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Roger Sametz: Your Board As Brand Ambassadors
Does your board know the basics of your brand? Do you? How many volumes in your story library and how do you build your board’s talent at sharing them? Roger Sametz is president and CEO of Sametz Blackstone Associates, a brand consultancy. (Originally aired March 20, 2015)
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Duitz hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host it’s st patrick’s day happy lafell napor egg. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of busan. O sis, if you made me cotton up to the idea that you missed today’s show you’re bored as brand ambassadors. Does your board know the basics of your brand? Do you? How many volumes in your story library and how do you build your boards? Talent at sharing them? Roger sametz is president and ceo of sam it’s blackstone associates, a brand consultancy on tony’s take two naps that’s, right? I said, naps. What about it? My show? I do whatever the hell i want. We’re gonna talk about naps. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled you’ll raise more money pursuant dot com and by we be spelling supercool spelling bee fundraisers we b e spelling dot com here’s your board as brand ambassadors. Roger sametz is with me in the studio. He is the president and ceo of sam it’s, blackstone associates, boston based brand consultancy integrating brand editorial and digital strategy with design and digital media they work with academic research and cultural non-profits as well as corporations roger rights and speaks widely on brand building he’s at sam it’s on twitter and his company is at sametz se m e t z dot com. Roger sametz welcome to the studio hyre glad to be here. Pleasure, but it have you ah, why do we need board members to be brand ambassadors? Why important? Well, a lot of board members, you know, sign up to be born members and given of their time and money and expertise, and they don’t actually think they have to do more than that. But there’s no marketing or development department in any non-profit of any size that actually doesn’t need help, and board members have networks, so to the extent that they could be out there and actually talking to their networks in productive ways, are opening the doors for the fund-raising staff for being an extension of the marketing staff, that’s all to the good, and what does it mean to be a brand ambassador? Well, to be a brand ambassador means you have to sort of first sounds tautological. Understand the brand so that you could be out there and actually talk about the organization and what it means and what its vision is and how you might, you know, convince other people too participate, donate or even be another boardmember and this is something that can be trained, since, since people don’t come to the organization most likely with the skills, they can learn them, of course, well, boardmember is generally have no aptitude for learning things, or they might not be on boards, so sure, and a lot of the work we do with boards actually happens in ah boardmember ing setting, or perhaps a retreat setting or some sort of special meeting because if you come into a board and you know you’re the finance guy or you’re the you know, you’re the lawyer who helps out or, you know, help out and, you know, some particular aspect going out and chatting may not be something that you’re actually conversant in or have done, how come they’re not? We’re not natural ambassadors, brand ambassadors because it just come naturally? Well, i think part because we love the organization well, part of it may be that some people, of course, are better actually having conversations and drawing people out and others. But leaving that to one side, people come into organizations because they know some chunk of it. You know, you come in because you care about the kid’s education problems you came or you care about, you know, their hunger programs or something. But you may not know the full scope of an organization. You may only know that sort of bit that, you know, touched you. So part of the education process is getting people up to speed on the whole of the organization, and then, you know, coaching them like you would coach anyone to anything to be more comfortable. All right, on dh to start this coaching training we need we need to recognize that there’s a gap between i think, the way they weigh the organs, they perceive the organization on the way they like it to be perceived. The way they describe it on the way they’d like the organization to be perceived. Help him. See that there’s. Some dis constants there. Sure. I mean, often leadership in an organization or the person charged with stewarding. The board is pretty clear. That their boardmember zehr not really good ambassadors. And then there are plenty of board members who, when asked to go out and, you know, be ambassadors, sort of look at the clock or look at the floor or say, not my thing. Um, but there’s a sort of an easy exercise that one can actually do and it’s sort of fun. So take a board meeting, take twenty minutes onboarding pass out a bunch of four by six index cards and ask boardmember is on one side. Write down how you actually describe this organization, the friends of yours at a cocktail party or a barbecue or something. Give them seven minutes or whatever to do that, and then ask them on the other side of the index card to write down what they might like to see if the local newspaper we’re writing an article on the organization so typically a newspaper will write, you know, x organisation comma, eh blank comma. So, you know, there was three or four words there that come after the name of the organization that are sort of pinned to it in the first paragraph of some article, so ask the board. Members, what would you like to see their so the first side of the card is, how would you actually talk about this to some peer in a cocktail party? The second side is sort of this distillation, this aspirational take on how you’d like to actually have the organisation described. So you do that, and the reason you actually using index cards is so tony who’s sitting next to janice can’t say, oh, you know what jenna said so people have to commit to writing on dh. Then you go around the room and you share what people have written on both sides of the cards and two things. If history is our guide will happen, you either end up with or either or both, you’ll end up with very disconnected descriptions of the organization as you go around the room you start to get thes looks like, oh my god, we really are not singing off the same page, and then when you get to the second side of the card, the aspirational side, you’ll get these completely different visions, so just doing this exercise will make pretty clear to people that, hey, we could use some training. Yeah, sounds it sounds very eye opening, especially the aspirational side, the way you’d like the organization to be described. But in your experience, you see lots of lots of disparate answers to those. Well, you do. I mean, boardmember czar recruited or they sign up, but they’re not part of leadership. I mean, they’re not sitting in the, you know, ceo or executive director’s office, so they may never have actually been in on the vision of the place. So there’s some catch up to do ok? And, uh, they need to become masters of the the brand, the organization’s brand. What are what are some elements of brand this a very ethereal thing that a lot of people regrettably reduced to logo, logo in tagline or something? Dahna we know it goes a lot deeper than that i’ve had guests on who have made that very clear, but what are some of these? Whatever some of the concepts around in brand that we’re trying to grasp? Okay, so if you think of brand not as the label on the toothpaste box and certainly brand in the context of non-profits is fairly recent and there’s still a fair amount. Of resistance around that because there will be many people who think it’s too commercial. But if you think a brand, not as to your point not is the logo a locally sort of a symbol of the brand. But if you think about it as what an organization means, what it promises, the expectations it sets well, then that’s a whole different way of looking at brand so boardmember is have to sort of understand that, but took sort of get to that. I have to sort of get under that hood. There are some sort of grand basics to go over. So we started meeting to go to talk about what is an organization. Means so you need to understand. Okay. What’s the organization’s vision. They may not be clear on that. What are our areas of focus? Which means, you know, if we’re an anti hunger organization, how we actually, you know what? One of the areas in which we’re working to accomplish eradicating hunger. What of the roles we play? You could be a convener. You could be, you know, an inventor. You could be any number of things. But constituency out there are not gonna remember seventeen programs that you have, so you need to sort of boyle is down into a finite number. I don’t know three, five areas of focus and rolls that people can actually remember. And then the sort of more evocative side of this what are the brand attributes that you want? Associate it. So these air generally adjective. So to take commercial metaphor here, you know, volvo has always been associated with safety. Then they sort of managed the product and brand slightly differently, and they kept safety and added performance. So organizations tend to have attributes that they own that are already associating with them, and attributes that they would like to have associated with them, which will call aspirational. So if you work through these areas of focus, the mission envision the rolls and the attributes both owned an aspirational you get a pretty good sense of the underpinnings of how an organization can be presented externally. All right, we need to dive deeper into some of this because it sounds i mean it’s very basic to the organization, the its promise. What are the expectations? I know when you didn’t mention that i know is part. Of it, how do you measure success? This is not something that, you know, if it’s not already clear, we’re not gonna be ableto answer all these questions in a in a board meeting is strategic planning up a part of this process? Well, strategic planning certainly could be part of the process, but leadership also may know some of this, but the board may not, so no, some of it so you certainly could have sessions where you educate or you could use the board, too, actually surface these by putting a big post its around the room and actually putting these topics down and writing down different suggestions and then sort of figuring out where you are, okay, we’re gonna go out for a break and when we return, of course, roger and i’m going to keep talking about your board as brand ambassadors stay with us, you’re tuned to non-profit radio tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights published once a month. Tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals, the better way. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Let’s do some live listener love and let’s do it starting abroad. Tokyo, japan and multiple tokyo, japan and musashino in japan. Konnichiwa, seoul, south korea always so loyal soul. Unbelievable! Anya haserot to our listeners in seoul and in china, we’ve got none jing and guangzhou konnichi wa live listen love here in the u, s st louis, missouri, sioux falls, south dakota, san francisco, california, new york, new york welcome each of you and, of course, podcast pleasantries to those listening wherever you are at whatever time on whatever device pleasantries to the podcast listeners over ten thousand of you and to our affiliates, affiliate affection love each of you let’s have a little rations on non-profit radio an abundance of them i admire. I like now. I like a little rations. Roger i yesterday i was speaking at a at a a present. I did a presentation on hosting a panel, and i met a boardmember for ah who’s on the big apple circus board. I don’t know if you’re familiar with big circus, there sure are a lot to new york and one of the things she lamented is that they’re not too well known, but i think she was an excellent brand ambassador because within a minute she had me understanding how first, reminding me that it is a non-profit which a lot of people don’t know, but that they use clowning techniques to help children in a bereavement program that they have, and also a clown, techniques in education, on some of the outreach in the school programs that they have, and she ticked off like three or four things within a minute or a minute and a half that i had no idea of the big apple circus did. Um, and i just i i complimented around being ah ah, an outstanding bruh broad no, outstanding brand ambassador that was jenny keim, virginia chambers kind. But jenny keim is what she goes by. I was really struck teo to meet a riel what i thought was a real good brand ambassador boardmember well, it seems like she was pretty clear on as we were talking about before the break the organization’s rolls? Yeah, it’s areas of focus, she made it clear to you, you know that it wasn’t on profit, which could have been ambiguous, and she clearly engaged you. So whether she comes by this naturally or it’s been soaking in it or had some training you, but i don’t know, but that is what we’re aiming for. I urged her i told her that if her fellow board members are not as good ambassadors as she, that she should listen to this exact show because you were coming on the next day, just yesterday, some of these basics that we were just talking about seems to me that the organization should already know all the stuff that you mentioned mission values, expectations who with constituents he should already be known factors leadership certainly should know all of that, but sometimes they actually get a little bit down in the weeds. So if you’re an organization that has seventeen different programs or you’re an academic research organization that has seventeen different labs or whatever, people often sort of stay at that program level and don’t actually think about how can we group thes into, you know, sort of higher level categories or buckets that people could more easily understand because they’re so focused on, you know, keeping the ship going. In the right direction, so sometimes they don’t think about that, and also there’s we determined over these over the years, people within non-profits see their value as self evident, you know, i work here, i believe in it. You should believe in it too, and they don’t quite understand that it actually takes more work to get someone who’s only connected tangentially or not connected at all to understand it. So there’s work to do to move from that sort of internal. Ah, phew! Point to being externally focused, what you need to do if you’re trying to, you know, get more donors or increase your participation or, you know, whatever, with people who are not in the fold, how do you find boards take to this work? Are they enthusiastic about the idea that we’re gonna be talking about brandy and being an ambassador or however it’s described to them? How did they how did they how did they take to it? We’ve always found that people were actually quite thankful because they’re they’re nervous. They know that part of their role is to be ambassadors, but yet they don’t really know howto ambassador for might arise, yeah. So, you know, any sort of help that gets them into position of, you know, both comfort and sort of fluency so that it feels natural and not nervous about it. That’s great and a lot of the exercises that we sort of put together, they’re helped by wine there, helped by camaraderie fluid. Sure. So you could make these exercises fun. And to the extent that they actually build fluency within a specific person, they’re also building deeper engagement of your board, you know, across all the members. Do you find red or white? Wine is a better, better beverage to accompany this. And then i think people could choose either one. Is you’re you’re agnostic. Teo. Totally. Okay. Okay. Um how let’s. See, when? When organizations are coming to you for for help in this area. What kind of symptoms are they showing? How do they know they have a problem? Well, we talked about that index card exercise before the break, which is sort of a diagnostic tool. But i think organizations khun simply know they need some more help from their board members. I mean, any non-profit board needs their board to help open doors for fund-raising and that’s only gonna happen if the boardmember is, you know, comfortable in fluent and can you no understand enough to actually make that happen? No, okay? And they so is it usually the case that the organizations do recognize themselves that they’ve got some some shortcomings around their their boards participation in fund-raising sure and or is just a good idea, okay? And do you describe when you’re when you’re when you’re about to come to the board, do you describe it as we’re going? We’re going to help you, coach youto be good ambassadors? Oh, absolutely, i mean, there’s no reason to hide around this kind of people, you know, they’re ashamed of it was just one oh, no, no, they’re generally up for it, okay? All right. There are for the help askew described. Okay, um, so let’s, let’s talk a little more about some of these some of the basics of the brand there’s, some more elements to it that we haven’t talked about, like like who do we serve, where we focus on what is a mother? Sure. So so almost any non-profit is going to have a range of constituencies, so, you know we’ve been talking about donors, donors are one constituency people actually take advantage of your services and offerings. That’s, another constituency, you may have partners, you may have government agencies you may have, you know, people you’re trying to recruit as staff. So all of these people have slightly different needs about what they need to know about your organization that orders or connect in ways that make sense for them. So you need to identify constituencies and what they care about so that you can sort of rearrange things in ways that make sense for them. I mean, you would do the same thing and planning a website. You named one very interesting potential potential employees, people who use you’re hoping to recruit to the organization. Ah, a brand ambassador, boardmember could easily be talking to the next cfo or or any person, any level? Absolutely. And, you know, given that non-profits generally pay less than profit organizations, you have to want to be there. So to the extent that the brand is another reason to want to work in that work for that organization that’s all to the good. But you have to understand that in order for that to be, you know, a magnet, our next step once we’ve well have we exhausted all the basics of the brand before we go the next step, i think we have i think, if we understand, you know, areas of focus and rolls and the only thing we didn’t talk about was sort of category, which sounds a little odd, but sometimes boards have a hard time articulating what exactly are you know, are you an anti hunger organization, or are you a social services organization really instant? You find that we often find that, and so that that sort of stymies people, that that first level of conversation, if they can’t even clearly say, you know what category the organization? So it sounds simple enough, but when you sort of put to the test, it isn’t that simple, and often it actually takes some work to both evolve and then subsequently get agreement on interesting. So so that actually it’s a good agreement on so there’s differing opinion as to whether we’re we’re social service or community based? Or, you know, however, we defining ourselves, you get your getting different opinions around that you will get different opinions. And you’ll get different language, even around the same opinion can share a any chance you, khun recollect what we’re working with, that we’re working with one organization at the moment. That’s a non-profit that actually helps. Non-profits and part of the organization thinks they’re in the capacity building business, which he’s probably accurate but not particularly mellifluous to talk about and part of the organization thinks they’re in the business of shifting power and influence to change values in society. These are two very different ideas. Yeah, now they actually do both. But if you’re out there talking about it and you pick one or the other, you get a very different picture. And how does the process mediate these different opinions? Well, this would actually happen at a leadership level and not a board level one would have one would have the chats, and we do have the chats with senior leadership to sort of nail this. All right? This is very, very esoteric stuff. You’re dealing with this brand well, yeah. It’s always interesting and there’s a lot more to it. Then, you know, the star burst on the side of the toothpaste box. All right, um we once all the board members are, are comfortable with the brand basics, then we’re going to help them put together a new elevator speech, right? Sure. Ok, everybody wants one. This is a couple minutes like, i basically what i heard about the big apple circus from from ginny kind well, everyone, you know, elevator speeches just shorthand for what’s your high level message, but implied in this it’s the notion of being able to have everybody on the same page. So one template that you can use actually comes from a game that some people may have played earlier in life called mad libs, which was, if you remember, there was sort of a story on a pad and there were blanks, and you were asked to fill in a noun or a verb or an adverb, and then when the story i read back, you know, some level of hilarity and because of the words don’t make any sense. So when you do this on a brand focused level, you’re actually looking for more specific things, so the template runs something like it will try to draw this in radio air, okay, for whatever constituency, so if you’re an arts organization. You could be art’s interested. Public could be prospective donors. Could be artists? No, for ex constituency. Your organization is what? So that’s, where you get that sort of category answer and you provide another blank. What do you provide? And then how we’re through, how do you actually provide it? And then what value to deliver? And how is the organization worthy of participation? And how is it worthy of support? So these are all blanks. So, again, it’s an exercise with big sort of post its up around the room, and you put lots of different answers in and then the board together sort of calls. Okay, what are the best response is here. And then you start to sort of string it together, along with adjectives that actually could come from your brand attributes. So an example might be so let’s. Take, for example, wgbh, which is a public television stations radio station in balkan. There we worked with. So the big category answer might be public media powerhouse or content engine, which were both a lot more evocative than television and radio stations. Um, the second part of that might be trusted. Guide to new worlds and new ideas that sze what the organization is. Yes, of course. So it’s a more evocative answer than a literal answer. Yeah, but that hey, you’re out being ambassadors so you can certainly be we’re not trying to divine this is not a definition that is not a dictionary process and it’s, not a tax form, okay, you know, in terms of areas, well, they’re they’re in news and drama there in public affairs therein kids programming, they’re in science, so you get to nail the sort of areas of focus they have signature programs like masterpiece everybody knows downtown and that what do they provide? They provide opportunities for exploration and interaction and an independent voice, especially if you’re talking about the news and public affairs programming. Where did they do this? Well, it’s locally, the boston area but now that everything streams it’s much farther, and of course, it’s multi platform so there’s a more complicated answer toa wear then there might have been in years past, and then you can end with, you know, it’s for you and supported by you. Or you could take another completely different example i referenced anti hunger organization a while ago so the constituency might be for those who care about in this case, we’re talking about massachusetts seven hundred thousand people in massachusetts who actually don’t know where their next meal is coming from. So that’s the constituency, the people who care about that and then project bread what’s the category, the leading statewide anti hunger organization. And what do they do? Offer fresh approaches, ending hunger? What are they? By pioneering funding, facilitating a range of programs and through education advocacy, they actually have programs that meet people where they are rather than just handing food out of back of a truck, and then you get into that next level of details? Well, you know, how do they actually do this? So it’s programs that are in the community programs that are schools with kids, programs that are building sustainable food ecosystem? So then you get into more detail and then what’s the benefit. Well, it’s all the sort of fulfill a vision that’s the opposite of hungry isn’t just full it’s healthy, which then musicians the organization differently against sort of just emergency food and nutrition versus full nutrition vs and then you go, you bring it down to donors, which is with the support of people. They also sponsor a large hunger walk. Those who walk and our corporate partners, we’re able to eradicate hunger in the state. All right, two two excellent examples. A little long, but but i think the examples help help us teo to fill in the in the template. Um, okay, we’re going to give ah, roger. We’ll give you a break for a couple minutes and there’s going to be mohr with roger coming up talking about brand ambassadors and tony’s take too, of course, before that more with roger’s sam it’s coming up first pursuing do you need to open a convo in your office on sustaining e-giving or persuade someone that it’s valuable or see for yourself? How much money gets raised? Maybe you go crazy for infographics on your pinterest boards? Is that you, mr or ms pinterest? Pursuing has a new infographic on sustaining giving it’s at pursuing dot com click resource is then intra graphics couldn’t be simpler, and we’ll be spelling spelling bees for fund-raising how about a millennial game show in a local club as your fundraiser? That’s what? These bees are spelling bee concert standup comedy live music dance check out the video it’s at wi be e spelling dot com now for tony’s take do as i said, we’re talking about naps in praise of naps i’m a big fan of napping research shows you only need about twenty minutes to feel refreshed and be more efficient, and your brain is working better it’s getting better oxygen and blood flow. However, i’m not ashamed to say that i do not unfree quickly go longer than the research recommends. Naps should be encouraged in offices, i think. Why? Why? Why do we fight that drowsy drunk feeling after lunch? You can’t keep your head up, you know what i’m talking about? Givin put your head down and when you’re home, take advantage, indulge i even have a favorite napping blanket. I think everybody does. I hope that i don’t know i do, but i think lots of people do. I hope this mine is soft, it’s cotton, the soft as just the right weight. Very important the weight. Check out the video in praise of naps at tony martignetti dot com that is tony’s take two you’re probably glad it’s over here’s more roger sametz. Roger. Sam it’s. Feeling a little under the weather, but he’s mustering? Well, if you hear your silence that’s ah that’s cutting rogers mikes that we can give him a cough. But he’s made the trip down from boston. Thank you for doing that. It’s. Been a tough boston winter, as most of your listeners probably already know we do. And it’s not been much better here. Today is the first day of spring. I believe march twentieth and it’s snowing outside. We look out the window right now, there’s pretty brisk snow coming down in new york city. Bob all right, anything more you want to add? We don’t need another example. But anything more you want to add about this this template, but helps with the elevator speech? Well, i think it does two things. I mean, you actually end up with an elevator speech is not going to be eloquent language by putting things up in this mad libs posted format, but it will give you the content. So then, you know, either some sub committee of the board or staff can then be charged with actually, you know, wordsmithing. It so everybody likes it, okay? But getting the content down is important, and then the other thing it does, of course, which all of these exercises do is get boardmember is engaged. So to the extent that people sitting around a board table or wherever you’re sitting in doing this are participating in developing messages it’s already getting into their heads. So we stand a much better chance of people becoming comfortable with something if they’ve had a part in evolving it much more so than if you just took, you know, a piece of paper and slid it across the table, foisted on them and say, memorized, memorized this on dh have it prepared for the next for the next meeting? Yes, quite. Okay. All right, so they’re involved in the involved in the creation of it. Um, this is going tio this is one of the tools that were empowering board members with basically i mean, this is what we’re trying to make comfortable, confident brand ambassadors and, uh, another tool that you recommend his stories. Yes, well, you know boardmember sze, can we, like anybody, can sort of talk about an organization either from the top. Down or the bottom up. So the top down would be starting with your elevator speech. And then presumably, if you haven’t run to get another ice cube, the person you’re talking to, you might tell a story another boardmember might swell around it a barstool and actually just start with a story and end up with the elevator speech. So a bottom up approach, okay, but this only really works if people have the stories one way or the other, and what happens is boardmember because they’ve experienced the organisation themselves in one way or another, you know, they might have a story, um, but they might have on ly that one story and, you know, the other board members would have different stories, so the extent that you can sort of pull these stories and even get a story library going, perhaps online, internally online, then people have more things that they can talk to and they can sort of pivot. But if you want to sort of think about a story there’s, of course, another template to try to actually do that, and you could sort of start by thinking, okay, if if this were a movie title. What would be the name of the movie? And that will lead you immediately to some sort of evocative top end to the story. And then, of course, you want to talk about, well, who’s in the story, who’s the protagonist. So this could be a person or it could be an organization. Then the next step to think about is okay. So where what’s the problem? What? What has to get solved? And then where does your organization come in? So what programs or services get marshaled to help solve that problem and then what’s the end of the story? And is thie ending? You know, finite? Or is the benefit ongoing? So you can use that very simple template and really think about okay? How does your organization, you know, participate in either other organizations or other people’s lives to make a difference? Where where else might these stories emanate from your example, was board board members. Maybe each person has a story or something, but they can also filter up from the program’s staff that’s out, actually doing the work. Um, i know a lot of organizations like to invite people who are benefiting from the work the people of the organization is serving, have them come to board meetings and tell their story sure, you could absolutely do that. What you’re going for is something that’s authentic where you khun, you know, show that you made a difference and that you’re not sort of, you know, overreaching, you’re not trying to say you made you more of a difference and people would believe, yeah, but sure, i mean, you know, every organization writes up profiles or highlights people, those are generally stories, whether they’re set up a stories that have sort of a, you know, beginning middle and an end that has a benefit, you know, that varies, but what you are going to make sure that you have it, you know, you have an impact statement at the end, you have a benefit to show that you know, why people should participate or why people should be donors and just, you know, give them a reason to believe we gotta get these stories down too, what under two minutes? Right? If if i’m in a conversation with somebody at a reception or something, you know, i can’t hold their interest too long list, i’m a master storyteller? Well, you might be, but yes, i think you’re right under two minutes or, you know, if you’re writing it out, you know, under two hundred words. Yeah. Okay. All right, um and you mentioned a story library like internally online. What? What is that? What you could do a story library in any number of ways. But if your organization has some sort of internal web set up that’s a great place to post them if it doesn’t have that, you know, you could just compile them. But the whole idea is you don’t want stories to just leave an individual’s heads if they’re really good and they could be shared and, you know, people can use them in conversation out there in the world. You might even be sharing them on the web. Well, with the public doesn’t have to be behind a, you know, an internet or anything, you know, a lot. Meet a lot of what we’ve been talking about because we’ve been talking in the board. Ambassador context is useful for word ambassadors, but of course, it’s useful for staff. It’s useful for senior leadership? Yeah, potential donors have thes stories air there’s quite a bit of talk among non-profits about around non-profits around around storytelling, right? And as i said earlier, you know, storytelling is simply sort of the inductive way of describing your organization that’s supposed to starting from the top down, which is sort of more than deductive way, but both are valid, and it has to do with how you’re comfortable talking with people, okay, what’s our next tool that we want teo arm, are board members within making them confident? Well, we started to talk about donorsearch let’s, let’s focus on that for a minute. So most organizations because they do more than one thing or not monolithic and as we already discussed their constituencies or not model to think either even within a donor community and if you think about major donors for the moment, they’re just not good do bees, they’re generally interested in giving money to some organization that they believe will advance goals that they personally care about. So if you take the goal around major e-giving to be connecting institutional priorities with donor passions and interests and you understand that the people aren’t monolithic and the organizations not monolithic, then it behooves. You to come up with different ways that people can connect, so this is another way that you can actually work with your board to evolve what we call ways in. So for instance, taken orchestra could be a tiny little orchestra, really big workers treyz some people are going to care about performing the traditional repertoire, some people are going to care about commissioning new music, probably a smaller number. Some people are going to care about the space that music is performed it, and you know what? What shape that’s it some people are going to care about kids education programs if there are such some people don’t care about building the audiences of the next generation, and the answer to that is yes, so some donors will connect in one way, and some donors will connect in another but it’s important that for your non-profit that you actually evolved what thes different ways in our so that if i’m, for instance, i’m going out to talk to tony, and i think he’s wants to support kids education, but he really wants to support community outreach. I’m able to actually pivot and talk to you about community outreach. Of course, implicit in all of this, and we could have talked about this at the top of the hour, is they need to listen because you’re going to have any conversation with someone outside your organization. You have to also understand where they are otherwise you’re just pushing things at them. Yeah, yeah, you’re a billboard. So you wanted you wanted to be a conversation, so you have to learn enough about the person you’re talking to two actually take what you’ve learned in terms of these areas focus and rolls and stories and mission in category and no talk to the person in terms that are meaningful to havers you like to rehearse this with boards once you once you farm doing with the tools? Is there some practice? We do a lot of role playing, which is also fun and also better served with wine. Ok, so you can set up small groups. There’s not much that isn’t isn’t helped by wine. I find my favorite is seven young blanc personally, but well, it depends whether your board meetings here in the evening at seven. Thirty in the morning. Yeah, well, bloody mary zahra possibility. No, i would not have not tried, but if their evening now most activities in life, i find very easy, well lubricated by wine. Well, you have an italian last name. I do, um but yes, a lot of these can be when you have after you evolve the kinds of things we’ve been talking about, whether it’s in small groups or people making, you know, presentations to the larger group, anything that has people actually use what we’re talking about rather than just sort of take it in because the more people use the information that we’ve been discussing, the more comfortable they ll get and them or it’s actually in their heads, and they make it their own. So never are we asking anyone to like, you know, memorize words or spew things back, it’s all about understanding that the content and the concepts and then being able to actually talk about it in words that are comfortable your own? Yeah, on your own that connect with the person that you’re actually talking with. How long is this process to build the board, ambassadors, brand ambassadors? Well, these air separate different kinds of exercises that we’ve been talking about it. And there’s, no, no fixed timeline are sequenced to any of this. You could certainly come up with, you know, three or four these workshops, depending on how often you want to meet so you know it, it may be better to do oneaccord er just because the board has other things to do and you have to hijack some time here, or you could do a concentrated session if you had, you know, a two day retreat and you, you know, take some of that time, okay? Yeah, the ways in i mean, they should be already known to the organization. There shouldn’t be anything new here in terms of identifying how you khun be supportive. Well, there’s always a difference between things that exist and actually sort of understanding it and remembering it. So if you, for instance, well, let’s, take a life sciences organization example, um, you may care about the work they’re doing in a specific disease area. I may care about how they’re using new technology. Somebody else may care about how their training scientists of the next generation. So you may know that the organization actually doing those things but you really care about that disease area that you care about. So in order for you to feel comfortable talking about the technologies that i care about, you do have to learn more about it and sort of, you know, soaking it a little bit. All right, yeah, so right, right again, everybody got their own perspective and reason that they’re with the organization. Exactly. We need to share all these and everybody’s converse and in all the ways right, because the goal of an ambassador is to be able to meet people where they are not to just go out, as you said earlier and be a billboard that, you know is inflexible and this is an electronic billboard isn’t going to change any so you need you need the information, the confidence, that fluency and, of course, the content, which is largely what we’re talking about during this hour to, you know, start someplace and be able to pivot to someplace else and, you know, not be flustered in the middle. You, you also work with boardmember is to overcome potential resistance points as their out ambassador rising? Sure. Well, i mean, everything doesn’t go smoothly. We’ve been talking about ways to make boardmember is more comfortable. That doesn’t mean you’re not goingto bump up against some donorsearch prospect that just, you know, says no or i don’t believe in you or comes up with, you know, some reason why, you know he or she should not entertain a conversation with you so there’s no guarantee it’s all going to just, you know, fall into your lap. So again, we keep coming back to role playing and the’s group sessions, but and leadership or bored or the fund-raising staff probably knows the points of resistance, so one thing the board can do is come up with what the arguments are for dispelling that. So this is a good thing to do in small groups, you could even sort of picture seeing a couple people on one side of a table in a couple of people on the other, and, you know, one side has the resistance, and the other side has to with what we’ve just been talking about, you know? The rolls and areas of focus and the impact stories try to convince the, you know, the first party. No, you’re wrong, you know, or give it another thought so that you can in fact, bring some more people into the fold. Okay, um, before we move on anything, anything more we can talk about with the with respect to these resistance points. Anything else there? Well, they’re different for every organization. I mean, we worked and some tell a story tell somebody you worked with has some are harder to overcome than others. I like stories. So for a large ballet company that we worked with. Ah, one of the points of resistance that we we heard often was, you know, i fall asleep hard to forget what the argument for that might be rather than take a nap earlier. Well, the persons of phyllis stein or whatever or, you know, write them up. We were just write them off. I fall asleep at the ballet or i fall asleep at the opera. Are we really going to get anywhere? Not necessarily. Ok, some of these you don’t get anywhere, okay? Or, you know, there aren’t any words or i don’t get the story or for modern ballet, whether isn’t a story, i really don’t get the story, so you have to explain, you probably have to actually sort of inculcated people about what they’re actually seeing in hearing. But there are some things that, yes, it’s harder to overcome. Some things are easier to overcome. So going back to wgbh, the pbs station in boston, one of things they tell you what done before you go kill the gbh story, we’re going to go out for a couple minutes, okay, give your voice a break, and we’ll come back and we’ll go right to the gbh story. Stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon. Craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger, do something that worked. And naomi levine from new york universities heimans center on philantech tony tweets to, he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard. You can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. I’m peter shankman, author of zombie loyalists. It’s! And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Welcome back again, too big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent, as peter shankman just said, more live listener lovemore live listeners have joined us. Woodbridge, new jersey, east bridgewater, massachusetts, and brooklyn and queens, new york welcome live listen love to each of you schnoll a france bonsoir got shane i india somewhere in the uk uk unfortunately your masked we can’t tell where but we’ll presume it’s england, but live listener love to india and the u k listeners also and, uh also joining us moscow and kano, us, brazil. I apologize if i pronounced that wrong. But you know who you are listening in? Brazil also got italy, but we can’t see where you are. We don’t know what city or town i’ve been to italy four times, so i should be able to say hello in what am i missing? What am i missing? Child? Go must die. I can order a meal and i can find my way to hotels. That’s about by restaurant in hotel italian is about what i speak. You could start with bum jo know when jordan was really good. Thank you, roger. You don’t even have the italian. Name? I don’t. Thank you. Thank you. Um okay, let’s. Ah, so we were overcoming our resistance points. So anything and you were going to tell a story about wgbh? Sorry, that’s where we were. Yeah, well, it’s not so much a story as so it’s a little different from some other non-profits in that it depends not only on individual donors, it depends on sponsorship, so one goal of a particular board is actually to help with sponsorships. So many organizations, of course, do have sponsors and sponsors requires slightly different value proposition than perhaps an individual or a major donor is goingto have. So some of the areas of resistance were because it’s a public television station, for instance, i don’t want to support you because you’re too liberal. Okay, so then the board got together and came up with some arguments around that or it doesn’t congress pay for everything? Well, no, but so that’s a point of ignorance that you could then sort of overcome or isn’t your audience to old? Well depends, you know, too old. For what? And it’s also younger than you think. So there. You know, there are things out there that are often misperceptions that board members will get hit with or in fact, staff will get hit with that one can marshal arguments for so yes, that’s different than falling sleep with the ballet. How does staff support this? This whole ambassador rising process? Well, in a lot of these organizations that were working with, you know, we’re facilitating these sessions, but staff, of course, has to organize them and make them happen, and to our earlier point probably procure the wine. But an interesting side effect of all of this, not the side effect of the wine is how what comes out of these meetings then benefits staff so they’re learning right along with the board so they will be clearer on the organization. They will be clearer on some of these arguments. It will be clear they will learn new stories so there’s a definite, you know, relationship between, you know, staff on board, they’re not just there in a supportive role, it’s actually making their jobs, you know, more successful, actually, even though it’s a bra board process, the staff is vicariously elearning right and that’s a that’s a goal, even though it was not necessarily sort. Of, you know, a stated goal, but we see it happen all the time. You’re sort of raising both sides of the seesaw in the in the course of doing these exercises. Okay, then, it’s not a seesaw anymore. Both sides arising it’s some kind of rising platform. It’s just a seesaw that’s level a level level seesaw. But then that’s not really a seat it’s not really. See? So it doesn’t have a fulcrum in the middle. One side rises and the other side falls. But both sides rise. I don’t know. What’s that a jungle that’s a jungle gym. We’ll find another metaphor. Okay, beating you up, you know you don’t feel well, um, ok, we’ve we’ve we’ve covered the resistance points, and this sounds like something that would be valuable to revisit over over time, not just do once and, you know, kind of put on a shelf well, like brand building, which is also a process and not an event. All of these could be processes and not events. So to the extent that you take some of the exercise we’ve been talking about, instruction them over some period of time. It also serves an organization. Or well, to bring these back at some kinds of you have different periods, first of all, boards change, so everybody isn’t going to be always up to speed in equal way and this notion of fluency like practicing anything else, you know, piano, swimming, whatever you have to do it, so you can certainly come up with a short role playing exercises at some other point. You khun certainly revisit stories you could revisit rolls and areas of focus. All of this stuff could have a sort of rinse and repeat kind of cycle. We talked earlier on about strategic planning, something formal, possibly being a part of this. Do you find many organizations that really don’t have the basics in mastered so that they can carry on further? Well, lots of organizations have the basics and not have a strategic plan, which is fine, you know you’re not always in a strategic planning mode, but if you are, if your organization does have a new strategic plan, all of this is even more important, because there’s no stresses you playing that we bumped into that doesn’t depend on its success by having people think and act in your favor. So all of what we’re talking about on the board of the staff level is helping you to convince people to think and act in your favor, otherwise would be to plant. Just sit on a shelf. Yeah, well, they all depend on some actions. Yeah, that’s something i’ve had guests lament that a strategic plan gets done and then they’re really does just get parked on a shelf and it doesn’t live, doesn’t evolve, and the organization doesn’t really benefit from it. Other than it’s a checkmark the board can now move on to the next project. Right? So if you go back to either the ways in that we were talking about or just being sort of clear on the different aspects of the organization you could sort of back into ok here. These aspects are a strategic plan. What do people have to think and do and feel in order for this to be successful so that they will, you know, realize section to be of the plan. And then how can boardmember sze help? So sure you could bring that in as another discussion topic. Now we just have about thirty seconds left. Roger, but i want you to share with me what you love about the work that you do. Oh, all right, well, i have to think about that for a nanosecond here. I think that the top answer would be because we worked with so many non-profits and they’re in so many different fields that first of all, it’s never boring and there’s always an opportunity to help these different organizations achieve their different missions. You know, we’re all about brand building not just to build the brand, but brand building to help organizations evolve and to better navigate change and that’s just about every non-profit roger stamets president and ceo sam it’s, blackstone associates, they’re at sam it’s dot com and he’s at sam it’s. Sam eat easy on twitter. Roger. Thank you very, very much. Thank you for having me. My pleasure. You. You you must have done quite well next week. Trust me, you really have no choice. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com responsive by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. And by we be spelling supercool spelling bee. Fundraisers. We be e spelling dot com. A creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Betty mcardle is our am and fm outreach director. Shows social media is by susan chavez, and this cool music is by scott stein. You with me next week for non-profit medio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. Yeah. Buy-in what’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder craig newmark insights orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine am or eight pm so that’s when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing so you gotta make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to dio they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones me dar is the founder of idealised took two or three years for foundation staff to sort of dane toe, add an email address. Card. It was like it was phone. This email thing is right and that’s, why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were on dh. No two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony talked to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expected to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.