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William Henry: Insurance Is Indicated
You need insurance when you have volunteers who are out representing your charity and using your name. You also need it as protection from employee lawsuits. William Henry is executive director of Volunteers Insurance Service. He and I talk insurance, and we’ll also look into another risk management tool: disaster planning.
Nancy Levin: Spinning Your Event Theme
Nancy Levin is director of development and external affairs at My Sister’s Place. Her conference topic at last year’s National Philanthropy Day in Westchester county, NY encourages you to plan your events with a theme that engages and informs your audiences and leaves them with a call to action.
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Here is the link to the audio podcast: 094: Insurance is Indicated & Spinning Your Event Theme.
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio your aptly named host this week is always we’re talking about big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I very much hope you were with me last week. I’d be devastated if i found that you’ve missed charity transition. We talked about making a career transition into charities, but julia bonham’s strategies will also help those who work in non-profits and they’re looking to make a change. She’s, an executive coach and principle of career change for good also go offline. Maria simple is the prospect finder, and of course, you know her as our prospect research contributor, she had tips for conducting offline research, use your board committees network in your community and host cultivation events. The best prospect research comes from face to face meetings with people you want to know better this week insurance is indicated you need insurance when you have volunteers who are out representing your charity and using your name, you also needed as protection from employees lawsuits. William henry is executive director of volunteers insurance service. He and i will talk insurance and will also look into another risk management tool disaster planning. Also spinning your event theme. Nancy levin is director of development and external affairs at my sister’s place in westchester county, new york. Her conference topic at last year’s national philanthropic day in westchester, encouraged you to plan your events with a theme that engages in, informs your audience and these them with a call to action, and i’ll have that interview for you. Between the guests, of course. Tony’s take to a second look at something that’s important to me, my block post from a couple of weeks ago. What i believe, use hashtag non-profit radio to join the conversation with us on twitter. Hope you’ll be there with us, and i hope you’ll stay with us right now. We take a break, and when we return, insurance is indicated. Stay with me. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Schnoll are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to seven to one eight one eight three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com. We look forward to serving you. Is your marriage in trouble? Are you considering divorce? Hello, i’m lawrence bloom, a family law attorney in new york and new jersey. No one is happier than the day their divorce is final. My firm can help you. We take the nasty out of the divorce process and make people happy. Police call a set to one, two, nine six four three five zero two for a free consultation. That’s a lawrence h bloom two, one, two, nine, six, four, three, five zero two. We make people happy. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. My guest now is william henry he’s, the executive director of volunteers insurance service association, based in woodbridge, virginia. V s is a risk purchasing group that makes insurance programs and risk management services available to private sector non-profit organizations that engage volunteers and i’m glad that his practice brings into the show. William henry, welcome. Good morning, tony it’s a pleasure to have you. How are you? I’m very well think volunteers are essential to a well running non-profit. What? Why are there risks, though, around having volunteers working with us? Upleaf well, volunteers can be subject teo physical risks. They could be injured. Sometimes. We, uh, cia claim in our program that involves a volunteer falling that’s. Probably the most frequent calls. Sometimes there are vehicle accidents. Volunteers can be injured using tools. They can have a back injury, lifting things those kinds of claims. But then also, volunteers do represent the organization and the things that they say about the organization can effect non-profit and might represent a risk. Okay, so there’s so there’s physical problem possibilities. Like possible liabilities, i guess. Physical like car. Accidents and you’re saying people falling and things like that correct, but then there’s also, while while the volunteers they’re using your name and they’re out talking about u does, that latter part is what i think we’re going to focus mostly on does that only apply during certain times? Like when you know that they’re talking about you? Or suppose they say something unfortunate and we’ll get into what that might be, but they’re at a cocktail party and they drop your name, and then they say something that’s inappropriate could apply there, too. Certainly. And in fact, in the world of social media, there really aren’t any time boundaries anymore. Eso volunteers as well as employees could be bringing up your name when their own facebook or they’re tweeting something and it’s something that employers really need to be aware off. Okay, so yeah, on dh since the volunteers they’re using your name, they could be doing things that are inappropriate, like political advocacy. Exactly what’s the problem there well and that’s. Certainly, tommy right now, getting into the election right. These in the irs has strict rules about what tax exempt organizations can do in the area. Of political advocacy and if a volunteer makes the mistake of speaking on behalf of the organization in a way that seems to favor a particular political candidate, that could actually jeopardize the tax exempt status of the organization there volunteering for. And we have talked about that in detail with our legal contributors, jean takagi and emily chan, if you go back a few weeks, you’ll find a show second half of the show, all about political speech, political advocacy, what the boundaries are. So we’ve talked about the details of where the boundaries are, but if so, if a volunteer exceeds the boundaries you’re saying, then the charity could be just as liable as if an employer and employee did it exactly. The volunteers regarded as an agent of the nonprofit organization in a case like that. And does that apply even if there isn’t anything in writing like just the executive director? Okay, take a small charity executive director asks a volunteer to help with fund-raising or maybe the host an event, and then the person says something inappropriate. It doesn’t have to be a written relationship, or now it doesn’t have to be a written relationship. No, it could be orel. Okay, and then you’re still so the volunteers then still acting as an agent, which is ah, a legal capacity, right? It would depend on what the irs is able to prove and how aggressively they would try. Okay, so how are we going to first constrain our volunteers? How do we set the rules? Well, you know, i think that the way to address most risks that go with volunteer engagement on employee relations, for that matter is training and creating an understanding up front in your orientation time period with volunteers, for example, it’s a good time to let them know what your expectations are and what they can and cannot do or say on behalf of the organization, um, it’s a good time for that matter to go over with, um, their performance standards as a volunteer and, uh, what they’re accountable for, um, volunteers just because they’re not paid, uh, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be accountable for their performance and a disciplined if necessary. You know, i think a lot of times charities just so grateful to have the help that they don’t want to imposed rules or are certainly even discipline, exactly. But, you know, for the best volunteers, in my view, are going to be more impressed by the fact that the non-profit has thought through its processes, to the extent that they do have procedures in place and standards that they expect, rather than just leaving the volunteer to their own devices. This is very much like conversations we’ve had with with other guests talking about board management on dh, setting expectations correctly around for board members who are also volunteers. They just happen to be senior volunteers. But obviously your suggestion is that applies toe all volunteers that’s, right? Yeah, okay, we’re going to take a break, and when we come back, we’ll talk more about social media and volunteers and some of the other areas that are potential risks, aside from just political advocacy, so stay with us. They didn’t think dick tooting getting ding, ding, ding ding. You’re listening to the talking, alternate network waiting to get in. Nothing. Cubine are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Hi, this is psychic medium. Betsy cohen, host of the show. The power of intuition. Join me at talking alternative dot com mondays at eleven a. M call in for a free psychic reading learned how to tune into your intuition to feel better and to create your optimum life. I’m here to guide you and to assist you in creating life that you deserve. Listen. Every monday at eleven a, m on talking alternative dot com. Are you feeling overwhelmed in the current chaos of our changing times? A deeper understanding of authentic astrology can uncover solutions in every area of life. After all, metaphysics is just quantum physics, politically expressed, i and montgomery taylor and i offer lectures, seminars and private consultations. For more information, contact me at monte m o nt y at r l j media. Dot com talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Lively conversation. Top trends, sound advice, that’s. Tony martignetti, yeah, that’s. Tony martignetti non-profit radio. And i’m travis frazier from united way of new york city, and i’m michelle walls from the us fund for unicef. And i’m your aptly named host. And with me is william henry. We’re talking about insurance and risk management. William. What? What are some other ways that volunteers can put your your charity at risk, by my things that they say, not again? Not so much the physical, like car accidents. But aside from political advocacy, what we mentioned, social media briefly earlier. This is an area where we’ve already seen with respect to paid employees, cem clashes between employer and employee. Many employers don’t understand that the national labor relations act protects what they call concerted activity that relates to working conditions. So employees complaining on facebook, for example, about working conditions where they are that might be protected. And if they’re terminated the ceo, he might be the next person that let’s let’s take a volunteer on so that stick of volunteers right now, right? We will get to employees and practices around that. Well, how else could a volunteer get you in trouble? Well, in that same scenario with volunteers on social media, okay, just when the volunteers brought onboard, i think they need to understand that the same as with employees. Thie organization will protect its reputation that employees or volunteers rather are not. Teo blogged about the organization without, uh, going through whatever channels you you established have a director of communications for the agency. Then everything should be coordinated through that person. If the volunteer is going to comment on ina blogged about your activities. Okay? And where do we draw the line? Between what? The volunteer. Is saying personally on his or her own blawg versus what what he’s saying about he or she is saying about the charity? I mean, is it just if the charity’s name is used, then they’re speaking as an agent of the charity? Is, is it like that simple? Well, one thing that you one way that you could look at it is that, uh, the communications that you would have that charity would have with its clients are privileged information that you would not that you would certainly want to restrict public access to so the volunteer should be that should be put on notice that anything that’s said about the relationship between the agency and its clients should be considered privileged information and not used in social media. No public comment, ok? And i know this is all very gets all very fact sensitive. Andi, i know you’re not an attorney also, so i’m not trying to put you on the spot to answer legal questions. Just, you know, to the extent you’re you’re aware, i just want i want people to be generally aware that, um, there’s there’s risk around volunteers, volunteers are outstanding, but need to be a little cautious, right? And it’s a good thing also for any organization to remind volunteers that it could be a dangerous world out there and online publishing that whether or not the organization is reflected in a bad light, there’s the danger of defamation and you just don’t want volunteers to get in trouble just you wouldn’t want employees to get in trouble, okay? And the stuff that we’re talking about there is insurance, i presume, that can protect the charity from these risks. Well, general liability insurance, yes covers personal injury, which can be defamation as well as bodily injury and property down ok, that you just don’t want it to get to that point. It all comes back to good communication helping the volunteer understand the mission of the organization it’s priorities and, uh, the areas in which they need to go through channels, right? And as you said, that might be a director of communications, but in a smaller agencies doesn’t have that, it might just be the executive director it could be, or the coordinator of volunteers and everybody’s so busy but shouldn’t ever be so busy that you can’t take time to make. Certain that volunteer understands his or her responsibilities and the channels to go through and speaking for the organisation much better to prevent a problem than let one emerge and then have to invoke your general liability insurance policy exactly because people look att things so differently that the supervisor of volunteers or the executive director might never even i suspect that a volunteer would in good faith say something they shouldn’t say. So that’s. Why, with any volunteer involvement, think through what the task is established standards for the volunteer and make sure that they’re communicated and the volunteers accountable for them. Excellent. Thank you. Let’s move to employees. What is generally what are some of the risks around employees? Will the whole area of employment practices liability just continues to expand? We mentioned the facebook postings that are protected by the national labor relations act. Retaliation is a large on growing area of concern in two thousand ten. I believe it wass it past race discrimination is the most frequent cause of charges brought by the sea. And what kind of what kind of complaints are we talking about? Their retaliation was well, the employees would say that. Uh, he or she was wrongly terminated or given on unwanted assignment, or even just moved to a different office for reasons that i are based in retaliation because they exercise their rights. Which is why, uh if if employees is performing poorly, then the record really needs to be documented down to the last detail so that retaliation can’t be used as a pretense. Um, the americans with disabilities act also continues to expand in terms of employer liability. The focus now clearly is on what the employer will do to accommodate the disability and not what the employees or the applicant does to prove that they do have a disability. Okay, so you’ve seen the shift in in claims there has been, in the most recent regulations implementing the d a that’s clear. Okay, interesting to you. You make the point that this doesn’t have to be ah, firing a termination. It could just be a sze yu said, moved to a different office or maybe not promoted an employee not promoted, right? I mean, what are other ways that charities are accused of retaliating? Or maybe, you know, in some case, they actually do retaliate that that we need to be careful about. Well, another scenario is where an employee will follow-up testify on behalf or come to the defense in some way of a fellow employee who is in trouble for something and that’s natural to do it. If you believe your your friend is in the right, you’re going to want to try to protect them. So that’s fine, but the employer that needs to be aware that this is a possible cause for a retaliation claim if there’s an adverse action against that employees later. Exactly so again, your point documentation is critical, right? And another thing is, with the workforce being so mobile, if employers have hourly employees nonexempt employees wait, hold on. I have to. I want to keep you out of jargon jail on tony martignetti non-profit video. We have jog in jail. What doesn’t? What is a nonexempt? Employees exempt from what? What does that mean? If they are paid by the hour, generally speaking rather than a salaried employees, so that their limited to forty hours per week, if, uh, or they have to be paid overtime. Okay. And the time boundaries are just going away so that if the supervisor is sending an email or a text to an hourly employees at ten o’clock at night effectively, they’ve put them back on the clock and they might be liable for paying overtime and sometimes, you know, months can go by before the employee says, hey, by the way, you owe me over time and it can really accumulate. So you want to be very careful about respecting with work hours that an hourly employees supposed to be working and i go beyond those and we’re going to talk shortly about mobile devices, we’ll get to that that that that may or may not be issued by the by the charity, but very interesting about the work hours. Okay, um, you mentioned facebook there’s something called facebook fired-up facebook firings, right? Yeah, we’ll talk about those that actually happened to ah non-profit organization. In september of two thousand eleven, it was a buffalo, new york non-profit one of the employees had posted a comment on facebook complaining about another employee and about working conditions, and then four other employees also commented on that posting. Now they it all occurred outside of working hours. The employees were using their own computers and the employer fired all five of them on the basis that their comments amounted. Teo harassment of the employee who was the target of the comments and that was in violation of the organization stated policy against harassment. But the judge in the case in l r b and national labor relations board administrative law judge rule that those comments were within the scope of a protected activity because they dealt with terms and conditions of employment. So and he ordered those employees reinstated. And there have been over one hundred cases brought before the national labor relations board in the last two years involving exactly these kinds of situations. Facebook firing i’m with william henry he’s with me and he’s, executive director of volunteers insurance service association. William what is the earl? Where can people find find you it’s? Ah, www dot seema world that see, i am a world dot com. Okay, thank you. What? What can we do? Insurance wise to protect against these employees? Retaliation claims well, the directors and officers liability insurance policy response to claims of wrongful termination or these kinds of employment practices against the organization. Ok, so that would be the officers, part of directors and officers policy correct. Is that right? Okay, is that is that? Is this very typical coverage or is this something that charity has toe specifically ask about? Well, the the broadly written directors and officers policy for nonprofit organizations would include employment practices liability, but you always want to make sure you know, that you get a standard policy that has it and not a policy that doesn’t, because under the directors and officers, liability claims, two thirds at least our employment practices related, actually, wrongful termination. Okay, okay. But as we talked about, that could be other forms of retaliation to correct. All right, let’s, talk a little about the mobile devices than others issues around a charity that issues ipads, our phones or any any, any tablet or phone what’s the what’s. The problems there, um, if if the charity issues that equipment, the employees for the volunteer, for that matter needs to know that it belongs to the organization. And therefore so do any message is sent using that equipment any messages at at any time of day, right at any. Whether that whether it’s during working hours or not, if their scent on equipment that charity owns, the charity needs to protect its right. Teo read those messages that anytime reid so if so, if i’m issued ah, phone and i text my children i don’t have children but this’s a hypothetical so let’s go crazy. So i text my daughter while i’m on vacation. The charity has a right to read those those texts that i send and the ones that i received back from her right now, i don’t want to create the impression that this is something charities should do, or this is an orwellian nightmare. All right, but if if there are messages that might be damaging to the organization in some way, the organization should protect its right, and this can be done just with the employee manual, the employees or the volunteer read those those conditions then, you know, messages can be intercepted. Khun b read it any time, and then they have to sign that they acknowledge that. Okay, you know, many, many people feel, are under the mistaken impression that they have a right to privacy just because the message was private and not work related, but that’s not true if they’re using equipment issued by the organization? Yes. That low expectation of privacy. Okay. So, so communication up front setting the expectations so that there aren’t any ugly surprises later. Okay? Seems with the volunteers. Exactly. Should the volunteers just jumping back for a second? Should they be signing the rules around around their their work for the charity to yes, i think it goes back to the performance standards for the volunteer the orientation period, letting them know what they’re responsible for, what they can and cannot do. Okay, whether it’s the use of organization equipment or working with clients or anything else involved with their work, have them signed those rules. So everybody knows that they have been read and understood. Okay, let’s, talk a little about the disaster planning. We have just about two minutes before we have to. We have to wrap up. Um, how do you how does a charity approach disaster planning? It sounds don’t very daunting. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Um, thie organization should get its best people together, and best people might include someone across town or someone in a linked in group who has been through the process before and start with the question, what could possibly go wrong and think about, uh, you know, scenarios such ranging from, uh, employer, employee or volunteer injuries too back-up volunteer injuring a client or perhaps even a client, injuring a volunteer and just through let let your imagination go, you know, uncle mentioned the second mile foundation in state college, pennsylvania, okay, and we have just about a minute before we have to go, so if they had the first exercise and years ago, they might have come across the possibility that ah, volunteer even the founder of the organization could be charged with injuring the children in their care. But to get to that point, i don’t really have to be willing to consider anything, so because if it can’t be discussed, it can’t be managed. And you mentioned using linkedin and people in your community maybe who were in other charities, but within your organization, i would think boardmember should be involved in this boardmember sze, veteran volunteers, they’re very good and that’s a good way to say to that veteran volunteer we value your experience in your knowledge, newer volunteers for that fresh perspective and your senior staff people and get together and come up with at least twenty five, because there are that many at least risk scenarios and then determine how severe would it be? If this happens, how often is this likely to happen and create a nexus there between the severity and the frequency? That’s, the approach that we suggest, william, we have to leave it there. William henry is executive director of volunteers insurance service association. You’ll find him at cma cma, world dot com william, thanks very much for being a guest. Thank you, tony it’s. Been a pleasure. Right now. We take a break, and when we return, tony’s take two. Dafs you’re listening to the talking alternative network. Geever are you feeling overwhelmed in the current chaos of our changing times? A deeper understanding of authentic astrology can uncover solutions in every area of life. After all, metaphysics is just quantum physics politically expressed. I am montgomery taylor, and i offer lectures, seminars and private consultations. For more information, contact me at monte m o nt y at r l j media. Dot com are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Dahna hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com welcome back, it’s. Time for tony’s. Take two at roughly thirty two minutes into the hour. This is important enough to me that i want to mention it again. Two weeks ago, my blogged was what i believe. I believe there are two things that are the reasons that i do this show and do all the the work and produce all the content that i do for charities. The first is that small and midsize charities need to improve. I believe they need to be better at delivering services and measuring their their outcomes from those services better at fund-raising compliance of all types could be financial, legal, exploiting technology managing donors. And, second, that small and midsize charities deserve the help that they need to improve. And i feel that they deserve it because everybody in charities is working very hard already. I know people want to be better have their organization improved, but i also know that small midsize shops can’t do it on their own. So i help these. I hope i do that’s my intention that’s. Why i produced the show. A tribe log. I have the podcast fund-raising fundamentals for the chronicle of philanthropy. I do a lot of speaking it’s all because of those those two beliefs, and those are my motivations. You’ll find that post called what i believe on my block at tony martignetti dot com, and that is tony’s take two for friday, june first twenty foot twenty twelve twenty second show of the year. Now i have a pre recorded interview with nancy levin from philanthropy day in westchester county, new york, spinning your event theme here’s that interview my guest now is nancy levin, she’s director of development and external affairs for my sister’s place, and her conference topic is when an event is not just an event before, during and after spinning your theme. Nancy eleven welcome, thank you very much and thanks for inviting me to join you today, it’s a pleasure, what are what are non-profits not doing with events that you would like them to be doing? One of the things that my sister’s place has found over the last five years is that when we’re putting together a special event, that the idea behind the event is not just to put people in a room to raise money and to get corporate tables. On dh have a silent auction obviously we’re always going to meet our financial goals, but it’s really to look at the year of programming and what issue we would like to bring to our many publix that they might not be familiar with otherwise. So, for example, in today’s workshop, what we talked about was the issue of human trafficking, human trafficking is to the community now what domestic violence was to the community forty years ago. People don’t speak about it and don’t understand it in the ways that they now understand the issues of intimate partner abuse. In two thousand seven, new york state passed a law many laws involving human trafficking, and my sister’s place was appointed to be the human trafficking service provider for the lower hudson valley region. At that point, we began in earnest to really look at how are we going to engage the issue of human trafficking, the service provision to victims of human trafficking and the resource development needed teo fund human trafficking programming into the work of our agency and toward that, and we really made our two thousand nine two thousand ten program year from a resource development. And external affairs perspective the year of human trafficking. Okay, but how does this all relate to events? You’re absolutely and we’ve run two large public events, one event in the fall, and that is a luncheon, and we run a large benefit in the spring. Between those two events we bring in about eight hundred thousand dollars, which of the total of one point, eight million dollars a year, is of significant piece of the private philanthropy of our agency. What we did was we looked at our fault luncheon and said, how is it that we would like to deliver the message message about the issue of human trafficking and educate our our attendees about it and also for them to have a call to action? We feel very strongly that people should leave an event for mice from my sister’s place, knowing and having something to do that they would not have known about or done otherwise. And so, while every non-profit organization has a very significant mission and helps to enhance the quality of life for the community, my sister’s place specifically looks at issues and says, this is not something that people necessarily know about. And we want to engage them, we want to inform them, and we want them to walk out and say that they want to be part of the solution in making permanent change in the way our society thinks about about different issues. All right, so as we’re planning our event, how do we plan to engage people so that they do become informed? Absolutely. The first component part that really is most significant in the success of any event is the leadership development, having strong co chairs and a committee as anybody that’s listening to non-profit radio nose is going to contribute immeasurably to your ability to be financially successful. A lot of people may not know that’s why you’re here toe help them explain that i don’t understand some may of surely, but a lot of people may not. They may not have done a lot of event programming when you have a special event, while you might be the best of them planner in the entire world and the most organized person and you could even be the best fundraiser around, but without having partners on your lace side, which is your volunteer side to help you. To make that event come to fruition and to bring their friends and associates not justus attendees, but as investors to the event, you might meet the financial success, but you will not meet your program goals, and you will not develop the future leadership and philanthropist to the agency. So how do we recruit the right people to be the chair and co chair, the natural first place to go to recruit your co chairs and your leadership is to your board of directors to to ask your board, can they help to identify people that will find this issue that you’re addressing compelling? Find your agency compelling people that you want to put on the committee so that they start to learn about the work so that they start to bring people in on more informal with a lower risk basis? Chairs for your events have to be able to make the commitment to significantly fund-raising and support your event. So when you’re thinking about someone they might be, you might be thinking about thie district attorney or the deputy district attorney that’s dealing with your issue. However, the reality is that that person, while they might be so knowledgeable they might not be the appropriate fund-raising vice chair or chair for your event. They probably are a very good speaker for your event. They can substantively helpyou. But in terms of leadership, what you want is somebody that wants to be knowing. But that also has capacity to bring in people from the outside and to also be personally supportive in the most meaningful way that’s appropriate for them. All right, now we’ve recruited our co chairs. Now, do you have a preference for is it better to have two people? Is co chairs or one chair is sufficient? If there is a presence that question, try todo well, we try to do is to always have somebody from our board of directors that has agreed to serve in a chair’s position. We also at my sister’s place have an honorary board of directors. So we also have a member of our honorary board to serve as a co chair. And then we have one outside set of co chairs people that are either involved corporately in the work of the agency. So, for example, we’re fortunate to have avon is a significant corporate partner and swiss re the reinsurance company is a corporate partner, so we might reach out to one of them and ask them if they would serve as a co chair. Or lexisnexis is a very significant partner of my sister’s place, and we have ah, human trafficking fellowship with lexisnexis. So we’ll ask for them to be able to be engaged. His leadership. How do we divide responsibilities across all these cochairs honorary co chairs? How did the job’s sort out? Sure. Well, we do is we hold the first meeting with all of the co chairs where we do it overviewing of the event we talk about the program, we talk about the venue, we talk about the leadership and building the committee for the event and we talk about the financial goals and in terms of the financial goals right from the very outset, we put together what we call a gift pyramid, and that is how many gifts is it going to take at each level? Two attained the financial goals that we have, and we really, really pushed the issue of the gift pyramid at the first committee meeting because committee members and leadership always air excited to get to know each other, and while we’re thrilled for people’s enthusiasm to get to know each other and and to get to know the work of the agency, we want to keep people’s eye on the ball. So it’s always a very fine balance between allowing them that opportunity to have this experience be one that’s enhancing of the totality of their life, but to be very focused and maintain our professional objectives. Should we be talking about fund-raising objectives and the and the gift pyramid at the recruitment stage, where we’re just inviting people to be the co chair so that they understand what the expectations are? Or yes, when we recruit leadership, we always give them what the expectation is of them as leadership in what the financial goals of the event, or it’s at the committee meeting that we really defined, how is it that we get there? And and what can each of us do in the many walks of life that we each walk in to help us to get to that place? Okay, now so where we’ve recruited our leadership, we’re now how how is the organization supporting them as as they are? Going out and doing their fund-raising work, my sister’s place spends a good deal of time and energy on putting together our materials for recruitment and for the implementation of the event itself. We immediately create branding and image ing for the event we work with a designer on dh. I happen to be looking at her across the room right now, because she’s here we work with the designer and we put together a zay, said the branding for it with the invitation covered and then out of the invitation cover comes to save the date and a few different a few different monograms that we can pull off of the invitation itself that will be able to use on printed materials, whether it be no cords or flyers or sponsorship forms, et cetera. We get the printed information in a form and present each committee member and each leadership member a package for them to be ableto work with both individuals, corporations and anybody else that they might be able to speak with on our behalf is my sister’s place also going out with the volunteers to help them in the fund-raising we work with volunteers in the way that they believe will be most effective for them and oftentimes a volunteer might say that they really want this support and they and they don’t even really necessarily want to be a spokesperson. They would like to just make the introduction and bring us in to do the presentation of the agency and of the event itself and of the benefits of becoming engaged in a sponsor of the event. We try to follow the lead of where people take us. We don’t ever want to presuppose a certain way to make something happen. What we want to do is have many different tools in our tool kit to be ableto effectuate them being most successful and feeling good about their experience. Nancy levin is director of development and external affairs at my sister’s place, and we’re talking about your event management and theming your events. Her conference topic is when an event is not just an event before, during and after spinning your theme. So now as you and the volunteer leadership are going out, or maybe they’re going alone but a sze yu said, however, there most comfortable information is coming in questions air coming in. From potential potential attendees, potential table purchasers. What i really want to get the details of the the support that you give to thee, the volunteers who does all this follow-up to the meetings, we work with the volunteer to provide the follow-up information that they may want to do the follow-up individually, or they may ask us to do the follow-up they might say, we’ve made the introduction that you take it from there, you run with it, we have what we have, what we call a moves management system, which is that we have a list of prospects, we have a list of people that we believe will be we’ll find this enticing, and we very strategically moved through the list and divide people up and make sure that every stone is uncovered so that we maximize our ability for resource development. What we will do is sit in a weekly development meeting, and we will. I have a small staff of people, and we will look through every name and update one another with any activity. That’s gone on. Have they called? Have they researched? Have they have they ran any names by us to make sure? That there’s no conflict. And then we will make sure that those person, those people in question, will be receiving a phone call with a request for a meeting, a package in the mail. An email with a link to our eve i tte version or ari sponsorship version. Because of all the many modes that we all work in these days, a combination of social media, website, e blast and then traditional hard materials. We have so many ways, as we all know, since we receive all these many modes from other people to be able to create a cocoon of of opportunity for people to really know that this is going to be ever present in there, you know, in their communications modes over the next couple of months. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Hi, this is psychic medium. Betsy cohen, host of the show. The power of intuition. Join me at talking alternative dot com mondays at eleven a. M call in for a free second reading. Learn how to tune into your intuition to feel better and to create your optimum life. I’m here to guide you and to assist you in creating life that you deserve. Listen every monday at eleven a, m on talking alternative dot com. Hi, i’m carol ward from the body mind wellness program. Listen to my show for ideas and information to help you live a healthier life in body, mind and spirit, you’ll hear from terrific guests who are experts in the areas of health, wellness and creativity. So join me every thursday at eleven a, m eastern standard time on talking alternative dot com professionals serving community. Hi, this is nancy taito from speaks. Been radio speaks. Been. Radio is an exploration of the world of communication, how it happens in how to make it better, because the quality of your communication has a direct impact on the quality of your life. Tune in monday’s at two pm on talking alternative dot com, where i’ll be interviewing experts from business, academia, the arts and new thought. Join me mondays at two p m and get all your communications questions answered on speaks been radio. This is tony martignetti, aptly named host of tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Technology fund-raising compliance. Social media, small and medium non-profits have needs in all these areas. My guests are expert in all these areas and mohr. Tony martignetti non-profit radio friday’s one to two eastern on talking alternative broadcasting. Talking. Um oh, yes, oh, now this is an ongoing process. Volunteers were out meeting, that is so then there soliciting and information is going out from my sister’s place to support them as questions develop what’s one more thing that we should be thinking about that you think is key before the event before the event. We really need to spend a lot of focus on program because you don’t want to just get the room filled with three hundred people, god willing, you want to be able to have three hundred people in the room that are going to be moved by the eric their experience. So in addition to all of the recruitment components, what we’re looking at is how do we create the most compelling evening? Well, you create a compelling event by looking at what’s going to bring people to the information that you want in a way that they will be able to hear it best when people sit down in a room, they’re going to have an attention span for you for about forty five minutes, forty five minutes of between getting their dinner and their their appetizer, their main course, etcetera and getting their program in so what you what we do at my sister’s place is we start off we really we to answer your first question, we try to keep speakers to a minimum. We have one person that serves as the emcee through the evening that kind of guide you because the more transitions you have, the more time it’s taking and then more people have to keep switching their focus on and off from from people speak differently. People’s inflections or different you want to keep them on the track of where they’re engaged, but not asking them to remain engaged in all different style with all different style speakers. So we try and keep this speaker number to a minimum. If we are honoring somebody, we have an honoree. We have the personages introducing an awarding the honoree and we have an m c and then we have some kind of program components are these? Are these speakers all timed, including the honoree? That was exactly how much time here because every speaker is timed and the timing is on. Ly is good as the paper. You put it on because as i experienced today when you know we did a presentation here at the conference today, and the conference was running fifteen minutes behind, so that meant that our presentation either had to be fifteen minutes shorter or it had to the conference had to keep going fifteen minutes, you know, every every speaker was going to be fifteen minutes late. So what you have to know is that when you create these timelines and what we call them is a chronology of the evening that you created in the ideal fashion and you accept or know that you’re going to have to be malleable, you’re not going to take a cane and pull your speaker off the stage because they’re not sticking with the time constraints in the chronology, but you have to have realistic expectations for what people are going to do, even given the instructions that you give them. Andi, i think, nancy, i just want to make clear to the audience that this applies in really in any kind of event, absolutely. This doesn’t have to be a gala with hundreds of people where there was a big cocktail hour in our sitting in the waldorf astoria thing, this could be just you. Know this could just be patient. This could just be twenty five or fifty people at a luncheon as well, right? Absolutely. One person throws the timing off by two to three minutes. You’ve got two to three people doing that you’re already fifteen minutes behind, so you always have to be mindful of that as the professional, but at the same time, you want to really be able to share with your people. Oftentimes i asked people to share their presentation, so i time what their presentations going to bay and if it really is so far afield and look, obviously i can’t go to senator gillibrand and say to her chief of staff, i want to read her speech, and if the speeches you knows ten minutes longer than i wanted to be, i can gently say to her chief of staff, will we really would you know, we’re really hoping to move the programme in this direction and in this timing, and we want the senator to have the opportunity to be able to and you try and make it feel like it’s, you’re doing something for the other person, not that you’re being critical of the way they’re presenting that you’re giving them an opportunity. A supposed tio you’re taking away from their presentation. So suppose we have a lot of people we want to honor. Is it a mistake to have? I guess you could have. I mean, you could have too many honorees, and then the night is going to drag beyond the forty five minutes of attention that people have. Not only is it going to drag, but it also has not might not give the due to the honorees that you want them to have what we have done when we do group different groups of honorees. So if we’re honoring community groups a junior league, um ah on employee group inc ah, nde es a church based social action committee. What we will do is from the podium we will speak about each one will put a little thirty second short about each group together thirty second short video about each group together we’ll speak about them from the podium. We’ll speak about what they’ve done on behalf of our agency and we’ll ask them to stand at their seats and we acknowledge them and we take pictures with them before. The event starts at a predetermined place that’s set up for photography and do pictures and award presentation so that we’re not moving three or four or five people up to the stage to potentially speak and tio then take up another half hour in programming and wee wee, when we first did this, we were quite concerned that the honorees would feel offended that we weren’t giving them. Ugh, this really wasn’t an honoring us really was kind of paying tribute, which essentially is true, but what was the reaction? Every honoree was perfectly fine and comfortable, and i’m talking about everybody from a ceo to a big corporation. Teo, a junior league president, we have never met resistance from it. They understand that people you know, around on tight time frames, we have to recognize the change in our world and that people have limited attention span and limited time and that while they want to be supportive, they want to be supportive in the way that they can do it. That fits in with their lifestyle that fits in with their their personal, you know, their own personal attention spans and limited abilities. So what we want to do is really keep that at the forefront when we’re figuring out how to program nancy, would you have just about two minutes left about post event? Well, what what’s your advice around extinction, that theme on din the important follow-up to the event absolutely post event again, when we think of our theme post event, what we’re looking for is what’s going to come out of this event from both the fund-raising in a programmatic perspective. So after our human trafficking programs in both the fall in the spring are human trafficking fund-raising events, we were able to do a film screening at the jacob burns film center, we were able to do a number of round tables at different peoples there’s other events weigh many events, we call the many events, and then we’re able to create other small fund-raising opportunities to do that, and then you start to also really build and have evolving leadership for your agency because they become more deeply engaged in the issue. It’s also another way of bringing people back to something closer. I’m not as large an event, but but cracked its great follow-up because now you can spend more. Time talking about the agency and its work and it’s much more compelling, interesting than an email or a letter follow-up correct, absolutely. And you’ve gotten good response to them tow those many events? Yes, absolutely are round tables have been so well attended that the notion of a round tables that you have twelve people when you have twenty two people that want to come it’s, not a round table it’s a small event. So we really have been very focused on getting captains from communities to host individual round tables. So now here you are creating leaderships from different areas for your agency so that you start to have point people in different communities that you can call upon for a variety of different things and that your board of directors does not always become the only go to place for your agency. When you’re looking for people to become ambassadors, you want your event to raise money, to build awareness of an issue and build the next group of ambassadors for your agency out there in the larger community. And i believe if you accomplish those goals, you can feel really good about spinning your theme to make a successful event and a successful fund-raising operation nance, eleven, is director of development and external affairs at my sister’s place. Her conference topic at national philanthropy day is when an event is not just an event before, during and after spending your theme. Yeah, yes, thank you very much for being here. Thank you so much, tony. I’m so appreciative of having the opportunity and please do go to our website www dot msp and why dot or third more about the agency and more about how we do our business. Have a great day, nancy and happy birthday also, thank you very much. My thanks to nancy levin and the folks at westchester county association of fund-raising professionals and also william henry for both being guests today. Next week, i’ll be at the fund-raising day conference hosted by association fund-raising professionals in new york city chapter that’s their big fund-raising day we’re a media sponsor will be on the exhibit floor, and i’ll be doing lots of interviews for the show. So next week i’m going to rebroadcast a vintage show from august got women donors. My guests were on willbe michelle walsh from the us fund. For unicef and travis fraser from united way of new york city, we talk about successful initiatives to expand your female donor base and that was recorded at last year’s fund-raising day. Also, maria simple return with loving linked in our prospect research contributor has strategies for using linked in to find people and organizations who could be your next employee board members, donors or sponsors. We’re all over the social networks. 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Occasionally, those offering specious help come bearing innovative, cutting-edge programs. Most of the ones I’ve seen have life insurance at their core.
Their hallmark is a paper or slide with a score of arrows connecting six or eight boxes. There’s a box for the donor and one each for your charity, the life insurance policy, the trust that owns the policy, the trustees of the trust and the AAA-rated company selling the policy. Arrows are shooting in and out of boxes and around corners.
They’re always convoluted. I ask three times how the programs work, and I can’t regurgitate the explanations 30 minutes later.
A lot of times the plans’ advocates aren’t salespeople, but well-meaning board members or committed donors.
I’ve been in Planned Giving since 1997, as a program director and consultant. I’ve never passed on one of these as something to offer donors. They might be appropriate for huge charities with highly mature programs, though I’m skeptical.
How do you protect your charity and your donors–without sounding ungracious–when offered what I’m describing? Ask two questions.
- What other nonprofits are executing the program?
- Is there a private letter ruling from the IRS?
I confidently predict the answers you’ll hear.
- “A and B are looking at it.” – That’s meaningless. You’re looking at it too. In their next pitch meeting, you’ll be “C.”
- “No” – Without IRS’s imprimatur, I recommend you pass on the ground-breaking innovation.
I don’t feel like a curmudgeon, though you may think I sound like one. In 15 years I’ve seen a lot of bad practices seeking refuge under the Planned Giving umbrella.
Protect your charity from dubious ideas that don’t add value for donors.
This has been bothering me for nearly four years, when I started to see it trending upward. The “it” is people who sell financial products calling themselves “planned giving consultants” or something similar.
In fact, they aren’t consultants at all. They’re salespeople. Typically their products are life insurance or commercial annuities, but the menu may vary. Some sell multiple products.
What offends me most about this community of salespeople is that “donor-centered” to them means “Your donors all need the financial product I sell.” It’s just amazing how a seminar led by a life insurance specialist of this ilk will conclude that everyone in the audience needs more life insurance. I’ve been in such programs.
Amazing too that in meetings with a charity’s leadership, life insurance forms the basis of the “planned giving” program these “consultants” pitch. I’ve been in such meetings, screening for self interest to protect my clients from those offering to help the Planned Giving programs I’ve created. This kind of help my clients don’t need.
What I’m describing does not impugn all financial product brokers. Most are ethical and don’t purport to be any type of fundraising consultant. I regularly include a life insurance broker in panel programs I manage for clients.
Life insurance and other commercial financial products certainly have their place in the discussion of estate and retirement plan charitable gifts.
Here’s my point: those who sell the products are not Planned Giving consultants.
Protect your charity’s reputation. Protect your program’s integrity. Protect your donors’ plans. Give a gracious “No thank you” to specious offers of help from people whose real interest is selling financial products.