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Nonprofit Radio for February 26, 2024: Your Partnerships With FGWs

 

Esther Choy: Your Partnerships With FGWs

First Generation Wealth creators have different values and mindsets than those who inherited their wealth. And FGWs far outnumber the inheritors. Esther Choy’s research helps you understand these folks and how to build valuable relationships with them. She’s president of Leadership Story Lab. (This originally aired May 17, 2021.)

 

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And welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I am your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be thrown into lateral epicondylitis if you gave me the elbow and told me that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with the highlights. Hey, Tony, this week, it’s your partnerships with F GWS first generation wealth creators have different values and mindsets than those who inherited their wealth. And FGWS far outnumber the inheritors. Ester Choi’s research helps you understand these folks and how to build valuable relationships with them. She’s president of leadership story Lab. This originally aired May 17th 2021 on Tony’s. Take two. Please review we’re sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporter generosity. Donor box. Fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org and by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow. Giving. Virtuous.org. Welcome again, virtuous. So grateful for your sponsorship. Here is your partnerships with FGWS. It’s a pleasure to welcome to nonprofit radio, Esther Choi. She is president and chief story facilitator at leadership story lab, teaching storytelling to institutional and individual clients who are searching for more meaningful ways to connect with their audiences. She’s a contributor for Forbes Leadership Strategy Group and you may have seen her quoted in leading media outlets like the New York Times and entrepreneur.com. Her practice is at leader story lab and leadership story lab.com E Choi. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Thank you so much for having me. It’s a real pleasure. Welcome. Um You, you have uh you have some new research out that we need to, we need to talk about transforming partnerships with major donors. What are uh let’s, let’s just jump right in and why don’t you explain what FGW folks are and uh tell us a little about your, the research that you did with these FGW folks. FGW folks. Well, I recently published this research report um and lucky enough to have a really, really good exposure such as the one you mentioned in the New York Times. And there are a lot of surprises about the folks that we generally in the broader society, just, just overly sort of broad and call them the rich people or the wealthy folks or the high net worth individual or the ultra high net worth individuals as if they all belonged in this monolithic group that they all think a belief in the same way. And So I got curious about them after I’ve taught uh in this major Gift strategy program at Kellogg for a while wondering why are these people so hard to get? What uh because so many nonprofits are doing amazing and moving and important and urgent work that no one else is doing. So why is it so hard to reach them? So I dug further in and did a lot of homework and I interviewed 20 very um they were ultra high or folks and I just ask some questions about how did they get to their wealth? What is it like? Um Are there any downsides to wealth, having wealth and so on and so forth and focusing on philanthropy? Um So this report, I can talk about any one number of ways. So you tell me, what do you, what do you want to most learn about these first generation wealth creators? Well, let’s uh let’s start with how big a proportion they are of the, of the wealthy. Wow. I am glad you start. That’s the starting point. Um That’s one of the biggest surprises that I’ve learned because they are at least 68% of the, the, the this massive group that we call wealthy ultra high net worth. They are at least 68% of them earn their wealth instead of inherited. Now, that’s a big, big difference between inherited wealth versus earned wealth. And that means they’ve traveled a entire social economic class that they did not grow up with. And so some of them, um, very few of them really make the majority of their wealth in their thirties or even forties. Most of them are in their fifties and sixties. So we’re talking about full on grown adults with Children and maybe even grandchildren by the time they become, um, this wealthy. So it’s a very interesting transformation of your life, your community, your social circles, the things that you worry about or not worry about all happen around starting from the point of fifties and sixties, right? So, so there are at least two thirds, maybe even a little more than two thirds of all the, all the wealthy folks. The way we would describe, as you’re saying, high net worth, ultra high net worth. These are, these are two thirds of those folks, at least you said 68 68%. I picked the most conservative number, but I’ve read elsewhere to and put that to um somewhere 80 80%. OK? And everybody you interviewed is first generation wealth. That’s, that’s where your research was correct on those folks. OK. So let’s get to know them a little bit. Um Your research has uh AAA nice chart. Um I like, I like pictures. The first thing I look for in books and pictures. Uh Simple, simple mind. You, you’re burdened with the host with a simple mind. Um But you do have these, these pillars of wealth generation that. So let’s describe these folks. Not, not, not all three, I mean, people are just gonna have to get the research, you know, I don’t, I’m not gonna quiz you. I’m not quizzing you on block number four in line three on the No, we’re not doing that. I don’t want to go like word by word because people got to get the research which, which is at Leadership story lab.com, right? That’s the way that you can download. Yeah, there’s an executive summary and you can download the full report as well, right? So Leadership story lab.com for the full thing for the full, for the full study. Um But let’s get to know these folks a little bit, these, these first generation wealth creators. Um you, you start by saying they’re, they’re understated. They’re, they’re maybe even humble. Are they, are they, are they to the point of being humble and modest, humble and modest? And they have a hard time, they have a hard time with the, with the word wealthy, they understand the size of their assets. Um They understand what they are capable of affording, which is basically anything but they have a hard time with the label wealthy. And um they oftentimes think of and regard and never really left their middle class roots and that’s majority of them come from very middle class. You know, they don’t want to be flashy nor do they enjoy flashy things that attract attention So, um, you know, make no mistake. They are a part of things that are very, um, you know, shiny and, and sophisticated and, and, and high quality, but it’s not who they are inside. So that’s one thing to keep in mind is that they are very understated themselves and they often appreciate other people as well as other things that are understated. You, you make the point a couple of times of saying that they don’t, they don’t identify themselves as wealthy even though they know that they fit into that category, correct? Ok. Um So you sat down and you, you met these folks, you, well, maybe not face to face but you, you spoke with these people or couples or how did, how did that all work? Yeah. So I did all the interviews uh with in partnership with the research firm and it’s all done virtually because it was done in 2020. Um There was one noted exception um where I was invited to her home. Uh and uh I met all her kids and her husband and, you know, it’s just like the whole family in the background and it’s kind of funny to talk about her family while her family was around, but for the most part, it was done through Zoom. Uh one through calls and, and um there are four people, so two couples, um I interview them at the same time together and the lengths just got doubled. Um you know, it’s usually 50 50 minutes to an hour and with a couple, um we talked for over an hour and a half. How do you, I’m interested in some of the details. How do you reach out to these folks? How do you, how do you get their attention? It’s really hard. So, the first thing we mentioned in one of the four pillars is they’re understated, right? They don’t identify with the word wealthy. They certainly don’t make big advertisement to the world that they are wealthy. And so to find them and to get them to agree, to speak on record, although it’s anonymous um and to get them to open up and talk about money and wealth, it’s really hard. So I have to rely on a couple of key relationships. Um One is through one of my alma mater, um Texas A and M University and my friend and colleague, uh the CEO of Texas A and M Foundation helped me recruit a few, quite a few of these interviewees. Um my business partner who also happens to be a um uh trustee at the University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Foundations and um through a couple of my own uh resources as well as my research firms. So 20 for qualitative studies is, you know, sufficient. It’s definitely not a lot, 20 people doesn’t sound like a lot but 20 of these type of people and get them to talk about very sensitive topic. Um, was, it took quite a bit just to get them to agree to talk to me. Well, thank you. Um, absolutely. Um, and what was the median income for these 20 folks families? So, um, at this point I don’t think their income is very meaningful any anymore. So, we’re, I, I’m, um, by median, I would refer to their, um, uh, their, their net worth. So the net worth the median range is 50 to 80 million. Um, although, um, the low, I would put it in the low teens, the highs, I would put them in 100 and 50. So just give you, give, you, give our listeners a sense as well of what we’re talking about. Like by, well, you know, millions is like a lot of zeros, you know, at some point it’s just like my mind can’t keep them all in one place. Um, according to the fed in 2020 the top 1% of the US, um, folks have 11 million. So these are all, um, uh, you know, sort of the top one percenter and, um, for the 1% even mid teens to 50 or so was the, was roughly the median net worth. Exactly. Exactly. But then if you think about the 1% of 300 million people in the US, that’s 3 million, 3 million people. And that is about the size. If you put them all in one city, all in one location, they’re just below New York City, just below New York, uh just below Los Angeles, but just above the city of Chicago. So 3 million people, that’s a lot of people. Ok. And, and you estimate conservatively that of those 3 million 68%. Uh our first generation, they earn their wealth versus inherited. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations. Anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data entry or errors make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try Donor Box Live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to your partnerships with FGWS. Let’s go back to get to know these folks a little bit. Um um They’re entrepreneurial. No surprise but tell us what, what does that mean for the way they think about themselves and the way they might think about uh their philanthropy. Yeah. So in the most literal sense, they are were entrepreneurs. That’s how they created most of them, created their wealth and with a few um less than 20% of them uh had a very lucrative corporate careers and entrepreneurial also means that is the mindset. It’s the lenses in which they apply all things through. Um, so it could be the way that they would like their Children or grandchildren to approach. Um, you know, if I wanted to study abroad even, um, and, you know, I need additional funding. Well, how much you think about it as what untapped opportunities might there be out there for you in this country that you want to study? But it is not currently fully leveraged. Um But entrepreneurial could also means to, as they think about nonprofit, as they really think about how they want to leave their social impact and how they want to fully make sure that their philanthropic dollar is put to good use that also applied and um compatible with their middle class values. So, uh it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s up and downside, right? Um Sometimes something just can’t be measured. Sometimes nonprofits are run by people who are philanthropically minded and socially minded and they don’t necessarily have the same sort of business acumen as, as well as um fear competitiveness um that these donors tend to have and embody. And so the, the downside of having that entrepreneurial mindset is that sometimes it creates um clashes and if you know, at the very least disagreements on is this really the best use of the, the, the, the precious dollars that your organizations have? Um Sometimes there’s no straight black and white answer. Yes and no. Um So um, that’s what I mean by entrepreneurial and, and, and what else, what, what comes next in those four pillars? So, the third is free and I truly, it seems like a very simple, no nonsense. And, and, and we’re like, oh, we live in a free society. Uh, but I think the truth of the matter is that a lot of people aren’t not free, they’re not free to pursue whatever they want. They are under certain professional career obligations or financial pressures and they are a lot of options. Yeah, exactly. And that’s why a lot of career counselors asked mid to even late career folks, you know, what would you do if money is not an issue? Right. Uh, I’ve heard that question asked a lot in care counseling because a lot of people are under that, uh, pressure. But these FGWS they are not and for them it’s oftentimes for the first time is, wow, now it’s not a theoretical questions anymore. I really don’t have to worry about money. Ok. So now what, what do we do? And so, um, a lot of them pursue experiences. A lot of them want the same thing for the Children and grandchildren. Um, they, uh, pursued 3rd, 4th, 5th careers that they’ve always are interested, intrigued by, know that they are not very good at and know that they probably may not, may or may not be able to make a ton of money with. Um, but they do it anyway. So it’s that sense of freedom. Um that I think a lot of people, as long as they have to still worry about saving for retirement saving, for making sure you can pay your mortgage and things like that. It’s, it’s really hard to wrap your mind about. And then these folks are just sort of fully embracing, they want their Children to understand that having a, a wealth of options doesn’t just come, it comes from hard work and, and devotion, which is what they devoted their decades to. So they, they, they want their Children to understand that that doesn’t just happen for everyone. Yeah. I’m glad you bring up Children, um, across all 20 of them, even though the ages ranges from late forties to a few eighties. Um, they all worry about their kids even though their kids have all grown up or they have worried about their kids or have regrets about the way that they raised the ways that they passed on their assets, uh, to their kids. And the, the funny thing is that they did not tell me. Oh, I have so. And so, um, I really can confide in or I know these, uh, uh, professional resources, uh, that I can go to and, um, all of them are just kind of like, I hope I’m doing the right thing. In fact, I know I haven’t done the right thing but then talking to peers surprisingly was not an option across any of them. And so although they’re free, but this taboo topic of money and wealth have prevented them from really searching for the right answers at the time when decisions had to be made. So Children, it’s a constant universal worries, especially for people with wealth. Um We’ve seen from studies after studies that for example, substance abuse tend to affect um Children from families with means disproportionately higher than those who are not from uh family with means. I wonder if there’s some tension for them because they’re not comfortable talking to those who inherited their wealth or, or even just other wealthy people because they don’t, they don’t identify that way, but then they’re not comfortable talking to those folks that they knew when they were struggling in their careers. And before their, their great success, their great financial success would qualify that because success can take lots of d have lots of different levels to it. But before their great financial success, because they, they, they like, they don’t wanna, they don’t want to appear uh overbearing to their non wealthy friends who they know from high school and college and, you know, maybe professional school or, you know, whatever. Uh So they’re, they like caught in the middle, like, they don’t have valuable personal relationships to, to leverage and count on in, in, in times like when they’re questioning what, what to do with Children and, you know, sort of existential questions like that. Yeah. So this is another downside of being entrepreneurial. Um Another way to call someone very entrepreneurial is what you know, he’s, he has a can do spirit, she has a can do spirit. So if you can do, you can do it yourself. You don’t need to count on other people, people to help you, you can pull yourself up by the bootstrap. So uh that’s one and two is again the, the subject of wealth, it tends to be taboo. Um In fact, the Brooking Institute economist Isabel saw Hill made this really apt observation and she said that people rather talked about sex than money and money than class. So first generation wealth creators have travel across classes. And so that makes it really hard for them to say, you know, I don’t know what’s the right way if we do if we travel, is it wrong for us to buy business class or first class? And what are your middle class friends going to say? Oh, poor Tony, poor Esther, you’re struggling with questions like should you trust travel in business versus first class? And it’s not something that a lot of people, first of all empathize with and second of all have the right context to give sound counsels. And what about professional coaches and counselors and whatnot? I didn’t actually cover in a report. I chose to exclude it and just in the in favor of focusing on nonprofit and fundraising. But their experience with uh wealth management advisors are very mixed because it’s an industry that has a lot of conflict of interest. There are some really, really good let us in on something that uh that didn’t make the report. This is great, not proper radio. You gotta let us in on the, on the, on the back story. What uh say a little more about these, the trouble they’ve had the mixed results, mixed results. I’m sure some have been, some results were fine and some relationships are fine but say you a little more about uh what didn’t make the final report there. Um I cut a whole section off just because I think it, it might be detrimental to getting people to read it when it’s beyond a certain length. So this whole section that I cut off was on um how they view advisors, um counselors and, and things like that. And indeed, you know, uh two words to describe the entire section is that it’s very mixed. Um some um have great experience, some on the other end of the extreme is, um they thought the people they interacted with is just uh the advice weren’t very good or too obvious or that again, they can do it themselves. Why do I need to pay you so much money to tell me something I know already. And um, and by the way, that is somewhat parallel to their experience with uh fundraisers. So I don’t want to just put the hammer on um wild advisors and, and, and um tax advisors and whatnot. Um Because this idea that, oh, we know you’re wealthy, we know what you can do with your money, either for the benefit of yourself as well as for me or my organizations that really changed the dynamic of the conversations as well as the services, how services rendered and this to their relative to their expectations. Um So that’s why it’s not very helpful. I think just to come off and um list a bunch of things that they’re not happy with without being able to say what would be helpful. So I just removed the whole section and also in favor of keeping it at readable length. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you, Kate. I’d be grateful if you would rate and review the show on whatever podcast app you’re using. Uh, we’re a little, a little low on reviews, recent, recent reviews, uh and ratings. So I hope you would give it a five stars. Uh Certainly nothing below four, I would think, but five is best five is best. And if you could do a little review, I know it takes a little time, you know, it takes a few minutes. I understand that I’d be grateful if you could rate and review the show wherever fine podcasts are heard, wherever you’re listening, please do. Thank you very much. And that’s Tony’s take two. Don’t forget to rate and review. Now, look at the little jingle, Tony’s take two rate and review Kate. That was a very beautiful jingle. But yeah, don’t be afraid to rate and review and let us know what you’re thinking of the show. Not only, don’t be afraid, please go ahead and do it. Absolutely. Take the next step, go do it, do it. We’ve got book who but loads more time. So let’s return to your partnerships with FGWS, with Esther Choi. All right. Finally, these folks are lone Rangers. What does that mean? Um We touch upon it a little bit where we, um, you know, they are part of this new class of wealth. They’re like immigrants in some way, by the way, I really wanted to recommend a few books. Um Not just mine. Um, that really helped me round out my understanding. So this whole idea of, um, think of first generation wealth creators as immigrants. Um They have migrated from a different class altogether and enter into this world where the beliefs, um the values and oftentimes even language um are foreign to them. And although it’s great, this is paradise, um, they often find that there are uh tricky conditions, some even would say, um because their native born Children and grandchildren, um, don’t understand the privileged privileges that they were born and then they’ve gotten accustomed to. Um, and the, the cliche or the adage or however you want to want to call it, shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves, rice paddies to rice paddies, wealth does not last past three generations and they know that. And so when you think about this special land of paradise again, um by the way, this is a uh I learned it through the book called um uh Strangers In Paradise by James Grutman. Um their native born Children and grandchildren, statistically speaking will be deported back to harsher land where the first generation have migrated from. And um and here’s the kick Tony, I just, I just found it fascinating and this is why I can talk about this, you know, forever and ever mismanagement of their wealth, taxes and inflations and bad investments. All of those are more of and just the natural delusions from, you know, the couple to Children to grandchildren, right? All of those reasons are reasons for wealth not being able to last past three generations, but you will probably, I’ve never found any one cases or example or family where the story basically is. Well, grandpa and grandma gave it all the way to charity and left nothing to us. That’s why we’re poor again. You know, that just doesn’t happen. And so what my II I think what I really want to focus on, I think the opportunities for nonprofit is that what might there be an um different way to think about the conversations that you have with these donors where you help them solve a problem or maybe many problems and then you also help yourself um solve a problem. By the way, I’m getting like, way, way, way. This is a problem when we have no script. I’m getting like way away from the Lone Ranger questions. I bring you back. But that’s all right. But I think I’m getting to the whole thing. No, radio. No, no, you’re not. What you’re saying is still valuable. Don’t, don’t second guess yourself. What I, what I’m getting at is that it’s lonely to be first. It can be lonely to be first generation immigrant. Except that most immigrants have somehow found other immigrants. And they talk, they share notes, they commiserate, they help each other out. But um first generation wealth creators are particular type of immigrants where for all the reasons that we’ve talked about, they don’t actively look for help nor was real quality help. Um Readily available. Interesting, really fascinating analogy analogizing to, to immigrants. Um Did you, did you put any of them together? Uh uh uh since you met 20 of them and got to know them. So these folks that are uh feeling, lone, feeling, lone, I don’t know, lonely. I’m, I’m just using a word. I’m not saying they’re lonely in their lives. Maybe they are, but they’re lone rangers. Did you, did you uh put any of these folks together and say, look, you know, I met, I met so and so like 22 or three weeks ago and she was saying the same thing that you’re saying, you know, why don’t the two of you talk or would you be interested? You know, did you put any folks together to help them, uh, commiserate, at least help, maybe at best, help each other. I, I, I think I would, I would if I were asked but with these 20 because of the promise of confidentiality, um I don’t share their names or contacts with anyone. But um I have done uh webinars since then where I was asked. So how do you find these people? And then if, if they ask me, then I will help? OK. OK. Well, I’m like a connector. So I was thinking, you know, if I could get her permission, would you like to talk to her? Because the two of you are saying things that are really identical and maybe together you could help each other as well as having very similar questions. And this is where I was getting at the opportunity part. Um because they have asked questions like how much and when should I pass my asset to my kids and grandkids? It’s dealt with by um with wealth advisors on a very case, by case basis. And I think that should be, that’s the way it should be done. But what’s really sorely missing is, well, how do other families handle this right to your questions of? Well, there are other people like me, what do they do because they’re in my boat. Um So as well as questions like, how do I get in sync with my spouse? Um And then they also have questions on like, how do you truly vet um a non, a non for profit, you know, and how do you help? Not my, you know, the nonprofits that you support, uh become more efficient and they are aware that not coming off as because I’m a donor, I give money and um you should do what I tell you to do um Things like that, you know, that productive relationship with nonprofits. So there are endless questions like this that they can talk about, not just commiserate, although commiserating is, is great too. All right. I don’t know. I think you could be a connector, a major connector. Um And I notice uh I’ll leave that there. That’s, but, you know, the title of your research is transforming partnerships with major donors. So, so let’s, let’s let’s transition to some of those opportunities you talked about problem solving that could be mutually beneficial. How, how do, how would a fundraiser ceo uh uh approach someone with that with, with that kind of opportunity? Yeah. Yeah. So I want to break it down to um three steps. Um I want 123, a three step process. OK. Yeah. Well, yeah. OK. You can call it a three step process, but I didn’t invent it. You made it up. I think the first thing is you have to really think about the questions you asked them. And uh oftentimes how curious, how respectful for how informed you are, are all sussed out by the kind of questions you asked? Are your questions mostly really at the end of the day self serving? Um Or are you only focusing on a very narrow aspects of the donors? Um or are you really broadly interested in problem solving? Now, here’s another thing that entrepreneurs like to do, they like to solve problems. And oftentimes they take the same mindset towards nonprofit, am I really giving to an organization that are going to solve real major problems in the system uh system for way? Um So that’s the first thing is the questions that you ask and then two is reading once you really find out about uh uh you know, what you could learn from the donors is that really being able to pair what your nonprofits have to offer and that structure in a way as well as well as frame it in a way that um fits the mindset of. Um Well, oftentimes the folks are very busy, they know they need to do something but they’re very busy. So, um how is it, uh how do you make it easy for them, in other words? And then um the last thing I would say is um it would um how do you acknowledge them? Right. Um It sounds really obvious, right? You know, their stewardship program, there are people were involved in, uh, thanking donors. But what I’ve found is that people, uh, people thought there’s not enough. Thank you, or there’s too much. Thank you. And they’re not thank through the right medium. And so, uh, we’re not talking about, you know, $10.20 dollars where there are maybe hundreds and thousands of them and you can’t manage them one by one and customized it. But with major donors, it’s absolutely worth it to make sure that it’s customized to their preference and needs. So questions the way that you frame as well as the acknowledgment part. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world and in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers. Responsive fundraising puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with each donor at scale. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow, impact virtuous.org. Now, back to your partnerships with FGWS and the, the acknowledgment of the stewardship is interesting um you say somewhere that uh the the they these folks have a hard time understanding uh the name on a building, you know, why that, why people find that appealing, why some donors find that appealing? So, so a brick and mortar in fundraising, you know, was a brick and mortar recognition would not necessarily be appealing to them, but, but finding out what is appealing comes from, you know, maybe this, this three steps is sort of iterative, right? And if you’re starting to get near uh near something promising, you wanna, you wanna be finding out too about what they would like in terms of acknowledgment. Yeah. Yeah. How would you like to be recognized? What’s important to you? So, I have a friend of mine who advised nonprofits with operations like this and um she helped one of them, she said, you know, what, why don’t you just, why don’t you just ask? So he did, he created a survey through Survey Monkey and, you know, they, they have more than a handful so they can’t just call them up and ask them individually. So he created AAA survey and he got over 70% response rate, which is really, really good, right? If you work for, for survey and um so the the survey basically center around 33 things. Um How would you like to be thanked? How often would you like to be thanked? And through which medium do you most prefer to be thanked. And it’s not only do they have really good feedback, but it’s such a positive gesture from the nonprofit to the donors saying, hey, we actually admit we don’t know, but we care and we should, we know what we don’t know and we care. And now we really would like to learn more from our donors. And that truly is a practical helpful informative donor centric step to take. And by the way, her name is Lisa Greer. She also has a incredibly helpful book called Philanthropy Um Revolutions. So it’s a mix of um it’s a mix of memoir. It’s a mix of uh research because she told her story, but she also has interviewed over 100 principal gift level donors and um and uh and the last mix of how tos so super helpful. How does Lisa spell her last name? GRE er Lisa Greer? What else? What else can you tell us Esther uh that uh in terms of approaching these folks? Um Ho how might you get? Uh I have a question for, I have a little more specific question. How about you get their attention? Oh, yeah, I know um getting the first meeting, it’s like 50 or 60 or I don’t know, 70% of the work just being able to get in the call. Um I, I think everything matters in the smallest amount of space, which is if you have no other ways to reach them. What do. Most people do emails and so make sure that your subject line is the most attention grabbing as well as intriguing possible. Um way to, to get people’s attention, by the way I have um I don’t know if I can memorize uh the, the, the four persona um off the top of my head. Oh, actually I do. I have it right in front of me. Um, my uh colleague, Scott Mord. Um, he is the longest serving CEO of YPO Global young president’s organizations. So these are a lot of the highly concentrated um first generation wealth um around the world, 30,000 of them around the world. Um He actually put the, their philanthropic tendencies in four ways. Um The idealist is the first one. Those are the ones that who want to make a true impact, uh long lasting impact, solve societal problem. Another one is called the legacy leader. Those are the one who really loves to leave, make sure their name last generations and generations that they are getting credit for the big impact that they made. The third one is called the model citizens. And those are the ones that look around and understand what is the highest and highest of highest level of service and they want to be there. And the philanthropic effort reflects that. And then the fourth one is called the Busy Big Week. That’s the ones who are busy, extremely busy and yet they know they should do something but they don’t know what and how and so back to your questions of how do you get their attention? I think you should first by starting with having a point of view of, of these four possibilities, which one is this person most likely going to be? And then once you have a persona in mind, then is a lot easier for you to craft a message with a subject line that is most intriguing and attention grabbing for you. I, I get, despite what my clients and friends and colleagues know about me, I still get these extremely bland and generic um email messages that are, you know, if you just replace the logo of the nonprofits that would fit anybody at all. And so, uh that would be the first thing I think about is have a persona in mind, even if you’re wrong, it’s ok, even if you’re wrong, at least you have a point of view about that person. But the upside is that even if you’re not 100% right? Just having the personal, that persona is going to help you speak to that person as if you know a lot about them already. Are you really only gonna get to them through an introduction or like if somebody has to give you their email or, I mean, there’s not a directory of first generation wealth creators. Is there now, I know yours was yours was anonymous but is there I don’t know. Is there a directory or something? And that’s a really interesting question is what I major in a really, really interesting question. I love the way you think about things Tony. Um, not only is, isn’t there one? Um, they really know how to, how to hide their wealth. You know, they believe in stealth wealth, not only because of the way they live their lives, but they know how to put things in all things and trust. And so everything comes through a different name and um data can help um the right kind of data and data enriching as well as data matching. Um It, I I don’t know a ton about it, but I know enough because there’s another company that I co-founded that like that’s all we do because in the old ways, how do you get names of donors? Right? You ask, you’re bored, that’s how you start a small organization starts. But um but then now, I mean, now we have social media and you can have a campaign and see who gives to that. And then you, then you do some research on those folks to see who, who might be uh have the capacity to do more and then you expand your relationship even with the others who may not have capacity but a willingness. But see, I I think there’s a lot in your current database that is not being fully utilized. That may be for some folks. Yeah, and, uh, well, because we’re talking about stealth wealth. I mean, yeah, that’s, that’s certainly possible. I mean, these, these folks live modest, live, modest means. I mean, uh, uh, at least outward. Um, I mean, what, 20 years ago there was the book The Millionaire next door. I mean, that’s essentially what we’re talking about. This is, there are more zeros now and there are more of them and we’re, we’re in a more financially mobile society now than we were 20 years ago. But the, the, the concept is the same that there are these hidden families of wealth that, uh, that are may very well be in your database. You know, then it was the, the millionaire next door. Now the millionaire in your, it’s the ultra high net worth in your database. Yeah. Yeah. And, and when you, you know, go back to the questions, the way that you ask questions of when you have an opportunity to talk to a donor directly, as well as the way that you ask questions about your databases that can really help you look for hidden millionaires billionaires right in front of you, right in front of your eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised that there are already, uh, but you aren’t, you, you’re not even aware that you’re pretty close when Lisa and I, um because of our share passion about this topic and she’s really doing it full time. I’m doing this. This is because this is my baby. Uh you know, the first time she wanted to make a principal gift um to um her local hospital. Um she budgeted for $2 million for um her hospital and it took the hospital seven months to pay attention to her and $2 million isn’t a small amount for that hospital. It is definitely a major amount, latent unconscious sexism. I’ve, I’ve heard this from women. I do plan to giving fundraising, but I’ve heard this many times from women just ignored when they, they made explicit overtures, not just subtle hints but explicit overtures. You know, I want to do this. I wanna remember the organization in my estate plan and, you know, ignored, repeatedly ignored. So, unfortunately, what you’re describing your friend Lisa’s uh I, I don’t think it’s so uncommon. I think it’s, I think there’s some, I think there’s just unconscious latent sexual uh um not sexuality. Uh sexism in uh yeah, in uh in, in, in, in fundraising. It’s, and money is left on the table as a result. I mean, aside from the morality of the uh of the, of that, that misunderstanding. Yeah. Yeah. So, so it’s, I haven’t seen quantitative research on just how frequently that happened, but that’s leases from her research from her personal experience from your experience. So I think there are actually plenty of money within reach of nonprofits that they probably have missed, but they didn’t know they have, we’re gonna leave it there. It’s perfect. Now you have opportunities and uh I know that our conversation has uh stimulated thinking about how to find these folks and how to transform your partnership with them. Esther Choi the, the research is transforming partnerships with major donors. I’ll give you the full title. Aligning the key values of first generation wealth creators and fundraisers in the age of winner takes all you get the research at leadership story lab.com. That’s where Esther’s company is. Leadership story lab and also at Leader Story lab, Ether Troy. I want to thank you very much. Thank you. This is such an invading conversation. Thank you for the opportunity and thanks for saying you were glad that I asked a question. You were one of the generous, generous guests. I’m glad you asked that. Oh, I got, I got chills. Thank you, Esther. Next week, publish your book, Thought Leader and you can blame me here. I thought that was gonna be this week’s show. I blundered just had it wrong. You, you, you’d think more attention would go into these things, but uh made a mistake. Definitely, it will be next week’s show uh short of uh natural disaster or illness or death. Uh It’ll be next week’s show if you missed any part of this week’s show, I do beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. Love that alliteration. Love it. Pass flexible, friendly fundraising forms. All right. Sorry, I just had to get that in and by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving. Virtuous.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martinetti. The show Social Media is by Susan Chavez and Park Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for February 19, 2024: Frustrations & Opportunities With Jay Frost

 

Jay FrostFrustrations & Opportunities With Jay Frost

Jay returns to share his reflections on four decades in the nonprofit community. There are things he’d like to see us doing better, that the sector has been talking about for many years. But they haven’t changed much. Yet he remains optimistic, so he recognizes the brighter future that’s possible if we practice more of what we preach. Jay is on LinkedIn.

 

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Welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. We have a new sponsor. Welcome. Virtuous to the nonprofit radio family. So glad to have you. I’m grateful for your sponsorship. Welcome. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of irises if I saw that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s going on this week? Hey, Tony, we’ve got frustrations and opportunities. Jay Frost returns to share his reflections on four decades in the nonprofit community. There are things he’d like to see us doing better that the sector has been talking about for many years, but they haven’t changed much yet. He remains optimistic so he recognizes the brighter future. That’s possible if we practice more of what we preach on Tonys take two last chance were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking your supports, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. And by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising, volunteer and marketing tools you need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow, giving, virtuous.org. Thank you again for your new sponsorship. Virtuous. Welcome. Anyway, here is frustrations and opportunities. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome Jay Frost back to nonprofit radio. Jay has worked in the nonprofit community since 1985. That’s 39 years. Let’s call it 40 years between friends. He’s been a grant writer, fundraiser service provider and now he’s a consultant and content creator. You’ll find Jay on linkedin and he hosts Donor Searches Philanthropy. Masterminds series. Welcome back, Jay. It’s good to see you. It is always great to see you, Tony. We talk a lot on the Masterminds series. You’ve hosted me there probably by mistake or, or you had last minute cancellations. Uh I don’t know, three or four times. I’ve been on a bunch of times. I think you’re a popular guy. I, I like to draw a crowd. I, I like to think I draw a crowd but, but we’re focused on you today. The crowd that you draw, the thinking that you have the wisdom of let’s call it 40 years, 40 years in philanthropy. What does that feel like? What does it feel like to have done something? 40 years? Who, when you say the number over and over and now so far it’s 100 and 20. Uh I I it, it uh it, it really, it really makes me feel old Tony. So, thank you. Um But, ok, so there’s a line from Mary Oliver that I want to quote because it’s what I’m thinking about a lot, which is that, um, when it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I’ve made of my life something particular and real. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. So that’s what I’m thinking about these days. And, uh, and it’s a good place to think about it. Right. I mean, we have a lot of fun in our world, especially when I’m hanging out with, with a friend like you. Um, but it’s serious stuff too. And when you say 40 years, 40 years, 40 years, the first thing I think of is, oh, my gosh. I’m just getting started for, well, first of all, it’s not additive. So it’s, it’s not 100 and 20. So, uh, it was, it was keep you with your 40. Let’s not get carried away. Don’t get a big hit. Um, no, but, you know, uh, well, I like the, I like the idea of not, not simply visiting our world. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Um, what was your very, very, very first job? Was it the grant writing job or? Very, very, very first job in, in nonprofits? Oh, my gosh. Ok. So, first I wanted to be in the film business. I went out to LA. I lived in a garage. I didn’t have a car. I took buses, you know, you don’t do any of that in L A and I did all those things and that’s why I left. So I was there for a brief time, came back tail between my legs to Washington DC where my parents then had, had uh moved and I was introduced to a person at the National Endowment for the Arts. And very quickly, somehow miraculously got a job there as what was called a floater, which is back when people typed stuff and printed stuff, I was running around just doing all those odd jobs at the National Endowment for the Arts. And it was the dream for me because I was raised to study poetry and music and all these other things. So the ne A it was the citadel of all those things. And so very quickly, I, I had the opportunity to work in the inter arts program which was very interesting and controversial place. What program inter arts which is introduced plenty of arts work and um lots of controversy there. And then I worked at the literature program which also had a share of controversy, but that’s where I had a chance to as a 24 year old identify poets who would then be reviewing manuscripts from all the people, writing poetry and fiction and so forth around the country to review it and make investments in writers. I mean, it was, that was my first job. I was 24 I had $2 million in grants responsibility but, but uh I was not making the decisions. I was administering that work. But still, since nobody else really knew a heck of a lot about poetry then or now it meant that I got to be in this candy store of being with people who cared about words and their, and their impact. And that was 1985. That was, yeah, I was, I got there at 85. I was there through just a brief time through 87. Yeah. What happened in what, what happened in uh Hollywood, Los Angeles filmmaking? Oh man. Uh well, you know, you can only live so long on patty melt sandwiches served to you from behind a plexiglass screen for cash um working across in the Kit Kat Club in a theater that’s closed most of the time. Uh I I that was, that was my life, you know, occasionally getting into 50 bucks in the Kit Kat Club. You could have been a, oh my God, you could have been a floater instead of a floater. It could have been many things on that street with Santa Monica Boulevard in the eighties. Yeah, it was an interesting place. Um Alright, but it didn’t go, it just you didn’t take off. No, I did not take off. I had the opportunity to write some uh some scripts for things that probably didn’t need the scripts. Um and I decided not to do that over Christmas vacation. Looking in the mirror. Um, and then was able to rededicate myself to things that have, you know, aesthetic value. I see. All right. Oh, this sounds like a conversation that we should continue over a beer at a conference, uh, on a, on a Friday night. All right. All right. But, yeah, it’s fascinating. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so let’s turn to, uh, your thinking. I mean, I, I invited you on to, to share your thoughts about our, our community. You have 40 years to reflect over. You’ve seen the things we’ve emphasized over 40 years, the things we’ve accomplished not accomplished. What uh what strikes you first? Wow. It’s a lot of it that occurs to me first are the kinds of things that you and I have chatted about um over the transom every time we’ve, we’ve talked a lot of the petty frustrations that kind of, you know, gnaw at you. Um The things that we laugh over such as uh such as, you know, um why don’t organizations we know, do the things that they should do that are relatively easy to do um such as, uh you know, send out a personal thank you note once in a while. And then we get into all these debates about whether or not people should write thank you notes, whether they’re vestiges of the past, whether they’re too elitist, there are other terms that are less polite for doing this kind of thing. But the, but the thing that really drives me bananas about all that is that it focuses on a tiny, tiny sliver of activity. Uh instead of thinking about the whole, where we can say, what is it that we’re here to do? What is it we’re trying to address what are the best ways of engaging with people who believe in the same things we do, making sure so that they know that we see them, that we hear them, that we know that they’re human and they’re valuable and then we truly partner with them to get things done. Instead, we’ve divided all this stuff up and these little uh actions and then half the time we ignore some of those things to do and I’ve been guilty of it too. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that that I haven’t failed at almost everything because I have. But rather that once we learn these things, I’d like to think that we could put some of them into practice. And I have seen best practices over 40 years. So if we could just pull them together, sort of like our own little mini Bible and actually practice that stuff. I think we could have better partnerships, better friendships and be better trusted and then have better results. Let, let’s take off a few of the things that uh you’re talking about these, these small things that uh accumulate into better, better relationships. What you’re saying, stronger relationships, longer, more devoted donors pick off a few things that pick you off. Yeah, I took some notes so I wouldn’t forget. Um So what are these are so reverential to you? So I have to take notes to you that you have to write them down to remember. Ok, there are two levels here. So what we’re talking about first actually are kind of the appetizers of a conversation like this. They’re the annoyances, right? So those are the things we mess up that we can control for if we thought they were important. So it’s treating donors like ATM machines. This has become a common phrase now. Uh But uh but I think I’ve been saying it for a long time, I’m sure you have to and it’s not just because we see other people doing it and we say tis tis you should do what I say and not what I do. No, it’s because as donors, we experience this, we wonder what in the world is going on here. We make it donation and then we don’t hear from anybody or we get a digital receipt and they think that’s enough. It’s never enough. So uh just one practical example. And I think I’ve told you this before. Um off offline is that I started giving to an organization that this was two years ago now. So it was in the middle of the pandemic uh based on a book and a movie that I thought was just so powerful emotionally wrenching. And so I won’t mention the name of the organization because what I’m about to say suggests that they, that they are not taking care of their donors. And I’m hoping that what I’m going to tell you is isolated, although I fear it’s not. And I know it’s also true for many organizations that is it. I saw this powerful story. I’m really engaged. It’s a way to help people who are getting out of the prison, industrial complex. It is a big deal. We have more prisoners in this country than anywhere else on earth. And so, uh what do we do for these people when they get out? Well, pretty much nothing. Their life is almost over unless they’re lucky or they happen to live in a state with a program for that. I mean, it’s just awful on every level. So, wouldn’t it be great to help out? So I start giving an amount every month, which for me was a fair amount every month. Um And, and even though it’s not a lot of money, I knew it was probably putting in the top like five or 10% of donor pool just because of the stuff we know from fundraising. And so they keep, you know, sending me the kind of the notes uh via email that say dear friend. So I made a point of calling at one point just to say, you know, I’m doing this. They didn’t call me back and then at the end of the year I stopped giving, I thought, well, let’s see what happens. Not because I don’t care. But I was hoping that this would be kind of jarring and they do something and then I’d have a discussion not trying to get business, just trying to say, hey, I’m not special. There must be a lot of people like me silence every once in a while. I’ll get a note from the organization saying, dear friend asking me to give, not even mentioning my past giving. Now this all sounds pretty petty on my part. But the reason I’m mentioning it is because I think it’s just emblematic of a larger problem. Um On the one hand, we don’t have a lot of time in this world, fundraisers just don’t have a lot of time. We’re, we’re, you know, we got a lot to do, we aren’t particularly well paid to do it and we’re doing it out of love. All of those things are true. We don’t often have a lot of support staff. We don’t have a lot of great resources. It’s all true. But then there’s what we do with our time. And if there’s not, I don’t know that there’s anything more important than saying to people who believe in the same things we do that I see you and you’re important and this is important to do together. And I, and I know that organizations can do it and they’ve done it very well in some places, but somehow in the nonprofit industrial complex, we’ve forgotten a little bit of that. And I’m not sure that some of the new technology is, is helping us to become more human. I think sometimes it just relieves us of this nagging responsibility to, to have those little personal engagements that make this work so personally rewarding and so financially successful. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in-person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk, the smart way to accept cashless donations. Anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data, entry or errors, make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try Donor Box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to frustrations and opportunities. Well, the promise of artificial intelligence is that it’s going to free us up for, for all the things that you’re talking about. So we’re gonna be better to our donors because we’re gonna relieve ourselves of the mundane writing tasks. Uh I think it’s mostly right. I’m gonna use that as the example. That’s what I see the most, you know, the the writing tasks, whether it’s annual report or a 200 word article or whatever, you know, and that’s gonna, the promise is that it’s going to give us time for the, for the human relationships and in my, uh, now we’re on Tony Martignetti s frustrations that, that sounds familiar. It’s a good show. I, I think the, I think the smartphone was supposed to do that for us too. Yeah. And I wonder if the telephone was supposed to have done that in the, I don’t know, 19 tens or I might be off on when, when that was became a widespread technology. But I think I’ve heard this promise before that we’re going to have more time for other activities and, uh, the promise hasn’t been realized in my mind. Right. Yeah. No, I, not only do I agree with you but I think it’s, it’s going back to what I was trying to get to, which is that this is a symptom of a larger issue and the technology it is, seems like a patch on this big tire that we’ve created to try and drive down this road of social change and, and it’s good. I mean, I, I’m all about tech because tech is, is awesome and we really can use it for good. Um, but at the same time if we’re using it as a patch to just keep driving down the same road in the same ways, it doesn’t necessarily serve the purpose. Um, so I’d like to think that if we can go back to what it is that’s supposed to be guiding us. What is the principle behind this work? You know, keep that in mind all the time, keep it up on our wall and look at it all the time. Then hopefully we’ll be doing the more human things. Um There’s a book written years ago by Robert Putnam, you know, Bowling Alone. And the reason I’m mentioning it here is because this concept about uh this kind of fracturing of society where we don’t know each other as well has been potentially exacerbated by some of these technologies, not because of the technologies themselves, but how we use them to avoid actual interaction with one another. And I think that the nonprofit sector and fundraisers specifically not only have potentially a responsibility to do something about that, but it’s more of an opportunity to do something about it that we could decide every time we employ a technology or a technique um that we can use that in order to get closer to people instead of just to mechanize and uh efficient and make more efficient our work because I know what we’re trying to do is get more money. But what we really need to do is build stronger connections in order to get that money, be mindful of your use of the technology. I mean, if, if, if it does, in fact, if artificial intelligence does, in fact relieve you from the, the drudgery of writing your annual report then what are you gonna do with those extra 15 hours that you saved? Because nobody’s gonna tap you on the shoulder and say you’ve got 15 free hours. Now, what are you, how are you going to use the time that the A I saved you? You’re, you’re boasting over coffee. Whoa, the writing, the annual report was so easy this year? Ok. What did you do with the quote surplus time that the, the A I uh allowed you? Did you, did you make more donor calls? Did you have more donor meetings? Did you write more handwrit notes? Did you uh pick up the phone to somebody you haven’t talked to in a, in a while? And this implication, this leads over into the personal too, not only the professional, but you and I are talking about fundraising and fundraisers. So I’ll, I’ll keep it there but use that time consciously if you feel A I is or some other technology has relieved you of a burden. How do you use the new time that, that you used to uh devote to that burden? But, but we kind of forget then about those other things that we can do because if we’re all then trained to engage with one another in these almost mechanized ways like by text and I use text all the time like we all do. But if, then that’s what we’re used to. How comfortable does it feel to just call somebody. So every once in a while I’ll do this, I’ll just grab a number on my phone of somebody I haven’t talked to for a long time and just call them up. And it’s almost shocking because we’re all now so used to communicating in this other way that to do that other thing, sometimes it can be refreshing but sometimes it can be off putting because we’re not accustomed to it. And I, and I, and if that’s true in the personal world, I know it’s also true in this professional world, you, you feel like it’s off putting, I find it more refreshing, then off putting it, you can mean off putting to yourself or to the person receiving the call to the person, receiving the call. And I’m not suggesting we don’t call. I’m saying the opposite. I’m just saying that I think people have become used to a certain kind of thing. And so this new thing, some people do find it refreshing like you and I do. But other people just, they don’t know what make of it. Like, why is this happening? Why is this thing happening? We have to do that. We have to break up that thing and, and do those things to, to engage with people in these ways to make it more human. I, I think my experience is, you know, I I’m working in Planned Giving. So I’m usually talking to people who are 70 80 90. And there’s one woman who’s 100 and one and one who was 100 until she died recently, they grew up with handwrit notes and then they had decades and decades of phone conversations before we went virtual that many decades, like 4050 decades of, oh, no, 40 or 50 years of, uh, phone calls. So to them, uh, a phone call is very thoughtful. A handwrit note is even more thoughtful as the recipients of those. And I, you know, I, I think, um, I think when you do more than what’s typical, I think it’s more refreshing to the recipient than it is off putting. So I guess I’m pushing back a little bit. You know, I, I would and I know you’re not discouraging folks from doing the extra, you know, look, customer service is, um, I have a recurring show that I, uh, replay called Zombie Loyalists with a, a marketing and, uh, pr guy named Peter Shankman and he says, well, he said years ago when he was first on the show and I’ve replayed it many times since then, you know, the average, but it remains true, the standard of customer service is crap. So if you could just be a little above crap, you’re setting yourself apart. So just don’t, just don’t do crap. Yeah, I absolutely agree. You know, whatever it looks, whatever, taking an extra step looks like for you and your donors do it because you’ve got this, uh a surplus time theoretically from the, from the, from the technologies that we, that are, that are saving us so much. But if you do find you have extra time, um, use it, you know, use it consciously. That’s, that’s kind of what I was getting to is, you know, conscious use of time. Yeah, I absolutely agree. And I use off putting that as the way I feel about it but as how some people react even to the idea of doing it. Um It’s, it’s funny though because in talking about these things and you, you’re going through the idea about people who were used to handwrit notes of a certain age than people used to phone calls. And if you talk to people who are maybe of the successive generation, they might say, well, we don’t do these things or people in this age group, they make assumptions, they don’t do these things. But in fact, if we go on to Twitch right now and we see a Twitch streamer who’s raising money for, you know, pick your cause, it might be Saint Judes. It might be something we know as well. What are they doing? They’re engaging with people live right now. They’re talking to them. They’re, they’re um they’re doing that through the chat. They’re engaging with people in a meeting that makes sense for them today. But the reason why I mentioned this is, it’s not about the tech that’s just today’s tech, they’re really engaging with people so anything we can do to properly engage with people, uh, I think is that is exactly what we should be doing. And I, and I, and once again I don’t think it is off-putting. I just think that’s the objection. I think what we really need to do is bring things up a little to, to be better than the boring to go back to your point. Yeah. Oh, I see. You’re, you’re concerned. Yeah, I see what you’re expressing that people might be put off. No, I think people will be uh elated. You know, I write a lot of handwrit notes and not surprising that I get a fair amount of handwrit notes back. But again, I’m writing to older folks. 70 plus, it’s time for Tony’s steak to do. Thank you, Kate. This is the last Chance for Planned Giving Accelerator. The last few weeks. The class starts in early March. If Planned Giving is on your to do list, you wanna launch it. Your board has talked about it. You’ve been thinking about it. I can help you in Planned Giving Accelerator Guide. You step by step week after week, how to launch Planned Giving at your nonprofit. Of course, there’s the incredible peer support too. Besides what you learned from me. Lots of cross talk. We, we set this up as zoom meetings, not webinars, so you can talk to each other. Folks get to know each other. Share successes, frustrations uh help each other. That, that part has been much more uh than I than I expected the, the, the peer support. So there’s all that if you’re interested, the info is at Planned Giving accelerator.com. If you use code nonprofit Radio, 1500 you can claim $1500 off the tuition. It’s all at Planned Giving accelerator.com and that is Tony take two. Hey, I hope people join in the class. Thank you. We’ve got just about a butt load more time. Let’s return to frustrations and opportunities with Jay Frost. What you’re espousing is be relational, not transactional, but that’s something that we’ve been talking about for 20 years. Donor centric. How long about 15 years we’ve been talking about being donor centric. Do you feel like we’ve improved? II I, I’m not experiencing it when you give, when you leave the prison. The prison charity is, hasn’t heard about donor centrism or hasn’t put it into practice. I think that’s it. I think that they haven’t put it into practice. I mean, we have had a really important discussion about whether or not organizations are community centric or not. And I think that’s a valid and important conversation, whether the organizations themselves are accurately representing the needs and interests of the community by having people within the community uh on the board and engaged in the activity and engaged in the fundraising and all these things. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the organization, uh, shouldn’t do these things we’ve been talking about, shouldn’t have a note written to somebody. Shouldn’t pick up the phone and just say I appreciate so much that you care about the same things and what can we do to, you know, to make sure that you have the information you need to keep being involved. These, I think these things work well together. So I understand why we’ve had this discussion. I don’t understand. It sounds like you don’t understand it either is why when we’ve been talking about these things for so many years, whether it’s about donor Centricity, whether it’s about actively engaging the community that we end up in the same place of not doing it, of sending a digital receipt of not just finding whatever the current version of picking up the phone is. And here’s the reason why I think this really matters. I, I think it’s much more than just whether or not we’re going to hit this year’s retention figures and make this quarter’s goals. That’s important. All of that is important. But what’s far more important is that it’s about building relationships of trust that’s fundamental to major gifts, that world that I spend some time in. It’s obviously important to plan gifts, which you spend so much time in. But, and there’s so much revenue there that that’s important, but far more important if people don’t trust our organizations as a whole. And the Edelman Trust survey shows that nonprofits are also seeing declining uh faith in, in our organizations. If people don’t trust our organizations as a whole, then that means they won’t start, they won’t come on the on ramp to supporting us as volunteers, as, as employees, as board members, as contributors. And if they won’t, then we can’t meet the big challenges of our time. So these little things that we choose not to do either because we think we’re too busy or because they’re not important. End up having a direct correlation to whether or not people trust our organizations to take on the biggest challenges of our time. And these are existential. I mean, if, if we can’t get anybody to trust uh the government um or major institutions about issues like climate change, why should they trust, you know XYZ organization either if, if they are engaged with us that we haven’t asked them to volunteer, we haven’t invited them to sit down and have a discussion in the local community. We haven’t invited them to invest. And if they’re not really engaged with us, why in the world should they listen to us about why we need to make sure that we don’t go above 1.5 °C, which we just hit, we just hit this week, the thing that we were supposed to avoid for, for decades, just like for decades we’ve been talking about. Write a Thank you note. It’s, it’s almost parallel to see the decline in trust, the decline in generosity and ultimately the decline, our ability to address existential challenges and we have the ability as fundraisers to do little things to achieve great things just by building these bonds. That’s a terrific sort of segue to, you know, what we can do. And we’ve, we’ve toyed with this, uh uh while we’ve been talking, but we keep saying, don’t do this or do the other instead. But, um yeah, I, I mean, I’m, I’m, I’m with you. These, these small, these small things, small tasks lead to bigger uh either trust or a lack of trust if you’re not doing them, which impinges our ability to uh stop hunger and homelessness and, and reverse climate change and, and save whales and animals from kill shelters and domestic violence victims, survivors and all, you know, all of it and, and the arts education that, yeah. So, all right. So we have the ability to write the ship. It’s just, you know, we haven’t done it. We’ve been talking about it for decades. I’ve only been in philanthropies for 27 years. It got me beat by, by 1312 or 13. Um 12 or 13. Yeah. Right. 12 or 13. I don’t wanna overstate the case. Um But you know, but, you know, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not seeing big uh I’m not seeing big impacts. I’m not seeing big outcomes, outcomes is really what we want to be measuring. So, but that doesn’t mean we stop talking. That doesn’t mean we stop trying. No. And I, I wonder if maybe the, the thing is that we need to give people a bigger goal. Um, I mean, climate change is a pretty, pretty large, pretty existential goal. Right. But that’s, that’s too big too. Right. I mean, an individual or even in an organization, probably many people and many organizations don’t feel like they can do a heck of a lot to make a change to something like that. Um They can do the little things but they can’t do the big things. But maybe there are, there’s a, there’s something in the middle that ties together the work that we do in our world of, you know, um fundraising, for example, and philanthropy together uh with um uh with that bigger, bigger existential um question and, and I wonder if it’s stuff like um determining how we work with other organizations to build trust, you know, consolidating and coordinating our efforts so that instead of everybody forming another nonprofit. Um No, well, maybe we find a way to bring these nonprofits together, not just out of financial distress, which is where we typically go with mergers, but out of AAA true desire to share power, to share resources and to achieve greater things, bigger goals, bigger impacts, you know, through consolidation and cooperation’s, that’s one and that’s a bigger goal that I, I think is also attainable. And um it, something it’s a little easier to sort of imagine rather than how am I going to make sure that the ocean water levels don’t rise too high in the Carolinas. Um, you know, but it does lead there, I mean, if we can get people to work together as organizations instead of all being separate entities, then maybe it’s going to be a little easier to communicate to the public about the importance of taking actions to lobby the government, which is another thing that we can do that we don’t do because we’re so fearful that if we lobby that it’s going to run afoul of the law and that also we won’t be able to receive all the donations we want. So lobbying is one and then we can do things like um ensure that we are partnering with the kinds of supporters who also best represent our values. So we’re not just going for whatever money is out there, but we have big audacious goals supported by larger consolidated and cooper entities in pursuit of these bigger goals, supported by people who are willing to make big investments towards those goals. So not just trying to get uh a few dollars together for a small thing, but bringing more actors together with bigger support from well aligned actors for bigger things. The first one you mentioned the partnerships and those are all valuable uh the the partnerships with other organizations. That’s something I feel that the community, the sector is doing better. I remember um grant making foundations focusing on uh on, on collaborations and, and I think that that made a difference. Um II, I do still hear that there’s, you know, fear about, well, you know, we don’t, we don’t really know what a partnership looks like, you know, is it just a memorandum of understanding or are we doing events together or, or grassroots activities together like uh an advocacy day on Capitol Hill or, or in the State Capitol or whatever? Uh you know, what, what does it look like? And, or our, our board is, is uncertain about working too closely because it kind of suggests that we can’t do the work ourselves. You know, I’ve heard some of these arguments against the, the, the, the partnership ideas, but I do still think we are further along in working collaboratively than we were like 10 years ago. You, you may be right about that. Uh But I do on my end in the consulting work that I do still see so many emerging organizations all the time. They’re popping up like, like weeds or maybe dandelions. I mean, something prettier than weeds. But they, but the problem is that they still are thinking I need to do this alone. And I, and I, and I don’t see the trouble there. I pardon my interruption, but you’re accustomed to it, you know. You know, I, I do that all the time and the, the trouble there is, you know, these are folks new to the sector. So like, you know, they have passion about something. It may have, may be an event that a AAA trauma in their life that they want to create a, an advocacy cause around, you know, but, but they jump in, I mean, their first thought is I want to start a nonprofit or maybe, you know, maybe the first thing is they do a uh a fundraiser, you know, on one of the platforms or something. And then they say, oh, you know, we made $1500. Well, you know, maybe I’ll start a nonprofit, you know, so they, they’re not acquainted with the sector. They don’t, they don’t know what they’re jumping into. And by the time they start to meet the partners, you know, they’re, they’re already incorporated for three years and they’re raising, you know, now, $5000 a year and they’re flailing. But, but they got in with all with passion, which is necessary but not sufficient. It’s time for a break. Virtuous is a software company committed to helping nonprofits grow generosity. Virtuous believes that generosity has the power to create profound change in the world. And in the heart of the giver, it’s their mission to move the Needle on global generosity by helping nonprofits better connect with and inspire their givers responsive fundraising, puts the donor at the center of fundraising and grows giving through personalized donor journeys that respond to the needs of each individual. Virtuous is the only responsive nonprofit CRM designed to help you build deeper relationships with every donor at scale. Virtuous. Gives you the nonprofit CRM, fundraising, volunteer marketing and automation tools. You need to create responsive experiences that build trust and grow, impact virtuous.org. Now back to frustrations and opportunities. It’s, it’s uh it’s hard to watch because you want to take people’s, you know, all that, all that energy and passion that they have and, and help them to achieve that result that they, they say that they want to see in the world. Um At the same time, they’re never going to, it’s going to be extremely difficult for them to hit the scale that they want. What is it? Three quarters, three quarters of all nonprofits uh annual revenue under, isn’t it three quarters under $75,000 or something like that? But, but I, I don’t know, have, have you ever had these conversations with folks who just reach out to you because you’re in the sector and you’re well known and they want to start a nonprofit and they’re like, pick your brain. I, I, I’ve, I’ve had a lot of those pick your brain kind of conversations and the folks are resistant to the idea of donating to an existing cause. That’s, that’s already doing the work they’re talking about or volunteering with it or, or uh just approaching them about how can I help somehow if, if you don’t know what the structure looks like, just they, they feel like they have to do it themselves. It’s, it’s not that the existing organizations are not sufficient. But, yeah, but they’ve already, but they may have already scaled. They’re certainly more scaled than your non-existent organization. They’re, they’re, they’re way beyond where you are now, but folks are, are resistant to that line of thinking. They, they’re just so motivated. They don’t really want to hear the reach out to the existing community versus incorporating and taking on management of a, of a nonprofit corporation. You, you really don’t know what you’re getting into. So this is, this is one of the questions that I have for myself. It rattles around in my head all the time. How much of that is the result of the way we have kind of trained the community to understand how they can engage with the existing organization. I, I mean, some of there are going to be some people who tomorrow want to start their own organization and that’s just the way it’s gonna be, but it could be that they aren’t even aware of how they could be involved with another organization. So let’s take this down to the very, you know, practical kind of fundraising stuff that we do all the time. If we look at many organizations, websites, it’s very difficult in most cases to find out how to volunteer and sometimes volunteering is not only difficult to understand within the website, but there might be barriers to it. Um And those barriers are sometimes practical on the inside. But what it means externally is if you’re the person who says I really need to help the kids in my community um with an after school program. Uh And you don’t know any, any of the programs that are existing right now. Well, maybe that’s a bit of your own personal ignorance, maybe you can do more research, but it could be also that the organization already performing that role, or more likely several organizations have not found a way to bring everybody with that passion in. So I don’t mean to blame us for not being sufficient in our marketing, but I do think that we can open the doors wider to people who share our values and our passions than we have done. And we can certainly do it even in very simple, practical ways that fundraisers have some degree of control over like our websites, our Facebook pages, other places where we are acting as an acquisition tool. Well, it’s, it’s, it’s a way that we can say you don’t need to in indirectly say you don’t need to start your own thing. We’ve already got a thing here. We value you. That’s why we’ve already invited you to participate in this and that and the other thing and to give. So why don’t you come on in and work with us and that work may be as a volunteer, it may be as a advisory board member. It may be as some kind of community event or organizational um activity person, but I’m not sure that we’re doing that job very well. And in fact, if anything, I think that we have in our efforts to streamline our operations once again, um we have narrowed the portal through which people can discover and engage with us so they can find their passions through our organizations instead of coming up with 10,000 other competing organizations. I mean, let’s put it another way. 1.6 million organizations in the United States is just too many, it’s just too many. Some of that is uh the, the, the accessibility, you know, volunteering with us could look like two hours a week. I, I it could look like just a few hours a month, you know, or you, sometimes you see volunteer options but, you know, it’s not, I, I don’t, I don’t know, you, you sounds like you’ve, you’ve spent more time thinking about it and, and looking at them. Um II I, I’m thinking about, you know, volunteering. We, what does it look like? I mean, define, define what folks could do as a, as a volunteer. I mean, I think a lot of people would like to enter as a volunteer and then may very well become donors when they see the, the good work that you’re doing and they’re helping do it firsthand. They’re doing it with you firsthand. Um All right, Jay. Um what else? Now, what else? Uh What, what else would you opportunities on the opportunity side? Well, we also talked about the importance of, of coming up with advocacy um of making sure that uh we are taking a more pronounced role and discussing the issues that are important to us. And that might go a little bit beyond just a statement of our mission, our immediate mission. Uh maybe we once again get together with other organizations and say that this is our common platform, the thing that we all need to do together. So if we’re working with Children, there are lots of organizations working with Children and we need lots of them. Uh Maybe we don’t need as many as there are. I don’t know, but we do need a lot of people out there working with kids, but together, they probably have some common threads and if they worked together, I would think that they could also have more um more weight in lobbying their state legislatures. Um and, and their, their congressional representatives, um the federal government for more aid to Children um in various forms, whether it’s for head start programs or for after school programs. What have you. So in other words, we don’t have to have tons of organizations trying to fight over small amounts of money, kind of that scarcity principle, but instead coming together uh in pursuit of larger goals and then lobbying together uh to make sure that there are more resources available to address these common needs. So I think that advocacy is something that we don’t pursue as well as we could. Um And, and we could, we could do it in a more concerted and um, and successful way uh advocacy days in Washington or in state legislatures are a great example of this, but they’re usually done by individual organizations rather than by a group. Um, and so that’s one more way that I think that we could find common causes together and work together for, uh, a more, more successful outcomes, an advocacy day. I mean, I see that as perfect, uh, fertile ground for partnering, you, you’d rather have six busloads of people than one or a half and one of the organizations may have other organizations are gonna have relationships that you don’t have with, with staffs and, and this could be like we both said, Washington or at the state level. Um, I, I don’t know, I see that as ripe opportunities for, for partnering door knocking campaigns. The same thing. We, we’d rather have hundreds of people than a dozen. And I would think that would be easier if we’re working with a coalition of them. I mean, that’s, that’s definitely what happens in a political campaign. And there are some things that political campaigns do well and some things that they, they don’t, they’re much more transactional, but there are some things they do well that we can learn from and we can uh make sure that we employ those same tools and, and techniques and approaches to reach more people, get them more engaged. You had a, a dalliance with uh political campaigns. You were, you were considering running for uh for the US House at one point. I remember years ago, years ago, I never, I never jumped into the, into the, you were considering, I admire that you were thinking about it. You were serious enough that you, you publicize it to some of us, some. Well, I, I was involved at the state level with uh with the Democratic Party. Um And uh so uh was involved as a finance chair for our congressional district and doing other activities like that. Um There’s also a history of politics in my family on both sides of the aisle, uh especially with advertising and marketing, interestingly enough and in, in, in that world, what I find really interesting is advocating for ideas. So it’s not just, it’s not just the politicking over the bills, but it’s also saying that this is what’s important to us. Let’s fight for it together. Um And I, I think if there’s a kind of a through line in all this discussion, it might seem like we’re bouncing around a little bit. Uh But for me, it’s that if, if we can figure out what it is that we’re pursuing and then find out what our common interests are and common pursuits, then we should be able to attract more people to that together, um, to work on those things and more resources to, to accomplish those things. That’s certainly true in politics. And I believe it’s true in the nonprofit sector. Um, and if there’s something that, uh, that has driven me kind of crazy in the last few years, it’s this almost disaggregation. It’s this breakup we’ve had um that uh that I think that, that fundraising in part can help to fix. Um that instead of uh finding the way to divide up the population into a million different conversations, we can find common conversations and invite people to have those with us. Um instead of fighting over red and blue and, and so forth, whether it’s political or, or sports teams or our approaches to fundraising, um Instead we can find what it is, the majority of us need to do together in order to achieve these common objectives. Um So, yeah, uh politics in some ways is very appealing to me. Um What has been most uh um uh disturbing about politics is also in some ways reflected in the nonprofit sector, we may not have the same kinds of fights here in the nonprofit world that we do in politics. Thank God for that. Um But I do think that sometimes uh we, we get involved in these little uh rivalries over ideas when in fact, some things are, are pretty simple and direct, like sitting down with people across the table and listening to them first, um showing them that we heard them and then invite them to participate equally with us in achieving a mutual, you know, mutually desired result. And I know that in earnest, most of us feel that we are doing that. We are working hard to do that in this sector, but especially in some of the ways we’ve talked about so far today. Um I think we can do better. I think that’s an a, a fine place to stop if uh if, if you’re comfortable with that. Yeah. Is there? No, I need you to work with. I was kind of all over the place. No, no, you, you were restrained, right? All right. I think you like. That’s uh those are, those are excellent parting words and we, we, we can do better and we’ve got existential challenges that are at stake back to J Frost. Oh, thank you. Um Yeah. And we had a, you know, I should have given you a little more space for humor, Tony because this wasn’t the laugh fest. It usually is with you. That’s the only problem. Well, that’s when I’m, when I’m the centerpiece. It’s, it’s more uplifting. No, you were quite uplifting. Maybe. Uh maybe I wouldn’t go so far as to say jovial. But uh you’re uplifting, uplifting. All right. He’s Jay Frost. He hosts the, uh, you do this a couple of times a week, right? The Donor Search philanthropy Masterminds series. You do one a week or a couple of week, 22 per week, plus one podcast per week for 46 weeks. This year, I’m giving myself a little vacation. All right. Let’s not get too slack. 46 444 weeks of vacation. 4 to 4 to 6 weeks of vacation. Um, You’ll find him on linkedin and you’ll find him at the uh philanthropy Masterminds series, which is he’s the host and donor search is the sponsor of the, of the series. Thank you, Jay. Thank you for uh Thank you for opening up. Thank you to really, really appreciate it next week. Publish your book, Thought Leader. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com or sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. And by virtuous, virtuous gives you the nonprofit CRM fundraising volunteer and marketing tools. You need to create more responsive donor experiences and grow giving, virtuous.org. Welcome again. Virtuous. Thanks so much. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show 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 be with us next week. For nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 29, 2024: Decolonizing Wealth

 

Edgar VillanuevaDecolonizing Wealth

Edgar Villanueva’s book, “Decolonizing Wealth,” takes an innovative look at the purpose of wealth. His thesis is that the solutions to the damage and trauma caused by American capitalism, including philanthropy—can be gleaned from the values and wisdom of our nation’s original people. He’s a Native American working in philanthropy. (Originally aired 11/30/18)

 

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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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And welcome to Tony Martignetti nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be forced to endure the pain of hyper garsia if you tickled me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s coming? Hey, Tony, this week it’s decolonizing wealth. Edgar Villanueva’s book, Decolonizing Wealth takes an innovative look at the purpose of wealth. His thesis is that the solutions to the damage and trauma caused by American capitalism including philanthropy can be gleaned from the values and wisdom of our nation’s original people. He’s a native American working in philanthropy. This originally aired November 30th 2018. On Tony’s take two, Tony tells a joke were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org here is decolonizing wealth. It’s my great pleasure to welcome to the studio, Edgar Villanueva. He’s a nationally recognized expert on social justice philanthropy. He chairs the board of Native Americans in Philanthropy and is a board member of the Andris Family Fund, working to improve outcomes for vulnerable youth. He’s an instructor with the grant making school at Grand Valley State University and serves as vice president of programs and advocacy at the Shot Foundation for Public Education. He’s held leadership roles at Kate B, Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina and Marguerite Casey Foundation in Seattle. Edgar is an enrolled member of the Lumby tribe of North Carolina. You’ll find him at Decolonizing wealth.com and at Villanueva Edgar Edgar. Welcome to the studio. Thank you, Tony. Pleasure to be here. Congratulations on the book. Thank you, which just came out uh Last month, it was October October 16th. Yes. All right. And uh you just had a very nice interview with the New York Times. Congratulations on that. They, that prep the preps, preps you for nonprofit radio. Right. Right. I’m ready. All your, all your media appearances to date have brought you to this moment. So the, the it’s all culminated here. Um and I promised listeners uh footnote one, footnote one to hyper gargle ashes. Uh Of course, anybody who listens to the show knows that uh I open with uh something funny like that. A disease. Every single show. Uh But in Edgar’s book, he uh mentions hyper gargle aesthesia. So this is the first time over 400 shows that the uh that the guest unknowingly has uh provided the opening disease state. So, thank you very much you didn’t know what we do that, every single show, um, that you didn’t know that you’re not listening to nonprofit radio. It’s, it’s your life all right. Um, ok. Decolonizing wealth. Uh, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re a bit of a troublemaker a little bit. Yeah, you’re raising some eyebrows. Someone told me yesterday that I was the Colin Kaepernick of, uh, philanthropy. Which, um, I was like, I haven’t thought about it that way but that’s not all bad. Get a little closer to the mic so people can hear you. Yeah, just not almost intimate with it almost. Um I used to call myself the Charlie Rose of charities until he blew that gig for me. You know, he, he ruined that. Uh It, it’s, I can’t use that any longer. Um Could you talk about uh colonizer virus and exploitation and division? Um uh like, these are bad things? Yes, they are bad things. What uh what is the, what, what, what’s the colonizer virus? Why do we need to decolonize so many of us who uh work in philanthropy or even the nonprofit sector? Um you know, um have this firewall that we are completely disconnected from um Wall Street or from capitalism or, or some of those uh processes and systems in our country that um may have a negative connotation for the, the good doers. Um But in philanthropy, we are not very far uh uh you know, disconnected from uh corporate America. Most of this wealth was made by corporations and businesses. Um sometimes uh not in the best ways, not in the back of a lot of indigenous and uh colored people. Yeah, when you look at the history of the accumulation of wealth in this country, it’s steeped in trauma, right? And so uh legacy wealth that has been inherited for generations. Now, folks may not even know the origin of their family’s wealth. Uh but, you know, uh when we look back and we see in general how wealth was accumulated, um you know, especially I’m from the South North Carolina, we’ll talk about that. Um There absolutely was a legacy of slavery and stolen lands that, that help uh contribute to the mass of wealth. And you feel there are a lot of lessons we can learn from the values of uh Native Americans. Yeah. So, you know, we uh as a people talk about healing a lot, we have a lot of trauma that exists in our, our communities. Um You know, because colonization as we often think about it as something that happened five years ago in North Carolina and especially where I’m from, we were the first point of contact, but uh colon and the uh the acts of separation and exploitation are still continuing present day. And so in my community, uh native communities across the country, even as recent as uh my grandparents’ generation, kids were forcibly removed from their homes and put into boarding schools. And so we’re still, we’re experiencing a lot of uh trauma as a result of these practices. Um But we are, are, we are resilient people and um those who are closest to a lot of the problems that we are trying to solve today. Um As a society have um a lot of answers and wisdom that we can bring to the table. You say that the natives are the original philanthropists. Um Now you’re a member of the Lumby tribe of North Carolina. Uh Robinson County, North Carolina, which, which is not too far from where I own. I own a home in Pinehurst, which is a little north and west I think of, of Robison County. Lumb. So the Lumby tribe, I assume the lumber River is named for the Lumby and Lumberton, the town name for Lumby, right? So Lumby were actually named after the, the lumber River. Um After the first, yeah, the river came first and so the river came first. The name of the river came from. The river’s been there much longer than the one. Yeah. So we are um you know, a hodgepodge of historical tribes that were in coastal North Carolina um that came together to form the Lumby tribe and named ourselves after that river. Um And we’re gonna come back to uh Native Americans as the, as the original philanthropists. But uh I I that, that struck me a lot. I think you, you, you say you say that at the end of the, at the end of the book is where I, where I caught it. Um uh We just have like a minute and a half or so before a break. So just, you know, we’re introducing this, uh We got plenty of time together. Uh Wealth. Uh You say um divides us, controls us, exploits us. What’s that about? So the accumulation of wealth. So I money in itself is neutral, wealth in itself. Iii I say is, is neutral, but it’s the way that wealth has been accumulated in this country that has caused harm when we value um when we, you know, fear and we’re motivated by greed. Um The acts that can result as a, as a result of that to exploit the land and to people are or what that’s what has caused the harm in itself. So um the case that I’m gonna make in this book that I’m making in this book is that wealth and money can actually be used for the good. If it historically has been used as a negative thing that has caused trauma, we can flip that to use it for something that can actually help repair the harm that has been done. You’ve got uh seven succinct steps to that. Uh the second half of your book, it’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations anywhere, anytime picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data entry or errors, make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit Donor box.org to learn more. Now, back to decolonizing wealth, Ngani Behi. Uh That is your Indian name. Did I by any chance say that correctly? I, I think that’s correct. Um I’m, I’m a little shabbu with my ojibwe these days. You don’t know your ojibwe, but that is your Indian name. Uh uh leading bird, tell the story of how you got that name. We, we’ll come back to, don’t, we’ll come back to the exploitation and control, don’t we? That this is a good story. How you got that name? So um my tribe and the Lumby tribe in North Carolina doesn’t have a tradition of naming um you are whatever your mom calls you, that’s your name. Right. Right. So, um but uh when I, when I was working in North Carolina in native communities, I went to a conference where there was a medicine man and someone uh the medicine man was meeting with folks who wanted time with, with him to, to talk or have a session and growing up in North Carolina. My identity as a native has always been quite complicated. Uh We didn’t have these types of practices in my home in Raleigh, North Carolina. And so, but I was very curious to meet with this medicine man and to um see what could happen from that encounter. And someone told me if you’re, if you’re really lucky when you meet with a medicine man, they might give you a spiritual name or a native name. Um And so I met with this guy in, in the Marriott Hotel in Denver, Colorado where this, this native health conference. So it was all uh I tell the story in the book is quite um um hilarious in, in many ways. But at the, at the end of our session where I was feeling um excited about, you know, the conversation we had, but also a little confused and skeptical in some ways because I’ve, you know, had such a colonized ways of thinking. Um He did offer me a native name, Ngani Beche, which means leading bird. Um So I was very honored and my first thought was, what kind of bird? Right? Am I a little tweety bird or am I a mighty eagle? Pelican birds are best? So, um he explained to me that I was the type of bird that flies in a v formation. Um And uh as I, when I left, I, I studied uh these birds and, and they’re the leading I’m the leading bird. I’m the bird that flies in the front of the V formation, which is the kind of leader that is often visible, but really understands its uh coded dependence and interdependence on the other birds. And so if you watch birds flying in a V formation, it’s really like a, an amazing natural, natural phenomenon. Uh how uh how they, they, they communicate and fly together. Uh The other thing that’s remarkable about the leading birds type of leadership is that it often will fly to the back of the pack and push another bird forward. So it’s not always the one that’s out front. And, um, when I, when I learned these characteristics, um I, I just felt really, um uh I was really, really happy and content about this name because I do see that’s the type of leadership that I model in my everyday life. And I think it’s the type of leadership that’s really important for the nonprofit sector. You explain how the birds communicate, which I’ve always wondered, um, they’re, they’re just close enough that they can feel like vibrations off each other and, or a micro movements, I think you say off each other, but they’re not so close that they’re gonna bump into each other and, and, you know, be injured, but that’s how they, and they, I guess they’re feeling the breeze off each other and sensing these micro movements of each other. So they’re that close. But not so close that they’re gonna be injured. Yeah, it’s very, it’s very fascinating. It’s like a scientific, uh, you know, a GPS built into their bodies. And the other thing I recently heard about these birds, um, is that, uh, you don’t ever find one that, uh, dies alone. And so, you know, I, I wanna learn and research that a little bit more but I think when they’re, when someone is down or, you know, um there’s an injury or whatever may happen. Uh They, there’s, there’s a certain way that they take care of each other. And so, um you know, it just kind of speaks to our common humanity and our inter related, you know, being interrelated exactly our interdependence. Now, this is a, this is uh an indigenous uh belief that we are all related and that’s what it makes me think of the birds also working so closely together that they feel micro movements. But how, how explain this, this belief that we are each of one of us related to the, to all the other. Yeah. So there, there is a, a native belief, um all my relations that means um you, all of our suffering is mutual, all of our thriving is mutual. And uh you know, we are um we are interdependent and so it’s a very different mindset or worldview um from sort of the um American individualistic type of uh of mindset. Um We also have connected to that viewpoint is, um, this idea of seven generations. So not only are we all related, you know, in this room right now and that we’re relatives, um, and we are related to the land and to the animals around us, but all of the things, all of the decisions and, um, that we are making today are gonna impact future generations. So there’s an idea that I am someone’s ancestor. And so what a responsibility to move through the world in a way that is thinking that far forward about our um our young people. And so these are concepts that um were taught to me by my family. But I also uh in recent years, this book gave me the opportunity to revisit and spend time with indigenous elders to remember these teachings and that and to think about um how to apply them in my work and you encourage us to each that, that each one of us takes responsibility for, as you said, we, we’re thriving and suffering together. Um What I’m referring to is the, each of us takes responsibility for the colonizer virus, say, say more about that. Yeah. So, you know, I think we all responsible, we’re, we’re all responsible because we’re all affected. Um I think some folks um when we, when you know, when we learn about colonization in schools is something that seems pretty normal, right? We um we think of colonization and the colonizers as heroes. It’s like the natural path of progress, the way it’s learned, right? We have holidays, you know, for, for Christopher Columbus, for example. And so, uh but the realities are that colonization um was something that was terrible that resulted in uh genocide and all types of exploitation. And uh that type of history that we have in this country is something that we um as, as the people have not come to terms with. We actually, we don’t tell the truth, we don’t face the truth. And so I think we’re still dealing with the consequences. Um And so the dynamics of colonization which are uh to divide, to control, to exploit, to separate those dynamics. Um You know, II, I refer to them as uh the colonizing virus because they, they are still in our bodies as, as a nation, they show up in our policies, our systems reflect the colonizer virus and in our institutions in the nonprofit sector and especially in philanthropy where we are um sitting on uh lots of money, privilege and power uh the least naturally to your point about us, them organizations. So, you know, I think the philanthropy uh for example, can perpetuate um you know, the dynamics of colonization because when you look at um uh where this, where this money came from and how we as a sector don’t face the realities of that truth. Uh When you look at um ask the question of why this money was held back from public coffers um that, you know, had it gone into the tax system, it would be supporting the safety net in vulnerable communities. Um And when you look at who gets to allocate, manage and spend it, you see a very um white dominant kind of mindset happening because, um for example, if we get into the numbers just a little bit, um foundations sit on $800 billion of assets. That’s a lot of money that has been uh you know, sheltered from taxation, that’s money that would have gone into public education, uh health care, elder care, um things that we need for the infrastructure of our communities. Um But that money has been put there with little to no accountability. Um Private foundations are only required by the IRS to uh uh pay out 5% of their assets. And so then, you know, you’re looking at just a small percentage of, of money that was intended to be for the public good. Only a small percentage is actually leaving the doors being invested in communities. Let’s assume it’s, it. Uh I know there are a lot of uh foundations that use that 5% minimum as their maximum. So that’s so 5% of that would be $40 billion. Uh So the counter is, but there’s $40 billion coming each year could be more, but let’s take the minimum just to be conservative. And, you know, we’re trying to preserve this uh this foundation capital for perpetuity. So if, you know, if we, if we spent in the next two years, the 800 billion, then we wouldn’t have anything left for future, just future years and other generations, we’re trying to, you know, we, we wanna be around for in perpetuity. Uh The foundations would say. Right. Right. And, you know, I think, I think there is a case to be made for saving some funds for a rainy day in the future. Uh But the, the truth is that 5% when Congress had acted that 5% rule, um it actually began at 6%. I, I believe in 1974 and then in 1976 was lower to 5%. The reason that Congress had to actually put this legislation forward is because foundations were not paying out any money. And so when you think about the intent of foundations, are they being started to actually benefit the public? Are, are wealthy, the wealthy 1% or whoever corporations starting these foundations just for the, the sake of having a tax break. And so that, that uh IRS minimum payout of 5% that rule was put in place to force um foundations to actually begin making grants. And so, you know, so it is sort of uh the other thing to explore if you are with a 95% that is not leaving the doors. Um if the intention is really to do good in community. We have to look at how that 95% is then being invested to generate more money for future grant making. And the truth there is that the majority of those funds are tied up in harmful and extracted, extractive indus industries um that are counterintuitive to the mission of foundations. You make the point often uh that often, right, those investments are in uh are in industries that are hurting the very populations that the foundation is explicitly trying to help through its, through its mission. And, and in fact, funding um the um there was something else that I was going to ask about the uh the way the money is. Um All right. Well, we’ll come back to it if I think of it. Um There’s, there’s a lot that organizations can gain by hiring people of color, indigenous people. What, uh and, and very few uh you’re, you’re a rare exception um working in, in found doing foundation work. Uh What, what’s the, what make explicit th those uh those advantages? Sure. So, um you’re right. I’m absolutely um an exception. I think when I started in philanthropy, I was one of 10 native Americans that I could find. We kind of found each other. And what year was that? Uh this was in 2005 and we are now, uh there’s about 25 of us now. Um The last time I counted. Um So, yeah, there’s, there’s, you know, an an amazing opportunity for foundations. And I think more and more foundations are understanding, to bring uh folks in uh to, to foundations that have lived experience and not only foundations but, but nonprofits, the NGO S doing the ground work, the foundations are the funders. Uh and, and of course, some foundations are now actually doing their own ground work. We’re seeing that emerging but, but for the nonprofits doing the day to day work as well uh represent the communities that you’re absolutely, it kind of makes sense, right? And uh you know, it’s funny because some foundations actually require that of nonprofits. They ask about the diversity of their staff and their board, but they themselves have no type of uh you know, values around diversity of their staff. But you’re, you know, the, the point is that uh for sure that any nonprofit or foundation to, to have folks uh that, that work there who have authentic accountability to community and understand and have been impacted by the issues that you’re trying to solve is gonna bring an awareness and um you know, about the problem in, in a different way, it’s gonna create some proximity that I think is gonna just inform strategies that, that make sense. And I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in uh strategic planning processes and board meetings where decisions were being made. And uh I always carry my mother, my family with me, you know, and spirit into the room and uh I hear these decisions or these conversations and I’m thinking like, oh my God, like, you know, this, you know, this, this would not in any way help my mother or my family that’s still living in poverty. Decision makers are disconnected. There’s such a disconnect. And uh I, I thought of what I was gonna ask you about or just comment on the, the foundation wise. We do see some foundation saying that they’re gonna spend down their assets. Uh I, I wouldn’t say it’s uh needle moving but you do hear that from time to time that there’s a foundation that’s committed now to spending it. It’s, it’s assets down, you know. Um Was Paul Allen, was it uh now the not Paul Allen? Uh the Microsoft uh I think the Microsoft founder, co founder who recently died. I think his foundation was Paul Allen. OK. OK. Um I was thinking of Steve Allen the com the old comic. OK. That’s why I thought, no, it wasn’t him but it was Paul Allen. I think his foundation is one but there are some, so we do hear some glimmers. Uh But you say in the book a few times uh people we need to move the needle. Yeah, I think, I mean, I think deciding to spin down is uh is a very progressive way of thinking about it. There’s so much need now um if we actually release the funds or even if you don’t want to spin down, you can make a decision to pay out more. Um There, there’s a lot of amazing work happening. Um Right now that is so under resource that if we could um support and get behind investing money in these various movements and these uh in, in communities of color, which are so um marginalized by philanthropy, you know, uh uh the 5% that is being invested, only 7 to 8% of those dollars are being invested in communities of color. That would make a big difference. And so I think, um you know, I think it’s a conversation that the boards of foundations should think about what is the value of, you know, why, why do we want to stay in perpetuity? Like what is, is that about a family legacy? Is that really about making a difference in the world? Um Because in some ways, it feels uh I can see that as being a very selfish type of uh you know, uh uh way of thinking uh if this was CNN uh right now, I would, I would play a video of you but I don’t, I don’t have that. Uh But in your, in your times, uh we have to work on that at Talking Alternative. We need, we need video capture and screens and everything uh in your video in, in your interview with uh David Bornstein New York Times, uh you said by not investing more in communities of color philanthropy, venture capital, impact investing in finance are missing out on rich opportunities to learn about solutions. Yeah. You know, I think that I think of, you know, people of color indigenous folks as being the Canaries in the coal mine sometimes when, when uh policies fail or systems fail, um we hurt the hardest and uh but there’s just something so magical about and, and sense of pride that I have about my community because we are so resilient, like, regardless of um you know, um all of the trauma, the colonization, the um you know, genocide, stolen land, we still remain intact as a people. Um And so there’s, there’s gotta be something magical about that resilience that I would, if I weren’t native, I would be interested to know like, what when you think about sustainability, you know, we have a corner on sustainability. Um Indigenous peoples around the world are on the front lines of saving this planet on, you know, um you know, really fighting for environmental protections. Um There, there’s so much wisdom and, you know, often when foundations roll out new theories of change or changes RC strategies or there’s a new model or theory, theory of change that comes up. And I’m like, wow, we’ve been doing that in our communities for years. If someone would have asked us, you know, maybe we would, we can get there faster. Is there still a lumby community in Robeson Robinson County. Yes, there are, there are about 60,000 enrolled members in the Lumby tribe. The bulk of our community is, uh, still in Robinson County now, I have a North Carolina driver’s license. Will that, will that get me in? Can I be in? You know, we, we’re very inclusive. We, uh, we, we will take, we’ll adopt you as an honorary brother, but, uh, you have to have a little bit more documentation to, to get officially enrolled. It’s a stretch for an Italian American with just a North Carolina license plate and, uh, and driver’s license. All right. Um, you, uh, you talk about, um, you know, I guess, I mean, we’re, we’re, we’re skirting around these things to make it explicit that the, the power imbalance, you know, that um minorities are seeking it and uh mostly middle aged white guys are, are doling it out. Uh, you know, piece meal. Um, the, the, the, the imbalance, you know, the, the, the grant, even the, even the word, you know, the, the granting. Uh, it’s like some, uh, I don’t know, it’s like some Holy order has, uh, has bestowed upon you something that’s, uh a gift when, uh, your, your belief is that, uh, and your thesis in the book is that it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a right, equally held by all. Yeah. You know, I think power and money, a lot of, a lot of this does come down to power and ownership. Um We are talking in the nonprofit sec sector right now, a lot about equity, right? And um equity is very different from uh diversity and inclusion. Um To me, equity really is all about uh shifting power and we often think about that from um uh lens of equality. So we’re gonna have the same power, which is a good thing. But to really achieve equity, it’s gonna actually require that some folks who have had power for a long amount of time, give up more power or take a back seat. That’s not gonna happen. You know, that that’s highly unlikely, like infinitesimally small, unlikely, you know, it’s, it’s a hard thing for people to uh to think about and especially if you have, if you’ve been privileged for so long, um equity might actually feel like oppression for you, right? Because it’s like, you know, wow, II I have less than I’ve had. So um but you know, we, I I wanna think about this through an abundance mind frame. There’s enough, there’s enough resources and enough power to go around. Um We just have to uh work together to make sure that we are privileging those who have not been privileged by that power. I love that you, you approach it from a position of abundance and not and not scarcity. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you, Kate. I saw on Twitter or XX. Of course, that the average attention span is nine seconds and I thought that’s enough time for my mother to create guilt. I’m coming over for dinner. Can’t you stay for the night? I’m coming to stay for the night. Can’t you stay the weekend? I’m coming to stay for the weekend. Take me on a cruise. I’m taking you on a cruise. Can’t you move back home? I’m moving back home. Let’s get cemetery plots. That is Tony’s take two Kate. That sounds so much like nana like it was, it was, I didn’t know how to like react. That was so like nana just keeps pushing and pushing. Oh I miss her so much. Lots of people experience uh mother induced guilt. So I wanted a little tribute there. Yes, we’ve got Buku but loads more time. Let’s go back to decolonizing wealth with Edgar Villanueva. Welcome back. You didn’t go far. Thanks for having me. Glad to be here. No, you haven’t done anything that would lead me to shut your mic off. Um It hasn’t happened. I’ve threatened but uh it hasn’t happened. So let’s let’s start getting uh positive, you know, the, the second uh roughly the second half of your book is uh seven steps to healing. Um And uh I thought you came up like five short. I mean, we have another 12 steps. I mean, if you wanna, if you wanna share power, you’re gonna have to have, you gotta have to step it up with like 12 steps or, or even 15, you know, you have more than the colonizers. Uh, but, but the seven steps are in themselves, they’re, uh, they’re pretty radical. Yeah. You know, um, it, it’s funny because I, I did have some resistance to, um, having seven steps. Right, because it, it, it makes, it seem like there’s a, there’s a, a quick and easy fix. If I just do these seven things, then we’re done with this and we can move on a prime number so that I don’t know. So, you know, but I did need to simplify the process in some ways just to help us get our minds around, uh you know, a process that we can begin, but there is no uh linear way uh or a quick way to uh to solve all of these problems or to, to undo what has been done. But uh there are ways to, to, to move forward and uh the steps to healing for me were, are, are list them out for us, just list all seven and then we’ll, we’ll talk about them. Sure. So they grieve, apologize. Listen, relate, represent, invest and repair. Um So you’ve been thinking about this for a while. I mean, this uh iiii I just did, I admire the, I, I admire the thinking that goes into this. Yeah. So some of it comes from my, my own personal experience um when and, and kind of come to terms and, and with uh the sector that I’m working in and the disconnection that I felt as a native person in the space and spending time in my community to uh just re ground myself and my values. And um and kind of acknowledging the, the wisdom that was uh in my body and in my community that I could bring to the space. Um the other parts of it come from, I did lots of interviews with folks who work in nonprofits and in philanthropy who were uh I think a very forward thinking people in this space activists who are leading movements around the country to get to a place of, you know, what, what did, what have you gone through personally to kind of reconcile some of this. Um And then, you know, a lot of this is also based on an indigenous uh restorative justice model. So we hear a lot about restorative justice um in the nonprofit sector. Now, this is a, a method that’s used in schools and um in the criminal justice system to um help uh people deal with uh with, with things that have gone wrong to kind of get back on the right track. And so this is a model that has come from indigenous communities where we sit in circle with, with the offender with someone who has harmed us or done us wrong to get to a place of truth and reconciliation. Uh So uh grieving, uh you say e everybody, I mean, because of our inter relatedness where we all need to grieve, including uh the people of color, indigenous, you know, those who have been oppressed. Absolutely. We all need to grieve. Um We need to get to a place where we’re just very clear and honest about the history of this country. What has happened, what the idea of, um you know, white supremacy, which is not a real thing, right? But what the idea of subscribing to that the the the harm and the loss that has calls for people of color, but also white people. And uh you know, I think that’s uh we we it’s pretty clear the trauma and the harm that has been caused in communities of color. It’s not so clear. We don’t talk about it very much the the loss that uh that colonization and uh the idea of white supremacy has actually caused in white communities. But it’s uh it, it is, there is a loss there. I talk about it in the book um of uh the idea that white people came from, from communities where they had uh cultures and uh tribal ways of interacting in many cases, um languages and things that were given up in order to assimilate to this idea of being American. And I think now we’re seeing um folks feeling a sense of loss about that. That’s why if you see these commercials for these DNA tests are so popular right now because everyone wants to kind of remember where they’re from and they feel connected to that in some way. Um And um the uh the, the thing you talk about too is uh the orphans, orphans. You say that uh those of us who are descendants of, of the, of the settlers, you, you call us orphans. How’s that? I, I call them orphans. Uh This is a term my bar from some research that has been done uh on uh whiteness and it is, it’s kind of speaking to this idea of loss. Um again, sort of giving up uh the, the culture um that maybe from, from, from the home country, from where, where folks settlers came from, giving up those, those ways of being interactive and community to subscribe to um this individualistic way of being in America. And so with that, um there’s been a loss of sort of that, that mother country um for lots of white folks and a loss of identity. Uh because although, you know, I’m, I’m not anti-american, let me be very clear about that. This is the greatest country in the world I’m very proud to, to be a citizen of this country. Um But there is something about um leaving behind and not remembering where you originated from in order to adopt sort of this new culture here. Um You know, and, and, and, and not um that, that makes you feel sort of like an orphan. If you’re not, you, you, you have no connection to where your grandparents are from or the language they spoke or the culture that they have. Um And I feel that that’s a loss for many white communities. That is actually a feeling that is shared with communities of color. Um And if we recognize that loss and that trauma that we have in common, uh it opens doors for a different type of conversation about race. You, you said a few minutes ago that white supremacy is, is not a real, not real. Why? Why do you say that? Well, I mean, there’s a white supremacist movement. Uh But how are you thinking about it that you say it’s not real? Um Well, well, the idea that, that, uh you know, a certain group of people, white people are superior because of the pigment of their skin is not a real thing, right? So this was an, an ideology that was created um in order to um be able to uh have the types of oppressive uh movements and systems and policies that have been put in place for many years. And so it is a, a mindset that has been, uh you know, an idea that is not real, but we have built systems and um societal norms around that, you know, growing up, I was taught that, um you know, or sort of the default for me was whiteness was, was better. And so if I were to behave or dress or act um in a certain way that appeared to be more white, then that was gonna be a better thing for me. And so we know that the idea of white supremacy is, is, you know, the idea of it is not real, but there are very real implications and uh for how we have adopted that, that uh belief. Um And you’re, you also encourage uh nonprofits and teams to have a grieving space while we’re talking about, we’re talking about grief. Uh We just have about a minute before break, but, and then we’ll move on with the seven steps. But what, what’s a grieving space in an, in an office? Yeah. So, you know, these, these steps are, are, are personal but it can be applied in an organizational setting. And so I think especially those of us working in the nonprofit where we’re supporting communities, we need to have um a space spaces in our, in our, our work life to be able to uh talk about bad things that have happened and to grieve that and to feel emotion, to be human about it. And so, um you know, I share some research in the book and, and some anecdotes of um folks who have have done that and the research shows that there um it’s actually um leads to a much more productive workplace to have moments where we, we stop the work to actually grieve and acknowledge the events that are happening, you know, in our communities. The, the, the book is uh decolonizing wealth, just, just, just get the book, you know, because we can only scratch the surface of it here in, in an hour. But uh decolonizing wealth.com, that’s where you go. I like the idea of the grieving space, you know, uh uh to acknowledge, you know, everything doesn’t go well all the time. It’s impossible. No organization succeeds 100%. Uh Nothing. So give yourselves time and space to talk about it, acknowledge it, learn from it and, and move on rather than it being some cloud over the organization that everybody’s afraid to talk about or something. You know, it’s how, how, how oppressive is that very oppressive and in philanthropy is especially because we uh we’re sort of carrying around these, the, these secrets of like how this wealth was amassed or secrets that are within these families that um you know, many people feel bad about. And so we just need to kind of, you know, be, be truthful and honest about the history and spend time grieving over that so that we can move forward, as you said, and, and that moves our next step in terms of uh uh your next step. Uh apologizing, recognizing which includes recognizing the source of the foundation money. I mean, you worked for the Reynolds Kate B is it Kate Kate B. Reynolds Foundation? I mean, Reynolds Tobacco, North Carolina, you know, that money was raised on the backs of slaves. Um I’m not gonna ask you if the Kate B Reynolds Foundation acknowledges that. But that’s an example of what we’re talking about in the, in the step apologizing. Absolutely no, there was, there was no acknowledgment of that. And uh chapter one of, of the book is called My Arrival On the Plantation because our foundation offices were literally on the uh former estate or plantation of RJ Reynolds. And so um really literally and metaphorically, I was, I was working there, but no, there was there, there’s no acknowledgement of that. And I think you see that, you know, in, in North Carolina uh recently, the Chancellor of the University of North Carolina acknowledged that uh the history of slaves and in building that university and that some of the buildings there are named after a former slave owners. What most people of color want um is just to be seen and heard and, and for folks to make that recognition acknowledge and, and maybe move to apology per perhaps that didn’t Johns Hopkins University do do something similar that, that they had their founders were uh was it Johns Hopkins? Their founders were slave owners? I think Georgetown University, Georgetown. Sorry. Thank you. OK. Uh Georgetown, they were priest, right? They were priests, uh priest founders that were slave owners. That’s right. I actually know um AAA friend of mine who lives in New Orleans is a, a black woman who is a descendant um and was called to Georgetown uh to share about her family’s history. And it was a beautiful moment. They said in community together, talking about the history, talk, acknowledging the contributions of her ancestors. And uh there’s a big write up in, in the paper. And uh you know, this has been very uh healing, I think for the university, but also for my friend Karen, um who is now having that uh you know, that recognition that her, the contributions of her ancestors, you, you, you talk a good bit about the reconciliation process uh in South Africa. Um Canada uh just you gotta get the book. I mean, we can’t, we can’t tell all these stories. I mean, I know listeners, I know, I know you love stories as much as I do, but there’s just not enough time to just get the damn book. Just go to decolonizing wealth.com for peace sake. You go right now. If you’re listening live, where are you Poughkeepsie Schenectady? Uh Nottingham Maryland just, just go to decolonizing wealth.com. Um OK, listening, you talk about uh em, em, empathic and generative listening, right? So, you know, often um when we, when we move through a process like this, we feel bad, we’ve apologized. Um The default sort of like dominant culture way of being is like, OK, I’m done with that. I’m gonna move forward. And so, but before you move forward and act, you just need to pause to actually listen, um, to listen and learn so to, to, to uh uh for, for nonprofits. Uh, you know, I ran a nonprofit. I’ve worked in philanthropy for 14 years when I asked nonprofits, what is the number one thing that you wish funders would do differently? The response is always, I just wish they would listen. Uh because there’s something about having resources, money, privilege and power. When we enter the room, there’s a power dynamic where we um automatically feel that we can uh control the airspace and we have an agenda and uh the nonprofits are gonna be responsive to what we want. And you know, that often is the case. But uh the, the best way to really build a relationship with folks where there is a difference in, in power and privileges is to actually stop and listen. Put aside your own assumptions and, and try as best you can to put yourself uh in, in their shoes to understand their experience and their history. So it’s just gonna make you a better person. Um I feel like listening is a human, right? We all want to be, we all deserve to be heard. And so that is um just something that we have to keep reminding folks who have privilege is to um to, to stop at times to, to also listen and to let others be heard. Put aside the White Savior Complex. Yeah. Uh Listening, we talk about, we talked about uh about that a lot on the show in terms of just donors and, and I know your next, your next step is, is relating versus being transactional. And that’s, that’s, that’s the beginning of a relationship, as you said, you know, listening, genuine hearing uh to w whether it’s donors or potential potential grantees. Um There, there’s a lot to be learned. So it goes back to the, the value of bringing uh representing the, the, the communities that you’re, that you’re serving. Um OK. So relation, you want us to, uh you want us to relate. Let me ask you, uh, you, you, you read, um how to win friends and influence people. You say dozens of times, you say dozens, I have trouble reading a dozen pages in a book. You’ve read one book dozens of times. Uh What, what, what, what do you take away time after reading, uh Dale Carnegie’s book dozens of times? Well, you know, I still have an original copy from that. I, um, I stole from the library of, uh my mom was a domestic worker and she was caring for a frail elderly man. Um, they had this vast library. So I ended up with this little book that you stole from an infirm. I know, I feel terrible about a book. It haunts me to this day. So this is a public, I didn’t even think to leave like 20 bucks or something on the table. I didn’t have it if I had it at the time. Um So hopefully this is my way of giving back. This is, this is my reparations for, for that, that wrong. But you know, and the one take away for me in that book uh is uh is really kind of connected to relating and listening. Um is when you’re, when you’re talking to folks, people just really want to be heard. So mostly you should listen. Um And if you actually just listen more than talk, people are gonna think that you’re a great friend like, wow, Edgar, that was that I had such a nice time with you. Um But even if I didn’t say one wrong, right? And so, yeah, it’s really about listening and, and letting others feel that they are important because they are um you know, we, I think people just feel so invisible these days that um just by giving people that moment of, of feeling heard and connecting with something that they are interested in. Um It’s just gonna really take you much further in building a relationship and, and stop the, the transactional, the, the transactional thinking. Um You have, you, you have an example of uh uh a uh oh and, and like building design, like office design, kitchens, you’d love to see a kitchen in the center of, of offices. Yeah. You know, so sort of like these ideas of like the colonizing virus, it infects every aspect of our community. So yes, even the way buildings are designed, um, especially buildings that are uh financial institutions, think about what banks look like when you walk in and with the, with all the marble and, you know, hard edges. Absolutely foundation offices where you have to go through five levels of security to get in as if we’re as if the millions of dollars were in the office. Right. And so we just, uh, through even how we design our offices and um you know, the way that they appear can be super intimidating for folks who are coming in who need access to resources just in, in terms of designing organizations more egalitarian, you’d like to see. Absolutely. So, uh one of the steps in the book is represent, and when you look at the uh the demographics of the nonprofit sector and um especially in, in foundations that part of the sector, uh we still have a long ways to go with diversity uh particularly when you look at the board of directors and the CEO positions, folks who really hold power in organizations. So what are the, what are the ideas that I put forth in the book is that foundations should have a requirement that at least 51% or at least 50% of their board should reflect the communities they serve. Uh This would drastically change what uh you know, shake up what the seats on the bus look like, but this isn’t this uh far from what is required of, of many nonprofits. Funders actually are, you know, requiring this, of their nonprofits that they’re funding. Um, and many go, um, organizations that receive, gover government funding, federal funding have these types of requirements that the folks who sit on the boards must be, um, folks who are benefiting from the services of those nonprofits. Representative. Absolutely. That’s a, that’s a stretch. 51 percent. It’s a stretch, it’s a stretch. But, you know, um, the, the conversation has uh, has been uh zero about it. So I figure, you know, if we put something, a bold vision out there to help us imagine what’s possible, maybe we’ll get a little bit further down the road and there are some examples. Uh you cite the Novo Foundation in the book, uh they have a women’s building that they’re, that they’re repurposing some old warehouse or something to turn into women’s building and, and the, the decisions are being made by, by women who are gonna be using the building. Absolutely. There’s some great examples of, of foundations and, and funds that are, um really, um putting these values into practice in their work. Uh Novo is, is a foundation that I really appreciate. Jennifer and Peter Buffett, the founders of, of the, the Novo Foundation wrote the forward to my. And uh they, um are folks that you, if you get to know them, you can see that they have done this work. Um and it shows up in how they give, they are a foundation that absolutely sits in community and listens um to folks who are impacted by, especially women and girls, which is an issue they, they really care about and they fund in a way that is responses to what they really need versus what the foundation’s agenda might be. Is it novo that funds for five years or seven years? Is it guaranteed? You, you cite this in the book, no matter how much trouble you’re having in year 123, you’re going to be funded for five or seven years for their initial commitment. Right. Right. And, and that type of long term commitment is uh you know, something that, that is the best type of funding, you know, um folks can be, you can focus on building a relationship versus, oh, I’ve got to meet these certain objectives so I can keep getting this money year after year. And so to be relieved of that, that pressure of thinking about where am I gonna, you know, how am I gonna pay these salaries next year? Um Really allows folks to have the freedom to think about the actual work that they’re doing in communities and, and planning and, and can plan instead of it being one, only one or two years. Um And so we kind of mishmash together, you know, relating and representing um investing. So investing is really a call to philanthropy to think about using all of its resources for um for, for the public good, right? And so uh we are not uh going to be a, a AAA sector that achieves equity that, that is really moving the needle on issues if we’re supporting uh with the 5% in our right hand, really good work, uh you know, mission related work. But in our left hand, we are investing 95% of our resources in um industries and causes that are extractive that are, you know, really canceling out the positive of, of our resources. So, you know, there are great foundations like the Nathan Cummings Foundation, for example, who just recently declared that 100% of their assets, their entire corpus is going to be used um in support of their mission. And again, other examples in in the book. And uh we just have about a minute or so before we have to wrap up actually. Um so talk about your final step, which is the final step is repair. Um All of us who are philanthropists are givers and as we’re getting close to the end of this year, uh we are all philanthropists um supporting um nonprofits in our communities. Think about how we can use money as medicine, how can we give in a way that is helping to repair the harm that has been done um by colonization in, in, in this country. And so think about looking at your personal portfolio are you giving to at least one organization of color um to support grassroots leadership. So reach across um and support folks who may not look like you invest in ways that are helping to unite us uh versus thinking about some of the traditional ways of giving that have not been uh you know, along this lines of thinking or exercising these types of values. OK. So I’ll give you the last 30 seconds uh uh uh in the way that uh the, the way I learned that uh natives are the original philanthropists was by what you, what you talk about your mom. Yes. So, you know, I think a lot of giving, when we look at giving in this country, the biggest philanthropist philanthropist are folks who are giving the most uh highest percentage of their incomes, incomes are actually poor people. And so I do talk about my mom in the book um who um was uh you know, is actually um very low income and, but yet she gave um to our community and, and had it ran a ministry out of our church to support Children ministry. You just gotta, you gotta get the book, you gotta read the ministry. And so it’s like giving of time, treasure and talent, not just resources. And so all of us who are caring for our communities in ways that are um you know, through love is uh we’re all philanthropists, get the book, go to decolonizing wealth.com, Edgar Villanueva. Thank you so much. Thank you for having me on Tony. Real pleasure. Next week, zombie loyalists with Peter Shankman from the archive. If you missed any part of this weeks show, I beseech you find it at Tony Martignetti dot com were sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Martignetti. The show, social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guide and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty be with us next week for nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 22, 2024: Team Engagement Tips

 

Kiersten HillTeam Engagement Tips

 The company Firespring uses unusual and fun strategies to engage their 185 employees, so everyone lives and celebrates the Firespring values—each day. We’re talking Firestarter meetings; Culture Club; Power of Three; and more. Kiersten Hill shares her employee experience to spark your thinking about team engagement.

 

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Board relations. Fundraising. Volunteer management. Prospect research. Legal compliance. Accounting. Finance. Investments. Donor relations. Public relations. Marketing. Technology. Social media.

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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Hello and welcome to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I am your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be hit with Hunt virus pulmonary syndrome if you had to be ratted out because you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with what’s up this week? Hey, Tony, this week we have team engagement tips. The company Fire Spring uses unusual and fun strategies to engage their 185 employees. So everyone lives and celebrates the fire spring values each day. We’re talking firestarter meetings, culture, club, power of three and more. Kirsten Hill shares her employee experience to spark your thinking about team engagement. On Tony’s take two nonprofit radio. 1500 were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box, vast flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org here is team engagement tips. It’s a genuine pleasure to welcome for her first appearance, Kirsten Hill to nonprofit radio. She is the Director of nonprofit Solutions at Fire Spring. She had nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and fundraising. Before joining fire Spring, she made the move to Fire Spring with the goal to assist educate and equip nonprofits at a larger scale. Kirsten is on linkedin and the company is at Fires spring.com. Welcome, Kirsten. Hello. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. You always bring such, I don’t know, ebullience. Oh, that’s awesome. Thank you. And, uh, I witnessed that this morning which we’re gonna get to talk about. I joined a meeting this morning, but I know just every time we talk, you, you seem joyful. Thank you. I um it’s one of my gallop strengths is positivity. Uh And I think that’s just sort of my natural state most of the time. What is that Gallup strength? So, Gallup is uh the, the Gallup corporation who does, uh you know, polls and those sorts of things. They are also um a business and strengths success coaching organization. Um And you can go through and do an assessment and they tell you what your strengths are. And then the theory and philosophy is that if you lean into those strengths, you uh have better performance and achievement. So, uh one of my top five gallop strengths is positivity. So that’s probably, that’s probably it. I think you’re succeeding. Yes. Thank you. I can, I can validate the Gallup results. Bona fide poll, a poll of one. Yes, a clean one. All right. So we want to talk about the engagement tips for, for teams and you do some special things at Fire Spring. Uh, you acquainted me with them and I wanted to flush them out for our, for our listeners because I think they’re unusual. Uh, I think they show a certain commitment to the team and, and, uh, I want to shout them out. So, first of all, you got value, you got three very clear values. Yes. Um, you know, talk about the values, of course, what they are. But then you know, how do you, how do they help the team, you know, sort of unite? Yeah. Well, I think one of the reasons that I, so I had been a Fire Spring client for a number of years before I came to work here. Uh I had used all of the services that Fire Spring offers websites, the marketing and strategic things that we do. And so I was familiar with the company. Um But one of the things that has really become very clear to me as I have worked here as an employee is that we are very much a company that leads from its values. Uh and we live those values out and we have three primary values. The first is bring it every day, the next is have each other’s back. And the third value is give a shit. And uh we talk on a daily basis about how we are all living those values and we take time during every single meeting. Um that we have that we, we recognize those values and we call out and, and recognize and honor people who are living those values. And I think that’s a really unique approach um to, to, you know, not just having the values and putting them on the wall somewhere, but really, um you know, getting in there and, and diving in and living um through those values. Yeah. And I have firsthand experience for uh an example of this. You, you have these meetings, I don’t want to give it all away. I want you to share it but you have these daily meetings. And I just want to say that I think people listening until they hear more are thinking, oh my, they meet every day, every day, the company, the whole company meets every day. All right. So I was in today’s meeting, but I’m gonna hold off on my follow up questions and you know, my, my impressions of it, us with these, with these daily meetings that are not laborious and feared. Yes. So uh these meetings started in about 2010 is when they started holding them as a company. And uh they had, they wanted a way to kind of try and bring everybody together, get everybody on the same track and again, reinforce those company wide values. And so they did some research and they found that the 11 o’clock time period is the least productive time period during an employee’s day. Yeah. Yeah. And so somebody then said they liked the alliteration of having a meeting at 1111. And they said, well, if we’re having a meeting at 1111, let’s make it 11 minutes long. And that’s how the meeting that we call the fire starter was born. And so every day at 1111, the entire company comes together for an 11 minute stand up meeting and, uh, if you’re in the facility, if you’re in any of our buildings. So we have a headquarters office in Lincoln. We have an office in Lincoln. Yes. Yeah. Sorry. We’re in, we’re in Nebraska. You’re talking throughout the country now that, you know, Lincoln could be Lincoln, Kansas, I don’t know. Lincoln, New York. True, true. Yes. So we are based out of Nebraska. We have an office in uh our headquarters offices in Lincoln. We have an office in Omaha, Nebraska and then we have a small walk up print shop in Council Bluffs, Iowa. And so every single person in those in those buildings who has the ability now, we do recognize this is a daily meeting, not everybody is going to be able to, you know, be there every single day. Um But for the most part, we, we encourage anybody but, you know, with that’s in the building to, to attend those meetings. If you work from home, you can hop on a Zoom link uh and, and, you know, sign in that way and everyone, uh, company wide takes part in the meetings. How many, how many employees we have about 100 and 70 uh, or actually, no, I take that back. It’s 100 and 85. I just verified that yesterday. So we have 100 and 85 employees. Yes. Sure. So when we come into Firestarter, there’s a handful of things that we do every single day, there’s always one employee who leads it. There’s a group of about six or seven of us who rotate the duty. Uh I typically, uh, we call them the fire chief because they’re leading the meeting of the fire starter and the chief, um kind of just runs through the agenda. Keeps everybody on track. So normally I chief on Tuesdays, but today I chief on a Thursday because I couldn’t, we, you know, swap things back and forth. So are we so ingrained in the culture that the down has become the verse? Yeah, exactly. Yeah, we, yes, I, yes, I used the chief. I do. I will in the future. Yes, exactly. Who can chief for me today? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh today I had the pleasure of being the, the fire starter leader, the chief and we always go through the same agenda. So we start by welcoming everyone, then we move into um recognizing any guests or visitors. So we introduced you today as a, as a guest in our meeting and that the, whoever’s there just sort of normally waves and then, you know, smiles and we recognize that we have visitors with us and then we move into recognizing any birthdays or anniversaries. So if anyone in the company is celebrating a birthday or a work anniversary, uh we’ve got a lot of very long term employees. And so, uh as soon as you hit one year, then every year on your, the anniversary of your higher date, they recognize that you, how long you have been with the company. So we uh we recognize those and then after that, we move into our values, living portion of the meeting. And so uh you can uh as, as an employee of the company, you can recognize anyone else anywhere in the company for um the great work that, that they do and the work that really align with those core values, you know, it might be somebody who um helped you out and took a project uh from you or somebody who filled in for you at a meeting or uh somebody who really has gone above and beyond for a client. Uh And, and we recognize those kinds of efforts on a regular basis today. The it team got a couple of shout outs. They did. Yeah, we had a server, we had a server go down and Zoom and uh Jump Cloud were having problems yesterday. The it team was really hopping. And so lots of people recognizing the I TT the it team for what they were doing and the, it team recognizing one another for how collaborative the response was and how they all just really chipped in and got the work done. Uh So that’s a really good example uh of, of, you know, how we will really recognize one another. Uh Then uh we also do a few special things. So on Fridays, we give the F uh F as in Frank. Uh So on Fridays, we give the F and that is calling out somebody who really steps it up and, and somebody who just is consistently always living those fire spring values. Uh and the F passes from team to team uh within the company. So I can’t give the F if I, if I win the, uh or I, um I’m honored with the F, I can’t give it to anyone else on my team. I have to go outside my team. So we’re really encouraging um the groups to, to mingle together and to get to know one another. Uh And you can only get it once a year. Uh And, and then, you know, again, we just sort of pass that pass that around uh quarterly. There is, it’s bright gold, it’s, and it has a chain on it. If you’re, if you’re in one of the offices, you can actually wear the F and you can hang it at your desk or, or your cubicle. Uh And then if you get the F, you get a little gold F that you can put on a sticker that you can put on your laptop. So, as you’re walking through the building, you’ll see lots of people um who have their laptops open with F stickers on it. Uh So it’s, it’s, you know, a nice visual way to, to represent the F um And that’s kind of fun. On Wednesdays, we go through Gallup Strengths. So we’re a gallop, strengths based organization. Every employee knows what their top five strengths are. And on Wednesdays, we call out one of those strengths and we talk about how you work with people who have these strengths and what, how you might, you know, recognize how they like to work and how you can bring out the best in one another. What are, what are your other four besides positivity? So um strategic is one wu is another which stands for when others over. Uh I’m, I’m, I like to be out there. I get energy from being around other people and uh and engaging with folks over. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Then uh positivity and um individualization. So I like to get to know each person individually. I like to know what makes each person tick and then deliver content and information and things that are specific to that person. Um And then the last one I think is communication I think is, is um is supposed to be able to recite. I should be able to, I should be able to, I get, I get, I get, I also have um I also have uh activator in, in like my top five or six and I can never remember which goes where. Um but activator means that I’m not real good at just sitting and letting things happen. I’m kind of always pushing and moving things forward. So um uh activator is in, is in there too. So, um and like I said, on Wednesdays, we, we go through those and talk about those and then on Tuesdays, we go through and review the, the goals for the previous week and uh address, you know how successful we were. Um because that’s the other thing then that we talk about and during every Tuesday meeting, we go through the values living and then we break up our goals by um division of, of the organization. So we have client solutions, um client fulfillment. Uh And, and we go through each of each of those and we say, you know, who has achieved what uh and in, in terms of meeting their goals for the week. And then on Tuesdays, we review how successful everybody was. So, yeah, and then at that, we, when we finish that, we talk about any risks or challenges that we have and then uh if there aren’t any of those or if there are, we talk about those and then if uh after that, we do what we call the cheer. So uh whoever it is that it has the cheer for the day and that also rotates through the company. Uh They come up with some sort of a clever story or anecdote or sometimes it’s this day in history. Um And then, and at the end, it’s usually a very short phrase that everyone says all together. Uh And that’s how you really signify that the meeting is over. Once you finish with the cheer, the meeting is over and everybody just goes their separate ways. It’s not like you’re having this long drawn out. Like nobody quite knows. Is it, is it over? Are we still going? Um After we finish the cheer, everybody goes their, their separate ways and, and all of that is done in 11 minutes. It took you about 12 minutes to explain it. I know. I know. Right. I probably should have cut you off. I should have cut you off a minute ago. You’re over time. You get, no, no, the meeting is really, it’s really impressive. Uh So you invited me to today’s like you said, uh I didn’t say a word. I just waved because I knew you were on a tight schedule. Um So the uh the people that are living the values who get shattered out, you enter them on a spreadsheet. There’s someone, there’s a recorder, it seems to be a, there’s a recorder, someone’s recording on a spreadsheet. Describe OK, who’s keeping track of the people and the teams that get shouted out and, and, and if you get shouted out twice, you get a star, you get shouted out three times, you get two stars so we can. Yeah, exactly. Will. And sometimes, uh, I mean, like the ultimate achieve at fire sp is to be a five star general. Um, so if you have five stars in the, in the week, then you’re a five star general. And that’s pretty unusual. Yeah, that’s just, it’s adorable. It’s fun. It’s easy to understand. All right. So five star General. So what, what happens with those names? You just keep them for the week. Yep. They keep, we keep them for the week. Um, and at the end of the day on Friday, they wipe that board, uh, they wipe the values part of the board clean. Um, and we start over on Monday with a, a clear board and we add those names as we go throughout the week. Uh, the, the goals actually turn over on Tuesdays, uh, because we, our, our goals start on Tuesday and end on Monday and that gives us a little bit of extra time, uh to, to try and get things accomplished if people wanna, you know, not very many people work on the weekends, but if they want to work out on it over the weekend or if they need a little extra time, it just seems to flow better to run uh, goals Tuesday through um Monday. Plus we, we have um some all teams, some other, all kinds of all team meetings that we do usually on Mondays. And so that’s when people set their goals for the week. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor box live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations anywhere, anytime, picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor boss account. No manual data, entry or errors. Make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more. Now back to team engagement tips. Yeah. So moving to the uh the the gold side, you go through it very rapidly. Uh This is also set up on a on a board or I don’t know, spreadsheet, it’s the same spreadsheet, same sheet. Um It, it, it says the name of the team. And then there are the 33 categories that they’re being a accountable to. Basically it’s public accountability and they have goals for the week listed like some had, some teams had three, some teams had four goals and you go through how are you doing on your goals? Most of the people said all on something all on track, all on track on track. There was one team, I, I didn’t write them down so I’m not gonna, you know, embarrass them. One team said goal number three at risk and that one got a, that one got a negative next to it. It gets a red mark on it. Number three at risk. All right. Yep. So if you finish a goal, you would say like first goal complete. There were a couple of those, so there were one or two complete. Um, if you’re, if it’s just moving along then it’s on track and if it’s behind then it, it’s at risk. And, you know, there’s a variety of reasons that a goal could be at risk. It could be that maybe you had a meeting scheduled with this client and the client moved the meeting. Um, and so, you know, there, it’s, it’s not, we know that it’s very seldom. I, I mean, I don’t, maybe once or twice in the two plus years I’ve been there if we ever had 100% on our goals, you know, it’s, it’s, do you just, you also want to set goals that are, you know, a, a strive that you’re really working to achieve? Um, and so we don’t always hit 100% but we, it at least keeps all of us on track and it keeps all of us accountable to one another and it helps me to know. Gosh, I can’t bother the, you know, customer fulfillment team this week because I know they have a ton of stuff on their goal list. They’ve got a lot going on. So maybe I’ll hold this thing that I need, um, and give them some time to do that and, and, you know, rearrange what I need from them and, and when I need it. So it, it does help us to know what each other is working on and what the timing looks like. Yeah. Absolutely. And those are weekly goal. Yes, those are weekly goals that we review on a daily basis. Tuesday to Monday. You, you start them every, every Tuesday, every Tuesday review weekly progress on Mondays. Ok. Yeah, I, I love the accountability and it’s quick and nobody says, well, why is that one at risk? There’s no, there’s no chatter about why we’re doing great or why we’re not or why one is at risk or how, how good we were that we accomplished one goal. You just, you just report on track at risk or, or done. Exactly. And then they move on to the next team and boom, boom, boom. It’s very efficient. I mean, you gotta be because 11 minutes tell me does the tech cut you off? Doesn’t zoom, cut you off? Yeah. Zoom completely cuts you off. So, uh when I first started being the chief, I didn’t know that and we were running long one day and then all of a sudden just died and they were like, oh, yeah, we forgot to tell you, it’ll cut you off if you go too long. So now, especially when we’ve got a day where people are really excited about, you know, recognizing other people and putting lots of people on the board. Then I know I have to go faster through the goals because you don’t want to get cut off. That’s, that’s bad. Ok. Ok. And, and today’s meeting, I think it was nine minutes, I believe. Yeah. The other thing that I love about it that I think we don’t often recognize enough is when I went down before the meeting started, I saw one of my coworkers and I said, oh, gosh, I need to grab you for just like two minutes as soon as the meeting is over to ask you a question. She was like, yeah, no problem. And that happens every day. So not only are you getting people together, you’re mixing different groups, you’re mixing, you know, people who work in different departments and divisions and have different tasks and goals. But it’s a, it’s a common place where you can meet up with one another. Uh, and then most people now will eat lunch about 1130 because by the time the 1111 is over, they go, you know, into the kitchen and warm up their lunch and then sit, sit down and have lunch and, um, it’s a really nice natural break and progression in the day that I think is just fantastic about building, um, camaraderie and, uh, and teamwork and connecting us to one another. Those are the Firestarter meetings the way to do daily meetings that people don’t dread. Yes. Absolutely. Uh, it’s super, it’s super fun. It’s one of my favorite. It’s one of my favorite things. I mean, I would have never thought that I would love a daily meeting, but it’s one of my favorite parts about working there. It shows your positivity comes out about the fire star 1111 for 11 minutes. All right. What’s Culture Club? Yeah. So we also have uh a group. It’s a, it’s actually an elected committee within the organization that is focused on uh I it’s focused on employee engagement and that is their major goal is, is, you know, making sure that um that the employees are connected to one another. They also represent the employees to the leadership team. Um And they are the ones who plan all of our company, events and activities and festivities, parties, those sorts of things. Um And, you know, they really just help to keep morale up and keep employees engaged with one another. Um They are elected to that committee based on um which part of the company, which division of the company they serve in so that we have uh a representation from every team. Uh and they meet on I think a monthly basis and then they, you know, do little subcommittees and planning and those sorts of things. Um, and, and they’re all about maintaining and encouraging and engaging the company culture. Do they have a budget to work with? They do? Yeah, they do whatever it might be. Yes, they do. They have, they have a budget and, uh, you know, it’s things like, uh, in the summer they always do, they’ll do like a barbecue and sometimes they’ll have the snow cone machine come, uh, we, every year we invite anyone who’s ever worked at fire spring gets invited back for an alumni event. Um, and they organize the alumni event, they organize our holiday party, they organize trivia nights, they do or trivia days. Most, all of the events that they plan outside of like the holiday party. And, you know, some of those things, um, all, all of them are, most of them are during the day or, or at some point in time during the work hour, usually around like three o’clock or four o’clock in the afternoon. Um, and then, uh, sometimes, you know, the bigger parties and those sorts of things they’ll do, uh, on the, on the weekends or evenings and do people campaign to be the, uh, the culture club representative of their team. They do. So in the last competitive elections in the last election year, we just had the Iowa caucuses. So, elections are on my mind. Yes. Yes. Is there campaigning? So, yes. There is campaigning in the last few years, there has not been a lot of uh of competition over, but they’ve kind of been able to maneuver things. So there’s a few at large seats and those sorts of things. So anybody who uh has expressed an interest in the last few years has been able to participate. So, uh but uh this year, we did still have some campaign posters that went up around the building. And um you know, people were, were, you know, in the spirit of things in terms of campaigning, it was pretty fun. You have a lot of virtual employees. We do, we have in the stuff that, that culture club is planning. Yeah. So I, I wanted to, I actually went to, to our, our recruitment hr department and said, hey, tell me what the philosophy is on this because I wasn’t exactly sure. So they used to do a lot of hybrid events where they would, you know, they, they would have the trivia say at the headquarters office and then people could zoom in. And I thought it was really interesting because she said that what they found is that they actually had less engagement and less participation with hybrid. Then they did if it was just a completely virtual. So we have some activities that are in person and we have some activities that are virtual and they very seldom do hybrids if a team wants to make it hybrid and it’s an in-person event, you know, they might carry a coworker around on a laptop so that they’re kind of feel like they’re there in the, in the spirit of things. But otherwise it’s typically either a virtual event or an in person event. Um And, and that has been the main way that they try and really engage people is, is by hosting and being very intentional about having events that are virtual and then everybody is virtual. Everybody is on their computers to participate. So then nobody feels second class. I mean, that’s, that’s the problem. You know, how many virtual meetings I’ve been in. It’s just, it’s not the same. Uh You have to, you have to remind folks that you’re on the screen. You know, they’re all in 3d together and, and we’re all one D to lump together. You know, they don’t look at us. Uh you know, you have to make sure you speak up because it’s, there’s just not a lot of skill around engaging your one dimensional screen participants. So I just, I think it’s very simple and smart, just make everybody the same. We’re all one D and now we’re all equal. Exactly. Exactly. And they’ve had, I think, um, some, some very good results doing that. Uh The other thing is, I think once a year they, they invite a lot of the employees who do work remotely to come back. It’s usually around our, uh our all team meetings uh that we have or uh around the holiday party, something like that. They, they make sure that those folks get back um around that time of year. If they want to have that real, you know, quality in person experience, it’s time for Tony’s take two. Thanks a lot, Kate Nonprofit Radio 1500. That’s the coupon code that you can use to get $1500 off planned Giving accelerator tuition this year in the Accelerator, I will guide you and all the your fellow class members step by step through how to launch planned giving fundraising at your nonprofit. We meet once a week on Zoom for an hour and I set those meetings up as meetings in Zoom, not as webinars so that everybody can talk to everybody else. And there is a lot of peer cross talk, peer support because over the weeks folks get to know each other. So you all share challenges, successes, obstacles, uh difficult donor situations and everybody helps everybody else. There really is a lot of peer support. A lot, lot more than I expected. So if uh starting Planned Giving is something you wanna do at your nonprofit, you could look at Planned Giving accelerator.com. We’ll be done by Memorial Day. The class goes march to May and we’ll finish by Memorial Day. So there’s no conflict with your summer plans. And at Plan Giving accelerator.com, you can use the Code Nonprofit Radio 1500 nonprofit radio 1500 until January 31st and you will get the $1500 off the tuition. That is Tony take two. Ok. We hope that people take advantage of the discount we’ve got bookoo but loads more time. So let’s go back to team engagement tips with Kirsten Hill. Have you ever been a culture club representative? I have not. Uh you have to be there at least a year uh in order to, in order to be on culture club and after I hit, you get beat in an election, you got drugged. I did it. I’ve never, I’ve never um throwing my hat in the ring, so to speak, to be in culture club. I tend to travel a lot um during certain times of the year when I’m speaking at nonprofit conferences and so it doesn’t really lend itself um to, to, you know, filling that role as it needs to be. So I haven’t ever done it, but I love the people who do so. And you’re, you’re in the headquarters in Lincoln, right. Yeah, I, that’s, I go into the office about two or three times a week. Uh I work from home the rest of the time I’m home today because uh it started snowing again. 8.5 inches and, and more coming. So, congratulations. That’s the most I’ve heard. I’ve been on a bunch of meetings and webinars today. 8.5 is the most I’ve heard. Yeah. And it, that was over, you know, from like the first or the 25th, basically from Christmas, uh, until now and then it just started snowing again about an hour and a half ago. So just keeps coming. Lincoln, Nebraska. I’m in North Carolina. We don’t get a lot of snow. I’m jealous if we get, uh, if, if we have a forecast, the, the night before forecast of a half an inch schools are closed. Everything closes, close the school the next day because we don’t own any equipment. All the, I think all the snow equipment that the, well, all the stone equipment that the state of North Carolina owns both pieces. They’re, all, those two are, you know, they’re all stationed on I 95 which is nowhere near me. I’m two hours east of I 95 on the beach. So the towns don’t, we don’t have anything. The people don’t know how to drive. Oh, you know, I’m from New Jersey up near New York City, northern New Jersey. You know, there’s a skill to it and, and part of the skill is just being experienced doing it but there are people here. It’s risky. So, half an inch forecast the next day. Shut the schools. Oh, man, we, uh, it takes eight inches to close the schools here. It’s just been, yeah, it’s been crazy and then it’s like a minus 22 wind chill. Um, so it’s been, it’s been a brutal start to the year so far. But, uh hopefully, uh it’ll warm up soon and some of this will melt. But, yeah, tell us about fire Spring University. Yeah. So, fire Spring University is where we, it’s, it’s sort of the hub that connects us to a lot of things. Uh Fire Spring University houses are uh employee documentation. So, employee manuals if there are training manuals. So, for instance, if you need to fill out an expense report and you’ve never had to fill out an expense report before. Uh You can go to fire Spring University and there’s a module that you can take on expense reports. And it’s a training that walks you through all of the details. Um In addition to that, there’s a lot of um things in there, like an organizational chart, there is a map in there of where everyone’s offices and cubicles are in the building. So if you’re not, if you can’t remember, you know, where Tom Sits, you can go to the map and look at it and go, oh, that’s where he is and you know, exactly where to find him. Uh And then we uh we do some career pathing. Uh And there are um different uh they, they describe it, not like a ladder. So it’s not a, the, the career pathway is not necessarily a ladder that you go up and down. It’s more like a lattice or a web um where you can move within the company to try different things and different opportunities that fit within your skill set. Um And there is a lot of information in there about what other kinds of opportunities might be available in the company. Because once we go to the work to get great people um who want to keep them happy uh at their jobs and want to make sure they have the training and education that they need to do it and do it well. And if they’re not happy, then we would love to try them somewhere else in the company um to, to try and make it work uh as opposed to, you know, having them go somewhere else. Uh So there’s lots of, of opportunities to really explore what you’re interested in and find opportunities to still be a part of a great company without having to move on. This is all shared resources, shared tools, you know, I think this contributes to engagement, shared culture, right? I mean, the culture of the, as soon as you join and join the company, you’re, you’re introduced to fire Spring University. So you get a sense of what’s important, how they treat the employees and, and it’s, and everybody has the same experience. Yeah. And everybody has the same access as well. So it’s, it’s out there, you log in at any point in time and, and you know, if you ever have a question about something thing, uh our hr team is awesome but if you can’t catch them for one reason or another, you could probably log in to, to fire Spring University and find what you need. It’s also the storefront, uh, where you access the storefront for all of our, uh, company apparel and those sorts of things. So, um, we, we do, uh, and this is, it’s actually unusual. I don’t have a fire Spring t-shirt on today. Usually I have a fire spring t-shirt on. Um, but they, they do apparel orders. I think at least three times a year with the change of seasons. And, uh, you can go on and buy, you know, sweatshirts and t-shirts and ball caps and blankets and, you know, lunch boxes and all kinds of things that are branded for Fire Spring. They give us, uh, an employee discount on all of those and you can go on at any point in time and purchase those things and they, you know, just take the payment out of your next check and deliver the item that you want to your desk. It’s kind of cool. I joined you on a webinar that you did last week on annual reports. Annual reports. Basically. Yay or nay because you had a lot of reasons that you might not want to do an annual report because you had your fire Spring branded, uh, top on and, and then, and then I, I told you your nails matched the company logo color. It was, it was amazing. And they did. And that was completely unintentional. I didn’t even know it until you said it. Pierson. Really, really upping my game for 24. Wasn’t one of your five strengths. Um strate strategy, strategy, doing it unconsciously doing it. I don’t even know it gallop, validate those polls that they’re on to something. Now, you have something that you’re very public about uh personal. You’re an only child and then take it to the next level. Yeah, I’m an only child. I am married to an only child and we have an only child. So, if we get together for the holidays with my parents and my husband’s parents, there are seven of us big family gathering. Yeah. Exactly. You know, and, and it just, sometimes it seems so strange. I grew up with a lot of cousins and, and those sorts of things and, um, it, so it does seem a little weird that our family is just, it’s so small. But, yeah, it works for us. I always joke that I don’t, I don’t know what to do when you have more than one child. I’m certain it is much more complicated. But, uh, this, it works for us. We, we, uh, yeah, we all get each other. So I think adding a child more than doubles the complexity. Oh, and, and I, I’m, I’m the person who doesn’t have any Children but I, I hear from friends. I think it’s like exponential. It’s not just a doubling. Yeah. Absolutely. Well, and then you, you know, if you have a spouse and you have two Children then you are in a man to man defense. If you get three kids and two parents, it’s, it’s zone, there’s like sports analogies and all kinds of things you have to figure out. II, I don’t know. I, I think if you just have one then they get whatever they want and you don’t have fights and nobody to argue with. It’s much easier. I wouldn’t know anything about the zones, you know, in baseball or anything. I’m not acquitted. I don’t know very much about sports at all. So, I don’t know the zone defense. Yeah. Yeah, it’s, uh, it’s, uh, ways that you try and manage it and it’s certainly, it has to be more complicated. Like I say, we just have one, he gets to kind of do what he wants and activities wise, we don’t have to make, you know, big choices. And, um, yeah, nobody to fight with. That’s, that’s perfect. Did that draw you to your husband that you were both only Children? Was that an early, an early feature? You know, it really, it kind of was, it’s definitely something that we both have in common. Uh, and I think, you know, we kind of approached the world with that same viewpoint because we’ve always, you know, we negotiate things, I think differently than you do if you have, you know, big families and those sorts of things. And so, um, yeah, it was certainly something we had in common and, um, yeah, it makes our lives easier. Um, we always say, you know, our parents are, our parents are still young but as they, as they get older, um, there’s nobody to fight with, there’s nobody to argue with. They just have to, you know, we all have to work together to figure this out because there’s nobody else to do it. So, um yeah, it’s been uh it’s been kind of a fun um uh a fun thing that, that, you know, draws us all together and even our parents, you know, um get together and, and those sorts of things, you know, for holidays and that kind of stuff. So that’s, that’s been nice too. Last the engagement uh feature uh strategy that seems very smart at Fire Spring is uh the volunteering employee volunteering hours. Explain all that. Yeah. So uh Fire Spring is a certified B corporation which means that we are certified for public benefit. Uh When our leadership as an organization is making business decisions, they can take into account the impact of their decisions on the things that they care about that go beyond the bottom line. So if, um you know, if they could make a decision that would uh maybe save a little bit of money on ink, but it’s bad for the environment, then they can, they can choose the more environmentally conscious decision. Um And, and as part of that commitment to community, we have what we call the power of three. So we donate a minimum of 1% of our profits. The top line revenue gets donated to nonprofit organizations, 2% of our products get donated through in kind product and service donations. And the volunteering piece is 3% of our people. So full time employees at fires spring receive eight hours every single month. And I would say we’re, and we’re also expected to use those eight hours every single month to volunteer for the nonprofit and charitable organizations of our choice. So it equates to about 3% of our workforce and it really has just, it, it’s a culture thing. It’s just become a part of who we are. And so you might see someone post a message that says, you know, I’ll be out from 11 to, to 130 volunteering. Uh We’ve got a number of people that deliver meals on wheels because that’s a, that’s a really specific time period. And they, so once a week on, you know, whatever day of the week they go deliver their meals. Uh And so, you know, when you see that somebody is out volunteering, it’s not like you’re, you know, frustrated or mad or gosh, why aren’t they working? Because it’s part of who we are, we give back and there you can give back to any organization that you want So I have personally have a number of organizations that I work with. I, I volunteer a little bit at my church and I am on the Friends Council for make a wish and I’m on the um house court board for my uh college sorority and I am helping the legion baseball team. And anytime I’m doing those efforts, I can take time during my week and I can put in those, those hours and, and do the work that needs to be done and fire spring, uh, encourages it and appreciates when we are active parts of our community. And I think that is a huge piece of really developing the ethos of who we are as a company. That’s what these strategies are all about. Uh I love these. And you were the first B Corp in Nebraska. We were, yeah. Yeah, we were the first B Corp in Nebraska and there’s a points system that all B Corps receive, um, to, to say if you qualify as a B Corp or not. And our point system over the years, we’re in the top 10% of, um, the most impactful B Corp businesses across the country, across the whole country, across the whole country, not just in the state. Yeah. Top 10%. Yeah, exactly. Top 10%. Yeah. All right. Uh, so how does all this, you know, all this make you feel is it’s not, it doesn’t, it doesn’t certainly sound overwhelming. You sound uh, effusive about it. But how do you think it helps individual employees? How does it help you as an employee? Well, I think for me, you know, I, I, most of my career was spent in nonprofit management and so I’ve, I’ve run nonprofits. I’ve been a fundraising director. I’ve, I’ve been in that public, um, benefit sort of arena for years and I have tried at times leaving that and going to for profit and that never went well for me. Uh I, it just, it just didn’t match who I was and the things that I wanted and needed um in, in my work life. And so for me, this is really the perfect marriage um of, of for profit and still having that community impact and being a part of the community. And I see that reflected in the people that I work with. Um, you know, I think, I think we attract and develop a very like-minded community based, um you know, ethos and culture. And so for me that I think that is why I appreciate the values and the fire starter and the culture club and all of that is because uh it, it feels most like that, you know, public benefit uh nonprofit kind of, of environment. Um And they’ve been very intentional about doing that. And so for me, it’s just, it’s been a great, uh it’s, it’s just been a great place to land. Uh And if I’m, you know, not necessarily going to be working in a nonprofit. I’m still getting the opportunity to interact with so many different nonprofits. Um And then also to, you know, have that, that the company that I work for embraces and encourages uh that community participation. Thank you for sharing all this Kirsten. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for asking. It’s been fun because I don’t, you know, people ask us all the time about what we do for services and, and that kind of stuff, which is I love talking about, but it’s also kind of fun to talk about who we are. Kirsten Hill, she is, she is Kirsten Hill, the, the positivity, the strategic. You’ll find her on linkedin. She’s very active there and the company is at Fires spring.com. Thank you again, Kirsten. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Tony. Great being with you today. I appreciate it next week. Decolonizing wealth with Edgar Villanueva from the archive. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box. Outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor box.org. I still have that alliteration. I can’t help it. Fast, flexible, friendly fundraising forms or go ahead. Sorry. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show’s 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 be with us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 15, 2024: Performance Measurement

 

Bryan ShanePerformance Measurement

There’s a systematic method for you to get feedback on your nonprofit’s finances; programs, clients; and employees. It’s both art and science. Bryan Shane explains this management and decision-making tool. He’s co-author of the book, “The Leadership-Driven Method to Performance Measurement.”

 

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And welcome to Tony Martignetti Nonprofit radio. Big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host and the pod father of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, and my goodness. Did I sound terrible last week, Echoy? Like the Holland tunnel without traffic. Uh Like I’m in a brick, I don’t know, brick echo chamber. Uh I’m, I’m between mics. Uh I know it’s much better this week. It should get even better when the really good mic comes. So, uh but apologies for the sound. My sound last week. Oh, I’m glad you’re with us. I’d be hit with LEVO version if you left me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Here’s our associate producer, Kate with the highlights. Hey, Tony, this week it’s performance measurement. There’s a systematic method for you to get feedback on your nonprofits, finances programs, clients and employees. It’s both art and science. Brian Shane explains this management and decision making tool. He’s co-author of the book, the leadership driven Method to performance measurement on Tony’s take two Planned Giving Accelerator were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms, blocking your supporters, generosity. Donor box vast flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org here is performance measurement. It’s a pleasure to welcome Brian Shane to the show. He is co-author with Patricia Lafferty of the leadership driven method to performance measurement. The how to book on improving performance measurement in the public and not for profit sectors. With Patricia. Brian is also co-founder of B PC management consultants, a client centered management consulting firm based in Ottawa, the capital in the province of Ontario, Canada. The book is at B PC gallery.com and Brian is on linkedin. Brian, Shane. Welcome to nonprofit radio. Good morning, Tony. Pleasure to have you. Uh We’re, we’re recording just uh early January and uh it’s cold, it’s cold for you in uh in Ottawa. It is um actually we had no snow in winter and uh we’re under a, a major uh snowfall warning, I guess it’s coming from the States down here. And uh so actually I love, I love winter. I love, I love the cold. I love skating and skiing and, and all that stuff. So, um when there’s no snow, it’s kind of like just bad weather. You can’t do anything except for go, go for walks and uh, oh, so you look, you look forward to the snow. Um Yeah, I’m a, I’m a photographer on the side and um, um I, you know, winter is when um, a lot of the Raptors, you know, owls and eagles and hawks come down from the north. So it’s, uh, it’s, it’s fun to do that. And, uh, so this is the time of year when I actually do a lot of my raptor photography because, you know, it’s here and I’m sure it’s the same, not, probably doesn’t extend as far South Carolina, North Carolina, but certainly in New York and, uh, the upper, upper northern states of the US. So, uh, those predator birds. Yeah, there are hawks, hawks, raptors. I don’t know, I don’t know if owls are considered predators but anything that eats, anything that eats. So, II, I enjoy, I enjoy doing that. And, uh, um, so, um, and when, when, when we, before we started, you said, uh, it’s minus 10 °F and not too cold, you said it’s not so cold, it’s minus 10. It’s minus 10 °C. So, so it’s about maybe minus four °F. No, that was Celsius. Ok. Ok. So it’s still, it’s probably five or six °F. So, it’s, it’s cool but it’s not, I love that. It’s cool. It’s cool. I consider cool to be 50. 50 is cool here in North Carolina. It’s, it’s funny, I was in Florida a number of years ago and a friend of mine kept saying it was cold at 50 degrees and I kept going, it’s cold at 50 degrees. I mean, try 20 boulevard when I got down there and it was 80 it dropped to 50. I said, yeah, it’s cold. Yeah. Well, of course, it’s all, it’s all relative. Right? If you start at 8050 is, that’s, that’s what I’m accustomed to. So, you’re in North Carolina? All right. Um, all right. So you’re a photographer and a, and a performance measurer. We’re gonna spend more time talking about performance measurement than photography. I hope that’s ok. That’s ok. Ok. You’ve written books on, you have a book on performance measurement. I feel like we should talk about that. Um There are other podcasts for uh for photography. So let’s let’s get people just acquainted with um what performance measurement is. What, what let’s make sure we just have a simple definition. OK. Sure. Um I, I’m gonna start with what it’s not, it’s not performance appraisal and most people make the assumption that when you’re measuring performance, you’re measuring it at the individual level with this performance appraisal. It’s not that it’s, it’s measurement at the organizational level and it can be measured at lots of different levels, it can be measured at. Um Here we have departments that have broken up the branches and records and you can mark, like I’d say most of my stuff is, is helping people measure at the director or the branch level. The government wide performance measurement approaches um For the most part don’t work very well. They give the client, they give the government’s plausible deniability, but they actually don’t give the people who are running the program, the information they need So what is it? It’s feedback, it’s feedback, it’s feedback on your program. It’s feedback on your, on your finances, on your people and on your clients. It, it actually would to, to make it, to give you a metaphor. Um It’s, uh it’s a navigation system. So you can imagine running a business in the public sector, you’re inundated with conflicting um, problems and issues that you have to navigate. So it’s kind of like driving a ship without a sonar and a radar system. You, you don’t know where you are. So the, the measurement system allows you to um navigate through all this and yet still maintain your course, which is to help your department or your branch or whatever it is, get to where they’re going. Um, and the type of feedback that you get, um, you know, you get, you, you basically the one that most departments are most interested in are the finances that is, are your operations cost effective. But you have to know if your programs are working. Um, and your services, I mean, when it comes down to it, the government, most governments, whether they’re public sector at the national state or the city level, spend half their money on people. Yeah. Well, we’re not, we’re not in the, we’re not in the government sphere. We’re, we’re in the, we’re in the nonprofit, you know, on the nonprofit side. So, yeah, so the nonprofit is, it’s probably similar, I mean, we spend half the money on people, half the money on programs, just, just the norm of it. Um So the navigate, it’s a navigation system that allows you to, to navigate through the ever changing willow of financial changes, cuts employee demands, plan changes and program program initiatives and, and, and so, so we can, all right, so we, we can do this at the program level, we can do this at the, at the macro organizational level. Um You know, our, our listeners may or may not have departments, um smaller, smaller shops aren’t going to have departments, but, but some of our larger listeners could very well have departments, um hospitals, colleges. So most of, most of the people I work for are running a program at a branch level or a or a record level and they uh can’t cope with the ever-changing flood of changes that come down from the department levels or, you know, from the, from the outside. And so this helps them to say, ok, we’re not doing this today. We’re doing that today, but we’re still going north um north being the strategic direction of the organization, your mission, your mission. Um And so, um you know, you get the, you know, the four pro project, you know, they call it the balance score card, which is, you know, your finances, your programs, your clients and your employees, you have to have that full picture because I mean, if you ignore your clients. Um, what are you doing? I mean, you, you, if you’re not satisfied who you, who you’re helping it doesn’t work and if your employees are just disgruntled, you have poor motivation, more poor productivity. Um, so to keep your people and your clients happy, then your programs and your finances usually work, work well. So that’s the way. So, uh, decision making, this is gonna help with decision making, identifying problems, which is gonna help you solve problems. Yeah. I mean, you know, when it comes down to it, um, um, the basic problem with those organizations is that they, um, they follow that bad practices, for example, they buy something that’s the cheapest. So, if I’m a big, uh, company and you buy, let’s say an, it, I mean, most of what government spends money on, are it information technology and large construction program. So that’s where they spend all their money, roads, bridges, uh, whatever, whatever it is. Um, and a lot of places like in Ottawa, for example, they bought, um, the, uh, a new transit system. Yeah. But again, we’re, you know, we’re on the nonprofit side so it’s not the government side but this is, it’s a city government. It’s, it’s, it’s still go and they, they bought a transit system, um, that says it’s been disastrous. I mean, they bought the parts from one place and they bought the rails from another and there’s the, the integration of the system doesn’t work So it’s been functioning very poorly um uh for, you know, for a number of years now and they spent like over a billion dollars and because they bought the cheapest solution. Um So there’s a lot of, a lot of things uh that people do in the public sector that are um endemic. They don’t, they don’t think about the consequences of doing it. It’s just, it’s a hoop. Oh my God, they just gave us a li a license to print money. Um So, um they get all their money on fixes and maintenance. And um this approach to performance measurement is, you know, it is written in this book and it, like I said, it applies to the nonprofit sector and like I said, a lot of the problems whether in the nonprofit sector, um is that the writing, the choices made in that sector are um ones that um if you were an individual, you would not make that choice. You, you would make it based on how the, the, the purchase of an it system or a new office or whatever would, would best suit your organization. Um That doesn’t happen in a lot of cases and it, it’s because um people don’t understand what measurement is. I mean, it’s a, it’s a go, it’s a, it’s an approach to making decisions based on a full spectrum of, of information that you require to run your organization on your finances, programs, your services, your employees and your clients, right? And we’re gonna, we’re gonna get into the, the process. I just want folks to understand that first at a higher level. And so this is, this is a continuous process too, right? This is not just something discreet, we do it and then we check a box and it’s, it’s done. This is an ongoing iterative iterative process. So for example, um the finances and program services are measured on a continuous basis. Usually you, you, you want to get reports, feedback on a monthly basis. Now on your clients and on your employees, that’s usually an annual measurement that you get uh on your clients is usually a client satisfactory survey for your uh for your employees. It’s usually an employee satisfactory survey. But then there’s also a lot of metrics related to staffing and uh that you want to take a look at as well. So that’s a yearly process. So different times, but it’s an on, it’s a, it’s a yearly ongoing process that process feeds back into your plan. You can adjust your plan based on that feedback to deal with the issues that are, that are uh revealed by the measuring and who’s involved in this. Uh I know it, it, it needs to be, it’s leadership driven obviously. So what, what, what leadership and, and who else besides leadership? There’s three groups that they get involved in this film. So the first one is that you need, I I call it leadership driven because it has to be sponsored by a leader. So if you are um in a directorate, you might have, uh or some point, you have to have the leader of that group be the sponsor of it. They introduce and make sure that um people feel comfortable doing it. Um Then, um you need the people who are your, that every organization has a planning and measurement unit within their group that feeds into the larger part of the organization or the organization as a whole. Um And then you have the programs and services who provide the information to you um on how they’re doing. So there’s three groups and they all have to be functioning um within each with each other. And um it works, like I said, it’s, it’s an ongoing process. Um When you started initially, people will say, well, I’m not comfortable with that, but again, they’re, they’re confusing performance appraisal, right? With perform measure. So that, that’s one of the big issues uh with it. Um There’s not much written on performance measurement um in terms of how to do it. Um And so that’s why the need for, that’s why the need for the book, the Leadership driven Method of Performance Measurement. Yeah, I mean, when I got into this, um I, you know, I started doing it. Um basically, um you know, I was trying to make sense of it. How, how would I improve performance measurement because everybody has one but not many of them work well. And um even in the outside of the not for profit, I mean, only very large companies have them. Now today you can see that changing um when you purchase things in the private sector, a lot of times you get a transaction based request for how did we do on this transaction? Somebody will give you a phone call or something. And so that that’s happening more, not so much in the not for profit sector because organizations are much smaller, they have less money. And so you have to make things simple. It’s time for a break. Open up new cashless in person donation opportunities with donor bucks live kiosk. The smart way to accept cashless donations anywhere, anytime, picture this a cash free on site giving solution that effortlessly collects donations from credit cards, debit cards and digital wallets. No team member required. Plus your donation data is automatically synced with your donor box account. No manual data entry or errors make giving a breeze and focus on what matters your cause. Try donor box live kiosk and revolutionize the way you collect donations in 2024. Visit donor box.org to learn more now back to performance measurement. So let’s let’s talk about your simplified process, the leadership, the leadership driven method. So you have these four phases. Is this uh so why are we talking about the four phases? So the first one is readiness assessment. Um Are you ready for its measurement? So you have to have some kind of a business plan that, that is measurable. So in that, in that case, um you need a vision, you know, where you’re gonna go, your mission part is what you have to do and then you have objectives, you have, you know, like the four parts, you have finances, the programs, the clients and the employees. So when you have those four pieces, you say, in order to understand what are the, what’s the feedback? And I, and I should mention that um another thing that, that always gets completely forgotten is that the feedback is at two levels. One are, what are your achievements? And the second one of your issues and the achievements part is universally forgotten. Um because in any organization, there’s always gonna be achievements, um things that happen that are good in, in, in the not for pro non for profit sector, um the achievements will be smaller but they’re still there. I mean, they’re fine. Yeah, we still, we still want to celebrate them. Yeah, I mean, you wanna, you wanna know what’s good? I mean, if and, and what people often forget in doing this is that you have achievements and they, they focus in on, on it’s kind of like daily news, you know, the only thing they focus on is on the bad stuff. They don’t say this person, say that person or, or whatever. And so like there’s a balance. So in the, in the four aspects of measurement, which are the finances, programs and people and the and the employees you have achievements and you have issues and you celebrate the issues and you, you celebrate the achievements and you deal with the issues. So it’s really important to understand that your feedback is of two kinds, achievements and issues. Issues are issues aren’t bad. Everybody has it. It’s just the nature of dealing with people and yeah, no, the the the bad part come, the bad part could come in, could come, hopefully it doesn’t but could and how you react to the issues, the obstacles, how does the organization deal with them and it doesn’t have to be bad. It could be very proactive and positive. Yeah, issues are things you have to deal with. They’re not good, they’re not bad. They just are right, but you need to reveal them through the leadership driven method to performance measurement. Exactly. So um if you understand that you get achievements and issues across four parts of the organization, you’re way ahead because most of what is measured is just finances are we cost effective, we need to move beyond that. So, so as part of these four phases that you have, we can this is very customizable, right to the to the organization. Yeah. So it’s really an art and a science, the art, the science is there’s a methodology we have 44 steps to building mement system. And the science is how you adapt that to the organization. You’re working for the art, the art is how you adapt it. Yeah, the art is how you adapt. Right. Right. OK. It’s funny when I was preparing for this, I’m going, how am I gonna um regurgitate this book? Well, that’s my, yeah, he’s Brian is holding up his book. Everybody’s not going to see the video, but that’s my job to help. You don’t, don’t, you don’t uh Yeah, I’ll, I’ll, you know, we’re gonna hit highlights and people want more detail, you know, their choices, they gotta buy the book. That’s why I, that’s why I said the book is at B PC gallery.com, Bravo, Papa Charlie, gallery.com. Uh going back to my Air Force days, Bravo, Papa Charlie Gallery. So, yeah, we, we can’t, we can’t, you know, it’s, it’s too technical. Um There are a lot of acronyms and phases and things, you know, but, but so, you know, don’t worry, we’ll, we’ll give, we’ll give folks an overview and those who, those who want to know more, they go forward and, and, and buy the book. So I, I want folks to know that this is uh it is, I’m glad you said it’s part art and part science and, and the art part is customizing this to your nonprofit. So the, the, the customizable part is, is um the things that, you know, how do, how do I make it fit your organization? Um What are the security requirements? What are the uh timing requirements? How does it fit your planning and uh measurement process, all that kind of stuff? How does that, how do I that this approach to measurement to make it something that’s self sustaining within the organization? In other words, it works like a machine. It just, it provides the feedback that you need. It spits out the, the finances on the programs every month and it spits out the people and the clients annually and then how does that be back into your planning process? So you can adjust your strategies and initiatives to deal with it and it, it’s an ongoing process because whatever you deal with now there’ll be something coming up later. It’s like a machine. Um you know, the machine keeps functioning and um, you know, that’s the, that’s the part that’s missing is often is that you deal with your finances but you’re upsetting your clients or you’re upsetting your employees or you know, something like that. Yeah, Brian, can you, can you share an example, uh a case study of an organization that you worked with that, that, that benefited from this or maybe they, they had a challenge and they didn’t really know what the problem was. Identify it and overcome it. Share a story. Can you actually, before I got into consulting, I ran two national volunteer organization, one was a Canadian 4h Council and one was a Canadian Ore Federation, which is a sport governing body. And in both cases, orienteering, I, when you said orienteering, I, when I was in boy scouts, I had orienteering merit badge. You had to find your way out of the woods with a compass and the southern. And, uh, I mean, the leaders weren’t too far away. I mean, they were, they didn’t drop you off in 1000 acres. You know. Uh, it wasn’t, it wasn’t survival. It was just orienteering. But yeah, we used the compass, the sun. Uh, you could measure heights, you could measure distances, things like that. Orienteering. Yeah. And, you know, and depending on where you live here, we live in the land of trees. You live, you live in the land of wide open spaces. So it’s a little when you have, I mean, you can see for, you know, for miles when I have the ocean, the ocean helps if I, if the ocean is on my right, I know I’m walking north. If it’s on my, it’s on my left. I know I’m walking south, which is actually not quite true because my, uh, that’s the way it would be if you would think the ocean, but my island is actually oriented east west. But I, in the normal course of ocean walking that that’s the way it would be. So, yeah. So I have, I have, I have a good, you know, it’s there every morning I wake up the ocean. Is there so I can orient myself pretty well. Yeah, when you’re in the trees you walk 2020 yards into the trees and you don’t have a compass, you’re lost. I mean, you could be walking in circles. You gotta know how to walk a straight line. Look at that next tree ahead, look at the next one ahead. I know all about. I had orienteering mud badge. So I know, I know. So you, so anyway, I was the first or I was the first guy that ran. So we had to do, we had to develop a business plan because we had nothing. I mean, we had paper clips and a desk and um then when we started that, um that was back long, long time ago. Um Then we started to say, ok, how, you know, we had a very small budget, we had to make sure we were cost effective. Uh We had programming services so we developed it from, from scratch and um it became very prepared to me very, very clearly that um I had to be very, very, um frugal with my money so that the, the organization can run. We had national championships. We have provincial championships. Um And then there would be a national national champion the first time that I went out orienteering. There’s, there’s like they, there’s like five or six levels and the one level where you get out of the trails is the orange level. And I was, uh, I had been oriented more than three or four months when I got out. And, and I remember this fellow from, um, Alberta and I was in this, uh, I was walking down, I know I was in the middle of a, a stream walking, um, with water up to my knees, not to my thighs. And I said, what are you doing? He said, well, we’re pulling the, uh, the, uh, flags up. I said, I haven’t finished yet and he said, well, it’s open and, and I’m going, don’t, don’t tell anybody. And so he said, you’re the guy, you’re the guy who takes 11 hours to run the New York City marathon. Well, if I could do it in 11 hours, I’d probably do it, but I did not run. Um, anyway, so I said, don’t say anything. And, uh, and I said, if you do, I’ll, I’ll get it. And as soon as we got into the, you know, back and everybody was in. This guy does not oriente, he’d never been orienteering his life. I found him and I said, how fast can you run? So, all right. So that was an embarrassing moment. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you, Kate. It’s time for Planned Giving Accelerator the 2024 course I’m promoting it. Now, the class is gonna begin in early March and it runs through the end of May will be done by Memorial Day. So no impinging on your summer plans. If planned giving is on your to do list, you wanna launch Planned Giving in 2024 or in the future, you can take the class and then apply everything later on. Then I would ask you to take a look at Planned Giving Accelerator over the 12 weeks. Uh We meet once a week for an hour over Zoom and I will guide you step by step how to launch Planned Giving fundraising. There’s also lots of peer support because I set up the weekly meetings as meetings in Zoom, not webinars. So you can talk to each other, you can talk to the other members of the class bonds form. People get to trust each other and talk about stuff that you might not talk about with. Uh Well, you certainly wouldn’t if it was, you know, somebody in a one off webinar, um the, the classmates Bond and there is a, a good amount of peer support too as well as the teaching that I’m doing each week. If you are interested in Planned Giving Accelerator, check it out at Planned Giving accelerator.com Aptly named. And if you’re interested in joining, you can use nonprofit uh the code Nonprofit Radio 1500. The numbers 1500, nonprofit radio, 1500 that will save you $1500 off the accelerator tuition in the month of January. So you have to join this month January to use that discount plan giving accelerator.com. That is Tony’s take two. Ok. Um, take a class and don’t forget to use the code nonprofit Radio 1500. Well, thumbs up. Absolutely. We’ve got just about a boatload more time. So let’s go back to performance measurement with Brian Shane. It, it got to the point where I said, ok, uh, and this is what, uh, sometime before the balance score card. But I realized I have to run this, like my own personal business. I have to understand my finances. I have to understand what I do my programs. How do I relate to, you know, we have a few employees but mostly volunteers. And, um, so I know I, I began from, or from that orienteering to develop the business plan and of course, nobody knew how to do a business plan back then. It was like more of an operational plan, which is, you know, a yearly basis. So we, I wanted a, a five year approach and so we use some facilitation to develop a business plan that people agreed to. And we started measuring it, um, measured our finances and, you know, we had a strict budget from the federal government here to run that organization. And, and it, it grew, I mean, we had, we had national championships, we had provincial championships and um, it, it grew now cheering is a very technical sport as you. I mean, you, you’re doing it with an ocean. But if you’re doing it in the forest, it’s different. I mean, you have, uh, you, you’re trying to find a flag in a forest and you’re running through meadows and trees and if you’re up here in Canada, you can’t go 10 ft without hitting a tree. I mean, at least on Ontario there are parts of it in the western part of Ontario that you could. But so it’s a very challenging sport and you can be lost and try and find something. So, so just so just so folks understand you, you’re given a set of directions to follow, right? The flag. So 214 m and at, at uh 86 degrees, right? So you have to measure distance and direction, right? And if you mess up, you, you, if you mess up at one step, you screw up the rest of the way pretty much because the is small right now. I know we’re not, yeah, we’re talking about a small flag, not a, not a national Canadian flag is flying 1000 ft high. So you’re given directions and distances and you got to follow the Yeah, and you follow the court. There is no course. I mean, you have to make your own way, given the directions you got and the people, the best of the Oriente are the people in Scandinavia, the Swedes and the Fins and the Norwegians. Um That’s the way it was back then, I’m not sure now. And anyway, we, we, uh, improved quite a bit in our ability to navigate and, uh, to, to do, to do this. But it tended to be people who were, uh, people who are cross country skiers or, uh, you know, people who enjoy the outdoors or people who, um, just the ordinary person orienting is this my thing that helps navigate. And so we do all the plan and we, we measure our finances and we measure our programs in terms of how many people we had and how we were compete, how we were competing and, and progressing against the Swedes and the people from Scandinavia. And we did well, I mean, um for a number of years, um I, I was only there for a couple of years but, you know, I laid the basis for them to um develop and, um, and like I said, that’s, that’s where I learned that, um, you know, I wanted to do project work, people work and get paid well. And, um, so I involved in, I didn’t know I was a consultant back then and that was way, way before. And so, and then I ran the four, the 4h club um was similar, but it was much more established. And, but let’s get into the insights that you, you gained from the performance measurement. How did that help you grow the organization? Well, we, we learned that we didn’t know how to compete with these, with these elite people. And, um, so we had to improve our training, we had to improve our orientation to it. Um We had the thing is that, um, so much work goes into actually providing the facility. We realized we did not have great facilities for intern. So we developed some courses in, in, in wooded areas, uh, you know, across Canada. So you have to have a diverse ST woods, you have to have ponds, lakes, you have to have uh you know, different things you can run to. It, it has to be um I think uh like a full uh Wareing courses like 1010 to 12 kilometers. So you gain these insights through the, through the performance measurement. When you uh you, you, you talk about uh after you do the data analysis, you have windows, you have these windows of sort of insight, talk about like the organizational climate, window, business planning, talk about the, the, the, the windows that you gain, that gain you insight into your operations after you’ve done the, the data analysis. So at, at, at, at one point in the year, there’s a planning and measurement cycle. So um that was usually uh just after we got our budget in April. So at that point, I knew that I had to have the information on how we did in our programs and services, finances were easy because they’re trapped financially. Um Then I had to get insight into how we were doing in terms of employees. It wasn’t that many, it was only like 20 but I mean, there were provincial offices and there were, you know, those 10 provinces, most provinces had offices. So I had to get insight how we were doing with our employees and with our clients. And like I said, our clients, people who did orient here tended to be cross country skiers, marathon runners, that kind of thing. And when we got all that data, we, we said, ok, how can we improve our competitiveness? How can we improve the number of people who are actually doing it? Um And we did, and so we, you know, our championships got better. We had um many more people playing. So in an orienteering event, you would have six or seven levels and we would, so the first level would be just, well, let’s go, Brian, let’s go a little broader, you know, outside the, outside the orienteering organization. But, but generally, what will, what will nonprofits gain generally from the, from the windows, these windows that you identify around organizational climate, business planning governance. So the main thing you’ll get in a nonprofit is you’ll be more cost effective because you, you in, in a nonprofit. Um you know, like I said, I ran two of them, you have to be almost 100% sure that when you’re making an investment that it’s the right investment, whether it’s on facilities whether it’s on an it system, new employees. So you make sure you’re cost effective and, and make sure your programs work because if they don’t work, you don’t get any, you don’t get any return for your investment. So those are the two things now that the employees, you have your employees, it tends to be a lot different because you have very few employees compared to um public sector or private sector. So your employees, you know, but you also need to understand who your, who your clients are. So they’re stratified in order cheering or in most, in most um nonprofit into, you know, the people who are doing a lot of your stuff and the people who are not doing that are doing sort of the 8020. And so you get more people, more people involved, whether, you know, whatever kind of uh nonprofit it is, and a lot of them tend to be health related, they tend to be uh activity related and you just want to get more people involved because you believe in what you’re doing. And uh whether it, like I said, whether it’s health, whether it’s uh an activity or sport or whatever, it doesn’t really matter. I mean, you, you need to get people to see the advantage of what you’re doing and, and, and, and join in now um in the orienteering, you realize that the biggest advantage would be um trying to get people to, you know, find stuff and it was, uh, and, and this is taken off. Now there’s a lot of this, it used to be car rallies but there’s all kinds of things where people try to find stuff and they have to use drawing skills to find it. And in Canada, the States you can’t go in the woods if you, I don’t care, you get, you’ll get lost in our national, in our national parks. Right. I, I like that. You, uh, you know, and you analogize this to a navigation system. Uh, so that, uh, you know, you, you, your understanding as, as you’ve said, you know, your finances, your clients, your programs and your employees, I think, uh, I think that’s, I think that’s valuable for folks. Um, just, uh, you know, just leave us with, uh, inspiration for why we should take this to heart performance measurement. Um, you know, it, it comes down to, um, when you’re running a nonprofit, um, you do it for the love of it and you see how it’s affected your life and you want to share that insight with other people and the only way you can do it is to prove that what you’re doing actually works. And you see, um, you’ll see people who come and say to you that, um, if you had introduced me to this, I would never believe that I could have actually improved myself. And, um, a lot of what you’re doing in, in non profit is you’re improving your mental aspect of some part of your existence. It might be a physical, it might be, um, like some aspect, it might be like a really technical thing. It might be, it might be a really small thing, but that’s what I found is that I was able to show people and, and especially when I was working authoritarian, a limited budget that, you know, we actually had an, we actually had a measurable impact on improving our programs here. We had 50 people or 100 people in our last national championship. This time we had 500. All right. All right, we’re gonna, that’s the enormous, enormous, uh enormous progress from 10 times. All right. Thank you very much. The, the book is the leadership driven method to performance measurement. You will find it at B PC bravo, Papa Charlie gallery.com. You’ll find Brian on linkedin, Brian. Thank you very much. Thanks Tony. Next week. Team engagement tips. That guest got back to Tony second after Brian Shane. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at Tony martignetti.com were sponsored by donor box, outdated donation forms blocking your supporters, generosity, donor box, fast, flexible and friendly fundraising forms for your nonprofit donor. Box.org. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. I’m your associate producer, Kate Marinetti. The show’s 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 be with us next week for nonprofit radio, big nonprofit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.