Tag Archives: Esther Choy

Nonprofit Radio for May 17, 2021: Your Partnerships With FGWs

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Esther Choy: Your Partnerships With FGWs

First Generation Wealth creators have different values and mindsets than those who inherited their wealth. And FGWs far outnumber the inheritors. Esther Choy’s research will help you understand these folks and how to build valuable relationships with them. She’s president of Leadership Story Lab.

 

 

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[00:00:10.64] spk_2:
Hello and welcome

[00:01:47.84] spk_1:
To Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast and I’m glad you’re with me, I’d suffer with lateral epic and colitis if you gave me the elbow and told me you missed this week’s show your partnerships with F G W s first generation wealth creators have different values and mindsets than those who inherited their wealth and F GWS far outnumber the inheritors Esther choice research will help you understand these folks and how to build valuable relationships with them. She’s President of Leadership Story lab and tony state too, in praise of donors like my dad, we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C O. It’s a pleasure to welcome to nonprofit radio Esther choi she is President and Chief story facilitator at leadership Story Lab, teaching storytelling to institutional and individual clients or searching for more meaningful ways to connect with their audiences. She’s a contributor for Forbes Leadership Strategy Group and you may have seen her quoted in leading media outlets like the new york Times and entrepreneur dot com. Her practice is at leader Story lab and leadership Story lab dot com. Mr choi welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:01:50.29] spk_0:
Thank you so much for having me.

[00:02:06.24] spk_1:
It’s a real pleasure. Welcome. Um you you have you have some new research out that we need to, we need to talk about transforming partnerships with major donors. What are, let’s let’s just jump right in and why don’t you explain what F. G. W. Folks are? And uh tell us a little about your research that you did with these F. G. W folks

[00:03:57.54] spk_0:
sgw folks? Well, I recently published as a research report um and lucky enough to have a really, really good exposure, such as the one you mentioned in the new york times. And uh, there are a lot of surprises about the folks that we generally in the broader society, just just overly sort of broad and call them the rich people or the wealthy folks or the high net worth individual or the ultra high net worth individuals as if they all belonged in this model is a group that they all think act believe in the same way. And so I got curious about them after I’ve taught uh, in this major gift strategy program at Kellogg for awhile, wondering why are these people so hard to get What, uh, because so many nonprofits is doing amazing and moving and important and urgent work that no one else is doing. So why is it so hard to reach them? So I dug further end. Uh, did a lot of homework and I interviewed 20 very, um there are ultra high network folks and I just ask some questions about how did they get you their wealth? What is it like? Um are there any downsides too well having wealth and so on and so forth, and focusing on philanthropy. Um so this report, I can talk about anyone number of ways. So you tell me, what do you, what do you want to most learn about these first generation wealth creators? Well, let’s

[00:04:01.27] spk_1:
let’s start with how big a proportion they are of the of the wealthy,

[00:05:24.64] spk_0:
wow, I am glad you start. That’s the starting point. Um that’s one of the biggest surprises that I’ve learned because they are At least 68 Of the, this massive group that we call wealthy, ultra high net worth. They are at least 68 of them earn their wealth instead of inherited. That’s a big, big difference between inherited wealth versus earned wealth and that means they’ve traveled a entire social economic class That they did not grow up with. And so some of them, very few of them really make the majority of their wealth in their thirties or even 40s. Most of them are in their 50s and 60s. So we’re talking about full on grown adults with Children and maybe even grandchildren by the time they become um this wealthy. So it’s a very interesting transformation of your life, your community, your social circles, the things that you worry about Or not worry about all happen around starting from the point of 50s and 60s.

[00:05:42.34] spk_1:
All right, So, so they’re at least two thirds, but maybe even a little more than two thirds of all the, all the wealthy folks. The way we would describe as you’re saying, high net worth, Ultra high net worth. These are these are 2/3 of those folks,

[00:05:46.24] spk_0:
correct at least. And it’s actually you

[00:05:49.01] spk_1:
said 68%.

[00:05:51.10] spk_0:
68%. I picked the most conservative number, but I’ve read elsewhere too. And put that to um somewhere 80,

[00:06:14.44] spk_1:
80%. Okay. Alright. 800. And and everybody you interviewed is first generation wealth. That’s that’s where your research was correct on those folks. Okay. So let’s get to know them a little bit. Um, your research has uh, a nice chart. I like, I like pictures of the first thing I look for in books and pictures. Uh, simple, simple. You’re you’re burdened with the host with a simple mind. Um, but you do have these, these pillars of wealth generation. So let’s describe these folks, not, not not all three. I mean, people are just gonna have to get the research, you know, I’m not going to quiz you, I’m not quizzing you on block number four in line three on the no we’re not doing that. I don’t want to go like word by word because people got to get the research. Which which is that? Leadership story lab dot com. Right.

[00:06:47.04] spk_0:
Alright, okay. You can download,

[00:07:07.34] spk_1:
yeah, there’s an executive summary and you can download the full report as well. Right? So leadership Story lab dot com for the full thing, for the full, for the full study. Um But let’s get to know these folks a little bit these these first generation wealth creators. Um you start by saying they’re understated. There may be even humble, are they are they to the point of being humble and modest,

[00:08:01.84] spk_0:
humble and modest and they have a hard time. They have a hard time with the, with the word wealthy, they understand the size of their assets, They understand um what they are capable of affording, which is basically anything, but they have a hard time with the label wealthy and um they oftentimes think of in regard and never really left their middle class roots and that’s the majority of them come from very middle class, you know, they don’t want to be flashy, nor did they enjoy flashy things that attract attention. So um you know, make no mistake, they are part of things that are very um you know, shiny and, and sophisticated and, and high quality, but it’s not who they are inside. So that’s one thing to keep in mind is that they are very understated themselves and they often appreciate other people as well as other things that are understated.

[00:08:31.64] spk_1:
You make the point a couple of times of saying that they don’t they don’t identify themselves as wealthy even though they know that they fit into that category, correct? Okay. Um so you sat down and you you met these folks, you, well maybe not face to face, but you you spoke with these people or couples or how did how did that all work?

[00:09:12.34] spk_0:
Yeah, So I did all the interviews with in partnership with the research firm And it’s all done virtually because it was done in 2020. Um There was one noted exception um where I was invited to her home uh and I met all her kids and her husband’s and you know, it’s just like the whole family in the background and it’s kind of funny to talk about her family while her family was around, but for the most part it was done um through zoom One through calls and then um there are four people, so two couples. Um I interviewed them at the same time together and uh the length just got doubled. Um you know, it’s usually 50, 50 minutes to an hour and with a couple um we talked for over an hour and a half.

[00:09:34.84] spk_1:
All right. All right. How do you, I’m interested in some of the details. How do you reach out to these folks? How do you, how do you get their

[00:10:58.44] spk_0:
attention? It’s really hard. So the first thing we mentioned um in one of the four pillars is their understated right? They don’t identify with the word wealthy. They certainly don’t make big advertisement to the world that they are wealthy. And so to find them and to get them to agree to speak on record, although it’s anonymous. Um and to get them to open up and talk about money and wealth. It’s really hard so I have to rely on a couple of key relationships. Um One is through one of my alma Mata um texas A. And M. University. And my friend and colleague, the ceo of texas A. And M. Foundation help me recruit a few quite a few of these interviewees. Uh My business partner who also happens to be a uh trustee at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati foundations and um through a couple of my own resources as well as my research firms. So 20 for qualitative studies is you know, sufficient. It’s definitely not a lot. 20 people doesn’t sound like a lot but 20 of these type of people and get them to talk about very sensitive topic. Um was it took quite a bit just to get them to agree to talk to me.

[00:11:13.64] spk_1:
Go. Aggies.

[00:11:14.34] spk_0:
Thank

[00:11:18.54] spk_1:
you. Absolutely. Um And what was the median income for these 20 folks families?

[00:12:25.64] spk_0:
So um at this point I don’t think their income is very meaningful any anymore. So where I am uh by median I would refer to their uh their their networks. So the net worth the median range is 50 to 80 million. Um Although um the low I would put it in the low teens, the highs I would put them in 100 and 50 just give you give you give our listeners a sense as well of what we’re talking about like by Well you know millions is like a lot of Zeros. You know at some point it’s just like my mind can’t keep them all in one place. Um according to the Fed in 2020 the top one of the U. S. Um Folks have 11 million. So these are all um uh you know sort of the top 1%. Er And um

[00:12:35.44] spk_1:
If for the one even right right mid teens to 50 or so was was roughly the median net worth.

[00:13:07.24] spk_0:
Exactly exactly. But then if you think about the one of 300 million people in the us That’s three million 3 million people. And that is about the size. If you put them all in one city all in one location there just below new york city, just below new york, just below Los Angeles but just above the city of Chicago. Mm So three million people. That’s a lot of people.

[00:13:27.04] spk_1:
Okay. And And you estimate conservatively that of those 3,068 our first generation they earn their wealth versus inherited. Okay. All right let’s go back to get to know these folks a little bit um uh their entrepreneurial, no surprise but tell us what, what does that mean for the way they think about themselves and the way they might think about uh, their philanthropy.

[00:15:37.94] spk_0:
Yeah, so in the most literal sense, they are were entrepreneurs. That’s how they created, most of them created their wealth and with a few um less than 20 of them had a very lucrative corporate careers. And entrepreneurs also means that it’s a mindset, it’s the lenses in which they apply all things through. Um So it could be the way um that they would like their Children or grandchildren to approach um you know, if I wanted to study abroad even um and you know, I need additional funding. Well, how much you think about it as what untapped opportunities might there be out there for you in this country that you want to study, but it’s not currently fully leveraged. Um but entrepreneurial could also means to, as they think about non profit, as they really think about how they want to leave their social impact and how they want to fully make sure that their philanthropic dollar is put to good use that also applied and, um, compatible with their middle class values. So, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s up and down side, right? Um, sometimes something just can’t be measured. Sometimes nonprofits are run by people who are philanthropic reminded and socially minded and they don’t necessarily have the same sort of business acumen as, as, as well as, um, fear competitiveness, um, that these donors tend to have an embody. And so the downside of having that entrepreneurial mindset is that sometimes it creates clashes. And if, you know, at the very least disagreements on, is this really the best use of the precious dollars that your organizations have? Um, sometimes there’s no straight black and white answer yes and no. Um So um that’s what I mean by entrepreneurial

[00:15:52.04] spk_1:
And what else what comes next in those four

[00:16:03.84] spk_0:
pillars? So the third is free and I truly it seems like a very simple no nonsense and and and we’re like oh we live in a free society. But I think the truth of the matter is that a lot of people are not free, they are not free to pursue whatever they want, they are under certain professional career obligations or financial pressures

[00:16:22.84] spk_1:
and they are a lot of options.

[00:17:44.94] spk_0:
Yeah, exactly. And that’s why a lot of career counselors ask mid to even late career folks, you know, what would you do if money is not an issue? Right? I’ve heard that questions asked a lot in Korea counseling because a lot of people are under that pressure. But these F. G. W. S. They are not and for them it’s often times for the first time is, wow, now it’s not a theoretical questions anymore, I really don’t have to worry about money. Okay so now what what do we do? And so um a lot of them pursue experiences, a lot of them want the same thing for the Children and grandchildren. Um They uh pursued 3rd 4th 5th careers that they’ve always are interested, intrigued by, know that they’re not very good at and know that they probably may not may or may not be able to make a ton of money with. Um But they pursue it anyway, so it’s that sense of freedom. Um that I think a lot of people as long as they have to still worry about saving for retirement, saving for making sure you can pay your mortgage and things like that. It’s really hard to wrap your mind about. And then these folks are just sort of Mhm fully embracing,

[00:17:56.94] spk_1:
may want their Children to understand that having a wealth of options doesn’t just come, it comes from hard work and and devotion, which is what they devoted their decades too, so they want their Children understand that, that does just doesn’t just happen for everyone.

[00:19:40.94] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m glad you bring up Children across all 20 of them, even though the ages ranges from Late 40s to a few 80s, um they all worry about their kids even though their kids have all grown up or they have worry about their kids or have regrets about uh the way that they raised the ways that they pass on their assets uh to their kids. And the funny thing is that they did not tell me oh I have so and so um I really can confide in or I know these uh professional resources uh that I can go to and um all of them are just kind of like, I hope I’m doing the right thing. In fact, I know I haven’t done the right thing, but then talking to piers surprisingly was not an option across any of them. And so although they’re free, but this taboo topic of money and wealth have prevented them from really searching for the right answers at the time when decisions had to be made. So Children, it’s a constant universal worries, especially for people with wealth. Um, we’ve seen from studies after studies that for example, substance abuse tend to affect um, Children from families with means disproportionately higher than those who are not from a family with means.

[00:20:45.54] spk_1:
I wonder if there’s some tension for them because they’re not comfortable talking to those who inherited their wealth or even just other wealthy people because they don’t they don’t identify that way, but then they’re not comfortable talking to those folks that they knew when they were struggling in their careers and before they’re they’re great success there, great financial success will qualify that because success can take lots of, have lots of different levels to it, but before the great financial success, because they, like, they don’t want to, they don’t want to appear overbearing to their non wealthy friends who they know from high school and college and, you know, maybe professional school or you know, whatever. Uh so there they, like, caught in the middle, like, they don’t have valuable personal relationships to, to leverage and count on in in in times like when they’re questioning what, what to do with Children and, you know, sort of existential questions like that.

[00:22:44.14] spk_0:
Yeah, so this is another downside of being entrepreneur. Um another way to call someone very entrepreneur is what, you know, he’s he has a can do spirit, she has a can do spirit. So if you can do, you can do it yourself, you don’t need to count on other people to help you, you can pull yourself up by the boot strap. So uh that’s one and two is again, the subject of wealth, it tends to be taboo. Um in fact, the broken institute economist Isabel Saw Hill made this really app as observation and she said that people rather talked about sex than money and money than class. So first generational wealth creators have travel across classes and so that makes it really hard for them to say, you know, I don’t know what’s the right way if we do, if we travel, is it wrong for us to buy business class or first class and what are your middle class friends going to say? Poor tony poor Esther you’re struggling with questions like should you travel in business versus first class and it’s not something that a lot of people, first of all empathize with, and second of all have the right context to give sound councils and what about professional um coaches and um counselors and whatnot? I didn’t actually covered in the report, I chose to exclude it and just in the in favor of focusing on nonprofit and fundraising. But their experience with uh wealth management advisors are very mixed because it’s an industry that has a lot of conflict of interest. There are some really, really good

[00:23:04.54] spk_1:
let us in on something that didn’t make the report, this is great not profit radio you gotta let us in on the, on the, on the back story. What? Say a little more about these, the trouble they’ve had the mixed results, mixed results, I’m sure some have been, some results were fine, some relationships are fine, but so a little more about what didn’t make the final report there.

[00:24:40.84] spk_0:
Um I cut a whole section of just because I think it might be detrimental to getting people to read it when it’s beyond a certain length. So this whole section that I cut off was on um, how they view advisors, um, counselors and things like that. And indeed, you know, uh, two words to describe the entire section is that it’s very mixed. Um, some have great experience, some on the other end of the extreme is um, they thought the people they interacted with is just uh, the advice weren’t very good or too obvious or that again, they can do it themselves. Why do I need to pay you so much money to tell me something I know already. And uh, and, and by the way, that is somewhat parallel to their experience with uh, fundraisers. So I don’t want to just put the hammer on uh, wild advisors and and and um, tax advisers and whatnot. Um, because this idea that, oh, we know you’re wealthy, we know what you can do with your money, either for the benefit of yourself as well as for me or my organizations. That really changed the dynamic of the conversations as well as the services, how services rendered and that’s to their relative to their expectations. Um, so that’s why it’s not very helpful I think just to come off and um list a bunch of things that they’re not happy with without being able to say what would be helpful. So I just removed the whole section and also in favorite of keeping it readable length.

[00:32:20.44] spk_1:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. You remember them, you’ve been hearing about them, the biden tax plan, the infrastructure plan, immigration. Is there anything in there in these continuing conversations that you’d like to be heard on? Anything in their impacting your work? Anything in there that you’re expert on and you need to be heard. You want to be a trusted source on something that’s under constant conversation and it’s in the press turn to has the relationships that can make that happen. They are a trusted source by lots of media outlets. They can get you heard on the subjects that you know best and that your expert on let them use their relationships to help you because your story is their mission. Turn life into dot C. O. It’s time for Tony’s take two In praise of donors like my dad. My dad is 88 years old and he gives to dozens of nonprofits a month. I have seen the checks that he writes now, 88 years old. So you know, he’s not doing online giving, he’s not doing online bill paying. He writes cheques for those of you not acquainted with checks. They come with check registers. That’s a little booklet that you can write all your checks in. So you can reconcile month after month, right? It’s an old process, but For an 88 year old, it’s the way it gets done. He’s outgrown check registers. He writes so many checks to charities each month that he just keeps a running list on sheets of paper. And there are so many check entries on each sheet that the sheets are curling up a little bit. When the sheet is complete, it’s almost like parchment. It’s curled up a little bit because there’s three columns Of checks in on each page. I don’t mean each check takes up three columns. I mean there are three columns of checks on an 8.5 by 11 page. He’s got a he’s got the check number, his own abbreviation of the name of the charity and then the amount and uh, he’s got the date, it’s got the date in there too. And so that’s how he reconciles. Uh, so yeah, dozens of checks to charities per month that, you know, that’s a kind of giving that I only and experience with through him because I do plan to giving, which is on the other end of the spectrum of giving. Um, he certainly doesn’t consider himself a philanthropist, but he’s very, very supportive of charities and and how does he choose the ones? Well, first of all they find him, I don’t know how the list exchanges or sales work, but charities come to him. So they send him U. S. Mail. He’s got no email, he’s got no cell phone. Um We’ll get to vetting in a second. So charities right to him. And he read the materials he scrutinizes, he decides whether he thinks the work is merits, his giving and something that he wants to give to, something he’s interested in. And then he goes to the Better Business Bureau. Why is giving alliance report on charities? And why does he choose that one? Because it’s in print, there’s no going online to charity navigator or any other rating service. Uh, that’s online. He goes to the print the booklet. So Better Business Bureau and if he likes your work and you’re listed in the Better Business Bureau, giving booklet rated well in there. Then he writes a check and you probably, these charities are writing to him again a month later and there’s a good chance he’s writing a check a month later, et cetera. It’s a very iterative process. There’s no real learning that goes on. I can’t say there’s a feedback and improvement part to the iterations. But, uh, the cycle continues. You know, we need people like that. These small donors. That’s a, you know, some people prefer to say modest donors. I’m not commenting on my dad’s or anyone else’s character. When I say small donors, it doesn’t mean that he’s a small person. Just he gives small gifts. So I avoid the euphemism, I just say he’s a small donor. We need small donors like this. You know, they he’s loyal. Once you, once you meet his threshold and it’s not very high what I described, then you’ve got him for a long time. Don’t try to upgrade him though. He’s not going to become a major donor and he’s not gonna put you in his will. I’ll see that that part. So forget the planned gift. That’s not happening. No, but he’s not, he doesn’t think that way. He’s never gone deeper with any charity that he gives to the way I’m describing. We need folks like that. We need the, uh, $10, $15 $20 donors. And in some respects, he’s a recurring donor. I mean, he is a recurring donor. He’s just is not part of your monthly recurring program that’s set up automatic, you know, the automatic debits credits. Um, he’s not, he’s not one of those, but he’s he’s a recurring donor. So in praise of donors, like my dad, it’s very interesting to watch him. We’ve talked about his process. Yeah, We need folks like that. And here we are talking about future, um, or wealthy, wealthy folks. I’m sorry, first generation wealth. Here we are talking about. And my dad, is that the, well, these folks, I would put plan giving at the far end of the spectrum. So these folks are near there, but my dad’s at the, on the left side of the spectrum. We need them all. We need all these donors. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for your partnership with F. G. W. S. All right. Finally, these folks are lone rangers. What does that

[00:35:39.44] spk_0:
mean? Um, we touch upon it a little bit where we, um, you know, they are part of this new class of wealth. They’re like immigrants in some way. By the way, I really wanted to recommend a few books, uh, not just mine, um, that really helped me round out my understanding. So this whole idea of um, think of first generation wealth creators as immigrants. Um, they have migrated from a different class altogether and enter into this world where the beliefs, um, the values and oftentimes even language, um, or foreign to them and although it’s great, this is paradise. Um, they often find that there are tricky conditions. Some even would say because their native born Children and grandchildren, um, don’t understand the privileged privileges that they were born and then we’ve gotten accustomed to you. Um, and the cliche or the adage or however you wanna wanna wanna call it shirtsleeves, to shirtsleeves, rice paddies to rice patties, wealth does not last past three generations and they know that. And so when you think about this special Land of Paradise again, by the way, this is uh, I learned it through the book called uh strangers in Paradise by James Grubman. Um, their need of born Children and a grandchildren, statistically speaking, will be deported back to harsher land where the first generation have migrated from. And um, and here’s the kick tony I, I just, I just found it fascinating and this is why I can talk about this, you know, forever and ever mismanagement of their wealth, taxes and inflations and bad investments. All of those are more just the natural delusions from, you know, the couple, two Children, two grandchildren, right? All of those reasons are reasons for wealth, not being able to last past three generations, but you will probably, I’ve never found anyone cases for example, or family where the story basically is, well, grandpa and grandma gave it all the way to charity and left nothing to us. That’s why we’re poor again, you know, that just doesn’t happen. And so what my I think what I really want to focus on, I think the opportunities for non profit is that what might there be an um different way to think about the conversations that you have with these donors where you help them solve a problem or maybe many problems and then you also help yourself um solved the problem. By the way, I’m getting like, way, way, wait, this is a problem when you we have no script. I’m getting like way away from the lone ranger questions. I’m going to bring

[00:35:49.36] spk_1:
you back, but I

[00:35:51.31] spk_0:
but I think I’m getting to the whole

[00:35:58.84] spk_1:
profit radio No, no, you’re not. You’re, what you’re saying is still valuable. Don’t don’t 2nd guess yourself. What

[00:36:34.33] spk_0:
I’m, what I’m getting at is that it’s lonely to be first general. It can be lonely to be a first generation immigrant. Mhm. Except that most immigrants have somehow found other immigrants and they talked, they share notes that commiserates, they help each other out. But um, first generation wealth creators are particular type of immigrants where for all the reasons that we’ve talked about, they don’t actively look for help nor was real quality help readily available.

[00:37:15.83] spk_1:
Okay, interesting, really fascinating analogy analogizing them to immigrants. Um, did you, did you put any of them together uh, since you met 20 of them and got to know them? So these folks that are, uh, feeling loan, feeling loan, I don’t know, lonely, I’m just using what I’m not saying, they’re lonely in their lives. Maybe they are, but they’re lone rangers. Did you, did you put any of these folks together? Say look, you know, I met I met so and so like two or three weeks ago. And she was saying the same thing that you’re saying, you know, one of the two of you talk or would you be interested? You know, did you put any folks together to help them? Uh commiserating at least maybe even help. Maybe at best help each other.

[00:37:21.08] spk_0:
I

[00:37:23.32] spk_1:
think I

[00:37:44.63] spk_0:
Would I would if I were asked, but with these 20, because of the promise of confidentiality, um, I don’t share their names or contact with anyone, but um, I have done webinars since then where I was asked. So how do you find these people? And then if if they asked me then I will help.

[00:37:49.37] spk_1:
Okay. Okay, well I’m like a connector. So I was thinking, you know, if I could get her permission, would you like to talk to her? Because the two of you are saying things that are really identical and maybe together, you could help each other

[00:39:15.72] spk_0:
as well as having very similar questions. And this is where I was getting at the opportunity part because they’ve asked questions like how much and when should I pass my asset to my kids and grandkids, It’s dealt with by, um, with wealth advisors on a very case by case basis. And I think that should be, that’s the way it should be done. But what’s really sorely missing is how do other families handle this right to your questions of? Well, there are other people like me, what do they do? Because they’re in my boat? Um, so as well as questions like how do I get in sync with my spouse? Um, and then they also have questions on like, how do you truly vet? um, a non, a non for profit, you know, and how do you help? Not my, you know, the nonprofits that you support become more efficient and they are aware that not coming off as because I’m a donor, I give money and um, you should do what I tell you to do. Um, things like that, you know, that productive relationship with nonprofits. So there are endless questions like this that they can talk about, not just commiserated, although commiserating is great too.

[00:39:49.42] spk_1:
All right. I don’t know. I think you could be a connector, a major connector. Um, and I notice I’ll leave that there. Uh, but you know, the title of your research is transforming partnerships with major donors. So, so let’s let’s let’s transition to some of those opportunities. You talked about problem solving that could be mutually beneficial. How do I would’ve fundraiser ceo approach someone with that with that kind of opportunity?

[00:39:59.62] spk_0:
Yeah, so I want to break it down to three steps. I want to break one,

[00:40:00.91] spk_1:
2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 3 step process. Okay.

[00:40:03.92] spk_0:
Yeah. Well, yeah, okay, you can call it a three step sauces,

[00:40:07.35] spk_1:
but I didn’t invent it, you made it

[00:42:35.30] spk_0:
up. I think the first thing is you have to really think about the questions you ask them and uh, oftentimes, how curious how respectful for how informed you are are all set out by the kind of questions you asked? Are your questions mostly really at the end of that they self serving. Um or are you only focusing on a very narrow aspects of the donors? Um or are you really broadly interested in problem solving? Now, here’s another thing that entrepreneurs like to do, they like to solve problems and oftentimes they take the same mindset towards non profit Am I really giving to an organizations that are going to solve real major problems in assisting for sustainable way. Um, so that’s the first thing is the questions that you ask And then two is reading once you really find out about uh, you know, what you could learn from the donors, is that really being able to pair what your nonprofits have to offer and that structure in a way as well as well as frame it in a way that, uh, fits the mindset of, well, oftentimes the folks are very busy, they know they need to do something, but they’re very busy. So, um, how is it, uh, how do you make it easy for them? In other words? And then, um, the last thing I would say is, um, it would how do you acknowledge them? Right. Um, it sounds really obvious, right? You know, their stewardship program, there are people will involve in thanking donors. But what I’ve found is that people found, uh, people thought there’s not enough thank you or there’s too much thank you. And they’re not thank through the right medium. And so, Uh, we’re not talking about, you know, $10 $20 where there may be hundreds and thousands of them and you can’t manage them one by one and customized it. But with major donors, it’s absolutely worth it to make sure that is customized to their preferences needs. So questions, the way that you frame as well as the acknowledgment part

[00:43:38.80] spk_1:
and the acknowledgement of the stewardship is interesting. Um, you say somewhere that they, these folks have a hard time understanding, uh, the name on a building. You know, why that why people find that appealing? Why some donors find that appealing? So, so a brick and mortar in fundraising was a brick and mortar recognition would not necessarily be appealing to them. But finding out what is appealing comes from, you know, maybe this, this three steps is sort of iterative, right? And if you’re starting to get near, uh, near something promising, you want to, you want to be finding out to about what they would like in terms of acknowledgement. Yeah. How would you like to be recognized what’s important to you?

[00:43:42.92] spk_0:
So I have a friend of mine who advised nonprofits with operations like this. And um, she helped one of them. She said, you know what, why don’t you just want to just ask?

[00:43:57.37] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:45:25.09] spk_0:
Uh huh. So he did, he created a survey through surveymonkey and you know, they have more than a handful so they can’t just call them up and ask them individually. So, um, he created a survey and he got over 70 response rate, which is really, really good, right? If you’re for for survey. And um, so the survey basically center around 33 things. Um, how would you like to be think? How often would you like to be think and through which medium do you most prefer to be think? And it’s not only do they have really good a feedback, but it’s such a positive gesture from the non profit to the donors saying, hey, we actually admit we don’t know, but we care and we should, we know what we don’t know and we care and now we really would like to learn more from our donors And that truly is a practical, helpful, informative donor centric step to take. And by the way, her name is Lisa Greer. She also has a incredibly helpful book called philanthropy revolutions. So it’s a mixed of, um, it’s a mix of memoir, it’s a mix of research because she told her story, but she also has interviewed over 100 principal gift level donors and um, and uh, and the last mix of how to. So it’s super helpful.

[00:45:41.44] spk_1:
How does lisa spell her last

[00:45:45.69] spk_0:
name? G R E R lisa Greer.

[00:45:54.79] spk_1:
What else? What else can you tell us Esther that uh, in terms of approaching these folks? Um, how about you get, I have a question for a little more specific question. How about you get their attention?

[00:49:04.47] spk_0:
Yeah, I know, um, getting the first meeting, it’s like 50 or 60 or, I don’t know, 70 of the work just being able to get in the call. Um, I think everything matters in the smallest amount of space, which is if you have no other ways to reach them. What do most people do? Emails and so make sure that your subject lined is the most attention grabbing as well as intriguing possible. Uh, way to, to get people’s attention by the way I have. I don’t know if I can memorize the four persona um, off the top of my head. Oh actually I do, I have it right in front of me. Um, my colleague scott more Dell. Um, he is the longest serving ceo of Waipio global young presidents organizations. So these are a lot of the highly concentrated, um first generation wealth around the world, 30,000 of them are around the world. Um, he actually put the their philanthropic tendencies in four ways. Um the idealist is the first one. Those are the ones that you want to make a true impact, long lasting impact. Soft societal problem. Another one is called the legacy Leader. Those are the one who really loves to leave, make sure they name last generations and generations that they are getting credit for the big impact that they made. The third one is called the model citizens and those are the ones that look around and understand what is the highest and highest of highest level of service and they want to be there and the philanthropic effort reflects that. And then the fourth one is called the busy bigwig. That’s the ones who are busy, extremely busy and yet they know they should do something but they don’t know what and how and so back to your questions of how do you get their attention? I think you should first by starting with having a point of view of Mhm. Of these four possibilities which one is this person most likely going to be. And then once you have a persona in mind, then is a lot easier for you to craft a message with the subject line that is most intriguing and attention grabbing for you. I get, despite what my clients and friends and colleagues know about me, I still get these extremely bland and generic um email messages that are, you know, if you just replace the logo of the nonprofits, I will fit anybody

[00:49:11.38] spk_1:
at

[00:49:35.07] spk_0:
all. And so, uh that would be the first thing I think about is have a persona in mind. Even if you’re wrong, it’s okay. Even if you’re wrong, at least you have a point of view about that person. But the upside is that Even if you’re not 100 right, just having the personal, that persona is going to help you speak to that person as if you know a lot about them already.

[00:49:49.87] spk_1:
Are you only really only going to get to them through an introduction or like somebody has to give you their email or I mean there’s not a directory of first generation wealth creators, is there? I know yours was obviously yours was anonymous, but because they’re a I don’t know is there a directory or

[00:50:00.81] spk_0:
something that I think that’s a really interesting question.

[00:50:04.75] spk_1:
Basic basic is what I major in

[00:51:01.96] spk_0:
basics. So really, really interesting question. I love the way you think about things. tony Um Not only is isn’t there one um they really know how to how to hide their wealth. You know, they believe in stealth wealth, not only because of the way they live their lives, but they know how to put things in all things in trust and so everything comes through a different name. And um data can help, um, the right kind of data can, uh, data enriching as well as data matching. Um, I don’t know a ton about it, but I know enough because there’s another company that I co founded that like, that’s all we do because in the old ways, how do you get names of donors? Okay. You ask your board, uh,

[00:51:20.56] spk_1:
that’s how you start. A small organization starts. But, um, but then now, I mean, now we have social media and you can have a campaign and see who gives to that. And then you then you do some research on those folks to see who, who might be, uh, have the capacity to do more. And then you expand your relationship even with the others who may not have capacity, but our willingness.

[00:51:22.66] spk_0:
But see, I I think there’s a lot in your current database that is not being fully utilized,

[00:52:05.85] spk_1:
that maybe for some folks. Yeah. And uh well, because we’re talking about stealth wealth. I mean, yeah, that’s that’s certainly possible. I mean, these these folks live modest, live modest means. I mean, Uh at least outward. Um I mean what, 20 years ago, there was the book the millionaire next door. I mean that’s essentially what we’re talking about this is there are more Zeros now and there are more of them. And we’re in a more financially mobile society now than we were 20 years ago. But the concept is the same that there are these hidden families of wealth that that are may very well be in your database. You know, then it was the millionaire next door now the millionaire in your the ultra high net worth in your database.

[00:53:26.15] spk_0:
Yeah. And when you, you know, go back to the questions, the way that you ask questions of when you have an opportunity to talk to a donor directly. As well as the way that you ask questions about your databases. Um That can really help you look for hit millionaires billionaires right in front of you were in front of your eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised that there are already uh but you aren’t you’re you’re not even aware that you’re pretty close when lisa and night um because of our share passion about this topic and she’s really doing it full time. I’m doing this. This is because This is my baby. Uh you know the first time she wanted to make a a principal gift um to her local hospital. Um she uh budget for $2 million dollars for her hospital and it took the hospital seven months to pay attention to her. And $2 million dollars isn’t a small amount for that hospital. It is definitely a major amount.

[00:53:57.95] spk_1:
But the latent, unconscious sexism, I’ve heard this from women. I do plan to giving fundraising, but I’ve heard this many times from women just ignored when they made explicit overtures. Not just subtle hints, but explicit overtures. You know, I want to do this. I want to remember the organization in my estate plan and, you know, ignored, repeatedly ignored. So, unfortunately, what you’re describing, your friend, lisa’s, uh, I don’t think it’s so uncommon.

[00:54:03.23] spk_0:
Yeah, I

[00:54:21.34] spk_1:
think it’s, I think there’s some, I think there’s just unconscious latent sexual, uh, not sexuality, sexism, uh, uh, in fundraising, it’s and money is left on the table as a result, died from the morality of the, uh, of the, of that that misunderstanding.

[00:54:41.64] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah. So, so it’s haven’t seen quantitative research on just how frequently that happened, but that’s leases from her research, from her personal experience from your experience. So I think there are actually plenty of money within reach of nonprofits that they probably have missed, but they didn’t know they have,

[00:55:25.64] spk_1:
we’re gonna leave it there, it’s perfect. Now you have opportunities and I know that our conversation has stimulated thinking about how to find these folks and how to transform your partnership with them Esther choi the research is transforming partnerships with major donors. I’ll give you the full title aligning the key values of first generation wealth creators and fundraisers in the age of winner takes all. You get the research at Leadership Story Lab dot com. That’s where Esther’s company is. Leadership Story Lab and also at Leader Story Lab, Esther choi I want to thank you very much.

[00:55:27.50] spk_0:
Thank you. This is such an invigorating conversation, thank you for the opportunity.

[00:55:47.64] spk_1:
Thanks for saying you’re glad that I asked you were one of the generous, generous guests. I’m glad you asked that I got, I got chills. Thank you Esther next week, overcome your fear of public speaking. If you missed any part of this week’s show,

[00:55:50.02] spk_0:
I beseech

[00:56:00.84] spk_1:
you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o

[00:56:03.44] spk_2:
Our creative producer is Clear. Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark

[00:56:08.57] spk_0:
Silverman is our web

[00:56:09.49] spk_1:
guy and this music

[00:56:13.74] spk_2:
is by scott Stein, mm hmm. Thank you for that information, Scotty be with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great.