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Nonprofit Radio for May 18, 2018: Blockchain and Bitcoin 101 & Be Data Driven

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My Guests:

Sheila Warren: Blockchain and Bitcoin 101

You’ve certainly heard of them. You’re probably confused by them. Let’s straighten it all out. What are these technologies and what do they mean for your nonprofit? Sheila Warren is a knowledgable instructor and makes it easy to understand. She’s with World Economic Forum. (Recorded at the Nonprofit Technology Conference)

 

 

 


Eli Hertz:
 Be Data Driven
What are the reasons to create a data-driven culture in your organization and what challenges will you face? Which tools can help you? Eli Hertz is from United Service Organizations (USO). (Recorded at the Nonprofit Technology Conference)

 

 

 

 


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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 suffer due to wrap a thie if you said primarily that you missed today’s show blockchain and bitcoin one oh one you’ve certainly heard of them. You’re probably confused by them let’s, straighten it all out. What are these technologies? And what do they mean for your non-profit sheila warren is a knowledgeable instructor and makes it easy to understand she’s with world economic forum that was recorded at the non-profit technology conference and be data driven. What are the reasons to create a data driven culture in your organization? And what challenges will you face? Which tools can help you? Eli hurts is from united service organizations uso that’s also recorded at the non-profit technology conference. I’m tony steak too it’s. Time to make time. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled tony dahna slash pursuant to radio bye weinger cpas guiding you beyond the numbers wagner, cpas, dot com and by tell us turning credit card processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash tony tello’s here is sheila warren and block, jane and bitcoin welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntcdinosaur non-profit technology conference. We’re coming to you from new orleans, the convention center there. This interview is sponsored by network for good, easy to use donorsearch and fund-raising software for non-profits my guest is sheila warren. Welcome, sheila. Thanks, tony. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure. Sheila is head of blockchain and distributed ledger technology at the world economic forum on dh her workshop topic is started. I’m talking about you like you’re not here. You’re workshop topic is blockchain for non-profits fact versus fiction. Yes. Okay, um i’m gonna tell you this one has been intimidating me a little bit because i and i even did research on this research. My voice is cracking over, not nervous, but it isn’t intimidating because i’ve tried to crack the bitcoin, not blockchain, but the bitcoin topic two years ago at ntc it was not a dedicated topic. It was became a a digression that i created on i regretted it while i was mired in it and i couldn’t get away out gracefully and and we never really talked about you in what? What the heck bitcoin is okay, so since then i’ve done some technology. I’ve done some reading if i describe bitcoin as there’s, no there’s a greater fool. Does that make sense that you mean it doesn’t really have a value other than the hope that someone will buy it after me and therefore increased my value? I mean, is that i think you’re jumping right into the controversy right into the thick of it. I read the wrong article, i think that’s great, i think let’s back out of that. Okay, okay. Go in. Any direction you like? I did some research, but i don’t want to get mired in it. Okay? Bitcoin. Blockchain. All right, why don’t we start since bitcoin was popular before blockchain? Although i know that they are related in one relies on the other. I have that much down. So i think you’re ahead of many knowing that there’s a distinction between the two? Yes. Ok, i do. All right. I’ll just ask you simply, which i tried two years ago. What is bitcoin and how does it relate? Toe non-profit? Yeah, sure. Okay. So i’ll start by saying you know the number one thing i want people to take away anytime i do any kind of speaking is bitcoin and blockchain are not the same thing now they’re equated because bitcoin is built on something that’s called the bitcoin blockchain, so the terminology is quite confusing but the best analogy i can think of is that bitcoin is to block chain as email is to the inter so blockchain is a foundational technology when it is finally really baked into our systems, people will stop talking about it the way we don’t really talk about the internet anymore except we’re being a bit ironic. We talked about applications, right and bitcoin is an application on blockchain. It is the most famous application on blockchain. It was the first application on blockchain. Bitcoin blockchain was built for bitcoin. So be like if the internet was built for email, you could do other things. But it would be this equations were trying to do is teo that of course let’s tease it apart. These are a lot of other things you could do with a block to that have nothing to do with bitcoin. And even if bitcoin were to completely fail and go away. There would still be exactly the way it will be an internet without email. Okay, let’s, just before we get to the blockchain value on its transparency, etcetera, let’s just flush out the big going a little more so i think non-profit think of it because it’s impossible fund-raising right? I mean, it’s, possible revenue source. Yeah, donors could give gives to you and there have been enormously large gift in the press. Yeah, of bitcoin two non-profits so, yeah, i agree. Okay, so let’s dive into a little green deeper into bitcoin. Yeah, so i was wrong. So i was that was something controversial. I said that it doesn’t have intrinsic value. Well, i mean, i think it has doesn’t have intrinsic value. I mean, bitcoin itself that’s a big debate. I mean, people, some people argue absolutely has intrinsic value because it’s filling a gap in a way that nothing else can really fill the gaps. Some people argue it has absolutely no intrinsic value. It’s all just like, basically hyped value in market value. Like whatever the pr around and i think that’s, right? But that that’s arguably no different than many. Early stage, you know, cos right, like, when you think about equity in an early stage company doesn’t have value of tv, you know, so it’s not that different. So i think to me what i find interesting or kind of mildly amusing at times is like the idea. This is like this brand new distinction, right? We kind of have this model already. It’s called early stage equity grantwriting mean, like those might be paper and worth nothing. They might be worth a ton of money you don’t really know. And to be honest, like your kind of gambling when you buy a digital currency, you know, you should have written the article that i read well, of course you know, you should get them. I not that i should have found your articles. I didn’t know you when i was doing this. Well, i wasn’t in this case two years ago. I just entered the space two years ago, but my research is more recent durney written articles way have something coming out actually, next week on april nineteenth, we’re doing a launch of what we’re calling a blocked a decision making, took it about blockchain and really trying to make it very accessible to the layperson, not in terms of what is it? But is it valuable to you? Is that we’re gonna find that in the world economic forum. Sightly ok, ok, good. Look for that if you want to know more about this, okay. Back-up so let the bitcoin all right? Backing out of the controversy part of it people could give you get absolutely, yeah, just the way they used to get. Yes, you make some very good analogies up early stage equity interests. That would be a challenge for non-profits to deal with. Exactly. Okay, and now we’ve overcome that at some point, real property was hard to deal with, like getting real estate starts thinking the new newest iteration of that. But it’s really no different. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared. You want to know how to receive it? Receiving bitcoin is actually not that hard. You got a coin bait. I mean, this is one example, but what the easiest example probably is you go to coin base, you get a receipt on lee wallet base. Coin base is a company that has what’s called bitcoin wallets. You get a rece ive on ly bitcoin wallet that lives in the ability to receive bitcoin, converted into fiat currency and move on with your day. You can’t buy bitcoin with that wallet, but it’s a pretty easy mechanism. We’re getting you and their other competitors as well. There’s a kind of ah a cottage industry, if you will, in this kind of thing, okay, you receive only while it will be sufficient. And then how will you convert that to its done that’s? All worker magically on the back end, right? You kind of pick your currency usually it’s usd. And then you just they do the conversion for you at the current rate and then you move it out. Now you’re still accepting whatever the current rate is, you might decide you want to hold it longer and want to play the market. It exactly. But it’s like it’s no different for foreign currency. But the cashing out of it is just another it’s. Just a different call. The defense called a wallet, which isn’t you know, i think a very accurate term actually ways we have one of those wallets that enables you to receive this particular kind of currency and then you just decide when you want to cash it out. You move on with your job. These doesn’t want to do he’s well known icons, wallets, you know, it helps. It helps those of us who were trying to get our way in. Well, well, i put my money in my wallet, right? So i’ll just get my bitcoin in my virtual wall. Exactly. Okay, what’s, the what’s, the one you you name, that we could go to base one base dot com and there are others are ok, but you can start there. And it’s. Very simple. Okay. That’s, how to receive bitcoin gift for your non-profit thank you, strickler. You’ve been doing this a while. You’ve been talking to a lot of deal fights. Clearly it’s my my fair parts of my job. Okay, excellent it’s. Time for a break. Pursuing the art and science of acquisition is one of their content papers acquiring new donors. Is it part of your summer planning, perhaps, or keeping your prospect pipeline full is on your mind so you keep revenue robust? How is revenue? If you’re thinking about acquisition? Get the paper. The art and science of acquisition it’s on the listener landing page. Tony dot m a slash pursuant radio now back to block chain and bitcoin one oh, one now let’s, go to blockchain technology. Okay, now that we understand that bitcoin is but one one channel it’s built on built on a blockchain technology. Okay, how would you describe blockchain technology? Yeah. So i like to use the example. Elect yousa thank you. Tell me, but it seems to worry working for so if you and i were teo, i would buy something from you. Whatever it was, then we might decide. Okay? There are two options when we could just we don’t trust each other. Let’s say we contains other cash, marie and i just can’t do it. Whatever dollar bill ten dollar bill you give me the whatever it is and i walk away and we both walk away very happy our transaction is completed. Another way that people do. This is we get our mobile devices and we decided we’re using paypal or venmo are square cash or whatever it is. And we engaged in a transaction and we both again walk away. Satisfied? That transaction is complete. There are five. Parties in the mobile example there’s you, me, your bank, my bank and intermediary, whether that’s, paypal or whatever it is and the reason that you and i are confident enough to walk away from the transaction feeling it’s completed is because we trust those three intervening parties. We trust that they’re goingto all suspect effectively and sufficiently debit my account and credit your account the right amount of money, and we don’t have to really pay attention to that, right? But you can imagine, and this is hypothetical in our case and sort of the western united states largely, but not everywhere. You can imagine a world in which i don’t have access to a bank account or you don’t or both of us don’t. There is no intermediary that’s going to be trusted any matter is easily hacked whatever is for whatever reason we have no trust in this system and we want to exchange something that’s analogous to cash bitcoin additional currency. Is that anil? It is basically the internet analog of my handing you cash there is no meaningful intermediate is no centralized intermediary that’s mediating that transaction for us we’re able to peer-to-peer exchange that value so that is the beauty, if you will, of digital currency, right? And what it provides the marketplace that doesn’t currently otherwise exist except for in paper. Ok, how does blockchain is what enables that happen? So what’s happening this magical middle? I’m not actually hand i’m not like brain sending you something, right? There’s something happening in here what’s happening in here is blockchain is being deployed essentially i mean it’s not technically accurate, but let’s for our sake. What is actually happening? Okay? Rather than me sending something to a central authority and kind of like a chain of central authorities were sending it to a distributed network. So we’re saying what our ways of creating trust? Well, one way creating trust is to trust an intermediary if you don’t have one other way, cretin trust is to make take it totally distributed. So imagine if between us there was a network of a thousand computers not connected to each other independent pseudonymous so no one knows how anyone else is right at the exact same time they’re creating simultaneous this is again not totally accurate, but likely to be a simultaneous record of our exchange, they’re indicating i opened up my digital wallet i released, you know, one bitcoin, which is money. And you gave you something very valuable in exchange and you receive it. Okay? And in orderto hack that transaction, you would have to convince thousand computers to change their record. That’s why they’re i was going to ask you, why are there a thousand computers? That’s? Why security? Security? So it means you can see it’s far more secure than a central database that could be easily hacked. Right? Like one source of truth can be hacked very easily. A thousand simon, identical sources of truth are very hard to have. So each of these computers houses the same information. We call it a ledger about our transaction. And this is why we call it distributed ledger technology. And we can do this because my voice keeps cracking like i’m fourteen because because the cost of storage is so dim minimus on the margin that we don’t worry about all this redundancy. I mean, we got a thousand computers with the same in-kind large network with the same data, the same ledger, but but that’s because storage is so cheap. It’s not so. Much storage is so cheap because it’s a method of achieving trust. Right? So if you if you either either you you trust something? Are you trust nothing. And if you trust nothing, then a thousand synonomous computers is about is going to get right. Exactly right. Nobody has an incentive to screw up our transaction record incorrectly. And if they do, if one computer in that thousand computers records a different version it’s competition we spotted almost immediately and there’s a check that happens. What happened? What’s going on there, you know, so it’s very, very hard to hack. It makes it quite secure. How about how about hacking it so that the one becomes the accurate transaction and the other nine hundred ninety nine convert to that that’s computational e-giving possible? Yeah, demographically impossible to do that. Okay, okay. Yeah. So that’s the way it works now latto brand not going to get a ring about it has given it was going to kill it. Ok, i don’t want to know what’s interesting about this, right? So this is the premise of the bitcoin blockchain and of what are called public blockchain but interestingly enough, which are getting are the human impulse, i think, is to say what i want to control something, if i want, if i want, if i don’t trust something, i want to control it, right? So you’re getting a lot of explosion of these permission block chains, which means that you control you know who all the computers are. Basically, are you on, lee? Allow computers that you have kind of vetted into the system. When you do that, it becomes more securely it’s gotta be it’s, kind of like counter involvement words, they don’t know. We don’t know which each other dahna that’s very good that’s, right? Okay, so what’s the oh, what i’ll ask it instead of trying to figure it out, what’s the value of this two non-profits yeah, i think there’s a lot of value to this. So one, i think, in the sort of remittance space in terms of programmatic work, there are a lot of places where, you know, charitable work is done it using remittances using kind of the last mile payments, like problems that have existed for a long time, that we’ve been unable to really have a great solution for there’s a huge problem osili is realized recently through a world bank project there’s a huge problem with charities, certainly in certain kinds of region syria, the kinds of places being unbanked like having no access to bank accounts. And in many of these regions, people are literally taking paper cash into these environments and using it to provide services right, hugely problematic, very unsafe, very risking dangerous activity. If you have a digital wallet it’s that much more secure, right? Like it’s, actually that much harder. Teo, steal that hack it. You can prove ownership using encryption, there’s a lot of other things about it that are better. In these situations and that’s sort of the extreme example is the example we’re seeing a lot of different application level there’s, other completely non currency related applications of blockchain, so one that i think is really critical is digital identity. So this is this comes up a lot in the refugee asylum situations you could imagine a family has to flee in the middle of the night. They can’t bring any of their papers with them there’s no proof of who they are, their citizenship, their credentials, whether medical license, whatever it is that medical records, nothing like that. If all of that we’re on a distributed ledger, it would be security’s, not a paper based system. So so when you think about the application layer where you’re moving away from paper and you’re storing something in a secure manner, but not in some sort of like a database of government, where the government could be corrupt and come in and kind of change things up and disavow it, but in a way that really is truly secure that you own the only entrance key too, like that is very powerful to think about, you know there are we. Know that in homeless encampment, united states leaving aside like this war tor in-kind of regions, even in united states, there’s no accurate record of the homeless population because people who are born homeless often don’t have records, right? And then if you die homeless, there’s no account about this son accurately, in a sense, is acknowledges it’s completely off with that population. Imagine if there were a digital ledger that you could create around that now policy on how you do that is very challenging because it’s not an easy problem to solve, but at least there isn’t a different option. Now for three zsystems exactly exactly for preserving it current once you once you are creating and has overcome the challenge of gathering data, there’s a place to preserve it and the persons data is not vulnerable. Exactly loss or hacking. Okay, okay. Um now one of the articles i read talked about the transparency on dh. The example was a donor giving to a program and tracking progress of that program and then tying her funding two milestones that disease through the blockchain technology through some user interface. I guess the fucking can you help people understand? Better than i just did. What i’m talking about is absolutely so i think that we call the supply chain integration and i get a flow is an example of a supply chain supply chain of cash, but their supply chains of all kinds of things, i think it’s easier to understand that if we think about a supply chain and we’ll take mining as an example, because this i think people really understand this, ok, so and one hundred percent with your analogies. Thank you. I’ll make sure we bring it back to the non-profit but you go ahead. Yeah, so when you think about mining and you think about sustainable practices, right, so people don’t want blood diamonds. For example, there is a international process established called kimberley process that evaluates whether or not i don’t recall the kimberley process so it evaluates whether or not a diamond is mind using fair labor, you know, no child labor and all the things that you actually would care about is a consumer of this diamond and using blockchain technology, those diamonds are actually etched. Can you confirm follow using a combination r f i d e a lot of things and block chain a diamond throughout the entire supply chain from the moment its mind and you can you can certify that the mine itself was done with correct worker conditions, and etcetera are fundamental. Whatever it is, you contract that all the way to the refinery, to the manufacturer, to the retailer to thee. Kayman right, so there is certainty that that specific mineral or metal was taken all the way through, and this applies to other kinds of minerals and metals as well. You could imagine something similar that would apply, teo, you know, cotton or coffee or whatever it is, right? Like you could actually certify that a particular bag of coffee beans was crude was was harvested on a plantation that would that met their labor practices and was organic. And, you know, whatever the things are you care about fair trade certified, you could track that of a supply chain, and you could therefore ensure and give meaning to some of these labels that we don’t actually have any proxy for ascertaining are actually true. Great. So this provides more accountability and transparency because you can track the same good throughout an entire system. Now the same thing is true of aid flows. So a dollar originates somewhere. It’s basically just a supply chain all the way through. So any diversion of that money can actually be tracked. It’s a really interesting question. If you do this in digital currency every time digital currencies exchange there is a record created by definition. It’s not like cass. We’re just kind of khun vanished. There’s no ability for to vanish. It’s. Impossible. Great. So if i give it to you and you give it tio some other intermediary and they suddenly diverted to some corrupt whatever it is that that currency can be tracked so you can create accountability system, you can show that it went to pay your staffer that it went teo, you know, a contract to build the well or whatever it is. You can actually show that. And you can report all that ledger back too. The donor exactly. How does the organization interact with block james with the right to say the blockchain? No, there was no. It depends on a blockchain blockchain. And normally just sabelo depends on how dramatically interesting. You okay, what’s the user interface. That thing with donor and really question sametz finally twenty minutes and i got one good question is, is it okay for the donor and the non-profit? How we interact with? Yeah, this’s one of the challenges right now and it’s one of the reasons there isn’t at this gigantic explosion in use cases, even though they’re theoretical use cases everyone agrees on. People are now in the wake up in the state got started on the stage where this is being developed. When you think about the early internet and everybody was kind of risky, prompted was typing things and whatever that was not accessible. Teo fingering people call this business was not it was not accessible to a lot of people, right? But once you had a graphical user interface that came into play, people could pipe in plain english. And you kind of had with me what you had. What you see is what you get. You have these interfaces that were just more intuitive. You know what? You were wearing a realist. I have george in jail, but i wouldn’t wait. I mean that’s that’s. Well, that’s, not jargon. Ok. Fantastic, i presume. Thanks. I don’t agree with you. I’m fearful that you have low expectations of my understanding. Now go. Okay, okay. All right, well, listen, non-profit lady radio listeners or at least at my level, most of all, most people going with us so that those were all huge innovations enabled the explosion and things like email in google and search engines than whatever, until you had that was very hard to imagine being there, steve jobs is times a thousand, right? Exactly, right? So give it a little time and we’re going to get there and before you know it, we’re not going to talk about blocked it anymore. It’s going to be kind of this thing of the past, right? No, one’s talking about consensus mechanisms are proof of work or bubble it not going to care about any of that we’re going to be like, oh, did you check out your whatever the company is it’s the new facebook, but now built on block chain that we all now can’t live without you. So we’re getting there. We’re getting there. Awesome. All right. You really think you have very good analogy is a very good way of explaining this. Thank you. And thank you. We still have a couple minutes left together. So what more do you want to say? Is there another level we can go to? Ise there a story you want to tell about a non-profit using this technology? What? You know, i got love, yeah, i will say a couple of things, i think that, you know, i would really encourage listeners and anyone, you know, to really think beyond the digital currency example, and so we gave some examples of identity and supply chain and others, you know, there’s, interesting work happening around impact and how charity’s khun demonstrate impact using blockchain and kind of tag metrics. Tio tio not necessary to cash, but to sort of the street planning that goes all kinds of different implications for this technology and really the kind of, like joke in the blockchain nerd of which i am one system is to say, like, when you really start thinking about what this can do, you have these, like, three a m wake ups where you think like, oh, my god, like, you could do that, i could do that, i could do that, and you have to kind of dialling back down and we’re not there yet, you know? So one example, i’m really what got me my three a m moment that got me really hyped about this technology was in criminal justice, something i’m very passionate about and thinking about chain of custody of evidence. So thinking about thie way that evidence gets lost things like rape kits or dna evidence or whatever it might be a chain of custody people exam, and i’m thinking more of in other countries were tortured or vanished, get disappeared, kidnapping or not, it is our most of our institutions are exactly so we’re doing a big project anticorruption work in south america, where we’re thinking about government accountability and transparency and how you can actually work around and mitigate corruption, which is i’m the president in many parts of the world, using this technology because of the ability to track and trace, which is really key. So i think that is where the big innovation is gonna happen. It’s already happening and will continue to happen in this space and the implications, i think, for non-profits are quite quite profound the ability to track and trace something or someone is very, very so. Any objects like you had said the diamond is physically etched. Yeah, i mean, it’s gotta be obviously a pretty small, actually. Dankmyer dahna it is. Okay, so but any physical things, physical evidence in a criminal in a criminal case. Oh, it’s, great kids. A bloody glove, as a random example. Okay, very good. Okay. Uh, out. Forever. Forever. Forever. We will never have treyz we won’t have lost evidence. You’ll know if if it is disappeared, we’ll know exactly at what stage is exactly at what stage disappear. There won’t be a guests there’s no ability to hide, right? And you can mark that that security with like, with a geo look, even geo tag it, you know exactly, literally. Exactly where that thing was that the last recorded exchange of it. Okay. So which is really profound when you think about that, we have about a minute left. What do you love about this work? Not not so much. Not so much of the technology. But what do you love about explaining it to people? I think you know, i think it really is. Ah, i don’t think it’s surprising. How intimidating it it it’s a very intimidating technology, in part because there’s so much media attention about it, the volatility, the currency and then bitcoin millionaires and all this kind of billionaires and all this stuff and and you know it, it’s a community that’s really fascinating. Someone just used bitcoin. I asked you to talk about someone just used going to fund every single every single request that was donorsearch shoes dot org’s every single one got funded overnight, a lot of money, and charles rich asked for it. He couldn’t believe that he got it. Well, it’s also crazy because this is like there’s so much money in this that there are people who are they want to press, like the people that really, really have the money security to hired security. Us. What has this like thug element to it in this history of, like illicit actors in nefarious activity, you know kind of things people mean arms were sold using bitcoin, that the fact people were traffic using bitcoin? That is a fact, all right. And the idea that we’ve moved away from that not saying that is it still happening? Because let’s be candid, it is still happening, right? But that’s not the case for which it was really designed, and most people in this space are not interested in that kind of activity when you think about the shift away in the movement opportunity it’s really exciting to get ordinary people call them, like, lay people aware of this at least at a base level, and to not be afraid of it that i find very rewarding, okay? And like, we no longer fear the internet and automobiles exactly where you wanna go both okay? All right. We got every motive. Transportation? All right, sheila warren. Thank you very much. Thank you for the pleasure. You helped enormously. I’m so glad. She’s, the head of blockchain and distributed ledger technology at the world economic forum once the article it’s coming up that we should look for, it’ll be april nineteenth and it’s called the decision making till can’t it’ll be on our website? Awesome on our twitter my interview with sheila is sponsored my pleasure by network for good, easy to use dahna management and fund-raising software for non-profits thank you so much for being with non-profit medio coverage of the non-profit technology conference twenty eighteen we need to take a break, wittner. Cps. You need your nine. Ninety done. Right. You need an audit. Start at wagner. Cps dot com. Look at their services for non-profits. Read a few testimonials. Then pick up the phone and talk to partner. Eat huge tomb. I know him. He’s. Been on the show. He’s. A good guy. You explain what you need. He’ll tell you if they can help you. No pressure, he’s. Not that way at all. Talk to him. Wagner. Cpas dot com is the place to start now. Time for tony’s. Take two. Summer is close, it’s. Time to make time for your time away, including offgrid time. I hope you can do this. You need it. We all need offgrid time. No phone, no email. You know offgrid my encouragement video. Is that tony martignetti dot com good link. Dot com. Listen, i’m a safe too. Looked our founder of good link at goodland. Dot com non-profits connect with businesses that advanced their missions. When i want the best connections i listen to non-profit radio like you are safe. Good link it’s a new marketplace where non-profits meat vendors providing products or services? No cost to you as non-profit it’s, your bridge, your connection to the products and services that you need i’m helping them get started see what you think. Check out good link dot com it’s l i n c now time for a lie hurts and be data driven. Welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc it’s a non-profit technology conference hosted by the non-profit technology network. We’re coming to you from new orleans convention center there. This interview is sponsored by network for good. Easy to use donor-centric software for non-profits. And my guest is you. I hurt he’s, the vice president of information technology at united service organizations. Us. So you lie hurts. Welcome to the show. Thank you, tony. Pleasure to have you. Thanks for having me welcome. My your your subject is becoming a data driven organization. Why should we? Why should read to make better decisions to do our mission better, more efficiently. B a and teo, to be able to have more impact, you’re confident that this changing culture going to bring about all these good outcome? Yes, yes. If you are you okay? It will there be challenges to get there? Yes, there will be. Challenges to get there isn’t a transition necessary, absolutely, but i’m confident that if and when we navigate those those challenges, the getting there enables better decisions, so we’re able to do our mission more effectively and that’s really what it’s all about, okay, and this does not just apply in the information technology department knows is you know what? This is organization wide. Oh, absolutely matter of fact, i’m glad you asked that tony, because if it only applied to information technology department, we would never get there that’s not how it’s accomplished the my department is about enabling the tools and technology that air the underpinnings, but really getting there and ineffectiveness is on ly when the business used the lines of business, that of performing the mission are asking the questions that are doing the analysis, they have the context they know the right questions to ask on the story that needs to be told it is absolutely not by-laws malefactor tools just one other piece, that the tools are evolving to enable that the so that it doesn’t take a technical person like it did in the past. The tools are being designed so that anyone khun, step up, use um and ask the right questions to get the answers they need. Okay, are we able to talk about some of those fools later on? Sure. Ifyou’d like tio conversing with them. Okay, you know them. Okay, good. Well, i’m guessing if this is going to be a cultural change, the change is gonna come from the top. So ideally so, the way we’re approaching a tony is both a top down and bottoms up approach both simultaneously kind of come out it from two angles, and we think both are necessary. Neither one by itself would would get us all the way there. We are fortunate have a ceo is very technically driven that understands the has the vision of what it can and should do for the organization to be able to make data driven decisions. However, just mandating it isn’t isn’t going to get us all the way there because the ones that are going to make it work are the ones that are going to be working. The tools are maur bottoms up because they’re they’re day today they have the context, they they have the context for the fund-raising with a marketing or the program delivery there of our constituents, and they have a better sense of the business processes and what all the data means so they can ask those questions if they don’t buy-in and have the right inquisitive mind set dahna we won’t get the answers that we want, they want to know more about what they’re doing and what the outcomes are on. And, you know, what successful was not now, of course, you’re coming at it from the uso perspective, but hard now they’re our listeners air over twelve thousand people in small and midsize non-profits sure, so the lessons apply equally, right? You know, nowhere and what i’ve said so far. Did i talk about the mission of us? Owe every single non-profit has a mission to deliver some service or product, mostly a service, for the benefit of of their their benefactors, so really it’s about understanding what their mission is and and they can all equally equally gain from increasing their impact, it’s about increasing the impact based on the insights that you have on the data that you’ve collected or can aggregate nowhere and what i just said that i talk about. The uso mission every single non-profit and benefit from it. Okay, i want to make that explicit. I i know it’s true. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But i want metoo explicit for our for our listeners. All right, so ah, a lot of this is around empowerment also. Right? So we’re empowering staff to be asking the challenging questions that data can provide answers to. Yeah. Ok right. Are we empowering? Well, empowering is part of it. Yes. That’s a necessary but not sufficient. Okay, so we have to start. You know it has tohave empowerment. They also have to have access so access to the right data stores. And this means breaking down stone by breaking down stovepipes for silos breaking down paradigms of no, this is this is my thing. And then also learning the skill set and the mindset, skill set and mindset. So the skill set to to manipulate tools which, again are being designed to be always there friendly using some of this technology yourself and then and then the mindset is critical as well. Tony is having that inquisitive mind set to what’s what’s really happening here in my fund-raising in my marketing campaign in a program delivery what’s the underlying what’s the activity that’s happened. Who are the players that are impacting it? And what can i or do? I want to learn to make it better. So it’s that inquisitive mind set this is not we won’t get there by what some folks air more accustomed to is generate some report that says, what happened? That’s just reporting that’s the same, you know, something that you can construct and say point to this was thing that happened, this is about in court inquisitor enquiring mind set and interacting with it. So if i’m listening to this and i’m i’m motivated by what you’re saying, but i don’t yet have the top down or the bottom up, or i guess i’m in the bottom or maybe not right in the middle somewhere sure, or might be at the top. We have ceos who listen also how do i get the other end? Or if i’m in neither end, how do we get both ends to buy into this? Yeah, great question. Well, first, we think is start small and show a little benefit and you can do it relatively relatively easily, relatively. Affordably and, you know, for every non-profit every dollar we don’t spend is a dollar that goes to our our mission, and some of the tools are very affordable and show the way do a little pilot hyre we did a proof of concept, the uso first to say, hey, for very few dollars, this is a kind of insights we can generate and here’s iraq without. What do you think? Wow, this is really given tell the story of your your test because i think i think the example will help, okay, listeners understand, you know what? How do you bite off a little bit of this, like, a little a little bit of what? Where do we start? Yeah, absolutely. So we we had, uh we took data from two of our important or two of our sources that support somewhere big, most impactful business processes. One is financial, so that shows a roll up of our fund-raising how we’re doing on revenue, you know, fund-raising and the other is relatively new data set that that we just deployed a system last year for part of our digital transformation, which was collecting usage metrics of our customers, they check into our centers and way made a digital platform that collects the check in and some of that there some of their demographic snoopy ii, obviously and and we have now about six months of here’s how they and when and how they interact with us and what they think of us and what they like. And these are two data sorts one was just talking about the tools, but one was in the great plains data set which many organisations used, which we exported from report into a csp export, relatively simple stuff. And the other was in a sales force back and data set. And what we did is we used a pretty affordable tool for non-profits microsoft power b i it’s okay to talk about product. Certainly. Yes, i want you to. Yeah. Okay. Super yeah. Which is very affordable for a non-profit handup power b i microsoft power b i business business insight. Because this intelligence argast it’s ah it’s in the gardner magic water and for the last two years is one of the top in the b i space non-profit the cost is very affordable there’s a free version as well. And you can experiment the free version. So what we do is we got a little bit of help because if this does require some different mindset, you know, then then folks have been doing one thing for a long time, so we got a partner for a little bit of help to say, okay, help us bill, do some analysis and build some visualizations in a dashboard that shows what what’s happening in these areas, both from financial progress. Oh, and also for our customer usage, we did it in a month or two, just a few dollars, not much product dollars, and we built visualizations and showed it say, hairs here’s, how we’re being used right now, and it was very, very well received. The insights were kind of ah ha moments. So so what i recommend is start with some existing data stores and and sort of identify first what it is you think will be impactful and then showcasing take it around, say, hey, this is some insights. What do you think? And and if it doesn’t get enthusiasm either learned a lesson from it to say what’s more interesting or perk it, move on to something else. Okay. Okay. Test for value early. Yeah. All right. And in a small bit. Yeah. Small piece. Okay, awesome. Ah. All right. So then what? What? What’s, the next step in this you don’t change this culture. So let’s say we get some approval. Okay? This this is pretty stark and i can see some value. Um, otherwise the interview’s over. So we better remove this phone way. We’re not taking the park and move on to something else. Option forget move on. Yeah, what? Where do we go from here now? We with our test results. So where we’re going is an operational pilot and recalled an operation pilot, so because we’re adding a little more funding and setting the setting the goals of a little bit hyre but we’re also not in the same breath, not institutionalizing it yet. So we’re going to expand the number of data stories that we bring in on then here’s the other key, tony, is what we’re also going to do since the product and microsoft power b i again is the one we’re using. It is b is designed so for someone that’s in the line of business, the development department of marketing department, the program delivery, not the geeky tech person it’s not designed for that person is designed so that those that a former that i mentioned can learn how to use it. So we’re rolling out training at the same time, we’re going to take him through here’s how to use the tool and here’s the art of the possible, and let them loose and let them loose on the data, and also let them see, you know, some of the additional products, visualizations and, more importantly, the insight that comes out. We’ll let that run for a while. Say, you know, show us how it’s changed your ability to perform your mission. Okay? Yeah. And where are you in this process? So we finished the proof of concept on we go and let’s see january, late january or february on we look at it for a little bit and were actually just going to start up our operational pilot, which will be a six week effort with some some assistance. We’re gonna start that up in several weeks. So by this summer for april thirtieth. So okay, here a couple weeks away from taking the next step. Will spend about six weeks building it up, and then we’ll look at it for a bit. How do you figure out what what the data is? That is most important for the organization? Well, we’re starting with, you know, the the kp eyes that are most dahna most impactful and most important for insight and that’s a, uh, you know, that’s a that’s, quite frankly, a lift and shift of current reporting. Two more digitised on dh that’s sort of a stepping stone, because these with kp eyes that dahna that air that leadership needs teo, understand where we’re going and where we are, but again that’s ah that’s a stepping stone. So it’s also going to relieve some pain? Because, quite frankly, you know, the other way of doing the reporting takes a lot of time, and a lot of resource is, which is time and resource is to be better well spent by those down the chain of command that have to do all that every organization has that, but instead of we’re goingto automate that enhance it, enhance it, and let me touch another key point because what we can do that can’t be done as effectively as connect the dots across data silos for combined visualizations that tell amore comprehensive story, the whole organization, right, especially the sea level, is interested in that sea level. And we think every yes, but not just to sea level and again that’s a stepping stone, because what comes next and the rial golden ring is ah, and well, we will have accomplished a lot by that intermediate step, which is much more efficient, comprehensive reporting and visualization. But the real golden ring and the next step it is doing predictive analytics and being able, teo asked questions of the data by interacting with him. So there’s a k p i reporting this is the important stuff we need no for how the business is going that’s again, the next step and once it’s all in place and folks get comfortable with it, say, well, i could really ask some questions. You know what i haven’t thought about? Fill in the blank. You know how our current trend is from a predictive analytics perspective, our fund-raising is happening over time or what is the impact if we change these variables? You khun, you could do all of that once. You’re in the platform and uncomfortable. Okay? Got to take a break. Tell us i have a new tell us. Moughniyah lll. Lead quote. Lee elementary school foundation is receiving a monthly donation from tello’s for the credit card processing of a company one of our parents owns is likely the easiest donation source we have ever secured. End quote. A parent’s company. That’s. Brilliant local companies taking credit cards. Do you need more revenue? Get started at tony dot m a slash tony. Tell us now back to be data driven with eli hurts. Let’s talk about the challenges of doing this. You brought him up earlier. I want to come back to it. Sure. Uh, what what? What should we expect? Yeah, well, there can be some and actually just came from aa good session, where we had this same discussion and with a group full of non-profits and it was it was really it was it was a really wonderful conversation. It became a conversation and of the same topic. And one of the challenges is that one of the non-profits brought up is hey, what if you know your shot in the light on something? That’s? That is kind of a hard story that, you know, has projects bad news where you have been visualized way have start asking questions. We may not always like the answer. You might not like the answer, and what we would suggest is that we shift the focus away from the who, which is can be a tendency if you see something responsible who’s responsible who hasn’t been doing their job who’s been falling short and and shift it more towards the what and what’s the impact on the on the mission than everybody circles around. You know, the conversation about how do we improve the mission based on what we learned, not who’s not been doing their job effective. So it’s changing the conversation based on the insights? Okay, so that that’s one is that the kind of fear three other has changed management? You know, i’ve been doing it this way for a long time, and this is what i was hired to do. So, like many classic change management problems or channel opportunities, it’s about education that can be circumvented with education and finding a few folks that were shown successes with him by doing it a different way with a different tool, shining the light on them and say, hey, this is an early adopter. Look what they were able to dio you could do something similar in your position will help you do that. You mean drawing on the early testing that you did well early? Six it continuing success is its a continual process. Let me give you a specific example. We did the proof of concept way showed the platform the possible everybody, not their head sea level, sweet like that. Others looked at it. Xero but can i do this to answer a question i need to do? And we identified one of those one of those this i really need to tell this toe understand this and tell this story better one just as i’m sure you know, when i tell say, tell the story, it’s obviously not about creating fiction, but it’s about painting the picture what’s going on, and so we identified that person who’s, not technologically savvy didn’t need to be we didn’t create it, so he needed to be that’s the point, and we’re helping him build something so that he can answer that question and expose. That so we could make better decisions. So we built on that success. This is, before we build out the operational pilot way found somebody else who has came to us because they heard about the success, the operational pilot or sort of proof of concept said, hey, i need another answer here. So, you know, we incrementally show successes, leverage some of these early adopters and their successes in trying to bring some skeptics along. Exactly okay, yeah, now the rial on dh so the following we haven’t accomplished yet, tony, i’ll just say that for what i’m about to say, but a study of change management and you’ve probably heard many of the folks you interview talk about it from and one of the best yeah, disciplines. I’ve been through his pro side change management certification encourage it for any non-profit listener is the best three days i’ve ever spent. Tell me again what it is a pro side p r o s c i change management three day certification class and it covers the breath of technology is what one piece of it it’s really about change management? Okay, but if you really but to go get to the next level. So some of things i’ve talked about or some sort of the classic change management techniques what’s, really a strong accelerator is to find a skeptic allowed skeptic on someone who’s yeah, so till happen, you know, if you’re not watching the video, you maybe i can tell i’m laughing. All right? So you probably last on somebody there? Well, i work for myself, but i have in the end, everybody got clients that whatever somebody who’s allowed skeptic, we’ll leave it at that. All right? Yeah, yeah. So every organization sufficient? Yeah. On dh who’s sort of maybe established will say yeah, so they have some credibility in the organization and they’re also established with the way they were used to doing things. If you make that person and advocate, they will amplify the successes to the same degree that they amplified their skepticism. Now that’s the breast, that’s, the it’s dueled brass ring. Yeah, back to your mary-jo exactly, but it’s it’s a it’s a huge accelerate an amplifier so it can be done. But instead of avoiding that skeptic, use um, empathic techniques understand why they’re they’re skeptical. Remember? Well, trying to embrace them train, embrace, understand what they need and then help them. And if they flip and you got maybe a fifty fifty chance i’ll be really but if and when they flip and then the rest the organization, by the way, everybody, when i said that they know who the organization skeptic is, right? Everybody knows so when the organisation sees a skeptic that’s a believer katie bar the doors everybody’s in, so okay. Okay, way exhausted the challenges. Well, one other, you know, is just learning the learning a new approach. It’s a different mindset. So, you know, that’s more, much more the emotional side of the psychological side of change in management. Well, you know, those pieces just address, but there’s also some some, you know, functional skills. Oh, the skills. Yes, you get skillsets the mindset skillsets so i spoke to a willingness to take on new skill and the ability. So it’s it’s a different way of operating it’s about, you know, the science behind data science is about exploring and experimenting and asking questions and telling a story. Eso again, a lot of us, you know, and many parts organizations say, hey, bill, be a report that shows nothing fund-raising how much you know how many impressions were on the website or whatever? How many times are programmers using a report? You know, it’s more of a diagnostic or reporting this is what happened? And they say, here’s, what happened? But what this cannon and get to with a different skill set is ask some questions on dh, interact with it, tio, connect the dots, teo answer answer, tell the story of what’s really going on versus saying what? What happened? Okay, eli, i want to talk about some of the tools that way because we just have a couple minutes left, okay? Uh, tools that can help with this with this process, yeah, yeah. So one i wrote, we use and and we’re having very good success with it is microsoft power b i mentioned and that’s the primary one now the other is, you know, the benefit of it is the tool is it can integrate and interact with the data wherever it is, so you don’t have to create something new, leave it in place and integrated. There are a few, you know, competitors in the place in the in the space. That’s the one we’re getting no success, we’ve put a lot of our operational data and a sales force back end, which we built up for several reasons and integrating it in on dh and again, others and data in place. So those those are some of the primary ones the sales force haven’t add on for this kind of data introspection, they do, they do they call it einstein analytics, einstein yeah, and sales force just recently, we’re recording this in april of twenty eighteen they just recently perp made a purchase of another integration product called mulesoft so they’re going to integrate that product so that in their analytics engine they can pull in other data sources, which is really important fan letters because a lot of systems have been built up as here’s, my tool or data set based on what’s happening in this piece of the process and really to tell the comprehensive picture is about connecting the dots so you won’t be able to pull in from several sources. So salesforce’s getting has that capability and einstein analytics with mulesoft added tio okay, we have just about a minute or so left and i want to ask you what is it? You know, vice president of information technology. Yeah, yeah. What is it you love about the work you do? Oh, great question. Thanks for asking. People don’t think about it. It is a lovable, lovable office toe working, let alone lead. Yeah there’s a little maytag repairman have the successive nobody’s angry, right? Yeah, when i really like about is we’re rolling out capabilities that are that are making a everybody’s every employee’s job better, more effective cut across the hall organise a cross organization and we feel that we can make them more efficient by either the systems where the insights they get that gives lifts to the entire organization. We’re also changing the way we’re we’re interact with our constituents or service members were rolled out a mobile app. Recently go the apple or google play and download the usl app it’s really gratifying to know that weekend engage with our customers in away reach him where they are dahna but really it all rolls back to we can make the mission more effective, and if we can save a dollar while we’re doing it and then as a non-profit we’re serving. Our service members are constituents more effectively and that’s. Gratifying. Are you a vet? I am. Yeah, i am too. Well, thank you for your support. Thank you. You thank me. First what service? I was in the navy about you turning air force air force. Okay. We so we should have a little rivalry going on here. Very friendly, though. Of course. Eli hurts. He’s, the vice president of information technology for united service organizations uso this interview is sponsored by network for good. Easy to use donorsearch and fund-raising software for non-profits. Thank you very much. Thank you. To you know pleasure. Thanks. Thanks. And this is twenty martignetti non-profit radio coverage of eighteen ntc. Thank you so much for being with us next week. Change agents on your board and more from the non-profit technology conference. If you missed any part of today’s show, i beseech you, find it on tony martignetti dot com were supported by pursuing online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled. Tony dahna slash pursuant radio by wagner, sepa is guiding you beyond the numbers weinger cps dot com and tell us credit card and payment processing your passive revenue stream. Durney dahna slash tony tell us. Ah, creative producers claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Show social media is by susan chavez, and this very cool music is by scott stein. We will be next week for non-profit radio. 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