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Jonah Halper: Date Your Donors
Jonah Halper is author of the new book “Date Your Donors.” He wants you to enjoy the full breadth of fundraising relationships. He’s founder and partner of Altruicity consulting and he’s with me for the hour.
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i’m glad you’re with me. I’d be hit with five grossing alvey a lie tous if i drew a breath to hear the words you missed today’s show date your donors jonah helper is author of the new book date your donors. He wants you to enjoy the full breath of fund-raising relationships he’s, founder and partner of altruicity consulting and he’s with me for the hour on tony’s take two, the non-profit technology conference and ntcdinosaur live are you in? We’re sponsored by pursuing full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled, you’ll raise more money pursuing dot com so glad to welcome jonah helper halper halper back to the studio has been a guest before his new book is date your donor’s he’s, a non-profit marketer and fundraiser with over ten years of experience specializing in new donorsearch acquisition and engaging gen x and wires he’s, founder and partner of altruicity consulting they’re at altruicity dot com the book is that get your donor’s dot com and he’s at jonah helper already chuckling. Yeah, welcome. Back to the studio. Welcome back to the show. I haven’t thrilled to be here. Thank you so much. Talk. Good to see you. Good to have you here. Um, congratulations on the book. Thank you. How did you get to the concept of dating and donors? So i started doing ah, training fund-raising training a couple of years ago. And i just found i started using a lot of dating analogies that was very natural on daz. They started tio go down that rabbit hole of discussing, you know, how fund-raising is is akin to relationships in courtship, in attraction and things along those lines. I started to think about about my career as a fundraiser, and i noticed that there were even even the people who, you know, classically trained in fund-raising and, you know, had the experience. Some fundraisers were unbelievable at the craft, you know, there’s some fundraisers who, you know, we’re okay. They’re mediocre, or they were just, you know, kind of putting in the time. And they’re doing the kind of the best breast practices of the business. But there was a clear line between those who were the born fundraisers or seemingly born. Fund-raising and those who weren’t and i started wonder why that wass and it wasn’t something you would able to see in a resume, it wasn’t something that was just, you know, you can look and see their track record and see why that was the case, it was experiential, like i would interact with these people, and there was there was kind of like an use of cool, like, it was just like you would be around them and you would be, you know, wanting to be around that would be attractive, and as that started to take shape, i started teo kind of more put, ah, structure around it to say, what is it that those type of people have that makes people want to be around them as a fundraiser or as just a human being? And, you know, one of the interesting kind of correlations i found was it was very someone of my high school experience, which is you weren’t you were you were not so cool in high school, i wish i was on the other side, but no, you know what it was is i went to a boarding school, all boys, tremendous. Amount of testosterone. And basically, you know, the need and the desire to be on the in crowd was the most important thing to make. Yeah, i spent so many waking hours just trying to figure out the chess moves that would take me to be in the inner circle. And what it did is it drove me further and further away. I became like the hanger on on. I thought i was i thought was a cool guy. I thought i had, you know, certain skills. I thought i you know, i was in a terrible ballplayer. Like the things that were important to high school boys. I was a terrible ballplayer. I i got my my varsity letter in announcing oh, as one step below cheerleaders. Annan varsity letter ship. So, i mean, i dealt with these things with a sense of humor and a nem barris ingley. A large number of times. It would more be people laughing at me then with me, right, which only, which only further perpetuates that downward spiral. Yeah, three guys, a joker reason he’s the jester. But he’s not, you know, it’s. Not even always laughing with them. Like i said. So all right, so i dealt with it. That was my athletic outlet was announcing right there and managing rights to carry soccer balls on and off the field. Make sure nobody was on the bus on time. So you’re announcing a managing in-kind of, understandably, why you kind of self selected into certain kind of career right now. I’m announcing right for myself. Exactly. I’m not shepherding a bunch of high school kids on a bus on then announcing touchdown, thie irony. The irony is i knew any i still know nothing about sports, right? I mean, i have trouble distinguishing football from baseball. Well, so have a great fundraiser is that you can talk intelligently on any subject for about two and a half minutes. Lord, help you. If they want to have a deeper dive in town. Well, two and half minutes they’ll be laughing that will be actually laughing at me. But i football is the one with the field goals, i think. Yes, yes. Your baseball has the three pointers. No, basketball is through your basketball to report. Okay, so so the irony was, you know that there’s somebody whispering what? What to announce? Almost exact my ear. Oh, that’s got a touchdown. Touchdown number fourteen that’s? Uh oh, yeah, here he is, steve berman, who was a friend of mine. I couldn’t remembers number, but that’s how i dealt with my awkwardness and snusz so? So where i’m going with this is is that i found there were certain kind of character traits of that of that high school kid who seem to be the center of attention. And then i found that things don’t really change from high school things like, yeah, i know i don’t i hope i’m in outlier and that in your theory, i’m an aberration. We’ll know what it does is it way kind of grow into a lot of the things that we are lacking in high school high school. You’re just naturally you’re trying to figure yourself out. There’s not necessarily that the confidence there, you know, there’s a discovery that’s going on there. So it’s not a natural thing for you kind of say, this is who i am, these with skills i bring that confidence that’s kind of grown over the years, but that what i’m alluding to when i’m i’m kind of referencing now is the fact that confidence and clarity whether whether it’s real or not on the high school level, right, that perceived confidence is something that people are attracted to the fact that you say i know who i am, i know what i stand for this is what, whether for good or for bad, this is who i am, people want to be around people who have that who have the kind of that confidence say this is what we stand for. This is what i’m excited about. This is where i’m headed, and i want you to join me and confidence and clarity or a couple of things that were going to talk about yes, because as you’re suggesting, those are traits of good fundraisers, those those outlier fundraisers that are at the at the high end? Yeah, absolutely. Okay, cool. Uh, what’s. So why don’t we go out a little early for a break right now? It seems like natural place and we come back, we will will dive into the details of date your donors stay with us, you’re tuned to non-profit radio tony martignetti also hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a quick ten minute burst of fund-raising insights, published once a month, tony’s guests are expert in crowdfunding, mobile giving event fund-raising direct mail and donor cultivation. Really, all the fund-raising issues that make you wonder, am i doing this right? Is there a better way there is? Find the fund-raising fundamentals archive it. Tony martignetti dot com that’s marketmesuite n e t t i remember there’s, a g before the end, thousands of listeners have subscribed on itunes. You can also learn maura, the chronicle website, philanthropy dot com fund-raising fundamentals, the better way. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Jonah helper, my guest, we’re talking about his new book date your donors. You want to start with authenticity and so this’s where i was not so authentic in high school, but i believe i’m much more authentic now, but sure, authenticity a great trait for fundraisers. Yeah, you know, it’s it’s interesting, because when you are in the business of raising money, you’re interacting with a lot of people who are high net worth who travel in certain circles, have a certain lifestyle, it’s easy to kind of pander to them and try to say, you know, i want to be on the inside so i can get money from them. That’s the kind of at the perspective especially young fundraiser has is how can i get into this? This network? And what i was when i mention before and when i think, applies when it comes to authenticity, is and also packaged in the non-profit, you know, jargon of mission envision, the idea is that you should know what your folks what you’re standing for there is a few of my jonah helper and working with a special needs charity, and this is my my job and my mandate and what i’m raising money for. I’m not jonah helper, mr country club. I’m not jonah helper, mr poker player, you know, hanging, hanging out with with these individuals, they may become friends and that’s fine, and they may become my network, but i’m coming to them not underneath the guise of being a buddy of being one of their friends, just being part of the network, but rather i’m coming through the through the lens of my mission, what i’m in the business of doing, where i’m headed with this, what i hope to accomplish with my mission and how these individuals can be a part of that experience. So in a way, authenticity is not me trying to fit into their world, maur them trying to fit into my world, and and that requires me not to be focused on myself, right? And i know what i am, what i stand for, but rather interact with them and then hopefully they see what who i am or what i stand for, that authenticity, what i’m really in the business of doing, and they’ll gravitate today. And they’re hopefully attracted to it, right? Not metoo them but them to me. So let’s, break this down because you’re talking about authenticity of the person and also authenticity of the organization cracked. All right, so let’s, start with the person. This is where we get to confidence, you know, you you want yeah, yeah, you just don’t want people to be molding themselves to what they think, the donor that they’re meeting that day or that our wants them to be right. But be true to yourself. Well, they’ll see right through that in there is if you’re the type of person who’s going to be mike mission creep like, you know, you know, i may be the business of doing this well, but you’re excited about that. Well, let me chase you down there about you know, about that that i know what i’m in the business of doing this is who i am, what i stand for that person’s a hedge fund, you know, man or woman, i am a fund-raising professional for this organization. That’s what i do know this is who i am and what i do if the if the stars align and they’re interested in what i’m doing, they’ll support it. If this is not of interest to them, it is not a priority for them. If it’s, you know, not meant to be it’s not meant to be, but the moment i start chasing people down there, then i’m effectively being that kind of aggressive door knocker to say, you know, give, give, give me, me, me, i i and that’s why i don’t want to be playing now, but what about when you get into situations like you’re meeting with a donor and we get into a political conversation or something religious? You know where your yours the stars are not aligned with theirs, you know, maybe you’re different political spectrum different into the political direction, then they are. How do we how do we stay authentic? So it’s? Interesting, because i’ll give a kind of ah kind of case in point, you know, there’s some people who use social media where there’s like a clear demarcation line between the personalizing, the professionalized we’ll have this is my missing my business account like this is my business facebook this is my organizational facebook presence on this is my personal place. Facebook president and never shall the twain you know me. Ah, that that is not my approach. My attitude is my my priorities, my belief system, you know, what’s important to me what i don’t think it’s important to me is as much ah factor in my relationship with these individuals than than anything else. The fact that may not agree with me politically, or the fact that may not agree with me what it is, then that’s that’s their prerogative. But at the same time, it’s nothing to do with the mission vision might cause i think mature people can make that clear separation between what is relevant, teo, the supporting whatever the good work that i’m doing other educational, humanitarian or are you know, whatever it is as and what jonah helper you know, does on his on his free time now, there’s importance of someone being trustworthy and having credibility and respect and you could ruin that by what’s going on in your personal life. So there is absolutely a certain amount of of measure that goes into what you’re doing. Discretion, yes, absolutely absolute discretion, but because people look and people see and if you want them, if you want them to give you their money and to trust you with their money to accomplish a certain good, if they think that you are not a trustworthy person because of the way you live or your reckless in some way or form, then that obviously is going to hurt you on the business side. But i think that things that are whether it’s politics or religion, you can agree, be respectful and you can agree to disagree, and i don’t think that will bilich deepti be a deal breaker. In fact, what i find is that when people know jonah helper father for jonah helper, you know his religious level or his political involvement that just shapes me as a person, and i find that the people who have become fast friends within become my donors are people who become friends and in a bigger way than just, you know, thank you for your check, and i’ll keep your loophole. You’re good how the good work is, you know, play out it’s, become more friends, i think a good example that is, when i had, you know, a couple of my last children i would get presents from some of my donors because it was clear that i wasn’t just fundraiser was shown a helper, of course, you know, help her father. Father, you know so that yes, there’s, of course, abounds there, okay? And i see that playing more now in our presidential election year i politics come up more in conversation that with donors, potential donors, when i’m with clients, then you know, then even just six, six or eight months ago, if you’re too highly spackled, like if you’re like, you know what i mean? Spy eyes like like mr clean jeans. There’s no there’s, no depth to you. Outside of your job, people are not going to find a way not going can connect with you, there’s not gonna be that human connection because your justice, you know, thomason ah, doing the work of your organization and you’re not a human being. So i think i think those other things that add flavor, not color and deep in the relationship, obviously again, with certain amount of discretion depends on how you live your life. But but i think that’s so important people realize who you are as a person and even not just as your you know, you mentioned social media, but just in conversation, you know, you don’t have to be the raging donald trump or bernie sanders fan. You could be respectful of the other person and say, you know, you know, o r, you know, maybe you don’t even need to in a conversation say what your aspirations are and who you hope will win just oh, you know, okay, yeah, he’s cool or hillary’s lullabies finite, you know, matt, i see points in her, and most people are not going to say who you stand, who do you want? You know, they’re not going to challenge that way and that’s another thing also is that when there is a conversation where you want this is that you have a position or you feel strongly about something, i think that if you’re open minded person or healthy person, those those conversations can be interesting without devolving into, you know, for violence. So i think i think that you could you could have those conversations and just by virtue of the business, you have those conversations because you could be at a country club, you can be on the golf. Course, and you’re not talking business for ninety percent of the time you’re talking family talking politics, you talking religion and time all the things that everyone talks about eso yet you have to be kind of present and in that experience and be really yeah, and you want to get beyond the small talk? Yeah, you make the point and get your donors, you know, we’re looking for common ground, so we start conversations often with the weather, right? Because everybody shares that, but, you know, if that goes on for more than, like, a minute and a half, i start to get antsy, right way got to get further than the weather and they know why you’re there like there’s, no qualms that the reason why you’re in their offices because they talk about the mission in vision of your organisation, what you hope to do and why you need their money. So it’s it’s not like you pulled the wool over the eyes, we’re talking, you know, baseball and the next thing you know, we’re talking money. They know why you’re there so it’s just a matter of of guests making the connection, finding the connection, whether it’s through friends, your common connections, whether it’s, tio shared interests, whatever case maybe, but they’re expecting the having a deeper conversation about what you’re doing, and they respect you for what you’re doing, you know, this is that was this is the business that you chose to be in your raising money for a worthy cause and making wonderful impact so there’s nothing to shy away from its not fund-raising is not a dirty word here a lot of these traits, but all of these traits or that you’re seeking in fundraisers, can’t be hyre ascertained from a from a resume, and you mention this in the book, too, that that, you know, it’s a personal business, you want to meet people before? I mean, obviously it’s going to be a personal interview, but but you don’t find resumes, a very valuable tool for recruitment, basically, what i’m saying, right? I think i think in general you’ll find word of mouth is always the strongest, you know is whether you’re looking for new business or whether you’re looking tto find their best people. Companies around the world have wonderful policies where there’s incentives if you refer people to the company and they get a job there for existing employees. There’s a reason for that? Because if you’re willing to put your reputation on the line to bring someone in who you think would be a good fit for the company, then that then that person has a better chance of being a good person as opposed to just another resume and an inbox so there’s absolutely value ah, stronger value and sitting in front of somebody and interacting with them on in a real way to be able to determine if they’ve kind of got the personality and and the kind of the gumption to do the work and do the fund-raising i needs to get done that you will never be able to get by just looking at a piece paper. How poised are they right? Right? I mean, you might think, well, you know, the interview is an artificial, um, environment and there’s high stress, you know, for the interviewee, but so is fund-raising mean, if you’re meeting a donor for the first time, that’s a bit of high stress, a potential donor for the first time, actually, if i could show a quick story that i think way don’t really care way stay in the abstract. I don’t know i love no, we love stories all right, so it’s interesting, you say that you know, it’s high stress experience interview process. When i got my first job, i met with i want to like a job fair, for it was for the jewish federation system, which is like the united way for the jewish community, and it was a national it was the national umbrella organization that hosted this job fair, and there must have been twenty different cities represented the had their own local jewish federation, and i went to this Job fair is super green 20 year old kid, i did not even know what i was applying for. I was like, i want to help the jewish community that’s all i knew, i didn’t know fund-raising know anything on i start interviewing for all these jobs called campaign associate? I thought political campaign no, no campaign means fund-raising so i didn’t know that when i was interviewing, but i’m all the interviews that i had, there were what you’ve described grilling me, you know? What would you do in this scenario? And then you’re at an event and this happens, you know, a lot of that kind of stuff, and as someone who is new, ah, that was jarring. I didn’t. I didn’t know even what to proud of process that what the right answer was this is the wrong answer. There was one organization there representing one federation there from baltimore, maryland, with who ended up becoming my first boss kind of ruin the punch line there, but he didn’t ask me any questions about fund-raising or non-profit what would you do in a difficult situation? Not none of it. It was what books do you like to read? You like wwf wrestling or is a lot now. It was all of this random stuff, and i sat with him for forty five minutes and we just, like, talked and at the end of the forty five minutes there’s, like, all right, we’re done, and i was totally confused because especially in context of all the other interviews that i just had, this one was like like he was like, wasting my time. Yeah, i got to call backs. He was one of them and i ultimately went to baltimore ended up starting my career in baltimore for three years there, and i finally mustered the courage to ask him, obviously, once i have the job because i want to, you know, scare amount of hiring me, i said, you know what? Why did you hire me? He said, you have a nice smile, you carry a good conversation, the rest you’re going to learn on the job, and that was very powerful because that was him sitting across from a and saying, is he a nice guy? Does even nice smile? Is he? Is he great interact with? Because that part is harder to teach the art and that’s the part that you master that from high school is a part that i like god it’s trial by fire? Exactly. I got that out of high school, but that was something that was a lesson that i’ve taken with me since then to know that you were a you hire the right person not to fill a position where a lot of the other ones were, they were looking to federals phil position, and they’re trying to determine my skills if i was good for that position, but rather, he said. Here’s a guy who i think has potential, i’m going to hire him, and i’ll obviously augment the position to be right for him and b he was looking at me for my potential here’s somebody on dh what i was able to present on the emotional and the human side, the science of how to go out there and raise money. I had no doubts. The twenty year old kid you could learn. What? Do you like it? Yeah. Outstanding. So so you had clarity. You were you were clear about who you were. You exuded confidence, no doubt and and and led to the hyre. Yeah. Okay. All right. What are the traits? What else do you like to see in individual fundraisers before we get to the this clarity of organization around mission and things like that? What else do you like to see in a fundraiser? So, obviously, you know, one of the one of the most important ones is, you know, and they often they they even say it on resumes on a job. But descriptions is, you know, self starter. But i want to dive a little deeper in that idea of being that. Kind of entrepreneurial person to get out there and create new relationships, because when you are an entrepreneur, whether you work for a big company organization where you are on your own, a fundraiser is somebody who has to build their own network. If you’ll come into a new city or a new organization, you’re not necessarily hopefully you’re not just picking up the dozen are one hundred donors that already giving you’re going out there and raising new money, and that requires you to be a self starter to say okay, where are these people who would be interested in supporting this cause? How do i get introduced to these individuals? How doe i interacted them? How do i stay in touch with them? And all those kind of skills require you not sitting on your couch. Ng ng bon bon. Sorry. If that’s your approach, then it’s not gonna work if you want to be sitting behind a desk it’s not going to work. You have to be somebody who enjoys the thrill of going out there and and making those contacts. So that’s that’s one of them, you know, main things that i that i look for. Somebody who has that kind of drive to kind of get out there and make it happen as if you’re building your business because you aren’t your house, you’re building your network, your own proverbial roll independent for your business, it’s for the good of the mission. Exactly. Okay, all right. So let’s go to the organization side being being clear and confident on the organization side because we want to be successful in our dating relationship with our donors. You want teo clear, clear statement of mission. Somebody like you. Like, eight word mission even right? So that’s a lot. A lot of you know, the consultants who will help the organisation shape their mission. It has to be concise. It has to be super concise. You know what you could share with somebody on one floor trip up in the elevator? I it’s really what? Who are you? What? What? What’s the organization. And if your job is to tow and malaria deaths done, we’re in the business of ending larry desk. You’re not waxing poetic about how you’re going to do it and buy what deadline you just want to be able to say? Mission is what? You’re in the business of doing so, you should be able to clearly say, and like you said, you know, eight words or, you know, one sentence, this is what we’re in the business of doing. The only thing you might claire, qualify it with maybe his location like right ending malaria deaths, west africa, right? Right. That’s tied to your containers? Yes, exactly. If you if you are central africa and that’s your job and that obviously is in their mission statement. Absolutely. But again, it’s not going on about, you know your values and the vision for this it’s just clearly what you’re in the business of doing. What cycle? A sip of water. Because it looks like your first thing. Andi, i will suggest that we talked about so the mission you have some examples of missions in in the book. Remember buy-in charity water is very brief form. So i’m obviously a big fan of charity water. They bring clean water to basically to the people in africa and, well, it’s interesting. They limited to africa. It it’s a whole nother conversation about the scope of their vision. Ah, but they do of many, many different. Villages in central africa. I’m in some other areas as well, but basically they are fund-raising organization and the fund water projects on the ground, so they don’t actually drill themselves. They have organizations on the ground doing the drilling, but they are a fund-raising organization that funds those those well projects, and they’re one of the organization has a very concise mission statement. Yeah, a lot of them dio i’m trying to think it was you referred to certain certain one in particular, you know, just that was one example, right? You cite some in the book, so people have to buy the book way. Can give the whole book about paige, expect there’s only non-profit radio. This is not proper radio. Should expect you should have high expected. Yes, but we can’t bring you all two hundred rich pages. Yes. Date. I would have come with a list of the mission statements prepared. Dahna. Okay, um, after mission, we’re moving to our vision. Yes. Now we’re getting a little more detail. Yes. So so. And when you talk about vision, obviously i’m doing it through the context of dating and relationships. You know, vision is where you’re headed. So when i talk about dating when you’re dating for a purpose, right, you’re looking to find somebody who can spend, you know, whether it’s rest of your life with our meaningful part of your life. The idea is to find somebody who wants similar things is you, you know, using the dating analogy, do they want to have children? Do they want to live in the city or the suburbs? Do they want to be, you know, primary breadwinner, both, you know, both working whatever the case may be, but these are important conversations you have when you’re dating someone seriously. Where we headed together is unit because if you’re not on the same page of one wants children and it’s important to him, and the other one doesn’t want children that’s probably a deal breaker, so so, you know, the correlation to fund-raising is that i discovered that in my first marriage oh, there you are, bring i could bring some case study in on the way outside our competition today, vice to se eso eso eso when i was so when you’re when you’re doing the fund-raising business being the fund-raising business and you’re and you’re looking to get someone to support your cause, you’re not supporting your cause for what they are. It is now right? You’re not. We’re break. We bring clean drinking water to central africa. That’s not the case. That’s gonna get someone open their wallet, what’s going to get them to open the wall is this is where we are now, but this is where we’re headed, and if they buy into the idea of where you’re headed, then they’re going to support you. So if they like, if they see that vision of your organization is the white picket fence with the dog and the tire swing, then they will support you. They’re not here to fill holes or to cover your gaps in your budget. They want to know that you are a viable organization and you have some great things in mind, and you’re headed in their group great direction. So that’s, what i talked about vision and through the dating perspective is the idea that you’re selling somebody on where you’re headed, okay, where this relationship with right shows that it is going to go okay, i hang out because i have to talk a little about pursuing through sponsors our show and you and i’ll catch up in a minute or two pursuant you’ve heard me talk about one of their cloudgood aced tools, velocity made specifically for gift officers to keep the gift officers on task. Now i recognize the gift officer might be you. You might be the ceo, and you’re the director of development. All the more reason i think, that you need to check out pursuant and their tool velocity and all the more reason that you need technology to be helping you in your day to day because you’re wearing so many hats. So whether your gift officer in a large organization that’s got a half a dozen or more or your ah solo shop or somewhere in between, you know, you have to be using technology smartly, and velocity is one of those tools that can help you. It was originally developed for pursuant consultants to help their fund-raising clients, that’s another thing that pursuing does is fund-raising counsel, and it was originally developed as an internal tool for those pursuing consultants. They realized its value, and so they’ve made it available. You can get the tool without the consultant, you don’t have to have the fund-raising consultant you can use the tool that they’re using and get that value so you know, it’s got the analytics is the metrics, and it keeps you on task in you’re fund-raising so you know, if you need to raise more money, velocity can help you do it and there’s all the info about velocity at pursuing dot com now it’s time for tony’s take two the non-profit technology conference is this month coming up march twenty third through twenty fifth in san jose, california. I hope this is not news to you. You’ve heard me talk about it before i hope you’re going to be there or if you can’t be there subscribe subscribed to ntc live, which is the live audio stream that yours truly will be hosting for them. This is an excellent conference, it’s my third on tc getting interviews for non-profit radio third time i’ve been there, it’s, just a bunch of smart people that can help you use technology mohr effectively in your day to day pursuant is going to be there, they’re going to be right near me. I’m going to be on stage hosting this ntcdinosaur stream pursuit will be there, and you could check them out there, too. Um, it’s, all at ntcdinosaur, sorry, and ten and ten dot or ge, and also have info at tony martignetti dot com. And both places will have the the schedule of people that’ll be interviewing. And, again, those interviews going to be on anti seelye, ve the stream. And then also, of course, they’ll be on non-profit radio in the coming months. Okay. Jonah helper. Thank you for your indulgence, sir. Hey, you do you freely with ntcdinosaur provoc technology? I actually attended. Not last year, the year before that. And it was amazing. There was. Yes, it was. I had a first. All they had, like, big band on stage. You’re talking about twenty fourteen. It might have been twenty. Forty, right? Yeah. I had a fantastic time. It was. And it was in california. It was in san francisco that year. I loved it. I mean, they were great. The organizer’s there were fantastic. Yeah. Okay, i think i was twenty thirteen. I was a twenty. Fourteen. Was my first one there in washington, d c okay, so they alternate east, mid and west sametz been so close to twenty three years ago. Yeah. It’s a it’s. A lot of smart people. They had a big band on stage. It was. I mean, it was heaven enchantment, and i was like, well, i wasn’t expecting that. Andi conference in general gave me that kind of flavor. It was with the sessions or great, the people in the hallways, you know, i always love the hallways, the hallways of the best. Because when you you always meet the best people in the hallways, sessions are good because you can hear the training and they’re in their and the great sessions, but there’s, nothing better than being able to just bump into somebody and find out they’re doing amazing work, and it could be a small church in virginia, and they’re doing phenomenal things that you could apply to your organisation in some, you know, specific instance, i love that, yeah, that kind of randomness on dh and the ntc, the non-profit technology conference did that for me. We were talking about your organization and and its mission and vision statements, and you also want, you know, you want organization to be clear about who their primary customers are and not two morph into something that you really don’t belong doing or being with or, you know, again being true to yourself being say more about that. Yeah, so so, you know, let me get a good story that i heard from my friend nancy lublin, who is the founder of dress for success and was then chief old person of do something dot orgryte, which is teen engagement, so the fact that she was, you know, not a team made her the old productions on crisis text long yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. Just treyz his text leinheiser heard one she started well, shouldn’t start, do something. Yeah, but she might as well have started because where i’m going with that story on dh, everything she touches turns to gold and that’s, not luck. I mean, it’s, she is a a tour de force. I mean, she is unbelievable. But the story that she she shared with me was that when she came to do something that or go it was a centers, it was a brick and mortar centers around the u s where teens would could get involved. And there it was founded by melrose place actor shoe. And it was andrew shoe. His name was okay. And it was it was a floundering organization. They were having a major major problems, and they were presented when she came aboard with an opportunity for i don’t know where the dollar amount was my been two hundred fifty, three hundred thousand dollars from a company that that said build a teen center near our call center. Like near, you know our operations and, you know, we’d love to have a teen center over there. And nancy, as the new ceo of the organization of duitz of do something that orc sa declined the money and an organization that is starving for cash. Yeah, so it seems to be like, you know, like, what are you doing? You know, your new new new kid on the block here on dh you’re turning down this money, and when she brought her into the offices or, you know, in in our offices, she they sat down with the leadership in legends like, how how badly do you want this job? All right, you know, you’re seemed to be kind of walking your way out of it, and she said, you know, you need to trust may because this is not the future of do something that i do something right, forget the dot org’s it’s not future of do something to have all these brick and mortar, you know, places for students to kids to come together, it needs to be online and she after that point shut down all the physical locations, took the whole thing online, rebranded to do something as do something dot org’s and and is now getting forget the corporate dollars that she turned away the two hundred thousand tens and tens of millions of dollars they get and primarily comes from from companies, so arrow pasta will partner with them for teens, for genes. They found that homeless teenagers the number one thing that they wanted were a pair of jeans. Why? Because i don’t have to be washed every day and its owner’s homeless, he doesn’t have access to clean clothes, a pair of jeans are cool enough, you know, generic and cool enough that you could wear and where without having to clean them every day. And that was something that homeless teenagers wanted, and they partnered with aeropostale for kids who had no better privilege to donate their genes threw in the store, it created a tremendous amount of foot traffic into air apostle, and that was vowed valuable to them, the co-branding was strong, and it turned out to be a wonderful partnership, and they’ve just replicated that that kind of model of companies adopting programs, supporting their their their operations, they have done tremendous amount, because so your point they were focused. On the mission of, of serving young adults who want to volunteer, and it was not going to be a brick and mortar place. It was going to be online. And because she was paying attention to that and not the dollar, she was able to take this organization which was floundering, and make it the powerhouse that it is today. And that she’s now entrusted in the hands of the other time the chief operating officer, aria finger she’s, now the ceo of do something that oregon are on ours, but on non-profit radio toy. So there you go as ceo and as ceo. And then and then they spun that off because, yes, okay, i said yes, because our online they’re able to serve millions and millions of teens like five million’s i mean, they have, and they have this big treasure trove of data. Yes, about teen engagement and know how to engage them in issues. I think they’re think their sweet spot is like sixteen to twenty five or so. And then beyond twenty five, they used your primary money is coming from companies. Big data or data is so important. So because that’s the case then, like, you know, think that something that you mentioned earlier about how nancy level went onto crisis text line that was born out of the fact that they were getting texts, emergency tests, texts of young adults who are suicidal, we’re getting abused or things along those lines and and as an organization as there to help people, what do you do with that? They weren’t equipped, they were equipped, and then they found the typical the standard nine nine eleven was not going to be able to handle us, especially for the digital age where people are going on their cell phone and they’re more comfortable hiding in the bathroom on their cell phone and texting somebody on emergency. They needed to do something so and that kind of stuff has outgrown has grown out of do something dot or ge and that’s? Why, you know, have crisis tax line? So it is there’s so many wonderful examples that you can see where, especially in their story, where they straight stay true to their mission, and if it wasn’t and if and if and if emergency texting was not right for do something dot or ge, they didn’t. Just like expand the mission to fit under, do something out or they made it crisis that’s now a new organization, nancy’s now the head of that. And that was a new thing. It wasn’t like mission creep, and now we’re doing, you know, we’re solving another problem. They started a new organization with all focus on your primary custom. Absolutely cool. All right, after we’ve started this relationship, we need to keep it going. And you call this i don’t have a name a chapter with somewhere you say from lust toe love. Well, so the analogy, the relationships go ahead. You’re so so we all know this and in our in our our own relationships, you know, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever it is at the early, early part of the relationship, this tremendous amount of lust, right there is the attraction it’s, new it’s, fresh it’s, exciting and that’s so important because that is going to be, you know, the chemistry needs to be there that’s vital to the success of meeting new people and starting to develop a relationship with them. But it needs to mature, right and there’s if the relationship is only on that’s the part i missed in high school. Yeah, the maturity and the whole thing is stirring up a lot, so i had a lot of lost, but okay, you know what to do with it all i’m in the same boat, my friend. S o so yes, so? So that has to mature. So, yeah, if you get somebody to become a donor of your organization, right, they may be enamored and they might be a beautiful organization. You could be a charity water you could be, you know, do something that or go any of these clauses that are gorgeous. I mean, they they look gorgeous, their offices a gorgeous they just have got that locked down, but it needs to mature and it was the relationship with them needs to be more than just face value is not just i’m excited to be part of this, you know, sexy organization. It needs to mature to say, look, i’m a partner. I’m somebody who’s not just early part of the job. I’m a partner. I’m in this for the long haul. I want to help them grow whether it’s capital improvements, whether it’s ah, you know the infrastructure what, whether it’s special projects, whatever the case may be, i want to see this organization grow from where it is now and where it’s headed. And that means that the relationship needs to mature where they have a greater stake in the game. And that means lino much like in our own personal relationships, where we might do certain milestone things, like move in together. There needs to be that kind of advancement, that kind of moves management and to use, you know, fund-raising jargon to take that relationship from one that’s courtship and maybe a first gift to now increase that support over time. Part of this is a plan. So when you have, we need to be more structured. Maybe then are in on our dating side and our our relationship side. But we need stewardship plan, basically what belongs in our stewardship. So i like to talk a lot about new donorsearch accusation because, you know, you mentioned if you have something as a donor and you want to keep one of the chapters is called, keep the fire alive. Right? So that you want to put some good practices in place. You know, i talk about there in the in charge of keeping the fire alive and howto kind of moves that move that relationship along, that you should treat someone like an investor or treat them like family right now. Or and and and and while it may sound like that’s ah, daikon that’s outside the investor way investors or relationships, right? Are you treating me like, like, a business transaction? Or so the nice thing is that it’s not mutually exclusive because what happens is in your relationships there are absolutely expectations if you if we decide tony, you and i decided we’re going to move in together, right? What? We have a wonderful relationship. We love each other. We have a wonderful relationship we want we’re going to move in now, and we’re gonna have to take it to that one quote next-gen metoo do this by the way, if you’re my wife. Well, my by floods in indianapolis, so nobody listens to this show so you don’t worry about it. Word getting out exactly right. Good. We could talk after, okay. So so if if we want to take that to the next level, is there anything truly different about our relation with each? Other do we love each other anymore? The moment that we are now in the same apartment? No, right? There’s, no inherent change that happens between the way you feel about me and i feel about, you know, the decision that we’ve decided move it. What we have done is we’ve increased expectations on each other that there’s a certain kind of shared life, now that we have that’s more than we had before, because we’ve said that this is a priority deepened our commitment, deepen our commitment. So now, now that we’ve deep in our commitment, i am now have a certain level of responsibility to you, right? You have there’s a certain level of investment that i’ve now made right than i know how to manage that’s, like just know if i move in with you and i lived like a single person, right? I don’t care about your feelings. I know it was anything of the week before when we weren’t living together. It was any behaving the same way, right? But now that we live together, i have a new set of standards that i have tto abide by and it’s me and it’s mutual, right? You have expectations to army. I have expectations on you and that’s. Not a bad thing. It’s a it’s. A healthy thing. But what happens is i need to meet those expectations. So if i wanted if if you’ve given me something, if you give me money a cz a fun as ah someone who’s going to give money a donor and i take that money. The relationship starts that right, it’s not thank you for your gift. I’ll speak to you next year. It’s. Now that i’ve taken your ten thousand dollars, i have a responsibility to you to make sure that you know how your money is being spent. Oh, so this gets to our city. Our stewardship plan eso starts appointed stewardship plan is that when i get to give, when i when i get money from a donor it’s, not just another box to check off and say okay, i got this gift. I got to go get another fifteen or twenty other gifts. Tto meet meet mike. Now, how are we going to try this house? So how do you really take this? And deep deep in that relationship so there’s everything from leadership roles. There’s these opportunities when it comes to getting them to open up their own home in their own network a lot times people think that if you ask somebody to do think favors for you favors going, quote, like open their home for a parley meeting or to give your cause that’s burning equity that deepens relation, because giving to you so finding ways to cement leadership positions for them to spend more time in your offices. And when i mentioned treating like investors and treat them like family, why should they only have a relationship with you? Right? You are representing an organization, there’s. Some other wonderful people in the office is it’s. Some of the best donors and leaders i know come into the organization and they say hello to everybody from the person at the front desk to the person in the mail room. They know everybody because this is their family now. So those types of opportunities airways to kind of systemized that are important you could see in the book the whole bunch of suggestions for that. All right, we’re gonna go further. We gotta take a break. But don’t go a little more into this idea, that asking people, asking donors and volunteers to doom or is not burning them out. It’s. Deepening the relationship and not doing that could burn them out. They’ll stay with us. Like what you’re hearing a non-profit radio tony’s got more on youtube, you’ll find clips from stand up comedy tv spots and exclusive interviews catch guests like seth gordon, craig newmark, the founder of craigslist marquis of eco enterprises, charles best from donors choose dot org’s aria finger do something that worked and they only levine from new york universities heimans center on philanthropy, tony tweets to he finds the best content from the most knowledgeable, interesting people in and around non-profits to share on his stream. If you have valuable info, he wants to re tweet you during the show. You can join the conversation on twitter using hashtag non-profit radio twitter is an easy way to reach tony he’s at tony martignetti narasimhan t i g e n e t t i remember there’s a g before the end he hosts a podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy fund-raising fundamentals is a short monthly show devoted to getting over your fund-raising hartals just like non-profit radio, toni talks to leading thinkers, experts and cool people with great ideas. As one fan said, tony picks their brains and i don’t have to leave my office fund-raising fundamentals was recently dubbed the most helpful non-profit podcast you have ever heard, you can also join the conversation on facebook, where you can ask questions before or after the show. The guests were there, too. Get insider show alerts by email, tony tells you who’s on each week and always includes link so that you can contact guests directly. To sign up, visit the facebook page for tony martignetti dot com. If you have big dreams and a small budget tune into tony martignetti non-profit radio, i d’oh. I’m adam braun, founder of pencils of promise. Asking people to do more. Yes, whether they are donors or board members, this is not typically does not lead to burn out. What leads to burnout is give me your your annual gift. And now give me your annual gift a year later and a year later and there’s no substance beyond you’re giving, right, right. So the so let’s talk about i want to take a cold pill that back a little bit because i think a lot of the fear of asking people to do more comes some of the fear of asking in general, especially asking for money, you know, fund-raising is not a dirty word, and i know so many professionals and leaders in the business of consultants talk about how it’s not a dirty word, but i kind of tied into the relationship side of things in the sense that when you’re asking for money from somebody, if it’s devoid, if it’s void of a relationship, right, if we’re just asking and you’re dialing for dollars it’s, it’s, it’s taking the relationship out of it and it’s just making us and no one enjoys all transactions for that. And no one loves that. No. One likes to do that that’s. Terrible when there’s a real relationship in that leads to money. It’s, beautiful, and obviously, you can hear the correlation between like sex and relationships. If it’s just mechanical and there’s no relationship behind it, it may be fun. You may get the gift let’s, not underestimate. Great. But but my point is, this is probably not going to be a sustainable long term strategy. You’re not going to get somebody that may give you one time, but it’s not going to be a capacity gift, they could probably give you a lot more than what they’re giving you and your and it’s not like there’s any relationship behind it. So if you’re if you’re going to go after those easy shots like that, then you might get lucky. All right, you know that, but but in the end of the day, if you if you develop a real relationship than the asking for money, is the exact opposite of a negative experience is the most powerful, empowering, beautiful next step in that relationship that makes people go? Yes, i’m i’m in this i’m in this relationship, i’m in it for the long haul. So it’s it’s kind of it’s it’s kind of that double edge sword where fund-raising could either be a terrible, terrible experience transaction transaction, a wallet with legs, right? You know it’s the sex appeal of just the fact that they have money versus somebody who’s, a partner partner in the cause and he’s excited about the vision and wants to see the succeed and right on dh just wants to do more than just give exactly. You’re not going to know that until you start asking, even if it’s just give it’s done in the context of i am partnering with you and the way i’m doing, doing my share is by giving you money because if you’re going to be on the ground drilling wells or curing our ending malaria deaths or, you know, providing needs for special needs children, i’m not as a donor, i may not be the expert on how to do that, but i know if i give you money and i trust the experts, it will get done and that’s fine, they built, they’ll become a partner in dollar and that’s fine, but it’s not a transaction, it’s more than that because they are bought into the vision of the organization, all right, on a part of getting people to buy in and having them feel insiders is sharing the occasional downside failure. Yes, i’ve seen i’ve seen the good, bad and the ugly on this i’ve seen organizations that are afraid to share information with their donors on day worrying about it, it’ll burn relationship, and those tend to be the relationships that were never strong to begin with. But the there are wonderful examples of how failure or, you know, where something did not work, and it may not be, you know, gross of, you know, abuse or are you no mistrust think some things just don’t work and, you know, you put your your organization on the line, you try big things, and it doesn’t pan out it’s a wonderful opportunity to deepen the relationships. Okay, i’ll give you ah, a quick story example. I was in scott harrison who’s, a ceo and founder of charity water in his office, and he was telling me about early on and charity water before it was like, the very sexy, very sexy that’s what it is today hey told me early early on, he had a couple people on staff on payroll. They were doing their first projects, and they were going to go by that it belly up. They did not have the funds for payroll. They they were really desperate, and scott told me that he sent out a number of, like, blow you. Know emails to people who are in his periphery, you know, just to these donors and basically say, like, i need help, i need help, we’re in trouble, we’re doing great work, it wasn’t just like, you know, bail us out was like, we’re doing amazing work, but we’re in trouble. And one individual guy named michael birch, who was the who’s, a tech entrepreneur, he was the founder of bebo, which is a british base like social network from the nineties, like i bought by, i think, a well for eight hundred million dollars and he’s done not numerous projects that also brought in a lot of money, but here was a guy, michael birch, and he responded to scott and said, i’m happy to meet next time i’m in the new york area, i think he was in san francisco, and he meets with with scott and scott in-kind of bears, a soul tells, tells him everything going on and, you know, they’re doing great work, but it’s just not catching on. They’re breaking their teeth and it’s just not happening, and michael birch gives him some recommendations, gives him some advice, and then he says, i’ll see what i can do, you know, as faras giving you a little help, so he goes home. I don’t know how many days it was, you know, whatever was in the story that scott told me, but scott told me that he was sleeping in bed and his phone went off. I know texts or phone call, but was from michael birch and say, he said, i sent you some money. I’m wiring it to your account. I hope it helps, and skye trembling opens up his bank account and there’s a one million dollar gift that was sent from michael birch to charity water. And that was that trust that michael had, and he was really kind of like the one of the first major donors that they had that kind of went all in on them. He was somebody after hearing the troubles and tribulations, but was bought into scott harrison, who is, you know, the personality on the mission that he stands behind and said, this is something i want to support, and they turn that negative into tremendous partnership into this day michael and his wife are huge supporters of charity water. Everybody is not perfect in ceo land. You talk a little about flawed characters. Yeah, because because with natural, you know, things don’t always go perfectly. We might even make mistakes. I mean that that was not a mistake, that scott sure that’s got made, but but things don’t always go perfectly, and we know that from our personal relationship characters in history succeed. Yeah, i mean, so we all know this from our own personalized ships, you know, sometimes you date somebody, it doesn’t work out, and it goes down in flames, sometimes amicable, sometimes it’s definitely not their, you know, whatever it is, whether it’s dating marriage were human rights. It’s the human condition s o in the nonprofit world it’s true as well, we don’t have, you know, perfect relationships. And there are times where you butt heads with a person that you’re involved with a lay leader of volunteering your organization, and you might no longer be the right person to have that relation with them might be somebody else. It might be something that you can work with them and see through tio, but the communication and like any relationship and i talk about in the book about commune importance of communication you can either work through it or if it’s, you’re not the right person to either find somebody else. If they are bought into the cause, if it’s the cause they care about, they might be ableto be kind of handed off to somebody else and if its destructive, which sometimes, you know, a fraction of the small fraction of the relations are and it’s not in the best interest of the organization, for them to be aligned with his lay leader don’t even if they give a lot of money and it could hurt the organization, you gotta cut your losses and pull out so there’s absolutely ah, whole spectrum on relationships and how you handle them depending on what’s the best interest of the organization. We’re gonna leave it there. The book is date your donors did your donor dot com and you’ll find jonah he’s at jonah helper. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Congratulations again on the book. Oh, thank you for having me next week. I don’t know because about five weeks from today, when we’re in the studio but you know it’s going to be excellent. Have i let you down? Ever has non-profit lady radio let you down? If you missed any part of today’s show, i admonish you, find it on tony martignetti dot com. I’m still not sure about the singing this year, so i’m still i’m still thinking about that. We’re sponsored by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled pursuing dot com. Our creative producer is claire miree off. Sam liebowitz is the line producer. Gavin dollars are am and fm outreach director shows social media is by dina russell on our music is by scots died. Be with me next week for non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent go out and be green. What’s not to love about non-profit radio tony gets the best guests check this out from seth godin this’s the first revolution since tv nineteen fifty and henry ford nineteen twenty it’s the revolution of our lifetime here’s a smart, simple idea from craigslist founder pregnant mark insights orn presentation or anything? People don’t really need the fancy stuff they need something which is simple and fast. When’s the best time to post on facebook facebook’s andrew noise nose at traffic is at an all time hyre on nine a, m or eight pm so that’s, when you should be posting your most meaningful post here’s aria finger ceo of do something dot or ge young people are not going to be involved in social change if it’s boring and they don’t see the impact of what they’re doing. So you got to make it fun and applicable to these young people look so otherwise a fifteen and sixteen year old they have better things to do if they have xbox, they have tv, they have their cell phones me dar is the founder of idealist took two or three years for foundation staff to sort of dane toe add an email address their card it was like it was phone. This email thing is fired-up that’s why should i give it away? Charles best founded donors choose dot or ge somehow they’ve gotten in touch kind of off line as it were and and no two exchanges of brownies and visits and physical gift. Mark echo is the founder and ceo of eco enterprises. You may be wearing his hoodies and shirts. Tony talked to him. Yeah, you know, i just i’m a big believer that’s not what you make in life. It sze, you know, tell you make people feel this is public radio host majora carter. Innovation is in the power of understanding that you don’t just do it. You put money on a situation expected to hell. You put money in a situation and invested and expected to grow and savvy advice for success from eric sabiston. What separates those who achieve from those who do not is in direct proportion to one’s ability to ask others for help. The smartest experts and leading thinkers air on tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent.