. It’s a membership that you join for a year, and I teach you month by month lesson by lesson, Step by step. Everything you need to get your planned giving program started and growing. If you’re not doing planned giving and you would like to be, is it on your to do list? Have you, like so many folks? Say to me, Had this on your mind for a couple of years. You can get it done. You can get it started to get the initial thing started, and that’s done and then the program continues. I mean, the program doesn’t finish after a year. You continue your playing giving program indefinitely, of course, but you’ll get plan giving off your to do list. You get the going done. Your started 2021. The next class starts April 1st, all the info on how to pick my brain and have me teach you planned giving starting up step by step. Is that planned? Giving accelerator dot com. Okay, that is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for build your best better board with Jean Takagi.

[00:36:41.93] spk_1:
I didn’t mean to downplay the role of somebody from programming coming in speaking to the board once in a while, I think I wanted to say that that was insufficient for the board to know what’s going on programmatically. But having people come in a little bit more regularly, or at least providing materials to the board more regularly about the program’s impact, you know, and that could be through stories as well. I’m kind of like in fundraising make the board engaged with what the organization is doing programmatically and invested in doing more to help the organization do better with its programs, either serve more people are doing in a better way. You want to create that connection so that the board rallies around you and actually helps you rather than just again just providing oversight and saying We want to make sure everything is lawful. Give us all this information to make, you know, make sure that we can do that. You want to do get more from your board.

[00:37:26.53] spk_0:
I like the idea of regular presentations at board meetings from from program staff. Maybe the 1st 15 minutes of a board meeting every time is from some different employee. Maybe maybe it’s not a unique pro, maybe not different programs every time. But I like the idea of devoting some board time each each meeting to to programs to what our work is, but but not being acquainted by the CEO. But having someone who’s on the ground doing the work answering, I think that would be a real fertile ground for questions to from the board and provides ongoing training.

[00:37:28.53] spk_1:
I think so, too, and maybe even somebody who is a beneficiary of the services

[00:37:32.89] spk_0:
beneficiary to yes

[00:37:51.23] spk_1:
to say Hey, you know you get a chance to speak to the board to because we want to know what you feel about our programs and our organization and how you’ve been treated. So, um, I think those things are good, and I I again think, tony, that will just energize aboard to want to do more if they feel more connected to what the organization is actually doing and not just reading about it and listening to the executive tell them about it.

[00:38:15.32] spk_0:
What about that important CEO board chair relationship that should be very collegial? It should be supportive. What what’s your advice around for? The CEO is probably mostly CEOs listening, although we do have board members listening. But probably we have more CEOs than we do board chairs. So what’s your advice there for them? Although

[00:39:07.82] spk_1:
I’ll say that probably a fair number of CEOs have actually acted in the capacity of a board chair as well and other organizations, so they may understand some of the roles from both sides. I think my advice is what you have just said, as well as to have this collegial relationship and develop one where there’s one of trust where the CEO is not afraid to go to the board and say, I’ve got some bad news. Um, I’m looking for some guidance on this. If the CEO is always about, um, my pay or my job security can be affected by telling bad news to the board chair. So I’m going to try to, uh,

[00:39:09.52] spk_0:
show hide it, make it sound, not as bad as it is not. Be completely honest, etcetera.

[00:39:26.32] spk_1:
Yeah, I think of what you know. For profit, boards of directors may say to their shareholders in public companies, Right, like you want to pose the best view of that organization as possible. I don’t think that’s a healthy relationship for nonprofit board to have its executive,

[00:39:37.42] spk_0:
and and that should be frequent communication to I mean, shouldn’t shouldn’t the CEO feel comfortable picking up the phone and seeking the advice of the board chair?

[00:40:20.31] spk_1:
I think so. And if it’s not the board chair, I I think it’s okay at times. So your board culture is going to have to allow for this, but for them to pick up the phone and talk to another board member, So I’m when I serve on the board. I’m sometimes the only lawyer on the board. I want the CEO to be able to talk to me. I’m not going to be their legal counsel, But I might have a point of view. Or I might spot an issue if they feel like, Hey, is this something we need to talk to our lawyer about? Maybe our board chair wouldn’t be able to answer that question. But maybe I would as a board member. So, yeah, I like the CEO of being able to reach out to multiple board members for for different issues. Yeah,

[00:40:48.21] spk_0:
all right. Should we should we talk about terminating board members the topic before before their time is, Do so Let’s say, you know, a three year term and they’ve been on for a year, and they’re obstreperous, lackluster, unkind. They don’t belong. Let’s just for whatever reason, they don’t belong.

[00:43:09.10] spk_1:
Sure. What do we do? Yeah, it’s a real tough one, right. So, um, sometimes you have to look at it holistically. So oftentimes I get a call and that situation will arise. But it will turn out that that board members also the biggest donor to the organization right now you’ve got to think a little more diplomatically and strategically about how to do this. Um um So again, not one size fits all But one method that some organizations have used has been to say, Let’s talk with this board member and try to find the best role for them in the organization and see if we can move them off the board but into this other role, whether it be advisory, um, or whether it be in an, uh in an honorary position for being, you know, uh, something emeritus. So give them a fancy title. Ask them to show up at fundraising events, um uh, or to to speak to two foundations when you go out with them to do a pitch, maybe that’s where their strength is. And maybe there’s enough there of their passion for the mission and for the organization and what it does. While they don’t have passion for doing the work of a director in a strategic and diplomatic way, they may still have passion for the mission of the organization. And let’s try to take advantage of that, um, and use it in a way where nobody will use sort of the Asian mentality of nobody loses face right, like so everybody gets to keep their dignity and look good. But let’s try to take advantage of not having that person be disruptive on the board anymore. And if that person isn’t giving you much of a contribution in any way, then once in a while removal is an unpleasant but sometimes necessary option. And boards may have to decide that again. Uh, they’re going to ask somebody where they’re actually going to vote to tell somebody, um, that their services as a director are no longer needed, Um, but that has to also be done diplomatically. You have to be careful of alleging reasons for doing that because that could get you involved in a defamation lawsuit from that person if they’re upset with it and litigious so carefully.

[00:43:20.20] spk_0:
So this should be something that’s in the bylaws, then removal of a board member. Yeah, you need to have a documented process.

[00:44:17.09] spk_1:
I think that’s right, tony. A lot of, um, boards have eliminated that from the bylaws because you see that as a negative. But then they would default to the code, right, and they’re not going to usually look up what the code says about removal. It has to be done in a certain way, and in some cases it can get a little bit complicated. If you have a voting membership structure like for certain charities, they might have members who actually elect their board members. It’s more common in trade associations and homeowners associations things like that. But some charities have voting members, and removal, then becomes a lot more complicated. But having it having the procedure in your bylaws at least gives you kind of like the encyclopedia. Look at how to do this properly without feeling like it’s going to be too hard. We can’t do it and just live with it.

[00:44:26.89] spk_0:
I’m not familiar with this model you just described because you and you said it’s some five oh one C threes have elected board members. So

[00:44:28.78] spk_1:
yeah,

[00:44:29.71] spk_0:
so it has. The board has voted members on and can only remove them,

[00:45:22.59] spk_1:
actually the opposite way. So members elect the board members, so the members are responsible for electing and potentially removing board members. So you might think of that more in terms of like a union or a professional association or homeowners association, where all the homeowners elect the board. If they don’t like the board, they’ll remove them and put somebody else on to that board. So some charities are also structured that way. And that was to sort of been seen as a more democratic process of ensuring that the board stays responsive to what the members think. The mission is supposed to be, um, for smaller organizations. I generally don’t recommend it because it’s more costly. It’s much more difficult to manage and administer. Um, but nevertheless, I would say about 5 to 10% of the charities that we run into small charities we run into are structured that way.

[00:45:32.49] spk_0:
Not ideal, though, but they’re trying to be democratic. And

[00:45:36.99] spk_1:
that’s right.

[00:46:19.48] spk_0:
Okay, I see. All right. Well, that Yeah, that conversation to to hope that opening that conversation with the director to be removed is is hard. Maybe maybe the maybe the board member themselves themselves, uh, maybe the person. Maybe they can’t find the right pronoun. Maybe that person isn’t happy in the role either. That’s a possibility. It could be. You know, you could sort of open the conversation with it. Seems like, you know, this isn’t as you were suggesting, and I’m kind of putting a few things together. It seems like this isn’t quite the right role for you. You don’t seem happy as a board member. Uh, you know, you could open the conversation that way in trying to find something else to offer

[00:46:43.88] spk_1:
them. I think that’s a great way often to frame that that situation. I actually wrote an article for the nonprofit Quarterly. I think called something like 10 Reasons Why a director made gracefully want to resign from their organization, um, board. And so, yeah, framing it from their perspective and what they’re not getting is probably a good way to start it.

[00:46:59.58] spk_0:
I thought of something else before we wrap up. What do you think about junior boards, you know, maybe have an advisory role? There’s sort of a training improving ground for future board members, whatever you call it, might. It might just be the advisory board or something. But what do you think of that? That having, uh, that in your organization,

[00:47:26.78] spk_1:
I think you’ve done well. It works. Um, really Well, it raises potential future board members and gives you an introduction to the organization. Rather than bringing somebody straight into the board. They have a chance to be part of whatever you want to call it an advisory committee or, uh, the junior board. I would be careful with the name, depending upon who you’re planning to put on it.

[00:47:30.99] spk_0:
So junior board is not so good. All right.

[00:47:33.37] spk_1:
Unless it’s for, you know, unless you’re putting minors on it for advisory positions. Okay. Okay.

[00:47:44.08] spk_0:
But advisory, an advisory board advisory committee. And and it gets to be seen as a stepping stone for some folks to the board membership.

[00:48:04.17] spk_1:
Yeah, and to offer thought leadership from different perspectives. Um, so I think that’s good. But if you’re trying to increase diversity through an advisory border, Junior. But I would say Be very careful to make it not look like it is of less importance. And that’s why these people were put on that.

[00:48:54.37] spk_0:
Oh, yeah, right. Right. So all your yes, all your all the folks of color and other underrepresented groups are on the advisory board. Yeah, that’s well, that’s a sham. Alright, That’s right. Exactly. That’s inhumane. Alright. Yeah, I’m surprised you thought of that, Gene. You’re well. You see the good and the bad. All right, you’ve It’s not that you thought of it. You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. I guess it’s It’s out there somewhere. All right. Thank you, Jeanne. Outstanding. Outstanding advice. Jeanne Takagi, our legal contributor. You’ll find them at nonprofit law blog dot com. You can find him at Columbia University if you’re a member of their student body in, uh, what is it? The nonprofit nonprofit management program at Columbia?

[00:49:01.07] spk_1:
Yep.

[00:49:07.17] spk_0:
Okay, so you’ll find him there. You also find him at neo law group dot com and you’ll find him at G T A K at G Tech. Thank you very much, Gene.

[00:49:12.87] spk_1:
Thanks, tony. Been a pleasure.

[00:50:05.17] spk_0:
My pleasure. As always. Thanks. Next week, I’m asking you to trust me. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. 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’re with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great. Mhm

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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Every nonprofit struggles with these issues. Big nonprofits hire experts. The other 95% listen to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Trusted experts and leading thinkers join me each week to tackle the tough issues. If you have big dreams but a small budget, you have a home at Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
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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.

Nonprofit Radio for March 6, 2020: Board Members As Relationship Builders & Maria’s Free Resources

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Peter Heller: Board Members As Relationship Builders
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[00:00:24.99] spk_3:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. We have a listener of the week, read Stockman

[00:00:26.02] spk_0:
in Fairfax Station, Virginia. He shared the show by tweeting. Tony-martignetti has an awesome radio show. Give a listen. Thank you. Thank you very much for that. Reed. Thank you so much,

[00:00:39.94] spk_3:
folks. You share, I shout, Reid says in

[00:00:44.74] spk_0:
his profile. Job leads welcome. So he does philanthropy, tech fundraising, research and curation. If we can help read out, please do what you know of a job that would be right

[00:00:53.28] spk_3:
for him. He’s at Reed. Stockman read

[00:01:37.74] spk_0:
Congratulations on being this week’s listener of the week. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. You’d get slapped with a diagnosis of metastasized, a phobia if you missed our sixth show in the Innovators. Siri’s board members as relationship builders, there’s more to board fundraising than parlor evenings and give get. Your members can engage your networks and build relationships around giving. Peter Heller shows you how he’s the latest in our innovators. Siri’s he’s principal of Heller Fundraising Group and Maria’s Free Resource is their candid dot org’s for foundation Research and FTC dot gov for campaign contributions. Maria Semple unlocks their treasures. She’s our Prospect research contributor and the Prospect

[00:01:48.79] spk_3:
Finder. Tony Steak, too. Planned giving relationship stories were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding

[00:01:51.08] spk_0:
you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com

[00:01:54.44] spk_3:
But Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund

[00:01:56.83] spk_0:
is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits. Tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO.

[00:02:14.29] spk_3:
It’s a pleasure to

[00:02:33.47] spk_0:
welcome to the studio. Peter Heller. He’s Principle of Heller Fundraising Group. The staff of six consults with nonprofits for capital campaigns, feasibility studies and major gift programs. Before founding the company, he was a fundraiser at Columbia University and four universities before that. The company is at Heller fundraising group dot com, where they have free tools for fund raising.

[00:02:40.03] spk_3:
Welcome. Peter Heller.

[00:02:41.54] spk_4:
Hi, tony. It’s great to be here.

[00:02:42.89] spk_0:
Yes. I’m glad you made it

[00:02:44.71] spk_3:
back. You were You were just in Costa Rica.

[00:02:47.34] spk_0:
I was just got back yesterday. Is that right?

[00:02:49.18] spk_4:
I did

[00:02:49.67] spk_0:
tonight and last night

[00:02:50.71] spk_4:
I got lead. I got back last night.

[00:02:53.14] spk_0:
House. Costa Rica for a vacation.

[00:02:54.71] spk_4:
It’s amazing. I want to go back.

[00:02:56.85] spk_0:
Why? Why is it so amazing?

[00:03:09.67] spk_4:
Beautiful jungle flowers and trees. All my house plants actually air their e. Got to visit all of my house plants. And And there’s a beautiful Yeah, they’re they’re cousins.

[00:03:11.58] spk_0:
And then, of course, to beaches. Yeah, because

[00:03:13.96] spk_4:
I only got to the Caribbean Coast, but it’s it’s wonderful. Uh, yeah. Beautiful place to be. Great people.

[00:03:20.05] spk_0:
Glad you made it back in time. I came just for you. Thanks for doing this on. Not quite, but I did talk you into doing your first day back. Thank you. Um,

[00:03:28.81] spk_3:
okay. Board from board

[00:03:34.19] spk_0:
Fundraising Difficult, difficult, Difficult for board members to be successful at. What’s the What’s the trouble?

[00:03:39.14] spk_4:
Very true. So, you know, I was thinking about the title of our of our talk, which is board members as relationship builders. That was mine. Yeah, and yet very good night. Are

[00:03:49.61] spk_0:
you Are you okay with that consent?

[00:03:52.45] spk_4:
And the

[00:03:53.00] spk_3:
reason I

[00:04:39.64] spk_4:
was thinking about it is that relationship builders For what? Now I’m a fundraiser, a fundraiser, consultant, and but if you take a step back, it’s really we want board members to think of themselves as relationship builders, for the organization with people in the community and that those relationships, if you’re a fundraiser, you really want those relationships to net money. That’s true. Let’s not pretend, right? Yeah, let’s not pretend that that’s not true. And the the reason is called Relationship Building is you want strong relationships that are going to extend beyond money and be way more than just transactional so that you and the other people that you’re building relationships with as board members help your organization make your community stronger, Not just the organization, but that’s the key point that I’m going to get to but really make your organization.

[00:04:51.60] spk_0:
This is all that does. That’s aspiration, right? Absolutely. What? Where are we falling short? Well, in working with our board members as fundraiser.

[00:05:03.79] spk_4:
So first, let’s say there are organizations that are doing a great job engaging their board members as advocates for their organization and where, believe it or not, they’re board members air actually enjoying their board service because a lot of times when I go in the board rooms, you get this feeling that there’s just this this heavy weight on everybody’s shoulders like, Oh, my God. Why did I sign up for this volunteer? You know what I mean? Yeah, It’s like you’ve worked with some of the words like that. Like, why did I sign up for this? You

[00:05:26.66] spk_0:
don’t get a real sense of excitement about

[00:05:47.92] spk_4:
Yeah, Yeah, how You know, how frequently can I check my phone in the meeting without, like, you know, being seen? Some people don’t even care that they’re seen so But the whole idea that I’m going for here is that u um, you want to turn that relationship around with the board members so that they’re really excited about their board service and they’re advocating on your behalf and, you know, you said, What’s the current state? It’s usually not that. So when we go into an organization, were usually called in to help with a capital campaign or to build a major gift program. Sometimes we do one off board training events. But regardless of the scenario, what we find is that we train board members to get excited about what’s going on in that organization and in the community, and it’s really it’s like a mindset difference. It’s not. It’s like a switch you just got to turn on.

[00:06:32.28] spk_0:
So you want them to be more grounded in the in the mission and and the vision exact, More conscious off,

[00:06:34.29] spk_4:
right? Well, there’s really, like, there’s a two part thing Ah, that we tend to tend to talk about. And it may sound kind of like highfalutin or just kind of.

[00:06:44.75] spk_0:
All right, try us. Okay,

[00:07:52.44] spk_4:
um, you know, just philosophical. Traditional, aspirational. But so here. Here’s what it is. Isn’t it negatively inspirational? Yeah. So, really, what happens is that non profit staff leaders and non profit board members, often just by the fact that they have to get some really hard work done day after day, week after week in their community, they don’t step back and see the bigger picture. And what we’re talking about here is simply the bigger picture. And what that is is helping board members to see two things. One what? What is a really positive future for the organization that they’re serving on the board of Tau actually spend time in board meetings talking about that I can give you a few tips on howto actually make that happen in a board meeting a little later. But to get real clarity on what is an even more powerful future for organization look like. And the step after that, which is like the uber powerful thing is what is an even more powerful future for our community Look like.

[00:08:08.07] spk_0:
And you want the board energized and activated, conscious of all this, and then they convey this to the folks that they’re gonna be talking to. Exactly. That’s the That’s the basis of the relation that becomes the basis of the relationship, not a transactional. We need $50,000 this year.

[00:08:21.59] spk_4:
Exactly. So And let me emphasize that point again. In a

[00:08:32.40] spk_0:
way. Let me take a break. All right, on, Ben, I want you to reemphasize. Okay, let me take this break for wegner-C.P.As so that your 9 90 gets filled

[00:08:35.79] spk_3:
out on time so that your audit is finished on time so that you get

[00:08:54.04] spk_0:
the advice of an experienced partner. You Each tomb just on, uh so recently and affirm that has a nationwide non profit practice with thousands of audits under its belt. Um, let’s go. Let’s go back to board members as relationship builders because I was gonna do the live listener love, But I have something on the tip of your tongue. It’s a rite of water on the Ted

[00:09:05.79] spk_3:
Hold off on the live load. I’d like to do live love.

[00:09:08.75] spk_0:
Now I’m doing something else instead of that. All right. I want you. I want to get this out. We’ll do the love. Don’t

[00:10:58.38] spk_4:
worry. Okay? Gotta gotta spread the love shared especially. Okay, So here’s what I’d like to ask you to picture is when we work with nonprofits and they we ask them to show us and tell us how they’re typically communicating about their organization to their community. However, they define that community, including their donors. We find that usually they’re very me, me, me, central centric. And what we encourage them to do is to take themselves out of the equation and talk about their community and the impact that their organization is gonna have on on their community for a better future. So, for instance, um, if we’re working with a, um, thinking of in Westchester, we’re working with ah, child care and Early Education Center, and we’re doing Ah, almost $20 million capital campaign if they go to all their donors and they say, Hey, we need a new building. Can you give us some money? They’re going to get some money. But if they go to their donors and say, You know, the future of our community is gonna be so much stronger if we’re able to have a building that houses Maur young Children and allows more working families to put their kids in a high quality education, Early childhood school and goto work. They’re talking about the future of a community being stronger rather than me. Me, mia Central. So So basically, just we encourage board members and non profit leaders to get into that mind set and then go talk to current donors as well as potential donors from that point of view.

[00:10:59.64] spk_0:
Got okay. Now we need to drill down toe how to. So how are we going to reorient our board’s thinking to get this from aspiration toe action?

[00:11:34.61] spk_4:
Right. So there’s a number of things. The first is that, uh, you know, we do trainings for boards and generally when we’re not there and somebody’s just like you’re you’re asking Hey, how are we gonna do this? We advise that every board meeting should have something on the agenda A that has to do with fundraising and not make it like the last item when everybody’s like, Oh my God, I’m ready to go If philanthropy

[00:11:36.27] spk_0:
What about fundraising? On the I know there’s two things. First of all, what are they? Fundraising and

[00:11:41.59] spk_4:
and exercises that engage the board members and conversations around this topic of a stronger future for our community.

[00:11:48.76] spk_0:
What do you want to see around fundraising in Sword Agenda?

[00:11:57.01] spk_4:
I first of all, I want it not to be like the what it’s like, You know, in grade school, when you’re the the bad kid that gets sat in the corner like philanthropy is usually sat in the corner.

[00:12:07.04] spk_0:
OK, right, that’s what it’s not. What is it? What did this conversation look like? So for these topics, starters going

[00:13:19.34] spk_4:
right, So you wanna have conversations? First of all, let’s talk about the fundraising before we talking way our community. So you want every board member toe, understand how fundraising works in the organization? Not for it to be some mysterious thing that the development director comes to the meeting and gives ah quick report or even the chair of the development committee gives the report. And and then everybody is kind of like, OK, I sort of know what you’re talking about, but it really people need to understand how much it costs to raise the money, What, all the activities there that are happening, what the various sources of revenue are, what they can do to get involved and when they understand things, just like you and I, we’re like, if we’re, you know, there’s something that we’re not sure about. Like I typically look things up on Google the time, right? Wikipedia, Mike. Oh, I don’t know What. So you need to understand, because what happens is that I’m sure you’ve seen this because you’ve been in board meetings is that when there’s a vacuum of knowledge, board members just like all of us, other normal human beings fill that vacuum up with misconceptions. Yeah,

[00:13:25.92] spk_0:
all right. And

[00:13:26.39] spk_3:
you want to do this at every meeting? I’m trying to drill

[00:13:43.91] spk_4:
todo eso, so I want I want every meat. Every meeting has to have an agenda item on there. That’s something like building our culture of philanthropy. And then there’s specifics There’s there’s, you know, reports on not just Hey, we raised

[00:13:46.11] spk_3:
You always start with what? It’s not. Tell me what it is. Okay. Damn it. Damn it. I want to know. What is

[00:14:49.39] spk_4:
it? Uh, now you got me on the spot. Yeah. So that’s good. Um, you want to have in that meeting a discussion of the specifics of how fundraising works? Okay, give some examples. Right. All right. So first, I’ll give you a really good example. We just finished a campaign in Falls Church, Virginia. It’s amazing. Ah, Director of development there. Actually, she was really smart. When she took her job. She insisted that she be called the director of philanthropy. I thought that was was really smart, right? And so their campaigns done. And now they’re looking at How do we keep this culture of philanthropy going? Well, they need to keep talking about it. And people don’t even understand what she does. Has her job. So she, you know, she’s faced with having to explain to her board and her senior staff. Yeah, I got through all this campaign. I, like struggled. I raised $60 million but here all the things that I do week by week, and that’s something that you have to keep talking about. Okay, so that’s a great agenda item,

[00:14:54.30] spk_0:
okay? And the other agenda item what each month is.

[00:15:54.72] spk_4:
So we’re talking about building how to increase board members, understanding of their impact on community on the community that they’re okay. And for me, that’s, um Hey, does it have to be in every board meeting? I don’t know, But you need to have a period of time where you go through exercises and I like to use very simple, like index card exercises were simply literally hand everybody an index card. And you ask them a question. So, for instance, you could have two questions. What’s, uh what would an even stronger future for our organization look like? And what would any even stronger future for our community look like? Because those are two different things. Sure, and and sometimes it’s really interesting to see that that they match up when people So you give everybody in the next card, you say, you know, right? Right down these questions, Then you can do it a bunch of ways, of course, But I like to say you have 20 board members before people share it with the whole group. You have them turn to each other. So you have 10 groups of to

[00:16:04.69] spk_0:
stop hitting the mike stand. Sorry.

[00:16:20.33] spk_4:
Non. No. Well, maybe, Uh okay. So I’m so I’m so, like, emphatic with my arms. I am too. So you got 10 groups of two and you have them share with each other. Okay. Hey, what’d you write? What would you write? Go and do that for, like, two or three minutes. And then one person from each group shares their experiences with the whole

[00:16:40.14] spk_0:
group. Now, the purpose of this again sounds to me like we’re trying to ground board members remind. That’s just remind board members of the importance role that our organization plays in this community.

[00:16:43.18] spk_4:
Right? And the

[00:16:43.67] spk_0:
air. We so important to it.

[00:16:45.32] spk_4:
Yeah. And that there’s a real power in making the organization even stronger to build an even stronger community.

[00:16:59.39] spk_0:
Now we do these, so we’re constantly engaging, reminding board members. How does this convey to board member fundraising went there. Now, there now going out to their network, etcetera. Right. What’s the That’s the action step we want next

[00:17:39.94] spk_4:
right, so that’s excellent question. So here’s what we do is that hopefully, board members through those index card activities and those conversations, they’re beginning to see that there’s a bit of a shift of focus on on how they’re relating to the organization. And then what we do is we train them. Two, take a list of prospective donors. So say, Just let’s say, for instance, you’ve got this board of 20 people that we just talked about. They paired up and say four of them have agreed to go and do some really major fundraising.

[00:17:44.59] spk_0:
Let’s make it a board of six or eight. Okay, More, more. I think that’s more appropriate for our listeners. Okay, it stick with six.

[00:17:50.06] spk_3:
I mean, there are some

[00:17:52.49] spk_0:
20 born. Okay, okay, let’s keep it.

[00:18:24.54] spk_4:
You got eight people on eight people on your board. They’ve gone through this thing exercise, and let’s say three of them have agreed that yet, you know, I’m really excited about trying to do fundraising for the organization. And let’s just assume that for some reason the organization is new to this. They haven’t been doing it before, and so those three people are going to need to contact people in the community and ask them for money. It’s pretty obvious, right? Okay. So, uh, often the way it happens, not a good practice, I think is, you know, they’ll call them up, they’ll send them an e mail. Whatever we’re looking at, identifying the people who can contribute the most money in the community and having these board members actually go and sit down and talk with

[00:18:40.13] spk_0:
them. Okay? You prefer face to face. Some people won’t take a face to face me, right? At least initially.

[00:18:45.04] spk_4:
So So there’s a lot of strategies that we use with people. Regardless, whether we’re helping with a major gift program or a capital campaign on breaking through that, you know that silence on the other end of the phone or on the other end of the email,

[00:18:57.98] spk_0:
right? That’s something that is valuable to have.

[00:20:22.94] spk_4:
Yeah, that’s another. Okay, so let’s assume that the board member is able to sit down with somebody in the community and talk about, you know, have a conversation that hopefully is gonna lead to fundraising. Yeah, And so that same shift of perspective that we talked about in the board meeting is what we want to see happening in the meeting with a prospective donor. Okay, in that the right from the moment that they set up the meeting either on the phone or through an email. They’re talking about the future off the community, not hey, I’ve been assigned to raise money in our community for organization. Can I sit down with you and ask for some money? That’s a pretty weak opening. Yeah, so poor, It’s pork. So we But we shift that perspective in terms of, you know, the future of our community is so important to me that I’m hoping you would spend a few minutes talking with me about that so that I could learn your views and it It’s not so much, actually A, by the way, but we try to make the next part of its sort of, by the way. And you know, my organization is now in a in a fundraising campaign. If you decided to at some point contribute, that’d be great. But first I really want to talk about the future of our community and hear your views. That’s it may sound simple, but it’s a radical change of perspective on the way that fundraising is usually done, particularly by board members who who have this image. I don’t know where it came from, but, like the fundraising equates to arm twisting.

[00:20:41.15] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah, all right. Very onerous. I gotta tap all my friends.

[00:21:12.58] spk_4:
Yeah, and it’s gonna be awkward. I don’t want to do it. So again, it’s not for everybody. There’s different jobs for other board members, but those who are willing we can set them up. And this concept can set them up so that they can have, first of all, better success at the at the end of it where they’re gonna get more money. But also that And tony, this is the really exciting part is that they’re actually gonna enjoy these conversations. Like, can you

[00:21:13.22] spk_3:
imagine that?

[00:21:16.60] spk_4:
Board members enjoying conversation.

[00:21:17.20] spk_0:
I’m sure it happened. I’ve been in some that were not so good, but

[00:21:20.84] spk_3:
I’ve I’ve been somewhere

[00:21:22.07] spk_0:
the board, the board members, pretty motivated and and and aware of what the organization is doing, you know? Yeah.

[00:21:29.25] spk_3:
So I’ve seen

[00:21:56.64] spk_0:
both. Yeah, but it certainly needs improvement, because I don’t think you’re I don’t think your average board is particularly motivated about fundraising. Your average board member is really into what they consider to be like you said, arm twisting. Okay, so we drilled down. All right. Thank you. All right, so now we got a couple extra minutes, all right? I want to get to Sometimes I know you. It’s hard to get to the core with you. OK, But we did good notes. So, um Okay, now let’s embellish a little bit. We got electric. We got some time. A few minutes. So what else? What else do you want to fill in around this process?

[00:22:22.81] spk_4:
Well, you know, you you cautioned me about what? It’s not. But you did also ask me before we started for some examples of what didn’t work. Well, so

[00:22:23.63] spk_3:
okay, now, well, that’s different. Yeah. Yeah. So So let me

[00:25:01.32] spk_4:
give you there’s two examples that but they also have good outcomes. So let me let me give you a couple of real concise and you’re okay, So just the 1st 1 is a board that I worked with. There were a lot of people who were in the real estate business, and on this board there were probably three real estate guys and there were other people, too. And I went through this training with them, and their insistence was, you know, like everybody we know is transactional, they’re just they’re not gonna be interested in this. What’s better for the community and growing our community, and they’re not gonna wanna you know, we had identified some people who would join our board, and they’re not gonna want to do this. So two things happen. One is, I explained to them that you three guys are actually here. Something happened that you decided that this organization was important. So you would join the board so that it’s not impossible that other people might get excited beyond writing a transactional check to make you go away. And the second thing that happened was more kind of Ah, I don’t know if it was more for me or for them, but I was like, You know what? I’m not gonna push you. You want it? You believe that your people are transactional. I’m gonna let you just go and get a transactional gift. Let’s see if you get that first and then let’s build upon that. So it’s like meeting the board members where They’re at not insisting that it has to be another way. Thea. Other thing is I actually had success with that. Yeah, they did well, and they built their board and it actually turned around. Okay, I brought this is a two sentence email that a board member for an organization are go ahead and two sentences. Not Yeah, it’s not so bad. Right? So not a page. No. And this is an E mail. I use this in my training’s now because this was sent by a board member. What gets me is it was after they went through our, like, three hour long training on how to do this. And they did this thing that I’m gonna read you anyway. Okay, So this was trying to get a meeting for a, uh, for campaign to discuss a gift, you know, to discuss a gift for a campaign. So it’s like, Hi, Gail, I hope you’re continuing to enjoy the summer. I would love to meet with you at your convenience to discuss our capital campaign. Can you drop us a note as to sometimes That would work for your schedule. Best Rhonda And then So she sent that email. Then I got that. I’m not gonna read you the reply, but it’s basically says we’re gonna make a $5000 contribution. No need to meet. But she’s like, Well, what should I do now? You know, I mean, it was laughable because it was like, Well, you know, you should have come to a sooner. Why don’t you pay attention in the training and have us help you write an email that was talked about the community first. So all of you listening there today, don’t do this. Focus on your community. Figure out what’s exciting about the future of

[00:25:28.25] spk_0:
yours. That $5000 gift that’s called the peremptory gift. Exactly. This is 5000. I’m not really interested in what you’re asking is this is what I’m giving you. No need

[00:25:28.66] spk_4:
to meet, right, because I mean, $5000 from from some people is an amazing stretch gift, right? And for certain organizations that that’s a nice

[00:25:37.26] spk_0:
I’m guessing in this case, this was this

[00:25:39.31] spk_4:
was from somebody who could have given to be asking significant multiples of that in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

[00:25:56.21] spk_0:
Right? Peremptory. Okay, So, uh, good point. Why Didn’t you ask us? Seek our advice sooner about how to write? Ah, um, a broader based and more engaging

[00:25:59.40] spk_4:
email, right? So there’s there’s

[00:26:01.61] spk_3:
one other

[00:26:20.01] spk_4:
point that I think is worth making, which is that when organizations are in a capital campaign, which is usually a multimillion dollar project for physical plant door or programs or endowment, or sometimes a combination of all those it’s a time that a lot of this stuff comes up for board members because it’s a time when the organization is forced to train people to do things. However, it’s not necessary that you have to be in a capital campaign for these best practices to come up in terms of relationship building for

[00:27:06.14] spk_0:
border just happens to be when they that’s it’s a common time. Engage a consultant around the campaign around the feasibility study before that, Yeah, right. But you’re the point you made earlier. If you want to continue this culture of philanthropy, way beyond you’re successful campaign absolutely to be ingrained routinely absolute, and that will help set you up for the next campaign. Whether it’s two years later or five years later, or 10 years later, you’ll have this culture and you’ll have these relationships long standing, helping you get into the next next campaign,

[00:27:24.32] spk_4:
right? And the challenge we find often is that when organizations start campaigns, they haven’t been doing this beforehand so that the work to get to the gold they need for a building project or for whatever is it’s harder because

[00:27:30.71] spk_0:
I asked you, stop doing that. It’s harder but monitored. I gave you a free pass to sit. I’ll sit on my hands way got about two minutes

[00:27:33.69] spk_4:
left. So if they can, if you’re not in a campaign and you can build up your culture of philanthropy and your ability to engage your board with community members, then when you need to have a campaign, everybody including your board, your leadership and your community is not gonna be so foreign to this concept of talking.

[00:27:56.67] spk_3:
And that is not rushed for pizza. You know, don’t wait for the campaign

[00:28:00.06] spk_0:
because I’m being more effusive about it. Don’t wait for a campaign to start building relationships through your

[00:28:05.37] spk_3:
board members. Absolute. Do it. I mean, you want you want supporters and you want, uh, engaged community members throughout the life

[00:28:13.28] spk_0:
span of your non profit, not only when you’re in the in the in the 12 months or 36 month

[00:28:18.88] spk_3:
campaign you wanted at all

[00:28:20.43] spk_4:
times. Absolute. Don’t wait. Don’t wait. That should be our slogan. We’ll make T shirts.

[00:28:45.74] spk_0:
All right, We got to leave it there. Peter, how are you? Thank you so much. My pleasure. T shirt, T Shirt Factory. That’s Peter Heller principle of Heller Fundraising Group. You’ll find the company at Heller fundraising group dot com, no aptly named Helen Fundraising fundraising group dot com And they have free tools for fund raising their All right, Thank you again. You’re welcome. Thank you. I need to

[00:28:46.00] spk_3:
take a break. Cougar Mountain Software.

[00:28:48.38] spk_0:
Their accounting product Denali, is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that understands you. You’ve heard the testimonials about that that I’ve read.

[00:29:11.94] spk_3:
They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. Now it’s time for Tony’s take two planned giving relationship stories about relationships runs through it because that’s what it that’s what this is all based on its relationships not only fundraising, but all the

[00:29:23.32] spk_0:
support for your organization in whatever form it comes, not just money. It’s

[00:29:26.81] spk_3:
all around relationships.

[00:29:45.74] spk_0:
So what am I talking about in this week’s video planned giving relationships that stand out for me? There are scores of them. Um, the ones I tell on the video are, Ah, Eleanor, Evelyn, Barbara and Jim. Um, these

[00:29:46.07] spk_3:
were stories that are touching.

[00:29:57.64] spk_0:
Um, they’re they’re not always joyful, although overall planned giving relationships to me are enormously joyful. If there’s something that’s the really that one thing that I would say I miss about being an employee versus a consultant because you don’t have the depth of relationship.

[00:30:06.45] spk_3:
But there are still some, even as a

[00:30:12.27] spk_0:
consultant, which I’m grateful for. So it’s

[00:30:12.52] spk_3:
about the relationships,

[00:30:33.84] spk_0:
you know, and then the relationships lead to support, and that is not necessarily money. It could be, but it’s not always, um so I share, so I share four stories on the video video is at tony-martignetti dot com, and that is tony. Take two. Now let’s do the live love. There’s

[00:31:14.91] spk_3:
loads of it. Oh, my goodness, gracious, Look. Boston, Massachusetts Madison, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia Morehead City, North Carolina Woo Um, that could be Maria. Simple possible. Let’s see staying domestic. Tampa, Florida New York, New York, Indianapolis, Indiana Falls Church, Virginia, Los Angeles, California, Seattle, Washington Who the love goes out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Yes, wonderful. The live love. Thank you to each of you, including Miami Lake, Florida. Look at that. It’s just coming and coming. I can’t stop them. Um, the live love goes out. So glad you’re with us. Let’s go abroad. Knows Aillagon leg long France.

[00:31:22.59] spk_0:
Uh, bonsoir, I’m not sure, but the live love goes out. Um,

[00:31:32.64] spk_3:
Beijing, Of course. Beijing. We haven’t seen you for a while. Where have you been anyhow? So glad you’re with us. Tokyo, Japan. Tron. Oh, that’s our Austria. No. But Tokyo, Japan!

[00:31:34.95] spk_0:
We got to do. Of

[00:31:52.24] spk_3:
course. Konnichi wa. Thank you so much for being with us. Tokyo trout on Austria. That’s brand new. Welcome, Austria. Live love to you. Tehran! Iran. Welcome You’ve been. Now you come through loyal. Thank you, Tehran. Live love out there. Very. Varga knew

[00:31:54.03] spk_0:
Brazil. I know I messed that up. That’s terrible. I just don’t know, really how to pronounce it. But I can’t say over Delgado. Thank you for being with us.

[00:32:04.10] spk_3:
That’s the live love. Thanks so much to each of you and ah, the plot. The plod class I’ve been I’ve been bad about this recently. The plod classed pleasantries. Very bad. Um, it’s supposed to be the podcast pleasantries going out to our over 13,000 listeners through that

[00:32:21.63] spk_0:
medium. Thank you for being with us. Pleasantries to the podcast listeners. Thank you,

[00:32:27.39] spk_3:
Maria Semple. I almost forgot her name.

[00:32:29.35] spk_0:
That’s been since so long she’s been on. She’s the Prospect Finder. She’s a trainer and speaker on Prospect research. Her latest book is Magnify Your Business Tips, Tools and Strategies for Growing Your Business or Your non

[00:32:44.90] spk_3:
profit. She’s our doi end of dirt, cheap and free, and she’s gonna live up to it today. She’s at the prospect finder dot com And at Maria Simple. Maria Semple. Do you recognize my voice?

[00:32:51.59] spk_6:
I absolutely d’oh you.

[00:32:53.99] spk_0:
Thank you. You’re better than me that

[00:32:55.54] spk_3:
I almost forgot your name.

[00:32:56.52] spk_0:
No, I’m doing great. I’m doing great.

[00:33:01.38] spk_3:
You’ve been on since last September. It’s been well.

[00:33:01.61] spk_0:
There was hurricane time around then and other issues that cropped up. So it’s very good to have you back.

[00:33:08.71] spk_6:
Thank you. It’s great to be here.

[00:33:11.09] spk_0:
Are you in the in fact, in North Carolina today or you will am Okay. Okay.

[00:33:16.90] spk_6:
We need to get together when you get back.

[00:33:18.79] spk_3:
Let’s not get carried

[00:33:32.71] spk_0:
away now, Sze, keep it to the show, okay? Your husband Ah, I don’t want to say anything online. I don’t want to say no. No, Bob, um So we’re

[00:33:37.39] spk_3:
talking about Maria’s free resource is today. You want to start with Candid dot or GE? You love them?

[00:33:40.94] spk_6:
Yes, Absolutely. Well, since it has been a while since I’ve been on I know we’ve We’ve talked about guide star in the past, and we’ve talked about the foundation centers. Resource is in the past. The one thing we haven’t covered is they kind of murder, you know,

[00:33:56.90] spk_0:
They kind of they did. They are together. Yeah.

[00:34:25.49] spk_6:
Yeah, in 2019. So, um, and we have uncovered it on the show. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to focus on that a little bit, Um, and just kind of give folks an overview. It’s too, you know, exactly. what you can do on the fight, especially for free. Um, you know, we all know that that these sources also provide sea bass upgrades. Premium service is as well, but you’ve labeled me. What is it? Dry in

[00:34:29.33] spk_3:
the end of dirt, cheap and free. You got three in the second. I’ve

[00:34:33.64] spk_6:
gotta keep keep it today.

[00:34:35.30] spk_0:
Today’s Maria’s free resource is so Yeah, you can certainly mention the paid, But

[00:34:39.63] spk_3:
what can we do for free?

[00:34:40.59] spk_0:
That’s valuable. A candid dot or GE

[00:36:41.43] spk_6:
So you can still do the 9 90 finder. And what I really like about that is, um, you know, we often have, you know, organizations that you know, sit around in their meetings. You know, Peter was referencing in the first half hour of the show talking about, you know, getting your board together. You’re six people. Eight people tend whatever it is. And when you start having conversations around X spending your your basis supporters in major gift, um, sometimes those folks will be giving to you through a foundation checkbook as opposed to a personal cheque book. Um, and very often you may not even realize that there are folks with a foundation checkbook who may be in your backyard. So what I like about the 9 90 finder is that you can you if you mean it, when you log into the candid site and you you go to look at the various research things you can do on their things, you can do tab. Then you go to the 9 90 finder. You can click on more search options once the search box appears, and it’ll allow you to put in a specific zip code where you want to be able to do some prospecting. So again, we’ve talked in the past about reactive prospecting and proactive. So sure you could do the reactive stuff. You could still go in. Put in the known name of a foundation that you want to learn more about. That’s more of the reactive. But if you’re trying to come up with a list of potential maybe family foundations in your community, this is a great way to do it, and so you can prospect it by a specific zip code. And then when you do that and you come up with your list of search results, what I like to do then is to click on the Total Assets column so that you can actually sort the results. So if you want to see the results by total assets from lowest to highest or highest Lois, it gives you an opportunity to say immediately, Who are those largest foundations right here in our community? Um, and I think that could be immensely helpful for small to midsize non profit who really serve a specific geographic region.

[00:37:07.01] spk_3:
Okay, Okay. Excellent. The 9 90 finder.

[00:37:34.78] spk_6:
Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, you know, once you have that, those lists of foundations, you know, certainly click on them. Ah, and so that you can get to the actual 9 90 itself, which is going to be chock full of information as everybody. I’m sure listening knows, Um, what I like about it is that sometimes I’ve looked at some nine nineties that have maybe zero listed in assets or a very low number, like, I don’t know, $1500 or something like that.

[00:37:42.88] spk_0:
You think?

[00:38:21.92] spk_6:
Oh, well, this isn’t a very big foundation. Why should I bother? Even may be looking at this. And when you did a little deeper and you look at the 9 90 Sometimes you’ll find that they’re the reason why it may have a very low or zero number in The Assets column. Is because it is really being used as a passed through right, so their their their intention is not to have those assets sitting there. It’s really to, you know, bring the money in fund funded that year and then immediately cut the checks out in that same calendar year. My tip, I guess, is just don’t discount those really small or zero asset foundations, dig a little deeper and take a look at those nine nineties

[00:38:33.56] spk_0:
eso. So we’re so so where will you find the grant information? So let’s say it is a pastor the way you’re describing, and they make a 1,000,000 1/2 dollars worth of grants every year. Will you find that information on the 9 90 if so, where?

[00:38:49.22] spk_6:
So just kind of some through sometimes they will have. It is a separate attachment. That’s part of the 9 90 though it depends on how many grants they’ve made. But there will be a section of the 9 90 that will list the grants paid in that calendar

[00:39:03.96] spk_0:
year

[00:39:19.49] spk_6:
and you’ll actually up, you’ll actually be able to see exactly the organizations that receive the money and how much they received. And sometimes if they even have money if approved for future payments, right? So maybe they’ve made a a multiyear commitment to an organization. And so they may decide to list out, um, the future years that they anticipate to pay out to that organization

[00:39:31.04] spk_0:
as well. So that’s a that’s a cool that’s a pro tip. So don’t pay so much attention to the assets as you do the granting that they do.

[00:39:40.02] spk_6:
Yes,

[00:39:40.56] spk_0:
exactly.

[00:39:41.33] spk_6:
I

[00:39:41.50] spk_0:
would pay

[00:40:09.74] spk_6:
much more attention to the grants paid than you know than the other. And also you want I’m able to be able to see. Is this foundation even accepting proposals at all? Because you don’t really want to spin your wheels on approaching foundations and you know, sitting there and writing a grant proposal and you send it off in the mail. And then, you know, you kind of sit there waiting when in fact, this foundation may not accept proposals.

[00:40:13.00] spk_0:
That’s an enormous. That’s an enormous fail. If you’ve spent time, even if you know, if you spent time writing a letter of inquiry. If they’re not accept there, So how do we find this out?

[00:40:22.11] spk_6:
So on generally, it’s on page 10 of the 9 90

[00:40:25.96] spk_3:
going the

[00:40:26.96] spk_6:
way down

[00:40:27.72] spk_3:
this

[00:40:27.88] spk_0:
expertise on non profit radio.

[00:40:29.47] spk_3:
Go to page 10 of

[00:40:31.52] spk_0:
the 9 90 Yeah,

[00:41:23.51] spk_6:
there’s a check box that the number that the the foundation can check off if they’re not accepting unsolicited proposals. So you want to make sure that that check boxes is checked or not? If it’s checked again there, I wouldn’t necessarily discount them if it feels like, let’s say you’re a kn animal rescue group and you see that this foundation has been making, you know a lot of the majority of their grants are two organizations in you know, that fund animal welfare? Well, maybe there’s somebody on your board that knows one of those board members because don’t forget the board members of the trustees of that foundation are gonna be listed in that 9 90 You might be better off just circulating the names of those trustees with your board to say, Hey, do any of you have a connection with any of these people? I’m not asking you to necessarily make the approach for us right away. But I’d like to see if there’s some way we can get an introduction to the foundation because they seem to be a perfect match for our mission.

[00:42:02.97] spk_0:
Okay, Okay. We got to take a break. Uhm we come back, you know, with a little bit more on candid. But then we got to get the FTC, and you also have some conferences you want. You want to shut out. So, um, just setting setting up the agenda, right? Time for our last break

[00:42:06.64] spk_3:
turn to communications their former journalists so that you get help building relationships with journalists. This is what they used to do so that your call gets answered when there’s news you need to comment

[00:42:17.61] spk_0:
on so that you stay relevant in your community and including former journalist one on the

[00:42:24.56] spk_3:
Chronicle of Philanthropy. So they know this community. You want to build these relationships again? Relationships. Look at the theme coming through. My God, it’s incredible.

[00:42:37.26] spk_0:
Um, I’m gonna build these journalists relationships, so you stay relevant. Turn hyphen to dot ceo, we’ve got

[00:42:44.38] spk_3:
butt loads. More time for Maria’s free resource is okay. You want to give us one more for Ah, Candid.

[00:42:49.66] spk_6:
Yes, sure you do. Two quick ones, actually, For candidates,

[00:42:56.43] spk_0:
I say one. She says Do. Alright, FBO Quick

[00:42:57.78] spk_6:
start. Right, which is the foundation directory online. Quick. Start there too. You can search by a city or state, thereby giving you the ability to prospect by, um, you know, by zip code zip code.

[00:43:11.37] spk_0:
Okay. What is this? What

[00:43:12.21] spk_3:
is this called again? What I think

[00:43:14.12] spk_6:
is as much information provided under this under their free plan. Um so I think the fbo quick start is a little bit more limited. I personally I like the 9 90 finder better.

[00:43:26.66] spk_0:
Okay, wait, hold on. Providing

[00:43:28.40] spk_6:
Klippel about is that they

[00:43:29.64] spk_3:
do have

[00:43:30.05] spk_6:
a tab. They’re called request for proposals. And, um, what they do list there are They connects you to grant opportunities that are available through the philanthropy news digest, and it does include deadlines. So what I like there again if you you’re scrolling through that and you know, you see some opportunities for you to apply for a grant opportunity that you didn’t realize was available that’s coming up. You should still have plenty of time to make the grant deadline and, um, you know, on and get in on the new money.

[00:44:02.03] spk_3:
Okay. Where did you say you find the quick search?

[00:44:06.79] spk_6:
Um uh, those are all under the things you can do. Tab. Um, you have FD. Oh, quick start. You’ve got requests for proposals. Um, and the 9 90 finder. Those air all under the once you get a candid dot or GE go to things you can do and you’ll find those additional tabs.

[00:44:24.49] spk_0:
Okay? And you said the request for proposals includes deadlines.

[00:44:28.09] spk_6:
It does.

[00:44:29.48] spk_3:
Okay, okay. All right, let’s move. Thio FTC dot

[00:44:32.85] spk_0:
gov federal election commission dot gov But f e c f d c dot gov

[00:44:37.14] spk_3:
What you like this for?

[00:46:34.88] spk_6:
Well, I thought since we were in an election year, it would be a good source for people to kind of keep an eye on. Um, you know, folks who are making a political contributions. It does show, you know, a certain level of disposable income and obviously shows political leanings as well, which may or may not be used full depending on the type of organization that you are. Um, so when you get to the F e c. Website. It’s a very busy website. Um, and one of the things that you want to do first is go to the campaign finance data tap. And then from there, you’ll be able to click down where it says, look up contributions from specific individuals. Yeah, so you can. And so basically anybody, um, the what? The reports will include our people making contributions in excess of $200 per election cycle. Right. So let’s say you give somebody, you know, $50 here and there. Once it hits that $200 mark, the, uh, the campaigns have to start filing this with the Federal Election Commission. Um, after he hits that $200 level, right? So again here, one of the things that you have to keep in mind is that you can proactively prospect this you can you can do a search. Uh uh, on, uh, on a zip code. And the data that you’re gonna get is goingto have the name of the person, the air mailing address, their occupation and name of employer. But here’s a big, big caveat is that there is not supposed to be. This data is not supposed to be used in any way, shape or form for soliciting whether they had soliciting business. We’re soliciting charitable donations.

[00:46:40.44] spk_0:
No,

[00:47:00.28] spk_6:
I bring it up as a resource, more so that you can maybe cross check. Are any of your, um, current donors also political contributors? And you know, at what level is a contributing in the political realm and where, But also you should just be aware that again, they they call it salting the data. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard that term before.

[00:47:09.27] spk_0:
Sultan. I’ve heard it. A CD. What happened? I’ve heard seeding go ahead.

[00:47:56.08] spk_6:
The committees that are reporting that are sending in their reports, right? Salting the data means they’re going to be sprinkling the report with up to 10 fictitious contributor names. And those contributor names are gonna end up having a really address. It’s usually like gonna be a committee employees or something like that that they may use. So if you start, if you go and do a proactive search by zip code, you might be getting some of this seated data in there, right, that salted data that will enable you to send out, you know, postcard campaign or letters or

[00:47:58.68] spk_0:
whatever,

[00:48:03.80] spk_6:
but it could end up winding up in a mailbox of somebody who’s monitoring to see is somebody using this data illegally,

[00:48:08.58] spk_0:
right? You’re gonna get You’re gonna get snagged. So wegner is

[00:48:11.02] spk_6:
very, very careful

[00:48:12.61] spk_0:
whether or not

[00:48:20.56] spk_6:
use it in that way. But it is a really good source to cross check, you know, and see if any of your donors are contributing politically.

[00:48:34.73] spk_0:
OK, Ok, um, sesame seeds or salted or whatever it is, you don’t use it the wrong way because you’re gonna get you might get caught. And ah, that’s bad. Yeah. Yeah, bad business. Um, just like you seed or sesame seed or salt, whatever. You do your own and your own mail lists to see what you’re sending out, right to see how how timely your mail house is actually sending stuff to the post office, are they? Is it postmarked the day that they say it’s going to postmark? Same. You know, you’re trying to catch them. You’re trying to keep them honest. Well, Federal Election Commission’s trying keep you honest. Okay, enough about that. Um,

[00:49:04.04] spk_3:
that’s interesting. I love that Look up

[00:49:13.77] spk_0:
contributions from specific individuals that school. So you can You can search by when you’re doing an individual’s you could do name, name and name and state can you go like Is that

[00:49:16.36] spk_3:
how you do it?

[00:49:17.47] spk_6:
Yeah, Well, you can You can certainly look

[00:49:19.69] spk_0:
at a

[00:49:19.92] spk_6:
particular individual’s name. Um and, you know, any time I’m doing, you know, my in depth donor profiles. This is one resource I always cross check to see if this person is making large political donations in addition to charitable contributions.

[00:49:36.00] spk_0:
Okay. Okay.

[00:49:37.11] spk_6:
So it’s definitely one of my tools that I use to do research, but I did want to give that caveat on the, you know, proactive aspect of it is You do want to be careful on Don’t use it illegally.

[00:49:49.62] spk_3:
Anything else on FCC?

[00:49:54.76] spk_6:
No, I got it.

[00:49:58.28] spk_3:
Okay, you have some conference is coming up. Did you want to share?

[00:50:40.82] spk_6:
Yes, right. So before you know it, the big annual APA conference will be coming up. It’s always in the summer months. And so APRA You’ve heard me talk about them before. It’s the Association of Professional Researchers for advancement. Their website is APRA home dot or ge. And there you’re gonna see various opportunities. So the big one is their summer conference. Um, and that is held. Um, that is held, uh, August 4th through the seventh. It’s going to be held in Washington, D C this year. Um, and you can learn all about that, you know, on Apple’s website. So that’s sort of the biggie.

[00:50:46.56] spk_0:
And

[00:51:29.46] spk_6:
then I thought I’d just let you know about some Call them smaller, More regional conferences that are taking place. One is coming up real quick in also in Washington D. C. Actually, um, on march 12th the APRA Metro D C. Chapter is having an annual conference, so that might be one to put on your calendars if you’re in that neck of the woods. Um, another one is, um APRA Greater New York chapter is presenting something called Prospect Khan 2020. That will be March 17th. And that’s taking place at the N Y U Kimmel Center. Uh, you’ve got

[00:51:31.25] spk_0:
Marie 20

[00:51:32.19] spk_6:
third.

[00:51:33.17] spk_0:
Yeah, go ahead. Where’s March 23rd?

[00:51:35.80] spk_6:
New Orleans.

[00:51:36.66] spk_0:
There you go. Get

[00:51:37.58] spk_3:
out of the Eastern Sea

[00:51:40.59] spk_0:
s get out of the Eastern Seaboard. Overdrive

[00:52:05.84] spk_6:
is happening March 23rd. Ah, in New Orleans and the other one I want to talk about is in the Midwest on May 7th. APRA Midwest is having a conference 2020 and that’s gonna be, um, May 7th and eighth in Des Moines, Iowa. And so again, if you go to the APRA website, you’ll be able Thio find all of these particular opportunities available. Thio under their events Tab,

[00:52:11.84] spk_3:
Are you a conference speaker? Do you still do that?

[00:52:26.86] spk_6:
I am not speaking at any of the upcoming up APRA conferences this year, but I’ll tell you, they’re speakers are always amazing. Um, very often they’re going to be from some of the larger universities and so forth. And so even a small to midsize non profit will have a lot of takeaways by attending thes conferences. And again, if it’s not your budget to go to the big annual conference, see about some of the chapter opportunities, um, that are closer by and those air usually gonna be a bit more affordable.

[00:52:58.26] spk_0:
Your practice is so robust you don’t need to be speaking any longer. It’s the clients are coming to you. All right,

[00:53:00.75] spk_6:
enjoy it.

[00:53:01.37] spk_3:
And you share your expertise here as well?

[00:53:06.80] spk_0:
Absolutely. All right. Um Let’s make sure we we don’t wait another September, October, November, December, January, February, March Another six months before you come back. Okay?

[00:53:13.92] spk_6:
Absolutely.

[00:53:27.85] spk_0:
All right, Let’s work on that. And maybe a dinner. We’ll see. Like I said, let’s not get carried away. They will keep it to a lunch. I feel like a better lunch. Better, thank you very much. She’s the Prospect Finder. Ah, at Maria Simple. The prospect finder dot com are doi end of their cheap and free. Thank you, Maria. Simple.

[00:53:34.94] spk_6:
Thank you.

[00:53:35.59] spk_0:
My pleasure.

[00:53:38.20] spk_3:
Next week. Sexual harassment

[00:53:43.79] spk_0:
in Nonprofits timed to the sentencing of Harvey Weinstein. If you

[00:53:43.98] spk_3:
missed any part of today’s

[00:53:45.10] spk_0:
show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com

[00:53:49.13] spk_3:
were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As. Guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Coca Math and Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot c e o

[00:54:14.44] spk_2:
our creative producers. Graham. My route Sam Liebowitz is the line producer shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy. And this music is by Scott Stein be with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95 percent. Go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 31, 2020: CEO/Chair Relationship

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Alex Counts: CEO/Chair RelationshipYour CEO and board chair need to forge and maintain a strong partnership. Alex Counts shows us how. He’s a consultant, and founder of Grameen Foundation.

 

 

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[00:00:14.14] spk_2:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit

[00:00:16.74] spk_0:
radio big non profit ideas for the

[00:00:19.67] spk_2:
other 95%.

[00:00:44.44] spk_0:
I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown in taquito amino acid E mia If you brought me down with the sappy idea that you missed today’s show CEO chair relationship, your CEO and board chair need to forge and maintain a strong partnership. Alex Counts shows us how he’s a consultant and founder of Grameen Foundation on

[00:00:48.09] spk_2:
Tony’s Take. Two planned giving for the decade were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As. Guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com by Cougar Mountain Software Denali

[00:01:18.14] spk_0:
Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant er Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Now let’s, uh, meet Alex counts Pleasure to welcome him. He’s adjunct professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and a non profit consultant. He’s founder of Grameen Foundation, which has grown to become a leading international humanitarian

[00:01:31.93] spk_2:
organization. He’s got a book Changing

[00:01:41.95] spk_0:
the World Without Losing Your Mind. Leadership lessons from three decades of social entrepreneurship, which is a chronicle of philanthropy. Editor’s pick. He’s at Alex counts dot

[00:01:47.38] spk_2:
com and at Alex counts. What was your name again? Alex counts. Thank

[00:01:49.06] spk_4:
you. It’s great to be here.

[00:01:53.22] spk_2:
Pleasure. Thank you for coming into the city on the studio. Um, tell us about the founding

[00:01:58.65] spk_0:
of Grameen Foundation. Interesting roots in Bangladesh.

[00:02:00.69] spk_4:
Yeah, I was is a college student. I was taken with the work Mohammad Yunus was doing to empower the destitute women of Bangladesh through micro credit, and he would go on to win the Nobel Prize. But I kind of it was Grameen Bank. That was Grameen Bank. And I had this vision in college of If we could take his model and exported to other countries where there is poverty, that would be could be a real breakthrough. It was simplistic, but and I But it was basically a good idea. And so I went in, apprenticed with him for about a decade in Bangladesh, and then I Then I said at one point, it’s time to start kind of an international hub for helping people apply the Grameen Bank ideas to other countries. And so he said, Well, here’s $6000 which I thought was a lot of money to start an organization with. It wasn’t but we were just kind of on a wing and a prayer started What became growing foundation in 97 on Guy was completely unprepared and all sorts of ways to run a non profit and start one. But we went forward and it worked out.

[00:03:07.30] spk_0:
You you say sort of hastily because you’ve got a lot going on. You had a lot going on 10 years living in Bangladesh. You fluent in de she Bengali Bangla. Is it Bangalore? Bengali? Is it? It’s It’s

[00:03:11.32] spk_4:
Bengali and English. It’s Bangla in being Ali.

[00:03:14.13] spk_3:
Okay, Um,

[00:03:15.10] spk_2:
I’ve been

[00:03:21.23] spk_0:
there. I spent I spent two weeks between Bangladesh just in Dhaka and Sir Lanka, which is also a beautiful country. Yeah,

[00:03:23.50] spk_2:
my sense of Bangladesh

[00:03:24.46] spk_0:
was ah, lot of poverty and a lot of very hardworking people. Thes tiny businesses in the micro stalls is I’m thinking of old DACA, but people working hard and you know, whatever their niche was, uh I

[00:03:39.12] spk_2:
saw a lot of hard working, dedicated people,

[00:04:10.25] spk_4:
Absolutely both in the cities and in the rural countryside where I spent a lot of my time and learn. That’s why I really learned Bengali well, but it is my mentor and board chair, Susan Davis. So I met in Bangladesh. She was a Ford Foundation representative and I was, Ah, Fulbright scholar initially, and she said, Listen, Alex, she’s a lot of these pithy statement She said, In a country that doesn’t have enough jobs, by far doesn’t have a social safety net. You have two choices. You work for yourself tiny undercapitalized business in most cases or you starve. And so people, whether they’re intramural ability, is robust or more limited. Starvation is not a great option. So people try to start these tiny businesses.

[00:04:22.68] spk_0:
That’s when I saw yeah, s O. That’s the micro micro lending. And then Mohammed as and all I can imagine, what someone could do with it isn’t even $1000. Is that too much?

[00:05:00.83] spk_4:
So the loans for the first decade of Grameen were typical. Loan was about $70. So your way you’re buying, you know, five chickens and you know you know how to raise chickens. But you never had more money to have more than one u five chickens. You sell the eggs, you pay off the loan with the sales of the eggs. And at the end of the year, you have five chickens that air your asset maybe more assets than you’ve ever had a productive assets you’ve ever had in your life. And Mohammad Yunus is in sight. Was but build a banking system that can actually be viable through making $70 loans and then $100 loans if they pay back and later, larger amounts on and and And that was the essence of his brilliant innovation.

[00:05:15.94] spk_0:
And you were, You were how many years that Green Foundation as founder and CEO

[00:05:21.27] spk_4:
18 years s. I ran it for its 1st 18 years. It was a It was a fantastic ride. And again when we finally started, get some headway is when I realized that a couple things that I need to be fundraiser in chief. That wasn’t something I could delegate and that I needed to craft a very important relationship with my board share.

[00:05:40.90] spk_2:
And those

[00:05:42.86] spk_4:
two insights probably where the, you know, helped us reach kind of escape velocity and get it to erase 10 $2025 million in the year, as opposed to remain a little tiny, non

[00:05:51.46] spk_0:
profit. What a skilled guest you bring in the board. The board chair relationship so smoothly. So not like the boorish host of the show. We’re just abruptly changed course.

[00:06:04.48] spk_2:
All right, so, uh, yeah, so we’re here to talk about Well, you know, we’ll shout

[00:06:08.30] spk_0:
out your book a couple times, uh, changing the world without losing your mind. But

[00:06:12.67] spk_2:
we want to focus

[00:06:23.81] spk_0:
on something that I saw an article that you had written in The Chronicle of Philanthropy about the CEO board chair relationship. Susan Davis was one of your one of your chair. Was she your first? She’s my

[00:06:28.99] spk_4:
third chair. But when we finally I finally got the relationship right was with her, and I give her most of the credit for that. I kind of fumbled it with the 1st 2 board chairs, mainly my fault on dhe. She helped me kind of figure out how to make that just a magical relationship

[00:06:43.90] spk_0:
on dhe critical to the success of an organization you saw Grameen on. You felt it. You saw it and felt it in your relationship with Susan. You saw the organization benefiting and you felt it personally.

[00:07:44.00] spk_4:
I had an ally. I wasn’t so alone. She gained my trust on She would sometimes, you know, step in and do things that I was either incapable of doing or just didn’t have the skills. I mean, it’s just a perfect relationship on. And, you know, she wasn’t the prototypical white male businessman in their sixties with a lot of money, but she brought other assets, and and then, you know, we were ableto have a more traditional board chairs coming after her. But she was in the roll for six and 1/2 years, and she, you know, the the article you mentioned in The Chronicle of Philanthropy. The origin of that was I was giving a talk at The Chronicle about my book and about how I went from a completely underprepared non profit executive director, succeeding on some level. And I just kept coming back to my relation with Susan on then the couple of four chairs that followed her, and they said, Would you write an article on that on that you you mentioned so many times you’re talking? I said I’d be thrilled to, and It was a pretty narrow topic, but it got a good response and got me here to be talking with you.

[00:08:10.38] spk_0:
Your life has led you to this moment. All points of it’s all downhill from here. Pretty much non profit radio. I feel bad after our lunch, then

[00:08:11.79] spk_4:
downwardly mobile life.

[00:08:13.24] spk_0:
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Uh,

[00:08:19.52] spk_2:
all right. So let’s talk about, um Well, the let’s get into some of your some

[00:08:22.27] spk_0:
of your advice around this around this relationship, you siphoned it down into 10. I don’t know if we’ll get time for 10 because we want to talk a little about Cem Cem, General governance. But

[00:08:32.03] spk_2:
why don’t we, uh why don’t we just

[00:08:39.14] spk_0:
tease the 1st 1? We got a minute before before first break about, um, respect the chair needs to earn respect if that the

[00:09:14.59] spk_4:
chair is seen is just a kind of a defender of the CEO, uhm, and someone who’s just tryingto make his or her life easy and keep the bored out of their hair or in any other way doesn’t really have the respect to the board. Then his or her job is much harder because the board chair is kind of a liaison between the staff and the executive director and the rest of the board. And that board share has to earn the respect of both parties in order. Play that bridging role effectively. And Susan did it. Sometimes people do it by writing $1,000,000 checks, but Susan didn’t have that at her disposal of time. So she did it in other ways but was able to get earn the respect of me and the staff. But very importantly, the the rest of the board.

[00:09:24.62] spk_0:
All right, I’ve seen board chairs that were wealthy and wrote big checks and still didn’t have the respect of the board. So if there’s respect based on that, I think it’s kind of shallow and it doesn’t necessarily follow even. Okay, let’s take our first

[00:09:38.40] spk_2:
break wegner-C.P.As They go beyond the numbers. They’ve got videos, effective governance.

[00:09:43.61] spk_0:
For starters. We’re gonna talk a little about that toward the end of the show. Um,

[00:09:47.70] spk_2:
also i nine

[00:09:51.74] spk_0:
tips. If you happen to have immigrant employees, they’ve also got a video on high impact grant

[00:09:53.83] spk_2:
proposals, sexual harassment awareness, way beyond the numbers. This is not just

[00:10:16.94] spk_0:
your average accountancy, for God’s sake, on other videos, you gotta wegner-C.P.As dot com, Click Resource Is and recorded events. I just got late breaking news that Amy Sample Ward will be calling in around the bottom of the hour. Onda will spend about five minutes talking about 20 NTC, the 2020 non profit technology conference, which is in coming up in March in Baltimore. So I know you wanna hear her at the bottom of the hour. Um, in the meantime, let’s go back to ah CEO chair relationship.

[00:10:33.01] spk_2:
Yes. Oh, I don’t I don’t think

[00:10:40.81] spk_0:
money first necessarily creates respect, And if it does, I think it’s a kind of a shallow Well, it’s one

[00:10:42.10] spk_4:
thing to earn. The respect is the board share. You have to show that you’re invested. Ah, and so Susan would show that by showing up prepared by doing her homework. Talking with Helio money and writing a check that is meaningful for someone and meaningful for the organization is another way. But you’re right. It’s no way incomplete. You need to be a fair minded. You need to kind of promote the right kind of dialogue of the board level craft agendas that makes sense that you know, Don’t don’t let the board becoming their micromanaging or rubber stamp, but occupy that really nice middle ground. Yeah, it’s All I’m saying is, is that it’s possible to earn the respect of the board, even with bored with some wealthy people. If you’re yourself aren’t personally wealthy by doing other things on that, some people I think some people just regard it is you know you need the board. Share is just absolute mandatory to be made your wealthiest person, the board and I might have thought that. But I saw that. It doesn’t need to be.

[00:11:38.93] spk_0:
Yeah, I would reject

[00:11:42.13] spk_3:
that. Um, by

[00:11:42.47] spk_0:
the same token, you do want the board chair tohave the back of the CEO in times of crisis. Well,

[00:11:56.76] spk_4:
right? I mean, people, you know, have all non profit CEOs if, unless they’re completely risk of hers, make mistakes, mismanaged things mismanage external relationships on dhe, you know, it’s it’s, I think when our new chairs in place, how they react to the first time that happens on whether they both publicly and privately support the CEO on dhe make them feel secure in the aftermath of their bungle eyes. Probably a lot will determine. A lot of everything will go after that on Susan. You know, a time would come maybe six months later, where Susan would talk with me and her successors, who are also very good and say, you know, that thing that you did in six months ago? They didn’t work out, you know? What did you learn from it? Andi? Are we Do we have things in place to prevent that from happening again? But at the time when you’re at your low point and at risk of making further poor decisions in the aftermath of trying to cover up or deal with one bad decision, having the board share be empathetic and supportive and not pointing a finger is I found a central

[00:12:54.10] spk_0:
is the board is looking to them for leadership. You know howto way still behind this CEO or are we not?

[00:13:19.11] spk_4:
How do we digest this, right? And then that’s where the board chair’s leadership did not gloss over. It does not say this mistake was meaningless, but also not to say panic, but to say I’m on top of this. I’m gonna disclose to you the board what’s going on in a level appropriate to your role. I’m working with the E D. And

[00:13:19.32] spk_2:
now if it’s

[00:13:19.72] spk_4:
a life endangering mistake for the organization that it might go under,

[00:13:24.10] spk_2:
then I think

[00:14:07.87] spk_4:
you need to take a little different tact. But if it’s just a setback and embarrassing though it may be, you know you need to really inspire confidence in everyone. But also just, you know, to get the best out of the CEO of the executive director. You know, first and foremost is have them feel like you’re their ally, not someone who’s trying to, you know, embarrassed. And I’ve seen this. I’ve served on boards for all you have and others listeners have board shares to whatever. There’s a mistake. They feel it’s kind of a public embarrassment for them, and their job is to avoid blame themselves. Maybe they have public standing, and then that that has on and particularly that could kind of poison the relationship with the E D. You know, nothing flat. Yeah.

[00:14:09.12] spk_2:
Do you? You have a

[00:14:20.00] spk_0:
preference for executive director versus CEO? I’ve had guests prefer the CEO. Others say it doesn’t really matter much. Do you have ah preference, you

[00:15:06.71] spk_4:
know, in the organization’s I’ve served in. It’s been I’ve been the president and CEO. There’s some executive directors that aren’t the chief executive officer that sometimes is the chair in executive chair. That’s interesting. So Esso and again I’m not. I’m not a super techno person on this, but I think smaller nonprofits tend to be. You talk about AIDS on, and sometimes they don’t have a vote at the board level, whereas in large organizations, that tends to be a president CEO with a non executive chair. And I’m just, you know, and even when grooming Foundation was small, somehow we adopted that nomenclature, which at the time I didn’t care about or think it all about. I was just trying to raise enough money to pay this, you know, costs the next month. But anyway, that’s that. That’s what we adopted. Yeah,

[00:15:10.49] spk_2:
okay, but now you have the

[00:15:13.66] spk_0:
luxury of looking back and snickering. That’s right! And admitting that the first to board chairs the relationships warrant as robust, as supportive as they could have been made

[00:15:22.92] spk_2:
at the time,

[00:15:26.10] spk_4:
I viewed the board and managing my relation with the chair, and fundraising is kind of necessary. Evils not, is not as something to be the cornerstone of building the organization. That was That was my fundamental mistake until I finally got it right.

[00:15:37.80] spk_2:
Let’s talk a little about

[00:15:46.84] spk_0:
selection of, ah, board chair. Do you like to see it come from? The board would like to see. I’ve seen organizations that have a assistant assistant chair, rice chair, vice chair, executive vice chair, and then it’s presumed that they’re gonna move into the chair. You like to see that kind of

[00:15:56.58] spk_2:
ladder? Well, first,

[00:16:44.61] spk_4:
I think every rule in terms of building aboard you should be, you know, willing almost every really should be willing to break. So one point. We had a very well known, very wealthy person joining our board, and we thought about installing them his chair for more or less the moment that joined the board. And that might have worked. But we didn’t didn’t come to pass, but in general I think you want someone of your chair who served on your board with distinction for, you know, three or four years at least. I like the idea of a vice chair, but I’m a little out made out of the mainstream on this I don’t think that vice chair should necessarily be the chair elect. I’d like to see a vice chair in that role really perform so that they earn the chair. Roll a za po. And that’s why sometimes having to vice chairs, I’ve seen that work nicely. But oftentimes the vice chair is

[00:16:47.08] spk_0:
the two vice chairs are sort of competing to be that really like we friendly competition for the chair shit. German ship.

[00:16:53.76] spk_6:
It’s a

[00:16:56.00] spk_4:
secondary aspect. Yeah, it’s Ah, a TTE The point We had our vice chair on the West Coast and I thought that having a second vice chair who was quite busy when entered a And

[00:17:05.04] spk_5:
that’s what one

[00:17:05.41] spk_4:
things that happens. You can’t predict a vice Jared chair can enter the role in a semi retirement, have a lot of time to put in. And next thing you know, they’re appointed as happened to me, a CZ the as the CEO of a publicly traded company and their ability to put time in is changed. So we we had a vice chair who was the dean of ah of a university in a university on the West Coast. I said, Well, what if we had a vice chair on the East Coast also to kind of cover this part of the country and on. So that worked.

[00:17:34.62] spk_2:
But in another way, was

[00:17:35.89] spk_4:
a kind of let’s, let’s see, between the two of them, which one of them, you know, is it inspires the confidence of the board on shows the commitment that would make them the ideal. You know, successor chair.

[00:17:48.14] spk_2:
How do you like to

[00:18:10.16] spk_0:
break in? I think my voice just crack. How’d you? 14. Huh? How? Let’s give some authoritative. Ah, tony. Er, how do you like to, uh ah, inaugurate the relationship? New chair? You presumably. As you’re suggesting. You know, if you worked with him 3 to 4 years, So the non new person to you. But I knew in that relationship. You in that position.

[00:18:12.91] spk_2:
How do you like to

[00:18:13.67] spk_0:
kick off the that new relationship? Well,

[00:18:17.02] spk_4:
in an ideal world and running a nonprofit where you never have enough resource is and you’re always trying to cram 14 months of work into 12 months and you can always do this.

[00:18:26.54] spk_2:
But an ideal

[00:18:26.99] spk_4:
world. I’d like to spend a good kind of a good day with the person you know, both with a structured agenda and somewhat unstructured, maybe going to a baseball game together just to really get to know them and bond with them, if that’s possible. On

[00:18:39.97] spk_2:
the other

[00:18:40.21] spk_4:
thing that kind of evolved. This is, you know, I’m thinking back what work is that each board share wanted gonna put their stamp on the their leadership not to not to just contradict or do something different than what the prior wanted done, but

[00:18:55.72] spk_2:
something that

[00:18:56.11] spk_4:
they had seen. Maybe work in another non profit or in the corporate sector. And

[00:18:59.91] spk_2:
I would just

[00:20:59.49] spk_4:
say, unless it didn’t make any sense to me. I said, Let’s let’s do that Let’s you know this person didn’t kind of imposed this idea when they were, say, vice chair, just to give you two examples. You Bob bike Feld, who succeeded Susan in the role he thought that it was. It was a very important from a governess perspective to gather a couple board leaders and the head and our general counsel on me every six months to basically evaluate the performance of each and every board member in person and on, and so and you know when people were doing really well. So well, let’s let’s prepare a resolution commending them at the next meeting. Will we draft that if the person wasn’t referring? Well, well, who’s gonna take them aside? We’ve never done that before. But it was just something he thought you know would work. And I just said, You know, you want to bring that in. This is gonna be one of your signature things that comes in your first year. I’m totally behind it. Let’s make it happen. Or another thing he wanted is for me to bring in that. Susan wasn’t kind of didn’t That wasn’t her style, but it’s like let let Bob lead the way he wants to. And let me not just grudgingly say, OK, I’ll do that if you want, But I think this could be a great idea. And you, Bob also pushed me to write for the first time emergency succession plan, which I embarrassed to say that, you know, 10 years in the Grameen Foundation, I had never even know what that was. But and he said, you know, write, write up a memo for those of your listeners and aren’t aware you know, what should we do if you’re suddenly incapacitated or killed? And and so I put it off for a while, it was more confronting than I thought, but I finally did get it done. And that was something he achieved in his first year. Um, and again I was I was just kind of trusted that that was something of useful. And I put my full attention to kind of implementing a couple of ideas that he had and and when every new board chair came in, they kind of had a few ideas. And I would just unless they sound crazy to me and I I need to get the convinced I would just, you know, not just back from kind of half heartedly, but fully

[00:21:01.64] spk_2:
say some more about

[00:21:02.28] spk_0:
the semi annual board evaluate individual board member evaluation process.

[00:21:07.64] spk_2:
Well, you know,

[00:21:19.90] spk_4:
we would gather on a table. I think we did it a few times. That can recall, and it was no one ever called in. Our vice chair flew in from San Diego for it. We did it in Washington and literally, you know, it was just it was sickness. See,

[00:21:22.95] spk_2:
one of the

[00:21:23.40] spk_4:
things I’ve come to believe that came from Susan. The Before Bob is that term limits are

[00:21:29.14] spk_2:
kind of

[00:21:31.76] spk_4:
a quick fix kind of mandate, and that really what you want board members to do is to is to kind of go through their orientation and

[00:21:37.70] spk_2:
then to go

[00:22:09.31] spk_4:
into a period of what I call High Performance is a board member where they’re giving it their all their money, their time, their reputation, their con connections, etcetera. And then ultimately, all board members, I think, ultimately go into what is called coasting, where they’re just they’re not really giving their all because their interest is in another organization. And so Bob’s this term limits air saying, Well, most people go to coasting after six years, so let them just term out at six years. But the truth is, some people term out. Some people go into that mode after 18 months, and some are going strong in 18 years. So this was a mechanism to just evaluate the kind of the wherein the life cycle was each individual on the board where what should they be commended for? On what should they maybe be taken aside and said, you know, board member ex. You know, if you could get back to performing like you did four years ago in terms of showing up prepared, participating discussions, your committee assignments, raising money, giving money, You know, we think you should re up for the board when your turn comes up. But if not you, maybe not. Ah, and that can’t be done. The blunt instrument of term limits or other things. This

[00:22:42.14] spk_2:
is this. We would

[00:23:01.77] spk_4:
spend 34 hours together evaluating every single person aboard. And how might we support them better. But how might we ask them to support us more? And you can’t? You can’t take a cookie cutter to that. And so it was. It was a pretty rigorous process, but it was. It worked, and it made the team that was at the table. They’re just feel like they were in a position to, and it had them participate differently. This is the vice chair chair of the Governance Committee and the general counsel me in the chair. You know, we would then pay attention. More panel, evaluating each number individually, correct. And

[00:23:17.25] spk_2:
and then once you start

[00:23:54.67] spk_4:
that, then you know, you kind of observe the board in a different way. When you know you’re gonna be six months later doing that again and you start to think, Gosh, might I pull this board member aside even now and commend them or redirect them a little bit even if I’m not the chair? Because I know that this evaluation and it creates a kind of accountability because we told the board that we were doing this. It wasn’t done in secret eso it was rather than have ah, this kind of straitjacket of term limits. We created this kind of culture of accountability, of board that just brought out the best in people. And when their interests moved on, they kind of voluntarily said, You know, this will be my final term and thank you all for whether I served for three years or 13 years on it. Just for me. It worked a lot better.

[00:24:20.39] spk_0:
Your ah contrary and in terms of the mainstream, thinking about board term limits, yes, but you have this important semi annual evaluation as well, so that a CZ your nerves, you said people will either recognize that they’re not performing, or they’ll bluntly be told that they’re not performing TX stations,

[00:24:27.96] spk_4:
right? That’s and it takes effort on

[00:24:29.76] spk_2:
because this is a lot of time

[00:24:30.60] spk_0:
commitment. How big? I’m sure the Grameen board grew over time when you left. How many people, you

[00:24:36.52] spk_6:
know, I like

[00:24:37.33] spk_0:
value waiting. Yeah, I’ve heard of much

[00:25:10.86] spk_4:
smaller and much larger board’s working, although I’m not quite sure how. But I think the optimal number aboard if they’re one of the responsibilities is raising money. The optimal number is between 15 and 20 and that’s what it was for almost the entirety of my time there, I think over 20 you get some negative dynamics, including, you know, people don’t show up. They’re not even noticed because the numbers are too big. And if you get under 15 you know, you really need a lot more fundraising muscle than you unless you just have a bunch of billionaires on the board. And so it was always. It was always in the high teens on, though I gave myself authority to have up to 25 on the bylaws, but gave us authority. But we never we will always, always between 15 and 20 right?

[00:25:23.08] spk_2:
So this is a big time

[00:25:23.82] spk_0:
commitment because Now you’re doing between 30 and 40 evaluations per year because you’re evaluating each person semi annually and several hours devoted to, ah, a conversation with each one twice a

[00:25:46.59] spk_4:
year. And the follow up that you promise, saying they’re there that after each board member would just say so what feedback or what? Commendation or accolade or redirection, Do we need to give this board member based on our discussion and that that would mostly fall to the five of us in the room

[00:26:01.15] spk_0:
and there was implicit in that s o. Some board members are getting commended on brothers or not, but we all know that we’re all being evaluated. So when it comes time for commendations, some names air left out, that’s where it was only,

[00:26:06.05] spk_4:
um, you know, it was

[00:26:06.63] spk_6:
only twice

[00:26:55.17] spk_4:
in our history where we actually had to take a board member side and urged them, not Thio run for re election. So if when this works well, it’s really becomes an informal accountability process where people opt out before they have to be kind of pushed out. And, uh um, and yet you need to be willing to do that if the time comes, and in one case, you know, way took a board member aside and we just said, It’s you know, it’s time for you to step aside and is interesting He said it that years later he told me he said, Well, as mad as hell at the time, but you and the chair were right. I just couldn’t see it then. And eso it’s that magical thing where people basically, whenever there flames, starts to be not so bright for in terms of the, you know, being a champion of the board, they just they know it and they and everyone knows it. And they just say again, Allah, I’ll serve out my term and I’ll step down and again whether that’s three years into their service or 15 years, it’s just based on. Are they giving it their best? And

[00:27:10.43] spk_2:
not

[00:27:10.61] spk_4:
everyone you know people’s interests move on. I mean, it’s a natural human phenomenon. Yeah,

[00:27:17.33] spk_0:
yeah. Very interesting. Interesting process. You mentioned election of board re election of board members. That was that not managed by an executive committee just deciding whether someone would remain Who were the electors, the whole board, the

[00:28:36.84] spk_4:
whole the whole board Now there’s a nominating what we close it in our model. We had both the governance committee that worked on our kind of internal governance, and the nominating committee was merged in the same committee and another boards I’ve been on Those are two separate things and on and, you know, when you only have 15 18 members. There are only so many committees you can have when your larger boards could have more. But yeah, it, in this case, the default was when someone’s three year term came up. Um, you think the default is that they’re gonna be reelected if they want to be. But there is a process that again the governance committee chair is part of that group that is, that meets every six months on day would take what are our discussions and bring them into the governance committee. Um, but Maur, I think that committee was more about adding new people to the board more of the nominating committee, but But ultimately every board meeting or every other board meeting, if someone’s three year term was up, they would be reelected or more than likely, or they would prior to that announced that they weren’t seeking re election and it would be handled that way. Okay.

[00:28:38.92] spk_3:
Okay. Um,

[00:28:40.17] spk_2:
let’s ah, let’s take,

[00:29:30.12] spk_0:
uh, let’s take this break. And, uh, if you wanna you got a little longer in this break, And now we’re gonna talk to Amy Sample Ward as well. So, uh, stand by. Don’t go anywhere, though, Okay? You don’t have time to go to the bathroom. Just drink water, bathroom breaks or later, uh, his break quote. We’ve been very happy with Cougar Mountain. It’s rare to encounter a problem with the software, but they’re always there to help walk. Help me walk through it. End Quote that Sally Hancock in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Maur raves about the Cougar Mountain customer service. Cougar Mountain has a free 60 day trial, which is on the listener landing page, which is at now time for Tony’s Take two. Your decade plan for planned giving. Um, this is not only the beginning of a new year, which is now close to 1/12 over already, but that means that we’re nearly 1 144th of the way into the new decade. So my, uh, belief is my It’s more than a belief. It’s almost Fact,

[00:29:49.25] spk_2:
if you start

[00:30:01.17] spk_0:
your planned giving program this year, you are gonna be astronomically ahead, and you’re gonna be you’re gonna be shocked at where you are by the year 2029. Those 10 years

[00:30:07.79] spk_2:
you’ll be you’ll be at

[00:30:21.72] spk_0:
a point where you can be projecting planned giving revenue for future years based on the revenue that you will have had in like years. 6789 That’s how far ahead you will be in plant giving and you think plan giving that. You know, people die. The gifts come, but we don’t know when those when those episodes air gonna happen. Yeah, but once your file is large enough, once you have enough planned giving donors in your file, you’re gonna start to see trends. And of course, you can’t predict to the dollar amount.

[00:30:46.78] spk_2:
But you can give yourself some comfort with a range that you expect to receive in cash each year,

[00:31:22.81] spk_0:
going forward from really like your 789 and forward, but certainly from your 10 on. So my urging is that you if you are not doing plan giving fundraising 2020 is the year to start the beginning of the decade. I say a lot more about this in a video, which is your decade plan for playing, giving. I lay out the plan. I don’t just say where you’re gonna be in a decade. I show you how to get there step year by year in the video, which is at tony-martignetti dot com. And that is tony. Take two now. Uh, late breaking. Let’s bring in Amy Sample Ward. She’s the CEO of and 10 and our social media and technology contributor. And

[00:31:44.64] spk_2:
we’re going to spend a few minutes talking about what’s coming up at 20 NTC. The 2020 non profit Technology conference. Welcome back, Amy. Sample Ward

[00:31:46.85] spk_7:
Bake. I’m happy to be on happy 2020.

[00:32:02.29] spk_2:
Thank you very much. Yes, indeed. First time we’ve talked this year. Um, it’s not too late to say Happy New Year because we know each other so well. And, uh, I haven’t seen you Haven’t talked to you since January 1st. So happy New Year. Happy, happy, Happy decade as well.

[00:32:05.44] spk_7:
Well, And where we’ve just started the Chinese New Year. So

[00:32:10.41] spk_0:
indeed, Yes, Yes, indeed. Balloon. You’re here. Um,

[00:32:13.04] spk_2:
so we’ve got this little thing coming up. It’s not

[00:32:24.41] spk_0:
so little, um, being snarky. It’s in Baltimore in March 2020. Non profit technology conference hosted by and 10 non profit radio will be there on the exhibit

[00:32:29.49] spk_2:
floor. But before we get to that, you tell us what? What? Why should

[00:32:31.89] spk_0:
we be attending?

[00:33:07.15] spk_7:
Oh, my gosh. I am really excited for this year because I think, as you know, you’ve You’ve been a handful of times now, so you can probably speak to this yourself too. But every year we’re always trying to make it better than it was, of course, the year before. And each year we feel like, Okay, this is the best we’ve ever done it. But how could we make it better? And I think we’ve got some really good plans this year that do that. Of course we have. You know, this is a big three day conference there, 2200 plus people altogether. And it doesn’t have to be, you know, just one type of non profit or one type of job in an organization. If you are listening to this, you are welcome at the number of

[00:33:17.73] spk_2:
probably

[00:33:18.57] spk_7:
that you could learn and do there

[00:33:19.84] spk_0:
It is not only for technologists, not only for technologists,

[00:35:24.80] spk_7:
right? Well, I mean, it’s 2020. Everyone in a non profit is using technology, right? Like it doesn’t. It doesn’t really matter how what your job titles has on your business card. There’s pieces of technology you need to use or make decisions about to be effective in your job on. There’s folks from every job title and people who have been in the sector for a year, and people have been in it for 40 years. You know, it’s it’s really like a cross section of everybody, Um, and we have over 150 sessions, so plenty of opportunity to go learn. But outside of that, something that we feel makes the NTC really specialists. How many opportunities there are for you to meet other people and share ideas or come to the conference of that one burning question like you just wish you could find somebody that’s figured out a way to get mail chimp to do that One thing you know, like we want to make sure you really do find that one other person. So we have a lot of kind of community based programs that happen as part of the agenda, and we have even more of them this year. We’ve We’ve always had what we call birds of a feather. So you know, funny things like people will do. You know, people who love watching a certain TV show or something as a table topic at lunch. But other people will do things like, you know, they use a certain tool or something so they can all meet each other and chat. But in the afternoons we’ve started this year what we’re calling knowledge swaps where they’re Maur intentional. They are about, you know, something work related, something you want to do something You’re having a challenge with, something that you just did really well And you want to make sure you can share that knowledge with other people so folks can sign up to basically, like, find other folks and hosted a conversation together on the topics a little bit easier than saying you want to present for 75 minutes for a session, right? Like maybe you just want to find four other folks and share ideas. So we built that into the agenda each day on and we’ve also expanded our career center. That isn’t just for people looking for jobs. A really big part of the community of the career center is mentorship. So being able to sit down with somebody for happen our and share feedback, whether it’s about their resume or it’s about, you know, the evolution in your own career. So what? Whatever side of that coin that you would be on the career center has lost of opportunities for you, um, and would love for folks to be a part of that.

[00:35:51.11] spk_0:
Okay, um, we just have, like, a minute in a minute or so left, so details of registration. Where do we

[00:35:58.54] spk_2:
go with the dates? Radio? Don’t even say the day everything. But the date is today.

[00:36:10.72] spk_7:
Yes, the dates are March 24th 26 it’s in Baltimore. At the convention center. There’s hotels of all the various price points, whatever place you have, a membership number two, whatever, all around the convention center, and you can go toe intend that orc Slash and T. C. You can see the full agenda. You can review some of those community programs I was talking about. We’ve got Rachel Affinity Spaces support for folks who want prayer room, meditation spaces, lactation access. All of those things are part of our conference. So we really want it to be something that folks are ready to learn and meet other people and talk. This is a resource for you. And if there’s a way we can make it easier support you being able to participate, we will do everything we can to do that. So please Goto intend that work slash NPC. Check it out. If you need anything, let us know. But hopefully we see you in March.

[00:37:05.76] spk_0:
This is an excellent conference. Yeah, I’ve been there. I think this is the sixth year.

[00:37:10.06] spk_2:
Do you think I think it’s the 60

[00:37:20.04] spk_0:
year I’ve brought the show, so we will be on the exhibit floor where were sponsored by Cougar Mountain Software at the conference. So we’ll be side by side. We’ll be getting. I’ll be getting 30 plus interviews. Last year I got 32 interviews in two and 1/2 days, and then we air them. That

[00:37:28.44] spk_7:
must have been a record. 30.

[00:37:45.78] spk_0:
32 is the is the largest I’ve gotten. Yeah, it had been like 25 27 or so, but so were booked up. Eso. When you’re at the conference, come on the exhibit floor. I believe you’ll see us in boots 5 10 and 5 12 On DDE comes he’s come Say hello will be the noisy one with probably with spotlights, because we might shoot video. So but very smart, very smart speakers in lots of different topics around technology. And Amy’s Point is, I want to drive home. We’re all technologists. It regardless of what it says on your business card, you’re no longer using index cards and transparencies. You know, the overhead projectors. They’re gone. We’re all using technology, and this conference is for people at all different levels. Whether it’s on your in your job title as C I O. Or You’re just a user of technology

[00:38:22.71] spk_2:
and you have to say good bye. Thank you very much.

[00:38:24.45] spk_7:
Okay, thank you so much. And I will see what your booth. Because I always loved getting to do an interview with you.

[00:38:29.16] spk_2:
Absolutely. It’s our only time to go face to face. Yes, we’ll see you. I’ll see you in Baltimore.

[00:38:36.00] spk_0:
All right. Thank you for that indulgence. Alex Count. It’s usually

[00:38:38.44] spk_4:
a great conference or close to where I live. Yeah, it is fabulous. Maybe I’ll see you. There is

[00:38:49.80] spk_0:
really a very smart place. Hundreds of brilliance because I wish I could interview more than the 32 or so whatever I’ll get. Um so just remind listeners Alex counts. Ah, consultant, founder of Grameen Foundation. And his book is Changing the World without Losing your mind. Leadership lessons from three decades of social entrepreneurship. We’re just scratching the surface. You know, where we’re We’re focused on the CEO chair relationship today, but obviously the book goes way beyond

[00:39:11.33] spk_3:
that. Uh,

[00:39:24.52] spk_2:
lots of lessons in 30 years. Now it’s Ah, you got a good You got a young face. You got a baby face. Check out, check out his, uh, check out his headshot tony-martignetti dot com’s gonna baby face. Um, So let’s, uh we divert a little bit, but these are all valuable topics.

[00:39:28.92] spk_0:
I mean, this board evaluation process is semi annual thing is really very interesting. I hadn’t heard anything

[00:39:35.22] spk_3:
like that. Um,

[00:39:36.96] spk_2:
let’s talk Thio. Let’s talk to

[00:39:43.47] spk_0:
communications. You like you like frequent regular communications between the CEO and the chair.

[00:40:28.73] spk_4:
Yes. I mean, there’s no. You know, when you when you talk with someone, you come in. Mike, come on with an agenda of what you think is going on the organization, but especially if you’re not rushed on your in person, where that’s possible, you know, you stumble upon in the process of just kind of ruminating on what’s going on the organization, some opportunities and assets and some kind of dangers and risks that you didn’t even go in thinking about because you’re you know, you’re with someone who’s also internalized. The organization is smart, is committed on DSO. I always, you know, I would wouldn’t want to talk with Susan or Bob or Palm or it’s, you know, have have kind of regular calls, you know, maybe two or three a month, but also in with a strict agenda but also sometimes has really unstructured. You know, it’s been a long dinner with them and, ah, a mixture of bonding and just kind of, you know, thinking out loud brainstorming and and just really kind of creative ideas can come up there. And if you’re I did tell a story. One of my board shares went from being semi retired of a very demanding job three years into his role. And while he did stick with it for another two years, which surprised me my ability to spend time with him, quality unstructured on rushed time was compromised. And and that was and I missed that. And our partnership suffered a little bit. As a result, he was still very good and because of his job, had more money to put into the organization. But his ability to kind of have that Maur kind of on structure brainstorming time was severely constrained.

[00:41:16.49] spk_0:
Yeah, Yeah, it was more just a formal time together. Yeah.

[00:41:21.06] spk_2:
And you think about think about friends, you, How much just happens

[00:41:28.85] spk_0:
in free conversation over over a meal in a glass of wine. You

[00:41:47.13] spk_4:
think of some something to do together that just you hadn’t even thought of and just being in their presence. You’re like, Well, why don’t we try that, um and and so that that time together again, so many of these things Fundraising, managing board relationships. They’re very time consuming. But when you do them well and invest the time, it’s just they pay back many, many times, but you need to be able to kind of spend the time on what you know, my wife and I call the important but not urgent on If you invest in that, just magical things can happen.

[00:42:01.10] spk_2:
And then this kind

[00:42:01.89] spk_0:
of thing you have to make time for you aren’t gonna find the time when I when I find the time will, will have an unstructured meeting. But today we’re having an agenda. When I find the time when we find the time to get

[00:42:12.38] spk_2:
time is not gonna tap you on the shoulder and make itself apparent that you have to make the time. There’s never gonna come in timers. I’ve got two free hours today. Let’s have a meeting with meeting with. I’ll have a call with my board chair. It’s not gonna happen. You have to make the time consciously

[00:43:04.04] spk_4:
and you know, and it’s also becomes something, if you know is it can’t became with each my board shares, particularly Bob like Failed and Susan, where I just enjoyed being around them. They had a lot of grace for me when I made mistakes. They kind of puffed up my ego. When I was doing well, we found common interests or developed them on. They never took cheap shots at me, even in private. If they were going to be constructive, they tried the most sensitive way to do it. That didn’t deflate me. And so it just it ends up being. Gosh, I went. When do I get my next time with Susan? Tony Learn Thio kind of, you know, to commiserated, to celebrate. It’s just always like a special thing. And so you know, they make more time for it, and you developing that personal chemistry. Even if you’re very different people like we were, you could develop it, but it it it needs to be a, you know, a high priority

[00:43:19.30] spk_0:
on. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows in the C e o chair relationship. Like any relationship, let me take this last break and we’ll come back to Gilling with tension points.

[00:43:31.35] spk_2:
Turn to communications. Do you find yourself scratching

[00:43:39.57] spk_0:
your head, wondering how some nonprofits always seem to get mentioned in the news? It’s not because they’re big here. We are talking about relationships. It’s because they have relationships with journalists when they don’t want to be quoted, they just have

[00:43:48.44] spk_2:
a relation. They’re not looking for something they have a relationship

[00:43:59.65] spk_0:
of standing relationship with journalists turn to can help you do that. Their former journalists, including from the Chronicle of Philanthropy. So you want to build those relationships in advance. So when the news breaks and you can contribute to it and want to be seen on an issue, you’ve got the standing relationship. Your call, most likely more likely than not, will be taken over not having that standing relationship. They return hyphen to dot CEO.

[00:45:00.25] spk_2:
Let’s do the live listener love and there’s quite a bit of it we are in. Ah, it’s the start. Domestic Woodbridge, New Jersey Tampa, Florida New York New York multiple. Glad to see you. Thank you very much. New York, um, live love to each of those cities as well. A Seattle, Washington in Chicago, Illinois, um, as well as Lincoln’s in North Carolina. Well, cool North Carolina. I’m in Emerald Isle, not today, but, uh, live love. I’ve loved to each of our domestic live listeners. Now let’s go abroad. Seoul, South Korea. Always so loyal. I’m always so grateful. Seoul, South Korea Multiple listeners Annual Hasso comes a ham Nida Woodbridge, New Jersey

[00:45:05.27] spk_0:
No, I’m sorry. That’s not fair. Not that’s That’s, uh that’s not foreign. That’s not very funny.

[00:45:07.74] spk_2:
I’m from New

[00:45:08.17] spk_0:
Jersey. So you know, I’m from I grew up in Rutherford Multiple,

[00:45:44.57] spk_2:
Fukuoka, Fukuoka, Japan. Often we have Japanese listeners. Thank you, Japan. Konnichi wa um Chapultepec de Chapultepec Day. Hinojosa, Mexico When I started this when you start this France Rahm bouquet that was the same city was with us last week as well. Rambo. Yea. And I apologize if I’m not pronouncing it right. But live love Thio out to our for listeners officers in France, um, Oxford in the United Kingdom and also in Korea Sue on Oh, someone else. Besides, uh um besides soul thank you. Live love out to you. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Moscow. We’re, uh not quite Everyone say every hemisphere I mean every continent, but we’re close live love

[00:46:45.55] spk_0:
to each of our live listeners. Thank you so much for being with us and the podcast pleasantries toward over 13,000 listeners. In the podcast Pleasantries to you. I thank you for being with us week after week, whether you binge it all and listen to eight episodes on a weekend or you’re spreading it out. Pleasantries to our podcast listeners. Um, that was our Ah, live. Listen, love in the podcast pleasantries. And now back to, uh, CEO chair relationship, which we’ve got butt loads more time for. Ah, and Alex counts. Okay, Moments of tension. They’re gonna crop up

[00:47:51.47] spk_4:
inevitable in a certain way. Healthy. I remember. And in the article I talked just referenced in passing that, you know, one time I had some tension with Susan Davis and I went to the vice chair kind of probably overreacting to that and wanted to try play Mommy off against Daddy or something, you know. And Yvette Dyer, who is our vice chair at the time, said very profound and basically said, You know, the tension is an inbuilt part of that relationship, even when it’s the healthiest. And as I thought about that more I thought about you know, your non profit executive directors. Sometimes they’re too aggressive, they need to be reined in, and the board feels it. But it’s really the responsibility that share to give that feedback. On the other hand, some this wasn’t so much my fault, but some executive directors and CEOs are too cautious. I need to be pushed to be more aggressive and had Ah, And again that will come, uh, probably is the sense of the board, but often best conveyed by the chair. And initially, that may not be that well received, um, and and may create some tension. But again, there’s in all healthy relationships, especially this one. That’s that’s one of the aspects of it. And once I realized that and you see, I had the benefit when I was working with Susan, that I’d already been the chair of another non profit board. She had previously been the executive director of a nonprofit, so we kind of understood you

[00:48:12.53] spk_0:
had been in each other’s roles. Very important, always

[00:48:15.15] spk_4:
possible. But but but actually quite it valuable it You’ve kind of sat in that person’s, you know, chair and and you can understand a little bit more why they’re doing what they’re doing on DDE. And so that that tension just was, you know, was really part and parcel of a healthy relationship. Is, as I came to see, not didn’t see that you immediately

[00:48:36.62] spk_2:
too timid sometimes CEOs in what respect? Not aggressive. Just

[00:50:05.15] spk_4:
say, you know whether it’s setting their annual goals for, you know, whatever societal positive impact they want. Or some CEOs want a stockpile money rather than spend it on their programs of their team star of the organization. Just because they just they’re always worried about running out of money. So or sometimes it’s about, for example, keeping it a non performing employees on giving them one more chance that could go on for four or five years and on. And, you know, there was one case where I probably stuck with it. A chief operating officer longer than I should and a board chair came in and said, You know, when you’re gonna ease him out. You know, he’s creating a lot of dissension in the organization. Even that was raging, reaching the level of the board. And I needed to be pushed Thio to recognize that this person wasn’t performing and so get my errors would tend to be more about being too aggressive, too much of a risk taker, and I would need to be reined in. But like I had my examples where I was foot dragging and on the board. If the board doesn’t tell you that your your staff probably won’t directly on dhe. You know they’re the ones that to be a kind of observe your performance and push you. And of course, ultimate decision usually remains yours. But if you don’t follow that enough, you’ll find yourself out of a job at some point. And so if there’s a there’s a kind of a creative tension there,

[00:50:06.72] spk_0:
particularly staff won’t tell you if it’s the c 00 that we’re talking about. Yep, that’s the source.

[00:50:13.58] spk_2:
You liketo have staff participate, attend

[00:50:21.06] spk_0:
and participate board inboard means and not just the C suite. Yeah, that’s what

[00:50:21.61] spk_4:
I did something that people who it

[00:50:24.35] spk_2:
kind of

[00:50:51.40] spk_4:
naturally evolved in Grameen Foundation, where from when we had a very small staff initially is you know, I would have some staff that would present to the board. Maybe they weren’t as good at presenting his. I was. Maybe they were better, but but to give them that experience, to demystify what the board is by having them, and the board could see the quality of staff I had, whether it was, hopefully they were impressed. Sometimes they’re, like, you know, realize that you had why I had to step in and do this, but I ultimately not only had the senior staff as we grew, you know, sit around the board table and either present or observed, but I would say any available staff member quite radical. Could you sit in an outer ring and observe? And it just it had this kind of ability to demystify the board where a lot of non profit employees like

[00:51:08.63] spk_2:
What is

[00:52:23.45] spk_4:
the board do and they’re not doing enough. And what’s their role? And why do we have to work so hard to prepare these board meetings and when they can actually sit there and observe the board deliberating and we would we would go one step further, which is where a t end of the board meeting the board would all leave board members except for the chair, and I would facilitate a debrief with all the staff who were present. Summons might be 2025 staff members, and they could all say, I thought the board had a really intelligent conversation about that. I thought that they totally avoided this topic and had a really, you know, bad discussion about it, and we would just we wouldn’t try to argue them. And so it because a lot of people came to work for me, as I learned is that the board was this mysterious thing where the CEO would go off in a room and maybe the CFO would make a 45 minute presentation and then be ushered out of the room. And it just felt like a this kind of secret society that was making decisions about them that they had no visibility into. And I kind of went the other way of just absolute transparency, including sometimes the board. My staff would see the board grilling me, and they would see me sometimes perform well and defend their interests. You know, some board member wants a new program that made no sense, and I would say, No, we’re not gonna do that makes no sense. And sometimes they’d see me stumble. But again, it just made it more of a human, just just just a group of people trying to help us in a different type of role than you have and let them watch you at times and you get to watch them perform and evaluated and and so it just took all that mysteriousness out of it, and I thought was healthy. Now, at times, you know, I did. I have an occasional board member say, Well, what

[00:52:43.95] spk_2:
if we What if

[00:52:47.15] spk_4:
we close down this whole project? You know, maybe that would be a good idea. And then the people running that project sitting in the background Does it cause anxiety that you need to manage? Yes, there were. There were problems with that. But the benefits way far outweigh the costs in my mind.

[00:53:01.32] spk_0:
Okay. Interesting. Yeah, The typical is staff member of presents, and then is, as you said, ushered out. Yeah.

[00:53:12.65] spk_2:
All right. Awesome. Opening our minds. Um, you have some thoughts

[00:53:13.51] spk_0:
about upgrading aboard where we have, like, two minutes or so left or something. So

[00:53:18.60] spk_2:
we got a good

[00:53:19.21] spk_0:
Okay, we have about three minutes left up the timeto upgrade first. What do you mean by upgrading aboard? Well,

[00:54:16.61] spk_4:
I I believe that I’ve studied it. That about 80% of non profit boards in this country or some version of dysfunctional either micromanaging or only 80 or well, you think that low occasionally I say that I ask people who challenge me and more often it’s that they think it It’s more than that. But whatever most up a solid majority and the reason s O I. What I say is, Is that it? You know, if you’re upgrading, I’m saying, if you want to take a dysfunctional board to mediocre or a mediocre board too high performing it could be done. But you need to do a couple things. One. Is there no quick fixes? If anyone tells you they can turn a board materially increase their performance in 90 days, adopting you know, four techniques. It’s not gonna happen if if you want to increase the quality aboard materially, significantly mark your calendar 3 to 5 years in the future. And one of the things I most often hear from executive directors is, Well, I’m gonna wait for my board to start performing, and then I’ll really engage them on and support them. But they need to prove to me, and I said, No, that’s the wrong way. Look at it. You need to start treating them now. Whoever is on that treat them now is if they’re high performing, bored, invest in them that way and then given a couple years of lag time, they’ll emerge to be the board that you deserve. But you need to treat them now like they’re the board that you deserve, even though they’re not yet, um, and so

[00:54:47.20] spk_2:
that may just

[00:54:47.78] spk_4:
spending intensive time, helping to create real wins for them and a great experience of being on the board, which is gonna be different for each board member

[00:54:55.99] spk_0:
and challenging them to spend more time to get more responsibility.

[00:54:59.46] spk_2:
That’s right, but also

[00:55:00.20] spk_4:
making it making it pleasurable and enjoyable for them to do so not because their guilt or manipulation, but just out of a sense of opportunity. So again I go into in the book, I talk about how once that once I kind of got that at the care and feeding of board members. I think most executive directors and CEO spend probably could spend 3 to 4 times Maur of their time and effort in cultivating these board members. And the payback is immeasurable. But it’s it’s not gonna happen 90 days if if you’re if you’re gonna just read an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, apply a few techniques and then you know are they performing better in 90 days. It’s just not. That’s not how groups evolve and function. But if you do it over an extended period aboard, and then you just add one good new member a year. Ah, and they raised the level of everyone a little bit, and that’s that’s how this goes. But if you stick with it for a couple of years, it could be miraculous.

[00:55:59.64] spk_0:
We’re gonna leave it there. That’s outstanding. Is Alex counts his book again, changing the world without Losing your mind? Leadership lessons from three decades of social entrepreneurship. You’ll find him at Alex counts dot com and at Alex,

[00:56:14.52] spk_2:
counts. Thanks so much, Thank you Pleasure. Next week, our Innovators,

[00:56:30.41] spk_0:
Siri’s continues with the return of Peter Shankman on neuro Diversity. What that means for you as an employer and for your employees, the those who are New road divergent. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com

[00:56:41.16] spk_2:
by Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is

[00:56:59.82] spk_0:
there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Our creative

[00:57:00.60] spk_2:
producer is Claire Meyerhoff.

[00:57:41.08] spk_5:
Sam Liebowitz is the line producer on the board shows. Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein of Brooklyn, New York, with me next week for non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great talking alternative radio 24 hours a day.