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Nonprofit Radio for March 6, 2023: Meet The FreeWill Founders


Jenny Xia Spradling & Patrick Schmitt: Meet The FreeWill Founders

Jenny Xia Spradling and Patrick Schmitt are the co-founders and co-CEOs of FreeWill. Let’s talk about FreeWill’s founding beliefs; the value and simplicity of wills as planned gifts; the enormous wealth transfer underway; pay equity; women and moms in tech; my personal experiment; and more.


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[00:01:29.00] spk_0:
And welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your Aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. And oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer the effects of Corio retinitis if I saw that you missed this week’s show, Meet the Free Will founders, Jenny Shaw Spradling and Patrick Schmidt are the co founders and co CEO of Free Will. Let’s talk about free wills, founding beliefs, the value and simplicity of wills as planned gifts, the enormous wealth transfer underway. Hey, equity women and moms in tech, my personal experiment and more On Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator. And thank you. It’s my pleasure to welcome Jenny and Patrick to non profit radio Before co founding Free Will, Jenny Shaw Spradling, worked at mckinsey and Bain Capital where she helped launch the firm’s first impact investment fund. She was also a co founder of Parabolas later acquired by capital one before joining Jenny to co found Free Will Patrick Schmidt founded to nonprofits and served as head of innovation at change dot org where he helped the organization to grow to 100 million users in four years. Free Will is at free will dot com. Jenny Patrick, welcome to non profit radio

[00:01:51.67] spk_1:
Thanks for having us

[00:01:57.58] spk_0:
here. Pleasure, pleasure to have both of you. Let’s talk about the founding of Free Will at, at Stanford. You were both graduate students in business, Jenny. Can you share that story?

[00:03:17.03] spk_1:
Yeah. Uh Patrick and I both went to business school thinking we would do something and social entrepreneurship, both very passionate philanthropy. Hey, this might take six months to find someone who I’m interested in working with. And right off the bat week two, we were very fortunate to meet each other at a social innovation meet up that Patrick had planned and we after the meet up had gone on a walk and I remember beautiful Stanford campus, sunny day, Patrick and I are meeting for the first time and about 10 to 15 minutes in. We’re clicking like we walked quickly, we talk quickly. We had both, you know, done our professional careers on the east coast and very excitable energetic people. And so the vibes are just there and Patrick turns to me and goes, you know, I’ve been thinking about this idea and he basically pushes me free will uh and having previously done impact investing and heard a lot of social entrepreneurs with great ideas. I knew that this was something special. Um I loved that it related to the great Well transfer, which is this demographic transition that is going to happen no matter what. And we both had this passion to help nonprofits take advantage to the best degree that they could.

[00:03:32.97] spk_0:
Patrick you feel like you’re adding any uh any color to, to the color commentary to the explanation.

[00:04:25.87] spk_2:
Sure. I mean, two different things. One is the original idea came because I had spent a lot of time in nonprofit fundraising, like many of you all and actually helped run email fundraising for President Obama after he was first elected. And in that world, we just ran constant experiments to make it a little bit easier for you to give 10 or $15 or $25. And there was so much blood sweat and tears that went into that effort. And years later, I was actually doing my own estate planning and found the whole process of trying to leave some money to charity to be surprisingly difficult. And it set off this light bulb and alarm bells that why have we spent so much time trying to make it easy for people to give $20? But it’s hard to give 20,000 or 200,000 because Tony as you know, planned gifts are enormous. And so I was excited about this idea, was a little bit nervous about my own ability to start a startup. And met Jenny quickly realized that she was the smartest person I’ve ever encountered and said, please come do this with me. I think I’m much more confident in us. Doing it together than I am about doing it alone. And so that’s a bit more of the story,

[00:04:44.61] spk_0:
Patrick, could you flush out the, the intergenerational wealth transfer that, that we’re in the midst of?

[00:05:40.85] spk_2:
Yes. So it is so large that most people have difficult, a difficult time getting their minds around it. Over the next 20-30 years, there will be about $70 trillion dollars passed on by some estimates as baby boomers age. Now people forget that baby boomers are the wealthiest generation in the history of America. They’re one of the largest generations. They’re much more educated than their predecessors. They lived through enormous growth in housing wealth, in investment, wealth and productivity. Many more women in that generation where the workforce had a lot of two-income households as opposed to previous generations. And so plan giving over the next 10 years, 15 years is going to dwarf plan giving in the entirety of charitable history. Before this people, people think oh a 10% increase in 20% increase. No, it could double or even triple over the next 10 years or so. I mean, we are sitting on potentially the most important moment for philanthropy in the history of American philanthropy potentially in the history of the world

[00:06:21.46] spk_0:
70 trillion U two U two co authored in 2017, sort of what I wish I had written for the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It read like a manifesto that I would like to have written but you beat me to it. You in 2017 in Stanford Social Innovation Review. I think that quotes 30 trillion And and 30 trillion, like 30 to 40 trillion is kind of a number I’ve heard for many years. But you’re saying now the estimate is 70 like double, more than double.

[00:06:31.10] spk_1:
Yes, there have been updated studies that have come out over the past couple of years. Actually, the number we thought that was 30 trillion is 70 trillion. At least

[00:08:41.83] spk_0:
Jenny. My synesthesia just kicked in. I got, I literally, I got chills. I literally just got chills on my arms and legs. As you were saying this, it’s so this is quantitatively demonstrated 70 trillion. Now we’re estimating, correct. All right. And over 2020 to 30 years. Is that, is that about right? Because Okay, because I’m the youngest, I’m six at 61. I’m among the youngest boomers and you know, in planned giving fundraising, I work with a woman who’s 99 and has an organization in her will. Um so she’s, she’s among the among the oldest. Okay. Um Okay, I didn’t know about 70 trillion. Um jenny, let’s stick with this. So wills wills as a method of Gaining, not gaining what nonprofits can certainly use. And I don’t know, maybe it’s not say, maybe it’s too strong to say entitled to that. That’s an overstatement but certainly need desperately when we look at the missions, the goals, the things that we’re trying to achieve in the social impact sector. Um I’ve been doing planned giving fundraising for 26 years and over the past probably five or six years, I just just became so clear to me that wills are just are the place to, to launch planned giving their, their value, their simplicity, the simplicity for donors, the simplicity for the nonprofits that don’t have to educate their teams about complicated gifts. Uh That was a long lead into a question. But all to say like I’m so simpatico, that’s why you wrote my manifesto. I should be grateful, wrote the manifesto for me that I would like to have written Jenny talk about free will and the simplicity value of wills, how nonprofits can gain their rightful share, put it that way of this wealth transfer.

[00:11:47.66] spk_1:
So we learned a lot during that first year of starting the company and we did almost 200, interviews with various people who had written, wills not written wills added a request to a charity, not even realized it was an option. And there are a couple of things that we took away from that research. The first thing is the main thing stopping folks from making estate plans here in the US is the same three words. We think it’s scary. We think it’s complicated. Um We think it’s expensive. This is not for me, this is not the right time. I know that I should do it And it’s been on my to do list for 10 years, but it’s just too scary, complicated and expensive for me to do this year. So I’m gonna hang out with my kids over this weekend rather than think about writing a will and maybe next year. And so the thing that we heard was, it’s not that people don’t want to make an estate plan, they actually realize they should. And it’s not that they don’t want to leave money to charity is that it’s just too hard for them to do right now. So that was the first thing. The second thing we learned is that the vast majority of folks who are going to make an estate plan, say they actually got there mentally like it’s time for me now. Um if they went to go see an attorney or even if they went to an online site, like Legalzoom charitable giving is not prompted in those conversations. And so again, it wasn’t that folks didn’t have intent. It was that there was no one telling them this was an option. And this is the first time they’re doing estate planning. Of course, they’re not going to remember the flyer that they, that they received five years ago from a charity that they love realizing that this is an option for them. So we put those kind of insights together and we created free will. So instead of scary, complicated and expensive, it is free, it’s warm, it’s intuitive, you can do it in 30 minutes from the comfort of your own home with your loved ones, you can start and stop when you need to. And all of those things We discovered through doing this research really gets people to actually do those estate plans. So at this point now where the world’s biggest estate planning platform, over 700,000 families have done their estate planning on free will. And we love that we can provide this access to this really, really important thing for them and their family, not to mention the causes they care about. So that was part one and part two is we just made charitable giving default. It is part of everyone’s blow and process when they think about estate planning and if they don’t want to do it where they can’t do it for whatever reason, totally fine many folks don’t, but the giving rate on our site is six times the national average giving rate To charities through wills and the insight to just put it there, make it easy. Is not that revolutionary, but it turns out that that has generated over $7 billion dollars in the quest over just the past five or six years.

[00:14:53.91] spk_0:
Raise the raise, the option, give the option. It’s, it’s simple. There’s enormous value. Yeah, I’ve been saying this for, for a long, long time. Uh simple for donors, you know, you don’t have to teach donors about the value of a charitable remainder unit trust with net income makeup provision. And you don’t have to teach your team about charitable remainder trust with net income makeup provisions so that they feel comfortable having a discussion because everybody knows what a will is and everybody knows they need one and everybody knows how they work. And so it’s simple for donors. It’s simple for your teams. Um Can I share my, I got the two Co C E O s I woke up early this morning. I did my will on, I did my will on free will. Here’s my, here’s my page, here’s my, my first page show you. I’m bona fide. Alright. I did it, I did this morning now it took me longer because because I I was taking notes because I’m gonna have a conversation with the two co CEO and co founder. So it took me about 45 minutes, but I was taking notes and I read a lot of the, I read almost all the little info boxes, you know, so I’d say it took me, it took me longer than, than the average, but I love the uh you know, like a simple explanation like Children, should I include my adopted fostered Children or not? You know, it’s like you said, Jenny, it’s intuitive, it’s simple. Um I loved, this is a quote. The final value of your assets is determined when your will comes into effect. I thought that’s much nicer than saying when you die, I, I tend to use just when you die, you know, at your death, but when your will comes into effect, um good explanations for like for what should I have a no contest clause? Should I have a self proving affidavit? You know, valuable explanations, multiple paragraphs to read and explain. This is why you might not. This is why you would, this is what it’ll mean if you like, if you do the self proving affidavit or if you have a, if you have a third witness, the cost is gonna be now you got to get a bunch of people together with a notary and so very, you know, just very intuitive um for the nonprofits, another quote, will you consider leaving a gift in support of a cause that’s important to you? It’s optional, of course. And then you and then free will offers, you know, this is for listeners as well. I know you and Patrick Jenny are acquainted with the free Will site. You’ve probably been around free will dot com a few times. But for listeners so that, so they give the option and then there are a bunch of categories and the first one is local and then goes into like health, humanitarian, military and veterans, environment, culture, etcetera. So that’s where you, that’s where you’re gonna, your, your, your folks are getting the option. And, um, Jenny, you said six times, six times more likely that someone who doesn’t will at free will will include a charity than then then a non free will will

[00:15:20.18] spk_1:
correct six times as much giving. So both people do it more and they give more when you make it really, really easy for

[00:15:50.48] spk_0:
them and you and you present the option just opening, opening the door of the conversation. Alright. That was my lengthy, you know, but I wanted to, I wanted to share my experience with free will. Um Let’s turn to you, Patrick explain how this can be done free. What what the nonprofit role is in making this free for, for uh for everybody short,

[00:17:57.11] spk_2:
tony So about 1100 nonprofits use free will to help with their plan giving. And as you mentioned, it really simplifies the process, not just for the donor but for the non profit as well. So you have all of these organizations who may be getting into plan giving for the first time and having pretty wild success pretty quickly. So for instance, you know, the Boys and Girls Club of Newark got started a little while ago. In the first eight months, they saw a million dollars in new request commitments and how do they do that? Well, they get custom versions of the free will tool that when you get to the charitable giving segment says, hey, do you want to give to our organization? Oh, by the way you can enter in your church, your synagogue. You’re on the modern local nature Conservancy. What have you. But, but it’s really front and center. So Jenny talks about how it’s six times more likely that you’ll give to any charity, but to give to your charity, which is what you, the organization really care about. It’s even more likely. And so you see, you know, relatively, uh, smaller organizations who may not have existing plan giving programs in the first six months suddenly go from 0 to 60. Um We’ve seen relatively small organizations do millions, tens of millions of dollars in request commitments. And this is pretty revolutionary because historically, plan giving has been complicated for everybody. And so if you don’t feel like you’ve got a three person team of experts ready to go, then you’re, you’re not really gonna dip your toes in the water. But as we talked about this great wealth transfer, it’s really important, not just because it’s all this upside, but the baby boomers are also, you know, the biggest donors at the moment. And so as some of them pass away, The organizations that are not doing plan giving are gonna start to slide backwards because many of their biggest donors are either retiring right or passing away, but even retiring and not having as much income. It’s a really big thing, Gen X is not going to replace baby boomer donors because there’s like 10 million fewer of them. It’s not that they’re not philanthropic, it’s not that they’re not well to do. There’s just fewer people. And so, um, this is really a huge step for folks and there is a,

[00:18:01.69] spk_0:
I’m sorry, I was, I was busy interrupting you, say your last

[00:18:12.79] spk_2:
sentence again. I was just gonna say that, you know, however, whatever route you choose to do it, you know, if you’re not on the plan giving bandwagon, you really need to be, if you’re interested in the future of your

[00:18:18.24] spk_0:
organization. Yeah, your competitors are And, and will be in increasing numbers when they hear about the $70 trillion dollar wealth transfer. Um So Patrick, there is a fee for non profits to, to participate. Right.

[00:18:29.22] spk_2:
That’s correct. But its range is based on size of organization. And so, um you know, it will be more for Princeton than it is for the local animal shelter. And that way we try to do our best to make it accessible to organizations with, with a meaningful donor base.

[00:19:26.35] spk_0:
Um I do want to point out something for, for, for listeners to that you, uh you do give the option to inform the charity that they, that you’ve made a commitment. If, if you’ve, if you’ve chosen again, the charitable option is the charitable gift is an option. If you’ve decided to do that, there is a spot where the, the, the app prompts, will you make the work of a nonprofit easier by letting them know who you are? And so there’s an encouragement to let the nonprofit know that this commitment exists. And of course, it’s, it’s yes or no. All right. Um, let’s go from Will’s, but Patrick, let’s stay with you. You have, you have some donor advised fund research. That’s, uh breaking. That’s right. Yes. This very, this very

[00:21:33.76] spk_2:
week. Yes, we are releasing a new 2023 donor advised fund report. And what we’re doing is we’re building on a lot of the great research done by the nonprofit philanthropic trust And a bunch of other folks to really look at two things. One, what does it look like from the nonprofit angle? And to let’s get the first data out there on what happened in 2022. And I’ll give you a couple of highlights that that really struck us. One is giving continues to go way up. So in large part, the story of the next five years in philanthropy is gonna be the story of donor advised funds. Daft gifts went up 31% in terms of number of gifts from people. We surveyed it went up 69% in terms of total money granted from people. We surveyed An average gift size went up by 37%. So huge growth across the board. But one thing that’s really important for listeners is that those who actively solicited donor advised fund gifts got 2.5 times more money than those that did. And so remember, donor advised funds are so new to us as a nonprofit fundraising industry, they’re also super new to donors. And so the way that we’re shaping donor behavior is happening right now. And so it’s really interesting to see how that that plays out. A couple other fun, interesting things, more than half of respondents thought soliciting donor advised funds is going to be much more important during an economic downturn or economic uncertainty because all that money is already set aside. And, you know, 53% said actually, 0% said it’s gonna be less important. A bunch of people said, I don’t really know. Um and then, you know, happy to share some more things. But one of the biggest challenges is that people really struggle to figure out. How do I get these in front of people, how do I make sure I’m asking for them? What’s my plan around it? Um and we’re working with a lot of organizations to solve those challenges now, but it’s really interesting to see you really experience fundraisers who have to relearn a ton of things because donor advised funds are so much more important than they were 56 years ago, certainly 10 years ago,

[00:22:38.11] spk_0:
there is frustration among, among nonprofits. Uh A lot of times I, I am on the front line of that frustration when they don’t know who the gift has come from. That’s a source of a lot of frustration. Of course, the donor advised fund administrator Schwab Fidelity, local community trust. A lot of, lot of, lot of community foundations have donor advised funds. Uh you know, they won’t share that if the donor doesn’t want that information shared. You know, that’s a source of frustration. I mean, look, the gift still comes. It’s just that the frustration is, you know, how do we thank the person, how do we recognize the person? Um And, you know, they get a lot of attention in Congress to, because there is a lot of money in donor advised funds that that isn’t getting to charities. The donors have enjoyed the charitable deduction, but the money isn’t getting to the social impact sector. So I understand there, you know, I know the frustrations but there’s still valuable gifts with notwithstanding, you know, those frustrations, the potential is enormous.

[00:23:47.56] spk_2:
It’s so important and, you know, There’s more than $230 billion dollars sitting in these funds and this is just an astounding amount. And what you said is right, there’s a really, there’s a big information problem. And oftentimes what happens is the donor doesn’t know that their information wasn’t shared. So Jenny might have just given the biggest gift of her life and then she hears crickets from your organization and she’s, you know, she’s very patient, but she’s frustrated and angry and maybe not giving that again. And it’s so important that we know who has a donor advised fund because that is someone who has proven that they have wealth and intent, that money is never coming back to them. And so hard times hit, you want to go to that person, right? Big capital campaign, you wanna go to that person really important, critical moment for your organization. You go to that person. A lot of people say when I find out someone is a donor advised fund, they get assigned a major gift officer that day. And so we need to do a better job of making sure we’re understanding who has won capturing that information. Um And every time we’re asking for any donation, making sure that daft giving is an option, not just because those gifts will be way bigger and they will be, but because it, it really uncovers a potential major donor in your

[00:24:52.49] spk_0:
midst just because you, you mentioned that the phrase, you know, major gift officer makes me want to chat a bit about breaking down silos between major giving, planned giving, annual giving, sustainer giving online events. You know, the we all need to be collaborating because all these Small donors and you in in the manifesto that you wrote that I wish I had written, but you wrote it before me, you say small dollar donors that it never occurred to me. I always say, I always say small donors, then I say, but I’m not commenting on their character, they’re not small people, they just make small, small gifts. But you used the phrase small dollar donors. Very smart. I just don’t know, never occurred to me over 26 years. Um, so the just, you know, the breaking down of the, the institutionalized barriers around, around giving officers, around giving relationships, you know, it’s a, it’s a spectrum that shouldn’t be segmented.

[00:26:18.91] spk_1:
Absolutely. Um, one of the most interesting things that we found with working with free will over the past five or six years is, um, the number of Planned Giving bequests that end up uncovering that someone is not only a very loyal high affinity donor, but actu actually has way more higher capacity to give than the nonprofit knew before. And traditionally, what we’ve seen in nonprofit fundraising models are if a donor has proven themselves to be a major donor to be giving a lot of money, well, then that lead is passed over to Planned Giving. And so plan giving might as that person for to your point, tony earlier, a really complicated Klatt or CRT or pulled income fund and it turns out the opposite can happen too. So planned gifts are perhaps an indicator that someone was in a period of life where they were only able to make these small dollar donations, but that doesn’t hold true forever. Right? Focuses financial journeys, change in their ability to give change. And so we’ve loved to see nonprofits who have been on the edge of innovation in terms of not just moving the leads to plan giving but actually using planned giving as a way to uncover. Wow, these are donors who we should be really taken care of and stewarding and, and potentially asking more from in this next phase of life.

[00:27:07.23] spk_0:
You make the point, Jenny in that uh Stanford Social Innovation review article from 2017, that people who are these small dollar donors that could indicate that they’re just their lifetime savers. So, so their estates are are are going to be larger than they’re giving during lifetime would indicate just because of their propensity to, to be savers during life to be frugal in lifetime. And that’s, it’s very, very intuitive. That’s right.

[00:28:24.93] spk_2:
It’s easy to picture Tony I mean, you have someone who is 75 years old, lives in a home that has paid off in the suburbs of any one of our American major cities called Fairfax, Virginia, right? And maybe she, her Children are self sustaining right there, 30, 40, whatever. Um, she’s got a house, she has a bunch of savings, but she doesn’t know how long she’s gonna live. And so the idea that she’s gonna start throwing, you know, $10,000 checks annually and it doesn’t really make sense, but that whole state might be worth $2 million. And so giving a quarter of that half a million dollars to a cause that’s deeply important to her in her life is very possible and often likely. And yet she’s not gonna show up on the radar. And that’s why it’s really important for, for planting outreach to be much more broad based. And it’s been historically, literally, everyone needs a will, right? Everyone is mortal. Everyone has the capacity to do this. And for virtually everybody, those gifts are gonna be so much larger than anything they’ve ever given before. And so we’re really seeing this, what you’re talking about this breakdown in silos in a really positive way as people start using email, online outreach to talk about plan giving away that hadn’t happened previously. And those that are doing it are seeing just unbelievably stronger results than those who are only saying, well, we’re just gonna have coffee with our major donors and try to bring it up

[00:28:58.77] spk_0:
the percentage of us adults who have wills very low. I mean, I, I see, I see various numbers. I, I think you’re s I ar article I think said 30% of Americans I’ve seen it quoted lower than that. Is that, is it 30%? Is that, is that where you’re comfortable? Like saying 30% of U S adults have wills. Yes,

[00:29:01.03] spk_1:

[00:31:19.81] spk_0:
when it should be 100% right? So that there’s enormous potential, but all the reasons Jenny that you outlined those three words keeping people away from it. Um But still, you know, I mean, we got to keep the drum beating. I mean, it’s like, it’s like fundraising, it’s like planned, giving, fundraising, specifically planting seeds, constant, constant promotion of promoting the idea that it’s important to have your state planned. And when you do it, would you consider including us? I feel like I’m gushing over free will. But, you know, it’s, it’s very, we’re very simpatico. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Thank you. Over the past several weeks, I’ve done lots of promotion for the Planned Giving Accelerator and I’m grateful to you for accepting all those promotional messages in Tony’s take two. Thank you. We haven’t actually started. So I if I told you how it’s going, I’d be lying, but the class will have started by the time you’re listening and I think it is a lovely class and I think it’s going to go swimmingly, but I just want to say all that aside. Thank you very much for accepting all the Planned Giving accelerator promotions over the past several weeks. And that is all just my thanks. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, gotta love the boo koo. But loads more time for Meet The Free Will founders with Jenny Shaw Spradling and Patrick Schmidt. Alright. So Patrick, I’m gonna put you on like figurative mute for a few minutes because I want to talk to Jenny about pay equity for a couple of things starting with, let’s start with pay equity and no salary negotiations. You’ve got some, you’ve got some articles about this. You’ve got policies in free will talk about how those how one, the no salary negotiations supports equity. What’s behind that, those decisions that free will has made?

[00:33:29.33] spk_1:
Um Well, we’re very fortunate. I’m very fortunate in that. Um Equity has been a conversation that we’ve had with free will from day one. Patrick has always been so supportive of me and my career. And between the two of us, it turns out to very passionate feminists and in general folks who really care about D I from the beginning, you end up with some different policies, then many other startups and many other corporations. So one that you’re alluding to tony is from day one. We’ve done no salary negotiations where we tell candidates right up front. This is the pay range for the role and there’s no negotiation and we will give you a few different options, trading off salary and equity, for example, so that you might be able to fit this into what you need in this moment. Um Whether it’s taking that more long term risk and potentially return and reward or just that day to day cash. Um But we’re not going to negotiate it. And the reason why we did this is because there is plenty of research to show that one. negotiating your salary has nothing to do with your actual performance in your job. It is a totally separate skill set, but some people are great at and some people are not good at and it didn’t make sense to us to reward people with higher salary or better benefits because there are better negotiators, not better or worse at their job. And the second thing is that same research says it turns out pretty consistently women and other minorities are worse and negotiating for more at that very first day, you know, of work. Um then folks who are not in that position. And so we end up introducing on accident, not intentionally, no one’s doing this intentionally, this systemic bias into how we would do pay. So we decided from day zero, why negotiate at all? And let’s just be very transparent with our candidates. So they know whether or not this could be a good fit for their lives. Um So that’s one thing that we did early and it’s, and

[00:33:40.37] spk_0:
it’s, it’s not only skill in negotiation, but it’s even just willingness to negotiate. Absolutely, women, women and folks of color are less likely to even enter a negotiation, even raise the negotiation than, than, than white men.

[00:33:57.10] spk_1:
Absolutely. And what we’ve heard time and time again is I don’t want to start off on a foot where I’m not humble where I’m not proving myself first before I’m asking for more. And uh that’s a noble intent, but what it turns into is systemically lower pay. Um And so we wanted to figure out a way to change that system even just a little bit here, every

[00:34:37.24] spk_0:
will. And what about, uh you know, concerns, you know, that I’m fomo fear of missing out that somebody else is doing the same work and they’re getting more than me, you know, they’re not gonna hear those, they’re not gonna have those fears.

[00:35:00.74] spk_1:
Totally. It creates an environment that’s much more team oriented, you know, exactly what your peers being paid, who started the same day as you, because it’s the same as what you’re being paid. And so, um, not having to think about things like um critical feedback or 3 60 reviews from the perspective of, oh, how do I then and interpret um whether or not my pay was fair or equitable. Um They can just be open to getting that feedback, whether positive or negative and take that and actually grow in their development, which is what we want them focused on, right? We want them focused on their development, helping out their team, all those sorts of things. So this shouldn’t be, you know, the nagging thing in the back of their mind,

[00:35:24.96] spk_0:
you mentioned it’s a salary range. So, so then how do, how is a salary fit within a specific number fit within the range?

[00:36:18.76] spk_1:
So, um we give a few different options, meaning um let’s say that the salary was 70 K starters up to 80 K. So if you’re going to take the 70,000 salary, there’s a little bit less equity associated with or more equity associated with that. If you’re going to take the 80,000 option. There’s a little bit less equity associated with that. And what that helps with is we find that a lot of negotiations, actually, folks trying to tailor their needs to this existing structure of the company. And so we are trying to proactively offer options that allow them to say, you know, I’m at a time in my life where I have have kids. I am a solo parent. I need this cash today in order to take care of what I need to get done. Or there are other folks who are saying, well, you know, I have saved up a lot of money. This is the time when I want to take a big bet on the future of free will and myself and my contributions to building this social enterprise. So I’m going to take a little bit more equity.

[00:37:57.02] spk_0:
Let’s move to uh being a mom, an Asian woman, tech execs tech founder, multi multiple tech founder. Uh you know, you’ve, you’ve been writing about this. I, I, I read some pieces. Um one, the one that really struck me was when you talk about right time for a child. But maybe I shouldn’t, maybe I should, you know, maybe that’s not fair. Maybe I shouldn’t focus you on the right time for a child conversation. Not yet. Just give, give, give folks hope, you know, empowerment for, you know, women. I went to Carnegie Mellon University, a huge tech university. I was a I was a social scientist, not a tech tech student, but I used to see women, you know, like made fun of and I wasn’t even in a tech again. I wasn’t even a technical major, but there were so few women to begin with and hear stories about professors, discounting women’s contributions in class, you know, guiding them in, in development projects one way. But being more broad with men just, yeah, just encourage, encourage women in tech, please.

[00:38:02.80] spk_1:
I love this topic so we could not go wrong in the number of things we could talk about.

[00:38:09.43] spk_0:
I’m all over the crime, all over the board. But, but you know, but yeah, thank you. Thank you for

[00:38:54.12] spk_1:
saying that it’s exciting. Um I guess the first thing I’d say is just, you know, some context for um folks listening in. I am an Asian American woman, I’m child of immigrants. So my parents came over right after the Cultural Revolution. You know that story two bags like less than $100 trying to figure out how they were going to make a life here. Um And I am fortunate enough during the course of free will to um this is my second company now. Um I have had my first child who is adorable and wonderful but very stubborn two year old and I’m pregnant again. So I’m

[00:39:03.48] spk_0:

[00:39:04.78] spk_1:
Congratulations you. Um Wonderful.

[00:39:08.46] spk_0:
When, when, when you do

[00:42:04.81] spk_1:
in July. Yeah. Yeah. Very, very excited for that. And these are topics, as I said, I’m super passionate about. But I would say the first thing if you are a woman in tech founding, whatever in your career, surround yourself with people who are going to be supportive. The only reason why this is working for me being a mom and a founder, being a woman and a founder is because I found Patrick. And um there is a difference between someone who gives lip service to caring about equity and someone who actively thinks about it. And I remember the first time Patrick and I were talking about things like equity splits and titles and things like that. I actually had this moment where I was like, I think Patrick is more feminist than I am and it was like almost an identity um like problem. I was, I was nervous about it and I was like, wow, maybe I should be reading more books on this, you know, but of course, I had to reset myself and go, yeah, I have a lot of experience, you know, trying to navigate these things and learning these things. But I was just so excited to find a partner in Patrick. And this is also true of my life partner repeat, who’s my husband um that they really, really care about this topic. So that makes us all work. And on top of that, there are many things that have changed over the past couple of decades that enable my lifestyle, picking up kids making dinners, like coordinating logistical home management with this career. And that includes things like um my investors were very supportive when they found out that I was having a child that might not have been the case a decade or two ago. You know, the typical story there for a corporate woman in general, not to mention a founder is um you know, you have the baby two days later, you’re back and seat, you have to be, you know, and um you’re probably going to have an argument with your doctor because they want you in bed rest because you had a C section and you’re going back to work because you want to make sure you don’t lose your job. And um I don’t have fears around that. And I think we want to establish also at free will that folks don’t have to be afraid about stuff like that. We know practically that it takes a lot of work and throwing up and sleep in order to create a child and also post delivery to recover from that experience. Um And so, for example, having equal maternity and paternity leave here at free will is really, really important to us because we know that it’s not just about the physical burden of carrying a child, but on top of that, establishing that partnership from day one, that the fathers um and secondary, you know, caregivers at free will can be equal caretakers to those who are actually the birding parents. So um I would just say a lot of gratitude to the folks around us and things are changing for the better. So there is hope. I think um it’s at every level whether it’s the employees, folks, running companies and organizations and our investors are understanding practically what it takes to have mothers in the workforce. And it makes sense, they’re so talented. You don’t want to lose them, you don’t want to lose us. Um So yeah, that’s worked out quite well.

[00:42:33.80] spk_0:
What other support would you recommend? So, you know, you talk about having a uh an empathic co founder, uh partner, life, life partner. What other support do you suggest?

[00:44:08.20] spk_1:
Um free will is really fortunate to be a remote company. And um some of the practical policies that come with that really enable motherhood and working as well. So, um for example, um we have working hours that are across from the east coast to the west coast just smack dab in the middle of the day, right? It’s five or six hours in the middle of the day where we have meetings. What that means is you can have flexibility in your day if you need to drop your kids off at daycare and then cook them dinner. But then you want to log on later, you can do that. And it used to be the case with in person that, you know, folks didn’t have that flexibility, right? Everyone was in office in their seat eight hours, nine hours a day. And if you weren’t there for those hours or you left early or you came late, that would he looked down upon. And so I think being in a remote culture, one takes away a little bit of that facetime culture, that stigma but also to really clear boundaries around our meetings, makes that flexibility so that folks can build the life that they need as long as they get the work done, right. We’re still evaluating everyone’s performance the same on the same scale. Well, um but just giving them that little bit of added flexibility has been really helpful to folks and I’ll say for myself being able to move back to Seattle where I have my parents here and I can take care of them, but they can also be a meaningful part of my son’s life. That’s huge for me. Um That makes this experience so much more sustainable. So um all

[00:44:33.65] spk_0:
the free well offices in Brooklyn, New York, right? Or is it? No, it’s in Manhattan, sorry, offices in Manhattan in New York City, right? In Manhattan. Yeah.

[00:44:39.48] spk_1:
Right. But at this point, you know, we’re about 200 employees and only about 10 are still going into that office. So the vast majority of the center of work is completely distributed and

[00:44:54.22] spk_0:
remote. What about mentors, you know, seeking out professionals in the in your career? Was that, was that part of your experience? Too huge

[00:47:32.74] spk_1:
for me. Um I think there were two kind of big mental blockers for me um to be an entrepreneur. Um And in fact, for my first startup, which ended up being successful, it was a fintech startup that exited to capital one. I actually left early because of imposter syndrome. I just thought I couldn’t do it. And I, yeah, I thought I couldn’t do it. I thought that, you know, this would never work. My friends aren’t smart enough, you know. Um I have this image of what it meant to be a founder and an entrepreneur. And that image looked mainly like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, you know, it’s like white straight men who are having a certain background and experience in life. And um that wasn’t me. So um I think a big part of it was gaining the confidence that I could do this, that people like me could do this. And so one piece is just around um finding folks, I could look up to finding models and I didn’t have to know them personally, but reading their stories is really helpful. So, um for me, that meant going back to books, hearing stories from other folks. Um And the second thing was, as you mentioned, tony around finding specific mentors and supporters. And it turns out that um I do think it’s harder for women to find um mentors. I think like it or not. We as a human species, we like people who are like us and we spend time with people who are like us. You know, like finding um folks who are women founders who have the time to mentor is really hard. But um I’ve had tons of really amazing male mentors that have helped me in the founding journey. I specifically remember one who um about four years in this was after the first startup, which I left and I was um in private equity at the time, told me, like, look, Jenny, you’re never going to starve. I didn’t know if you knew this, you know, being a kid of immigrants, but you’re actually always going to be able to have a job that pays you enough money so that you can support your family. You know that right? And I actually just needed someone to tell me that because I didn’t in the back of my mind like that was the type of fear holding you back from founding. And so, um I would say, you know, look far and wide for the types of mentors. Um They don’t necessarily have to look like you, but they do have to share your values. Um And if you can find people who you think, you know what I would like to be like them one day. Um I like their life. Um Keep those people close,

[00:47:57.74] spk_0:
please do share your advice about the right time. To have a child. You have, you have an article on this, maybe it’s in Fast Company or Forbes. Um What’s your advice around there around that?

[00:49:04.01] spk_1:
Specifically, this was to founding moms. And also with the context of most people don’t have a choice in their timing, right? So it’s, when did I find a partner? What is my biological clock say? Um I’ve been trying for two years and I can’t have a baby. So first, I want to acknowledge that experience, which is most people don’t have the luxury of choice. But if you have some flexibility in that and you’re thinking about it, um The main advice that I would have to founder is, is there are phases in the founder of life. I think it’s really easy to think about entrepreneurship is it’s always a slog, you’re always sprinting, you never have time for anything. But I think that’s not quite true. I think they’re ebbs and flows and um pick a time when you have found product market fit when you have build some trust with your investors, when you have established a track record of um really solid financial numbers of beating your numbers. Um And many, many things will be easier at that point. Um And so I certainly applaud all the women that I know who are amazing who are doing right out of the box. I have a baby and a brand new startup. Um But if you can wait a couple of years, it’s really helpful

[00:50:38.43] spk_0:
and the reason I wanted you to share this with listeners because I think your advice could easily convey to a nonprofit C CEO or, or anyone, any woman in any of the C SUITE positions. Uh So, you know, like substitute founding partner or co founder or founder with nonprofit CEO. And I think your advice certainly conveys there. Um Thank you. Thanks for sharing, especially, you know, you’re explaining your, your own impostor syndrome fear. And thank you. Thanks for sharing all that Patrick. Uh I can, I can figuratively a mute. You, you’ve muted yourself, you didn’t have to do that, but it’s very gracious. Um You want to share your, your part of this, the, the explanation, the color commentary to, to your, your feeling around the gender and racial equity.

[00:52:34.09] spk_2:
Sure. You know, I think, um you know, when I, when I met Jenny, when I was sort of blown away by how smart she was too, it was very fortunate find that we’re good at very different things. Um And part of that, although not entirely is that we have very different backgrounds, right? We’re obviously we’re sort of culturally and gender difference. Um Different professional backgrounds, grew up on opposite coasts, etcetera. And one of the big benefits of having to navigate that early is that it creates a really welcoming space for everybody else. We’re used to people not thinking identically to us, right? We’re used to people having different skills, that’s different backgrounds, different interpretations of different values because of lived experience of parents, lived experience of grandparents, lived experience and how it all winds down. And so it’s really created a much more welcoming space, not just for people who look like me or look like Jenny, but of all ages of professional backgrounds and geographic locations, things like that. And so that’s been really, really valuable. I wanna come back to one other thing that, that Jenny mentioned on how do you create a sort of welcoming and supportive environment? And oftentimes, I think this is seen as at odds with being a high performance culture and we actually think it is one and the same and just to double down on something Jenny said, when you give people super clear goals and you’re super clear on what success looks like and what success doesn’t look like, then it allows them to succeed and map their day and their energy around that. And when you don’t have that, then suddenly it’s who’s the last leave the office or who shows up first or things like that, that are not really moving the needle for your organization. And so what we found is that um creating super clear goals has led people to have outstanding results and feel a lot more freedom and comfort. So um it’s, it’s an we’re an ambitious place, right? And we have work life balance, but also really want to do big things in the world. And it turns out you don’t actually have to trade those off in many ways. They’re complementary.

[00:53:07.83] spk_0:
That’s beautiful. You know, we opened with Jenny. We’re gonna close with Patrick. She’s Jenny Shaw Spradling, co founder, co CEO of free Will. He’s Patrick Schmidt. No, founder, co ceo of free will. It’s at free will dot com. I want to thank you both Jenny Patrick. Really? Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed it. I hope you did. Thank you very much. Thanks

[00:53:14.98] spk_2:
Tony. Thanks for having

[00:53:56.19] spk_0:
us next week. Well, I’m not quite certain what next week is gonna be, but I do know that Rio Wang and her money mindset are coming later this month. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows. Social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 9, 2023: Gene & Amy’s 2023 Outlook


Gene Takagi & Amy Sample WardGene & Amy’s 2023 Outlook

Our esteemed contributors, Gene Takagi and Amy Sample Ward, reveal what they’re thinking about for the New Year. We’re talking about Twitter, donor advised funds, fiscal sponsorship, and illegal activities. Gene comes to us from NEO Law Group, and Amy is CEO of NTEN.

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[00:02:06.02] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast, Happy New Year. I hope you enjoyed your time off. I hope you’re looking forward to our New year and I have more on that in in Tony’s take two. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d suffer with sal pendulum fractious if I had to hear that you missed this week’s show, Gene and Amy’s 2023 Outlook, our esteemed contributors, Gene Takagi and Amy sample Ward reveal what they’re thinking about for the new year. We’re talking about twitter donor advised funds fiscal sponsorship and illegal activities. Jean comes to us from neo law group and AMY is ceo of N 10 on Tony’s take to take in this new year. What a genuine pleasure to have both Gene Takagi and Amy sample Ward with me us together. Substantively, it’s not just 1/50 anniversary show. No, this is not the 650th show. This is not july of 2023 Gene and Amy are with us to talk substance together and cross talk as well, you know them, but they are esteemed contributors and they are do their proper introductions, jean is our legal contributor and managing attorney of neo the nonprofit and exempt organizations law group in san Francisco. He edits the wildly popular nonprofit law blog dot com and is a part time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is at neo law group dot com and he’s at G. Tac. Welcome to the New Year’s show, Gene,

[00:02:13.49] spk_1:
thank you Tony great to be here and great to be here with AMY especially,

[00:02:34.00] spk_0:
absolutely yes, a genuine pleasure with AmY sample Ward, who is Ceo of N 10 and our technology and social media contributor, their most recent co authored book is the tech that comes next about equity and inclusiveness in technology development. They’re at AMy sample Ward dot org and at Amy R. S Ward, Amy, Happy New Year! Welcome to the New Year’s show.

[00:02:42.26] spk_2:
Thanks. It feels like maybe we’ll revisit the intro if you’re saying our twitter handles and then we’re about to talk about what’s happening over at twitter. But you know, that’s all part of what’s to come and

[00:02:54.58] spk_0:
absolutely could end up being uh, mastodon.

[00:02:58.61] spk_2:

[00:03:08.98] spk_0:
see about that. Absolutely. All right. We, um, we are going to start with Gene, um, to talk about Gene, you’re concerned about some, some legislative potential changes around donor advised funds.

[00:04:09.26] spk_1:
Yeah, I mean, it’s the donor advised fund area is probably one that most of your listeners are kind of familiar with because they’re the fastest growing area of charitable giving over a trillion dollars now held by donor advised funds. And that is huge, growing much faster than private foundations. And, you know, they make up some of the biggest charity charities in the country, I think, Um, possibly half of the top 10 maybe, um, maybe don’t advise from sponsoring organizations and several of those associated with financial institutions. Um, so like a Fidelity or vanguard flop Goldman Sachs morgan Stanley. Um So, you know, there’s been some heat about, well are these really charities, are they charitable giving? And the answer is yes, they are charities, even though they are associated with financial institutions. But that heat has led up to people going, well, what is the money doing? What is that $1 trillion dollars doing in these donor advised funds? Are the and

[00:04:19.50] spk_0:
this has been percolating for years

[00:04:21.88] spk_1:
and this

[00:04:28.85] spk_0:
began on the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee. Uh It was one of the Senate committees. Uh this has been coming up for years around the money parked in donor advised funds and not getting to 501 C3 charities.

[00:04:40.03] spk_1:
Yeah, I think starting with Senator Grassley at the Senate Finance Committee chuck

[00:04:44.91] spk_0:
Grassley. Right? Yes. So

[00:04:52.91] spk_1:
it’s been people have been talking about it but don’t advise funds continue to go up on this exponential growth or where they just keep getting used more and more often. Oftentimes by, you know, some of the very, very ultra wealthy individuals and there’s some heat about that too, about why do we have so many ultra wealthy individuals who can control, you know what charities are doing, who can control our politics,

[00:05:11.74] spk_0:

[00:05:34.10] spk_1:
that’s all part of the same story. But because of that, you know, there’s been some pushback and some legislation suggested and now sponsored and introduced, well I should say introduced into Congress, but it’s not actually been a bit on a bill that has a formal sponsor that’s before anybody other than a committee right now looking at it. And that’s called the accelerating um, charitable efforts act or the Ace Act. And that’s up, uh, in front of some congressional members and a committee right now. And that has all these reforms to donor advised funds to

[00:05:51.98] spk_0:

[00:05:53.21] spk_1:
sort of mitigate some of those problems of the warehousing of wealth, um, and, and money not getting out to charities as quickly as some people would like. But there are some, you know, there are pros and cons to what all that involves, but it’s good for people to sort of be aware of it.

[00:06:09.19] spk_0:
Okay. Be paying attention to this. Um, now, when at least when I was in 6th and 7th grade, we used to learn that an act becomes a bill and a bill becomes law after it’s signed. But so thank you for making the distinction. Uh, all right. So, so this doesn’t have any sponsors yet there, it’s proposed like it’s, is it in a committee?

[00:07:51.29] spk_1:
It’s it’s in a committee right now. The chances are while I’m not a great prognosticator of what happens on Capitol Hill and I’m not, I’m not based in Washington. I will say what I’m hearing from people who are, is that it probably doesn’t have a good chance of passing right now. So it’s unlikely to see changes now, but this is a growing issue as you mentioned, tony that’s been percolating for, for years and just getting more and more attention. So provisions of the act, which is probably the overall is pretty complicated and we won’t go into the technicalities here that would bore your listeners, but it’s complicated. And for part of that reason there’s not sort of universal, like the nonprofit sector, all wants this to be passed? No, there’s like people on both sides of this issue. And because of that, I think, you know, um, prognosticators who are more informed to suggest that this probably won’t pass as is, are probably right, but there are aspects of it that could find their way in other bills. Um, so that’s sometimes how laws are passed. They don’t advise when laws passed through the pension protection act, not necessarily think those are related, but they can slip their way in. So just sort of pay attention to all of these, you know, movements around wealth and power and what that means to our, um, our charitable sector and how donor advised funds are being used. Something just to, to look at. And there are several organizations who are advocating on either side of this.

[00:08:38.91] spk_0:
Okay, cool, alright. We’ll pay attention to donor advised funds, uh, in terms of wealth and, uh, you know, 88 individuals, uh, controlling, or certainly heavily influencing the charitable priorities. That that’s for, uh, we’ll have to do that on another show. Um, fiscal sponsorship is uh is something else you want us to look out for? Just just define it you know in in its basics so that everybody has the common understanding that we’re starting with.

[00:09:32.42] spk_1:
So the issue with fiscal sponsorship while it is also growing very very quickly. Um And the nonprofit sector might be aware of it but sort of the outside world might not really know what that means. And generally what it means is that there are people who have a charitable project but don’t have a charity entity with 501 C. Three status to run it. They look for another group to either how’s it um or to give grants to their group which might be considered a taxable for profit Um If they don’t have five oh one C. Three status for some period of time and that’s how fiscal sponsorship can arise it can arise in different forms but because it’s not defined by law it’s done wrong all the time. So while it’s growing.

[00:09:57.32] spk_0:
What about new charities that don’t yet have their five oh one C. Three. Maybe they’ve applied so they’ve submitted their 10 23 to the I. R. S. But the process may take a long time can they also sometimes benefiting from fiscal sponsors. So they’ll they’ll get an established five oh one C. Three to make grants to them until they get their own 501 C. Three determination. Is that is that okay?

[00:10:53.65] spk_1:
Yeah, that’s a perfect use of a fiscal sponsor and fiscal sponsors can act as incubators, even if they’re not applying for five oh one C three status right away, even if it’s something they’d like to test out and say, is this a viable charitable idea? Um, So yes, fiscal sponsorship can absolutely run that way, but if it’s not structured properly, even if that is the well intended sort of purposes of everybody involved, if it’s not structured properly, you can get into trouble both as an organization, you can end up having a donor who gets denied a deduction. Um, you can get a foundation into trouble who finds it. So structuring these things properly is really important. So as this field advances and evolves and it’s been around in informal ways for, you know, many, many decades, um, as this field advances, we want, we would like to see sort of more sort of consistency in operating it in a lawful manner that doesn’t endanger anybody and really it helps everybody accomplish what they want to do charitably.

[00:11:58.73] spk_0:
What about the idea, I mean, if you are incubating an organization, let’s say it’s it’s a few people, it doesn’t really matter, but I’m just trying to take it out of the realm of just one person, I suppose you’re incubating uh an idea and you, the Community Foundation because they’ll often act as communities as fiscal sponsors. Community foundations. You think it’s a, it’s a bonafide non profit idea, but and you make grants to it, but it turns out not to be so they don’t get their five oh one C three determination positive. What what what happens then is is the is the Community Foundation liable at all? And what happens to the deductions that were granted to the to this nascent now, not now, not Uh not a 501 C3 entity.

[00:12:51.99] spk_1:
Yeah. So I don’t want to dive too deep into the weeds. But yes, if the Community Foundation is housing and incubating the project, it’s not the same project that is housed in this new entity that is applying for five oh one C three status, that’s going to be transferred over into the new entity once it gets its five oh one C three status. So the Community Foundation is running an illegal activity, which is maybe another two We can talk about, well then the community foundation would of course get into trouble. But if it’s a small part of what the community foundation does, which it probably would be right, it would be maybe like 1% or maybe even less than 1% of the foundation’s overall activities, that’s not gonna usually result in anything terrible unless they were doing very terrible things. Which is unlikely. Um But you know, it would be different. An incubator definitely has less risks and they’ve got all their insurance and you know, legal support and accounting support to make sure that it’s not running afoul while it’s housed in the Community Foundation,

[00:13:07.79] spk_0:

[00:13:44.00] spk_2:
I can say something, Gene, I think as I’m listening to this conversation and from Anton has been a fiscal sponsor for many different groups, um you know, you also don’t have to be pursuing C three status, it might the whole purpose of what you’re doing could be done, you know, like we’ve been a fiscal sponsor for a group that was going to hold an event once the event was over, they were all done, they weren’t there was nothing to pursue a C three registration for, you know, So just naming that there’s a few nuances in that in the in the timeline to that, it may not be that there’s ever AC three application and something shady happened, but also the thing is over, you know, there’s a lot of moving

[00:14:00.81] spk_0:
pieces we have and what did you look for uh if you do in deciding to sponsor?

[00:15:21.47] spk_2:
Well, folks approach us, we haven’t, you know, gone out saying we would love to be a fiscal sponsor, it’s because it’s not, you know, intent isn’t set up, there are organizations of course, so that’s like their mission is to fiscally sponsored organizations, um but when we have been approached and folks have asked if we can essentially like extend our organizational privilege to enable their work, um the things that we look for are if there’s any sort of document or organizing agreement for the people involved on the other side again because they might not be, they might not be trying to be an organization but we want there to be accountability that that we can come back to um that they understand how much money they’re likely to bring in and how they’re going to spend it and that and tens books aren’t going to end up with some $10,000. We can’t do something you know um That there’s really a plan for what’s coming in and what’s going out and that they understand the options that exist for either becoming on payroll with us not being on paper roll being a short term contractor because N 10 already has staff and eight different states. But what does that look like if we were bringing someone on for a longer term and they needed to be on payroll in a state we’re not in. So we just have those conversations with them. But we have a standard agreement for fiscal sponsorship that we send to folks when we’re having those relationships and you know, separate bank accounts separate P. And L. Like all of

[00:15:42.21] spk_0:

[00:16:12.33] spk_1:
Let me add just one more thing that some sometimes it’s all about creating um what when some people would call a commons. So these projects never wanted to leave but they find the efficiency of centralizing kind of administrative and back office resources and fiscal sponsor takes care of your legal filings and your tax filings, your insurance. Um and multiple projects just want to stay there forever. Um, So that that’s a use of the fiscal sponsor, a perfectly acceptable use of the fiscal sponsor as well. As long as it’s structured properly, structuring properly would be maybe my main point in this is that oftentimes people think, oh, I’ve seen somebody else do it, let’s do it the same way that may not work that they may be using the wrong example. So the national network of fiscal sponsor. Um, and then they’ve got a good sort of model of how this can be done properly.

[00:16:42.00] spk_0:
They have a book too, don’t they? Gene

[00:16:44.17] spk_1:
the book is actually from Greg Colvin and Stephanie Pettitt called fiscal sponsorship. Six ways to do it. Right. And it’s, I believe the only book out there, um, and it’s really good and not terribly expensive. So if you’re a fiscal sponsor and you’re not quite sure about what you’re doing by that

[00:17:06.18] spk_0:
Book. Okay, fiscal sponsorship six ways to do it. Right. Very aptly named book like it. Okay. Um, yeah. And there are also implications for the donors, right? If this is if it’s not created and implemented correctly. Gene the can the donors get like their charitable deduction clawed back or something like that.

[00:17:22.18] spk_1:
Yeah, they could get it denied by the I. R. S. Because if the donor directs their donation to an entity that’s not a charity. So if they’re telling the fiscal sponsor you must give this money to this project that’s a separate

[00:17:36.40] spk_0:
entity, well

[00:17:38.20] spk_1:
with a different bank account, the donor doesn’t get a deduction. Fiscal sponsor may have been aiding and abetting tax fraud. So problems there. So they’ve got to be careful

[00:17:56.72] spk_0:
okay for your donors too. All right. And on the on the illegal activity side. What what what what’s your what are your concerns there?

[00:18:00.97] spk_1:
So um as a lawyer, of course any illegal activities are concerned. But well

[00:18:06.94] spk_0:
there’s illegal and there’s there’s illegal

[00:18:15.82] spk_1:
actually that’s a really good point. So one of the things that the I. R. S. Looks at is like are you a 51 C. Three organization if you’re conducting illegal activities And they use the question that you asked basically tony There’s illegal and there’s illegal. So if you are engaging in you know civil disobedience to a small extent to advocate, you’re perfectly appropriate charitable purpose and mission. You’re probably not gonna expose your Five oh one C. Three status to to being revoked for that reason. If you’re committing a little bit of bank robbery. Well

[00:18:45.27] spk_0:

[00:18:45.62] spk_1:
probably gonna get you out of the 501 C. Three status. Right,

[00:18:49.64] spk_0:
Do it right. I mean why why do anything financially fraudulent for like $1,500.

[00:18:55.49] spk_2:
Right? There’s not a little bit of bank robbery like I want the whole safe or not. You know

[00:19:07.22] spk_0:
I mean if I’m gonna if I’m gonna compromise our reputation and risk myself being in prison. I mean, I’m doing this for at least a million and a half or something. You know, I mean, let’s make some decent money out of it, for Pete’s sake. I’m not risking everything for 50,000

[00:19:14.25] spk_2:
dollars. I want the gold bars while I want everything. You know,

[00:19:18.41] spk_0:
right, here’s

[00:19:19.60] spk_1:
how about this?

[00:19:22.79] spk_0:
Let’s go all in. I mean,

[00:19:31.21] spk_1:
The lawyer will say we are all in terms of how much money we’re gonna steal, but 99% of our staff time is spent on real stuff.

[00:19:33.03] spk_0:
It’s only one

[00:19:33.82] spk_1:
of our time I had spent on. It

[00:19:55.44] spk_0:
was, it was a tiny percentage of my time. I mean, it was just a few phone calls, a couple of texts. I mean, some some signal messages. I mean, you know, it was like a half an hour and you know, and then we executed. So it’s such a small percentage of my time. Really, why are we even bothering with this? All

[00:21:07.47] spk_1:
right. Exactly. So that’s the, there’s illegal and there’s illegal, exactly. As you framed it. Um, but I think now, why, why the illegality doctrine, as lawyers like to call it, is trending a little bit, is because we have some things that are considered illegal. That’s something that some states or jurisdictions are saying, well, no, that’s not illegal. And just sort of an example is cannabis, cannabis could be legal in some states, it could be legal for medical purposes in some states? It’s illegal for recreational purposes in other states, it’s illegal and federally it’s illegal, right? So that creates just all these weird dynamics, Can we have a five oh one C three organization where we’re cannabis dispensary for medical purposes, we’re doing it for charitable purposes. Can we do that? And the answer there is kind of know right now, if it breaks federal law, if that is the purpose of the organization and so now we’re not talking about activities now, but if that’s the purpose of the organization is to break federal law, then you can’t get five oh one C. Three status and you can’t if you have five oh one C. Three status and you change your mission, you can’t keep it. So something to look at in terms of cannabis organizations,

[00:21:12.39] spk_0:
even if it’s legal, even if it’s legal in your state,

[00:21:15.23] spk_1:
Right? Because 501 C3 status is a federal tax exempt status. So

[00:21:21.42] spk_0:
that could change

[00:21:53.07] spk_2:
and that’s for the mission of the organization. But what about or a national organization based in D. C. Because they’re a big HQ, they have their annual event in Oregon and the gala where in Oregon, cannabis is is completely legalized for recreation etcetera. And, you know, the silent auction table has like a cannabis care package is they’re they’re registered in D. C. The event is in Oregon. What’s what are the layers there?

[00:23:57.52] spk_1:
So the activities may be judged by what particular state they’re in. Although the sale of cannabis would always be sort of FDA sort of under FDA rules as well. Right? So you could always get charged with a federal crime on that, which is always the tough part. But just from The federal tax exemption standpoint, it’s kind of again fits activities if it’s doing it as an activity, that’s one thing where is it illegal? You know, little bit illegal maybe, and probably not going to really enforce or try to take away 51C3 status because of one event in Oregon where it’s legal under state law. But if that’s your purpose is to to say, hey, we don’t care what the federal law is. This is what our purposes which is contrary to federal law that can get you in trouble. So that’s the cannabis thing. But the study of cannabis or the study of psychedelics, certain psychedelics that might become approved federally and tony as you were saying cannabis could change as well. Um the study of it or the policy around it, that might be a perfect vibe. One C three purpose, either in the scientific realm or the charitable or educational realm, but a little bit of gray area in all of this. But I did wanna introduce one more area of illegality. Um and that is regarding abortion because that is another really hot topic since the jobs decision by the Supreme Court, right? So that allows basically the states to decide whether abortion is legal or not. And some states are really um strict about what they think would be illegal around abortion. So funding people to get an abortion, which what a charity might do, they might not perform the abortion, but they might provide funding and sometimes it’s just funding to their own employees to be able to access abortion in a state that allows it Um that can be illegal under state law as well. So now how does the fight, you know, that affect the 501 status

[00:24:09.39] spk_0:
even just funding an employee making an employee benefit? I

[00:24:39.22] spk_1:
think a law firm in texas, this varies amongst different states. tony so texas is one that’s been um pretty tough and in my opinion just terrible about um the laws that they’ve used and some of these laws go back decades. They’re they’re old laws that they were ruled unconstitutional before, but now after the Dobbs decision there sprung back into life. Um and so yeah, even funding employees to be able to access abortion clinics in other states could be illegal under those states. And

[00:25:50.42] spk_2:
yeah, after jobs, you know, there was like this wave of companies, especially for profit companies, but I’m sure nonprofits did it too, you know, saying like trying to I think in the spirit of of making clear their values, but clearly not thinking about the practicalities, You know, making these announcements, we will always fund our staff having access to this health care. You know, even if you have to travel or whatever. But like to to jean’s point the that isn’t very straightforward. It could if it’s known explicitly that that’s what you’re funding. It could be illegal if you’re an organization in texas, but also it requires disclosure that’s already making vulnerable a vulnerable staff person write a reimbursement which a number of folks we’ve seen say policies for reimbursement of travel. Well now there’s like a paper trail of where you went and and how much it cost and you know, like instead thinking about policies that say there may be harder things happening. We’re increasing your health benefit by this, you know, percentage of dollars just in, you know, like we have to think about the actual users here and not just the value statement where we think we’re making as an organization, you know,

[00:27:23.63] spk_0:
interesting point too about the paper trail because uh, texas again is one state where people who aid in a bet abortion can be can be sued, I think right? Or it could be right, It could be sued. So, so if there’s that paper trail that Amy’s talking about that mentions where the person went and maybe what relative may have helped them or you know that those those documents that that evidence could all be used when if if somebody nefarious inside the organization wants to wants to get some people in trouble. You know that that evidence could all be used against them. Yeah. All right. Well yeah I know well intentioned but maybe not so well thought out. But it’s it’s hard when when something so so disastrous happens. You know people want to rush to the aid like you know just like individuals who give to tsunami victims and hurricanes. You know like employers and C. E. O. S. Want to rush to the aid of their employees when they feel that there’s a uh something grievous happening to them potentially. It’s hard

[00:29:12.60] spk_1:
and I want to say we haven’t heard the last on this. These laws are going to be changed and challenged for years but right now we’re not in a very good place but wrapping it back into a five oh one C. Three package um Can the I. R. S. Take away your tax exemption because you do some of these things and then we get back to your, well is it an activity that’s illegal or is it really illegal? And um my feeling is that the I. R. S. Is not going to judge on the violation of state law unless the state has actually made that determination by a court ruling. So you can’t you might be able to pursue somebody and say well you know they violated the state law but if there’s no court ruling that says that the I. R. S. Is not an arbitrary of whether somebody has broken state law or not. So they will not take away five oh one C. Three status for just a complaint that somebody is violating these rules even though actually that might be the case. Um And nobody is not you know admitting that that’s not true. But the I. R. S. Is probably gonna want to lay low on the whole abortion topic is my feeling about it. But the illegality doctrine and there’s a similar doctrine called the public policy doctrine which was first introduced for racially discrimination which was federally allowed right And bob jones University used that as you know admission criteria or other sort of policy criteria. The I. R. S. Said no we’re going to take away your tax exemption for that even though it wasn’t inconsistent with law but it broke federal public policy. So there’s a related doctrine illegality that’s a sort of violation of public policy. But these are all things that charities just start to need to know and think about because one day it may pop up right in their neighborhood and they’ll be thinking about maybe we should have advocated a little bit harder in advance of that and try to make a difference,

[00:32:10.21] spk_0:
interesting. Um Contrast between the two examples we’re talking about cannabis having been illegal all along and now slowly becoming legal and abortion. Having been legal for the past 50 years now slowly becoming illegal. All right jean. Thank you very much. Love it. It’s time for Tony’s take to taking your new year. Welcome to your new year. I am always optimistic at the beginning of a new year. I cannot help it. It doesn’t matter if we’re in a pandemic or an economic recession in 2009. I’m always optimistic at the beginning of a new year. It’s in my d. n. a. So it’s a year of opportunity. If 2023 was terrific for you and I’m talking personally and professionally, if it was a bountiful year, it was a successful year for you. However, you define that. Congratulations. I’m very happy for you. I’m glad that your 2022 was what you wanted it to be outstanding. If you’re 2022 wasn’t if it was something less than you would have liked again, personally and professionally, Don’t let that hold you back for the new year. Your past doesn’t define your future. Your 2022 doesn’t constrain what you can do in 2023, literally each day, week month, you’ve got the whole year of opportunities, new chances to excel. So don’t let the past hold you back. If your last year wasn’t up to what you would like it to have been. You’ve got a whole new year of opportunities. Welcome to your 2023. Take it in embrace it. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for gene and Amy’s 2023 outlook with Gene and Amy Amy twitter. What the hell?

[00:32:12.79] spk_2:

[00:32:32.70] spk_0:
the hell? Yeah. Well immoral, immoral and unethical. To begin with the new ceo Elon musk. But uh, what the hell do we do with our, with our twitter accounts and we all three of us here have won. Nearly every nonprofit let’s assume has won. What we, we sort of have a sense of the landscape. What what, what’s your advice?

[00:33:24.47] spk_2:
I think to, to sum up my feelings. I would say like down with twitter and long live the internet. But what that means to me is a lot longer. You know, I think The decision about whether your organization should use Twitter or not is the same today as it has been every day since 2007 or whatever when I launched right? Like there’s always been, I think the need to consider if a tool you’re using that is not yours, you don’t get to own it. It is always permanently gonna be someone else’s tool, right? You’re just a visitor there. If it’s values match your expectations. If the community is there like all those same questions that we’ve talked about for years

[00:33:28.67] spk_0:
are still the same

[00:35:56.59] spk_2:
questions, you know, But I think what happens is organizations hopefully do ask those questions when they join something and then it’s like a closed discussion. And what I would love to see is that organizations re ask those questions every day on these platforms, right? Um, I would love to say the conversation isn’t about Elon musk because I would like to never have a conversation about. However, he’s really making the conversation about him by taking up a lot of the space and making the decisions right? Um, even today suspending the account that was like a bot that just posted when his jet went places and now that’s been suspended. You know, it’s like, okay, there’s just so much going on there. The issue to me isn’t, what has Elon tweeted or what has he done and more? Is it a platform that has the capacity to be safe for your users in your organization? Well not if every single member of those safety teams has been fired. Right. Um, is it a platform that’s going to be reliable because maybe you’re using it to communicate in real time situations, updates, et cetera? Maybe not When the again teams that support the reliability and uptime of the tool have been fired. So if it is meeting your needs, if your community is still really active there, if it feels like it’s a good fit, I’m not gonna say empirically, there’s only one answer to using any tool. Is it a tool that intent is using anymore? No, it doesn’t meet either the reliability or the values piece that we expect. We’ve seen tons of community members. Um, board members organizations, you know, post their last tweet and some of them, it’s like a very sad goodbye. And for others, it’s find me on linkedin, here’s, here’s my profile, right? Um, and for others, the last tweet didn’t even know that it was the last tweet. It just was the last tweet and then there weren’t, weren’t anymore, You know, it wasn’t a sign off, it just kind of ended. Um, but I’ll say all that and pause and then and and hear your thoughts.

[00:36:38.40] spk_0:
So what, you know, the concerns about safety reliability, these teams having been fired. Um, what about just taking a wait and see what might replace them? I mean, it’s still, we still are now january while we’re like two months into his 2.5 months or so into his ownership. Um, Should we, should we wait? Well, and I should say we’re recording in mid december. So it may not even, it may emerge by the time this comes out in early january. Um, should we, should we wait and see what

[00:37:59.71] spk_2:
was, I think something to think about is that there is no clear timeline for what wait and see means there, there has not been a, we’ve fired all of these teams that provide the reliability of the tool and the safety of the tool or at least the illusion of safety of the tool. Um, and we’ll be hiring for those teams on x date, that’s not been the process, right? So, um, that’s not to say posting your last tweet includes deactivating your account and leaving and everything right. It could just be Maybe you stop using it. Um it could be like in 10 has done, we don’t put money into the tool so we don’t buy ads, we don’t promote things right? So we’re not investing in what it is and the accounts open, we still have a notification set so that if a community member chooses to like tweet at us and say hey how come I can’t find this about the conference, we still see it and could provide that customer service, right? Um but it’s not a place that we are spending our time spending our dollars spending our energy even if you could still find the antenna count right? Um And I think that’s a place that for us feels like we haven’t walked away from the community or whatever parts of the community are still on the platform but we have made clear our stance is that this is not a place that feels worthy of that investment right?

[00:38:20.11] spk_0:
What have you done personally with at Amy R. S. Ward?

[00:40:22.50] spk_2:
I already used twitter so inconsistently like there’s one day where I just see five things and I’m like like in everybody’s tweets and replying to people and then I like accidentally go five weeks without tweeting just because I you know I wasn’t I wasn’t logged in or I wasn’t looking at things. Um I don’t know that I have tweeted recently, I don’t have, I don’t have even in my tab purgatory of my two screens, I do not have twitter open anywhere um I think the place, it’s really interesting. The place that twitter started out for me is kind of where it has returned to of very hyperlocal like there’s so many Portland’s folks that I don’t otherwise see because I never leave my house or you know they don’t work in nonprofit text so I wouldn’t otherwise connect with them but there I could still see them on twitter, I think that’s a place where it started out and I still want to know what the replacement is. Of course I’ve had lots of calm conversations with folks who are like well where should we go and we can talk about that but I also would encourage organizations to remember that you probably are already in more places than just twitter. You know, you probably do already have a linkedin page or if not pretty easy because your employees probably have linkedin profiles and you know, set up some space there um and most importantly, out of all of this again, you and I have talked about this but I really want to make clear in the midst of this kind of twitter, what is social media anymore conversation that you never owned any of that data, you never owned those pages, you never own those profiles, you never got to control them, you do control your website, you do control your email list, make sure that you are building up that list. That you are communicating with people directly in channels that you can directly um, message to because that’s no matter what happens, twitter returns and is a place of Utopia, you still won’t own it, right. And you will own your list and you will own your website and making sure that you’re, you’re really thinking about spending your time and money and staff time in those places. That’s

[00:40:52.33] spk_0:
really valuable. Basic but valuable reminder to cherish and build on what, what you do own your your site, your list. Yeah,

[00:41:01.38] spk_1:
I think there’s, you know, some difficult equity considerations in in twitter’s value um as well. So beyond what the owner who is also the only board member, uh,

[00:41:09.93] spk_2:
that’s the best practice, Right?

[00:42:24.32] spk_1:
Uh, so beyond beyond him, uh, there’s the consideration of, well, where are the folks you are serving? Where are they at? Is there a virtual town square where they’re at? Because many, maybe on twitter and they may still be there and for you to give them messaging, that might still be important. So I’m not, I’m still on twitter and conflicted about it, but I don’t want to be judgmental about charities that decide to stay on twitter because that may be still a really important way for them to reach out to their audiences. Um and for the audiences, I don’t want to be judgmental of them either because there are a lot of people who are not privileged to be able to access a lot of other technology and other platforms. They might, you know, find twitter super easy and you know that’s what they have and I’m not yet willing to say we’re just going to leave twitter to become this, you know, white heterosexual male dominated platform and Ellen and his bros can do whatever they want with that without any pushback from other perspectives there,

[00:44:15.41] spk_2:
I hope Tony Let’s make a 2023 resolution that gene and I get to do more shows together um because it brings up such a good just hearing you share that Gina and I agree with everything. Um as always let the record reflect, I always agree with Jean and I am always doing legal activity. Um is, is the version of this from a few years ago about facebook, right. And there’s some really unique and important differences between the twitter options available just like because of how the platform works versus facebook, you know, twitter is public by default. You don’t have to have a twitter account to go see what an organization had been tweeting about. Here’s some information right versus facebook which is very like within the world of facebook um the data trail that that creates is very different right? Organizations could say despite the hellscape we’re staying in twitter and we are to loop back to the previous conversation, um, an abortion fund and we are going to make sure that we are sharing information. No one has to interact. No one has to like ask us for it. But we’re putting this information out right in a place where people maybe find it in a search on facebook doing that or saying here’s our upcoming fundraiser to raise funds for abortion funds. Everyone who RSVPs for that event and has a texas address, has just created a data trail that is likely very problematic for them, Right? And the organization maybe didn’t even understand that’s what is happening, Right? So they are very different platforms, very different ethical dilemmas for sure. Um, but but what they mean for you as an organization staying there and what kinds of compromises you might be creating for already vulnerable communities are very different because they are just very different platforms, right? That operate differently.

[00:45:09.04] spk_0:
If we if we should decide to go elsewhere. Uh, let’s let’s talk about And you well, you mentioned, you may want to put on twitter that you can now find us on, we’re gonna talk about mastodon and uh, there’s another one post. Um, but you may want to just alert folks that your activity has moved, you know, over or or like you said, find us on linkedin or you know, we’re very we’re still very active on facebook. You know, instagram maybe, you know, maybe our channel. You know, whatever you want to I think you want to let folks know what you’ve decided without just disappearing. Mm

[00:45:14.16] spk_2:

[00:45:14.93] spk_0:

[00:45:16.37] spk_2:
like you probably should have those links on your website. So have updating your bio to say,

[00:45:22.54] spk_0:

[00:45:54.15] spk_2:
know, visit our website and find the channel that works for you or something. You know, you don’t have to um, you don’t have to write that farewell letter As in last tweet with every link to every site. Right? But making sure that you do think about what a user is going to see if they do try to look you up and have the bio be updated or whatever. Um there there are a lot of folks talking about mastered on host, these other platforms. I’m, I have accounts on them. You are welcome to find me. I’m not posting a bunch there or anything but you know me, I like to just see how tools developed. So I’ve had accounts on both of those and um,

[00:46:06.02] spk_0:
you’re more, you’re more altruistic than I am. You like to see how the, how the, how the platform develops. I just want to grab the name tony-martignetti

[00:46:15.28] spk_2:
before for

[00:46:22.96] spk_0:
somebody else who’s been on my show. I’ve had tony-martignetti other, another tony-martignetti on my show. Um, he never had me on his show come to think of it.

[00:46:25.18] spk_2:
Well there is as of today no other amy sample ward. So there’s only 1 20

[00:46:31.88] spk_0:
but but I’m not posting, but I wanted to grab the grab the real estate but I did it for more selfish reasons you

[00:46:38.05] spk_2:
did altruistic.

[00:46:39.81] spk_0:

[00:49:20.47] spk_2:
mean I think that um as is true with a lot of social media platforms that have been uh financed by and developed by the privileged communities of tech development, that’s who’s mostly on those platforms already right? Even though they’re very different mastodon is, you know, kind of like what’s the open source values, whatever. I haven’t seen a lot of that and and post trying to be more about like what are you really thinking and like content focused mostly screenshots of tweets so it feels a little um, a little, a little bit of whiplash but I wouldn’t say that it’s bad if you are like tony and you were like, but there’s so many organizations with our acronym like we want the the handle go for it but don’t go fill the account with content as if you are present there, just just sit on the handle, you know, because once you have a complete profile, Well now it looks like you are trying to post there and people don’t know how to interact right, just hold, it reserve it in your name, put the password in last past, you know, but but don’t, don’t um like I’ve always said and 10 doesn’t have an account on these platforms even though I just said that I do and a number of staff do because you aren’t going to use individual first platform as an organization. Well, if you haven’t been an individual first um, to actually know how it works. What’s the ins and outs of this tool? What are the norms? Um, mastodon works a little bit differently than folks may have experienced um, where you are in order to even create an account, you have to pick kind of what, what server you want to be associated with that changes what name it changes your default kind of news feed. Um, so there are a lot of things that you aren’t going to know out of the box for your organizational profile, you’re gonna need to play with it. And they’re, all these tools are developing a lot faster as they see hundreds of thousands of new users, you know. Um and I think again, back to the values point, they are also experiencing the challenges of lots of users write posts. Said that it only took six days before they had to take swastikas down. So what is it, what are the, what are the platforms doing, what are the values there? How are they moderating or managing content safety users before you say, oh yeah, let’s have our organization profile there.

[00:50:14.09] spk_0:
I did see uh a nonprofit power user and and very popular person, of course Beth Kanter, uh she’s active on mastodon. She didn’t just, she didn’t just take an account, but she’s actively moved there. Um, posting lists of other nonprofit folks to to follow that, you know, that she follows, so that another, another drop another name, J Frost, I see he’s there. Um so I mean that’s just, that’s just two people uh but beth in particular happens to have many hundreds of thousands of followers or had on on twitter. Um so it’s, it’s pretty monumental decision to believe that kind of um that kind of largeness and, and go to something where you know, you’re now, you now you now have zero followers on on day on day one. So that’s a significant decision. Um so I’ve seen and there’s some other folks too, but those, those, those are the ones that come to mind that, that have made the move there and and are active and actively encouraging others to

[00:50:38.88] spk_2:

[00:50:41.86] spk_0:

[00:50:42.71] spk_2:
know, and I, and I think not to put Gene on the spot, I know this isn’t what you were prepared to talk about, but

[00:50:49.29] spk_0:

[00:51:51.18] spk_2:
think we saw this with facebook and you know, facebook had its own rules about how they would kind of pursue this. But these new, these new platforms will have to have their rules too. And that is organizations who don’t necessarily have a registered trademark but are very clearly like the United Way of Portland or something, you know, and then somebody went on there and created that account already, right? And is trying to sit on it, twitter has experienced, you know, people sitting on the accounts and then um people needing to have access to them and saying that’s actually my name or my organization’s name or you know people that sit on the U. R. L. S. Of like World War three. Oh now there is one, we need that U. R. L. You know whatever um so that that will there there will have to be a course whatever that course maybe for resolution on that. I also I just don’t want people leaving the conversation feeling like they need to spend the next two hours finding these platforms requesting an account and trying to sit on their organization’s name themselves. Like if you want to you can but don’t feel that’s not the takeaway here.

[00:51:56.72] spk_0:
Yeah, don’t do it, don’t do what tony-martignetti did or

[00:51:59.98] spk_2:
just don’t feel obligated that you have

[00:52:01.69] spk_0:

[00:52:03.61] spk_1:
I’m sitting on a post account tony and I’m active on mastodon uh as well. So yeah I I think it’s going to be a tricky thing but for organizations, if you do find somebody using your name, you may want to bring it up and challenge that you talk to a lawyer about that, especially if they’re putting anything in that misrepresents your organization, if they’re acting like they’re spoofing your organization and putting out some content that’s not true or bad for you, make sure you put a stop to that

[00:52:34.39] spk_0:
I guess there are people who would do that and just hope to make some money at it Like

[00:52:40.35] spk_2:
there’s definitely money to be made. You

[00:52:44.04] spk_0:
know, if I get the ford motor company or Tesla or something, you know, I’ll be happy to sell it to you for $150,000 or well a million and a half seems to be my price. So

[00:53:08.96] spk_2:
I mean we see that with U. R. L. S already right. People just buy lots of U. R. L. S. Waiting for somebody to create a product called like the or uh, the oreo slushy. Great. Now we invented it. We need to buy that U. R. L. From you, you know? All

[00:53:09.20] spk_0:

[00:53:10.19] spk_2:
We’re all in the wrong business. Let’s just go buy a bunch of

[00:53:29.93] spk_0:
alright, um, amy anything more? We should talk about mastodon. Oh, I did want to just clarify for folks because you mentioned mastodon, you have to select a server. It’s really just to me it’s a community. sure, but there are only about 10 of them. It’s not like there’s a knitting community and a and a rock climbing and a soccer, you know, it’s not like that. Not yet. But I don’t

[00:53:39.52] spk_2:
want to use the word community and have folks get to that first page and see the word server and have no idea where the word, you know, But yes, you’re right. You are, you’re kind of choosing the space. That’s your entry point into the world of mastodon

[00:53:57.09] spk_0:
And there is one with a social good label to it. So Beth Kanter is at Beth Kanter dot Social Good something.

[00:54:03.76] spk_2:

[00:54:04.20] spk_0:
like you said it it affects your

[00:54:06.10] spk_2:
your name

[00:54:06.92] spk_0:
affects your screen name, your your handle your I. D. Yeah.

[00:54:57.74] spk_2:
Um I the only last thing that I’ll add in our final minutes here is a very long time ago, people have been like O G listeners um you know, we used to say, well how would you know what social channels your users are on And you know, we’ve talked about having in your own website for your user profiles or in donation uh forms wherever you might be getting feedback from folks now that they have to put their U R. L. In, but just a checkbox like Oh yeah, we do. You I have a facebook account, an instagram account and whatever, you know, whatever it might be. Um make this is an opportunity to go check those lists and say maybe we should add mastodon on or maybe we should add post or we should update what options were actually providing. So so that you could notice, oh, there are a lot more people now here. Maybe it’s worth us looking at that platform. Right. So if you’re doing some year end data cleaning, look at your at your profile forms or your feedback forms where you might say, what tool, you know, what are their channels are you on and add some more of these newer tools.

[00:55:20.84] spk_0:
Amy sample ward Ceo of N 10 for the time being. She’s at

[00:55:26.18] spk_2:

[00:55:45.50] spk_0:
are at amy R. S Ward and Gene Takagi, principal attorney at the neo nonprofit and exempt organizations law group for the time being at g tech, but also you’ll find him on mastodon and post amy. Thank you jean, thank you very much.

[00:55:47.74] spk_2:
Thanks so much. tony I really do want to do shows together with jean.

[00:55:51.47] spk_0:
No, I concur yes, that’s uh that’s a good idea. Well let’s make sure we do another couple of these this year.

[00:55:57.73] spk_2:

[00:56:27.95] spk_0:
alright and again, happy new year. Next week. Erica mills Barnhart on common communications conundrums. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media, is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. Go out and be great.