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Sarah Olivieri: The Encouragement Show
Sarah Olivieri wants you to shed fear-based decision making, scarcity mentality and reflexive negativity, in favor of confidence, abundance and an open mind. Your host has encouraging words of his own to contribute. Sarah is principal of Pivot Ground.
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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 Geren Topia if I saw that you missed today’s show. The Encouragement show Sarah Olivieri wants you to shed fear based decision making scarcity mentality and reflects of negativity in favor of confidence, abundance and an open mind. Your aptly named host has encouraging words of his own to contribute. What a surprise. No surprise. Sara is principal of Pivot Ground Tony Steak, too. Train. We’re sponsored by pursuant full service fund-raising data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash pursuant by Wagner. C. P a’s guiding you Beyond the numbers. Regular cps dot com By Telus durney Credit card Processing into your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna em a slash Tony Tell us, and by text to give mobile donations made easy text. NPR to four four four nine nine nine My Pleasure to introduce Sarah Olivieri came down from upstate New York. She’s a non-profit digital strategist, helping Non-profits bring their mission and services to life on the Web. At Pivot Ground, she leads her team of digital experts to help clients increased capacity, deliver better programming, attract more funding and make the world a little better. In college, she studied in Spain, Tanzania and Cuba, then moved to Japan to teach English. Sarah’s company is at pivot ground dot com and she’s at pivot ground. Welcome, Sarah Olivieri. Thank you. Thank you for having me. Pleasure. Pleasure to have you in the studio. Thank you for coming down from upstate. I love it when guests come to studio. Thank you. Always my pleasure. You’ve been abroad. You would’ve brought a good bit in your in your life. Yes, I traveled quite a bit. I studied international studies as an undergraduate. And so that took me abroad. And the University of Chicago University of Chicago led me. Tio move to Japan afterwards. Then I came back and to my home community in the Hudson Valley. Start getting involved with the local non-profit. They needed a conference organized which led to running a program which led to starting my own non-profit on. And then I went and got my graduate degree in humanistic, multicultural education. Humanistic, multicultural education. Alright, break that down to make some sense and what was what’s the non-profit thatyou started. Tell us a little about that. Your first? Sure. I started a non profit called the Open Center for Autism. It was following in. The program they had been working at was a school for kids on the Spectrum. High school on that program was shut down. And so I went and started my own program. If if the state isn’t gonna provide it or whatever, the counties that if the school is gonna provide it, I’ll do it myself. That’s right. And hope you mentioned it myself. Okay. All right. All right. Andi, what? How long were you with that organization? What? What happened? Well, kind of good and bad. You know, what happened was the need became so clear that a number of the other local public schools picked up their own programs. So we ended up not starting this school as we anticipated because the need was filled. S o. That was all right. But it was a great It was a great start to learn all the elements of not just starting a nonprofit. But when you charter school in New York State, there’s a whole bunch of extra things that need to happen on that happen when you’re a fundraiser, right? Right. And, you know, thinking about what you do that really led me to go in, like, Wow. I couldn’t find lawyers who knew about how to register a school in New York State s o. I just dove into reading the law myself, and that kind of even deepened my like the stuff isn’t so hard. No one knows how to do it. I’m just gonna dive in and figure it out, okay? And, uh, how long at pivot ground pivot ground has been since, uh, we had another incarnation that started in around two thousand five. But we’ve been in our current state about three years. Okay, you you brought along some some words of encouragement. Like so sort of some symptom and problem areas on DH words of encouragement. I thought this would be a nice wayto. This is really wrapping up the year because the next the next two shows the next two weeks, there are no shows. So this is our end of year Show so and like, end of your encouragement, looking to the future. Ah, people can be feeling overwhelmed. In this In this hectic fourth quarter, Lots of listeners may not even hear this until January, so it could be the look forward kind of show for them. Um, so what are some of the What are some of the symptoms that you hear in your practice that dahna raise your raise, your consciousness raised red flags for, you know, maybe we should be thinking a little differently. Yeah. I mean, anybody who works with Non-profits have heard these things like, we just can’t do it or we don’t have money for that, or we can’t spend on overhead. All our money has to go directly to programming. Actually, had it was part of a local group, kind of a support group for non-profit. Leaders run by front of mind Susan Ragusa. And we talked about this one day, like, scarcity, mindset. And a lot of it, I think, boils down to money. Um, and a lot of people in that room that day said, Yeah, you know, like, I don’t have a good relationship with money. And my non-profit doesn’t have a good relationship with money on guy. Think that it’s a little self identified when they really raised their hands and say, You know, we have we have issues with money. Yeah, but only in the situation where we said this is a safe space and we’re going to talk about scarcity mindset. Otherwise, I don’t hear a lot of people realizing that that that’s kind of one of the cores of the issue is the This relationship with money and resource is just I think that the people say, like, Oh, we’d better like, do it ourselves And I think the reality the worst reality is what I call D E. Why do everything yourself? Yeah, well, we can’t afford the expertise that we need. We’ll just have to learn it ourselves, which takes you away from core work and distracts you terribly down some rabbit hole that someone could come in and be so much more efficient at it. Um, so these are there’s a lot around you talk about money. There’s a lot around fund-raising, too. I just in your own personal experience, how aware of the fact that you had to raise your own money. Were you? When you started the school program? I was pretty aware my mother had actually run a school in much the same way. She just kind of fell into it and figured it out on the job. I did have some family experience, but, you know, related to the money question. I think, Ah, lot of people, you know, when they start feeling in non-profits like we don’t have enough money, the only they see have tunnel vision. They’re like fund-raising. We need to raise money. But that’s only half of the picture. Like you have to be good at spending money as well as raising money. So there’s two sides to this coin about money, and it’s not all raising money, you know, outright gifts. I mean, there there could be revenue opportunities. Yeah, so look, think strategically. You met you, whether you’re capable of producing product or service is or some form of revenue, that other non-profits or government or individuals and whatever will pay for lots of lots of non-profits have a thrift shop. That’s one way of what’s won. Simple way. Not simple that it’s one common way, I should say of raising raising revenue. But you know when we think of fund-raising, it’s not all grants and gifts from individuals. Absolutely not. Right, your revenue stream of revenue right When you’re non-profit, you’re like revenue. What’s that? But that’s that’s just your total money coming into your non-profit fit, and you want that to be somewhat diversified. And now it might sound like we’re talking about a stock portfolio, but we’re talking about your non-profit. You have to think about having some of you know, if you can charge a little for your programs you want, you may want some revenue streams that way. If you can have a donor base of donors who give small donations more regularly. Some donors who give larger domain donations some grants. Maybe there’s some government funding you can apply for. You want a mixed bag, because if one of those pieces goes away, you don’t want to go under. You wanna have a few Resource is you can pull on and the one you didn’t mention. Eyes events which we see I see sometimes a little too much. If we’re going to take our first break, though pursuing they have two. New resource is on the listener landing page. The field guide to data driven fund-raising is practical steps to achieve your fund-raising goals using data. Plus, they have incorporated case studies and demystifying the donor experience guides you through creating a donor journey, plus savvy stewardship strategies for your existing donors could check those out. Tony dahna em a slash pursuing Capital P for please. Now back to the encouragement show. So events sometimes you know, actually often to too much too much reliance on events. I think that comes from a fear of asking someone directly across their desk for a five thousand dollar gift or a fifty thousand dollar gift or whatever it’s going to be. We’d rather invite people to a big party and have them pay tickets, pay money for a ticket at a table we got, You know, you got it again. Diversify. You see Too much event. Definitely, too. I think you know, it’s natural you get into a room of people is like, What can we do with the like our hands? You know, with with an event, but events, most kinds of events that you’re probably familiar with, that non-profits air doing are the least return on investment, meaning you’re going to spend a lot of money and a ton of energy. But I have event you’re absolutely and you’re going to get a relatively small amount of money back. And when I see happens, is if when you lead with events, then you’ve used up your entire fund-raising capacity, your money, your energy. It’s all spent on those events, and you don’t have time for those activities that actually generate a lot more money. I love the example you just shared, like picking up the phone and calling them and asking for money is like super super effective and the non-profits I know who are really great at Fund-raising their executive director Nose, like a handful of twelve major donors who are interested in supporting their non-profit, doesn’t have to be twelve. It’s just an example, and when they need money, they call them up and say, Hey, we need twenty thousand dollars for this program or we’re going to have to close it or, you know, whatever the thing is that they want if they want to take a step forward. And usually when you ask people for something, they give it to you. I love to test this out, and I encourage people. Tell it out like that. Go, you know, go over to your your friend or your relative or somebody on the street and be like, Oh, hey, could I borrow your pen? They’re going to They’re going to do it. Probably They’re going to feel extremely compelled to do it on DH. It’s same thing. When you ask people for money, people are compelled to give something just because you asked. So this this kadre of close, you know, major donors. However, you define major donors based on your needs. And your work, um, is, you know, you’ve recruited them because you know that they’re committed. I mean, they’ve risen to the top. They’ve they’ve been perhaps been volunteers for you. There were people who asked, What can I do? What do your needs, They shine. You know, as you as you’re listening to this, people are probably occurring to you. Oh, yeah, like she’s she’s like that. We’re that couple. Is that you know where the So those are the people you want to continue to cultivate that they do become sort, of course, supporters of yours. So that when you have a big need, you know, those are the people you can go to when you kick off a campaign. Those are the people you talked to initially before you go public with your number so that when you do go public for your hundred thousand dollar campaign, you’ve already got forty or fifty thousand dollars or sixty thousand already committed. And now you’re just asking people to get you to the margin. You know, the other thirty or forty percent those having that kind of a kadre of donors you can go to who, you know, love your work, cultivate those people that is time very well spent and don’t only cultivate them when you need the money. You know, this is a this is a long term process of cultivation bringing people to your Yeah, I think a great way to start with That is what? What some people call the friend raiser. If you’re nervous about, start by just getting those people in the same room just for the purpose of, like having a positive interaction with them. And that’s a great way to build that relationship. I think that there’s another piece to this where a lot of people, when they think about asking people for money, they feel like they’re there feel like they’re a fraud. Or that, like the person who’s giving them money isn’t getting anything in return. You gotta you gotta cut that shit out way Don’t have. We don’t have AA affiliate AM FM stations anymore, so I’m free. I could I could do the George Carlin. You know, seven words if I if I felt like it, we’re not bound by the FCC anymore. So, yes, you’ve got to cut that out and they are getting something. They are getting really the most valuable thing that you could spend money on. They’re getting a positive feeling. They’re getting the feeling of fulfillment. How else do people spend money to get that feeling? They buy food, alcohol, drugs, people who go shopping to feel that feeling of fullness. What? I can’t think of a better way to trade in money for a feeling of doing. You know, that positive, fulfilled feeling than giving money to a non-profit. And the peace of that is, you know, I just was reading about a business book about you know, what is the most motivating thing for employees, and it’s when they feel they’re making a positive contribution. That lead that creates progress. For an outcome that they’re interested and having fun. It’s not salary. It’s a salary, no snack. It’s not exactly so. It’s the same for donors. They’re interested in the outcomes that you’re having. And when they give, they want to feel like they’re helping in that journey there. Making that step a little piece of that step now belongs to them. A little piece of that progress and that’s worth that’s worth real money to people and share it with them. Invite them in. I don’t mean just right. A right. A direct mail letter that shares a story. Yes, storytelling is important, but I’m talking about, you know, if you’re talking about major donors, bring them in, let them see the impact of your work. How can you show it off if you haven’t figured that out yet? Brainstorm with your staff. Brainstorm with your board. How can you show off the impact that you do? There are ways If you can’t bring people to it, you can video it and present it to them. Uh, you can prove your impact. Do it. That’s how you know that. That’s how they’re going to get the positive feeling that you’re talking about, right? That’s what they’re buying their buying. Something from you. You’re not there. Not just giving you money. I think another piece to this is I remember this one in my early days working at a non-profit cause I know I’ve never had a corporate job on DH. And for a moment, I felt well, thank you for money. I would be a terrible employee. I vacation request forms, Please. Can I have the week between Christmas and New Year’s off? Oh, please. Oh, please. What? Are you kidding me? I just take it and I can’t. I can’t. I would be a terrible employee. I believe the interview. I won’t even show up. I show up late because I Because I don’t care. You know, I’d be an awful employees. I would never even get hired. Yeah. What do you make? The second interview got bounced. I won’t even make the full interview. I’d like I probably walk out. What? You kidding me? I don’t need this shit. Why am I even here? I made a big mistake. I’m sorry. I’m getting out. I won’t even make it through the first e here yet, so yeah, So you know when that came in those early on, I was like, This person makes a high salary, like theirjob is making money in some way. That’s why they have their job, and my job, like the purpose of my job is not to make money. I might be making a salary at my non-profit, but ultimately my purpose is to do good. And so somehow I felt like initially that that the person who is giving me money knew something about money that I didn’t and it felt like the scales were because they have it because they have it on and I need it more than we have, right? So they’re smarter about exactly have your about money than I am, and we are right. But now I know better, and I want non-profits to know better, too. What you’re doing is important, and it’s worth money and and you’re savvy because you’re getting people to give you money in exchange for a valuable experience. You know just a CZ much about money, if not more than for-profit businesses. And in fact, I dive a lot into business. Operations for Non-profits and Non-profits are more complicated than for-profit because you always have to target customer groups, even if you’re you know, even if you’re a teeny non-profit, you have the people who donate and give you money. And then you have the people you serve or the impact you’re trying to make and the people who are going to help make that happen. And so by that very nature, by having you always have to audience Ah for-profit company that small can have just one audience, the people who want to buy their product or service. So it’s it’s more simple in that nature to be a for-profit goodcompany before you have shareholders, right so on. But you know, as a board, as if as a small non-profit you have aboard. So that’s like having shareholders when you’re just a teeny cos. True enough. I’m not a financial stake, but yeah, but absolutely. But there’s certainly commitment, right? Commitment, opinions, human relationships. So be proud of yourself. If you’re running an non-profit, you already probably know a lot more than many for-profit business. You’ve got your three constituencies thie service you’re doing whether it’s two people or animals or the environment, there’s that’s considered outta constituents. Your community and your donors and your board. Absolutely. Right now and then, if you have a staff, you know, whenever there’s relationships involved, I like people think about like, imagine you know, you’ve got one person in the room that’s no big deal. You got two people in the room. You think you just doubled. But you actually tripled in complexity because you have two people and hopes you have the relationship between those two people at a third person to the room. You’re not three times bigger than you were when you were one person, you know, have three people, plus the relationships between each two of those people. And when all three of the people are in the room in your mind and now it’s nine, right, Zack, growing exponentially. Which person you add to any kind of dynamic, whether it’s your board, your staff, the people you’re working with you now are exponentially increasing in complex ity on. I think that a lot of non-profits as they start to grow there, like this spaghetti mess starts to begin. And that’s why Because you didn’t expect that you were growing exponentially in all these relationships. Right? It takes people off guard. Doesn’t it often reflect itself in the board? Because as the especially in early phases, as the board is growing, we need more expertise. You know, etcetera. I see it in the board, but I see in the way staff and departments are organized more as you grow and you start adding programs. Sometimes it’s like you might add a program and you might suitable who in our non-profit, like, has capacity to, like run this new programme and you just throw it in. And then often with my clients, who tend to be a little bigger, they they have these kinds of organizational structures that don’t make sense like that. They don’t work efficiently because they just started throwing things in on DH. They didn’t think like very carefully about how exactly should we organize it? We should just They just threw it in where they could. And then we go through a process of kind of reorganizing. So they get so much time back in their day, Are they going to fill it up again with amazing work delivering their mission? Absolutely. But at least then it’s It’s faster progress towards their mission. Yeah, it’s a more deliberate rather than just let’s throw it in, you know, foisted on somebody who they can learn they can train up. That’s the that’s the kind of you know, Yeah, that goes back to the scarcity mentality. We can’t afford the expertise that we need to help us develop this program. We’ll figure it out on our own. Yeah, and I want I want people to stop, Stop thinking that way because there’s two things that I think if you had, if I had like two dollars left in my pocket, I would buy one of two things or both of these things access to expert advice, not even like how you know if you can’t get help doing it, if you don’t have money for the tool getting an expert to tell you which way to go, I think, is like, one of the most valuable ways because they’re going to see things that you don’t. You’re in your own bubble. Even if you were that expert, you wouldn’t be able to see it for yourself. And once they point you in where your next step is, you have a step to take forward the other thing these days that I think people who are really strapped for money will get a huge return off of is investing in some automation. So we have, you know, computers and the Internet can take off a lot of the busy work that your staff might be doing right now. Or if you’re a solo, you know, solo operation. They’re things that you’re doing right now that the computer could start doing for you and free you up to take some real positive growth. Steps to resource is come off the top of my head in that vein non-profit Technology network, which helps, which helps non-profits used technology smarter so that they can focus more on mission. Listeners know Amy Sample Ward are regular social media contributor every month. She’s the CEO of and ten non-profit technology network and ten Dot or GE, and the other one is idealware idealware dot org’s ah, they They are essentially the consumer reports of technology for non-profits. They don’t accept grants or GIF ts off of technology, but they evaluated and they evaluated objectively. The CEO Karen Graham has been on the show. I think she’s been on twice, just really loved when I was an object strenuously, but I don’t think she loves when I make the analogy between idealware and Consumer Reports. But to me, it it works. So those are two excellent resources that are agnostic, you know that They care about platforms. They’re trying to help you in ten and on idealware. Yeah. And you shouldn’t care about platforms. The biggest thing, you know, I work a lot in technology, and I talk about automation and digital strategies for people and the people. They always come like, what tools should I use? And that is the very last question you ask. First you ask, what problem? And I’m trying just trying to do with it, right? Exactly. And if it’s we’re talking about automation. You need to have a process in place of how you do something. So if if it’s not something you repeat and if you don’t haven’t written down how it goes on like what the process is, then you’re not ready to automate. But, you know, and automation can get, like, really complex. It takes like a bit of like mind shifting to think about automation. But people should start simple with automation, and I often like to just remind people that, like there’s elements of your email that can probably already be automated and say Pierre, which is one of the most common tools for connecting things it can actually automate without connecting to ass. I got I got connected to Zippy or some other from someone else do it just this week gdpr you create zaps and and it links like, Aah! Sales force with your with your outlook, right? And actually, Khun, do some automation is just with one app. So, like, if you if I use it. Teo, you know, if you receive an email with a certain subject, it can then, you know, send a reminder to somebody else. Sorry, it’s very company. We just think the tax that it can automate yes between thousands of it. Very good guts, but they’ve got partnerships with that. You can start simple. Lt’s a Piers has a free level, but for Non-profits, you can get their pro level for free if you put their logo on your website. Oh, yeah, so it’s You can really do a lot with Napier. It’s what a lot of the automation people kind of use at some point to connect things, even if they’re using more advanced tools. So I think that’s a great starting step for people. Symptoms of this. If you if you can use automation, I think of If you’re if you find yourself entering the same data in multiple places, doing a lot of copying and pasting routinely. Yeah, there’s a good chance that that could be automated. Sarah, you mentioned email so there are. There are lots of email tasks that could be automated. What you’re following up with people is huge. If you set appointments or need to remind people to do things, automation is great. For that, you can create a Siri’s of emails that remind people to do something on and for non-profits you, especially if you’re a human service non-profit. You can use automation to help deliver some of your programming programs. If you teach a course in your in your organization, you could turn it into an online course. You could make it what we call in Evergreen Online course, which means that it’s like video. The content is written, content and video that as soon as somebody signs up for the course they can, then access the material, so that’s one great way. And parenthetically, is a revenue possibility. There absolutely will be. So think about it. You could charge for your course. You could have, you know, get a donor to commit to like a matching sponsorship. Everybody who enrolls in the course they’ll make a certain donation. Lots of possibilities for that. Andi, just which other symptoms of we could technology could help us here? Absolutely. And you know, I love still of the classic email course email miniseries, um, the kind of tool that you used to this. Anything that does what’s called a drip campaign. That just means email one goes out. You wait two days or however amount of time you set email to goes out. Then email three goes out. It’s just on a timer. And you, Khun, deliver education that way. One of my favorite uses for that is internally, a lot of non-profit struggle with keeping their staff trained or keeping them up today on policies that they really want them to remember. That might not be that fun. We send out reminders of the critical policies and the organization that the staff, especially if they’re like direct support staff need to remember. We often rewrite them and make them a little more fun in the email. It’s like if you want to read the real, you know the original policy, go to the handbook. But we’re going to make this a little more fun and remind you to, you know, drive safely or whatever those key policies are. So it’s a great way people aren’t going to read like if I give most people like a book and say, Here’s the man, you want to read it yet? Do they read it? No, it’s not. But if I turn it into five or six emails that air just like one or two paragraphs long and remind people in a fun way of the things I need to remember their going to read it. Yeah, Provoc could also be part of a campaign. Exactly. Do this with your volunteers with their donors. Um, okay, Automation. All right, so we’ve spent almost the first half of the show just like spitballing. But this is great. You know, I feel like I’m at a bar and we’re just having drinks and, uh, and there’s thirteen thousand people listening in um, but you know, so, uh All right. So you came with more orderly. You know, this is not all just a spitball thing, but leader now, I mean, this show does get planned, but I love this just back and forth. And, you know, it’s what we’re what we’re seeing through the years. Um, okay. We just have about a minute or so before a break. Let’s introduce this idea of overhead. Yet we haven’t, uh, yeah, the lingering overhead myth. Let’s introduce that, and then we’ll pick it up after the break. Sure. The lingering overhead myth, I think Damn pelota grave. A great Ted talk on it, dates back, apparently to the Puritans. But it’s this idea that there’s your programs that where you deliver all your impact and then there’s your overhead and that the overhead has nothing to do with the impact. And overhead is bad and impact is good. So all the money should go towards those impact. And I’m putting quotes around that because, yeah, around those programme activities and nothing should goto overhead because that’s a waste of money s O. But really, that’s not true. May be after the break. We’ll dive into that. Absolutely will. Because that is not true. And we need to I see it being eroded, but we need to kill it. Well, your C. P s. You need help with next year’s nine. Ninety perhaps. Or you are you doing? You’re nine ninety. I hope to God you’re doing You’re ninety for country. Are you thinking about a c P A change, perhaps in twenty nineteen or changing audit firm, maybe time for a fresh look at the books. Look at Wagner. Talk to partner yet each tomb. You know, he’s been a guest on the show. There’s no hard sell. There’s no bullshit duitz It doesn’t matter. We’re That’s right. We’ll have to see free. So I’m getting carried away. Ah, good weather cps dot com Now, time for Tony Steak too. Train your staff. Basic plan E-giving. I’m encouraging you to get them comfortable. Just opening conversations about the most popular type of plan gift, which is the charitable bequest in people’s wills. There’s no lifetime cost to your donors that can keep it private if they want to. I mean, you, you always want them to tell you, but if they want to keep it private. They can. They can change their minds. These air a couple of reasons that bequests are always I don’t care what size organization always the most popular planned gift. And so that’s the place to start. So that’s the place you want to start getting your staff trained just on the basics again, opening a conversation you don’t need in house expertise. You don’t need a lawyer. You don’t even need a consultant like me. You don’t need a lawyer on your board. You don’t need all that because you’re going to refer people to their own attorney because we’re doing this on a You know, this’s a streamlined which is trying to get you into plant giving. You don’t need the expertise. You can open those conversations. All right? I say more about this on my video. Aunt, I bring in the holidays. You see, as I talk about training is awesome. Holiday in search there as well. Ah, and I did it from a beach. And you’ll find that video at tony martignetti dot com. Okay, let’s go back to Sarah Olivieri and the encouragement show. Okay, So the overhead myth. Ah, yeah. So what do you counsel clients? On who? Who say that they’re concerned about possibly spending too much. And are donors going? Think we’re wasting money on overhead? Yeah. I mean, first of all, be brave, be intentional. Know that it’s not true that this I don’t even like to use the word overhead. I call, I say, its operations, right? So, like operations is the backbone of your organisation. Nothing happens without it. It’s the core. It couldn’t be more opposite then. This overhead myth. You need good leadership. You need structures and processes in place in order to make your whatever you’re delivering consistent and efficient. I love to talk about efficiency with non-profit. Okay? You need technology. Just technology, fundez technology. All these supporting you that costs money. Exactly. You need tools. Oftentimes you invest in a tool and you’re going to save so much time for so much money. But people are hesitant. That’s that D y. We’re going to do everything ourselves mentality. And it’s literally when you have that mentality, you’re sinking your own ship because your your ship is your overhead. It is your operational structure. And then it’s like the cargo is all the stuff you’re going to do to deliver your mission. So if you have a teeny ship and you just load on a ton of cargo, you are just going to sink it and you’re not going to deliver any mission. You’re not going to go anywhere and you’re not going to solve any major problems. So you need to make sure that if you’re going to grow programs, you grow your capacity. That means growing your ability to operate, right? So I hope people can begin to think like overhead is operating its function, its investment. In other words, yes. An investment in in your office, in a nice place for people to come to work on investment in professional development for your staff, an investment in technology investing in the future, right? You’re saying, you know, make you tea to be sustainable and have it be the right capacity. These are all investments, right? This is not wasted overhead. It’s investing in the future right here. If you’re planning something new, you might have to invest for a year or two in it and lose money at it. T get up to speed. That’s an investment in a new programme. Exactly. Yeah, I think I think you’re absolutely right and end its fundamental, you know, too many times to talk about, You know, of course, there’s the Non-profits are messy right on Dne on people say not, You know, a lot of non-profits. I’m like, Oh, man, we’re kind of dysfunctional, that dysfunction. That means you don’t have good functioning, Good functioning. That overhead is how you get good functioning. That’s how you become not dysfunctional, that that’s how you become not messy. That’s how you become a clean, effective, oiled machine that just is doing good in the world and can scale that up. If you want Teo and deliver, you know, deliver to more people, um, or whatever. If your environmental organization make a bigger impact, that is the key to making a bigger impact. It is not, you know, spending. You know, I think that the mindset shift that people need to make is they think, Oh, if we’re spending money on operations, it’s like we’re spending money on ourselves and we don’t spend money on ourselves. There’s kind of like that martyr mentality. Yeah, it’s got to go. Really got to go. You are worth investing in your staff is worth investing in your office is worth investing in. Technology is worth investing if you go to. If you go to your office on Monday and you’re boarding up windows X P you are not investing the way you need. Thio technology. Bring that shit to your boss and tell them this has got to go. We’re eight years behind on and just since this is the you know, I want to give some motivations of encouragement for people. You know you are, but you’re more the story and the story. That’s alright. Bien and Yang. Positive. Negative. You have this in you already. The story of Dorothy, right? Dorothy has the power to return home all along, but she has to go through this great journey. All she has to do is click your heels three times and say there’s no place from home. Well, you if you’re running a non-profit right now, or if you’re involved in one no place like home That’s right. I want to go home. I like to be really directed. Right? So you already believe in your non-profits mission? Like I know this about you like listening, right? Now you believe that your mission is worth investing in, which means you already have the power to believe that this is that it’s worth investing in. But you are part of your non-profit. And so you have to believe. Now you have to take that same belief that you believe in your mission and just convinced yourself you are worth investing in. Because if you don’t invest in yourself and in your organization, you’re not investing in your mission. And so if sues you, connect those two dots you already have that power to believe that you’re worth it. I don’t even. Yeah, the overhead myth. The way we gotta bury it, we got to kill it and bury it. It’s gone. All right. Um, something you have some ideas around feeling like you. You appear that you don’t have enough or appearing that you have too much Teo. Donors what? What is this? What is this second guessing? Why we looking over our our shoulders at ourselves? Why? We’re looking over our own shoulders. How did we do it? Yeah. Why are we looking over our shoulders? Wear we second guessing where we how we’re perceived, you know, I had a nice coincidence. I had two clients start where he will be around the same time on DH within within a week of each other. Had these two conversations, one client was a non-profit who had money and they said, Well, we’re afraid that, like if our website and our brochures and stuff look good, people are going to think we have a lot of money and they’re not going to want to give to us right. And then the other client who was a very small startup didn’t have any money, said We need our we need our brochures on our website to look really good because if people know that we don’t have money, they won’t give to us. And guess what? It doesn’t matter if you have money or if you don’t have money. You have just be authentic. Be yourself, play your own game, run your own race. If you have money, people will say Hey, this organization’s impact is important. That’s always the first thing and wow, they’re stable, They’re sustainable. They have enough money I’m going to give to them because I know that they’re going to keep going for the other one people want to give to their impact the primary driver. Is that like that emotional return? Yes, For some people, there’s the tax benefit. But I really think that secondary or twenty three year, twenty years in fund-raising consulting and it’s absolutely secondary. Yeah, for they’re buying an emotional return. They’re buying a feeling on DH And so but if you don’t have money, then you say, Hey, we don’t have money. We’ve got this amazing thing that we want to do. We have a great way, way so far, right? We want to scale do this with a thousand people instead of the dozen that we’ve served so far. Right. So you’ve got a great argument whether you don’t have money or you do have money with one caveat. If you’re worried that you’re not really delivering the impact that you say you are, measure it. Measure your impact. And if you’re not, if you if you take it and you’re like, man, we’re not really two making the changes. We thought you were just reorganise. Start time to pivot, right. It’s time to invest in that overhead and utter and figure out you know how you can make that impact cause you probably didn’t. You know, there’s a need there. There’s always a need. This goes to also just you touched on, you know, be genuine. Be honest. People can people when they’re talking to you less. So when they’re reading your material, that’s one dimensional. But but it applies somewhat. There. Two people can tell when you’re genuine and when your phony you know, if if you’re a small shop in your producing fancy four color brochures or you’re spending money on lavish video production, when when low production value could be just a sincere and jet or more sincere and genuine people see through that stuff, you know, be yourself. You said it yourself. Don’t And don’t don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you’re what you’re coming, too. Yeah, and when the way you look exactly. And both those problems, you know, relate to those air marketing marketing concerns, and I just like his marketing gets thrown around a lot. I like to just clarify, like what is marketing and because it’s not a department. Marketing is a means to an end. Marketing is about finding people whose who have an issue or problem that you can solve. So if it’s a donor, it means they’re looking for this positive experience. If it’s somebody who you might serve, it means they have, you know, you have a solution to the issue in their lives and then engaging those people who you found who already basically need what you have so that they take action with you. That’s marketing. Yeah. We have to take a break. OK, Eso look over your page air and you’re goingto welcome you to introduce the next topic right after this break. Tell us. Start with the video at Tony Dahna em a slash Tony, tell us don’t think what companies can you talk to toe? Ask them to switch their credit card processing to tell us maybe it’s one owned by a boardmember. It’s a local company that supported you or one that you’ve been thinking about approaching because you have a relationship of some type. Talk to them, have them watch the video. If they switch, you get the long stream of passive revenue from all those credit card um, transactions that they process. Tony Dahna may slash Tony. Tell us for the video. It’s not for the live listener love. We’ve got to do it. Did you think I had forgotten because I didn’t do it after Tony take to perish the thought? Hell, no. I could get it going further than hell. No, but I’ll just stick with hell. No. Um So where are we? So let’s go abroad. I want to go abroad. Russia. We cannot see your city But we know that you’re with us. Russia, Live Love out to you Toronto up north. Welcome. Live Listen, love to you Mexico We can’t see a city And we got multiple Mexico. We have more ellos Mexico as well So we can see more ellos live love to you point a start is and the city we cannot see live love out to you Also, we got multiple New York, New York. Always got multiple New York, New York, Brooklyn, New York is in Queens, New York. Thank you very, very much. I don’t see anybody upstate. Sarah. Olivia. He didn’t bring her tribe, but they’ll listen to the podcast. And that’s the podcast. Pleasantries that come on the heels of the live listener love. You know, it’s the podcast Pleasantries that one dreaded follows the other can’t have. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot. It’s actually matter pleasantries to the thirteen thousand plus podcast listeners throughout the mostly in the US But I know throughout the world, but I know the UK checks in I know we’ve got listeners in Germany and now we’ve got Mexico podcast listeners also Ah, pleasantries, pleasantries to you, the vast majority of our audience. Thank you for being with Non-profit radio. Okay, What did you pick? What we were talking about Next. We’re gonna talk about wasting money, wasting money. What do you got? Well, I think you know a lot of people. It goes back to what we first talked about, right? This bad relationship with money and that a lot of people feel like when we spend money at Non-profits were flushing it down the toilet. When we spend it, it’s gone. That’s what’s happening. And that’s not the relationship I want youto have with money. I want you to realize that the way you should be spending money the way you hopefully our is thinking about what am I going to get back for my money and my getting Mohr value back than the money costs me. So you know, I get excited about spending money, not because I love spending money, but because whenever I choose to spend money in my business, I’m always getting something back that’s worth even more to me than the money that’s going to take me to the next level. So it’s great. It’s always like this exciting moment of growth where I’m getting something on DH. That is the mentality they really want people to adopt this coming year is that when we spend it, we are not throwing it away. But if you’re not thinking about what you’re getting back then, you might be wasting money. S O. This is one of those like, it’s a self fulfilling prophecy. If you feel like spending money is wasting money, then the chances that you are wasting money are away. Hyre if you feel like spending money is a process of trying to get more back then you spent then you’re probably not wasting you want value for the dollar that each dollar you spend exactly. So I definitely want you to think about that. Another thing that’s related to this, I think, is a lot of people think about, You know, we need something it costs. I don’t know. Two thousand dollars, twenty five hundred dollars. We don’t have that money. Now. When we have that money, then we’ll spend on this. And that’s just like a process. I was just like in the future, if you have more money, we’ll spend on that. That money is never going to come. There’s not going to be a delivery of money that says you’re marked for this purpose that you’ve been putting off for eighteen months. Exactly gonna happen that way. So here’s the way I want youto think like time. Sorry. Exactly what? You’re not gonna find time now when I could find the time. I’ll do that. No. If it’s something that’s worth, well, you gotta make the time. That’s consciously put the time. Put the time aside now. And if you’re constantly putting it off, then you need to evaluate. Maybe this thing that we think talking about is not that important. Or maybe you’re not prioritizing correctly. Exactly. It’s just it’s it’s recognizing the value of time and the fact that it’s just not gonna land on your desk a week. Oh, here’s that project time you’ve been thinking about for eighteen months doesn’t happen that way. You need to be much. You need to be intentional about it. Exactly. Attention about time. Attention about money. So here’s the new way. I want people to think about it is that if you’re thinking, I need something stop and say What is the problem that I’m having? If you think you need a website if you think you need automation, stop for a moment and say What’s the problem I’m having If you think I need fund-raising say what’s the really cool Rob? What is the real problem? Get down to that problem. Could be a person. It could be a person, right? A process could not be working. A person could be in the wrong seat. It could be You know, it could be any number of things from outside influence, right? Once you’ve found that real problems say, if I fix this problem how much is that worth to me? If I don’t have this problem? If this problem is gone, how much is that worth to me? What can I do next? If this problem is gone and then say how much time money resource is. Am I willing to spend to have this problem gone? And then then you have your budget, if you can solve it for less bio all means. But then you have your number. You have your number, and then you go get that money. You say I need this problem solved. I see this probably the most painful area where I see this is with employees. If you have the wrong people in the job and you’re just, like, afraid toe, let them go or afraid to change their position. That is really hard. But if you ran the numbers, you bilich I’m wasting, like, fifty thousand dollars a year on this person. Shopping, energy and other people see it as well, right? No, it’s about the other people in the organization know it’s a bad fit that they’re seeing a day in and day out of their employees. It’s draining you. Yeah, so your problems are probably costing you more than you realize. And if you really think about that, you’ll be like, Oh, yeah, we’re going to raise that money right now, and that problem’s going to be gone. Let’s talk about something you mentioned early on fund-raising events, events sucking the life blood. What did you What did you say? It caught me. But But I But I also want to talk about you know, that over reliance on events. Sure. Yeah. I mean, I said I think like it sucks the capacity. All of your fund-raising capacity goes to putting on an event because the time Yeah. And then you have nothing left in you to do the more important fund-raising. Like, if you’ve done all other fund-raising strategies and you still have a ton of time and energy on your hand, do an event. But if you haven’t just, like, try not to do that event, try to stop doing it trying to do any other fund-raising strategy event. Also, a lot of times you have tio, um, defeat on argument by a boardmember. Yeah, that events. You know, I just went to this great gala, and they raised two and a half million dollars. Yeah. Okay. Well, so what size organization was that? Did they have entertainment that cost him three hundred fifty thousand dollars? You know, to get to get Don Henley on stage or something. Oh, are the Eagles, you know? So Don Henley here’s the Eagles. Okay, so you know, board members often come with these gala ideas because they just played, and they just they just played in a golf tournament. Or they were just at this lovely event at a restaurant. Is it? You have to help your board members recognize that you likely don’t have the capacity to produce the event that they’re trying to get you to do and then want something you might do is ask them to chair it, right? Exactly. And the event that they went to probably didn’t actually like after expenses. Probably right. And sometimes people think just about you know what they netted at, you know, based of costs, but put on that event, but they forget to calculate that it took, like, one of their employees full time work for three to six months. So you factor in there that salary chances are you’re taking a loss, and a part of the argument is, but think of all the people will bring. We get hundreds of people thinking about us and giving to us. Whoa, Thinking about us? Yeah, they’re thinking about you that night giving to you. That’s a big stretch. That’s a huge stretch, and there’s enormous follow-up That has to happen. And notoriously, event attendees who came because they’re friends invited them are unlikely to become long term sustainers for you. They were happy to do that. They were happy to buy the fifty dollar table or the fifty dollars seat with a two hundred fifty dollars ticket, whatever it was. But beyond that, it takes a lot of cultivation to get them to become close to you that they give beyond the annual event. So don’t let your whoever espousing this this great gal idea talk you into the idea that every everybody who comes is going to become a major donor instantly. It does not happen. There’s enormous cultivation and has to take place after that event. In fact, you know a pivot ground. We don’t really focus on fund-raising that much in a lot of people who come to me with, like we need to do fund-raising I say, Okay, well, what’s your capacity to like, manage donors like, Are you able to follow-up donor follow-up with donors? Do you have somebody who can like put together a fund-raising strategy. No, you need to do that for because there were these hundreds of people who come right reportedly come to this event exam you have No, you have no capacity to fall to do the follow up. Right. And for small non-profits out there, you know your thing thinking like, Oh, I need to do my end of your fund-raising letter. Ask yourself first, Do you have a list of people to send it to? No, but don’t worry about the letter. Move on to an activity you can do Move on to list building host a friend raiser host a holiday party that costs you almost nothing. Get some contacts on your list. Someone someone’s home, right? I love small events are great Hold that thought will come back to get take our last break text to give Talk about email many courses. Sarah was talking about the drip campaign. The five part email Many course debunking five myths. Do you think text donations have to go through a phone bill? And so they take ninety days to collect? No, not true. Doesn’t have to be that way. Do you think there are high startup costs? No, not so. There’s a lot of misinformation around. Text e-giving. You can raise more money, get the email many course from text to give you text. NPR to four, four, four nine nine nine, five Emails. Okay, We’ve got several more minutes for this encouragement show. All right, sometimes, as just now happens, as sometimes happens, I forgot what we were just talking about many events, but I’d love to talk about our pieces in the buying process, wake and finish up with many of them. That something? Yeah. In someone’s home. Right. Deal. This is ideal for the boardmember. Who says I hate fund-raising? Okay, you can help us. Friendraising you can bring some people will bring some of the some people to you’re not only responsible, but we’re gonna have We’re going twelve or fifteen people on DH. There’s going to be a short presentation by me. The CEO on We’re going toe that, you know, that’s something manageable, right? Weaken follow-up with twelve or twenty people. Exactly. And it should cost you roughly nothing. Like usually, like you get a host who has a nice house and we’ll buy dinner and, you know, make dinner you get. Maybe someone else donates the wine. Or you might have a host told Burghdoff grantmaking dinner. Exactly record make dinner or Kate or whatever their level is, there’s lots of people who would host a dinner for eight to twelve people in their homes. You know, you somebody from your organization, a couple boardmember show up and then you just have to Between your organization and the hosts contact list, you invite a small group of people and those can have fantastic turnout’s a great way to spend money and energy that you spend money. But spend energy. Yes, not so much money. Right? So eight to twelve. You could cook for that. But I was thinking, like, twenty might want to cater that right? Exactly. And it all depends on what your resource is air like. Who’s you know who’s house? It’s at what you’ve got. What you waiting get to think about. These cultivate small cultivation events, right? Much, much more manageable in terms of both front end and the follow-up. After that, what’s your point? Right? And you’ve got a follow-up after the event, and you know you really want to focus on that moment. That the donation is given and then expanded out from both ends. What happens? What’s their experience after they gave their donation? And what’s their experience just before? So a lot of people focus on making a great experience so that somebody gives them the donation. But then they forget about the follow-up after somebody gives, which is just a CZ important because you want them to give again and tell their friends that was great. That was the, uh, what What about the donor journey that pursuant as they have a whole, they have, ah, resource on this demystifying the donor experience. It’s exactly what, at twenty dollars slash pursuit with a Capital P. It’s exactly what you’re talking about. That donor journey mapping the experience out exactly. Exactly. It’s really important. Another tip I have for people is, you know, if you have a website, you can probably make a unique donation landing page for each of your board members. That way, when they go out and start soliciting their personal contacts to say, Hey, would you give to my organization? They can send them to a landing page. It’s like This is the donation page for my organization. But it’s got, like, as if I’m the boardmember. It’s got my name and picture on it and what my pitches to most of my friends and that way I know that when I give my friends and I’m asking him to make a contribution when they do, they’re having an experience that’s connected to me and that I know what that experience is going to be. And then for the organization, you know, exactly like you could give me credit as a boardmember, you know, you’ll know whence one of my contacts makes a donation because they came through my painting at the organization’s all trackable personalized boardmember landing page. Yeah, yeah, simple, even a short shit that you like for landing pages. I’m not particularly, you know, we do website, so we actually usually build them in the in the site itself. Um, and otherwise, you know, lead pages. Oftentimes if it’s a donation page, Whatever tool you’re using to list your pages, this is an area where it can get kind of complicated for non-profits picking the right tech stack we call it. That means the tools you’re going to use that all work together, so But yeah, there’s no specific recommendations. Really matter what you have already in places where you need to bring in experts in this, that is the moment. Like private group. Yeah. Pivot ground. That’s right. All right, so there was something we just have, like two minutes or so left you lying process, You know, r r f. P s and the buying process. You know, I think a lot of non-profits rely too heavily on our piece. Like our peace, Our good. Ifyou’re like, we have plans for building and we’re now going to build the building, we need a contractor doing R F P. But you don’t need an r f P for everything. And especially if you’re going to get, like, expert advice or have your situation assessed, You don’t need an r F. Pierre, you don’t need a complicated r f P. It could be like, What are you selling and what’s your process? Or maybe it’s like rather than rpm, it’s an announcement. Like it doesn’t have to be this giant document like, Hey, we’re hiring for this. Come, tell us if you if you solve this problem. And another thing is you, when you make complicated R F P is especially no in the marketing space. Like most good marketers, I know good Web people. They won’t respond to our I’ve had guests on the show talking about the R F P process for tech. Protect provoc. You’re going to get the bottom of the barrel. They won’t respect. You have to intensive. So if you can avoid it at all, costs like don’t do are of peace for tech projects. And then I think another thing is I’ve come across this concept that doesn’t I don’t understand of non-profits thinking, we have to be fair in who were hiring. And I think that this comes from like, we don’t want to be corrupt or we don’t want to, you know, have a conflict of interest that causes us to hire someone out of favoritism. But and you should make sure, though instead that you’re getting the best value for your non-profit. Don’t get this fairness. What do you mean? I heard it a lot like, Oh, well, we just left. Sure. So here’s a great one. We can’t hire someone who’s on our board. Who’s an expert in this because they’re on our board, and it wouldn’t be fair. They already know what the project is. And that’s just silly. I think people get confused about conflict of interest versus confluence ditigal hyre them, they become an employee, and then they shouldn’t. Probably they should not be on your board anymore as an employee, but but they could still be some kind of. Now you’ve got their expertise, right? Or if they offer a service, you know, you know, they shouldn’t be the only one. You asked for it, but chances are, if your board members a professional, I’m sure if you were on a board, you would give your services at that. Probably a better rate than anybody else would. Well, so you know this process of going out and getting a few quotes on something that’s great. But the purpose is to get the best value for your organization. Not to be fair to all the people out there. We’re gonna leave it. There grayce Sarah Olivieri. You’ll find her at She’s at Pivot Ground and the company’s pivot ground dotcom. Thank you very much. Thank you. It was a great conversation. Thank you. Next week, there’s no show. The week after that, there’s no show, no show. For the next two weeks. We’ll be back on January fourth. I hope you enjoy the hell out of your holidays. Take time for it. Make time for yourself. Don’t just look to find it. Make time for yourself some quiet time over the holidays. Enjoy the hell out of it. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you. Find it on tony martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by pursuant online tools for small and midsize non-profits data driven and technology enabled Tony dahna slash Pursuant Capital P Wet Nurse Oppa is guiding you beyond the numbers when you’re cps dot com. Bye. Tell us credit card in payment processing, Processing your passive revenue stream. Tony dahna slash Tony Tell us and by text to give mobile donations made easy text. NPR to four four four nine nine nine A creative producer is clear. Myer, huh? Chris Gutierrez is today’s line. Producer shows Social Media Is by Susan Chavez Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this cool music is by Scott Steiner. Brooklyn. You with me next week for Non-profit radio Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Go out and be great. What? Great. Go. You’re listening to the talking alternative network e-giving. Xero cubine you are listening to the talking alternative network. Are you stuck in a rut? 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