Yolanda F. Johnson: From Opera Singer To Fundraiser Yolanda Johnson’s classical opera training informs her fundraising practice. She’s the founder and president of YFJ Consulting and the first African-American president of Women in Development, NY. She’s with us for the hour.
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Hello and welcome to Tony martignetti non-profit Radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other 95% on your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with Hemi Diocese Eah, if you blindsided me with the idea that you missed. Today’s show from upper Singer to fundraiser Yolanda F. Johnson’s classical opera training, informs her fund-raising practice. She’s the founder and president of Y F J Consulting and the first African American president of Women in Development, New York. She’s with us for the hour. Tony. Stick to Hello from Boise were sponsored by PURSUANT full service, fund-raising Data driven and technology enabled. Tony dot m a slash Pursuant by Wagner CPS Guiding YOU beyond the numbers regular cps dot com and by text to give mobile donations. Made easy text. NPR to 444999 I’m very glad to welcome Yolanda F. Johnson to the studio. She has nearly two decades of experience as a fund-raising expert and professional musician. She is founder and president of Y F J Consulting and the first African American president elect in the 40 year history of women in Development, New York. Her company is Why? F j consulting dot com Women in development is at wid And why dot or GE? And she’s at Yolanda F. Johnson. Welcome to latto Johnson. Thank you. My pleasure. Come a little closer to the mic. Okay. Classically trained opera singer. I’m surprised your your voice. I’m singing. You’ll hear everything. I’m speaking way. Make it to that. No, I wouldn’t put you. Okay. Um So Congratulations, President. Elective women in development with New York. You begin your term on July 1st run day. Yes, that’s awesome. Congratulations. Thank you. So timely. See, everything in your career has led you to this day on non-profit radio. Indeed. Everything that we’re gonna talk about and coming up culminates here. You’re at the pinnacle. It’s all downhill from here. It means it’s all downhill from here. I’m sorry. Uh, okay. So, uh, your Nebraska girl I am. How did you find your way from Nebraska? Thio Professional upper singing. That’s Ah, that’s not a typical trip for Ah, Nebraskan. Well, not necessarily so, but, Ah, we all have our own paths. I began with music probably four years old and that was piano first. And then I started to sing in church, Actually, Ah went to get a music degree of performance degree and undergrad in Oklahoma. Went to get a graduate degree of that, how to focus and fund-raising Arts Administration and fund-raising and then sold all my worldly goods and moved to New York. Because this is where you can do everything for singing for singing principally originally or fund-raising or something else. Interestingly, I never did. Fund-raising. Some people always have day jobs or you see performers and they have other jobs or surgeries or something like that. Hospitality. I’ve always loved both. I’ve always loved music and have always loved fund-raising. And I’ve always had them in my life simultaneously. Okay. What does it mean to be a classically trained opera singer? What? What is that what it means? I worked really hard with lots of teachers. Toe learn proper technique to sing opera and classical music. Uh, opera and recitals, Art song specializing spirituals as well with the underground railroad. Um, well, say a little more about that. What about spirituals in the underground realm? It I mean, you’re performing those now? Yeah. You have an album called Feel the Spirit. If you’ll feel the spirit. Yeah, and I have a concert lecture called a spirituals. Experience like that. Spirituals experience, spirituals experience, a concert lecture. So that’s talking. Singing? Yes. I teach people about the hidden messages behind some of the music, the spirituals, some of the things they meant with the underground railroad. Okay, Okay. I haven’t seen a lot of opera. Um, my, the pinnacle of my opera attendance was probably I saw Aida in Italy at the battle out at the Baths of Caracalla. Okay, which is an outdoor. It used to be a bathhouse in ancient days. Now it’s ah, it’s a performance space. And I was traveling in Italy. I just stumbled on these tickets from a booth on the street. You stumbled on this, too? Yeah, they were. Well, I had to pay for them, but I stumbled on the booth That was selling the tickets. Just said I eat a counter. Colin, Let’s go. I know what kind of call is. Um, so I mean, this was a lavish mean I eat It takes place in Egypt. I know you know that, but for the neophytes out there, uh, you know, thanks, marchenese. And there were there were all kinds of animals. There were camels. I think there were tigers on stage, like 100 and 50 people. I mean, this was a lavish. There were live animals and lots of people. It was amazing. It was amazing. It was a beautiful night. Um, anyway, so, um, have you performed in our you know, I have not performed. It’s the only one I know. Okay. I remember this was years ago. I don’t know, but I know it involves a queen and love and a mistress, and each of the plot of a lot of just like 90% of opera. Okay, Um, now you’re still currently you’re still performing? Yes. Yeah, you have some. You have a show coming up? I do. I have a show in August of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul, and we actually put it in contemporary times. So it sparks dialogue about the immigration debate. Okay, um and we’ll say it now and then. We’ll remind listeners at the end, Where can they see the council? They can see the consul. I’ll be Magda, Magda, Cyril in that production at the amphitheater at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. It is not upstate. It’s just the suburb Yonkers. Yeah, well, right. For New Yorkers, that’s upstate. Yeah, but it’s not upstate eerie and buffalo Where? Upstate. Okay, but for geo centric New Yorkers who think this is the center of the universe, that’s you need a passport to get to Yonkers. OK, so if I don’t If I forget, you remind me that little pitching for that at the end to um So now you’re, um before we get to win. So opera and singing informs your consulting It does Y f J consulting very much. What’s the, uh, what’s the influence their of singing over fund-raising? Well, since you know, as I mentioned, I’ve always had a love for both. I found this intersection that makes me so excited. And it’s using performance practice in Philanthropy in and fund-raising. I realized I was at somewhat of an advantage, right, because, uh, I knew how to get into character. I knew how to breathe. I knew how to get through things that make may make other people nervous. Um, by using the things I had learned as a performer and all the world is a stage, I have a workshop that I just launched a month or so ago called All the World’s a Stage and it deals with that. It helps people. It coaches them through, um, being on that fund-raising stage and using performance, practice, toe succeed and excel. So we’re talking about overcoming the anxiety of face to face meetings, uh, training sessions, taking in-kind of public speaking, making me ask, making the pitch, knowing howto pivot if I’m talking to you and it’s not going quite right knowing what to say next, that’s improv improv. Yeah, uh, interesting. Because I was trained. I was. I was coached. I guess years ago when I was getting started, Public speaking, I don’t feel like I was very strong and my coach was a jazz singer and she brought in some elements of jazz, which is largely improv on. And then we thought this was incredible. She and I worked together for a couple of years, on and off, and then she felt like she had done everything she could to help me, and she recommended I take improv classes, and I loved improv so much instead, taking one class, I took four classes, like in a year. There were three month classes. I think I could come back to back improv at UCB, the Upright Citizens Brigade here in New York City, and that really she She did take me to another level. But then improv. Just the confidence of walking on stage with a scene partner with knowing only one word like knowing your first word of your first sentence and relying on your scene partner or team. And even if you’re not confident faking it until you make it getting into character, taking that breath, walking out there and just doing it, giving that performance done whatever it is that the stage is the board room, if it’s on the stage, you’re always on stage, right? Pretty much in life. You want to live an authentic life, but you also want to be prepared and be able to navigate. All right. So let’s, um, let’s take our first break and then we’re gonna talk a little more detail about, uh, some of the things you just ticked off some of the some of the, uh, singing lesson performance lessons that specifically that inform your informed fund-raising and speaking etcetera. OK, little detail pursuing you could check out their new podcast go beyond It’s hosted by their vice president, Taylor Shanklin. You know heart because she’s a friend of non-profit radio. They’ve been sponsors for a long time and, uh, tell has been a guest on the show. Ah, a couple of recent episodes of Go beyond our Optimize your fund-raising events. That’s where uh, you want to start in events and you used to do events and I still do a lot of even okay on also self care for leaders. You’ll find that at pursuant dot com slash resource is And, uh, let’s go back to upper singer to fundraiser. OK, OK, so it’s a little more detail about I mean s o I riffed on improv. But what are some of the specific, uh, skills that you can bring from performance toe help fundraisers? While one thing in particular, I think, whoever your audience is, if it’s 205 100 people in an auditorium, if it’s your board of directors, if it’s some major donor prospects, um, you know, always being prepared, nothing will save the day like being prepared proposed. So you have two from the version. You nothing’s gonna get you by if you don’t prepare. Um, but once you have that, there’s a certain peace of mind that comes. And then so you understand your audience and you want to make sure that there’s a level of comfort between you and them with, especially with American audiences. Um, we don’t breathe a lot as native speakers of English. You ever notice? Well, have you ever noticed that you’re talking and you’re just having this conversation with somebody? Maybe not you, because you’ve done improv, but a lot of us other people were just talking and then suddenly take a really deep breath. Yeah, sometimes on the show, I think everybody’s here is my breath of, like, some kind of Godzilla something? Yeah. You take a huge breath because you haven’t been breathing. Okay, you don’t want to walk around breathing too much, But you want to relax, right? Because your audience, actually on the subconscious level, consents when you’re not breathing, and it makes them very uncomfortable singing or speaking. If you’re going to long, they’re like, Oh my God, she hasn’t burghdoff. I’ve also done stand up comedy along with improv, and the audience can definitely sense fear. Maybe it comes from breath. I don’t know, but they can tell when you’re nervous, and that makes them nervous. And your material could be fabulous. But they’re scared for you. So they’re not laughing the way you want them to. Yes, it’s like nervous. They can smell your right. I mean, audiences consent. So you got okay. So be prepared. Gives you confidence. You’re not fearful. People don’t sense your fear. Right? And then you just know what you’re doing, right? I’m having a conversation with you. Have done the research. You do. You’re prospecting as a fundraiser. You read your lines, you learn your music as a performer. Be prepared, whatever it is that you’re doing. And then that gives you that peace of mind. So I’m having a conversation with you where I don’t necessarily just have bullet points in my mind that I want to cover. I have them. There’s back-up. But I can have a real authentic conversation with you. Right? And and from that comes hopefully dollars and cultivation of relationships and augmenting of audiences. Um, anything else we can touch on Besides, Okay. So preparation, preparation without breathing are there breathing out. Do you go through breathing exercises with clients. Yes. What’s a breathing exercise? We do one. Sure. I’m trainable. Do I need to stand up for it Way? Pretend I’m standing cause then we gotta just a mic and everything. Okay, But I’m standing. So whenever you take a breath, the proper breath is not a shallow one that just goes straight out front. Right? It’s a breath that’s barrel shaped. We have these muscles between our ribs. Wireframe. Everybody talks about the dye from, but think of your not necessarily untrue. But think about your intercostal muscles, right? That’s the one that connect the ribs to the spine. So your breath should be barrel shaped, not shallow. There you go. And into the shoulders, like up, up, up. It doesn’t have to be effective just because deep and then you control it out. Whether or not I’m sitting there and I’m about to perform or if I’m about to ask you for $10,000,000 Tony, you take that breath. Then I can look you in the eye and we can have an authentic conversation. Okay. Did that help? Did you notice the difference between the shallow and the also the pacing of your the way you were talking to? Yeah. Together. Yes. Okay. Like you change, you can change the mood in a conversation through pace. Exactly. So And pace is very closely related to breath. You can get people’s attention with silence, like you built in a little silence. Not awkward, but there’s some pauses. You could get people’s attention that way. Yeah, I did that. I stand up trying to get do that some time to stand up, take a pause like every second. Doesn’t have to be filled with syllables, Right, Because in the audience starts getting stressed out. Okay. Okay. What? Thank you. You’re welcome. Um, this is very good. All right, So this is the intersection of performance and on dhe fund-raising, and of course, you’re right. We are sort of constantly performing and fundraisers, all the mauler, whether you’re in a board meeting, whether in a 1 to 1 meeting, and I may not even necessarily be a solicitation. Just trying to get to know someone, make them comfortable so that a couple of meetings from now you’re gonna ask them to be a step up for the campaign or for the dinner or to be a major volunteer or be a boardmember. You know, whatever it is not only about dollars. Whatever ask it is we’re going to because you can’t just ask people unnecessarily immediately for money. You want to cultivate that relationship, and you want to be asked again, or you want to have your invitation accepted the next time so you can continue that process. And if it’s awkward, uncomfortable, you’re lowering the chances of going to get any mail. Yeah. You get an email after a call, right? You get a voice, you leave a voicemail, get an email. That’s about that usually bad sign. Um, okay. Um, let’s all right, let’s talk some about weed. 40th anniversary of the first black feet up. Well, they’re all females. First black president of weed. Congratulations on that mountain. Um, what’s ah, what’s coming up for? Weird? This is a big anniversary year for we do. It’s a huge anniversary year. I happen toe. Just love this organization. I don’t just say that, um it’s been ah, really big factor in my fund-raising career and in my life. And it has some amazing women that are really running this town as faras fund-raising is concerned in the tri state area. Really? And for our 40th anniversary, we have lots of wonderful things planned new programming. We have a really robust programming schedule. We’re gonna delve deeper into some issues that we haven’t necessarily touched upon before about the experience of being a woman in the field. Like what? What are some of those issues? Uh, well, we’re actually gonna have a conversation about the role of men. Okay. You know, uh, and we’re gonna look holistically at the Wood woman. And who women are in the development field and embrace the role of men. I mean, like, I could snap size that I can summarize it in a sentence. White men have all the power. Well, we’re gonna talk about that. Okay? Maybe you should come to that session. That’s very interesting that you say that I wasn’t gonna bring this up. Um, but I will. Eso Years ago, I tried to be a speaker at Wood, and they had some kind of policy. I know it was written. You are just Ah, er de facto. But they weren’t. They weren’t bring in mail speakers. Well, I’ll put it this way. Would is open. Wit is really smart. Okay, I will. I will say that not just because I’m a better organization, but we’re dealing with some really highly intelligent people who make on really good decisions for the organization where it’s at whatever period. But what is it with this one when they wouldn’t? Well, I don’t know that they blew it. They just made a decision that was best for the patient. But that being said, um, we our mission is to empower women in the field, whatever that means in whatever way, um, is appropriate at that time. And so, in this particular season, we’ve been around for four decades and, ah, we find the value in having that conversation about empowering women. And what does that mean? You know, how can this whole village of people in philanthropy and power women in the development field And so, um, at that particular session, it would make a lot of sense, possibly for you to join us. Us. My committee’s list way have witnesses. Okay, I would love to. We’re gonna send out live Mr In Love with your money or in Manhattan right now. But I also want to make clear that they don’t know they’re not to be men in the room to talk about dealing with male power. No, not not. Not at all. But we, as women, have talked about it for a long time. And now we need we want to look at it from a different perspective. And not only that, but again empowering women. So we have programs around professional development skills based, um, wellness. You know, we’re gonna be introducing that this year. We’re going through a rebranding, so we’re gonna launch that. Ah, remember meeting in September? Eso just lots of really wonderful, exciting things. We also talk about leadership, of course. You know, in the trajectory of a women and development members career, uh, how to assess that. And then we have this amazing network of women that are so supportive. There’s a sense of camaraderie with wood that’s just unique is with national. And this is the New York chapter we’re talking about. Or is with New York unique with geever imminent development. There are other chapters, but there’s not a national body that oversees us. Okay, but there’s a chapter and others would Greater Boston. Um, there’s one in New Jersey. There’s one upstate and actual upstate. Not unless you think there’s running around Westchester to, um and, you know, we’re actually doing some research to really discover. So if, um, your audience is brought right over the country all over the country, So if there are wood chapters that we may not know of, we want to talk to you, actually, because we like toe toe, have a conversation with you about getting together and working together. Um does would you mentioned the network does does with encourage mentor ship. You must we do we have an organic mentor ship that happens? I’ve had several really, really pivotal mentors that have come through with that have taught me so much. Um, and I think that we all find those relationships. It’s why going to our networking events going to our programs. You end up developing this circle of colleagues and really friends, Um, that it lasts for years. Yeah, it’s crucial. I’ve had lots of guests talk about it, and I’ve experienced it myself. Um, mentor ship. It’s very important, and that’s one of the beautiful things about many in leadership with with our board of directors phenomenal women. Uh, and I don’t say that I don’t give free compliments. Um, I mean it when I say that, and they are so open too, you know, spending time with young professionals with other people if they have questions really championing. And again, we all go back to empowerment of women in the fund-raising field. Is there a coronation on Monday? Monday, July 1st is our coronation event that we should be attending at the Cipriani or Oh, uh, you know, But we just had our woman of achieve that lunch. Johnny, did you okay a week or so ago. Um, you know there isn’t it? It’s a quiet transition, but, uh, but nonetheless enthusiastic. What is your first official act as president? My first official act. I already have a task list for Monday of some things that just need to get done. I’ve been working for a while, actually. Our outgoing president. I’ll give her a shout out here. Brooke Bryant, um, wonderful person and leader and, uh, Brian of the Kaufman music. She’s a doctor development there. And so I’ll just be looking forward to a lot of the things that I’ve started implementing. Really as early as January. She was very supportive. We started a system that hopefully I’ll be able to continue of allowing the person coming next to begin the planning process so that they can be ahead of the game before that January July 1st period. Sounds like you had that advantage. I did. And how long is your term? Two years. Two years? Okay. And 2020 is the 40th year of which is that right? Through this is our 40th anniversary year. But we’re gonna have ah ah, birthday anniversary bash in January to celebrate that we’re entering that no one will sit at the Pierre Hotel. Cipriani, would you like to sponsor about sponsoring? But I might come. Where is it? What were you doing it? Those details will be available later. We have a lot that we’re launching at the meeting in September. Okay, so January General January. Miguel in general. Not big gala, but big celebration celebration. Okay, um, as an events person, I’m very careful about that word. That g word piela means that it means a certain certain expectations. 1000 human-centered anabolic at the world over story, Right? Right. So, events, um, do you Do you still enjoy events I love even still. Do you still like putting them together? I mean, I know it’s not your practice, but you still like being the organizer of events On a personal level, I think I planned my first even when I was six years old. Okay, two years after you started music so late bloomerang events. All right, Um, and I personally, I love to love people through that they’re being bringing them together through, ah, common bond. A mission Just, you know, an affinity for something with delicious food and for what was right for you mentioned food? Yes. Food enjoin. I think our great lubricate er’s for a room. Yeah, you know, just it’s that sensory thing. Yeah, it’s a sensor thinking a sharing Its A shares were coming together with a table not necessarily sitting around it but the buffet table. Or if we are sitting down together, it’s sharing a space. That’s why exactly, And for a non-profit, it should have that same sentiment. I think you know, we’re all what makes it special. Is that your coming together to celebrate? It’s a culmination of them, you know, belief in the organization’s mission. Um, it’s not just the party, but it is a celebration. You know, Um, yeah, events. I have a hard time doing it. I just the details. Like, Does the bunting match the flowers? You know, things like that, Um, I don’t have a lot of patients for So I’m grateful that there are people who enjoy doing it. And I love campaigns. You know, Those are my focus areas with my practices, events and campaigns. And I happen to specialize in anniversary campaigns that culminate in an event. So, you know that marries those two things at the anniversary of the anniversary, as you’re doing with wood should be celebrated over a long over over a long period, right? Plan these things in advance? Yes, I mean, one night, like a one night thing. 40th 40th anniversary night. And then it should be multiple activities right through a year. Exactly. Ah, And so it is the 40th anniversary year. That’s why we’re starting in 2019. It’s the year and then it’ll culminate next year, and there are lots of things planned. So we have. We’ll have our woman of achievement luncheon again next May and ah, then we’ll have the celebration in January. But everything this year, You know, we have thematic concepts across a year. A lot of the time this past year was women in philanthropy, and this coming year is gonna be focused upon being around for four decades and what would has meant to the fund-raising field. And, Ah, and where it goes from here, what has meant a lot to women in the field. We have some real pioneers, um, many of whom are still around and still supportive of the organization, and we’re really appreciative of them. Got shot. A couple of them. Oh, see? And I’m like, I know I will, but, you know, I’m not really somebody out. Right? And then you’ll feel better me do that disclaimer. But I am that type of person that loves to give people individual attention. And then I’m like, Oh, wait. Next week on your show, you mention these names. You’re about the best in-kind. I put her on the spot. So she did not come prepared, but name some pioneers who were members of wood. Uh, Linda Hartley. Okay. I know her. She’s been on the show. Yeah. When she came out with her book When this amazing, Um, Shirley Jenks, who you also know surely very well done. Some work with our Shirley Jenks in J e n ks dahna in here in the city? Yes, argast. Holman has a past president. More group. She says she has a relationship with Nebraska to OK, she’s on the board of the university and rescue. Um, we have a current boardmember who just co chaired, uh, the woman of achievement luncheon this past year. Jane. Carlinhos, A beautiful person. Uh, and then Oh, my God. See, now, I don’t know Susan Yulin. You know Susan Ulan Koshi. I know my favorite people on the planet. I think I know her name. They recognized? Yes. Um, but just generally for non-profits, too. Planning in advance of your upcoming anniversary. You know, if it’s your 50th year or some organizations you know, 125th year, you want to start planning that a couple of years in advance, whether there’s gonna be what’s it gonna be is gonna be a fundraising campaign or it doesn’t have to be, But it’s a good hook. Well, for whatever it’s gonna be, you should start planning out of major anniversaries, I think two years in advance or so That’s a good time line. Yeah. Gives you timeto think ahead and be creative. Maximum advantage of eggs out of a big news hook. I’m a piecemeal er by nature. You won’t really see me dive into something and complete it all at once. I like to be ableto work on it and take a step back. Go back to it. Have the daily experience of your life in form some of the decisions that you make. You know, you keep living life and things happening. You’re like, you know, I’ll go back to this and maybe I’ll try it this way. So, um, so what is definitely We’ve been planning ahead and we’re excited. It’s a life practice. It is piecemeal. You say piecemeal. I would say life, it’s a life practice. Come back to things. Um okay, Um let’s, uh let’s take our break. And when we come back, I want to talk a little about your experience as a black woman and fund-raising and ah, survey that we have, um so hang on there. Okay, great. All right. Thank you. Don’t walk out. Um Where are we now? It’s Tony’s steak. You know we need to take a break. Were Wagner CPS because they’ve got a webinar coming up, it’s on July 11th. Engaged and effective, not for-profit governance. All right, so this firm is auditors, so they know all about governance. How is yours? Doesn’t measure up. Are you getting the most out of the expertise and the creativity of your board members? You sign up at wagner cps dot com. Click Resource is That’s on July 11th. Now time for Tony’s Take Two Hello from Boise, Idaho. I was just there for a long weekend, visiting dear friends. Um, and I recommend Boise on. By the way, it’s Boise, Boise. I mean, you don’t know this boy, See, but it’s not Boise for you East Coasters. It’s Boise, Boise, Idaho. I learned just like it’s Oregon. Not Oregon. No ive the Oregon at the end of Oregon. Um, that little bit of a digression. So, Boise. What about it? It’s got mountains, beautiful mountain range, snowcapped mountains in the winter and the spring, even when the temperature is is more modest. Down below that beautiful, snow capped mountains, they take their beers very seriously. 16 brew houses in Boise. Now, I did not get to sample all the monument to a couple. I can shout out Powder powerhouse, a jus powerhouse. Very nice place. Um, 10 barrel, which happens to be downtown. Those air to that we went to there was 1/3 1 I can’t remember. They also take their food very seriously. If you go downtown around where Around where? 10 barrel is 8th 8th Street and Main Street. Lots of restaurants and other brewpubs and and, um, breweries not serving food. Right along eighth and main. Lots of serious restaurants there. And now I don’t mean serious, upscale. Just very good food. Reminds me of Portland a lot. In that respect, they take this food very seriously. Um, what else about Boise? Oh, just drive 10 minutes. 15 minutes. You’re out. You’re way out of the city. We visited a winery. So, um, I’m recommending Boise has ah travel destination, and there’s more in my video. Um, and you will find that at tony martignetti dot com. And that is Tony. Take two. Now, let’s Ah, let’s continue a little more with Yolanda F. Johnson and, uh, opera singer the fundraiser. Whoa! Look at the bursting. Oh, man. When we get the live lister love, we’re bursting. But we’re not doing that now, okay? Bursting. That means there’s a lot of bursting with life listeners. And we’re on Facebook live too. Oh, I guess I should do is I’ll shout out All right. Aunt Mary and Mary Bob Largent. Hello, Rose mary-jo video. Love to see you. Thank you for being with us on Facebook. Give us give us a little give us a little love on Facebook and I’ll be happy to shut you out. All right, So, um, s O The power in non-profits is maintained by white men. They’re they’re overwhelmingly the board chairs, the board leadership, the CEOs, the C suite, uh, senior fundraisers. What’s been your your experience as a black woman doing fund-raising in that culture? Well, coming from Nebraska, how’s it going? And, uh, it’s interesting that it is a national issue, is it not? You know, no matter where you are, even in a place as diverse as New York City, that’s still our reality. And, uh, it’s obvious that, uh, philanthropy would do well from continuing diversity in my experience as an African American woman in the field. You know, You know, this year we did a diversity. Brooke and I did a diversity and inclusion task force for wood because we were looking at the room and amazing women. Um, but the room could be a bit more diverse, you know? And so we wanted to You think about that. And one of the first questions was, you know, is the field already diverse? Does it exist that way? It’s just that people may not, um, come out and aren’t. It is necessarily feeling is welcome for whatever reason, or, um, are they just not there? And so, because of some of these studies that have come out recently, I was I spoke a case conference on diverse diversity and fund-raising in Indianapolis in April. And that was one of the things we talked about Is diversifying that pipeline for fundraisers because you don’t necessarily see yourself. Did you have you come to any conclusions whether it’s there, there are there is greater representation in fund-raising, But people are not coming out or there just isn’t the representation that we’d like to see. Both. Okay. Yeah. I think there was more the ladder that just not just not reply. It’s about your It’s both because we have to make those efforts toward diversifying the pipeline. We have to look to the future. We have to look to see what’s happening now. We have to stay self aware and just aware in the profession. Um, and that’s the thing. You know, inclusion is the exact opposite of tokenism. So sure inclusion means that you’re naturally, organically there. You’re appreciated for what you’re bringing to the table, and when you don’t see diversity, sometimes that doesn’t come to mind. So one of the things wit is gonna dio is really focus on that this coming year. And, ah, just make sure it’s on our mind, You know, if you have an opportunity to invite a speaker or toe work with different people in partners, Um, is there someone who’s just disqualified who may be a little more diverse? Um, thinking fairly, you know, they’re just disqualified again. Like I say, it’s not tokenism, but just making sure that’s on your mind, because when something’s not on your mind, it’s, um it doesn’t exist. Okay, right. So, consciousness awareness consciousness, Yes, Critical first step, but necessary, but not sufficient. You know, they need to be action. They need to be conscious. Action? Yes, not just policies, not just tokenism. Yes, I’m outcome oriented person. So I believe in the process. But I’m not interested in staying stuck there. So we have some definite recommendations that our task force is made to the board of directors that we’re gonna be implementing in the in the coming year. And so just tow elaborate a bit on my answer to your question. So, yes, there are fundraisers of color in the field, but as the cause effective study shows, you know, Yeah, um, mentor ship professional development, because you know that we’re still underrepresented. There’s more work to be done to get those, you know, professionals of color, all of the support that they need to survive into thrive and at the same time, work to be done to develop that pipeline so that we continue that into the future with great consciousness and in being intentional about it. I know that I personally have been paying more attention to this just within the past two years or so, so but I don’t know if that’s s Oh, I see. So I see more conversations about this, but I don’t know if that’s because I’m participating. Maura. Maura, I’m thinking about it more. All right. Walk. I won’t, um, Or if the conversations really are happening more frequently and there is greater awareness than there was three years ago. Do you? What’s your sense of you? Do you think? Do you think there’s, uh, not not saying sufficient awareness or or action? But you feel like there’s more activity around diversity equity and inclusion now than there was just like three years ago? I do, yes, and strategically. So you know, I’m a strategic thinker. Meaning what? Uh, there’s been a lot that’s been going on for the past few years, but now people are really buckling down their understanding, those exact facts and figures and metrics that they want to capture. And then we’re talking to each other more about how to move that forward. There was a great event, um, a week or so ago on June 18th and was held at the end of the CP and we there’s a committee, a host committee. Ah, I was on it, um, one of the lead researchers for the study was on it, Um, the A f p person who’s involved with their idea programming, Um, people from case. It was a pretty good host committee of us. And I’m sorry if I’m forgetting anyone and then on a barber barber as well who’s ah, noted phenomenal fundraiser. We all got together to get the fundraisers of color together in New York City. And, you know, it was interesting because honest it to me. We’ve been doing this in D. C forever. I can’t believe, you know, like, it’s interesting that New York hadn’t done it yet. And so we did. We got it done. We got together, um, divided. We fall united, we stand, and so we’re aware of each other more aware of each other. Now, instead of being siloed and in a vacuum of ourselves, for whatever reason, we can come together and work together and push everything forward, move the needle. Yeah, well, that moves that leads to empowerment, thinks that we’re working together. Okay, Um so now your your personal experience as ah, as a fundraiser, you feel like that’s ah anomalous for an African American woman? Um, somewhat I you know, I’ll give the greatest shot out of all to a woman named Lori Cronan from would be remiss if I didn’t mention her name. Ah jokingly call her my would mom. Sometimes she really brought me in to the organization and and introduced me to so many different things and people that have to do with fund-raising. But it takes a village, no matter what the color that transcends color lines. It takes a village of people sometimes to pull you up to support you, to help you get that professional development and to help you move forward and to encourage you. Um, it’s something that’s on my mind for young women of color, of course, in the field, something that personally is important to me because I think it does make a difference when you see someone who looks like you, just like, um, not on Lee within the field. But even within your organizations, you know, um, that kind of had gone over my head at first, and then I had a boardmember. Mentioned that to me where I used to work and they said, You know, a lot of these kids are seeing you and it makes a difference because they think that the executive offices are like the big bosses in the office is up there in the executive director and all that and the fund raisers and philanthropy. That’s a whole other issue within it, you know? Do they really understand that this is a viable profession for them? You know, first, the profession had to get the respected deserved. Yeah, And then because, you know, we work hard and we’re educated in this, and a lot of us have degrees that air focused upon this. We’ve studied the science of fund-raising, and it should be fully respected. It used to be thinking that this is the first event planners, right? They’re just out. There have been so many slapping backs holding her hand out, and it just comes It’s like, No, no, no, no. We work very hard. Um, and so you have to have that first. And now we have to diversify. And we have to really consider all of the different issues within the field. Um, the woman who you, uh, said you’d be remiss Lauria, who gave you a guidance coach mentor? Is that a white woman? It is okay. Happens to be yes, but I had, um, some really wonderful African American women obviously, uh, who have been integral to my life. I had, you know, a good balance, but, um, it’s sharing the power sharing the power of Orden. It’s important to have role models and mentors of whatever ethnicity, nationality? Yeah, we all have to work together because if you’re there and if things are imbalanced in the first place than if white males are really, you know, at the pinnacle of power, then you know. And what role do white females have? Our females of whatever color. But you have to reach back, and you have to help people. Yeah, That’s why I say I share the power. Yeah. Um okay. Um, so you’ve had a, uh you’ve been fortunate, and you’re and you’re very blasting. Obviously grateful. And I want to do everything I can for all of the president of Wood. Now you can lift up others. Yeah, um, and they’ll see ah, black woman in power at will. Yeah, that’s me. And I think that makes yeah, it makes a difference. Let’s talk a little about the this cause effective study Okay. This is, uh, money, power and race. The lived experience of fundraisers of color. Um, are you familiar with what they did? I mean, there’s speak to what they did, what the process was. Just interviews, et cetera. They did, Ah, lot of indepth work. Judy and Cynthia, if you’re listening, this is the shout out to you that the executive director of cause Effective and Cynthia bradrick, who did a lot of work on that, and she actually engaged me. I was interviewed for this. They worked very hard at getting a diverse array of professionals of color to answer and to participate in the survey. I was, ah, reader at the end as well. Um, another wonderful person soon. Ill omen. Um, I know he was a swell with They have p and, ah, I’m very happy for them. I’m very proud of them. Of the work that they’ve done. This is a very important study, and I think it’s gonna be helpful. Helpful tool if we don’t set it away, You know, you have to keep these things out and keep remembering. Like the strategic plan that goes on cause effective is a terrific organization. We’ve had guests on. Um, Greg Cohen comes to mind. He’s been on a couple times. And then someone who, Uh oh, now I feel bad. Someone who retired out of cause effective. She’s Greg Coin’s neighbor in Brooklyn because I was out there. I was at their summer party line last year, and they shared. There was a back shared backyard thing. Um, it’s not. It wasn’t Judy, though. I feel terrible now. She’s retired, so she probably doesn’t listen. Well, nobody listens to this show. E thought you 30,000 with Yeah, well, you just told me we’re interesting. We’ll fake it to make it figured to make it that way. Um, okay, let’s take our let’s take our very last break, okay? And then we’ll talk more about the more about the survey. Okay, study text to give. They’re five part email. Many course dispels myths around mobile giving. These do not have to be small. Gif ts. They can easily be gift in the hundreds. The donations do not have to go through the donor’s phone company. That’s a that’s a common practice that need not be because the phone companies typically put a cap on the gifts. You don’t have to go through phone companies. You want to get the email? Many course over five days. You text NPR November Papa Romeo. I didn’t say that. Quite right. My Air Force days November Papa Romeo, not Papa Thio Text NPR to 444994499 All right, now we got to do the live listener love Steve Cook give you a shout out on Facebook Steve Cook joined us on Facebook And, um, let’s start abroad. There’s just so many I’m not even gonna use. The language is like annual haserot Comes comes a ham, Nida, etcetera. We’re just gonna go through where everybody is. Seoul, South Korea, Denmark, Jakarta, Indonesia. Tashkent, Uzbekistan Who you’ve been with us before? His Pakistan is not the first time. Not every week. Try to make it a little more regular. There was Becker. Stan, would you please try to be? You should be with us every single week, but no live. Listen. Love to Tashkent. Hoochie Minh City in Vietnam. Um, Porto Alegre, Brazil Whoa! Tehran, Iran. Tehran has been with us before. Yes, not the first time. Glad to have you back Live love to Tehran. on to Toronto, Canada. And now we made it to North America. So let it’s bring in, uh, New York, New York. Three people. We got multiple listeners. Looks like three while ago. Right here in the city of New York. Gillette, New Jersey. We’ve got Brooklyn, New York, in We’ve got Clifton New Jersey Wallkill New York. Woodhaven, New York. Bellmore, New York. All right, Staten Island. Staten Island is in Yes. Welcome Staten Island. Live love to Staten Island. So who’s not with us? Bronx and Queens Chicken. Maybe they’re maybe they’re masked. You know what? They could be masked. I’m sure that I’m sure Bronx and Queens are with us. So live listener, love, live love to you. Thank you so much for being with us. And for those of us on fate those of us those of you with us on Facebook live love to you as well. And the podcast pleasantries to the to the over 13,000 that I keep saying it’s nowhere near that, but, uh, no, we have 13th out over that thing. 1000 podcast listeners. Um, listening in the time shift. Wherever you squeeze us in on the weekends, you binge Listen, you spend Sunday listening to hours of podcasts on end Thank you. Pleasantries to you. I’m glad that we’re in your podcast library. Pleasantries to the podcast listeners. That’s one of my It’s almost like a therapy. Oh, it’s almost like the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue, the pleasant pleasantries to the podcast Listeners podcast pleasantries and lively sabelo I’m a big fan of ah, big fan of Ah, liberation Liberation, What did you what was the little phrase you just said? But but But the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue, the lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue Yes. Is that a little exercise right before you go on stage, isn’t just tow annunciated like a said native speakers of English. Sometimes when you’re, uh, enunciating on stage, it could be difficult to decipher what they’re saying. And so, ah, lot of dip bungs going on and what we think is overdoing it. But that’s what it takes for the audience to actually hear what we’re saying. It does the lips, the teeth, the tip of dung. Okay, what do you do right before you go on performance? Right the minute before your first appearance on stage. What do you doing As a singer? As a singer, I meant as a as a Well, I guess there’s any kind of performer. What are you doing in that last minute? Um, I’m saying a little prayer, okay? And I’m getting excited because I’m ready to share this with the audience. Your blood pressure’s a little high, right? Sometimes, but not really. Yeah, I’m pretty Chill. I’m I’m ready to go do it If I’m prepared that I said I will never be that person backstage like, Oh, my gosh. I know I didn’t read any of this stuff, but I sure hope it goes okay, that’s bad. Terrible. Um, and so I just It is what it is at that moment, right? And so I just get excited and go out and share it. All right. Well, thank you for sure. Well, prayer to yes. Definitely prayer before. Um, Okay, So the cost effective study was was it was interviews. They were surveys. Lots of personal interviews. Yes. Yeah. People of color. Remember to stay close to Yeah, there we go. Okay. We won’t hear everything that you say. Um, so they learned some things. Um, why d I is important. This is interesting that you’ve mentioned earlier. We’d said we’d had a diversity and inclusion task force Didn’t include, uh um quit equity. Uh, it’s the i d. I Doesn’t matter. I mean, we’re shortchanging people cause you didn’t include the e’s. No, not at all. I guess it could have been a debt if, but it’s a d t i f. Um, the equity is inferred in that. It’s just that it’s not called a d. I think, and people have different thoughts and opinions on what each word means. You know, some people don’t like diversity as much anymore, and they rather focus on equity. Yeah, I’ve heard. Yeah. Alright. It’s like LGBT Q plus. Now we put the plus until right? It’s all inclusive. Yeah, If you’re not LGBT or cute, you’ll have to just be in the plus. Okay. What did you say before? D t d t f d I t f diversity and inclusion Task force. Okay, we have jargon jail on non-profit radio. I hate to sound imprisoned even for a short in for a short term. Um, so we know, I think we know why it matters. Um, you know, interesting Make making explicit that money is power. And for fundraisers of color, you know, they’re they’re seeking money from the people who have it, which are largely white and male. So that’s a that creates a dynamic for fundraisers of color that, um, white fundraisers don’t have toe. Sort of we’ll deal with overcome, depending on the opinions of the people trying to get the money from well, and I want to add to that whole diversity discussion Donors of color, you know, they’re out there donorsearch and tapping into them, you know, just like we have toe ah, work on the pipeline. We have to support people who are already in the field, and we have to think outside of the box. And remember everyone who’s been blessed with, um, the ability to be a philanthropist. And what does that even mean? Now, you know, when you I think that it’s so pie in the sky, but it’s not. It’s right in front of you to be a philanthropist in many ways. You know, the Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Institute. We had a partnership event with them in May, where they revealed Some of the women give study and, you know, adult into, you know, how do you define being a philanthropist? So we have philanthropists of color that need to be tapped into as well that are, um, Kim be called ignored. Sometimes I think you find that you feel like we’re not reach The community is not reaching out donors of color wealth, wealthy folks of color. I think it’s a complex issue, but I think I could say yes to that in some ways. Um, but remember that a donor of color, um, we’ll also have probably had advert in life experiences as well. So, you know, it’s We’ll all have. Yes. Okay. I feel like we’re not We’re not We’re not getting it. So I’m surprised that that you find that, uh, because if we’re if we’re trying to get support for our organization, I mean it auto come from anybody who has the means. Exactly the means to support us. Yes. Money is color blind. Amen to that. Um, okay, that’s an interesting insight. I never I have to think more about that. Pay more attention that I’ve never I’ve never thought about that. All right, um you’re full of good ideas. Thank you. Thank you. All right. Ah. Okay. Um, So I think we understand why the d ay matters like we’ve flush that out. So? So some of what they they say something interesting. Fund-raising reflects and magnifies the racial hierarchies of our culture. That’s sort of what was scratching out, right? You know, um, it’s a you know, fund-raising is there’s just inherent, irrespective of people’s color. Uh, there’s It’s a fundamental power subservient relationship. You have money, and I’m asking for it, right? I mean, I do fund-raising, I do plan e-giving fund-raising. People of wealth have money and number. I’m pursuing it. So there’s your definitely pursuing people that have a certain amount of Yeah. Yeah. Well, now, modest people of modest means could do plan. Gift to That’s true. Let’s not forget, Okay? Actually, west, like anybody could put will request for 1000 or $5000 in there, will probably And that goes to the same point of What does it mean to be a philanthropist? You know, if you’re giving $500 whatever you have to give, you’re still helping a cause. It matters a lot of people don’t think of themselves as philanthropists, but they’ve indeed they are. It doesn’t really matter. I mean, they’re supporting organizations. But people who write $20 checks, $50 checks, they don’t they don’t think of themselves as philanthropists. And I think that’s what I used trying to get people to think differently, especially with women. Donors toe value yourself and to understand that contribution that you’re making to society through whatever the size well, they understand they’re contributing. What what’s the importance of? You could educate me again. So I’m trainable. Just any ideas? What? What? What’s the importance then of them recognizing themselves as philanthropists? Because it empowers you in a different way. When I see myself a certain way, um, it allows me toe think differently. And when I’m making those decisions, ah, it might allow me toe to get involved with an organization on a deeper level. Ah, and bring in my network. You know, we could talk about give and get so it can. It can open lots of different doors and just change the way that people think about themselves and about the ways that they give, so we should be encouraging our donors to think of themselves as philanthropists. Yeah, including the 20 and $50 donors. Yes, you’re a philanthropist. And we appreciate your gift and that. Well, there’s always that. Yeah, I’m just trying to distinguish the philantech. Think of yourself as a philanthropy. Yes. And then, you know, it’s that strategic thinking. So And, you know, it’s that same story of the whoever it is the janitor or somebody who passes away and leaves $5,000,000. A very modest life. There’s a 40 year old car they were driving or whatever, and then they have millions of dollars to leave him. You never know you can you never. You can’t judge a book by its cover. And so you never know what’s going on. You treat everybody with dignity and respect and appreciate their gift. And you never know what network they might bring in our, um, people they can introduce you to. Yeah, that’s all true. Yeah, it’s just a philanthropist thing. Getting getting your modest donors small dollar donors to think of themselves as philanthropists. Interesting. Ok, um all right, so this is the, uh, kruckel about the magnifying, the racial hierarchies, and we just have a couple minutes left. All right, so let’s leave the survey. That’s enough of that survey. It was a great service. So again, it’s money, power and race. The lived it experience of fundraisers of color. It’s published by cause effective, which is, I believe it’s called effective dot or GE. And now that you have the name of the survey study, you should have no trouble. Obviously finding it on dhe. Check it out. Okay, Um, a couple minutes left as, ah, professional woman in fund-raising your own practice. What would you like to, uh, would you like to leave our listeners with? Well, um, I just like to reiterate how honored I am to be leading within this 40th anniversary year. I’m excited about continuing the work of my practice. We already talked a bit about events, and I also specialize in campaigns and in going in and assessing what’s happening with small and medium sized development departments and helping them to get to the next level. So I look forward to continuing all of that work. Um, and I also look forward to continuing singing have a vocal workshop coming up in a couple of weeks And then, of course, the consul again. Yes, I mentioned right argast. 10. Where is that? In Yonkers, at the amphitheater at the Hudson River Museum. And it’s gonna be It’s deep, you know, using music, using art as that medium to spark the dialogue, the conversation, the thought about these current issues you cannot make the You can’t make this up, though The libretto has not been changed its 70 years old, and it could have been on the news last week. Really, it’s fascinating. Where when does it wins the opening? It’s a one night only thing. It’s August 10th 8 p.m. August 10 2019. Yes, if you’re in the New York City area, check yolanda johnson dot com. All right, that’s who she is. She’s Yolanda Johnson. Her company is Y F J Eyes Cos. At Y f. J hyphen consulting dot com. Women in development you’ll find at W I d n Y dot or GE. And she is at Yolanda F. Johnson and thank you so much. Thank you. This is a pleasure. My privilege. Next week, there’s no show. I hope you enjoy your holiday time off whichever day or days it is somewhat, officers seem to be having trouble like, do we give them the Thursday off and then make them come in Friday and then Saturday, Sunday off. Do we give them Thursday and then make them coming Saturday? Whatever Hope you have some time off, you certainly have the Thursday off anyway. Enjoy will catch up with you on Uh oh, that was a good breath. We’ll catch up with you again on July 12th. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony. Martignetti dot com were sponsored by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits, data driven and technology enabled. Tony dot m a slash pursuant Capital P by Wagner c. P A. Is guiding you beyond the numbers. Regular cps dot com and by text to give mobile donations. Made Easy text. NPR to 444999 Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. Sam Liebowitz is the line producer. Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Steiner, Brooklyn, New York, With me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great. You’re listening to the talking alternate network. You’re listening to the Talking Alternative Network. Are you stuck in a rut? Negative thoughts, feelings and conversations got you down. Hi, I’m nor in Sumpter potentially ater. 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