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Nonprofit Radio for March 14, 2022: Nonprofit Emeriti With JoAnn Goldberger

JoAnn Goldberger: Nonprofit Emeriti With JoAnn Goldberger

We’re kicking off a new feature, highlighting long-career retirees from the nonprofit community who have ideas, wisdom and experience to share. JoAnn Goldberger is our inaugural Nonprofit Emeriti guest. She shares strategies for getting your org to the next level. You’ll find her on LinkedIn.

 

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[00:00:10.04] spk_0:
Hello and

[00:02:07.34] spk_1:
Welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio big nonprofit ideas for the other 95%. You’re aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh I’m glad you’re with me, I’d be forced to endure the pain of pancreatitis analysis if you secreted the idea that you missed this week’s show, non profit temerity with Joanne Goldberger, we’re kicking off a new feature highlighting long career retirees from the nonprofit community who have ideas, wisdom and experience to share Joanne Goldberger is my inaugural non profit temerity guest on tony steak too. The jargon jail rules, we’re sponsored by turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C O. It’s a big pleasure to welcome my inaugural non profit temerity guest, Joanne Goldberger, She had a successful 45 year career as an idea confetti bomb in nonprofit management and fundraising. She’s looking forward to retirement at the end of this month. Her only for profit job was many years ago with the largest Mcdonald’s franchisee on Long Island in new york. Since then it was Mount Sinai Medical Center of greater Miami alexander muss high school in Israel headquartered in Miami carol Child care center in Baltimore junior achievement of central Maryland and finally retirement out of barks Baltimore animal rescue and care shelter Where she grew their $750,000 budget to over $5 million dollars you can find Joanne on facebook she’s retired and linkedin why bother Joanne Goldberger, welcome to nonprofit radio and nonprofit emeritus.

[00:02:12.04] spk_2:
Thank you so much tony and hello to all of our guests today.

[00:02:16.84] spk_1:
Yes, well you’re the guest there. The listeners,

[00:02:19.49] spk_2:
you bring

[00:02:23.94] spk_1:
Them in as guests. Yes, we have 13,000 guests. Absolutes. Congratulations. Congratulations on your retirement.

[00:02:26.58] spk_2:
Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:02:29.14] spk_1:
What a career.

[00:02:30.24] spk_2:
It’s hard to believe 40

[00:02:32.21] spk_1:
five years.

[00:02:36.54] spk_2:
Who? Thanks now I feel old. Oh, come on. No, you got you have wisdom. It’s not, it’s not longer than most of your listeners lives. That

[00:03:18.84] spk_1:
Could be, I don’t know. Yeah, there’s a lot of listeners who are under 45. That’s probably, that’s, that’s true. But you have wisdom, its wisdom, not age. It’s wisdom, wisdom and experience. Um, no, it’s terrific. Congratulations. And uh, so you have, you have advice around and you’ve done this at many organizations getting to the next level like getting off a treadmill. What does, what does it look like? What, what does, what does the problem look like before we get into your, your ideas about get growing beyond it.

[00:04:03.34] spk_2:
Well, first of all, I’ve been with some grassroots organization and that’s exactly what it is. It’s a grassroots movement to conceive about the organization and what it can be and it’s, it’s a lengthy journey. It’s, it’s not an overnight process. So especially for those newer nonprofits and even the middle nonprofits, you need to give yourself about five years and I was very fortunate when I joined barks because I was there at the time, their first director of development. And they were wise enough to know that they wouldn’t see major results until about five years and that’s an important thought for executive directors and their boards to know when you’re embarking upon a process that it does take time and it really did take every bit of five years.

[00:04:38.74] spk_1:
Yeah. All right. So you need a long term view. But, but what is the problem look like? What what what is the, what is a nonprofit that needs to get to the next level? You know what like small, there’s lots of small donors pursuing small gifts. Talk about, talk about what the symptoms are. You know what it looks like.

[00:05:06.54] spk_2:
Um, I like to call it the moneygram because that’s what we were doing. We, um, our goal was to raise $8 million 750,000 And most of the gifts are small gifts like 50 or $65. So we were burning ourselves out trying to grab all these small gifts and you can’t do that.

[00:05:08.50] spk_1:
And your your goal was $8 million. And you were coming nowhere near

[00:05:11.82] spk_2:
It, nowhere near, not even near $1 million. Yeah. Because that’s an awful lot of small gifts to grab.

[00:05:20.23] spk_1:
It. Can’t be done. It can’t be done 50

[00:05:32.94] spk_2:
dollars at a time. No, it can’t not. And with a small staff no less to um, very few people juggling so many plates and you also need a strong board with a fiduciary responsibility. The board also has to help lead the process.

[00:05:53.14] spk_1:
Okay. And we’re gonna, we’re gonna get to, we’re gonna get to them. Absolutely. Um and events right. It’s like hosting small events That bring in $1000

[00:06:34.24] spk_2:
or $1900 like two or $300 or 300 at the time. There were only 3.5 of us in the development department and we were doing literally dozens of these tiny events every week. So we were killing ourselves and not really raising it any money but we were working around the clock, go to this event on monday and this one on Tuesday and free on Wednesday and you really need to keep the big picture in mind and really grab towards the larger dollar events and also major donors as well because it’s wonderful to have those small gifts but you really need some serious cash infusions.

[00:07:08.64] spk_1:
Yeah. Alright. So It starts with you and you just mentioned it, you know, thinking bigger, realizing what you could be. I mean so barks had an $8 million dollars goal. They were coming nowhere near raising any, not even close to that. But so they had a conception of themselves as a much bigger agency but they didn’t have a plan for getting there. They just kept doing the same thing like you can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting different results year after year after year.

[00:08:59.84] spk_2:
And that’s exactly right. And we, we felt the need to break away from the norm and that took the buy in of our executive director, who was also the founder of Bar barks to take a leap of faith and say, okay, we’re gonna stop this, tell me a minute, see the bigger picture and envision how barks could be raising millions of dollars. And one of the things we started to do right off the bat is we had an annual signature event. We still do, it’s called barks Tober fest and it’s our largest fundraiser of the year. And we struggled, struggled to raise $165,000 each year without one event. And that was through sponsorships and other smaller donations. And it it was a struggle. And then we said, okay, we’re gonna try something new. We’re gonna try instead of it being a community celebration of pets, it was going to be a celebration and reward for peer to peer fundraising for people who raised the funds for pets. And then they’re gonna party hardy at park Stober fist. And we went from the first year of raising 165,000 to over $300,000 just in the first year because we had people who are our supporters were actually raising the funds for us instead of the department, struggling to raise those funds, which of course we did too in terms of sponsorships, but it was awesome to have hundreds of people raising the funds for us and also building awareness remarks at the same time.

[00:11:10.84] spk_1:
All right. So you need to, you need to be willing to experiment right to pivot away from what you’ve been doing for year after year and it’s not getting you even to 1/8 of your goal. Uh, you need to be, you need to be willing to try something different. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. They have a free webinar coming up. It’s on March 24 crisis communications, they’re gonna walk you step by step through a crisis communications protocol because you ought to have a plan for a crisis or at least the outline of a plan for how you’re going to manage internally and to the outside some kind of major problem crisis that that befalls you. Um, you know, we don’t even, we don’t even want to get into what the possible crises are. You can imagine them. So I have a plan. If you don’t have a plan or at least the outline You can join turn to its on March 24. If you can’t join live, then you sign up and they’ll send you a link to the recording. That’s the key is the recording. So you go to turn hyphen two dot c o slash webinars now back to nonprofit temerity with Joanne Goldberger, let’s talk about getting this, the executive buy in on, you know, not only the october fest, but you know, on, on, on the, the bigger conception. I mean the Ceo had it in mind though because, because there was an $8 million goal. But how did you get the buy in for pivoting the plan or just like scrapping what you had been doing and moving to something very different? How did you get the Ceo to buy into

[00:11:51.14] spk_2:
that? You know, that concept? Well, it was a process. She was already almost there because she knew we had to raise millions of dollars or the organization was going to falter. So in order to do that, just like what you said, we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting bigger results. You already proved like this is what you can raise, but this is what we need to raise. Um, and by hiring a director of development because I was the first one that they ever had. Um, they were already half on board with the idea. They knew they had to do it. And so she was trusting and we, we’ve had failures, but we’ve had more successes than failures.

[00:12:59.54] spk_1:
Alright. We’re gonna get to the, the need, you know, talking to donors about the need, We’re gonna, we’re gonna come to that, but we gotta get the, we gotta get the internal first. Um, and you know, of course, you’re sharing your experience from barks, but this was experience gained over 45 Well before barks, I guess it was 35 year career. You know, you knew what needed to be done. It’s not just, you know, this is just come to you and barks. It takes time to develop the confidence in, in a different strategy and then being able to persuade the C. Suite or the one person, the Ceo and then the, and then we’re going to get to the board, you know, about what the potential is and how best to go about this. You know, this, you know, Barcs was the culmination of a 45 year career. So you know, you gain this wisdom over a career and then Barks became the, The lucky recipient of all your 35 years of

[00:14:38.04] spk_2:
experience. And as a matter of fact, um, I had a background in marketing and public relations in nonprofit management. So it all came together at bark. So I didn’t know what to do. I was a little mortified that it was just me and 2.5 other people that had this lofty goal because I knew how much work it would take, but I was very motivated to do it. I wanted us to succeed. Um, and so I started to put a plan in place and you’ve probably heard this other times that those people that can achieve the most get the most handed to them. So in addition to having to raise at that point, several million dollars, I also had to do all the marketing, all the pr all the social media and raise the money and so everything I would come in, I looked like a deer in the headlights, like how could this be? And back in the day. I love how you’re laughing about it now. But oh dear. It wasn’t funny at the time. I know. Um but at the time if I could make one post to facebook and then two months later make another post, that would be an accomplishment instead of engaging others like you’re supposed to. But there was like no way I could get it all done. So I always kept my eye on the prize of how are we gonna raise more money because we need all hands on deck.

[00:14:44.94] spk_1:
All right, the board. How did you get the volunteer leadership to accept this? Radical change in in fundraising strategy.

[00:15:15.44] spk_2:
That too was a process because I was used to working with very high powered boards. Certainly a junior achievement. It’s all suite c suite executives from the Fortune 500 companies. And even when I worked at the alexander must high School in Israel, our benefactor with Stephen must The son who owned the fountain blue for 50 years. The fountain blue

[00:15:19.94] spk_1:
in the fountain blue in

[00:17:37.64] spk_2:
Miami in Miami. Absolute. So he wrote, I had to go pick up a check, he wrote us a check for $1 million dollars just like that, just like without the checkbook and wrote it. So when I came to barks who’s on the board, of course nobody I recognized, but it was all crazy cat ladies and I’m one of them, so I could say that and you know, pet loving people, but they had absolutely no sphere of influence. Um they weren’t able to give on their own give or get for that matter. So that was one of the hardest and longest term processes process um, to turn the board over into a fundraising board. And that took pretty much almost my entire time at barks, which got to start somewhere um because without a board with a fiduciary responsibility, you’re never going to get into the, to the bigger fundraising dollars so slowly but surely we were able to have those board members roll off and they were very dear kind people. We found other places for them at, but not on the board. And one of the first things we did was we increased the giver get which they didn’t have one. You didn’t have to even make a financial donation to be on the board at that time, but we increased it to only $3000 and that got rid of the vast majority because none of them were able to give it or raise it or get it. Um and so slowly but surely we started to bring in more notable people because as many people know if you want C suite executives on your board, they’re only going to be on a board with other C Suite executives. They need other people. And so that was a long process in identifying um members of the board that we wanted and to go after them to attract them. How do you

[00:17:42.34] spk_1:
entice the first couple of of transformational board members? The first one or two or three? How do you? And then I could see, you know, okay, now I could be affiliated with somebody else who is prominent in the area, but but that first one or two, how do you get? How do you

[00:18:36.74] spk_2:
get them? That’s a great question. tony The first thing we did was mine our database to see who’s I mean we had thousands of people in there, but who are they? And lo and behold we had a few Baltimore Orioles and at the time, but it was right across the street from Ravens Stadium, M and T Bank Stadium and Camden yards, we were right, a stone’s baseball throw away. And so we saw that one of our not donors, but one of our adopters was matt Wieters at the time. And so we reached out to him.

[00:18:40.74] spk_1:
I don’t know anything about, I don’t know anything about

[00:18:42.59] spk_2:
sports. It’s OK, he’s not an Orioles anymore, but his wife is still on our board.

[00:18:48.02] spk_1:
The Orioles. The Orioles is a football

[00:18:49.91] spk_2:
team. And now it’s it’s Baltimore oil Maryland’s baseball team.

[00:18:54.14] spk_1:
They played baseball.

[00:19:41.64] spk_2:
Okay, okay. And they used to be quite famous. Not so much now that they’re reconfiguring, but back in the day, that was a big deal to have a sports figure tied to Bart’s. So we reached out and they love their pets where they adopted from us and they agreed to be on the board. Oh, that’s fabulous. Amongst our volunteers. Of which parts has 400 active volunteers. We had somebody that was very engaged and he was um higher up in the Teamsters Union and he was very interested in joining the board and he had he knew everybody in Maryland. He really did. And so he brought with him several other board members and that’s how it started to

[00:19:52.29] spk_1:
get started. Alright, brilliant. So you, by the way, I knew that the Orioles is a baseball team. I was I was I was messing with you. Um

[00:19:59.74] spk_2:
They don’t know now though,

[00:20:02.04] spk_1:
that’s what

[00:20:03.00] spk_2:
most people don’t know who the Orioles are now. All right. What happened to them? Well, they had a changeover in players and they’re they’re they’re they’re struggling but they’re they’re on their way back.

[00:20:16.04] spk_1:
Okay, but they’re still there. They’re

[00:20:17.54] spk_2:
still in Baltimore. Okay.

[00:20:34.44] spk_1:
Go Yes of course I say that all every day I wake up saying goes um All right, so that’s alright, brilliant. You mind your own database, you found a prominent person who has a multiple adopter? All right, so it was in it was there all that time?

[00:20:37.84] spk_2:
It was

[00:20:39.14] spk_1:
right. And someone who could be a very uh major donor to you also.

[00:20:44.64] spk_2:
It

[00:20:45.95] spk_1:
is there you go. Alright, I see. And then then you got your guy from the teamsters union and then it snowballed from there

[00:20:53.54] spk_2:
and, and that’s okay.

[00:21:20.44] spk_1:
And these are folks who are going to want to be on a high powered board. Uh, so they’re gonna start to recruit their own folks as the, as the union guy did, uh, their own friends as as as donors as well as fellow board members. And the organization starts to gain prestige and not these, you know, $350 events on a Wednesday afternoon. They’re gonna think these are folks who are going to think bigger.

[00:22:34.84] spk_2:
And I have to add in that all along the process. We were building the bark story because it started off as a very sad story. We took over the animal shelter from the city who was euthanizing 98 Of 12,000 animals that came to us annually. And by raising more money we put in, we put into place more life saving programs. So gradually over time our live release rate has been at 90% since 2018. So it became the gem of Baltimore city that has so many sad stories coming out of it. But this was really a wonderful story to tell of how we were saving animals lives. And it was due to the entire city. I mean the donors, the supporters, the government, everything. Um, truly took a village. So by creating that story for barks more donors came and larger donors came and more board members came because they all wanted to be part.

[00:22:55.44] spk_1:
Okay. telling the story telling the story of how you turned it around from the, from what a city agency was doing. You almost turned it upside down from 98% kill to 90% live live and survival. Alright. Um, how does grants, How did grants? Manship grants writing play a role in this transition.

[00:24:33.14] spk_2:
So that was a very, very important role because in the beginning we had no $1000 donors, very few $100 donors for that matter. And here I came from a background with people, you know, writing a check for $10,000 or a million dollars and we don’t even have our 1st $1000 donor. So I knew from my past history in grant writing but to get a large cash infusion in the door so that we could start building programs for bars. We needed to write grants. And of course that fell on my shoulders also. Um, But I started investigating grants writing and I got our first grant and probably the first four months that we were there, um, for over $25,000 and then grew it from that point on. But that too is a process because while grants is a huge portion still of the barks budget, it brings in now almost three quarters of $1 million, you have to have okay support from your staff or your volunteers to maintain that grant, you have to implement the program, but you also have to be good stewards of that funding and do all the grant reporting that’s necessary. That comes along with it. But you can always look for volunteers. You can always look for freelance grants, writers. But it was one way I knew to get large amounts of money in the door somewhat quickly

[00:25:16.34] spk_1:
and look if you need to go outside, you know, if you do need to hire someone to do grants as you said, either on a freelance basis or maybe a part time basis, you know, maybe maybe one of your transformational donors can fund that fund that for you. So, you know, you’re, you’re trying to do you share with them the vision for where you’re trying to get to, you need some bridge money. You need grants manship, you know, could it could a donor or to help you across that bridge with by funding some professional help. If you don’t have it in in, in the form of a volunteer or in their inbox case, you know, you were there. Um, but if you have to pay for it, maybe you can get a donor to help

[00:25:30.94] spk_2:
you. That was another thing that barks always does. We always try to get everything. We can donated first before we would ever lay out any money. Um, there’s a wealth of places you can turn to for anything,

[00:29:21.14] spk_1:
It’s time for Tony’s take two just recently on linkedin, someone that I follow posted about jargon. So I of course had to mention that I have drug in jail on nonprofit radio and she said, oh, you know, sounds like a good idea she had posted against jargon. I’m not sure if there is a pro jargon lobby, but she was anti jargon. So she loved the idea and then she asked, how does somebody get out of jargon jail? So that was the impetus for me to uh codify jargon jail enforcement. So we now have a jargon jail enforcement protocol, which I am going to read from because you know, I don’t want to misquote the statute because the slightest comma or word, you know, can make a difference in statutory interpretation. So here’s our drug and jail statute. If a guest defines the jargon on their own, they’re sentenced to only probation, no jail time. Then if I have to call them out as offenders and they show contrition and then define their jargon, they’re granted parole. So if I have to identify it and then um, they do show contrition and then they define their jargon. Okay, they get parole. But if there’s no contrition and or no definition of their jargon, they remain in drug in jail and I shut off their mic end quote. Now that draconian punishment has never been meted out on nonprofit radio but it remains on the books, it’s on the books show host. Oh well I guess there is a little bit more show host is judge and jury and there are no appeals available. Okay, end quote. So there’s our jargon jail enforcement regimen statute for jargon jail. I have to give credit to Claire Meyerhoff, our creative producer. She came up with this idea At the beginning of the show 12 years ago. She thought of Jargon jail of course when when someone transgresses the drug in jail statutory enforcement mechanism is triggered against that scofflaw. It has to be, we have to have a, we live in a society based on law and order, right? We know this. So there has to be guardrails boundaries around bad behavior That is Tony’s take two, we’ve got boo koo, but loads more time for nonprofit temerity with Joanne Goldberger and I hope that you are enjoying this new nonprofit radio feature, non profit temerity, let’s turn outside now you start, you’ve got a, you’ve got a much stronger board, a giving board. You’re telling a very different story about barks. Um, the Ceo has been on board for years now you’re starting to go out to external folks. You know, attracting major donors. Let’s talk about how you get those uh, you know or whatever stage it came at, you get those first several $1000 donors and then you’re looking for investment level donors, 10,015 25 $50,000 donors. How do you start attracting these folks?

[00:31:36.84] spk_2:
Well, one thing that we did when we started to get some funding in the door, it was a necessity, a necessity to grow the development staff, Joanne couldn’t do it all anymore. It was, it was too hard. So we started to grow the development staff, which today from 3.5 people when I started is now 10 people. So it’s huge. But we were very fortunate that the leadership and the executive director saw the need like, oh, who wants to add development staff? Nobody wants to do that. They want to add everything else, but they realized in order to make money, you have to invest in the staff. And so we started to grow people internally who could cultivate these major donors and take the time again to look in the database. Because what good was amassing a database if you’re not doing anything with it. Um, and looking to see who those people are. And as you probably know, people love to give to success, not rats off a sinking ship. They want to get, you know, gone are the days of um, terrified fundraising, where it’s like, oh my God, we’re gonna close our doors if you don’t give us money, well, nobody’s gonna give you money because you’re closing your doors. So why should they? But if you could build a story of success and get that out there, um, the donors come to you and that’s exactly what was happening. As soon as we started to get a few $1000 donors, we got more and more and then we started to get monthly donors, which we never had. Um, so we started to build up that base of monthly donors as well. And the board was doing and is doing a tremendous job of attracting others to also donate to Barks.

[00:32:07.14] spk_1:
So the organization has to invest in growth and then the, and in which includes investing in fundraising. You know, you hire professional fundraisers and then you can get those donors to invest in the organization, but you have to invest in growth first in your own growth and then you can attract those investment level gifts

[00:32:36.94] spk_2:
and you’ll also have to paint your organization’s picture as once as, as one of success, no matter what’s happening internally, you still have to paint a positive picture because if you don’t, unfortunately you’ll be dead in the water. Um, because for many years, Barks was euthanizing for space every day Every day. But we didn’t paint that picture. We painted a much brighter picture and a better day where we would be able to reach a 90% live release rate and that’s what people wanted to hear. And that’s what we were able to achieve with their help

[00:32:54.64] spk_1:
right now, we’re getting into the, uh, Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos territory. Remember you know the woman with the pin prick, you know what I’m talking about? She just just had her

[00:33:04.75] spk_2:
trial the

[00:33:06.50] spk_1:
Pin the pin prick technology that was going to diagnose 30 or three

[00:33:09.89] spk_2:
100 different

[00:33:15.14] spk_1:
additions. Yeah. Alright. Right. But you you achieved, You got to where you were telling people you wanted to be, you got to that 90% live release rate

[00:33:46.14] spk_2:
and that was always um the apple or the carrot that we were reaching for um That that was always the mission of barks to turn around that 2% live release rate and change it to 90%. So we knew what we had to do internally. Forget fundraising. We knew what we had to do internally and add all those life saving programs to do it. So that’s why I said in addition to fundraising, you have to be building your organization story and that’s what we were doing behind the scenes and that’s what we were doing with every penny that we raised.

[00:34:09.84] spk_1:
Okay, excellent. Thank you. What did you do with some of those crazy cat lady, former board members. How did they

[00:35:24.84] spk_2:
were really crazy tony It’s a, it’s a term of endearment in animal welfare to call somebody a crazy cat and they’re crazy about cats. But we had like I said a huge volunteer program, we needed cats socialize ear’s and dog walkers. So they clearly loved cats, so we trained them and it’s like come in every day and work with the 110 cats that we have every day, they need socialization so that they could get adopted. So they were happy to do that. And I kid you not somewhere quite piste off that we all of a sudden said, Okay the give or get is $3,000 and they just like stormed off and you know, there was nothing really we could do about that because in essence while we would love to have them back as a volunteer, we wouldn’t love to have them back as a board member. So we had to let those people walk. But um some of them stayed on as volunteers and either door walking of cats socializing. So we’re happy to have them. And I think they were much happier doing that than being on the board.

[00:35:29.54] spk_1:
Okay. Alright. What else? What else haven’t I asked you about now that to make this transformational change.

[00:38:36.52] spk_2:
What other advice do you have? One other thing that barks is really known for is out of the box thinking for how to raise money. Um and I’m gonna give you a few examples in a moment. But if you know who your constituents are and what they love, You play to that audience. So let me explain still to this day are average gifts is only $65, but we get thousands of them and when Joanne was doing social media, that was a joke because I really wasn’t. Right. Right and never looked back. But when we had enough funding, the first person that we hired with, somebody that lived with social media and did social media for bart. And she’ll tell you um, that she was working 24 7 because 23 in the morning, she was checking her phone for anything that she posted, she was engaging donors, um, or engaging followers. And so we used to have a following of 7500 followers and today it’s almost 200,000 and having that many also attracts many corporate sponsors and other people interested in you being an influencer. So that was one of the things we did and she was super creative. So we know that our funding bases primary primarily millennials. And so what do we do? We and this is all attributed to her who is now. She’s taking my role as I twilight away. She’s the director of community engagement we had. And some of you, some of your listeners may have seen it or may have seen it around the country Because everybody knocked us off once we did it bad pet portraits for $10 And our staff and our volunteers draw the most hideous pet portraits you’d ever want. Um, you would pay $10 and send us a photo of your pet and somebody would draw it. Now some of them were beautiful but some look like the pointed teeth. They look like vampires. It was great, but it was so funny and so unusual That it raised us $10,000 with just $10 donations. We had a dog wedding a few years ago because we knew our audience would eat it up and they did the tickets sold out like crazy. And we raised $30,000 from it and we got every single thing donated including The hotel Banquet Hall, all the food, all the liquor, all the music, everything was donated. I don’t think we laid out $300 for the whole thing.

[00:38:49.92] spk_1:
And you married

[00:39:38.52] spk_2:
a dog couple because that was blasted across social media. Everybody couldn’t wait for the big day. We had flour kittens, not flower girls with flour kittens. I mean that was the whole shebang. And one thing I always wanted to do was have a bark mitzvah and I never got to do it, but will one day, but I always had a tiny one. It was many years ago, but I really wanted to do a big one based on the success of the dog wedding and the bride I had was handicapped and had a wheelchair attached to our hind quarters and a very handsome groom. That’s that’s just a well I love you know, yeah,

[00:39:44.55] spk_1:
I love the bark mitzvah too.

[00:39:45.92] spk_2:
That’s yeah, I always wanted to do

[00:39:48.70] spk_1:
that’s better bark mitzvah is better than barks to Beerfest Octoberfest. Alright. But bark mitzvah

[00:39:54.96] spk_2:
works better. Alright.

[00:40:10.91] spk_1:
They’ll get there. All right. But the but the lessons are again, investing in the organization. They they they hired a social manager, somebody or somebody who was deeply invested, obviously deeply loved animals and

[00:41:19.61] spk_2:
All those stories. And that’s another thing. You know, when I was doing my one post every other month, barks gets in 30 to 35 animals every day of the year. There’s so many stories were never lacking for stories and that’s prime for social media, but I couldn’t do it. I definitely needed a person and now we have almost three people at barks doing it because there’s so many followers and there’s so much engagement. A lot of it comes from it and I have to add one other thing. We raised $350,000 a year. Just on Facebook, just from those followers, be it their birthday celebration and they have a fundraiser or just asking outright for donations for very specific animals. Um we raise a lot of money just on facebook, so it was well well worth the investment because the board and the executive director would say, well, you know, we’ve got to pay 40 or $50,000 at the time to hire somebody plus the benefit package. How do we know we’re gonna make that back, We’ll just in facebook we’re raising $350,000 a year. So I think we made it back? Excellent investment,

[00:41:49.81] spk_1:
right? Multiple times. Alright. But that’s an interesting point. What do you say to that? Well, how do we know, how do we know we’re going to get a return on this person? We got to pay $50,000 plus 20 or 30% for benefits. What, how do we know this is gonna be fruitful for us?

[00:42:22.60] spk_2:
And again, it’s just a matter of trust and knowing what could be. And it was a gamble. We had to see and everybody at barks a super motivated, they truly loved animals and will do anything to succeed. And she certainly did. And the money started rolling in. But it could have gone the other way. It could have. But we did our research and we were pretty confident that we would be able to raise a vast amount of money just with social media.

[00:42:37.20] spk_1:
Okay, Again, the willingness to try, you can’t keep doing things the same way as we said, willingness to try something different. Make make the investment

[00:42:38.44] spk_2:
All right. And I should add one other thing if it was to fail. We had plenty of roles in fundraising for her to take over instead. So even though she was doing social media, believe me, there was plenty of place for her if it didn’t pay off.

[00:42:58.90] spk_1:
Yeah. All right. So what does barks look like now after the transformation, you said you said 10 people is that 10 people doing fundraising

[00:43:55.60] spk_2:
all, all different aspects of it, including marketing, public relations and social media. Um it’s all lumped together as um community engagement. So we have somebody just working with corporate donors. Two people working with social media. I was doing grants writing. Um, and then we had other people working with donors under $250 and over $250. So everybody has a little piece of the puzzle so that it’s manageable because in the beginning it wasn’t manageable. Um, we just had to try everything. But you know, this high burnout when you, when you’re juggling that many plates, um, without extra help. So we’re very fortunate now that everybody is doing a certain aspect of development.

[00:44:05.69] spk_1:
So what does barks overall look like now is a $5 million dollar a year agency.

[00:44:10.37] spk_2:
So the goal is still $8 million. Alright, well you’re a lot

[00:44:14.92] spk_1:
held a lot closer than you

[00:45:12.99] spk_2:
were. That that would be the tipping point for barks where we would be able to do everything that we really wanted to do. So we were already raising close to 5,000,002 years ago before Covid, then Covid struck. So of course we had to pivot along with the rest of the world and it was truly grants and the payroll protection plan that helped keep barks afloat during Covid because everybody feared their fundraising tanking and we were very fortunate for the past two years To maintain our fundraising level at $5 million. So we sustained it? But we didn’t grow, but at least we didn’t shrink either. So now we’re starting to bring back in person events, dog weddings coming back again this year. Um, And so we’re poised to start increasing and heading again to that $8 million dollars goal, which is achievable. It’s just, we had a two year slowdown along with everybody else.

[00:45:45.39] spk_1:
All right. Uh, it’s a, it’s a terrific story of transformation, but it’s built on your, On your 35 years before that and now a 45 year career, you know, that that’s the, that’s the value of experience. You know, what to do

[00:45:50.08] spk_2:
have survived

[00:46:31.08] spk_1:
And, and or how to get it done. You know, it’s fine to have an $8 million dollars goal, but you have to have a plan for getting there. So, you know, all the things we talked about about conceiving your organization differently. Getting executive buy in dealing with the board, getting thereby in talking to and transforming the board. Talking to donors about the need, expanding the donor base, grants manship as a transitional tool. That was key. Um, telling the right story, transforming the organization. You know, it’s, these are great lessons, Joanne, your, your, your perfect. Thank you. Congratulations.

[00:46:33.27] spk_2:
Congratulations.

[00:46:41.08] spk_1:
What you did at barks, Congratulations on your retirement, Joanne Goldberger, you’ll find her on facebook, which makes a lot of sense, linkedin. How long is that linkedin? You’re gonna, you’re gonna stay on

[00:46:44.99] spk_2:
linkedin. Why why bother it’s gonna say retired job. Okay, right, yeah,

[00:46:56.88] spk_1:
put some confetti bomb around that. Exactly right, all right, Joanne, thank you very much.

[00:46:58.33] spk_2:
Thanks for sharing your most welcome. Thank you tony

[00:48:16.88] spk_1:
If you know someone appropriate for nonprofit radio temerity, non profit temerity on nonprofit radio please nominate them. You can use tony-martignetti dot com. You can email me tony at tony-martignetti dot com. They should have retired From a long career in nonprofits at least 30 years and please they should have good ideas. Please don’t nominate a mediocre lackluster retiree that’s the status is reserved for me, although I’m not retired yet but I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna have to tell somebody that their ideas are mediocre or middling so please don’t put me in that position. Smart retirees, those are the ones we want smart retirees with a long non profit career, let me know about those folks that is non profit temerity next week fail forward 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 our creative producer is claire Meyerhoff

[00:48:34.48] spk_0:
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 be with me next week for nonprofit radio big nonprofit ideas for the The other 95

[00:48:43.68] spk_1:
Go out and be great, mm hmm.