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Nonprofit Radio for January 23, 2023: 2023 Fundraising Outlook

 

Sarah Sebastian & Steve Lausch2023 Fundraising Outlook

OneCause’s research study includes insights to help you benchmark, plan, prioritize and improve your nonprofit’s fundraising this year. From OneCause, Sarah Sebastian and Steve Lausch talk us through.

 

 

 

 

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[00:01:36.34] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me, I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of a fraser because I cannot bring myself to say the words you missed this week’s show 2023 fundraising outlook one causes research study includes insights to help you benchmark plan, prioritize and improve your nonprofits fundraising this year from one cause Sarah Sebastian and Steve Lauch talk us through on tony stake to webinars galore Here is 2023 fundraising outlook. It’s a pleasure to welcome to non profit radio steve Lauch and Sarah Sebastian both from one cause steve Lauch is director of product marketing at one cause where he brings 17 years of experience in automotive, retail, customer relationship management and marketing technology. Sarah Sebastian at one causes Director of corporate communications. She’s a marketer with eight years of experience in the nonprofit tech space. The company is at one cause and at one cause dot com steve Sarah welcome to non profit radio

[00:01:44.96] spk_1:
Good to be here with you Tony,

[00:01:46.85] spk_2:
thank you. It’s great to be here talking to you today, appreciate

[00:01:50.18] spk_0:
It. Pleasure to have both of you. Thank you and we’re talking about the 2023 fundraising outlook. Who’s the best person to talk about an overview of of this, of the study

[00:02:03.86] spk_2:
definitely.

[00:02:04.58] spk_0:
Okay, it’s unanimous

[00:02:25.75] spk_1:
dive in on that I mean this whole project has been such a great partnership with Sarah but as far as going back to the survey that that fuels the study, um, this, this was, I’d say I can dive in on that. So this is really the fifth year of developing the study into the size that it has been at one cause and the third year of releasing the data in such a way that it is served up in the annual fundraising outlook report. So getting some really great research in a rear view mirror and we’re excited to come out again this year with this report. Maybe to give a little bit more color as to what this report is about and how it works. Um,

[00:02:53.28] spk_0:
we kick

[00:02:53.88] spk_1:
it off every year tony at our annual conference. So the one cause raised conference and spends about a month in market where nonprofits are engaging and responding to the survey and this particular year, 890 nonprofits raise their hands and said, hey, we want to weigh in on this. So 890 voices from nonprofits,

[00:03:16.43] spk_0:
Let’s just call it 900,

[00:03:18.41] spk_1:
900

[00:03:20.48] spk_0:
900,

[00:03:52.42] spk_1:
900 all shapes, all sizes, all segments. We even did some really cool cross tabulation. Looking at annual operating revenue. I’m sure we’ll talk about that at some level. But you know, every year we ask ourselves as well, tony are we, are we getting the right voices. Are we getting the right um, inputs so that we’re capturing all the right information that is helpful to nonprofits and this year in particular, nearly 30% were executive directors, 31% Deb director Development VPs had a great voice from event directors and marketing professionals. So we really are getting the right voices. In fact, 81% of those who responded are involved in making a technology decision. They may even be the ones pulling the trigger on deciding how we’re going to move forward in the next year with technology to help drive our nonprofit mission. And a lot of that goes to fundraising as we’ll talk about.

[00:04:43.56] spk_0:
I also appreciate that the population is very much in line with with our listeners. You know, small and midsize shops. I see 48% have revenue of a million dollars or less. Annual, annual, your, your annual operating revenue a million dollars or less and 31%. So a third basically 350,000 or less.

[00:04:59.16] spk_1:
It is so important to to have the representation of that beautiful bride call at this broad base of the nonprofit world that is just those who are maybe just getting started in their garage or their bedroom or wherever they happen to be. But they have a passion for their mission and maybe those that are starting to add more and more volunteers. Perhaps that 1st, 2nd or third full time employee. But whatever it is, it is that beautiful broad base of the nonprofit world that we’re looking at

[00:06:15.87] spk_0:
11% were all volunteer. So just like a 10th or don’t even have full time employees. And I saw 49% have 10 full time employees or fewer, though perfectly in line with with our listeners. Now there are, there are large organizations represented over $50 million dollars in revenue. Um, if there are any of those folks listening, uh, let me know and I’ll shout you out because I bet I bet the list is small. Most of the vast, vast majority, vast, vast, overwhelming majority of our listeners are in small and mid size shop. So those are those who were, I’m channeling. Um, let’s define this. It was a little unusual to me the A. O. R. Which I look at as album oriented rock, but that’s because I work up, I was raised on rock and roll. So, but that’s not what you mean by a. O our annual operating revenue. So I mean is that annual budget sarah? Is that, is that annual budget or is that something different? What’s annual operating revenue? Because you segment by by this A. O. R. So it’s important for us to understand,

[00:06:45.95] spk_2:
so annual operating revenue, how much money folks are bringing in and then when we touch on budget, how much obviously they’re able to spend for the year. And I think some of the stuff that you just touched on and you’re talking about, like the volunteer numbers and everything that’s really going to come out when we get into some of the challenges. Some of those smaller organizations with uh, the smaller annual operating revenues are really going to be, um, feeling a little bit of a pinch in some of these areas that will take a look at. So I think it will definitely be some good data for the audience at home right now.

[00:06:59.70] spk_0:
Is it fair to just call? Not, I’m not going to change the term on you, but is it fair to call annual operating revenue? Like just annual fundraising revenue?

[00:07:08.94] spk_2:
Absolutely.

[00:07:09.64] spk_0:
It’s the fundraising revenue. Okay. Okay. Report calls it the uh annual operating revenue.

[00:07:16.56] spk_2:
Alright. Yeah.

[00:07:49.81] spk_0:
Okay. Um, so let’s dive in a bit. I see uh I see some challenges facing non profits of of all sizes really that this was, this was kind of interesting to me. Um, the the challenges that are rated sort of critical critical are definitely a concern. I mean they cut across all the, all the all the the annual operating revenue segments like donor engagement, all all all five of your segments, all six of your segments rate donor engagement as a, as a, as a top five problem. And donor fatigue shows up in five of the six categories. What do we do? What do we know about donor donor issues?

[00:09:13.98] spk_2:
Sure. So things things have Changed a lot since the last study. So the challenges that were related to planning around the pandemic dropped significantly because those were at the top of the list in the past couple of years surveys, but don’t get us wrong, like we’re not saying it’s not a challenge anymore. It’s obviously still a challenge, 71% reported that planning related to the pandemic was still challenging for them, But it dropped from number one to number 10 in the list. And those donor-related challenges that you just mentioned, those are coming back to the top. People are starting to feel a little bit of relief and they’re able to shift back to donor engagement worrying about hair. We fatiguing our donors with all of this messaging and everything that they’ve been through over the past few years and donor retention is coming back up into that top four to um recurring giving was something we saw that came out as a top challenge as well. And for the view of challenges that you’ll see in the report first where everything’s kind of rated, it was folks who rated items as critical, definitely a concern or somewhat a problem. And that’s where we came up with that donor engagement, donor fatigue, the recurring giving and donor retention were all there in the top four. So things have changed a lot steve, did you have anything like a little bit of color from the past or anything about like varying sizes? How that differed?

[00:09:31.07] spk_1:
Well, let’s start, let’s start with sizes. And then I think there is something to be learned as we look longitudinal e over the study over the past few years. But as we looked at non profits of varying sizes again by that annual operating revenue marker. Uh, that donut retention really fell into, became notable in the top two places for orders that were a million dollars A. O. R. And above. And then

[00:09:48.43] spk_0:
excuse

[00:10:15.24] spk_1:
me looking at the top three places really tony for most of the market. So we’ll call that the 350,000. 0. R. All the way up the scale. Um, recurring giving was something that became very much apparent in that. And, and I’ll say real quick, um, as your audience accesses this report and downloads it, there’s a, there’s a lot of data right in this one question and becomes v very visibly and visually better understood when you kind of see it, how we’ve laid it out. So I know we’re throwing a lot of numbers, a lot of information, but boy donor fatigue was definitely the top voiced concern that made it into the top five concerns for every segment every strata of the nonprofit nonprofit world. Um, what’s interesting about that for me

[00:10:41.49] spk_0:
though,

[00:11:03.24] spk_1:
is that while retention has a number, we can put on it. Um, while recurring giving has a number that we put on it, fatigue is a lot more of a perception metric. And uh, it’s, it’s interesting to me that, that, that had such important placed on that particular metric as you look at the data. Now, I’ll also say really quickly we saw staff turnover work its way into the top five challenges, especially as you kind of go up and that was for

[00:11:16.48] spk_0:
the larger staff turnover was

[00:11:18.39] spk_1:
you got it. Yeah,

[00:11:20.21] spk_0:
Over $50 million. They’ve got hundreds of employees

[00:11:24.88] spk_1:
well. And look what happened over the last two years. Right. I mean

[00:11:27.50] spk_0:
things talk

[00:11:54.70] spk_1:
about upset the apple cart, right. And that, that large organization perhaps felt the, the need for agility more and the need for finding out how do we get through this and with such a large staff, it’s just, it was, it was an unfortunate story. We don’t have to dwell on here today. The good news is that, um, is that those nonprofits are working through those challenges. I’ll also add that acquisition and management sponsors and sponsorships also is a challenge that we’ve tracked year over year every year, every year these last few years. And that has surfaced for a number of the segments of nonprofits. So there’s some other, there’s some other color there. But sarah, I’m sure you would agree having released the report yourself. It’s far more visually understood for, for those who can access this and download the report. Yeah,

[00:13:14.30] spk_2:
I agree. There are a lot of ways to look at, especially the challenges, um, by breaking it down by revenue level and looking at what’s critical are definitely a concern compared to having like the somewhat important mixed in there as well. But I do kind of want to touch on that donor fatigue because we have been hearing a lot about it and tony I don’t know if you’ve heard this throughout your career to that there’s, there’s been kind of a historical disconnect between nonprofits and donors when it comes to donor fatigue. I’ve done a few studies at various companies in the past where nonprofits said one thing they thought they were really fatiguing their donors and donors are like, no, you’re not. We want to hear more from you. But I think what it comes down to that’s important here is that you have to remember that the communications that you are sending out, if they’re engaging, they’re worthwhile, they’re giving something to your donor, then they’re not going to be fatigued. I know around like holiday giving season, even on linkedin. And I noticed there were a lot of folks popping on that consultant saying, I got this many emails from this, these nonprofits. It’s too many emails and only enough. A couple of donors popped and they were like, oh, I like getting those emails. They told me what was happening. Like how much they were raising from there giving Tuesday campaigns, etcetera. So as long as you’re giving them something that they want to hear. I think they’re going to stay engaged. They’re not going to get fatigued. Have you heard anything about that,

[00:13:53.67] spk_0:
uh, from some guests? Yes. Um, let’s first, let’s use this opportunity to remind folks or let them know where they can get the get the study because it’s, it’s very visually engaging as both of you have said. So. One cause dot com. And then where do we go after that?

[00:13:57.83] spk_2:
Sure. It’s one cause dot com backslash research. And you’ll find the study there. There are a lot of other resources on our website as well as well as past reports. So if you want to dig in and compare to past reports as well, they’re on that site.

[00:14:56.34] spk_0:
Okay. Excellent. Thank you. Um, All right. So this idea of the fatigue, you know, as as steve said, it’s it’s a perception. It’s it’s not something measurable, but it’s, it’s a perception internally. Right in in everybody’s office. What do you, what do you think is, what do you think is causing this idea that we’re fatiguing our donors where Sarah you’re saying they actually want more. And I’ve heard that also, I’ve heard that especially among among and about boards members that, you know, we’re giving our board members too much. No, actually, they want more because they’re your key volunteers. And they the fear is that you’re giving them too much. Um, so I’ve heard it in that respect, but we don’t have to, you know, we have to stick to board. I know that’s not your, that’s not the study, but that’s, that’s where I’ve heard it even even more? What do you think is causing this belief that we’re fatiguing folks

[00:15:24.30] spk_2:
right current state. I honestly think we all feel fatigued after going through a pandemic, going through you know political ups and downs. We’re still in this big mindset of uncertainty and I know everybody has heard that word 1000 times but it’s still there and it’s just making everyone feel very unsettled and very tired. So I think sometimes that just kind of bleeds over into our everyday interactions

[00:15:28.65] spk_0:
were contributing to it. Yeah we

[00:15:31.08] spk_2:
must be doing it too. We must be adding onto the pile but

[00:15:34.18] spk_0:
we see it we feel it we must be contributing to it because we send mail and email. Alright.

[00:15:39.80] spk_1:
tony I think I think I want to

[00:15:42.53] spk_0:
don’t be so hard on yourself basically.

[00:15:55.78] spk_1:
I want to jump in here real quick. I do wanna I do want to suggest here at this point that fatigue is a it’s a complex metric to unpack. It is not as simple. I mean I think we could probably spend the next hour kind of um in a conjecture of sorts of how to unpack this. But fatigue comes because as Sarah said it’s something we feel elsewhere. And so we translate that to I’m sending one emails to emails, five emails ergo my donor base must be fatigued.

[00:16:21.53] spk_0:
And

[00:16:42.39] spk_1:
when we actually look at the data as Sarah has said. In fact some of the great reports that we have available at one? Cause dot com actually give you the perspective of the donor as is our research done every spring. So this is the nonprofit voice every fall compare that to what’s going on in the spring with what donors are saying? Yes, they want the communication. I want to see those emails in my inbox and if I open up one or two of the five, it’s okay. I’ve heard from you and I can digest that you are not asking too much of me. You are not giving too much to me. It is not the fatigue level that perhaps we are putting on on our shoulders ourselves.

[00:17:04.36] spk_0:
Sarah, you have many years in your background with ford motor company, right? Oh, that’s steve I

[00:17:13.54] spk_1:
carry, you know, you mentioned that in the intro. I carry a good number of years in the automotive retail technology side. Um, and six years now or coming up on six years in the nonprofit world. Two very different worlds. But yes, go ahead. tony on.

[00:17:28.74] spk_0:
Do you know, does, does, does the ford motor company worry about fatiguing? It’s uh, potential customers like do they worry about sending too much buying too many ads? Sending too many messages to folks who have signed up? Does the ford motor company? Uh, do they worry about things like that?

[00:18:22.10] spk_1:
I would say in general, the automotive world perhaps. Um, let me say this first. Any good marketer understands the sensitivity around sending the right message at the right time to the right audience for the right response. Any good marketers, there are perhaps markets in our ecosystem in the world that are more sensitive to doing that and there are perhaps markets that are less sensitive to doing that. I do find that the automotive world sends a good number of emails and there perhaps, maybe those what you’re getting at, not as worried about fatiguing me at least as a recipient. So I’ll let you put a bow on that where you were headed. But

[00:18:53.72] spk_0:
No, that was it. I just, that was, that was my suspicion. But you know, I don’t talk to, uh, Fortune 100 folks, um, ever or even. So I was seeing it in your background. Uh, I was just curious about it. Um, let’s talk some about events. What Sarah, can you talk about, what, what, what is planned and I see more more hybrid being planned. Can you flush that out for us?

[00:19:51.24] spk_2:
Sure. I think if we start with a little bit of an overview from 2022, it’s a helpful kind of foundation. Um, so in 2020 to 95% of nonprofits who took this survey said that they held at least one online camp, 93% said they held at least one event in 2022. So vast majority of nonprofits there and that makes up the bulk of quite a few nonprofits fundraising budget, their revenue for the year. So 56% said that they raise 21% or more of their annual fundraising revenue from online and event fundraising. And an additional quarter of those nonprofits said that they raised 41% or more of their annual fundraising budget from event and online fundraising. So it’s huge. It’s very important. Um, and looking back at 2022, as far as how supporters participated in events, I think Steve Do you want to touch on that data for me?

[00:19:59.61] spk_1:
Sure, Sure, Absolutely. Yeah. This was really great to see tony So we asked these nonprofits, how did your supporters participate in your 2022 events and then followed up with how many of the following fundraising events do you plan to hold in 2023. So we have to look back, we have to look forward and again

[00:20:20.61] spk_0:
for

[00:20:47.57] spk_1:
Context, this question was asked an end market with the survey in September so nonprofits were giving us a good view into most of the year to 2022, but they were forecasting into 2023, still sitting in their third quarter of the year. So with that in mind, looking back in 2020 to 32% of nonprofits held in person only events. Now, just I let that just sit for a

[00:20:51.21] spk_0:
second and

[00:21:52.57] spk_1:
We look back in the rear view mirror a year or two and to consider how we were in 2020, early 2021. No way were one in three only having in person events. So what a great comeback in 2020-1 half of nonprofits, 56% did. In fact, as you said earlier, Tony Lean to that hybrid side, which is fantastic. So let me fill the blanks on the, on the rest here and I’ll come back to the hybrid 9% only virtual 4% no events at all. And for various reasons, I’m sure. But over 50% hybrid tells me a couple of things. You add the only in person and the 56% hybrid together and you have a mass of the, of the nonprofit world that is back in the ballroom. But so much of that is, is uh, an event that is in consideration of that virtual audience. So we learned from the last three years, we learned that people want to engage with with us differently. And so while we’re back in the ballroom, we’re not going to forget that virtual audience, we’re gonna include them. It may be for the whole event. It may not be for the whole event. It may just be for the appeal. It may be for other programming that we wanted to share with them. But the Great News is that we are back to the ballroom in 2022. Now that was of course last

[00:22:19.78] spk_0:
year, what

[00:22:31.18] spk_1:
about this year, september people are answering this survey and there’s looking forward and guess how many say we are going to hold an in person event, 83%. Look forward in time and with such confidence and Sarah maybe you can, you can elaborate on this. They’re willing to say that over 80% were absolutely back in the ballroom for at least one in person only event.

[00:22:59.78] spk_2:
Yeah, I think the confidence levels, that was a real takeaway for us. How much they changed confidence levels about in person events just kind of shot through the roof in this year’s survey. Um, nonprofits who said they were undecided about holding those in person events dropped to 8% this year, down from 20% in last year’s survey. So people are feeling really good about heading back to the ballroom. Like Steve said, uh,

[00:23:13.83] spk_0:
I, I saw that golf outings ranked as the number two most common event after after something social. So I’m assuming that’s a gala type event.

[00:23:25.60] spk_2:
Yes. I think that the in person auction events and then

[00:23:28.12] spk_0:
the person, we’re

[00:23:29.27] spk_2:
very successful as well. Yes, absolutely.

[00:23:43.28] spk_0:
Now golf outings and hybrid. I don’t know, can we, I don’t know are they playing like minute, are they playing golf? They have their favorite golf app or they, they’re, they’re in there, they’re in their stroke trainer, you know, maybe it’s videoing them while others are actually playing. I don’t know, can we do a golf outing hybrid.

[00:24:13.74] spk_2:
I have actually seen, I do not remember the name of the software or the company, but there was a virtual golf software that a nonprofit for an event. So I know it’s possible it’s out there. People really made some as we’ve all heard major pivots to, you know, fit the pandemic in our way of life changing. So it’s definitely out there. I’ll have to look into that and see if I can get that over,

[00:26:49.39] spk_0:
you know, the dinner, the dinner or the lunch after. I mean I could see that being a hybrid but I was just wondering about the golf experience itself. I don’t know, maybe golfers are out there with caMS on their GoPro’s on their heads or something. And so you vicariously. Oh, that shot sucked. Oh, you’re terrible camera to somebody else please. You’re awful. It’s time for Tony’s take two. I’m talking a lot about planned giving in January and February. I’ve got 15 webinars and podcasts on planned giving uh just in in these like not even the full two months. It’s more like six weeks january and early february. A cornucopia of webinars uh podcast, a prodigious profusion of podcasts. I’ve got coming up lots of content. Um, if you are at all interested in learning about the basics of planned giving, launching, planned giving at your nonprofit then you may very well be interested in this Horn of plenty of content that I’m doing with other folks who are hosting me for webinars and podcasts. You can keep abreast of what I’m doing by following on linkedin or maybe I should say more correctly connecting, connect with me on linkedin. Uh, follow me on twitter. And another way is you could sign up for the nonprofit radio Insider alerts at tony-martignetti dot com because I let folks know um, on that, who, who is hosting me and uh, where you can hear me speak. So if you are interested in launching planned, giving, planned, giving basics, I’m doing a lot of talking about that in january and early february. That is Tony’s take to imagine that We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for 2023 fundraising outlook with Steve and Sarah Sebastian, imagine that data, Let’s talk about data. You’re a data driven type organization and what, what, uh, you had some takeaways about data access.

[00:27:15.32] spk_2:
Yeah, I think this was our surprise, not surprise moment really when we were looking at data because we all know that a lot of nonprofits do struggle with data, whether there’s too much of it or what to do with it. Uh, so we found that making it accessible and actionable just continues to be a concern for nonprofits like, okay, yeah, we know that already. But when we actually saw the numbers, that was kind of the moment where everyone on our team Kind of got slack jawed whenever they heard the stats. Um, so only 18% of non profits who took the survey said that they actually have access to all of the data that they need 18%, that’s

[00:27:26.46] spk_0:
it and

[00:27:35.91] spk_2:
that they use it to make decisions. Um, and of course those smaller nonprofits did report having even less access to the data that they do need. So it’s a bit of a struggle and steve, I think, I know you have something to say,

[00:27:40.78] spk_1:
Oh, I always have something to say

[00:27:43.25] spk_0:
That that’s, that’s dismal. You know, one

[00:27:46.68] spk_1:
in five,

[00:27:47.80] spk_0:
one

[00:27:54.77] spk_1:
in five. Like if you’re sitting down around the table right with five nonprofits and one of them says I have all the data I

[00:27:55.86] spk_0:
need, I

[00:28:04.99] spk_1:
have it in the place where I need it and I have it served up to me in a way that I know what to do with it. Make a good decision. That’s dismal. That’s a great word for it.

[00:28:07.05] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:29:21.91] spk_1:
And then we looked at some other aspects to this tony and okay, if if you do have a lot of data, Then what’s holding you back from using it every day to make meaningful decisions in your fundraising strategy 26%. So again, another like, well in this case, one in four, I suppose roughly so that they don’t have the time to form the insights they have the data, but maybe it’s just it’s just a matter of time. We all get that we, especially your audience, as you said, the smaller nonprofit world is there’s never enough time in the day. So I think there’s an opportunity for us, especially as you said as our data providers, technology providers that, that work off the data serve up data help nonprofits live off data. We need to serve it up in a way that makes sense that it doesn’t take time. Another one that I’ll share another one in five said that they don’t know how to form actionable insights. Okay. So I have the data, but again, it’s, it’s, it’s not and it may even be like right there for me, I don’t even need the time to go dig, you know into it and pull a report and compare and pivot tables and all the, I just don’t even know how to form an actionable insight based on what I’m given. Again, I believe that this is on us and our world to say here is what your auction data is telling you

[00:29:35.32] spk_0:
this is a data literacy issue. Then people not feeling comfortable making conclusions from the data that they do have. Is that isn’t that that data literacy,

[00:31:16.58] spk_2:
I think to some extent it is. But I also think the data can be intimidating just because there’s so much that can be measured and there’s, there are a lot of numbers obviously coming out of fundraising. What do I do with all of this? And I think people, especially non profits, you know, they have big jobs, they’re trying to make the world a better place. They want to do big things. And I think when you’re looking at data, you have to narrow and pick something small first and focus on that. Okay, I’ve got this piece master now I can pick another metric and focus on that. And I guess trying to give an example of that if you have part of your fundraising strategies to boost your recurring revenue this year. Great. Okay, where do I start? What do I do? What data do I look at start by going into your crm and looking at donors from 2022 who gave maybe three or four times. And I use myself as an example for this because this happened to me, I gave I think four or five times two best friend animal at best Friends animal society last year, just throughout the year as I was giving an honor of friends, pets, my pets, etcetera. They called me after running a little campaign and said, Hey, you know, we noticed that you’ve offered ongoing support last year, thank you for these gifts of these amounts. Would you consider becoming a recurring donor at $25 a month? Why not sure I can, I can spare that. Great. And even with just those little incremental increases across a couple of 100 people, you’re boosting your revenue there. Alright, you’ve boosted revenue using this one small metric that you focus in on what can you do next. So start small. Don’t get too overwhelmed to try to find somewhere to start, got to start somewhere.

[00:31:23.02] spk_0:
Let me give you a generous softball shameless self promotion opportunity because we’re talking about data being overwhelming and, and, and uh, like frustrating, how does, uh, how does one cause overcome that?

[00:31:44.28] spk_2:
I

[00:31:44.45] spk_0:
think the great,

[00:32:02.93] spk_1:
the great news is we help in a lot of ways. I mean we help connect nonprofits with more donors. We help that connection be meaningful in a way that it, it truly helps them engage with those donors. And we talked, we talked about donor engagement back when we were looking at that Finding around challenges, Tony Right. And so once we connect with more donors and engage with more donors and do that through a number of different ways to fundraise. That’s one of the things that we found and maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here. But I know we’ll talk about priorities for 2023 that nonprofits had told us about.

[00:32:21.12] spk_0:
But looking

[00:33:36.68] spk_1:
at new ways to fundraise to find new donors, acquire new donors and then use that engagement to retain those donors are nonprofits find that they are more highly satisfied with the technology that they acquire that they, that they purchase, that they use every day. And uh, it drives our mission and that’s what it’s all about. I I tell, I’ll give you a little anecdote here. tony but tomorrow and every Tuesday first Tuesday of the month. I help onboard new 11 cost team members that join our company. And I tell them, hey, you’re gonna have its work. You’re gonna have a bad day every now and then. But what we do, even on those bad days, we help make sure that another child is educated, another family is fed. We’re taking two steps closer to just finding that cure. Right? And this is all executed through these amazing nonprofits, all over the nation. How do we get involved with that? Exactly what I shared with you before, helping nonprofits find those donors engage those donors retain those donors and building a wonderful relationship that helps build a better tomorrow. Softball question back at you. Nobody

[00:33:38.05] spk_0:
answered. I was waiting. Yeah, I’m glad you. Thank you for stepping

[00:34:32.11] spk_2:
up. I do have something. I think since I just started talking about focusing on small things, something popped into my head while steve was talking about connecting with more donors. We run a campaign every year called in detectives where companies sign up and fundraise for nonprofits in the Indianapolis area. Um, and we use our peer to peer system for that. So we get in there, we use it, we fundraise for, we would fundraise fundraise for make a Wish Foundation this past year and looking even in just our peer to peer tools, we’re talking about starting small, There are little data points in there. Even for our donors where you can trap how far your social posts are reaching, how far different campaigns are reaching. So even donors can look and see what’s working to get the word out about a campaign and shift their strategies to use that particular social platform or that particular technique. So there are things built in throughout the system to even help donors analyze data, which I think is really interesting and something I haven’t seen with a lot of other fundraising platforms to be honest. So I think there’s something helpful there.

[00:34:45.38] spk_0:
Thank you. Alright, let’s let’s let’s go back to the, to the fundraising outlook. What are their takeaways are there that we haven’t talked about yet that you like to highlight you think are important for small and midsize shops to know the benchmark against.

[00:36:55.44] spk_2:
Sure, I think I would like to touch back on the hybrid fundraising aspect quickly, Quickly calling out again, steve touched on that 56% held hybrid events in 2020 to 32% held in person And looking at 2023 as nonprofits were looking ahead 45% said they were going to be holding hybrid events in 2023, which is really good to hear. Um, those hybrid and in person events were what we saw as most successful budget wise, performing against budget. And when we looked at, um, how they were performing against their budget was 80% who held either an in person or hybrid event reported that they were raising in line or more than their budget for the year. So great. We definitely want to focus on in person and hybrid. But I think Steve touched on this point a little bit The good part about this is that people are listening to donors. He mentioned some earlier research we had done with giving experience study earlier in the year where we get donor perspective on everything. And in that particular report, 56% of event donors said that they wanted some sort of virtual option. So I think that’s something that’s really important for nonprofits of all sizes to listen to, especially the small and midsize shops. We understand that hosting a hybrid event, there’s a lot of work. It’s, it’s tough. We held our race conference was hybrid this last year and it was hard. So definitely empathize with that. And but you’ve got to listen. It’s worth the effort if your donors are telling you this is what they want to give it a shot. Look at that event calendar. See if you can fit in some sort of virtual option in there somewhere. If it’s not on there now because that’s what people are saying they want to do this year. And of course keep an eye on the news because we know we’ve been hearing from here and there. There’s some, some numbers numbers going back up with covid cases, fingers crossed. Of course we don’t want anything to happen. But in the event that it does, It’s good to have that in your back pocket as an option for your donors.

[00:37:03.27] spk_0:
Do you think it’s worth surveying.

[00:37:06.20] spk_2:
Absolutely.

[00:37:26.27] spk_0:
Or do or donors like is everybody going to say I want the hybrid option. But then the fewer people actually sign up for it once it’s offered, everybody wants the option and then we set it up. We spend the money on the production and the platform. And, and then a disappointing number of people actually subscribe to it, join the stream. What do you what do you think? Yeah,

[00:37:46.92] spk_2:
I agree with that. That is kind of a sticking point when planning events as well. But if people have been telling us this is what they want, give it a shot. If it’s a total flop, then, you know, but I do agree that serving finding out what people want to do. Sometimes people are going to say yes and then they change their minds. I mean people change their minds all the time. You never know. But we have had customers who have said when they did offer that virtual option, they even wound up just getting donations from people who couldn’t attend the event in person and didn’t wind up, you know, going the virtual route. So offering that donation option along with that registration could be a possible solution to that as well to make up some of that. If people decide they’re not going to go the virtual route?

[00:38:16.65] spk_0:
I I saw that um, the fundraising, the priorities

[00:38:20.55] spk_2:
looking

[00:38:36.37] spk_0:
Forward are consistent with the challenges. So that’s that’s good. Our our community is aligned with what they see, where they see problems and where they know they have to focus. So 97% of of your respondents said that donor acquisition is going to be a key focus. I mean that, you know, it may as well call it 100% and nine right. If we’re going around 8 92 900 we could certainly around 97 to 100. Um and 96% right is right there to say donor retention is a key focus areas. So it’s gratifying to see that priorities are in line with the

[00:38:58.80] spk_1:
challenges.

[00:39:00.00] spk_0:
We’re rational, we’re all rational.

[00:39:02.17] spk_2:
It makes

[00:39:03.47] spk_0:
sense that the actor, a bunch of rational actors

[00:39:39.41] spk_2:
Um outside of those, I wanted to run through the top priorities really quickly because there’s some interesting differences in how folks rated those. So you touched on the top two. Um, next up was increasing funds from existing campaigns and that was, that was pretty high as well, 93% said that there was a priority and these were ranked as critical or important by folks who responded. Um, then there’s kind of a draft in the rate here, new ways to fundraise came in at about 82%, a little bit above that was operational efficiency and effectiveness at 84 and I find that kind of interesting

[00:39:41.84] spk_0:
because

[00:40:09.51] spk_2:
you know, if you’re focusing on operational efficiency and effectiveness, there’s probably gonna be a little bit more time in your day to focus on donor acquisition and retention. But there’s kind of this vicious cycle and all of these little things that go into that because we just talked about people being short on resources short on time so they can’t get to focusing on the operational efficiency. So I think there’s some work to be done and figuring out how to address all of these challenges and priorities in a way that’s beneficial to everybody and especially for these small and mid sized shops that are struggling with the resources and I know steve and I have talked about new ways to fundraise and how that can help with the donor attention in the acquisition as well as you want to.

[00:40:39.93] spk_1:
Yeah, I mean that’s that’s the diamond in the rough, as far as I’m concerned because we’re looking at it, this is nothing shiny at this point. It’s 82% for new raise to fundraise when we’re looking at 97% for donor acquisition, but it’s very possible that the new ways to fundraise and, and I think what we tend to do tony we tend to imagine the worst possible scenario, right. If I look into a new way to

[00:40:50.59] spk_0:
fundraise, it’s

[00:41:48.03] spk_1:
gonna take loads more time that I don’t have, it’s gonna take a lot more effort that that I just, I’m not ready to give. It’s gonna, it’s gonna expose me to all kinds of distractions. Uh, let’s go back to something, Sarah said, how about we start small? There are there are fundraising platforms available that allow you to break out of just the event type of fundraising And we then elements appear to peer weave in elements of social fundraising. Be able to tie together your online with your event efforts so that perhaps you are able to, by using new ways to fundraise, acquire new donors, retain some of those same donors because you’re doing it in a slightly different way where you might actually engage them differently. So I would, I would encourage your audience to consider. Okay, what is available to me that I might be able to try a slightly different way to fundraise, engage a slightly different audience and in fact, I may end up acquiring those new donors and retaining my current donors at the end of the day. Even better.

[00:42:08.34] spk_0:
All right, what else? We have some good amount of time left. If we, if we like any, any other stuff that uh, we haven’t talked about that you think is important for folks to know anything else from the study? Let me just remind folks you can get it at one cause dot com slash research. It’s the 2023 fundraising outlook.

[00:42:23.94] spk_2:
Perfect. Anything

[00:42:25.35] spk_0:
else?

[00:42:25.65] spk_1:
I’ll add something. Let’s go back. Let’s go back to challenges real quick, just for just for a minute. And

[00:42:32.02] spk_0:
this is gonna

[00:42:33.23] spk_1:
sound, this is gonna sound a little bit perhaps initially on the negative side, but I’m going to try to turn it into a little bit of a sunrise for us and end on something inspirational. Um, I’ve had the privilege of running this survey for I think I said five years now, five or six

[00:42:51.04] spk_0:
years

[00:42:51.97] spk_1:
And one of the things Tony that we do is we take that question around challenges. And we, we talked about this right donor fatigue, donor engagement retention, recurring giving, etc. And, and there are 13 different challenges that we asked non profit respondents to rate individually so we can track those as individual challenges.

[00:43:13.35] spk_0:
We can

[00:43:13.77] spk_1:
also track them as a collective level of challenge that the nonprofit says, hey, this is my

[00:43:20.98] spk_0:
overall

[00:43:22.26] spk_1:
level of challenge this

[00:43:24.49] spk_0:
year.

[00:43:51.86] spk_1:
We take that average across the entire respondent base. We’ll call it 900 and we’ll link that back to what things look like in 2021 and we can compare that average as well to 2020 and a 2019. And what’s really interesting to me. So two points first one again, perhaps on the surface a little negative is that those challenges are getting more intense. The average of those 13 challenges year over year, the relative rating of those challenges is increasing year over year over

[00:44:00.65] spk_2:
year. I

[00:44:02.10] spk_1:
Would have thought initially that 2020 would have been defining the ceiling and perhaps 2021 a little less and 2022 a little less. That’s not the trend. The trend is actually showing more intense challenges for our nonprofits.

[00:44:20.49] spk_0:
The good

[00:44:21.01] spk_1:
news is that we have data like this report and other reports out there that help us focus in on that right step that, that next right step and how to understand that Sarah was saying to find that one metric, maybe it’s around recurring giving, maybe it’s around looking at my, my uh, tech acquisition. Uh, there’s all kinds of things in this report that we’re not obviously covering in in these few minutes, but

[00:44:50.45] spk_0:
take

[00:45:29.16] spk_1:
This report, find that one or two next steps that you can actually move against in 2023 and watch yourself move be pulled out of those challenges in that one area. Are you going to improve every area? Probably not because not one of us can do everything. But the good news is that we have a clear path to make good decisions to see what our peers are doing with through research reports like this, see what the rest of the nonprofit world is doing, where they’re succeeding and we can point our ship there and really look to succeed even if it’s in small ways in 2023. So that’s, that’s probably my, my, my message of hope and inspiration using something as as, uh, as vanilla as data. But boy, it really opens up the opportunity for us to see what we need to do next. What step we want to take and where we can make progress in the next year.

[00:45:48.63] spk_0:
Anything that sounds like, you know the way one cause hopes that you will use their 20, fundraising outlook. Sarah, what would you like to leave this with?

[00:46:58.64] spk_2:
I kind of wanted to touch on steve mentioned tech acquisition and there’s something in the report about shifts in nonprofit technology investment. I would love for people to kind of look at the particular chart for that. I think about it. I’m looking at it right now on my other monitor actually and there are 36% of nonprofits saying that they’re going to invest more in marketing automation. So that’s kind of in line with, you know, the donor acquisition piece we were talking about in the challenges etcetera. And I’m interested to see, you know, what is the R. O. I. On this once this year happens? How do people use it? Was it effective for them? Did they feel like they had enough training? Were they able to use it? Because I don’t really want people to fall into that hole of, here’s the data and now I don’t know what to do with it. So I’m interested to see if there are enough resources out there for folks related to that marketing automation. Are they getting the training? They need to know how to use it effectively. Um I’m just interested to see next year’s results I guess is what I’m trying to say, but I do kind of want to echo steve’s message. I I want nonprofits to know they’re not Lonely islands. There are other nonprofits out there who are obviously facing similar challenges and looking for solutions. Talk to other nonprofits, talk to your peers, uh something that may have worked for them, may work for you, something that works for, you may work for them. So really rely on your community to talk through solutions that you’ve been working through and share the wealth of those ideas because we’re all in it for the same reason and that’s to make lives better for everyone. So definitely share the knowledge.

[00:47:29.48] spk_0:
Alright, messages of hope and inspiration

[00:47:33.08] spk_2:
from

[00:47:34.25] spk_0:
from two directors at one Cause Sarah Sebastian Director of corporate communications steve Lauch, Director of product marketing. The company is at one cause and at one Cause dot com, The report is the 2023 fundraising outlook, steve, Sarah Sarah steve, thank you very much. Real pleasure.

[00:47:55.96] spk_1:
Thanks for having us

[00:47:57.13] spk_2:
appreciate it

[00:48:21.15] spk_0:
next week, purchasing pro tips If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows social media is by Susan Chavez Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%, go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for January 16, 2023: Overcome Common Communications Conundrums

 

Erica Mills BarnhartOvercome Common Communications Conundrums

It’s time to change the way you think about marketing, says Erica Mills Barnhart. You’ll make it more successful, find your true believers, and have more fun. She’s CEO of Claxon.

 

 

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[00:01:22.42] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite he abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d bear the pain of a phone. Yah. If I had to speak the words you missed this week’s show overcome common communications conundrums, it’s time to change the way you think about marketing says Erica Mills Barnhart, you’ll make it more successful, find your true believers and have more fun. She’s ceo of klaxon On Tony’s take two planned giving accelerator here is overcome common communications conundrums. It’s a pleasure to welcome Erica Mills Barnhart to non profit radio Erica is a communication expert, speaker, author and coach. She’s founder and Ceo of Klaxon focused on teaching companies and leaders how to use words to change workplaces and the world. Erica also serves as an associate teaching professor at the University of Washington. She’s at Erica Mills barn and the company is at klaxon hyphen communication dot com. Welcome e M B

[00:01:37.34] spk_1:
Thank you Tony for having me.

[00:01:39.41] spk_0:
Pleasure to have you. Happy new year.

[00:01:41.33] spk_1:
Happy new year back at you.

[00:02:23.35] spk_0:
Thank you. I hope you enjoyed holidays and time off very much. Let’s talk, let’s talk marketing because this, this is your, this is, this is your world and because you think about this stuff every day and others of us only get to think of it when uh things are not going right, we’re, we don’t feel like we’re, we’re having a struggling with 8.5 by 11 inch blank piece of digital paper and we feel like we have to fill it and it’s not flowing? And we feel like we’re not we’re not reaching our audiences. Maybe not in the right places, maybe not in the right ways. Were people have questions that we feel like they shouldn’t have they, people should know all this. You know, I think all this gives rise to us the rest of us thinking about marketing, but uh, you know, trying to piece it together and go as well. So I know you can uh allay our concerns

[00:02:41.93] spk_1:
and

[00:02:43.64] spk_0:
it doesn’t

[00:02:44.26] spk_1:
have to be that complicated.

[00:02:45.96] spk_0:
Thank you. Thank you. I I feel the same way about the work that I planned giving. Keep it simple. Thank you. All right, that’s enough of me talking. So you want us to change the way we think about marketing? What do you want us to do?

[00:03:00.16] spk_1:
Um I want you to start with the what? Rather than the how,

[00:03:04.21] spk_0:
here’s what I mean.

[00:03:10.17] spk_1:
So you gave, you gave a beautiful example, tony Um I mean years with a blank piece of paper, but oftentimes when we’re thinking about marketing, we go straight to like

[00:03:15.87] spk_0:
should

[00:03:16.21] spk_1:
we be on twitter? Should I be on linkedin? Should be on instagram? Should we do a newsletter? Should be online. But those are all

[00:03:21.69] spk_0:
house

[00:03:27.31] spk_1:
and there are I mean so many house, that’s the wrong question to ask

[00:03:29.45] spk_0:
first.

[00:03:30.79] spk_1:
You first want to ask, what does success look

[00:03:33.55] spk_0:
like? What

[00:03:34.94] spk_1:
are the results that we are looking to achieve? What are the outcomes that we

[00:03:38.58] spk_0:
want? Right?

[00:03:50.20] spk_1:
And these, you know, you want them to align with your organizational goals. Marketing and communication doesn’t means to an end, right? Let’s let’s start there. So it’s always a means to an end, Right? So how is it gonna

[00:03:51.26] spk_0:
support your

[00:03:52.41] spk_1:
organization? So always start with the what and then the

[00:03:55.13] spk_0:
who, who

[00:03:56.48] spk_1:
are you, who do you need to

[00:03:58.24] spk_0:
reach and

[00:03:59.48] spk_1:
engage with in order to achieve

[00:04:02.57] spk_0:
the

[00:04:19.85] spk_1:
goals that you set for your marketing, once those two things are answered and your real clear and don’t move on, like the best thing that you can do for yourself and your team, your organization is to like hold off on the how conversation until you’re what you’re who are very clear. And then, and the reason it’s so important to do in that order is because if you don’t, if you aren’t clear on who your target audience is, you’ll sort of project into the house, like, well, I love an annual report, I’m making this up, Right. Um How about we do an annual

[00:04:32.89] spk_0:
report.

[00:04:34.27] spk_1:
Well, if your target audience is, you know, gen z,

[00:04:38.40] spk_0:
they’re

[00:04:56.67] spk_1:
probably not looking for a, you know, multi page annual report, they’re looking for something really different. So it mitigates projecting your own personal preferences into your strategies and your tactics. So what, who, how, that’s what I call the Klaxon method? What, who, how what who, how always grounded in the UAE the bigger picture y for the organization, but also, you know, with what does success look like?

[00:05:01.60] spk_0:
Why is that important?

[00:05:02.78] spk_1:
Why is that goal important to the organization? Right? Who’s your target audience? Why are those

[00:05:07.40] spk_0:
people so

[00:05:08.72] spk_1:
important to you in the work that

[00:05:09.80] spk_0:
you’re doing?

[00:05:10.81] spk_1:
Right? So always what who, how backed by the way? Um And that keeps things

[00:05:36.55] spk_0:
simple. Which which I’m grateful for. Let’s let’s let’s unpack some of that. Um Marketing is a means to an end. You said it’s you’ve heard you say somewhere it’s in service to your mission. Alright. Let’s let’s let’s start with say a little more about why, why this is merely but an important means to an end.

[00:06:03.64] spk_1:
Yeah. Because if you’re not, if you’re not clear on that, like you’re sort of saying the beginning and I appreciate it. It’s like marketing can be a little existential, right? There’s a lot of the sense of like, I should know what I’m doing. We should, you know, we should be on Tiktok, we should be on all these things, right? It can be kind of like a fear guilt, shame based activity, right? Um

[00:06:07.19] spk_0:
And that’s

[00:06:07.75] spk_1:
when you’re just doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff because you know that you should do it, but you’re not quite, you know, like this, like what you were talking about? Like, I know I should be doing things, but I don’t really want to do. And I know, right. I just want to release that for people in the way. One of the ways there’s a few ways, but one of the ways that you do that is by really reminding yourself like doing this just for the sake

[00:06:27.75] spk_0:
of it, right?

[00:06:40.76] spk_1:
We’re not posting on Tiktok if you decide or linkedin, we’re not putting on newsletters or annual reports. We’re not doing any of that just for the sake of it. We’re doing it because it’s a service storm mission. It is in support of our mission. And that just, you know what I found because I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years, it can really calm people down. It can help you get grounded and then you can get that clarity and focus going

[00:06:54.14] spk_0:
alright. You also said start with outcomes. What does, what does success look like? Right. All right. So what are some of these, could you give us some like, sample outcomes? Is it, is it fundraising related? Is it, uh, engagement on linkedin related or maybe it’s all that, you know, give us some sample outcomes to, to start with,

[00:07:21.65] spk_1:
um, in for nonprofits, there’s sort of a hit parade. Right? So fundraising for sure. Um, programs definitely, um, sometimes can be internal engagement also

[00:07:27.57] spk_0:
by the way.

[00:07:28.53] spk_1:
Um, if we’re talking internal, but I’m going to keep the conversation sort of focused external. But I just want to note that, right? Sometimes you actually need internal marketing in order for the external activities. Marketing to be

[00:07:38.44] spk_0:
Successful. And internal internal outcome might be 50% reduction in turnover. Exactly like that.

[00:07:48.07] spk_1:
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s a simple

[00:07:49.30] spk_0:
minded ones. I’m scratching the surface, simple minded, you know. But for

[00:08:08.12] spk_1:
non profits, it’s always gonna be fundraising and programs. Right? But there’s a third that actually it will surface uh, initially, which is raising awareness and when I work with clients

[00:08:12.42] spk_0:
so

[00:08:26.27] spk_1:
mushy. Exactly, tony It’s like very amorphous also. So that’s fine. Oftentimes you do need to raise awareness, but you’re going to add two words raising awareness. So that dot dot dot right?

[00:08:28.11] spk_0:
It’s

[00:08:28.39] spk_1:
Fine to raise awareness, but it needs again raising awareness. So that what so that you bring in, you know, more donors so that you increase your retention rate, you know, for existing donors. So that you attract 100 new clients or custom, you know, whatever it is. It’s, it’s like the means to an end to the means to an end that is marketing.

[00:08:47.87] spk_0:
Yeah, right. We have to hold our feet to the fire, raise awareness. Okay. 11 person in the community now knows that we exist who didn’t know. Okay, we raised awareness. We’re done.

[00:08:58.39] spk_1:
And you know what I want to say. Get

[00:09:01.02] spk_0:
away with that.

[00:09:01.99] spk_1:
The balance of staff versus volunteers or board members for your, for your podcast listeners. But the people who are, who offer raising awareness as a goal in and of itself, mainly board members.

[00:09:15.55] spk_0:
It’s

[00:09:16.61] spk_1:
often board members. Um but this comes from a from a beautiful place. So I also want to acknowledge that they’re so excited to work with the organization, right? Like of course they want people to know about,

[00:09:27.85] spk_0:
you know, we

[00:09:28.39] spk_1:
want more people to know. So I want to say it comes from a really beautiful place that we want to honor that, right? And and then also go to that next step, because that’s where things get strategic.

[00:09:45.21] spk_0:
Okay, okay, thank you. Alright, so, so we’re starting with our objectives. Um you you want us to have objectives that are objective neutral?

[00:09:50.75] spk_1:
Yes,

[00:09:51.61] spk_0:
talk about that.

[00:10:10.09] spk_1:
Yeah, well, so I distinguish between goals and objectives and it’s, you know, it doesn’t really matter, it’s a little nitpicky, but I have found and I have a podcast, communicate for good. And one of the early episodes is dedicated entirely to this topic, which is um I find it helpful if you’re semantically

[00:10:13.22] spk_0:
tidy,

[00:10:27.85] spk_1:
right? So that you have organizational goals and then you have marketing objectives or communication objectives and it just sort of reinforces that hierarchy of marketing and communication being in service to the organization and the organization’s mission. Um

[00:10:28.56] spk_0:
you know, and we’re here to talk about the klaxon method, so that’s fine.

[00:10:32.78] spk_1:
So we’re

[00:10:33.97] spk_0:
gonna we’re differentiate between objectives and goals. Starting with starting with objectives?

[00:10:43.92] spk_1:
Well, no, you would start with goals, organizational goals, organizational goals don’t move onto marketing. Let’s say

[00:10:47.11] spk_0:
that like

[00:10:48.41] spk_1:
if you’re not clear on your organizational goals, no marketing for you yet.

[00:10:52.49] spk_0:
And

[00:10:53.18] spk_1:
again, that can be simple too. I’m sure you’ve had other folks on here. You talked about this. You don’t need to be complicated to be effective with your goals, but you gotta have those. Otherwise you can’t move on to the marketing objectives because you don’t

[00:11:05.23] spk_0:
know, right?

[00:11:14.47] spk_1:
You don’t know what you’re being in service to. So, um, and yeah, you want the objectives to be something you can measure. Like did we make progress over, you know, a quarter or a year or whatever your time horizon is. Did we make progress? Did we increase

[00:11:21.13] spk_0:
retention? Did

[00:11:29.95] spk_1:
we grow acquisition? Do we have more donors? Right. Um, so it has to be something that you can measure. And oftentimes

[00:11:31.67] spk_0:
we

[00:11:32.42] spk_1:
resist in the nonprofit space getting this

[00:11:35.85] spk_0:
concrete right.

[00:11:43.15] spk_1:
We’re like, well, you know, we’ll just increase retention. Let’s stick with that because increasing retention is fantastic. But we don’t say by what percent right? Or by how much? Um, and this, what I find most often is that’s a fear of failure.

[00:11:53.77] spk_0:
Oh yeah. Right. We don’t,

[00:11:56.26] spk_1:
if

[00:11:57.31] spk_0:
we put a number to it now, we’re now we’re gonna be accountable at the end of whatever our time period is and you know, there’s the acronym for smart goals specific measurable. Is it attainable achievable is realistic

[00:12:14.20] spk_1:
and time and

[00:12:15.37] spk_0:
time bound. Right, okay. smart goals and that, that’s, you know, folks, you know, our listeners just google smart goals, You’ll find a million articles on

[00:12:25.38] spk_1:
smart what smart

[00:13:08.49] spk_0:
stands for and what smart means and etcetera. So, um, yeah, but right. But if we’re not gonna, but we’re not gonna be realistic and, and hold our own selves, hold ourselves in our organization accountable. You know what I mean? We’re supposed to be running this thing like a business. It’s a nonprofit business, but it is a business. I’m not saying, I don’t mean business pejoratively like cutthroat, but you know, we’re running a business here. We have employees, we have people who are serving or counting on us for, for for what we deliver. We have people who support us. They don’t necessarily buy things, but they support us with their time and their money more, You know, so, so I believe it is a business and it should be

[00:13:11.23] spk_1:
corporations, right? Nonprofits are, are technically corporations. Yeah,

[00:13:26.57] spk_0:
they are, they’re just non profit corporations. So, so, so don’t be afraid to hold yourself accountable. And, and so this leads to something that you believe that failure should be, not, not feared, but you know, accepted. And so, so, so don’t be afraid. I’m gonna give you a second. Just so folks, you know, don’t be afraid to set goals and objectives that are measurable. So, you know, whether you’ve achieved them because failure is not, um, I’m not gonna say failure is not an option, because that’s not true, failure should be, should be accepted and maybe even embraced, you learn something,

[00:13:59.38] spk_1:
it’s all in and what you do with the failure, right? I mean, it’s it’s, it’s somewhat inevitable, like we were all coming through covid, right? We tried all sorts of things, like we just had kind of had a failure fest in a lot of ways over the past few years and if you look at like how the sheer volume of things we learned,

[00:14:15.61] spk_0:
that’s

[00:14:18.03] spk_1:
success, that’s winning, right? Like failure has such a negative connotation and I do want to unpack this a little bit because I can imagine that that you have listeners and they’re like, that is not an option in my organizational culture, it’s not safe to fail. So this is, this is a leadership issue, issue in a culture

[00:14:34.67] spk_0:
issue, right?

[00:14:45.07] spk_1:
Like we have to lay this firmly at the feet of the leadership, that is where this culture either is or is not created. Um, and when, when, when failure isn’t an option just to play that out a little bit, people play

[00:14:49.72] spk_0:
small, they’re

[00:14:51.03] spk_1:
doing the same things over and over again, right? You actually become less effective over time,

[00:14:55.64] spk_0:
small, safe,

[00:14:56.80] spk_1:
safe. This is how we do it. And you know, this is how we do it a shorthand for, this feels safe to me,

[00:15:02.68] spk_0:
right?

[00:15:04.01] spk_1:
So, so a piece of this

[00:15:05.15] spk_0:
is

[00:15:08.38] spk_1:
psychological safety, this feels safe to me, right? And so you have to bring great intentionality as a leader when I’m coaching, you know, I do a lot of coaching one on one with leaders and with teams about one on one. We talk about failure a lot, like, because you have to start with what’s what’s your personal relationship with

[00:15:21.36] spk_0:
failure? Because

[00:15:27.70] spk_1:
failure feel safe to you, because if it doesn’t feel safe to you, well, that’s first step for you, right? You can’t be up there pontificating about like sailors, great, we’re gonna embrace it and meanwhile you’re like, oh my God, please, I never wanna fail. Um that’s not gonna work. You know, you have to unpack that. Like, what is your subconscious mind telling

[00:15:40.73] spk_0:
you, what

[00:15:41.00] spk_1:
are your beliefs about failure? What was modeled for you growing

[00:15:44.36] spk_0:
up around

[00:15:49.17] spk_1:
failure? You know, you have to do that inner work first that inner game, and then when you’re like, okay, I see the positivity and failure, then you can bring that forward um

[00:15:56.96] spk_0:
as

[00:15:57.51] spk_1:
a leader, but really this is about culture and it’s about leadership.

[00:16:28.35] spk_0:
Yeah. And I would say, you know, if if you’re in a place where failure is not at least accepted, I mean, we’re not gonna we’re not cheering for it, but at least accepted. You know, it may not be the right place if you because because it is it’s a place that’s playing like you said Erica it’s a place that’s playing safe and small, and, you know, we have enormous problems. Whatever whatever work you’re doing from education to animal welfare to the environment or whatever religion, whatever you’re doing, we’ve got a lot to do and playing safe and small is not going to get us there.

[00:16:48.96] spk_1:
Yeah. But you know what’s interesting tony is when we look at both like inter internal to the sector, but also external constraints to the sector. Um, but I just always wanna acknowledge when we talk about failure as it relates to nonprofits and they’re very

[00:16:53.60] spk_0:
world

[00:17:17.46] spk_1:
changing work. Like donors are not always super jazzed about the idea of failure. So there are some legitimate external constraints, funding constraints, largely funding related or partnership related, but mainly funding is what we’re talking about here, where it’s like, no, we’re not, no, that’s not on the table. And so you have to, you know, really figure that out for you. You know, look at your funding sources and risk tolerance and failure tolerance as it relates to those and then figure out like how can, how can you create a funding portfolio that does allow you to take risks. It does allow you to fail. Um, so I just always want to acknowledge, you know, uh, you know, listeners, if if you’re getting funding from pretty traditional sources that have like where that’s not an option. I just want to acknowledge that that’s a dynamic.

[00:17:42.67] spk_0:
Okay. Yeah. And I’m, I’m not disagreeing.

[00:17:46.40] spk_1:
Yeah, I don’t, I just never want to come off as like failure and embrace it and say hooray and whatnot. You know, like given given all the variables that leaders are dealing with. I just I want to acknowledge it’s not it’s it’s it’s messy, right? It’s

[00:18:25.62] spk_0:
part of that also is messaging though the way you, the way you go back to those funders and and and and even not only after the fact, but before before, you know, right before here’s something we’re going to try and launch this program and we’re gonna try to reach 2500 people in the next year, you know, but acknowledging that that’s that’s a stretch, you know? So I mean there’s there’s messaging, maybe it’s even marketing involved in all those in the whole process

[00:18:41.95] spk_1:
relationship building, right? So if from the I would hope like when I, you know, was in development that one, um you know, especially with institutional funders, um you know, you have the conversation up front, so are we gonna set big audacious goals together

[00:18:49.82] spk_0:
and if

[00:18:50.61] spk_1:
so we might not achieve them. What are we gonna do when we don’t achieve

[00:18:54.14] spk_0:
them? Right,

[00:19:08.68] spk_1:
Like and having those conversations upfront, what are we gonna do if we do? Because that’s what we’re going for, what are we gonna do if we if we don’t right? And where the course corrections gonna gonna come along the way, you know, I started talking about this idea of micro communication, which is, we tend to think about like big picture communication and big picture messaging and you know, a lot of my work with clients is

[00:19:17.25] spk_0:
developing,

[00:19:38.44] spk_1:
I call them identity statements but mission vision values, purpose statements right? Like you nail that and the rest of your messaging becomes so much easier, right? It just all closed. That’s lead domino. So we always start there. Um, so rightfully so big big ticket, big ticket messaging and communication elements. But increasingly, especially given what happened to our brains and our essential nervous systems with Covid,

[00:19:44.63] spk_0:
I’m

[00:19:45.16] spk_1:
really working with clients about being more attentive and intentional about micro communication. So what’s happening in between the big moments? How are you creating that

[00:19:54.10] spk_0:
connectivity?

[00:19:58.74] spk_1:
Right? And this can be very light touches doesn’t need to be a big deal. But like

[00:19:59.99] spk_0:
what? Give an example of what you’re talking about

[00:20:02.56] spk_1:
text message, right? Like hey, just checking in. We had a, we had a, we had a big day today, you know, we had our, you know, 100 people signed up just wanted you to know, you know, pop them a quick email, we don’t have to like wait rather than waiting for the formal report,

[00:20:16.67] spk_0:
you

[00:20:16.86] spk_1:
know, share the winds as they come in. And even if it’s just, you know, like I’m very attentive to my instincts. Um, you know, your gut, you know, people are like, oh, it’s like, well it actually is millennia

[00:20:28.67] spk_0:
of

[00:20:29.11] spk_1:
information that we all have inside of us. So I’m pretty

[00:20:31.46] spk_0:
attentive anytime

[00:20:32.66] spk_1:
somebody pops on my radar,

[00:20:34.41] spk_0:
follow your instinct. But I’m a huge believer in following your instincts,

[00:20:38.18] spk_1:
right? Like it’s telling you something

[00:20:40.91] spk_0:
anytime

[00:20:45.45] spk_1:
someone just pops on my radar and this is multiple times a day I stop what I’m doing and I pop, it depends on how they like to be communicated with, right? But it could be email. It could be a text, it could be facebook messenger, you know, whatever it’s gonna be. And I just say, hey, you popped on my radar.

[00:20:56.25] spk_0:
Uh, you

[00:20:57.20] spk_1:
know, I’m thinking of

[00:20:59.35] spk_0:
you, you

[00:21:00.20] spk_1:
can do that. You know, in a relationship with your funders and your donors as well. Like I think we’re in a place where a little more humanness is allowable. Um, and actually craved.

[00:21:12.03] spk_0:
Yeah.

[00:21:12.32] spk_1:
And also just from an internal communication perspective, there was an article recently based in Harvard Business review based on some research at the University of pennsylvania. And it was about what staff employees are looking for from their managers. And

[00:21:28.32] spk_0:
um, it was

[00:21:31.29] spk_1:
micro understanding. So this is what got me think about micro communication, right? And micro understanding meaning I don’t want you in my business. I don’t want you to be micromanaging me, I want you to understand me. Don’t you understand what happens for me over the course of my

[00:21:44.41] spk_0:
day because

[00:21:51.65] spk_1:
we are remote or hybrid for the most part, um, definitely not going away. Don’t you understand what that means for me and to me,

[00:21:54.76] spk_0:
so that

[00:21:55.14] spk_1:
was a really interesting evolution and and uh and an invitation for leaders to really be thinking what does micro understanding look like? And then my next step with that is and what is micro

[00:22:05.26] spk_0:
communication based

[00:22:06.98] spk_1:
on that? Right?

[00:22:07.97] spk_0:
All more humanness to like

[00:22:09.81] spk_1:
that Humanness,

[00:22:51.74] spk_0:
more humanity. So then um All right, so uh audacious go well, we talked to them about, you know, having audacious goals. Not not that goes back to you know, not playing small and safe and no, and that’s where this yes, our our digression on failure and micro communications came when I said it may not be the right place for you. What I meant was you know, if if leadership is not accommodating at you know, at least accommodating being audacious willingness to fail. Uh you know, then you have to evaluate whether that culture can change and if you’re not sure that it can evaluate whether that culture is the right place for you. That so that that was you know, I’ve

[00:23:02.98] spk_1:
also worked with um you know, leaders who

[00:23:08.55] spk_0:
were they

[00:23:09.18] spk_1:
are genuinely risk averse,

[00:23:10.74] spk_0:
but

[00:23:24.71] spk_1:
that does not, that doesn’t fire them up. It makes it very uncomfortable, right? So I just wanna say on the other side of it, you know, just is it a culture fit for you can be anywhere along that continuum. But I I love the question right? Like is this a fit for me? Right? I feel like so often

[00:23:30.51] spk_0:
we’re

[00:23:31.33] spk_1:
like, you know, when I, when I teach at the university of Washington in the oven school, the public policy and governance, um when I talk to my students and I mainly work with graduate students, so they’re getting their master’s degrees, They’re like rock stars, they’re amazing, they’re just amazing. And they get to the point in the, you know, in their time and they’re interviewing for jobs. And I always say to them, is

[00:23:51.91] spk_0:
when

[00:24:03.67] spk_1:
they’re making you the offer, you you you are in the power position, ask for what you want because it’s like, oh my God, they want me and then you don’t negotiate because you’re like, oh, they, they like me. Oh, and I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. You hold all the cards in that

[00:24:09.85] spk_0:
moment.

[00:24:10.69] spk_1:
They don’t want to go through that again. You hold all the cards and it’s sort of similar like,

[00:24:16.40] spk_0:
and we’re seeing this

[00:24:24.37] spk_1:
with quiet quitting and, you know, a lot of other movements. It’s like this openness, like maybe this isn’t what I want. And so there’s a lot of, you know, downsides and tough stuff happening right now obviously,

[00:24:29.74] spk_0:
but I think of

[00:24:51.07] spk_1:
bright, I mean I’m I’m a total optimist by nature. Um so I’m always looking for the silver lining in the bright spots while acknowledging the darkness um is this for me, is this what I want? Is this who I want to be? Is this where I want to be? You know, like there’s just a different and that that’s like authoring your life and I want to, I just want to invite listeners to like, this is your one, this is it, Right?

[00:24:57.13] spk_0:
Uh

[00:24:58.55] spk_1:
and you’re wonderful.

[00:24:59.98] spk_0:
And

[00:25:08.49] spk_1:
so are you offering your life, are you like making it happen for you as opposed to like that? It’s happening to me, stance is demoralizing and again, from a leadership perspective, are you inviting that sense

[00:25:12.76] spk_0:
of,

[00:25:13.71] spk_1:
is this for me? How is this for me? Um and encouraging

[00:25:17.32] spk_0:
that regardless

[00:25:18.75] spk_1:
of your risk tolerance by the way?

[00:26:28.28] spk_0:
Right. Right. I love the idea of making the life that you want, not defaulting into the life that lots of other people have made before you just because you know, and that might be taking a year or two off before, you know, to do, to do volunteer work or to travel and you know, there there are myriad different ways. It involves your personal relationships, your, your professional relationships, your relationship with family. I mean turn this into a therapy session, but intentional about the life that you make for yourself and a significant part of that, although it seems like maybe in declining proportion, but still significant is your work. The work you do. The reason I say that maybe in declining proportion is because since the pandemic, I think work has become less significant to large swaths of, I don’t know about the world. So I’ll just focus on our country. I think work has become less or

[00:26:39.98] spk_1:
at least differently significant. Like the way I’m experiencing it with my clients and you know, friends and colleagues, it’s differently significant, which isn’t good or bad, but it does feel different, right? Like it’s holding different space in people’s lives. And I think part of that is the sense of agency that’s

[00:26:46.61] spk_0:
like maybe it doesn’t

[00:26:47.85] spk_1:
have to look like this. And also by the way, you can honor,

[00:26:51.11] spk_0:
you

[00:26:59.26] spk_1:
could like, you know, I’m a woman. I like there are women who carved the path so that I could do what I want to do and I honor

[00:27:00.05] spk_0:
that while

[00:27:01.57] spk_1:
doing things differently and while doing them on my own terms, like you can hold both of that and I think sometimes it can feel a little like, but this is how insert person who’s important to you or who you respect, did things you can respect and honor that

[00:27:15.20] spk_0:
and do

[00:27:16.59] spk_1:
it your own way.

[00:27:17.36] spk_0:
Yeah, we can hold both these

[00:27:18.73] spk_1:
thoughts. You can hold both

[00:27:29.36] spk_0:
of course. Alright, well I made us digress from uh strict marketing communication. So let’s let’s go a little back. Um true believers. We have you want us to find true believers, help us. What are what are, who are our true believers and or what are they in the abstract And how do we find our

[00:27:59.69] spk_1:
okay, so in the world for marketing, generally speaking, in particular for nonprofits? There are three types of body of people in your audience is okay. And I’m not using these terms in their religious sense, using them sort of neutrally. Okay believers, agnostics and atheists. So believers believe what you believe. If you are on a mission to eradicate extreme global poverty, they’re like, yes to that. If it’s too, you know, spayed and neutered dogs and their yes to that, right? They believe what you believe. Agnostics might believe what you believe.

[00:28:14.55] spk_0:
Um, but

[00:28:15.88] spk_1:
you need to persuade them a little bit, right? Maybe it’s not top of their list or maybe it’s like, how you do it or whatever, but they’re they’re removable, right? You can, you can,

[00:28:23.26] spk_0:
you

[00:28:25.06] spk_1:
know, so you might think of them as like uninitiated believers.

[00:28:28.81] spk_0:
Okay.

[00:28:34.04] spk_1:
But they’re they’re they’re in the middle and then atheists don’t believe what you believe. And um, so one thing that comes up is it feels fantastic to convert an atheist, right? Like any time I do a big public talk and we talk about this, there’s always somebody who never believes, like, yeah, but there was this guy and you know, he was, he was against us. He was again, you know, we really kept working on him and now he’s a, you know, he’s a donor. My question back is that’s great. But what was the opportunity cost of converting one? Atheist versus connecting with 1000

[00:29:01.34] spk_0:
believers

[00:29:02.58] spk_1:
like which one? Which one is advancing your mission more dramatically? I mean, except in the world of politics, I just wanna, that’s the caveat, that’s its own little different things.

[00:29:12.90] spk_0:
Um, it’s

[00:29:14.91] spk_1:
all about connecting with your, with your believers.

[00:31:38.28] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take two. It’s planned giving accelerator season. I’m giving 50% off the full tuition for the month of january. So all this month, 50% off full tuition. The class starts in early March 1st week of March and will be done by Memorial Day. It’s a three month class. You’ll spend an hour a week with me. Well that may not be the biggest selling point. You’ll spend an hour a week with your, who will become your friends in our zoom meetings always set up as meetings, not webinars. If you know the difference, you’ll know that you can talk to each other. There’s no, there’s no putting questions and comments in a chat box always set up as meetings. These folks will become your friends. They will be similarly situated in small and midsize nonprofits wanting to launch planned giving. All right. This is, this is what we do together. Oh and and I am there too. And I’m teaching and you know, I’ll be guiding you, giving you the resources you need, like sample, um, Uh, donor letters, template letters, um, marketing materials? Uh, a power point for when you talk to your board and that’ll be one of the meetings we have together is acquainting your board with planned giving and perhaps soliciting your board, identifying your top prospects and soliciting them, identifying your tier two prospects and identifying them, etc. All the info is at planned giving accelerator dot com. I hope you’ll be with me, love to have you. And that’s Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for overcome common communications conundrums with Erica Mills Barnhart. Give us some, give us some ideas about how to, how to get, maybe get somebody from agnostic to, uh, to believe her. Those people are those, they work the return on investment. The agnostic community.

[00:31:50.77] spk_1:
Yeah. You know, for the most part, you have to be doing both. So, so a lot of marketing those optimization, right? So it’s for whom are we optimizing? Um, and in general,

[00:31:52.86] spk_0:
if you’re

[00:31:53.42] spk_1:
optimizing well, like with your messaging, right? So, so you have a message and it really speaks to the hopes Dreams, wants needs

[00:32:00.22] spk_0:
of

[00:32:01.22] spk_1:
your believers. That’s gonna be enough to like get your agnostics interest is going to perk up their ears for your believers. They’re like woo. And you’re off to the races for your agnostics. Um,

[00:32:13.34] spk_0:
it’s gonna take

[00:32:14.01] spk_1:
just a little more conversation,

[00:32:15.80] spk_0:
right?

[00:32:16.70] spk_1:
And so, you know, questions are your friend,

[00:32:20.07] spk_0:
like

[00:32:32.25] spk_1:
we default into this. Like if I tell them everything out of the gate, then maybe I’ll hit on something and that is interesting to them and you end up just like, right? And I always say when you tell someone everything, they remember nothing and that comes from like a worried place actually, right? So again, like that you’re gonna hear a theme which is

[00:32:38.05] spk_0:
like you’re

[00:32:39.37] spk_1:
the authority

[00:32:40.86] spk_0:
in

[00:32:41.13] spk_1:
what your organization does show up as the authority ask questions, right? Because the answers to the question, that’s how you’re gonna get that, then you know what they’re interested in and you can feel a little scary at first to do this. If again, if it’s not we’re used to doing or that’s not the culture, um,

[00:32:58.53] spk_0:
get

[00:32:58.82] spk_1:
them, you know, ask questions, just find out

[00:33:00.99] spk_0:
what, what

[00:33:02.42] spk_1:
is it about, what you do specifically? So it’s like there’s a level of specificity and understanding agnostics that you need to move them might refer to it as an engagement cycle. From knowing the organization to understanding the organization, to engaging

[00:33:17.89] spk_0:
believers

[00:33:18.63] spk_1:
move along that cycle real quickly.

[00:33:20.35] spk_0:
You need

[00:33:21.07] spk_1:
to spend more time that zone of understanding and helping them understand what you do with agnostics.

[00:33:27.72] spk_0:
Is this all consistent with uh Simon Sinek, his his core belief that people don’t buy what you what won’t buy, what you don’t buy what you do, they buy, why you do

[00:33:41.92] spk_1:
it

[00:33:46.23] spk_0:
consistent? Okay, okay, so say a little more about the engagement cycle now, you can’t shortchange non profit listeners with like a 12th drive by of the engagement cycle.

[00:34:15.73] spk_1:
I mean marketing and messaging is like very fundamentally all about moving folks around this engagement cycle. And it actually doesn’t matter if you’re like buying toothpaste or you’re trying to get, you know, a new donor. It’s like everyone has to go from knowing to understanding to engaging. And I got, I got specific about this because what can happen, this is unique to nonprofits is because we care so deeply and passionately about what we’re doing. There’s kind of this like to know me is to love me, to know me is to engage, why wouldn’t

[00:34:24.05] spk_0:
you Right?

[00:34:25.73] spk_1:
And then you skip over

[00:34:28.43] spk_0:
the

[00:34:38.12] spk_1:
understand phase and, and that’s really a miss and it’s a miss because like let’s take the events I pick on events a lot. Um, events are a classic example of moving someone from knowing to engaging right? Like I care about something I invite you tony and some other folks to sit at my table at, you know, the lunch and the dinner you come because you know me, maybe you care maybe you don’t and then there’s an

[00:34:53.45] spk_0:
ask rightfully.

[00:34:54.84] spk_1:
So, you know, we should ask for the support.

[00:34:58.51] spk_0:
But if

[00:34:58.93] spk_1:
you go from no to engage that

[00:35:00.39] spk_0:
quickly and

[00:35:08.97] spk_1:
you don’t plan and this is what I see again and again and again with nonprofits is there isn’t a plan for, okay, how am I going to go back to tony and

[00:35:09.71] spk_0:
sort of,

[00:35:10.38] spk_1:
you know, back up the caboose like understanding what what you tony care about as it relates to my organization.

[00:35:15.74] spk_0:
The important follow up

[00:35:22.23] spk_1:
the important what Yes, very intentional follow up. Um, and this is where you know, like retention comes into play, but it’s really interesting. Like you know, you say these things just like, why wouldn’t you do that? That’s weird. Why are you saying that out loud? Of course you would do that. It’s, it’s stunning how often it doesn’t happen. And it is this like really fabulous.

[00:35:38.80] spk_0:
Well tony

[00:35:39.55] spk_1:
Gave money of course he loves what we do and we lump, you know, then we lump you in with somebody who’s given to the organization for five

[00:35:45.40] spk_0:
years now.

[00:35:49.29] spk_1:
Your current donor, not everybody does this. I’m sure listeners, I’m sure there’s some of you like, no, no, we nailed it on the follow up. Like, you know, that’s not so I’m, I’m painting a wide with wide

[00:35:58.73] spk_0:
broad

[00:36:05.49] spk_1:
brush strokes here. But I have seen this so often. Um, and it’s heartbreaking because then you don’t, you know, maybe you don’t come back to the event the next year. You haven’t been nurtured and then your one time donor and that’s super

[00:36:12.46] spk_0:
expensive. That

[00:36:13.86] spk_1:
is low R. O I

[00:36:15.74] spk_0:
I

[00:36:15.97] spk_1:
want the highest return on investment possible.

[00:36:23.45] spk_0:
I’m guessing you’re a big believer in segmentation. Yes, I believe segmentation,

[00:36:26.43] spk_1:
but but not over segmenting.

[00:36:29.46] spk_0:
I

[00:36:29.89] spk_1:
feel like given some of the databases that we

[00:36:32.20] spk_0:
have,

[00:36:36.46] spk_1:
you can almost use it as a stalling tactic like well we’re not ready to like send out our appeals because we haven’t you know, segmented enough. So I just like it’s

[00:36:44.03] spk_0:
it’s a

[00:36:52.28] spk_1:
bit of an art. There’s an art to the segmentation in addition to the science. So yes. I’m a fan of segmenting. Um and not crossing the line into over segmentation as sort of a stalling tactic to doing the work.

[00:36:59.11] spk_0:
All right. I’m not I’m not clear on this. I mean anything. Yeah, I agree. I mean anything can be overdone and used as a used as an excuse uh as an excuse for immobility. What what what is what what’s over segmentation? Like what’s

[00:37:15.61] spk_1:
your database rather than sending out the appeal?

[00:37:17.85] spk_0:
Oh okay.

[00:37:20.95] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:37:22.33] spk_0:
And and segmenting we want to segment right by interest. Maybe if we know someone is interested in the spay neuter program then then those are the those are the touch points. Those are the data points. Those are the stories we’re gonna share with them. Not the uh not the adoption, not the adoption and rescue program.

[00:38:06.00] spk_1:
Yeah exactly. Like what are what are their interests? And so you know any organization will know in advance. Like here’s kind of our top three top three things we do. Top three ways that we services, we offer our ways that we go about um taking care of animals. Um So you start there again offering, right? So yes you want the information and you know your organization best. So start there and then you can put people in the file folders as it were.

[00:38:20.57] spk_0:
And you’re gonna find out what their interests are, not only by their giving, but by asking the questions that you were talking about earlier. You know, what, what moves you about our work? What brought you to us? What do you love? And

[00:38:21.93] spk_1:
how do you like to be communicated with?

[00:38:24.28] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:38:32.28] spk_1:
we have like a pretty strong email default setting now, I would say. Um, not everybody loves

[00:38:34.26] spk_0:
that. You

[00:38:46.37] spk_1:
know, I’m seeing, I have clients who are having great success with kind of not, not not doing email. That’s always gonna be a part of what you’re doing. But taking the time to like, actually, you know, back to snail mail. Um, you know, really working direct mail. I feel like direct mail is like having to come back.

[00:38:54.25] spk_0:
Yeah. It’s always strong. I think it’s always so

[00:38:57.88] spk_1:
much stronger than people. Whenever I like show the stats on direct mail, they’re like, what?

[00:39:01.91] spk_0:
Especially when you’re writing to people who love you already. Your mail is not their junk mail, they’re giving to you. They’re supporting you. They’re spending either their time or their money with you. They’re gonna open your letters.

[00:39:24.27] spk_1:
Yeah. I spent a lot of time talking about delight with my clients. How can you delight them? And it’s, it’s just, I mean, it’s a delightful conversation to talk about delight a lot of the work, You know that that nonprofits do is it’s heavy, it’s hard. Um

[00:39:36.19] spk_0:
And so delight

[00:39:36.92] spk_1:
can feel a little antithetical uh trivializing the work. And so I’m not trying to, you know, don’t trivialize the work and don’t trivialize what you’re sharing. Um But can you can you create delight in

[00:39:50.65] spk_0:
how

[00:39:51.08] spk_1:
it is delivered in some form or fashion? I think delight is a gift um in this day and age and it activates people’s particular activating system, which is opens, opens them up to whatever comes next. It

[00:40:03.25] spk_0:
also sounds like fun, right? You can be willing to have fun. Don’t be afraid to have fun. Right?

[00:40:08.60] spk_1:
Yes.

[00:40:10.03] spk_0:
Fun. Yeah.

[00:40:11.83] spk_1:
Yeah. I mean listeners can’t see it, but I do have a string

[00:40:14.33] spk_0:
of holiday

[00:40:15.77] spk_1:
lights around my neck.

[00:40:16.75] spk_0:
I was thinking about saying it right this minute to yeah, got christmas lights multicolor.

[00:40:21.22] spk_1:
I mean it’s been an intense year.

[00:40:24.21] spk_0:
It’s a necklace necklace of

[00:40:25.80] spk_1:
christmas.

[00:40:26.68] spk_0:
The old, the old style big bulb type, not the

[00:40:30.09] spk_1:
right. Yeah. There’s nothing, there’s nothing sophisticated about these lights

[00:40:35.05] spk_0:
there.

[00:40:39.10] spk_1:
Dr Seuss lights. And I put it on this morning cause I’m, you know, I’m talking with you and I like have a lot of stuff and I’m like let’s have a lot of fun

[00:40:56.85] spk_0:
please please do? Alright, we still have more time together. E. M. B. Erica Mills Barnhart. What else, what else would you like to talk about marketing doing it differently. Thinking differently that we haven’t talked about yet.

[00:41:23.14] spk_1:
You know, one of the things I, this is not a unique to me type of thing, but I really invite listeners to think about what they can let go of to do less. What I consistently see is organizations doing too many things. Um and often the reason for that is far more like fear of missing out often, often to double down that this comes from board members. So if you’re a board member listening, you may have a fabulous idea for marketing, Thank you very much for that. And

[00:41:32.87] spk_0:
go

[00:42:05.73] spk_1:
back to the klaxon method, what does success look like? Who’s our target audience? So does your idea, which is a, how is that really going to resonate with the target market? This is why working the method is so important. Part of it. It grew out of like I wanted a way for to kind of mitigate positional authority negatively impacting marketing outcomes, right? Because if you’re a staff member it can be tough to say no right, It really can be. And so then you end up with kind of a bloated number of marketing activities that you’re doing. Um so it’s early in the year, like the work I’m gonna be doing with clients and I am hosting monthly free Ask me Anything sessions starting in january 2023 So you’re listening and you’re curious, come to come to an A. M. A. Right? Like what can I take off my plate? I’ve been doing this so long that it’s, and I’m right, I’m objective. So I can be like, don’t do that.

[00:42:25.49] spk_0:
Take that. Where can we learn about the go to

[00:42:35.03] spk_1:
Klaxon dash communication dot com, backslash newsletter sign up because it’s for newsletter subscribers. That’s how you’re going to find out about like get the zoom link and all

[00:42:39.53] spk_0:
that. You say dash. I say hyphen hyphen. Okay. You don’t mind hyphen.

[00:42:43.99] spk_1:
Maybe that’s an east coast west coast thing.

[00:42:50.91] spk_0:
Maybe it is Klaxon dash Klaxon hyphen. You say you would say dot com though, right? You wouldn’t say that period

[00:42:55.32] spk_1:
correct. I just think about that. Yeah. Dot com. Dot org.

[00:43:01.43] spk_0:
It’s your company. Use dash. I just, I don’t know. I learned hyphen maybe in law school. Maybe I learned hyphen in law school. I don’t know.

[00:43:07.86] spk_1:
Oh, 100% seems lawyer lawyerly.

[00:43:11.04] spk_0:
It sounds like it’s

[00:43:11.94] spk_1:
very technically accurate,

[00:43:13.49] spk_0:
right? Like aiding and abetting it’s, you know, you have to duplicate the words in case you didn’t get it with aiding. Like I gotta, I gotta double down with abetting. Yeah.

[00:43:29.28] spk_1:
So that’s one thing I would say and part of it is like I just want to, I give all your listeners and all non profit people? Just a permission slip to do less.

[00:43:30.40] spk_0:
What kinds of things, what kinds of things we do less of?

[00:43:37.36] spk_1:
Don’t be on so many social media channels, knock it off. You don’t need to be on all of them unless you are a very, very large organization, which as we all know listeners. So there aren’t that many nonprofits that are big enough to support

[00:43:46.64] spk_0:
the very big right University of Washington is not listening to us

[00:43:50.29] spk_1:
go dogs. But no, they’re not

[00:44:05.61] spk_0:
Erica is in Seattle Seattle Washington. Um, well we just talked, well, my guests just last week, I talked about what’s going on twitter amy sample ward and you know, for the new year, whether whether you want twitter maybe, you know, her advice was just evaluated objectively.

[00:44:12.81] spk_1:
I literally tony Just had this conversation with my client yesterday. One of them was

[00:44:16.92] spk_0:
a good time to think, take a step back,

[00:44:20.96] spk_1:
take a step back. But,

[00:44:21.75] spk_0:
and, and

[00:44:23.22] spk_1:
you know that, that I don’t, I mean I haven’t listened yet what Amy said, but I do and believe everything Amy says by the way, she’s brilliant.

[00:44:30.47] spk_0:
She’s on, she’s on all the time. You know, Amy sample

[00:44:32.58] spk_1:
ward. Yeah,

[00:44:33.78] spk_0:
she’s a regular. She’s my, our technology and social media contributor on the show.

[00:44:39.47] spk_1:
Yeah, way back when I worked for an organization called End Power. So we put technology into the hands of nonprofits and so we

[00:44:46.10] spk_0:
started

[00:44:55.61] spk_1:
crossing paths then. So we’ve orbited for a long time. Um, it’s a values decision to a certain extent. Right? So just with that twitter piece, she spoke to this?

[00:44:57.62] spk_0:
Here’s the like, yeah,

[00:44:59.42] spk_1:
are, are, are are people there? So who’s your target audience? If so Okay, that’s that’s one piece of equation but also like how does this align with our values as an organization? So that that’s really twitter is really a twofold choice whereas the rest of them

[00:45:11.82] spk_0:
um you

[00:45:13.18] spk_1:
know, linkedin facebook, I would,

[00:45:15.95] spk_0:
what

[00:45:17.75] spk_1:
I generally say is beyond one.

[00:45:21.37] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:45:22.83] spk_1:
Beyond one. Be fully on one be the organization where if you’re on linkedin and you, you know, you’ve got the algorithm going for you. People are like, Oh my God, it’s you know, it’s so and so again insert the name of your organization like that. It’s your omnipresent.

[00:45:38.34] spk_0:
I

[00:45:41.71] spk_1:
Would rather have the clients be omnipresent on one channel Then sort of, you know, not even blinking onto the radar of the 17 different social media. I mean there’s a hit parade of five basically, but I’d rather have you beyond present on one once you have that nail.

[00:45:53.03] spk_0:
I had

[00:45:53.33] spk_1:
Another, you know, some organizations can do to it’s fine, but even at two. oftentimes I see

[00:46:00.19] spk_0:
diminishing diminishing

[00:46:01.63] spk_1:
returns for clients.

[00:46:02.77] spk_0:
I

[00:46:07.65] spk_1:
mean I run a communication firm right here on Lincoln period full stop.

[00:46:12.03] spk_0:
What what’s well at Erica mills barn, is that not?

[00:46:16.03] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah, that was my choice to sort of be the face of

[00:46:19.37] spk_0:
um

[00:46:20.22] spk_1:
so that’s our

[00:46:21.38] spk_0:
the company. Okay, so the company is strictly on linkedin,

[00:46:24.59] spk_1:
yep. Gotcha.

[00:46:25.67] spk_0:
Okay. Klaxon, yep. Alright permission to do less

[00:46:30.32] spk_1:
permission to do less permission to less because you’re going to do it better and you’re gonna feel like

[00:46:36.56] spk_0:
just you’re going to

[00:47:10.03] spk_1:
feel the energy of it. And I actually, because I do have, you know, people call it street, but actually it’s quantum physics um and metaphysics, which is like, if you’re on, I’m gonna make this up, right? If you’re on five channels right now where you’re doing five or six things, I want you to write each of them on a piece of paper. I want you to go what who, how make a strategic informed choice about which you’re gonna keep and the ones that you’re gonna release, you’re gonna go burn the scrap of paper. It is so gratifying and there’s something energetically about that. I mean, one of the things that I talked about a lot is the energetic of language in general, right? So words, we hear words matter, Words matter because they actually are matter.

[00:47:21.88] spk_0:
Um

[00:47:22.19] spk_1:
So they abide by all of the universal laws of physics and thermodynamics, just like anything else. So, the words themselves have energy.

[00:47:30.61] spk_0:
Every

[00:47:31.39] spk_1:
word has its own energy, the way you deliver it can shift the energy right? Um and so as you’re like, that’s why just releasing and having to change form is really an important part of the process. Plus it’s

[00:47:43.26] spk_0:
fun theme

[00:47:46.41] spk_1:
of the day, it’s fun, but I mean, you know, be safe about your burning and I’m not like suggesting

[00:47:50.73] spk_0:
you may not be

[00:47:52.11] spk_1:
safe and have fun with burning things, but

[00:47:55.30] spk_0:
um,

[00:47:56.13] spk_1:
it really helps because otherwise there’s going to be this niggle that’s like, oh, but we still have that like profile up so maybe we should be doing something or yeah, just release that for yourself. Political,

[00:48:06.52] spk_0:
you deserve it.

[00:48:08.10] spk_1:
But every single person listening deserves to do what they’re doing in a way that feels amazing to them.

[00:48:15.15] spk_0:
Alright, that’s empowering. That’s

[00:48:16.80] spk_1:
empowering.

[00:48:18.90] spk_0:
So words follow the laws of physics and thermodynamics.

[00:48:27.09] spk_1:
Their energy. They’re literally

[00:48:27.78] spk_0:
energy, right?

[00:48:29.10] spk_1:
Because they’re matter

[00:48:43.79] spk_0:
words are matter. Well paper that words could be written on his matter, but aren’t the words ephemeral and why

[00:48:44.04] spk_1:
would they be?

[00:48:55.19] spk_0:
Because they’re vocalized. Yeah. So they don’t they, they vaporize after they’ve been articulated

[00:48:56.50] spk_1:
tony Has anybody said ever said anything to you that hurt your feelings?

[00:49:00.03] spk_0:
Sure.

[00:49:02.43] spk_1:
Did that feeling vaporized as soon as the words left their mouth?

[00:49:10.40] spk_0:
No, Yeah, we’re

[00:49:13.77] spk_1:
trained to think of them as ephemeral and they are not their energy.

[00:49:17.70] spk_0:
Hmm

[00:49:18.83] spk_1:
Yeah, that blows people’s minds most the time. Your listeners are like, oh my God, they’re talking about, what are they talking about now? So let me get concrete about this. I mean, I love talking about it

[00:49:28.88] spk_0:
at

[00:49:29.08] spk_1:
this level, but I want to make this practical for listeners. Um, this, so when I’m creating like identity statements, mission vision values purpose. Um, we look at and there’s a tool were to fire dot

[00:49:40.23] spk_0:
com, you can

[00:49:44.81] spk_1:
go there, you can put in any word you want. Um, and it is a massive database powers is we pulled every single word of 2503 nonprofit websites. This allowed us to generalize to the entire sector at a 95% confidence interval for any of my fellow geeks out there. That’s what, that’s the bar that you want. Right? So you can go there, put in any word you want and it’s going to tell you it’s going to give you a red, orange or

[00:50:05.36] spk_0:
green.

[00:50:06.76] spk_1:
Red means this is, this word is used a lot by nonprofits a lot. So you, you, it’s not gonna, people are gonna notice it.

[00:50:14.84] spk_0:
Impact, impact

[00:50:17.30] spk_1:
is up there. I’ll tell you, I always joke that provide is the lamest verb ever. Verbs are very

[00:50:22.37] spk_0:
important. It’s

[00:50:24.02] spk_1:
The 4th most used

[00:50:24.92] spk_0:
verb by

[00:50:25.98] spk_1:
nonprofit. So what that means is no one’s going to notice that

[00:50:28.60] spk_0:
verb

[00:50:29.61] spk_1:
and verbs represent the change that you’re committed to creating the world world

[00:50:33.83] spk_0:
and so you

[00:50:34.36] spk_1:
want a verb that’s like, oh,

[00:50:35.86] spk_0:
okay, interesting.

[00:51:21.37] spk_1:
Okay. Um, so there’s always a better verb can provide so you can put that in and, and, and the green ones so you can get some, you know, synergy is still green. It’s not saying like definitely use it. It is giving you feedback about the extent to which somebody is probably going to notice the word or not. So, so in language we have function words and content words, function words are like the and but like our brains don’t register those because our brains can’t register everything right? Like our subconscious mind is processing 11 million bits of information per second. And that’s condensed into like 40 ish pieces of information for our conscious mind. So our brains are very efficient because they have to be and so for a messaging perspective, you

[00:51:24.35] spk_0:
Know, your your your light bulb necklaces overloading my my my conscious and subconscious processing like 20 million bits a second because I got I got these lights. It’s a good thing you didn’t put them. I asked her to put them on flashing and she said no, give me a headache. It’s a good thing. You didn’t do that. I’m sorry, go ahead. I’m sorry.

[00:52:02.28] spk_1:
Yeah. So that’s why, you know, when we’re creating and again, this is the most important set of statements that you’re ever gonna write as an organization. So it’s worth the investment to do it well. And you’re looking for like that combination of like, oh yeah, that makes sense. And like, oh that would interest me. I’m not used to seeing that quite in that context. You know, that’s the art. That’s why like after 20 years of working with organizations writing those. I never get tired of that. That’s just

[00:52:12.03] spk_0:
fun. You like to read fiction.

[00:52:14.56] spk_1:
Yeah, I read

[00:52:55.90] spk_0:
fiction fiction much more than non more southern nonfiction use of use of language word word choice. You know, it sometimes it stops me. I don’t read I don’t read that much fiction actually. But when I do you know someone’s word choices. Oh man she wrote she wrote that he threaded them through the narrow pathway, not that he led them or or took them, he threaded them through the narrow pathway that happens to be part of a book that it stays with me. See words words, words follow the laws of physics and thermodynamics. I told you that you thought they were ephemeral her, you know this is Joyce. Uh

[00:52:59.39] spk_1:
it is one of those things that can we just pause on this for a second.

[00:53:01.75] spk_0:
Like every

[00:53:03.01] spk_1:
time when I first talked about that with somebody shared their like wait my range is hurt and then you’re like,

[00:53:08.62] spk_0:
oh that makes a lot of sense. Like

[00:53:10.60] spk_1:
once you see it you see it. Yeah,

[00:53:12.28] spk_0:
well you grounded it well and you know, hurtful, hurtful words and also

[00:53:16.03] spk_1:
start to go there positive

[00:53:17.05] spk_0:
positive words.

[00:53:18.10] spk_1:
Yeah, like sorry,

[00:53:21.84] spk_0:
thoughtful, thoughtful words could get me going for a month. I can think about, oh she she took the show to her board and it led to a discussion which led to an action and you know, I could go on six months on that. So yeah, okay.

[00:53:33.03] spk_1:
Either way words are on a continuum just like all energetic things are on a continuum. But yeah, but they but they do either have a negative or positive charge. So

[00:53:43.26] spk_0:
is that your background? You have a degree in physics sciences? No, my

[00:53:47.72] spk_1:
dad was a professor

[00:53:50.29] spk_0:
of

[00:54:06.08] spk_1:
engineering. I artfully um didn’t do any, I didn’t do chemistry. I didn’t do physics. I like avoided everything in that realm. But later I really started seeing like it’s um

[00:54:07.13] spk_0:
how

[00:54:08.27] spk_1:
relevant is everything in life. So I sort of did more self study, but I do just I do run things past my dad. Like when I landed on that, I think I think words abide by all the so I sent my dad a note and he said, let me think about that for a little bit. He came back and he said, yes,

[00:54:24.36] spk_0:
you’re right.

[00:54:27.76] spk_1:
So I press your test all of these things because I do not have a background in it

[00:54:43.60] spk_0:
on your dad’s responses. Classic engineer. Let me think. Let me think about the problem. I think about the question. You think about the question and the solution and the answer. All right. But you sound like me. Like I took physics for poets in college. No,

[00:54:44.82] spk_1:
my daughter is a senior, so she’s applying to colleges and graduate.

[00:54:50.34] spk_0:
My

[00:54:50.95] spk_1:
daughter is a senior

[00:54:52.51] spk_0:
in

[00:54:53.10] spk_1:
high school. And so the other day, she said, mom didn’t you you like majored in french and political science, didn’t you? As an undergrad?

[00:55:00.38] spk_0:
And I was like, yeah,

[00:55:03.40] spk_1:
she’s like why? It’s like, I don’t know, you know, I’ve done fine, so, but she is very much, you know, she wants to be a neuroscientist and she’s very,

[00:55:11.53] spk_0:
she follows her grandfather sciences strictly rooted in the sciences Alright. Yeah. Where did your dad teach, Where did your dad teach?

[00:55:19.02] spk_1:
University of british Columbia?

[00:55:21.74] spk_0:
You

[00:55:23.22] spk_1:
will notice like a little weirdness to have

[00:55:25.79] spk_0:
A little further north in Seattle, right, you’re from Vancouver, two

[00:55:35.33] spk_1:
Hours north of here, you hit the border about 45 minutes past that you get to Vancouver, that’s why I still say a couple of things weird like my mom and passed and I’ve been places

[00:55:39.43] spk_0:
because that’s where I was born. Your mom being right, why don’t you leave us with some inspiration, Erica Mills,

[00:55:46.04] spk_1:
tony Come

[00:55:48.64] spk_0:
on, take us out with, take us out with good marketing inspiration, you’re loaded with it. What do you come in? Come on, this is a walk in the park for you.

[00:56:46.73] spk_1:
I’m going to double down on some of the things I said, I really, I mean I’m kind of on a bender about do less, be kinder to yourself by doing less, really want that. I want that for every listener, I want it for their teams. I want for their families, I want for everybody. We’ve just gone through so much tough stuff. Um one of the questions that I love playing with that, I always play with with my, especially my my leadership, you know my leaders who I do coaching with is like how can you make it easy, Like oftentimes we make things harder than they need to be, I am notoriously fabulous and making things really complicated. Um and a couple years ago I just started asking like how can I make this easy? What’s the easiest way to do this and easy in the sense of easy? Maybe it’s for you, how do you make it easier for you, for your team, for the organization, right? Like just without losing or negating or minimizing the importance of the work

[00:56:50.13] spk_0:
that that

[00:56:50.77] spk_1:
that you know, listeners are doing, there’s almost always a way to just make it a little easier and let me tell you there’s always a way to make your marketing easier. Always, always, always. I mean it’s why I have, like listeners have heard some of the methods and the frameworks that I use, that’s why I’m such a fan of creating them and mine are all super

[00:57:08.60] spk_0:
simple.

[00:57:10.18] spk_1:
And the reason for that is because I want to make it easier. Like I want to free up that energetic space

[00:57:17.64] spk_0:
for

[00:57:18.03] spk_1:
you to be focusing on the substance of what you’re doing on the way in which you’re changing the world. Um You know, marketing communication isn’t rocket science, it’s actually pretty darn straightforward. Um and so let’s let’s make that as easy as possible.

[00:57:32.35] spk_0:
We also doubled down on have more fun, have

[00:57:35.50] spk_1:
more fun. I mean by the way that’s giving myself a permission slip. Um it’s you know, it’s easy, like if especially I love the work I do. I mean I truly it it lights me up. Ha

[00:57:46.81] spk_0:
um ha

[00:57:48.50] spk_1:
ha because okay I do have light bulbs around my neck. Um

[00:57:54.63] spk_0:
but this

[00:58:04.60] spk_1:
work can it can be heavy and getting, you know, the stakes feel high. I have some really high profile clients um you know, I need to get it right with them and for them. Um and I think that it can be we can forget to have fun,

[00:58:10.11] spk_0:
you

[00:58:10.32] spk_1:
know, we can forget to have fun. So like fun.

[00:58:12.62] spk_0:
Don’t forget

[00:58:13.35] spk_1:
Spaciousness. I always like come up with three words for the year.

[00:58:18.59] spk_0:
That’s

[00:58:19.07] spk_1:
pretty fun if listeners don’t do that. That’s a beautiful way to set the stage for the year ahead for yourself.

[00:58:23.54] spk_0:
You have three words for 2023?

[00:58:25.47] spk_1:
I do.

[00:58:27.14] spk_0:
Well no no we’re gonna wrap it up,

[00:58:31.87] spk_1:
we’re gonna leave people like wondering you can reach out

[00:58:35.17] spk_0:
Right? You have to reach Erica Yes. If you want the three words, what are the three words for 2023

[00:58:39.79] spk_1:
spaciousness, vitality and play,

[00:58:58.65] spk_0:
spaciousness, vitality and play. Alright, spacious while we talk to permission to permission to do less permission to have fun. Play play and vitality Yeah.

[00:59:00.32] spk_1:
tony And I’m gonna ask what yours are, I’m gonna I’m gonna email you in a couple of weeks.

[00:59:31.24] spk_0:
Okay because we’re recording in december. So I don’t have mine yet but we’ll we’ll go we’ll go out with yours spaciousness, vitality and play BMB. Erica Mills Barnhart, communication expert, speaker author coach. You’ll find her at Erica Mills barn and her company at klaxon hyphen or dash communication dot com. Erica Thank you very much. Real pleasure so

[00:59:33.23] spk_1:
much for having me. tony I really appreciate it. It’s been great

[01:00:11.41] spk_0:
next week the 2023 fundraising outlook report from one cause if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein, Thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty B with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for September 12, 2022: Planned Giving For Eastern Donors

 

Vidya Moorthy: Planned Giving For Eastern Donors

Cultural and familial differences between East and West raise issues for Planned Giving fundraising. Vidya Moorthy from Clural LLC and Bassett Education India, raises our consciousness.

 

 

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[00:02:00.46] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of two targa. I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of a target to turn to 22 to turn to torta no pia, I’d get slapped with a diagnosis of tutor to know pia if I saw that you missed this week’s show planned giving for Eastern donors, cultural and familial differences between east and west raise issues for planned giving, fundraising. Vidya murthy from chloral LLC and Bassett Education India raises our consciousness on Tony’s take to scott stein’s new album. We’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper here is planned giving for Eastern donors. It’s a pleasure to welcome to nonprofit radio video murthy. She is founder of austin texas based chloral C L U R A L L L C and C. E. O of Bassett Education India Video is a communications specialist. D. Eye specialist and the specialist in cross cultural training, boundary crossing tactics, media relations and interpersonal communication. The company is at chloral dot C. O and you’ll find her on linkedin video. Welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:02:23.84] spk_1:
thank you so much. tony Happy to be here

[00:02:41.56] spk_0:
it’s a pleasure. Glad to have you this is a very interesting topic to me of course, because we’re talking about planned giving, but in a culture that I am not acquainted with, so I’ve got a lot of learning to do from you um before we go into the, all the cultural differences that, that I want to talk about, let’s define the eastern world for folks and for me, so I know what, what regions or what countries, you know, we’re talking about.

[00:02:58.65] spk_1:
Yeah, sure. So I think that’s a great place to start. I think when we talk about the eastern world we’re really talking everything that is east of africa and east of europe. So you’re talking the Middle East and then further on your talking china India sri lanka, um, you know all the way up until Singapore and Japan.

[00:03:21.56] spk_0:
Okay, Alright. So it is, it’s fair to lump japan and India together in our, in what we’re talking about today.

[00:03:45.44] spk_1:
Yeah. And the reason that, that I, that I think it might be okay, tony is uh, you know when you look at it at a, at a granular level is Alabama the same as California. No, not at all. But it is possible to paint all of America in broad strokes and I’m going to try to use those similar broad strokes with reference to the Eastern culture. The Eastern philosophy.

[00:03:54.61] spk_0:
Okay, okay. And Middle East as well you said

[00:03:57.19] spk_1:
yes, Middle East as well for

[00:04:03.79] spk_0:
sure. Alright, so we’ll talk in broad strokes and uh you know if I if I transgress and say something. You know if I try to draw a conclusion that’s inappropriate, you will you’ll cut me off at the knees, right?

[00:04:10.34] spk_1:
I doubt that’ll happen. But yes,

[00:04:20.02] spk_0:
now now there’s a good chance you gotta you gotta lackluster house at best, so you’ll be sure to stop me if I draw some conclusions or something that it’s just wrong. Just dead

[00:04:24.84] spk_1:
wrong,

[00:04:26.63] spk_0:
please. I’m counting on you, I’m counting on you to do that. All

[00:04:29.20] spk_1:
right.

[00:04:43.33] spk_0:
And I’ll of course I will try not to make a fool of myself as well. Alright. Uh I usually I I often I often succeeded that just often. So patriarchy, patriarchy is very important. What what do we need to know about the role of men in these cultures?

[00:05:14.22] spk_1:
Well again with reference to broad strokes, I think patriarchy is a familial structure, it’s an authority structure and it’s an organizational structure and the power of the male voice is not something that can be easily underestimated in the Eastern society. Um I think that it has a significant amount of both influence and control with reference to all kinds of decisions of all kinds of personal and professional decisions and I think particularly with respect to plan giving um I think the male voice kind of dominates those decisions in the Eastern world.

[00:05:38.57] spk_0:
Okay. Yeah, go ahead more more. I hope

[00:06:09.77] spk_1:
just one more point. I also want to kind of set the context that in several Eastern cultures. Um, the daughter in a family tony always gets married and leaves and walks into her husband’s house and her husband’s family. The Sun, however, stays back to carry on the family legacy and the family name and oftentimes his wife moves in with him and his parents. Business decisions, personal decisions are all just continued therefore from father to son and generation to generation. So a patriarch passes on his power and control to his son and

[00:06:26.21] spk_0:
like

[00:06:26.68] spk_1:
it or not, that kind of dictates the preference for the male child within the eastern family

[00:06:33.45] spk_0:
unit. Now everything we’re talking about today is this likely to be, uh, to be continued in folks who have immigrated to the US.

[00:07:32.00] spk_1:
Uh, I think the Western lifestyle is so powerful that it does seep through the walls of homes and it does tend to influence, um, and bring upon Western influences into Eastern homes. Um, I think basically the responsibility and the close knit structure of the family does stay together, but, but our immigrants families, you know, living together with their sons and daughters in law in multigenerational homes as is very common in the East. I doubt it. I doubt it because that’s where work takes folks right. I mean, my son might work in in, in California and, and therefore he cannot continue to live with me. And, and so I don’t see that system being perpetuated in immigrant families when they exist in, in, in Western worlds, but certainly the emotion is there certainly the sense of responsibility and the closer knit family structure is very much intact

[00:08:03.15] spk_0:
and, and still male dominated, you, you believe, but still, so patriarch quickly organized, not, not physically organized around patriarchy with, with the, with the wife of the sun moving in, not physically located, but, but the, the concept still prevailing. You think,

[00:08:31.24] spk_1:
oh absolutely, I think it does prevail. And I think that while I say that I must use a word of caution as well because just as with every generational difference, you know, even in America, even amongst families here, there’s a significant amount of difference in the last two generations. So I think we need to allow for that. Um, and, and, and know that, you know, there are going to be some families which kind of morph into more Western structures, but essentially at the core of it, the patriarchal voice is a very important, controlling, influencing voice.

[00:09:15.89] spk_0:
It sounds like the lesson is, you know, no, no, your donor and know know their family, you know, so we can, we were here raising awareness of what might exist in a, in a, in an immigrant family from, from the east, um, or might not. So, you know, for, for fundraisers, you know, we can raise your consciousness, you need to be aware of what the, what the dynamics are in a, in a donor and donor family that that your your you might be talking to.

[00:09:20.79] spk_1:
Oh absolutely. And I think that once you understand the nuances of the donor family and and whose voice is perhaps the loudest and what their key motivators are for any kind of giving. I think then you are on the verge of being able to design an effective approach strategy

[00:10:08.64] spk_0:
of course, write what moves them uh you know, programmatic program wise of course. But just in terms of, you know, where the decision making is, you might be talking to a female donor who might actually be, you know, uh in a in a marriage where the husband makes the decisions around finance as you were saying or you might not or it might it might be that the western culture is more seeped in in that family. So that’s what I’m saying. You know, you want to know the dynamics of the family you’re you’re working with.

[00:10:14.80] spk_1:
Oh, absolutely.

[00:10:16.20] spk_0:
Okay.

[00:10:17.11] spk_1:
And while you know, insight into that might be difficult. My my tip would be to pick up on a lot of nonverbal cues and kind of read between the lines when you’re interacting with these families. You know, sometimes

[00:10:32.24] spk_0:
that’s that’s juicy. Okay, what are some nonverbal clues, clues,

[00:11:19.45] spk_1:
clues for example, you know, you approach the home of the donor, you set up a meeting and whether they see you in the office or you see them in their home, Um, you’ll get and pick up a lot of cues in it. So for example, sometimes the wives may or may not even join the conversation and, and then you know, instantly that you know who, whose voice kind of dominates. Sometimes you might notice that as you walk into their office, you don’t see their wife’s office right next to his, you know, so you know, that perhaps she’s not engaged in that same line of work or you know, the responses seem seem to bear a certain unilateral authority rather than saying, Hey, I love talking with you, Let me talk to my wife and I’ll get back. He might, let’s say, you know, yeah, let’s do it done. And he’ll sign up right then and there or say no right then and there. So so you can kind of pick up and even when you’re talking to the wife, she might, you know, say this sounds great. It’s a very important, cause I suggest you talk to my husband, I’m traveling. I’m not even gonna be in town, but you can take it up with him. You know, and then you know that she’s probably not part of the routine decision making engine of the family.

[00:13:47.56] spk_0:
It’s time for a break turn to communications. I saw on linkedin, somebody defined crisis communications as applying to anything that’s out of the ordinary, not necessarily something bad just outside the day to day routine. And she used the example of dignitaries visiting her non profit obviously delightful, wonderful, great opportunity. Um, I can see, you know that sort of definition, but uh, because because it requires a crisis level response, even though it’s terrific, you wanna make sure, you know, you get the word out broadly leading up to it and, and during the event and after the event and you want to have that messaging being consistent and on brand and of course you have to manage the event itself. Um, you wanna tie in your own dignitaries, like your board and your major donors, major volunteers, Right folks that are your, your insiders. So, uh, maybe call it a positive crisis. You could think of it as as that. And another example might be a major anniversary, could be a positive crisis. So like your 20th or your 50th, this is all to say. That turn to, can help you with communications for these positive crises, great things that are happening that are way out of the ordinary. They can help you out with the messaging around all that because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o Now back to planned giving for Eastern donors. You mentioned business to, uh, the, the, uh, I think you’re referring to the sun taking on the business of the of the father. Can you say a little more about that, that prevalence.

[00:14:46.12] spk_1:
Well, a lot of the times with reference, I think to to indian immigrant families and to Eastern immigrant families here in the United States, um, I would say that the fathers who moved here, let’s say in the eighties or in the nineties, you know, they worked tremendously hard tony to set up these businesses. Right. And, and that’s how they build better futures for themselves and their families. And so chances are that a significant portion of their Children are looking at taking over these organizations that their parents have created and along with inheriting not just the business, they tend to inherit the culture and the organizational philosophy that their parents intended when they started the organization. Right. So, so they take it upon themselves as a matter of, of responsibility to continue to toe that line and and to be able to make sure that they are indeed perpetuating what their parents most likely their fathers intended.

[00:15:02.34] spk_0:
Okay, so, so there is a responsibility across the generations,

[00:15:07.23] spk_1:
no

[00:15:09.38] spk_0:
doubt. Okay,

[00:15:10.08] spk_1:
no doubt.

[00:15:10.87] spk_0:
And that applies to daughters as well. You said, you said Children,

[00:15:25.02] spk_1:
of course, of course there’s numerous instances of, of super intelligent, empowered women that have done magic with what their fathers or mothers have created. And and that’s really heartening to see. And in fact, I know of several stories like that and those are the encouraging ones that, that I think a lot of other upcoming entrepreneurs and business women look up to as examples.

[00:15:49.28] spk_0:
You you mentioned when we were talking alone something about, you know synchronizing generational giving what what what what what’s what’s this about?

[00:16:58.46] spk_1:
So with reference to synchronization I think when Eastern families raise their kids um they are caught in a duality of their original cultures and also wanting to adopt, adapt and fit into the Western cultures. So every household kind of creates a marriage between the Eastern and the western world’s and picks values that they really try to instill and pass on into their sons and their daughters. They try to set boundaries on you know when they’re really young, you know saying this is what is acceptable to us or this is not acceptable to to us and they define and pick and choose which Western values can permeate through their walls into their homes and by doing so they try to sync up with their kids on their own values, what they believe in their approach towards money, their approach towards giving towards contribution to society. Um and and values that that they all follow in their personal lives as well in terms of whom you marry, how you spend money, how you communicate with those around you and maintain a social circle along with all of these. I think for sure you know the sense of giving back is also communicated and synchronized generation to generation.

[00:17:27.71] spk_0:
What can you generalize about thinking around supporting charitable work. You know I mean you know in a lot of other countries that doesn’t even exist very much, but but here in the U. S. You know, what what can you what can you generalize about support to to charity?

[00:20:25.88] spk_1:
What can I generalize? That’s such an interesting question, tony because uh you know, and this is in the Eastern world, in the Eastern world. If I were to draw generalizations, not here in the United States, but in the Eastern world, I would think that there are broadly three primary factors that drive planned giving in the Eastern world. It could be won a very heartfelt feeling for the cause itself. You know, you have you have philanthropists of of various economic capabilities who are trying to do their part towards the cost that they feel passionately about? And that’s the human drive, right? So, so that’s common for everybody across the planet. If you can you believe in a cause the humanness and you calls out to you and you give um in the Eastern world, a lot of plan giving is out of political pressure and and you do have to wade through through a lot of murky areas in order to navigate. I think those regions, because a lot of plan giving is very political in the Eastern world and and instead of a direct contribution to a political leader, he might say, hey, you know, can you build this park in this constituency or can be create a center of art in this constituency from from his constituency. So it’s it’s very politically driven. And third, I think is certainly the social status that comes with being known as a donor for a visible cause. And the social status in the Eastern world earns you so much in terms of almost a demigod kind of a status if you are that visible and if your donation is that visible. And I think in terms of generalizations, if I were to take these three and try to see if I can paint the Western donors from Eastern heritage in this same light, is it possible? I would say that only two of them are probably more applicable. A small percentage of them, I think would do it for uh, for political, the reason is a very small percentage, but broadly either they do it because they believe in the cause and they feel like it’s their turn to give back because they’ve crossed continents, rebuild their lives and, and now they feel almost a sense of social responsibility to give back. And also the second part that motivates them would be certainly the visibility in society to be seen as an immigrant who is successful up to the point where they’re being noticed for their philanthropic efforts. And, and guess that’s where, you know, the curve of life would take most immigrants to be in a position of visible donor to be respected for it to be acknowledged for it

[00:20:49.91] spk_0:
very interesting. So, you know, lessons for us in in stewardship and and public acknowledgement of the public acknowledgement as a part of stewardship so that the person feels this and and enjoys this elevated social status.

[00:21:33.08] spk_1:
Absolutely. And I think you know, when, when you approach donors, you know, if you can um, if you can give them incentives for increased visibility. So if you say, hey, you know, we’ll interview you and we’ll put a link on our website or there’s a plaque with your name on it or you know, we will have this section dedicated to you and and your name and picture will be visible here or we will announce this donation in this forum, whatever you can do or if there is a kind of a yearbook, almost that that you can include them in and their name and photograph or an interview with them that talks about, you know why they are giving to this cause and what their drivers were and make it a very personalized story that they can tell through you to the world. Um, I think all of them would be excellent motivators for them to give

[00:22:00.48] spk_0:
you even mentioned the word demigod in in in their own culture, being seen as a, as a demigod.

[00:22:10.21] spk_1:
Oh yes, and that’s a very interesting phenomenon and I think that’s very

[00:22:14.15] spk_0:
specific to the eastern

[00:22:15.46] spk_1:
world.

[00:22:16.54] spk_0:
Yeah,

[00:23:00.36] spk_1:
because you know organizations, the larger ones, especially if you take you know the non Gardena House of business or the even bigger Ambani House of business back in India, you know, they actually have a day called Founder’s Day during which all the employees in the organization, literally thousands of them, they celebrate, you know, the founder’s birthday and there is a large photograph and their garlands around it and people bow and their flowers and they recognize his, his contribution not just in founding the organization but recognizing his philanthropic efforts. Um, sometimes, you know, they would go as far as not even wear slippers or shoes right Up to the photograph, just like you would in a, in a temple, you know, and that’s why I call it the demigod status and, and it’s not artificial, it’s not a put on, they really feel it from their heart. They feel like they owe their sustenance to this individual who started this organization 50 years ago or 80 years ago.

[00:26:34.48] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. 4th dimension technologies, technology is an investment. You’re investing in staff productivity because you know how unproductive folks can be when, uh, technology is not doing what it’s supposed to do. You’re investing in security obviously, um, donor relationships because you’re preserving, giving histories and actions, people’s preferences, their own personal info, uh, their attendance at events. Um, you’re investing in your organization’s sustainability. So I hope you see tech as an investment and not an expense and 4D can help you invest wisely see how it all fits together, help you make your tech investment decisions doing it smartly you can check them out on the listener landing page for help with your tech investing at tony dot M A slash four D. Just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. It’s time for Tony’s take two scott. Stein has a new album, I love it. You know, scott of course, he’s the composer of cheap red wine, the show’s theme song, it opens and closes every single show. You know it, his new album is uphill. I’ve been listening and uh hoping that you will listen. I’m suggesting giving him giving him a listen for the new album, my favorite song is the last one on the album. So even though he calls the album Uphill, he ends with the song, It’s a good life, which is the one that he premiered on the 600 show. Uh and I love his lyrics like don’t just stick to what, you know, let it fly and watch it go. Of course I’m not gonna bother trying to sing. Uh you’ll be grateful, you are grateful. Trust me. Another one that I love also from that song uh from it’s a it’s a Good Life no matter how you sing your song, there’s always someone singing along. So you know, I love scott. Um I’ve been using his song for many, many years. Um I’m enjoying his new album. Uphill. You can sample every song on the album if you go to scott stein music dot com. So I’m asking you please give give scott a listen at Scott Stein music dot com for his brand new album. Uphill, That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo but loads more time for planned giving for Eastern donors with Vidya murthy. Let’s talk about the one, something very concrete. The beliefs around the word death, death is is not not a good word.

[00:28:32.38] spk_1:
Yeah, I think, you know, if you spoke to anybody tony in the, in the Eastern world, um, generally Eastern philosophy, I think it lends itself to the fact that words are very powerful and uh, you know, most spirituality or different kinds of religions, I think they focus on energy and consciousness as opposed to a book or as opposed to uh rules of commandments, right? That’s what most easter religions are built on. So this is not just with reference to Hinduism, but it extends to buddhism or taoism or organism where they believe in the power of words. So, you they also believe then that what you talk about manifests in life. So what you don’t want to be doing certainly is approaching a person and saying, okay, so after your death, how can we ensure that the system of giving continues because that’s just too direct for them and it’s too much in your face. And it’s not something that I think people like to discuss openly as factual as it might be, as certain as it might be, they’re very watchful with, With using words in that context. So when you approach, I think a donor from the east, you really clearly want to stay away from using those kinds of words which talk about, you know, the term in al itty of life you want to really talk about, you know, how can we, how can we ensure that that what you’re doing continues for the next 80 years? That’s probably a better way to say it. And it’s just a choice of words.

[00:29:41.11] spk_0:
Right, Okay. And that’s very consistent with what I teach folks about talking about planned giving, which is that it is not a death conversation, although the word death may work its way in, you know, someone, uh, someone from the West may very well say, well, you know, I’ve already got my, my plans for my death, you know, laid out or you know, they may bring the word up. Um, but your, your point is that, you know, dealing with someone from the East you don’t want to. Um, and again, that’s consistent with what I teach, which is that planned giving is the, the, the life of the nonprofit, the sustainability of the nonprofits work and mission and values for decades and generations to come. And listeners may have heard me use that exact phrase decades and generations. Um, so, you know, you’re not talking about the person’s death, you’re talking about the life of the nonprofit, the survivability of the nonprofit. Okay. But interesting about just the word, you know, or around. Yeah, the words death dying, uh, you know, they should be avoided, which they don’t really belong in a plane giving conversation to begin with unless the donor brings it up.

[00:30:28.20] spk_1:
Sure, sure. Um, I just like to, you know, throw light on two different aspects and maybe this is an appropriate time. tony is, I think when you are trying to, um, talk to and attract donors, um, one, I think the western way of doing business is very transactional as opposed to the relational way of doing business in the Eastern world. And I think kind of softening the edges is, is a great place to start. So you know, when you, when you talk to a potential donor, maybe you can engage in some conversation about their family. Maybe you can engage in some conversation, you can ask questions about, about what their kids are doing and try to paint and present the picture that you’re not just doing this as a transaction between a donor and your organization, but rather this is a family that’s committing because they believe in the cause and position it based on the relationship that you seek to develop with the

[00:31:36.30] spk_0:
family. Yeah, I mean, these conversations are never the first time you’ve met the person, You know, these, these conversations take place over time. You’re talking to folks who are already committed and loyal to the organization. They’ve demonstrated that commitment and loyalty through their giving history and you know, it’s, it’s really, of course, as you’re saying, it’s, it’s relational, it develops over time to, to the point where you believe, you know, it’s a good, it’s a good time, the right time for an individual donor or family to raise the idea of a gift in their, in their long term plans. Yeah.

[00:31:40.20] spk_1:
And I think you’re right in terms of just warming up to it and then adding that personal touch. And because sometimes I think the western way of doing business, you minimize references to a person’s personal life. And I guess what I’m suggesting is talk about that personal life more.

[00:32:01.34] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. Getting to know the person, getting to know their family

[00:32:06.35] spk_1:
and

[00:32:06.49] spk_0:
that and that is going to happen over over time. Right?

[00:32:09.14] spk_1:
Yes. Over time. Of course.

[00:32:11.90] spk_0:
Um, what else would you, what would you like to talk about around this?

[00:32:29.76] spk_1:
Oh, yeah, sure. So I think, um, you know, I’d like to go a little bit into detail now, tony If it’s okay with you to talk about the different kinds of family structures that exist. And, and uh, would you think that that’s an okay thing to talk about at this point,

[00:32:34.89] spk_0:
please? I opened the door. Yeah, I’m not going to say no. Now, I just, I just opened the door for you.

[00:34:56.44] spk_1:
Fantastic. Fantastic. So when I was researching this, I was very intrigued by this. and because I don’t think that immigrant families here who have lived in the US for generations, um are all homogeneous in their structure. And I went into a little bit more detail into finding out how our families organized here. And, and this is not my own research. It was something that was put out by Merrill private wealth. And they classify families as as essentially five different types of families. And the first type are individualists, families which are a lot of Western families as well. Nuclear units that that function mostly in isolation. Um then you have connected families and connected families. Um they’re very much nuclear units, but they stay in touch, They might meet once or twice a year. Um they might touch base once every few weeks. And those are again very similar, I think, to many families here in the Western world, then you have the third kind of families which are called tribal families. And tribal families tend to stay more connected. Um and they tend to know what’s happening in, in their daily lives, you know, so they might touch base certainly once a week and say, hey, what’s going on? And and even distant relatives stay in touch in the tribal family setup. Um then you have economic families and economic families. Um They own assets together. They might have a joint source of income and and family economics I think makes them one larger common unit and and the fifth kind of family is an integrated family where, you know, it combines the tribal and economic structures. They’re super close. Um, and mostly patriarchal and they have the money flow tied into decision making tied into raising kids, raising multiple generations and they all live under the same roof. And I think when you identify very clearly what kind of family structure a potential donor, um, lives in, it might be very helpful to you and, and critical input to you as you devise your strategy for approaching the donor. And so you could align

[00:35:22.53] spk_0:
it. Are we most likely to see folks from the Eastern cultures that we’re talking about being aligned in sort of the last one? The economic type family structure.

[00:35:51.83] spk_1:
Yeah, they’re mostly either tribal families, economic families or integrated families. And you will find that for example, if there’s a family of positions, um, you know, which is very common from the Eastern world, you’ll find that, that, you know, certainly they, our tribal families, they stay in touch, they talk about money and business, they might own assets to grow together. If they’re three brothers, you know, they make joint investments, um, they even make sure they support their nieces and nephews, not just their own Children. And so when you approach these families, then it might help to have a broader strategy of visibility, not just for the person you’re directly engaging with, but for their brothers or sisters as well.

[00:36:27.90] spk_0:
There are times of day that are better to talk about long term planning and finances than other times of the day in the cultures we’re talking about. Can you flush that out please?

[00:37:42.29] spk_1:
Yes, that’s an interesting concept and and if I may, you know this is a kind of a personal story, tony is when we were, when we used to live in in India and it was a multigenerational home. We had four generations in the same house, but the elders in the family would often discourage us from having either banking counselors or insurance counselors in our homes during the evening hours after 5 30 to at least 7 30 or eight p.m. And the belief was that that that is a pious time of the day when when all goodness walks into your home and it’s probably not the best time to be sitting and having a discussion on insurance or giving or what happens after you die. So they would actually shoo away invest insurance agents who would knock after 55 30 now. No, no fault of the insurance agent. You know, they’re just too trying to come by your place because it’s after work hours and they think that that might be a time that’s good for you to talk to them because you’re done with your work. So my suggestion is probably just during business hours is always the best to talk about um you know, plan giving, especially if you’re discussing, you know, what’s going to happen with generations to come with reference to the

[00:38:10.44] spk_0:
giving.

[00:38:11.81] spk_1:
Yeah. And it’s nobody wants to sit in most eastern worlds talk about unpleasant things between five and 7 in the evening.

[00:38:19.82] spk_0:
Okay.

[00:38:20.87] spk_1:
Yeah.

[00:38:21.65] spk_0:
Planned giving is not unpleasant, but of

[00:38:24.23] spk_1:
course it’s not. Of course it’s not. But God forbid, you know the word debt. But

[00:38:56.51] spk_0:
we are we are talking about money and finance and and you, you know, you might be talking about rates of income from charitable gift annuities or you might be talking about a gift from a life insurance policy. Again, this goes back to know your donor. No, the family, but we’re raising consciousness here about what you might, what you might, uh, what you might face. So be aware, be aware you have something called the, uh, answering the call of Oneness from humanity. It sounds very aspirational. What is that?

[00:40:25.15] spk_1:
The Eastern world is a very trying world tony in many places. There’s a lot more competition for someone I think, who has not seen what the race for survival is. It can be very humbling and answering the call to to human Good, I think is something that strikes at the very heart of many donors of Eastern origin. And while they live work and play in the Western world, I think many donors are more inclined to give to a human cause that contributes, let’s say to to Children or to senior citizens amongst us or to those with physical challenges or mental challenges, something that improves humans and families and gives them access to better education, better futures generally. Again, broad strokes, they tend to connect more with these causes as opposed to causes that let’s say, promote art or, you know, if or promote, let’s say automobiles or promote music, even sometimes, you know, because they more relate and many a time they are witnesses to two stories of struggle and, and success within their own families. They know how little their fathers came from or how little their grandparents had and what helped them. So they look at plan giving as a way to give back and which is why I think human causes, um, attract them more

[00:40:53.72] spk_0:
because

[00:40:54.38] spk_1:
they’ve seen poverty and helplessness most of the time from a whole another level than, than what is visible here in the west.

[00:41:07.11] spk_0:
Okay,

[00:41:17.84] spk_1:
so I think I’m talking about what causes appeal to them more and the reason that it appeals to them. Yeah.

[00:41:20.00] spk_0:
Um, what else would you, what would you like to make folks aware of? We haven’t talked about yet.

[00:42:40.31] spk_1:
Um, well, as as I think we continue this discussion, I would, I would like to focus on some strategies that I think would be effective when you’re reaching out. Right. Um, I think, you know, to, it kind of touches upon some of the things that we’ve already spoken about. tony But um, one, I think the human angle is something that you should certainly reach out up front point number two Is the social status that comes with giving and three be sure you talk about generational impact or the impact on the broader family structure, not just on the donor himself, but with the 34, 10 people that encompass his immediate family, which might mean his brother, her sister, her aunt, just a few more people apart from just that one individual. And when you talk about generational impact, the human angle social status, um, I think then, and you’re sensitive about, you know, who’s making these decisions and who’s calling the shots. I think you’re really onto something in terms of being able to make them want to give to your cause?

[00:43:13.58] spk_0:
Let’s flush out that generational impact because that, that sounds like something that may be a stretch or maybe I’m just not conceiving of it correctly. So how can we, if we’re talking about a long term gift, a planned gift with someone. Um, I mean there are, there are planned giving methods that can include other people like charitable gift annuities and charitable trusts. There could be value for other family members that way beyond the donor. Um, is that, is that the kind of thing, you know, you’re talking about, are you referring to financial impact for siblings and, and other generations or are you talking about something broader than than a financial benefit,

[00:43:58.89] spk_1:
certainly broader than a financial benefit. tony I think what I’m, what I mean is if you’re looking at a charitable trust that composes the whole, the broader family unit, which is very common in Eastern families. And I suspect in the Western as well, obviously just because of its of the benefits of the financial benefits of having one, you are talking about not just the monetary component and the benefits through generations, but the val Values that you’re able to pass on from generation to generation and what you want your family to be remembered by what you want, your son to grow up and stand for or your daughter to say, Hey, you know, my mom did this 20 years ago and now I want to do it for the same organization and feel a sense of connectedness and pride. So you’re passing on the emotion, you’re passing on the value and you’re passing on the monetary commitment and the benefit.

[00:44:32.18] spk_0:
All right. All helpful. Okay. Um, what do you think should we, should we wrap it up there or something else? Is there anything pounding like, why didn’t he ask me this question? Anything else? Um, not

[00:45:24.17] spk_1:
that not that anything comes to, comes to my mind, but I think that, um, you know, just being sensitive to, uh, to the cultural impediments of fear, complexity and inconsistency. Um, in terms of, especially when you’re reaching out to, to first time donors. Um, I think that a lot of immigrants might be first time donors and they might need a certain kind of education to, to say, hey, you know, we would be honored. This is, uh, this is the main purpose and this is the higher calling. And if you’re able to walk them through that, then I think it makes, it, it’s simpler for them. It breaks down the complexity and it removes the fear of having never done this before. And like you rightly said, everything doesn’t have to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It could start small. And, and so if you give them the different options and the different that it’s not, you know, an arm and a leg to begin with. I think that is something that will mitigate the fear as well.

[00:46:48.25] spk_0:
And again, planned giving is never gonna be the first gift that you’ve asked someone to give. You may start them, you know, you’ll, you’ll, they need to be committed already to the organization before you’re opening the door to a planned giving conversation. So very well, you know, as you said, you know, we might be introducing them with $100 gift or $1000 gift. And that may be years before we get to a planned giving conversation. But the relationship has to be built and I, I thank you for raising our consciousness teaching me, uh, about some of the Eastern sensitivities around around a conversation that ultimately leads to plan giving or might be talking about planned giving now because the person already is a committed loyal donor, but now you’re talking about the next level of giving and uh, we need to be sensitive to the Eastern Eastern cultures, Eastern beliefs structures. So thank you. Thank you.

[00:47:17.77] spk_1:
Thank you. I hope that, you know, the listeners do get a couple of tips that might help them approach donors of eastern descent and also follow some broader strategies. But at the end of the day, tony as a multicultural specialist. Especially, um, I think what hits me most is that people are more similar than we are different. You know, it’s, it’s just a slight nuances that vary, but in a, in a broader sense, I think what we all strive for what we all want. Our motivators are, are shockingly alike.

[00:47:31.58] spk_0:
Video murthy, founder of Austin texas based chloral LLC at chloral c l U R A L dot c o. And you’ll, uh, you can connect with video on linkedin video. Thank you very much delighted.

[00:47:46.40] spk_1:
Thank you so much tony It’s been a pleasure

[00:49:03.65] spk_0:
next week. The tech that comes next. That’s the new book from AMY sample ward and a few a Bruce. They’ll both be with us if you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech 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 and by fourth dimension technologies i. Tion for in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D. But you know, just like three D. Except they go one dimension deeper. And remember scott Stein’s new album, Please check him out Scott Stein music dot com, Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott Stein. Thank you for that. Affirmation, scotty and congratulations on your new album. You’re with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great.

Nonprofit Radio for September 6, 2022: Sustainable Fundraising

 

Larry Johnson: Sustainable Fundraising

Larry Johnson is author of the book, “The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising.” He walks us through several of them, including “Donors are the Drivers™,” “Leadership Leads™” and “Divide & Grow™.”

 

 

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[00:01:51.84] spk_0:
and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me, I’d suffer with infra occlusion if I had to bite down on the idea that you missed this week’s show, sustainable fundraising. Larry johnson is author of the book The Eight Principles of sustainable fundraising. He walks us through several of them, including donors, are the drivers, leadership leads and divide and grow. I’m Tony’s take to make it about your mission. We’re sponsored by turn to communications. Pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o and by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box the affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant or d just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper here is sustainable fundraising. It’s a pleasure to welcome Larry johnson to non profit radio He is founder of the Eight Principles and author of the award winning book the eight principles of sustainable fundraising. He’s an internationally recognized coach trainer and thought leader in fund development and philanthropy. The principles are at the eight principles dot com and larry is on linkedin. Larry johnson, Welcome to the show.

[00:01:54.56] spk_1:
Well Tony, it’s indeed a pleasure. I’m looking forward to this.

[00:02:14.05] spk_0:
Thank you very much. I am as well. It’s a pleasure to have you, Let’s talk about the eight principles. What were you thinking when you uh rarefied fundraising into into eight Cognizable bites for folks.

[00:03:22.38] spk_1:
Well um you know, I’ve been in this business what 30 plus years now, yikes anyway. One thing I’ve noticed throughout my career is that people tend to focus on the process or the tools and not really the underlying principles or unchanging sort of laws that are operating in the background. And, but if you look at organizations that are truly transformative in the way they raise money and the way they engage their donors in the way they continue to grow every year. Even if they don’t, they ever heard of the eight principles, you could take and look at their organization and see them observing all eight of them. And so when I went to write the book, the idea was to create a book that was sophisticated, yet simple and that could be applied both at the technical levels and at the board level that here, this is what’s going on. And if you understand it, then you’ll be able to assemble a program that makes sense for your organization because not every organization is the same. The constituencies aren’t the same. And so it’s really, it’s foolish to try to make everything work everywhere because it won’t. Uh, and that’s one of the reasons why so many organizations are pushing uphill.

[00:03:32.41] spk_0:
So, you see these as a, as a foundation for all sustainable fundraising.

[00:03:33.99] spk_1:
Yeah. And the reason why is they’re all based on human nature. Um, and, uh, I mean, we’re actually gonna be going into into, into ASIA, into India later this year and they’re just as applicable there as they are here because they’re based on human nature.

[00:04:24.33] spk_0:
Okay, well, we’re gonna, we’re gonna hit three of them that I feel are areas that we haven’t had many guests or any guests talk about. And then, you know, if, if there’s still time we’ll go back and hit a couple. But uh, you know, for listeners, I want, I want it to be stuff that we haven’t talked about very much with with other guests. So your number one of the eight principles of sustainable fundraising is donors are the drivers. What’s going on here?

[00:05:33.58] spk_1:
Well, um, donors A. K. A. Investors. I like the word investors. Um, they are driving the philanthropic enterprise without them. There is no philanthropy. There is no fundraising. But the irony here is they’re not driving it with their money. There’s the key, um, people are obsessed about the money. Well, yes, money is involved, but it’s not really the focus. And especially at the focus of, of donors, investors. They’re looking for something different. But then it’s also not really, their focus is really not the mission of the organization either. Um, it is, again, tangential, what donors are looking for is the fulfillment of their own dreams and aspirations. That’s what they’re really looking for and the organization that can provide that they’re the ones that will elicit the transformative and ongoing support of these people. Um, and so they are indeed driving the enterprise. And there’s a lot of, a lot of my friends out there in the wealth management world, tell me that for lack of engagement by nonprofits, there’s probably at least a billion dollars sitting out there un engaged. And, uh, and that, that doesn’t mean it’s tied up in a donor advised fund or any sort of instrument there. It’s just sitting out there because it’s never been engaged.

[00:05:48.98] spk_0:
I mean, there could be more than that. That that’s a very speculative,

[00:05:51.90] spk_1:
right? It is, it is

[00:05:56.19] spk_0:
Estimate, I mean, it could be $10 billion. I mean, I know nonprofits could be more engaging with donors. So I’m not, I’m not quibbling that it’s not a billion. It could be 10 times that,

[00:06:03.96] spk_1:
yes, it could be absolutely, absolutely. But the keys, they’re driving the enterprise, but they’re not driving it with their money,

[00:06:19.09] spk_0:
right? You’re saying their aspirations and their dreams say more about how you see nonprofits fulfilling donor aspirations and dreams.

[00:06:46.11] spk_1:
Well, tony if I were approaching you as a, as an executive of a nonprofit or a fundraiser, a board member or anybody else and you were a potential investor. Um, I would first try to figure out what it is that you that really gave you fulfillment what it is you’re really looking for. And we’re talking about very serious transcendent fulfillment, not immediate short term and, you know, especially with today’s technological tools that are available, you know, in the old days, you just ask people and that still works. Um, but you can figure out pretty quickly, you know, what is it that’s driving these people, what is it they’re not missing because what you’re giving them is something they cannot buy. You see, they can’t buy that. Um, and let me tell you a little story

[00:07:21.93] spk_0:
before your story, hold, we’ll get we’ll do your story. I love stories, not putting the kibosh on the story, but hold off what they can’t buy. They can’t buy the fulfillment that nonprofits can provide, that

[00:09:26.91] spk_1:
they can’t buy that. So, if the if the nonprofit is going to offer this to them, you know, and then they will more than gladly give them an exchange. You see, let me let me let me illustrate this. There is a there is a for profit market vertical that understands this intrinsically and in fact, their entire um market proposition. Their whole sales proposition is if you use their product, you will become personally fulfilled sex appeal, you know, self worth all in one package. And most of us use those products and I, and I usually say, so what is it to a group? And maybe one person will get it right, It’s the cosmetics industry, Alright, that’s exactly their sales proposition you use our product, you’re going to be beautiful, self fulfilled sex appeal, the whole thing. So, and the story is okay to illustrate that I went into a department store, it’s been four or five years ago now and I went into the cup of the men’s cologne fragrance counter, whatever you wanna call it. And there was a young clerk there, young man and I walked up and I knew what I wanted, you know, and he says, um, can I help you sir? Well, if you know me, you know that I love to ask questions just to see what kind of response I’m gonna get. And right in front of me on the counter was this, you know, men’s health? One of these men’s magazines opened to a full page cosmetics at full page. And the ad was very simple. It was a um it was a photograph, full page photograph. And it was this this uh this gigolo with this, with this blonde in a white bikini on a yacht, in the Aegean. And then the, an image of the product was superimposed onto the photograph very prominently. And it’s, you’ve probably even seen it. It’s a very well known brand. So I said to the young man, I said, well, so tell me pointing to the ad, if I buy this, do I get hurt? Well, he looked at me like he didn’t, he was just he was he couldn’t quite

[00:09:31.60] spk_0:
was a man,

[00:09:33.80] spk_1:
it was a gigolo with the, with the blonde.

[00:09:36.78] spk_0:
Oh,

[00:09:38.32] spk_1:
okay, so you know, the the idea is you’re you’re transmuting yourself there on the yacht with this blonde, that’s the whole thing. Okay,

[00:09:46.19] spk_0:
Yeah. The guy at the Clark county has to offer you?

[00:10:19.58] spk_1:
Well, first of all, he couldn’t quite process what I just said because it was so damn obvious. That’s why. And then, so then I said so, but that’s the implication, isn’t it? And he said, yes, it is. That’s what I’m telling you. And you see, and you see, so they’re making billions of dollars selling a counterfeit. And what I tell nonprofits is you have the real thing because people want to be involved in something that’s bigger than themselves. They want to feel they’re part of something bigger than themselves. And if you can provide that they will be with you over and over and over again. You try to browbeat them with with moral ISMs or statistics or other things. You know, people just kind of tune you out. They may give you a hush and go away gift. Like here, take some money, go away. But you’re not gonna get the kind of transformational engagement that you can, if you really understand that you want to tap into that person’s desire to do something bigger than what they can do.

[00:11:11.01] spk_0:
Let’s see what are some ways that, that we can, we can do this. How can we, I guess I guess I’m asking you in our, in our marketing, which may just be conversations, I don’t, I don’t mean necessarily in our print marketing or digital. But in our conversations even, you know, how can we rise to this principle of fulfilling dreams and aspirations for donors?

[00:12:17.47] spk_1:
Well, the first thing is you have to figure out what the dreams are. You have to know what they are. And that takes some time. Um, it takes some effort. It’s not impossible. And you know, I worked for one of the major consulting firms for over seven years and I did a lot of campaign feasibility studies a lot, uh, could do them in my sleep. And one thing I discovered about those is even though they consisted of anywhere from 40 to 50 individual interviews, um, if the initial interviews were chosen correctly, if we could get the right balance in the first half dozen or even maybe nine, um, I knew how it was gonna turn out in the end. I can tell you this is what’s gonna happen at the end and that comes from doing it from the experience. So, but the client of course one of the 50 interviews and that’s what the client got. All right. But I could because I remember getting a call from my boss once after the after the first three or four days. How’s it going larry? I said, well, it’s going to be X, Y. Z. Okay, fine. And I spent the balance of the time during the interview. So a lot of it is, you know, I’m an old school guy. Be

[00:12:27.18] spk_0:
careful there. I hope you didn’t, I hope hope after those first eight or nine interviews you didn’t engage in confirmation bias and then you just you just attempted. You and your all your subsequent interviews. You, you skewed your conversations to confirm what you had already told or you already fixed in your mind even was gonna happen. You didn’t let that happen. Did you know, confirmation bias?

[00:12:43.26] spk_1:
No, I’m an engineer by training.

[00:12:47.04] spk_0:
Okay. You’re

[00:12:48.01] spk_1:
looking at the data at the end.

[00:12:49.76] spk_0:
All right.

[00:13:40.22] spk_1:
You’re you’re looking at, okay, this, this is all the answers to the questions how they all stack up, but you can get a pretty good idea of how it’s going. If you’re listening carefully, you begin to see patterns emerge. And there are there is the odd ball one that you, at the end, you get a few interviews that that throw everything out of whack that happens. But typically you don’t have my point in saying that is you don’t have to, you don’t have to go out and interview 300 people. You really don’t have to do that. Um, you know, you interview a good segment of your population and the key is to be listening uh, and ask open ended questions. And if you guarantee them anonymity and confidentiality, they’ll tell you anything, you want to know, people really want to do that. So that’s that’s an old school guy. And so that’s what I would do uh to get some ideas as to what are the messages And there aren’t, they don’t have to be that many, maybe three or

[00:13:42.97] spk_0:
four that

[00:13:59.89] spk_1:
resonate with the people who support us because I know we’re not talking about principle for, but principle four is learning plan learn who would naturally support you because not everybody will okay, learn who that is, who big picture and, and then then make plans on how to reach out to those people because they’ll be reachable different ways. So you go back to donors. Other drivers, figure out what those touch points are, you know what and there and they’ll be there and they may be a little bit different than what your mission is, but it doesn’t mean it’s, uh, it’s contradictory, it’s just, it’s just a collaborative or a line.

[00:14:36.07] spk_0:
Okay, let’s move to, uh, principle number three. Of the eight principles of sustainable fundraising leadership leads, leading by example, Talk about this one. Why is this so critical? What are, what are leaders not doing that? They ought to be doing?

[00:14:42.99] spk_1:
Well, let me go back and say one thing about, is the drivers that I’m going to go into this.

[00:14:47.90] spk_0:
Alright, alright.

[00:15:30.90] spk_1:
There are levels of donors are the drivers, remember if donors are driving the car, they’re in the driver’s seat, they got their hands on the steering wheel. Um, if that donor is a really good match for you and you’ve done your work, you’re gonna be in the passenger seat, you’re gonna be in the navigator seat up front. Uh, if there’s sort of a match, you’ll be in the back seat, you’ll still be there, but you’re not gonna get the kind of attention that the, that the navigator would get or if you’re barely hanging on, you’re gonna be in the trunk, okay? And so you get whatever’s left over, you open the trunk after two hours and you’re still breathing okay, fine. That’s their levels of that. Not every donor is going to be that 100% sweet spot. Uh, and I’m not suggesting that you limit yourself to that. But if you’re focused on that, you’re gonna pick up everyone that would remotely be in that, that, that universe.

[00:17:12.88] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Turn to communications, like so many other things in life. Getting in the media depends on relationships. You’ve got to be known by folks who work in the media to be heard by folks who work in the media to get their attention. It’s so much easier when you know somebody, it’s so much easier when you want to be heard when you have an existing relationship before you’re out for the ask, right? You draw the fundraising analogy first meeting. Do you ask somebody for a gift, highly unlikely you build up a relationship, you get to that point. Media is the same way. You have much, much better odds if you have an existing relationship when you make your ask based on the news hook or something happening at your organization that, that is no, is newsworthy? Whatever it is, it’s the existing relationship turn to knows how to set those up for you, how to build them and grow them. So you get heard at the time you make the ask turn to communications, your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C o. Now back to sustainable fundraising.

[00:17:17.97] spk_1:
Leadership. Leadership

[00:17:19.68] spk_0:
leads. Yes. What, what, what, what can we be doing better here?

[00:18:57.77] spk_1:
Well, let’s look at what that means. Leading by example, you look at any organization, whether it’s a commercial enterprise, whether it’s a civic association, whether it’s a political party, whether it’s a nonprofit social, whatever it is. Um, leaders are expected to assume certain responsibilities. I mean, they’re obviously the fiduciary ones, uh, and the other issues that are related to that, but it’s, they set the pace for the example. What’s the quality of the leadership by these people morally upstanding? Do they represent the essence of the organization? Um, you know, are they representative of those who are investors to the organization? That’s a big key. Uh, and I’ll give you an example about that. Um, I was working with a social service organization that covered about 45 counties and they were concerned, they weren’t getting any support out of this one county. And I said, well, who on your boards from that county. Well, no one I said, well, there’s your problem right there. You’re not tapped into the networks there. So they corrected that. Um, but then the other key is they only have in a nonprofit setting leaders, I. E. The governing board and certainly their their employee, the executive. And I think that needs to be stressed is that the executive is an employee of the board. Sometimes you get these weird sort of relationships and how they relate to one another. Um, but the key there is that they only have three things they should be focused on. Number one setting policy for the organization, number two advocating for it. Hey, if they’re not, if they’re not a fan, why are they on the board? And three, they should be there charged with making sure they’re sufficient resources with the delivery of the mission and in a non profit that almost always includes some philanthropy or some fundraising. I mean, there are other sources of revenue,

[00:19:17.15] spk_0:
but fundraising

[00:20:57.82] spk_1:
is a part of it. So wherever the leaders lead you, that’s where your people on the outside are gonna take their cues. So if for instance, I’m a big believer and I make no bones about this. Is that every board member and I’ve been a nonprofit board member needs to be financially committed. And now, what does that mean? Well, some people use it to say there’s a board minimum or we have this or that or whatever. You know, I really don’t, I don’t really like those because I prefer something I call equal sacrifice, not equal amount because everyone around that table is gonna, their pockets are gonna have different depths to them. And you know, for someone, $1000 could be quite a sacrifice. And for someone else, hey, they’ll spend that at Sun Valley down the road for me and one weekend easy. So it just depends on who you are and and where you come from. And because I’m a big believer in that board should be representative of the constituencies they they support or that they reach out to. So, so but they all have to be and that includes person that should be personal funds, not corporate funds. I think, you know, people use people, you know, people who are corporate appointees. Um they not, they may not be useless, but they tend to be very weak board members because they’re told by their boss to go and be a part of that. They want to have a representation. Um, it’s not really that effective. Neither is the board member who’s on 12 other boards and you’re getting them simply because they have a recognizable name names don’t bring in support. They really don’t. But but leadership leader, they will lead you irregardless of whether they’re leading you in the right place at the wrong place. They will lead others, they will get that message, but here’s another piece of it is people before

[00:21:07.03] spk_0:
you move onto the next piece. The equal sacrifice. I like that. Uh equal sacrifice instead of equal amount. Sounds sounds like the stretch gift. You know, everyone should be stretching to to what is a stretch for them.

[00:21:20.64] spk_1:
Yeah, it should be uh,

[00:21:24.66] spk_0:
I think

[00:22:36.94] spk_1:
stretch but doable and then the way you achieve that and what I, what I counsel clients to do is something called peer solicitation and that’s not what it’s known in the current and the current. That’s not the current version of that. Pierre solicitation is where boards, there’s a small group of the boards that that takes and evaluates people in terms of their bill And then people are asked face to face for a specific amount for their annual gift at the beginning of the fiscal year. Uh they can pay it in cash, they can make a pledge, they can make payments whatever they want to do, but it’s got to be satisfied by the end of the fiscal year. And then you take all those, all those, all those evaluation amounts, you add them up, take about 20 or 30% discount on that total. And that’s your, that’s your group goal because you want the board to feel as though they’ve accomplished something. I don’t like goals that are so high that it’s almost impossible to reach goals should be floors, not ceilings because the idea is to create that momentum. And if you do it up front and you can say, hey, you know, our, our goal for our board this year was $65,000 and we raised 72 5. Great, Wonderful. That’s terrific. Think about how that plays in the public square. Think about what that says to the people who are on that board and and all their friends and people they know, wow, Hey, you know, they must really believe in that, that that organization is going places. Let me let me learn more about it.

[00:22:48.96] spk_0:
And alright, well, and you achieve that by taking the, the what you expect the aggregate to be for the year and you’re discounting it.

[00:23:04.21] spk_1:
Yeah, yeah. But, but it’s reasonable. It’s something that’s based on what, you know, the individual. All

[00:23:04.48] spk_0:
right, what else about leadership leading?

[00:25:02.28] spk_1:
Well, another thing is, you know, I said, fundraising is a big part of it and people, they always start groaning well, you know, um, You know, I’m not good at asking for money. That’s just not for me, I don’t feel awkward, I feel awkward. Well, what I tell people is board involvement in fundraising only about 5% of its actually asking. Alright, that’s the very minor part of it, a big, big part of it is the board to be able to number one properly resource a fundraising program knowing it costs money to raise money. And then also when they, when the reports are made and when the analysis is done for the board to be sophisticated enough to ask the right questions of the fundraiser and the executive, you know, you know, one of the, you know, the number that usually, or often let’s put it that way comes up, you know, at a board meeting is, well, what did you raise in the last quarter or six months or whatever it was? That is a totally meaningless number from a fundraising perspective, that’s an accounting number. That’s a cash number. That’s the result of your fundraising. That doesn’t predict anything. Even the brokers say past performance is not an indicator of future performance. They get that in real fast. So, but there are other variables that are identifiable in a program that will, if the board is aware of these and presented and educated, they’ll be able to evaluate, they’ll be able to see, okay, you know, our retention rates really low. We need to work on that our average giving rate is stagnant. You know, we’re here here here and you see board members are not stupid people, You know, they can assess this, but they’re not given this opportunity. I think there was a study, Oh, it’s been several years ago now where I, I shocked that 75% of the board members they surveyed wanted some sort of formal understanding of fundraising or training and only about 20% were ever offered anything like that. And that’s, and so these are these people are volunteers Tony this isn’t their full time job. So it’s not their stick to go in and kind of relationship is really, really aggressive to go and figure it out on your own.

[00:26:28.74] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. Fourth dimension technologies. They have the free offer. It’s still going exclusively for nonprofit radio listeners. You know, you’ll get the complimentary 24 7 monitoring of your I. T. Assets and they’ll do it for three months, 90 days monitoring your servers, network, cloud performance, your backup performance All 24, 7 of course, if there are any issues during the period, they’re going to let you know immediately and then at the end of the three months you’re gonna get their report, telling you how you’re doing. It’s all complimentary. It’s on the listener landing page. It’s at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D just like three D. But they go on to mention deeper, Let’s return to sustainable fundraising. Let’s talk some more about what board members can do around fundraising besides soliciting. And I understand re sourcing you said re sourcing the development function, properly asking the right questions, focusing on the meaningful metrics, not the vanity metrics. Uh, let’s talk something about individual board member activity aside from soliciting. So, you know, making introductions, hosting small events, things like, you know what your ideas around those that individual board members can do around fundraising.

[00:28:03.88] spk_1:
Well what I tell you what I tell organizations when they’re looking to evaluate their board or improve it or whatever I say, you know, the, you know, boards are, excuse me. Boards should be organic groups, meaning they’re responsible to each other, they’re not responsible certainly to their employee. The executive and the boards that do best are the ones that are, are organic. And the way you get that is that first of all, the idea of equal giving excuses of equal participation and that kind of commitment. But another way you do that is to things you make sure that you have a variety of skills on your board. You don’t need six accountants and nine attorneys. You know, you need to spread that around a little bit and then the other pieces, if you look at the constituencies from which you expect to raise money and however you want to identify those, you should have at least one board member that represents those constituents. Each of those constituencies because they’re the person that has the network that you’re looking to to, to to build and then that that individual’s job, one of their jobs is advocacy, is making sure that their network knows who you are as an organization and the great work you’re doing, that. You’re willing to introduce your friends and relatives to this organization, you know, and if a board member isn’t willing to do that, I question their commitment. Why are you on the sport? I mean, if you don’t really feel good enough to tell your friends and relatives and business partners that this is a good thing, why you know what you’re doing that.

[00:29:47.58] spk_0:
I was on a board years ago by the way. Larry. If you need to take a sip of water, please go ahead. I’ll, uh, I’ll make my question. Uh, uh, Loquacious to give you a chance to take a, take a drink and a breath. Um, I was on a board many years ago. Uh, and one of the board members was, was kind of embarrassed to ask for money. He didn’t, he didn’t feel that the organization really merited the support of his friends he was giving personally, But I think that’s because we all have an obligation. But he, he was, he was kind of embarrassed actually. He felt that, yeah, that the organization just was not, wouldn’t be meaningful to his, his colleagues in his, this happened to be an attorney in his, in his law firm wouldn’t be meaningful to them. They wouldn’t be interested without, without ever having talked to him about it. Very, you know, very unfortunate. Um, yeah, it’s just a terrible, unfortunate, sad mindset. You know, why are you on the board? If you don’t think your friends, even your colleagues forget friends, Your professional colleagues are going to have any interest that you serve on the board. I mean, that’s your biggest hook or at least that’s your first hook. Maybe it’s not your biggest hook. That’s your first hook. I spend time with this organization. I go to their performances. I go to the meetings. I’m on the, I’m on a couple of committees. You know, that’s your, that’s your entree and then what good that the, that the community that the organization does, the education program in the elementary schools, the performances, etcetera. But he just had the vastly wrong and very unfortunate mindset.

[00:30:12.95] spk_1:
Well, you see that mindset goes beyond board members and what’s happening there is the person is not comfortable. And so they’ve feel authorized to take the agency away from the other person. They’re making the decision for

[00:30:18.50] spk_0:
them. That’s

[00:30:19.63] spk_1:
what they’re doing. And, and I, it’s like when, you know, you’re doing an awareness meeting or an event

[00:30:24.78] spk_0:
well, and they’re also, they’re also just making everything easier on themselves.

[00:30:28.84] spk_1:
Of course they,

[00:30:29.81] spk_0:
well, my, my, my, my fellow, uh, partners aren’t gonna be interested. So I’m not going to approach them.

[00:31:23.95] spk_1:
So, but it’s the whole idea of awkwardness and you, but they don’t realize they’re taking agency away from these people. They’re not giving them the opportunity to make the decision on. That’s really what they’re doing. Now. There is the flip of this. I’ll tell you a story. Um, I was working with a client up and catch them, which is Sun Valley. I live out in Idaho and Sun Valley is a very wealthy community. It’s not very big, but there’s a lot of, a lot of money there And we were doing an annual fund where this one individual had made a cash gift to $250,000. And so he was assigned to do another to go and solicit one of his board members and this man’s name. Others call him John offered the guy that the other board member will, will you take 50? And where upon the board members said, Bill, don’t embarrass yourself with that. I want the 2 50 that I put put in. I mean, there’s, I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily advise that, but he obviously knew the man well,

[00:31:42.07] spk_0:
right. Talking about peer to peer. Yeah, if you can, if you can get friends, I was gonna say putting pressure on, let’s just say soliciting, uh, if you can get friends like that soliciting each other, Nobody’s gonna walk away disappointed.

[00:31:52.60] spk_1:
No, No. I just love what he said was, don’t embarrass? You

[00:31:58.61] spk_0:
Don’t embarrass yourself 50,000. Yeah, Yeah. That’s, that’s a, that’s a great lesson in peer to peer board board soliciting keep the keep the professionals away and let’s just get the 22 good friends having lunch together. One of them has an agenda to talk to the other about his or her board. Giving all right,

[00:32:17.59] spk_1:
Anything

[00:32:18.22] spk_0:
else you want? I I got admonished on because donors of the drivers, I left that too early. So anything else you want to share on leadership leads before, before we move ahead.

[00:32:33.32] spk_1:
Um, I don’t think so. I just say that, oh, when you in, when you insist, when, when you insist on equal sacrifice, here’s what happens. You get a group of people, of individuals that become accountable to each other.

[00:32:46.92] spk_0:
There’s

[00:32:57.13] spk_1:
the key and they begin to function as a group, not as a collection of individuals. And that’s where the trail, that’s where two plus two equals five, you see is because that synergy of a group functioning as a group, not as a group of it, not as a collection of individuals. And that doesn’t happen very often. But when it does, it really really energizes an organization. You see it make great strides very quickly,

[00:33:20.21] spk_0:
shared sacrifice. If we’re all sacrificing equally. And I don’t mean dollar wise, I mean, I mean, capacity wise, we’re all sacrificing for the good of this organization. Yeah. That’s going to create a cohesion.

[00:33:27.51] spk_1:
That’s what you that’s what you’re looking for. Is that kind of, you know, we’re all in this together. Um and we’re gonna make it we’re gonna make it successful

[00:33:36.03] spk_0:
partnership in sacrifice.

[00:33:38.32] spk_1:
That’s right. That’s exactly what it is. And as I said, it becomes an organic group. It’s not it’s no longer just a collection of individuals.

[00:33:55.30] spk_0:
Good enough. Okay, Let’s talk about principle number six, divide and grow. What’s this? What’s this about?

[00:35:20.41] spk_1:
Well, a divide and grow. Um The shorthand version of that is treat different donors differently. Alright. So that um what you’re essentially doing here is you realize that your donors are not all the same, they’re not all the same age that they don’t have the same situation in life or as the Germans would say, where they are in their lifespan, um, their interests, all of the, they’re all different to some degree. They come from different backgrounds, different places. So that the organization that can allow for these, and that creates a pathway for donors to come closer to you emotionally over time and see, I’m a big believer in really focusing on high retention rates, not cache entry rates. Those organizations are the ones who achieve this transformative giving over time. Uh, and that’s so that when you divide your constituency into these air into these levels of, you know, you know, ages and, and where they are in life and income level and all these kinds of things that, that define, you know, what the person is going to be like when they come to you and you treat them that way. And, and you, you can, of course with today’s technology, even the very smallest organization can do this kind of thing. Uh, it doesn’t, you know, in the old days, you know, three or three or five cards and an army of researchers and, and people making phone calls and you can still do that. But the point is, you don’t have to, but you know, I’ve known this for a long time. But then there was research published about five years ago, I think it was Russell James, I’m sure, you know, russell

[00:35:33.09] spk_0:
Russell Professor Russell James texas Tech University.

[00:36:46.40] spk_1:
Yeah, So and what they discovered was when donors are given a pathway that brings them closer emotionally. And I stress that word, the emotional connection with the organization over time To the point where they make a gift out of an asset, not income. And it doesn’t have to be a large one can be maybe a couple $1000. I mean really it doesn’t have to be huge when that happens. And you can get a core group of people, maybe only 10 or 15% of your donor base that has done that the entire fundraising program in terms of income, just skyrockets. And the reason why is you have a core group of people that are so emotionally committed to you. They come hell or high water they’re gonna, they’re gonna be there for you no matter what happens, you see, and that’s what you’re looking for. Is that core group of people that are so emotionally committed to you and they may not be your top givers financially, but they will drive everything else. That’s the key. Um, and that’s why although I’ve done most of my work in capital fundraising and major gift fundraising in all the conventional terms, I I even sort of steer away from the term major giving anymore because that’s an internal term. It’s reflected on ability. Um, and I really, really focus on emotional commitment because I think the rest will come. And of course in your area, the deferred giving area, that’s those are asset gifts, you know, usually by definition.

[00:37:01.29] spk_0:
Yeah, right. You were talking about giving from assets, but

[00:37:16.11] spk_1:
I mean, I had a fun gift be satisfied by the liquidation of a small, a small money market. 10 grand. Okay. I mean, yeah,

[00:37:51.83] spk_0:
sure. That can happen. Um, yeah, the ultimate, you know, the for a lot of folks that their ultimate gift has to come in their estate plan because either they can’t or they believe that they can’t make their ultimate gift while they’re still living. So they put it in their estate plan and there there’s there’s a plan to get in a nutshell. Alright, So, yeah, so, all right. So you want us to, you know, dividing and growing, you want these, you talk about mutual, mutually beneficial relationships.

[00:39:22.17] spk_1:
Yes, these are, these are not one way relationship. These are mutually beneficial relationships. Um, you know, you know, I have something called the, if you read my book or my other stuff, I have something called a donor pipeline pipeline signs kind of commercial and kind of cold, but what it really is, it shows how donors come to you and they come to you through three or four different sources and then over time, how you get to know them and move them closer to you and then you can attach certain kinds of fundraising methods and relationships and things that they do over time and then a capital campaign, which is a very specific, relatively short term way to raise a lot of money for a specific so set of, of things or ideas then what that, how that serves in all this is to kind of goose what I’ll call goose the whole system because it raises everybody’s awareness of what’s going on. And then, you know, for those who understand that the real or that I would think the more significant payoff Quote of of a capital campaign is not the money raised in the immediate, uh, for the immediate, in case it’s how you’ve positioned your, your donor base to continue to give at higher levels over what, 10 or 15 years. And universities, they figured this out 30, 40 years ago when they invented what they called the continual campaign, the continuous campaign. And so, you know, before that, you know, you and I probably have to remember that these universities would hire, you know, couple score of, you know, field officers and run the campaign then fire everybody. And five years later they do the whole thing all over again. That’s a very inefficient way of raising money. And so they realized, oh, we can do this differently. And so that’s, you know, but you can do it even as a small organization.

[00:39:45.82] spk_0:
Yeah. Keep those relationships going rather than trying to renew them every five or seven years on your on your campaign cycle. Yeah. That seems antiquated. Alright.

[00:40:00.38] spk_1:
Yes,

[00:41:36.64] spk_0:
it was, Yeah. My early days. It’s time for Tony’s take two. Make it about your mission. Your work. That’s what you have in common with your supporters. Whether we’re talking about volunteers, donors, other types of supporters, they love your work. You do the work. The mission is what you have in common. So you know, as we’re approaching rapidly, the all important fourth quarter, keep the mission in mind as you’re crafting messages, whatever digital print the mission is what moves your supporters. That’s what they love about you. That’s what they give their money, their time to make it about your mission. It’s special to them. Sort of keep it special in your mind. Don’t let it become routine and mundane and, and un interesting to you or you think what’s interesting to you is not going to be interesting to other folks. Not so not so they love your mission. Your mission is what you have in common with those who are loving you who are supporting you. Make it about the mission. That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for sustainable fundraising with larry johnson instead of doing just three of the 8, 3/8. Let’s, let’s talk about four of them. We have, we have a little more time left and then we’ll just tease, you know, all eight of them. But I would like to talk and you’ve, you’ve talked around this one and you’ve alluded to it. Number seven renew and refresh. You know, keeping a high renewal rate, high retention rate. Let’s, let’s just flush that one out as, as our, as our fourth one renew and refresh.

[00:43:27.63] spk_1:
Well, it’s, it’s said, it’s said in that order on purpose, your first goal is to renew the investors you currently have, that’s your first priority. And your second priority is to refresh your base because people die. People change their interest. People go into a different stage of life. I mean will go into bankruptcies or they lose their all sorts of reasons why people will stop giving to you and many, most of them legitimate reasons. You know, you haven’t necessarily quote pissed them off or anything. So that, so that renewing should be your number one priority with your donor pool. Unfortunately it’s not for most people. I can’t believe, I can’t tell you the number of development officers I’ve heard tell me, well, I’d like to renew more, but my executive just wants to get more new donors into the fold. And that just seems to be the, I mean, I’m like, I don’t understand where that comes from quite frankly. I mean, but I mean who am I to say? But anyway, renewing first And the, and there’s, you know, and renewing donors is actually easier now than it was when I was just in this business. And yet it seems that there’s more turning going on than it was when I was first in this business, I think there are a couple of things that are driving that first of demographics we’re dealing with, we’re dealing with younger generations in the boomers whose patience and attention levels, attention spans are quite a bit shorter and their reasons for giving are different. They’re much more impact driven than those in our age range.

[00:43:33.34] spk_0:
This is interesting. Larry, let me, let me let me stop here. Do we know that retention rates, which are, which are quite low, uh, around 20,

[00:43:43.98] spk_1:
pathetic

[00:43:45.38] spk_0:
Part. Yeah. Our retention rates lower than they were 20 years ago.

[00:43:56.38] spk_1:
I think they are. I mean, I would have to check the numbers, but in terms of my experience, excuse me, there seems to be less churn, have

[00:43:59.62] spk_0:
a drink, have a drink while I uh, say that Larry’s having a little sip of water from his yellow yellow water bottle. Very pretty.

[00:44:47.75] spk_1:
Uh, there’s, there’s, there seems to be more turn that may simply because there’s more younger donors. I mean, people send, there’s sort of this false calculus out there that millennials aren’t philanthropic. Well, they are, they’re a very high percent of them give, but they give it a different way than baby boomers do like you and I, but yes, the renewal rate is pathetic. And what I, the, the, the analogy I use is that, you know, I think the, I think, I think it’s like the the first year renewal rates always hovered in the high thirties 30% somewhere in there, the ones I’ve seen. But if you look at the consumer products, Uh, renewal rates, they’re 95 and 96%. So what I say to people is people are more loyal to their toothpaste and they are their charity. This

[00:44:57.24] spk_0:
is a very good example actually.

[00:45:06.18] spk_1:
Mean P and G. Has that figured out tony They got it figured out. So why is it if they can figure it out for something as mundane as toothpaste. Alright. Uh, why is it that nonprofits can’t employ there again? They’re selling the real thing. They’re not selling a pony thing. It’s real. It’s hard. You know, why is it? They can’t get there. Well, because they’re not investing the time and effort to make it happen. It’s just not on their radar screen. Um, that’s, that’s what I’ve seen. And maybe

[00:45:27.48] spk_0:
your advice around increasing retention.

[00:45:49.66] spk_1:
Well, it has to be an organizational mandate number one. We are going to set these goals and they’re gonna go up. I mean, there has to be the board executive. Okay, This is gonna happen. All right. We’re not happy with this. Okay. Number one, we’ve got to make a change and then you go back and you just deconstruct every single piece of what you’re doing and you look at, okay, Is this adding to or or or or taking away from the ability to renew

[00:45:55.38] spk_0:
looking at the donor journey?

[00:45:57.40] spk_1:
Yes, yeah, just

[00:46:10.66] spk_0:
listeners, we recently had um uh, I guess talking about the, the welcome journey, your email welcome journey just within the past month or six weeks or so, So you know, that’s welcoming brand new donors, you do that over the first week to 10 days, so that’s part of what you’re talking about. That’s

[00:46:19.99] spk_1:
just absolutely, that’s

[00:46:21.07] spk_0:
the initial phase of what you’re talking about, that. But the whole journey, let

[00:46:24.43] spk_1:
me give an example of the initial phase why it’s so very important. Um you maybe you’re, I know, I know you’re old enough, I don’t remember a woman with the name of Pearl Mesta.

[00:46:33.82] spk_0:
No

[00:46:35.29] spk_1:
esto was the heiress to the Mesta Machine fortune in Pittsburgh, and they’re the ones that produced a lot of the heavy artillery and guns during World War two.

[00:46:43.25] spk_0:
I went to school at Carnegie Mellon. Uh

[00:46:45.69] spk_1:
there you go. I

[00:46:46.82] spk_0:
knew, so I know. Andrew Carnegie Did you ever

[00:46:50.17] spk_1:
machine in Homestead? It’s still there.

[00:46:52.45] spk_0:
Okay, I know Homestead Homestead works used to be, it was a big Steeltown Homestead. Okay. Mr Works. Alright.

[00:47:33.73] spk_1:
So anyway, Pearl Mesta uh in the 90 the sixties, uh, you know, was the grand dame of Washington social life. Okay. Everybody wanted to be invited to one of Pearl’s parties. Okay, whether you’re Republican democrat, it didn’t, it was the place to be boy and if you don’t wanna pearls list, you’re at the top and everyone came and it was a very congenial group? Well at one point someone asked her pearl, you know, what is it that makes your party? So everyone just can’t wait to get there. And here’s what she said. It’s all about the hellos and the goodbyes.

[00:47:38.65] spk_0:
Mm think

[00:47:43.30] spk_1:
about that. You know how

[00:47:43.71] spk_0:
welcome you feel, coming, coming and going

[00:48:00.93] spk_1:
right, right. And and she saw that as her job when someone crossed her threshold who may not know more than two people in the whole room, okay to make them feel at home and welcome. And that takes

[00:48:02.66] spk_0:
purpose

[00:48:03.63] spk_1:
to welcome them. Call them by name and you know, take care of their coats or whatever it is that you need to do and then introduce them to someone

[00:48:11.00] spk_0:
introduced right and

[00:48:28.66] spk_1:
get them started and break the ice for them. That’s what she did. And then when it was time for someone to leave, she didn’t let them sneak out the front door, the side door. Oh, tony thank you so much for coming. I can’t wait till I can have you here in my home again. See the difference, but that’s the hostess is as an active role then, you know, she’s not over there huddled in the corner with all of her friends,

[00:48:37.18] spk_0:
you

[00:48:37.35] spk_1:
know, and and there’s the difference and I’ve seen this in awareness meetings when I was in universities where you got the administrators all hovered over in the corner talking to themselves. you know, what the hell is this about? Get out there and talk to these other people?

[00:50:10.31] spk_0:
Yeah, I hope. Yeah, I used to see that when we had in person meetings, you know, too many, too many development folks or even it doesn’t, they don’t, it’s not even just the fundraisers, it’s, you know, too many insiders talking to each other because they’re all comfortable with it instead of talking to the donors who they don’t know or maybe just, you know, casually. No, but you know, I’m breaking the ice with those folks and making them feel welcome. Yeah, I hate to see those clusters of employees. Again, not only fundraisers, you know, anybody for any, anybody doing program work, anybody representing the organization at a public event, you shouldn’t be huddled with your fellow employees, you should be out talking to the public, telling them what you do. You it may be mundane to you, but it’s not mundane to them. They, you know, quoting from glengarry glen ross. They don’t step foot on the lot. If they don’t want to pay. If they don’t want to buy, they don’t step foot on the lot. They’re not ready to buy from the, from the alec baldwin, you know, booming iconic speech folks don’t set foot on the lot if they’re not ready to buy, they haven’t come to spend time with your organization, if they don’t want to learn about it. So whether you’re a fundraiser or you’re not, if you don’t have an outward facing job, then, you know, if you don’t want to talk to the public, then don’t come to the event. This is, this is an awareness raising. You

[00:50:15.95] spk_1:
know, just

[00:50:28.82] spk_0:
come to the employee holiday party and then you can huddle with all your fellow employees, but coming to a public event, talk to the public, get away from the folks, you know very well because you work with them and, and get out talking to folks you don’t know, tell them about what you do

[00:50:33.01] spk_1:
when I Years ago.

[00:50:35.31] spk_0:
That was a bit of a,

[00:50:36.67] spk_1:
it was not

[00:50:37.38] spk_0:
sure. I’m sorry. But

[00:50:38.83] spk_1:
you shouldn’t be

[00:50:40.50] spk_0:
years

[00:50:41.34] spk_1:
ago when I was running the major,

[00:50:44.06] spk_0:
when

[00:51:09.56] spk_1:
I was running the good major program at Suny Buffalo. I was very, we were very much mindful of, you know, and this is politically incorrect today. But we were in the Chiefs and indians A’s okay. How many, how many people do we have? We gotta make sure we balance this thing out and, and I, and I made I made it very clear to, to fundraising staff that were there. You know, here’s your assignment. You are not here to suck up free food and booze. Thank you very much. That’s not your role here. In fact, if you get anything to eat or drink at all. That’s, that’s lucky on your part. Okay. That’s not what your

[00:51:15.30] spk_0:
extreme. I like to feed food, I like to see that folks are said and, and uh, you know, plus you can meet people over the buffet table. Oh

[00:51:24.62] spk_1:
yeah, I mean I, I said that, I mean I expect people to enjoy themselves. Uh and I, and I think it’s important that,

[00:51:30.78] spk_0:
but, but there’s a reason that you’re there.

[00:51:32.71] spk_1:
Yeah, you’re not there just to suck up free food. I

[00:51:35.88] spk_0:
used to go to these events with the name, list of pack,

[00:51:38.85] spk_1:
list

[00:51:39.22] spk_0:
of pockets. I’m getting too excited. I used to go to these events like this with a list of names in my pocket, on a piece of paper folded in half. So it would fit in my breast jacket pocket. And these are the folks that I want to talk to who said they’re coming and from time to time I would excuse myself, go in the hall, look at the

[00:51:57.37] spk_1:
list,

[00:52:18.29] spk_0:
check with the front, the registration desk to make sure that these, you know, I can’t find somebody. Did they come or that they didn’t come so I can’t talk to them. But I would check the list, go and talk to folks you should be going with and, and for some of these folks, you know, there were, there were reasons I wanted to talk to them. Some of them, it was just a refresh and renew. But some, you know, I had a specific agenda item to talk to them about. You know, these these events are not, you know, to your point, you’re lucky if you eat and drink, they’re not social, these are work events.

[00:52:29.27] spk_1:
That’s right. You’re not

[00:52:30.01] spk_0:
gonna be, you’re gonna be working in advancing relationships.

[00:52:32.61] spk_1:
You’re not, you’re not just schmoozing, You’re working.

[00:52:36.47] spk_0:
Uh,

[00:52:53.03] spk_1:
this is purposeful. Um, well, and I used to, and I used to have the officers that attended, I used to have them submit the names to me of all the people they have meaningful conversations with. You know, how did we cover the floor? You know, it was left out. Um, that was key cause this, this was a very, of course, if it’s a sit down event, it’s all about strategic seating. Of

[00:52:58.37] spk_0:
course, yes, Yes. Don’t put the employees together. Put the right donors with the right potential donors. Put the right staff with the right donors. Yes. Be very intentional. Very purposeful

[00:53:10.75] spk_1:
or donors who have personal differences. You don’t see them together.

[00:53:16.96] spk_0:
Yes. Um, if it’s not a sit down event or if it’s the cocktail hour, you see somebody standing alone or sitting alone, over in a chair or a sofa, go up and introduce yourself.

[00:53:25.67] spk_1:
Don’t

[00:53:34.44] spk_0:
let people sit by themselves alone and stand alone in the cocktail hour. You know, they’re looking for somebody to come up to them, do it again. If you don’t want to do that kind of work, then just go to the employer employee holiday party.

[00:53:40.85] spk_1:
You

[00:53:41.90] spk_0:
know, you might not have an outward facing job. but if you’re going to an outward facing event representing the organization, then you need to be outward facing and not huddled with your fellow employees.

[00:53:51.68] spk_1:
So

[00:53:52.67] spk_0:
going back

[00:54:24.09] spk_1:
to the premise here of renew, that should be the number one driver in terms of the donor pool focus on renewal and building that relationship over time. Uh, it’s, you know, you know, in terms of, you know, I’m an engineer, I’m a business guy, you know, I’m interested in return on investment. How much does it cost? You know, and it is a cost. It’s much less expensive in dollars and cents to maintain a relationship to get a very large gift than it is to constantly be trying to bring new people into the fold as you know, No,

[00:54:25.71] spk_0:
that’s donor acquisition costs a lot more than donor.

[00:54:28.83] spk_1:
Yeah, it’s so much more expensive

[00:54:32.09] spk_0:
multiples.

[00:55:10.77] spk_1:
And so then from a financial point of view, it’s makes sense. Everything, It just makes sense. But you, but you’re really working on this relationship over time and then you do have an acquisition program that, that drops people in at various levels when they come in, but that’s where the focus should be every and so people aren’t doing that. As I said, the first step is to go back and deconstruct the entire program and begin to rebuild it with renewal as the number one focus. And then, and of course that’s gonna really, um, give some executives heartburn because they’re so dependent on these small first time gifts to make, to make a budget, you know, which is, you know, that’s an exercise in futility. But it happens all the time because that will absolutely give them heartburn. But what’s gonna happen here? What’s gonna happen there? But

[00:55:20.51] spk_0:
over time you’ll have a more sustainable fundraising revenue when you retain your donors and grow them

[00:55:27.41] spk_1:
well, not only sustainable, but a lot more money. Pure and simple. And I would go so far as to suggest that you could probably do this in a way that it wouldn’t even affect your current income levels. I think you get enough replacement from your acquisition in your renewal’s

[00:56:22.00] spk_0:
maybe maybe. But even if you don’t, it’s still worth, it’s still worth investing in the long term retention or renewal and growth of your existing donors. All right. That was # seven renew and refresh. Alright, so Larry, give us the rundown. Uh, are you able to recite them? Okay. Okay. Okay. So we’re gonna go through the eight. We, we touched on 4/8. So we did half the other half are at the eight principles dot com. Larry, please just run down your, your eight principles of sustainable fundraising.

[01:00:11.58] spk_1:
The a principles are principal one donors are the drivers donors dr philanthropy, but they drive it with their dreams, not their money principle. To begin at the beginning, you need to be able to know your mission and be able to communicate it in a way and in language and in areas and places where your prospective investors will receive it and understand it. Clearly three leadership leads, Your leadership leads, sets the tone for everything else and they will lead. Everybody else will follow their lead, whatever whether that’s good or bad principle for learning plan. You need to first learn who would naturally support you because not everyone will even philanthropic people, Not everyone will and then construct a plan or a program. And how do you reach those people? Where are they? What do they read? What do they do? Who are their friends? All this sort of thing. Principle five. Work from the inside out. Begin with those people closest to you, both in terms of, of affinity and to your mission but also closeness to your organization. That’s why I’m a big believer in doing board campaigns, annual campaigns and doing employee campaigns because it’s you begin and you move out in concentric circles, it’s like building that network. Principle six divide and grow simply treat different donors differently And you’re constructing a pathway that over time will bring your donors closer to you emotionally. Principles seven renew and refresh. Your first focus should be to renew your current investors, the other people who have already voted with their money. You know, they’ve already told you, hey, we support you and oftentimes they’re ignored or simply given you know, whatever. Quick, quick Thank you and then Principal eight integrate, evaluate, integrate, invest, integrate and evaluate. I get that. Right. Okay. So you, you tricked me up. Okay. First of all you have to invest in your program. It costs money to raise money. But this is the role of the board to understand what these general guidelines are in terms of what it takes to raise money over what length of time, you know, how much of investment do we have to make for it begin to pay off over time? Um, integrate. Now this can be, this can be a problem with small organizations or large organizations. And integration is simply understanding that you need to make sure that you, as you communicate as you solicit as you focus on your donor constituency. It needs to come across as a uniform message to the receiver. And what I mean by that is in the case of a big university. You, we have all these different appeals and their college and their this and plan giving and major giving and all this sort of thing. And you know, if, if those things aren’t coordinated the effect on the donor, it, it’s like they’re coming at them. They don’t know, you know, and we’ve all had the horror stories of that sort of thing. Um, you know, one in particular was, I was running again this back at Sunni and a major gift officer called me up. They were in California and they said, I just had a very interesting experience. And I said, what’s that? He said when I was in there visiting the couple, the doorbell rang and it was a plan giving officer. Well in the university’s wisdom, you know, our two organizations were silo where you see the result that God and so and then on the other end of the spectrum, another kind of offender of this kind of thing are the independent schools where they are soliciting parents left and right for every little ding dong thing on the face of the earth and people get worn out with that really quickly. And so you know, when I worked with independent schools, I say, hey, we need to budget as much as this is possible and have a uniform appeal to these donors and organizations schools that have done that the donor satisfaction goes up and they raise a lot more money. Okay,

[01:00:26.41] spk_0:
that’s integrate. So invest, integrate and evaluate,

[01:00:38.64] spk_1:
evaluate. You know, how many times have I heard? What we’ve always done it that way. What do you mean? You’ve always done it that way. That’s prescription for death in most places. And so every year there ought to be an evaluation of the plan evaluation. How do we perform, what do we do well, what we do not do well, what do we need to change? What do we need to tweet? What

[01:00:48.80] spk_0:
are the important, what are the real meaningful metrics?

[01:00:55.09] spk_1:
That’s right. And then how do we make those better larry

[01:00:55.64] spk_0:
johnson. The Eight Principles, You find the principles at the Eight Principles dot com. His book is the Eight principles of sustainable fundraising. You’ll find larry on linkedin Larry, thank you very, very much for sharing.

[01:01:08.53] spk_1:
Oh, it’s my pleasure, tony This was a lot of fun,

[01:02:18.43] spk_0:
I’m glad. Thank you. Thank you very much for being with me. Next week planned giving with eastern donors. I learned a lot in this one. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com were sponsored by Turn to communications. Pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turned life into dot C. O. And by fourth dimension technologies i Tion for in a box, they’re affordable tech solution for nonprofits at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant for d just like three D But as you know, they go one dimension deeper and they’ve got the free offer. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff. The shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy. And this music is by scott Stein, thank you for that. Affirmation Scottie with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great

Nonprofit Radio for August 29, 2022: Your Tech Problem Is Actually A People Problem

 

Ananda Robie & Sam Dorman: Your Tech Problem Is Actually A People Problem

Wrapping up our #22NTC coverage, Ananda Robie and Sam Dorman sort out why your nonprofit’s technology problem is very likely a people problem. And they share their roadmap to better technology tomorrow. Ananda is with the Center for Action and Contemplation and Sam is from The Build Tank.

 

 

 

 

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[00:02:02.70] spk_0:
and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be stricken with cause Elijah if you burned me up with the idea that you missed this week’s show your tech problem is actually a people problem wrapping up our 22 Ntc coverage. Ananda roby and Sam dorman sort out why you’re nonprofits. Technology problem is very likely a people problem and they share their roadmap to better technology tomorrow. Ananda is with the Center for Action and Contemplation and SAM is from the build tank on Tony’s take to wrapping up national make a will month we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. And by fourth dimension technologies I. T. Infra in a box. The affordable tech solution for nonprofits. tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D Just like 3D but they go one dimension deeper. Here is your tech problem is actually a people problem. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. You know what that is by now through all the interviews we’ve been doing, it’s the 2022 nonprofit technology conference and you know that it’s hosted by N 10. The smart folks who help you use technology as you’re doing your important work with me now are Ananda robi and SAm dorman. Ananda is digital Managing Director of digital products at center for Action and contemplation Sam dorman is co founder At the build tank Ananda Sam welcome to nonprofit radio

[00:02:23.64] spk_1:
Thanks tony

[00:02:24.87] spk_2:
Yeah, thank you so much for having us.

[00:02:36.99] spk_0:
The pleasure. Pleasure to have both of you. Your session topic is your technology problem is actually a people problem. Sam can you, can you give us an overview of what folks are often, uh, misconstruing about the real problem perhaps at at their smaller, mid sized non profit

[00:03:30.65] spk_1:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. My partner chris and I, we, you know, founded the bill tank to try to help organizations resolve their pervasive technology pain, which is, um, which is really common. It’s just about every organization is struggling under these, these same restrictions where they just don’t have the technology that allows them to do what they want to do and it’s holding everybody back and it’s creating all all kinds of pain points. And so what I think that people don’t realize is so often it’s not actually a problem with the technology, the symptoms, you know, feel like their problems with technology, but it’s a gap in a certain kind of technology capacity. Um, and it’s about actually getting the right internal team doing the right types of things, which is sometimes not what people expect it should be. And Ananda is a perfect example of that kind of person. And the team she has built at C A C is a perfect example of what it looks like to go from those sorts of pervasive technology Pain points to actually really using leveraging technology to its potential to help increase the organization’s impact

[00:03:58.76] spk_0:
ananda what are some of the symptoms that you were you were feeling at center for action and contemplation?

[00:04:54.00] spk_2:
Yeah. Well, luckily I was so blessed that by the time I came to the C a C, they had already met chris and SAm and gotten bought in on the digital product team model and investing in structuring technology Well. But prior to coming to see a C in previous roles, I’ve had, I did experience that other nonprofits or in higher ed, which has been my kind of career path. That really what’s most common is you hire folks to do a job and then technology is treated like off the side of their desk. So you might hire a development director who’s responsible for fundraising for your organization, but then they’re also responsible for, you know, keeping the donation platform up and running and troubleshooting issues or if you need a new platform going and finding it and uh, you know, putting it into place. And so it’s just means that people a have too much work on their plate. So their workload is too much and then you don’t have the right people with the right kind of interests and skills doing the work. And so there’s a whole model for how we kind of have distributed ownership and break down the ownership between content folks and technology folks.

[00:05:10.36] spk_0:
Okay. You say there’s a whole model, Is that, is that part of what your your session was about?

[00:05:51.03] spk_1:
Yeah, exactly. So, so, we, you know, we pulled together this thing called the road map to a better technology tomorrow. So chris and I were always trying to share everything we can as resources. We can work with some organizations like the CDC, but we can’t work with every organization. But it also feels like a lot of these things, once you understand the concepts there not that hard, they’re pretty based on common sense. They’re definitely not common practice, but uh, we try to share everything freely. So we put together this roadmap with just sort of six key steps about, here’s how you go from where you’re, where you are now to building this kind of capacity that’s gonna be able to supercharge you. So, in the, in, in the session, we just walked through those six steps.

[00:05:54.01] spk_0:
Okay. And this is the road map to better technology tomorrow. Like something from the 1950s,

[00:06:01.43] spk_1:
your

[00:06:02.85] spk_0:
new electric stove is the the kitchen of tomorrow for the happy homemaker.

[00:06:09.47] spk_1:
We kinda did. It’s a little bit tongue in cheek. We, we like to have a lot of fun with the work that we do. And so we sort of, it felt a little bit like it was like mad men branding the road to a better technology. Yeah,

[00:06:37.24] spk_0:
that’s what I think of it immediately, but before we All right. So, we’ll go through the roadmap Sounds, uh, sounds very exploratory what sam, but why why are we defaulting to blaming, uh, faulting technology? Is that, is that because it’s easier than looking introspectively at our team and our skills and gaps there in? Well,

[00:06:44.52] spk_1:
it’s hard to

[00:06:45.16] spk_0:
blame technology.

[00:07:49.02] spk_1:
Well, it’s understandable. That’s where you feel in the pain. So people just don’t have the basic tools that they need. If you’re trying to accomplish anything, you’re trying to, you know, not to use the example of a fundraiser. You’re trying to raise money if you’re a communicator, if you’re a program person, if you’re an executive trying to understand what things are working, the pain point is focused on. We don’t have a system that helps us track our donors well, or understand their journeys with us. Or a lot of pain is felt with websites, you know, like everybody needs to use the website as a key. It’s like your front door. It’s also your engagement pathways. It’s a key property. And very rarely do organizations have it where everybody who has needs with those properties, with those, with those technology platforms, is actually getting those needs addressed. And so, you know, they, that’s where you feel the pain. But what people don’t understand is it’s because there’s a lack of ownership and lack of stewardship and it’s not a highly technical kind of lack of ownership and stewardship that’s missing. It’s a highly strategic, highly communication based set of skills that needed to steward these platforms and make sure that everybody’s getting what they need out of them and have sort of a long term oriented view. It’s exactly the kind of stuff that Ananda is so strong at.

[00:08:08.05] spk_0:
Okay, okay, so it sounds like the shortcomings uh manifest themselves in people’s performance because we don’t have the kind of tools we need, you know, the things you ticked off saying that you’re you’re more eloquent in describing that I’m going than I would be, so I’m not gonna bother, but I’ll just say it’s everything you just said, but it manifests itself in poor performance or overworked or

[00:08:57.22] spk_1:
Yeah. And I’ll just say, you know, it’s sort of like you have, you you you you wanna you get great people around you in an organization, you have a really inspiring um mission and you get great people around you and it’s like getting a bunch of expert chefs in your kitchen and then all you give them is a bunch of wooden spoons and you say cook a gourmet meal, they just don’t have the tools, they need to make their amazing, you know, and so what you wanna do is you want a situation where you have someone whose job it is to just make const consistently enable their colleagues to do better and greater work via those sort of technology systems. So promise of technology is just not commonly realized for most organizations, it’s just paying up and down the up and down the books

[00:09:06.58] spk_0:
because the people at that dining table are gonna say these chefs suck

[00:09:10.08] spk_1:
right?

[00:09:10.81] spk_0:
Yeah, you’re gonna say something

[00:09:12.73] spk_1:
back.

[00:09:13.80] spk_0:
I’m sorry. But

[00:09:15.34] spk_2:
no, I was just gonna say, I think um

[00:09:17.99] spk_0:
when

[00:10:12.60] spk_2:
we say it’s a people problem, it’s that’s not to be misconstrued that it’s a problem with the people currently in the organization having a deficit or something. It’s usually a people problem because the right staffing to steward your technology has not been put in place. So it’s really a people problem often in terms of a gap in people for the technology. So it’s a misconstrued notion that, you know, when you get technology, it would be false to think that good technology is just plug and play, you get it off the shelf, you plug it in, you play, it works for your org forever more. Um, that’s not the case for anything. Your organization is growing and developing and adapting and evolving. Um your technology needs to do so as well. But in order to stay on top of that, you have to have the staffing of the folks like me who are responsible for treating that technology almost like a product. So we’re gonna make sure it stays up to date, it gets um serviced and updated and replaced as needed. So I just want to make sure no one is hearing this as it’s a people problem within your org. I’m sure the people within existing orders are phenomenal and they likely have too much to do and a full time job in addition to potentially looking and focusing on technology, you should have a specific stripe within your org that is focused on the technology much like you have stripes focused on your programs.

[00:10:40.30] spk_0:
Okay, thank you. Alright, banana. Are you, are you familiar enough with this too to launch our journey on the, on the road map to a better technology tomorrow?

[00:10:45.91] spk_2:
Well I’ve had the benefit of truly like working under chris and SAm’s mentorship for the last six years. So I like to think that I’m very familiar

[00:10:53.79] spk_0:
with it.

[00:10:54.46] spk_2:
Yeah, SAm and I have kind of been on a little bit of a publicity tour lately. I feel like where Sam you know because he and chris is brilliant minds are what came up with the kind of road map and then I get to offer a bit of the color commentary about what it looks like in like implementation and actuality versus

[00:12:51.20] spk_0:
theory. Turn to communications media relationships and thought leadership. First comes the relationships then comes the leaderships leadership but I couldn’t pass up the rhyme. You gotta have the relationships before you can get the leadership the thought leadership because you need those relationships so that when an opportunity for thought leadership emerges either because there’s some big news hook or you just have something that is compelling that you need folks to hear. You gotta have uh you gotta have the journalists and the other content creators in a position where they’re gonna pick up the phone when you call, they’re gonna reply when you email. That takes relationships turn to knows how to build those relationships. So you gotta have the relationships, then you can get heard. Then you become a thought leader in your field, turn to communications, they can help you build those relationships. And while you’re working on your messaging, that can help you craft that also so that you become the thought leader, you ought to be, you deserve to be turn to communications. Your story is their mission turned hyphen two dot c o. Now, back to your tech problem is actually a people problem. And what about buying leadership by in Ananda? Was was was was C A C beyond that. When you got there, you said they had already bought in. So, had you, like, had you passed that phase, Is that something you didn’t have to deal with?

[00:13:32.75] spk_2:
I mean, I think it’s always ongoing. I’m always telling the stories that it takes to make sure we’re investing in technology properly from a capacity and funding in time perspective. But I really was fortunate when I joined the Sea a sea, that our executive director, Michael Michael Poffenberger had attended one of chris and SAm’s talks and really just connected with their approach to technology and wanted them to support the C A c is really up upping our game when it came to tech. Um but one of chris and SAM’s requirements was that if you want to partner with them, you’ve got to have internal staffing to kind of fill that gap that is all too common when it comes to tech. Um, so hiring my position was basically the organization’s response to this is the direction we’re gonna head when it comes to structuring our technology and this is the first position we’re gonna hire to make that happen.

[00:15:11.64] spk_1:
tony maybe I’ll add. It’s also really important to note that a non as part of the leadership team now at C A. C as the chief of this team and that’s one of the things that we really emphasize is important. You know, the actually the first step in the road map we were going to talk about is you must be willing to invest and it’s about investing, not only resources, but time and care and focus. If technology is not part of what your leadership knows and understands, then you’re making decisions sort of devoid of what you can actually do in the world. You know, it’s like technology nowadays as your arms and legs to do almost anything in the world as an organization. And so if you have a bunch of people at leadership level, making decisions about programs and what you’re capable of or timelines or anything like that without that strong back and forth communication with those arms and legs and you have an organization that sort of lurches forward and can’t walk straight. And so it really makes a huge difference when you see a situation like CSC where nana is there as part of the leadership team, able to say yes organization. This is what we’re capable of. And also, um yeah, we can we can do these tradeoffs that we’re talking about at a leadership level, but here’s what we’re gonna have to dip prioritize and here’s what we’re going to prioritize. So it’s just sort of a whole different approach of, of investing in technology is a key skill set for the organization.

[00:15:17.61] spk_0:
Okay. And you said that’s our first, our first of the six steps is investing, but not only in the technology, but also in in the organization the people

[00:15:48.39] spk_1:
well. And that’s why we start with saying, you have to invest as, you know, you have to be willing to to hire people in this certain type of uh, you know, a certain type of capability and that means salary and that means head count and that’s one of the most expensive things. There are, so a lot of times we say, you know, that’s, you got to hear the bad news first, which is, it’s gonna cost a lot, most organizations are woefully under invested in internally internal technology capacity. And that’s just the truth of it. So when, when people come to us and say, you know, is there an affordable way we can do a B and C. We say no. If you want to be good with your technology and good good meaningful impactful outputs, you have to invest in terms of resources in terms of development, in terms of external experts and in terms of your internal team

[00:16:13.51] spk_0:
ananda what what’s the annual budget at Center for Action and Contemplation and and how many employees?

[00:16:20.30] spk_2:
Yeah. Great question. I believe our annual budget is close to about nine million and we have about 55 employees.

[00:16:35.89] spk_0:
Okay. All right. I want listeners to understand the context of what investment means. Why is at the center for action and shouldn’t contemplation come first and then comes action after you’ve given after you’ve thought about what it is you might be acting on, you

[00:16:51.54] spk_2:
know, one of my favorite things that our founder father Richard moore says is that actually the most important word in our title is the word. And because what is good action without sufficient contemplation? And what is the point of contemplation if it doesn’t result in good action? So and is the most important regardless of which order? Those words come in.

[00:17:08.97] spk_0:
Okay. All right, thank you. And thank you Father Also. Alright. All right. So, um Sam is there a place for folks who have you know have a smaller organization like uh suppose it’s like half the size of of C a C s annual budget like it’s 4, 4.5 5 million

[00:17:22.95] spk_1:
dollars is still

[00:17:24.56] spk_0:
a place that that they can improve their relationship. I’m gonna say their relationship with technology.

[00:17:31.79] spk_1:
It’s a great question. You know we have done this with very large sort of

[00:17:38.48] spk_0:
two great questions in a row. It’s all downhill. Yeah

[00:17:39.66] spk_1:
pretty much

[00:17:41.58] spk_0:
batting

[00:18:54.94] spk_1:
average, batting average is solid so far that we’ve done some very large sort of enterprise scale organizations. We’ve done it with tiny organizations and people ask me that often like well you have to be a certain size and I think the answer is no you don’t have to be a certain size. So I used to work out of an office where there was social enterprises that were being incubated. And so like people starting uh you know, triple bottom line businesses as they used to call them. And what they would do is either the founder uh would be someone with great technical sort of oversight capability or your first hire was sort of a C. T. O. Or a technical co founder. And so nowadays it scales down to I think the size of two, if your organization has a headcount to half of that capacity is probably focused on your technology because anyone starting an organization today understands how essential that is to be able to do anything in the modern day world. The problem is a lot of old organizations are trying to get away from this really old model of like the tech person in the back corner who just thinks of all things tech and everything. Tech goes through that person. We often say that’s like having a department of paper where everything on paper goes through one person in the back room. It just doesn’t make any sense. Everything is technology at these days and you have to be more sophisticated about what who you’re putting on what there’s a lot of different skill sets that you need at the table. Most organizations have their traditional I. T. Covered. Most organizations have their super users of technology covered. And almost no organizations have this particular gap which is technology stewardship

[00:19:15.10] spk_0:
Amanda. What were your credentials before you came to see A. C.

[00:19:55.68] spk_2:
Yeah so I um I actually studied film in college and I think that’s really comes from, I had an inkling towards technology. I really loved editing, I loved editing software and afterwards I went to work for a nonprofit. My goal was to actually be in the creative team. But but as a part of working there, a part of my job was using salesforce. Um And I was kind of what is traditionally called an accidental admin. So using salesforce for a couple of years they’re like, hey you’re really good at this, Would you be interested in doing this more full time learning more, taking on more responsibility. Um And I said yes and I think it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. Unfortunately our nonprofit went through a pretty massive downsizing. Um So they kind of kept on people who were like the jack of all trades and could do a lot. So I was kept on kept on as primarily the technologist but I’ve been working in Salesforce now for about

[00:20:16.08] spk_0:
12

[00:20:16.66] spk_2:
years. Uh So now certified Salesforce admin and focus on our digital product team. So I oversee our Crm Web and I. T. Teams for the C. A.

[00:20:24.93] spk_0:
C.

[00:21:30.54] spk_1:
Maybe tony I might add that. It’s like a perfect background. So you know one of the things we say is when you’re looking for technology people a lot of people think that means oh we gotta we gotta hire a bunch of developers um And that’s usually the worst thing you can do. Usually development is something that’s not easy um to hire for to manage to to evaluate the quality of work. And it’s one of the best things that you can outsource because there are firms that that’s their job, that’s what they do, that’s what their specialty is. But this sort of this sort of skill set that Ananda is such a master of this sort of like this communication based sort of ally ship based strategic layer of technology stewardship that comes from all all kinds of backgrounds and so oftentimes in an organization, people already have people like this that could be amazing stewards of their technology but they’re just not tapped for that, They’re not put in the right roles. So it really is, it really opens the floodgates for who can come in and help as opposed to sort of competing for the same highly technical, um, you know, people with, with, with depth in a, in a technical area. You’re really looking for people who are just, you know, great communicators and understanding of the big picture and allies, natural allies and uh for for their colleagues to help them do everything they do better.

[00:21:55.43] spk_0:
I think big picture big picture technologist is is valuable the way you, the way you described it. Let’s let’s move on to our let’s continue on our journey. Sam what you and your partner have, uh, what’s your next, what our next stop? What’s our next stop on the

[00:22:40.26] spk_1:
journey? We’ve already been hopping around in a few of these and you can, you can see them on on the road map. But I’ll mention one piece that Ananda referred to earlier, which is this, this we have this model of trying to separate out the just because of a chart we we created long ago, it was the Blue team and the gold team. The Blue team was this sort of tool. Optimizers like Ananda and the gold team was the people who are trying to use their tools to accomplish their work. So most, most of the people on our chart an organization, they might be like fundraisers communicators, program. People, executives, any number of things. They need tools but they need them to accomplish their work. And like said what often happens is they don’t have the tools they need. So they sort of finally go out and they’re like, I’m gonna build a Crm or I’m gonna build us a new website

[00:22:49.66] spk_0:
and

[00:23:02.20] spk_1:
now they’re on the phone with developers and talking about platforms and all the stuff that pulls them out of what their strength is instead of work focusing on their areas of expertise, which could be fundraising or anything else. And you’ve got these other people like who are just natural tool optimizers who can sit down with those people here, what they’re trying to do and say, okay, I can go figure out how we do that in technology land. Let me spend all my time on all these crazy paths that that takes. And then we come back together, have a meeting and I can tell you the three options and we go from there. So it’s it allows people to focus on their areas of expertise and and when you see that all of a sudden the machine really starts humming a lot more.

[00:23:32.29] spk_0:
So uh summarize the second stop for us. How would you, I mean if if the first one was invest, nothing has to be a single word. I don’t

[00:23:59.21] spk_1:
know that’s fine. The second one is differentiate three key areas of technology. So that’s where I was talking about, not just the sort of everything goes through tech but you’ve got traditional I. T. Which is something else which is setting up your computer’s security and software and hardware and all that. That’s a different set of skills. You’ve got your content users, your your super users and then you’ve got the the team that Ananda leads which is actually your your tool optimizer team, your digital product team

[00:24:09.47] spk_0:
stewardship to you call technology stewardship

[00:24:12.73] spk_1:
technology stewardship. Exactly.

[00:24:14.58] spk_0:
Alright.

[00:24:45.49] spk_2:
Yeah. I think one of the um you know chris and SAm have a great one liner that I always love to mention when we’re talking about this part of the road map which is that everyone likes to geek out somewhere. And I think that’s the importance here is like are the folks that you have hired within your organization able to focus the majority of their job on what they were hired to do that they’re likely experts and excellent in or are they getting distracted by having to work on tech or technical people having to contribute more to content. So the idea is making sure that folks who like to geek out on development or marketing or creative customer service program execution really get a partner that then is responsible for making sure that we find and build and train on, allowing them to have the best tools possible to do their jobs well. Um and that will just alleviate a lot of dysfunction and a lot of missed opportunity for um, just prioritizing capacity.

[00:28:50.81] spk_0:
It’s time for a break. 4th dimension technologies. They still have the free offer exclusively for nonprofit radio listeners. You get the complimentary 24/7 monitoring of your IT assets. It lasts for three months. They’ll be monitoring your servers, your network and your cloud performance. They’ll monitor your backup performance as well all 24 7. If there are any issues, they will let you know ASAP at the end of the three months, you’ll get a comprehensive report telling you how all of this is doing against different benchmarks that are standard. You know, you want to know how you’re, how you’re faring compared to where you ought to be faring. And they promised to throw in a few surprises as well. It’s all complementary. It’s on the listener landing page, tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant D just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. It’s time for Tony to take two national maker will month is coming to an end. So sad. But I am celebrating to the bitter end. We’re not letting any of national make a will month go away, leave us without full celebration. And to that end I’ve got more ideas, more reasons really. They’re not just there. They are. My ideas, they’re my thinking. But these are, these are reasons, this is not in the abstract reasons why wills are the place to start your plan to giving, I’ve done 13 through 15 already. I’m gonna do 15 through 13 through 15 already. I’m gonna do 16, 17 and 18, the last week of August and you can see the compendium of reasons at linkedin so far. Eventually they’ll be on my blog. But right now you go to linkedin through the month of august, you will see the cornucopia of reasons why planned giving should be started with Will’s simple charitable bequests. So go to my linkedin and you will see the vast array of reasons That is Tony’s take two. We’ve got just about a butt load more time for your tech problem is actually a people problem with ananda roby and sam dorman. I’m thinking about fundraising, which is what I do. I do plan giving fundraising consulting and thinking about how the supplies and fundraising, like there are people who are great at relationships but not so good about the simple, the simple, very simple user task of documenting the relationships and the activity and the steps and things. So, you know, like for them, if there could be some smoother way, like maybe they could dictate instead of having to type or you know, maybe give them a portable device, you know, they can, they can do it on a, on a on a pad or a service, you know, instead of having to carry their laptop or feel like they have to go back to their desktop to to preserve things like that. I think that’s a simple example. It’s a

[00:29:20.61] spk_2:
simple example but it’s perfect. I mean that’s the epitome of my job is like what do you need to do in order to do your job well and if one of those things is documenting your interactions and there seems to be a roadblock to doing that well let’s find out why is it like that you are constantly maybe out in the field doing your work and there’s not a good mobile app in order to complete that. So you’re having to wait till you get back to your desk is the platform, you’re using the UX UI really clunky to use are you just not trained? Have we now not provided the reporting that then shows the return on your investment. So you have this incentive to see how all of your work is paying off. There’s not necessarily a single or simple answer. So the trick is understanding the need and the reason and the why behind that need, understanding what the roadblock is and then alleviating that and that’s different for different people, some people that might be a technology use equal issue and other people that might be not understanding the need or the reward behind doing it

[00:29:49.06] spk_0:
well

[00:30:16.31] spk_1:
so well said and you know when you hear a non to talk, you can just imagine the power of having a colleague like that who’s just sort of a heat seeking missile for problem solving and knocking knocking hurdles out of people’s way. It’s completely flips the sort of traditional dynamic that you have for technology which is if you got a problem submit a ticket and we’ll get to it when we can, you know, that’s like the opposite of what anna and her team are doing. They’re out there being like tony your we you know, you’re out there trying to fundraise for us. We want you to succeed your our colleague, your ally. Like how can we help you do that better? And what you find is that once people realize they have that kind of a team on board, those sort of that kind of allies in place. The ideas just come fast and furious and then the R. O. I. Just sort of spikes where all of a sudden everybody is more powerful and more effective with the hours in their day, the R. O. I. And it’s just unbelievable. But it starts with that upfront investment

[00:30:48.00] spk_0:
see all right, continue us on the road map.

[00:31:53.81] spk_1:
Well yeah, we’ve been getting a lot of this. So we differentiate those areas of technology, you build this team, a technology accelerator team or a digital product team like talked about and then it’s all about hiring the right kinds of people which we’ve talked about that sort of strategic stewardship level layer and then one thing we didn’t talk about is insourcing and outsourcing the right things. I did mention this idea that you don’t want to generally in source uh development, you want to hire, you want to work with external partners. Actually, the last step of our road map, we call make magic with external partners. And even though that’s sort of flowery language, we chose that on purpose because when you have the right dynamic, you have, you know, sort of a superhero internally, like Ananda working with a really skilled external developer or external firm giving sort of depth of strategic and technical expertise. Well that will take us on a certain, you know, certain type of work that they’re doing, but also for their, for their web work. They working with a terrific web firm and for their Crm work, they’re working with a terrific crm firm and not just, you know, the traditional thing is just handing the work out to somebody and then they do whatever they do and they deliver it and good luck. And on day one, you know, you figure out whether you can use it or not, it’s the opposite of that. It’s, it’s very much an ongoing partnership, just probably not to talk about this because that’s where you see a lot of the power, it’s not about building a team internally, that’s going to do everything, It’s about building a team that’s going to steward it, figure out who are the right players that you need on the field.

[00:33:53.49] spk_2:
Yeah, I think often like this part of what the roadmap that we talk about can be very surprising to folks, especially if you’re saying like, hey build a technology team and the first thing is maybe not to hire like an extra under the hood. Super incredible. 10 times certified developer. Um that’s not what we would look for as the first hire doesn’t mean you’re not going to grow and expand into meeting that kind of expertise within your org um but for me, technical knowledge is one of the easiest things to learn and like SaM said the contract for so yeah, what we want to ensure we’re not doing is outsourcing the brains because if you do that then you really risk making bad investments and bad prioritization so you might be doing the wrong work or not actually getting at the root of what’s needed because truly like no one has better knowledge of the needs and nuances and changes of your organization than someone internally. So you need someone internally who is truly tasked with owning and stewarding, you know, the strategy, technical work and investments for your platform. The way that we do that is like, you know, we do all of our own admin work inside and then we have a phenomenal partner for our sales force team that if we need any coding or high level development, there’s not enough of that work for us to need to staff a full time position, but we have a great partner that we can outsource that work to um but again, like sam saying it’s not just an outsourcing, we don’t have a partner that’s just an order taker. They’re not just like, yes, we’ll do it. They really come to the table and we expect and ask of them to bring their wisdom and their critical thinking and their partnership so that they up our game, so they’re just not execute ear’s, they’re actually asking questions and giving advice about how we’re investing in our technology as well. So we get an additional phenomenal external partner on our

[00:34:18.62] spk_0:
work. And I can see why you said earlier that you’re constantly making the case for a particular technology investment, you know, what’s the, what’s the return gonna be, how is this gonna improve our efficiency? You know, I can see how your regularly making this case these cases all

[00:34:47.30] spk_2:
the time. Yeah. You know, and we started with moving the air, creating a Crm team internally and advocating for this type of investment on crm structuring the team in this way, finding the external partners in, you know, replacing old platforms that were not performing well with newer technology. Um, and then a few years down the road, you know, went back to chris and SAm, I think our executive director went back and said, hey, we’re experiencing a lot of pain on the web, like what’s going on over here, and they’re like, it’s the same issue you’ve got to treat and staff your web technology like you have crm. So we’ve brought web into the fold and made the same kind of advocacy and same kind of investment for internal staffing, Internal stewardship and external partners.

[00:36:03.20] spk_1:
Yeah. And you know, Tony. I think you see the same sort of like when there’s pain, there’s turf penis because people are just fighting to get the basics of what they need to do their work. So they say, no, this is ours, we’re gonna hold on to this is, you know, I had to go build a new web site. So I’m gonna hold onto this with everything I got, once you have a team like Ananda hired this amazing uh, product manager for web jesse jones. Once Jessie’s in there, people are only too happy to sort of let go of control because they know that she is gonna look out for their needs and do it 10 times better than they could have done it themselves. And meanwhile they get to do their fundraising or communications or program work and focus on that. So it’s just this process of getting everybody optimized onto the skills that they are best suited for and the things they love to wake up in the morning and geek out on, you know, what better option is there, that one, you’ve got the tools all that, that you need and two, you get to do the work, you’re excited about with them. It’s, you know, a lot of it is common sense, but it’s about bringing the right types of people in

[00:36:28.82] spk_0:
ananda? What have we not talked about yet that you want folks to know about this the process or the investment maybe questions that came during your session that you think are were valuable.

[00:36:33.03] spk_2:
Yeah let’s see what have we not covered yet. We’ve covered a lot.

[00:36:38.04] spk_0:
Well non profit radio is a comprehensive podcast. I hope I hope you’re not surprised by that.

[00:36:43.06] spk_2:
I expected nothing less.

[00:36:44.64] spk_0:
Thank you very much. Thank you that’s the validation I’m looking for. Thank

[00:36:48.60] spk_1:
you very

[00:36:49.47] spk_0:
important to me it’s very important

[00:37:59.95] spk_2:
um I would just say I think the only other thing that um I have discovered in my work here that um is important is often people can start conflating um digital product team members with more like traditional I. T. And so one of the things that has become important about my role is really protecting my team’s time in their remit so often you know when you put these really ally oriented folks onto your staff and they start fixing all of these pain points or debacles and make things run smoothly and get improved and partner with your gold team members, your content members. Um you can start to develop a reputation as almost like a fixer and so one of the things is then all of a sudden you’re getting all kinds of questions like hey can you fix this printer, can you work on my computer, Can you do this? So I think you know we touched on it earlier about the three different areas of technology but really keeping that distinction and not letting you know I. T. And digital products kind of become one in people’s minds because then all of a sudden you have folks who re we have the potential to be force multipliers for your organization whose time ends up getting eaten up by you know fixing that are important but they’re not really what the remit of this

[00:38:14.17] spk_0:
exactly

[00:38:24.51] spk_2:
which is so important if you need to print that’s important to your job. But that’s not a force multiplication for the productive nous. And the mission of your organization said it’s a different skill set and they should be treated and maintained separately.

[00:38:34.04] spk_0:
Sam same question for you. Anything you’d like to uh I’d like to add that we haven’t talked about yet.

[00:39:26.23] spk_1:
No it indeed it has been very comprehensive and I appreciate the time to talk about it. I guess I would just say um that the the this path is very possible. Organizations can make this transition and like we say it there’s no shortcut you have to put in the time to focus on the resources you have to care enough uh to really invest and to invest in all those ways but you can walk down this path that’s why we’ve tried to share these resources as as openly as we have. It’s all there like the bill tank dot com slash roadmap you can read through it. Um it’s just about the sort of common sense of things are not going to be great unless you have great people stewarding them, just like every area of your organization. So I guess the thing I want to, I just want to offer some hope to people who are struggling under the burden of systems that hold them back instead of supercharge them that it is possible, you know, it’s not possible without investment but with the right investment in the right structures it is possible that everybody has the tools they need to work more effectively to be more happy at their work, to be more effective at the end of the day and to have more impact

[00:39:46.44] spk_0:
and you’ll find the resource at the build tank dot com slash resource map source roadmap of course that’s roadmap. The build tank build tank dot com slash

[00:39:58.45] spk_1:
roadmap which

[00:40:00.13] spk_0:
is the roadmap to better technology tomorrow for our happy homemakers

[00:40:04.77] spk_1:
19

[00:40:11.24] spk_0:
50s. Alright, that’s Sam Dorman, he’s co founder at the build tank and also Ananda robi, managing Director of digital Products at Center for Action and Contemplation. Ananda SAm thank you very very much for sharing. Thanks

[00:40:22.10] spk_1:
tony

[00:40:24.06] spk_2:
pleasure,

[00:41:45.33] spk_0:
thank you and thank you listeners for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 22 N. T. C. Next week. We now return to our regularly scheduled non 22 N. T. C. Programming principles of sustained fundraising with larry johnson. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I Beseech 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 and by fourth dimension technologies Yes, I Tion for in a box, the affordable tech solution for non profits but also get the free offer, the listener offer all of its at tony-dot-M.A.-slash-Pursuant four D. You know, just like three D. But they go one dimension deeper. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows, social media is by Susan Chavez. Marc Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, thank you for that. Affirmation Scottie with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great