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Beth Kanter, Carrie Rice & Meico Whitlock: Tech Mindfulness
Our Nonprofit Technology Conference panel wants you to avoid technology burnout or overcome it if you’re already there. They have mindfulness advice for your entire office, your teams and you. They are Beth Kanter, Carrie Rice from Carrie Rice Consulting and Meico Whitlock of Mindful Techie.
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent i’m your aptly named host oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be forced to endure the pain of zoho iq andthe assis if you stung me with the idea that you missed today’s show tech mindfulness our non-profit technology conference panel wants you to avoid technology burnout or overcome it if you’re already there, they have mindfulness advice for your entire office, your teams and you. They are beth cantor carry rice from carry rice consulting and miko whitlock of mindful techie and fringe benefits trigger you b i t tax law now requires your non-profit to pay unrelated business income tax on parking and commuting expenses you provide for your employees. Our legal contributor, jean takagi shepherds you through the new land he’s, principal of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law firm i’m tony, take two, show your gratitude. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant radio by wagner, cpas guiding you beyond the numbers wagner, cps, dot com and by tell us turning credit card processing into your passive revenue. Stream tony dahna slash tony tello’s here’s our panel on tech mindfulness welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc you know what that is? It’s the two thousand eighteen non-profit technology conference coming to you from the convention center in new orleans. This interview, along with all our eighteen, ninety si interviews, is sponsored by network for good, easy to use donorsearch and fund-raising software for non-profits my guests right now are beth cantor carry rice and miko whitlock welcome all three of you. Thanks for having us. Our pleasure, my pleasure. Thank you very much. Carrie with cantor is master trainer, speaker, author, blogger and her latest book is the happy, healthy non-profit carry rice is principal at carry rice consulting, and miko whitlock is founder and ceo of mindful tiki. All right, your workshop topic is had a conker technology distraction and burn out and be more present for yourself, team and organization. All right, that’s pretty lofty presents. I feel like starting right in the middle. Carrie, we’re not so president so often, are we? Well, we broke up our session into our presence for ourselves, our presence for our team and our presence. For our overall organization, that was my focus was really about what are we doing to make it possible for those of us who aren’t members of the paid staff necessarily to remain present for the organization in a way, that’s not pushing them past their use of technology in a mindful way that to their own benefit as well as for the organization. Okay, so so each of you, i guess, has has ah, part of this three tiered presentation. Is that correct? Yes. Okay. So then carry is the organization, right? Isn’t in the organization. Okay, the host needs some notes to keep this straight. And beth was yours. Climb the we the wean? Yes, ourselves that we being of teams or internal organization staff working together. Okay. And, miko, what is your part of this? The eye, the individual? Oh, you’re the individual. Okay. Okay. So how do beth and carry distinguish the two? The two years of years the organization so you’re outside the organization, extra marries outside the organization and remaining being present. And you’re here in the internal. Okay. Got it. Yeah, i do. Alright. So far. I hope i don’t lose it. I got it? Okay. We’re also trying to overcome tech burnout. You’re we’re all concerned about tech burn out what’s the trouble here, rico? Well, the trouble is twofold. So one is what i described his intention deficit disorder, where we have a lack of clarity about what it is. We’re actually focus on it in a particular moment. I don’t think that’s a crazy coin. I mean, i think that’s out there is an attention deficit disorder. Intention? Oh, intention. Attention. Oh, well, i’m glad i okay. Intention. Definite deficit disorder. I’d yes idea. Okay. I made that clear. Yes. And so part of the work i do is around people to take a step back and really reflect on what it is that you’re trying to do in particular the context of a non profit organization, what’s your role. And what are you pushing in terms of the actual mission and the outcomes for this one aspect of it? The other aspect of it is that we have to recognize that the technology is designed in such a way that is intentionally draining our attention. Right? So is, you know, we have push notifications that are set up by default, for example. For social media, for our mobile devices. And we have to understand that that’s intentional. But they’re also ways for us to control that we can turn off those modifications. We canoe certain absent applications to regain our attention, to be more present. But those are sort of two aspects of it lack of intention and then also the intentional effort by companies to actually take and hold and keep our attention. Attention. Okay, thank you. And welcome back to non-profit radio. Thank you. And i talked in twenty sixteen and the other person on the panel who i spoke to in twenty sixteen was best cancer. We’re talking about your was then your new book? Yes. Ok. Healthy non-profit healthy non-profit, which is still you can still get it. It’s. Not like it’s out of print or anything. But in twenty sixteen, it was new. And your co author wass lisa sherman. He’s a sherman. Is she here? Not this year, but this year. Okay. And how is this work today? Different than what we talked about in twenty sixteen and happy, healthy number off it. Well, if we go back to that radio program in your archives, we talked about self care and taking care of ourselves and talk on a culture of well being. So this is a subset of it on dh specifically how staff working together can be highly productive unless distract less distracted and get their works done. And i think what we’re faced with is something called collaborative overload, which is back to back meetings, too many emails, too many platforms, and that keeps us from getting things done. So a lot of what i talked about is how could you be more intentional about your work together to combat this distraction? Okay, we’re cement wristing phrases that lack of intention intension deficit disorder, collaborative overload. Carrie, did you come with the special phrase? Welcome to non-profit a radio is very ous a newcomer. Welcome, i always surround myself with the best, so you’re you’re non-profit radio. Exactly. I’m a non-profit radio way with you and beth in mikko doesn’t get much better than that. Um, well, i come from a world where my branding is called empathetic non-profit management, which is basically that all the stakeholders of the organisation should be treating each other the same way that we treat the recipients. Of the services that we provide so the empathy that we have towards the poppies or the homeless people, we provide the same level of empathy tours, donors towards board members towards members that we’re looking at each of those groups through that same empathetic lens. And so by doing that, and then combining that with technology it’s about changing the expectation of what we do internally on our team or what we do is individuals based on the work that meeko is suggesting that we’re saying, well, maybe that doesn’t all apply to the external stakeholders who aren’t actually getting paid to do the work that we’re doing as professional does not okay, there’s a lot here, we’re gonna unpack it. I’m the remedial person on the panel, okay? Because you all have been thinking about this for years, or at least, you know, it’s, right? I mean, years or at least months in collaborating around this on the newcomer. Well, same way. Okay. Right. Well, ok. I want everyone thinking out of an average. Okay, on average are so you’re quick learner. So bring me along. Yeah. Be respectful. Okay. Uh, it’s. Time for a break. Pursuing they have a new paper, the digital donation revolution how do you keep up in our one click to buy amazon world? Can you use more revenue? A loaded question? The paper has five online fund-raising tactics proven to work and save money proven tactics you will find the digital donation revolution on the non-profit radio listener landing page. Tony dahna slash pursuing radio now back to tech mindfulness look, i don’t know where should we go? I want to start with the i’d like to start with the i actually down the end. Okay, i will start the individual. This the lack of intention this is all around helping us to stay focused right now so that we can be more mission successful ways all it’s all for the good of the of the of the social yes, there’s the societal good. But if we don’t bring it down to the if we don’t start with the individual, we can’t be maximally efficient in helping change the world. Yes, my yeah. Is that a decent contacts i put in an early yes, and so it it starts. I use a framework to people to sort of have ah place to go when they get distracted, right? So distraction is inevitable. So we’re talking about is getting a tool, a framework that they can walk through. It starts with understanding your why or your purpose. So why you showing up? Why are you committed to the work that you’re doing and then understanding based on your based on your wine, your purpose? What your actual goals? And you might have many goals that you’re focused on any point in time. And once you identify what your goals are, you actually prioritize because he recognized that with multitasking were actually mohr effectively be focused on a few things, that we’re not very good. Multi taskers, actually, are we even though we think we are what there’s actually wait, i thought we were not. Are we? Am i wrong? Well, you could say i’m wrong, i’m wrong. Why? In the technical sense, one way you could talk to this is not only me and nico, am i wrong about them? I’m walking about multitasking, i thought we were not really, truly you can’t really multi task exactly on what it when you’re doing two different task, your brain is just switching back between. The two on every time it switch treyz delays, and it also uses up brain cells and raises quarters all of cortisol levels that raises cortisol levels. So i was right. Okay, how come nobody said i was right? I am going to tell you that i think you’re right. It depends on the way to find monisha audiocasting so silent when i know for me i was seeking information that wasn’t next time, i’ll give it to him as long as it’s deserved. I mean, of course, it’s wrong if i’m wrong say, i’m wrong, but if i’m right jump on it, you know, it doesn’t happen that often. There you go, give credit where credit is, tio. Yeah, i actually like transitioning between projects, it’s just that for me i have to set aside an amount of time that works best for me to make those transition and that time is probably more than ninety second i s actually it is more than ninety seconds. Another thing about multi tasking is it takes you several seconds to re find yourself. We acquaint yourself with the task that you left, but you’re not going back to that could take his lorts nine or ten seconds for more, you know, when you’re like bouncing just quickly. I mean, it could take it could take ten minutes if you were writing something, you know, if it is a bigger piece or something. All right, because it’s not just the switching cost is also the cost of actually getting back to the place where you left off, right, and then take some time, they sort of speed up again, right? Right. Okay. Okay. All right. So good. We’re focusing on the on the you know what? I have a question for you, though. Sure. How does the eye how does what you’re describing relate to what carries part of this is she’s here you’re talking about carrie, talk about the individual as off site worker or as a as a consultant to the organization, but you’re also talking about individual. How do your how do your topics today differ? Well, i was so that they overlap, and so when we talk about why we’re talking about obviously, the individual right organizations are not just things they’re made up of people and the same thing when we talk about boards and other external stakeholders, we’re talking about people and individually way have to be able to show oppa’s out best cells so that collectively, when we come together, we can maximize our collective right, carrie okay, carrie where’s the overlap, right? So if someone were following amigos presentation yesterday about thie ability to say yes and to be able to say no with intentionality, then i want a board member who feels comfortable saying no to me because then when they say yes to me, i know they really mean it because i know that they have the skill set to say my schedule is too busy to be doing that right now or it doesn’t fit into my why of why i’m involved with this organization specifically. Okay. Okay. Um, i saw you nodding. You wanted you wanted anything with beth that’s about this promise not to swear this time you can go back, tio? No, it was twenty sixteen. Or was it fund-raising day in new york city, so, like twenty, fourteen or something? My boys just cracked fourteen and the two thousand thirteen thirteen remember better than okay. Two thousand thirteen fund-raising day n y c and best drop the f bomb, but she promised not to do now because i have affiliate stations that are governed by the fcc way, we can’t use the seven, we can’t use the seven words that george carlin had a lot of fun with, okay, okay, in any case, the whole context or yeah, long term listeners will remember best dropping everything twice in the same, the same discussion that certainly new visitors can go to your archives. Thirteen was only on one time that year, you find cantor at twenty martignetti dot com get the twenty thirteen appearance from fund-raising day in new york city. Okay, with that contact. Well, there’s something you want to add to the discussion. So, yeah, i think the collaborative overload is made up of four, four things the four piece and they’re not bad words. I don’t get what you don’t sow planning, planning priorities, being president and then people. So our relationships, interaction with staff and how we work together, communicate and collaborate on projects can lead to burn out in stress and certainly having, you know, just for example, let’s say my phone’s here, right? Yeah. This is like techno fear in ce and a bunch of people are doing this at a staff meeting it’s getting in the way of getting things done. We’re not giving each other our full attention and intentionality. I even considered that maybe you have a word for this cycle of insulting, well talking techno fear with techno parents? Yeah, insulting technology. A little offended you? No, i’m not talking in a meeting and people were picking up their phones. I’d rather they walk out this way. I think they’re going to the bathroom and i’m not tracking their time, so they’re gone for fifteen minutes do-it-yourself trouble may i’d rather they leave and come back and do it while i’m talking. But here’s the thing and it’s a lot of what i talked about in terms of the week. We have to be intentional about the way we’re working together. So if there are work and we’re being explicit at a meeting, we’re not checking our phones during the meeting or a technology unless it’s supporting the technology or else it’s a device free meeting. Okay, all right, so waken new can help with policies. Ground rules were also are also trying. Teo set norms that have to do with acknowledging riel life happening. So for me, some having someone come into a staff meeting and say, i’m waiting to find out if my father’s okay in the hospital. So i’m going to be looking at my phone during the meaning of exception exactly, but sat having that norm set so that someone is sneaking away to look at their phone and distracted from the meeting, but to be able to share with the members of the team. This is why i’m distracted right now i’m doing the best i can than everybody else khun give that person support and make them more successful. I agree, and then the knot intentionality around it. Here’s the reason why? Okay, okay were rough about halfway through and we we’ve talked around way talked about this. Why this is important. I want to spend time on strategies. What is our listeners? They’re in small and midsize non-profits how can they apply this work to them? Or if they are an outsider? Or maybe even a virtual employees carry reitman might you’re you’re part of this. I told myself i also applied a virtual employees. Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, i don’t want to drill down through yeah, yeah, and specifically, when it comes to technology wellness with external stakeholders, my rule is simplicity is that sometimes the complicated solutions like using, for example, slack for us to keep track of our conversations for a lot of people who don’t work in a corporation or in an office or in a non-profit they don’t know anything about that program, so coming up with a simpler solution and saying, oh, let’s, just use google chat or let’s, just use text messaging or something like that it’s a simpler solution for an external stakeholder than an internal stakeholder like the teams that that’s talking about where you can actually say, okay, everybody needs to get up to speed on this particular technology, but it’s really hard to do that when it’s someone who is a donor or a boardmember or an external consultant or someone who’s working off site, so you’d probably rather i didn’t say we’re willing it down for the lowest common denominator. I prefer not to use that phrase whenever possible, but i will i’ll stick with simplicity because that people keep it simple, silly, i won’t say stupid keep it simple, silly. Okay, good enough. Miko, how about cem cem, drill down tto strategies. Teo, you know, overcome this tech burnout. So the first thing i will say is that not every solution is a digital technology solution. And so starting with just taking time to really get clear about your intentions and as i was saying, establishing norms in terms of policies around how you actually meet and how technology is involved or not in those meetings and using the time at the beginning of the meeting just run through really quickly. Hey, guys, this is what we agreed to. No cellphone today. Is everyone okay with that and running through it that way? Don’t think i was out, and that would be the time to raise your hand and say my father’s in the hospital. I do. I’m doing the best i can. Okay. Okay, so but if you’re looking for a technology solution, there are a number of aps out there that are really cool that really help you too be clear about their intention and to help you not to spend as much time on your device is doing things that aren’t moving your mission. Or your wife forward. So i think a moment for example, moment is an app that you can download for the iphone and for android moment, yes, moments ok? And it simply keeps track of how often you’re actually using your phone and how often you’re actually using different aps. And so you can look at the data that you’re getting from this and actually haven’t awareness. Oh, i’m spending two hours a day on facebook. I’m spending three hours, you know, looking at instagram like us five hours out of my day. Maybe i could be spending that time doing something else so that simple awareness could be oh, really begins to instigate a shift in behavior. Okay, okay. Strategy strategy for the we the team one one one that’s real popular’s tohave an email charter which includes things like what is your policy around after hours emails which can cause a lot of stress. It’s not so much the amount of time it’s this sense that you’re on call all the time it’s just it’s just the just the existence of it. Right? So having a really formal policy about, you know, for normal business email, i mean emergencies and disaster relief and all that it’s an exception way. Don’t expect youto at reply to your email right away between seven p m and seven a m sometimes it takes, you know, making sure that the senior leadership understands this and is modeling that behaviour as well. Yes, i know it does not. If not c e o on down buy-in none of these strategies, they’re going to be our gonna be adopted, right? Exactly those exceptions ceo is allowed to look at her phone during the meetings. The whole thing crumbles, right? I mean, we got nothing to bases, all right? And that came up in our session as well. Someone asked that my ceo’s looking at the phone all the time and what i know there’s so many things i want to implement, but i can’t and i ask that person well, do you manage a team? She said, my senior management won’t listen to me and i said, you managed to team and i said, yeah, just your team listen to you well, most the time they said we’ll create that culture on your team exact change. You can change the way we roll yet. Okay, okay. That came out and came out on the previous conversation today to try to think about what the the context of that was. Oh, it was trying to get buy-in from above, actually way. Label them buy-in bitches. Bitches is okay. All right, all right, all right. It is ok. Carrie and laura, i think they’re very good team. They’re very good together that used to be at the humane society of us. And anyway, we dump them two buy-in bitches, but one of them said, if you can’t, you can’t make them get get the buy-in above. Then manage what you can on your on your team. So same same idea and then show it off to you know, when your boss sees how productive your name is being, they say what’s the secret why’s your morale so good, why is your productivity so good? And then you’re able to say, because we we managed expectations, we set norms and you’re actually you’re managing up and there was another, another instance that came up with in this case, it was a consultant, mike. My clients expect me to respond to them right away. How do i address? That expectation and it’s kind of well, you. If you reply, you set up the expectations. We know you break the norms. Yes. You know, when that you teach people how to treat you essentially you notice that the boundaries early? Yeah, yeah. Beth is right the first time if you respond immediately, that’s that’s the rule and that becomes, however, if you reply with or if you maybe make make a call instead of replying with email, you know, i don’t i don’t do after hours. I don’t do after eight p m e mails or whatever. I mean, i you know, i have my own life. You said the boundaries of the expectations early and i ninety nine people out of a hundred going to respect that, i think. And i read it it’s in my consulting contracts, actually, that i only do work between norvig snusz hours. Okay, well, you’re the mindful technique. You if your story miss up and get off that shot his mic off. Great, but but i saw kivi, larry miller speak recently if bloom khan and she was talking about the types of roles where we want to be responsive to our members in real time, and so having there be certain members of your staff who have a different work schedule where they’re in the office only twenty five hours a week and then they’re available evenings and weekends fifteen hours a week to be checking so that if someone posts and says, oh my gosh, what do i do about my dog there’s someone who can respond in real time and say, we can’t help you with that? Why don’t you try calling this emergency number but that they don’t have to work full time in the office if they’re going to be available during alternative hours? That’s something that they actually negotiate with their workplace and the expectations air managed and that it actually works really well? Kibby it was an example that give you gave, and i thought that was it great way of thinking of it when we do want to be able to be responsive during weird times, that’s also has implications across time zones yes, yeah, likewise world where the people on the west coast what’s the expectation and carrying your you know, maybe you’re a consultant to a virtual employees on the west coast. Are you? Are you expected to be up and working at six a? M or do you work the hours of your zone? There are policies that cuts both ways, right? But what are what is our policy? That’s when it gets back to the normal? No, we need to go with the norms are what the ground rules are. Yeah. What’s bloom con it’s a balloon khanna blew the bloomerang unconference they do a column around here? Yeah, yeah. Bloomerang does an educational conference, which i know a lot of other vendors do as well so that their their clients are actually getting a lot of information as well as using excellent products, you know, across the board. Okay, that j lo j love involving bloomerang, i guess founded bloomerang. Actually, i think he’s been on the show. A lot of good people now and even more good people. Like i said, i only i only surround myself with the best company. All right, you can place carrie. You still got a couple minutes left. Let’s. Go back to yumiko. You got another another strategy. Tip tool. Best practice? Yes. So you can take control when you come to digital vices like your tablets in your mobile devices, you can actually take control so the defaults might be set to push notifications to you. For example, every time you get an email every time someone likes a post on facebook, but you can actually adjust those setting so that you’re not getting pained every time. Is it really necessary to get a get a email every time somebody likes a post your comments on it? Is it really? That is a really essential? Is it essential? I don’t, i think not. Right? Well, israel, i imagine that could be circumstances where i might be the case. If you’re managing social media on behalf of her brand, maybe it does make sense if you’re monitoring comments, but as an individual, maybe not if it’s, especially if it’s getting in the way of you getting meaningful work. Okay. Okay. Excellent. So look at those defaults. Yes, because the platforms want you engaged. Exactly. Uh, that’s how they make their money? Yes, yes. Yeah. Linked in with the with the what is like that you can you can vote somebody with you. Give somebody a endorsement. Endorsement? Yes, with the endorsement. Oh. My god, it’s rampant? What do i mean? That first of all, they’re meaningless. It’s just an engagement hook. Yes, i think. All right, we don’t need to be notified. I’m obviously i’m sure you’re sharing my bias. Uh, sorry. Okay, but its host. No, no smiling. Now, you don’t think it is all right. Listeners are accustomed to this he’s rants. Okay, another strategy. Ground of something else we can do within the organization. Uh, what? What could we do? Root. Nice reflection. Okay, right out. How are your liberation? Okay, so, uh, because the stress and burnout is what i call fired-up leadership, our fire drill culture, which is basically oh, my god. The grants to tomorrow. All hands in the conference room let’s, get this done and and kind of if there are fired rell’s, you know which happened? It’s having the discipline toe push the pause button and figure out, is there a bigger systems issue or something we can address toe? So we don’t have this fire drill next time. Yeah. Weekly fire drills latto program. No, no one. And it pulls people off their work. It creates a lot of stress. And if the leader has that fire drill, leadership, culture, it’s, the shrill voice. It just causes a lot of stress. Yeah, and that’s, not productive, it’s giving me. I got a chill. I mean, i got a i got a physiological reaction, just as you were, and i didn’t even do it. And full fire drill voice. She didn’t run around or anything. I think it is all my fault. Okay, excellent. Zoho what about you said you call that routinized reflection? Yes. Ok. Ok. What about what about in the organization? Dahna dahna i don’t know. A collective time together. Devoted collective time. That’s not devoted to work. Well, i was kind of other reflection or something. Well, well, two things too quick. Tips. Okay, so so there’s the five wise, which is an exercise. When the fire drill happens, sit down with the team, do a twenty minute brainstorm. Why did this happen? Oh, because we didn’t have the grant on the calendar. So why did that happen? Oh, well, we don’t have a grantspace started before you drilling down, asking why? Why? Why? Why so that’s a really good practice? We actually find out the root cause we’re right through all the symptoms, right? If your record and try to fix it, thie other one is because we have bad time management tools were not using time management tools or headline management, right? Well, saliva flying there that’s mine. You know, sex on that time i was on the table didn’t hurt anybody. Okay? And the other thing is having look ahead. Rituals and ah, latto non-profits do this many don’t just like looking at you probably do this because you’re scheduling what’s coming up the next quarter, the next month, one organization that i know they have stopped days and stop days are they don’t have any internal meetings that one day a month, it’s actually a development team, and they work on getting that deep thinking done the creative planning, finishing up the proposal they didn’t right so it’s not filled with all the meetings and deadlines and stress. Carrie, i’m gonna give you the last shot. Unbelievably, this is we’re almost done last last tool tip strategy tech. I mean, idea what what you got both of my tools would be empathy and empathy. It would be self empathy. It would be taking a moment and assessing yourself and looking at all the expectations you have for yourself and others have for yourself and then empathizing and really thinking about what you’re actually going through. And then every other stakeholder you work with just walking a mile in their shoes and just imagining what’s challenging them. And how can you make it easier for them as well? The empathetic, empathetic also. Thankyou. All three. Very much. This one flew. Flew. Sometimes i gotta pull teeth. This one. Not like that. Okay, they are beth cancer, master trainer, speaker, author, blogger carry rice principal carry race consulting mika whitlock, founder and ceo mindful techie. And you are with non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc this interview sponsored by network for good, easy to use dahna management and fund-raising software for non-profits. Thank you so much for being with us. Need to take a break, wagner. Cps before they go beyond the numbers, they cover the essentials for you. Nine ninety and your audit. Check them out at wagner cps dot com. You get to know them in one dimension on the screen. Then go three d real life. Pick up the phone. Talk to the partner. You huge tomb. Or of course, you can use the contact page on the site. If you prefer. I like to talk to people. I like to get on the phone with you. Very nice guy. Not going to let you down. Wittner, cpas, dot com they will take care of you and your auditing. The end accounting needs. Jean takagi is coming up now. It’s, time for tony’s. Take two. I hit this last week, the ninety six year old secretary um i didn’t know who writes this crap. I didn’t hit the ninety six year old secretary she’s already dead. But i did mention this last week and i should write this. I need an intern to blame. She this woman gave eight million dollars to two non-profits in her will had very unassuming lifestyle all of our old life. Nobody knew that she was anywhere near ah millionaire, you know, able to give away eight million dollars in her will. Ah, my takeaway from this is in the video, the little teases i want you to show gratitude toe all your donors. She was not a donor, but she could have been. And she if she had been, she would have been very modest. So that’s sort of a tease. Take a look at the video at twenty martignetti dot com leinheiser love we got we got we got tons where’s it going to it’s going tio let’s start with cambodia and ottawa, canada you’ve been with us a few times. Ottawa welcome back. Germany, gooden tog gergen, india i’m sorry. I can’t i don’t know. How to say hello in indian but the live listener love goes to you brooklyn, new york that is not foreign att least not in my in my book, maybe from people in queens. It is taipei, taiwan ni hao where’s our china. No one in no one checking in from china today. Um, bring it back to the u s, tampa, florida, brooklyn, new york, multiple new york, new york get the to get the two borrows know staten island, queens bronx not checking in today. San francisco, california is with us washington, d c and new bern, new bern, north carolina. The live love goes toe all each and every live listener and the podcast pleasantries that the vast majority of our audience over twelve thousand listeners each week the podcast pleasantries to you. Whatever. However you fit it into your schedule, you binge listen. Six hours on a time on on sundays, pleasantries to the podcast listeners and the affiliate affections to our am and fm station listeners throughout the country. I’m grateful that your station carries us in your schedule and i’m grateful that you are listening. Analog analog will never die. I don’t care what anybody says analog is not going to die am and fm listeners affections to you now it’s. Time for fringe benefits trigger you b i t i i i can hear his heart beating it’s racing. He knows he’s coming in and he’s jean takagi he is managing attorney of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco. Of course he’s, our legal contributor he edits the non-profit the popular non-profit law blogged dot com you should you should be bookmarking that are subscribing to that non-profit law block dot com he’s the american bar association’s twenty sixteen outstanding non-profit lawyer he’s at g tak welcome back, team takagi. Thank you, tony, how are you? Hey, you’re coming in booming. I love it. I’m doing very well. Thank you. Thank you, it’s. Good to talk to you, it’s. Been it’s been some time? I think it’s it feels like it’s been too long. I don’t know what has been but it feels like it. Welcome back. Thank you so much. Great to be back, tony. Thank you. So we’re talking about ah, cem cem tax law changes one specifically regarding is narrow category of fringe benefits and you be i tv. Ah, unrelated business income tax. We haven’t even talked about this for quite some time years. So remind us what unrelated business income tax is. Please? Sure. I mean it’s a great starting point. Because, um, a lot of folks have never had to deal with it before. And i are going all of a sudden have to have to have to deal with it now. But generally speaking, the unrelated business tax is on income tax that’s imposed on unrelated business trade income, which is income from a trader business that’s regularly carried on. So basically, with the same frequency and continuity is for-profit would do it. And that’s not substantially related to the organization’s advancement of its own charitable or other five a onesie three purpose unrelated business taxable income. That’s what? What? The income tax is going to hit now that people call it. You bit right, cubine? Yeah. Cubine for unrelated business tax. The acronym? Yeah. I’m wondering why it’s not a bit. Because it’s it’s unrelated to not eun it’s, not eun related. So i was. As i was thinking about this, i may adopt a bit you can stick with. You but if you want to be a dinosaur but the trend is moving now because one data point creates trend. It’s now moving toward a bit. Okay, so, quite roll off the tongue is nicely, but it really doesn’t. I think it’s coming is better because it’s unrelated itt’s a it’s, a sin tactically, grammatically, you know. Ah, naturalistic. All right, um all right. So, wait. So we have taxes on we have in minor ways or in, in narrow ways has put it that way in narrow ways on tax exempt organizations because the irs says that they’re primarily tax exempt, right? That what’s up. Yeah, well, i think what they are, they’re tax exempt on income from donations and on income from related activities that those air activities that substantially contribute to advancement of their their charitable purposes, and we never look at how their profits are deployed. So if, for example, a social services organization runs the coffee shop that had nothing to do with job training or anything like that, it was just ah, they bought a franchise coffee shop and they were making money. But using all the profits to go back into the social service stuff. That’s still unrelated, so any earnings coming out of that business would be taxable. Okay, um, and this gets to the three pronged test you mentioned it’s, trader business regularly carried on and, uh, not substantially related to the organization’s exempt purpose. That’s. Right. Ok, ok, we may. We may come back to these because i want to i want to get to the crux of this thing, and then i wanted tear it apart a little bit. I have a lot questions about why, why we’re getting, why, why this is being imposed on us. It doesn’t seem to fit, so you’re going to help you, khun, help all of us out. Hopefully, other people are questioning this, too. Although it’s, too late, it’s not like this is a proposal, i mean, it’s, it’s. A done deal. You have to deal with this thing so so if you have a bit liability, then you have to calculate how much tax you owe to the irs each year. Is that right? That’s? Right? So you’re gonna have to pay now, it’s a flat rate of twenty one percent attack on your puppet and you have to file. Thank you, john. Thank you for that thousand dollars arm or of of the unrelated business taxable income you’re going to have to file form nine, ninety with the irs, so that goes along with your regular form nine ninety siri’s filing, and this is important because this is going to hit churches as well that otherwise don’t have to file nine nineties, but if they’ve got unrelated business taxable income of a thousand dollars or more now they’ve got a file in nine ninety and paid twenty one percent tax on it. Oh, very yes, very interested, right. Churches are exempt from the nine ninety requirement, but now they’re going to file this nine ninety t assume t is for tony handup pick up. Okay? Yes. Interesting churches were swept into the nine. Ninety requirement under this. All right, what? They’ve always say if they if they had over a thousand dollars about unrelated. They always had to file this. But we’re creating new sources of this. We’re gonna have a lot more organizations and that’s. Why it’s important for churches to be aware of it now as well. Interesting. Yes. All right. Let’s, let’s. Get to the crux of it. What is the new source? What are the new sources that we are here talking about today? New sources of of it. So this all stems from what’s known as the tax cuts and jobs act on dh that’s basically congress’s new tax act. So i think most of us and we on an earlier show we talked about the tax reform act that hit and started to apply as of january first of this year two thousand eighteen. So under this tack fact there’s several provisions that affected non-profit on tax exempt organizations and one of these had to do their several that applied to to the labbate unrelated business income tax. But one particular thank you. Thank you very much. When in particular that’s. Quite distressing. Is that now a qualified transportation fringe benefits that’s provided by an employer to an employee is going to be taxable so it’s not any income that the non-profit is receiving it’s, actually, for most of them, an expense that they’re paying for a fringe benefit for their employees. Um and all of a sudden now they didn’t have to last year, but starting this year, they have to pay tax on giving a qualified transportation prince benefit to an employee. Okay, now it sounds like you’re you’re ah, you’re consistent with my thinking because you just drive. It is distressing, and i didn’t see how it was income because typically pre-tax income, but all right, so let’s, let’s define what is a i guess the acronym is q t fbi? What is a qualified but i’ve drug in jail, so, you know, i’m not could put myself in jargon jail. What is a qualified transportation fringe benefit now that is going to trigger a bit under the tax law, so it would include things like any employer provided shuttles to work transit passes that that you might give teo your employees so that they can take the metro or whatever hyre transit that that they have to get, get to work and workplace parking. Zaf employers air providing any of these things to their employees? Not that they’re getting any income from it, but the expenses that they pay out. You’re gonna actually have to pay an additional tax on that now. Yeah, i can’t believe this. Well, it’s dis incentivizing mass transit because they’re going to get tax, the organization that gives you money toward your transit pass or pay, but gives you the transit pass directly. Uh, this is like it’s, like the global warming and climate change enhancement act. Dis incentivizing that’s a lot of levels. I can’t believe the dis incentivizing mass transit usage by taxing the benefit. Ah non-profit employer giving it to employees it’s ludicrous. So i’ll give you a little bit of their ration. Now, if you call this a restless since jean so calm of the calming voice as i’m ranting. All right, go ahead. Yes. Give us the rational please. They’ve taken this away as a deduction from for-profit sa’s. Well, so before a for-profit employer that provided thes qualified transportation bridge benefits, upleaf shuttles and transit classes, workplace parking could deduct it. Yeah, before they pay income taxes on their net income, that kind of made sense, right? You know, it’s an expense to run your business and you’re trying to do do a good thing. Yeah, trying to attract attract labour that may come from a distance, so you’re helping them pay for or offset the cost of their commute? Yep. Then durand non-profits for-profit do not get teo. They lost that deduction. They lost that as of this year. So that’s part of the text you no cuts in jobs act so that that’s one area of new revenue for the government is despite the tax cuts. This is one area new revenue that businesses can’t deduct this and non-profits have to be taxed on it. So it’s kind of ridiculous, but this sweeps end a ton of charities, small charities included and churches that have no unrelated businesses they’ve never had to understand. You bet or a bit because i’ve never had any unresolved business better elearning income so that they would never file the nine, ninety they would never worry about paying this type of income tax, and all of a sudden they’re not making any more income, but they have been providing parting to their employees. Yeah, park and now i’m in transit. If they don’t file the night nineteen, they don’t pay the tax and they could get it, you know, with interest and penalties as well. What’s the rationale for equalizing corporate and non the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Why? Just because one loses a deduction, which also is a disincentive, teo mass transit and commuting it’s equally. But, you know, removing that deduction for for the corporate community is unequal disincentive tio teo taxing it on the non-profits but where’s, the what’s, the reason for having two equivalent make these two equivalent way if we remove the deduction for corporations and we have to, we have to tax it on the on the non-profit sides like they’re competing. What? What? What? What’s the rationale for trying teo equalize thes yeah, it’s a good question, tony, and i don’t know that i have a policy answer just no that’s, basically, that their explanation is to put everybody on the same playing field. But this doesn’t make sense. Non-profits inc organizations, because they’re doing public good, that businesses aren’t required to do so. I don’t get it either. All right, thank you. Let’s. Take a break, gene. Tell us moughniyah lll have a talisman eal ly elementary school is receiving a monthly donation from tello’s for the credit card processing of a company one of our parents owns likely the easiest donation source we have ever secured. End quote, monthly passive revenue that’s what? Tell us we’ll get you the easiest donation source ever think of people who are close to your organization? Who owned businesses who would be willing to switch their credit card processing. That’s what it’s all about. You get passive revenue indefinitely. Start with the video at tony dot m a slash tony. Tell us now, let’s. Go back to fringe benefits that trigger labbate with jeanty jeanty. That could be like you could be a deejay. Or so our rapid jeanty. You like it? Jean d’you did a rap for us once. Didn’t you think you write a rap ones? I’ve written a few you well, i only labbate really perform. Yeah, you did one. You have many. But you performed one on the show like jean t gene t the gene gene t the law machine. Remember, jean, you could be ging t the legal of machine. Remember rum? What was that with chuck barris? Oh. Gosh! Oh, gosh. Oh, don’t got anything geever gene, gene, the dancing machine. Oh, yeah, i remember him. You’re going to be your gene gene the law machine. Gene gene, the law machine gt. All right, jean jean don’t think i’m going to forget this either. Gene gene, the la mission. All right, gene t i love it. Um, okay, so you’re you’re is as dismayed as as i am i i just i cannot see them. Well, i’ve ranted i can’t see the rationale for the equivalent ing equalizing the corporate and nonprofit sector dis incentivizing mass transit. All right. And then so let’s go through. I mean, how does this work in the in the three pronged test? Trader a. You bit a bit of it. I made a mistake. Labbate is has been, um um created when it’s something that’s ah non-profits carrying on a trader business that’s regularly carried on and not substantial related to the organization’s exempt purpose. I mean that this is not even doing this for-profit it. So, it’s not it’s a trader of business. This is not a profit. This is a fringe benefit, employees. How does this fit? And there’s no. Income generated either so it doesn’t fit. They just threw it in because there’s a system of taxing non-profit that has nothing to do with prince benefits, but they found a way to teo just stick it in, and it doesn’t fit your right so that part of the problem, although in one aspect what you said was true, you know, this is the law now, there’s, not much we can do about it, but in another part we can actually do something about it. So while the basic laws are there, there’s just a lot of open questions and a lot of misunderstandings and ambiguities and no way to understand exactly where it applies and where it doesn’t apply in certain circumstances and a whole bunch of organizations, including the national council non-profits the american institute of e p, a american society of association executives are calling on the treasury department, the irs to say, hey, don’t implement these, you know, laws yet because we have no clear guidance and we don’t have a way to tax plan for this because we don’t understand where it applies and where it doesn’t apply, and you’re saying it already takes effect. As of two thousand eighteen, the laws were rushed through without understanding. There are no regulations yet, so treasury hasn’t built regulations yet, right? So how do they enforce something where nobody understands exactly what it means? Our eddie, these organizations challenging the existence of this prevision or they’re just asking questions about it. Do you know? Well, they’re asking for a delay and implementation until there are regulations that are promulgated and regulations require comments. And so it takes a while to get done. But there are so many open questions, i don’t know that they can change the law in and of itself on left congress to become the law, but the regulations that are underneath it and we can discuss some of the open questions that are out there, they’re asking people to comment to the irs directly. And you, khun, you know, if you googled irs comment and tax forms ah, and you put the form nine ninety it’s it’s on ly basically email form nine ninety and say delay. You know, uh, imposing any liability on us until you tell us exactly what the rules are you all right? Now we will get to some. Of the questions i do want to make it clear that we’re not talking about employee’s losing the income exclusion for these benefits, right? That that remains intact. That’s that’s, right? So employees that get these fringe benefits don’t have to pay tax on it. So it’s pre-tax you’re not losing your pre-tax benefits up to two hundred sixty bucks a month for commuting and two sixty month for parking. That’s not right, that’s not employers that are paying for it are now being advised by some of their accountants. It doesn’t fit into their budget additional tax cut that benefits. Yeah, because the tax rate is twenty one percent, right? Correct. So twenty percent of two, sixty is fifty two. So this is costing if you’re giving your if e-giving the max for either commuting or parking, of course will be one hundred for if you’re doing a max for unemployed e you know, this could be roughly fifty bucks to one hundred bucks per employee in tax. Well, it will be over a year, you know, five hundred twenty bucks expand on this. All right? I was just doing it by the month. Oh, yeah, right. Yeah, exactly. One hundred sixty bucks per person? Yeah. Additional tax on the non-profit. So if you have ten employees that you’re doing it for that over five thousand on dh that’s, a modest size non-profit right? All right, um okay, so you have to. So what? What’s what’s your guidance before we get to the questions? What do you recommend? Non-profits do gene be the voice of reason while i’m ranting, please? Well, first you got to understand how many employees you’re actually providing these fringe benefits to and do do you think that they are covered by the tack? So there are these open questions that that we haven’t started to talk about yet, but open questions. So if you’re providing parking transit passes or shuttle bus service is tio any of your employees consider how much tax you may have to pay on it, then you’re gonna have to figure it out in your budget. Can you continue to provide all of these fringe benefits and pay the tax, or do you actually have to do something else? And one of the other things he might do is take away the fringe benefits and just pay employees the income. For them to do with themselves now, that’s not a very attractive option toe a lot of employees. So it’s more than just the money you’re gonna have to think about in doing this. But those discussions have to be had now and comment to the irs and say we can’t we don’t even know how to plan for this until you tell us what the rules no. Yeah, because giving them giving it to the employees of straight income obviously raises their income tax liability. Exactly. All right? Okay. Any any, any more guidance how to proceed or that that exhausted? But i think that’s all the guidance i can give now, but the one area that we’re really uncertain about it, the whole parking area, okay? What’s going to pass the question and stuff on shuttle buses, which not too many small non-profits would do it’s pretty clear, but parking is like it’s just so full of opening that we don’t know what that means. Like suppose you suppose you offer parking too. Ah, guests of your office, you have a parking lot next to your building. My boys just cracked like i’m a fourteen year old building. On dure employees use that, too. What? What? What does that mean? Yeah, that that’s. One of the questions that we have is if the parking is available for anybody for free, then presumably allowing your employees to use it to shouldn’t count. But what if there are a limited number of spaces? So so we know that really, the general public is not using those bases. Or what if the spaces say employee parking only. So those are some of the questions that we have about parking. And what if you know what if the building is is owned by the employers? That doesn’t cost them anything to provide the parking. How do you figure out what the cost is? And how much do you pay tax on it? A lot. A lot of open questions. Okay. Uh, yeah. Um all right. So should we suppose were in that situation. Suppose we do. We we have a parking lot. We owned the building and the lot. Um, we should be talking to our tax adviser. Yeah, but times are tax adviser, and you ask for help again. Delay implementation of the rules. The irs should tell us in treasury. Department should tell us exactly when it applies and when it doesn’t apply, and right now they’re not saying anything because they happened figured it out yet either. So ah, and one more area i wanted to touch on sometimes it the charity isn’t really even providing the benefit themselves because it’s subject to this salary reduction, so basically the employees saying reduce my salary by two hundred bucks and, uh uh, you know, because i want to use that for parking is a pre-tax benefit, so the charity isn’t even paying for it, but the irs seems to have told us at least unofficial coyness when when officials, you know, told attendees at a big conference a couple months ago that the irs would impose you bit on these payments. Employers are made, you know, it’s coming from the boys themselves, it’s over jean okay, committed to this and and what aren’t there some some towns that require ah pra vision of transit benefits? And so aren’t there circumstances where employers might be doing it? Because it’s required by law? Yeah, and that’s so it’s not really a fringe benefit? Is it it’s a required benefit that you have? To give in new york city, washington, d c san francisco shot out. I’ll tell those cities and then the non-profits there you you’ve got some issues. Those are places that require require the benefit is a pre-tax salary reduction. Oh, come on. I mean that. Well, yes, clearly this has not been thought through, but that has to be an exception. That’s that’s not a fringe benefit. That’s ah that’s following the law that’s a legal requirement wrecks that are going to make that clear. But right now, we’ve just got the word of one official that says yes, they’re going to oppose you bit on it. And so that’s the best guidance we have right now. But we have no official guidance labbate gene of it. Um, did we know this was in the in the tax law? I know the thing was enormous. Nobody in congress read it. That was notorious. It was too big to read. It was rushed through. Didn’t have those the hearings that air routine and major tax revisions. Do we know this was buried in there? We well, only those who are paying a lot of attention. I knew it was in there. But it wasn’t the biggest problem that charity, you know, we’re facing. There are other issues with bill, so this particular provisions didn’t get a lot of attention until more recently. Ok, i see. Yeah, there were. There were concerns about. Taxes on large endowments, which we did get on the very high end right there. Remember, there was discussion about whether churches would be exempt from the the politicking. That’s, not the right word, what’s. The help me actually election nearing election, hearing that that still is a big concern for a lot of people that it’s been put into another bill again that that the irs can’t enforce against five twenty three’s, not just churches, engaging an election year. Oh, that’s in a bill that’s in the bill now it’s in the bill. Next. Oh, so and they’re certain factions of congress that continue to slip it into all sorts of bills because there’s a very strong republican platform buy-in that that is to really destroy, and i think that was president trump’s words destroy the johnson amendment, which is the part of five a onesie three that says five, twenty three can’t engage in election hearings, can’t, you know, become partisan political actors? Yeah, right, the johnson amendment yes, we’ve heard a lot about that. All right? Um, we got like, we’ve got to wrap it up so jean, i don’t know if the next time i talk to you will be ah, we’ll be the four hundredth show on july twenty seventh. Maybe we’ll get you in june. We’ll try. I’m not sure, but thank you very much for today and i look forward to talking again. That’s so do i, tony. Very excited. Teo, join you on the four hundred show as well. Cool. Congratulations, creek. Preliminary. Congrats. Thank you again. He’s at g tak e ta ke subscribed to this thing for pete’s sake. Non-profit law block. Dot com read it subscribed to it next week. Henry tim’s with his new book, new power. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com were supported by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuant radio weather. Cps, guiding you beyond the numbers. Wagner, cps, dot com and tell us. Credit card in payment processing, your passive revenue stream. Tony dot mm slash tony tell us. A creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer, shows social media is by susan chavez, and this music is by scott stein with me next week for non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent go out and be glory. You’re listening to the talking alternative network e-giving geever e-giving hello, this is bruce chamois, coast of the web design and technology coach. 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