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Nonprofit Radio for April 10, 2020: Turbocharge Your Grants Fundraising

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My Guest:

John Hicks: Turbocharge Your Grants Fundraising
John Hicks returns with 9 steps that will burn the tires off your grants program. He’s principal and founder of DLBHICKS, LLC consulting. (Originally aired February 23, 2018)




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[00:00:13.74] spk_3:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit

[00:00:58.80] spk_4:
radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% on your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with Lissa if you bit me with the idea that you missed today’s show Turbo Charge your grants fundraising. John Hicks returns with nine steps that will burn the tires off your grants program. He’s principal and founder of De LB Hicks, L. L C Consulting. This originally aired on February 23rd of 2018 feet Land last week was grantmakers relationships. See how you see how it all ties together. This show is so heavily produced on tony Steak, too. I’m channeling You were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com Not heavily produced. Not just that, but expertly produced but Cougar Mountain Software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant. Martin for a free 60 day trial and by turned to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Here is John Hicks.

[00:01:27.42] spk_3:
What a pleasure

[00:01:27.86] spk_0:
to welcome back John Hicks. We

[00:01:29.85] spk_3:
believe this is his third time on the show c f r EE principle

[00:01:42.64] spk_0:
and founder of De LB Hicks, a consulting firm providing fundraising and grant seeking guidance to nonprofits from grassroots to global. His

[00:01:42.84] spk_3:
career spans over 30 years.

[00:01:44.81] spk_0:
He’s on the faculty of Columbia University’s Masters degree in non profit management, teaching grant writing, and he’s a lecturer for Rector’s University’s Institute for Ethical Leadership. He’s at de lb Hicks and de lb hicks dot

[00:01:59.05] spk_3:
com. John Hicks Welcome back to the studio.

[00:02:01.62] spk_5:
It’s great to be here.

[00:02:06.51] spk_3:
My pleasure to have you d l B D L b All we keep. Here’s deal be I love the story behind Deal Be Tell it

[00:02:15.34] spk_5:
Sure thing L B stands for Dylan’s lightbulb, as in Bob Dylan. Um, years ago, I came across a copy of D. A. Pennebaker’s great documentary Don’t Look Back, Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of the U. K. Early in the film, Dylan’s getting off the plane at Heathrow Airport in these walking of this press conference, carrying a large light bulb, and he’s getting asked all the innocuous questions, you know, Are you folk? What is your message? And someone asked me, what is your message is my message. Keep good head. Always carry a light bulb.

[00:02:45.65] spk_3:
And I thought that

[00:02:47.27] spk_5:
was probably about the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard in my life. And I adopted is a personal mantra. And so when I launched my own firm, I said,

[00:02:57.98] spk_3:
You know, I’m gonna

[00:03:03.74] spk_5:
work. Deal, be into this. Get the light bulb in there. And that’s t l B. If you go to the website, you can learn a little more about that incident.

[00:03:05.82] spk_0:
And the home page has ah lightbulb image.

[00:03:09.19] spk_5:
It has a light bulb. Do

[00:03:10.77] spk_0:
we know why Dylan was carrying, like, both Do we know

[00:03:13.05] spk_5:
this day? And no one knows, I think is the typical Bob Dylan thing where somebody handed him a white bombings like this is cool.

[00:03:20.55] spk_0:
Or maybe it’s not, but I’ll make it cool. Okay.

[00:03:22.74] spk_5:
They’re identical radio.

[00:03:24.83] spk_3:
All right. Um, glad to have you back.

[00:03:27.36] spk_4:
I love it. You can come to studio all the time. Wonderful.

[00:03:29.48] spk_5:
Yeah. It’s great to be here.

[00:03:32.04] spk_3:
Um all right. So you got you got these nine

[00:03:42.74] spk_0:
tips for Ah, um, Turbo charging. You know, kicking up your grants program to the next level. Um, and you’ve got some advice that coincides with the panel that was on last week when I moderated at the Foundation center. Right? That’s cool.

[00:03:57.02] spk_3:
Um, so let’s I mean, let’s Ah, let’s let’s let’s overview first. What are what? What do you

[00:03:59.39] spk_0:
feel like? Non profits just generally are not getting quite right. Man, you got nine tips here about things that not profit should be doing better. But

[00:04:08.34] spk_3:
just eyes the thinking, not right around grants.

[00:04:10.60] spk_0:
I mean, what what generally, what could we be doing? Smarter. Thinking better differently about Grant What grants wise?

[00:04:18.64] spk_3:
Well, I was

[00:04:19.22] spk_5:
looking at grants is being the kind of philanthropy that brings to things to the table for a charity they bring. A grant will bring you cash and those rings you cachet. Okay, so it’s, um

[00:04:30.19] spk_0:
thank you. Somebody else’s supporting you that they believe in your work. Exactly. If you non profit radio sponsors. Yeah,

[00:05:35.37] spk_5:
you got it. And the thing about getting grant funding is that you go through a more of a due diligence process, which means that if I’m able to go to AA donor even if it’s an individual donor and say I have a grant from this foundation, of that foundation, and particularly if it’s a pretty well known foundation. Um, it says to that person, Have you been through due diligence process? And so I think First of all, it’s getting non profits to think about what part does a grant or grants for a grants program play in their philanthropy? And, um, also, I think it’s the heart of the nine steps to turbo charging your grants outreach. It’s It’s all about rethinking your agency. It’s like rethinking your story. And how do you use that to engage foundations at a much higher level? And I think I’ve always said that any charity could do this. I mean, it is This is not just large charities. I think grassroots charities.

[00:05:38.16] spk_0:
We wouldn’t be on non profit radio. This is all really for the $1,000,000,000 endowment and above.

[00:05:45.52] spk_5:
You got it? Okay.

[00:05:46.10] spk_3:
No, no. For sure they can. And that’s that’s why that panel

[00:05:48.51] spk_0:
was so valuable. Last That was last week. Yeah, I think there was

[00:06:15.68] spk_5:
a lot of discussion about this. I mean, if you if your listeners go back and listen to that, um, that podcast again, I mean, you’re gonna hear these grantmakers talk about the importance not only of engagement, but it’s coming in with a story in a vision for where your organization’s going next. And if you can get them to buy into that direction, you can not only get a grant that you could maybe could get a sizable grant or an impactful grant.

[00:06:20.91] spk_0:
And that term grand. Exactly. Yeah, yeah, changing the conversation. Okay. And you’ve got ideas on that coming up. You know, thinking long term versus immediate and what’s recurring costs, etcetera. And what’s growth costs we’ll get. Okay,

[00:06:34.29] spk_3:
so that’s a so the 1st 1 you have, um, focusing on

[00:06:37.64] spk_0:
the right, the right kind of money Thio ask for

[00:07:03.23] spk_5:
right. I think it’s understanding where your organization is in not trying thio under reach or overreach. So I think the important thing is I see a lot of charities come in and say, You know, I’m under feeling under a lot of pressure from my board or the staff that I have to go for the gold swing for the fences and get gates may not be the right fit for you. It’s choosing the part of the donor pool. You want to swim in a CZ I’m find of telling clients, Um, and the other part of raising the right money is making sure that you’re not getting money that sets up expectations that you can’t fulfill. This is another thing I run into is a consultant is walking in the door and seeing a lot of grants literally lying around where the agency is struggling to fulfill the promises made. But they just weren’t able to bring the rest of the money. And so it’s making sure that you’re driving the bus. That money is coming in to support your priorities and what you do Well,

[00:07:34.04] spk_0:
yeah. Um, So what? What causes this? This gap is it is not adequate planning on the part of the part of

[00:07:42.38] spk_3:
York. It can

[00:08:16.02] spk_5:
be inadequate planning. But, you know, I’m also fundraiser, and I acknowledge that a lot of us were there a lot of pressure to produce. And so it could be that, you know, we have boards. We have bosses. Who are you asking us to go for this grant? That grant. And, you know, you’re just you’re in response mode. The nine steps, I think get us back into doing this proactively so later in our conversation will talk about things like a strategic agenda and envisioning. And that kind of helps us, you know, move the ball forward, but close

[00:08:18.04] spk_0:
this gap between expectations and and reality. It’s

[00:08:22.04] spk_5:
usually you said it better than I did, tony,

[00:08:24.16] spk_3:
Uh, most guests say that. So don’t be surprised what this point out

[00:08:30.06] spk_0:
is that you’re surprised that I Okay,

[00:08:30.40] spk_3:
hold that thought.

[00:08:54.44] spk_4:
It’s time for a break wegner-C.P.As so that your 9 90 gets filed on time so that your audit is finished on time so that you get the advice of an experienced partner. You each tomb and affirm that has a nationwide non profit practice with thousands of audits and nine nineties under its belt. Wegner-C.P.As dot com Now more of turbo charge your grants. Fundraising.

[00:08:58.44] spk_3:
Let’s go back

[00:09:10.90] spk_0:
to John and turbocharging your grants. Fundraising. Um, yes. So we’ve got ideas coming up that are gonna close this gap. Basically, um, let’s see

[00:09:14.48] spk_3:
what you want. Talk about next.

[00:09:15.84] spk_0:
What do you uh you You You you go.

[00:09:18.09] spk_3:
What? We

[00:09:19.80] spk_5:
were talking about visioning, and maybe we should talk a little bit about gold setting because I think that’s it

[00:09:24.46] spk_0:
certainly related to what we’re just talking about. If you don’t, you don’t have the goals right Then the expectations are gonna have that gap between what you asked for and what they’re expecting,

[00:09:31.52] spk_5:
right? So, um, a

[00:09:33.39] spk_3:
lot of

[00:09:59.98] spk_5:
cases gold setting stops at raise more money and you did last year. Our costs are going up. Here’s where the costs are going up, and that’s pretty much the end of the conversation. And what I’ve come to find out over time is that the organizations that seem to do a better job of getting money on the grant seeking side are the ones who think about their goals into categories. There’s, um, sustaining goals, which is essentially what are carrying costs just for the operations and carrying constant program. So we still need to bring money in to make sure we keep the doors open. We’ll keep doing the essential work that we do best. But then there’s another set of goals which relate to investment. So I call these investment goals and I only think of it is you put money in, you’re going to get a return on it, and we’re going to do something a bit more than you know we’re doing right now. So when the operation site he could be staffing, it could be strategic planning could be capacity building and never on the program. Inside, it’s all about creating new programs and growing new programs for growing the programs that you

[00:10:40.45] spk_0:
have. So this carrying costs versus new investment, right? Um,

[00:10:46.08] spk_3:
it’s It’s not This is not, Is not

[00:11:17.71] spk_0:
the same is short term versus long term Now I think it’s because carrying costs could be long term correct, Right? It is it those air like you’re basically your overhead eyes that fair or now nobody’s that’s program its program to write its programming. It’s just feel free to say you’re wrong. I’m not gonna shut your Michael. Uhm, we re very rarely Occasionally we do, but I won’t let you. So uh, okay, so it’s not that right. It’s, um it’s you You’re forced to think long term. If you want to make this type of, you know, new investment kind of asks,

[00:11:54.83] spk_5:
right? Exactly. I mean, I know another way of putting this Is that sometimes, you know, I, um yeah, I’m so privileged to meet incredible people who were working miracles with small amounts of money. They come in with a fairly small, modest program. But when you look at what they’re doing, they’re making some pretty deep meaningful change in people’s lives. And sometimes I’m so blown away by what they’re doing with limited resource is I’m I look at them and say, You know, if you’re doing this on a shoestring, imagine if we had the shoe. Yeah, she was all about the investment grand. Where do we go next? And how do we take this? And either deep in it are are make it bigger,

[00:12:06.00] spk_0:
look atyou extending the shoestring metaphor. Hey, So smart. Okay, So insightful. Okay, no friends if we had to shoot. All right. All right. Um, but now this. You know, there might be a fear of putting the putting the potential funder off, because now we’re asking for more money. And if we’re looking for this new investment kind of money,

[00:12:25.01] spk_3:
we’re not gonna

[00:12:25.59] spk_5:
put a thunder off by asking for more money. If the money has a purpose. I mean, think about it this way. I remember

[00:12:31.64] spk_0:
this sounds important years. They’re not gonna put a funder off by asking for more.

[00:12:34.74] spk_3:
I don’t think something. Yeah, I Years

[00:13:07.02] spk_5:
ago, I heard Abigail Disney talking to a group of non profits at an event here in New York City. And something she said was that she says, Yeah, I have a lot of money and I’m a philanthropist. But without you, my money means nothing, because I don’t go where you go. I don’t do what you do. I don’t see what you see. When I find you. You become my ears and you become my eyes and you become my hands. And

[00:13:07.42] spk_3:

[00:13:07.75] spk_5:
organization can be part of that

[00:13:18.48] spk_0:
picture. That’s why, don’t you? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So ask for what you need, not what you think will be approved. As for

[00:13:20.21] spk_5:
what you need, what

[00:13:20.89] spk_0:
do you think you’ll get

[00:13:48.71] spk_5:
and and and ask for funding that’s going to get you to the right opportunity. So I always feel that philanthropy is about the possibilities, what we’re able to do next about opportunity. I remember once I had was working with an organization here in the city and the CEO was taking a grantmakers through the building and showing him the program and talking about program growth. And halfway through the visit, the thunder looked at the CEO and said, Look, I know you’re going to be coming to me with a grant proposal. Just make sure you ask me for enough money to do what you need to do. So you don’t have to come back and ask me again.

[00:14:04.84] spk_0:
Yeah. All right. They want to be asked for yesterday. Right? Uh, tony with foundations.

[00:14:11.47] spk_5:
Remember, we’re dealing with the donor constituency that’s in the business of giving money away. Yeah. So let’s help them do their jobs,

[00:14:28.46] spk_0:
and they want to do it right? They don’t want it. Ah, half cocked. And then, like you said, you know, a request to come back, uh, having to come back in 18 months because you didn’t ask for enough. Right? That looks bad because you look at your not about you. Not a good

[00:14:38.32] spk_3:
planner then. And you did the best you

[00:14:39.44] spk_5:
can. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, but you have put some thought into it. And I think you know most of our listeners. I’m sure do this, so yeah,

[00:14:46.98] spk_0:
well, we’re making sure that they will. Now,

[00:14:49.47] spk_5:
there we go.

[00:15:01.84] spk_0:
I’m glad you said our listeners before you says my listeners and, uh And then you kept talking, so I let it go. But this time you said our listeners are Our listeners are our listeners, right? Pronouns non profit radio. Uh, we should make that a takeaway on to make that my takeaways. Okay. Um, all right, so we have carrying costs versus new investment money. Now we have sustaining grants versus investment grants. What it’s supposed to do You want us to be thinking about these? What does this mean,

[00:15:20.50] spk_3:
Right, So it’s thinking about yourself in jail. It z it’s

[00:16:13.52] spk_5:
sustaining Great. It’s the stating expenses, investment expenses and then the you have to think sustaining an investment grants and the way you write these things are a bit different. I mean, sustaining is essentially you’re making the case in the proposal, the application for why we need to keep the doors open and keep doing what we’re doing. And I think these grants get driven by results. Here’s what we accomplished last year. Here’s what we have the promise of continuing to do this year with investment, grand proposals. You’re talking about kicking it up a notch, and you know where we’re going next to me. Here’s the roadmap here. The opportunities. This is why we’re trying to grow a program from $100,000.150,000 dollars. And the idea is it’s investment. I’m asking you to put money in with the promise. Or at least I’m the best of my ability. I’m promising that we’re going to get some stronger results. And so it’s, I think it’s a little the way the proposal gets presented it. It’s probably a little bit different in terms of some of the language and some of the presentation. Perhaps.

[00:16:23.16] spk_3:
Now, this sounds

[00:16:23.64] spk_0:
like some some of what was talked about in the panel. Ah, that we have had on last week.

[00:16:40.31] spk_5:
Yeah, yeah. You had a number of the grantmakers he talked about, You know that you have to not only just come in and show us the opportunities, but, you know, you have to show us that you have Ah, I’m going to use the metaphor of road map. You have an idea of how to get from point A to point B and why my money’s gonna make a difference. One of things. I talked to my students a lot about in the class at Columbia. Is that

[00:16:52.61] spk_0:
Yes, Professor. Go ahead. Sure you’re the sugar wisdom. You’re not a

[00:16:55.87] spk_5:
professor. You know, they we talked a lot about risk mitigation, which is maybe an odd thing to talk about in a class on grants. But

[00:17:05.28] spk_3:
the end of

[00:17:33.84] spk_5:
the day, a lot of what we’re doing for donors, just for major donor, you can do it for foundation is your mitigating risk. You don’t want the donor to feel that they’re putting a lot of risk on the table when they give you money. So in what we’re fortunate in the world of foundations as we can, right? A thoughtful grant proposal. Make a nice presentation. I can show you how to get from point A to point B so I can give you Exhibit A. So

[00:17:49.90] spk_0:
now subsumed in this by the way, road map, isa Fine, metaphor. Just you don’t go to automobiles that drive on roads, because then I won’t fall. You know, Like I said, I think the intra my first experience with a Phillips head screwdriver was very bad. So you can imagine me with a set of ratchets or whatever those things are called. Um,

[00:17:55.48] spk_3:
this sounds a lot like the Arno subsumed

[00:18:15.49] spk_0:
in this, though, is the thing that I get asked a lot of I hear a lot about it. Should you ask for overhead support in your in your grants and subsumed in all this is is a definite yes, right? I mean, you gotta keep the lights on. You keep salaries paid my approaching Mr Right

[00:18:16.31] spk_3:
way. What you are. I

[00:18:37.51] spk_5:
mean, that’s a question that comes up quite frequently. Is that do Foundation’s fund overhead expenses? I think First of all, there’s ah, there’s, ah, misguided notion that foundations don’t like to pay for overhead. There’s a few foundations who don’t, but most of them understand it, and they get it. Um, I mean,

[00:18:37.95] spk_3:
me that’s essential. These essential, essential expenses.

[00:18:40.24] spk_5:
They are essential

[00:18:41.44] spk_0:
to carry out the program if I can’t pay my rent.

[00:18:43.51] spk_5:
Exactly. And And the

[00:18:44.64] spk_3:

[00:19:00.59] spk_5:
is, is that what what I I find sometimes is that when you really start looking at the costs and the expenditures from from an organization and how they’re supporting their programs, you find that expenses that are categorized as overhead or administrative or not I mean,

[00:19:02.78] spk_3:
I work

[00:19:11.96] spk_5:
with a lot of grassroots organizations. Were the CEO is coming out of her office, and she’s working with kids. And she’s working with families. Well,

[00:19:12.21] spk_3:
she’s not overhead.

[00:19:33.41] spk_5:
She’s actually also direct program. So, um, you know, I mean, first, you can’t have toe really hold your budget up to the mirror and say, you know, is this truly accurate? I mean, you know, there’s a lot of hard work and CEO is out there, especially in grassroots organizations where they’re essential. And so there are probably more of their costs. Might be included in a program budget for a grant proposal.

[00:19:45.14] spk_0:
Hard working for sure, we know that. Absolutely. Um, yeah. So

[00:19:47.94] spk_3:
Yet, uh, you got

[00:19:53.93] spk_0:
any client story that comes to mind? Like we’re you know, they were thinking low and you encourage them to think bigger. And they ended up being successful. Maybe they didn’t get every dollar they asked for, but they got something bigger than you. Bigger than they were initially asking for.

[00:20:05.75] spk_3:

[00:20:06.18] spk_5:
I mean, and, uh,

[00:20:10.69] spk_0:
I should hope so. I put you on the spot. It never happened. And then we cut the mikes.

[00:20:13.64] spk_5:
No, absolutely

[00:20:14.61] spk_0:
not. yours. You cut mine. Well covered like

[00:20:23.10] spk_5:
Well, first of all, I just tryto look, it goes back to the light bulb. You know, I just don’t you you know, I’m just I’m just simply illuminating what’s in front of us a lot of times, and I find that I have probably any number of stories where working with a client and all I have to do is show them that this foundation could give more money and they said, Well, G, I think I have these opportunities and get them to think of three. Or like, Hey, I think I’ve got something. I could take the foundation

[00:20:44.74] spk_3:
and they do a

[00:20:45.24] spk_5:
fabulous job of presenting an engaging the thunder. Maybe I’ve you shown them that opportunity, but at the end of the day, you know I want to give credit where credit’s due. My my current clients raise good money because my clients are really good. Smart people were doing great work

[00:21:00.03] spk_3:
collaboration. You’re also contribute modest, surprised to find

[00:21:04.18] spk_0:
a modest professor. There aren’t too many of those, and I said no, professor, but I’m going to

[00:21:07.63] spk_5:
start a band called Modest professed

[00:21:11.50] spk_0:
It’ll be D L B everything in your life is deal be about the ball. Yes. Modest Professor deal

[00:21:59.13] spk_5:
bu But he asked me a specific example. I mean, recently I was working with I am working with ah, wonderful charity on DDE. They help kids with cancer. And you know what? What was really great was they had this wonderful opportunity to apply for a grant from a major national foundation and they had a great contact. And I think the early conversations was about a fairly modest create, maybe $10,000. And when we said that really looked at what the opportunity iwas, um you know, what could this charity do you expect with shoestrings, like 10,000 bucks a shoestring? And what’s the shoot that she turned out to be $50,000. So we worked up a proposal at $50,000 the upshot is the foundation funded. It is that they felt like it was a really good investment for their money, and I think they’re probably gonna be happier Giving the $50,000 seeing what they get is a result.

[00:22:12.46] spk_3:
Look, just in case

[00:22:13.16] spk_0:
any of our listen, my voice just broke a 14 year old voice. Christ, get out! A case

[00:22:20.64] spk_3:
of our, um uh, any case. I mean,

[00:23:14.25] spk_0:
Elizabeth, it’s just have to be your first show. I mean, there’s over 12,000 of you, so, you know, maybe some people come. I guess every week we get new additions if you want to. You know no more about the nuts and bolts the relationship, building specific strategies about that. You wanna listen to last week’s show because that was a panel from the foundation center that I moderated. And there’s a lot of discussion. That’s what we were based on. That old discussion was how to build your relationships with the with program officers, foundations, foundations are made up of people. So that’s, you know, like certain decibel John and I today our, um, more higher level, enormously valuable. And there’s all this strategy and planning and gold setting thinking through what you’re gonna ask. This is enormously relevant to. But last week was Maur detail, I guess nuts and bolts on the relationship building here today we’re in Baltimore, strategic and high level. You

[00:23:23.27] spk_3:
see how the show fits together. You know that people think this just comes. It doesn’t just happen. This thing is planned out

[00:23:33.37] spk_0:
contrary toe the belief of 12,000 people listening. But it is planned. So I just got lucky this week and last week. S

[00:23:36.02] spk_3:
O okay, you have measures

[00:23:49.44] spk_0:
around some of these things. You have measures for each of your 99 strategies. Um, this one is just simple. What? What’s the ratio of sustaining grants to investment grants? So we want to see Maur, I presume?

[00:23:52.77] spk_3:
What? See Maur investment grants, right? Thinking longer term and you’re going to grow your organization and its its capacity. Well, I’m actually

[00:24:28.29] spk_5:
trying to look for a healthier balance. I mean, um, yes, if I have a fair if I have a good core of sustaining grants first, Well, it says I have people who are renewing. Okay, so they like, I mean, think about foundations like subscribers. They love the program and they’re continuing to support a year over year of a year. That’s a that’s a great sign. But am I also bring in? You know, a good number of investment grants that kind of kid again and kick it up a notch and get meatloaf every night for dinner. But if I give him the topping on it every once a while. I mean, it gets more interesting. So there you go.

[00:24:52.04] spk_0:
Okay. This is a vegan show, so that was a bad metaphor. Uh, I just made that up just to embarrass you. Um, now, listeners, you can have anything you need, anything you want out of care for your overall lacto, You know, whatever. I belong to the park slope food co op, but you don’t have to. Um, yeah, eat whatever you like. Um,

[00:24:55.82] spk_3:
okay. Make sure you have the right grantmakers

[00:25:00.20] spk_0:
on your list. Okay? And

[00:25:00.82] spk_3:
and this sounds to me, this

[00:25:02.25] spk_0:
one sounds a little like it’s coordinated with your goals. You want your goals and your and the people, the organizations you’re asking for money from to be consistent. But you can say it more articulately than I can. I

[00:25:15.00] spk_3:
know what I mean

[00:25:24.70] spk_5:
by that is do you have Do you have recognized leaders supporting your program? I mean, um, if I just giving example, I work. I do a fair male work in the youth development world. Worked with various charities who do wonderful work here. And if they want to bring a new program online. Sometimes where my research starts and this isn’t terribly scientific, but it’s

[00:25:42.02] spk_3:
I look

[00:25:42.37] spk_5:
at. Well, who

[00:25:42.81] spk_3:

[00:26:06.75] spk_5:
the top 10 foundations funding this kind of work? Say, in New York City or in whatever community, Wherever you’re between your work, can I lend three of them? Can I bring three Thought leader foundations who work in this space to the table and have them funding my project? That’s that to me, that’s the right set of funders. I mean, that’s that helps me with my focus. So I’m not chasing money all over the place.

[00:26:11.40] spk_3:
Yeah, this is very strategic thinking.

[00:26:16.34] spk_0:
No, you’re not. You’re not just looking for foundations that support the work you do, but specifically, you know, some of the leadership foundations. Yeah. I support you.

[00:26:24.13] spk_3:
One of the

[00:26:24.71] spk_5:
things that about that panel discussion which I thought was so great I moderated. I think it was. Thank you. It was artful. Thank you. It was all thank you’s absolutely

[00:26:37.55] spk_0:
Thank you. I thank you again. Thank you very much for that. Thank you. The

[00:26:59.14] spk_5:
Thea it was just sit. There was so much conversation about partnership. I kept hearing it word over and over and over and over again. And I think foundations are looking for really good charities to partner with. And we should think about that on the set in reverse, like, Well, which foundations, though? I want partnering with me on this work that I’m going to d’oh! And that helps toe open that conversation makes the conversation natural. And it makes the proposal flow. I mean, were there for a reason.

[00:27:14.14] spk_0:
All right, Um, John Hicks, I got to, uh, ask you to hold on temporarily because, uh,

[00:28:50.81] spk_4:
we need to take a break. Cougar Mountain software, Their accounting product Denali is built for non profits from the ground up so that you get an application that supports the way you work that has the features you need and the exemplary support that you’ve heard me talk about. They understand you. They have a free 60 day trial on the listener landing page at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant in. Now it’s time for Tony’s take two. I’m channeling you small and midsize nonprofits each week. When I heavily produced expertly produced the show, I’m channeling you the listeners in small and midsize non profit. I’m thinking about who are the best guests What are the best topics when I get a guest and I’m thinking about talking to them. I’m thinking What? What do you want to know? What? Um, what is going to be helpful to you? Toe, bring a discussion item to your supervisor CEO board. Um, toe, have a discussion within just within your office. Um, sometimes it’s action steps, things you can do. What? You know, I’m drilling down with guests. What can we be doing? Not just thinking about, but what can we be doing? One of the first couple steps we need to take. So, uh, I always am just thinking about what you want to know. And that’s why I’m channeling you. Always small and midsize, non profit where our listeners are where you are. Um,

[00:28:51.25] spk_3:
I say a little

[00:28:59.99] spk_4:
more about this on a video which you will find, as always, at tony-martignetti dot com. And that is tony. Take two. Now back to turbo. Charge your grants. Fundraising with John Hicks.

[00:29:11.97] spk_3:
Back to you now. John Hicks. We’re gonna get this. Keep terrible. Charging. All right. Oh, that was your That was your word. I decided I would use it. A lot of times.

[00:29:15.24] spk_0:
I don’t. I’ll use what guests, uh, recommend that the log topic says or what? Their article says that I like, but

[00:29:22.17] spk_3:
I I thought,

[00:29:23.01] spk_4:
you know, it would

[00:29:30.49] spk_0:
be adventurous. Let’s go with turbo charge. All right. I made an exception for you. Thank you, tony. My pleasure. Um,

[00:29:31.80] spk_3:
let’s move on. So did we say everything? Well, we see everything we want to say about the right grantmakers before we move way.

[00:29:38.16] spk_5:
We’ve, uh We’ve started with goals that didn’t leave. We’ve kind of looked internally. What do we need to do by way of list? Bill Building. Now, we’re gonna start talking about some external things.

[00:29:48.22] spk_3:
Okay? Okay. So that’s what you want to talk about.

[00:29:51.43] spk_5:
Well, we start with the next one, which is building your V. Q.

[00:30:00.19] spk_0:
Vic, you get us out and get yourself out of drug in jail. What’s that? And define your

[00:30:55.05] spk_5:
visibility question. Yeah, which is, you know, is what it is. He I mean, the idea is that you want to be visible. I, um I think that grantmakers don’t I work in a bubble. Sometimes we think that you know, grantmakers, they sit in their offices and they kind of stay in their on their side of the street. We stay on our side of the street. The reality is that a lot of grantmakers air just out there and looking. They’re very aware of our community of practice and they get to know who we are largely by our just being out there and being visible. So, you know, any time I’m working with a nonprofit organization and the CEO gets out of his or her office and they go to events and they are in the press and they are writing and they’re speaking and they’re publishing and they’re advocating grantmakers get to know them And I think that counts. And I feel that a part of that quote unquote turbocharging um process

[00:31:05.27] spk_0:
thesis turbocharging to the ground. Now we’re

[00:31:19.81] spk_5:
not gonna beat it to program. A part of it is, the more you’re out there and you’re raising the visibility for your mission and your agency in your work, the better it is for you. I mean, it helps you with framing your grant proposal and who you are and what you’re able to dio

[00:31:23.79] spk_0:
credibility. Is that very good? There was another word for this credibility, but that will be your CQ. But you prefer Vik, you we’ll be secret. Well, it could be CQ, right? All right. I don’t want to write your block post anything, all right? And

[00:31:36.66] spk_5:
it could be fashionable. B g Q. So

[00:31:40.10] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. Uh, that would be your

[00:31:44.96] spk_3:
grandson. Your grants quotient there. Um, now, a lot of this came out

[00:31:46.84] spk_0:
in the panel from last week. People we were talking a lot about networking being visible in the community. Going to events? Yes. And you start to get known essentially what? Same as you’re saying,

[00:31:58.49] spk_5:
right? And and, uh,

[00:32:00.01] spk_3:
the only

[00:32:07.81] spk_5:
maybe new once I’d throw on this is that I mean, there’s there’s visibility. I

[00:32:07.95] spk_3:
like the thing

[00:32:31.84] spk_5:
about visibility with content. And what I mean by this is you can go to parties and goto events, and you can meet people. But what do you leaving them with? What impression are you making? And so some of the things we’re gonna be talking about such a CZ. You know, your strategic agenda where your organization’s going next part of is having a story to tell someone when you meet that grantmakers, here’s here. We are. Here’s the opportunities that are in front of us. Love to come and talk to you more about it. So you know you’re peeking their interest.

[00:32:56.32] spk_0:
Yeah, for sure. You you want to not only be visible, but you wantto have credibility behind that content behind that. You wanna make a good first impression? Imagine how good it would be if if a funder got your application and already knew your name knew the organization name before they, even when the application arrives right there. Knew in advance. Right, Because you’re in the community. And, of course, being in the community includes the the online communities, the online network. You want to build your vic, You there as well?

[00:33:14.98] spk_5:
Absolutely. I mean any. You know, the way I look at it is the when your proposal shows up in the foundation’s office with a bunch of other proposals. If

[00:33:19.85] spk_3:

[00:33:47.44] spk_5:
heard of you, they’re going to pick up them. The look on their going to read the letter. They’re gonna read the proposal. I can’t pretend that doesn’t happen. Yeah, there’s a wonderful book which I have my students at Columbia read every semester by a guy named Martin ty tell which is the insider’s guide, the grantmaking. And it’s a great behind the scenes look at the grantmaking process. And, um and he talks about things like this. I mean, you know that. You know, if we know something about the organization, it doesn’t hurt.

[00:34:02.58] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. Have you ever seen where a foundation approached? A Ah, a potential fundy Ah, non profit and asked

[00:34:06.71] spk_4:
for a asked for a proposal.

[00:34:48.94] spk_5:
I was sure it happens all the time. Does I think it does? I think that, um um particularly the foundations who hire professionals. I mean, think about this way. Part of your job when you work for a foundation is to make the board of the foundation smarter about what’s going on in the world that they’re being asked to fund in. So if you’re out there, if I work for foundation and I get to know something about the work of your organization, I might pick up the phone, call you and say, Hey, I want to learn more about you. Remember, one of my clients just got a call from a foundation. Pretty major foundation was any longer radar screen. They just called out of the blue and said We’ve been hearing about you would love to come and talk to you Have to stand. Absolutely.

[00:34:50.54] spk_0:
Wasn’t on your radar screen? No. Does that mean you’re doing defective research? Inadequate? No,

[00:34:59.04] spk_5:
No, this is Theo. This is actually a donor advised fund. Okay, that’s that’s a whole nother

[00:35:00.19] spk_0:
time. Can’t find Yeah, those air, those air buried What? Their funding is very, very hard to find. Yeah, it’s not. It’s not public, really. It’s not anywhere, is it?

[00:35:09.35] spk_5:
It’s really not

[00:35:19.90] spk_0:
now. Okay. All right. No negligent research by deal. BX make that clear. Make that explicit. They do not do negligent research. Okay. Um

[00:35:20.95] spk_3:
okay. Strengthening your network. This is very

[00:35:27.34] spk_0:
much related. Strengthening your network, um, strong foundation. And you know grantmakers Air are there doing this? You want to be wanted again? You won’t be out and and known in the community.

[00:36:45.47] spk_5:
Yes, it might be a question. You know, I would be asking this question, which is? Well, what’s the difference between your visibility quotient and the network? Well, a network is actually taking a role of X and all the people that you’re meeting and all the people who are supporting you and beginning to reverse engineer it a bit. You know, one of your Panelists on the show last week and talked about or gave a great example of. Well, if I’m funding you, I could introduce you to other funders. And that happens more frequently than that was a good conversation. Oh, absolutely. And it makes a lot of sense because usually a, um think of it this way. Foundation, once they’ve written the cheque and their supporting you there a stakeholder they have a vested interest in seeing you bring other money to the table to build on what they’ve helped you to creator to grow or expand. And there’s nothing wrong with working that in reverse. You know, just a strategy, a tip for everyone, and I’m seeing this work is tthe e get a fund or get one of your grantmakers. Ask them to host some kind of a gathering where you can come in and talk about your work and what you’re seeing as a result of your work or talk about a topic. Were they inviting to this? They’re usually inviting grantmakers, whom they know because they want to help you get your story out there and get people to know you. I mean, it’s not a solicitation. You’re gonna be handing out pledge cards

[00:37:01.29] spk_3:
on the individual side. It’s the same is like a parlor Gather.

[00:37:07.31] spk_5:
Exactly. Exactly. It’s you know, uh, it’s always better in the parlor. This is usually the board room, but

[00:37:10.78] spk_0:
well, yeah, because it’s institutional, But there

[00:37:12.96] spk_4:
are parallels

[00:37:13.73] spk_5:
you get.

[00:37:14.30] spk_3:
Don’t don’t Don’t hurt

[00:37:22.27] spk_0:
my analogy. I mean, I went along with your metaphors. Metaphors and analogies are important. Yes, I adopted your terrible judgment metaphor. So, you know, you certainly couldn’t support my analogy.

[00:37:24.74] spk_5:
I’m totally supporting her nails.

[00:37:26.17] spk_3:
It isn’t involved. It’s analogous ball. That’s what makes it an analogy

[00:37:29.46] spk_5:
of all is

[00:37:30.83] spk_3:
okay. Um, yeah. So you’ve seen this work you’ve seen? This absolutely wonders will do it. It’s common. It’s more common than you think. I I think merging Throw tip now. Well, you know,

[00:37:41.79] spk_5:
beyonc? This is This is a pretty old school approach. Mean they were doing it then. They felt they stopped doing it. Mean grantmakers, then Now they’re doing it again. Um, I think the the key to making this happen is being ableto walk in with a presentation that has really information. It’s not just a come meet my agency.

[00:38:03.08] spk_3:
I think this

[00:38:03.82] spk_0:
is what’s happening in this area. Yeah. In this fund, in this priority that we know you’re all funding, right? Here’s what we’re seeing. Here’s troubles we see coming in the future. Here’s opportunities. Yeah, right. It’s sort of analysis. Like a market announce.

[00:38:27.62] spk_5:
Yeah, exactly. Euros. Every positioning yourself is a thought leader. You know, I have information for you. I have some best practices for you, and they can get a good conversation going.

[00:38:45.18] spk_0:
Okay. I love that. Okay. Uh, yeah. I don’t think my right, it’s not. I don’t think a lot of people are thinking that way. It’s great and approach to approach your funders and ask them to, uh, to do it. Okay. So

[00:38:45.41] spk_3:
what’s your measures

[00:38:46.12] spk_0:
for that one for strengthening your network?

[00:38:48.40] spk_3:
I mean, the measures

[00:39:06.94] spk_5:
I have here you have any meetings with colleagues or potential donors that we secure? I think a big part of it is Did you get out of your office and go meet with your grantmakers? Did you did you meet with colleagues? Did you? Um Hey, how much did you use that role of X and the other is, you know how many potential grand tours that we add to the network.

[00:39:11.77] spk_3:
That’s the

[00:39:25.88] spk_5:
other thing, too. Is is you can meet grantmakers and not ask them for money. But you can get to know them, add them to the network. Maybe the timing isn’t right. Maybe you are not ready for a billable of the Gates Foundation grant. That doesn’t prevent you from getting a no program Officer Gates mean. Maybe they can’t give you money, But maybe they can suggest other people. You can talk to me. I find a lot of its disappearance. Simple networking.

[00:39:35.29] spk_3:
What would your

[00:39:38.74] spk_0:
follow up B to, ah, to an event like that? Eyes the non profit that presents

[00:40:13.30] spk_5:
what’s interesting. I just had a conversation with a client before camp here for the show. I’m aware that I heard about what we’re talking about about that well, years, years, years, sketchy, very deep. Don’t don’t underestimate I I am not underestimating you. Slice it. It’s essentially they’re producing a white paper on one topic, and they’re gonna use that as the follow up to an event. So they’re gonna have some grantmakers in the room and they can follow up with content, so demonstrate how good you are. And there you have it.

[00:40:14.96] spk_0:
Take a break. Indulge me for a break momentarily, please.

[00:40:37.96] spk_4:
It’s time for our last break turn to communications their former journalists so that you get help building relationships with journalists so that your call gets answered when there’s news you need to comment on so that you stay relevant. They’re a turn hyphen to DOT CEO. We’ve got butt loads more time for turbo charge your grants. Fundraising.

[00:40:42.12] spk_0:
Now’s time to finish up with John Hicks and turbocharging the metaphor that I very graciously I think adopted. John. John doesn’t acknowledge that grabbed the graciousness, but But I acknowledge it for myself.

[00:40:57.31] spk_3:
Okay, um, have we exhausted? Oh, and then you had one more

[00:41:01.03] spk_0:
measure for strengthen your network. How many potential grantmakers? No, you did say that. How many do we add to our network? And they were talking about the follow up. See, that’s my trouble Cone and coming back. Um, follow up. Anything more to say about content Paper seems like a very good idea.

[00:41:20.11] spk_5:
Yeah, Yeah. I mean, just come out. Come back with something that would be useful to the thunder. And, um, yes. Sometimes we So the grants starts with not asking for money but giving the thunder something that they can use.

[00:41:36.21] spk_0:
Okay, for sure. Giving them? Yeah. You’re a team player. You’re adding value to the community, right? That we’re all funding. Okay, You got build a bigger footprint. What is this all about?

[00:41:40.56] spk_3:

[00:42:34.94] spk_5:
a bigger footprint is, um think about two things. One which is can I take the work that I’m doing and how my leveraging it leveraging means either working in partnership with another organization or being a resource to another organization? Uh, I made that you provide the kind of service is your charity does, tony. But maybe you were able to refer kids or families to me, and I can help. Well, that’s building a bigger footprint. Another way of building a bigger footprint. Could be working on a consortium product project. Excuse me. And another way I think about is deepening the impact of what you’re doing. I mean, I’ve worked with a lot of organizations where they may work on a program where the maximum number of kids they conserve might be 50 60 70 is less than 100 kids. But if they’re able to provide a deeper level of service, that’s expanding the footprint because they’re going to get stronger results and it becomes a demonstration site and, ah, place toe test out. Best practices. So you’re changing the conversation. It’s not just a program. It’s helping 70 kids. It’s It’s actually working in a very deep and meaningful way.

[00:42:53.40] spk_0:
This is related to one of the earlier points. It was the 1st 1 that investment in long, long term investment type. Grant seeking.

[00:43:00.74] spk_5:
Exactly. Exactly. So. I just think it’s you leverage as much as you possibly can.

[00:43:07.38] spk_0:
Well, you just rewarding these things that you could come up with nine. You know, it was you had seven. Like you had six, and then you weren’t satisfied. That seemed weak. So you had There are little

[00:43:16.77] spk_3:
different. They are a little different. I don’t want these padded.

[00:43:20.05] spk_5:
They’re not padded. I guarantee they’re not.

[00:43:27.36] spk_3:
Um, we’re on you here. You know, we don’t We don’t accept Aah! Slack content

[00:44:33.99] spk_0:
on non profit radio. No, we don’t have that here. We never have. Except that one time we did the show on on, um on? Ah, fermentation. Oh, yeah, that was That was that was bad content. I thought I thought we’d try something completely unrelated, Which was in the podcast world. Big mistake. But I learned immediately fermentation in the middle of the guests. That wasn’t even happy. But I I couldn’t shut him off. I didn’t have a heart. I invited him. It was my idea. Okay, Fermentation. That was bad content. But that was one out of 377 shows. This happens to be shown over 377. So you could forgive 11 377th actually. And then if you count the number of guests, I mean, lots of shows have two guests, so, you know, we’re up like, 800 get r, and then some have four guests. So were over 1000 guests. So, like, one out of 1001. 1000.1 That that 1 1000? Yeah, that’s not 1 10,000 10.1 Is that one? 1000. Did that felt that is 1 1,001,000 So 1 1/1000 of the guests being slack. You should stick with no prob radio. It’s a safe bet.

[00:44:36.43] spk_5:
I’m gonna do all my budgets.

[00:44:38.29] spk_3:
That was

[00:44:50.79] spk_0:
a small digression, but, um, yeah. Now you don’t want to be doing numerical analysis. I didn’t even know I wasn’t sure. What? The 0.111 1000. The two interns in the room looking it up. They haven’t even answered it yet. Um,

[00:44:53.09] spk_3:
I need an intern. I need an intern if everybody I need somebody to blame for this. So So you know, the 1 1000 I need something

[00:44:59.51] spk_0:
to blame on that blame that on. So if you if you can suggest if you know anybody want to be an intern for non profit radio, have them come have them send a resume, because I need somebody to blame. Um,

[00:45:10.77] spk_3:
let’s move on to Ah. Oh, now we get into the thistles with strategic agenda. You’ve been teasing this all show strategic agenda. What is it?

[00:45:18.37] spk_5:
Well, strategic agenda is, um

[00:45:20.99] spk_3:
I don’t

[00:45:21.69] spk_5:
know if I’m among the only one uses this term, but

[00:45:25.35] spk_3:
I mean, it’s just basically

[00:47:03.57] spk_5:
being able to say to a grantmakers, here’s where we’re going the next 18 24 36 months. And here’s where our focus gonna pee. And here, the most important things that we need to be doing to make a significant difference in the world. Um, I mean, you could say strategic plan, but whenever I say the word strategic plan, clients inevitably think, well, are we looking at going through a six month, nine month process of planning and introspection? Sometimes they’re just doesn’t time to do that. And what I’m just trying to come up with is, you know, if you met a grantmakers tomorrow and you want to try toe, have a conversation to get that grantmakers a really interested in possibly giving you money, I’d like to be able to not just say, Here’s my mission statement. Here is the work we’re doing. It’s wow. Let me tell you about the opportunities we have. We’re going to be doing a, B, C, D and E, and you had a number of grantmakers on that panel going back to last week’s show who talked about. It’s better not to come to us with just one idea, asking us to find it, because I mean, when the panel said what if you pitch the wrong thing to me and I say no, then the conversation stops come to me with a general overview of what you’re doing. So yeah, walking with a general overview. But the way you I think undress this up is to say, Hey, here’s where I have some opportunities to accomplish some really exciting good for people And whatever the time horizon you’re working with getting 12 18 36 whatever the number of months and you could piqued

[00:47:04.22] spk_3:
their interest, how do you prove that

[00:47:11.47] spk_0:
the money would be well spent? Because it’s it’s all it’s all perspective.

[00:47:57.15] spk_5:
Well, if you’re gonna put anything up a strategic agenda, you you have to have your hands around the numbers like, you know, right now, I mean, think of one client where they’ve launched for fairly new initiatives in the last year. And those initiatives air showing promise. They’re working in some challenging communities here in New York City. They know their numbers. They know how many families they’re working with. They know how many kids and adults are impacted. They all said no how much they could grow this program if they were able to bring in enough money. So their story if we meet any funders that you know, we’re working with 9000 people across four sites. We know we have the ability and the opportunity to work with 15,000. Our budget is X. If we’re able to raise it toe, why we can make this happen?

[00:48:02.13] spk_3:
That’s a

[00:48:04.27] spk_5:
pretty powerful story. So? So, grantmakers. Maybe that’s a good use of your money.

[00:48:06.62] spk_3:
Excellent. Excellent. John’s giving. You think he just He just wrote you

[00:48:10.77] spk_0:
a template for ah, one paragraph. You got expand on that. You got what you need. You need deal. Be hicks to help you out. So

[00:48:20.47] spk_3:
all right, let’s go to our last Ah, our last

[00:48:20.89] spk_0:
of the turbo charging strategies. Know where you’re heading next?

[00:48:39.54] spk_5:
Yeah. So it means the end of this strategic agenda. Yeah, it’s like essentially, yeah, this gets us in the long term. Do we? Do we have a long term story for our agency or do we It’s you know, if we’re able to go from A to B in the next 36 months, but just kind of looking out beyond the horizon, you know, this is where we think we’re going next.

[00:48:47.72] spk_3:
This is

[00:49:15.96] spk_5:
the part of a conversation with a grantmakers. Andi. Even sometimes it gets evidence with the application of proposal that proves to grantmakers that you have a clear understanding of who you are, where you’re going, where you sit in your field and that you have a You have a realistic sense of scope, and I think that’s awfully, awfully important. You’re able to do this and you engage in a different level than you get the money and you turbo charge.

[00:49:17.87] spk_0:
Oh, John,

[00:49:24.93] spk_3:
look, Look the wrap up, he does. You see that? Look at that, huh? And you turbo charge. All right, we gotta leave it there. He’s John Hicks, c f r ee

[00:49:28.20] spk_0:
You’ll find him at de lb Hicks and deal be hicks dot com. Deal be, of course, Don’s lightbulb.

[00:49:35.57] spk_3:
Thank you very much, John Hook.

[00:49:36.99] spk_5:
Well, thank you for having me on

[00:49:38.30] spk_0:
real pleasure having you back. Thank you.

[00:50:13.29] spk_4:
Next week. Be a disrupter with Chris Field. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you, find it on tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by wegner-C.P.As guiding you beyond the numbers wegner-C.P.As dot com. But Coca Mountain software Denali Fund. Is there complete accounting solution made for nonprofits tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn, to communications, PR and content for nonprofits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot c e o. Creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff.

[00:50:15.23] spk_3:
Sam Liebowitz is the line producer. Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is

[00:50:25.35] spk_2:
by Scott Stein of Brooklyn. That information Scotty Do

[00:50:26.98] spk_3:
with me next week for non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great